Review of the Canon Pixma TR7520 Wireless Home Office Inkjet All-in-One at Computer ShopperHere’s another of those situations when a printer maker (in this case, Canon) offers two all-in-one (AIO) printers close in price, but diverse enough in features that the higher-end iteration dwarfs its slightly less expensive sibling. In this case, we’re talking about the Canon Pixma TR8520 Wireless Home Office All-in-One ($149.99 at Amazon) and its $20-cheaper sibling, the $179.99-list ($129.99-street) Pixma TR7520 Wireless Home Office All-in-One ($129.99 at Amazon)  reviewed here today. The cost/value ratio between them is so far out of whack that choosing the TR7520 only makes sense in some very specific, rarely encountered situations.

In other words, for $20, you give up too much. As you can tell by their names, both the Pixma TR7520 and TR8520 are home office all-in-ones (AIOs), and, as you can probably tell by their prices, we’re not talking a corporation’s home office. Both the TR7520 and the TR8520, the TR-series flagship model, are relatively low-volume home and family appliances that provide your domestic office the ability to print, scan, copy, and fax.

If you go with the TS7520, you give up Ethernet (wired networking); the ability to print from SD cards from your digital camera, smartphone, or tablet; and a larger 4.3-inch touch screen, settling for a 3.0-inch control panel. Any one of those features on its own is well worth an additional Jackson, although we suspect that most home office and family environments could get by without any or all of them.

Canon Pixma TR7520 (Angled Output)

Similar in many ways to Canon’s Pixma TS6120 ($99.99 at Amazon), the TR7520 is more of a business-oriented machine, whereas the TS6120 leans more toward family and photo-printing use. The primary differences between them, while significant, aren’t many. The TR7520, for instance, comes with an automatic document feeder (ADF) for hands-off multipage scanning and the ability to send and receive faxes. The TS6120, while it comes with a scanner, lacks ADF and fax capabilities.

The TR7520 also lists for about $30 more than the TS6120. These two machines are similar in that both use five-ink imaging systems. In fact, at their core—namely, their print engines, as far as we can tell—they’re pretty much the same; their print speeds, output quality, and running costs are close enough that for our purposes here, they’re identical.

The TR7520 is, then, essentially an entry-level home office AIO. Not only is that reflected in its relatively low purchase price, like many of its competitors, including Epson’s Expression Photo XP-8500 Small-in-One ($199.99 at Amazon) and Expression Premium XP-640 Small-in-One ($79.99 at Amazon), the TS7520 is slow and its per-page price for ink is high, especially compared to similarly priced business-oriented AIOs—such as Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-4720 All-in-One (Check on Amazon at Amazon), to keep the comparisons focused on that manufacturer.

Where the TR-series Pixmas excel, though, is in their terrific output, especially with graphics and photos. They’re also very easy to use, as they come with software geared more toward home users. The bottom line on the TR7520 (and its TR8520 sibling) is that, though Canon doesn’t market it as such, it is essentially a five-ink consumer-grade photo printer with an ADF and fax capabilities, with a well-under-$200 street price, and that is somewhat unusual. Even so, its high cost per page (CPP) and relative sluggishness relegate it to home-office AIO duty. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is a terrific little printer—though, as we said, the TR8520 is just a bit more terrific.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper



 

Digital TrendsCamarillo, CA – October 2017: Almost three years and over 40 articles later, I have covered numerous products and technology news for the immensely popular online digital technology magazine, Digital Trends. My beat covers all aspects of computer-related news and reviews. For example, my first few articles included information about DDR4 memory, USB 3.1, Sata Express, and Nvidia G-Sync, .

But since then I have covered everything from mouse and keyboard combos to 4K 360 degree digital cameras, and everything in between. My two latest news stories at Digital Trends cover Bluetooth Mesh technology and the latest, fastest Wi-Fi technology, 802.11ax.

You can get a complete list of my articles on Digital Trends here.


 

Google Chromecast verticalWhile watching the press event late last month announcing Google’s Chromecast, a new gadget for streaming content from mobile devices to HDTVs, we knew it was going to be big, but we had no idea it would be this big. Nobody, not even the folks at Google, imagined that, within less than an hour after the announcement, Chromecasts would be on back order by more than a week. Or that the day after Google unveiled the device, people were paying as much as three times the suggested retail price of $35 on eBay. Or that, also a day after Chromecast’s debut, Google’s withdrawing a bonus offer for three free months of Netflix would have no effect on the sales stampede.

What’s all this tumult about? After all, aren’t there already several solutions out there, such as HDMI, Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi), and Miracast, for pushing content from smartphones, tablets, and laptops to televisions? Well, yes there are, but Google’s little dongle offers several advantages over other technologies—starting with its exceptionally low price, which we suspect had a lot to do with it selling out in the first hour.

