short version: don’t import external .swf files into your library

Rant version:
So i’m working on a language project where i need to pull in 78 different animations. These animations show you how to draw a letter, stroke by stroke. (When you click certain letters in a sentence, it will show you how to draw that letter – letters in this foreign language).

I’ve already setup an animation for each letter. I placed each stroke on a separate layer, and animated a simple circle mask to reveal each stroke/layer, in turn. I’ve saved each animation out to it’s own uniquely named .swf file. Each file is usually around 20kb in size.

I just imported 25 of these .swf files into my main project’s library.
– All together, they were 450 KB in my Window’s directory.
– but now the .FLA file I’ve imported into has increased in size : from 1.36 MB to 23.5 MB.
– That’s a 22.14 MB file size increase! what is that, like 17 times as large?

!!! (&*#$%^@%!)

It also seemed to lock up Flash for several minutes while it processed the files. It appears they have been converted to individual key frames – each with it’s own unique instance of the stroke and the mask. T

Soooo, point taken: don’t import .swf files into your library if you can help it. bleargh. Now I’ll go program it to import all these .swf files at runtime, and see how this affects performance. weee! If I don’t write more, then it’s to be assumed this is a much better approach.

Posted in AS3.

* I’d originally thought I’d use this blog as a list of interesting tech and software for coworkers (and random strangers). But most of my coworkers friended me on Facebook, so this purpose dried up.

* I also hoped to talk about multimedia tools and games I’ve made for certain classes. But there is some concern (sometimes) about exposing content that distance students are paying to access.

* Chris LaBelle and crew over at EESC have maintained a neat blog “Electonic Papyrus” on teaching and tech, and I don’t see any good reason to compete. Plus it’s intimidating to risk comparisons.

I think it would be best to start using this blog to list ActionScript 3 questions and discoveries. like, what’s the difference between “math.abs and math.ceil ? When would you use either?” Maybe I could also talk about parts of certain projects, in gory code detail, rather than expose the whole thing.

The dramatic flair fires in my brain, and i want to rename the blog to “Code Closure” or “Gory Ruminations” or “Questions and Random Shots in the Dark” or “Spitballing Strange Programming Practices.” … Which all seem a little dramatic. I’m not a great programmer. … Maybe stick with “How Doth Code: AS3 (Flash ActionScript 3)” for now. or something.

I noted that Chris LaBelle was maintaining an official sort of blog about instructional design, over here:

And it made me feel rather silly for babbling here about techie weirdness. I was reminded that i’m just some wacko ranting about 2.0 poops. He is classically trained, preparing articles about 2.0 poops. but. whatever! woo hoo! Met with the new Social Media Manager, Josh, today, and was reminded that i should check in and update these h’yar rants.

I met Josh through the local “Covallis Area Video Gaming Special Interest Group, Sponsered by the Software Association of Oregon,” which i’m currently managing. casually. this group is also known by the easy to remember acronym : CAVGSIGSSAO.

ho ho ho. I kid. A better name would be nice, and we’re certainly open for suggestions. if you’re interested in taking part,
join the email list here:
read slightly more here:

Once I sat around wondering what the benefits of SAO sponsorship were, really … so I randomly purchased figuring it would be a nice test bed for ideas on uniting the local community. This  all ties nicely into today’s theme of dropping the ball on big ideas. wee!


I recently created a flash tool to help students learn kanji, both writing and remembering. Also put together a Jeopardy flavored Quiz show game for an upcoming non-credit course. not sure that i can just post these things publicly… but will look into it. currently planning to create a new tool around the idea of geography (map topography measuring). Snooping around to see what is already available. Ran across this random tutorial for a mess of dots and lines! wee! i couldn’t even tell you why i link to this. except that my mind is melty. and hungry for links. wee!

Victor just asked me if my monitor was IPS or TN. and I was all like “wut?”
add another layer to the insanity of modern display variations.

Basically, your LCD monitor is probably TN (crappy). Most of the “good deal” monitors use TN tech (“Twisted Nematic”).

Here’s an informal definition of IPS, stolen from the webssss:

  • IPS – in-plane switching…. the liquid crystals are aligned horizontally instead of on an angle. This procress greatly increases vertical viewing angles. When coupled with the high brightness and contrast of the glaretype displays, color reproduction is almost perfect. Basically it becomes a 1/4″ professional graphics flat CRT monitor…. which is why the display is primarily for those in professional graphics.

  • And of course, here is the usual STUPIDLY VERBOSE explanation from wikipedia.

  • Here at Ecampus, we use a Sony Z1U to record lectures. It’s a nice camera.

