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the background colour of this page...
...indicates how busy i currently am. more red == more busy. more green == less busy. i generally get more email than i respond to, so unfortunately i don't have time to answer most "how do i do this?" flash questions. with that in mind, here are some things to consider before you write:

  1. some code isn't working
    if you've tried to implement something from and it's not working, check the example on the live site to see if it is also broken in the implementation of it. if it is broken on, mail me. i'll definitely look into it. if, on the other hand, it works on, but not on your site, re-download the sample and try again. if you're totally desperate, post all related files to a test site somewhere and drop me a note describing the problem, your o/s, browser type, browser version, and flash version. if i have time i'll take a look.

    where to find help
    try searching the technotes at adobe's support centre for flash. the info there is extensive and very valuable. you could also post your question to the flash coders mailing list (if your question is about ActionScript programming).

  2. you're on a mac, and you can't open a .fla file
    the file probably has lost its resource.frk that tells flash what kind of file it is. try opening the file using flash's file>>open command with "All Files" selected. or, you can fix the .frk like this:
    1. download resedit from apple's site. install and launch it. then:
    2. open the fla file in resedit
    3. do get file/folder info. you'll see "type:" and "creator:"
    4. the type and creator both should have a 4 digit code, if they are missing, or appear as ????, go to next step.
    5. change the type to "SPA " (including the space, but not the quotes. use upper case.)
    6. change the creator to "MFL2" (remove the quotes. use upper case)

  3. you found a bug on
    now you're talking. send it over immediately. i love bugs. please include the offending os, browser type, browser version, flash version, and steps to reproduce.

  4. you did something neat
    great! send it over. i'm always eager to see other people's work.

  5. you need a freelancer
    i do occasionally take on freelance work, but only if it's a nice self-contained job that isn't suffering from deranged ebusiness-style deadlines or wigged out clients who don't know how to empty their cache. the more fun and interesting the work, the more likely it is i'll help out. specifically, that means no damn intranets :). if that's cool, give me the details of what you need done and we'll go from there.

  6. reprints, press coverage, etc.
    i usually respond to this stuff pretty quickly. please don't just republish content from that's illegal not to mention pretty mean.

  7. can you use code freely on your site?
    yes. see the terms of use.

  8. you want to advertise on
    much as i love the purity of a completely advertisement-free web space, takes time and money to run. i can therefore make arrangements for appropriate organizations who want to advertise on by "appropriate organizations" i mean i like your stuff, use your software, or otherwise actually care about whatever you're advertising. write for details.

  9. you just want to say hi
    okay. that's cool.

  10. you're lonely
    go play quake or maybe something on xbox live.

here's the address
thanks for reading all that predelivery crap. i'm trying to keep these activities manageable so i can keep making new things. my address is: colin --a-t-- (duh ;). you have to replace --a-t-- with an @ sign (my futile attempt to reduce spam).


revision history
october 25, 1999: posted.
january 06, 2000: code red. slaving away on proctor & gamble's upcoming contest at
january 31, 2000: down to olive. contest site launched. still working on a couple of games for it though.
march 15, 2000: recovering from sunnyd & royale work for the contest.
april 12, 2000: working on project x. added info about restoring .fla file type on mac.
march 13, 2001: the "red colour project" is done. back off code red.
may 28, 2001: fixed link to resedit.
june 08, 2001: back on code red. working on a flash forward lecture & ice projects
october 21, 2001: moved contact page to its own section.
november 29, 2001: new email address...i moved the server to
june 20, 2002: down to orange. working solely on the second edition of actionscript: the definitive guide.
may 8, 2004: down to pukey green! wow, after 2 straight years of orange, my schedule's almost sensible now...just finished essential actionscript 2.0 and plan to spend the rest of the summer making Unity 3.
sept 8, 2004: off to japan. gonna be afk for a while...
march 26, 2007: down to green. back, wrote another book (Essential ActionScript 3.0). that took a couple of years.
january 13, 2008: red. currently on a training tour.