My first album is out!

I’ve been plugging away at learning about music theory, electronic music production, tape music techniques and the like for about the last six years. I’ve created a number of things — noise and field recordings — I’ve posted here and on my Soundcloud page, but never felt that any of it was “real” enough to actually list on a site like Bandcamp and actually set a price for it. I set myself a goal this year of producing at least one “good” track a month in a genre I was trying to get better at. It was a surprise to me that the first two months have gone rather well; to the point where one of the tracks I finished (“Milky Tea”) was something I thought was good enough to offer to others, and then had my wife exclaim after she heard it that “you could charge people for this.” So I’ve released my first EP on Soundcloud: Bad Caffeine | KF6GPE (bandcamp.com). I’ve self-published this; I’m not associated to a label or anything. I don’t expect to win a Grammy, and in fact would be surprised if it makes enough to pay the sales tax on the gear I used to produce it, but I learned a lot in the making and publishing, and it feels really good to have started something musically, set some goals, and exceed those goals. Now on to seeing what the March track sounds like.

Experimental Soundscape

I just finished Kadenze’s “Experimental Foundations of Sound Design” course, and it was great! Starting with looking at sample libraries and tape music techniques, you build up a set of individual sound recordings, process them using tape music techniques (in the box, of course, using Audacity), and learn to design and create an imaginative soundscape. Along the way you learn about auditory perception and how it affects sound design, and some techniques in Audacity in Ableton for manipulating sounds to improve tonality and place objects on the stereo field. I had a lot of fun with it. Even though I’ve read a lot about tape music techniques and sound perception, it was great to have the lectures and some practical experience to back it up.
Here’s the final project!

CUPS-PDF Printing to an iPad via DropBox using a Raspberry Pi

Inspired by printing to a reMarkable tablet. You need to have Dropbox installed on your iPad, and/or a PDF viewer that supports Dropbox syncing.

  1. Follow the instructions here to install CUPS PDF printing on your Pi and set it up as a print server.
  2. Patch the PPD to avoid the problem of printing blank pages (steps here). You’ll need to scp /usr/share/ppd/cups-pdf/CUPS-PDF.ppd to someplace where you can do an upload from your browser.
  3. Install Andrea Fabrizi’s Dropbox Uploader script from here.
  4. Make a directory in your Dropbox to hold your PDFs. I chose _ so it would show up first in my list of files, to make scrolling easy.
  5. Crontab uploads of your PDFs. Do crontab -e, and add an entry such as
0-59/1 * * * * /home/kf6gpe/Projects/Printing/Dropbox-Uploader/dropbox_uploader\
.sh -f /home/kf6gpe/.dropbox_uploader -s upload /home/kf6gpe/PDF _

You’ll need to change the path to your dropbox uploader, the configuration file, the path to your PDF directory locally on the Pi, and your remote directory. Keep the -s flag, which tells the uploader to only upload changed files!

Speaking at BayCon 2019 this morning!

I’m pleased to say that I am one of the speakers lined up to give a talk at BayCon 2019 here in Silicon Valley this morning. I’ll be giving the talk “APRS Turns 35. What’s Next“, which looks at the current state of APRS, especially mobile and pedestrian mobile APRS. I’ll post a link to the audio or video of the talk when it’s available. If you want to use the materials as a basis for your own talk, you can get it at GitHub and make a fork.