My Radio Has Only One Button: A designated Raspi-based WFMU player

I use my Raspberry Pi to listen to the radio (all day, every day). After trying something complicated for a while, I settled on a lightweight combo of ssh, a screen session and mplayer. Which started to annoy me. And I was in the mood to procrastinate so I spend half a day making this project, putting the GPIO to good use!

  • Push that button to start playing the WFMU stream!
  • Optional: push the button again to stop (not recommended)
  • The LED indicates keypresses and blinks when playing the stream

Technical details

Continue reading “My Radio Has Only One Button: A designated Raspi-based WFMU player”

Band name-y, password-y 3 word combos with exactly 1 youtube hit

Inspired by the band Almond Ice Director¹ and my inability to remember this name I wrote a very simple password generator à la correct horse battery staple, and searched the passwords/band names on YouTube.

At that time Almond Ice Director had exactly one song on YouTube so I picked the search terms that yielded exactly one result³, using them as whacky bands to make a sound collage.

You can listen to it on episode 36 of my radio show, around the 1h07m mark, see the code and find the list of results below (~10% of searches had exactly 1 hit).

¹ “you can’t direct almond ice², so he’s really the director of nothing” – I’m paraphrasing Giuliano from the band.
² which is totally a big thing in Sicily
³ YMMV. I used the API via curl. Searches are probably localized & new stuff is uploaded.

Abandonment Comparisons Filibusterer
Adequate Economize Recluses
Battery Undiscovered Anywise
Bazaar Housebreaking Candid
Befall Haunt Unambiguously
Blasphemously Unaided Cox Continue reading "Band name-y, password-y 3 word combos with exactly 1 youtube hit"

Scraping Elite Force

As blog “research”, I read this very long and moderately interesting half-oral history of Elite Force I+II (a Star Trek video game and its sequel).

I remembered that Elite Force was build with the Q3A engine, which I have often worked with. This engine has a particularly open design, it is really easy to get to the textures – something 10 year old me would have been surprised and delighted about.

So I downloaded the demo, dug a bit, threw some imagemagick in, and here we go: Continue reading “Scraping Elite Force”

Skype clapperboard, laughs, starfields

I made this video to promote our new science fiction podcast:

The sound is an outtake from our other podcast. At the moment we talk over skype, but both record an audio track. To improve the re-syncing in post production we had the glorious idea to facilitate some sort of makeshift clapperboard: we would both clap at the count of three!

Turns out, there is a substantial delay in skype connections (it must be over 300ms) that you usually don’t notice unless… you try to do something in sync. I imagine singing together over Skype is impossible?
By the way – I did notice that while superficially Skype seems to emulate a real life coversation, the delay and other audiovisual artifacts does affect the… flow of conversation: we tend to speak over each other more frequently; punchlines work differently.

For the visuals I went back… not as far as ’95 – which is where I believe the classic Windows screensaver “Starfield” originated – but I had a weird retro-inception what-the-hell-am-I-doing moment when capturing an old Windows XP virtual machine that I forced to preview a screensaver. I guess one could run the VM full screen through a CRT…


Zero Width Nose Joke

Are you a grumpy old man and as annoyed by yellow-faced fake-unicode smileys as I am? A while back I made a oneliner that puts un-replaceable, un-shortenable, un-compactible, un-improvable strings of (semi)colons and various parentheses into my clipboard to paste into comment boxes and chats.

Tired of copying and pasting that oneliner every time I’m in need of :), I just added a collection of premade special-stringy-smileys – example output, so to (technically) speak.
GitHub’s Gist editor helpfully highlights unprintable characters, including the Zero-Width Non-Joiner character I use to keep : and ) apart. And bingo, they show up as red &middots;, or, more aptly, as god damn clown noses, showing me what I am for going through all this hassle to get oldschool text-faces from the good old days – a clown. A sad clown.

But, come on, they’re super handy, so here you go, fellow grumps: :‌) ;‌) :‌( :‌D :‌P

Do not regret the decision / I collected very interesting content

Dear colleagues and friends, please expect amusing/entertaining video of me wanking in your inbox, soon.

Do not regret the decision / I collected very interesting content

I have two accounts at tumblr and each of the e-mail addresses received its own entertaining/amusing ransom demand.

Diff by jsdiff (demo).

Seriously though, no entry for “wanking” in your thesaurus?

UPDATE: Your collection is very interesting / I’ve put together a very interesting collection about you (2×)

So I got three more of these! Continue reading “Do not regret the decision / I collected very interesting content”