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The GNOME pants are still alive?

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 5:10 pm

2013-7-15
5:10 pm

Wow. I had no idea GNOME still had the pants award. I don’t remember exactly which GUADEC it was, but I never thought that when I originally came up with the pants award for Jeff Waugh it would turn into a longstanding tradition.

Have the pants always been the same pants I bought back then for like 15 euros? Or has someone upgraded them along the way to a better model? Are there any photos throughout the years?

morituri 0.2.1 “married” released

Filed under: Hacking,morituri,Python,Releases — Thomas @ 9:02 am

9:02 am

I finally managed to set aside a few hours this weekend to fix some smaller issues in morituri and put out a new release. (For those who don’t know, morituri is an accurate CD ripper for Linux)

Life’s been a little busy lately and my spare time hacking has been suffering. But I’m happy I got a nice stretch of hacking hours in on morituri, and hope to repeat it in the next few weeks to knock out some more complicated issues, like tackling the reports of problems with latest pycdio releases.

The most important change is probably the filtering of non-FAT and other special characters, which I ended up doing a lot like sound-juicer does, because I trust Ross to have looked at this in detail.

In addition, after curiously reading Lionel Dricot‘s posts about Flattr, I decided to get a little more serious about trying Flattr again (I had only flattr’d about 4 things so far due to lack of content). I integrated Flattr in my wordpress install, upgrading it in the process, and installed the chrome extension which should give me many more options to flattr other people’s content – for example, github repos.

So if you like morituri, go to this post on my website and click the Flattr button you see at the bottom of this post or on the morituri homepage!

I don’t expect to get rich off it, but I think it’s a nice way of showing you appreciate someone’s work.

So then that happened

Filed under: Life — Thomas @ 5:04 pm

2013-6-7
5:04 pm

I’ve been more quiet than usual lately. I guess that’s what happens when you get married.

Oh, yeah, so that happened.

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When I first met her years ago at a friend’s birthday drink she sat next to me all night and completely ignored me.

Years later I crashed a women only outing where she happened to be as well.

A random party, a six-o’clock-in-the-morning omelette on a terrace watching the sun come up, a birthday party, a jaunt to the Gentse Feesten and a long Christmas in august later, we were already together for two months before we knew it. I took her to my sister’s wedding, and not even three years later we went to our own, three weeks after I proposed. (Tip for anyone thinking of proposing: maybe the sauna isn’t the best place after all)

Getting married to her ended up being the most natural decision I’ve ever taken. And the answer to the most-asked question? Yes, it does make a difference. No, I didn’t expect it to. But it does.

Thank you to everyone who ever dumped me – I had no idea better things were coming.

Organizing photo libraries

Filed under: Life,Pictures — Thomas @ 12:51 pm

2013-5-18
12:51 pm

The weather’s picking up so it’s time for spring cleaning around the house. When I moved back to Barcelona three years ago I took with me my old analogue photos and negatives, with the idea of sorting through them at some point and getting them digitized. And while I’m at it, maybe it’s time to pull all my various folders of photos together too and organize them.

Well, I finally started. I grouped the negatives, labeled them by year, put them in individual envelopes, and handed them off to a professional lab to scan them after doing a quick test run on one set (which turned out great, but it’s *really* annoying me that they scan to JPEG by default, charge 40% extra for TIFF, and use a non-multiple-of-8 resolution to scan at which means I can’t losslessly rotate the negatives. Yes, I’m anal.)

So now I pulled together all my various folders of photos, and before I start doing tagging and stuff like that, I want to organize them in a decent folder layout. Googling for ideas pretty much suggests that the way to go is

YYYY/MM/DD

with possibly some description together with the DD

I’m not really happy about that, however, because there are certain things I’d like to be able to do:

  • easily see where photos come from – did I make them ? did I get them from someone ? Did I download them from Facebook ?
  • Are these original files from a camera without editing ?
  • Are these the original scans ? From negatives ? From actual photos ? Or are they retouched, rotated, denoised, …
  • Are these photos SFW ? Can I point my media center slideshow to this directory and have it safely show any photos under it ? (What do you mean, you’ve never snowboarded at night in only your underwear, and mooning the photographer ?) Or maybe not even SFW, but simply watchable and reasonable quality or subject material?

