What’s going on with me right now? This page seeks to answer that question.
- I’ve recently discovered AURORA’s music and I’m very much enjoying the albums Infections Of A Different Kind (Step 1) and A Different Kind of Human (Step 2). They’re entirely great, but some of my favourite tracks include Gentle Earthquakes, Churchyard, A Different Kind Of Human, and The Seed. In particular, A Different Kind Of Human has a uniquely soothing quality to me.
- We’ve been rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation for the third time or so. We’re also enjoying the 2nd season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds- it’s by far the most Star Trek of the new Star Trek series from the past 10 years or so. That said, it’s awesome there’s so much new Star Trek.
- I’ve recently finished watching the first season of Silo, a series adaption of Hugh Howey’s Wool series books I enjoyed reading over a decade ago. I guess it differs quite a bit but I still very much liked it.
- I’m in the 6th book of the Expanse series, Babylon’s Ashes; I’ve been loving the books so far. I’ve also been rewatching the tv series for the 3rd time.
These are things I’m putting my time into at the moment.
Making MIDI Electronics
A couple years ago I designed a MIDI Thru box (1-to-8) to connect one MIDI source to up to 8 receivers. I followed it up with one that does the opposite; a box that merges up to 8 midi sources into a single midi output. I built this around a Rasspberry pi Pico microcontroller board using its “programmable IO” feature.
In addition to that utility, I’m using the Pico W board (same thing, but with added WiFi capability to make an as yet unspecified MIDI device that will have a few inputs and outputs and could perform a variety of tasks. The main idea is that that hardware of the device is restricted to MIDI ports, power input, maybe some LEDs, and that’s it. You then use a web browser on another device to control the functionality of the device. I’ve spent a bunch of time on the software architecture of the firmware that runs on the thing, but there isn’t much functionality yet. The first properly useful feature I’m working on is a looper: play phrases on any external keyboard, and it gets looped back.
Combined with the MIDI merger and midi thru box I built, this should allow me to jam away on multiple keyboard synths to get a little loop going.
The project involves lots of software architecture, multi-threading, unit testing, front-end web development, and UI design.
Finished Learning to Drive a Car
I’m 32, but I just got my driving licence the other day(!)
It’s been an on-again, off-again process starting in 2011, so I’m glad that’s finally over. I initally took driving lessons before I moved to England in 2011, had one go at the test and failed it.
I then picked it back up in England a number of years later, but ended up with an instructor that stressed me out and lowered my confidence more than anything.
The next attempt got interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic’s lockdown, and then again because we moved away from the area.
I then got distracted for about a year by lots of DIY, before finally seeking out a driving instructor again. In February I took the driving test and failed it on some faded give way road markings that I stopped slightly past.
To continue the fun, my driving instructor then informed me he was quitting being a driving instructor so I’d have to contact his replacement. I ended up only practising with our own car since my partner has already had her licence for over 3 year; saved a bunch of money on continued lessons.
Then, after much stressing out, I finally got my 2nd attempt in July. Halfway through the test I thought I’d failed it, but it turned out to be just a minor steering fault. Suffice to say I was delighted to hear I’d passed. :-)
Tidying Up My Music Collection
I’ve been collecting an mp3 music library for close to 20 years and my standards for metadata and file naming weren’t always great, so I’ve finally started putting in the effort of going through and organising it all. It’s tedious and will still take another while, but it should make browsing it using Jellyfin much more enjoyable. In truth, I mostly started it as a simple distraction from the stress of my looming driving test.
I’m still working at DI.FM after 10+ years; (10th anniversary this past September!) working on our Android applications using Kotlin, a modern programming language I’ve grown very fond of.