Granted, you can connect your mobile device to an HDTV with an HDMI cable for less than $35, but this solution is fraught with inconveniences—even if your device has an HDMI-out port, and many don’t. If yours doesn’t, you’re stuck shopping around for an adapter, which raises the expense and frustration factors. But even so, cost isn’t really the drawback to HDMI cabling.

As with any wired solution, when you tether your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to your television with an HDMI cable, your movement is restricted by the length of the cable, not to mention that mobile devices in general are much more cumbersome to use with wires dangling off them. Then, too, there are those situations where your sofa is located 15 or 20 feet across the room from your TV. Sure, sufficiently long HDMI cables are available, but hardly elegant.

Yep. A wireless solution is much more practical. And there are some good ones, such as Miracast, which runs over the Wi-Fi Direct protocol. However, unless your device comes Miracast-enabled, you’re out of luck. Only recently, on products such as Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 and 8.0 and Asus’ MeMO Pad HD 7, have we begun to see support for the Miracast standard. Furthermore, even fewer TVs support Miracast, meaning that, even if your mobile device can broadcast the Miracast signal, you’ll still need a $50-or-so adapter for your television.

Furthermore, when you use Miracast (and similar broadcast technologies) to push data from your smartphone or tablet to your television, you can’t use the mobile device for anything else—not without stopping the broadcast, anyway. As you’ll see in the How it Works section a little later in this review, Google has found a way around that limitation with Chromecast.

Google Chromecast box

Perhaps that is what makes this little dongle such a hit? Or perhaps it’s that Chromecast works with any operating system, mobile or otherwise. In any case, we’ve been testing Chromecast on several different mobile devices for the last three weeks or so, and overall, we’re impressed—it’s well worth the $35 price tag, and innovative and clever enough to deserve our Editors’ Choice nod.

That said, nothing’s perfect. Currently, for instance, Chromecast supports only a handful of apps, such as Netflix, YouTube, and a few others, and during our testing, we discovered a few quirks, but nothing we couldn’t live with. What impressed most was the little gadget’s potential.

See entire review at Computer Shopper.



 

Introduction to HTML5We’re happy to announce commencement of a new six-week HTML5 course at eClasses.org, starting September 16, 2013.

In this course we’ll look at HTML5 from a task-oriented perspective, by learning not only the HTML code for specific tasks, such as, say, formatting text, creating simple shapes or form fields, and so on, but also how to apply CSS3 and JavaScript to create real-world Web objects, Web pages, and Web sites. We’ll spend less time on terms and theory and more time on how to design. When you finish this class, you’ll have the core knowledge required for advancing on to using HTML5 to create special effects, sophisticated animations and interactivity, Web forms that configure themselves based on user input, and Web applications that actually do things, rather than just sit there and look pretty.

Here’s the course syllabus:

Week 1: Introduction to HTML5

  • What is HTML5?
  • What are Cascading Style Sheets?
  • What is JavaScript?
  • Anatomy of an HTML Page
  • Metadata
  • A Good Body
  • Bring it All Together
Week 2: HTML5 Sections, Containers, Boxes, and Shapes
  • HTML5’s Built-In Sections
  • Adapting to Display Size and Device Type
  • Creating Custom Containers
  • Decorative Boxes and Shapes
  • CCS3 and HTML5’s Built-In Containers
  • Custom CSS3 Fills and Gradients
Week 3: HTML5 and Text
  • HTML’s Built-In Paragraph Selectors
  • Inline, Internal and External Styles
  • Creating Custom Paragraph Styles
  • HTML5’s Multicolumn Text Boxes
  • CSS3 Text Special Effects
  • Downloadable Fonts
Week 4: Working with Images, Digital Video, and other Embeds
  • Graphics on the Web – Overview
  • Graphics and Device Screen Sizes
  • Embedding Images with HTML5
  • Formatting images with CSS3
  • Digital Video on the Web
  • Display Size, Frame Rate and Bandwidth
  • Embedding Digital Video in HTML5
  • Embedding YouTube Videos in HTML5
  • Embedding Google Maps and Other Web Apps
Week 5: Interactivity with HTML5
  • What is Interactivity?
  • Simple Text Hyperlinks
  • HTML5 Buttons
  • Inter-Page Navigation with Anchors
  • Text List Menus
  • Button Menus
  • Drop-Down Menus
  • Other Types of Interactivity
Week 6: HTML5 Forms
  • What You Can do with HTML Forms
  • Text Form Fields
  • Drop-Down Menus and Other Forms Lists
  • Radio Buttons
  • Check Boxes
  • Radio and Check Box Arrays
  • Calendars, Sliders, Selectors and Other HTML5 Form Elements

Intermediate Flash CS6(Camarillo, CA, March 22, 2013) William Harrel and ed2go.com announce Intermediate Flash CS6, the follow-up course to Harrel’s popular Introduction to Flash CS6, launched earlier this year. When completed, a little later this year, the course will be offered at over 2,500 colleges and universities.

