<< Constant Index

Ubuntu studio

My sharp eye is always on the lookout for “multimedia” applications and Linux, especially where audio is concerned. Five minutes ago I learnt about the development of Ubuntu studio, throught Boingboing.

How far will Ubuntu go? What software and hardware support will be included? And above all, will it work easily…..

They plan to release Ubuntu Studio in april.

Curious, I am!


For those of you struggling in the world of images and free software (resizing, reworking photographs, drawings etc), there is of course Gimp, The GNU Image Manipulation Programme.
For those people using a certain proprietary sofware with a name ending with …shop, having difficulties to leave their …shop habits behind, yet they would like to use free software to edit their images, there is Gimpshop.
I quote the maker: “Longtime Ph*t*sh*p users should feel very comfortable using GIMPshop.”

HÚhÚ 🙂

Apodio – linux distribution

If you work with multimedia and you are on linux, you will know that it is not always an easy marriage… Getting all the libraries, making sure that all your hardware (camera, soundcard, graphics card…) is compatible and recognized…

We have recently installed Apodio, which is Mandriva based and it seems to be working quite well! A lot of audio programmes are included, and also there is a preconfigured setup with Jack and Alsa (audio server -not so easy to set up, it basically connects your hardware to your software).

In case of doubt try it as a live cd!

(more about live cd’s on wikipedia)

Pictures and a report of the install party at Nadine here.

And remember, live cd’s do not hurt one bit!

How to feel miserable as an artist

Category: DIY, Ramblings

I think you can replace the word artist by quite a lot of “jobs”.
(And do not forget that I found this philisophical note very very funny 🙂 )

how to feel miserable as an artist

I got this quote from drawn.ca, a multi-author blog devoted to illustration, art, cartooning and drawing. Its purpose is to inspire creativity by sharing links and resources. (as they say about themselves :-))
Drawn! got this image from the blog of Keri Smith, who also explains for example on her website how to be a guerrilla artist.
Or how to make a portable tree an other fun stuff

Songbird prrt prrt


Songbird is an open source (gpl2) audio player (all formats: mp3, ogg, flacc…). But it goes beyond just playing your audio, it also manages it and it easily helps you download or play audio on the net. It is a browser, based on the Mozilla platform, which plays and finds online audio!

Unfortunately for the moment they have only developed a windows installer but they are announcing a linux and mac os x version.

I must say I am somewhat influenced by the graphical design of Songbird. The installer is a blue spotted egg (ohh! crack!) and the songbird is a little round black farting bird…
How sweet…

I will keep track of them and post when they have truly gone multiplatform -> hence the bird can sing on every computer…

Linux for old machines…

I guess the whole economy system is built on buy more better faster newer…

But sometimes (most of the times!) it is good to reuse – rethink “old stuff”.

Very simple post, this one: Linux for older machines
The writer Stone Lion tests all kinds of linux distributions, and he evaluates how easy they are to install and how well they work on his pentium II.

So, if you have an old computer stashed away somewhere, why not experiment and put some Linux on it!

It doesn’t hurt…


Category: DIY

Recently I have stumbled upon the Instructables site. It shows you how to make all kinds of stuff, from jam tarts, to bicycle trailers made from an old bin.

These are some of my favourites:
—-> cablebone
(although I wonder if you do not create an electromagnetic field when you roll the cable like that…)

—-> a treehouse
Now i only need to find some great trees.

I have no idea what this is: Electromagnetic Actuator, but instructables shows you how to make it!

And this is one for mrthe



gogogo instructables!


Recooking Cuisine Interne Keuken

Category: DIY, Ramblings

This afternoon I’m presenting the project Cuisine Interne Keuken again.
It is a project about the living conditions of what we call a precarious worker (somebody whose work situation is not stable, or who has to have several work identities).
It is a project started in 2004 at Jonctions/Verbindingen 7, a yearly festival around art, technology and ethics organised by Constantvzw.
We were curious about the living conditions of the people we invited for the festival, so we decided to interview them, in a very structured way. We made a questionnaire in a big brainstorm with about 20 people.
I will go over the questions with you.
The next process was gathering all this information. We chose for audio, a relatively cheap mobile way of working. Also archiving and processing compressed audio is not so serverspace absorbing.
Then, stage 3: putting all these answers online in a structured way.

First of all we chose to compress the audio in .ogg, an open source compression format, actually better than .mp3, especially for voice (we did some blind tests with Radioswap).
Then Nicolas Maleve from Constant made the database, all the time keeping in mind the audio aspect. So, we decided to edit all this audio – a lot of work – and name the audiofiles in a specific way.
I will give an example.

There is an interview made with harrisson.
The edited question 01 will be called q01_harrisson.ogg
Question 2: q02_harrisson.ogg
(underscores because servers can have problems with space)
If he answers question 10 and 11 at the same time, we named the file q10_q11_harrisson.ogg.

So, the audio is edited, uploaded to the server -> we go to the database, and we link up the audio, with the information about this interviewee.
Because we gave the files the prefixes q01_ and q02_ etc etc the database can automatically link them to the right audiofile.

This database, but now the public side of it.
-> the database generates playlists -> m3u
-> some problems arose -> files have to be long enough
-> mac users and ogg playlists are not an easy marriage -> so we will next year make a mp3 mirror site, and some maintenance. Vlc can be an option too, but is not extremely straight forward – but it does work…
-> this project also got sidetracked, in a sense that it travelled for example to City of Women in Ljubljana-> there, instead of showing a play or singing a song, we interviewed almost all the invited people of the festival, which made this a very special interventions.
In Ljubljana, we also changed question 16 pictures of your workspace to a drawing of your workspace.- > General Picture gallery -> Drawings
-> During Jonctions 8 we also built a no-budget installation with the idea of Cuisine Interne Keuken behind it. There is a weblog and a picture gallery documenting this.
-> Johannes Taelman constructed a Pure Data patch, which automatically records, names and edits the questions on a computer. You record the sound by pressing the space bar, and you go to the next question pressing enter. The only thing left to do is enter somebackground information and you have to upload it to the server….

Cooking with auntie beeb

Category: DIY

Now, between all that browsing, programming, e-mailing, talking, phoning, thinking, the brain has to eat. And why not take this literally…
For some years I have been using the bcc food site as a source of inspiration for cooking with what I have left in my fridge (I think Benoît gave me the idea).

But now… Their website has really put the cherry on the pie…

Find a recipe!

Example: you only have some pumpkin in your fridge and you want to cook a fast vegetarian course with it.
Enter pumpkin, tick the quick and vegetarian squares, and Bob’s your uncle!
Then, you can choose the cuisine (Indian, Japanese..), other ingredients, the preparation method…

And, also, you might be frightened by the fact that some English people want to advise you food – when I lived on the British Isles, I mostly cooked myself, because the food was… (fill in for yourself).

Don’t be frightened, but do brush up your knowledge of the names of veggies and stuff in english.
Quite a good dictionary: Lookwayup.

Auntie beeb also has a good glossary to find the weird stuff.
And, in case of, what ??? is this: google images makes you find the right vegetable…

I hope…
Get out your best kitchen gear and feel inspired… (And get vitamines)

Open source vj software

Last friday I have met some vj’s that work with a open source vj tool. NarcoMediaVision use Gephex, a multiplatform modular tool. I have no time to check this, but… I hope you, reader, do.