Archive for October, 2009

Pianoteq PRO and standard 3.5

Posted: October 28, 2009 in Audio
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ModArtt released Pianoteq PRO, that allows per note settings (22 parameters), and a rendering up to 192 Khz (48 Khz in the standard version). We can watch a video here. It is priced 399 euros (249 euros for the standard version).
Pianoteq Pro also includes the enhancements brought by Pianoteq 3.5 (see here and there). A demo version of Pianoteq standard 3.5 is available.

CP2JavaWS 0.91 available

Posted: October 28, 2009 in IT/Dev
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A new version (0.91) of CP2JavaWS is available. It is a bug fixes release :

– fixed a bug with habilitation filter’s init (as filters’s init methods order can change, we don’t pass anymore the userSessionKey info from the authentication filter’s init method to the habilitation filter’s init. That information has then been added also in the habilitation filter’s config in web.xml).

– fixed a potential bug in authentication filter when comparing request uri with authCredentials’s uri, for cases where the browser returns its host in authCredentials’s uri (shouldn’t).

– remote methods that returned a String (root, not JSON) leaded to an error when decoding on the client side (missing quotes). It was ok for String attributes in nested objects of the return graph.

– calling a remote method without any parameters (that is passing nil to the single selector part – ie [remoteService aMethod:nil]) now works properly (fixed test for remaining invocation arguments).

Implementation of Websocket (client side) started this Spring in Firefox, and this Summer (since late June) in WebKit. We could also read a document, WebKit Web Socket design doc (that was slightly revised early september), written by WebKit members working on this task (Fumitoshi Ukai, Yuzo Fujishima, etc.). References to many cpp sources files about Websocket implementation have emerged these last three months in the long WebKit development timeline.

In early September Yuzo pointed out (in a thread about requirement for an Apache module that manages Websocket) an experimental open source extension for Apache, mod_pywebsocket, that brings server-side Websocket implementation.

These elements are now listed in the latest changelogs of WebKit timeline (10/26), and test files are provided (start with pywebsocket/test, see also here and there).

Sierra games on the web !

Posted: October 22, 2009 in Games
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The site provides web versions of famous Sierra games (from 1985 to 1987) : the first 3 KingQuest, the first 2 SpaceQuest, etc. The game engine from Sierra, AGI (Adventure Game Interpreter), has been rewritten in javascript, and image files (original ones ?) make the scenes (as it was the case initially). Moreover the developers added a multiplayer feature : then we can see other players (as clones or artefacts) appearing/disappearing, as if we were playing WOW.

Controls use the keyboard or mouse (with a feature to move quickly the character to a location, by double-clicking on the destination – can lead to some bug, like still swimming character because we left water without going to the expected out path).
The lower textfield is for chat, while available actions are selected through a menu (right click). Through the menu’s more item we can access to an options submenu : disable multiplayer, and even direct access to all of the game’s locations (select location) !

New iMacs miniDisplay port now also works as an input, which allows to plug a MacBook (or another computer fitted with such output technology). We can even plug a DVI-based older computer (including the MDD G4 :-)) using a convertuer (Atlona DVI to Mini DisplayPort Converter, priced 179$). The converter manages source resolutions up to 1920*1200 (that is exactly the MDD G4’s Radeon 9000 Pro limit). Apple is also expected to unveil such adapters.

About the new 27 inches iMac display, a BluRay player would have been a logical feature, and price difference (500$) with a similar MacPro (performance-wise) could confirm rumor about removal of that drive at the last time (in order to put pressure on royalties deals). Then originally the iMac featuring BluRay would have been priced close to the MacPro, and the pros would then have choosed the MacPro (they don’t need a BluRay drive). Without that peripheral, the new quad core iMac reduced price could blend pros choice.

Finally Apple should introduce a lower-priced entry-level MacPro (not more than 2000$) to avoid pros looking toward to the new iMac.