If you have a basic understanding of Flash techniques and you’re eager to create more sophisticated and powerful Flash movies and applications, this course will take your Flash skills to the next level.

You’ll start by examining the versatile Movie Clip symbol, using it to create Flash movies—animations and special effects—inside other Flash movies. Then you’ll delve into ActionScript and learn how to turn your simple SWFs into epic Flash masterpieces. For example, you’ll learn how to write a single script that controls hundreds (even thousands) of objects based on user input.

Interactivity that goes beyond simple buttons is crucial to many types of Flash applications. In these lessons, you’ll find out how to use ActionScript to develop interactive courses, surveys, quizzes, and tests, using scripts that make decisions, count and keep track of user choices, and tally up and report the results. In addition, you’ll learn how to compose and use external ActionScript Class files to extend Flash’s capabilities. External ActionScript files allow you to use the same scripts across multiple SWFs, as well as to create SWFs that load and interact with other SWFs—the secret to creating in-depth, multifaceted Flash applications.

While this course is heavy on useful, everyday ActionScript examples, it’s not just about programming. You’ll also try your hand at advanced Flash animation techniques, learning high-end Motion Editor skills for creating artistic transitions and other animated effects. In addition, you’ll discover the secrets for creating intriguing Flash effects with advanced Bone tool features that make your IK bones appear more lifelike and believable, as well as the Deco tool, Spray Brush tool, Layer Masks, Onion Skins, and other techniques for creating professional-grade graphics and animations.

And that’s not all! You’ll also explore Edge Animate, Adobe’s new no-scripting, HTML5-based application for creating user interfaces and JavaScript animations. And you’ll finish up with an examination of Adobe AIR, which allows you to create full-blown desktop applications that install and interact with computer operating systems just like traditional computer programs.

In each lesson, you’ll find practical, hands-on activities that allow you to practice the skills you’re learning. By the time you finish this course, you’ll know more than enough to confidently market yourself as a Flash designer.

