Erik’s Brain

The reward of a thing well done...

Max OS X Dashboard Widget Font All Wrong

I recently (as in, yesterday) moved over from an iMac to a MacBook Pro. OS X is generally pretty good about moving all of your files and settings over for you. But there are some hiccups in the process and one that I just found has to do with the font used on the Dashboard Widgets. Earlier today I hit F12 to bring up the dashboard and some of the widgets looked wrong wrong wrong. See for yourself:

widgets gone wild

FLV Bitrate Capped?

I’ve got this beautiful QuickTime movie I need to convert to an FLV so that I can embed it into the Flash timeline. The source movie is, like I said, beautiful. 500x500px, 2 seconds long, and a whopping 15.5MB. With a file size like that, you’d expect it to look good. Also, for what it’s worth, the clip has an alpha channel baked into it and was created in some sort of 3D program (Maya or 3DS Max, I think).

Problem is, the FLVs that Adobe Media Encoder is turning out look pretty much like crap.

Error #2121 When Loading External SWF

I’m running into an issue that goes a little something like this:

  • I have an external SWF that I’m loading into another parent SWF
  • The external SWF is simply a still image I created from a PNG using Fireworks CS3
  • I package up the parent SWF and external SWF and send it to another computer
  • When loading the external SWF with a Loader, I get the following message when trying to access the loader.contentLoaderInfo.content property within the Loader’s Event.INIT listener:
SecurityError: Error #2121: Security sandbox violation:
LoaderInfo.content: file:///Users/erikhansen/Desktop/SWF Loader Test/swf_loader.swf cannot access file:///Users/erikhansen/Desktop/SWF Loader Test/from_fireworks.swf. This may be worked around by calling Security.allowDomain.

Some more info that I know:

  • This works just fine when posted to a web server
  • This will also work without throwing an error if I create the external SWF with Flash (which will just make the whole process of making SWFs from PNGs even a bigger pain in the ass than it already is)
  • If I want, I could just add the Loader directly to the stage, but there are times that I need access to the loader.contentLoaderInfo.content property

So I’m trying to figure out a way around this problem. It usually isn’t a problem at all since, like I said, it works fine when being loaded from a web server. But it is a problem when I send a project to a client and they can’t view it on their computer. Hmm…

No solution yet. Maybe you know something I don’t.

OCZ Vertex SSD

I’m pretty excited that solid state drives are finally living up their promises. A good review of the new OCZ Vertex SSD at

Hopefully by the time I get a 17" MBP, there will be a 512GB option.


Visual Effects Weirdness in Mac OS X

I almost made a post today about some issues I was having with my iMac. I had just noticed that the visual effects/graphics on my last generatio top-of-the-line iMac was performing under my expectations. Now, this isn’t a new machine. I’ve had it since October. But recently I noticed that certain things weren’t looking as smooth as I expected or as smooth as they used to look. Two examples:

Hide the Flash CS4 Pixel Grid

You know how when you zoom in far enough in Flash CS4 that tiny “pixel grid” shows up? It’s a nice feature, but I don’t always want to see it. Turns out getting it to go away is as simple as deselecting: View > Snapping > Snap to Pixels

It took me more than 30 seconds to figure it out so I thought I’d share.

Adobe Error 150:30 (and How to Fix It) a.k.a. I Hate Adobe - Reason 34

NOTE Check out the bottom of this post for some updates to possible solutions, including how to fix this problem under OS X 10.7 Lion

I fired up Photoshop today and was greeted by this message:

Same thing when I started Flash. Awesome… Keep in mind my Mac has been on for days and hasn’t had any other problems. I really hadn’t done anything strange to break something. And I’m sure I’d used an Adobe product yesterday.

Rebooting, of course, didn’t fix anything.

Looking for help on Adobe’s forum didn’t help.

But Google did.

My 24 Hours With the Kindle

I was a Kindle 2 owner. For a day.

I love technology. That was almost enough for me to want to try it. Then I was reading about the really nice highlighting and annotation features of the Kindle and that got me really excited. The fact that a lot more tech books are available on the Kindle was another plus. The ability to get free previews put me over the edge. I ordered it Monday afternoon and it showed up Tuesday. I was so excited I paid the $3.99 for overnight shipping.

It arrived and I was immediately unimpressed. Amazon did their best Apple packaging impression, but it came off as feeling kind of cheap. The Kindle itself also came off as feeling kind cheap. The nav buttons on the sides of the Kindle were actually quite bad. They required too much pressure to press and the NEXT PAGE button clicked horribly. It got to the point that I cringed when I had to press it. Amazon wants it to disappear when you read on it. That clicking sound is a great way to bring you back to reality.

Another big knock is that the screen is so slow that it makes the entire product feel very unresponsive. Simply moving the cursor around the screen can be a trying experience. Navigating from a book to its TOC and through the TOC is painful. You certainly can’t skim through a book. I realize that’s a limitation of the screen technology. And, for text, the screen is GREAT to look at. But the simple fact is that the redraw lag was a hug deal breaker for me.

I love the idea of e-books, but I really don’t like reading them on a computer or laptop and my iPhone screen is just too small for make e-book reading much fun. The iPhone Kindle app also lacks the ability to highlight and annotate, which is a drag. The bottom line is that I’m simply not the target audience for the Kindle. If I read a ton more fiction and linear non-fiction it would be a different story. And if I traveled, I’d probably be all over it. They really do need to work on the feel of it, though. That clicky NEXT button was a nightmare.