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July 25, 2005

July 19, 2005

Terrible is this. Not only is it stupider than stupid, they 
misspelled Shawn Fanning.

Saw some of Beck's show last night at Bill Graham Civic. I guess I've been 
spoiled by bands like Dungen, The Pixies, and Radiohead. Bands that know how
to do a proper live show. Beck's was just uninspiring, which I should've 
predicted, having seen him play SNL recently. And what's with the useless guy,
anyway? I can see the humor in it, but only to a point. What a lot of crap.
And all of the music, at least the parts not just played as samples by a guy
hidden way in the back, was a bit lacking in energy and execution, compared to
the album versions. It seems either Beck isn't that great of a guitarist, or
just doesn't try when playing shows... (OK so the tons of drums up on stage was
cool, but I didnt feel like they were properly used, and Beck doing his own 
little playing of them at the end of a song was kinda pathetic.. ugh)

Anyway. We've released NINJAM as GPL software. Yay. Rejoice.

The power supply for my Shuttle ST20G5 died. Their tech supprot number won't call
me back, so hopefully I can manage to order a new PSU for ~$60 from their sales
office sooner rather than later. They were supposed to email me a order form, 
but I'm still waiting for it (hoping it's taking its sweet time coming through
the spam filter).



how i feel now


July 16, 2005
freeform jam with craigbiderman

July 15, 2005
new NINJAM and Jesusonic releases

Today, I put together new NINJAM and Jesusonic software releases. Yay.

The Jesusonic release is just a bunch of updates that I never really released,
and some fixes that come in especially handy for NINJAM (the drum sequencer
is a lot more advanced now, and less broken).

The NINJAM release updates the Mac client with a better connection dialog 
(I think that's about it!?), and the Windows client with a bunch of updates,
including an installer and bundled Jesusonic effects.


July 13, 2005
loneparasite reprise

July 10, 2005
an open letter

Dear bands who open for small big name acts in San Francisco,

Please, if you don't already have them, get drums.

I know, you see people like Tori Amos get by with just an amazing voice and a piano,
or Thom Yorke with a guitar and a wonderful sense of rhythm (among other things), and
think -- I can do that too! Get back to the basics, none of this modern stuff. Like
having some celtic singing style somehow mitigates the need for percussion! Let me
tell you, you're NOT pulling it off. There's a reason that the standard drum kit has
caught on. IT'S GOOD. USE IT. AND USE YOUR TOMS, TOO. Beating two peices of wood 
together, or worse yet random items found on the street, isn't cutting it! Really!

I don't know how these bands end up getting booked as opening acts. I guess the selling
point is that they don't have as much equipment to move or set up.

That is all.

BTW, Dungen was fuckin awesome, equipment failures and all. Wish I could see them again.

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July 8, 2005
NINJAM release

Finally, NINJAM is out! NINJAM is a software suite that 
allows groups of people to play music with eachother online.

Now I'm going to eat dinner and go see Dungen tonight.


July 7, 2005
NINJAM almost ready, really

In the last couple of days I've managed to track down and fix some of the last bugs
that I could find in the NINJAM architecture, making shit just work a lot better now.
Yay. Looks like we'll be making a public alpha version available tonight or tomorrow.
I know I've said similar things in the past, and it's been delayed a couple of weeks,
but this time I mean it, and it'll be worth it now, as the software is a lot more 
mature than it was a couple of weeks ago (and we have a GUI for OS X too, which I
think is hot.. almost makes me want to use a mac more, haha. I'll wait for the 
pentium M powerbooks, mmm). 