Syllabus

 Week One
Wednesday – Lesson 01
Flash supports many ways to accomplish essentially the same tasks. Depending on your movie’s purpose and overall design, some techniques are much more suited to specific applications than others. In today’s lesson we’ll look at Movie Clip symbols—a powerful and efficient tool for creating rich content. While learning to create Movie Clips, we’ll go over some of Flash’s basic design and interactivity features, just to make sure we all start the course with a similar set of skills. Get ready to dive headlong into Flash’s intermediate-to-advanced movie design techniques.
Friday – Lesson 02
A design effect that at first looks complicated is the inner pop-up—a pop-up that loads and plays external content within the main movie Timeline. However, as with many techniques in Flash, creating inner pop-ups really isn’t all that difficult, once you know how to do it. While Flash supports many ways to accomplish the inner pop-up effect, an easy and straightforward method is to load and play an external Flash movie in the UILoader component. With UILoader, you can play any Flash SWF movie from your main movie’s Timeline. Designing movies this way helps keep your movies small and reduces download time. It also helps keep your main movie’s Timeline simple and easy to manage.
 Week Two
Wednesday – Lesson 03
As you tackle more sophisticated Flash movies and applications, the method of laying components out frame-by-frame on the Timeline simply won’t cut it. That’s when it’s time to unleash ActionScript 3.0. In this lesson, that’s exactly what we’ll do as we take on a more complicated project: building an online products and services portfolio that can showcase hundreds of products. You’ll learn to make a project of this magnitude manageable by using ActionScript 3.0 to call objects from the Library dynamically—without physically placing and positioning each one on the Stage. You’ll also learn the power of ActionScript classes and variables. By the end of the lesson, you’ll know how to write a single event handler that can call hundreds, even thousands, of external movies to the Stage.
Friday – Lesson 04
In today’s lesson, you’ll learn to use one of the most important tools in complex application design, the external ActionScript file. External ActionScript files not only help keep Flash files small and manageable, but they also expand your design options and can even increase your overall productivity. In this lesson, you’ll learn to write an external ActionScript class file that, when loaded into a Flash movie, will define a new class object. Then you’ll use the new class object to turn the user’s mouse cursor into an interactive paint brush.
 Week Three
Wednesday – Lesson 05
This lesson takes a straightforward procedure—loading an external image—and turns it into a multifunction chain of events. The simple event handler that loads an external file triggers other events that not only format and apply special effects to the new content, but also manipulate other objects on the Stage. First, you’ll learn how to format external text files with HTML tags and load the text into Flash. Then, you’ll start creating the cascade of events, which includes: using the List component to trigger a function that loads image files; which in turn passes the new content to another function that applies a tween to the images as they display; then the chain continues with simple, powerful If Conditionals that play Movie Clips—all based on the original data passed by the first event in the chain. To make all this possible, you’ll use AS3’s indispensable trace(); statement to find out what data your functions and statements are passing among themselves.
Friday – Lesson 06
When it comes to animation, the Motion Editor is one of Flash’s most useful features. It allows you to apply multiple transformations and effects all in the same tween. In this lesson, we’ll look closely at the Motion Editor, at all its various options and how they work. Next we’ll combine several objects containing Motion Tweens to create a sophisticated transition effect and subsequent animation sequence. Then we’ll use Flash’s built-in Timer to control when our animation sequences play on the Timeline. The resulting movie will be a rotating, never-ending banner similar to those you see on many of today’s more popular Web sites.
 Week Four
Wednesday – Lesson 07
This lesson explores some advanced Bone tool techniques. The Bone tool uses an animation technology known as inverse kinematics (IK), which simulates the movement of animate objects, such as people and animals with skeletal structures. IK is also used in the science of robotics. This lesson assumes some basic experience with IK chains and builds on that experience, teaching you how to modify IK chains to make their movements appear more realistic. We also look at making IK chains interactive, so that your users can manipulate them at runtime. Then, we go animating IK chains with ActionScript. The lesson ends with a short demonstration on using Movie Clip symbols with the Spray Brush tool to create special effects, such as twinkling stars or rotating planets.
Friday – Lesson 08
Flash is by far not just an animation program. Many application developers use it to create sophisticated programs that do all sorts of things, such as building online courses, creating shopping carts for online stores, and just about everything else you can think of. In this lesson, we create a self-scoring quiz, or test, where users answer a series of questions and are then given their scores at the end of the test. To accomplish this, we’ll revisit the oh-so-powerful external class file, taking the technique further by creating multiple class files that reference one another to make decisions. You’ll learn to use several common and highly useful programming concepts, such as Arrays, Sprites, ints,for loops, Boolean operators, radio button groups, and several others. After completing this lesson, you’ll have a basic understanding of creating applications with Flash, as well as an all new understanding of the power of ActionScript.
 Week Five
Wednesday – Lesson 09
Flash designers typically enjoy creating content in Flash Professional’s visually-oriented authoring environment. Many designers do not, however, care for coding, or writing the necessary ActionScript to create interaction. New to the Adobe CS6 suite of applications, Edge Animate allows you to create simple, interactive animated interfaces without coding. You design the interaction and animations visually, and Catalyst writes the code for you. This lesson introduces you to Edge Animate. We start with an Illustrator artboard, import it into Edge Animate, and design a Web interface from the Illustrator content—a completely visual and automated procedure devoid of manual coding. Since Edge Animate creates projects compatible with the HTML5 environment, your animations will be more compatible with mobile devices.
Friday – Lesson 10
Many Flash applications, such as games and quizzes, call for advanced user interactivity—providing the user with control of various objects on the Stage. Some movies, for example, call for allowing the user to drag and drop objects, or move them from one spot to another. Other applications call for allowing the user to rotate, resize, and recolor objects. All of this interaction is accomplished with ActionScript. In this lesson, you’ll learn to write scripts that turn control over important functions to the user. First, I’ll show you a simple set of scripts that allows the user to drag and drop an object on the Stage. Then we’ll look at creating sets of buttons that allow users to rotate and resize objects. After that we’ll look into allowing users to change not only the color of objects on the Stage, but also the Stage itself—all with the use of a handy little component known as the Color Picker.
 Week Six
Wednesday – Lesson 11
In this lesson, we look at a few of Flash’s lesser-known, but highly useful features. First, you’ll learn how to create layer masks for producing display effects from objects you draw with Flash’s drawing tools. Then, I’ll show you how to build an image list—a list consisting of images—with the TileList component. Finally, the lesson ends with an in-depth look at Flash’s metaphorical equivalent to the days (not all that long ago) when animations were created one drawing at a time on translucent sheets of paper, stacked one on top of the other—a process known as onion skinning. Flash’s Onion Skin feature can help you significantly when developing simple frame-by-frame animations.
Friday – Lesson 12
A relatively new addition to the Flash platform, Adobe AIR allows you to create stand-alone desktop applications with Flash Professional—fully functional applications that access and utilize system resources, such as the clipboard, system menus, Minimize, Maximize, and Close buttons, print functions, and many others. AIR applications are platform-neutral, meaning that you or your users can install them on any Windows, Mac OS, or Linux computer. Any existing Flash movie can be published as an AIR application. In this lesson, you learn how to create system-level functionality (unavailable in Flash documents destined for Flash Player), and how to publish and install AIR applications—yet one more way you can utilize and capitalize on your Flash skills.

New ed2go Adobe Muse course announced

(Camarillo, CA – March 22, 2013) Journalist, author, and online course instructor William Harrel and eClasses (eClasses.org) have teamed up once again to announce a new online course. This time, the subject of the class will be Adobe’s new WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) Website design app, Muse.

