Thursday, January 31, 2008

Evaluate this Design:

Dave Lambert, CPAUG member and the website designer for has requested your help in evaluating his design and and advice you'd like to offer. Please post comments to the blog.

He is looking to make it aesthetically pleasing and as user friendly as possible. Some of the questions he's looking to have answered are:
  • Are the links visible and easy to use (should there be a graphic to represent each category?)
  • Where is your eye drawn to when you enter a page
  • Do the colors on each page play well with each other - highlighting the products, prices and headings, or is there being drowned in a pool of gray monotony
  • Some pages have back navigation. Should back navigation be applied to all pages or is it unnecessary. For the pages with back navigation, is it effective or confusing?
Links with an (*) after all links that have back navigation already applied. Please mention if it is to hard to find. (*)

Feel free to mention anything you remember about the January CPAUG meeting's discussion on how to improve the look of this.
These are some of the old links, please tell him if there is anything good about the old page that should be utilized in the new pages.

Thanks for your help!

January Meeting - Recap

Thanks to those who came to the meeting last night, especially Glen Williams for presenting. Also, thanks to for providing mugs to everyone. If you have any comments about this, future meetings, or anything else, please feel free to post a comment!

Here's a recap of the meeting and some helpful links:

Glen Williams, a local internet developer with extensive experience with all of the Adobe products, presented: How to Plan and Execute an 'Online Broadcast of an Event' with no Budget.

Adobe - Visual Communicator 3

"Adobe® Visual Communicator® 3 software offers hundreds of customizable graphics, music clips, and special effects to create video presentations that look like a television newscast."

Build a Hackintosh Mac for Under $800

"If the high price tag for Apple hardware has kept you from buying a Mac but you're willing to roll up your sleeves and get adventurous, you can build your own "Hackintosh"—a PC that runs a patched version of OS X Leopard."

PlayStation Portable homebrew

Thanks to Craig for telling us about the PSP homebrew. If you'd like more information, he suggests reading up on Team M33 and iR Shell.

Adobe - Adobe CS3 : Device Central

"Adobe® Device Central CS3 is designed to boost the efficiency and productivity of creative professionals and mobile developers who want to produce innovative and compelling content for a broad range of mobile phones and consumer electronics devices. A regularly updated library of device profiles, combined with intelligent integration between Device Central CS3 and the other Adobe Creative Suite® 3 components, simplifies the mobile authoring workflow and makes it a snap to preview designs and test content on the desktop — before loading it on the target device for final testing."

Spry framework for Ajax

"The Spry framework for Ajax is a JavaScript library that provides easy-to-use yet powerful Ajax functionality that allows designers to build pages that provide a richer experience for their users. It is designed to take the complexity out of Ajax and allow designers to easily create Web 2.0 pages."

Special "Can't Miss" Meeting - February 25, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Book Review: Codin' for the Web: A Designer's Guide to Developing Dynamic Web Sites

Codin' for the Web: A Designer's Guide to Developing Dynamic Web Sites
by Charles Wyke-Smith
ISBN 0-321-42919-2
Review by Megan Fister,
Central Pennsylvania Adobe User Group (CPAUG) - Manager

Having loved Wyke-Smith's previous HTML and CSS primer "Stylin' with CSS: A Designer's Guide", I had high expectations for "Codin' for the Web: A Designer's Guide to Developing Dynamic Web Sites." I was not disappointed. There are a lot of PHP books available, none of them have helped me gain the confidence with PHP this one has. As a Web designer who wants to break into application and dynamic web site development, this book was exactly what I was looking for.

Wyke-Smith states in the introduction "PHP is a powerful language, and it can take years to learn to make full use of its capabilities. In writing an introductory book like this I have often had to strike a balance between the most technically correct way to write something and the simplest most understandable way to write something." The author does and excellent job of striking this balance, however, this book is suited more to those new to PHP programming and will leave advanced PHP developers wanting more.

