About

Michael Zucchi

 B.E. (Comp. Sys. Eng.)

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Wednesday, 06 May 2015, 21:48

post google code post

Well nobody bothered to comment about the stuff i removed from google code apart from the one lad or lass who lamented the loss of some javafx demos.

I had comments open+moderated for a few weeks but got hit by spammers a couple of days ago so had to go back to id+moderated. Maybe something got lost in those 500 bits of snot but i don't think so. The spam was quite strange; most mentioned web sites but didn't provide links or weren't very readable so i'm not sure what the point was. Perhaps they're just fishing for open sites or naive moderators they can then exploit. Like the "windows computer department" that keeps calling and calling hoping i'll not tell them to fuck off every time (sigh, no i don't normally say that although i would tonight).

I've still got the subversion clones but i'm not inclined to do much with any of it for the forseeable future and i'm not even sure if i'm going to continue publishing other bits of code i play with going forward.

Desktop Java, OpenCL, ARM assembly language; these things are just not very common in the Free Software world. Server Java is pretty common but that's just, well, `open sauce' companies sharing costs and not hobbyists. So i think all i'm really doing is providing hints or solutions for some student's homework or help for graduate programmers to keep their jobs. And even then it's so niche it wouldn't be many, if any.

As an example of niche, I was looking up some way to communicate with adobe photoshop that doesn't involve psd format and one thing i came across was someone linking to one of my projects for some unfinished experiments with openraster format - on the first page of results. This happens rarely but still too often. Of course it could just be the search engine trying to be smart and tuning results to the user, which is a somewhat terrifying possibility (implications beyond these types searches of course). FWIW I came to the conclusion photoshop is just one of those proprietary relics from the past which intentionally refuses to support other formats so it's idiot users can continue to be arse-reamed by its inflated price.

It's just a hobby

As a hobby i have no desire to work on larger projects of my own or other established projects in my spare time. Occasionally i'll send in a patch to a project but if they want a bunch of fucking around then yeah, ... naah. In hindsight i somewhat regret how we did it on evolution but i think i've mentioned that before. Neither do i need to solicit work or build a portfolio or just gain experience.

I'm not sure how many hobbyists are around; anyone with remotely close to enough skill seems to be jumping into the wild casinos of app-stores or services and expecting to make billion$ and not just doing it for the fun of it. Some of those left over just seem to be arrogant egotistical fuckwits (and some would probably think the same of me). Same as it ever was I guess.

I suppose I will continue to code-drop even if it's just out of habit.

For another hobby I made kumquat marmalade on the weekend. Spent a couple of hours in the sun slicing the tiny fruit and extracting seeds (2-3 cups worth of seeds) and cooked it the next day. Unfortunately after all that effort it looks like it wasn't cooked quite enough and it probably wont set - it's a bit runny but at least it tastes good. Not sure what i'll do with 2-odd litres of the stuff though.

Tagged beagle, code, imagez, jjmpeg, mediaz, parallella, pdfz, puppybits, readerz, socles, videoz.
Friday, 24 May 2013, 11:50

on google

So google have decided to disable downloads on google code.

So I have decided to stop using it.

... although as yet I have no concrete plans or timeline for when this decision will take effect.

Whilst they claim it's about abuse, one can only assume that is just a "likely-sounding excuse" for what in reality is just another straight-up lie from the PR department of a supra-national conglomerate, and it's really just a way to cut costs and promote their 'drive' service (a useless microsoft/apple only service as far as i'm concerned).

Nobody seems to have reported that they have also gimped their POP interface to gmail a couple of days ago. No more UID support. This makes POP a lot less reliable/useful as a mail store (although in honesty it was never designed for that purpose). I proceeded to delete all the mail in gmail to help them free up some disk space.

I guess over-all the writing is on the wall. We all know that at some point 'google account' will mean 'google+', and blogger may be retired at any time.

So it seems my on-going-but-totally-lax search for alternatives to 'everything google for convenience' just got another big kick up the rump-side.

As my projects are all pretty small and low-volume I might look at a local solution because every network based solution faces the same problem. I have a couple of beagleboards doing nothing although getting a running and secure-enough system might be more pain than it's worth.

It's a bit of a pain to have to deal with.

