Joey Lott Fails to Disappoint

I attended Flash and Flex author Joey Lott’s seminar “How To Architect Flex Applications” (hosted by CPAUG and CPFUG) last Friday and I must admit I wasn’t as disappointed as Mr. Lott promised I would be. Joey Lott assured us that we’d be horribly bored and bewildered by his dry technical presentation and even recommended a brief nap as a sound alternative.

Fortunately I managed to stay awake long enough to learn about the “Agile” software development method. Although this technique is best suited for large projects with a team of developers, some of its principles can still be applied to smaller projects
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Flash Scripted Conic Angle Gradient

One of the quirkier aspects of Flash is its lack of a 'conic' gradient fill. The conic gradient has been a mainstay of drawing apps like CorelDraw and Photoshop (where it's called an "Angle Gradient") for ages but Flash still hasn't implemented this basic feature. Go ahead and check... it's not there.

NOTE: This tutorial uses some of the code and concepts from my previous Color Gradient and Circle Drawing tutorials so I highly recommend checking them out for a more in-depth explanation of the following code ...
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Animated Arc Drawing

A recent comment on my Oval Drawing Tutorial asks how to “give the appearance that an oval is being drawn slowly”. Hmmm… this sounds like a job for my handy Arc Drawing Function.

Slowly drawing (or revealing) a circle can be achieved by drawing arcs of an ever-increasing size until the arc is so big that it comes back to the beginning and makes a full circle. The same is true with ovals. First let’s take a look at the basic code for drawing an arc of a circle
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Lemons to Lemonade – Automatic Upgrade

photo credit: ms.Tea

After the fiasco with The Ignoramus, I briefly considered refunding his money since he was so disappointed about the Improved PageFlip not documenting the super-secret (i.e. known to everyone but him) process of resizing the stage. Fortunately I quickly came to my senses and decided to do something much more satisfying and give the money to a worthy cause.

WordPress is known for it’s rapid rate of upgrade releases and keeping up with all of the changes used to be a real pain in the butt until WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin came along. The WPAU plugin presents a series of links to painlessly guide you through the upgrade process and handles all of the backing-up, downloading, deactivating and reactivating for you. Download the plugin, install it like any other WordPress plugin, read the FAQ and you’ll be upgrading in no time. Sweet clean and neat.

Thanks guys, I know $12.50 isn’t a lot but maybe it’ll help get that “rollback” feature into future versions.

ALL CAPS Was My Only Choice!

Ordinarily it’s fun to take a break from a project and help people using my PageFlip files but yesterday was an exception to the rule. You see, yesterday was the day when Ryan Libre decided to buy my Improved PageFlip Flash file. Again, ordinarily this isn’t a problem but, as you’ll soon see, Ryan is an exceptional ignoramus. As evidence of this matter I’ve included our e-mail correspondence in its entirety, not just select parts of it. Enjoy
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3 Fun Flash Games

I’ve been playing these 3 fun Flash games way too much! One game is super simple, one game is fairly complicated and the other one is just right.


Chat NoirSwitch

This little gem of a game revolves around the basic concept of collecting dots that are the same color as you while avoiding ones that aren’t. To make things super simple the dots are either black or white and all you have to do is click the mouse to change colors. What could be easier?


Great graphics and fun shoot’em-up gameplay make this Flash action game a sure winner. Roam from room to room acquiring cash and weapons to upgrade your robot and vanquish the baddies. The first 4 levels are free but you will have to pay if you want to play them all.

Spin Black CircleBubble Tanks 2

This game uses the same motion controls as RoboKill, position is adjusted with the keyboard while aiming and firing is handled by the mouse. There are some simple equipment upgrades to keep things interesting but mostly it’s just a fun point and shoot type of game.

If you like these, be sure to check out 10 More Fun Flash Games.


Elegant Ellipses

While researching how to draw rotated ovals I learned some interesting facts about ellipses and thought I’d share them with you:

  • Ellipse Definition: There are many ways to say it, but essentially an ellipse is just a circle stretched along one axis. Think, “smushed penny on a train track” or if you want to get technical about it you could say, “an ellipse is formed by a locus of points in a plane such that the sum of the distances to two fixed points is a constant.” Which means…
  • One way to draw an ellipse is to:
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