July 2005 Archives
The creators of
a computer program that randomly generates Computer Science papers successfully got a randomly generated paper into a conference. Thanks to donations from visitors to their web site, they raised the money to attend the conference. Once their web site was discovered, their registration was refunded. So they used the money to set up at the same hotel as the conference and present three randomly generated papers. See the video.
Gary Garritan: A Personal Orchestra for Everyone. The Garritan Personal Orchestra includes Garritan's award winning orchestra samples, music notation software (Overture SE-4), sequencing software (Cubase LE), and a sample player. It runs on relatively modest personal computer hardware (PC or Mac). It costs $250.
Buy it on Amazon (actually Musician's Friend).
See the article, not to mention the official Garritan web site, for music samples.
Castalia Communications sells neat looking posters with music-related reference information on them. They look like they'd be fun for a kid's room or den, not sure about the living room. Geeky.
Google Moon. Zoom in for more detail.
My Five Favorite Soft Synths, by Jim Aikin. With audio examples.
perl.com: Ten Essential Development Practices, an excerpt from Damian Conway's new book, Perl Best Practices. The excerpt looks a lot like what's now standard advice in other books (write tests first, use a revision control system), but with a Perl flavor. Some bits are advice I hear mostly in Perl circles: "Don't Optimize Code--Benchmark It" applies almost everywhere, but especially in Perl, when TIMTOWTDI combined with Perl's propensity for magical behavior gets everyone asking, what's the fastest way to do something.
Creating Spotlight Plugins, an introduction that includes the building of a Spotlight plugin for the Stickies application.
A quick note to people creating podcasts on your Mac: Mute your Mac OS X system sounds! It's very confusing.
Writerisms and other Sins: A Writer's Shortcut to Stronger Writing. Common beginners mistakes, especially in fiction or descriptive (what are we calling it now, literate?) non-fiction. (Thanks Matt.)
Update: Thanks to Dan for cluing me in to a hidden feature already built into Dashboard that lets you put widgets on the desktop. See the comments.
Mesa Dynamics Amnesty Widget Browser lets you use Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Dashboard widgets directly on your desktop. It will even let you run many widgets on Mac OS X 10.3 Panther.
This idea is so obvious, I've been considering trying to implement it myself, just to see if it was easy. Mesa Dynamics is charging $19.95 for it.
(Mesa is using enough trademark symbols on its site that it's possible they're mistaking copyright law for trademark law: copyrights are automatic, but trademarks must be registered. It's also possible they're registering all of those marks, at $325 a pop...)
The Unheard Beethoven. Unrecorded works of Beethoven, in MIDI form. Why is there Beethoven that hasn't been recorded?
la Pate a Son, a wonderful music making web toy. Kind of like the old water-in-pipes video game, but with beans and musical instruments, and no time limit.
How To Look Like A UNIX Guru, an introduction to some Unix commands and techniques.
NYTimes: The 60-Day Course in Perfect Fake Piano Playing. The article is an ad for a movie, really, but an obscure one, so it's OK.
Zipcar coming to Seattle. Zipcar is a rival to the car-sharing program, Flexcar. I *heart* Flexcar, but I see no reason to stay brand loyal if prices and services are similar. (Mini Coopers with XM Radio won't get me to pay more money, sorry. John Williams has my number.)
Whoever puts a car in the parking lot of the 7-11 at NE 50th Street and 1st Avenue will get my business.
The New C Standard: An Economic and Cultural Commentary by Derek Jones. 1,616 pages of analysis of the C programming language standard, available for free as a PDF. According to Derek in this article, it was rejected at the last minute by Addison Wesley due to its size, so he made it a free download instead.
If you're planning a trip to Victoria, B.C., be sure to save a hundred bucks or so for dinner at Il Terrazzo. The best food I've had in years, though I don't normally eat in the $40 entreé price range. Completely charming atmosphere, and waitstaff that was kind and patient with our young child. Made my trip.
I'll also throw in a positive mention for Ferris' Oyster Bar and Grill, since they seem to have been omitted from what few guidebooks there are for Victoria. Good food and good service at a casual lunchtime price. Be sure to request a table out back on a sunny day, the place looks a little cramped indoors.
Gmaps Pedometer, a Google Maps hack where you double-click your way along a path, and the total distance is displayed.
Virtual Banjo Lessons, free half-hour lessons as MP3s, with podcast feed. "The catch here is that after the each workshop goes online we will not post the next one until at least five people send us audio files of themselves playing the â€œhomeworkâ€ assigned at the end of each lesson."
The End of the M.E.? What mechanical engineering means as everything goes electrical.
WSJ on Amazon.com's selling the Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection, 1,082 titles of classic literature all for $7,989.99, plus $3.99 shipping. Buy now!
Penguin Classics are high quality books. I tend to choose Penguin whenever I comparison shop editions of classics.
Linked from the article: The Penguin paperback revolution.