PaulStretch 2.1 is Out! New build instructions + new x86 OS X build

Paul added a new library dependency, which I hacked into my build recipe here:

Instructions for building

I have a completely UNTESTED binary for people to try here. It should work, but I can’t test it right now.

If you’re not a command line jockey, just downloading and clicking on it will create where ever you dropped the downloaded file. If you know about command line stuff:

This is built on OS X 10.6, 32bit. No idea what OS X versions will run it.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


PaulStretch Build Instructions – Now with Linux!

The world of open source software development doesn’t sit still. A program that I rely on to build PaulStretch on OSX is CMake, which is an open source, cross-platform program that hides some of the complexity of building software on different platforms.

If you’ve built any software on OS X or Linux you’re probably familiar with the “./configure ; make ; make install” method of working with source packages. CMake does that but it goes out of its way to handle the low level crap that is a pain in the ass to set up program configuration with autoconf. On top of that, it will run on any Unix, OS X or Windows. And on top of THAT, it will generate Makefiles, or project files for any of the commonly used integrated development programs like Visual Studio (on PC) and XCode (on Mac).

CMake really is as close as you can get to ‘write once, run anywhere’ in the world of C and C++. Not that there won’t be platform-specific stuff you’ll have to do, but it’s a lot easier and more concise in CMake.

Anyway, as of CMake 2.8, there is a powerful new CMake Module called ExternalProject. It automates downloading, configuring and building open source packages. I’ve used ExternalProject heavily in my day job, so it seemed natural to use it to streamline building PaulStretch. The result is maybe just as complex as the original build setup, but it is a lot more robust. Reading through the CMakeLists.txt files I’ve set up will be a good introduction to how things work in CMake — I’ve done a bunch of things in there you’ll want to know how to do for your own projects — use ExternalProject_add to download and build libraries, do some platform-specific configuration, create an executable, etc.

You can download the new PaulStretch Build package here:

The instructions are pretty straightforward:

0. Make sure you have the compilers and development libraries installed on your system.
1. Download the Tar file
2. unpack the tar file, somewhere you have write permission.
3. Run PaulStretch/

On OS X, this will create a, that you can drag and drop wherever you want. On Linux, the executable will be in bin/paulstretch — it’s statically linked so it will run without needing anything besides the program file on your system. Or, for that matter, any other compatible Linux distribution.

The result is an executable program in whatever directory you’ve run this process in. The following commands would accomplish this whole process in a directory called ‘PaulStretch’ in your home directory.

mkdir -p ~/PaulStretch
cd ~/PaulStretch
curl | tar xzf -

After running these commands, on OS X your PaulStretch program will be ~/PaulStretch/ On Linux, it will be ~/PaulStretch/bin/paulstretch.
As an added bonus, I took the time to try building on a couple of different Linux systems, to verify it works there.

Once again, what will trip up the non-software-developer types in this whole process is step 0: making sure the dev tools are available on your system. That’s something I’m not going to explain here. Google it. You’ll need GCC installed, all the development libraries, and on Linux the development libraries for libasound — the ALSA sound library.

If you happen to be a Windows developer, you could take a crack at building using Visual Studio or MinGW. The CMake build files are theoretically portable, but you’ll have to download CMake for Windows (here: haven’t done this, because I avoid doing development work on my Windows machines at home. If I’m at home, and farting around on the computer, I want to be able to just use music software, not build it. Plus you can download the Windows version of PaulStretch here:

Let me re-iterate again — I don’t want to be tech support for this — if you can’t figure out from this post how to use what I’ve put together, you probably shouldn’t even be trying to build it yourself. Ask your kid nephew who’s a big H4X0R to do it for you.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


Subway says Pepperoni Makes You Gay

The fuck? Watching this commercial makes my brain hurt:

If I understand the scenario, two guys are eating sandwiches at a Subway restaurant. They enthuse about the flavor-enhancing qualities of adding pepperoni to a sandwich. They are then launched into a shared hallucination where they’re being poled along a canal in Venice by a gondolier. Someone (not the gondolier, though by tradition, they sing for tips) sings a song about Pepperoni to the tune of “O Solo Mio.” Their eyes lock, the spell is broken, and they awkwardly make small talk about sports.

The point is that in their fantasy, the sandwiches and the gondola ride awakens homoerotic feelings in them. What I don’t get is how this in any way is supposed to sell sandwiches. It’s like that insane Quizno’s advert where it’s implied that the sandwich chef has burned his dick sticking it in a gay sandwich oven.

What’s especially disturbing about this is it enacts the specious narrative that it’s possible to Catch The Gay. If you’re not vigilant, deviant desires might catch you unawares and turn you into one of those butt-sex-loving nancy boys. The absurdity of this is premise is rivaled only by its durability in the American imagination. Even if it is possible (and every variation of human behavior is possible!), why would two men discovering they desire each other be such a horrible thing? And why are they using it to sell crappy sandwiches?

Up until a few years ago advertisements seemed to follow a recognizable narrative with an obvious subtext. You could deconstruct them, and even if they were dishonest or sexist or whatever, they made some sort of objective sense. They sought to awaken or create a desire in the viewer, that can only be satisfied by the product being advertised. The moral implications of that aside, at least you knew where you stood.

Now it seems like they’ve added a new rhetorical strategy to the field: arguing from the premise of what the fuck? In other words, come up with something implausible, maybe a little risque, that in no way makes any sense. Then you remember the product because you think “what the fuck was that about?” I guess it works, since I bothered to write about it.

So resist. Don’t buy Subway — their sandwiches taste like newspaper anyway. And if you can’t resist or have no choice, do not add pepperoni to your order. Pepperoni adds nothing but nitrites, salt, and saturated fat to the meal.

