Sunday, June 25, 2006

wana fight?

Its true,

I get stressed about birthdays. I'm not sure what it is. I think It might be the pressure to have a good time. I've never been any good with that. In the end I drank fizzy wine with my wife and laughed so hard my legs buckled.

It has been a dramatic week. The fight with the local authority about Isaac's education has stepped up a notch . I quit my job and left. I turned 33. The list goes on.

I made some space in my house, set up a little recording area, miked it up and started messing around. I then tweaked all my real-time privileges on my computer and got it all going super fast for audio (been meaning to do that for ages).

Its odd I have been feeling like I have all this music bottled up. I have been so busy learning, teaching, working and fighting that I forgot to make anything. Well tonight I started recording some tunes and they just sort of wrote themselves. Its a good feeling. I normally have everything connected by patch leads etc, there is never any air in the mix but I miked up a glockenspiel and wrote some pieces for gameboy and glockenspiel tonight.

So I am 33, so what. Bring it on.

During this post my ears have encountered (and enjoyed) the following tunes:-

Mike Milosh - push

sys-x - cruise control

Languis - a simple thought

posthuman - moment of weakness

Saturday, June 24, 2006

birthdays are rubbish

Happy birthday to me.

As is the traddition on my birthday I have locked myself in a room and cancelled the babysitter.


listening to:-
Denzel and Huhn - A 54


Donnacha Costello - And I got left behind

Friday, June 23, 2006

must have GSOH

It was my last day working at Tyne and Wear Museums yesterday. I had a good send off and lots of nice presents.

I cant remember much about going for drinks and food after. A very VERY hot chilli sticks in my mind. I awoke this morning feeling rough with Tina Turner singing 'Simply the best' on the radio. It was then that I realised that God has a good sense of Humour.

So here I go into fully fledged self employment once again. Its a bit scary and a little bit exciting. I just wish I had not had quite so much beer last night. Ug.

I will write more about my plans later as they involve using OSS (zzzz) but right now I'm off to feel sorry for myself and take Ruby to play on the swings.

Oh, and I'm going to be 33 tomorrow (double wammy).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

more notes on projectile

Pete Hindle wrote:
Hi Dom;

I read your post on your blog about your talk, and I thought I might make a suggestion of doing a short course on presentations. I did one that the Baltic put on, and it was quite useful in thinking about speaking in public - if you want, I'll find out the name of the lady who did that.

Seeing as you are dealing with similar issues, it might be worth preparing a small intro to open source/linux/polytechnic which you could recycle again and again for every talk you do. It wouldn't have to be much, just giving a quick five minute grounding on those issues that your dealing with... one of the most engaging points of your talk was when you started talking about your own experiences with linux, back when you started. It was both funny and educational, and it made you seem less of a fearsome hacker-leet dude.


Hi Pete,

To be honest I don't want to do some lame course on how to talk in public. If I had wanted to I could have ran it very differently. Through my work with the Museum service (2 days to go till I leave) I do actually do a fair bit of public speaking. I can stand in front of a power point presentation with the best of them (given, I usually need a mic, even for a room of 5 people). But seeing as how it was an Anarchist film festival and we were given short notice I just thought it would be best to go on gut instinct. The bit on my blog. Yes its true I wish I had mentioned more about some other tools (jah shaka, ktoon etc), spoken more about the politics of open source, but on further reflection more politics might have actually obscured the film making aspect of the talk too much. I do wish I had challenged the notion of anarchists (well people in an anarchistic context (if there is such a thing)) asking if stuff would run on windows, well, no actually (as everyone has to start somewhere) I wish I had 'facilitated' discussion around the fact that some people did not understand why developers would not want to create tools for the windows and even (shock horror) the OSX platform. But again I only had an hour.

Also I do have various bits and pieces on OS/Linux/Poly (do you think we would have ever been given grants without it?) But yes I take your point and Alan was good to ask 'What is Linux', sometimes I go straight for the jugular on these things. Five minutes in I looked up to a row of confused faces and backtracked, I had intended to save the detail until I had shown people the tools, but next time I would do different. Perhaps a quick verbal abstract to set the scene next time.

I am by no means a fearsome hacker dude. I am still at pre-plankton level on the pd list. The thing is, I feel the north east is currently lacking in terms of artists knowledge and skills with OS tools and exploration of the issues surrounding them, there are people out there that know their stuff but they are far from the majority up here. I'm not sure why this is the case, It may be that there is an over emphasis on professional finish (glossy flyers and everyone wanting the latest version of Director but not having a clue how to use it) or the fact that there has not been anyone shouting loud enough for people to take notice, I'm not sure. Hence The Poly. However it is worth mentioning that yes somewhere down the line we made a choice to go with FOSS but it is not all we are about and we are consciously trying not to have a holier than though approach to it . I see it as only right to pass on any skills gained with said tools and the nature of OS dictates that I share them, it can only be beneficial to learn and work as part of a group. Yes we are trying something very new for up here and we still have loads to figure out but 'given enough eyes the bugs will fall out', err or something like that.

