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by nothingtosay at 10:47 PM EDT on March 11, 2014
Yes, that's a fantastic video. My girlfriend is, at best, peripherally interested in the technical aspects of audio (she sometimes curses me for teaching her to pay more attention to sound quality when she now notices that something sounds bad), but she nonetheless had a good time watching that and Monty's previous video. I highly recommend it and his semi-lengthy but enjoyable article about high bit depth and sampling rate digital audio and why it makes no sense. Monty's a cool guy. I actually have similar mental impressions of you and him, hcs. :D
by hcs at 11:32 PM EDT on April 9, 2014
I was checking out some of my chiptune CDs from the Blip Festivals on MusicBrainz, and I can across an oddity with Tugboat - Man of the Year.

On the CD-R I have, which I bought at blipfest 2006, Never Enough (track 9) is 3:26, it's a bit differently timed than the 3:00 one released elsewhere. I guess it was an earlier revision?

For your amusement: Tugboat - Never Enough flac (22 MB), ogg vorbis (3 MB).

For comparison, the other version on YouTube and all of Man of the Year.

... also apparently the search function has stopped working? Wonder how long that's been broke. Probably since I upgraded to PHP 5.3, blah.

edited 11:54 PM EDT April 9, 2014
by hcs at 11:42 PM EDT on April 10, 2014
Ah, yep, from 5.3 incompatible changes: "The behaviour of functions with by-reference parameters called by value has changed. Where previously the function would accept the by-value argument, a fatal error is now emitted."

Search should be ok now.

edited 11:52 PM EDT April 10, 2014
by Dais! at 3:31 AM EDT on April 11, 2014
thanks for the fix.
I don't think the site needs a huge chunk of search options, but would it be easy to add a feature that reverses the chronological order of results? Or just a general way to navigate faster than ten pages at time from past to future?
by hcs at 10:01 PM EDT on April 11, 2014
I know what you mean, I hate that result order. I should be able to give a page list like we have for threads.
by hcs at 11:53 AM EDT on May 20, 2014
I just ran across an interview with Dan Hess, composer of Pilotwings 64, which Nintendo Life ran last year. Awesome!

I hadn't realized that he also did the soundtrack for F-1 World Grand Prix, cool to note. Also seems like he was a real professional audio tech guy, just what they needed to get sound into a launch title. There's a funny story in there about the Birdman song.
by hcs at 3:33 AM EDT on June 30, 2014
Been doing lots of weird stuff:

I got a Java Ring (tiny smartcard-ish computer with a Java Card VM) off eBay and I've been trying to interface with it, so far done a bit with a Bus Pirate I got around the same time and owfs over a 1-Wire USB adapter.

My goal is to be able to read the RTC, it isn't far from there to loading and running applets, but it is under quite a few levels of protocol. So far I'm just able to read some interface registers and I can write the 128-byte Intermediate Product Register which is the main bulk communication channel.


Today I was trying to remove the irritating "not recommended for new designs" watermark from the datasheet for the DS1954 iButton that's the heart of the Java Ring. The method I ended up with is:

1. extract each page with pdfseparate (from poppler)
2. convert each page to svg with inkscape
3. strip out any figures with the style used in the watermark (which seems to be unique)
4. convert back to pdf with inkscape
5. put back together with pdfunify (also poppler)

I have also added a 6th step which goes something like "drive yourself crazy trying to compress the resulting PDF with ghostscript". After step 5 it ends up about 2x the size of the original, I think this is mostly due to the fonts being embedded on each page. Ghostscript is great but there is some weird combination of fonts and glyphs that is causing it to lose apostrophes, treating them as having negative width.


I just today learned about radare, which does a whole lot of reverse engineering stuff (binary manipulation, disassembly, limited emulation). I had somehow managed to never hear about it (or I forgot), it may not be the answer to everything I have ever needed but it is a darn sight better than the limited hex editors I've been using.


I picked up a HP Chromebook 11 with Verizon Wireless mobile internet and I've been messing around with it a lot, including taking it apart to disable the firmware write protect.

Arch Linux ARM runs fantastic on it, at least with a lot of tweaking.


I am expecting in the mail today some old technical reports by Robert Fano, a colleague of Claude Shannon. These are his account of information theory, "The Transmission of Information", which includes his publication of Shannon-Fano coding. For whatever reason this is explicitly not included in the DSpace archive where they belong, tech reports 65 and 149 are skipped in the numbering. Nor is it available online anywhere else as far as I can tell. I intend to fix that.

edited 8:46 AM EDT June 30, 2014
by bxaimc at 4:29 AM EDT on September 15, 2014
It's that day of the year again. King hcs' birthday :P
88mph?! by Mouser X at 3:10 PM EDT on June 22, 2015
Years ago, in the chatroom, I was having a discussion (IIRC, it was with HCS) about the DeLorean Time machine, and its method of operation. The biggest question was, why does it have to reach 88 mph? IIRC, HCS thought it might have something to do with the Time Machine's speed, relative to the nearest/strongest gravitational object (the earth, in this instance), but he wasn't certain how it was related (again, IIRC). I think I've got a pretty good explanation for that one.

There's numerous fan-theories out there, and the majority of them say that the time machine generates its own wormhole. It occurred to me, that if it's generating a wormhole, and has to travel through said wormhole, then there must be a time frame in which that wormhole exists (and therefore must remain in existence). Perhaps Dr. Brown couldn't keep the wormhole open very long (1.21 jigawatts is a lot of power...), so he calculated a "happy medium" between speed (how fast do I need to be moving, to get the entire DeLorean through the wormhole before it collapses?) and power (I can generate 1.21 Gw... barely).

It should be noted, that the stock DeLorean engine was replaced in BttF 2 and 3 with a porsche engine, because they had a hard time getting it up to 88 mph.... So it seems reasonable that 88 was the "best" number Dr. Brown could come up with to get his car up to speed.

In case you're wondering, I've been listening to the BttF game's music recently. As such, I was reminded of this conclusion I reached a few months ago, and this conversation I had a few years ago. I just thought it was an interesting, and "realistic" reason for the 88mph speed requirement. Mouser X over and out.
by hcs at 8:54 PM EDT on June 22, 2015
Of course the real reason is that 8 lights up all segments of a 7 segment display :)

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