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MauriceK, caught between dev and drums » General

January 13, 2008

Swimming in the dead water…

Category: General, Spare Time — kaldor @ 1:36 pm

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It is quite some time now since my last employer opened Chapter 11. From that on it took some time, effort and self-control to get distance to this topic. A lot of things have been said from a lot of perspectives. But this post is not supposed to talk about the past, it’s just an intro of what I’ve been doing during the last days.

As most of this blog’s readers know, there is still an open source variant of the BeOS out there, namely Haiku. Sometimes (or on a regular basis), people on IRC asked me, if I took a look at it and always I’ve declined. But like it is with an ex-girlfriend, either you like it or not, at some point you’ll meet again.

In case you’re reading through all Haiku related blogs and internet pages, you can see that a few people are even brave enough to try this OS out on their daily basis. So I’d considered Haiku to be at some usable state. Still working on a 1.4 GHz Acer Notebook minimizes your fun in using today’s virtualization possibilities. I can run images, but the performance is not even discussable. Thus, I’ve tried to install it natively.

The build system has a very easy way to cross-compile and even copy the files over to a partition, which is going to be initialized with the bfs. Simply add the following two lines to your UserBuildConfig, and you’re ready to go:

  • HAIKU_IMAGE_NAME	= sda6 ;
    HAIKU_IMAGE_DIR		= /dev ;

Now, as I am not interested in running any of the spectacular, high-performance, super-killer apps which are still available on Bebits, I have decided to build a gcc4 build to have at least an impression that I am using something decent and updated.

Unfortunately the input_server hangs somewhere, neither mouse nor keyboard was working. I’ve also tried the USB Legacy mode, which gave me the chance to have a mouse. Unfortunately the system either KDLs or deadlocks somewhere after around 10-20 seconds. Talking to one of the developers of haiku, he asked me to give him a syslog. Luckily there is a BFS read-only implementation for Linux, so I opened the partition and was fairly surprised to not find any syslog. I did remember, that there was one in the few seconds, I could work on it. So I rebooted, instantly tried to copy the syslog (to get the data flushed on the partition), and went back to linux. Once again, no syslog. It seems like the bfs is having real fun. Discussing all these issues (there were more, but nothing worth mentioning compared to aboves) with a friend, he suggested to try out the gcc2 build and wohoo, it worked out of the box. So the solution to all these issues is to still stay in the 90’s to use an OS, which approximately will be out in 2010.

Anyway, all I can say so far is, it has been great fun watching a Be related OS again on my machine. It’s just reminiscent mood I guess, but still: it is almost tempting to just do something.
And the year just started…

December 29, 2007

survey of the (musical) year…

Category: General, Music — kaldor @ 4:12 pm

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Hey ho,

do you feel the same like I do, when you are currently turning on your TV? This was 2007 and these are “the 10,20,50,100 most tragical, emotional, happy, sensational, disgusting moments of the year” shows. I simply turn off TV then and try it again the next day. But after Christmas and before New Years Day you cannot hide from these. Going to the newspaper shop each magazine has a summary of the year 2007 describing “the ….” (you get it).

So, what to do against this? Well write your own :P

Thinking back about 2007 I always consider the music, as I usually combine my memories with certain albums I’ve listened to during this year. Just like with the song “Life” written by Devin Dev Townsend, which still reminds me of a good friend I’ve lost some years ago. So here are my nominees for “Best Album 2007″:

Opeth - Ghost Reveries

Ghost reveries

First thing you might want to ask, wasn’t that album published in 2006? Yeah, but I bought it in 2007, so shut up :)

Opeth was always an inspiring scandinavian band to me. Their extreme mixtures of aggressive, impulsive and melancholic elements is so refreshing. When you’re up to Progressive, but are not willing to listen to the so-called “gay-ish” stuff, Opeth is your friend. Each time you consider the drums to be too easy or too tight, you get learned better, that drummer certainly knows his job and especially how to support the feeling of the song without interfering the rest of the band.

