Thursday, April 29, 2010 Draw

Why are Draw diagram toolbar icons so much better looking than the actual diagrams themselves?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Home File Server

I just ordered one of these and two of these, to get my home storage off my volatile and untrustworthy "PC".

- Network file server for the whole house.
- Gigabit, 1.5TB, RAID (mirrored)
- Built-in FTP server for away-from-home access.

I'm in home file server dreamland.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why, Dad?

My daughter started asking "why?" today, suddenly. She's starting with the hard questions.

1. "Why [aren't the white shoes good park shoes]?" Dumbfounded, the best I could come up with was "because there are holes in them". (They are sort of like sandal-shoes.) My answer was so unsatisfying (to both of us), I put on the white shoes.

2. I was washing my hands tonight, and she walks up to the bathroom and asks, "Why [are your] hands dirty?" I still don't know how to answer that question.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Music From Japan

It's been one year (today) since the beginning of our 6-month tour of Japan. I realized recently that some of our most vivid memories take the form of music. I still can recall some of the jingles that played in the stores in our neighborhood. TV and radio was full of songs we heard routinely, and they bring us right back when we hear them again now. (e.g. I heard these on a children's program practically every day before going to work.)

Some songs we had the foresight to take back with us. (Others - it turns out - get deleted when you synchronize your iphone to the wrong computer upon returning. grrr!) I wanted to learn to play some of them myself (e.g. on a piano). We have a toy camera (which makes flash and camera noises, but doesn't take pictures) that plays the Anpanman theme song in NES-style beeps [original]. I converted the music from the camera into sheet music via an open source program called "Lilypond". It works by hand-writing a text file with musical markup that Lilypond knows how to read. It's a rather painstaking process, but the program will automatically create a PDF of sheet music from your source text file, and even a MIDI file.

I haven't learned to play it very well yet (like this guy), but now I can relearn it when I forget it. Here's the PDF of the sheet music, and the ho-hum MIDI file (sounds like a piano played by a robot). For those curious, here's the source that generated them.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

FileZilla icon set ("theme")

A new version of FileZilla (cross-platform FTP client) just came out, which includes my latest theme. (It's not the default, but it's selectable under Settings > Interface > Themes.)

Here's a presentation, of sorts, I made on the theme.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trends - python web frameworks

Once in a wile, I need to gauge the popularity of different competing development technologies, and most of the internet tends to be really unhelpful. (i.e. it tends to be over-saturated with 1-sided arguments.) However, the tool that never fails me is Google Trends.

I'm currently looking into python development frameworks. I needed to know which one people are gravitating to. The best thing the rest of the internet is going to have is a page like this. At best the author(s) might shed an opinion on their favorite. But armed with a list, Trends makes things a little more obvious.

Apparently goodbye Zope, hello Django.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

ColStr Update - A Few Good Movies

I've been making steady "progress" on my colorstream sound visualization project. Its algorithm for colorizing speech now has two parallel strips. A larger, upper strip represents the "whispering" range. (Even in a whisper, the ear can distinguish most sounds & words, so there's lots of data in there.) And a thinner, lower strip represents the vocal range - a rainbow, from the lowest bass note to the highest soprano note. (With this strip, one could tell apart "z" and "s" sounds for example, as one is voiced and the other is not.)

Here are some example movie clips I've been experimenting with.

The opening sounds & narration from the Transformers movie (2007) from this video can be seen colorized here. [Update: source video has been taken off-line. Audio-only is cached here, for purposes of this demo.]

And here's a colorized view of the "You can't handle the Truth!" scene from A Few Good Men. Enjoy!

Here is something of a phonetic color key for how different sounds match up with colors.