RIP: Maurice Jarre

Sad news: Maurice Jarre, award-winning film composer and father of Jean-Michel Jarre, has died. There’s a brief obituary on the NYT here. I mostly think of the amazing score for The Year of Living Dangerously when I think of him.

Things People Do with BigSeq2

One of the most rewarding parts of making music software is hearing the music people make with the software. Here are a few things using Audio Damage’s recently released BigSeq2 that people have posted online:

  • Marcus Fischer posted a lovely piece combining sounds of the Pacific Ocean processed through BigSeq2 and a xylophone here.
  • Matthew Davidson, author of the rather clever plug-in Volta posted a video demonstrating Volta controlling a Buchla 200e (drool!), which is in turn running through BigSeq2.
  • Someone identifed only as elxicano (AFAICT) posted a demonstration video of BigSeq2 here.
  • I know that Steve Hamann posted an audio demo somewhere, but now I can’t find it. Maybe he’ll post a link in the comments.

(Note: Two of those videos are hosted on vimeo. Audio Damage used to have a bunch of official demo videos of our products on vimeo. Vimeo removed them, trashing hours of Chris’s work, saying that they violated their terms of service which prohibit product advertisements or something. Chris pointed them towards several other examples of demo videos posted by several other companies on vimeo, but vimeo was apparently uninterested. Hence I don’t think particularly highly of vimeo.) read more

Origami Tessellations

I ran across this site about origami tessellations around a year ago, I think. I was immedately intrigued by the idea since it combines two things that have long fascinated me: origami and geometric patterns. The owner of the site, Eric Gjerde, published a book not long ago.

The book is very nicely done, with lots of photographs and very clear instructions. There are 25 projects, grouped in three levels of difficulty. I completed the first and second projects a few weeks ago; here’s a photo of the second: read more

More Snow

Another six or eight inches of snow fell last night. This is definitely the second-most snow I’ve seen here, second only to the big blizzard in 2006. There’s a fun video here done by the local news of folks around the snow-covered town. I don’t have any new photos to post yet; I’m about to go out and (again) shovel my way to the mailbox. Maybe today the mail carrier will make it down the street.


It’s snowing like crazy here today. There must be eight or so inches on the ground and it’s still coming down. The forecast is for 9-13 inches of accumulation during the day. It’s windy, too. I’m very glad that I don’t have to drive anywhere today.

I put a video of the snow here in my flickr account. It’s a fairly low-quality video, but it might amuse you anyway, particularly if you live in Florida or some other place where it doesn’t snow often. I shot it through a window with my still camera, so it wasn’t particularly high-quality to start with, and it looks like flickr’s compression wasn’t terribly kind to it. (This is the first time I’ve tried putting a video on flickr.) read more

How Much Computing Power Did It Take to Fly to the Moon?

Not much, by today’s standards. There’s an amusing write-up here on the SparkFun site about the Apollo Guidance Computer, comparing it to a contemporary microcontroller chip. I agree with the author that possibly the most interesting comparison is that at the time of its construction, there were probably only a few dozen people in the world who understood and had access to this sort of technology. Today, thanks in part to projects like the Arduino, anybody with a personal computer and a teeny budget (e.g., under $50 for the Arduino and some LEDs and stuff) can learn how to program and use a microcontroller. read more

Introducing Zed

While I was out at a business meeting on Friday, Tracie snuck off to the local Humane Society and was approached by some young, handsome hunk. She ended up bringing him home:


(Actually the story is a little longer than that; she came home without him, waited for me, we went back to meet him, had him tested for FLV, and then brought him home.) Meet Zed. He’s 16 pounds, 4.5 years old, fairly talkative, and quite outgoing once he makes your acquaintance. He’s still a little shy with Widge, having recently left a bad relationship, but we think he’ll adjust rapidly. read more

In Memory of Alex

I hope I don’t soon have to write such a difficult-to-write blog entry as this one.

Alex, Tracie’s cat of 15 years, is no longer with us, as of about an hour ago. He was our constant companion, although Tracie of course was his preferred human. Every pet owner–or every good pet owner, anyway–thinks that their pet is extraordinary, but Alex truly was an extraordinary cat. He had an enormous personality and charmed every cat-loving human who met him. He was, as Tracie recently put it, “a larger-than-life cat.” read more