Monday, November 16, 2009

Problems with new Adobe Flash Player Installer

So I decided to upgrade my flash player in IE and went to adobes site. I clicked the link to download and install the latest version and it popped up with some sort of download manager. This pulled down the latest version and then bombed out with an error at 100%, I tried the resume with the same error. I then tried with Mozilla and had the same problem. This is why I hate bootstraps.

I Found http://blog.stealthpuppy.com/general/looking-for-adobe-flash-player-download-links
and downloaded the installer. Once the download completed, I ran the file and my flash upgrade was complete.

So easy, why can’t Adobe just do it this way. The way I see it, any company offering bootstrap installs (Like Live Messenger) should offer a re-distributable file for download on the same page so that those of us that have to contend with proxies and systems not setup exactly the way the development lab was can still install our apps the good old fashioned way.

Oh, and here are the links to get Adobe Flash Player 10, with thanks to http://blog.stealthpuppy.com/
Flash Player 10 for Internet Explorer MSI Installer
Flash Player 10 for Internet Explorer EXE Installer
Flash Player 10 for Firefox/Mozilla MSI Installer
Flash Player 10 for Firefox/Mozilla EXE Installer

Sponsored link:
www.sharpsteelpalisade.co.za

Monday, November 2, 2009

10 Years at First Technology

I just had the rest of my division shuffle into my office, all shy smiles, to present me with a gift in honor of my 10 year anniversary of working for First Technology.

The gift is the really awesome whisky flask pictured below. I guess my obsession with whisky is very apparent.

Before First Tech, I moved around quite a lot. Sometimes only working at a company for 3 or 4 months before moving on to the next. I am a firm believer in finding the right fit, and not hanging on in a job that you are not happy with. So the big question then is, why have I stayed here for so long?

What kept me at First Tech?
The main reasons that stick out in my mind are:

  • Flexibility and scope for growth :- I started here as a printer technician all those years ago, and I am now the Senior Software developer.

  • Fair and open dealings :- This is a two way street. As much as my boss has been fair and open in his dealings with me, I have strived to do the same with him. I tell him when I have problems with an aspect of my work or if I am not happy with the way something is done.

  • Forgiveness :- This is also something that works both way’s… although I’m pretty sure that I have been forgiven far more times than I have had to forgive.

  • Knowing what’s out there :- I have known a few people whose first job in their careers was at First Technology. They grumbled and moaned and eventually got other job’s. Most of them wish they could come back to First Tech. They didn’t realize what they had when they were here. I’ve been out there, and had some horrible employment experiences, so I can benchmark my experience here and know how lucky I have to have this job.

  • Because I choose to stay out of politics:- This is a big one. How YOU choose to behave in ANY company can have a huge impact on your work environment. I don’t know of any one person at my office who hates me or is gunning for my destruction… I do know of a few people who do have these problems. Any office with a human element is bound to have friction. My trick is to be polite and friendly, forgive those who mistreat me, and ALWAYS keep myself above reproach. Listen to a co-worker complain if they need to offload, but never repeat what they have said to anybody else. Diplomacy is a great skill to help you survive the corporate jungle.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just Some Pics



This is a picture of me as a Simpson character, and it looks surprising close to how I look. I made this using the website http://www.simpsonizeme.com/. Quite cool, but I couldn’t download the picture so I had to screen shot it.




I made this sign to stop people at work from disrupting the programming team while they are concentrating.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Making a Press Release

We just launched a new website for a political party, and since this is kind of a big deal, I decided to make a press release.
I’m not much of a marketing guru, and was doing this more for SEO.

I signed up on MyPresportal (www.pressportal.co.za), the system is quite easy to use, and they include information on how to write your new press release.
Once I submitted it, I received an email to inform me that the press release would be reviewed soon depending on office hours (nice to know real people are filtering out the spam). The next day I received an email to tell me the press release had been approved and providing me with a link to the site to view it.

http://www.pressportal.co.za/politics_law_arts_society/ucdp_launch_new_website_20090408_2680.html

Overall a nice tool.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Play flash below DHTML menu

This blog Post is sponsored by TeamHost.com
http://www.teamhost.com
TeamHost helps software developers create Web 2.0 software in a 10th the time.


In this post I will tackle the issue of trying to get flash to play underneath the DHTML/JavaScript dropdown menu.

We have just gone live with the Sharman & Campbell website, while working on this site I ran into a problem with the dropdown menu items displaying behind the flash animation. The solution to this is actually quite simple. Just change your wmode setting to out of a windowed mode. For those that want to rush off and fix the problem here the sample code.

Using AC_RunActiveContent.js

'wmode', 'window',

becomes

'wmode', 'opaque',

Using object tags

<param value="'window'" name="wmode">

becomes

<param value="opaque" name="wmode">


This solution works for both IE and Mozilla Firefox on my PC.

Why this works

According to adobe (http://livedocs.adobe.com/flash/8/main/wwhelp/wwhimpl/common/html/wwhelp.htm?context=LiveDocs_Parts&file=00000852.html) the wmode attribute/parameter has the following 3 values

Window plays the application in its own rectangular window on a web page. Window indicates that the Flash application has no interaction with HTML layers and is always the topmost item.

Opaque makes the application hide everything behind it on the page.

Transparent makes the background of the HTML page show through all the transparent portions of the application and can slow animation performance.

So basically when you use Window wmode the flash is playing in its own window above the HTML page, you can use either Opaque windowless and Transparent windowless to interact with HTML layers, letting layers above the SWF file block out the application. The difference between the two is that Transparent allows transparency so that HTML layers below the SWF file might show through if a section of the SWF file has transparency.

Performance Issues
A word of warning, using Wmode windowless can have negative impact on the performance of your flash, so don’t use it if you don’t need to.

Shameless Plug
Sharman & Campbell is a South African based importer, exporter and distributor of parts and accessories to the outdoor power equipment industry.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The first post is always the worst

How to survive your first blog post.

So you decided to share your great and mighty thoughts with the world, and it seemed like a brilliant idea at the time. You excitedly created your new blog, not letting the lack of pronounceable URL’s hamper you. A template is chosen, and now you sit with a bank page… and a blank mind.



Relax, all the great bloggers have faced this problem. Some jump right in with their subject matter, while others write a “welcome to my new blog” post. Either way is fine.

Here is my advice for surviving this situation;
1 Keep it short
2 Don’t bother with originality, that can come later.
3 Just get it over and done with.

The key is to just post something, it doesn’t have to be perfect, you will get better with time.


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