Oooh, what a shiny little gadget


The new CS-32
MiniDesk
is a miniature control surface for fast access to the most commonly used
functions in most audio programs. It works with Digidesign ProTools, Digigram X-Track,
Steinberg Nuendo, Cubase SX, VST, MOTU Digital Performer, Soundscape REd, Cakewalk
Pro, Sonic Foundry, Abelton Live, Merging Technologies Pyramix, Logic Audio and Most
Audio Software Programs!

It’s around the size of a A4/Letter page. I’ve been using Cubase SE for a while,
I guess this little thing would be compatible with it as well as it’s basically a
stripped down SX. There is definitly something to be said for physically twiddling
the knobs and hearing the sounds. I’m sure it’s pretty good value for money, but the
swedish price (6500 SEK) is a little too much for me. The US price is $400 (around
2900 SEK), which makes it a little more affordable, even with import duty added. Anyone
know of any good US online stores that deliver to Sweden?

Joel on how to not write and send out résumés

Joel Spolsky sounds a bit more cranky than usual in Getting
Your Résumé Read:

Paper résumés can’t get into the email folder we’re using to keep track of applicants
unless we scan them in, and, you know what? The scanner is right next to the shredder
in my office and the shredder is easier to use.

I guess I see where he’s coming from; few programmers like doing HR’ ish work. About
résumés and how to get them read, there’s this interesting anectote about the then-CEO
of some large swedish company (I wish I could remember the names); who, when presented
with a large pile of résumés for a high profile position, divided the pile into two
and threw one in the bin, reasoning ”These people are misfortunate. We don’t need
that kind of people here”.

Why isn’t everybody using iCalendar?

It dawned on me that it was several weeks since I saw any good live music (I did see Nina
Ramsby
at Debaser two weeks ago, but that
was more in the ”interesting” category — particularly the acoustic, softly played
version of Rage Against the Machine‘s ”Killing
in the name of
”), so I went to a coupleofthegig guides
for the Stockholm region that I know of, each with their own way of presenting the
concerts they had in their database, sometimes with way outdated info, and with no
way of getting the complete picture.

A couple of years ago, when Apple began launching iApplications every
other month (speaking of which, why did they choose GarageBand as
a name for their latest offering in the iLife series, as opposed to, say, iStudio?),
they offered an interesting calendar program called iCal.
Now, that name was somewhat unfortunate as there already existed a Unix program called ical as
well as a calendaring standard format called iCalendar,
but what can you do? To ensure further confusion, the Apple iCal program actually
used the iCalendar format (the unix ical program did not, if memory serves me correctly),
and had the ability to subscribe to ”calendars”, a calendar being basically a iCalendar
file with a bunch of events in it, available at a specified URL. Much like we subscribe
to RSS feeds today.

Now, if everybody offered iCalendar feeds, I could just subscribe to them in my calendaring
program of choice, and if those gig guides I mentioned had iCalendar feeds I would
have found out that Sick of it all (no link provided as their site is IE-only — what
the fuck is wrong with these anti-establishment punk bands offering sites that only
works in The Man’s
browser
?) plays here March 3rd. As their album was the 9th
best in 2003
, I’m really thinking about going, even if they’re playing at a fairly
sucking venue
.

Now, publishers won’t do that since there’s not a lot of demand, and there isn’t a
lot of demand since there aren’t many applications that can read iCalendar feeds.
Apples iCal is one, the cross-platform Mozilla
Calendar
(which unfortunately still isn’t in the standard builds) is another,
and Evolution seems to be
a third. I guess that if someone wrote a kick-ass Outlook iCalendar feed plug in (I
think outlook can import a iCalendar file, but that’s not nearly the same thing) the
format would have a better chance of taking off. However, what would motivate publishers
to offer feeds (and therefore diverting traffic from their normal, ad-supported pages)
is still unknown.

