Monday, October 24, 2005

New PDX AM HD IBOC samples. (KEX 1190)

Just a quick note, these samples are up on the samples page. At the time they were recorded, the KEX engineering staff were hard at work improving the audio processing chain. Give 'em a listen, I think overall IBOC audio has been improved.

More PDX FM HD Radio, from the same time period, along with another set of DAB samples coming soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

2005 mini-game compo!

The mini-game compo is a annual event, running for a few years now, that encourages people to write little games under tight system resource requirements. Typical limits are 1K, 4K & 8K of total program size at system load time. That's right Kilobytes, not Megabytes!

Of course, some of the systems, like the wonderful Atari 2600, fall well within these meagre constraints. The 2600 weighs in at an absolutely tiny 128Bytes of system RAM and 4K rom. Hardware tricks in the cartridge can add to this, but still the whole thing is an 8Bit system, meaning one byte variables and limited address spaces. Totally cool, if you are into computing for computings sake.

I've got an entry this year called Ooze! It runs on the 2600 and I think it's pretty cool actually. Competition is stiff however with many great games entered this year. Win or lose, my only regret is not having participated sooner.

There are no prizes, just the commentary from fellow gamers and authors and that almost forgotten wonderful feeling that comes from others playing your game. As kids, us gen-x ers used to do this on our old 8Bit computers and it was a lot of fun. Crafting games, showing them to others and sharing both code and ideas is really what computing is all about for me. This little compo brings it all back.

Interested? Please do check out this years compo, I'm sure you will be glad you did. Links to past years efforts are provided and they feature lots of very interesting, creative and fun games. How are they played? Emulation of course. The computers of today are more than capable of reproducing older systems and that's how the games get written and published. Atari, NES, Color Computer, Apple ][, and more are all there waiting just as they always have been. Play some games, read the comments and maybe next year I'll see you at the compo!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Christmas is a coming! Holiday gift ideas from OpenGeek!

On a lark, I posted some of these gift ideas on another forum and thought I might just share them here too. (Hint Hint!) Express yourself, learn how to think better, or just poke a little fun at your elected representatives. Might want to stock up before these are legislated away!

Dick Cheney "Go Fu*k Yourself" Apparel, mugs, stickers, caps and mousepads!

Watch the Bill of Rights evaporate in real time with your morning hot beverege of choice!

Feeling a little overwhelmed with dogma? Ears ringing from the sound machine? Perk up both your mental acumen and your outlook with these insightful critical thinking mini-courses from Each mini-course is focused on a specific aspect of critical thinking. Informative, but not wordy, these pocket guides are perfect for the busy thinker on the go!

Have some ideas of your own? Please, do share them with a brief comment below, or shoot me an e-mail. Would love to post another set or two of these before the serious holiday season arrives.

Sorry, blogger account now required for comments. Too many &^%(^% spam comments posted here to allow anon comments. (Sorry guys, I would not otherwise mind.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Eureka DAB Audio Samples posted

Just a brief post letting you know I've added some DAB audio samples to the samples page. The system has a nice sound overall. Better than I expected to hear actually. Our Satellite radio sounds poor by general comparison. Too bad we didn't consider this system more seriously here in the States. I like what I hear.

The new KEX 1190 AM Portland AM HD Radio IBOC are coming soon...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Save the CD's!

While the number of legal digital music download purchases continues to grow, the numbers for traditional CD media continue to decline. At first glance this is good news in that it more or less vindicates all of us who knew legal and easy digital downloads would be able to compete with free, illegal ones. Bear in mind, not all free downloads found on Peer to Peer networks are illegal. There is a growing pool of content licensed under the Creative Commons as well as Indie music. P2P appears to continue to evolve into a viable distribution channel for those so inclined to use it.

So, what about the CD? At first I was not bothered by this. Having access to a deep catalog is worth a lot, but is it worth the demise of the CD? Today I'm having second thoughts. Most all of the digital music downloads are compressed audio of one kind or another. Often the quality is good, but it's not as good as a well mastered CD is.

Recently, I went back through my CD collection to listen for forgotten tracks. After listening to so much compressed audio, I find the CD still packs a lot of punch. It's easy to convert into other formats and durable. I will continue to purchase CD media for those pieces of music that are worth the quality. Given all the movement toward DRM enabled services, devices and delivery systems, I think the CD will continue to be a good buy overall.

Consider a purchase or two to keep your options open. In a few years, we all might be glad you did.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Incoming new HD Radio and Satellite Audio Samples

I've finally got decent Satellite Radio samples from the Sirius system up on the samples page. Several different program formats are represented there for your comparison.

It looks like I'll also have the newest AM HD Radio samples from the folks at 1190 KEX, here in Portland Oregon. They have been working on improvements to their HD Audio chain and thought a new set of samples was worth posting. I agree and will have them up, ASAP.

Since we are departing the, "just get it running phase" and entering the "tweak it until it sings" phase in HD Radio, please consider sending in some updated samples over time. I'm happy to host them and any technical comments you might have. If you decide to do this, raw wave files are the best for comparison purposes. So far, the easiest way has been to just mail a CD. Feel free to contact me: and we can figure out how best to get the samples up and on the page.

Interest remains high with about 5K hits / month average. (Lots of bandwidth...) For now, it's not impacting me but it may well happen soon. Looks like I will just cross that bridge when I get there.

Back to old Blogger Template

Honestly, Blogger has been annoying me lately. Lots of things do not render well in IE. Not that I personally care, but the many IE users clearly do. Instead of fighting that battle right now, I'm just gonna run a mostly default template for the time being. Another day...

If this does not render well in IE, let me know.