Pek @ Adobe Max – General Session

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So I’m here in San Francisco where my peoples built the railroads and dug the mines. Fortunately though I had to do neither of that. I’m here on Roundarch dime for Adobe Max, a yearly 3 day conference where people who use Adobe products in their daily work lives come to meet other Adobe whores (and I mean that in the nicest way since I’m one too), learn about new products, and generally have a good time.

In this post, I’ll cover the kick-off general session. Adobe AIR was prominently featured. AIR is Adobe’s desktop runtime which basically allows you to do web application development for desktop applications.

  • The International Herald Tribune showed off it’s AIR application which lets you read their articles offline. There was a Silverlight version of this years ago which did pretty much the same thing.
  • (Red) Wire is a desktop music subscription service built on AIR that will donate the proceeds to the Red non profit that was founded by Bono to help bring medicine to AIDS sufferers in Africa. Seems like they used Papervision for the UI.
  • Maria Shriver, first lady of California came and they did a presentation about California Legacy Trails, a program meant to educate about women’s history in California. Adobe will be launching an AIR app for this organization. Look for it at californiamuseum.org sometime late this year.
  • Tour De Flex, an AIR app that basically showcases various Flex components along with sample source code, can be found at http://flex.org/tour. Dave Meeker let me in on this earlier last week. It’s pretty slick – a must for every Flex developer.

Adobe is making great inroads in the mobile market. They’re meeting their goal of shipping over 1 BILLION phones with some version of Flash. Flash Player 10 is coming to many of the new handsets. They’re also working on a seamless Flash app packaging and deploy for mobile phones to make the experience even more unintrusive.

Check out some Flickr photos from the keynote (these aren’t mine) – I was just too darn lazy seeing as how EVERYONE had their cameras out. Oh and I got those really cool Adobe product stickers that you put on your laptop to help other nerds identify you. Hit me up if you want some cuz I got extra.

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Notes from Chicago Flex Users Group meeting August 2008

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Just got back from the monthly Flex Users Group meeting in Chicago. James Ward was scheduled to come present but he couldn’t make it and so Adam Lehman came instead. It was a good turn up with about 20 some people there. There were a bunch of Flex n00bs and when people went around introducing themselves, it felt like I was in a Flexaholics Anonymous support group.

Some of the stuff covered was old material, like the Pixel Bender (pixel shading formerly known as Hydra), Thermo, announcement of Flex 4 codename Gumbo and Flash Player 10.

The biggest things I got out of this were:

  • Pixel Bender – it’s not just about pixel shading. You can use it to offload number crunching. This reminds me of a research project out of the Accenture Technology Labs done by my colleague Manoj S. who used the graphics card GPU to do number crunching unrelated to graphics and textures.
  • Application level audio mixing of MP3s. Think of this as being able to go into MP3 files at a very low level to be able to mix audio. I already can dream up some cool visualizations that could go along really well with audio mixing.
  • Degrafa Flex skinning to be baked into Flex 4. This was news to me, but then again, I’m not up to speed on Degrafa stuff. I guess I will be for my project at work.

The schwag this time were some training DVDs – eh. Last time it was a copy of CS3 Master Suite. I’ll probably end up going every other month or so on this as stuff just won’t change that much and it’s not like you get inside scoop stuff. Adobe’s awfully mum about stuff.

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Pek Joins Roundarch Team

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I’d like to announce that I am no longer in the employ of Accenture Technology Labs. After more than four and a half years, I’ve finally decided to make a career move back into the consulting world. I am now gainfully employed at Roundarch, a consulting company founded by Deloitte, which unites creative, marketing, and technical development services into one really awesome company. I was hired in as a Lead Interactive Developer and my chief duties will be lead Flex UI designer and technical architect.

Part of my decision to move was that my friends Dave Meeker and Rhazes Spell were at Roundarch and kept telling me what a cool place it was. Both of my colleagues are very talented and have worked on some really cool stuff. Dave has been working on a very exciting project called Merapi, which is an Adobe Flex/AIR to Java bridge which will allow Adobe AIR developers to be able to access even more of the desktop such as USB ports and what not. The day the site was launched, 300 developers signed up for the early beta.

Roundarch has some pretty impressive people. Once such person that stands out is Marko Hurst. Not only is his work life very distinguished – he was one of the original designers of the Microsoft Surface project, but he’s also a hardcore MMA & muay thai nut. This immediately makes us automatic friends.

As you can tell, I’m pretty excited to be working here. Look forward to more articles about my experience at Roundarch.

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