Blog tech: Pingbacks and trackbacks

As much as I like non-mature, loosely specified technologies, I never got that much
into what technologies go into blog publishing. I knew any blog worth its salt had
an RSS feed, so that was a requirement when I chose BlogX.
However, the pingback/trackback technologies
were largely unknown to me at the time, which was unfortunate as I now understand
they are a pretty big deal.

My first question is: Why the two standards? It seems to me they solve the same problem,
at least from reading the executive summaries?

My second question is: BlogX doesn’t support either sending or recieving any
of the *backs, no? Does third party blog clients, such as w.bloggar,
support this (Including backtrack/pingback autodiscovery?), or should the blog server
take care of sending the pings?

My third question is: At one point, I seem to recall that blogs kept track of who
were linking to them by looking at referrer headers. Is that passé as in ”oh, that’s
soooo 2003” now?

I’m really itching to write my own blog/wiki/bliki system (”because it’s there!”),
and it would seem silly not to get stuff like this right. I guess that Pie/Echo/Atom (which
is what, by the way?) has all this worked out and specified beautifully.

Sunday’s long run

Sundays now means long distance running, and the program for
today was a 17 km run at around 1.42-1.59. I finished at 1.48, which I’m fairly pleased
with, however, the program describes this as slow pace. I don’t know
if I agree with that. In two weeks I have to run 18 km in the same time, and preferably
a little faster. That’s going to be interesting. I haven’t been to Löplabbet to
try out new shoes, so I fished out the old ones they recommended to me five years
ago, and they worked beautifully. Ran 6 km with them yesterday and didn’t feel a thing
today. We’ll see how my legs like it tomorrow.

I listened to the Rory Blyth.Net
Rocks
show during
the run, and it was fun, if a little more devoid of actual content than the Sam
Gentile one
. However, I think it’s great news
that Rory will co-host
the show from now on, I think he’ll make an even better
host than interviewee. Just make sure he’s got plenty of his drug of choice before
you start to record.

1 mcal, and finally a use for WMA

The training
program
said to run 8 km in 48 minutes today, but as I’m still letting my legs
rest, I again went on the Precor elliptical trainer,
aiming for a 15 kcal/min pace. Since I wasn’t totally exhausted after the first few
minutes I increased the resistance over and over until I hit an (for me) insane resistance
and pace. I managed to keep that pace until the end, which gave an average of 20.12
kcal/min, or a little over 1000 kcal (or is that one mcal?) in 50 minutes. I feel
a little suspicious of that machine, it felt a little too easy. Or maybe I’m just
getting super fit.

A third explanation may be that I skipped the music, instead listening to the .NET
Rocks
radio show, the episode
with Sam Gentile
. My JOS MP-100 has
WMA support, but I’ve never found a use for it until now. The episode was fairly uninteresting,
but Sam’s critique of COM
Interop
, and particularly the RCW system,
was spot on. However, I do disagree with hosts about the importance of the other Interop
direction (CCW),
since I’m currently working inside a COM framework in which I’d like to plug in .NET
classes. There’s got to be a lot of COM based frameworks around still, no?

Next time I’m going to listen to the Rory
Blyth
show
his blog is hilarious, and I hope the show is as well.

Circles, Triangles and Rectangles

It seems that Microsoft is working with Cambridge university on a extension to C#
called ”Xen”,
aimed at simplifying access to XML and RDBMS data by making advanced data access a
first-class member of the language itself, rather than using libraries, and going
way beyond simple extensions like typed
datasets
and JAXB.

While I do like small, powerful languages like scheme,
I actually think that these ideas have their merits. I remember how differently I
would approach a problem in Perl, due to its first-class
inclusion of associative
arrays
, regexps and
data binding (the tie()
system), and in this
article
from ExtremeTech, I get the feeling that I would be able to tackle more
complex relational data in totally new ways.

I’d recommend reading the article first,
then the actualpapers. So far,
I’ve only skimmed the papers, but I think that if they get this right, it could
be pretty powerful. And innovative.

Also, as pun-inviting as the name Xen may be, I am thankful that they dropped the
original name: X#…