The first session starts on April 1, 2013 and you can sign up or get additional information here: Introduction to Adobe Muse.

Harrel teaches Website design and animation at over 3,000 colleges, universities, and other online outlets, and eClasses is one of the world’s largest and most successful online course publishers.


What is Adobe Muse?

Adobe Muse software enables designers to create HTML websites for desktop and mobile devices, without writing code. Design web-standard sites, like you design print layouts. Use familiar features, hundreds of web fonts, and built-in tools to add interactivity.  Then, publish with the Adobe Business Catalyst® service and redeem site hosting support, or publish with any hosting provider. (Source: Adobe.com)


Course Overview

This new course, which is under development now, will be entitled: Websites without Coding with Adobe Muse, and will consist of six-week sessions (two lessons per week) covering the following material:

Lesson 1: Getting Started with Muse

  • Overview: Designing Websites in Muse
  • Plan Mode — Starting a Website in Muse
  • Design Mode — The Page Design Interface

Lesson 2 : Creating a Basic Site in Muse

  • Mastering Master Pages
  • Working with Boxes
  • Typography: Working with Text

Lesson 3: Using External Content with Muse

  • Using and Formatting Word Processor Text
  • External Graphics and Images
  • Digital Sound, Video, and other Media

Lesson 4: Working with Widgets

  • Creating Compositions
  • Web Forms
  • Making Menus

Lesson 5: More Widgets and Templates

  • Creating Expanding Panels
  • Slick Slideshows
  • Using Templates with Muse

Lesson 6: Using other CS6 Programs with Muse

  • Using Photoshop and Fireworks with Muse
  • Using Photoshop Buttons with Muse
  • Using Edge Animate with Muse

Lesson 7: Interactivity: Triggers and Targets

  • Making Mouse States
  • Interactivity Triggers
  • Page Navigation with Targets

Lesson 8: Creating Sites for Mobile Devices

  • Repurposing Existing Content
  • Formatting Content for Smartphones
  • Formatting Content for Tablets

Lesson 9: Stylizing Type with Typekit and Web Fonts

  • Decorative Type with Typekit
  • 3D Type and other Special Effects
  • Working with Web Fonts

Lesson 10: Advanced Web Design Techniques

  • Accommodating Flexible Browser Widths
  • Embedding Google Maps
  • Embedding HTML Code

 

Lesson 11: Working More Efficiently in Muse

  • Getting the Most from Master Pages
  • Sharing Content between Pages and Sites
  • Sharing Muse Content between Media Types

Lesson 12: Publishing Your Muse Websites

  • Publishing to Adobe Business Catalyst
  • CMS Integration on Adobe Business Catalyst
  • Publishing with FTP

Check back with us for updates and projected course release dates.

Flash CS6 course launchedFlash has grown beyond its best known application, Web pages. Nowadays, Flash movies appear everywhere—the Internet, mobile devices, the cinema, TV shows and commercials, computer games. Using Flash, you can create a wide variety of file formats, including apps (iOS and Android), HTML5, and video that work on virtually any device.

In this course, you’ll learn how to create animation, interactive movies, and mobile apps in Flash CS6 and develop several full-blown Flash applications. We’ll start by reviewing the Flash workspace, creating text and graphics, and animating objects on the Flash stage. Then, we’ll look in detail at the anatomy of a Flash movie—how to use the Flash timeline, layers and frames to control objects, and timing on the stage.

While creating your first Flash movie, you’ll learn how to format and embed external digital media and how to make them appear or play at specific times. We’ll also look at controlling digital media based on specific events, such as end user mouse clicks.

No course on Flash is complete without an introduction to ActionScript, Flash’s powerful programming language. We’ll get our hands dirty, creating interactive buttons with ActionScript 3.0. You’ll also learn to write scripts that control movie flow, and scripts that call to and load external videos, Web pages, and other Flash movie files.

As we create our movie, we’ll go over creating and animating 3-D objects, syncing sounds with animations, and publishing your Flash movies to the Internet and to mobile apps. By the end of the course, you’ll understand the fundamentals of Flash and be ready to master more advanced Flash topics.


Course Details

‘ Week One
Wednesday – Lesson 01

Many people think of Adobe Flash as animation software, but it’s much more than that. Flash is the industry standard for creating animated, interactive movies and applications. It’s also widely used in TV commercials and cinema special effects. In our first lesson, you’ll begin by getting acquainted with the Flash interface, or’ workspace. Then, I’ll show you how to create your first animated graphic. Whether you’ve worked with Flash a bit before or this is your first time opening the program, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Flash designer when you finish this lesson.

