Archive for August 2005

new music picks

all available on itunes…

Different Nu Nu Towa Tei Flash
Session 2 Juan Atkins The Berlin Sessions
Hurt Me Move D Digital & Rare Vol. 1
Nightbus to Nowhere (Chairman’s Mix 1) Andrew Weatherall From the Bunker
99 and a Half (Featuring Alexander East) [I:Cube Remix] Alexander East & Phonique Synchronised (Global Underground)
Sombre Detune Röyksopp The Understanding
Fex Matthew Dear Leave Luck to Heaven
You’re Fucking Crazy Matthew Dear Leave Luck to Heaven
Make It Easy Lusine Serial Hodgepodge

happy happy… joy joy…

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shaving code

I have a huge survey tool that I’ve been working on for a long time.  It’s a dynamic system that lets you add as many questions as you like to a survey, and has some standard abilities for error checking, being nice when it finds you missed a field that was required, uh, a gigantic and growing administration tool and reporting engine with n-level drill down, all with graphs, charts, excel export, etc, etc, etc.

The unfortunate scenario I’m in here is that when I’ve failed to anticipate a contact info field that someone’s going to want to ask for, it’s extremely difficult to add them, system wide.  The system wasn’t built from the beginning to be very dynamic.  There’s 3 tables to alter, and at least 9 processors (so far that I’ve found) that need to be touched when the contact info fields list grows.  This is 3 year old code… php web code, so that’s like 15 dog years.  (and do the math from there…)  Fortunately, the list of possible contact info fields is getting to a ridiculous level… I’m having a hard time imaging needing to do this again in the future, but… just in case…

This round, I’m creating a wiki page to document the entire process, and I’m dynamizing code where I can so that it’s a non-issue moving forward for some of these cogs.  I just shaved 800 lines of code out of my survey processor by stepping through fieldnames and values dynamically and then checking that fieldname against the contact-info-field-required-list table dynamically too.  Even special casing fields like “state”, “shipping state”, and an “exclude” list for fields that we just never really need to check – “address 2”, “shipping address 2”, et cetera. 

It’s staggering how much code I’ve written for this engine, and it’s not even close to zoomerang yet.  It might be if I could roll out an easier deployment system.  Right now it’s still pretty manual for me to have to roll a survey out.  That’s really not such a bad thing right now, but, it’s an obvious problem, long term.  There’s still some not-so-basic features (like asking different questions based on responses), and some scalability concerns before I can really open it up company-wide.  Some of our potential company-wide surveyable audiences number in the hundreds of millions.  I seriously doubt my little survey tool would stand up to an onslaught like that.

Maybe someday…  some… day.

Anyway, hardcoding bad, dynamic code good.  Yay, brain. Go me.

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sculpture progress

Showpic-0Showpic-1Showpic-2Showpic-3
This piece is coming along nicely.  I’ve been stuggling for hours as to what to do with the paint, and I’m pretty happy with what’s going on now.  The big huge difference I experienced was the complete lack of texture of the material. I’m used to painting on canvas, and this board is totally smooth, so it’s definitely doing some different things as the matt medium dries out and the viscosity of the paint increases.

another little bit of paint, then I need to secure the floaters to the backer, and then I need to figure out the hanging mechanism, and it’s done.

Coverflow

My coworker Joanna pointed me to Coverflow… holy shmoly, this is so cool. It’s a 3d visual album artwork music selector. Right click on a missing piece of art, and it will give you a head start on a google image search or amazon search. If you find a good picture of the album art, just drag and drop it directly from the webpage onto the missing artwork icon in coverflow. Lots to like in this tech demo!

Coverflowscreensnapz001


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breaking up feed reading from posting apps was good

You know, I used to gripe about how NetNewsWire shifted the blog posting functions out from itself and created MarsEdit to do this.  No doubt the workflow of reading, then commenting to your own blog was broken from that point on.  What was once easy to read a story and instantly post a response to my own blog was now a minor annoyance at best, and completely wasteful of time at worst… for various reasons. 

I’m beginning to see that this is ok.  In fact, I feel like the quality of my blogs have gone up since it’s so much harder to comment on other people’s posts on my own blog now.  I don’t waste your time making you listen in on a comment i have on another post unless it’s really worth the time for me to make sure that the formatting is going to turn out ok, and that you, who aren’t in on the thread yet, have enough information about what’s being discussed to see how brilliant my comments on the topic are. 😉

I don’t participate in group discussions through my blog, but that doesn’t matter anyway.. blogs aren’t conversations.  Using blogs to have a conversation between two bloggers is like using a screwdriver handle to hammer a nail into a wall.  Oh, it’ll work, but the ending results will be so much crappier than if you’d used the right tool in the first place.

Trackback, despite my serious attempts to give proper respect to sites that offer a link, is still not really good.  It’s good, in theory.  In practice, it was just as prone to disastrous abuse as any other initiative that was supposed to make it easier to connect to each other.  as a result, many sites just don’t offer a trackback link… or don’t display trackback comments.

