Archive for the ‘Talks’ Category

jasmid – MIDI synthesis with Javascript and HTML5 audio

Friday, November 19th, 2010

The executive summary: At last weekend’s Barcamp London 8, I presented a talk entitled “Realtime audio generation for the web (because there’s not enough MIDI on webpages these days”. In it, I went over the current options for generating audio within the browser, and presented my latest hack in that direction, jasmid: a Javascript app that can read standard MIDI files, render them to wave audio (with, at present, some very simple waveforms) and play them directly from the browser, completely independently of your OS’s MIDI support.

Read on for the complete notes/transcript of the talk (in hopefully more coherent form than the talk itself – next time I promise to spend less time on the flashy demo and more time figuring out exactly what I’m going to say…)


Thursday, October 9th, 2008

This is it then… my big comeback to the Javascript demo scene after a two year absence, and also the moment when my demo coding muse returned from a long holiday, I guess. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… Antisocial, a biting satire on social networking phenomena.

Visit the Antisocial microsite…

With my characteristic lack of organisation, I found myself with two weeks to go to the Sundown party, having promised a demo release, and with nothing specific in the pipeline. So, I decided to take a chance and run with an idea that had been sitting on top of my “demos to write when I have more free time than I do right now” pile for the best part of a year. I had it all planned out in my head, right down to the soundtrack: a mysterious track from an unlabelled CD I picked up at a ZX Spectrum Orchestra gig in 2005 (which turned out to be Round, from their Clive Live^3 EP). A quick bit of permission-getting later, and I was at the point of no return.

I knew it would be an ambitious job, and a bit of a leap artistically and technically from my usual stuff. I pencilled in a rough project plan in my diary. I drew up storyboards. I read up on the maths that was too nasty to contemplate on previous projects. And shockingly enough, I actually enjoyed all of the above.


Comet Chaos

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Thanks to Oleg for reminding me at OpenTech that I still hadn’t written this up yet…

This started out as an experiment in Comet techniques (which allow you to actively push data out from web servers without the client having to initiate the request) which quickly ballooned in ambitiousness – I didn’t set out to write Just Another Chat Application after all. The end result is a realtime multiplayer Javascript conversion of the Spectrum wargame Chaos… or a reasonable chunk of it, at least.

Play Comet Chaos now

If you’re interested in the workings behind it, check out this video from my Oxford Geek Nights presentation to hear about how Comet is like a small child on a car journey, find out how close web developers can get to world domination, and watch a live demonstration going pear-shaped.


Geeks on a train

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

My talk for this weekend’s BarCamp London was Geeks on a Train (and other adventures in network theory). It covered an assortment of neat things to do with networks – both real and virtual – illustrated by Kevin Bacon, Slengpung and the London Underground.

You know the routine by now. I make the slides available, along with the warning that they’ll probably be completely unintelligible to anyone who didn’t see the talk, and then express the vague intention of putting them in more accessible form in future (possibly a screencast or something) which inevitably never happens. Tch, eh? Here’s the link.

Geeks On A Train slides – SXI (OpenOffice) format, 2.8Mb

(Technorati tag that’s presumably useful to someone somewhere: )


Monday, September 4th, 2006

At this weekend’s BarCamp London, I announced a new Javascript library which takes the 3D engine from my Gallions Reach demo and promises to place it in the hands of industrious web developers, hackers and masher-uppers everywhere. The presentation seemed to go down well, so it’s only right that I should get this first release out, as promised. Strictly raw materials right now (and still no real documentation), so be prepared to fill in the gaps…

You shouldn’t have to wait too long for proper documentation, especially in view of the valiant effort Simon has already made. That Willison is a crafty one, as anyone who witnessed him pretending not to be a werewolf will testify. I borrowed his laptop for my talk, and within half an hour of getting it back he’d trawled through the code I’d left on it and more or less written up the complete API documentation – and promptly set about drawing diagrams to explain 3D coordinate transformations. Zero-day w4r3z, anyone?

(technorati fodder: , , )

Extreme Sudoku Solving with Ruby

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

This is a talk I gave at last night’s Ask Later event (formerly known as Techa Kucha) in London. As per the house rules of the night, the format was 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide; in those six-and-two-thirds minutes, I told the tale of my attempt to wangle free booze from the Rupert Murdoch empire with a bit of help from a worldwide puzzle phenomenon, some home-spun OCR algorithms and a most excellent programming language from Japan.

Extreme Sudoku Solving – slides (328K, PDF)

Unfortunately the slides don’t have an awful lot of text on them, so you’ll have to do a lot of the storytelling yourself until I get chance to do a proper write-up…