Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist

More toys

I'm using Phoenix to write this entry (as usual.) I have just learned the likely reason for its flaky text rendering in the editor window (the lines are rendered shorter than the program thinks they are, so the longer an entry is, the further the cursor winds up from where you clicked/dragged:)

"I've used REALBasic to make Phoenix."

Ugh. I'm disappointed. That also might explain why it's such a CPU hog. That's bad enough on a cooperative multitasker like OS 9. It's inexcusable in a preemptive environment like OS X.

Anyhow, my X-Keys Pro showed up today. It's a programmable/macro USB keypad. These were born as PS/2 devices which you programmed by selecting a key, and it read the keystrokes passing by from your regular keyboard, storing them in EEPROM to play back later. They later got a USB interface, and a software app forwarded keystrokes from your system keyboard (ADB, USB, PS/2, whatever) for the programming. After they built my old keypad, they came up with a new approach, that makes the keypad a USB Human Interface Device. The keypad now reports its own keystrokes, and if you want to do macro playback, it's done by host computer software reading those keystrokes. I want to use an X-Keys for my scorekeeping and PA announcer DJ apps, and this a much better solution than macro playback. They call the API for this "SPLAT mode". One of the developer pages explains the meaning of SPLAT:
(SPLAT is not an acronym, it is simply the sound that a toad makes when it jumps to the concrete. We felt that the acronym for “Special HID Input Technology” might be inappropriate.)
Funny people, them.

PI is also responsible for the spooge-worthy RailDriver train cab control.

My Griffin RadioShark also arrived. Griffin builds some nifty, nifty stuff. The Shark is a USB AM/FM radio receiver. It does have an antenna jack, which I need to receive FM stations here in the Poway valley. The Mac software to drive the thing is damned cool. I wish it would let you keypad in the frequency for speed, instead it gives you a slider. BUT, that slider works like the dial in an analog-tuned radio. As you drag it, you hear the radio tune through all the stations! And not in stroboscopic skip fashion, either!

I bought the Shark because I couldn't listen to the radio in the computer room. It's nearly impossible to find a standalone stereo radio tuner anymore, and I decided I wanted something I could use as a TiVo-esque time-shifter too.

Michael Jackson is a free man. Warren Ellis sums it up as only he can.

I had the MythTV box record the last three episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. Unfortunately, it didn't get the series finale, for reasons I don't understand. With tvtorrents.com gone, I don't know where to look to find it, and I'd actually like to. The two episodes I saw were very, very good. I know they were building to a finish, but even something half as good as these were way, way better than the pilot and what I saw of the first season. I'd actually like to see the last season or two now.

They changed the orchestration of the theme music a bit. Unfortunately, it's still gay. I mean it, it sounds queer. Sibilant and limp-wristed. Fuck that, man. This is SPACE EXPLORATION. On a STARSHIP. The theme music needs to be ballsy and triumphant. I thought it was cheap for Next Generation to steal the ST:TMP theme, but at least that music was bold and powerful. (Best themes: STII:TWOK and STVI:TUC, and TOS.) The theme music must be able to go up to a thug gangster and yell "YO MOTHAFUCKA WEEEEEEEEE!"

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