Past Meetup

Making Mobile Apps Using Higher Level Authoring Tools

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Colin Holgate, originally trained as a telecommunications technician in the R.A.F., retrained to work on fixing computers after leaving the R.A.F. He has been programming as a hobbyist since 1980, originally on Apple II+, then later on Macintosh.

Colin worked in Apple Computer UK’s technical support department from October 1987 to end of January 1992. He was the multimedia specialist, and was part of Apple’s team that launched into multimedia in 1990.

Through that involvement he became friends with the founders of The Voyager Company, a Santa Monica, CA based CD-ROM and laserdisc publisher. In February 1992 Colin moved to the US to work for Voyager, and went on to program The Expanded Books range of titles, and approximately 20 CD-ROM titles. Those titles include “A Hard Day's Night”, “This Is Spinal Tap”, and CD-ROMs with the well known educationalists Don Norman, Stephen Jay Gould, and Marvin Minsky.

Most of those titles were programmed using Apple’s HyperCard tool, but as being cross platform become more important Colin switched to using Macromedia Director (now an Adobe product). In the late ‘90s Colin joined Funny Garbage, and was part of their team that produced online Shockwave games for and, and also museum kiosks for The Hayden Planetarium in NYC and The Experience Music Project in Seattle.

As Macromedia Flash (also now an Adobe product) became more prominent, Colin started to use that as his tool for creating web content. He still kept an interest in other tools, and has used Run Rev’s LiveCode program for creating in-house production utilities, and Unity 3D for some of his personal work. In the case of LiveCode he also wrote this book on mobile development:

For mobile app development Colin has created prototypes and other test apps using Director, LiveCode, and Unity, but as for apps that are in the stores, those were all done using Flash (referred to as AIR for Mobile when publish to iOS and Android).

In his presentation Colin will give a demo of a few of these programs, and will show some of the final apps. The general theme of the evening will be how it’s possibly to create apps using higher level tools, in a relatively short amount of time.