Useful Consomer Review vs My New Concert Blog

I got a Canon S120 the other day, because I thought it’d be nice to have a camera small enough to actually schlep around again.

So I went to the Deciders concert:

After sixteen minutes the “I’m dying!!!” battery symbol started flashing in red, so I switched the camera off.  I switched it on during the interval, and then the battery meter said that it was 100% fully loaded.  So I started filming again:

After 22 more minutes, it switched itself off.

So, as a camera for casual filming, my rating for this camera is seven thumbs down.

Canon S120.  Boo!

Importing Type1 Fonts Into LaTeX

Using “foreign” Type1 fonts in X is pretty easy — you just drop them somewhere and tell X about it.  Importing fonts for use in LaTeX/xdvi/dvips isn’t that difficult, either, but requires that you know just what files to alter.
 
I’ve been using this script for years.  It takes Type1 font files, runs them through the right conversion programs, and updates psfonts.map.  If you’re using teTeX.  Other distributions have different disk layouts.

The only problem with this approach is that every single time I upgrade Debian, it overwrites some of the files, so suddenly my displays look like on the right: Typeset with Futura metrics, but using a different font for display, so it looks all arty and stuff.

There’s surely a better way to do this, but, meh.  The lesson to be learned here is: Never upgrade!

My New Concert Blog

I’ve been carrying around a Lumia phone the last week, so I recorded a couple of shows.

Getting the videos off of the phone proved to be challenging.  Google has sabotaged the Microsoft Youtube app, so you can’t upload directly from the phone.  And using normal HTTP uploads is disabled in the phone, apparently.

So I had to install tons of stuff in a virtual Windows machine and upload via USB.

So modern.

Anyway:

Lyrical

I was out at a show on Friday, and had a few beers, and then suddenly I was home, and I was listening to Xiu Xiu’s version of Fast Car, and I really had to know what the lyrics were.

And before you know it, I had won around fifteen new iPhone 5s from various lyrics sites.

So yesterday I thought there should be a way to display lyrics in Emacs without winning any iPhones, so I went looking for APIs.  First I did MusixMatch before discovering that they only returned 30% of the lyrics.

Lyric Wiki seemed more promising, although heavy on iPhone winnings.  The API doesn’t return much, but I cheated.

The world should be safe now.

Crowdsourcing Is Dead

For a brief, shiny moment back around 2007, it seemed like crowdsourcing would really take of
f.  However, by now it’s become pretty obvious that we just saw an enormous influx of Can Do people as (pretty much) the entire Western world got reliable Interweb connections at all at once.

Then most of these people grew tired of updating and fixing stuff on corporate web sites, because, after all, where was the pay off?

And the trickle of new, helpful people isn’t sufficient to keep up with the attrition rate.

I’ve been relying on the concert listings on Underskog and last.fm for years, but they have been growing increasingly erratic.  After missing a few shows that I really wanted to see, I’ve now gone back to old-fashioned web scraping and aggregation.  The thing we imagined to be a thing of the past.

What’s next?  Newspapers paying journalists to maintain listings?

I’ve put the source code up on GitHub, but it’s just a trivial Emacs Lisp HTML parsing and extraction script which outputs the result to this web page.  I’ve just added the clubs I’m interested in, and I’m not going to extend the listing to anything beyond what it’s displaying at the present.

So: Welcome back to 1999.  The brave new world was kinda amusing while it lasted.

Mercantilism

The September t-shirts were finally ready yesterday, so I picked them up today, along with stamps, envelopes, rum, ginger beer, DVDs and other things necessary for packing stuff.

The number of shirts wasn’t enormous (just 30 or 40 or something), so carrying them up the stairs was no problem.

The Norwegian postage system changed since the last time I did this, which has to be more than five years ago.  Using big envelopes is like 2x more expensive than smaller ones…

So I used magical Japanese folding techniques to fold the shirts into the allowed size.

Quality entertainment is necessary when doing repetetive tasks.

Look at all those envelopes!  Gotta love plastics.

And here we see our model modelling the shirt in the traditional Internet manner.  I hope I got all the details right.  Directing is so challenging.