Musings from a science fiction writer

Knotty Geeks Episode 19 - Bluetooth Mics and Ear Buds


Post #: 171
Post type: Podcast
Date: 2013-04-15 16:41:26.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: Knotty Geeks



In this episode of Knotty Geeks, we try something different and record directly to our iPhones, then mix the two sources together.

Surprisingly, it worked! However, we messed up and recorded the audio at a criminally low 11kHz sample rate. That mistake will be rectified next week. WHAT?? NEXT WEEK?? Yes... we are going to be doing these a LOT more regularly now with our new setup!

The hardest part about mixing the two recordings together was getting them perfectly synced. Terry let out a big "BEEEP" at the beginning but it turns out that isn’t the best waveform to sync two sources with. I had more success just going off individual words, zoomed in at the highest level of detail, in the middle of the podcast. Also I discovered that putting one person on Left channel and the other on the Right seems like it would sound cool but ends up being kind of disconcerting to listen to. Putting both on one channel works better.

Note: The discussion in this episode wanders all over the place. We start by talking about the imminent release of my new article on the history of the Amiga on Ars Technica, and somehow end up discussing North Korea at the end. Somehow, though, it all works!

Link from the show:

Old-school Modem demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxM_0BguTkE






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Download show directly



Views: 3997


The Windows 8 Anchor


Post #: 170
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2013-04-11 18:51:41.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: Computers, Operating Systems

The news is out that PC sales have fallen 14% last quarter over the same quarter a year ago.

Many people are blaming Windows 8 for accelerating this decline, rather than halting it.

Or, as The Professor so eloquently put it, "In other words, MS’s customers were drowning and Ballmer threw them an anchor."

The mental image made me laugh, so I thought I’d whip up something in Photoshop:

Comments (1)

Views: 4046


3D modeling the Ke’ea with Sculptris!


Post #: 169
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2013-04-09 20:21:33.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: Writing, Science Fiction

I’ve long been an avid fan of 3D modeling, but the software is usually expensive and takes hundreds of hours to learn.

For those who don’t want to invest quite that much money and time, there is Sculptris from Pixologic. The basic application is free, with a more professional version available if you want.

It takes a much more artist-friendly approach to 3D. You start off with a big sphere, and use the mouse (although it works MUCH better with a graphics tablet, even a simple one like my entry-level Bamboo works great) to stretch, pinch, grow, and contract. It feels very much like sculpting clay. A bit of pulling and smoothing later, and you can create a very organic-looking 3D mesh. Here’s my first attempt at modeling my Ke’ea race of intelligent avians:



The program also includes texturemapping that works with the mouse or tablet to "paint" textures right on the surface. It’s very cool, and the price is right!



Views: 3709


Knotty Geeks Episode 18 - Software Startups


Post #: 168
Post type: Podcast
Date: 2013-04-04 15:59:18.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: Knotty Geeks

On this episode of Knotty Geeks, we talk about software startups and how they might use various methods of marketing. Terry insists that viral marketing isn’t, and also disdains DropBox, which he will definitely live to regret.






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Views: 3816


New comic!


Post #: 167
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2013-03-30 11:03:39.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags:

New comic uploaded! Go here: http://jeremyreimer.com/comic.lsp?c=Star%20Gamer



Views: 3904


Overcoming Ladder Anxiety: The Show


Post #: 165
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2013-03-19 16:38:10.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: Starcraft

There are a couple of things I always wanted to do but never did.

One of them was to have the courage to play Starcraft, 1v1, on the ladder.

Another one was to have a TV show.

So I've combined the two into a show I call "Overcoming Ladder Anxiety", a show on Twitch.tv:
http://twitch.tv/jeremyreimer/videos

It's basically my journey through playing ladder for the first time ever, talking about my anxiety and dealing with how reality doesn't quite match up to your expectations. It's about how Starcraft can teach you lessons about life.

The show runs Monday to Friday at 2:00 pm Pacific. Please join in live, or watch the videos! Thanks!

Comments (2)

Views: 4052


Edge of Infinity has been selected as a Breakout Book by Apple UK and Ireland!


Post #: 164
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2013-03-05 00:04:57.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: Science Fiction, Writing



For the first time, Apple’s iBookstore has included independently-published books in its "Breakout Books" feature, and Edge of Infinity is one of the 55 titles selected by iBookstore UK and iBookstore Ireland!

