Sunday, December 30th, 2012 | Gadgets, Tech-savvy | 1 Comment
My e-drum set-up took me a day (@see previous post). The (preliminary) guitar set-up less than 5 minutes. I simply had to whrock fast.
Friday, December 28th, 2012 | Gadgets, Photography, Tech-savvy | No Comments
When I am not busy working my immaterial day-job I like to fiddle with handicrafts. This time I wanted to build a platform that decouples my new e-drum set from the concrete floor for reasons of noise reduction and neighbour amity. First, it was just plywood elevated by layers of bubble wrap, but then I fancied some power outlets and light. I am pretty happy with the looks of the outcome, even though I guess it’s not significantly less noisy
Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 | Gadgets, Music, Tech-savvy | 1 Comment
Needed a space to play music. Set up a working environment. Got an Apple computer. Recorded my fist song.
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 | Gadgets, Linux, Tech-savvy | No Comments
Fedora pretty much blew my mind until recent updates rendered the system unusable. After a kernel update VirtualBox stopped working (had to install recent header files by hand) and my FreeMind had some dependency issues I didn’t even bother to solve. I like to have a system that is as versatile as any modern Linux, yet I need a stable environment as well. So I thought fudge it, let’s give *the* “standard” Linux a try – I installed the recent Ubunutu 12.04.1 LTS and man it rocks!
- Ubuntu 12 at a glimpse:
- Unity is a Desktop Environment that is easy and pleasant to work with.
- The dash is pretty kewl as well. I don’t know how much I like the tight integration with pretty much everything, but it seems to be a nice concept.
- Terminals come with a decent colour scheme – may sound petty, yet a sloppy set-up terminal is a major annoyance to me.
- Ctrl-Alt-T – how come it never occurred to me that a terminal shortcut will make life so much easier?!
- Ubuntu’s default font is a feast for the eyes – love it!
- bash history size is already set to 2000 (instead of Mint’s 500) – no need to pimp this one as well
- ls aliases already present, yet needed some personal flavour tweaking
I have to say that Ubuntu 12.04 has been the most flawless and out-of-the-box experience in quite some time. Awesome!
- Brief post-installation task as a reminder to self:
- fix vim movement issue
- hide windoze hdds in nautilus @see http://www.nick-prosch.de/?p=4265
- fix .local name resolution in /etc/nsswitch.conf if you are on a m$ driven network
- we like to be united – my wife and me use the same usergroup and still like to have 002 umasks instead of non-username group’s umask of 022 @see https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/umask-to-0002 for more info
- all beloved ones shall use the same group
- edit /etc/login.defs s/UMASK 022/UMASK 002/
- install Adblock Plus, Firebug
- install VirtualBox + extension pack and add users to vboxusers group
- install Audacious
- install TrueCrypt
- set up ssh environment, keys and the like
echo set nocompatible >> ~/.vimrc
hosts: dns files mdns4_minimal mdns4
sudo usermod -g users username
sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers username
I am about to get a new shiny device at work. I am looking forward to see how Ubuntu subsists in every day’s developer’s business. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 | Gadgets, Tech-savvy | 1 Comment
Remember the times when mp3 was brand new, sounded terrible and it took almost an hour to encode a 3 minute song? Those were the days
The de-facto mp3 player of the time was Winamp – my favourite one was 2.81 (@see oldversion.com for some nostalgia). I’ve been using Winamp ever since on all my Windoze installations, now that I use Linux I fell in love with Audacious which supports Winamp themes. I just don’t like bloated media players …
Back in the days I had a favourite skin that was always a pain in the arse to search for. Neeks Amp. There are at least two versions out there and I used to have a hard time finding the right one. So here is a little blog post for me to never look for Neeks Amp again and maybe make somebody else’s day as well.
Audacious provides a few nice skins out of the box and because I did not have Neeks Amp at hand I chose Refugee as my new default skin. Today I like it even better than the old skewl Neeks Amp, yet who knows, maybe I will be looking for Neeks Amp at some point in the future again. Now I know where I have to look.
