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Macbook fuzz...and what it means to you.

This isn't the first time I've mentioned it.  This isn't the first time I've experienced it.  This won't be the last time you read it.

Ever wonder why your lappy gets so danged hot?  If you have a plastic macbook (pre unibody), and you're wondering why you can't seem to get the Ol' Lady to bake you some bread, well, look no further than your macbook.  If you find yourself,  in the dead of winter,  huddled around your shiny macbook instead of the hearth, you know what I'm talking about.  These things get ridiculously hot!  And that would be fine, if they were supposed to get that hot.  But they aren't.

Early on in my partnership with macbook, there was a moment when I thought it really wouldn't work out.  I mean, there was potential, but then suddenly, when I wasn't looking, it just started flaking on me.  My audio interface would suddenly drop out for no apparent reason.  I started rewriting code I thought was faulty, and generally investigating everything that I thought might cause this sort of thing.  I blamed my girlfriend (I still think, somehow, it was her fault). I went so far as to take my computer in to a service center, armed with KP logs and other data they didn't even know where to look for (or what they were looking at, though they were extremely helpful in every way possible).  Neither did Apple, apparently, because they had the service center replace the logicboard and give it back to me.

All was well...for about six months.  Then it started to happen again.  I was a little more savvy this time.  I opened the bugger up myself.  Uhhh....did you guys even look at this thing?  The inside was absolutely caked with....well....spooj.  It was like a dust factory in there.  Lint.  ANTS.  (they were dead, I think, but still....can't be good).  I had already invested time in installing some fan utilities, but my temperature had still been hovering around 80C at idle (of course, idle means that a lot is going on when you do the types of things that I do with my poor little macbook). 

A can of air later, and a little tightening of screws (with no extras!) and I was back in business.  What had been 80C was now 50C.  That's....well, a bit of a difference.

I did it again about six months later when my CPU started quitting randomly (which was fortunate, since I probably would've ended up with second degree burns if it hadn't).  Another can of air, voila'!

Now I'm on the third can.  I just did it today.  No ants this time, that was a refreshing change.  Still, though, this puppy was getting pretty hot, and I'd lost the minimum of an hours work due to random forced power cycles.

This is a design flaw, certainly.  The real problem is that  the low temperatures will only last for a couple of weeks, and then they start creeping up again.  Because I know of the issue, I don't feel so nervous about it.  I have talked to so many people that have similar problems, though, and they know nothing about it.  The fact that Apple didn't know what to do about the situation just goes to show the level of knowledge that most of these people have.  Its a very simple thing, and I can't imagine that having blown out my laptop 4 times in 2 years from the necessity of avoiding crashes and random heat protection restarts, everybody else is getting away without any problems.

Or maybe I'm just really dirty.

Spread the word.


Just finished a new patch (its actually part of the original monomod patch...I'm trying to split things up and make them truly modular).

Knobs allows one to control eight different parameters with the twist of one knob.  The parameters can be across the entire project, and use breakpoint envelopes with variable beginnings and ends to edit the values.  Its pretty powerful, now I just need to find out how stable it is. 



Monomod Client Dummy Plugin

Here is a quick and dirty patch to prevent Live from bogging and sends from breaking while you are  designing a Monomod patch.  I haven't used it yet, but the theory is sound ;)  Let me know how it works...I've always done it the hard way, but I think next time I will give this a try.


About the monomods abstract...

I just wrote a quick introduction to the monomods abstract, in case any of you are trying to figure out what is going on.  It can be accessed from the page list on the right.  Cheers :)


Monotes release

I just posted monotes, a little plug that allows MIDI note assignment to the grid.  Its pretty simple, if you have any questions or requests give me a shout.

Cheers :)

A little update....

I'll probably be taking a bit of a break in coding over the next couple of weeks.   Personal things coming up, and, well,  its Summer, right?  I think the sun is out or something....

I'm going to take a closer look at Polygome and implement some features I'd like to use, as well as make sure that the existing structure of the patch is sound.  I need to get my rig up and running so I can test all this stuff in a performance setting and make sure everything works.

I'm coding a little patch that will map the grid to a MIDI output map.  Basically, I'm just ripping the program window out of Plinko and allowing direct output to either the MIDI output of the plugin, or a Nomeout, so that its output can be sent to different destinations.

