First week over

Last Tuesday my work colleagues all played a mean joke on me.  I came into work all keen and excited to play with the Raspberry Pi.  The box was waiting for me on my desk.  Little did I know that they had already opened the package, removed the Pi and replaced it with a kinder surprise egg!  The box was immaculate so I completely fell for the trick.  The hysterical laughter as my facial expression morphed into a frown is still echoing in my ears now.  Swines!

So anyway the Pi was not far away and after everyone composed themselves they gave it back to me and I have been tinkering with it ever since.  In the last week I have done quite a few different things.  So far I have managed to get samba networking, secure shell server and VNC remote desktop all up and running.  I have tested a few Python programs I had already written, played Quake 3 and compiled Schism Tracker for ARM.  I also had a failed attempt at getting Hedgewars to compile, it would always run out of memory despite allocating quite a large swap partition.  That will probably need to be a cross compile job.

Schism Tracker works fantastically though and I’ve had a lot of fun listening to all those good old files from the 90s.  You can download my R-Pi build of the program from here which includes a few modules you can use to test it with.  On the latest Debian image you’ll need to run sudo modprobe snd_bcm2835 to enable the sound card prior to running the program.

Don’t be fooled by the ASCII/DOS like look of the program, you’ll find many people out there who still use this program in anger despite its age.  Press F9 to load modules and F5 to play them.  F1 gives you a description of all the keys.  There is a little bit of LXDE key-binding silliness going on, for example the F11 key should take you to the pattern sequence screen but in LXDE this maximises the window.  If you press Ctrl-D this allows Schism Tracker to capture the keyboard input and then all the reserved key combinations should work properly.  Press Ctrl-D again to release.

Back in January I mentioned that I was going to do this with Schism Tracker so I still aim to make a few tutorial videos which will show you how to get up and running with a basic tune like happy birthday.  Watch this space!

Also!  This I find absolutely fascinating!  I have found a guy on the internet, Ben “GreaseMonkey” Russell, who has written a random music generator python script.  The files it creates are for Impulse Tracker (which Schism Tracker is the open source version of).  So you just open the script in Geany, press build and run and you’ll get a random song that you can then open and play in Schism Tracker.  The results are very interesting indeed.  It even randomly generates the file names.  I just made one a moment ago that came out as ?!?  Fascinating!  The code is well worth a look too.

It is on my desk

I know this blog has gone a bit quiet for the past few weeks.  So I thought I would show you all why; I have been in South Africa getting married and going on honeymoon.  I have eaten so much food over the past couple of weeks I think I may have caused a small famine over here!  Below is a picture of my beautiful bride (Kate) and I during the ceremony.

Anyway we fly back to the UK tomorrow night, and I am back to work on Tuesday.  A week or so ago one of my colleagues posted the picture below to my Facebook page.  As far as I know they have, amazingly, not opened the box yet and are waiting for me to get back.

So expect a further update at some point later on this week. Also to those of you who have been commenting, apologies for the delays in approving them. You now know why!