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Crazy ideas

I don’t know what’s going on inside my brain lately but I’m finding myself disapproving my own ideas most of the time.

It’s not that I’m being too strict with myself (as somebody told me once), the problem is that these ideas are going past the point in which I can accept them as feasible (at least understanding ‘time’ as the most limited resource which could prevent them from being executed).

One of those ideas was to create a new programming language which would have more consistent naming conventions (specially when compared to php’s) and partly ruby’s syntax but would be easier than ruby to deploy to any server because there would be an intermediate parser which could translate it to the server’s language of choice. Let’s ignore for a moment that there’s already something like that, although translating to something edible by a virtual machine (Java) and let’s ignore as well there is also something quite similar which can be used for both client and server sides (haXe).

Like if I didn’t have better things to do than writing a compiler in php (without lex or yacc or anything!). If it’s already complicated to write a compiler in c, using those tools, I don’t even want to consider the idea of implementing grammars in php. No! It was annoying enough to do it with Pascal, years ago, in the Compilers course. I had enough!

But it would be so cool to have an each method in every object to iterate, like in ruby… and you could deploy it to any cheap php server… and no worries about firing up applications, ports, mongrel instances and all that stuff, my brain insisted. And I kept saying to myself no, no, no, forget it!

Other day the theme is hardware and apple modding. AppleTVHacks is a good source of (crazy) ideas. During some hours I had the determination of buying some new 2.5” hard drives and spend a week-end hacking the apple tv and my new mac mini. All of this while repeating to myself: hold on hold on hold on! the warranty hasn’t expired yet, the warranty hasn’t expired yet, because both are less than one year older. And then my brain answer with a solution: I could upgrade my beloved powerbook’s hard drive. It would be so cool, going from 80gb to 120gb! The horror!

But I found a way for scaring these crazy thoughts out from my mind: writing them down is kind of similar to a mental flush and in a way makes me forget about them. Like swapping them from RAM to disk cache… first they are here and then taaadaaa! they aren’t here anymore, but written down somewhere. Then you make sure you don’t look at that paper any time soon, and next time you find the annotation, you smile (or laugh, it depends) with the mere reading of those crazy ideas.

Border community night at The End

So we finally went yesterday to the Border Community party at The End, which meant that I can check two items in my to-do list:

  1. Go to a Border Community party
  2. Go to The End

Since trace first showed me some James Holden mixes a couple of years ago, I have always wondered how does it feel to attend one of James’s sessions. Nathan Fake being there was also a nice plus! (I must confess I didn’t know anyone of the other artists).

And my personal reason for going to The End was that one of its founders, Mr. C was also part of The Shamen, one of my favourite dance bands from the 90’s, and I felt curious about how could that have influenced the club itself.

After having been searched at the door and my chewing gum confiscated and thrown to the bin by the security girl (No chewing gum allowed inside) to my surprise, we came into the club and found James already doing his stuff. He did two sessions that night, one at the beginning and another one after Nathan’s live. I found the first one to be quite better than the second one, if only because when we came in there was space to dance and move around and the air wasn’t so annoyingly smokey, and so I could enjoy it without having to care about giant people hitting my face with their elbows.

I was expecting also some more mainstream mixes (being that the club is in London’s West End) but seems that James doesn’t care about mainstreamness at all, and paid us with very weird mixes. I think I had never heard anything like that on a club before, which was cool but a bit hard to dance sometimes.

Nathan Fake came after James with a cute t-shirt with rainbows and clouds (very in the Border Community style) and with a laptop, a midi controller and what we guess was Ableton Live managed to turn crazy the crowds. And if it was Ableton live what he used, I still keep wondering how does he manage to control it without falling in the same knob-control problems that I experience.

He proceeded to play new and weird versions of his hits in a continuous stream of midi-controlled noises, which was very cool. I liked it a lot, even if I hardly could put my hands up past my waist or move a couple of centimeters more around myself.

After he finished, James came back but the club had reached that point in which you are not able to stay at any place without being punched and pushed by any of the ecstasy consumers around so we moved to the other room to see how was it going there… but it was even more packed than the main room, amazing.

I was asked for ecstasy, which made me wonder if I looked like a drug dealer, but I then noticed that the girl was desperatedly asking everybody around for “XTC or something”. She finally managed to find the dealer and it was funny to see the operation. The dealer even kissed her in an attempt to make it look like a normal flirting approach. They are so professional!

When we came back my clothes stank soooooo badly. I can’t wait for July when smoking is going to be forbidden in every public place, although I’m unsure if that will be in use in places like clubs. Need to take a look at some information…

About the club itself, it is way smaller than I thought and the installations are not what I expected. No visuals (as usual in London clubs) and the lights didn’t go with the music most of the times (there was a couple of Light Jockeys at the end of the main room but it all looked like if they pushed buttons randomly).
The place was also lacking good ventilation; at some times the air was hardly breathable and my eyes were even itching. Also I felt like there was too many people inside the place.

And of course, I demand they give me my chewing gum back! I don’t understand why did they confiscate it from my bag. It’s totally unacceptable! Also I don’t understand why all security people in all clubs tend to look so grumpy. Not that I have visited lots of clubs in London but it is the same pattern in The End and on Fabric. I think you’re better treated in the airports security checks… at least they don’t steal your precious chewing gum.

Schism tracker with opengl

Complimentary trick thanks to herotyc

/Applications/Schism Tracker.app/Contents/MacOS sole$ ./schismtracker --v opengl

Obviously it just works in mac.

You should get something like Using coreaudio on opengl when Schism starts up.

Mac-ization

While waiting for my new and little precious #3 (a mac mini) thanks to precious #1 (mr.doob) I saw that ps is also in the process of getting mac-ified.

This is a plague!

I was even thinking of getting a Family license when Leopard is out. Big discount in a 5-computer license! And since we have 4 macs we still would have an spare license (which is a clear sign that we need another mac).

Unless the apple tv counts as a full computer…

New hardware

Apple Cinema 23 and Apple Keyboard

So I get a new and shiny Apple Cinema Display 23” (HD, they say!), plus a super white and minimal Apple keyboard and what do I do?

Opening Schism Tracker and verifying that the insert key works!

Shockingly it is not called insert but it is called Help. That it is helpful, I can’t deny it. But the weirdness doesn’t end here, this keyboard does even have F13, F14, F15 … and F16!! My developer’s side is wondering how to access those keys with code… I need to find a reason for using them in a not-yet-coded software.

Coming back to the display, it’s gorgeous. I now can have Reason in two columns, so I’m thinking of creating lots of Combinator patches just for the sake of being able to see the whole set of Devices without having to scroll up or down (I usually never knew where the wire was connected, and when trying to find out I ended up forgetting what I was looking for).

Or Photoshop fullscreen with all the toolbars open out there (no need for hiding toolbars anymore!)

Or TextMate/XCode/Flash in one half and the output in the other half. No more Option+Tabbing!

Or … (more ideas to come later)

I just have two complaints (if you want to call them like that):

  1. The keyboard doesn’t have retroillumination! I already knew that (obviously) but even though I miss it anyway.
  2. Now I’m hyper motivated for doing lots of different things. I feel more than ever the need for cloning myself. Not sure if that’s good or bad…

PD And not even a dead pixel! (Unlike my old crappy Acer)