Archive

Kineme is now (c)ubercoolische bbinkovitz 2008.11.18 @ 16:30

In case you’re not super minimal like we are and don’t already know, Richie Hawtin is the Berlincoolest musician ever. His label, M-NUS, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with, among other things, a blue lighted cube (pictured left). Ali Demirel, visualist for Richie Hawtin, includes Quartz Composer in his arsenal of interactive and realtime media tools, and has been using a couple of Kineme tools to control and interact with his visuals.

He used Particle Tools to get some interesting effects in the visuals displayed behind the musicians during their set. He modified the “Fire” sample to fit with the other visuals and the music.

He also used Kineme File Tools String with URL to access the information acquired by the Cube. Members had RFID chipcards, and it would get their name whenever anyone held up their RFID chipcard to it. Demirel then chose the right moment to display their name in the visuals.

For an interview with Mr. Demirel, including links to videos, check out the full story on Kosada.com.

90% Easy, 10% Impossible cwright 2008.09.13 @ 20:19

90% Easy, 10% Impossible Pie ChartFrom time to time, I get these insatiable urges to read what other Cocoa developers blog about. Sometimes they’re informative, sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they read like college textbooks, and sometimes they’re just downright terrible, but I read them anyway. It comes and goes in waves, every 2 or 3 months. A couple weeks ago, one such binge happened, and I started reading Aaron Hillegass’ critique of NSController (since I was hating it at the time, and wanted to feel justified in hating it). In the critique, the following statement was made:

QTKit QCheatKit

QuickTime LogoApple has been busily working to 64-bit-ify all of the frameworks they plan to continue supporting into the future (Snow Leopard and beyond). However, QuickTime is scheduled for some nice Cocoaification, so it didn’t get much 64-bit love. QTKit, the 64-bit impostor, pretends to be the 64-bit way forward, but unfortunately this is far from useful.

QuickTime is all C function stuff, rather verbose and boring. It’s also 32-bit only. The 64-bit front end on it is a framework called QTKit. However, 64-bit QTKit is little more than an impostor that secretly makes things messier during the 32-to-64-bit transition.

NSSound and Enumerating CoreAudio Output Devices smokris 2008.08.12 @ 10:16

Cocoa’s NSSound provides a blindingly simple way to play back audio asynchronously, and even provides some metadata and control over how the audio is played back.

It uses the default sound device, by default. It gives you the ability to change the output device.

According to the documentation:

- (void)setPlaybackDeviceIdentifier:(NSString *)playbackDeviceIdentifier
 
Specifies the receiver's output device.
 
playbackDeviceIdentifier
    Unique identifier of a sound output device.

That’s it. What is the “Unique identifier of a sound output device”? What format is this “Unique identifier”? How do I get a list of the “Unique identifiers” of the available output devices on my system?

Silicon Dioxide (SiO₂) cwright 2008.07.30 @ 12:50

QuartzCrystal LogoIn the wee small hours of this morning, Kineme Interactive Media released its first commercial product, QuartzCrystal.

QuartzCrystal is an offline renderer that turns Quartz Compositions into portable QuickTime movies. It supports 3rd party plugins, as well as patches that do not work in safe-mode-only environments (such as QuickTime Pro). It also supports software scene antialiasing, so if you have a Mac with plenty of RAM and a hard-core video card, you can make spectacularly beautiful renderings of your plugins, effects, and compositions.

Beside QuartzCrystal, the only other product that renders and encodes compositions to movies is Apple’s own QuickTime Pro, which doesn’t support plugins, unsafe patches, or antialiasing.

QuartzCrystal Main Window Screenshot

The Black Apple Strikes! mradcliffe 2008.07.16 @ 08:10

Matt Radcliffe and his BlackbookIt took a few minutes for cwright and smokris to realize what was different yesterday. Yes, the days had finally come. I had begun to shave my proverbial neckbeard. More than year after and much like similar happenings, 7/15/08 is a day that shall live in infamy.

I have an Apple product once again. 黒林檎(くろりんご、kuroringo)is born!

PHP's __autoload() function is Deprecated: Use spl_autoload_register() Instead.

