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MauriceK, caught between dev and drums

May 5, 2009

Internet censorship in germany

Category: General — kaldor @ 10:42 pm

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And now, to something completely different.

Some of you (at least the people living in Germany should have) probably heard about the latest proposals by our Federal Minister of Family Affairs. Basically it is about to enable better protection from child pornography in the internet. Just to be 100% clear, I absolutely consent with putting all available efforts in finding those criminals and adjudge them with maximum punishment the law allows to.

But the suggested way is to enable filters for webpages. While this sounds like a perfect solution for a dummy, most of the readers of this blog are no novices when it comes to online technologies. Firstly it is no problem at all to circumvent such systems by simply using proxies. In addition this opens all doors for enabling a fully working censor system in our country.

Consequently this proposal must be avoided by all means. The German Bundestag allows to create online petitions and if enough people sign such a document, the topic has to be further discussed.

Here is a link for the petition: click

May 4, 2009

Too fast to digitize…

Category: Music, Spare Time — kaldor @ 10:51 pm

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Once again a musical entry, one might complain. I have to admit, that I am currently very much into music and playing around with our songs. Potentially I am tempted to join a weekend course or such on producing, as I am far too much a novice to handle my Cubase. And I am afraid that upgrading to a new version won’t help me in this situation :)

Anyways, it happened that I received MIDI files from our guitar players to play around with our Song4. Of course I was not thrilled to listen to it using the Microsoft GS Wavetable. Consequently I searched the web for free guitar VST instruments and found this one.

Basically Independence Free is a 2GB huge sample collection providing lots of stuff, including guitar instruments. The sortiment offers far more versions, but these are commercial and I was not willing to invest money right now.

Starting with the Intro of our fourth song, I was fairly surprised by it, take a look:

Also open fourths sound really nice

Unfortunately, we are not making slow rock. Lets cause the simulator to stresstest a little bit. If you play faster you loose a lot of quality, here’s one faster part of the song:

As you can hear, it already starts to give you an old-school Atari impression. But that is ok, as it is a free tool. I was more shocked when the following happened:

Guitar Hero players might remember that sound (at least it reminds me of it). It’s not wrong played notes, the sampler simply cannot handle that many notes! Now, as some of you know I have a QuadCore machine and thus I am used to software working fluently, but maybe that sampler does not support multithreading. “Ouch”! It does! The preferences allow you to specify the amount of cores it should use. Additionally the disk I/O is almost zero, so that cannot be a reason either. The only hardware-specific reason I could think of is my soundcard. I am still using an onboard HDA chip, which is of limited functionality, but fullfilled my needs nicely so far.

For those of you, who are keen to know, what this part was actually supposed to be, here’s a synthesized version of DVS Guitar, another free instrument provided by DreamVortex.

So, what’s the result of this? We’re too fast for music production? Hm… I think I can go to bed with this wishful thinking now…

April 28, 2009

New Sounds, new Songs?

Category: Music, Spare Time — kaldor @ 11:27 pm

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Actually there are no new songs, just playing around a little bit with some new sounds for the drums.

This is the basic setup, but still it sounds far different from the songs we have so far. Have a look:

download

download

download

You might wonder, why I tend to write that less. First, it’s quite late for during the week (I know, I’m getting old). Secondly this post is more a dummy for people interested in joining the band.

Interested? ;)

More updates later on this week…

April 15, 2009

Building your own…. drum pedal?

Category: General, Music, Spare Time — kaldor @ 8:57 pm

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Though I was asked to blog about leaving projects and reasons, I won’t. Sorry to disappoint you frank ;)

To give you some general updates, I have started another musical project, which might be interesting for some of you. We are waiting for people to join the Open Death project. As far as I can tell some folks already stated interest and hopefully we will be able to keep you updated. Even if you are not a musician, this is your chance to create music as you like it, well…. given the fact you like Death Metal…

To sum up, I found a very cool link. Unfortunately it is in german, but having a look at the pictures will give you an impression about this extremely great hobby, which is building your own drum pedal. Actually it is a double bass drum pedal and the final result really looks awesome. Also following the milestones in between is totally cool, so have a look here.

Starting point

The final result

April 9, 2009

Musical Updates…

Category: Music, Spare Time — kaldor @ 5:46 pm

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Due to public interest a quick update on our songs, actually uploading an absolute preversion of our third song right now. If you have missed the first two, just go here.

This is by far not the cleanest record as well as very unfinished drums. Things got reassembled in the meantime, but you get the basic idea.