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July 5, 2005
mm coffee

It has been a bit of work these past few days, but I managed to get the native
(Cocoa) OS X version of NINJAM nearly fully functional. So hot. The whole Cocoa
and Objective C thing is pretty decent, I must say. Takes a bit of getting used
to, but it ends up feeling a lot like PHP (i.e. with autorelease objects that
you don't have to worry about). I probably have a ton of memory leaks that I
haven't noticed, though.  Too bad it doesn't have the uber-easiness (and 
obvious of function names) and uber-well-documentedness (I find at times that 
a particular method has been deprecated, but without explanation or a 
replacement method) of PHP. Anyhoo, when we do finally release, Mac people 
(Mac using musicians, too!) might be happy too. Just gotta get text scrolling
for the chat box working, and do a bunch of preference items. Yay.


July 1, 2005
i am an idiot

work will have to be on hold for a bit. time to smack my head 


the wall.


June 27, 2005
a quick note

...before I go to bed, two things:
A song that will soon have lyrics.
A fun NINJAM song we made today.




June 25, 2005
ok so I lied

... we still haven't publicly released NINJAM. I know it's late, but we're 
resolving some issues that probably would have bugged people (just this 
morning I managed to rearchitect a portion of code that made everything
run a whole lot smoother), and it'll be worth it. If you really can't 
wait, go on IRC where I described before and you can play with it. Honest. 
A download link is in the topic. But it won't be long before it's up on a 
public page as well. I'm dreading the traffic hitting my lowly T1, though. 
Normally I like releasing software and it getting attention, but sometimes 
it's counter productive. Anyway... we've been having some fun jams, this
stuff is so awesome (at least I think so, clearly you, the reader, can 
make up your own mind).


June 24, 2005
sentry instrumental

June 23, 2005
a distraction from what I wanted

June 21, 2005
in celebration of summer...

...Brennan and I are hoping to release an alpha version of NINJAM by Friday.
It will be far from feature complete, but should basically work and be pretty
fun and usable. I'm amazed at how much fun I've had using it. I also feel like
I get some really good practice playing, too. Here's a little clip we made today.

We got chat support working, and topics so that users with permission can set
a topic string (i.e. "space rock in Am"). Tasty.


June 16, 2005
I vastly preferred .plans because there was no topic necessary

Listening to some older Verve records, only had ever heard Urban Hymns of theirs,
and these ones are awesome. Toast digging.

Here's a little song Mr Wiener (not what you're thinking, probably) and I made.
It's about certain people.

NINJAM is coming along nicely, but I'm going to a wedding this weekend so we'll
wait to release until next week, I think. That and Brennan and I have a few 
interesting things left to do.

One of the more interesting features added recently is the ability for the
server to require clients to agree to a licensing agreement. For example, the
server can enforce that everybody who contributes content to the server agrees
to license that content under a Creative Commons license, or whatever the 
server operator chooses. Hot.

Finally, ordered my Athlon64x2 today. Hopefully won't take too long to come.


June 13, 2005
recovering from an extraordinary weekend

Ah, the two day hangover, ouch.
Note to self: quit trying to reclaim your teenage yaers of not drinking by 
shotgunning MGDs. Although it's funny as hell, there's just nothing right
about it. Nothing. And although it all got consumed, one 30 pack would probabably
have been enough. Really.

We just had a lovely ninjam (my favourite parts are at about 30:00 and 
42:00 or so). I can't help but feeling very elite due to having so much code in
there that made shit work (specifically, the idea that I wrote the drum 
sequencer, ha ha). 

Anyway, gonna take our time a little before releasing NINJAM, but if you can't
wait try coming to irc.cockos.com, #ninjam. and you might get involved. If
you have windows, make sure you have ASIO drivers that Jesusonic works with,
and if you're on a mac, try out the Jesusonic version on it and make sure it
works, too.


June 10, 2005
NINJAM is born (or almost born)

NINJAM web site is up. We'll be releasing alpha versions for Windows and 
OS X next week, it looks like. Woot.


June 6, 2005

Yay for Apple and the x86 announcement.

