April 23, 2010 – Building iPhone Applications with Flash

Filed under: Uncategorized — joel.cass @ 9:16 am

Visited a great site that I had looked at a while back for some flash tutorials and found some great new content: – Building iPhone Applications with Flash.

This is very interesting indeed – I was having trouble getting started with building iPhone apps in xCode. If building applications for the iPhone becomes possible using Adobe CS5, it means no longer do I have to learn some backwards language that hasn’t changed much since the mid 80’s. Instead I can use ActionScript! Woohoo!

Just going through the tutorial though, I came across this little bit of programming excellence:

ball.x += ((ball.x + tx) - ball.x) * 0.3

Isn’t ball.x += ((ball.x + tx) - ball.x) * 0.3 exactly the same as ball.x += tx * 0.3? And ball.y += ((ball.y - ty) - ball.y) * 0.3 exactly the same as ball.y -= ty * 0.3? I’m not sure whether it’s the nerves involved in presenting something like this getting the better of the author, or whether it’s an indication of the source of the many gremlins that float around in the flash libraries.

Some bad news: Looking through some related pages on this new functionality (thanks google) shows that Apple is not going to allow applications to be written in any other language than Objective.C. This is an excerpt from one disgruntled developer in particular:

Now let me put aside my role as an official representative of Adobe for a moment as Speaking purely for myself, I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple.

I would have to say, yep, I agree. While I am sure that Apple have their reasons (e.g. stopping developers from writing malicious code using a third party language is an obvious one), it’s still not fair that innovations like this from Adobe get stomped out. And I never thought I would be mentioning Adobe and innovation in the same sentence, ever.

Perhaps a compromise could be found where the pre-compiled XCode package is delivered by the flash compiler when the project is built for the iPhone. If all the code is in the package for Apple’s perusal (no matter how clunky the flash classes might be), then it might put out some fires between the two parties.

January 9, 2010

Our day out on the F3

Filed under: Uncategorized — joel.cass @ 10:35 am

Daily Telegraph: Freeway U-turn causes carnage

This was unbelievable. We had set out on the F3, the main motorway heading north of Sydney for a day trip in the Hunter Valley, which in effect turned out to be more of a day trip on the freeway itself.

Traffic was held up for two hours, and lucky us, we had seemed to have gotten on the freeway just as the accident had happened and got stuck in traffic after the last exit before the accident. In effect we were stuck on the freeway, searing heat above 35 degrees around us, with no water and not enough fuel to merit keeping the car running for the air conditioning.

What to learn from this? Taking U-turns on the freeway is dangerous business if not outright stupid. I really hope the guy who did this gets his just deserves. And to think that if we had left a few minutes earlier I might be writing a completely different post from hospital, or just no post at all.

RTA’s traffic reports and cameras became very handy when trying to find out what was happening – as you can see in the final picture, traffic was blocked in both ways – they had effectively closed the whole freeway to airlift the dumbass and his victims out.

January 8, 2010

GE CreditLine – buyer beware

Filed under: Uncategorized — joel.cass @ 4:25 pm

I recently got one of those interest free loans for some furniture and other stuff, figured it was a good idea – get stuff for no interest and keep my money in an account where it does gain interest.

One thing to watch out for, which I found out today, is that payments have to be within a certain period between the 2nd and the 22nd day of every month. If you have a scheduled payment occurring outside this area, it will erroneously be recorded as an out-of-date payment on the previous bill.

I have a monthly payment set up to pay the bill on the 1st day of each month. This made sense to me – pay it before it’s due, and that way I know when the money is going out from my account, along with some other payments. Unlike a normal loan, GE does not accept payments in this way – if the payment is made before the next bill is depatched, it will count against the last bill.

Furthermore, because the next payment will occur on the first of the next month, it will be marked as “overdue”, even though (technically) the bill was already paid by the last payment.

I think this is something that seriously needs to be fixed or customers need to be told about this rule. It is illogical not to accept payments against the next bill after the last bill was due. And since my account was never in arrears, it is incorrect to charge me an overdue payment and penalise me with an interest fee. It is also unethical for GE not to tell it’s customers about this rule.

I have cleared things up over the phone but it wasn’t easy. The customer support representative denied that there was an error, he even denied there was a payment and it was only after I asked him to go back through the bills was it resolved.

But I am still pissed. It’s a scam that GE do not tell their customers about this rule and enforce a $35.00 fee on an account in which I made 4 times the minimum due payment in the previous month.