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Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: March 30, 2024, 06:29 AM »
I’ve become  very impressed by a band called The Warning. Three sisters from Mexico who are continuing to bring hard rock to a pop weary world.  ;)

This is them today;

And here’s what they started out from:

In the words of the I Ching: “Persistence furthers.”

Living Room / AI coprocessor for your Raspberry Pi
« on: April 30, 2023, 07:33 AM »
This from Google:

“The Coral USB Accelerator adds a Coral Edge TPU to your Linux, Mac, or Windows computer so you can accelerate your machine learning models. This page is your guide to get started.
All you need to do is download the Edge TPU runtime and PyCoral library. Then we'll show you how to run a TensorFlow Lite model on the Edge TPU.
To learn more about the hardware, see the USB Accelerator datasheet.”

General Software Discussion / Major software project redesign
« on: January 05, 2023, 09:57 AM »
Thought this might be of interest to the programmers here.

There’s an open source music notation program called MuseScore which competes with expensive commercial notation apps such as Sibelius and Notion. And, as is the case with many complex open source projects, the code base has gradually become more and more unmanageable up to the point of requiring a major design overhaul and rewrite due to the number of code contributors over the years.

This video by the project lead developer (who goes by the  name of Tantacrul) walks us through the design process that was employed to fix MuseScore for its latest release.

I think it’s a pretty interesting process he unpacks for us - and demonstrates a structured approach we can apply to our own programming efforts.

For those out there who are musicians, the latest version (4) of MuseScore has just been released. Available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. I’ve been using it (Windows version) for a bit now and it will definitely be replacing the commercial notation software I’ve previously been using. So…highly recommended.  :Thmbsup:

Rip using various tools to FLAC (I have a lot of vinyl) and store to an inexpensive dedicated Linux based server which can either play locally through its soundcard or stream through Jellyfin.

Apple pie!  :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: September 21, 2022, 07:01 AM »

makes me think of Seasick Steve...

I agree. ;D

Ol’ Seasick Steve is in a league of his own. That guitar of his (which was nailed to a wall when he bought it) is amazing.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: September 20, 2022, 08:11 PM »
Proof you don’t need anything fancy to play good music. Even homebrew music gear made from everyday items can do s creditable job as this gentleman demonstrates.  :Thmbsup: 8)

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: July 26, 2022, 10:57 AM »
Rock opera lives!

An 11 character-singer scifi themed symphonic/prog metal piece from the Ayreon Project with some production notes in this video. Virtual who’s who of prog metal vocalists.

Two of my old favorites were FoxPro and Rbase. Rbase (my fav) actually could reasonably claim to be fully relational. Rbase had the better built-in query language and programmability of the two. I mostly used the BCD edition of Turbo Pascal when I needed to do any real FoxPro programming. But FoxPro was the absolute performance leader due to its indexing optimization technology FoxPro called:Rushmore.

From what I could gather, it was somehow “indexing the indexes” in the database as those more knowledgeable than me claimed. Sort and lookup speeds were utterly phenomenal for the era and PC platforms available. Instantaneous compared to the competition. But both were exceptional database frameworks.

My big “thing” back in those days was inventory management and MRP II, which has since been replaced by ERP. (PC type CPUs technology and software of that era lacked the horsepower and resources needed to run a genuine ERP program.) Something I had a fair degree of expertise in back then. I did a lot of development and programming for SMB clients with those two databases back in the days when I was still mostly a programmer - or “coder” in today’s vernacular.  ;)

I also very much miss Microsoft Money. Superior in every way to Quicken AFAIC.  :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: May 16, 2022, 11:52 AM »
The title of the video says it all.


Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: May 05, 2022, 11:46 PM »
Snarky Puppy with guest Lucy Woodward.

Put an electric bass guitar plus two baritone guitars in the same song along with a smoky alto and it doesn’t get much darker sounding than this.

Living Room / Re: Arduino anyone?
« on: May 01, 2022, 07:41 AM »
It's such a crazy feeling to be sitting tinkering with a $25 device on a little cutting board and realize you are playing with something that the equivalent of which 60 years ago probably would have cost half a million dollars and been the size of a hotel lobby, and taken a team of people a year to assemble and debug.

It is quite amazing. Especially if you go back to the days of things like the PiC1650 controller chip and it’s ridiculously fussy and hard to program CP1600 companion microprocessor. They had flash EPROMs on that thing. You got one shot to get your code right. If it didn’t make the grade, you tossed it and bought another chip and tried again. Later models used EEPROM so at least you could reprogram them. But you needed an EPROM burner to work with a PiC. Not something you could just run out to your local CompUSA and buy.

