i.e. and e.g.

A quick observation this morning as I was brushing up on a couple of grammatical things over at Grammar Girl while finishing a book chapter: Concerning the abbreviations i.e. (that is) and e.g. (for example), most American English dictionaries seem to suggest that they should be followed by a comma, while in British English it is fine to leave the commas out.

Updated software

I was at the Musical Body conference at University of London last week and presented my work on visualisation of music-related movements. For my PhD I developed the Musical Gestures Toolbox as a collection of components and modules for Max/MSP/Jitter, and most of this has been merged into Jamoma. However, lots of potential users are not familiar with Max, so over the last couple of years I have decided to develop standalone applications for some of the main tasks. This has been a slow endeavour, and something I have been working on in between.

There were lots of people interested in the software at the conference, so while in London I spent some time cleaning up code, fixing bugs and rebuilding standalone applications for OSX. I will make Windows builds as well in the coming days. I have made a new fourMs software page where everything can be found.

There are probably lots of things missing, but at least this is a start of making these things accessible outside our group. Please report bugs. You could also suggest improvements, but I am not sure if I will have time to implement them anytime soon.

human-computer confluence

A couple of weeks ago I came across the English word confluence. The Oxford dictionary informs me that this means “the junction of two rivers, esp. rivers of approximately equal width”. That sounds very poetic, and it gets even better when you combine it with humans and computers, as they have done in the call for FP7 FET projects:

The initiative aims to investigate and demonstrate new possibilities emerging at the confluence between the human and technological realms. It will examine new modalities for individual and group perception, actions and experience in augmented, virtual spaces. Such virtual spaces would span the virtual reality continuum, also extending to purely synthetic but believable representation of massive, complex and dynamic data. Human-Computer confluence fosters inter-disciplinary research (such as Presence, neuro-science, machine learning and computer science) towards delivering unified experiences and inventing radically new forms of perception/action.

What started out as computer-human interaction (CHI), later to be renamed human-computer interaction (HCI), now goes in the direction of human-computer confluence. Sounds like we are going in the right direction. Now we just need to fill the words with some meaning.

Three workshops in a row

The last few weeks have been quite busy here in Oslo. We opened the new lab just about a month ago, and since then I have organised several workshops, guest lectures and concerts both at UiO and at NMH. I was planning to post some longer descriptions of what has been going on, but decided to go for a summary instead.

First we had a workshop called embedded systems workshop, but which I retroactively have renamed RaPMIC workshop (Rapid Prototyping of Music Instruments and Controllers). Dan Overholt came up from Denmark with a bunch of CUIs and some pendaphonics. We spent time looking at various solutions for musical electronics, trying to solve bluetooth and virtual com port problems, etc. There are some pictures up on flickr, and a bunch of links to various interesting things are posted on the wiki.

Second, we had an OLO workshop at the Music Academy with Dan Trueman from Princeton University. During the last year we have had a few workshops and some concerts with various constellations of the Oslo Laptop Orchestra (OLO). We had already been playing some of the PLOrk repertoire on our own, so it was great to have Dan to help solve technical problems (particularly the automagic multicasting), as well as showing various conducting techniques. There are some photos on flickr, and a video coming as soon as I find some time to edit it.

Finally, we had a Jamoma workshop. The first day was a public workshop introducing Jamoma to beginnning and intermediary users. The rest of the week was a developer workshop where we fixed a number of issues that have been plaguing the current 0.5 beta release, as well as laying the grounds for future development towards Jamoma 0.6. (flickr)

It has been great to get started doing various things in the lab. The new space has proven excellent for our activities, and it has been great that lots of people from outside of the group has also found the way to the lab. I am also happy that all of the activities have been based on collaboration between the university, the music academy and NOTAM.