hello from dvd archive land

Warner Bros. is doing some awesome stuff lately.  They have a great back catalogue of awesome titles that they’ve acquired by buying out Hanna-Barbera.  There’s popular stuff like Scooby-Doo, but also all the lesser known cartoons like Josie and the Pussycats. :)  These smaller titles probably wouldn’t do so well on a retail landscape, so Warner is doing something totally different — making copies of the series available to customers on demand!

The idea is just awesome.  Instead of packaging and producing a large set and distributing it nationally to all kinds of chains, they cater directly to the long tail collectors and give them the stuff they want, and still at reasonable prices.

I daresay that this wouldn’t have been pulled off so well at the same time, if Warner Bros. wasn’t doing such a great job of engaging its fan base with social media.  Their older catalogue is being produced and sold on-demand through the Warner Archive lineup, and the brand has it’s own Twitter account that I’ve been following.  Near as I can tell, in the relatively short time I’ve found them, is that they are doing what those who succeed in social media do well — they actually *talk* with their fanbase.  Shout Factory does the same thing as well.  It’s pretty awesome, really, to find companies that can put a human face back on the front lines. :)

Anyway, business methodology aside, what I’m really excited about is the content that I get to have access to again!

I was looking through their pre-orders the other day, and I found two that I remember, very vaguely, watching growing up … and absolutely loving them!  I think it’s awesome that the complete series are available now to purchase, for what I’d consider a good price point, too.

I totally remember this show … once I saw it again.  This is one of those that I remember being really funny, but since it was probably aired so little (and there were so few episodes comparatively), it quickly got forgotten.

I do remember that the ghost is hilarious.  I don’t recall much more about the show other than that.  If I had to guess, without checking Wikipedia, I’d say that the format is similar to Scooby-Doo … a group of kids that goes on adventures with their silly sidekicks and solves mysteries and gets into trouble.

It might seem a little cliched in retrospect, but Scooby Doo was awesome then, and it’s awesome now, and having a different spin on it just means you get some variety.  I’m cool with that. :)

I also, very vaguely, again, totally remember this other one I saw available for pre-order (goes on sale next Tuesday):  Goober and the Ghost Chasers.

I do remember seeing that weird dog before … but that’s about it.  That’s not gonna stop me from getting the collection, though. :)  I’m an absolute fan of Hanna-Barbera’s animation style, and I’ll pretty much get anything that was produced by them during that time period.  So many good memories. :)

There’s actually a couple of series that I didn’t know about, or totally forgot about completely too, though.  I had no idea there was even a series of Josie and the Pussycats until not too long ago, and my little sister bought me the complete series for my birthday this year.  I absolutely *love* watching that show, it is hilarious!  I think it’s funnier than Scooby-Doo in some places. :)  I recommend it.

Because of that one, I’m excited to see Warner Archive coming out with *another* Josie and the Pussycats cartoon, again, this one I had no idea even existed before:

I’m especially excited because, none of the old cartoons get me as excited as any of the ones that deal with outer space (Super Friends, Space Ghost, etc.).  The animation and art style is just incredible, I think.  It still gets me really excited seeing them today.

Speaking of which, I highly recommend checking out Walt Disney’s Treasures: Tomorrow Land if you’re also a space junkie and you like old school animation.  Wow, that thing just puts me in heaven.

There’s one more available right now that I’ve never heard of before, Pirates of Dark Water.

It’s getting great reviews everywhere, and lots of people are excited about it, from what I can tell (based on research in areas of the Internet that most people don’t go into.  Trust me on this one).  I don’t know the first thing about it, though.  Of course, that probably won’t keep me from buying it eventually anyway.  It rarely does. :)

The last one I wanted to write about was Thundarr the Barbarian.

Now I *do* remember this one, mainly the characters, and it being a really fascinating setting … but that’s it.  The memories of this one have been lost to time.  I’m curious to check it out again, but I honestly have no idea what to expect.

Again, same thing as Dark Water … a lot of people are excited about it, and glad to see it out.  I guess I’m one of the few in the Josie and the Pussycats fan-camp.  I imagine it probably had something with me collecting and reading hundreds and hundreds of Archie digests growing up.