    Victor found a sweet add on, that would save us a ton of boring time. (waiting for tape to play back video, while the computer captures). A Memory Recording Unit.
    Supposedly you can stick any solid state flash card in there, and it’ll dump to it while recording to tape. And reviews claim that it doesn’t use any crazay proprietary sony format (which is why i usually fear sony products).  SD pops up in AVI, HD in Mpeg2 (? i might need to check that…).

  • Someday, someone will figure out how to let you walk in place. but not today:
  • I’ve never understood why people want  small tile screen things. they sure look important, and easy to rearrange:   

    …Is the idea that software GUIs are just too complicated, so we need tons of blocks? is it a lego fetish? hmmf.
  • Plus, the Author’s Guild is apparently more backwards than the book publishers.
    Yay Dark Ages!    

    I feel that when text-to-speech gets better, people will buy a book MULTIPLE TIMES just to hear different readings. I feel the guild is missing the bigger picture, that we want the technology to advance. We don’t want to sure people who are making progress, for short term gains. ugh. …
    Not to mention that this entire debate ignores the modern state of commerce – where product is given away free, to develop a loyal following who will then pay for any number of different accessories to support the content’s creator. Betting your carreer on a core creative product which cannot be accessed until after purchase, seems to be a poor business gamble. It is not a wise way for an artist to make themselves heard about the din of a world full of artists. bleh.
  • I’ve been babbling at techie co-workers about the need for accountability in comments. It’s depressing to read an interesting article and note that the comments have devolved into some PS3 fanboy flame war. I wish people felt more personal involvement in their comments, so they’d be less likely to crap them out or laugh them off. well, here’s one solution:

  • Facebook invades your blog, rest of Web with new Comment Box (@ ars technica)
    Ironically, it does not use the facebook plugin it describes, so i can’t comment there. The less-mentioned loveable-feature is : not having to sign up for accounts at every &$%^@ing website you visit, just so you can post a quick thought on the article.

    But i am seeing the facebook comment box at more and more websites. using it. and “I’M LOVING IT” ™

  • I alsooOOOOooo wish i could filter comments based on age, profanity, racism, and interests. And I’d like to be able to rate comments everywhere (like the thumbs up/down at youtube). but these are not features. yet…

    It’s potentially negative to make people afraid to say what they’re thinking. but, in reality, this is what “culture” is. isn’t it? i don’t say random insane offensive things to the guy next to me, because i don’t want to get stabbed. or, more mildly, i might want to do business with them some day.
    Some friends think it’d be a tragedy if the perceived internet community was whittled down from millions to a just a few hundred that seem to fit your filters. but. i think this would be far more beneficial than many realize. Aside from lowering your stress level, it could also lead to more focused and useful connections with strangers worldwide who would have been lost in the noise. hmm. or so i think.

    I’ve been reading 1984 again recently, and there are scary implications all over the place (with regard to our fears, and mechanisms, for fitting in with our fellow man).

  • Apparently there’s a big to-do over letting people listen to e-books they’ve purchased. Witness Engadget’s tacky coverage. A few days ago, Ars Technica wrote a lengthy, but excellent, article concerning the book publishing industry’s incredibly stupid approach to “modern technologeez” (ebooks in particular). And this speech outcry seems sadly in line.

    I love the e-book potential. In this case, i’d love to flip my ebook from text to speech while driving, just by touching my place and a sound button, and thus keep the data gorge going, non-stop, throughout my day. Ie, i’d be happy to suffer a generic text-to-speech robot voice. annnnnd i might pay extra, for audio of some celebrity reading it. or the author. I might buy audio readings MULTIPLE TIMES, if I loved the book. I hope the audio clip they’ve posted in their forums indicates the creation of a phenomic markup language, so that the robot can properly emphasize the presentation. And could be easily swapped out for different robot voices. wee.

  • Wee! While I’m working in OSU’s Ecampus department (developing multimedia) I thought it’d be fun to keep a blog of interesting research, educational experiments, business innovations and little-known technologies.

    today’s examples. (Ecampus Ecamples? er, groan):

  • Gabe Newell dishes several insights into Valve’s cutting edge software distribution: G4tv’s sloppy live log (with extra tasty details) and Gamasutra’s more accurate slimmed down summary

  • Scientist’s have discovered which part of the brain generates envy. AT LAST! (i kid). the article seems light on science. And as I wondered which lobe was pictured, I realized I don’t really know that the old “left brain logic vs. right brain creativity” is in any way based on fact. Not to mention reports I’ve read over the years of serious brain trauma (like gunshots, and/or fluid pressure buildup) leading to complete reorganization in remaining brain matter. hmm. HMMM.