Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Control of iTunes Through Java

My new project entails being able to control iTunes through an interface, in Java. Specifically, I want to be lazy and control it with my IRC bot just by typing a message to it. First however, I need to be able to code a simple play/pause button. I have been using this page as a reference in creating a simple application, but I still have a bit to go.

Is there a Java package already put together to do such a thing? I have not found one yet, but if you see one, let me know. I'd be interested in seeing what exactly it does and basing my code off of it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Making Music in Majora's Mask

As a friend of the blog proprietor, I will occasionally be making guest posts.

Since the N64 Zelda games had Ocarinas that you could play a variety of notes on, I decided to see how far I could take the concept. I've taken the first steps towards playing some actual songs on the Ocarina in Majora's Mask, and here are some of the things I've noticed:

* Notes are played on the A and C-arrow buttons, henceforth denoted as A, v, ^, <, and >, meaning A button, down C arrow, up C arrow, left C arrow, and right C arrow, respectively.

* The range of notes appears limited to a low C and a high E. This would correspond to third-finger G string and open E string on the violin.

* Notes can be raised a whole step by pushing the control stick all the way up while the note is played, and raised a half step by pushing the control stick up slightly. Pushing it down will lower the note. I'll be referring to these motions as full-up, half-up, half-down, and full-down.

* The speed at which notes can be played is somewhat limited. Even switching between buttons as rapidly as possible, you're only going to get Link to play so fast.

* Holding the control stick left and right appears to produce a trill/vibrato sound. More on this when I discover all the inner workings of it. The control stick can also be tilted diagonally to simultaneously trill and raise or lower a note.

All in all, I think the Zelda Ocarina has the potential to be a viable means of producing music. Although the range of notes you can play is smaller than what you'd get on a traditional instrument, the variations created by the control stick should suffice for a wide range of pieces.

While I work out how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, here's how to play a D Major scale:

Full-up A
Half-up v
Full-up v
Half-down ^

So there you have it: an introduction to playing on the Zelda Ocarina. You're not going to have Link busting out Caprice 24 anytime soon, but with enough patience, I think the Ocarina can be coerced into playing some legitimate pieces.

Next time: more scales, and a song or two.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cross-Atlantic Offensiveness?

Upon reading the comments of this particular blog entry by Jessica Hagy, I was slightly confused at the connotation of the word 'spaz', and how it could be a completely offensive word to a person in London, but if you call a New Yorker a spaz, you'll just get a weird look for actually remembering what the word spaz means.

Are there any ideas about this one? I'd be very interested to hear from people, especially those offended by the term, and perhaps learn exactly what is interpreted when the word is used, and why it could be more offensive than the other four-letter words that we all seem exposed to.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Brawl, Python, and other things


'Nuff said, but just to cover my base, I'll say this: Pit owns all, every character is awesome in a different way, adventure mode is awesome, everything is awesome!
Over the weekend, I picked up Python. That's how awesomely easy it is. I will eventually create something interesting using it, but for now it's just file manipulation.
And a new diversion for me includes The Impossible Quiz 2. I beat the first two. THIS one is even better that the other two combined, mainly because you can actually use the skips.
And in other news, it is St. Patrick's Day, I got invited into the National Honor Society, and I have had "Wish You Were Here" permanently stuck in my head since around 6:38 PM yesterday.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Countdown

It's 3:56 PM.

Brawl in 32 hours, 4 minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I survived group 7 and am now attempting to make it the whole way through Raining Blood. AARRRGH.

But no matter, I shall defeat this monster known as group 8.

In other news, with a week until Brawl is released, I'm getting pretty psyched. Of course, you all realize that I will own all with the power of Pit and the sheer awesomeness of Olimar. You stand no chance if you see me on Wi-Fi.

Until we meet again.