Tagged beagle, dusk, hacking, imagez, java, javafx, jjmpeg, mediaz, pdfz, puppybits, rants, readerz, socles, videoz.
Wednesday, 08 February 2012, 14:52

VideoZ

I had a go at writing a simple 'media mixer' today. So far it's only video, but i'm already thinking about how to do the sound (hence some work on JOAL yesterday, I'm planning on using OpenAL-Soft to do the mixing, which gives me '3d sound' for free as well). Sound is a bit more difficult than video ...

As output it generates an encoded video file; using jjmpeg of course.

With a small amount of code i've got a slideshow generator, together with affine transforms, opacity, and video or still pictures. I'm just using Java2D for all the rendering: so the compositor is fairly slow, but it's workable.

But, the biggest part of any real application such as this is the user interface for setting up the animation parameters ...

Tagged hacking, java, jjmpeg, videoz.
Friday, 10 June 2011, 21:32

Video List

So one thing i've been mucking about with using jjmpeg for is creating a GUI for listing videos ... which seems a pretty basic starting point for doing anything further.

Yeah it's not much to look at so far but one has to start somewhere. I might look at using Piccolo2d as the rendering surface, although I have to determine how to handle virtual items as I do here with the JList. Apart from general fugliness it flashes white whenever you change the view sort, which is quite unpleasant. As can be seen, I hooked it up to mplayer after you double-click a row, just for a laff ...

Under the bonnet it uses jjmpeg of course to scan the files - it's currently generating 128x128 preview images at 1 minute intervals - of which only the first is shown. I have a separate tool to `import' the videos for the moment but I have code lying about to allow dropping of files, so it wont be hard to add. I'm using Berkeley DB - java edition to hold the meta-data and preview images, and i've hooked it up so the DB is scanned in another thread. I use different secondary indices for each sorted view so they are all just as fast (slow?) as each other - this will also let me query by keyword with a little more code. I'm also using SoftReferences to implement a cache of database items. Unfortunately Berkeley DB JE doesn't let you query by record number like the C version, nor read the secondary database keys without also dereferencing to the primary database (i.e. slower than might otherwise be), but judicious use of threads can help alleviate such issues.

In short: it should scale quite well.

Probably ...

Tagged java, jjmpeg, videoz.
Saturday, 11 December 2010, 09:35

Stuff

ImageZ

When I get a spare time and a bit of inspiration I hack bits and pieces and work on making this usable for what I need it for. I'm using it now for screenshots - i really like the save requesters and simplicity of the interface. I added a 'resize image' function which works fine, but I was having trouble with getting the scrolled pane to recognise it's content had changed size. I have something that mostly works but I got sick of fighting with it so left it for the moment.

I also thought about the tool mechanics - the affine tool doesn't really work as a per-application tool, and i'm thinking of making it, and all of the tools per-window instead. I don't have a good feel as to whether this is a good, bad, or insignificant move. At the least it might help me clean up some messy input routing - although there's a few hours of menial work getting that sorted out.

VideoZ

Not much progress here, still thinking of what to do. I setup a webcam input using V4L4J - although i'm not terribly happy with the way it passes data around (it takes 3 copies to get it onto the graphics card). I also started looking into some OpenGL 3.x stuff (no fixed function pipeline) but my heart wasn't really in it and I didn't get very far - although for the most part it looks pretty straightforward. Thinking I will just try to get a couple of video input streams going and work on some simple cross fading and swipe functions to start with and that will let me play with ideas such as timebase correction and chroma keying and the like.

But I just haven't gone anywhere near sound - if sound on linux is fucked, it's even more fucked in java. That will be a hassle.

Leaks

Well good to see at last Rudd stating the obvious - the leaks are the ultimately the yanks fault for not being able to handle security properly. Although I really just think he's playing the astute politician here - partly blow back against the US diplomats for being a bit blunt about him. And also I would suggest to play up to the local feel and to contrast with the totally nonsense statements from the PM and the AG. But she deserves all she gets in that regard, what an utter idiot. Still, his statements are the only clear ones by a member of the ruling party that they might have another purpose of being in power other than serving the interests of the USA.

Booze n Fat

Well the experiment continues, although i'm drinking in moderation again (work bbq today aside!), and eating in moderation too. I was surprised at how quickly I got used to eating basically half or less of what I was eating before - and feeling less hungry than I had been. My scales are a bit crap and it varies so much depending on when one weighs oneself but i'm shedding in the order of a kilogramme a week. Mood has been all over the shop though - and when I do drink a bit it gets pretty low - which is another reason to slow it down. And sleep hasn't been great either. Although I think in general although i'm getting less sleep i'm normally a bit more refreshed - but that's so subjective it's almost impossible to tell.

