fifty miles per gallon.

Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.26 @ 00:05

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The day started early, as a trek up northish was needed to meet up with Ashley and Steve’s Grandparents for an outletmall shopping extravaganza located in Lodi. It was a two-for-one trip as Steve needed to make recordings of Grandpa as the “radio announcer,” and Ashley needed to shop with Grandma. I was there mainly for the ride and the food.

After the two-for-one special we enjoyed a magnificent breakfastlunchdinner meal at Bob Evans. With food, shopping, and recording done, we could focus on the main task: getting the Prius to average 50 mpg. It was in quite a hole from city driving the couple days before the reset. With Steve masterfully drafting behind semis and the Synergy drive performing, our goal of 50 mpg was exceeded by 2 mpg by the time we neared Polaris Parkway. It was magnificent; unfortunately, the visual proof ended up blurry. So, take my word for it.

With the newly-acquired teapot from Grandma, some sound and video recordings could now be realized. Since the teapot required an external heat source, like the one before, we chose the location of the kitchen to record. The new teapot whistled like a champion; the sound was recorded; the video was captured; and two microphones were melted (not really, but pretty close).

After the recordings, Ashley and I were sent out on some errands so Steve could get to work on finishing the score. Ashley and I visited the post office to mail a TACWB DVD to a victim fan in an undisclosed location. After the post office, we headed back to Meijer to purchase gummibears, milk and 6 stalks of corn. From there we proceeded to DSW to spend a $5 coupon Ashley received in the mail. Of all the shoes, we settled on 3 pairs of socks. Costing her $2.70.

2 hours later, Steve was found hard at work in the Project Ruori studios. However, he was needed to help set Ashley up with a computer and keyboard for sonata recording purposes.

An abridged version of Ashley’s sonata was recorded. During the recording process, Steve headed back to the tunnel (next to the animation mine) to continue working on the score. I sat idly by.

Donatos was visited when a break in the music action was needed. A pepperoni and pineapple pizza was eaten, along with 6 breadsticks.

Steve is continuing work on the music.

Rehearsals start in 3 days.

Also, very few pictures were taken today. Hopefully the sparse collection of picures captured on my camera will help in the visual department.


Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.25 @ 00:38

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Today’s work was crammed into a small amount of time. Other tasks had to be done first:

(List A.)

  1. Obtain Teakettle
  2. Obtain Grandma’s Birthdaypresent
  3. Food

An attempt was made at the PolarisFashionPlace to solve task A2. Steve brought the camera for sights and sounds. No luck was to be had solving task A2. However, we did manage to get kicked out of the Pottery Barn Kids, while filming a toy cashregister. Gesturing at the camera we were told, “We can’t have those in our store,” while another employee stated, “No, really, that’s okay… They aren’t really…” But we left it at that.

We returned to homebase to ascertain the location of a goodwill to complete task A1. The closest Goodwill appeared to be quite a trek so we headed out to avoid rushhour upon returning. We traveled to the location in question. However, upon reaching the stripmall additional tasks were realized:

(List B.)

  1. Obtain goods from the DollarTree
  2. Obtain goods from the BigLots
  3. Get clarinet reeds from guitar center

Tasks B1. and B2. were completed successfully. I obtained two new traveler coffee mugs for a dollar each. Other supplies were purchased too: Aluminumfoil, Gummibears, 3-liter Carbonatedbeverages, Trashbags, and cookies. Task B3. was a bust. Apparently no woodwinds or the supplies that accompany woodwinds are sold at “guitar” center.

Finally, Goodwill was entered. Teapots were located in the back left sections of the store. There were two teapots, one was self-heating, the other required an external heatsource. We choose the latter of the two. Task A1. was completed — or so we thought. Two additional items were found at the Goodwill: A clockradio (whose plug is currently stuck into an outlet in Steve’s kitchen despite all efforts to remove it), and some cool vintage records.

Task A3. was solved simply: Steak ‘n Shake. It was scrumptious.

Later in the day, after Steak ‘n Shake, it was determined that task A1 was not completed: the whistle on the teakettle failed to produce a sound when tested. Two dollars were wasted.

Additionaly task A2 was completed at a different time in the day at World Market.

Now that all the tasks were completed, the primary objective of the day could be completed: water. Sound and video needed to be captured. The sound of dripping water on metal was captured in the comfort of the extra bedroom. All external sounds were silenced, as drops of water were dropped on to different types of metal. Two mics picked up a wonderful subset of the incoming waves.

Next was the video of water. The bathroom was the most logical place to capture the water in one of its natural habitats. Various clips of filling the sink were taken. The audio was also recorded; all spectators were silent. Water was then run down the mirror for video capturing. Steve framed each shot, while Ashley and I prepared the dropmaking apparata. After that, more inspiration came, and water was run off many more glasslike objects.

