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PSP Buttons Map to 'Escape' Key (27)

While doing some PSP tests for Chris O'Shea - I found some unexpected keyboard mappings - pressing the Start button maps to '27' as does the square button in combination with Up/Down. Personally, I think mapping the start button to the 'Enter' key would have been more use - but checking for a combination of the start key with a direction key gives an additional 4 commands to send to the unit.

On a related note - there's no way to press the 'TAB' key that I've found, but the yellow rectangle can be made to appear by using a 'SetFocus' command if a direction key is pressed when nothing has focus. Using the Start Square button to trigger a mousepress on the focussed unit could allow for full keypad tab navigation for Flash Lite 2 style apps.

Here's a list of the full results from the tests

Mouse position - yes
Starts at 0,0 regardless of where the mouse is located. When the mouse is moved, it picks up the correct location. Top left is measured at (0,0), bottom right is measured as (478.95,271)

Hide mouse - no
The mouse pointer is clearly visible

Move arrow keys - yes

These move the black box around fine. These work for games, but the situation with arrow keys is more complicated for tab-style navigation a la Flash Lite 2/Mobile phones

Keycodes - interesting

The arrow keys are mapped
left - 37
up - 38
right - 39
down -40

cirle is mapped to 27 (but tries to close the browser)
square + left/right/down/up - mapped to 27
Start is mapped to 27

27 is the same as the PC 'Escape' key

Update: I wasn't able to repeat my initial finding with the Start button so I'm striking some of the text.

Posted by Alexander on April 28, 2006 | PSP Buttons Map to 'Escape' Key (27) | Comments (0) | TrackBack

PlayStation Portable - Flash. Day 1.

I've been trying out a new theme we created for the PSP update - I've just looked at it this afternoon - but here's what I'm seeing so far. This is the content - it's the Italy test with new PSP theme applied. Generally, it's being rendered properly on the device with a few big caveats -

It's slow. The image zooming is a bit much for the device - that's to be expected - but even moving between pages takes maybe half a second or a second.

No streaming. Flash is usually capable of streaming - it'll usually show you the content as it loads. Not with the PSP though, it waits for everything to arrive before it kicks off.

Keypad control. This is the effective showstopper. The PSP has a pointer device, and this in combination with the X button is the only way to interact with the content. I haven't found any way to use the keypad in the same way you might navigate around a Flash Lite 2 app on a phone for example. There's not even the equivalent of a 'TAB' key.

Update 19:34 I've just found this pacman game - it does use the arrow keys - so there is a mapping there - I'm hopeful there's a way to use them for tabbing around too.

Note to self: it might be possible to hide the cursor and use the pointer device to replicate a directional TAB control

Memory. In the content above, the PSP gets to question 10 before throwing the 'Out Of Memory' error - that's pretty good, considering all the different question types and scrollbars. I think with a bit of tweaking, we could do a 10 question quiz (no feedback) or a five question quiz with full feedback.

There's some more first impressions on the 'FlashForward2006 Blog'

Posted by Alexander on April 25, 2006 | PlayStation Portable - Flash. Day 1. | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Flash 6 for PSP in Japan

Just announced - Japanese PSP users are to get a firmware update tomorrow, which includes the Flash 6 player for the PSP Browser. The update is version 2.70, and users will need to enable the Flash Player in the system settings. 'Some functions are not supported.' - I'm not sure what those might be - possibly video / some FSCommands are not included.

Sony Japan Link.

Posted by Alexander on April 24, 2006 | Flash 6 for PSP in Japan | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Quiet Computing

The first thing I do when I re-install Windows is turn off all the sounds. All the bleeps, bings, blips, burps and bleats. Maybe they're useful for the novice user, but when something is going wrong, I already know it's going wrong without a chorus. Pavlov conditioned his dogs to salivate to the sound of a bell and Windows can make my hammering hand distinctly twitchy just by beeping. It's the repeated association of the sound and the frustration of something not working.

Here's how - it takes less than 30 seconds to enjoy quiet computing.

Start->Control Panel (Classic View) -> Sounds and Audio Devices Properties -> Sounds -> No Sounds

It'll still play music and movies - just not all those Windows sounds.

Posted by Alexander on April 19, 2006 | Quiet Computing | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Implicit Association Tests

My data suggests little to no automatic preference between Open-Source and Microsoft. That's according to the Microsoft - Open-Source Implicit Association Test which aims to uncover differences in conscious and unconscious attitutes. I found taking the test hard work in some places because I could see how it encourages lazy short-cut associative thinking, and that required effort to resist. There's a whole page of different sample tests - covering attitudes like sexuality, race, age and disability.

Thanks to KTEC for the link.

Posted by Alexander on April 13, 2006 | Implicit Association Tests | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Subscript / Superscript

Subscripts and superscripts are often ignored in Flash applications because the player can't display them dynamically. That can be a real drawback for mathematicians and scientists. However, an effective technique in Flash is to provide additional fonts in the same face, at a smaller size, vertically offset, so that they effectively become superscript/subscript versions. This is the technique I've used in Question Writer to process subscript and superscript tags in the html tags.

Here's an example number theory test and .qwz source - it uses a many of the HTML features. Unfortunatly it doesn't score the questions correctly because I don't know the answers ! If you do know any of the answers, please feel free to put them in the comments below! No need - it has all the answers and feedback now.

Posted by Alexander on April 11, 2006 | Subscript / Superscript | Comments (1) | TrackBack

OS X on PC hardware

Cringely concludes today -

I predict that Apple will settle on 64-bit Intel processors ASAP (with FireWire 800 please), and at that time will announce a product similar to Boot Camp to allow OS X to run on bog-standard 32-bit PC hardware, turning the Boot Camp relationship on its head and trying to sell $99 copies of OS X to 100 million or so Windows owners.

I agree - I think Boot Camp will show Joe Public the distinction between the hardware and the OS. Manufacturers will start to sell PCs that run two operating systems instead of one. It will turn into a checkbox - right beside 1GB RAM / 3Ghz Processor / Windows and Mac OS. I'm also convinced that Live CDs are going to be key in driving a wedge into this market.

Posted by Alexander on April 07, 2006 | OS X on PC hardware | Comments (0) | TrackBack