A Great New Tool Fresh from Adobe Labs – Adobe Edge

Just yesterday a brand new tool was released to the public. Adobe Edge is a tool that allows you to easily create HTML 5 animations in a Flash-esque application. It uses a timeline, much like Flash, where you can add objects onto the stage and manipulate them in various ways across the timeline. These animations are created using SVG and CANVAS of HTML 5. Your projects are saved as HTML, Javascript and CSS files that make up the animations and this makes it very easy to place in your web pages through Dreamweaver.

In the current version only animations are available, but Adobe has promised that there will be new features added in new builds of the preview version. So, if you find Adobe Edge to be a useful tool (and how could you not?) be sure to follow the updates.

Tech Tip for the Web Designer

For those of you that are new to web design or would like to get started in the field, or if you are like me and just too lazy to code your CSS, I have a great tool for you! I recently stumbled on this web app CSS3 Generator which allows you to style a box to your liking using a simple graphical interface. Once you have the box styled, press the “Get the Code” button and you have the CSS code necessary to style any object on a site you are working exactly like you have styled the box. This works great with Dreamweaver and using HTML5.

The End is Near, Part II

Time is quickly running out for Ascend Training’s regularly scheduled CS4 classes. Our last CS4 hands-on training will be:

Dreamweaver CS4 Level 1, Chicago, Aug 30 – Sep 1, Deerfield, Oct 11 – 13

Ascend Training is happy to put CS4 classes on our regular schedule for groups of 3 or more people. We will also be happy to provide our CS4 curriculum for our on-site training. Any of our students taking CS4 classes are still eligible for 8 months worth of free retakes in the CS5 version of the class. Those retaking a class in CS5 who have originally taken CS4 classes will also have the option of buying the book used in the new class.

Getting a New Computer Without That Hefty Price Tag

As much as I love the applications included in the Adobe Creative Suite I sometimes wonder if my computer is going to make it through my next Flash project or if it will even be able to open the flier I am editing with InDesign. So, seeing as the computers I own are getting on in years, I’ve been thinking it is about time for an upgrade. Now I have always been a Mac guy myself, but their prices are getting more and more outrageous. To get the power I want in a desktop without breaking the bank, I am in the process of choosing parts for a computer I intend to build myself. Now this may sound completely beyond your knowledge and skills, but surprisingly enough its no more complicated than my Lego Death Star I built in the 4th grade. All you need is proper manuals, here is a useful site that will tell you the necessary components and how to choose the correct ones. There are many more tutorials to be found by simple Google searches. Buying your own components and building your own computer will give you about twice as much bang for your buck. Yeah, the jig is up Dell and HP.

That being said, I have a few tips to save you even more cash. When it comes to computer hardware, take your time, you don’t want to get something that’s outdated but also don’t want to be spending too much on a piece of hardware that you could find on sale or cheaper elsewhere. If you are unfamiliar with Gizmodo, this site is your best friend when it comes to tech deals. Each day, Gizmodo will post an article called Dealzmodo that lists the best deals of the day for primarily tech items. There are always hardware deals on Gizmodo. Newegg is one of the best sources in general for hardware, everything you need will be on Newegg at reasonable prices. For in depth reviews of hardware, tomshardware.com is the place to go. One last thing, and this should go with out saying, avoid ebay. As appealing as some of those prices are, this is fragile technology and I, for one, would not trust ebayers with this stuff.

lego death star

On second thought, building a computer may be less complicated than the old Lego Death Star. I must’ve had a lot more patience back then.

Thats all for today,

Adobe CS5 Free Shipping Ends May 31st

Adobe is offering free shipping on CS5 until May 31st, 2010. Adobe Creative Suite 5 is turning out to be one of the best upgrades since Photoshop version 3. Some of the new features to Photoshop are:

  • Better RAW processing
  • Content Aware Fill
  • Auto lens correction
  • Expanded painting effects
  • Advanced HDR processing

If you’re confused about pricing, Adobe has a great chart for you to examine the different applications and the best suite for you. Ascend is offering CS5 classes starting in June, but will continue to offer CS4 as long as there is demand.