The book begins with a fantastic primer about basic programming concepts such as; arrays, flow control, and functions, using the PHP language for demonstration purposes. Without a doubt, this was on of the best books I've read to explain these crucial concepts. As you progress through the book, new concepts and code constructs are explained in a thorough and easy to understand fashion. Visually, the book is very appealing, the code is cleanly laid out and color coded to aid comprehension. Additionally, full-color screen shots help demonstrate the effects of the code for those times when you are reading the book away from your computer.

Each chapter naturally builds on the previous and each one walks the reader through practical examples that most web designers would find reusable in real-world situations. By the end of the book, you will understand how to create an advanced email form, database, simple content management system (CMS) and build a Web site using PHP and mySQL.

Wyke-Smith writes and explains web programming concepts in a casual and easy to understand manor. The author is forthright and explains his methodology right along side of the code. With that, you can then go on to create your own code and maintain good coding practices with what you have learned. In a way, Wyke-Smith books "Stylin'" and "Codin'" help build so much confidence that when you're done, you don't feel like you "need" them any more. Sure, you'll keep it as a great reference, but you'll have the confidence to tackle PHP projects on your own, and move on as a more advanced developer! If you want to learn PHP, and currently have some HTML and CSS under your hat, this is the book to get you started.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

JobOp: Papervision 3D, Sandy 3D, Away 3D, Flash 3D

Do you develop in Papervision 3D, Sandy 3D, Away 3D, or the Flash 3D engines?

Collideascope Digital Productions is embarking on a new interactive entertainment project and is looking for programmers with experience with Flash CS3 and actionscript 3. Experience with creating applications that allow users to play multiplayer within the Flash environment is also helpful, but not necessarily required. We are also looking for production artists with experience in Photoshop and 3D Studio Max. These positions will be approximately 6 month contract. Please contact Michael-Andreas Kuttner ˆ ˆ with CVs and URLs to online samples of your work.

Michael-Andreas Kuttner
Commissar, Collideascope Digital Productions Inc.
Phone: 902-429-8949 ext 15
Fax: 902-429-0265

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Amazing WiiRemote

If you haven't seen this yet, you must. It's insane.

Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January Meeting - January 30, 2008

Time: 6-8PM
East Shore Area Library - Computer Lab, 1st floor (basement)
4501 Ethel Street
Harrisburg, PA 17109
No food or drink is allowed in the computer room
Information about the meeting location

Meeting Agenda:
Glen Williams, a local internet developer with extensive experience with all of the Adobe products, will present:

How to Plan and Execute an "Online Broadcast of an Event" with no Budget.
We will explore how to plan, execute and control for a multi-day online broadcast event that will include video with NO budget for special equipment, streaming servers or services using Adobe Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and coding with Actionscript, XML, Javascript and HTML. We'll then discuss the problems, pitfalls and measures of success and explore why & whether it will be fun to do. Coffee Mug Night:
The first 10 people at this CPAUG meeting will receive a coffee mug! is your Central PA resource for news, sports, entertainment and jobs. Find your next technology gig using the jobs technology channel where local technology jobs are updated daily or give their advanced search a try.

Please feel free to post a comment if there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, or if you are interested in presenting a topic.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Adobe Flex and AIR Pre-Release Tour

Adobe Flex and AIR Pre-Release Tour

Flex 3 and AIR are getting close to launch and in preparation, the Adobe Platform Evangelist team is traveling to select cities to show off the great new features and some brand new demos.

Flex 3 is a feature-packed release, adding new UI components like the advanced datagrid and improved CSS capabilities; powerful tooling additions like refactoring; and extensive testing tools including memory and performance profiling, plus the addition of the automated testing framework to Flex Builder.

Adobe AIR is game-changing in so many ways, extending rich applications to the desktop, enabling access to the local file system, system tray, notifications and much more. Now you can write desktop applications using the same skills that you've been already using to create great web apps including both Flex and AJAX.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to see and hear about this highly anticipated release of Flex 3 and AIR during this special pre-release tour. Plus, in addition to giving away some one of a kind Flex/AIR branded schwag, we will also be raffling off a copy of Flex Builder 3 Professional (pending availability) and a full commercial copy of CS3Web Premium at this event!

If you feel like traveling a short distance, there are events in Philadelphia, and also Pittsburgh, PA. Check out the comprehensive listing of dates at