Of course, this ad fits perfectly with my theory that nothing advertised on television is good for you. The healthiest diet available to an American is the one where if it’s advertised on television, you don’t eat it. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for kale? Or brown rice?* The whole basis of the corporate food business is Added Value: You take foodstuffs, bought as cheaply as possible, adulterate it with salt, sugar, and fat, package it, and advertise it. Then you profit when people sicken themselves by eating it.

*and here’s another constantly reinforced trope of mass media — if it’s good for you it must taste like crap. How many times have you seen a sitcom where the joke is that people get stuck in a ‘healthy’ restaurant and the joke is ‘the food is good for you but it’s disgusting!” Haha very funny. Fact is, if you stop eating bad food and start eating healthy things, your palate changes and the healthy stuff tastes better.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


i beat the internet

Since going to my sister’s wedding (a week ago today) I have yet to ‘catch up’ on all the blog feeds & such I have in Google Reader. And this morning I just started marking ‘all read’ entire categories.

I feel like I no longer have the appetite to ‘keep up.’ Of course, the Internet is a giant time-sink, and makes newspapers (which were derided as ‘fish-wrap’ back in the day) look like engraved stone tablets by comparison.

It’s all so ephemeral. When I was going to sleep last night, I was thinking about this, and also about quantum physics (and no I’m by no means deep) and all the fizzing and nattering on the Internet made me think of virtual particles in a vacuum, that keep popping into existence in particle/anti-particle pairs. They only exist for the tiniest moment before annihilating each other.

Now unlike protons and anti-protons, all this gabbling on the net actually tries to mean something, and insofar as the Internet is the public commons for this age, and is where everyone carries on political discourse, it’s important.

But even as I have some desire that people pay attention to ME, out of vanity or whatever, do I have any particular obligation to pay attention to the Internet? Any more, I think I like listening to NPR better — no commercials (well …) and precisely one person at a time is talking to me.

Of course, you can’t beat Björk the bear shaking her cub out of a tree.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


Putney Bloody Putney

I just received 10 brand new patch pins for my EMS Putney VCS3. In honor of that I’ve recorded a 5 minute experiment. You’re hereby given permission to sample this under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution License. Meaning you have to have written permission from me to sample it for commercial purposes, but it’s free to use for any non-commercial purpose.

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This was recorded straight into my Focusrite Saffire Pro40, and then compressed slightly with UAD-1 LA2A, and normalized/limited using the Izotope mastering limiter. Being able to patch with 20 pins makes for even better mayhem — feedback paths, meta-stable modulation, and multiple source ring modulation.

While I’m at it there’s this from a few weeks ago:

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And this from several years ago:

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Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


He watches Project Runway so I don’t have to

My Brother Ian, Preaching on the value of Niceness Among The Ambitious

“…you’re never going to sell a book entitled “The REAL Secret: The Universe Doesn’t CARE What You Want” but I’ve seen enough nice guys (and girls) finish first to wonder why everyone else is being such a dick about it.”

I’ve resolved to post something every day, both as a careerist blogger move, and because I’d like to impose at least that much discipline on this effort, no matter how pallid and wan an activity blogging on this level is. So this is day 1…

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


He sweat so much, he could keep fish alive in his armpits…

I had a not-enough-coffee moment this morning, where I wanted to look up something about Traktor and instead went to which is a company of film-makers who among other things make commercials. It’s worth going to the site for the demo reel that plays automatically. It’s structured as a movie trailer, but since it packs in “trailer moments” from something like 50 short films, it makes your head reel to construct a mental model of the non-existent movie it promotes.

And their individual films are pretty great too. This one tells a story that needs no words:

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


Green Beans, Olive Oil, Salt, Sriracha = Amazing

We are now entering the season where really good green beans grown locally will be available. I don’t know where the ones in the stores now come from but they’re pretty great as well. But I’ve been experimenting with a way of cooking green beans that we like so much we do it every week at least once.

1. Rinse and cut the green beens to desired size — I usually remove tips and then break them in half. You want enough beans to fill the wok to where you can still comfortably stir or flip them.

2. Get a wok smoking hot. Add a tablespoon (more or less depending on amount of beans) and swirl it around the pan. Have a cup or so of water next to the pan.

3. Before the oil gets a chance to burn dump in the beans.

4. Stir them constantly until the oil is evenly spread/absorbed. If your Wok Fu is strong, flip the beans repeatedly.

5. As the beans cook, add a dash or two of salt every minute or so. Enough to draw moisture out, but not so much that they’ll be saltier than you like when they’re done.

6. You want the beans to brown slightly, as this is what gives them their desired flavor. So, alternate between stirring and leaving the beans sit for 30 seconds or so.

6. The real secret: beans can and will burn black if they get too hot. As they cook, watch (and smell) closely, and if they get so dry that they begin to smoke, add a tablespoon of water to the pan, and then stir/flip vigorously.

7. The beans are done when they are as tender as you like to eat them. I prefer them just past al dente. Remove from the heat and let stand a few minutes, covered if you like your beans softer.

8. Garnish to taste with Sriracha sauce. Just a little bit will cause an awesome flavor synergy, but if you like your food very hot, green beans cooked this way can stand up to quite a bit of heat before the fire obscures the taste. I like the Sriracha sauce but any hot sauce (or Mongolian Fire Oil) would work too.

This is a method of cooking that works well on pretty much any vegetable except delicate greens. I like to think that the high heat, low moisture method concentrates the flavor back into the vegetable, as opposed to boiling or steaming.

This is especially good with kale — the Good For You vegetable that is challenging to prepare in a palatable manner. I like to boil kale a few minutes before chopping it and cooking it in the walk, as it is too sturdy to get tender with normal sautee or braise cooking.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.