September 29, 2004

Weary

[08:04 PM]
Technology

I’ve been doing some long hours recently. Not as long as the young bloke I work with, but pretty long for an old bloke like me. I certainly don’t have the stamina to do much past 40 hours a week anymore.

What’s the main sign that I’m doing too much coding? Well, the warning sign is when I lie in bed looking at the ceiling and thinking about coding. The main sign is when I cut code in my dreams.

Now, if only I could remember the code for the next day…

September 25, 2004

Installer Silliness

[04:51 PM]
Technology

Ok, so I'm looking for something a little bit tricky: something to turn MIDI files into printable scores. And of course, I'd prefer not to pay much, or anything at all. I know that Lilypond is out there, and I will probably go that way, but meanwhile I'm looking at some other possibilities.

The other constraint is that I want it to run on the Mac under OS X. OK, most of the very high end of the market will probably do it for me, but none of them have try-before-you-buy, which is a dumb idea. Nightingale X is a reasonable price, and has a time limited demo. Let's try that.

First big black mark: the installer gives you the option of choosing a folder to install in, but rather than creating a folder underneath that choice (the common convention) it dumped everything in the chosen folder. Second big black mark. There's a Read Me, which I did. It mutters about using a third party product as an anti-piracy solution. "Ok" I think. Double click on Nightingale to run it, and up pops a message about "extensions" not being installed. What is this, 1995 or something? Oh, look there's a folder for the third-party product. There's a .DMG in the folder. And inside the .DMG is a (wait for it) god-damn Vise installer. Get with the program people! Don't package an installer inside an installer! There are Apple-encouraged ways to do this which don't piss people off!

Second black mark - on startup, Nightingale couldn't find a preferences folder for itself (not suprising on first run) - but why pop up a message to say "I can't find it, so I'll make one?" Good grief, half your users are now worried something is wrong with their computer. Oh, good one. The installer didn't install the fonts, did it...

Ok, it opens. First dialog very confusing. Oh, it's asking which file to open. Click new score - POOMPF! Tall window that doesn't respect the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.

Huge black mark: it will only open Midi files that have the correct meta file information, and in particular only files that appear to have been created by Nightingale. Ok, a quick trip to Terminal and run SetFileInfo, and my sample file is ready to suck in.

Well, it basically works, despite the hassles. Thinking is in progress. I'll see what Lilypond can do with the same test cases. In some of my copious spare time…

September 23, 2004

ecto

[05:35 PM]
Technology

Hmm. I’ve been thinking a little bit about using a blog editor outside the web-interface MT provides. So I downloaded a trial of ecto, which I’m using to do this. Now, it appears to correctly do everything it ought to, so I’ll hit the “post” button and find out if it posts properly, does the Textile formatting, and wipes the floor afterwards.

Hmm. It did. So in theory I can now edit the posting again, and see what comes out of it.
I wonder what the iTunes button does? Oh, it did this:
Caledonia from the album Celtic Music Of The World by Dolores Keane

September 11, 2004

Shakespeare in Quarto

[06:05 PM]
News

This is web technology as it ought to be. The British Library has digitised a lot of Shakespeare Quarto editions and put them on-line so that viewers can page around them. I expect over the next couple of decades almost all historical documents will be treated the same, which is going to open up a huge amount of new analysis of them. Exciting stuff.

On other notes, I’ve almost finished a new late medieval belt pouch, and my email in-box is empty for the first time in months.