Saturday, October 26, 2002

Earthquakes? In ENGLAND?

Manchester in the UK has been victim to (at last count) over 40 earthquakes in the last month! All are of small magnitute, but big enough to scare people out of their high-rise offices and homes. I found an interesting link that tries to reassure us "Though they are unusual, earthquake swarms have happened before in other regions of the UK".

But the UK is not used to such seismic activity - some people in Manchester are going to be worried right now.

Map of recent quakes
Manchester University has excellent maps and information
Keele University has even more information

Incidentally if you view the map above, you may be interested to learn that I live very close to the red spot that is above and to the left of Blackburn.

A few weeks ago there was a larger quake in Dudley, near Birmingham "which caused minor damage to chimneypots and a church spire". This was at around 1 am. I was in bed - and it's a rare thing thing for me to be asleep so early! My bed was rocking and furniture rattling and they woke me up. Dudley is over 100 miles away!

We are not used to this sort of thing in the UK. At this rate we could beat Los Angeles into the sea!

Friday, October 25, 2002

Thought for the day

Insignificance has an important place in our lives.

Authorware 6.5 - Wincontrols help update

Andrew Poulos of Apixel fame has kindly revised his help file for Winconrols. This help file fully documents the Wincontrols u32 complete with all the updates in Authorware 6.5. This is a must-have document. Get it while it is hot!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

TAAC 7 Updates

From Mark Henry of Rampant Lion Interactive, Inc.

Just a quick note to let everyone know that we've completed some great
updates to the
TAAC7 website:

Here's a small sampling of what we have available:

• Download TAAC7 Presentations and Keynotes
    (select resourses->downloads)

• Share with us your opinions in our hand-dandy TAAC7 Survey
• Missed TAAC7? Don't fret, checkout the TAAC7 Videography
• Need to see, before you buy? Download the Videography Sampler

As always, great stuff from Mark!!!

Handy Windows shortcuts

This is a handy set of Windows shortcut tips from Paul Glizow.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Have you seen how cheap RAM is?

I decided today that I need a little extra RAM in my laptop. Nothing outrageous. Just 256Mb extra if possible. My machine is a Dell Inspiron. I love it. I take it everywhere with me. I am a sad geek. OK, a happy one :-).

So I called Dell and they will happily supply me with 256 Mb of RAM for a mere £65, including taxes and delivery (roughly $100). Not so long ago, that same RAM would have cost a few hundred - $$s or ££s.

I looked a little further and found some other surprising prices at Novatech, a British company. And their PC RAM prices are equally stunning, with 512 MB o PC2100 DDR selling for a mere £98.70, including taxes and (I think) delivery. No wonder the number of people running up against the 2Gb RAM bug that Authorware 6.0 and earlier have when running NT, 2000 or XP. There is a workaround, but Authorware 6.5 has it licked.

Monday, October 21, 2002

ELearning - a complicated process

Mark Steiner has put together an interesting article on eLearning projects on the Macromedia Designer and Developer Center.

"Today's emerging technologies are enhancing human cognitive, affective, and social capabilities at an astonishing rate. Nowhere is this more evident than in the e-learning arena. Recent advances in e-learning (which I loosely define as computer-supported collaborative learning and experiential simulation) now enable guided, inquiry-based education to overcome barriers of time and distance."

View the complete article.

Ugrading to Authorware 6.5

I have seen many people posting massages that they are having difficulty updating older Authorware projects to Authoware 6.5. The problem is that Authorware is only ever able to open files from the previous version.

Although a "point upgrade", Authorware 6.5 is effectively a full update for the purposes of updating older files. This means that 6.5 can open 6.0 files but it cannot open 5.0, 5.1 or 5.2 files. Or 4.0 files for that matter. So people upgrading direct from AW 5.2 to 6.5 have been concerned.

But Macromedia have been wise to this concern since Authorware 6.0. On the Authorware 6 CD there is a folder "D:\Macromedia\Previous versions of Authorware", where D is the CD drive. In this folder are special, fully-working, Not For Commercial Use versions of Authorware 3.5, 4.03 and 5.2. You can use these to progressivly update files as ancient as those produced by Authorware 2.

Authorware 6.5 has a similar folder, but only goes back to Authorware 4.03.

Slow delivery of CDs

Some people have complained that their boxed copies of Authorware, complete with CDs, are taking a while to arrive and this has caused them difficulties when wishing to upgrade. I believe these delays are settling down. In the meantime if you have a problem with upgrades you have a number of options. Here's a couple of them:-

• Locate a copy of the 6.0 demo. You can find it on recent Macromedia demo discs. It is also on the CD that comes with Jennie Thorton's book Authorware 6, inside Macromedia.

• Find a local Authorware developer who is willing to update files for you.