May
30

My Extreme Haircut

Posted by Aaron West at 11:02 AM in Photography, Personal

I've had long hair for the better part of 15 years; it's been part of who I am for a long time. But, I decided I needed a change recently so I secretly scheduled an appointment with my stylist. I say secretly because I wanted to surprise my wife with the new cut. The four braids of hair I cut off were just long enough to send to Locks of Love, so they'll be mailed soon. To chronicle the experience I took before and after photos and shot some video. Click any photo thumbnail below to launch a fullscreen photo browser or play the time lapsed video. What do you think of the new "do?!" Note: All photos and video were edited using only Adobe CS4 products.

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May
29

Andy Matthews delivered a nice presentation last night on integrating jQuery and HTML to create Adobe AIR applications. He showed several examples including how to use AIR's file system API, how to create and deploy SQLite databases, what a .air file is and what's inside them, how to access remote resources such as ColdFusion components, and how to use Aptana to create, build, and deploy a complete HTML-based AIR application. Oh, and did I mention he built an entire AIR photo slideshow app, start to finish, in 8 minutes?

If you are at all interested in HTML-based AIR applications you should check out this hour and fourteen minute presentation.

View the Adobe Connect presentation now!
http://mmusergroup.adobe.acrobat.com/p99669686/

May
28

Tonight, the Nashville ColdFusion User Group is having our May meeting and the topic is jQuery and AIR: Desktop Development for the Front End Designer. Nashville's own Andy Matthews is giving this presentation which is the same one he gave recently at the cf.Objective() conference. If you missed the conference, you have a second chance to hear Andy's talk.

Folks local to Nashville are encouraged to attend in person (and RSVP here) while remote attendees can join via Adobe Connect (http://mmusergroup.adobe.acrobat.com/ncfug/). Full details of this meeting are on the NCFUG site.

May
11

I've been adding photographs and screenshots to my blog posts for years using simply image tags. I've grown tired of the lack of full screen images and always worrying if the 520px images are even useful. And I've seen all the snazzy imaging tools out there giving users a better interaction with photos on Web sites. This weekend I decided to look into adding Lightbox to BlogCFC and wound up with Slimbox, a visual clone of Lightbox. The major difference between the two is Slimbox is super lightweight and very customizable.

To see Slimbox in action click the photo of my son below. If you want to add Slimbox to your installation of BlogCFC here's how to do it.

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May
10

Canon Powershot G10 Image Flaws

Posted by Aaron West at 11:15 AM in Photography, Personal

Canon recently announced an issue with their Powershot G10 cameras where horizontal banding was found in some captured images. The service notice states occurrences of the problem are rare but I've found the flaws in several of my images (example below). Fortunately, Canon is offering to repair all affected cameras for free and they've made it pretty easy to determine if your G10 is one of them. Hit this link for all the details.

A second service notice was also announced but is much more difficult to replicate since it only occurs in RAW mode with the ISO set to 1600. This issue can be corrected on your own by loading new firmware but be sure and hit this link first to see if your G10 is affected.

Canon has sample images showing the flaws from the two service notices, but here's one of my images showing the horizotonal banding defect. Click the image to see a full screen version.



Thanks to Engadget for covering this issue.

May
10

Did you know any member of an Adobe user group can get 20% off all products sold in the Adobe store? This promotion has been running for a little while and has been extended through May 31, 2009. If you are a member of a user group and want to make use of this offer simply contact your user group manager for details. Or, you can also contact me using the Contact Blog Owner link in the footer. The 20% discount will be applied to one online order and can only be used one time per member. Thanks to Adobe for making this offer available!

May
9

I have an application using an ExtJS grid that doesn't work quite right in Safari 3 and 4. I'm hoping someone reading this might know what's going on. Oddly, I can't replicate this behavior in any of the example grids on the ExtJS Web site (example 1, example 2). The big difference in their example versus my application is their examples have scrolling inside the grid whereas my app has scrolling inside the browser window itself. If you want to help me figure this out, watch the short screencast I recorded which demonstrates the problem.

May
9

New Dealerskins Web Site Launched

Posted by Aaron West at 10:00 AM in Dealerskins, Flash

We've launched a new dealerskins.com Web site and I'm curious what you think! The new site has been live for about two weeks after a few select folks in the office slaved over building it for a month or so. Personally, I really like the new site. During my four and half years at Dealerskins I've seen five different versions of our site (four of which are shown below). It's always difficult to get the right mix of marketing, content, and design that demonstrates the skills of our staff. The latest iteration of our site does a good job communicating our message and detailing features of our product offering. Kudos to our marketing team, designers and developers who put together the best Dealerskins site yet! Check it out and leave a comment letting me know what you think.

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May
8

Several weeks ago I was talking with Liz Frederick on Twitter about an extended CFUnited call for women speakers. I had missed the original call for speakers so I made a comment about dressing up as a woman and giving a talk on integrating AIR, BlazeDS, and ColdFusion. Liz asked me to submit my topic but I didn't hold my breath it'd be chosen given how last minute it was. Needless to say I was a little surprised today when I received a DM from Liz stating my talk had been chosen.

My session, AIR Messaging: Integrating AIR, BlazeDS, and ColdFusion, might not be as entertaining without me dressed up as a woman, but I promise you'll have a stellar time if you come. You'll learn about BlazeDS and why you should consider using it in your projects. I'll demonstrate the integration of ColdFusion and BlazeDS and I'll build an application, start to finish, that utilizes the BlazeDS messaging service for real-time business communication.

On a slightly off topic note, I might bring along my sticks and hit the links. If you're into golf and you want to play while at CFUnited, hit the Contact Blog Owner link in the footer and send me a message.