So here is the file: NeeksAmp.zip – just unzip it to
/usr/share/audacious/Skins and make sure you enable the option “allow loading of incomplete skins” in your Audacious settings. (Seems the original artist did not “implement” the full Winamp skin spec )
Monday, February 27th, 2012 | Gadgets, Misc, Tech-savvy | 5 Comments
“Honey, we pretty much have everything now …”
I just have to share my thoughts on things I’d like to have yet cannot purchase for reasons such as money, time, sanity and the like. › Continue reading
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 | Gadgets, Linux, Tech-savvy | No Comments
A few years ago I stumbled across a tool (SequoiaView) that graphically displays the contents of your hard drive using a so called cushion treemap. It’s a fast and easy way to get an overview of your (probably messed up) file system.
This is one of the gems I considered part of my Swiss “computer tools” army knife.
Now that I use Linux as my desktop OS I had to find an alternative to this Windows-only tool. Luckily there are quite a few similar tools available for Linux. I am pretty happy using GdMap.
So, whether you are using Windoze or Linux, try one of these cushion treemaps to get an idea how of your file system looks like from a distance. (…and get rid of these old ISO images in your temp dir )
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 | Gadgets, Tech-savvy | 1 Comment
I would say that tablets are the most overrated and useless inventions of late (okay, wify is quite happy fiddling with it …).
Yet now I finally found a use for my tablet that justifies its existence. Thank you, Jack!
Saturday, August 13th, 2011 | Activities, Gadgets, Tech-savvy | 1 Comment
For years I have been fascinated with emulation. As a kid it was very expensive and sometimes almost impossible (e.g. Nippon imports) to get hold of console games. Today my cellar is full of vintage stuff, consoles, cartridges, floppy disks, even arcade JAMMA boards – you name it. Some time ago I stumbled across HyperSpin, an emulator front-end that literally blew my mind. Since I had first seen it in action I have been longing to set up my own arcade box. I think I share a common sense with these guys (Beyond the Game; an upcoming documentation of video game culture):
The summer of 2011 will go down in history books as one of the coldest ever, so last weekend I spent a rainy afternoon indoors and finally ordered some hardware to start working on my childhood dream (or rather one of the items on my “Things to do before I die”-list).
Emulation in general has been around for a couple of years now, so emulating Pac-Man and the like really is no challenge for modern computers. Even more complex systems like the Super Nintendo or even Nintendo 64 work pretty flawlessly on my Atom based HTPC. The only thing that needs some horse power is HyperSpin itself (and maybe PlayStation emulation). It’s crazy to spend money on hardware for the sole reason to make the front-end run smoothly because the emulator itself runs fine anyway I read quite a few forum posts about that issue – problem is: you want that fancy front-end? Then give it horse power. I will repost the video of the front end again, so that you can see what I mean by “fancy”
Anyway, my old P4 was definitely not fast enough as the base system for my arcade box. So I launched my favourite retailer’s system configurator and looked for the cheapest CPU you can still buy new. It was an Intel Celeron E3400 2.6 GHz. (Who would have guessed that I ever buy a crippled processor? I didn’t!) The CPU had almost three times as much power according to its Passmark score, so I thought I’d give it a try.
A few days later the stuff arrived. Like a kid that unwrapped the new Lego Castle I started to assemble the parts. Hardware setup was done in a breeze, Windows installation was tedious as always. (No Linux here, HyperSpin requires Windoze … unfortunately.) The processor turned out to be the bare minimum for HyperSpin (Win7 runs okay, WinXP needed some overclocking). So if you want to build your own arcade: maybe go for something slightly faster.
Anyway, the PC is hooked to an old TV now, I enjoy playing Zelda’s A Link to the Past again and I have no idea when I will find the time/motivation/resources to continue my home-made arcade. I will keep you posted. Here is a little draft of the controls I am thinking of:
Saturday, March 26th, 2011 | Gadgets, Photography, Tech-savvy | 1 Comment
My local electronic retailer had the Nikon D3100 on sale and because it was the last box available and another couple was already staring at it I had to draw my Credit Card instantly. I got myself the so called “double zoom kit” (with the 18/55 ED II and 55/200 ED lenses)” – people gave me the general advice not to buy kits, rather go for a body and spend a few more bucks on a decent lens. Well, I totally agree, but as I have no idea what a good lens is (okay, higher price might be a better lens) I just decided to go with the “cheap” stuff, and as soon as I reach my limits I will have figured out what kind of an upgrade will be appropriate. For now, I have literally no idea how to use my camera, I ordered 2 books and fiddled with a few settings, but so far I only got comfy with the noob automatic modus. Just today I learned, that there is no button for manual focus, just turn the front part of the lens
Here are some sample shots we did with our new toy:
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