Designer/Developer Fiesta – London, 28th September 2012

October 5, 2012

I attended the Designer’s and Developer’s Fiesta which is run by Academy Class – a digital media training company that specialises in Adobe training. It’s a 1-day event for digital creatives, focusing on inspirational sessions and workshops.

As our team are in the progress of shifting our focus and skills on mobile development, I was keen to gain as much knowledge and insight I could.

I focused on attending sessions on mobile development, and this seemed to be a popular theme for the event with most sessions standing room only. There was much discussion on developing for different mobile platforms eg. Apple iPhone/iPad, Blackberry, Android-based phones and tablets. iOS for Apple devices, Android SDK and web apps using HTML5/CSS3/javascript.

Apple – Xcode
Language is Objective C

Language is Objective C


Responsive Design

Designing sites that adapt and respond to different devices – they resize automatically based on screen size of device eg. screen, tablet, mobile


More information:


There were some elearning specific sessions too. A workshop on Articulate Storyline showed the potential of this tool; easy to use and can create interactive resources easily using the in-built library and coding tools. One good feature is the option to create your resources specifically for iOS –  iPhones/iPads. 

Project tin can is replacing SCORM

Adobe Edge Animate  newly launched product that can create interactions and animations. It creates HTML5 resources that can work across different mobile devices.

Mobile technology and innovation

An eye-opening showcase by Scott Seeborn for their pioneering mobile technologies company XS2, showed how mobile technology innovation is being pushed further and further to create some truly amazing apps. Inspiring.



March 4, 2011

A quick browse around for latest tablets currently on the market:

Archos Android tablets

Two sizes available:
–     7” (201 x 114 x 10 mm) £ 234.88
–    10” (270 x 150 x 12 mm) £ 275.74
–    Uses Google Android operating system
–    Supports Flash
–    Has USB port

Samsung Galaxy

–    7” screen
–    £449.00
–    Uses Google Android operating system
–    Supports Flash
–    No USB

Dell Streak

–    5” screen
–    £399.00
–    Uses Google Android operating system
–    Supports Flash
–    Has USB port

Apple iPad2

Not yet released
– £TBA
– 10″ display
– No Flash support
– No USB port

Motorola Xoom

–    Not released until April 2011
–    10” screen
–    £499.00
–    Uses Google Android operating system
–    Supports Flash
–    Has USB port

Blackberry Playbook

Not yet released
– £TBA
– 7″ screen
– Supports Flash
– Has USB port

Virtual Worlds and Gaming for learning

November 24, 2008

Virtual World Watch is ‘Tracking activity in UK universities and colleges’. It’s set up through a collaboration of researchers including ‘Silversprite‘ (aka John Kirriemuir) who writes a great blog on Second Life research and using video games for learning. It’s the future.

This interesting article and videoclips show how a future generation are using new technologies for learning.

And more recently, the Nintendogs DS game is being used to teach pet care – in association with The Dogs Trust (and launched by Girls Aloud, naturally).

Cloud computing Vs Personal storage

October 2, 2008

Cloud computing seems to be the buzzword du jour in the world of technology. Cloud computing is a new concept of computing that uses third party software and storage space provided by companies such as Google or Microsoft, to handle work that would normally be done on your desktop computer.

There’s certainly an interest here at the College to try and utilize this technology and the advantages are numerous: No maintenance, free storage, no software installation, no access restrictions. But while we continue to explore the options of Google Docs and MS Skydrive, there is also a backlash against using this new technology.

This Guardian article has GNU founder Richard Stallman giving his opinion on cloud computing, “It’s stupidity. It’s worse than stupidity: it’s a marketing hype campaign.

It also has Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle saying, “The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do,” he said. “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”

Is cloud computing just a fashionable fad in computing or will it revolutionise the way we use computers?

My main concern is the security of data put in the hands of third party companies, but with an incredible amount of data already out there on personal PCs (emails, bank details) and the increasing gaffs of data security breaches from personal hardware, maybe the ‘safe hands’ of Google would be a better idea?


September 29, 2008

The new wave of smartphones are upon us! We’ll all be GPS-ing, 3G-ing and touchscreen surfing the web on-the-go soon.

Let’s have a quick look at a few on offer:

T-Mobile G1

Caused a big stir when it was launched last week, it’s the first phone to feature Google’s Android operating system. Android was developed by The Open Handset Alliance – a collaboration of developers creating an open and free mobile platform.

Lot’s of people think the phone is ugly – I think it looks solid and functional. What’s more off-putting for me is the geeky nature surrounding the phone (and promoting it).


We all know what this is all about…What I find sad is the amount of awe and wonder with which people treat the phone. People seem to wrap it up in all sorts of protective cases and then touch it like they’re rubbing a precious stone.

Samsung Omnia

A direct competitor to the iPhone, the Omnia is an all singing and dancing touch screen phone with a better hardware spec than it’s rival. Runs Windows Mobile 6.1.

Sony Ericsson Xperia

A rather swish looking touchphone with slideout keyboard (ok, so this phone does make the T-Mobile G1 look like a brick). Features some quirky touch phone features such as the nine panel grid layout.

