I had the chance to catch Primer at a coworker's house last night (on a gigantic screen in a basement). As with most good movie experiences, I knew nearly nothing about the film going in, but I was wowed. I won't spoil it, but some people probably make comparisons to Pi and Memento and perhaps even Office Space. If you're a sci fi fan, please, go view this thing as soon as possible.
In similar film news, I'm also admittedly looking forward to The Descent, even tho I haven't seen Dog Soldiers (want to). I need to be more wary of Hollywood trailers...they just can't be trusted anymore.
Maybe I didn't make it explicitly clear, but sheesh, IE is just a gigantic steaming pile of crap. I'm pained by even using it while building my site redesign. Compared to Firefox, it's just completely inconsistent and broken. I just realized that the png js hack thing does something weird with images and rollovers, but I don't think it's worth fixing. If you're [still] using "that blue E" (as my mom likes to call it), you'll see what I mean.
In any case, I got a new noisybox splash screen up (and working, I think). It's not exactly fun trying to position things using css with a relative-but-absolute approach whereby some things must be absolutely aligned relative to other things (like the intro now). I wonder if there's a better approach than the negative top positions I hacked together? In any event, it seems to function...and it's not flash (which sucks).
Saw "A Scanner Darkly" this afternoon. It wasn't really what I expected (not having read it), but I completely enjoyed it. The good: It's druggy and trippy and visually beautiful and really smart and funny at times. The bad: Sometimes slow, sometimes poorly acted, and, tho I hate to admit it, sometimes too disjointed for my tastes. I already think I need to see it again, if only for the Yorke/Radiohead score and the swell sounds.
It's been up for most of the week now, but in case you haven't wandered by yet (maybe you track the rss feed?), noisybox.net has itself a brand spanking new web design.
Although it's not that drastic, I think it's a considerable improvement and I'm quite happy with how it's turned out. I think it keeps a rough edge while remaining somewhat polished. I never intended the old layout to have a "torn paper" 1997 kinda feel, but more than one person commented on just that effect. The new look is hopefully a bit more modern, a bit more refined. Bala suggested that the background image is a tad intrusive, and I explained that it's intentional (it is!). This is NOT a myspace page (myspace ranting elsewhere)...
There are a few remaining additions/changes that I haven't been able to do yet...including some shadows, hover images, and a new splash/intro image, but for now it's mostly done. Honestly, I'd have redone the splash image by now if it hadn't been so rediculously hot here lately (104 yesterday, muggy and unbearably hot upstairs in the ilab).
I'm optimistic that the redesign will help me to update the blog more regularly.
So now that I've done the lion's share of the work, I need to rant some about CSS (ala Dvorak last week on /.). Say what you want about the guy, I mostly agree with his basic premise that "modern" CSS design/layout is a gigantic pain in the ass. It's true. I guess I'm capable, but it's not exactly fun nor easy to build cross platform, standards-compliant sites. Prime example: I think it's completely backwards/bizare that a floated div has to be placed before other content to work right....ug. I feel kinda dirty even knowing this stuff.
I spent quite a bit of time/effort modifying the noisybox pages to be XHTML 1.0 strict compliant. I didn't feel the need to add the little w3c xhtml button, but really, the large majority of my pages are now completely XHTML strict. It may seem sillly, but this was a notable undertaking that I think will have long term value.
For the most part, it required adding closing <li> tags, closing <p> tags, and just generally cleaning things up and making tables into css and trying to remove unnecessary markup where possible. It's still far from perfect, and there are still plenty of inline style defs and counterproductive things like paragraph classes instead of headings, but I still consider it a big step in the right direction. It was pretty amusing to see some of the markup in the really old pages.
Other than the website, the tech projects have been somewhat slow. I've been trying to finish up the irrigation system in the backyard, and we desparately need to have a garage sale to move some of the crap out of storage. After summer, I think things will pick up again...
So I bought a new desktop machine a little while ago, and although it really screams, I haven't been able to get a realtime patched kernel to boot on it...that is, until yesterday when 2.6.16-rt25 was released! Seems to work very well with jack and xorg modular. There's a clock drift problem with jack and dual core processors tho, and there's a jack branch called "clockfix" that addresses (fixes!) this issue, but it hasn't been merged yet. As a result, none of the stock Debian apps can use the jack server, which kinda defeats the whole point. It's progress, though. Now if only I could get those closed-source motherfuckers to support flash player and windows codecs, I might be satisfied.
Ministry and Revolting Cocks show is tonite. I want to hate myself for paying too much money to see a middle-age reunion tour, but it's going to be good. I guess I bought into the hype...so what.
The Cypress PSoC products seem pretty cool, and I have an interest in toying with them after checking out a project called GAINER and reading some stuff in Circuit Cellar. After a fair amount of research, it seems there is zero Linux support for developing those guys. What crap.
I know I'm in an OS minority, and I know there are going to be hassles such as this that go with the territory. That's fine...whatever. It's just unfortunate. Instead of just being able to buy a dev kit and start working with low-price hardware, I would have to buy a $200 operating system that I don't want in the first place.
I wonder if the dsPIC line from Microchip can be developed using Linux? I've been meaning to look into those. At present, it seems that PICs or Atmel devices are the way to go when doing micro* stuff with Linux...although it would be nice to have better support.
Apparently very similar to GAINER is the Arduino project. There's a USB version readily available for $30, but look at the part count comparison between the two! I haven't tried it out yet, but the kinda cool thing about Arduion is that they have their own little IDE (granted, I now assume that every IDE should be an Eclipse project.
I've been eyeballing the Sound Lab Synth for a bit now and might just have to build one. The page layout leaves something to be desired, but the sounds are damn fantastic.
Stacy and I quit smoking about 7 weeks ago now. Been going well so far, thanks to the patch. I've been doing Bikram Yoga 2-3 times a week to help with the quitting plan and improving my general health. It's very weird, but very good.
Just wanted to share some great free stuff I've been listing too...and you can too by using the nice little playlist I made just for you (your media player can handle simple m3u files, right?). Some great amazing stuff out there.
I suppose I'll make a few mentions of project stuff, instead of just linking to links to links as is the blog craze right now.
I released a new nzbperl over the vacation. Nothing groundbreaking, but wrapping up some loose ends before moving on to the next major change set. I'm also finishing up a Debian install/configure on an old laptop. My goal is to remount the thing inside a great little briefcase I bought at a garage sale and add various support technologies that can facilitate noisemaking. Once I start taking the hardware apart (after some addition a configs and getting a [new] sound card for the thing), I should get a project page up.
First, there's now a release page for the liar's rail field recording I did recently.
Next, I wanted to mention that I finally got rt limits with low latency working with PAM. Somebody is hosting patched debs (required!) for Debian unstable...and they work great. One caveat though -- if you're going to make PAM changes you must log back in for it to take effect (took me a while to figure that one out). In any case, jackd via qjackctl works beautifully now (again) with low latency and zero xruns and no realtime lsm module to load.
Finally, if you happen to have a Zoom X6 DSL modem and make changes through the CLI interface, there is a way to save to flash. I poked around and couldn't find it in the docs or the help and even asked Zoom tech support (yeah, they sure didn't know). The command to save to flash is: "system config save". Sounds simple enough, but it took me a long time to hunt it down.