Personally, I’d really enjoyed listening to this album at work. Each time something went wrong or I was in bad mood, all I needed to do is turn on this album, got the headset plugged and within an hour I felt refreshed. Awesome!

Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos

Systematic Chaos When this album came out, I had dubious feeling about it. Their previous albums weren’t too good, actually I really disliked them. And do not tell me, you need to listen to them often enough. I am used to the fact that some DT albums need their time. “Live In Budokan” was such an album. Once I sat together with my drum teacher for a drink and talked about that album, stating that it’s the worst live album they ever made, now it’s my favorite. But Octavarium etc. simply didn’t make it even into my top 200.

But let’s return to Systematic Chaos. Wow, this album got me. Starting up with “In the presence of Enemies Pt1″, which could not have been a better opener, followed by “Forsaken”, one of the best singles ever been done by Dream Theater. It simply grabs into your mind and weeks later you still cannot forget about it. “Constant Motion” is the song, which keeps me nervous, teetering all the time. It perfectly expresses the stress, the always being duty, unable to refresh state of mind. I could go on and on, but one thing I’d like to recommend still is, if you buy the album, get the one with the Bonus DVD. It is simply gorgeous.

Personally, I’d really enjoyed this album having some walks. Being it on my way to work, piano lessons, whereever, this album was on my ears for certain. As Dream Theater escorts me now since so long, it keeps me reminded of a lot of good times, especially with my previous band.

Devin Townsend - Ziltoid the Omniscient

ZiltoidThinking about this album gives me really mixed feelings. It is such a great album and perfectly gets in a row with Synchestra, Ocean Machine and Infinity, though being unique on its own. But on the other hand, we all know that Dev stopped making music for some public (and probably some private) reasons. So that was the most tragical moment in 2007 for me, loosing such a great, inspiring artist.

Anyway let’s talk about the album itself. Concept albums need to be someone’s friend, otherwise you get lost. But that was never a problem to me. I highly appreciate concept albums, as this shows that you develop a story, your music, your message during a longer period (meaning 80min max.) than just trying to describe a certain kind of feeling within one song. Considering this last sentence, I am wondering whether this really fits into the Ziltoid context. Well… certainly it does :) I will not go into details about the story itself, you can easily find some descriptions all over the internet about the ultimate 4th dimensional guitar hero trying to destroy planet earth to get all our finest coffee beans. Hail Ziltoid! This would have fixed a lot of issues within this universe, I guess….

Personally, I’d really enjoyed listening to this album as it always keeps me in good mood. Being it the perfect monologs by Ziltoid himself (”I am so omniscient. If there was to be two omnisciences, I would be both!”, “Pfui and double Pfui!”, “Indeeeeeeeeeda”), the fun style like in “Ziltoidia Attaxx!!!” which keeps you dancing in your mind all the time or the whole positive spirit of the album. Well, positive is something I feel, there are probably other opinions about that, but hey, my blog, my opinion :)

 

So that was my musical year 2007, I am expecting a lot from 2008. Maybe even composed something on my own or with a new band. If you’re located in Berlin and consider these are your albums too and you are looking for a drummer, you found his blog, the rest is just easy mailing :) (/Commercials)

December 18, 2007

Long time no read…

Category: General, Spare Time — kaldor @ 8:40 pm

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It’s really been some time, since I wrote anything here. I thought it had been only two months, but wow half a year.

So time for some updates. Still working for the same company, still trying to master the piano, still no band to play drums in. Anyone in Berlin looking for a drummer playing stuff in between Devin Townsend and Opeth?

I promise to write more regular here, maybe I should expand the topics to more spare time stuff, as I am currently not developing anything. Neither has my computer-music trip been continued.

Though, that is because of multiple reasons. First, during the last weeks there has been a lot of stuff to handle workwise, but also I moved to a new appartment. Living now downtown in Berlin is such a increase of life quality compared to the outlands in Adlershof.

