blog

Electrococks save the day!

Fri Jan 28 2005 21:11:12 GMT-0800 (PST)

I didn't have a chance yesterday to write this up, but it's absolutely worth saving, so I'm covering it today. I had a long work day yesterday, and I was driving home somewhat sleep deprived and exhausted. I wasn't really in the mood for music, so I tuned on NPR to kill some of the the drive time silence. I was mostly spacing out (half listening) when All Things Considered ran the greatest story I've ever heard in my life. I strongly encourage you to listen to the stream from their site, but I absolustely had to save a copy for posterity. I was alone and laughing out loud! What madness this world can bring! All credit and respect to NPR, All Things Considered, and Robert Siegel: A big thank you for turning around my day and putting a big nasty grin on my face. I guess I should also add that I released a dot-version of nzbperl last night to address a stupid-yet-critical bug. If you're running version 0.6, should should upgrade asap.

TurboTard for the web...

Tue Jan 25 2005 20:16:39 GMT-0800 (PST)

So Firefox kicks ass. Anybody who's in-the-know has been using Mozilla/Seamonkey/Firebird/Firefox for quite some time and realizes the superiority of said browser. I know I've been using it for at least 5 years [he said smugly]. I fucking hate doing my taxes. It's a bureaucratic bullshit overly-complicated and ultimately retarded process. Fortunately, there are these great little online tools (read: web applications, that seems to be the buzzwerd) that can walk you through a finance-for-dumbasses style wizard to fill in the blanks of some government form, for like $30 or $50. That's cool...I'm a tax tard and I admit it...so I'm willing to pay for the [mechanized] help... Except now. Some TurboTard has decided that unix (eeeewwwwww-nix) browsers (whatever the fuck that is, eh, and who are these eunuchs?) including firefox aren't supported. Except, guess what? They actually are supported! A brilliantly useful summary from the "NetWizard" describes the issue and how to work around it. Stupid stupid stuff on the part of Intuit, great great info on the part of Yakov. In summary: TurboTax has decided to implement some silly ineffective JavaScript to detect the browser version. If they don't see your current browser in a small (read: incomplete) set of mainstream configurations (think Win/OSX with IE or Netscape, yeah, like people still use Netscape), they flip you the bird and tell you to bend over. Fortunately, a little client-side hack with the help of a Firefox plugin clears things right up. I'll be trying this soon. Firefox is Firefox, people. Sure there are going to be teeny tiny differences between Windows and OSX and *nix, but for the most part, the developers have gone WAY out of their way to make sure that the behavior is consistent (not only consistent, but standards compliant). I've been using your product for years now -- why would you try and alienate me now? Who cares what the host OS is? Unless, of course, there's a hidden agenda in there somewhere. Da.

Monkey skulls and nzbperl

Sun Jan 23 2005 22:41:10 GMT-0800 (PST)

I released nzbperl version 0.6 tonight. I suppose it's not complete, but I think it's consumable. Good stuff inside.

And I also made a monkey skull stencil on the dry erase board. Here's what it looks like from a distance and also up close. We're all monkeys anyway...and I recall that Mr. Byrne wants you to understand the facts.

gimme my month back, dammit

Tue Jan 11 2005 22:27:45 GMT-0800 (PST)

Where the hell did the last month go? It was a blink...a flash in the pan...and I promise that I didn't intentionally delay this post for an exact month. Is that a symptom of getting older? So the noisybox blog now has a RSS link in the doc head, so that that fancy icon shows up properly in Firefox (look in the lower right-hand corner of the window). Too bad I never seem to post. After the last post, really, not a lot has been going on (outside of the 40+ hour grind). I spent many an hour rebuilding nzbperl into version 0.5, and a new release is already around the corner. This isn't really the place for technical details, but I'm pretty damn happy with the latest release -- it handles multiple connections and has a dope-ass colored ASCII (remember when we called colored ASCII ANSI?) screen. A few silly bugs and minor improvements will be in the next version...probably within a few weeks. The holidays (the blur that they were in my sieve-like memory) were great. Dustin made it up to P-town (surprise) and gave us a fancy new DVD player that supports all kinds of newfangled formats. Rad. I also got a DVD burner, so I'm no longer 2 years behind the times! Speaking of Dustin, his new site is up and running, so give it a look. The BCR2000 (been drooling over this for months!) I got is a bad-ass control surface that worked right out of the box with the Linux USB MIDI drivers in 2.6. It's nice to be able to control multiple things in an intuitive way at once...but there's one drawback: if I run pd with realtime settings and then power off the BCR200, it seems to (some-fucking-how) disable my puter's keyboard. There's always something...

New recording up for listening displeasure: Trichinosis

Sat Dec 11 2004 14:56:02 GMT-0800 (PST)

So there's a new recording up on the art page for download: Trichinosis. It's a terribly long generative piece that's seeded with streaming scanner audio. Mostly, it's intended to be an informational piece that explains the dangers of improperly prepared meat products. Modern day farming practices and pork feeding habits are both of critical importance. The work should also be available on archive.org within a few days. That is all for now. I haven't really created anything new or progressed on any other projects...but I will...

blah, holy-day holidays and fascism

Sun Nov 21 2004 21:23:06 GMT-0800 (PST)