New mac mini / server

Posted: October 21, 2009 in Apple
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Besides new iMac and the new unibody MacBook, Apple updated the mac Mini, with faster processors (2.26GHz to 2.66GHz), and an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M that now onboards 256 Mb also on the entry model (599$, 2 Gb of ram and still 160 Gb hard drive). The later model (799$) includes 4 Gb of ram (and still 320 Gb of hard drive). The disks still are 5400 rpm, however the mac mini keeps its firewire 800 port.

A new model with Snow Leopard Server and two 500 Gb hard drives (still 5400 rpm) has been added, and is priced 999$ (that is an interesting alternative to XServe).

Apple presented new imacs, fitted with HD LED backlit (1920 by 1080 pixels on the 21,5 inches, and 2560 by 1440 pixels on the 27 inches) et quad core processors as an option on the 27 inches model (Core i5 2,66 Ghz or Core i7 2,8 Ghz, with Turbo Boost technology to overclock a core if others aren’t in use, and Hyper-Threading on the Core i7).

The 21,5 inches model keeps a core duo 2 processor, at 3,06 or 3,33 Ghz (are also available on the 27 inches model), and onboards a NVidia 9400M chipset, or an ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256 Mb. The quad core models are provided with the Radeon HD 4850 with 512 Mb (the HD 4670 with 256 Mb is also available on the Core i5) . Hard drives (SATA) range from 500 Gb to 2Tb and are 7200 rpm.

These new iMac are bundled with the new Magic Mouse (multitouch), that can also be purchased separately (69$) for all macs under Leopard (10.5.8 required).

Best attractive configurations are the 3,06 Ghz 27 inches model (core 2 duo, 4 Gb of ram, 1 Tb hard drive) with ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB option (1699+150, that is 1849$), and (more) the 27 inches Core i5 (same configuration as the previous, however with a 2,66Ghz quad core, for 1999$). This later model logically offers about same performance as the entry level quad 2,66 Ghz MacPro (Xeon processor, however NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, only 3 Gb of ram and 640 Gb of hard drive), that is priced 2499$ (that is 500$ more, despite the imac providing a 27 inches display).

Eastwest added details about Hollywood Strings library, that will be available January, 2010, 12. The Diamond version will be priced 1695$ on hard drive (16 and 24 bits samples, 5 mic positions), and Gold verison 1195$ (on DVD, 16 bits, one mic position). Audio demos will be provided before December, 12.

The Vienna Ensemble PRO player is now provided with the Epic Orchestra pack (3,4 Gb – 6,2 Gb once installed), that includes some instruments from various famous VSL libraries : Appassionata Strings Ensemble, Woodwinds Ensemble, Oboe d’amore, Cornet, Epic Horns (8 horns ensemble), Fanfare Trumpets (6 trumpets ensemble), and Drums & Percussion. The pack is also available (priced 65 euros) for registered Vienna Ensemble 3 users (that can upgrade to Vienna Ensemble PRO for free). Audio demos are available.

Lexicon PCM92

Posted: October 14, 2009 in Audio
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About one year after the PCM96, Lexicon announced the PCM92, that brings 28 new and legendary Lexicon reverbs, delays and modulation effects. Lexicon’s new Room algorithm provides a more flexible alternative to convolution type reverbs. In fact convolution-based reverbs are said to alter too much equalizing. It is priced 2699$ (the PCM96 was priced 3499$ initially, and is now provided at a 2999$ special price).

Lexicon presented PCM Native Reverb Plug-in Bundle, a plugin (AU, RTAS, VST) that features 7 reverb algorithms : vintage plate, plate, hall, room, random hall, concert hall, chamber. A 1,8 Ghz G5 or Intel mac is required. The software is priced 1899$ !

Logic Express 9 on G4

Posted: October 11, 2009 in Audio, Troubleshooting
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Installing Logic Express 9 on a G4 (MDD 1,25 Ghz) finally didn’t require any change to the installer. Moreover performance seems good, as it could run the demo song (by disabling some tracks). It uses 9,7 Gb space (4,7 Gb of EXS samples, 900 Mb for Ultrabeat loops, 3,5 Gb of GarageBand instruments, 500 Mb of AppleLoops, and 720 Mb for the application – after the 9.0.1 update).