Where has Rob gone?

14 03 2013

How do you do;  it’s been a spectacularly long time since I updated this site, in my defence it just isn’t a priority at present and I’ve been very busy…

In 2011 I started http://electrichummingbird.com a Unique Digital Creative Agency and I have been focused on amazing client work, tennis and robots.


As you’ll see from our portfolio http://electrichummingbird.com/portfolio.pdf the digital work we’re producing is light years ahead of this monstrosity of a site and times change so the tech du jour is Node.js and HTML5 with a heavy focus on elegant Responsive web design and solid UX.

If you want to find me, please try there and as ever; I am all over the internet. Thanks for stopping by.




P.S All you Dev’s out there – keep on rocking in the free world!

Worrying harbinger of robotic doom

21 01 2011

Those who know me know that I like Robots and occasionally aspire to make some and tinker about with them. I also read lots of blogs about robotics and technology. Follow me on Twitter if you’re interested in such matters. Today I was watching this amazing video about carnivorous robots that hunt insects and then consume them to create power with which to fuel themselves


This tale of terror transcends even the hunter killers of the Skynet ouevre though; today I got a glimpse of the future and it does not look good for me. Imagine my fear when I saw the terrifying and uncanny prophetic logo of the site I was on!

get Rob(o) uncanny logo

I’m afraid it looks like I am destined to end up on this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_inventors_killed_by_their_own_inventions


Err, just what exactly is PixelBender?

13 02 2009

 Pixel BenderBeen trying to work this out and it seems it’s basically a way of delegating computationally expensive tasks to a hybrid of GPU & CPU so you can take advantage of the local machines hardware better to extend how hardcore you can make client side computations in Flash Player/AIR runtime.

These slides did a better job of explaining than most: http://llvm.org/devmtg/2008-08/Rose_AdobePixelBender.pdf

Main things I’ve discovered:

- What isn’t apparent from the name is that is not restricted to graphics/video processing – you can do any Maths process with this for example manipulating audio live in real time in ways you can’t currently do e.g. proper DSP operations with float4 low level datatypes

- Creating a new PixelBenderJob via AS3 actually creates a new processor thread (confirmed to me at Flash On The Beach by Lee Brimelow) so effectively FP10 is capable of multithreaded applications in the same way Java is, it’s just that noone has got it working yet as far as I know…

I wonder how long it takes the ridiculously clever folks over at Hobnox, Alternativa, Papervision, Flint, Away3D etc to grab this or whether some other PJB wizard will create some next gen tools in this that may supercede their work in the 3D/Particle and audio DSP spaces where GPU’s are at their most useful?

I haven’t got any spare time as I’ve too many research projects on at the mo already (good times) but hopefully will get a chance to nose further at this soon…

Good links in the meantime:

Good weekend all

[code lang="actionscript"]EDIT[/code]

Just spotted this from the guys at BigSpaceship http://labs.bigspaceship.com/2009/02/12/3s-vs-3d/ top stats and a very interesting comment from UnitZeroOne regarding the future of Papervision :)

Senocular’s ‘AS3 tip of the day’, cheers

11 02 2009

SenocularI find this blog over on Kirupa so consistently useful I thought I’d send it some link love. Senocular mate, you are a legend. “AS3 tip of the day” is invaluable


Mucho obrigado

Flex Builder 3 lives! (Once I solved ‘Flex builder cannot locate the required version of Flash Player. You might need to install Flash Player 9 or reinstall Flex Builder’ error)

26 06 2008

So I just managed to finally install Flex Builder 3 which is quite exciting and may even deserve a whoop :)
Flex Builder 3

It’s been a while since I did a good ‘Hello World’ app so all good. I spent ages meddling about with my Flash Players (I already had the debug versions so I could have FlashTracer installed with Firefox 3) but when I went to run my app I got this error:

“Flex builder cannot locate the required version of Flash Player. You might need to install Flash Player 9 or reinstall Flex Builder” when I tried to run a perfectly acceptable bit of Hello World action:

[code lang="actionscript"]


Flex builder cannot locate the required version of Flash Player. You might need to install Flash Player 9 or reinstall Flex Builder

It turns out this is because Firefox 3 is not suported by the Flex debugger. This is all documentewd nicely by the nice chaps over at Adobe who are working on it…


There’s a lot of guys on there saying the plugins are at fualt but I removed all of mine (Charles, ColorZilla, Firebug, the lot) restarted and rebooted & it still didn’t work). Only fix I could find is to use IE as the default browser for debugging. To set this up in the Flex GUI go:

Flex>Window>Preferences>General>Web Browser – Use Internal Web browser (Select IE7 )

Obviously using Ie7  is not great but it’s an acceptable workaround for now so thought I’d share. Hope tis useful

Firefix “Transferring data from www.somesite.com”

9 04 2008

Annoyed by the Firefox loading bar message “Transferring data from www.somesite.com” appearing in your flash sites when you know you’re not in the process of transferring data?

Loading from domain screenshot

Me too – Make sure you are not using null references to clear Levels/MovieClips like this…

[code lang="actionscript"]



and instead use a swf you’ve published with nothing in so that the HTTP request returns a 200 like so…

[code lang="actionscript"]

var assetNULL = "http://www.robmccardle.com/glue/bman/v6/null.swf";


as it’s HTTP requests from within the Flash plug in that do not resolve which cause this to happen ;)