Slow web page

I have updated to WordPress 2.7, and this has led to really sluggish load times of these pages. This seems to be a known problem that lots of people have been complaining about. I guess I will have to figure out how to downgrade to 2.6, and in the meantime I apologize for the time you had to wait to read this…

Lab opening

Our new research lab was officially opened yesterday. Director of the Sensing Music-related Actions project Rolf Inge Godøy held a short introduction to the project and to our new research group and lab.

He also announced the new name for our interdisciplinary research group: fourMs – Music, Mind, Motion, Machines. The name has a double meaning in that it refers to the four M’s that we are working on, but it also sounds like forms. The best thing about having a short name is that we can also have a short URL:  fourms.uio.no. There is not so much information there yet, but I will be adding more in the coming weeks.

Then the heads of departments of musicology and informatics did the official opening and said a few words. They both underlined the importance of interdisciplinary research, also across the faculty borders.

After the official opening, we had prepared various demonstrations around the lab, including the infrared motion capture system from Optitrack.

The Polhemus Patriot electromagnetic tracking system was used to play “air piano” using a Disklavier.

Video analysis was used so people could control sound spatialisation in a small 8 channel speaker setup in the innermost room in the lab.

I never got around to set up the giant music ball and the music troll, so they were resting for the occasion, but will hopefully get back to life at some point.

Journler

Feeling that DevonThink was a bit too CPU-heavy and too cumbersome to work with, I have started using Journler for managing snippets of information that I don’t really know where I would otherwise have put. After a few weeks of testing I feel that it solves a lot of the problems I have experienced with other PIM systems.

The best thing about Journler is the calendar. Since all entries are tagged with date and time, it is possible to quickly and easily write down notes, create a few links, add a couple of images, and everything will be kept together organised according to the creation date. Of course it is possible to add categories and (multiple) tags, but the calendar view is really what I like the most.

FreeSMUG

It has probably been around for a while, but I just discovered FreeSMUG (FreeSoftware Mac User Group). The idea os to select and bundle various free software for OSX, covering everything from web and office applications to games and media. I already use a lot of the software, but a few new and interesting ones also showed up.

While it is possible to download a CD image with the installers for all of these programs, it would have been even easier for the end user to have a general update system (ala Fink), but I guess this might be something they are working on. (?)

Another good thing about FreeSMUG is that they provide a collection of applications that can run from a USB drive. This is great when having to use a computer where your favourite software is not installed (or you don’t have the rights to install them -> university computers).

[Other similar initiatives are the open source mac and MacLibre (a spinoff of WinLibre).]

Formatting WD 1TB drive

I bought a 1TB Western Digital hard drive the other day, and it came preformatted with FAT32. Since I will only be using this on OS X machines, I wanted to reformat it with HFS instead, but had problems doing this with Disk Utility. Then I came across a thread suggesting to change the partition type to GUID, and everything worked fine. This can be done in Disk Utility as the screenshot below show.