blog

gimme my month back, dammit

Tue Jan 11 2005 22:27:45 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

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 (Pacific Standard Time)

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 (Pacific Standard Time)

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 (Pacific Daylight Time)

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 (Pacific Daylight Time)

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 (Pacific Daylight Time)

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 (Pacific Daylight Time)

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].

The continuing decline of Radio Shack usefulness...

Sun Sep 19 2004 20:05:09 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

It's true. Radio Shack continues to suck...and get worse. I can confirm that this simple circuit can be built cheaply and quickly instead of dropping $22 on Radio Shack's gold plated equivalent. I ended up constructing the adaptor for free from parts in my junk box. Cannibalize an S-Video cable and slap on a cap and a male RCA adaptor with solder connections...and viola. The end result is completely contained, and looks like it was store bought. Of course, when I went to Rat Shack, the helpful little bitch stayed true to form: "So, what exactly are you hooking up, anyway?". They always ask that, like somehow its their business or somehow it helps them (it doesn't!). Most people who actually want to downgrade an S-Video signal to composite won't care about the fact that they're using gold plated connections. Sheesh. If you want a higher quality signal, don't buy the gold shit...just stick with S-video. I first tested video out on the Apple //c display. Nothing says quality like a movie on a 6", 20 year old green monochrome monitor. I later connected it to the TV, and the picture looks fine.

Yay! Now I'm only about 3 years behind the technocurve...

Sat Sep 18 2004 20:53:45 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

I suppose that I consider myself a pretty high tech guy...but honestly, on many fronts, I'm late to the party. I guess I'm fairly comfortable with that...I do have a lot going on...

After some reasonable refactorings, I cobbled two main features into the noisybox blog: permalinks and an rss feed. Now I'm all hip circa 2000 style. Actually, I don't know if there's any real use in this crap for anybody (including myself!), but it still feels good to support the spirit of the web, yaknow?

The rss feed should show up as a link next to the topmost summary line (the one up there that shows message counts). The permalinks show up as intentionally small, low contrast circles next to the posting time.

Archive.org has all my uploads curated and approved for public display now. Neeto...mostly because I know I'd never get around to building something to support streaming. :) It's also nice to have another place for people to dload from (at high speeds too).

In a typical run of synchronicity, I ended up using the archive.org rss validator to validate the structure of my new feed. Go figure!

These geeks really know how to break it on down.

Zombies: The Other White Meat<small><sup>TM</sup></small>

Thu Sep 16 2004 22:27:52 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

As mentioned last time, I completed the Piece For Walking and posted it up in the art section. I'm actually quite pleased with how it turned out...it's satisfying to surprise yourself once in a while. John claims that the above mentioned track is called "Blown to Pieces While Walking". I'll accept "Piece for Walking (to the end of the world)" or even "Piece for Walking (off the edge)", but absolutely not "Blown to Pieces While Walking". :) heh. Although I've been thinking about it for some time, I finally started migrating my audio content over to archive.org. You can click (hell, bookmark it!) this link to see what's available by me. "The Burden" is complete, and the others are in a pseudo complete semi pending state. I expect them to be fully available within a few days. Sometime last week I was thinking about how all window-based UIs generally suck and that the our whole keyboard-mouse thing under utilizes the left hand and that it's a shame that things haven't progressed too much in the last 15-20 years. I guess I have high expectations for the smart ones. Anyway, I was looking at this glove as a distraction and it got me kinda interested. Synchronicity kicked in tonight when somebody on the pd mailing list mentioned buying one for $12.50 from computergeeks.com. How could I resist? I'm pretty interested in interfacing it with pure-data...so expect an update later after I get it. I also saw this kinda interesting thing called FreeWheeling. Interesting looking looper tool...too bad the guy hasn't made it actually available yet. Sheesh.