Tag Archives: Windows

Setting up your own flash project for free.

OK, so I am not the best person in the world in terms of finishing things off. I start a project, get somewhere (so it is doing something vaguely useful) and then forget entirely about it and leave it to rot.

But one idea that I keep coming back to is a particular project in flash (no details until I release a beta, when you will get a link and be able to see all the code), and I have installed the CS4 demo (30 day trial) that one is allowed to use to test out CS4 before purchase, and I am now in a race against the clock to finish it off before my trial expires!

I am familiar with CS4, as I use it at work, so I have a much shorter ramp-up curve than anyone else just joining in the fun (I will make available some documentation on ActionScript 3 soon, when I get around to finishing off my KB website for developers), but I hope that someone else might be up for “trying to make something in flash in 30 days”, so here are rough steps for setting up the dev environment (I’m assuming windows here, but they should work similarly on Mac OS X):

  • Go to the Adobe website and find the page to purchase Flash CS4.
  • Click on the “Try” link next to buy and upgrade, and sign up for an adobe account. Don’t worry about the fact that they have your email address, or use your “spare” account if you have one; I have never had any spam from Adobe after signing up for this.
  • Install the silly little download manager and obtain the installer. before you run it, make sure you check the following:
    1. Remove any external HDDs, USB sticks or truecrypt or linux volumes you have mounted by some magic or other. The system optimiser that runs at the start of the install process tanks if it finds any weirdness on any FS it can see.
    2. Make sure you have the latest graphics card drivers installed before you run the install; CS4 is pretty hefty as UIs go (entirely custom and native to Windows) so that CS4 optimises itself properly for your computer and isn’t painfully slow.
  • Finally, when you get to the License part of the installer, choose “I want to try for 30 days”.

Now enjoy the CS4 goodness! Make sure you use ActionScript 3 not 2 when making your applications (AS3 is much more stable, better structured and generally a bit more of a proper programming language), even if you are just going to do most stuff by drag and dropping images and components into place.

Happy flashing!

Windows 7 installation – what to watch out for!

The thing I liked about the Vista/7 activation system was that it let you “try before you buy”, much like many of the laptops that come with 60 day Office 2007 trials. You can load all your old files, install all your favourite programs and see how well they work, and so on. Unfortunately, with Windows 7, I have found that this is not the whole story with delayed activation; let me tell you how I broke it!

If you are doing the above for testing purposes, but are fully intending to activate the machine assuming there are no problems, then you won’t enter your key when you install (just in case windows sneakily activates before you are happy, and then there’s a problem).

However, the standard install disk for Windows 7 has all the different editions in there, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and so on. It actually chooses which version to install based on the key you enter; if, like me when testing, you don’t enter one, it installs ultimate, which means that the home premium/professional license you have will fail to activate with a “you must buy a Windows 7 Ultimate license” warning.

Gah! So how do you downgrade your new installation (which you just spent ages configuring, installing all your games, building cygwin, and generally massaging into a usable windows install)? Oh bad luck, you can’t! You have to reinstall from scratch!

Now on that thread it says the disk will let you choose – not so my friend! There are no warnings (or if they are then I missed them in 2 RC installs and 2 final version ones)!

So just in case you are installing in a testing environment that might become a proper environment in the future – make sure you can activate before you invest too much of your life setting up the machine!