A PiC development kit cost a substantial amount of money back in the day. But it was geared towards industrial control applications. And that market was already used to paying big bucks for technology.

PiC has come a long way since then. 
And it’s still used extensively in industry. But it’s a whole different product for a different market than the Arduino serves. And interestingly enough, the Arduino can do an awful lot of what it used to take far more expensive and complicated and proprietary electronics accomplish.

Life is good!  8) :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Re: Arduino anyone?
« on: April 30, 2022, 12:30 PM »
My interest in Arduino came as a result of me getting back into modular synthesis and sound design after a hiatus of over thirty years.

Normally, a reentry into the modular would have been an expensive proposition. But a few years ago, music industry giant Behringer began recreating modules from classic synths such as Moog, Arp, and Roland, and releasing them in Eurorack format at a far more affordable price point (about $100 per module) than anything else that was out there at the time. And while $100 isn't exactly pocket change since you'd need on the average of five modules to do anything musically useful, it was still a far cry from other module builder's prices which were well north of that.

So I began researching, designing, and building out my own synth mainly based on classic Moog System 55 and Roland System 100 inspired modules. (That's a whole separate story I won't go into here.) This is where it was at several months ago. Those empty spaces have since been filled in and my modules have now spilled over into an additional rack.


After awhile, I began wondering if there would be a (hopefully) less expensive and more interesting way to create some of my own modules without getting too involved in the esoterica of analog audio circuits. Besides, DIY is a lot more fun than just buying everything off the shelf. That led me to the Arduino and me wondering how well it'd suit music applications. A little research showed me there are projects for entire synths and multi-effects units being built around an Arduino core. And most of the code being used by such projects is open source.

My programming and computer tech skills are far more advanced than my electronics knowledge when it comes to analog circuitry. And fortunately, the Arduino seems to fit the bill quite well when it comes to interfacing with and controlling real world hardware. So despite being a neophyte to the Arduino, I'm getting up to speed pretty fast.

The language is about as dead simple as you could ask for. Simple C-like syntax. Small but very useful command vocabulary. Even easier to get your head around than Python IMO. And if you can't get a handle on Python, then coding probably isn't going to be for you.

The board I'm mainly using is called a Ruggeduino from Rugged Circuits. Basically it's an Arduino with additional circuitry to provide better protection against overvoltages, excessive current draw, and reversed electric polarity that would fry the standard Arduino board. They also offer versions ruggedized (is that a word?)against environmental conditions so it's more suitable for industrial control applications.

It's been an interesting journey so far despite me not being all that far from where I started out yet. Looking forward to where it leads me. New places and new things are always worth seeking out.  8)

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: April 29, 2022, 04:46 PM »
Floor Janssen has the voice of angel and sings like a goddess. And the weird thing is that actually lived less than 10 kilometres from her home, yet never heard of her.

Here is a far better example of what her voice can really do!

Don’t miss my previous posts in this thread showing Floor’s voice in its full glory.  :Thmbsup:

Here a review from a proper opera singer.

Ah! The Charismatic Voice channel! One of my favs. Elizabeth is an utter gem in addition to being a knowledgeable vocal coach. She just recently released her own album. 

Not too hard on the eyes either.  ;) ;)

Living Room / Arduino anyone?
« on: April 29, 2022, 02:14 PM »
I’ve been into SBCs for awhile now. But I only just recently got into some Arduino programming and projects. And I’m pretty amazed at how easy these tiny and very inexpensive boards are to configure and use for various automation and similar projects compared to something like a Raspberry Pi - although a Pi pairs very well with an Arduino for more complex applications.

Anybody here an Arduino maven?

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: April 28, 2022, 09:38 PM »
And for sheer insanity combined with unbelievably virtuoso performances and tight arrangements, it's still hard to outdo the late Frank Zappa.

Talk about a lineup: Frank Zappa—guitar, percussion, vocals; George Duke—keyboards, finger cymbals, tambourine, vocals; Napoleon Murphy Brock—sax, vocals; Ruth Underwood—percussion; Tom Fowler—bass; Chester Thompson—drums! You just don't see that caliber of musicians assembled on a single stage all that often these days. (Ruth is awesome!)

