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SimpleSeq v0.09

Oh, yes, folks, one more interation to squeeze out before my holiday is over. What I added today is interesting.

Let's say you're playing something on your piano and getting SimpleSeq to transcibe it. You'll end up with something like this:

Some music
Some recorded music.

Now the thing is that we may not be able to create music that is perfectly aligned to the beats; there's a small duration between finger movements that might be enough to cause the note to be started in the next column. This is, of course, going to be more pronounced with those of us that lack experience.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was something that could nudge the notes to line up properly?

Enter the Beatify filter.

What Beatify does
What Beatify does.

The length of a note depends upon the chosen time signature. For 2/2, it's a minim (or half note). For 6/8 and 12/8, it's a quaver (or eighth note). And for all of the x/4 timings, it's a crotchet (or quarter note).
Beatify will change the length of notes in order that they last for the duration of a beat (or multiples, if longer). It will round to nearest, so may make some notes shorter and others longer.
Then the start position will be adjusted until the note lines up with the nearest beat.

Which means that the above music, once Beatified, will look like this.

Corrected music
Some recorded music, corrected.

Download simpleseq_009.zip (105.91K)
For RISC OS 5 machines with MIDI

The instructions? Read this and this and this and this and this and this and this and finally this. Phew!

 

UV lamp fail

My UV tubes were expected to be here on Monday. They arrived today. The little cardboard wrappers said "10001 F4T5/6000K".

Wait... 6000K?

Is that a colour temperature? UV light doesn't have a colour temperature. Planck radiation law is complicated, but essentially it's the density of electromagnetic radiation emitted by a black body in thermal equilibrium, blah blah blah scary formula and pretty diagrams. Few people really understand what that actually means, we just know that things are often quoted in 'K' and higher numbers (over 5000K) are bluer "colder" whites, while lower numbers (often around 2700K) are reddish "warmer" whites. An LED bulb at 2700K will be aiming for the ambience of an incandescent bulb.

UV is outside of the range of visible light so, essentially, it doesn't have a colour temperature because it doesn't have a colour so it's not related to how white (or black) would be perceived, and anyway the formula breaks down with those higher wavelengths (also known as the Ultraviolet Catastrophe). That deep blue that we can see (which isn't UV) will have a high colour temperature, perhaps somewhere around 28000K?

Which means a bulb with a colour temperature sure as hell isn't a UV bulb.

I'll be surprised if this works
I'll be surprised if this actually works.

Thanks, Amazon. Somewhere along the way, looking for UV tubes turned into looking for regular little tubes. But, at least, it proves my lamp replacement theory to be correct.
But, still. It ain't UV. Fail.

I have ordered five UV tubes. If they aren't going to have a particularly long service life due to the lacklustre driver circuit, having some replacements on hand would be useful.
One tube cost €15. Two cost €21. Five cost €26. I can't get my head around that pricing...

 

Stupid retro prices

Talking on the ROOL forums, Paolo and I got onto the topic of the silly prices of old hardware on eBay. The stuff that once upon a time was suitable only for landfill.

I pointed to a ludicrous price for an Oric-1 computer.

How much?
How much?

Not just €169, there's €14 postage on top.
For a simple 6502-based home computer from 1982 with a rather lame BASIC, equally lame video capabilities, and a price in 2023 that's not unlike the price it cost new.

Somewhere around here is one. I got it just before I came over. £5 or £10 from a charity shop. Honestly, it wouldn't occur to me to list it on eBay for that sort of price.

 

A little bit of gardening

As I was doing the brambles, I noticed that the head at the end of my strimmer's arm was a bit juddery. I have been spraying in lithium oil from time to time. Maybe the bramble work just over-exercised it?

I tried to strip it down to see if the insides needed a clean or something, but it was secured with a ring clip that presses outwards, and I don't have the tools to undo that sort of thing. So instead I squirted in an amount of grease. And decided to add more grease. After all, grease is good, right?

Then I went from this...