Yard

I have a good batch of leave coming up so i'm starting to think about the yard. I should be doing the shed but i'm putting that off ... but in the meantime I have some garden beds, lawn, and paving to work out. The more I think about it the more vegetable growing areas I want - they are just so much more useful than grass or flowers. Although I'm also aiming to get another citrus in - a tart lime like an african lime would be my choice. I have one decent spot left for that but i'm growing a tomato there at the moment ;-)

I had a good think about it yesterday and think i've settled on a plan - need to move a few tons of dirt and a pile of metal out the way to lay the wall foundations though (which is why I ended up hacking yesterday rather than going further). My chilli plants are going pretty well (already 10cm fruit on the cayenne pepper plants), tomatoes are looking good, i'm using the mints daily in dinner and last years basil has started growing again. I also pruned most of the roses right back since they have finished flowering for now and had too many long stems which were falling over. Citrus is also sprouting like crazy - maybe i'll finally get some fruit again this year. I also planted a few seeds in pots for a bit more variety - although it's a bit late in the year to start with seeds so i'm not expecting a lot. If the rain keeps up this year though it should be a great growing season.

Tagged biographical, imagez, videoz.
Wednesday, 01 December 2010, 08:49

Hacking stuff

VideoZ

Saturday was a bit cold and dreary here so I spent the day hacking on some ideas - actually I ended up spending about 10 hours hacking solidly. In short I hooked up Xuggle (lib-`ffmpeg') with OpenCL and OpenGL. Using OpenCL to do some image processing and then dumping it to the display with OpenGL. Eventually I plan to hook up other video sources such as web cameras and capture cards and fortunately this stuff is pretty easy with Linux.

There's nothing i'm doing with OpenCL that couldn't just be done with pixel shaders but I need to test the interoperability and stability of that combination, and maybe i'll eventually come up with some ideas that need more complex processing. And I've only ever done a little bit of OpenGL and certainly no shaders. I tried a gaussian blur (or 1d separable convolution), sobel filter, yuv conversion, and a simple de-interlacer which worked surprisingly well (take every long field as given, and interpolate the short field by 1/2 a pixel vertically and then double the frame-rate).

This the first time i've been working with OpenCL images as a data store as well, and that went pretty smoothly. Very different performance characteristics to using arrays, and I hope to do a little timing at some point. The gaussian blur for instance didn't make any difference if I did it vertically or horizontally - using arrays the performance is very different. Incidentally the GPU profiler appears to be working since the last release, and/or I fixed the code problems I had (threading issues) so I can profile stuff again.

And finally I wrapped the video on a sphere ... err just because. Coming from the C64 era this is just something one must try, even if it looks a bit pants.

Then I got a little excited about the prospect of a hardware/software project, creating a mixing panel and building a simple digital video effects processor. Possibly using an arduino as an I/O controller for the console. But that might be a more long-term idea and there's a few other directions I might head in.

ImageZ

Yesterday was a bit weird - I haven't been sleeping a lot (too hot I think, the cat, other noises) so I was tired as hell all day and even resorted to a nap around 5pm. Couldn't really concentrate on work. But then I got bored about 10pm and ended up hacking on ImageZ again into the very wee hours. Looks like today is a bit of a wreck too but maybe I can concentrate enough to get some work done.

I'm not planning to spend a lot of time on it but I am thinking of cleaning it up a bit, getting what's there working reasonably well and `releasing' it. I ran it the other day to make screen-shots and it just felt nice to use so maybe if I polish it a little i'll use it myself. My needs are pretty modest - mostly just resizing gigantic camera pictures for the web and the odd screenshot

So I added a 'resize layer' function, and a new undo type to handle that. Cleaned up a bit of dead code. And started working out how to make the 'super affine tool' apply it's changes (a little tricky). This showed up some issues with the tool being stored in the toolbar - e.g. how do you 'apply' it, and once applied what next?

Although it's been a couple of months at least since I worked on it I was surprised how quickly I got back up to speed on it and remembered various details of the code-base. I can barely remember what I did yesterday, let alone 3 months ago but somehow that doesn't seem to apply as directly to hacking.

Tagged imagez, opencl, videoz.
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