Steve is currently transferring all the video off to a Mac. Results are pending.

The primary objective, and 2 out of 3 of the secondary objectives had been complted for the day. Still-photo images were taken of the primary objective to demonstrate that it had happened.

Would you please close all the windows and pull the drapes. I don’t like the lights. I don’t like the draft… And if you can prevail upon that raggedy-ann carcass of yours to exert itself, I’d like a cup of hot chocolate in my bone china!


Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.24 @ 07:00

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The day was started late due to sleeping in.

Eggs were purchased from Kroger in order to make blueberry muffins (in reality they were streusels, but what’s the difference?). The muffins were eaten on the back porch. Everyone enjoyed them.

Down to the mine. Today was multiplane animation day. This time Ashley and I brought down two sheets of glass, stolen from Steve’s bookshelves. These were used to create the animation surfaces for the cereal sessions. Steve artfully placed the camera and the lighting for the animation. The rest was up to Ashley and me. With the proverbial creative juices flowing we very very slowly moved each piece of cereal around to form delightful scenes, including but not limited to: cereal fireworks, cereal squaredance, cereal swarms, and a cereal chase sequence.

As Ashley and I animated, Steve was hard at work trying to finish up the score.

The day quickly ran out of light and dinnertime began at 11pm. I had been waiting in anticipation all day for the worldfamous pizzamuffinthings by Steve. His techniques cannot be divulged on this public forum. However, the results were indeed very satisfying.

Robert then stopped by to take some measurements to build the custom LCD Projector/Mac Mini mounts for the wondrous Double Projector Tree.

Down to the mine again. This time the animations were fast, yet detailed. Heavy eyelids became a factor, so Ashley and I had to retire.

Sadly, I do not think the day’s goal of 100 stillphotos to prove the day existed was met. But, I do believe quality over quantity did prevail.


Posted by rbehner on 2006.05.23 @ 01:37

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Today revolved around food. It started with Steve giving us directions to a McDonalds in hope of satisfying the early morning hunger of Ashley and me. We made it just in time to get the last two hashbrowns made before breakfast was over.

After picking Tina up we ventured back to Steve’s, making sure to stay inside the circle — i.e., I-270. We made it back safe and sound.

Ashley and I were assigned to do some more animation. With food on our mind we headed to the kitchen for inspiration. It was found in the form of tongs, a pizza cutter, and a cheese grater. With our props in hand we headed down the shafts to the animation mines to invent. The clips today were a lot cleaner than the midnight session last night, and my thumb even made a guest appearance, despite the warnings that it shouldn’t. No grapes were harmed in the filming of our clips, however the pizza did not survive intact.

A much-needed nap was then taken.

Upon awakening, it was dinnertime. We ventured out to Ming Flower for some delicious Chinese delicacies. Leftovers are waiting for us in the fridge. Back to homebase. Cookies and Milk were had by all (including Radcliffe who showed up for dinner, too).

Steve, Tina, Ashley and I did a prelimanary reading of the script. Moods and acting styles were discussed for each scene, along with timing. My creativeness does not expand into the world of acting, I will leave it to the professionals — i.e., the other three.

It is time to sleep, because the quicker I go to sleep, the faster blueberry muffins will come in the morning.

stop.  motion. stop. motion.

Posted by smokris on 2006.05.22 @ 02:15

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I think I’m going to use this space to try to loosely chronicle ruori happenings over the next week-and-a-half as things progress toward the (all-too-rapidly) upcoming show in Philadelphia.

I frantically cleaned the house (i.e., emptied two entire rooms, half-into-dumpster, half-into-car-to-unexpectedly-drop-upon-my-grandparents). I drove to Akron-Canton Airport to pick up Ashley and Ryan. Akron-Canton Airport is amazingly small. Small, as in, most of the primary roads on campus are single-lane, and they actually allow cars to stop near the passenger-pickup-area. Also small, as in, they can get away with a huge flash thing in the middle of their website. Altogether uncanny.

We were planning to record my grandfather doing some narration (voiceovers to be used during some film-based segments of the show) but an unidentified individual forgot to bring the camera battery. So we shall meet him sometime in the next few days.

We arrived back in Columbus. Ashley and Ryan went out to retrieve some essentials such as Meijer Bulk Gummibears, Dinner Rolls, and Myriad Caffeinated Substances.

While they were gone, I searched for software with which to turn the fancy new videocamera into a bolex, and came across iStopMotion. I played with it a bit and decided to buy a copy.

