Nape is a powerful 2D physics engine which compares favourably in many regards to the oft-used Box2DFlashAS3. It is free and, more importantly, simple and quite intuitive to use. With the release of version 2 in December 2012, some important changes to the API rendered my previous tutorial obsolete. This new version now fully works with Nape’s latest version. So, if you are ready to upgrade, read on! Continue reading
The Flash Platform is an amazing environment to develop physical computing projects. It’s easy to learn, ubiquitous, well-supported and, this might be a shocker for some people, it can be completely free. In this article, I will tell you why the Flash Platform is my goto choice for physical computing projects. Continue reading
With experience any developer will gather a bunch of useful tricks that are not easily found in books, sometimes undocumented and a bit cryptic or perhaps so obvious they’re easily overlooked. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could learn those tricks without having to go through the many painful hours it took to acquire them ? Well, here are 10 of those for my loyal readers. Continue reading
My students often ask me how to use
.swc files within their physical computing projects. They know how to use external libraries in the form of class packages but are a bit stomped when the library is delivered in the form of a
.swc file. For those of you with the same issue, here is the linking procedure for various ActionScript editors. Continue reading
Are you trying to fetch the actual stage width or height of your project on startup and are getting weird results ? Perhaps it reports a width of 500 and a height of 375 ? If that’s the case, read on, I might have a solution for you. Continue reading
MIDI note numbers are the unique numbers assigned to each note in the MIDI system. The MIDI numbering scheme uses 8 bits to identify all the notes. Therefore, there are 128 notes (28) that can be assigned in MIDI. Which note is which is not always straightforward. Let’s take a look at how Apple did it in Logic Studio 9. Continue reading
As some of you may already know, it is possible to use an alternative scale tuning in Apple’s Logic Pro version 7, 8 and 9. If you tried creating completely custom user scales, though, you probably had a hard time fiddling with cents adjustments. There is a better way… Continue reading
As of yesterday, I had never used the ActionScript 3
SimpleButton class… and now I wish I nad not ventured anywhere near this ill-devised piece of *&?%. Should you ever want to use it or if you are currently struggling with it, I strongly suggest you read this quick primer. Continue reading
Getting custom open sound control (link has been down for a while…) messages to properly trigger MIDI events in OSCulator is not as simple as it might look like. Since I made good progress in the last few days (with the gracious help of Camille Troillard, the author of the software), I though I’d share some of my findings.
This winter, I’m trying something new with my students. I am inviting them to use a keyboard emulator for my physical computing class. It should make it very easy for them to receive physical switch data within their authoring environment (Adobe Flash). And because I want them to focus on the interaction rather than the programming, I created Jmulator, an ActionScript 3 library to simplify even further the usage of keyboard emulators (also know as keyboard encoders) in Flash.
Why on earth would anybody want to style the alternative text that is used when images cannot be displayed ? Isn’t that text meant for visually-impaired users (who couldn’t possibly care less about the text’s style) or for text-only browsers like Links ?!? Well, not quite. Read on for a very common use-case where changing the style of ‘alt’ text could prove useful. Continue reading
Opening local sockets is by default prohibited in the Flash Player. This actually makes a lot of sense. You wouldn’t want any website you visit being able to open a socket on your machine. However, there are some times when you actually need this. Such as when you want to access a Wiimote through WiiFlash, when you want to access an Arduino through SerialProxy/TinkerProxy or when you want to send MIDI data through flosc. How can we tell the Flash Player to relax instead of giving us the dreaded “SecurityError: Error #2010″ or the evil “Security Sandbox Violation” ? Read on.
If you have made the switch from the Flash IDE to PowerFlasher’s FDT you might be missing the beloved CTRL-ENTER (or COMMAND-ENTER on Mac) shortcut to compile your code. Don’t sweat it. This is easily fixed.
If, like me, you bought a Bluetooth USB key in order to connect a Wiimote to your Windows XP PC, you might have gotten stuck on the screen where the driver asks for a “passcode”. This is especially frustrating because the Wiimote has usually already been recognized. If that’s the case, read on I might have a solution for you.
The Apache HTTP Server is a very highly customizable piece of software. So much that for newcomers, simply trying to customize a basic .htaccess file can be overwhelming. Therefore, when I was tasked with teaching the basics of the .htaccess file to my students, I figured it would be helpful to hand them out a nicely edited printable cheat sheet.
I love Thunderbird. It is both flexible, powerful and user-friendly. But, on Mac OS X, it has the nasty habit of saving a copy of all the opened attachments on the desktop leaving a messy trail… Can something be done about that ? You bet !
You read right. We are not going all the way to Z. This article is only meant to be a quick setup guide for a very common Drupal environment. To be perfectly honest, this is my own personal check list of tasks to perform when setting up a new website with Drupal. Maybe it can be useful to you too.
Do you keep losing your physical computing bookmarks ? Well, for some reason, I do. I lost them when I changed computer. I lost them when I reinstalled my OS. I lost them when I switched browser. I’m so hopeless that I’ve decided to write this blog post in the hope to put an end to this awful sequence. Worst case scenario they will at least be cached by Google…
If you ever needed to print from a Mac OS X computer to a printer shared on a Windows Vista workstation you most likely entered a world of pain and frustration. For most people, except perhaps some masochistic types, this is definitely not what printing should be about. Especially not on a "user-friendly" Mac anyway…
The OWA Thunderbird plugin is a life-saver. Especially for those of you who (like me) have an employer that’s not too keen on open standards. However – for a long time – I have been plagued by a problem that garbled French accented characters in the messages I sent. Until I got a message from Alvaro…
Every web designer is – at one point – faced with that question: “What is the optimal width and height for that new site I’m working on ?“. Let’s try to answer that question using common sense and a little tool I developed which I dubbed the “Browser Screenshot Compendium”.
If, like me, you are the owner of an Alesis Multimix 12 Firewire mixer and can’t seem to get it to work on your MacBook Pro under Windows XP, I have a fix for you. Read on.
In a course on the CSS box model, a student of mine once asked me in which zones of an HTML element is the background color visible. The answer, so I then thought, was pretty simple : the background color is visible behind the content and in the padding zone but not in the margin which always has a transparent background. It turns out the answer is not quite as straightforward as I thought…