Plinko will get a few bug-fixes (things that didn't translate exactly right when I ported it from the js), a pop-up program window that will explain exactly what is going on in each node when its selected (so that tutorials will hopefully be obsolete: you will be able to tell what is going to happen by just pressing a node), and I better preset clearing and copying.

There will be a another new plugin that allows one to route Monomod directly to either a m4l or standalone monome app by assigning an OSC input/output.  I think I'll add a section to allow the user to type in custom commands for the built in functions of Monomod (the mode and timing buttons), although I don't know if this will really be useful.  I'm not using any standalone patches, but I do use Molar sometimes, so I'll probably test it out with this.  Any suggestions are welcome.

I'm holding off on publishing the abstracts for Monomod implementation only because I want to make sure everything is rock steady and isn't going to change substantially with future builds.  You can always check them out or rip them from current plugs if you have the desire.  I just haven't commented what things do, and I know this will be useful.  I'm trying to decide how to implement an autodetection system so that the Monomod host knows what clients are present in a project, and this will drastically change the content of the abstract.  I'm hoping to make setup completely transparent;  just add Monomod, drop in clients, and go.  There will still be the capability of assigning channels manually in each plugin window.

And finally, I'd like to find the time to unify the Monomod plugin itself, so it can run up to 4 different control surfaces at once, and mix/match different types.  That will probably take a while, as I have to clean up a lot of the js scripts I've built.  There is a lot of deprecated portions of the framework, and some additions/modifications I want to make to the iPad portion of the script.  Obviously, this would be a lot easier if Rob would update TouchOSC, hence my own procrastination about this bit.

There is a patch I made a long time ago called "Knobs" which some of you may be interested in, I'll try to get it out in the next couple of days.  I want to make some additions to it so that track volumes and sends can be selected for control, as well as all the device parameters. I've found it very useful, and it is somewhat different from the other patches around that do similar things.

I'd love to get some feedback on the updates to TR256.  I've used it a bit since the last changes and found the recording functions pretty stable, but I'm wondering if others have had the same experiences.

Things will trickle a little at a time, keep an eye out.

Cheers :)


Monomod b932rc out to those who are following this:  I'll post this stuff up on when I am sure that there aren't any obvious bugs.  If you are on the mailing list, I'll send you a link to the files.  If your not on the list and you would like to be, make sure I have your email:

Additions/bugfixes/improvements to b932rc:

Plinko: fixed problem with not being able to see grid activity, problem with random restarts, restart on time change option

Gome: possible fix for note duration on first loop (not fully tested yet).

TR256: Added real-time MIDI recording functionality (press sequence play then edit to toggle: sequence edit and play will both change colors), copy/paste (press sequence edit to copy then sequence paste of the sequence you wish to paste to), clear sequence (press sequence edit then any of the mode buttons on the left), trigger sequence on timing change (see below), and trigger sequence step (press play then the step of the sequence you wish to start from).

Trigger sequence on timing change works like this: if its turned on, and you change timing, on the next downbeat it will trigger the current sequence from the beginning so that it coincides with the downbeat.  Plinko will work this way in the future, and possibly Polygome.  I want to test it out realworld for a while and see if anything needs to change with it before I spend a lot of time converting other plugs with the same functionality.

Recording hasn't been tested much, so I assume there will be issues.  Everything is quantized to the timing grid of what is currently selected.

All the copy/paste/clear functionality is sluggish.  This is due to the way in which I have had to store program data within m4l.  Sorry...its the price of being able to save and recall everything easily with each song/preset.

Boinngg and Presscafe: largely untouched, I merely updated the timing engine for them.

Please let me know if you find any problems.

Next on the agenda (besides testing these plugs) is getting a Plug together to deal with native Monome patches.  Oh, and something like "Pitches" (that shouldn't take too long, except that I'd like to figure out a way to re-inject stuff back into control_surfaces so that the plug can also control drumracks ala' external controllers).

On second thought, first order of business will be to get the [monomods] core abstract commented, so I can post it and you guys can know what is what.


Monomod Central

I'm moving my blog (which I never use, because its a PITA) to here....I'll link it from my site. 

I'll make this the "official monomod resource"....whatever that means.  Feel free to comment.

Current status:  b932, everything compatible back to b93.  Should be posted tonight.  Working on record capability and copy/paste for TR256.