The election has got us all down. My selfish hopes are that this administration stirs up enough animosity to motivate the players into sculpting the next generation of great and truly revolutionary music. It should inspire hatred anyway. What more can I say. I saw Les Savy Fav a few weeks ago and caught Wolf Eyes most recently. Both were great, but perhaps didn't quite meet my expectations. I've got some pictures from both...maybe I'll post them soon. Dustin and I are doing some remote noise collaboration. If we stick with it, there could be an album in the works. I broke out the Ghetto Drum System today for the first time in years. With a little finesse, I managed to get it hooked (via comport) into pd. The response time is significantly better than I remember it. I think it's time to finally build an 8-pad platform for banging...at least until I decide that I absolutely need velocity sensitivity. Sure, it's no Akai MDP16 or Roland SPD20, but it's still surprisingly usable. I'm also thinking about building a variable speed vibrator tool for use with my toy guitar and/or spring reverb. I think those little pager motors with the offset weight should be a good fit.

commercial noise recording newness

Wed Oct 20 2004 21:15:40 GMT-0700 (PDT)

If you purchase the latest Wolf Eyes album "Burned Mind", smell the insert first thing. In fact, go buy the fucker simply for this smell. Sure, my sense of smell is fucked, but goddamn if it doesn't smell like those thick graphic novels I used by buy when I was blah blah years younger. It smells of the house I once rented. It smells of high school art room sink. Huff that shit. I'd classify it as one of the finest smells I've ever experienced. I should quit my job and go work for the factory that prints this stuff. I wonder if that joint is in the Michigan? Who cares about the fact that the insert is totally masturbatory? This shit is on. I'll finish listening to the rest of it, after I get through the Alec Empire vs Merzbow at CBGBs thing I'm rather enjoying. That smell is still sticking to me. It's living inside me and my nose. It makes me wonder if it'll still smell that way in 30 years...and I know my mp3s don't smell that way. Are there still 30 year old records that have maintained their smell? I'm sure this exists elsewhere, but the morse code on the Interpol album reads: antics length narc cruise * exit that's my candy.

Short, sweet, and dead stuff.

Mon Oct 11 2004 21:16:45 GMT-0700 (PDT)

Shooting a starter pistol into your mouth to record an impulse response to build models of reverbs is muthafuckin hard. And crazy. Insanely cool DIY synths. In fact, I think this is probably the best picture I've seen in my entire life. My boy Bean keeps me supplied with yummy links. It looks like the libp5glove driver guy Jason is making some solid progress on getting the open source userspace driver working. Although I got a very basic pd external written for the fingers, I'm mostly excited about getting position and rotation data. In any case, it should save me some serious hacking time...so I wait excitedly and patiently. I wish that scripting for the Gimp wasn't so difficult. I've got some ideas I'd like to play with, but I'm not sure if I want to put forth the effort. I probably should. An opossum was dying on my front yard yesterday. I think it was brained by a car and managed to make it the block or so to my lawn. Animal services came and hauled it away before it gave up the ghost, which I didn't particularly want hanging around my house.

P5 glove now working in Linux!

Sat Oct 02 2004 23:37:41 GMT-0700 (PDT)

So I spent entirely too long troubleshooting and otherwise trying to make my p5 glove work in Linux. I was especially interested in the open source 3rd party driver, but alas, I had no success with any driver. At least until tonight, when I stumbled on a solution! I kinda assumed my USB setup was proper, and that the drivers were just outdated or somehow out of sync with the latest kernel usb support. Sure enough, my hunch was right. I ran across a post somewhere that mentioned that the libusb function usb_bulk_read is used with older kernerls (like 2.4 series), but that the newer ones (like 2.6 series) use usb_interruptread. I changed one function call name in the C code and viola_, the 3rd party driver stopped erroring out and started working! So now I'm able to dump the raw data from the device, but it's still not terribly interesting. The next step is to set up USB hotplug scripts to set permissions when it's plugged in. After that, I'm going to try and track down code that will convert LED readings into true (read: useful) x,y,z and roll,pitch,yaw. I'm fairly certain that this code exists somewhere already...so hopefully I don't have to write it myself (my matrix math is rusty). Once that's in place, I'll either track down a pd external to use the glove...or maybe even write one myself. The existing approach seems to use OSC fed into pd, but I'm a little concerned about adding latency. I'd rather have a component that reads directly from the glove...so I guess we'll see. On a side note, I did a short interview for the upcoming 2 Gyrlz Quarterly, mostly regarding my attendance at the noise fest earlier this year. So if you're in PDX and care, pay attention to the EL festival and pick up a copy.

P5 glove update, usb hacking, dammit.

Thu Sep 23 2004 20:40:06 GMT-0700 (PDT)

I got my P5 glove yesterday and have spent some time playing with it. I'm quite excited about it (again, mainly for interfacing with pure-data), but my efforts at getting it going in Linux have failed...quite miserably. Apparently there are two general options for supporting this thing -- the binary drivers from the manufacturer, and a 3rd party driver library based on the (userspace) libusb. My results with both? Shitty. The binary, manufacturer supplied driver just causes my machine to do a hard lock. Oh joy..."That's not supposed to happen in Linux". The other driver just reports error when trying to read data from the usb device. Oh wonderful. So I did some stack tracing and stepped through some of the 3rd party code (which is surprisingly readable!) to no avail. Trying to track down errnos from ioctl() calls is apparently my idea of a good time. ;) Needless to say, I'm frustrated about the whole thing. Not sure what approach I'm gonna take yet, but I'll just have have to make this thing work. Come to think of it...the only other time I can remember hard locking my linux boxes was when dicking with USB devices (in the other case specifically, a usb quickcam that I was planning on pointing at the LED sign). As somebody else put it -- this thing has some great potential for sound/music work, because it's basically 11 continuous controllers with one hand. I want to be able to slave some pd patches to this...I just can't get there [yet].