Before
Before.

To this...

After
After.

Given that my shoulder now hurts, I think I'll call it quits for the gardening for now. Have to try to be in peak form for my return on Monday.
Yeah, right...

 

European content on streaming services

The EU is getting itself in a bit of a muddle right now as it wants to ensure that a reasonable percentage of content available on streaming services is European, and they're a bit stuck with whether or not that includes British content, given that - according to them (I have no stats) - a lot of British content is actually a British/American co-production.

It is envisaged that services in Europe would offer at least 30% of European content - and Prime video already offers about that to several European countries), Netflix pretty much makes the quota as well. Smaller services with a lot of home grown content (Disney+, for example) are well below the quota.
However it seems that France has recently introduced rules to try to bump that up to 60%.

While it sounds reasonable have European streaming services promote more European content, and not have their own cultures swamped by Americanisation, there's the practicality in the lack of accessibility of a lot of it.

Why? Well, like it or not, there are numerous languages in Europe, and quite a lot of people from one place don't speak the language of another place. While this is also true of imports from, say, America or Korea, the big successful shows from those countries will often justify a good degree of either dubbing or subtitling.
Hollyblood (Spanish) is subtitled in German, English, Ukrainian, Arabic, French, and Spanish. It is also dubbed in Brazilian Portuguese, English, Italian, German, French, and it's native Spanish (with and without audio description).
I wonder how many interesting films are made in Europe that aren't considered important enough to treat as nicely. Prime Video, for instance, carries a number of Danish and German "adventure" style movies, but if you're lucky it might be "native audio, subtitled in French". I don't know if Prime only pays for the rights to carry the film with a local subtitle, personally I find it a bit annoying that there's no English subtitle... but maybe there just isn't and English subtitle? Or Spanish, or Portuguese, or...

The big whoo right now is Korean television. It's not hard to see why, given that it's a completely different culture (so there's the interest in that) along with some often fairly solid storylines (that tend to come unstuck at the end with sentimental soppiness, but...). It seems that Korea invests heavily in television content. As does America (so long as the ratings are good). What about Europe? Sure, we can look at some solid contenders like Ragnarok, The Rain, and of course Money Heist (or La Casa de Papel). I've had to leave some off of the list (Extraordinary, Domina, Sex Education, Peaky Blinders, etc etc) because these are British and thanks to Brexit... that's no longer European. German MEPs want them to be a part of the quota. Some other countries, not so much.

I can't help but think that the answer isn't to simply say "we need more European productions", it's more to take those European productions that exist a little more seriously, and look to funding and making more good quality European entertainment. We've seen several examples, so it can be done. But I suspect budgets, more than anything, are the sticking point. And fudging quotas with legislation isn't going to solve the budget problem.

 

 

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David Pilling, 24th September 2023, 01:10
There are optimists on ebay - people who think they paid £X for something, therefore many years later they can sell it for £X. Amateur price gougers, the folk who will sell a single Cosmos seed for £1 having bought a packet of 100 for a couple of quid. 
But it would be exciting if old electronics was to develop a value. 
It seems unlikely, because you need the old content to play on it and you might as well play the old content on new hardware. 
 
It is a bit big brother being told what you can watch on the TV, but it has been going on for a long time, as a child I adored The Beverley Hillbillies, Gilligans Isle, Mr Ed, Bewitched all good quality educational content. But there have been quotas on US made TV. 
I can see there are good cultural and protectionist reasons for limiting foreign TV. 
All a bit old fashioned, I can watch US content all day long on YouTube.
Zerosquare, 24th September 2023, 15:16
Rick > Your "Beatify" filter is usually called "Quantize" in music software. In practice, perfect beat alignment tends to sound mechanical and unnatural, so there's usually a "Strength" parameter you can adjust to make the result less perfect but more pleasing: 
https://flypaper.soundfly.com/produce/what-is-quantizin g-and-how-do-i-use-it/ 
 
David > A lot of retrogaming and retrocomputing hardware has gone significantly up in value compared to 10 or 20 years ago. Some are more expensive now than what they sold for at release.
Bernard, 24th September 2023, 17:23
As for the most British of TV, many Germans (and other non-Latin Europeans) would never be able to celebrate their New Year's Eve properly without our 1962 sketch 'Dinner for One' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n7VI0rC8ZA). 
 