Things to mention, which happened so far already:

  • the clean part after the second chorus got some more marching drums on snare with some bass hits
  • the beginning of the double-time part got a little bit more Metallica like (yeah I know, it already sounds lots like this)
  • imagine some more double-bass games (/me gets used to experiment with the feets for fills again)
  • imagine by far more fills (well, actually imagine any fill. Currently it’s really empty)

Anything more to say? Well happy eastern, but I guess that’s it. And sorry for providing alpha-sounds, but hey, this is still partly a blog about development, so you should be used to it, ay :)

So here you go:

P.S.: As too many people seem to take me serious, comments and impressions are actually welcomed.

March 20, 2009

Finding musical cronies…

Category: Music, Spare Time — kaldor @ 2:47 pm

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After almost three years living in Berlin, I imagined it to be nearly impossible to actively play music again. But as the german adage says “Never say never”. Since some weeks I met two cool guys searching for a drummer and so far I can only say, that it is a very good fit.

Musically it is not hard to identify influences, at least for those who know my favorite bands :)

So far, we have a rough mix of two songs. Interested? Well here you go:

Song1:

Song2:

You want song titles? Well, then you’ve never played in a band before. Titles are for pussies, enumerations are for real musicians.

Never the less, I am afraid there will be title announcements as soon as a singer joins this project. Of course we’re looking for a bass player as well to reduce rehearsal room costs ;)

Comments, opinions, suggestions? I don’t care, but feel free to post them right below…

P.S.: I have no clue where the glitches come from, seems the ftp upload messed up. Let us consider this to be our personal way of DRM…

January 26, 2009

Ouch, that late?

Category: General, Music, Spare Time, Development, Haiku — kaldor @ 8:39 am

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Wow, more than half a year again, between two posts. I won’t start apologizing, things like this loose their impact, when you say them too often.

So, what am I up to currently?

Spare Time:

  • Searching for a band to play drums in Berlin, anyone who wants to play something between Opeth, Arch Enemy and Strapping Young Lad?
  • Still doing my piano lessons
  • Still expanding my DVD collection

Anything coding related?

  • More accidently I kind of contributed here, among other commits and joined the KDE on Windows project. This is mostly work related, but as I am searching for a new audio player on Windows, I have to admit, that amarok2 on windows is really cool. Using Qt 4.5 is still breaking some stuff, this is what I’ll try to investigate on during the coming weeks.
  • Haiku related? Hm… nothing serious to talk about, see this screenshot and try to remember, from where you might know this application:

yay a clock

I think that was basically it. I won’t start telling that I’ll write more often, you know that this won’t happen :D

July 24, 2008

Building Haiku on Windows, Step by Step

Category: Development, Haiku — kaldor @ 12:23 am

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Uhm… this topic sounds familiar, right? But wait, Windows? Yup, so far it was only possible to build Haiku from R5, Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS and sometimes (though these times seem to increase lately) Haiku itself. Karsten and I put some effort in the buildsystem and some other parts of the repository to get Haiku compiling from a Cygwin environment on Windows.

First some notes of what you need to take care about, before you start:

  • You need lots of packages from the Cygwin installer to have Haiku successfully build. Unfortunately I was too lazy and installed a complete package. Thus I suggest you to do the same.
  • On Windows Vista be sure to have the command prompt open as Administrator. Otherwise many operations will fail, you cannot even call ‘ping’ without needing admin rights.
  • Be sure to not have any special characters in your PATH environment like ‘(’ or such. Also spaces inside the path names are invalid on cygwin. Change your environment accordingly.
  • This will only create images for you, you cannot use it to create/update real partitions on your hard-drive.

Ok, after you have taken care of all above points, let us start.

1. Before you are able to checkout the source code, you will need a managed drive. Read here for further details, basically it is to have a case sensitive filesystem on Cygwin. Otherwise the compiler will horribly fail eg. Including string.h and String.h.

mkdir /managed-dir
mount -o managed c:/cygwin/managed-dir /managed-dir
cd /managed-dir/

2. Create the Haiku development directories and get the Haiku built tools source:

mkdir develop
cd develop
mkdir haiku
cd haiku
svn checkout svn://svn.berlios.de/haiku/buildtools/trunk buildtools

3. We will need to patch fileunix.c of jam inside the buildtools directory:

cd buildtools/jam

Index: fileunix.c
===================================================================
--- fileunix.c  (revision 26383)
+++ fileunix.c  (working copy)
@@ -57,6 +57,7 @@
 # include 
 # define STRUCT_DIRENT struct dirent
 # endif
+#include < unistd.h >

 # ifdef OS_COHERENT
 # include 

Note: Some might have seen that the jam Makefile/Jambase have a Cygwin option. Do not use these! The problem is that jam passes -D__cygwin__ to each target. This will break latest, when some 3rd party libraries are supposed to be build, which actually have Cygwin checks included.

