The blog of roncli blog
Houston, Texas, United States
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Current Posts
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Now That I Have Room...
Posted: 9:04:00 PM 0 comments
Now playing: DRAX - Tears of My Heart (1:48)

After transferring my MAME collection to a new external drive, I'm left with 30 GB+ of hard drive space, and as such I've decided to download Google Desktop again. They've since come out with a new version of the software which has another "clutter bar" that docks to the side. My first thought was, "How many stupid applications need a sidebar like this?"

Well, turns out that Google's sidebar is open, meaning you can write plugins for it. So I'm thinking of trying it out for a bit to see if I can get some functional plugins going for it. I use Trillian, and I've got it loaded up with plugins of its own. Trillian's I find are much nicer than Google's. All entries are on one line, and you can mouseover to see what they are. Google uses two, sometimes three lines for some things it really doesn't need to. But the general interface of Google Desktop is a bit better, and I'm sure with a bit of tinkering I could make plugins similar to what they have now that'll look a lot nicer.

Another thing that bothers me about Google Desktop is the lack of ability to skin it, but that's not really so bad. I'm sure they'll add that at some point. Functionality before beauty I always say, and the folks at Google are geniouses when it comes to that.

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Monday, August 22, 2005
End of Hard Disk Worries
Posted: 6:58:00 PM 0 comments
Took the time and money and got myself an external 250 GB hard drive today... Now I can clean up all the MAME crap I have accumulated on my main hard drive. 40 GB for that stuff if you can believe it. In any case, I'm glad to finally have free storage space again.

No doubt I'll fill it all up in 3 months.

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Monday, August 15, 2005
Busy busy
Posted: 8:50:00 AM 0 comments
If it hasn't been obvious, I have been keeping myself quite busy lately with the new job. I did find time to repost the Media Tag Converter program, with updated source that fixes bugs and is just all around better coded. Aside from that, though, nothing much on the development front.

I'm actually a bit informally learning C++ at the moment. I've got "Absolute C++" by Walter Savitch which is one of the easiest-to-read programming books I've just about ever seen. Highly recommended if you wish to get into that avenue of coding.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005
Posted: 8:27:00 PM 0 comments
I added Numbers to my files directory. It's the source for a neat game written in VB. The idea is to get the highest score possible, and you do this by launching numbers up to the top of the screen as they roll across the bottom. You gain more points for higher numbers, but you lose when two of the same numbers touch horizontally or vertically. I can usually make it to level 9 or 10 when you get down to using 6 different numbers, but have made it as high as level 15 once. It features three modes: Marathon, where your levels increase depending on your score... timed, where your levels increase every 25 seconds... or tiles, where your levels increase every 25 tiles. It's a fun game when you're bored and have nothing to do.

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Update to MediaTagConverter forthcoming
Posted: 6:17:00 PM 0 comments
Someone at my new job wanted me to show them a sample of my VB work, so I figured I'd use it as an excuse to clean up MediaTagConverter. Going through it, I noticed a ton of bugs... I'm amazed it, and thus OSMusic.Net, is even working right. In any case, look forward to an update, most likely tomorrow.

I may also post the game Numbers, which I've written in four languages now... I'll have to check that out later tonight to see if it's worth it.

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Monday, August 01, 2005
Media Tag Converter
Posted: 10:06:00 PM 0 comments
A subscriber to a mailing list I'm on asked whether or not there was a utility to convert MP3 files to OGG files that converts the ID3 tags to OGG's comments format. While I don't have a utility to convert the files - and she did - I do have some code being used on OSMusic that recognizes the tags and writes them back to the file - and she didn't!

So I whipped up a quick application in VB called Media Tag Converter that will take an MP3 and an OGG file in the same directory and copy the tag for the most basic elements (title, author, album, track, genre, and comments) over from one to the other.

Admittedly, the code is terrible. I whipped it up in like half an hour, and literally copied and pasted the class modules from ASP files sitting on my server. I then went through and made it so it would work in VB. There are, however, no guarantees.

The program is also very untested, so if you check this out, expect to have to debug things. The program is also very slow, because the loading of the files does things that don't involve ID3 tags - such as calculating the bitrate of the files via brute force. Mostly, this is just an example program to show how MP3 & OGG tagging solutions can be programmatically handled.

On an off topic note, I got the job in the Williams Tower in Houston. When the weather becomes less hazy, I'll throw some snaps of the view from my phone up here.

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