So, pretty cool stuff.  What’s really more awesome than the individual titles is the business concept.  I can’t think of titles off the top of my head right now, but I know there’s a ton of old Hanna-Barbera stuff out there that’s never been released, and now there’s a chance we’ll get to see more in the future — in a complete series set as well!  That’s just super exciting.  I tell you what. :)

One other thing I wanted to mention is that, I just recently decided to suspend my Netflix account.  I haven’t been watching any of the stuff they’ve been sending me lately, and I don’t really like surfing through their online library (feels too much like channel surfing to me sometimes, randomly looking for something interesting).  Money has been tight for me recently due to some health issues and paying for school, and so I decided that if I’m gonna allot some money towards movie entertainment every month, that I’d rather just build up my collection instead.  Buying season and complete series sets makes sense to me.  I watch those all the time, and for a small amount, I can get a lot of content that I’ll watch over again.  I love Netflix, but I’ve gotten a little tired of trying to dig out hits.  If money is scarce, I’d rather just spend it on something I know I’d much rather have.

javascript rest api using prototype

JavaScript seems to be in my future, it looks like.  Plus a bunch of Warner Archive awesome cartoons on DVD, but I’ll get into that later.

I’ve been doing web design for a long time, but it hasn’t really gotten too interesting until I started playing with MVCs and JS frameworks and AJAX.  Now, all the *boring* stuff is totally out of the way, and the fun stuff is where I can see what I can quickly develop.  Kind of interesting really.  Plus, I think it’s kinda cool because I had pretty much sworn off getting more into computer tech, but this is one that really is interesting.  Well, for now, anyway.

So, I’m working on creating a REST API inside my MVC (using CodeIgniter), but on top of that, I’m writing a class that JavaScript can use to send calls to the REST API.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: link.

I’m really looking for some peer review on this thing .. the only thing you need to be familiar with is PrototypeJS and JavaScript, and it should make sense.  It doesn’t matter what REST API it sends stuff to.

I want to explain a couple of coding conventions though.

The get_rest_url() function is a protected method, which is kinda cool — I didn’t know until today you could do that with JavaScript.  If you created a REST  object named, then calling the function wouldn’t work.   You can only call it internally.  That’s why it’s in the constructor.

I should probably learn to use exceptions.  The concept of them just baffles me though, and I don’t really see the point of them when you can do things procedurally.  Whatever.  I’m holding out on being stubborn on this one.

The class supposes that your REST URL will accept the uniq identifer at the end.

The AJAX requests need to be synchronous, otherwise I couldn’t access the responses.  If someone knows a way to do both, I’d be glad to hear about it … synchronous and then using bind(this) on the function is the only option I’ve found.

That’s all I can think of.  Like I said, JS is not my strongest coding skill, so if anyone could do a once-over, it’d be nicely appreciated.

For what it’s worth, the code works just fine for my needs though. :)

my prototype cheat sheets: forms

I was having problems this morning with Prototype, in getting serialized forms, so I went back to this little cheat sheet that I wrote up once and updated it and figured out what the problem was.  I uploaded my cheat sheet to my website, if anyone wants to see it.

If you’ve used Prototype for JavaScript before, then you might know where I’m coming from.  In my opinion, the library is awesome, but the documentation is a little confusing in some places.  It could be that way for me only because I’m still so new to JavaScript.  Anyway.  I know for certain that writing this stuff out this way totally helps explain it for me, being a kinesthetic learner.

The problem I ran into recently, though, with Prototype was that it’s unclear what happens when you serialize an element.  The docs say that it returns an object … but it’s not a Prototype Object, meaning you can’t run functions on it that are attached to that.  It’s certainly not a Hash, either, since you can’t use those functions either.  Not knowing JavaScript much, I assume it’s just a regular JavaScript object.

Either way, to convert it to a JSON-formatted string, you need to cast the serialized element to an Object or a Hash of Prototype design first.  That’s what was tripping me up, and that’s the final section on that forms cheat sheet.

I’m using Prototype a lot more at work.  I’m building an intranet at work that is going to use a lot of AJAX, and so I really need to polish my skills.

Wow, this post is boring.  It needs some unicorns.