The flat share does still exist (together with julun), though we expanded to three people now.

Finally here’s an update of the Berlin guys most of you will remember. Stay rocking on Christmas…

Berlin Checkaz

shot on the Julebord 2007

Yours truly…

August 28, 2007

Flower power…

Category: General — kaldor @ 6:04 pm

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This is something I wanted to blog about since last week, but now I found time for it.

Have you ever heard of tafiti.com? It is Microsoft’s attempt for a showstarter for their Silverlight product. Silverlight is supposed to be a competitive product to Macromedia Flash, uhm sorry Adobe of course :)

So tafiti is using Silverlight and shows how much bling-bling one can have on his webpage. The background is the Microsoft Live search engine, so you’re supposed to get the same results.

Ok, here is how it looks like when I was searching for myself on tafiti:

Tafiti Search Frontend

This looks very clean and polished I have to admit. You can even arrange and sort results on the right side. But I wanted to point out something else, meaning the “Tree View”. I was very excited about it. Did the search engine maybe filter the results and combine it into some logic? What would this logic be? Ordered by hit probability? Ordered by webpages? Well, I had expected anything, but take a look yourself:

Tafiti Tree View

As the name said, it is a Tree View! A tree which shows your result.

Now anybody in the world, tell me again, that Microsoft has no sense for humor….

July 8, 2007

From innovation award product to jumble sale…

Category: General — kaldor @ 11:20 am

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It’s some time ago since I shot this picture, but also since the last post. So at least to keep you reading…

We were visiting a jumble sale a few weeks ago in Friedrichshain here in Berlin. Usually you can see all possible stuff there, in most cases very old and used things. Good ones even provide you furniture older than a century. Take a deep look of what we found in the middle of this stand:

The book was unread and completely new. That’s how fast it can happen. One year has passed since the end of yellowTAB and now you can find it on a market place like this….

June 1, 2007

Enlighted…

Category: General — kaldor @ 8:15 pm

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Wow, since Wednesday I have a new monitor and I am really happy with that one. It’s a Samsung SyncMaster 204B 20″ and the most important functionality for developers: It has pivot. I have tried pivot at work and have been totally amazed by that. You just see more, it feels much more native. Of course, because the aspect ratio is the same like reading a newspaper.

Hopefully this will not “make your code longer”, as someone critized about this view :)

But unfortunately there were a lot of issues during the installation process. As some of you know, I only have a TravelMate notebook and got rid of a desktop machine several years ago. Plugging in the monitor was no problem and even the 1600×1200 resolution has been selected automatically. But if I wanted to open the desktop context menu, it took around 3-5 seconds for that. I was totally shocked and so I looked for a solution.

First thing everybody does is looking for new drivers. So, quick look at the ATI page and recognized my Mobility Radeon 9700 is still supported. After downloading the driver I tried to install them but then it fails. The error message was something about that the system is not meant to be compatible with the driver. Hm? After some investigation it came out, that some notebook vendors like Dell, Acer, etc. do not want people to download drivers from the vendors itself. Instead they want you to provide with drivers. Ok, fine with me. Up to the Acer page and downloaded the driver. Unfortunately the version was still the same or even older than the time I bought the notebook.

Luckily I found a page with a very convenient tool. It is called Mobility Modder and is available here. The theory behind is, the notebook vendor contacts ATI to disallow them that the driver installer works on their system. Mobility Modder then does some hex magic and the driver gets installed without any problems. And it works like a charm. So now I am typing this blog entry in a 1200×1600 resolution while the other monitor has all the IM stuff running. Very convenient….

Finally, an unfortunately blurred pic of my desk, now with the new monitor setup:

monitor

May 26, 2007

Berlin in summer or global warming in the neighbourhood…

Category: General — kaldor @ 5:54 pm

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During all the time I have been here until now in Berlin, I always said what great and awesome weather we have. Since yesterday this has changed a little bit.

