The Great Shockwave Revival

On the DIRECT-L listserv (yes, it still exists!). the talk of the past week has been how to do a Shockwave for Director emulator in JavaScript.

The invaluable Valentin Schmidt, has something amazing.

Here a funny solution, but it really works:

It’s a 68k mac emulator ported to JS that loads a minimal System 8 (15
MB) and then immediately plays a DCR, in this case it’s the guided tour
that came with Director 4.0. You might have to click into the browser
window to enable sound.

The Great Dutch Director Confab of 2001

It was one of the great honors of my temporary life as a Macromedia Director semi-celebrity to meet up with folks from the community when I traveled. When Barbara and I got to Amsterdam, Mark Reijnders, Lucas Meijer, Mark Hagers, and P¡m all showed up at the Amstelhoeck, coming from across the country, just for our own little Director convention. You can see Mark R. is wearing his Director Online t-shirt (I was editor at the time). Lucas, had put on an impressive show of 3D content at the Shockwave 3D launch in NYC a couple of months earlier, and has gone on to be a driving force at Unity.

Hypercard Dreams

In response to my post about a thread containing lots of yummy pre-Web hyper content, Alan Levine responds:

Back at the house in Arizona I have a virgin set of Hypercard 1.1 floppies circa 1987. To use them you will need a Mac Plus, SE, or Mac II, and at least 1 MB of RAM. Make sure you are running System 3.2 or later.

The Evolution of the Digital World

Several years back, Rob Ford of the FWA contacted me to ask some questions about my minor role in the history of online multimedia for a book he had been working on. I was both flattered and flabbergasted. Like so many labors of love, there have been a number of deadlines that came and went for the project’s release, but apparently Web Design: The Evolution of the Digital World 1990–Today (Taschen) has finally reached gestation, and Phillip Kerman caught a glimpse of my first book’s cover in Rob’s unpacking video, posted on his Amazon author page.

New Here

I know I haven’t been particularly active on Adobe Support forums in recent years, but I have been using Adobe products since Illustrator 0.88, when I was at Reed College and it was in beta release more than thirty years ago. I’ve had an account on the Adobe site for probably close to two decades, and I authored multiple books on two of the products they acquired from Macromedia.

As the result of your contributions to the community, you have earned a new rank.

Your new rank is New Here .

 

I Am Not Old

From Ron Bearry, on a Director email list (yes, there still is one!), a piece of history.

I also still have this case, out in the garage. I think there are a couple of SCSI cables in it.

darrelplant.com Blog Engine Ends Service

More than fifteen years ago, while I was trying to learn new skills to supplant my knowledge of Director and Flash, I set out to pick up PHP and SQL by writing my own system for posting stuff on the internet, on my own domain, on my own server.

That effort didn’t exactly pay off—I spent most of the intervening years un- or underemployed—it didn’t make me a PHP/SQL savant, and by 2010 I was using WordPress to run my other blog, Mutant Poker. In the meantime, I posted a lot of political and general interest stuff here that I thought was interesting, but the system I wrote made more investment of time in it just seem counterproductive.

I’ve finally taken the time (not so much as I thought it would take) to convert the hand-built system to WordPress, figure out how to redirect all (well most) of the URLs, and get my act together, so: ta-dah! Welcome to darrelplant.com 2.0.

Gandhi Would Approve

Making the most of the Supreme Court striking down California’s ban on the sale of violent video games to minors, one of the proponents of the ban picks the right metaphor to show how the message of peace wins even with the reversal:

“I think we definitely hit the industry over the head with a 2-by-4,” said James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, a leading kids and media organization in the United States.

Digitized Decade 10: Those Who Can, Do; Netherlands Edition

Dutch Director Developers at Cafe Zero?

One thing that was astounding to me about writing books on Director is how outsized my credentials appeared. In mid-1995 when I started working as a freelance digital file manipulator, I had never worked professionally in Director, although I’d been messing around with it for a couple of years and had actively been looking for projects. I lucked into a job actually teaching Director at Portland State University by being in the right place at the right time and proving that I knew enough to teach an introductory course. Then I chanced into the Shockwave book at the end of the year and I had a little bit of celebrity in the small Director pond. But it wasn’t based on any actual work I’d done, and as time went on and I did more writing gigs and continued teaching, I couldn’t really share stories about the cool kiosk or online gig I’d had because they just didn’t exist. I wasn’t exactly a fraud because I never represented myself as anything other than a writer and demonstrator of techniques, but there were times when I sure felt out-classed by the people I was hanging out with.

What was worse was that people were always eager to see me. I’d met up with developers on a London trip shortly after the publication of my first book, hung out with the infamous Peter “Lingo Sorcery” Small at his home, and visited James Newton, as I’ve already mentioned. Amsterdam was the superlative of these visits, because people actually travelled for significant periods of time (about as long as you can travel in the Netherlands) to get together at a cafe and drink some beers. From left to right in the photo above: Mark Reijnders (whose iPhone app “Clean My Screen” is currently available); Lucas Meijer (the 3D guru I’d met at UCON 2001 just a couple months earlier, now working for Unity); Mark Hagers (still doing the digital media thing); and Pim van Bochoven (Mr. OSControl Xtra who is always doing incredibly cool things). I knew why I wanted to meet them but why the hell did they want to meet me?

The Digitized Decade is a look back at the first year of my entry into consumer digital photography.