Standalone Flash

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Flash applications like /f/lockdraw normally run inside the window of your web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc) but if you're running /f/lockdraw on an older machine this can sometimes take a lot more memory than you would like. If you want, you can save /f/lockdraw to your computer (in the form of a ".swf" file) and run it from there without opening your browser. There are some other benefits to running /f/lockdraw in standalone mode listed below.

Running in Standalone Flash

The standalone Flash player

You may already have the Flash browser plugin for your browser of choice installed and working, but if you want to run Flash apps outside the browser you will have to download the standalone "projector". It's available from Adobe's website. You'll have to scroll down a bit on this page: Adobe Flash Player Downloads

A standalone .exe version of /f/lockdraw pre-combined with the Flash Player 18 projector is also available. This version might work better than the newer standalone flash players: Standalone /f/lockdraw .exe

The Flash Player 18 standalone version is also hosted here so you don't have to dig through the archives for it: Standalone Flash Player 18

Choose the Flash Player Projector for whatever type of OS you have (typically Windows or Mac) and run the installer that is downloaded. Once the projector is installed, you can save the .swf file from skycow.us and open it in a window outside your browser. How you save the file varies depending on what browser you're using, but you usually just right click the /f/lockdraw link on the home page and click "Save As". Note that if you save the .swf and /f/lockdraw gets updated you will have to save the new version by going back to skycow.us.

You can drag the saved .swf onto the player .exe to run it, or right click on the .swf and choose "Open With" (or whatever your OS calls it) then browse to the location where you put the flash player .exe file. This way .swf files you save will open in this version by default.

Setting flash security settings

In order to view the title screen images correctly, view the board fullscreen, and use the image load feature while running standalone, it is necessary to add the folder the .swf is in as a "Trusted Location" in the Flash Player settings. This will be located in Control Panel (or system settings). Note that (at least in Windows 7) you might have to change the control panel view from "Category" to "Large Icons" to see the Flash Player item.

Just go to the Flash Player control panel and click the Advanced tab. Then scroll down and click Trusted Location Settings. Click Add, then Add Folder, and choose the folder where you keep the /f/lockdraw .swf file. Hit OK, then Confirm, then close the control panel. This will make sure that all features work correctly even if you replace the .swf file with a new version.

Benefits

  • Uses less memory to run than running in a browser
  • Allows use of the keyboard while in full-screen mode (this is not possible in a browser due to the security policies in Flash)
  • Simplifies saving and loading images compared to browser mode as long as you set your security settings correctly
  • Avoids a bug in newer versions of flash where the text tool cursor will not display correctly
  • You can still load the whiteboard if the web server is down but the draw server is still working

Drawbacks

  • Somewhat annoying/confusing to have to set security settings
  • If a new version comes out you'll have to download the new .swf file