Adobe Releases CS5 Trial Downloads to Public

Adobe has released free 30 day versions of Creative Suite 5! They are the functional finished software that gives you the opportunity to try out CS5.

For those upgrading, if you have:

  • CS4 Web Standard or Premium upgrading to CS5 Web Premium: $599
  • Cs4 Design Standard or Premium upgrading to CS5 Design Premium: $599
  • CS3 or CS2 Design Standard or Premium upgrading to CS5 Design Premium: $799

There are also fully functional education-priced versions for teachers and students. Download trial CS5 software.

See our Dreamweaver CS5 Class offerings

See our Flash CS5 Class Offerings

See our InDesign CS5 Class Offerings

The battle behind the screens – Flash vs. Silverlight

It’s definitely a war–it’s just that it’s a Cold War.

Since Microsoft released Silverlight, (and by the way, watch what happens when you surf over there) their answer to Adobe Flash, in 2007, there’s been a (sort of) silent war going on behind the two software giants about who gets to play your movies.

When you go to a site like Youtube or Hulu to watch videos (and who among us does not, these days?), isn’t it awesome how fast it is? How clear? How the videos you watch don’t take up space on your hard disk or really even slow down what you’re doing in the background? That’s because when you go to those sites (and soon others like Vimeo and possibly Dailymotion), your browser loads a plugin to let you read the Flash Video that someone has posted and that the website has slightly reconfigured–and plays it right from the source, like you’re looking through your computer to where the video really is, somewhere else. This means that anyone, anywhere can see it, which is good news for video producers and marketers alike. Just as Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux can all (usually) read the same types of files, now we can all see almost any type of video–the trouble is that not everyone feels like they’re making enough money this way.

Any guesses who? (*coughSilverlightcough*)

Well, you’re mostly right, but it isn’t JUST Microsoft. There are plenty of people out to get Flash, now that it’s the standard for video playback on the web: Sun Microsystems (who makes Java), plenty of open-source proponents, and Apple have either resisted or worked around integrating Flash into their video products (iPhone, anyone?) but more than ever, Adobe is realizing that if they want their product to stay at the top, they’re going to have to get into some heretofore unexplored venues. To that end, the rumors are flying about new tools for developing iPhone apps using Flash, putative Flash support on the theoretical Apple Tablet (if it exists, right?), and more.

Microsoft is responding to this by leveraging their power toward pushing Flash out of certain areas; ever notice that the streaming function of Netflix is run on Silverlight instead of Flash?

So here’s the question: both Flash and Silverlight are proprietary software, and both are the big boys when it comes to video playback on the web–now whom would we prefer as the keeper of our vids? Because someones’s going to win this battle–and either way, it’s going to mean a lot about how we get (and what we can do with) our video.

What do you get for the phone who has everything?

iphone, rumors, questions, next

What to do next with the coolest phone Ever?

So ok–it’s going to be a while until we get Flash for the iPhone, but I think we can all agree that it’s still pretty cool. The question is: now that you can do almost everything on the iPhone, like getting GPS Driving directions, reading e-books with the Kindle App, checking your email, stock quotes, and weather forecasts, and watching movies…what’s next for this niftiest of devices? I know! NEW APPS for it!

When the iPhone came out in 2007, most users were impressed and pleased with the number of cool applications you could get for it; in fact it’s this that makes the iPhone more of a palmtop computer than strictly a phone–you can load new software and get upgrades just like you can with your laptop or desktop. That said, the idea of WRITING software for the iPhone was, and still is for many, a black box. What’s involved in writing an app for the iPhone? Do you have to learn a new language? Does it mean you have to HAVE a Mac computer…or even own an iPhone?

With the meteoric takeoff of Apple’s App Store, it’s become clear even to the comparative luddite that someone is creating all these apps, and with the iPhone gaining (still!) in popularity, it seems likely that more and more people will learn how–but how?

