Zyne is now in Debian

Posted:
Tags:  debian music planet-debian pyo synthetizer zyne

Zyne is a modular synthetizer written in Python. Anyone can create and extend its modules using the Pyo library. Zyne's GUI is coded using WXPython and will look nicely in GNU/Linux, Mac and Windows systems. It's written by the same author of Pyo, and together with Cecilia and Soundgrain is part of an amazing set of libre tools for sound synthesis and electronic music composition.

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Zyne loading 6 of its 14 default modules

Zyne package is result of a successful one-day event called MicroDebconf Brasilia 2015, being created during a track about packaging and QA leaded by Eriberto Mota and Antonio Terceiro.

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MuseScore 2.0 is great, try it!

Posted:
Tags:  musescore music planet-debian

A bit of context: two years ago I joined an undergraduate program in electroacoustic music composition at the Université de Montréal. Fortunately the faculty has decided to use mostly free software in the classes. They recently moved from Max/MSP to Pure Data to teach algorithmic composition. OpenMusic has been used for computer assisted composition classes. On acoustics classes, Sonic Visualiser is the recommended tool. For everything related to audio processing and sound synthesis we mainly use Python pyo library and Cecilia, both developed by the professor himself. Other many free softwares are used for building digital musical instruments in the courses: Arduino, SuperCollider, OpenCV, openFrameworks etc.

So far I touched two proprietary softwares for my classes. First it was Reaper, a sequencer which has been recently adopted in replacement of Pro Tools in some grades. Reaper has a less unfair distribution model compared to Pro Tools and despite being a closed piece of software it somewhat looks like a community-oriented project, being developed by a small team of free software enthusiasts. Being an amazing, complete and still lightweight DAW I hope it goes free some day in the future (I've read about this possibility somewhere in a forum that I can't find now). Anyway, after some months playing with Reaper I went back to Ardour. Because it's free, not because it's better (Reapper still seems unbeatable here).

The other was Finale, an alternative to MuseScore for music notation. I used it for three compositions mainly due to its playback capabilities. As a middle-aged music student I don't have the internal ear enough developed to listen orchestral textures, articulations and other details provided by expensive VST stuff. However, I found editing with Finale a pain in the ass. It's so bugged that I thought I were using a sort of alpha version. Basic editing is much more logical and elegant with MuseScore. After all, these first experiences with Finale didn't convince me that such realistic playbacks are adding any value to my music. I suspect that moving back to soundfonts or even composing with no playback at all will probably force me to exercice more critical/analytical listening whenever I need to understand the effects of a specific instrumental gesture and instrument combinations. So, I'm back to MuseScore. Not only because it's free, but also because it's better (at least for my current needs).

MuseScore has allowed me to easily edit music scores in a free operating system, using a small and not so powerful laptop. Unable to donate money to this amazing project I've been happily giving some time to it, by testing new releases, reporting issues, translating to portuguese and making available unofficial Debian packages while the current maintainer prepares the official one, which seems to be coming very soon. If you're a Finale/Sibelius user and don't strictly need that universe of orchestral VSTs samples for your music work, please give MuseScore a try. Have a quick look at its online handbook and in a few minutes you will be able to experience the real pleasure of music scoring using a computer. You can try different soundfonts, including the so nice Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra.

Below is a screenshot of MuseScore 2.0, which will be released very soon. You can download the RC version for your system in the MuseScore website.

/images/mscore2.png

MuseScore 2.0

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Freeing myself from flickr

Posted:
Tags:  flickr flickrbackup planet-debian

A flickr standard account gives you a free as in facebook service (I really wanted to reuse it!!!). I don't know about the pro account, but I don't believe it will give you much respect. Anyway, I realized that my photo albums in flickr are still online. And I'm currently unable to access my photos locally. I needed to download all them, then I decided to give flickrbackup a try. I started coding it a few years ago because at that time there was no free tools available for that. And then I abandoned it, too bad I feel. But for my surprise it worked without issues! And that's all I needed in my Debian box:

$ apt-get install flickrbackup

$ mkdir myflickr

$ flickrbackup -o myflickr/

(this will open a default browser for authentication and will automatically get the API key, then I just need an ENTER to start getting all my albums)

I'm not sure whether there're other free tools (as in freedom) for that, but before paying for a license or trusting an online service for downloading your sets please give flickrbackup a chance :)

I'll probably set a piwigo instance in a vps. But I fear php. So, suggestions on web galleries are very welcome.

