Category Archives: Asides

A Month of Code.

Welcome to October! I’ve taken this entire month off of work to catch up on several personal projects that have been languishing. Here’s what I hope to accomplish this month:


I haven’t released an update of Minim for an entire year! This is totally unacceptable! I will be spending the next few days fixing as many of the TODOs I’ve got lying around in the code base as I can and putting together a new release. This will be a bug fix release.

Today is the first day of a project initiated by Dr. J. Anderson Mills III, a good friend of mine who is working at Numediart in Mons, Belgium. This project aims to outfit Minim with easy-to-use and easy-to-extend audio generating classes. The current suite of classes in the ddf.minim.signals package will likely be replaced with whatever we come up with. I will be working closely with Anderson on the project, including traveling to Mons in the middle of the month to participate in a kickoff workshop. The project will culminate with a presentation at Numediart and a new release of Minim.


I’ve got several ideas for iPhone apps that I hope to be able to at least start work on this month. I will endeavor to post about progress on those as I make it.

Top Secret Music Game

I’ll be working more on the music game I mentioned several months ago. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to say about this, but hopefully there will be some kind of announcement that can be made in a couple month’s time.

Paradigm Shift?

Ever since reading this post about moving the Start menu to the top of the screen, I’ve occassionally considered it. I’ve also often found myself wishing that the Quick Launch toolbar in Windows behaved a bit better so that I could actually have it set on auto-hide and not have it jump out every time I try to use the scroll bar on a full screen program. In fact, I found myself wishing it would behave more like the Dock on a Mac. Well, recently I came across a program called RocketDock that emulates the Dock on a Mac and also is as customizable as the Quick Launch toolbar (moreso, actually).

My new desktop configuration.

It hasn’t broken my computer yet, so I feel pretty good about recommending it to people who maybe wish their PC was more like a Mac. One nice feature is that you can set it so that when you minimize something it becomes an icon in the dock and disappears from the Start bar. This helps keep the Start bar uncluttered when there are a lot of programs open but many of them are minimized. One down side to this is that when an icon does the little bounce thing to get your attention, it doesn’t bounce onto the screen. This means you have to periodically check the dock to see if any of your minimized windows are trying to get your attention, like an IM window or something.

Since I now I have Dock-like shortcut bar, I thought I’d just go whole hog and move the Start bar up to the top of the screen. It’s a little strange, but not so bad. I’ve locked it so it doesn’t have the funky looking beveled edge that it does when it’s resizable. The other thing I’m trying to retrain myself on is using the button on the side of my mouse to bring up an the application switcher instead of mousing up to the top of the screen and clicking on the program tab, or worse, mousing over to make the dock appear so I can click on a minimized window. If I’m switching back and forth between two programs, which is often the case when I’m working on the port or the unit test suite for the port, all it takes is two clicks of the mouse button to switch to the window I want.

I’m not entirely sure what it means to be rocking such a faux-Mac desktop. Maybe it just means that OSX has a better UI. In any event, it’s a nice change of scene and will hopefully reduce some unecessary mousing around and clicking.

Barcamp Montréal 2

I will be giving a 15 minute presentation about Mujax at Barcamp Montréal 2 this Saturday, April 28th. It takes place at the SAT and starts at 9:30 am. Other topics range from “taking photographs with cheap drugstore cameras”, presented by Simon Law, to “everything you wanted to know about the sex trade in Thailand but were afraid to ask”, an already controversial presentation by Madame Woo.

Barcamp is an unconference where all of the attendees are also participants. If you attend Barcamp you must either give a presentation or contribute to the event in some other way (like helping to set up).

Code Highlighting Is Go!

It’s really great when you discover that people have already done exactly the thing you wanted to do. I went from thinking I needed to write my own code highlighting plugin for WordPress to not only finding out that someone has already written one, but that it is also built on a generic code hightlighting engine that is easy to add new languages to. Then I figured I’d need to add Processing as a language to GeSHi, or at least add to the Java file. But someone already did that, too! So now I have lovely, simple code highlighting that is the same as the code highlighting in the PDE.