Archive for October 2007

South First Friday – November 2007

Come on down to South First Friday at Works/San Jose this friday and experience this fine events:

Opening Reception: WORXX: twenty years of design by joe miller
A sampling of the dynamic, award winning, and sometimes controversial graphic design for Works/San José from 1987 to 2007. Installation in the front window and back community wall.

Live electronic music performances by Chlorophil and Derek Scott.

on view in the main exhibition space:
Feel the Difference: Cultural Branding Remix
Artists Jano Cortijo, Binh Danh, Ala Ebtekar, Amir H. Fallah, Juan Luna-Avin, and Angelica Muro remix the commercialization of culture and ethnicity.

on view in the Paulette Peterson Installation Space:
Chris Elliman An interactive installation on social stereotypes.

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Number one poll issue for ’08

I love the Onion. I absolutely hate that the onion has a presence on CNN’s home page. I think that’s an incredibly bad idea. But, they do bring up an excellent observation here:

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

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Guitar Hero 2 songs on the iTunes Store

In the last 15 years of my life I’ve veered almost entirely to the electronic side of the musical spectrum, but I can’t deny that my roots are in headbanging. I just got Guitar Hero 2 and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s freakin’ amazing. It’s giving me a nice flashback to my musical youth, and it’s an interesting study in interaction design, interface design, game design, graphic design… it goes on and on how interesting and fun this game is.

As I’ve been going through the game (just passed medium, woot) my wife and I have both come to the conclusion that there are so many songs that we’ve heard all our lives but never really appreciated them for their guitar work. Amazing, no? Well, if you already play guitar, maybe this is old news to you, but I never had guitar playing on my list of things to do when i was a kid, so I just never had the ear skills to pick apart a rock track in the unobvious places until now. Some of the newer tracks are incredibly hard to play and start to feel *incredibly long* after about 4 minutes. ;) Others which are more familiar to me feel like so much fun to play and seem to end too quickly.

Now, I know, or know of, most of the tracks in the competition playlist… but there were a few that I didn’t, so I figured I’d go through the itunes store and see if I could locate them. With the exception of 1 track, (danzig’s Mother) I was able to find them. Here is the list with links to the itunes store:

1. Opening Licks

2. Amp-Warmers

3. String-Snappers

4. Thrash and Burn

5. Return of the Shred

6. Relentless Riffs

7. Furious Fretwork

8. Face-Melters

Any of my friends readin’ this have a PS2 version of guitar hero and want to meet up to play? ) hit me up!

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Real Steve Jobs Blog please…

Third Party Applications on the iPhone

Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February.


We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.


Time for a real blog, Steve. Seriously. You made a great product to create one in iWeb. You can make Phil’s team in charge of hitting the save button. The tone of the posts you actually sign is completely appropriate for a blog. And I definitely love that you take time to personally address the issues that you know people want to hear you chime in on. Why not go the last extra couple of feet and give the world a Real Steve Jobs RSS feed? (with feedburner stats :))

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Space Army General Qorser

Check out QORSER kicking some alien ass. I’m soooo putting him in charge of the army when we go to war with the aliens. Click the link for higher res movie..

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dj woody and some amazing vestax turntable action

I know I’ve been completely asleep for the past 5 years, holy hell, take a look at this:

I’m… speechless. That was freaking amazing. Get to about the 1:20 or so… WTf?!?!?!?!

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Old and busted, but awesome for it’s time: QT Turntable

Flysketchworkflow-2007.10.09 17.03.05

Back in the day, I was learning how to beatmatch using the one turntable my family got me, a ScratchMaster mixer, and a program my brother wrote for me with my design direction. It was called QT Turntable. It was built on quicktime back when you had to upgrade to get it to understand MP3 files. (o-o-old school.)

The big thing about QTTurntable was that it was barebones. It had the basic audio file playback controls you’d expect, and then it also had some very specific DJ controls. I wanted an audio file player that I could adjust the pitch of like I could on my Technics SL1200-mk2, so my brother built it for me like the above screenshot. The most major feature aside from adjusting the playback speed was the temporary pitch adjustment (horizontal slider with the pointy indicator). This simulated grabbing the spindle of a turntable platter and spinning it up just a bit or putting your finder on the side of the platter to momentarily slow it down. This is a super-basic DJ skill that you use when you’re trying to get your track beatmatched with another.

This program was awesome, and I DJ’d 3 parties with it successfully. When Mac OSX rolled around, you could still sort of watch it not work in Classic mode, and then recently I got the “circle-slash” icon on it to let me know that this program isn’t really a program anymore. So sad. I got to take a weeklong cocoa training class at Big Nerd Ranch, but recreating this is slightly out of my scope of possibility currently.

I’ve since gone on to buy or use many digital DJ solutions including Final Scratch 1.5, Hercules DJ Console+traktor, and dj1800. The all have very good tools for all-inclusive DJing, but sort of fall down on something. It’s usually the interface. Heck, even ours was challenging to use, I’ll make no claim otherwise.

I know there’s nothing like DJing with vinyl, and I sure wish I had the money, back strength, interest in physical media, time to go record shopping, and physical space to keep doing that… but I don’t. My beatmatching future is digital.