Full history on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinner_for_One). 
JGH, 24th September 2023, 21:30
I keep introducing my friends to Dinner For One and they are bemused how popular it is outside the UK, and I am similarly bemused how many here haven't heard of it. I suppose you didn't have Hans und Lieselotte in German class either? What, you didn't?!?!? Surely Mein Hund Is Lumpi, and "You've broken your leg, I'll get a bandage" are universal cultural memes.
Rick, 24th September 2023, 23:14
Never heard of it before, and yes it's an odd little tradition, but then many traditions are. The most bemusing part is how unknown it is in Britain! 
 
Gleiches Prozedere wie jedes Jahr!
Gavin Wraith, 24th September 2023, 23:21
Is Dinner For One about the tipsy family butler and the lady of the house? I see it is. All my Danish relatives tell me this has been hugely popular in Denmark since forever. 
 
My mother invented a game for two, as a child, called Oswald and Lady Stiffigrainer. Oswald is a coarse greedy little boy, whereas Lady S is refined and disapproving, and fainting with shock at Oswald's outrages against decency. Each child plays a role. There was much competition to be Oswald, of course. I was reminded of this because both are two roles at the dinner table.
David Pilling, 25th September 2023, 12:34
"Freddie Frinton (born Frederick Bittiner Coo; 17 January 1909 – 16 October 1968) was an English comedian, and music hall and television actor. He is primarily remembered today as a household name in several Central European countries for his 1963 television comedic sketch entitled Dinner for One, a perennial national television broadcast New Year's Eve favourite there, whilst being largely forgotten in his home country." 
 
I remember him in the situation comedy "Meet the wife", his wife being played by Thora Hird. 
 
Dinner for One is passable but it is a mystery to me why it would still be popular. 
 
Another aspect of media, what to do if the old stuff is perfect, it is necessary to keep making new product to make money. 
 
Rick, 25th September 2023, 15:21
That's why old stuff gets remade. 
I mean, I have nothing against Chloë Grace Moretz and she was good enough in Carrie, but there was nothing wrong with the original (with Sissy Spacek). 
 
Then there's the sequel/prequel nonsense that has dragged the Star Wars story beyond breaking point. 
 
And I saw a while back the most pointless remake ever. It was Dawn of the Dead that looked to be pretty much as good a copy of the original as they could manage. Why? 
 
Coming soon to a screen near you - an all new ET starring a bunch of starlets you've never heard of, The Conversation updated for the internet age, and Plan 9 From Outer Space lovingly reshot in black and white... 
Maybe. 
Wouldn't be surprised. 
C Ferris, 26th September 2023, 11:58
Seems to me - most stories are rehashes of ancient Greek tales - ie Voyage of a Ship - not much difference to Star Trek :-)
Rob, 27th September 2023, 12:06
I regret selling a lot of my spare Beeb stuff, back in ~2001. It didn't fetch much. When I look at the prices today...
David Pilling, 28th September 2023, 15:28
I looked at ebay - yes a BBC Master at 2-300 quid is a pleasant surprise, means it is worth selling rather than dumping. Less than the new cost, less than the new cost plus inflation, even more less than putting the money into ICI shares in 1985. 
Of course some of those BBC Masters have been recapped, how much effort is that, and a lot better than mine which has not been turned on since 1990 and would probably explode. 
We must thank Acorn's hardware value protection devices - leaky batteries for balancing supply and demand. There has to come a day when anything is rare. 
The optimists are out there though, a single floppy with an Ovation label, 8 quid. Would it be readable, is it complete/genuine. 

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