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: April 28, 2022, 09:27 PM »
For a more serious recommendation, I've been doing a revisit/deep dive on a singer from the Faroe Islands whom I've followed for sometime now named Eivør Pálsdóttir. Her repertoire spans several genres ranging from Nordic folk to pop to jazz. Being an unrepentant semi-retired prog rock bassist, I've been tending towards the heavier music scene in Northern Europe more and more as time goes on. I like her spacier more ethereal songs the most although I also enjoy many of her other songs as well.

This video is from a live performance (the only way to listen to anyone IMO  8)) in 2017.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: April 28, 2022, 09:17 PM »
This is more of a fun thing than a song per se. But you'll sometimes hear the compliment that some singer could sing the phonebook and make it sound good.

Well...Floor Jansen (Nightwish) was asked to sing a page from the Yellow Pages on NPO Radio2 during a studio interview/appearance. And she  managed to do just that. ;D :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: April 26, 2022, 09:29 AM »
Feeling tired and a little down today. Today being a gloomy rainy day after the second Covid booster I got yesterday afternoon will do that to you I suppose.

I need a little pick me up. Nightwish, Peter Gabriel, and the capella vocal group Home Free to the rescue.

Yeah. Got a cuppa coffee in me too. Now I’m feeling a little better.  8)

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: April 20, 2022, 12:57 PM »
Another bit of symphonic metal with the band Epica featuring their vocalist Simone Simons paired with her long-time friend Floor Jansen of Nightwish as guest vocalist. Two world class singers on stage at the same time along with a full orchestra and choral section. What’s not to like?

The title Sancta Terra translates to Sacred or Holy Ground. Simone Simons said in an interview it’s not quite about what you think. It’s the tale of a suicide bomber who is in hell, which for him is a completely empty place, but which he believes is heaven and where he belongs. As the lyrics say;

And you will not find me
I am safe in here
I'm where I want to be

It's a place where a wish will be granted
Come, you'll see I'm right

It's a force that will live on within you
Dark as day is light

It's a place where your dreams will be slanted
And will always be

Living Room / Re: Like a bad penny...
« on: April 09, 2022, 06:45 PM »
Hey Vurbal!

Been awhile since I last dropped by. Sorry to see this news first thing.

Wow! That’s a lot to have to deal with, huh?

No advice. And no idea what  to say either, other than good wishes and hope this all gets worked out for you.

If your CPU supports virtualization and you’re running Win10 Pro or Enterprise, Microsoft already has a built-in sandbox you can use. No need to go with 3rd-party software as long as you just want to use it as a secure test environment.

If you want to keep snapshots of your sandboxed installs, or have additional features available to use, then Sandboxie Plus is a good alternative.

Just the same, I have Sandboxie Plus installed on the sole remaining Windows Pro PC in our home purely for its convenience and feature set and it works just fine for us.

It’s an unfortunate direction they’re all going in lately.

But for me, the dealbreaker would be no local vaults.  If the only place a piece of software will allow me to store my data is on their website then that’s the moment we part company.

But it’s sorta moot anyway.

Because, if you’re using a non-secure GUI like Win10 you’re at risk because Windows tends to leave any plaintext passwords you display to the screen in memory for awhile. And there are sleeper malware trojans specifically designed to exploit that design flaw. It’s something that (AFAIK) affects every password manager running under Windows. And Microsoft has been aware of that problem for a long time. Sadly, there’s still no fix in sight last I checked.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: September 23, 2021, 11:03 AM »
If you've never heard of a band called Shadow Gallery, you should check them out.

I had heard of them, but I hadn’t listened to them prior to your link.

Went through about half of that playlist last night. Interesting band. More prog-metal than symphonic to my ears. But still quite enjoyable.

Thx for the link!  :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Re: Show us a photo of your mutt or other creatures..
« on: September 23, 2021, 10:49 AM »
Our youngest: Wiggins.


On the old “dog sofa” which is soon to be thrown out.


My hope for the internet

I’ve long since given up any hope I might have had for the Internet.

When it was smaller and frequented largely by the technically literate there was a brief period of time when there was a naive belief, in many quarters, that it would be a transformative technology that would magically remain somehow divorced from acquiring all the negatives virtually every previous technological advance dragged along in its wake. And while it’s good to have a dream, most times those dreams completely ignore the lessons of history. And the Internet is just one more case of an advance being coopted for the purposes of the lowest common denominator.

Robinson’s Rule is inescapable:

”Nothing truly good ever survives being ‘discovered’”

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