Somehow I managed to destroy one of the three mac minis already. It’s giving me the flashy-folder thing and doesn’t start loading OS X at all..

Tina’s back in Columbus now, too. She’s planning to be here most of Monday to hopefully finish script stuff and start working on blocking and storyboards. Speaking of things that should have been done a year ago, I really need to start writing the score.

Ashley, Ryan, and I then spent the next few hours assembling and becoming familiar with the animation rig. And rediscovering how touching a small part of an object causes the whole room to move (taking the frame out of registration and requiring a few minutes to reposition everything). Having realtime onionskin capabilities in software is so helpful.

We ended up with about 25 seconds of potentially-usable footage @ 12 frames per second.

Causality Causality

Posted by smokris on 2005.12.12 @ 13:37

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This morning I awoke to the alarm, showered, and tried to exit my home.

The doorknob broke off the frontdoor.

I disassembled the door in order to get out.

I then reassembled it discourage other people from entering while I am away.

So, I thought, “You know, today’s a good day to resume this blog.”

So I did.

Nord Modular Wishlist Nord Modular Wishlist

Posted by smokris on 2002.08.06 @ 17:01

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This list was compiled from various mailinglist postings.

From Wout Blommers:

During the start of the V4 developments Clavia asked some NM’ers to write a user report and a wishlist. This was done [in late 2001].

Possible (?) With Current Hardware


  • Moog ladder filter - Grant Middleton
  • Linear slew module - Grant Middleton
  • Bus line from CVA back to PVA - Grant Middleton
  • 16x8 event sequencer - Steve Mokris
  • Sequencer input to control position with CV - Steve Mokris

Editor software

  • Use Windows Clipboard to cut and paste modules - Steve Mokris
  • The ability to type in values from the computer keyboard once a parameter is in focus. Seems easier to get an exact value quicker this way than “mousing around” - Les Mizzell
  • The ability to “freeze” the vocoder and save those settings as a stand-alone filter (transferred to the Filter Bank perhaps?). Better yet, the ability to save a number of “captured” settings (slices?), and then smoothly morph between them with adjustable time settings in-between.
    Consider the power of this. Trying to model the perfect cello? Capture the settings from the vocoder module at 0, .5, 1, 1.5 and 2 seconds and then be able to use those settings to either synthesize a cello, or apply those filter settings to another sound entirely. - Les Mizzell

New Hardware (The Fabled “NM2”)


  • some sort of digital out [expansion option] - perhaps via a USB interface (which could double as the Editor connection rather than a 2nd midi port) [or an ADAT expansion board]. This would also be a good way to transfer in waveforms and samples, assuming they build that sort of functionality into the NM2. - trey at
    • If people are going to dream about how cool all this data flying back and forth would be, then I strongly suggest that someone put a large flea in Clavia’s collective ear about skipping over USB entirely and shipping the next generation Nord Modular with FireWire ports. USB will handle tons of MIDI (once the various bugs are sorted out), but if people also want to be able to feed multiple audio signals to and from the Nord this way, then USB is knocked out of the running quickly and only FireWire is fast enough to do it all cleanly. Maybe Clavia should talk to Yamaha about getting on the mLAN train when it finally pulls out of the station. - Mike Metlay
  • more physical outputs/timbrality - or at least an expansion option. The polyphony expansion isnt nearly as useful to me as a timbrality/ output expansion would be. - trey at
  • Make an “NM2” more “modular” for purchase – you can start out with less (though sufficient for, say, 6-8 voice polyphony, 4-channel timbrality) but build up to whopping Kyma-like expansions of DSP and RAM power. Although keep this within enough limits to keep the “NM2” coherent enough to function just fine as an entirely independent instrument; don’t get caught in the trap of forcing it to become a PC parasite, or a big, cumbersome, buggy piece of frustration. - Steven Wartofsky
  • multiple small LCD windows above all knobs that change dynamically to show knob-assignment at-a-glance, either that or a larger central LCD with a menu option to provide at-a-glance knob assignment clarification. Some way so you don’t have to think about which knob did what a month after you created a patch. - Steven Wartofsky
  • Move the keyboard over four inches, put in a Nord Lead style mod wheel and pitch stick (both routable to anything, of course), and put an aftertouch sensor under the keys (ditto). I’d buy one in a heartbeat. - Mike Metlay
Nord Modular Tempo Format Nord Modular Tempo Format

Posted by smokris on 2002.08.06 @ 17:01

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When the Nord Modular Editor writes patch files, the sequencer tempo is stored in an odd format, which packs the entire tempo range into a 7bit value. In beats per minute, the tempo ranges from 24 to 214. For values toward the ends of the spectrum, it skips by two.