Friday – Lesson 02
    Flash comes with everything you need to create complete interactive movies and applications, including a palette of tools for drawing lines and shapes. Today you’ll learn how to draw rectangles, circles, and lines to create a framework for a Flash movie. I’ll show you how to change line and fill properties and how to apply special effects such as drop shadows and gradient fills to the objects you draw. You’ll also learn how to arrange and distribute objects on the Flash Stage with the tremendously useful Align panel.
‘ Week Two
Wednesday – Lesson 03
    Nearly every Flash movie calls for some kind of text—such as buttons, headlines, captions, and taglines. In this lesson, I’ll show you how to use Flash’s Text tool to create basic text. Then we’ll apply all kinds of formatting options and special effects—such as colors, drop shadows, and bevels—to make the text more interesting and appealing. The text you create in this lesson will become the buttons, headlines, and captions for our ongoing movie project during the remainder of the course. We’ll also take a brief look at Flash CS6’s TLF Text feature, a whole new text formatting engine that greatly expands text formatting options and text display quality.
Friday – Lesson 04

In Flash and other animation programs, events happen over time. Flash measures time in frames on a grid called a Timeline. Today you’ll learn how the Timeline works. We’ll use it and Flash’s Layers feature to distribute and animate several objects on the Stage. We’ll animate our buttons and graphics so that they fade onto the Stage at different intervals in our movie. You’ll also see how to use Flash’s tweens (automatic animation creation tools) to make objects move frame-by-frame on the Stage. We’ll also take a quick look at Movie Clip symbols. By the end of this lesson, you’ll understand the basics of animation in Flash.

‘ Week Three
Wednesday – Lesson 05

As your ongoing movie grows in file size and length, you’ll find that breaking it into logically organized scenes makes it easier to work with. This time, I’ll show you how to create new scenes. Then, we’ll look at importing elements from other programs, such as Photoshop and Word. Most of the movies people create in Flash contain objects created in external graphics programs. I’ll show you how to create your first TLF‘ Text box, how to embed fonts, and how to figure out what fonts to embed. You’ll also learn the basics of bitmap and vector graphics formatting so that using these objects in Flash movies is a lot easier.

Friday – Lesson 06

Ready. Set. Action! You can make your movies more interesting, entertaining, and informative with sound and digital video. While it’s relatively easy to import a media file into Flash, getting the results you want isn’t so straightforward. In this lesson, I’ll tell you what you need to know about sound and digital video file formats. Then, we’ll look at how to make sounds play. You’ll discover how to create ambient backgrounds for your movies and how to make sounds play on specific events, such as mouse-overs and clicks. You’ll also learn how to use different mouse states, creating rollover-like effects that change the button’s behavior as users mouse around in your movies.

‘ Week Four
Wednesday – Lesson 07
    To produce applications in Flash, you must know how to create interactivity—or how to tell the movie what to do when a user clicks a button. Today, you’ll see how to use ActionScript 3.0, Flash’s powerful programming language, to make your buttons work. We’ll look at basic programming concepts, and then we’ll write some event listener and event handler scripts that make our buttons hot and our movie interactive. When we finish, you’ll have created a complete Flash movie with working buttons, button sound effects, and user navigation.
Friday – Lesson 08

ActionScript 3.0 is the backbone for creating sophisticated Flash movies. In this lesson, we’ll look deeper into programming with ActionScript. You’ll learn how to create buttons that allow the user to control animation, and we’ll create a short movie that lets users view products online in various colors. We’ll also take a look at the Code Snippets panel and learn how to let Flash create basic scripts automatically and how to save your own code snippets you can use any time in any movie. Since we’re venturing into more advanced Flash topics, we’ll also take a look at creating and manipulating 3-D graphics in Flash. Finally, you’ll learn how to create complex animations with Flash’s Motion Editor.

‘ Week Five
Wednesday – Lesson 09
    If you’ve watched a few Flash movies, you’ve probably noticed that many of them have several features in common: progress bars that tell users how long they must wait before the movie starts playing; image galleries for displaying photos and product images; similar sounds and animations. To save you time when you’re creating these common elements, Flash comes with several premade components that install these effects for you. You can find thousands of components on the Web, or you can save your own components and use them over and over. Flash also comes with many motion presets that make it easy to create sophisticated animations. Today we’ll take a look at using motion presets and creating and saving your own animations for use in multiple movies.
Friday – Lesson 10

Like most high-end software programs, Flash comes with and supports files from many other applications. In this lesson, we’ll look at Adobe Media Encoder. Media Encoder is a nifty little utility that comes with Flash and lets you format video and sound files for Flash movies and other applications, such as YouTube. We’ll also explore the tight integration between Photoshop and Flash—you’ll learn how to work more quickly and efficiently by importing your Photoshop files directly into Flash. We’ll even touch on publishing Flash movies for mobile devices with the AIR runtime, including actually publishing an AIR app to a smartphone or tablet.

