Deus ex machina

August 17, 2007

I recently read this story about a big guy, Thomas Martel, 28, of Bonnie Brae, Colorado, who chose to have surgery in order to alter his thumbs, in order to be able to use his iPhone more efficiently.

So he has a hard time using the features on ever-shrinking user interfaces on devices like his new iPhone. At least, he did, until he had his thumbs surgically altered in a revolutionary new surgical technique known as “whittling.”

Read details on zDnet or the North Denver News.

What is your opinion of this?
Make sure to form an opinion before reading what others have written.


Vinyl Goes Digital

December 27, 2006

A group of students, (David Öhlin, Patrik Olsson, Robert Olofsson, Reine Vaerlien and Cécile Ayrault), at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), in Stockholm have created an amazing piece of software: Using an ordinary digital scanner hooked up to a PC, they are able to convert good old vinyl records to music files. So the record never spins… they just analyze the image of it and convert it to music. Simply Amazing.

Here is a short description for the tech savvy: First, as the record does not fit into a normal scanner they need to scan it in four pieces. The four pieces are in very high res (2400 dpi), analyzed, and pieced together into a single image. Then the tracks are “straightened out” by the software. Then, in a final step of analysis the straight tracks are analyzed and then converted to music.

The article below claims that the software was written in C language but my guess is that the guys used C++. Then for the heavy math processing they used the MatLab package.

The software has already, in a side project, been used to recover the soundtrack from some films from 1906. Playing the films in normal equipment would, apparently, have damaged the fragile film stock.

The software is still a school project, and (I would guess) not quite finished. The students plan to release it as shareware. I hope that becomes a reality before the commercial forces descend upon these bright youngsters.

I am sorry I have not found any English texts on this, so here is the Swedish text for the benefit of my millions of Swedish fans.

Out Damned Spot – Out

November 24, 2006

Extra points to all of you who can place the quote! I know at least of of you have no doubt what so ever 🙂

The spot in this particular case is Internet Explorer. It is an awful pile of junk. If you are still on IE, switch to Firefox now! I had only been visiting my blog in Firefox but when a friend visited it in IE it look awful. All the sidebar links were gone, or actually shoved all the way to the bottom of the page. Thank you Microsoft.

And if you are buying a new computer in the near future, they will probably try to sell it to you with the new operating system Windows Vista. This is an important bit of friendly advice:

Whatever you do – do not, I repeat not, buy a computer with windows Vista on it. It will be well invested money to pay extra for the good old and solid Windows XP.

So, what is wrong with Vista? Everything! To install even the simplest bit of software will force you to answer an endless sequence of questions: “Are sure that you want to? Are really sure that you are sure? Don’t you have any doubt at all?” Ok, the last one is a joke, but you get it.

The second reason not to buy Vista: Forget bringing all you old software to the new Vista. I work in software development, and I promise you, a lot of your old software will not work at all, or in the best case start to work after you spend hours lowering all the default system security settings.

Programmer Craig, are you still around here? Despite many of our disagreements don’t you agree with the first part and maybe the second too?