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MauriceK, caught between dev and drums

March 29, 2008

Media back in the days…

Category: Spare Time, Development, Haiku — kaldor @ 3:04 am

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Developing in your spare time is something weird. On the one hand you want to keep your social life ongoing (and we all know how fast you can forget about time while staring at code. Just look at the time I write this article), on the other it helps you so much when you are searching for different challenges than your work can give you.

Next week I’m going to be in Cologne again for a big birthday party, and as I have no children on my own (congratulations to Paradoxon again), I decided to play a little bit around with Cortex again.

Cortex is kind of *the* application when it comes to Multimedia on Haiku. It allows you to display all the things going on in your system regarding media nodes. While we already recognized that it also tends to manipulate the system itself, it still is a great peace of software, horribly to read and get into, but does the user care :)

Today I added some of the additional addons to the build, and well what can I say. The following screenshot starts reminding me where BeOS once was and that possibly Haiku will be there at some point. No I am not talking about opening Chapter 11 :P

Cortex on Haiku

I’d really like to investigate on so much more stuff, Haiku is still missing encoding support. Also all latest hardware technology is currently bypassed. All these are areas I am interested in and have absolute no to some clue about, but then again…

Let’s get social and go to bed.

March 12, 2008

Minor updates…

Category: General — kaldor @ 8:52 pm

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Not much going on currently, so it’s more time to just paste some links, I’ve seen during the last weeks.

First of all, a link to a company called 37Signals. It is really interesting what attempts are made world wide to increase the employee’s productivity. Really interesting to see that project progress.

Secondly, a link to a video showing six amazing drummers. It’s real fun…

Next time more updates ;)

February 19, 2008

In Memoriam…

Category: General, Music — kaldor @ 11:43 pm

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As not much is going on currently, of which I am willing to talk about, it’s time to digg deep in the past. Unfortunately it feels like this.

While I was in my hometown during one of the last weekends. I met our former guitar player Holger. It was nice to see him again and get to hear that life was good to him for the last months. This hasn’t always been like this and that gives me positive emotions :)

One topic of that evening was, that the band page of Dragonfyre still exists and is available here. We’ve decided to shut it down a long time ago, but now I at least have the chance to backup two images, which mean a lot to me.

Dragonfyre Logo

 

Dragonfyre Page Profile

Unfortunately Holger is not on any of these images, maybe I’ll update this entry with some more, if my backup external disk survived the last moving.

Anyway, rest in peace Dragonfyre, it was always an honor to be a member…

January 28, 2008

Taking care of other networks…

Category: Development, Haiku — kaldor @ 11:04 pm

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I couldn’t hesitate to use this topic name, though this is a little bit unrelated to the content of this post…

So, during the last days, I’ve already mentioned that my interest in Haiku is rising. Furthermore there had been a lot of discussions about ProjectConceptor on #beos.de at that time. Project Conceptor is a very promising piece of software, which is at a very early stage of development. Though my interest in actively developing for it is limited, the developers put their latest effort in backporting it from ZETA to BeOS R5.

Using R5 felt completely wrong to me, so I considered making it work for Haiku directly from my linux box, especially my preferred gcc4 version.

Some of you might already know, that I am not one of the biggest fans of Jam. Addtionally I am one kind of developers, who feel extremly annoyed by trying to port something and needing to take care of the build engine in first place. So the logical decision for me was to design a makefile engine, which is capable of building applications crosscompiled for Haiku. Stressing the point of making it easier for developers who are already in the BeOS world, the design of the makefiles have been adopted from what has been there for R5 and ZETA.

So, a classical (helloworld) makefile just looks like this:

NAME = myapp

SRCS = main.cpp

include $(HAIKU_DIR)/makefile-engine
$(HAIKU_DIR) describes the head directory of your checkout of haiku. That one usually will contain the generated directory for your haiku build. The only dependency is to set this variable in your environment and you should be ready to go.

In addition to compiling and linking it appends resources and sets the mimetype. Obviously, these rules have been adopted by the haiku engine and therefore should be compatible.

Oh, and before I forget, in case you want to use it for a gcc2 build, just set the COMPILER_VERSION variable in makefile-vars to 2 and you’re done.

So if you want to try it out, just click here for a download. Feedback is welcomed.

To clarify one thing in the end: This is no intention to replace the jam setup done for the haiku project. It is much superior than what is available here and I guess there has been a lot of research and discussions previously to the core team decided to go for jam. If you are considering to make your projects haiku only, use haiku_jam. If you start a new project for haiku, use haiku_jam. But, if you are just trying to port over an existing R5/ZETA project and want to prioritize the source work over the build engine, then this might be something of your interest.

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 23, 2007

Blue Friday…

Category: Spare Time — kaldor @ 1:52 pm

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As it’s currently Christmas time, I think I’d like to gather some commiseration from you. To get even more interest, take a look yourself:

Blue Eye small

Now what has happened you might ask? What does the other guy look like? The solution of this whole story can be described within 4 simple points. Take

  • a dancefloor,
  • loud heavy metal music,
  • my head and
  • an elbow

Afterwards follow in “Zack McCracken” style: “Use elbow with Maurice’s head“. And you got the whole thing.

In case you are wondering how the elbow owner currently feels like, I have no clue. I was more in a rush to toilet trying to get it cooled and then we walked home. Luckily it was after 3 in the night already, so the party got not interrupted too early :)

What concerns me more is the fact that I need to tell this story again and again this evening as I am meeting up with some old school friends. Now this is going to be fun…

For the rest of you, Merry Christmas and all that stuff belonging to this yearly ceremony.

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….

August 20, 2007

Meep meep… midi midi… meep meep

Category: Development — kaldor @ 10:23 pm

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Some of you already know that since some time I try to learn how to play the piano. Although I bought the Cubase application from Steinberg, I was very unhappy with the startup time. It took around one minute just to be able to start playing. In case you want to rehearse a little bit, that is very inconvenient.

As a developer only one solution comes to your mind: “Write your own stuff”. As I am more into developing the background and engines, I investigated on the MIDI C++ support on Windows and I was fairly surprised how easy it is to get reasonable results. These have been integrated into a little Qt library which handles all native MIDI events for you. Since the GPL exception added by Trolltech with the Qt 4.3.2 release I am now also able to publish this code under BSD license, so feel free to do with it, whatever you like to.

Ok, that explains one thirth of the topic, but why Meep? It has multiple backgrounds. First is, I wanted to quote a friend of mine, as we had some long discussions about libmidi3.so :) But mostly it was because of the reason that this is the first thing coming to your mind when you think of MIDI. MIDI? Isn’t that this crap, which only does meep, meep? It always takes some effort to get usable results out of your MIDI device and/or application. Finally I wanted to get rid of the “Kald-” prefixes like in Kaldience and Kaldile.

For code and examples continue reading…

(more…)