PHP logoPHP 5’s spl_autoload_register() function has been around since late 2005, yet documentation on it is still pretty sparse.

spl_autoload_register() does basically the same thing as __autoload(), but – instead of being a callback defined in the global namespace (reminds me of ON ERROR GOTO in BASIC) – it allows you to add your autoload handler onto the end of a chain of callbacks. Useful if you don’t want to clobber everyone else’s autoload code.

More info here.

Apple Mail Hack: Move Message To Sent Folder smokris 2008.04.20 @ 09:43

In the year that has elapsed since I failed to explain why I was using PINE for email, I’ve switched to Apple Mail.

Well, it’s been alright, but much to my regret the improved latency due to keystrokes only traveling around my local machine – instead of through the interweb and back as was the case with PINE on a remote machine – makes it almost justifiable. Almost.

Neural-Go-Round bbinkovitz 2008.03.15 @ 13:26

project ruori's neural currency exhibit at notacon
Remember those weird things we built for PURE a couple years ago, and posted creepy photos of? Well it’s become a traveling freakshow of stochastic electronic goodness, appearing after its initial Boston display at electro-music 2007 in Philadelphia, and soon to be inflicted on the public again at Notacon in Cleveland, April 4th - 6th, 2008. Come check it out, and we might lovingly assault your ears with our mental vibrational energies if you’re lucky.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Voter Fraud

Remember how in 2004 everyone was so freaked out about the terrific hackability of both the hardware and software of Diebold and other electronic voting machines? Well, the fuss has sort of died down about that. (Not that there was any reason for it to – there are no reports that the problems with the machines were ever adequately addressed.) And anyway, what vigilante dictator has the time or inclination to mess around with all that techno-crap involved in hacking a voting machine? Key-cutting takes all of 2-5 minutes per key, and firmware hacking involves learning boring things, like what firmware is. It’s enough to get a would-be crooked election worker or stealth saboteur to give up and go back to throwing Molotov cocktails at Planned Parenthood staff.

But don’t give up yet, all you burgeoning totalitarians out there! For here I shall reveal a much simpler (albeit slightly less efficient) method of voting fraud. Here is what I learned in my absentee-ballot-casting experience. Oh yeah, and dear internets: please use this for good and not evil. And also don’t use it at all.

Data Integrity a Posteriori

Danger: Corrosive Liquids.  Wear Protective Equipment.Data integrity is a hot topic these days. With data volumes on the rise and hard drive half-lives falling, protecting data has become important in many different fields.

Conventionally, a storage medium will report its life expectancy in terms of MTBF, or Mean Time Between Failures. This is often measured in hours. However, it’s not always this simple. Usage patterns and environmental characteristics take a heavy toll on how long our storage devices last.

Python's Flying Circus

Lately I’ve been working on integrating (or, more accurately, attempting to integrate) the Python scripting language into some plugins for an application we develop plugins for. We’ve wrapped many libraries with varying levels of success, so this one wasn’t going to be much different. Or, so we thought.

Some Wild MacBook Pro Checkerboard Graphics Corruption / Crash

Last summer Kosada purchased a MacBook Pro for the president of one of Kosada’s consulting clients. It’s been a great improvement over the old Dell laptop he was formerly using, and, though he was initially worried about whether he’d be able to grasp the new UI, he seems to have picked it up quickly, and he reports that he’s been loving it.

But this morning he called me with a rather odd problem:

“I hooked up my Treo and started syncing it, then walked away for a few minutes. When I returned, the screen was covered with a bunch of squares, and I can’t do anything.”
Is Smaller Better? mradcliffe 2008.02.03 @ 22:39
Epia EX small

In the past couple of months I thought about spending some money on either a Nintendo Wii or a multi-purpose media box (not to mention my anxiety over buying an unmodifiable blackbook). Over the past 3 years I’ve looked at smaller cases as “better”. Before that it was always the full tower case that provided more room and ease-of-use. In this vein I’ve been looking at the world of mini-itx for the past several months.

VIA created the mini-itx specification for itself, but since its creation other companies started creating motherboards with this spec and recently so has Intel. The spec allows for a low-power consumption CPU, which is great for point-of-sales machines, thin clients, and more. The other use of mini-itx, popular amongst personal users, is as a Home Theater PC (HTPC) or media center.