This is really exciting for me, not only because of the extra exposure for my novels, but also because it shows that independent authors are becoming a force to be reckoned with in the market.

Edge of Infinity can be found in the Apple iBookstore at the following link.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/edge-of-infinity/id595636629?mt=11

You can learn more about this promotion here:
http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/03/apple-ibookstores-in-uk-and-ireland.html

Thank you, Apple, for your support of independent authors. Let’s make a dent in the universe!

Comments (1)

Views: 6294


Welcome to the new JeremyReimer.com!


Post #: 162
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2013-02-20 16:36:17.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: newLISP Blog

Glad you could make it!

I’ve converted my old blog (old as in circa 2010!) to a new one. The main change was moving the pages from being hosted on the Dragonfly web framework (written in newLISP) to my very own newLISP on Rockets framework (which, as you may have guessed, is written in newLISP as well!)

The primary reason for this change was to get all my websites on a single platform and to "eat my own dogfood" in terms of the newLISP on Rockets framework. Also, the Rockets framework is based on Twitter’s Bootstrap and thus has a nice responsive design that works much better on mobile devices. Go ahead, try it on your phone!

Not everything is converted yet (the user profile page, for example) and there may be some bugs over the next few days as I work all the kinks out. Please let me know if you have any issues.

Enjoy the new site!

Comments (2)

Views: 4400


Amazon EC2 is pretty cool


Post #: 160
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2013-02-13 14:12:46.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: Entrepreneur, Computing

I know I'm late to the party on this, but I'm really loving Amazon's EC2 cloud computing service. I'm saying this as a guy who loved to build servers with my bare hands, often blessing them with my own blood after touching a sharp corner. I literally bled for these things. Now, I'm not sure I ever need to set up my own server again.

My startup project, JetCondo, runs on a "Micro" instance, which is a paltry little thing by server standards--a whopping 8 GB of storage space and 612 MB of RAM, and whatever amount of CPU they feel fit to dribble out. Still, it's faster than my home server ever was, and it's cheap. At current rates it works out to about $10 a month. My home server ate up about $7 per month just in electricity.

But the value you get out of that extra $3 is immeasurable, especially for a startup. Today I wanted to create a new server instance so that I could start building a web application for my very first consulting client. I had almost resigned myself to going through the half-day dance of installing Ubuntu, configuring Apache, setting up newLISP, etc... and then I realized: hey, wait a moment! I can just copy my existing instance, can't I?

Turns out you can. You have to save an image of your current system first, and by default this shuts off your running server while it makes the copy (it's kind of scary when this happens!) but in a couple of minutes it's back up and running and now you have your own personal image file for your server. Then creating one is a matter of a right click, selecting "Launch More Like This", clicking Next a couple of times, and choosing your own AMI image from the list of "My Images".

In a minute or so you have cloned your server, and it's exactly the same as the one you had. It's like magic. Instead of half a day's work it took a few clicks and a couple of minutes. And of course you can launch as many as you need or even script it so that new instances are launched as needed given incoming traffic, but that's something for the future. Right now it's just cool to report that it works, and it's a great time saver.



Views: 4319


It's lonely working on a startup by yourself...


Post #: 157
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2013-01-17 21:55:31.000
Author: Jeremy Reimer
Tags: Daily update, Entrepreneur

Launching a startup on your own can be quite lonely at times.

At this delicate, embryonic stage, you don't even really want to discuss what you're doing with anyone, except maybe your wife. It's too early. None of the stuff is ready yet, it's all existing in your head, and there are a billion and one things to do to get it ready.

I've found a little solace in reading other startup blogs, although you start to realize just how greatly the odds are stacked against you. Most of these startups fail for one reason or another.

So you have to be okay with the idea of failure. Personally, I'm completely fine with it. I've got a set deadline and a set of things I want to accomplish in that time. After that, I'll be going back to more traditional employment, barring the extraordinarily unlikely chance that I'm bringing in enough money from the startup that it's not necessary.

It's more of a personal thing with me, a chance to prove I can do something and create something great on my own.

But it's definitely lonely sometimes.

Comments (1)

Views: 4171


So who am I?

I'm a writer and occasional programmer. I write science fiction stories and novels.

I also write technology articles for Ars Technica.

I'm the creator of newLISP on Rockets, a web development framework and blog application.



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