4. Now build jam

make
./jam0 install
cd ../..

5. Get the Haiku source (this will take a while): For anonymous check-out:

svn checkout http://svn.berlios.de/svnroot/repos/haiku/haiku/trunk trunk

For an existing Haiku developer:

svn checkout https://developername@svn.berlios.de/svnroot/repos/haiku/haiku/trunk trunk

If there are any errors when checking out above, just cd into the trunk directory and type “svn up” to get any missed files. This also applies when updating the code in the future.

6. Build the cross compiler tool (GCC 4.x):

cd /managed-dir/develop/haiku/trunk
./configure  --build-cross-tools-gcc4 x86 ../buildtools/

Note: This only works with the GCC4 compiler. The GCC2 cross-compiler is generated in a wrong way and the build is broken for this version. Hybrid systems are untested so far.

7. Build the Haiku image:

jam haiku-image

To build for testing in VMWare:

jam haiku-vmware-image

As you can see, most of the steps are identical to the Ubuntu tutorial. The changes needed were more or less minimal, mostly related to minor things not working properly for the host tools. Finally, I’d like to mention that building Haiku takes much longer compared to Linux. My guess is that this is related to gcc being slower and also forking processes takes much longer on the Windows platform. But this is just a personal impression. By the way, you can also use multiple jobs to create the image with the -jx option, where x describes the amount of parallel jobs to run.

Update 1: Changed environment suggestions. You must not have spaces or special characters in your PATH variable

Update 2: Updated note that gcc2 is not supported.

May 19, 2008

parental advisory…

Category: General — kaldor @ 4:55 pm

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When I was a teenager, I started to get interested in this whole computer thing. Yeah actually much later than most of the others. I remember a discussion with my father at that time, that if I decide to do IT, I should not go into software development and rather decide to go for robotics. Some weeks later I got a book about it. But I was never talented when it came to dexterity and/or real construction of things (Damn I’m even afraid today, if I have to open my desktop box :) ). So I lost interest in this part of today’s technology….

Until I saw that link:

Oh my freaking god, this thing is insane and one can only imagine what military use this will have at one point. Getting people to play with it for civil purposes will probably take its time, it has always been like that. But hey, I should have reconsidered….

P.S.: This entry was lying around for some time now on this blog without being published, so most of you will already know that link….

April 12, 2008

Rational or emotional…

Category: General — kaldor @ 12:33 pm

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I am usually a very sceptical person when it comes to political news being pushed by the media. The yellow press in Germany is always against what has to be decided independent of who the current decisor is (well that’s political independence I guess :) ). It is always good to listen to both sides and start to formalize your own opinion, or simply shut up if you are unsure.

On the other hand I have been one of the first persons shouting and yelling at the latest happenings in China and Tibet. I guess most of you have seen the Tibetian flag on the sidebar and potentially I should say something about this.

First, let me show you why I am writing this entry. Today I found an interesting link: here.

Basically it is about the Chinese view on this whole thing. Of course one could state that this is typical chinese propaganda, which has been quoted in our media already. But this is the first time I could actually listen to what these people think about this issue. And as we all know (as you are all intelligent people), the truth is somewhere in between.

As a consequence I should remove the banner you might say now. Actually, no I will not. And this is for multiple reasons:

  • For me “Free Tibet” does not mean that it should be it’s own independent country. I am looking forward to freedom of choice, culture and religion. If the religious leader is not allowed to visit his people, this is plainly wrong. Consider the pope not being allowed to be in Vatican City because the Italian forbid it. Just think of a situation, where you are not allowed to wear a Christian cross with you, would you accept this situation?
  • I am looking forward to a dialog between both sides. As long as the mob riots and the corresponding leaders are not willing to negotiate, it will get worse and worse.
  • I am looking forward to our politicians accepting the fact that we do care about the people getting arrested, hurt or even worse, on both sides. It is time to put pressure on any participant that is not willing to open a dialog. The happenings about the olympic flame is simply the only catalysator to show everyone their displeasedness.
  • The teaches of Gautama are basically the total oposite of what is going on there currently, so please get back to your roots and get this thing handled peacefully and rational.

Many thanks to Matthias (Paradoxon) to inspire me about this entry, it’s hard to summarize this within that short amount of lines….