Andrew Odri

Padlock Workstation

This is just a little tip for anyone who has recently switched from Windows to Mac OS X and was wondering where the “Lock Workstation” shortcut went. This shows you how to set up a timeout using the screen saver as well.

  1. Go to the  (Apple) menu, and select the System Preferences… menu item.
  2. Click on the Desktop & Screen Saver item, and select a screen saver. This is required if you would like to lock the screen after a timeout.
  3. Open Finder, and navigate to Applications ยป Utilities, and open Keychain Access.
  4. Go to the Keychain Access menu, and select the Preferences… menu item.
  5. Ensure that Show Status in Menu Bar is checked.

You should now see a little padlock in menu bar close to the clock. When you click this, and menu will drop down, and the first menu item Lock Screen will allow you to do just that.

Now if you would like to lock the screen on a time out, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the  (Padlock) menu, and select the Open Security Preferences… menu item.
  2. Ensure that Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver is checked.

Unfortunately there is no keyboard shortcut for locking a workstation, and there is no way – at this time at least – to set up a shortcut to perform this particular function.


Sun xVM VirtualBox

UPDATE: Adobe recently released BrowserLab … If you want a fast method of previewing your sites on different versions of IE running on different OSes, you might want to check it out :)

After recently weening myself off Windows and on to Mac OS X – and deleting my Windows partition – it became pretty clear that if I would need some method of running Internet Explorer on my Mac if I wanted to continue doing web development with any kind of success. After a bit of Googling, a bit of testing, and healthy dose of “issues”, I have come up with a fast, stable – and best of all free – method of running IE6, IE7 and IE8 simultaneously on my Intel Mac legally. Read more »


Konductor Website

If you haven’t seen it already, check out the fancy new Konductor website. We’ve implemented the beautiful design that Casey did for us, and we have also added a bunch of new content as well. If you were wanting a little more information on who Konductor is targeted at, and what it brings to the table, make sure you take a peek. The new site is also running on Konductor, so check it out if you want to get a feel for the type of code it generates.

We also moved the Konductor blog and forums, and we are in the process of making these look pretty too.

The forums are now at http://forums.konductor.net/, rather than http://www.konductor.net/forums/. The new skin is up and looking good :)

The blog is now at http://blog.konductor.net/, rather than http://www.konductor.net/blog/. The new skin will be up in the next couple of weeks.

As far as the application goes, we have made a lot of progress, and we keep getting more and more excited with what we have. This is going to turn a lot of heads when we go live…


Mozilla

XULRunner is a project that has been around since the inception of Firefox, and predates Adobe AIR by quiet a margin. For those who have not really looked into it too much, XULRunner has a lot of similarities to Adobe AIR – it is a cross platform runtime that allows you to run code written in XUL – an XML derivative very similar to HTML.

A little more information: XUL elements add certain features that are required to add things like menus, menu items, toolbars, toolbar buttons and the like into your application, and can be mixed and matched with HTML. XULRunner also exposes extra functions to JavaScript, allowing you to access files on the host computer, read and write from SQLite databases, and do a lot of things that AIR does in this regard.

I haven’t played with XUL a whole lot since AIR came out, as documentation has always fallen behind AIR’s. And performing some advanced functions, like populating a tree component with SQLite results, or manipulating an image, are a little more involved than with AIR.

However, XULRunner has been really branching out to a lot of platform – Windows, Mac OS and Linux support was all there before AIR even came on the scene. There is also SkyOS support, and today the first “pre-alpha” of XULRunner is available for Windows Mobile (codenamed “Fennec”). There are also lightweight ports available for mobile Linux distros, and for Symbian S60.

This really opens a lot of doors for developers – your desktop applications and mobile applications can all share the same codebase. XUL itself is actually quiet nice to write in, and I was always impressed by how it always took advantage of native OS components libraries.

Anyway, I think the XULRunner team deserves very high praise for what they have accomplished – they have always been ahead of the game when with their platform independent runtime, and they are continuing to push support to an impressive array of platforms.


Adobe AIR

I have been writing some applications in AIR that for the first time make extensive use of SQLite. I hit a few roadblocks along the way, so here are a few things that may come in handy if you are using SQLite in AIR for the first time. Read more »


January
28
2009
Categories: miscellaneous

Flex SDK 3.3.0

Now that the new stable is available for download, I would imagine that a new release build isn’t too far off…

You can download the latest version of the SDK here: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/Download+Flex+3

From what I can tell, it mostly comprises of bug fixes – no fancy new functionality seems to have been added. But I guess you will have to find out for yourself by trawling through the nightly release notes (joy :S)… If you find anything noteworthy, let me know, I only noticed a few changes in some of the utility classes.


Don’t worry, the whole links thing won’t become a regular feature of this blog – this is just a roundup of a few things I have wanted to post about recently but just didn’t have the time:

  • There is a cool writeup about Konductor on O’Reilly’s InsideRIA blog (Even though it reads a bit like a blogvertisement in parts, it is very thorough)

  • There a bunch of new videos about Konductor on our Youtube channel – if you want visual and aural updates of Konductor’s progress, then subscribe
  • This one has been blogged to death already, but I am loving Big Spaceship’s Pretty Loaded – I hope they can keep adding new content

It has been a little barren on the blog lately, but I have a few posts I really want to write up about some really cool stuff we are doing with Dreamweaver extension development, so subscribe to the RSS feed and keep your eye open for it if you are into that kind of thing.


December
2
2008
Categories: miscellaneous

I changed the blog theme, so now my blog looks a little more legit. I will be making tweaks to it as I go, but I think now it is a bit of an improvement over the standard WordPress theme that was there initially.

Also, FYI, if you are subscribed using RSS, the feed URL has been changed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/andrewodri. All of your orignal feed links should now be redirecting, however.

Also, I am on an Adobe Developer Connection video. I am the guy who say profound things like “awesome” and “Flash Catalyst”:


November
7
2008
Tags: ,
Categories: miscellaneous

I usually find geeky hip-hop annoying and somewhat embarrassing. This one is not only funny, It’s incredibly informative too. I think it speaks for itself:


http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=a0qMe7Z3EYg&fmt=18


November
6
2008
Categories: konductor

Konductor Sketch

There is an awesome write up on the Teknision blog regarding their work on the Konductor AIR application.

Gabor, John and especially Tony (I am always biased toward the developer :P) have really helped shape Konductor since beginning of the project. We started out with an idea, and, with their experience in planning and developing good UX, along with their ideas and discussions on how to apply AIR’s unique features, Konductor was really brought to life. We now have a slick application that is being rolled out to the public.

Not to sound like a broken record, but if you’re at Adobe MAX this year, come check our booth out. You can play with the application, and talk with Teknision and ourselves to find out how accomplished a lot of this. I’m sure you will be just as excited as we are about it!