Tom Ortega II

Archive for the ‘Technology and Software’ Category

The Life Cycle of Commerce

In Business, Technology and Software on December 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

TL;DR

Commerce has a life cycle just like human life does. Our world is full of patterns that oft repeat, why should commerce be any different? We started with bazaars and villages, then shops and cities, then department stores and metropolises, then malls/big box stores and suburbs, and finally (I predict) a return to the bazaar and village lifestyle with a technology twist.

I see the traditional retail model ending. Recently, we saw enclosed malls die off in 2006. Next, it was big box stores (sans food retailers) in 2013. With the explosion of home based businesses in 2016, the future is very clear. The bazaars of old where vendors congregated to meet consumers will make a comeback with a spin: No longer will either party have to go anywhere because the bazaars will be rise from suburban neighborhoods via home based businesses. Much like Amazon is a software driven business, so too will these new bazaars be driven by modern software. The difference is that instead of one software platform to serve them all (as in Amazon’s case), these new bazaars will be driven by a hodgepodge of various mobile apps and complimentary platforms, mimicking the diverse makeup of the new industry they will serve. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple Watch: Tracking Your Life, Not the Time

In Technology and Software on June 1, 2015 at 9:07 am

IMG_8808

The Evidence

For those of you who think the Apple watch is just a fad and will pass, you’re missing the big picture that it’s no more a fancy watch than the iPhone is no more a fancy phone. I bet 1% of your iPhone usage is making regular voice calls. Apps are the killer feature of your iPhone. It’s the reason it’s indispensable to you even though you didn’t know you needed apps before you had it. Continuously up to date biometric information will become just as indispensable even though you don’t think so yet. Read the rest of this entry »

Bye Twitter

In Technology and Software on December 10, 2012 at 7:26 am
"Twitter, you're dead to me."

“Twitter, you’re dead to me.”

I have another post in draft that I’m working on, but I needed to get this out of the way pronto.

I was with twitter for quite sometime, but realized that they’re not really here for me. They’re here to make money off of selling my data to advertisers. That’s cool. That’s their biz and I can’t blame them for trying to make a buck. I run my own business, I know how that goes.

However, I don’t like it nor the way they treat 3rd party developers. Therefore, I signed up for App.Net, which is an alternative to twitter that you pay for. The purpose of paying is so App.net knows who its serving: you – the user, not them – the advertisers. I like the idea, so I paid for it awhile back while it was prelaunching. Thing is, I never gave up the twitter.

Shame on me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on Adobe vs Apple from a guy standing between them both

In Adobe, AIR, Apple, Business, C++, Flash*Flex*AS, Kindle, Mobile Platforms, Playstation3, Programming, Technology and Software, Video Games on April 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I’m a developer.  I’m an entrepreneur. No company is responsible for my success or my downfall.  I am responsible for seeing the industry and (re)acting accordingly. As a developer, I know the pains of learning new technologies. As an entrepreneur, I know the pains of someone trying to tell me how to run my business.

Apple won the RIA War without ever joining the battle

Just about a year ago, I was chatting on the phone with Steve Weiss of O’Reilly Media.  I made a statement to him then and, sadly, never made any noise about it.  I think I held back the noise because I have a long relationship of working with Adobe and their products. I didn’t want to admit that I was probably right, so I said the statement, felt the pain of its truthfulness and tried to forget it.  The statement was simple:

“Adobe and Microsoft are trying to push this RIA term.  They’re trying to convince the world that this is a technology they want and need. They’re each trying to instill their own vision of that world: Adobe with Flash/AIR and Microsoft with Silverlight. The one thing that everyone’s missing is this: Apple has already won. iPhone apps are THE most widely used Rich Internet Apps.  Apple has silently won the war and no one’s even noticed. All they have to do is enable iPhone apps to run via Safari (for cross-platform support) and they’ll have crushed both Adobe and Microsoft’s dreams.” That last bit I was off.  Rather than upgrading the iPhone apps to the Mac, they upgraded the size of iPhone OS device and created the iPad.

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Points of Future via MAX keynote

In Adobe, Business, Flash*Flex*AS, Ideas, MAX, Mobile Platforms, Technology and Software on October 5, 2009 at 3:40 pm

There are many ideas being presented today.  I’ll try to highlight a few and also add some personal thoughts.

The youth of today are important.  It’s important to provide them the tools they need to express themselves, or else they’ll find other ways.  To kick off the show with some of today’s creative youth was awesome.

Content is no longer one sided.  One point hinted out early on is that content is no longer the domain of one group.  Today’s web users are just as excited to create content as they are to consume it.  You need to plan for that fact.

It’s important to not just build great websites or ads, but to also know how your customers think and behave.  I know that I would like sites to be smarter about me.  I’m tired having to re-explain myself to each website/company.

