Tuesday 16 December 2014

Can't access Wamp from another PC at your location?

I was getting on fine browsing 'localhost' on the machine that held the WAMP installation, but even with the firewall off, the WAMP server 'online', I was getting 'permission denied' when browsing from other machines on my local network.

This was the solution for me:

Thursday 4 December 2014

Embedding YouTube Videos in OpenCart Products

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Forget all the VQmods and Extensions.

Just go to the product description, hit the 'Source Code' button to reveal the HTML view in the editor. And paste the YouTube generated embed code right there.


YouTube embed code options are quite advanced. Don't merely take the default code, or even the default player sizes. Have a play, choose custom sizes, start the video from a particular time, all kinds of options are available.

Monday 27 May 2013

The Secret to Success!

It's a theme as old as time itself, and in self help books, DVDs and seminars the topic is worth £ millions in turnover. In a former role, as a teacher, I worked for years helping young people develop this in themselves finding that the difference between a student succeeding and failing was more down to this than any kind of natural ability. But even so it took a while for me to understand that this is the real key. And what is 'this'?


I have come to learn that belief is the key to personal success. For a long time I thought, and taught, that it was work, or effort, and though important I now know that belief comes first. Without belief the inclination to put in sufficient work and effort soon dies.

In a recent BBC article "From thought to profit: How ideas become viable businesses" Timothy Mitchell, a 27-year-old "eccentric genius", and former Microsoft director, who says he's cracked artificial intelligence (AI) with computer codes and programmes that actually have the ability to learn, says:
"I have seen thousands of ideas die on the vine, because the individuals that have them never get over that fear of failing".

Fear of failure, or failure to believe, essentially comes down to the same thing. You let your worry that it won't work talk you into not working at it. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

In a very real way the battle for your personal success is won or lost in your head.

This understanding has been taught since ancient times. From the Christian ideal that "all things are possible to him that believeth" to Norman Vincent Peale's call to "Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful..." from The Power of Positive Thinking, the emphasis on belief remains.

We all have inherent abilities and talents, God given, and believing in them will unlock your success. That's the key, that's the start. That is where fear of failure is overcome.

More Reading

Using belief to overcome fear of failure is the theme of many resources on the subject, here are just a few:

The Power of Positive Thinking - Norman Vincent Peale

As a Man Thinketh - James Allen - FREE!

The Power of Concentration - Theron Q. Dumont - FREE!

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey

The Secret

Monday 22 October 2012

Mouse Wheel Animation Control with Easing

The previous post gives a simple ActionScript 2 solution for using the mouse wheel to control forward and backward play along the Flash timeline.

This example extends that to introduce an element of easing. When the user stops scrolling the mouse wheel, instead of coming to an immediate halt, the animation gently glides to a stop.

var damping = 0.95;
var accelerator = 0; //equivalent to movieclip frames per framerate frame

//detect mouse scroll
var mouseListener:Object = new Object();
mouseListener.onMouseWheel = function(delta)
accelerator += delta/3;

//manage the animation
onEnterFrame = function ()
accelerator = accelerator*damping;
framespeed = Math.round(accelerator);
moveframe = clip_mc._currentframe + framespeed;

And there you have it. Play a MovieClip animation with speed and direction determined by the direction the user scrolls the mouse wheel. And when the mouse wheel is released the animation slowly comes to a halt.

Happy days.

Controlling Flash Animation Frame, Direction and Speed with Mouse Scroll

Most animations just play, you set their frame rate, your press play, and away they go. But I have an interactive item that I want users to be able to play forwards, or backwards, at the speed they scroll their mouse.

I am using ActionScript 2 for this, and the code is blissfully simple:
var mouseListener:Object = new Object();
mouseListener.onMouseWheel = function(delta) {
     frame = (clip_mc._currentframe + delta);

As you can see you just create a mouseListener object and then build a function that acts on the onMouseWheel event.

When the mouse is rolled the 'delta' (or the value of the mouse scroll, forward or backwards) is used to calculate a new position in a MovieClip's timeline based on the current frame. The function then moves the play head using gotoAndStop to that new position in the timeline.

And you're done... This can be used to control the speed and direction of animation play within a MovieClip. I have a few creative applications of this technique in mind for the future - I hope you find it helpful. Happy scrolling.

Sunday 21 October 2012

3D Game Environment Modeling

Setting the pace for my level 3 students... One of my teaching philosophies is to lead and show, not just explain. Doing this provides ample resource for students to see the entire process, and to aspire. Here's my example.

Thursday 4 October 2012

A job well done!

It is with some emotion that I look back on the last few years spent working as a lecturer and teacher of graphics, interactive media and game design. But today more so as I received visits from two of my old students who have made a fantastic success of their lives since attending my classes.

Both recently graduated with Degrees and have successfully found work in the creative industries they trained for. One as an animator, the other in game design. Thanks for visiting me today you two, I could not be more happy for you. Thank you for bringing me news of your other friends who I also had the pleasure to teach. If you ever read this, I am proud of you, just as I am of all my other students progressing with their education or professional careers, buying their first houses, raising their children...

Right now, though, having visited today, you two represent everyone I have taught over the last 7 years, you are in many ways the symbols of what I hoped my career would be about. I wish you, and all my students every success. The future is bright it really is, it is in your hands, I know you can do it. And what made my day today was seeing that you know you can do it too.