Oct 242009
Food Stuff

For those lucky ones living in Japan and liking sweets (I count me double lucky in this case), here an interesting blog to read.

For those able to read German, here here a web page to read about how companies use basically false advertising. Not breaking any laws, but clearly misleading. Examples:  Philadephia Cream Cheese with Tomato and Pesto. Lots of pictures of tomatoes on the package. However it contains a full 0.4% dried tomatos. And Basil-processed-cheese-paste, no pesto. Or Bertolli Pesto Verde, which is supposed to be made from Basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine seeds, garlic and salt. All those are in there, but in small amounts (in case of olive oil and pine seeds 2-2.5%). A traditional recipe I found contains 50g pine seeds, 100g cheese, 180ml olive oil, and basil leaves and salt. The one from Bertolli contains cheaper substitutes: plain plant oil and cashew nuts. Lactic acid is added to make it possible to add no further preservatives, thus stating “without preservatives” as lactic acid does not count in a legal sense as such. Fun and educational to read about how marketing and advertising exaggerate and leave out unpopular facts.

Oct 192009
Voice Synthesizer Vocaloid2

Stuff I’ve never seen (or in this case: heard) before. Hatsune Miku  (初音ミク), which is actually a voice synthesizer software which can sing. And with another voice of Megurine Luka. And more. And different. And here an original video from Loituma:  and here acapella.

That song is now stuck in my head for a while…

And here something different: “Die Kleine Fuge in G-Minor” from J.S. Bach: Hatsune Miku singing and more traditional for comparison.

Squarely fits into “odd but fun” juts like this.

Kleine Fuge in G-Minor (J.S. Bach)

Oct 162009
SH906i and Music

Found here: how to convert music files for SH906i (and similar phones).
Put those MMFxxxx.M4A files into private/docomo/mmfile/mud001/
You can create more mudxxx directories.


cd $1
ls|while read f
  echo Encoding: $f
  #len=`expr length $f`
  #len=`expr $len - 4`
  #ren=`expr substr $f 1 $len`

  # 名前をつけるMMF0001〜
  i=`expr $i + 1`
  name=`printf %04d $i`

  lame --decode $f $name.wav
  faac -w $name.wav
  rm $name.wav
  echo Encoded: $name.m4a

To play on the phone, go to databox/music/i-mode/mud001.
As it is, it works, but you ‘fly blind’ unless you remember what number is what song. But in this state it’s good enough to play music and thus it saves me to buy a separate music player.

PS: I found out that the limit is 400 songs per directory.

Oct 112009
Roland RPM-5 and its Power Supply

Roland has a nifty little thing named “RMP-5”. It’s called a ‘rhythm trainer’ and I like it a lot. It’s something different from the usual stuff I do. And it’s fun.

Less fun is the power supply which is completely missing in the box. While you can use a (supplied) 9V battery, the unit draws about 30mA which lasts only about 6h. The RPM-5 can be powered by a 9V DC power supply, but the one from Roland is kind’a expensive compared with what’s available (e.g.) here.

So of course I looked at the power supply plug at the RPM-5 and it looked like a plain vanilla 5.5mm barrel jack. So I went out, bought a 9V DC unit, connected it, and…nothing happened.

Roland thought it’s more fun to change the polarity. Instead of minus being outside (and thus +9V inside) as usual, they swapped that.

Now the good news is, that the RPM-5 does not break if you try to plug in a ‘wrong’ PSU. It just does not turn on.

The fix is to swap the cables and thus polarity. Et voila, works as expected.