I realize some of these issues can not be resolved simply with a directory layout. But I’m sure some of you must have had similar issues or come up with a slightly better layout ?

Point me in the right direction please.

morituri and Hidden Track One Audio

Filed under: morituri,Music,Python — Thomas @ 9:08 pm

2013-5-10
9:08 pm

I have tomorrow (saturday) blocked out for a whole day of morituri hacking as I will be home alone.

One of the things a lot of morituri users are puzzled by is its relentless drive to extract every single sample of audio from the CD. Currently, even if it’s a really short pre-gap, and most likely just an inaccurate master or burn, with no useful audio in it.

For me, that was a design goal of morituri – I want to be able to exactly reproduce a CD as is. That is to say, ripping a CD should extract *all* audio from the CD, and it should be possible to make a copy of that CD and then rip that copy, and end up with exactly the same result as from the original CD. (I’m sure there’s a fancy scientific term for that that I can’t remember right now)

To a lot of other people, it seems to be annoying and they don’t like having those small almost empty files lying around.

So I thought I’d do something about that, and that it might be useful as well to analyze my current collection of tracks and figure out what’s in there. Maybe I can find some hidden gems that I hadn’t noticed before?

So I added a quick task to morituri that calculates the maximum sample value (I didn’t want to use my own level element in GStreamer for this as I wanted to make sure it was actual digital zero; this should be done in an element instead though, but I preferred the five minute hack for this one).

And then I ran:

rip debug maxsample /mnt/nas/media/audio/rip/morituri/own/album/*/00*flac

Sadly, that turned up 0 as the biggest sample for all these tracks!

Wait, what? I spent all that time on getting those secret tracks ripped just to get none? That’s not possible! I know some of those tracks!

Maybe the algorithm is wrong. Nope, it works fine on all the regular tracks.

Oh, crap. Maybe morituri has been ripping silence all this time because my CD drive can’t get that data off. Yikes, that would be a bit of egg on my face.

No, it works if I check that Bloc Party track I know about.

Ten minutes of staring at the screen to realize that, while I was outputting names from a variable from the for loop over my arguments, the track I was actually passing to the task was always the first one. Duh. Problem solved.

As for what I found in my collection:

  • a cute radio jingle that brought back memories from a live bootleg I had made myself of Bloem. That’s from over ten years ago, but that must have been around the time I learned about the existence of HTOA and wanted to get one in
  • found unknown HTOA tracks on Art Brut’s Bang Bang Rock & Roll, Mew’s Half the world is watching me; not their best stuff
  • soundscapey or stagesetting tracks on QOTSA’s Songs for the Deaf, Motorpsycho’s Angels and Daemons at play And Blissard; not that worth it (the Blissard track was ok, but really quiet)
  • Pulp hid a single piano chord in a 2 second pre-gap on This is Hardcore; very curious. It’s not an intro to the first track, because it doesn’t fit with the sound at all.
  • Damien Rice hid a demo version of 9 Crimes (the first track) in the pregap; instead of piano and female vocals, he plays guitar and sings all the parts.
  • Got reacquainted with my favourite HTOA tracks: the orchestral quasi-wordless medley on the Luke Haines/Das Capital disc; the first Bloc Party album with a beautiful instrumental (up there with the hidden track at the end of Placebo’s first album; both bands delivering an atypical but stunning moodscape; the beautiful cover of Ben Kenobi’s Theme by Arab Strap on the Cherubs EP (no idea why that landed in my album dir, that needs to be fixed); the silly Soulwax skit for their second album.

Of course, Wikipedia has the last word on everything

I note that they think Pulp recorded a cymbal, not a piano. And now that I see the title of the QOTSA hidden track, I get the joke I think.

In total, on my album collection of 1564 full CD’s, I have 171 HTOA’s ripped, 138 tracks of pure digital silence, and only about 11 are actually useful tracks.

I expected to find more gems in my collection. I’ll go through ep’s, singles and compilations next just to be sure.

But with this code in hand, maybe it’s time to add something to morituri to save the silent HTOA tracks as pure .cue information.

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