Stupid me was to lazy to go shopping until now. But since the last half hour the sky changed to this:

berlin

Let’s just hope that it will cool earth down… Yesterday it rained for 10 minutes, so the only effect on this was huge humidity.

April 29, 2007

Simply touch it…

Category: General — kaldor @ 6:25 pm

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Last night I had a discussion with a friend, about how Desktops should change to revolutionize, what we currently use. Since some time I personally do not see, that windowing systems come along, being it the big players or niche operating systems. You always have this fixed desktop system, you always have a hierarchical order, etc. you get the point…

Of course these have a reason for existence. As soon as you get used to them, they are what we call intuitive. Been employed at a company which tried to push its own operating system gave me the experience that intuitive is not always, what the word really means. It is more that today intuitive equals to what you are used to as I said already. People always wanted to have things, like they were also on other systems, just because it is “intuitive”.

As destiny is always playing with us, I browsed through a blog of a friends blog. And then I saw something a project called Perspective Pixel. It is a concept a little bit based on how the iPhone by Apple tries to refresh your daily work on a cell phone. But it goes much further. Well, take a look first:

video(commercial in beginning)

This definately gave me a big wow and that is exactly what I am talking about. Of course, the developers know what they implemented and therefore it looks so smooth, what you can achive in a short time. But still I really believe that getting used to such a mechanism of work may really get you more productive on your daily work. Talking about Perspective Pixel, it is not only a concept, it is actually a company, which made this dream already come true. On this link you can see a live demo of this system working like a charm. The founder of this the company Jefferson Y. Han sells them already. Of course to prizes that we can currently not effort, but hey, you are most probably sitting at a computer which costed millions of dollars a century ago.

This really captured my attention and if you have some more information (for instance about parallel or competing system), please let me know…

February 17, 2007

Updating your outfit…

Category: General, Spare Time — kaldor @ 12:44 am

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Finally I updated to a new WordPress version as I wanted to try out some source code visualization plugins. Additionally spam is getting bigger and bigger. Some friends even decided to remove all comments. This was a step I never wanted to go and therefore investigated on some alternative solutions. The one I found is quiet funny and hopefully functional. It is called “Do you pass math?” and asks you a simple math question when you want to post a comment. Look here to download it or test it yourself.

Unfortunately the blogroll was broken for this theme and still is some sort of. The problem behind this is that links are now bookmarks. Bookmarks are categorized to the specific article you are currently reading. As no article has Blogroll as category, the blogroll was empty. I did a quick hack for now, but also read on the author’s page, that he is working on an update. So I will just wait for him.

To summarize the update process I am still happy that most of it worked fine, although it took much more time than there was scheduled for it. But this might also be related to the Snooker match currently being shown on TV :)

Good fight, good night…

Update: I installed a syntax higlighting plugin available here

int main(int argc, char**argv)
{
   QCoreApplication app(argc, argv);
   return app.exec();
}
January 11, 2007

Fratting with your second mind…

Category: General, Spare Time — kaldor @ 9:16 pm

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Since some days a good friend of mine started to work for an interesting project. It is called zweitgeist and its webpage can be reached at www.zweitgeist.com.
The concept is as easy as it is fascinating. Just read the following quote:
In the real world we see people where ever we go: at the bus stop, at school, in the work place, int the shopping mall, at the gym. If we want, can contact them. When we are surfing the Web, there are many other people on the same website at the same time as us. Unfortunately they have been invisible until now. Zweitgeist give us the opportunity to make ourselves and others visible even beyond single web sites.
And here you go. You install the application (firefox users have to install a separate plugin also), go through the typical IM configurations and start browsing to some pages. The most convenient way to get in contact with some people is browsing to google or some other well known pages.
Just try it out, in my opinion it is definetly worth it. Maybe we will meet us at one page somewhen, I am looking forward to it…