Jun 8

Reconstituting the Metaweb

Category: Uncategorized

Bringing a wiki back to life reminds me that I’ve wanted to reconstitute the Metaweb, the wiki covering Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. Of course, I had the database for hbmobile, which made that easy; I didn’t get it for the Metaweb, due to apparently bad timing. It got bogged down by spammers, there was an inability to upgrade the software, & it wasn’t golden, but still…

I read about the Nielsen Haydens’ work to reconstitute from caches & whatnot after a server died, & it sounds familiar.

archive.org covered the Metaweb, & so did I. It sorta looked like I’d have to set up a wikibot to read the archive & push it back out to another wiki, possibly having to massage the input for formatting (no, you can’t log in!) & massage the output to preserve timestamps. Now it looks plausible to feed the html into something that spits out an sql dump.

This also got nudged a bit by finding out that Stephenson’s got a book, Anathem, coming out late this year. Aaand now I see a name I remember from the Metaweb asking about it. So I’m going to go ask if he got a copy of the database.

Updates (8/17): Since writing this, I’ve been in touch with Metaweb collaborators Jeremy Bornstein (who gave me an Anathem copy), Alan Sinder, & Patrick Tufts (due to a question I asked on Metafilter). There’s a small (four meg), corrupted, empty copy of the database at hand, & a larger (forty meg) copy hiding somewhere.

He’s doing a tour of readings; he’ll be in San Francisco for its release party September 9th, with Anathem-inspired music & Q&A.

A friend from hbmobile has offered the use of cryptonomicon.net, which I’m considering.

Update (12/10): There’s an Anathem Wiki. the database hasn’t made an appearance, & computer problems have provided another obstacle.┬á I’ll note any progress here.

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May 18

iPod recording device compatibility

Category: Uncategorized

I’ve been recording audio for fun using a 2nd generation ipod nano & a couple of accessories, the Belkin TuneTalk Stereo & the xtrememac MicroMemo. (I switched from using the MicroMemo to the TuneTalk because the latter works much better with my microphones – the autogain balances out for phantom power or bias power, I forget.) Out of curiosity, I checked to see how well they work with various ipods:

                MicroMemo       TuneTalk

ipod - 4th gen  no              no

ipod - 5th gen  untested        works

nano - 2nd gen  works           works

nano - 3rd gen  works           works

nano - 4th gen                  works

ipod classic    works           works

iphone          no              no

iphone 3G                       no

ipod touch      no              no

touch - 2nd gen                 no response

There are other accessories that allow you to record – the ivoice (for touch & iphone, apparently) & the Griffin italk pro, at least – but I own neither, so haven’t tested those broadly. The italk pro worked well in a brief test with the nano 2nd gen & my microphones, at least.

Update (12/10): Tried the TuneTalk on a newer generation of ipods.

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Apr 21

scarab-speak

Category: Uncategorized

geek!  hero!  ftw!
The comic book Blue Beetle (Wikipedia, DC Database) includes alien technology speaking in an alien language. Eventually, I realized I could decode it. Then that I could make a font out of it.
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Apr 21

what

Category: Uncategorized

This is sort of a catchall compared to my list of recordings. That has a focus; this will cover random noodling around.

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