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Tom Green

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Top Stories by Tom Green

About a year ago, I had a long chat with Mike Downey, the Flash Product Manager, regarding the launch of Flash MX Professional 2004. Mike was still stinging from much of the criticism related to the that launch, and the gist of the conversation was "never again." He was adamant that if Flash gets shipped, it will ship when it is ready and only then. This conversation took place in the midst of a very quiet tour that had landed Mike in Toronto after a couple of weeks in Japan. Another couple of weeks in Europe were in front him. He wasn't out apologizing. That's not Mike's nature. He was out listening closely and intently, to what the Flash designers wanted, and to show them a version of Flash that was more a "concept" than anything else. In the midst of the conversation he added, "We are going to do some serious work with video". Macromedia has delivered on that on... (more)

Vector Vortex

Macromedia Studio MX includes a number of relatively unheralded gems. Perhaps it's because Macromedia hasn't hyped these features enough, or maybe users spend so much time focusing on a particular tool that they have simply overlooked or ignored how the other pieces of Studio MX actually work with each other. A great example of this is the stepchild of Studio MX: FreeHand MX. For some odd reason FreeHand has fallen into the role of "always a bridesmaid, never the bride."This started even before Macromedia existed. When PostScript drawing tools hit the graphics industry in 1988, t... (more)

Freaks and Geeks Unite Part 1

This past summer I decided that my courseware site needed a complete overhaul. It was, in fact, a bit of an embarrassment. As a teacher, writer, and lecturer I had been sticking my courseware and lectures notes up on a site that was designed more for convenience than anything else. After quietly suffering through the jabs of my students and my colleagues, I decided the time had arrived to bring order to the chaos. In August 2003, I sat down with a very talented Toronto graphic designer, Shawn Butchart, and asked him, as I succinctly put it, "to give my site an enema." After a lo... (more)

Freaks & Geeks

The great thing about being a "Freak" and working with a "Geek" is not having to concern yourself with the nitty-gritty details of coding a dynamic site. The bad thing is that you will get involved with the nitty gritty details whether you like it or not. In my previous article (MXDJ Vol. 1, issue 4), I walked you through my "epiphany." I had redesigned my site, basked in the accolades of my students and colleagues, and then discovered to my chagrin that I had screwed up - big time. I had a tutorial area that was a classic case of a freak focusing on the design and not wondering... (more)

Captivate Primer

Now that Captivate has been on the street for a few months and I have been out there "yacking it up," the product has moved from novelty to production tool in rather short order. Once that happens, there are the subsequent, "How do I...?" questions that inevitably crop up. This article deals with a five of the more common ones that I have encountered and shows you how to deal with them. They are: Fitting the application interface to be captured into a defined capture area. Adding a Voiceover script to a Captivate movie Moving the Control bar off of the captured interface Creati... (more)