I wrote about BrowserLab here on Suburbia back when it launched in 2009, at the time it was one of very few web apps that let you preview websites in different browser / OS combinations. But things have moved on a lot since then with new services such as BrowserStack and Sauce which offer the much more compelling feature-set of being able to use live virtual machines accessed through your browser in order to use and test sites rather than just static screenshots.
BrowserLab has languished a bit for a while with very few desktop browser options and nothing to offer in the increasingly important areas of mobile and tablet device testing, in light of this Adobe seems to have decided that it's better to kill it off instead of languish any further. Although some may be disappointed in this decision I had already 'jumped ship' and started using BrowserStack instead (as per my recent post) so it doesn't affect my own workflow.
I made this as a little experiment in self-filming with my iPhone, there was no-one else at my local skatepark late one night.
I thought it would be fun to try a multi-angle shoot of a rolling carve line around the park.
Like many web design / developers I've made use of virtualisation applications like VirtualBox, Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion for Mac in order to test websites in the various versions of Internet Explorer. Using these apps requires buying the relevant Windows licences for the various virtual machines and also the overhead of keeping these current with the latest OS updates and browser / plugin updates too.
However, I recently did a fresh install of OSX on my Mac and decided just to remove all of the virtual machines due to the amount of space they used and had every intention of installing them all fresh and continuing to work that way. But due to project demands at work I had no time to do it and decided to look around for alternative ways to do some testing as I needed to do it for a project. I had previously used Adobe's BrowserLab tool for quick static testing for layout issues in browsers but I needed something that let me browse sites and actually interact with the pages, and that's where BrowserStack fits the bill perfectly.
It doesn't take a genius to note that mobile devices are pretty much overtaking the web, and that a huge amount of people – the majority depending on the statistics you pay attention to – are accessing the web via a mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad or other smartphone / tablet.
As such there has been a huge buzz about responsive design and how to make sites adapt well between a range of screen sizes and resolutions, and moving away from the concept of a fixed size of screen such as the ubiquitous 960 pixel grid framework. One of the biggest challenges in this new era of web design and development has been the lack of good tools to aid you in the process of creating responsive, adaptive websites.
Along with a gazillion other people around the Globe I upgraded my iPhone to the new iOS 6 software that just came out, everything worked fine during the upgrade but afterwards both myself and my work colleague found that our iPhone voicemail no longer worked.
In this case my iPhone is on the UK's Orange network (soon to be known as EE) which along with every other carrier apart from O2 doesn't give you the nice Visual Voicemail the way that Apple intended. Instead voicemail is accessed just like any other mobile phone since the 1990's by pressing a voicemail button which then dials a number and you then access the voicemail by pressing numbers on the keypad.
I wrote a post "My thoughts on Adobe Edge" back in August last year which looked at Edge Preview 1 where I was mainly interested in seeing how the output of Edge compared with Flash in capability, size and efficiency.
Since then Adobe have been regularly updating the Preview releases for Edge and have just released Adobe Edge Preview 5, since the initial Preview 1 release – which was pretty bare bones in regard to functionality – they have added a lot of new functionality.
I've written quite a few posts about the various products that the guys over at Shedworx develop and that have been useful to me whilst working with video (AVCHD video in particular!). They've written a couple of articles which are great primers for people new to working with audio and video.
The articles explain the various aspects of audio and video such as Codecs and Bit Rates and are well worth reading, especially if you've never given much consideration to the output of your video or audio and have just gone for defaults in apps such as iMovie etc. Even if you've been working in these areas and have a good knowledge of this stuff they're still worth a read.
I've been getting more and more bugged by people referring to the next iPhone as being the "iPhone 5", so I thought I'd make this simple graphic to explain why numerically it makes no sense for the next iPhone to be referred to as number 5!
This free app from the guys at Shedworx has worked out pretty handily for me just recently as it's got one capability that I've needed just recently. I needed to convert downloaded FLV files from archived UStream recordings and extract the audio out of it in order to make a podcast file.
UStream FLV file conversion is definitely a really handy feature, dealing with FLV files can be a bit problematic at times as not many apps will let you open them and do much with them. Quicktime on Mac doesn't handle them by default so unless you install something like Perian you can't really play them back without using a third party app like VLC.
I just had to set up an SSL certificate for a client site and encountered really poor documentation trying to get it up and running. Whether the documentation was just presuming some other prior knowledge that I didn’t have I’m not sure, but I thought I’d document what I did to resolve it. If nothing else I can come back to this myself in future to remind myself but perhaps it will be of use to someone else.
Server configuration & SSL Certificate:
My server is a VPS running Plesk 9.5.4, the SSL certificate I was installing in this case was a GeoTrust QuickSSL Premium certificate. I don’t think there will be too much difference with other certificate providers, however the installation process in Plesk is quite specific so these instructions won’t necessarily be that helpful if you’re not using Plesk.