‘ Week Six
Wednesday – Lesson 11

Flash CS6 has a bunch of great tools and features for creating sophisticated graphics effects and complex animations. Today, we’ll look at three of them: the Deco tool, the Spray Brush tool, and the Bone tool. The first two tools create graphics special effects in highly useful and professional-looking patterns. The Bone tool is an animation tool that lets you easily create animations that simulate the movement of humans and animals—things like people walking, animals running, and birds flying. These tools will help you give your movies and animations a polished, professional look.

Friday – Lesson 12
Why should you do all this work to create interactive movies if you can’t share them with the world? In your final lesson, you’ll find out how to publish your work to the Internet. You’ll learn how Web servers work and how to upload files to make your creations public. You’ll also have a chance to integrate your movies into Adobe Dreamweaver files and then use that popular application to upload your movies to a public Web server. When you finish this lesson, you’ll have successfully joined the elite ranks of Flash designers.

Introduction to Flash CS6We are happy to announce the latest installment of William Harrel’s popular Flash Professional courses at ed2go.com, scheduled to start sessions in early 2013.

Take your graphics skills to a whole new level by adding Flash to your designer toolkit! In this course, you’ll learn how to create animated, interactive movies and mobile device apps in Adobe Flash CS6.

These days, Flash movies and apps are everywhere—including the Internet, films, TV shows and commercials, mobile device apps, and computer games. The skills you’ll learn in this course will get you started on your way to a lucrative career designing animated graphics, mobile apps and special effects for one of these fun and exciting fields.

During this course, you’ll create a full-blown Flash application, complete with animated text and graphics and interactive buttons. You’ll start by exploring the Flash workspace, creating text and graphics, and animating objects on the Flash movie stage. Next, you’ll look in detail at the anatomy of a Flash movie—how to use the Flash timeline, layers, and frames to control objects and timing on the stage.

While you can create an entire movie or app  in Flash, most often you’ll need to import graphics, sounds, and digital videos from other applications. While creating your first Flash movie, you’ll learn how to format and embed external digital media and how to make them appear or play at specific times. You’ll also learn how to control digital media based on specific events, such as end user mouse clicks.

Because no course on Flash is complete without an introduction to ActionScript, Flash’s powerful programming language, you’ll create interactive buttons with ActionScript 3.0. You’ll also learn to write scripts that control movie flow and scripts that call to and load external videos, Web pages, and other Flash movie files.

As you create your movie, you’ll find out how to design and animate 3-D objects, sync sounds with animations, and publish your Flash movies to the Internet and mobile apps. By the end of the course, you’ll know how to create and publish Flash movies and applications, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Flash designer.

Introduction to CSS3Several years ago, cascading style sheets (CSS) revolutionized Web design. CSS freed Web designers from depending on woefully inadequate HTML tables to create highly stylized Web pages. It provided us with the means to format and reformat multiple pages from one single set of styles, thereby liberating us from the tedious task of formatting one page at a time. Enter CSS3, the next generation of Web design. Special effects, animations, transitions, gradients – all the content we’ve traditionally fallen back on graphics and animation software to achieve are now at our fingertips through CSS code. CSS3, the first revision to cascading style sheets since the advent of handheld smartphones and tablets, is here, now, ready for prime time. Don’t miss William Harrel’s Introduction to CSS3 eClasses.org. The first session starts April 16, 2012. See you there!

This is a complete, hands-on class in creating Websites with CSS3. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Syllabus


Week 1 – Introduction to CSS3

  • What are Styles?
  • What are Style Sheets?
  • How do Style Sheets Cascade?
  • Evolution of CSS
  • CSS and HTML
  • CSS—A  Bunch of Rules
  • The Anatomy of a CSS Rule
  • Why CSS3?

Week 2 – CSS3 and HTML5

  • What is HTML5?
  • HTML5 Page Structure
  • HTML5’s Built-In Containers
  • Create an HTML5 Page
  • CSS3 and HTML5 Working Together
  • CSS3 and Earlier Versions of HTML

Week 3 – In Depth CSS

  • Class, Type, ID and Compound Selectors
  • Inline, Internal and External Styles
  • CSS Containers
  • CSS Rules for Adapting to Display Size and Device Type
  • CSS Print Media Formatting

Week 4 – Formatting a Page with CSS3

  • CSS3 Page Sections and Includes
  • Format Boxes with CSS3
  • Format Text with CSS3
  • Format Images and other Media with CSS3

Week 5 – CSS3 Special Effects

  • CSS3 Shadow and other Text Effects
  • CSS3 Box Shadow and other Box Effects
  • CSS3 Color Gradients and Fills
  • CSS3 Menu and Navigation Formatting Effects
  • CSS3 Background Effects
  • Use WebKit, Mozilla and other Browser Extensions with CSS3

Week 6 – CSS3 Animations, Transitions and Transformations

  • Create and Animate Simple 2D Shapes
  • Create Page and Object Transitions
  • Create Object 2D and 3D Transformations
  • WebKit and other Browser Extension Transformations

