Friday, March 30, 2007

RubyOSA-discuss list to the rescue

Pints are owed to Laurent Sansonetti for a very swift answer and reminder about spring cleaning of ruby directories. I was having some real frustration today trying to get RubyOSA to talk to iTunes to add a set of playlists within a folder as part of a larger idea for doing simple pairwise auditory comparisons using iTunes (it should allow tracking for times played too) rather than using either Gary's Sonic Mapper or the Sonic Browser. The idea is not quite finished yet but the rough ruby code is up for a look to give you a gist.

All the sounds for a particular pairwise comparison experiment

The sounds for a particular pairwise comparison


Monday, March 26, 2007

Weekend Vote Petition

Support the petition for Weekend Voting for the forthcoming General Election.

See also Cian's post on No Thursday Voting.


Videos, Text To Speech

I've added some holiday videos online on YouTube.

Seems the lads and ladies at xFruits have been busy and teamed up with vocalfruits to provide a nice RSS to MP3 feature for blogs using some standard enough text to speech processing. See and hear an example using my blog's rss.

Also need to update my Linked In profile to keep up with the lads.

Back from Skiing

Had a great week with some fortunately timed snowfall in Saalbach-Hintergleem so its back to work today!


More photos can be seen here.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Gone Skiing

Off for a bit of a skiing holiday with some of the lads, so it's goodbye to this


and Hello to this

via DeadKenny

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bits, pieces and ramblings

If the number of emails I'm getting about Campbell's latest price increase is anything to go by, UL will have probably spent enough cash to boil the water for everyone due to the cost of sending around all the emails (1 - M). It'd be interesting to see a calculation with regard to number of recipents, server time and electricity costs...

On a ruby note - Introducing Behaviour-Driven Development and A new look at test driven development, have a look at GeoKit.

Using Twitter productively.

Mac OS X treats include Quicksilver’s “Comma Trick”, Enabling Quicksilver proxies and application menus and The Levelator (an free [non-commerical use] app that is a leveler that corrects for medium-term variations in loudness instead of the short-term and long-term variatons processed by compressor/limiters and normalizers in sound files). Thinking about Calendars, whilst I'm a big Google Calendar fan - I still like the look of Remind and its python frontend, wxRemind. Here is a couple of reasons why to choose Remind over Google Calendar.

For asides check out the video of the Big Brother State, read all about (where and to who does the EU CAP money go ?), there is also a nice interview with Anthony Dunne who is the Head of Design Interactions at the RCA.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday - some work some play


Got the board done so now its time for finalising the coding for my little arduino app!

The O'Reilly Network has got some nice bits on MacFUSE and on Event Stream Processing.

I have been wondering about Social networking and rails (maybe Ning is a better alternative) as we might be doing a new IDC alumni site.

Getting back to my current auditory display seeing as the arduino stuff is done and it works with Skype, I was wondering about Twitter but its a mud pit when it comes to active vs. passive notification and also to ambient intimacy but there is already some growl-twitter (Quicksilver too!) work done so I'm between decisions as of yet... I'll probably add a mock object and see what the demand and usage is like for twitter in the lab.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Arduino Pressure Circuit Perfboard

Working on the latest design which includes an additional capacitor to help clear up the readings from the pressure sensors.

I've also moved the prototype from a breadboard to a perfboard.

The result, simplified to help bridge my understanding between the circuit diagram and perfboard goes something like this.

Thanks again to Mikael for the circuit design and some tips on soldering, simple electronics, etc, etc !

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Opening IDs to a new era of Single Signon ?

I've been looking a little at the new OpenID system. This is a lightweight, distributed ID system. So what's the story and hype with this - well think about this question "How much of an issue is it for you to have multiple logins for your various web accounts ?". If you answer "Its not a big issue for me" well skip the rest of this post as OpenID is still in its infant stages and you may be better leaving it for a bit. OpenID is the start towards solving the headache of online identity problems using an open standard and it is at this stage heavily focused on deployment and handling rather than usability and security. In essence, its trying to develop a community and from there address the issues arising. The best introduction to OpenID is Simon Willison's talk or his screencast, followed by these two Ruby on Rails talks. Hype-free has a nice post on integrating Blogger and OpenID. I've already set up an account with MyOpenID, just check the header in the source of this page. Another interesting article talks about using OpenID as a means for creating decentralised social networks.

On another note Hivelogic have updated their article "Building Ruby, Rails, Subversion, Mongrel, and MySQL on Mac OS X", its as useful and important for all those using Rails on Mac OS X as ever. If you ever need to bust a Firewall using Ruby and UDP - read this article. For more system administration type reading check out Cfengine vs. Puppet. On another Ruby note, even the guy who wrote the book on Applescript has started to see the benefits to "Replacing AppleScript with Ruby".

Speaking of Ruby, my auditory display for group presence / awareness is nearly ready for testing, more on that with code and notes to follow as it uses a blend of Python, Ruby, Objective-C and Shell scripting to talk across the LAN using Growl and to parse presence / availability details from IM systems including Skype, all hooked into an Arduino IO board which reads a set of QTC Pills pressure sensors.

Here's a little idea with some help from cyberviking: