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Archive for July, 2008

Jam session presents

July 31st, 2008


We had a little jam session at home yesterday night. There weren’t as many musicians as 3 weeks ago, but I had some fun playing jazzy stuff on the piano along with Sandy on the (latino) guitar and Aurélien (percussions), and a nice chord progression ( AM7 / B7 / D7 E7 / AM7 ) with Damien (tenor sax).

I should really find a way to record those evenings without being too invasive. Some people have bought the [Zoom H4 “Handy Recorder”][zoom_h4], which I must admit is really nice. It’s also a little expensive and I’d be more interested in making something myself. I also need an audio mixer so several instruments can share the amplifier. It’s tiresome to have to bring an amplifier for each instrument, and having to choose between the bass and the guitar is a pity.

After a while my neighbour told me he had an old bass guitar he hadn’t used in over 10 years (his wife didn’t even know he had it). At the time he wanted to start a punk-noise-pop-ish band with friends, but it never became a reality. When he asked me if I wanted to have it, I couldn’t refuse. I’ve always been attracted by bass guitar, but I never bought one, this was the opportunity. The E-string is missing, and the volume potentiometer is noisy, but nothing I can’t fix. Thanks a lot Cédric !

Then Ivan mentioned that he had an old synthesizer at home which he didn’t use anymore, a Roland D-20. So I borrowed it for an indeterminate period of time. I’m hoping to use it to create 80’s style synth sounds (Can I smell Dépêche mode?).

Piano practice

July 30th, 2008
  • St. Thomas
  • Girl from Ipanema
  • Desafinado
   FM7 | % | G7b5 | %
   Gm7 | C7 | Am7b5 | D7b9

   Gm7 | A7b9 | D7 | D7b9
   G7b9 | % | GbM7 | (C7b9)

   Gm7 | Bbm6 | FmM7 | E7#9
   AM7 | Bb07 | Bm7 | E7
  • Decoding Nostalgia in times square (what a clever piece ! :) )
  • Funk
  • Quick bebop blues in F.

(Re-)Install script for Drupal 5

July 29th, 2008

To test some Drupal modules I had to perform some clean installs. The problem is that that quickly becomes a tedious task. So tedious even that I decided to automate the installation and configuration with a little shell script.

The script:

  • Drops and recreates a database
  • Unpacks drupal and sets the right directory permissions
  • Configures the database in Drupal
  • Creates an admin user and resets its password
  • Enables nice urls
  • runs the cron tasks in Drupal.

You will need:

  • wget
  • perl
  • sudo configured properly to be able to delete directories as root.

This script is only intended for testing purposes on a local system. Do not run in untrusted multiuser environments as the database password can be seen by other users through commands like ps. Edit it to change settings before running it.

Attached Files:

Introducing the beatplugin for audacious

July 22nd, 2008

A long time ago, in a country far far away, I once wrote a winamp plugin to detect rythms in the music and make an old traffic light react to the sound using the parallel port. Now this plugin has been ported to audacious, and has been improved quite a bit.

» Read more: Introducing the beatplugin for audacious

Attached Files:

Parallel port testing tool

July 20th, 2008

The parallel port is a very useful output if you’re tinkering with electronics. For one, it’s much easier to use than the USB port. And it has 12 digital outputs and 8 inputs, enough for many experiences.

To test the ppdev linux kernel module, and debug subsequent hardware projects relying on the aforementionned driver, I wrote a little tool using the Qt library. You can use it to toggle bits on the parallel port data register (D0-D7).

To use it, install the debian/ubuntu package with dpkg -i package.deb, then run qparport-test. If you have an atypic parallel port device, you can mention it on the command line.

Debian packages, auto{make,conf}

July 19th, 2008

I’ve been playing a little with automake and autoconf again. Nothing new, I still hate them, maybe more, even if I understand the vital role they play in the open source community.

I was about to write a rant-like post about the difficulties I encountered, but instead I’ll just post what I learnt.

» Read more: Debian packages, auto{make,conf}

Delete old configuration files in Ubuntu

July 17th, 2008

I usually forget to use the --purge option when I apt-get remove packages, so heaps of unused configuration files accumulated on my system.

Deborphan is the solution.

sudo dpkg –purge `deborphan –find-config`

It can also automatically remove orphaned debian packages, but I haven’t trusted it to autoremove mine, as the list is quite long and I haven’t taken the time to review it.

Raw access to the parallel port in Ubuntu

July 17th, 2008

While porting my beatplugin from winamp to audacious (there will be another post about this) I encountered some problems accessing the parallel port at bit level under ubuntu, and linux in general.

Let’s review some methods to access the parallel port under linux.

» Read more: Raw access to the parallel port in Ubuntu