If you want to meet fearsome hacker leet dudes join the Tyneside Linux Users Group (actually I think I am going to invite them to meet in our space once we have some wallpaper up etc) they know their onions.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Did a 1 hour talk for an anarchist film festival

I talked about open source film editing. The talk covered Linux, Kino, cinelerra, DVD styler , emovix, and nomad systems such as dynebolic and also general open source philosophy. It was good. Although I came away thinking AAW and I should have said this and AAg Is should have said that, it was a proper jerkstore moment (seinfeld reference). I hope it was useful and made an impression on people though.

Oh and its fathers day. I was given a Marx brothers box set and some hankies with I heart my dad on them. I watched animal crackers with Isaac this afternoon. Well that was after I got home and realised I had no keys and was locked out (1 pint of Guinness and a read of the paper later people were home to let me in). Anyway back to animal crackers, Isaac loved it, he really got the humor. I'm looking forward watching duck soup with him.

Monday, June 12, 2006

added documentation

added documentation for the cheep_seq

It includes instructions and a to do list

Sunday, June 11, 2006

cheep_seq goes live

Ok I bit the bullet and put that sequencer I mentioned on my site. You can find it here

I posted a link to it at the pd mailing list asking for feedback if possible. Have not got a sausage back yet, but its a nice night, most people will be out at the pub (if they have any sense).

Its been a glorious weekend. Isaacs teacher for the Deaf organised a get together for all the Deaf kids and their parents that her and her colleagues work with. It was at the rising sun country park. The sun was shining, all the kids there were lush. It was good to chat with other parents (although I'm not really the chatty type).

Today I took the kids to dip their toes in the sea, nearly breaking my back trying to keep Isaac upright. Honestly I have a sixpack on my back from carrying him around, and he is getting bigger.

Oh I got a CD sent to me of our last gig, its not too shabby! The first few songs bug me because I messed up with the sub mixer and in the first few tunes one of my gameboys is only coming through on the left channel. But the second half of the set is GOOD. No doubt some of it will be available in some form soon to download. We are playing 3 January upstairs at the Cumberland arms, Newcastle. It will be a good one, I can just sense it.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Despicable people

Big brother,

there is not one decent person on it. I have been watching it tonight and jeez they are awful. Its like watching a pack of baboons pulling the windscreen wipers off your car.

I took Ruby to play in the swings this morning it was lush.

I have written a sequencer program (audio) in puredata. It is just about ready to release. But I am slightly nervous. It is my biggest endeavor in pd and there are bound to be loads of stupid mistakes in it. I was listening to the radio the other day and it was a program about people making things, someone said something like 'what the average person can build for a pound an engineer can build for a penny'. Well my sequencer is a classic example of inefficiency. But it sort of has a life of its own, which is nice.

Im feeling loads more relaxed now that I don't have exams etc. I had to take my library books back the other day. I had a fine, guess how much?.... £17 I know, I am ashamed.

Friday, June 09, 2006

death to the ERL

Its time to kill the ERL.

I am in a good early rising pattern now, getting up at 7am on average getting to bed before 12 (on average) But I did learn that it takes about 2 months to get there.

more later...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

ERL25 or whatever

Had a bit of time off from writing and ERLing.

I did very little over the weekend. Just enjoyed playing with the kids, visited my Grandparents. My Grandad is in his 80's and still working!

I played around with an Icecast2 server. I was using it on an XBOX and using MuSe as the client. But when I came to use another computer to receive the stream it was very choppy. It is probably a codec issue with a bad build of MuSe to be honest. I was trying to stream at full quality ogg. I also installed wine for the first time ever. Wine can be used to run some windows apps. I needed it to try and install some historical Gameboy cart burner software so that I can burn some copies of LSDj on some new blank carts I have got my hands on.

Loads of freelance work coming in for when I leave the museum, which is a slight relief as I was getting nervous. Not long now, My last day is 22 June, meaning including today I have 8 days left. Also it turns out that being part time I was actually owed lots of bank holidays (well a proportion of them) dating back about 2 years. So I have about 60 hours holiday to take. Therein lies the problem if you do the maths ( I work a 7 1/2 hour day) (If you cant be bothered 60 hours = 8 days). Looks like I am going to have to make a deal with them, hmmmm.

Have a good morining everyone, it looks like a nice day up north

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Words fail and so do I (probably)

Quick catch up.

over the weekend including Monday I got almost zero sleep. Monday night I went to bed 2:30 got up at six and then sat a computer science exam at 9:30. Feeling very rough. Then went to work and tried to finish an SQL assignment that also had to be in for that day. I didn't get it finished, my argument was obviously flawed (even to me) but I handed in what I had done, about three quarters of the work required. I came home and went staight to bed feeling hot & wobbly. I stayed in bed for 24 hrs. It turns out I have tonsillitis! I'm sort of back on my feet now, feeling a bit googley eyed and trying to cram ready for an SQL exam tomorrow.

The way I see it I have to have done blindingly well on my computer science assignment and I will have to do amazingly well in my SQL exam to get a pass at either. Right now I am so exhausted that I no longer care very much.