Renewing old apps
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I got a ping from the Book Face thing last night that someone mentioned me in a comment. I rarely even open the Book Face, but I went to check it out anyway because I’m vain.

Someone was talking about one of their rifle outings and how good their grouping was. They knew this because they used my Shot Group Analyzer, which I promptly thought “That’s still around???”

Which is odd because every here and there I see it on the Interweb Tubes. I see screenshots of people’s targets with my graphics on them so I know people use it, but then I promptly forget people are using it.

I did that back in 2010 and I did it in (*shudder*) Silverlight. Mostly because I was doing a lot of Silverlight work back then anyway and I was using it as an excuse to practice.

Well, now I’m doing a crap-ton (metric, not imperial) of AngularJs so I’m starting to rewrite it in pure HTML5 so that a) you’re not cursed with Silverlight & b) more people should be able to use it.

Glad I found the source code though because had I not, I wasn’t going to go through that math again. Maths are hard & that one was rather brutal trying to build a ‘hull’ around all the shots to get specific data. But I do, and now I have to convert everything over to JavaScript, so hopefully someone else out there will find it handy and all my work will not be for naught.

Any users of it have any upgrade suggestions?

posted by Robb Allen @ 9/19/2014 12:01:40 PM | Feedback (2)
9 out of 10 doctors recommend a daily dose of Confirmation Bias

Or, as I read this from one doctor, I am nodding my head in agreement.

The comments, as all gun related comments go, get nasty at times. Insults are slung rather than thoughtful commentary (and this is from both sides) although my favorites are the ones that go “Why can’t you gun-tard NRA freaks be reasonable?” Although thoughtful doesn’t always equate to reasonable either. Some people thoughtfully find ways to dehumanize gun owners, and if you read through the comments, you’ll see what I mean.

I try to keep an open mind though about this. I’m 99.9% sure that over the years, I’ve determined truth regarding gun ownership. Gun control does not benefit society, but I’m always open to data that proves me wrong. However, the comments have people in there who have done the same soul searching & thinking & have come up with the exact opposite opinion.

People post links to confirm their views but seem to completely ignore those that don’t. This tends to happen more on the anti-gun side yet I see some people on our side do the same thing. This scares me – how often do I ignore conflicting data? I see people do it all the time & they must not be able to see they’re doing it or they’d have to accept it, right?

Or am I simply projecting how I look at life?

posted by Robb Allen @ 9/17/2014 9:35:57 AM | Feedback (8)
I’m talking Florida flat

Wednesday, I got delivered a pair of Presonus Eris 5 studio monitors and a Focusrite 2i4 USB Audio Interface to start building up my studio a bit more. Unfortunately, I’ve been so busy at work that I didn’t have any time on Wednesday to really do anything with them. Luckily, yesterday we managed to fix a ton of our issues and last night was the first night in almost 2 weeks that I could just sit down & relax for a bit.

It was Georgia’s birthday, but she was busying playing with her new Legos & watching A Nightmare Before Christmas (one of her favorite movies & we got it for her on Blu-Ray) so I had some down time. I finally got the speakers hooked up as well as the Audio Interface and wow.

I finally understand what “a flat response rate” means. Most consumer speakers are tweaked so they push a particular frequency. For example, Beats by Dr. Dre really, really, really push the bass to make everything thumpy. Desktop speakers do the same thing to try to make the sound fuller.

Flat speakers provide the same level for every frequency across the spectrum (or as close as they can). If you mix you music so that it sounds excellent on those, the chances that they will sound good on speakers that push other frequencies goes up exponentially. This doesn’t mean once you’ve got it nailed on the monitors that you are done, but it really does get you about 95% of the way there. Even the best studios will do their mixing, then listen on cheap speakers, computer speakers, earbuds & even a speaker ripped out of a TV for mono (you’d be surprised how mono can be a nightmare with phasing issues!).

My problem is I was mixing in headphones only then pushing to my cheap computer speakers later. I was WAY overpowering my bass levels so when I got in my car, it would sound like crap (but awesome on earbuds!). Just playing around a bit with an older song of mine, I was able to correct it on the monitors and when I put on my headphones, it was like an eargasm.

The other nice thing is that each monitor is independently powered and nicely so. My old speakers required the sound be above a certain level before they’d kick in. So listening to something quietly wasn’t really an option. These things can go from gnat-fart to ear-bleeding without a hitch. Plus, being flat, you don’t have to turn it up to make it sound good, it sounds the same regardless of volume.

As far as the Focusrite goes, it’s a nice little unit. Still trying to learn the ins & outs of ‘monitoring’ which isn’t as straight forward as “plug in & listen”. There’s also some configuration I have to do if I want to do guitar stuff since my foot pedal is much better at it than the box as the Guitar Rig Kontrol is the fastest USB Audio device I have. The Focusrite will run at about 27-32ms latency. At 30ms, you can hear it. Generally the GRK runs at 900µs but that requires a very specific setup. So if I’m going to be doing very precise guitar work, I’ll have to swap back out to my old way of doing things which isn’t a big deal.