The next point is that full version Flash is coming everywhere: desktops, netbooks, smartphones and TVs.  The biggest problem was RAM usage.  It’s a true dilemma for Adobe and device manufactures.  I, as a techie, realize that devices and computers aren’t equal in power and ram.  However, my mom doesn’t understand that.  Most of the public just assume that a machine is a machine.

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I LOVE my Kindle. Here’s why:

In Creative Writing, Kids, Kindle, Technology and Software on April 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm

6 things that have impacted my life greatly

6 Things That Have Impacted My Life Greatly

I’ve been holding off writing this post, because I wanted to make sure it was true.  I didn’t want to give a false start on my new found gadget relationship.  I have to admit though, I’m thoroughly smitten with my Kindle.

Before you eBook haters/book lovers dismiss this, hear me out.  I was once among your numbers.  I have hundreds of books.  I love them, hardbacks and 1st editions.  Signed…meh.   But gimme a nicely bound, small press edition of one of my favorite authors and I’m in heaven.  I even have some books in bulk, because I wear them out by reading them too much.  I’ve proven my case.  I’m one of you, and there will always be a place in my heart for the printed book.  However, I must come clean.  The majority of my book purchases will now be on the Kindle. Read the rest of this entry »

Flex code (read: my Tic-Tac-Toe game) on my Playstation 3!

In Flash*Flex*AS, Playstation3, Programming, Technology and Software, Uncategorized, Video Games on December 3, 2008 at 10:08 am

You fair readers of my blog may remember a post from waaaaaay back in the day entitled Playstation 3.  In it, I talk about being excited to run Flex Apps on my PS3.  Sadly, my pretty HD console only ran Flash Player 7, so Flex was not an option.  At MAX, I saw a big fat PS3 image and was hoping that Kevin Lynch would say, “Flash Player 9 is now on the Playstation 3!”  He didn’t so I assumed it wasn’t yet.  Then Renaun posted this!  Adobe has issues about making noise sometimes.  How did the blogosphere not light up on this news?  Well, maybe it did, but I somehow missed it.

Naturally, I went and did what the PS3 was meant to do: Play a game!  In this case, it was my very own Tic-Tac-Toe game.  Check it out!

Read the rest of this entry »

Building Games with Flex: Tic-Tac-Toe V1 Code Explained Pt 2

In Flash*Flex*AS, Game Programming, Programming, Technology and Software, Video Games on October 3, 2008 at 8:24 am

In my last post, I explained my logic/thinking behind 2 of the 3 files that make up Tic-Tac-Toe V1: Main.mxml and GamePiece.mxmlClick here to play the game (right click to view/download the source).  In this post, I’ll breakdown the remaining piece.

GameBoard.mxml
This piece is the real workhorse of the game.  It houses not only the board where the pieces are laid out, but also the game logic itself.

Was that the best decision?

Probably not.  If I wanted to swap out the game rules but keep the same pieces, I couldn’t do that.  It’s not so common with Tic-Tac-Toe, but think of a card game.  One deck of 52 cards can play an almost infinite number of games.  Would it make much sense to put the Solitaire logic right inside the CardDeck class file?  Nope, it surely wouldn’t.  I was in a hurry though so I did. Read the rest of this entry »

Building Games with Flex: Tic-Tac-Toe V1 Code Explained Pt 1

In Flash*Flex*AS, Game Programming, Programming, Technology and Software, Video Games on September 30, 2008 at 8:37 am

Part of my goals with these posts is teaching Flex for those just getting started.  What better way to learn Flex than by building a game of Tic-Tac-Toe.  Code is code and lessons can be learned/shared despite the final output.  You’ll (hopefully) learn tricks and methodologies for helping you code non-game projects via the code that I share and explain in this series.

There are  3 files that make up the complete game (right click to view/download the source) :

  1. Main.mxml – This has the Application tag
  2. GamePiece.mxml – This is the X/O game piece
  3. GameBoard.mxml – This is the tic-tac-toe gameboard

I’ll go over the 3 files, explaining logic on why/what from both the Flex and gaming perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

Building Games with Flex: Tic-Tac-Toe Version 1

In Flash*Flex*AS, Game Programming, Programming, Technology and Software, Video Games on September 25, 2008 at 9:16 am

Getting Started

Note,  while this isn’t anything like PlayCrafter, it is my small step into the huge world that is game making.  To get into gaming, I figured it would be best to start with the language I use day in and out: Adobe Flex.  To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I coded just for fun with Flex.  Most non-Workday Flex code I’ve built on my own time has been for 360Conferences, for some technical training/presentation or for my articles on Adobe’s sites.  I forgot just how fun programming can be.

I set out late Friday night/early Saturday morning with one goal:  Exit the weekend with a working version of a game.  I didn’t want to put much game theory in.  I didn’t want to OOP the heck out of the code.  I just wanted to build something that I could play and post on the net to share. Read the rest of this entry »