Name: Michael Ang
Member since: 2000-02-19 01:19:15
Last Login: N/A
I'm currently taking a "break" from working so that I can live out another four months of my alternate identity as a co-op student in Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo. As a co-op student, every four months I alternate between work and school -- I like to call this the "binge/purge" cycle.
I spent last work term at The Puffin Group/Linuxcare where I hacked kernel and device driver code for the very cool PA-RISC Linux project. I also often played sheriff for the PA-RISC Linux CVS tree. Every now and then a new and bigger PA box would arrive and find it's way under my desk, and this made me happy.
It's all Phil's fault.
DJing outside is cool.
Please, someone send me some of these. The stylish red version managed to power my amp, speakers, main cd players, DiscMan, and MiniDisc recorder for more than two hours! There's something amazing about getting power from batteries: no generator noise. Three or four deep cycle batteries are definitely being added to my toy list.
After that battery (clandestinely borrowed from the Midnight Sun Solar Race Car Team) ran out, we strung together the world's longest extension cord and ran it to my car. (Phil would now no doubt point out the evils of power chaining.) I did a bad thing and let my car battery go down to 10.39 volts. It started fine, but such a deep cycle is not exactly a great idea. I will surely pay for my summer excesses next winter.
Did my first radio show of the term last Thursday morning -- from 2 to 4 am! I'd had a busy week, so staying coherent while laying down the tunes was a bit difficult. I used ecasound to record my set, with imperfect results. I haven't quite got the buffer size right, so there were a few dropouts here and there. With the buffer too small, there are short clicks; too big, and it's smooth but with missing sections. It seems like this shouldn't be a hard problem. I'll have to investigate how to make a proper recording. Also played some samples off my laptop -- need to find or write some good sample playback software for Linux.
LAME seems to suck at low bitrates, sounding really "swishy" down at 56k joint stereo, and only becoming listenable at 64k mono. So I encoded my show using VBR to yield a 82mb file with an average bitrate close to 96k. Here are the results.
(Since there's now no need to patch against the ISO reference source, I think LAME should now be called LIME, for "LIME *Is* an Mp3 Encoder".)
I'm finally moved in at my new hovel in Waterloo! It took me two days to pack, and three days to set up my room. My power-chaining situation is begging for disaster, as I have almost twenty devices hooked into a single wall outlet. Mostly low draw audio gear, so I should be fine. I think ours was the first house on the street to get electricity, since none of our outlets were grounded. After a quick to Home Depot and some rewiring, all is now well.
There are entire web sites devoted to making the Thinkpad 600e suck less. I finally got sound working more or less with the latest ALSA driver. Next step is to write an ALSA driver for my BiPort serial MIDI interface.
Spent 10 minutes hacking the 2.0 3c59x driver in attempt to get the 3c450 to work in 100mbit mode on our router box. I cheated and just munged the PCI device IDs in the driver. It worked fine for awhile in 10mbit mode, then started flaking out. We plan to upgrade the router box to 2.2 RSN, so at that point I'll backport the 2.3.99 3c450 support to 2.2 (should be ridiculously trivial).
So it turns out that my DJ set yesterday at puffin's birthday bash could only be heard downstairs, where the turntables were, and not upstairs, where all the cool people were. I guess that explains this conversation after I finished my set:
Me: So what did you think of my set?
Rob: I take it that you weren't the one who played "I'm coming out?"
Me: Um, no, that must have been afterwards.
While I was spinning a woman came up to me and insisted that I put on a "temporary" tattoo. I took a shower this morning and I still have a big black ant crawling up my arm. At least three people have asked me if the tattoo is real. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
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