Got my game face on


Got my game face on. I’ve always been the kind of guy to make strange faces and noises while programming, and working at home has increased my wackiness. While testing a new stored procedure, the webcam caught me with my fist up, getting ready to give my computer the finger if it didn’t succeed. I happened to notice the webcam so I thought I’d save the pic for posterity. No particular reason. (And no, the stored procedure didn’t work the third time, either.)

Macromedia revealed their newest product at FlashForward today: Central. It strikes me as odd to name a product Central when it’s all about decentralized applications, but hey – that’s just me. Part of me says this product is doomed to failure because coders associate Flash with the Skip-Intro link, and this product is a heavy-duty Flash, but the other part of me is genuinely interested in building Central apps. The first one I can think of: blogging. It’d make for the perfect lightweight blog client, both for updating your own blog and for receiving other people’s blog updates. The second one I can think of is work-related, and you won’t pry that one out of me, muhahaha.

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  • Note to audience: the aquarium looks filthy, but that’s because I have green & brown backgrounds in the tank, and a green & brown ramp for the turtles to climb out of the water.

  • How did your work-related-central-app work out?

    • Oh great question, hahaha! At the time, I was working for a company that did (among other things) hotel surveys. We were transitioning from paper cards (seriously) to figuring out something electronic. I ended up building a proof-of-concept survey appliance for hotel front desks: a little touch tablet for folks to answer a few quick questions while they were checking out.

      The hotel & restaurant survey business was in a really weird place in the early 2000s. The traditional model had been to put postcards in the guest rooms and in a dispenser at the front desk. Guests were supposed to fill those out and drop them in the mail. The cards would get sent to a central processing facility (for lots of different hotels), OCR’d, and human beings would transcribe the comments. The data would be analyzed, sentiment analysis run on the comments, etc, and then compiled into reports. The completion rates were really low, and the lag time was high, and hotels were looking for a better solution.

      The survey kiosk thing was really appealing because you could eliminate the paper cards, mailing costs, mailing delays, and transcription delays. It was expensive, and there was tech support involved, but it held the promise of instant feedback.

      We didn’t end up using FlashForward Central – I ended up coding it with plain ol’ Classic ASP, generating HTML tables and forms dynamically. My successor did the next version in Adobe Flex, though.


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