  • 24bpm to 88bpm = by 2
  • 89bpm to 151bpm = by 1
  • 152bpm to 214bpm = by 2

The following C snippet should translate from BPM to nord-patch-file format and reverse.

unsigned char bpmToNordTempo(int b)
        return 0;
    else if(b<88)
        return (b-24)/2;
    else if(b<152)
        return b-88+32;
    else if(b<214)
        return (b-152)/2+96;
        return 127;
int nordTempoToBpm(unsigned char t)
        return t*2+24;
    else if(t<96)
        return t-32+88;
    else if(t<128)
        return (t-96)*2+152;
        return 214;
The Mighty DeskNote The Mighty DeskNote

Posted by smokris on 2002.05.24 @ 18:31

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There doesn’t seem to be much info around regarding these things… i’ll do what i can to help resolve this situation.

My machine is the DeskNote A-928, also (apparently) known as the i-buddie 4. Official docs:

Currently I’ve installed Linux Slackware and Windows 2000 as dualboot, and have logged my experiences with each below.

See also Gustavo Sverzut Barbieri’s Desknote A928/Linux Page.

Good Stuff

  • Excellent price/performance ratio for a laptop
  • Windows 2000’s “hibernate” (write all memory to harddrive and turn off) feature works nicely so far. Takes less than 30 seconds to write 512mb of ram to harddrive. Boots in somewhere around 45 seconds.

Bad Stuff

  • In Windows 2000, it doesn’t recover properly from suspend (but I’ve never seen a computer that has). I’ve suspended 3 times. one of those times it would never come out of suspend, so I had to pull the plug. The other two times, it came out, but sound, network, and usb all were disabled. I could figure out how to restart the network in win2k, but didn’t get the others working, and had to reboot.
  • Haven’t yet figured out how to suspend in linux. It’s ok because when linux isn’t in use, it doesn’t throttle the processor, so heat (and thus the temperature-controlled cpu fan) goes down.
  • Haven’t yet figured out how to get sound to work in linux.
  • Odd placement of the insert key, just left of the spacebar. I’ll live.
  • Harddrive is just under where one would typically rest one’s left hand, and thus it gets rather hot. Not uncomfortably so, just slightly annoying.
  • Odd placement of the cover-open latch: in the center. The previous laptop I used had two latches, positioned where one could open it with both one’s thumbs.
  • The CD drive easily pops out (you can’t easily rest the laptop on your lap), and often ejects a few times when trying to insert a cd.
  • I haven’t yet been able to get the s-video output to work (seems to output no signal, and i don’t see any configuration options for it).


  • Network port
  • Sound
    • SiS 7012
    • - sis’s linux drivers
    • It’s not a soundblaster pro as they advertise, and this is a good thing (sbp was only 8bit).
    • Doesn’t yet work in linux: drivers load (using alsa’s snd-intel8x0), and i don’t see any errors. i turn up the mixer all the way, and, if i put headphones on, and play some highly compressed and normalized music, i can just slightly hear something. so i imagine there are some flags that need to be adjusted for this revision. i’ll check this out sometime
    • Hmm… Actually, sound input in linux seems to work, but is rather noisy. In windows, the sound is plagued with loud, roughly sinusoidial noise at about 5hz, plus typical computer noise (rapid clicking when moving the mouse, high noise floor, etc). Therefore it’s effectively useless except for the most undemanding recordings.
  • IR
    • Winbond FIR - haven’t tried it
  • Video
    • works nicely with the vesafb module and fbdev for x. i’ve currently set it to 1024x768x64k. also works with other vesa modes: add 0x200 to the mode number, convert the mode number to decimal, and stick in as a kernel parameter, as per the vesafb documentation.
  • USB
    • Works nicely in linux. easy to get working, and usb support/reliability now exceeds win2k ! (at least for a usb mouse). yay devfs.
    • todo: post xf86config for how to use both usb and internal mouse at the same time


The Sentinel

Posted by cwright on 1999.11.18 @ 17:24

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Today in Barton’s compsci class we went over simple user-controlled looping.  This allows us to collect variable amounts of input from user, without asking them explicitly for the number of fields in advance.

We used Barton’s Constant (-999) as a sentinel value to trigger the end of the data set.  In many ways this is a lame solution, since -999 may be a valid data point for some data sets, and it also requires additional instructions at each prompt to let the user know how to exit the loop.  In the future, we’ll hopefully learn how to trap Ctrl-C or Ctrl-D to make this simpler, or maybe we can simply detect a null input to indicate list completion.

Of course, all of the above is moot once we get into Graphical User Interfaces.  But for command-line stuff, I guess there aren’t really any better solutions…