Well, as far as that goes, there are a couple of ways to get going, but the best we can think of is a class on iPhone Application Development – how to use Objective-C, how to upload and test the apps, and how to get the most out of what you create.

Since the much-touted PastryKit is only a theory at this point, and since it’s gotten even easier to market new Apps with all the upgrades to the App Store, we think now is a fantastic time to start learning to program for what is STILL the coolest phone out there…and what can only be made cooler by a new app…by You!

Adobe Flash for Android: Will iPhone Lag Behind?

flash-android1

- by Jori Curry

In 2009, the iPhone has 43% of mobile web access, while the Google Android Phone is catching up to grab 5%, but the incorporation of Adobe Flash might be enough to tip the scales in favor of Android. Adobe and Apple have had a long relationship, and Adobe was quoted early on that come hell or high water, there would be a version of Flash for the iPhone, but it seems that Adobe is moving forward with other vendors.

“We are excited to be working alongside Adobe to bring Flash technology to Android,” said Andy Rubin, director of mobile platforms at Google. “Adobe Flash is crucial to a rich Internet and content experience on mobile devices and we are thrilled that Google will be one of the first companies along with the Open Handset Alliance to bring Flash technology to the smartphone market.”

Steve Jobs has been quoted saying Flash Lite ““isn’t capable enough to be used with the Web.” Now it seems Adobe is moving forward with other partnerships with Google, Microsoft, Palm and Nokia, as stated at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

iwantflash1Jack Gold, an anylist with J. Gold Associates was quoted with explaining the reasons Apple is blocking Flash on the iPhone: “Adobe wants Flash to run really well. To get high performance, you need to run in the lower layers of the OS or phone. Apple wants to push its own technology, in this case, QuickTime. It has its own interests at heart. Look at how long it took to get Flash onto Macs. I honestly don’t think you will see Flash on the iPhone anytime soon.”

With this shift in the “Adobe-Apple” relationship, will this open the door for the Google Android phone to take the lead? While Apple is rumored to enable video to be streamed via HTML5, will this be enough to fight the wave of Flash that has penetrated the web? According to Market Share, Mac users make up 9.81% of those using the internet. One can only assume that this increase up from the paltry 5% in 2001. The base of “Appleloonians” that have been lifefong users (I myself started out with the Apple Iie in 1983) is growing due to the iPhone, but many of us are seeing difficulties on the web without Flash.

In my opinion, just like Apple said that they would never develop for Windows, there will be little choice but to accommodate Adobe Flash, which is quickly taking over the internet as we know it.

Flash for the iPhone?

 

Flash for the iPhone?

Flash for the iPhone?

- by Jori Curry

When the iPhone originally debuted, Adobe made it clear that Flash for the iPhone was a no brainer, and would happen. Then last March, Apple openly contradicted this, and now it has come to light that Apple and Adobe are potentially collaborating to make Flash on the iPhone a reality. The previous objections have been that Flash is too much of a memory/CPU hog, and Flash Lite isn’t sufficient. While the recent announcement has been that Flash isn’t a reality yet, talks continue, and the long relationship between Adobe and Apple ensure that there is much behind the scenes development going on.

According to GearLive and PhoneMag, the issue hasn’t been battery and CPU issues, but licensing negotiations. Apple has a long tradition of promoting Open Standards, while Flash is a proprietary standard. Apple has confirmed the 2009 World Wide Developer Conference for June 8-12th, and they are notorious for unveiling major announcements at that kind of  platform. Adobe and Apple have had a long relationship dating back to the early ’80′s. Logically, alienating Adobe doesn’t seem like a good business move for Apple.

Other rumors include the upcoming iPhone will have a 3.2 megapixel camera, and sources say that Apple has ordered CMOS image sensor orders for a Flash to be included….(camera flash, not Adobe Flash on THIS rumor). Also, the new iPhone is rumored to be integrated with AT&T U-verse protocol.

Now if we could only cut and paste…