So I think it's about time to share info about the new project (for a while
I was unsure if it was going to even be useful, but after this afternoon's 
playing with it, I'm completely hooked). It's sort of half multiplayer game, 
half music production tool:

Brennan and I are working on software called Ninjam*, which allows a small
group of geographically challenged people to play music together. Because
latency is so important in playing music, existing voice conferencing 
over IP really wouldn't work. So instead, we decided to just make latency
bigger, not smaller. Latency in Ninjam is measured in measures, and that's
what makes it interesting. When you play, you're playing along with the
previous intervals of everybody else, and they're playing along with your
previous intervals. If this sounds pretty bizarre, it sort of is, until you
get used to it, then it becomes pretty natural.

We'll go into the architecture of Ninjam soon, and describe some of the 
more advanced upcoming features as they get implemented. I suppose this should
actually go on the Ninjam web site, but I'm too lazy as of yet.

Here is a little jam we had today with people from IRC (it comes together 
towards the end).

* Perhaps it should be NINJAM: 
     Novel Interval-based Network Jamming Architecture for Musicians


June 5, 2005
more on codecs, and maybe some mention of cats

So after spending quite a lot of time getting LAME/mpglib tuned for my
app, it turns out mpglib doesnt handle having multiple decodes going
at once (despite having a context pointer etc). LAME. REALLY. So after
looking around for any good solid (<=LGPL) mp3 decoders, and not finding
any, I started trying to use Vorbis again. My main problem was with creating
a Vorbis encoder taking too long. Well, when I went to get a burrito tonight,
I realized that I shouldn't be encoding samples as they come in, but rather
just when I get a chance. So with a mild architectural change (that took about
30 minutes), I got it all working nicely. Vorbis is really ideally suited for
this app (which you will be seeing shortly), on many levels, and above all
the fact that it's free goes a long long way.

Now I've been talking shit about APIs some, lately, and I just want to 
state that while I don't think I'm an expert on making great APIs (god
knows Winamp's API is a handfull), I do know a good API when I see one. :)
I managed to do a good one for Jesusonic, that allows me to integrate 
Jesusonic processing with other apps extremely easily (including the new
app)-- in making the DirectX plug-in the only challenge was making the
DirectX plug-in. Not integrating Jesusonic into it.

I'm very tempted to go make a version of LAME that has a very clean and
sane encoding and decoding API, as well as tuning the mpglib that comes with
it to support multiple decodes, much better frame synchronization (Winamp's 
got as solid as it did from just a few good tweaks).. it's very tempting, 
cause I often find myself wanting to support these things. Then again, maybe
I should wait until the MP3 patents run out, since I live in the USA...

Yay for Vorbis...

The other thing to note, is that the feral cat who adopted us rocks. Last night
we were watching a movie, and we heard this noise. I went to look into her 
little doghouse, and it looked like she was shredding the crap out of her bed.
I was thinking  "wow she must be restless or something", and I went out to 
survey (and perhaps clean up) the damage (scaring the cat off in the process),
only to find that she was just pulling her shedded hair from the bed, cleaning
it. IT made us feel bad that we didn't clean it sooner, but all was well once
we cleaned the hair off, and ran it through the washer and dryer, to give the
kitty back her clean bed. It just really impressed me, that's all.

And one final thing, with all of the rumour going around about Apple possibly
announcing switching to Intel architecture chips tomorrow, I'd just like to
point out the following:

Whether or not it makes business sense for them to switch, the actual process
of switching won't be that bad. Porting applications from OSX/PPC to OSX/x86 
wouldn't be that big of a deal. Getting everybody to use the updated APIs, 
and gcc for compiling, was the huge step. Apple may even have planned it, for 
all we know. API changes are a much bigger headache than instruction set/
endian changes. At least from my experience in porting software. Then again, 
99.99% of the code I write is endian-nuetral on the first take, so maybe I'm
smoking crack (but I doubt it). I'd really like to hear that Apple announced 
that they were going to use Athlon64s. AMD has really blown me away. And I'm 
going to order my A64X2 4400+ soon (HELLO, BIOS UPGRADE).

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