Right shoulder-cam at two skateparks

Ever wonder what my shoulder looks like when I skateboard?  Today is your lucky day.  I took my ReplayXD to the skateparks this weekend and came home with some great shoulder footage.  I’m trying to find a good downward angle to capture my feet and board.

Here is my shoulder at Discovery Park in Wheat Ridge.

Here is my shoulder at the new Northglenn Skatepark

It’s time for Ignite Denver 9, get your tickets now

UPDATE : here I am talking crazy at Ignite Denver 9

This Tuesday, June 21st is Ignite Denver 9, and I was selected to speak!.  My talks is a ten point list of things to help you stop being dumb at computers.  This Ignite Denver is going to be a lot of fun.  It was our first time having a practice run prior to the big event.  I’m excited to see how this practice effects the talks.  I’ll tell you my final slide deck is much better than the one I took to practice.

Here is an image and video I found while putting my talk together.  Hope to see you Tuedsay at Ignite Denver.

Far out solid and right on Bob

Five screencasting options for OS X

I recently asked for some screencasting advice and wanted to put this list up for future reference.  I ended up using Jing Free for my particular assignment, but typically use screentoaster.com since it’s free, cross platform, and web based.


Price : $99.00

URL : http://www.telestream.net/screen-flow/

Notes : ScreenFlow looks freaking amazing.  If I had to do regular screencasting, I would spend the $99 to get this application.  It appears to do, save, and export everything.  This is the best solution for any professional screencaster.

Snapz Pro X

Price : $69.00

URL : http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/snapzprox/

Notes : If I was going to pay money for a screencast app, it would be ScreenFlow.  However, I do use Ambrosia Soft’s Wiretap Studio, so I know they make great software.  If $30 is enough to affect your decision, I would highly recommend looking at this before ScreenFlow.

Jing Free

Price : free

URL : http://www.jingproject.com/features/

Notes : Jing Free is pretty sweet, but only captures a maximum of five minutes of video.  For my assignment that ended up being good so I could keep my videos short.  The pay service looks really helpful for sharing captures ( images, videos, etc ), but I just can’t justify signing up for this yet.

Silverback App

Price : $69.95

URL : http://silverbackapp.com/

Notes : This capturing app is geared towards taking videos for usability studies.  This is a really cool application that I’d take a closer look if I wasn’t such a server side programmer.  Be sure to watch the demo, it’s a really cool application, just not good for what I was doing.


Price : FREE

URL : http://www.screentoaster.com

Notes : This is a free web based screen recording service that I use fairly often.  You can’t beat free, and this will run on your MAC or PC since it’s browser based.  Definitely worth a look if you need something quick and want to sharing capabilities.

How would you like some TV with that soup.io?

I often forget about soup.io‘s TV feature.  This is one of the coolest features I’ve seen on today’s modern social – micro blog – services.  It’s a TV station built out of videos you’ve tweeted or posted to your soup.io account.  Here is my soup.io / TV station.

Click image to launch http://ericfickes.soup.io/tv

From joke to AdobeMAX in 6 months

Hey, we should jam! Yeah, we totally should. No seriously, we should jam sometime. We can play bad 80s cover songs and play under the name April Fools.

That’s the gist of how my current band formed. A handful of computer programmers who used to play in bands decided it was time to get back on the music horse. At first we had five or so people interested in jamming and seeing where things go. A few jams later and we were down to the power trio that is now known as The Compilers.

The name of the group didn’t come around until a month or so after we had been jamming as the April Fool’s.  All three of us are internet programmers who work with Adobe’s Flash platform, as well as contribute to our local Adobe community.  About the time we officially became a power trio we were kicking around the idea of becoming the house band for our local user group meetings ( RMAUG ).  In the process of laughing this one out, we were asked by RMAUG to play an upcoming Adobe technical event that was happening in two weeks.  That technical event was the “Next Generation Flex & Coldfusion Tour“.

At first we were hesitant booking a show when we didn’t have a real band, or enough material to play a show.  Long story short, we decided to play the show, decided to name the band The Compilers, and decided we should probably integrate some sort of tech into this show.  We didn’t set out wanting to mix technology with music, it just seemed appropriate for this first gig to do something technical.  That technical music nugget is now known as Tweet Jam, our smash hit that plays tweets from @thecompiler‘s Twitter timeline while the band plays underneath the robot voice.

That first show was fun, funny, and the beginning of an interesting musical project.  In the last six months we’ve played four shows, and we gave a presentation at the 360|MAX unconference at Adobe MAX 2009 in Los Angeles, CA.  This really isn’t a lot of gigs, but considering we started this band in June, it’s been quite a whirlwind of musical and technical action.  Jun has built at least three versions of the TweetJam application, as well as integrated his midi foot controller with TheCompilers Flex player.  I’ve gotten pretty comfortable playing iPhone, made a few Flash movies for our set, and started looking into sound generation with Sonoflash.  Scottie has been the mad scientist behind the green velvet curtain.  Drummer man, electric drummer man, sound man, idea man, recorder man, crazy Brazillian ghord instrument player.

It’s so great to be back in a band.  These last six months have been a blast, and it was all started from a few jokes.  Speaking of jokes, below you will find two flash movies that I built for our 360|MAX presentation, as well as our talk.  The concept of melding tech with music is new to us, so this talk was a bit off the cuff, but it was still a great time.

360|MAX assets

It’s a Laser! – My first experiment with the Sonoflash library.  Adjust your laser properties then click shoot.  Each slider has a keyboard listener.  Attack = A, Release = R, and Frequency = F.

Click to launch the laser maker

Click to launch the laser maker

By Note – This sample is the beginning of layering sounds and controlling notes and octaves.  This one can play the major notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B using your keyboard and the play button.  The octave controller on the right is powered by mouseover, 1 is low and 9 is high.  The sounds also have keyboard listeners.  Laser = 1 and Ping = 2.  Note, the event listeners don’t kick in until after you’ve clicked a button, so it may be quirky at first.  I built this on the plane ride out to LA and couldn’t figure that one out.

Click to launch this madness

Click to launch this madness

360|MAX presentation : “Geek Rock with the Flash Platform”


@thecompilers at 360 MAX from Eric Fickes on Vimeo.

411 on The Compilers

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Compilers/110943240897

MySpace : http://www.myspace.com/compilers

Twitter : http://twitter.com/thecompilers

Use Excel to help shortcut forms development

If you have MS Excel installed, and you do any sort of form based programming, this trick is right up your alley.   Excel’s drag to auto-number is one of my all time favorite features.  Often times I end up working on large form based applications and love firing up TextPad and Excel to help shortcut the time it takes to write my form handling code.

This video shows this trick in action.  Unfortunately the code is barely legible due to the zoom level, but the concept should still come through.


My Auto-Tune collection

Auto-Tune is clearly the special effect du jour in both hip-hop, and viral videos on the internets. Most people seem to be all up in arms about hip-hoppers overdoing it, but I’m still digging it. Mostly because I only listen to commercial radio when I drive rental cars and therefore control my Auto-Tune ingestion.

While we’re in the “Season of Auto Tune”, here is a collection of auto tune influenced videos that I just love to watch and watch over again.  If I missed any classic Auto-Tune action, please send me a link and update the collection.

Blake needs to talk to Jack about the homepage…


Auto Tuning from Casey Donahue on Vimeo.

Auto-Tune the News #2: pirates. drugs. gay marriage.

“Rap Chop Remix” ( Slap Chop — you’re going to love, my nuts )

*watch for breakdancing