If you are interested in free software and the whole coding portion of flash entertains or you just really dislike the Windows OS I would suggest testing out a distro of Linux.  I have used Ubuntu (a distro of Linux) for a while and have become quite a fan and would switch over completely if it were not for the lack of Autodesk making CAD for it.  Some great features of a linux based operating system are:

  • High level of security (to date there have been no widespread viruses only proof of concepts)
  • Easy to use with lots of free software (including equivalents of MsOffice, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more)
  • High level of customization
  • Stable (unless you install an unstable beta release)

Personally I really like Ubuntu but there are plenty of other ones out there that might suit you better.  If you want to their is a quiz that tells you which versions are good for you.

Quick warning: you can do bad things if you are not careful while installing Linux so make sure to back up your files (though you should have done this anyways).  Most of the more common installations allow you to install Linux as a second operating system so you can boot in both Windows (or Mac) and Linux but if you are not careful the installers can wipe your hard drive and leave you with only Linux (may not be so bad though to get rid of Windows).

Microsoft Silverlight

After watching the Microsoft videos and also trying to figure out how to implement realtime interaction in 3D in flash. I stumbled uponMicrosoft Silverlight. It is an application similar to flash and its free. It allows the use of video, music, and 3d manipulation all in the the same interface that is also searchable by the google machine.

suggested topic + reading: revisting Rules of Play

Game and interactivity designers + scholars, Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman have written a fantastic book called Rules of Play. I highly recommend the book to anybody interested in the topic. While their objective is to interrogate the world of play and games, much of the prose is appropriate for design in general.

Unit 1: Section 3, Meaningful Play, pg 31-37

Unit1: Section 4, Design, pg 39-47

Unit1: Section 5, Systems, 49-55

Unit1: Section 6, Interactivity, 57-69

IIT students can access the entire book through, books 24×7 online … Here

Suggested Topic + Reading: Lev Manovich’s “Generation Flash”

In 2002 Lev Manovich wrote an essay targeted at the increasing emergence of flash media.  Please read the essay Generation Flash.  Appropriate blog post’s might discuss the relevance of the essay today and provide examples and commentary of flash artists, projects, or catastrophes that relate.

Adaptive Building Skins

I work in this office with the great books around and get to meet all the interesting great engineers and architects that filter in day by day. One particular gentlemen came in for lunch looking to give a lecture at IIT from the new merger of Happold and Hobermann. I do not know of the lecture date or if it will be happening as the request has just been submitted. Either way I was noticing that they have interactive tool , in which you can load animations of mock designs on their website. It is a flash document so definitely relative to our class. I am not sure how they coded it but it is relatively a simple set of images. If I were to try to do this I would render the images and choices and then que them to buttons as we learned in class. Then I would author some animations and load them as playable movie clips. Anyhow definitely a good interactive tool to sell your design ideas.

Adaptive Building Skins