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C#2

Posted:
Tags:  c ptbr self
Vai passar... é só uma frase.
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Something's happening

Posted:
Tags:  documentary poitras snowden

...trying to understand the meaning on citizenfour getting the oscar for best documentary 2014.

WOW.

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C#1

Posted:
Tags:  c einstein ptbr
Há também outro direito humano que raramente é mencionado, mas que parece destinado a ser muito importante: o direito ou o dever, que é o do indivíduo não cooperar em atividades que considere errôneas ou perniciosas.

-- Albert Einstein

(em algum lugar no livro "Alabardas, Alabardas, Espingardas, Espingardas" de José Saramago)

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Raspberry Pi Foundation moving away from its educational mission?

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Tags:  microsoft planet-debian raspberrypi

From the news:

"...we want to make Raspberry Pi more open over time, not less."

Right.

"For the last six months we’ve been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2"

Hmmm...

From a comment:

I’m sad to see Windows 10 as a “selling point” though. This community should not be supporting restrictive proprietary software… The Pi is about tinkering and making things while Microsoft is about marketing and spying.

Right.

From an answer:

"But I suggest you rethink your comments about MS, spying is going a bit far, don’t you think?"

Wrong.

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A few excerpts from The Invisible Committe's latest article

Posted:
Tags:  31C3 FuckoffGoogle invisiblecommittee planet-debian

Just sharing some points from "2. War against all things smart!" and "4. Techniques against Technology" by The Invisible Committee's "Fuck off Google" article. You may want to get the "Fuck off Google" pdf and watch that recent talk at 31C3.

"...predicts The New Digital Age, “there will be people who resist adopting and using technology, people who want nothing to do with virtual profiles, online data systems or smart phones. Yet a government might suspect that people who opt out completely have something to hide and thus are more likely to break laws, and as a counterterrorism measure, that government will build the kind of ‘hidden people’ registry we described earlier. If you don’t have any registered social-networking profiles or mobile subscriptions, and on-line references to you are unusually hard to find, you might be considered a candidate for such a registry. You might also be subjected to a strict set of new regulations that includes rigorous airport screening or even travel restrictions.”"

I've been introduced to following observations about 5 years ago when reading "The Immaterial" by André Gorz. Now The Invisible Committee makes that even clearer in a very few words:

"Technophilia and technophobia form a diabolical pair joined together by a central untruth: that such a thing as the technical exists. [...] Techniques can’t be reduced to a collection of equivalent instruments any one of which Man, that generic being, could take up and use without his essence being affected."

"[...] In this sense capitalism is essentially technological; it is the profitable organization of the most productive techniques into a system. Its cardinal figure is not the economist but the engineer. The engineer is the specialist in techniques and thus the chief expropriator of them, one who doesn’t let himself be affected by any of them, and spreads his own absence from the world every where he can. He’s a sad and servile figure. The solidarity between capitalism and socialism is confirmed there: in the cult of the engineer. It was engineers who drew up most of the models of the neoclassical economy like pieces of contemporary trading software."

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Things to celebrate

Posted:
Tags:  debian life planet-debian

Turning 35 today, then I get the great news that the person whom I share my dreams with has just become a Debian member! Isn't beautiful? Thanks Tássia, thanks Debian! I should also thank friends who make an ideal ambience for tonight's fun.

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A few words on the recent Brazilian elections

Posted:
Tags:  2014 brazil elections planet-debian

The Brazilian presidential election was exceedingly intense this year. Among many inferences that we can make by following the news and investigating data from the voting results I'd like to share this one, which in my opinion reflects quite well the vote preferences in the country.