So many people are into this digital djing thing now, and I think that’s way cool. I just wish I could get this kind of pitch control. Maybe not even all of the pitch control we had, just nice big horizontal sliders, and my temporary pitch nudge controls.

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Peter Nyboer at the Prelinger Library

Peter was a late addition to the First Friday event at Works/San Jose for september 2007. He did a music set and then did visuals for us for the rest of the night. He wrote to let me know of his upcoming gig:

Hi All,

I’m participating in the Illuminated Corridor on Wednesday evening at 7:16pm, near 8th and Folsom in SF. We’re filling the walls of the Prelinger library with projections from their archives, and filling your ears (and the neighborhood fm radio spectrum) with sound.

My project is an image-to-sound synthesizer. I’m using the movie images as data to create sound. Relying strictly on processing the images as the mode of composition and sound design, this arbitrary dataset will undoubtedly force me to paint myself into corners of cognition, perhaps leaving many listeners with the vaguely damning critique of “…Interesting…”
To supplement the stereo, I’ll have a really cheap multichannel sound system to disperse the sound in my area.

The Illuminated Corridor will light the the Prelinger Library, a private research library open to the public with collections encompassing some 50,000 books, periodical volumes and printed ephemera. The Library is linked to the Prelinger Archive, a collection of ephemeral films that are a key creative resource to artists of the Illuminated Corridor, and serve as a touchstone for the broader community of film, sound and bricolage artists.
The Corridor will take place during the Library’s traditional Wednesday Open House evening hours, where you are invited to lose yourself in the stacks of an extraordinary library turned inside out for an evening.
301 8th Street (corner of Folsom Street), Room 215 in San Francisco.
Google brand Map:

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Photos from New Music Night September 2007

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Video of New Music Night for july 27th, 2007

Works/San José had their first new music night event in their new space last friday, here’s the video from the night:

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Rest in Peace, Arguru

We are sad to announce that Juan Antonio Arguelles Ruis (well known in the VST developer community as “Arguru”) has passed away after a car accident on June 3rd. Our condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. He was truly a great asset to the VST and music software community, and he will definitely be missed.

Links to more info about Arguru:


Img 0212

Rackable is buying one of my wall sculptures! Thank you, Justyna at Rackable!

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3rd party apps

Let’s take a look at what happens when a device is awesome but is overly controlled:

General Magic magic cap

Here was an amazing device for it’s time. It was a modem-enabled handheld mini computer platform with shopping, AOL, apps, etc. It was way cool. Handwriting recognition, touch screen, etc. Cool cool cool. Very cool. Annnd Closed. So it died.

Apple Newton / Message Pad

Died prematurely. Mindshare was taken over by people who learned their lessons and started from scratch. (whoops! no, wait, nevermind.)

Danger hiptop / Sidekick

Here was an amazing device for it’s time. Awesome hardware platform, innovative OS, USB, IR… fast graphics for gaming (for it’s time)… annnnd closed. Then open! Then closed. Then open, but only if you jumped through a ridiculous amount of hoops to get a “Developer account” and program in some obscure language that had no Mac compiler. So it died. (to me anyway)

Handspring / Palm Treo

Here was an amazing device for it’s time. Color screen, touch screen, built in keyboard, GPRS, heck, it was even hackable. Some of the hacks were so good that they made them into regular features, if you could endure the firmware upgrade process and not screw anything up. The problem here was that they were trying to staple on phone functionality onto a Palm device. And that worked out ok in some instances, but overall the OS is butt-ugly. Definitely stuck in the 90’s. I’m sure the paradigms were about as good as anyone could expect considering that nobody had really ever done anything beyond it at the time. This was the first handheld device that actually explored some of it’s vast capabilities pretty well, thanks to 3rd party application developers like Developing for the Treo was essentially like developing for the palm… IE, on Windows exclusively. The treo’s problem is that there are a bazillion applications for Palm devices, but the reliability on the *treo* was pretty shoddy. So, you could install an application and wind up with an endless restart loop (*cough*AIM*cough*) Add insult to injury that every application that *was* reliable was $20. AND there were things on the desktop you could *NEVER* remove… Lots of great potential, but due to several organically grown problems, this is doomed to be overshadowed by something greater. So it died. (to me anyway).

Apple iPhone

well, certainly here is an amazing device. The hardware platform is like from another planet. But it’s a planet that we already have people from who live on earth. So the native application 3rd party developer scene took off like a…rocket, I suppose. There’s so much freaking potential in this thing, it hurts just to think about it. Arguably there were only a handful of amazing programs that came out while 1.0.4 firmware was available, and a whole lot more that were impressive, if not exactly amazing. Factory standard applications are adequate to amazing in most cases, and anemic in other cases.

3rd party developers are ITCHING to utilize the full potential of this device, and, once again, decisions are being made to control the experience. I hope to god that minds are changed at the top about this. This is an amazing device, and it’s true power will never be exploited if the doors are kept firmly shut and all they let people do is look in the window.

I want my multitouch Turntable app for my iphone. Remind me why this is a bad idea?

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