Flashforward 2006, Day 4:  Finish with a Bang!

Flash General

Note:  I started this entry on the actual fourth day of Flashforward.  Clearly, several days have passed since then — still catching up! — but I’ll leave my wording as is.

Sessions

Back to Phil Heinz for another Flex Builder 2 session.  Today’s was a follow-up on his intro to Flex from yesterday, this time delving deeper into socket connections for real time applications.  Honestly, the workflow efficiency of Flex Builder 2, as compared with Flash — for this sort of application; that is, “programs” rather than intros, games, and relatively “lighter” content — really is phenomenal.  I’m excited to see where RIA development will lead in the coming years, now that the Flex SDK (with compiler) is free and the Flex Builder 2 IDE is priced comparably to Flash. 

I caught the tail end of Julian Dolce’s presentation on JSFL and was pleased to see that it had a decent turn-out.  This session, and talks with Scott McClurg — as well as planned Extension content for the companion CD to Chris Georgenes’ upcoming book — has inspired me out of a lull in my own JSFL work.  I had forgotten how much I love it!  (In a nutshell, JSFL allows you to programmatically accomplish practically anything doable in the IDE itself — like Photoshop Actions, but much more powerful.)

During the beginning of Julian’s session, I spent an hour or so with Branden Hall in the speaker lounge, checking out his Flow project under the hood.  Really, this is some very cool stuff.  I hope he and I can do some work together.

Next, David Castillo and Jennifer Benavides, who demonstrated a Flash app to help people improve their timing while learning salsa dancing.  This was the only session where audience members got on their feet!  ;)

I finished my day, and the conference in general, with a follow-up to Seb Lee-Delisle’s 3D work from yesterday; this one was on particle generators in AS2.  And finally, a cool look at Flash Player internals (the bytecode that ActionScript becomes) by Edwin van Rijkom.

Eats

Went to another fantastic restaurant — this time, I don’t even remember the name of it — and had an incredible, huge, rare Texas steak.  To put words to it would be to dishonor its memory.  Let’s just say it was a phenomenal meal.  :)   I loved it … and appreciated the company that night, which included Scott McClurg; Chris Georgenes; Silvia Pompei, who worked on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Simpsons, and other cool projects; Todd Sanders, and his lovely girlfriend, Danielle.  Todd paid for the whole table, which was a completely unexpected treat.  It was a great way to conclude a terrific week.

Todd Sanders and me
Todd Sanders and me

Two Amys

While looking for an Amy I had helped on the Adobe forums, I ran into another Amy altogether.  It was funny, because when we first met, something told me this might just be the Amy from the forums.  After we had been talking for a while, I plumb asked her, “You wouldn’t happen to be Amy, would you?”  We were both surprised when she said she was.  We ran into each other at a bar later and had a great talk about Flash and also family.  Then I met the original Amy, too, which made me happy, because it’s always nice to put a face with the name.  I hope to keep in touch with both of them.

Surreal Twist Ending

I had to wake up early (3:30am) to get to the airport in time for my return flight.  Chris said I should wake him up to say goodbye, but I just didn’t have the heart.  Dude was snoring out some much needed sleep, which I envied, and I snuck out as quietly as I could.  ;)

My flight went from Austin to Newark, then Newark to Norfolk International — and I purposefully skipped the final leg to join Dawn and Meridian in New Jersey for a friend’s first birthday party.

While I finally crashed to catch up on my own lost sleep (you’ll see a pun in a moment), Dawn ran some errands with our friends and failed to yield on a left turn.  We’re still waiting for an official assessment, but the minivan may be totaled.  The right rear wheel was ripped off, the bumper missing … bad story.  But no one got hurt, not in our vehicle or the other, which is all that matters.  Kind of bizarre, because that worn tire on my plane coming in had to be replaced from Newark.

We talked Meridian through the experience a number of times.  She recounted the same events in German and English, so she clearly understands what happened, and knows that we’re all okay.  Mommy’s car is broken, and some men in New Jersey are going to try to fix it — or we’ll buy a new one.

So the whole trip has had its ups and downs.  Life never ceases to amaze.  I’m glad to be here.  :)   Now I’m working through business cards and hoping to keep up contact.

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