First, let me introduce you "Belágua", a small town located in the Northeast region of Brazil. It has 6,524 habitants, 3 buses and 2 hospitals. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the income per person in Belágua is $146 BRL (or U$59) per month. Believe it or not, it used to be much less. Actually, the city reported in 2013 the highest economic jump in the country, rising more than a thousand positions in the ranking of GDP per capita (from position 4,991 to 3,849). This recent growth was consequence of the social welfare program of the Brazilian government, which also boosted artisanal and manioc flour production. This federal assistance is called "Bolsa família", which benefits 1.814 families in Belágua.

"Bolsa Família currently gives families with per-capita monthly income below $140 BRL (poverty line, ~$56 USD) a monthly stipend of $32 BRL (~$13 USD) per vaccinated child (< 16 years old) attending school (up to 5), and $38 BRL (~$15 USD) per youth (16 or 17 years old) attending school (up to 2). Furthermore, to families whose per-capita monthly income below $70 BRL (extreme poverty line, ~$28 USD), the program gives the Basic Benefit $70 BRL per month."

(from Wikipedia)

Contrary to what many of my middle-class friends believe, and as you can calculate yourself, this little amount of money does not offer anybody a luxury life. It does not make anybody stopping working, nor stopping looking for paid job (but yes, it makes people to start saying NO to forced labor, which is amazing, right?).

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Belágua, where Dilma got 93.93% of votes (photo by Clarissa Carramilo / from G1)

Also, Belágua has no much physicians around because doctors in Brazil usually wouldn't live in a such city. But now Belágua population can be treated by foreign doctors imported by the recently launched program "Mais Médicos" (More Physicians for Brazil), which hosts two Cuban doctors 15km away. Finally, Belágua people have light, due to the "Luz para Todos" ("Light for All") program.

It's not surprising that Belágua has re-elected the party which has motivated these changes. For 2014 presidential election, Belágua people gave 3.558 votes (93.93%) to Dilma Rousseff (candidate of the current government, from a left-ish party), against 230 (6,07%) to Aécio Neves (from the right coalition), being the city with the largest amount of votes for Dilma, proportionally, followed by "Serrano do Maranhão" (93,75%), which is located in the same region.

On the other hand, the city which gave, proportionally, the largest amount of votes for Aécio Neves has a population of 5,564,635 habitants, where most of citizens are not Brazilians, not yet. Miami, located in US, was the city where Brazilian residents would elect Aécio by 7,225 votes (91,79%), against 646 (8,21%) for Dilma, followed by Atlanta/US (89,47%) and Houston/US (89,22%).

/images/miami.jpg

Miami, where 91,79% of Brazilians voted Aécio (photo by Marc Averette / from Wikipedia)

It's so clear that we do what people call "selfish vote". In general, we don't care about which party has better proposals for the society as whole. Rich people will go against any serious social equality proposal, which will necessarily be followed by higher taxes on their fortunes. As middle class citizens, we care about dollar rates, because we want to get cheaper iStuff from Miami. We're also very upset by the fact that new apartments are being built without that small room in the back, which has been used to accommodate a subservient housemaid who, until last year was not even legally considered a worker.

Those people from Belágua, who used to live in extreme poverty for decades, serving as slaves, they mostly care about having something to eat. Now they eat, so they can think better, they can work, they can sell what they produce in their little yard. And like middle-class and rich citizens, they will give their vote in exchange of what they think is better for them. The big difference here is, if we ask Belágua people why they voted for Dilma, with no embarrassment they will make it very clear, that's because her government has provided them lots of benefits. Asking the same question for most Brazilians in Miami, Atlant, Houston or São Paulo, you'll get not only a bunch of allegedly moral/altruistic reasons, but they will also try to delegitimize in many ways the votes from those marginalized citizens. You'll never get the real reasons from them. They will even try to convince you that whoever receives federal assistance should automatically lose right to vote. Such a statement may seem ridiculous, however it has been very present recently. Actually, such hate speech is happening right now. While I'm writing this post about 2500 people are protesting in São Paulo streets, asking for an immediate military coup because they don't agree with the elections result. These people keep pushing the limits of ridiculousness.

Dilma won with 51.64% of valid votes, a very tight result. The country is clearly divided, mostly by hate, unfortunately.

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