The website is worth a look if only to hear an odd sounding European woman explain the phone to us (“I just love this giant touchscreen!” and tantalizingly, “I can’t live without my daily dose of celebrity gossip.”).  I’m sold.

Tasty Technology: Virtual keyboard

April 25, 2008

There was a nice bit of kit featured on the Guardian’s Dork Talk page recently. It was the LaserKey CL850 Projection Keyboard, a device that projects a virtual keyboard onto your desk and uses light sensors to detect which ‘keys’ your fingers are tapping.

It’s a bit of sci-fi wizardary come to life.

The device is aimed at the handheld technology market and communicates with your PDA or Blackberry via Bluetooth or USB. This would be a great tool for people like me who find using tiny fiddly, plastic buttons to type anything bigger than a simple text message a bit of a nightmare. It would also enable mobile communication and learning to be taken to the next level – increased accessibility, accuracy and speed for typing on screen.

The only downer about this product is that it’s yet another additional bit of hardware that you need to carry around with you along with your mobile device. If your Blackberry itself could beam out the keyboard then we’d truely be in sci-fi business heaven.

A look at the Eee PC

April 15, 2008

We have had a few Eee Pc’s delivered to the College recently and I was keen to check them out. They look pretty sweet – small, compact and in a clean mighty white colour. Ultra cool. The start up is pretty snappy, then you’re in the Linux interface which here, is a series of big, click-on-me icons. You can’t go wrong. I was impressed by the ease of use of it all – browsing the internet, using the applications and built-in webcam. I recorded some video from the webcam but it saves it in a .ogg file which I’m not sure transfers that well unless you convert it using an encoder (ie, not sure how easy it is to get footage on the web/blogs etc).

A collegue used one at a conference recently to give an up-to-date account of events using a blog. The webcam was used to interview people, get their opinions and capture their image. It worked really well.

BBC iPlayer for iPod

March 13, 2008

It’s great news to hear that the BBC has launched a version of it’s excellent iPlayer for the iPhone/Touch. I regularly use the iPlayer to catch up on tv shows I’ve missed or to check out what goes on on the digital channels (can’t get digital in my flat).

You can stream programs for 6 days after they have been broadcast or choose to download the program and view and keep it for 30 days (although at 600Mb to download, it seems a bit arduous).

I’m all the more tempted to get an ipod Touch now.


The decision minefield of choosing an iPod

February 19, 2008

I’ve been without an MP3 player for a while now, and while I can’t say I miss it that much, it would be nice to have something to start storing my music on and maybe some video. I don’t really agree with walking round with music blasting in your ears all the time, but it would be handy for train journeys and travel. Inevitably I’d probably go for an iPod, but looking at the range available, it’s a tricky choice to make on selecting the most suitable product.

The new iPod Touch 32Gb is an attractive step up in their Touch range. The 8Gb and 16Gb versions have never offered enough memory, especially as the Touch is designed not only for storing music but photos and video too. The apps were also a bit naff compared to what its big brother—the iPhone—could offer. But now as well as the memory increase, Apple have done the right thing and included improved and increased apps for the Touch. But at £329 for the 32Gb version, that’s a lot of money; you could get a iPhone for £269.

iPod nano is too small in memory and to be honest, a bit too cutesy and girl-orientated for my tastes.

So the iPod Classic is surely the winning contender. At 80Gb it has ample space for music, video and photos. So what’s the problem? Well, the thing about the Classic is that it now all looks rather dated compared to other Apple products such as the Touch and iPhone. It uses a bulky hard drive instead of Flash memory, has a small screen size and uses the famous jog wheel which by today’s standards already seems retro. Let’s face it, touch-screen interfaces are the future along with bigger screens for video and internet and of course wi-fi.

Ideally, my iPod of choice would be an 80Gb Touch (at a reasonable price), which by the rate at which Apple are releasing new products, might come sooner than expected.


Portable laptops

February 8, 2008

Stephen Fry was talking about something interesting the other day on his enjoyable technology blog he writes for the Guardian. It was all about the Asus EEE PC, a small ‘portable’ laptop that uses a simple 4Gb Flash hard drive and Linux software amongst other things. Anyway, this basically means that this laptop is robust and has no vunerable moving parts but has no CD drive and can just perform the most basic of functions (wi-fi internet, simple apps). The EEE is also cheap at around £200.

I was thinking how this bit of kit could be useful:

1. Schools/Colleges
Where, instead of the traditional IT suites and computer centres, the students are each issued with something like the EEE which they then use for study and internet access via the central wi-fi in the building. No more costly IT maintenance and system updating or using limited-supply computers.

2. Travel/Backpackers
There’s an increasing market for travel orientated technology. Whether it be gap year students or backpackers, everyone depends on email communication back home as well as logging their adventures on a blog or similar. There’s also the need for digital photo management. A bigger issue is money management and fear of identity theft. Online banking is ideal for travellers but having a personal, truely portable computer with them for this purpose is the safest way to avoid scams in dodgy internet cafes.

It would be good to know what other people think of hardware like the EEE and the Linux operating system (ie. people with more technical knowledge than me!)


Update (11/02/08) – Looks like thoughts are being put into action from the sound of this news item.