Week 7 – CSS3 and Mobile Devices

  • CSS3 Formatting Based on Screen Size and Device Type
  • Integrate CSS3 and JavaScript
  • Integrate CSS3 and jQuery
  • Media Quires
  • Viewport
  • Device Orientation

Week 8 – CSS3 Advanced Techniques

  • Fluid, Multicolumn Pages
  • Stylized Links
  • Format Form Fields with CSS3
  • CSS3 Sprites
  • CSS3 Drop-Down Menus

 

Mobile Web Design at eClasses.org

Communications Technology Watch is happy to announce a new course on mobile design at the popular online school eClasses.org. The course covers Web design, but from the perspective of designing for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. We’ll look at creating HTML, CSS and JavaScript for handhelds. Companies, individuals and organizations that ignore the mobile Web user do so at their own peril! Mobile Web users are by far the fastest growing group of Internet users. This course is designed for students who wish to expand access of their company (or client’s) websites to the most modern of Internet users – people who use their mobile phones and tablets to access the Internet. The emphasis is on creating Web content that displays well and plays properly on the vast and ever-growing number of mobile devices available, today and in the future.

The course’s text book will be William Harrel’s newly released Mobile HTML, CSS and Javascript Development for Dummies. This is an 8-week course. Here is the course outline:

Week 1: Introducing the Mobile Web
  • What is the Mobile Web
  • The Mobile Web User
  • HTML on the Mobile Web
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) on the Mobile Web
  • JavaScript on the Mobile Web
  • Software and Utilities
Week 2: In Depth Mobile Technology
  • Types of Mobile Devices
  • Mobile Device Operating Systems
  • Mobile Web Browsers
  • Which Devices can do what
  • Define Devices by Class
  • Mobile Detect and Adapt Systems
Week 3: Creating Your First Mobile Site
  • Your First Mobile Web Page
  • Mobile HTML Page Structure
  • Mobile-Friendly and Mobile Specific CSS
  • CreateMobile Web Page Elements with CSS
  • Design Mobile Web Templates
Week 4: Interactivity and Multimedia
  • Create Mobile Web Buttons and Hyperlinks
  • Create and Format Graphics for the Mobile Web
  • Create and Format Digital Video for the Mobile Web
  • Create and Format Flash Movies for the Mobile Web
Week 5: Mobile WebKit Extensions
  • What are WebKit Extensions
  • Device Orientation
  • Artwork with WebKit Extensions
  • Special Effects with WebKit Extensions
  • Animations with WebKit Extensions
  • Other Browser-Specific Extensions
Week 6: Advanced Mobile Web Technologies
  • Introducing Mobile CSS3
  • FormatMobile Page Elements with CSS3
  • Mobile HTML5
  • Highly Useful Mobile HTML5 Tags
  • Automate Your Mobile Sites with JavaScript
  • Server-Side Scripting with PHP
Week 7: Automating Your Site with JavaScript
  • JavaScript Automation Basics
  • Detect Device Type with JavaScript
  • Adapt Page Content with JavaScript
  • Change Style Sheets with JavaScript
  • HTML Form Field Validation with JavaScript
Week 8: Creating a Mobile Quiz
  • The User Interface
  • Store and Retrieve Data in Radio Buttons
  • Store and Retrieve Data in Check Boxes
  • Format Your Quiz with CSS
  • Script the Form
Bonus Week:
  • Make Your Mobile Site Search Engine Friendly
  • Createa Mobile Search Page
  • Use Mobile Blog Themes
Prerequisites
Completed ‘Introduction to HTML’ (H101) and ‘Introduction to Cascading Style Sheets’ (H151). Knowledge of computer graphics, digital video, and Flash movies would also be helpful, but by no means required.
Requirements
  • Software: Aside from a text editor, such as Windows Notepad or Mac OS TextEdit, there are no required software applications to complete this course; however, you’ll find the following software useful:
    • Dreamweaver CS4 or later: You can download the latest trial version from adobe.com, but if you do, since the trial version is good for only 30 days, do not install it until the third week of the course.
    • XAMPPWeb server software. XAMPP is a free Linux Web server emulator you can use to test your Web pages. You can download it from: http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html . It comes in both Windows and Mac OS versions.
    • FTP client software: File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, software allows you to upload your Web page files to a Web server. You can perform this function with built-in Windows or Mac utilities, but will find this much easier with an FTP utility. You can download FileZilla for free at: http://filezilla-project.org/ . It comes in both Windows and Mac versions.
  • Webspace: You’ll need a website to which you can upload your assignments. There are several free Web hosting sites available. However, many of them place ads on your pages. This can be very annoying, but if you can live with it, so can I.

 

Books:
Required Book: HTML, CSS and JavaScript Mobile Development for Dummies