Friday 25 May 2007

Free Books and Sheet Music

Project Gutenberg has out-of-copyright books and Mutopia has out-of-copyright sheet music.

The Web is a wonderful thing... Yay!

Technotrend C-1500

Yay, my Cable TV card has arrived! It has an add-on CI reader, into which I can plug a module that will read the smart card used to decrypt paid-for Virgin Media TV channels.

It may be some time 'till I get it up and running with MythTV, but I'll post when I do.

Sunday 20 May 2007


Until recently I've been using an open source diagram creation program called Dia. It's an adequate (if a little clunky) alternative to Microsoft Visio. You drag and drop different shaped blocks and join them together using stretchy arrows, all of which can be customised to look as you wish.

However, as a programmer, I want to lay out a set of relationships and let the software work out the best way to represent them.

Enter Graphviz, a set of open source tools for doing just that.

I used the DOT language to describe my MythTV set-up as a collection of elements connected together with wires, IR and Bluetooth. It also allows you to group similar elements together and even create subgraphs.

It really does an excellent job of laying out a readable diagram and I'm itching to find some way to use it in production.

Friday 18 May 2007

Note to self

I took the Carlsbro Orion 10 active speaker that I bought for Jay's birthday back to the shop when it stopped working. I'd checked the fuse in the plug and thought that the damn thing had just broken down after an hour's use.

Embarrassingly, when I took it back to the shop, they quickly pointed out that the internal fuse had blown (very kindly not abusing me for my stupidity).

In future I promise not to take things back to the shop when they blow a fuse!

Thursday 17 May 2007

Bass Guitar

Listening to music in the car back home from rehearsals last night, Penny suggested that we learn the song Paranoid Android by Radiohead, with myself on guitar and Penny on bass.

There's only one tiny snag in this plan, Penny can't play bass... yet!

She does have a lot of experience singing alto vocal parts (kinda like female bass singing) and can already play other instruments and read music, so presumably she'll have a natural ear for basslines.

We shall see... I've bought a beginner's bass guitar book, a Muse notation book, some new Super-Slinky's and a couple'a plectrums.

We'll start tonight!

Wednesday 9 May 2007

Around the World with Gilbert & Sullivan

Over the last couple of weeks, I performed Around the World with Gilbert & Sullivan with the Bournemouth G & S Operatic Society. This was a compilation concert of Gilbert & Sullivan mixed with other popular music, that went down very well and was highly enjoyable to be involved with.

Auditions for the next show, "Gondoliers" (Half term, Oct 2007) take place in a few weeks time, so I'd better get practicing those audition pieces.