Now, USB audio has issues. You can get snaps, crackles, & pops as the OS prioritizes other things over USB. PCs that are specifically geared for doing audio kill off any process that might get in the way (and I really need to see how to do this so I can script it on & off). When I first tried out the speakers, I loaded up Absynth which is geared towards ever-evolving soundscapes. It has some really friggin’ cool sounds, but alas, it was popping & clicking something fierce.

So I fiddled with the ASIO driver. Still, pops & clicks. More fiddling. Pops & clicks. I started feeling bad because I thought “great, this AI isn’t going to work”. Then I tried another sound. It was perfect. Went back to the original sound. Pops & clicks. It wasn’t USB, it was part of the sound (I verified by hitting a lower key. The pops & clicks were now at a lower frequency).

#@&(!

There are a few things that I have to iron out. There’s a difference between just listening to things and monitoring. If I use the Focusrite for my guitar, it will always have the dry sound go through the headphones. This is actually effective while playing at times, but most of the time I just want to hear the final product. My daughter’s drums use MIDI and the Focusrite has 0 lag for them (where as my GRK had just enough MIDI lag to be annoying). Now, she has access to thousands upon thousands of drum kits and can even practice without headphone.

All in all, things are good!

posted by Robb Allen @ 9/12/2014 11:23:59 AM | Feedback (20)
A day to celebrate

12 years ago, on the first anniversary of 9/11, I was not mourning with the rest of the country. I was celebrating bringing my first daughter into the world. At 10:16 AM, when most people were contemplating the horrific attack that had hit us the year before, I was seeing my daughter Georgia for the first time.

The new father
from this

Perfect in practically every way
to this!

It has been 12 utterly amazing years. I’ve learned what being a father is all about. I’ve learned how hard it is to be firm, how much it hurts to have to discipline your child, the aches of not being able to sleep because you’re worried about how you’re going to feed them or how sick they are – And I wouldn’t change a single minute of it.

Georgia is amazing (both my daughters are, but today is about her). She was reading by the time most kids were just beginning to understand that eating crayons was a bad idea. She has always been empathetic without being a pushover. She understands economics better than many adults for Pete’s sake.

The worst thing in my life right now is knowing these days are short. She’s twelve already. 4 more years, she’ll be driving. 6 more, she’ll be ready to leave the nest, and that horrifies me.

So I enjoy every last minute I can spend with her because she is awesome and when I’m on my deathbed, I will be able to look back, see what a wonderful human being I helped raise has become, and be able to die in utter peace.

I love you Georgia, and happy birthday!

posted by Robb Allen @ 9/11/2014 12:23:29 PM | Feedback (8)
Well, hell. Talk about belated

Just realized my first post went up on May 11th, 2004.

I totally missed my 10 year blogging anniversary.

That, and my archives somehow have gotten fubared so my first post is not my first post any more. Dammit. Who wrote this shitty piece of software?

posted by Robb Allen @ 9/9/2014 12:15:50 PM | Feedback (3)
Deadlines

They loom above me. It’s going to be a 60 to 70 hour work week. Which is okay from time to time, but still means this week kind of sucks.

Just so you know.

posted by Robb Allen @ 9/3/2014 10:27:51 AM | Feedback (1)
A giant goes silent

Tam has hung up her blogging hat. If this is permanent or temporary, I do not know. I don’t know much other than she had someone stalking her which probably had a lot to do with it. As Sebastian says, there’s fewer and fewer hobbyist gun bloggers out there, although I disagree that his reasoning had anything to do with Tam.

Me? As my hit counter (and sadly, ad revenue) has indicated, I’ve not been doing much blogging lately, gun-related or not. The main reason is the new job has me busy as hell, and I don’t seem to have the time to properly research some of the things I’d like to talk about and uninformed opinions are a bane of my existence as it is.

That’s gotta change. Not for the ad revenue (that’s just icing on a cake), but because I still enjoy blogging. I like talking to myself out loud and find it interesting that other people sometimes care.

Hopefully the Tam thing is temporary. She’s a fixture on the Interweb Tubing, and the world will be poorer without her snark & wit.

Meanwhile, you SOB’s are stuck with me. Sorry.

posted by Robb Allen @ 9/2/2014 12:27:38 PM | Feedback (12)
The wrong platform

Often us gunnies will debate those who wish to disarm us, not to change the mind of the disarmer, but to talk to those who might be on the fence.

Twitter is not this place.

Twitter is too rapid fire, too ‘personalized’ (aka, you’re not going to see people you don’t really follow) and damn near impossible to follow unless you are part of the conversation from the beginning.

So, I’ve given up arguing on Twitter with the anti’s. Sure, poke ‘em with a large stick and rattle their cages, but don’t expect someone sitting on the side to be able to follow your logic and change their minds.

posted by Robb Allen @ 9/2/2014 11:36:26 AM | Feedback (0)