Pingback is interesting, but my site get such a low amount of traffic that nobody hardly ever posts a link to my sites in their posts anyway.  I like pingback because I don’t have to do anything for it to work.  When you  post a link to my story, I get an email from my blog saying you did. Pretty cool.

Anyway, I spend less time posting every single thing to my blog like so many new bloggers who are really excited about blogging tend to do, because, chances are good those links and photoshopped photos and novelty sites are probably handled by sites like boing boing, milk and cookies, kontraband, and a thousand other lesser well known sites.  No doubt, if you can get a link on your blog about a novelty site early, your traffic can go up.  That “penguin baseball practice” phenomenon last year still delivers traffic here.  It’s remarkable…  but, it’s kind of an empty experience for me.  People come here for that story, just to find the link to click out of my site.  I’d rather get people to come here to see my stuff instead..

I’m focusing on being a content producer. 

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remove chapter markers in itunes?

So, i’ve been downloading a lot of creative commons licensed music from my favorite podcasts/songcasts … does anyone know how to remove the chapter markers from podcasted audio in itunes?  The problem here is that when I skip to a new song and I come back to the song I skipped, it starts back up where I skipped from.  For talk shows, good.  For music, bad. Is there a feature right under my nose that I can’t see?  Is there some automator task that will undo this “feature”?

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[kbsl001]-7 : Running

This is the seventh and final track from My so called music, called Running.
I was writing a track while I was on the treadmill (you may be asking how I write music on the treadmill), and this is the result. Around that time there was a story on slashdot on how ham radio operators were complaining about how Broadband Over Powerlines was screwing with their reception and creating a lot of interference. The story provided a quicktime movie of the evidence, which I somehow managed to hijack some of the audio and put into my track. :)

You can check out the full album at archive.org: My So Called Music


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[kbsl001]-6 : Refunk

This is the sixth track from My so called music, called Refunk.
I think I’d just gotten a new stereo installed in my car, and I wanted the fattest booming break I could get at the time to “test” the speakers out… :D Oh, yeah, this definitely employs the service of Crazy Ivan. I was digging on the idea of an audio effect being the performer, and I was the backup band… sort of an interesting twist on normalcy.

You can check out the full album at archive.org: My So Called Music

[kbsl001]-5 : Rethinking it

This is the fourth track from My so called music, called Rethinking it.

This is just a banging techno track. It was one of the first tracks I finished in reason all those years ago. I especially love how you can rewire everything in reason, which is how I got that sound at the end of the track… various machines spitting out parameters where they’re not supposed to. :) We’re so lucky to live in a time when there are tools that limited by the operator only. Surely, reason in an exception to the rule, and a ground breaking, lead showing (hopefully) kind of tool. Oh, sure, the purists out there will jump up and say “Max/MSP can do that! PD can do that!” .. and I’m just not quite that hardcore enough yet. Maybe some day I’ll get my brain around PD. I’m still blown away by even just the memory I have of seeing “drool string ukulele” in action… Someday anyone who wants to will be able to build their own instruments easily… we can probably thank Bob Moog for opening up a lot of doors for gear heads around the world. Rest in peace, Dr. Moog.

You can check out the full album at archive.org: My So Called Music

bob’s guide to cat pwning

fleabag:weebl and bob

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[kbsl001]-4 : Rubber Floor

This is the fourth track from My so called music, called Rubber Floor. This song that Jono Kane and I wrote to try to impress ourselves and Dr. Alex Patterson of The Orb, since we were going to go see the Orb in concert when we were writing the track. I think it’s a pretty kick ass song. :)

You can check out the full album at archive.org: My So Called Music

HOWTO: smarter BBEdit multi-file searching

In the new(er) versions of BBEdit, you can get really specific about what files to multi-file search through.  I love this, check it out, you can include/exclude grep patterns.

I take advantage (?) of BBEdit’s auto-backup feature where it iterates a file name on the date with a version number so that you’re never overwriting your only copy. It saves the previous version as index-20050818-01.php or whatever.  This is good.  However, when you’re searching a directory for a criteria in the contents of your folder, this can _really_ bog down your time to completed search results.

If you create a criteria when you do a multi-file search with the following set up:

Bbeditscreensnapz001

then it will skip over all of your backup files and only search the “live” or “non-backup” files.  Extremely cool. :)

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[kbsl001]-3 : Lidflipper

This is the third track from My so called music, called Lidflipper. This song I wrote over the course of a vacation in hawaii (when I wasn’t in the water :) . I created almost all of the samples with either Kinkybeep or Sound designer, I can’t remember which.

You can check out the full album at archive.org: My So Called Music


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low polygon turntable

I’ve created a cafepress store for my low polygon turntable design I made a long time ago.  I always liked this design, but it lived in hiding as an old mac os 9 .pict file.  I recently realized that Preview.app will open those and I was able to save it back out as a .png :)   Anyway, if you like the design, you can check out the cafepress store.
Lptsmall

New work in progress

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I have a timelapse of me making this, which I’ll release later.  This isn’t completed yet, but I wanted to post it up so you can get a sneak peek.