ALAN GIBSON

It's the job that's never started as takes longest to finish.

PRS S2 Singlecut

New Guitar Day!

Messing about with my new PRS S2 Singlecut, recording into GarageBand via Yamaha THR10 and combining with video from Canon EOS100D using iMovie.

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby!

TL;DR This isn’t a post about The Kaiser Chiefs or even music in general – it’s actually a post about using Ruby as a scripting language, specifically for processing CSV files in bulk.

I wouldn’t call myself a Ruby programmer. I’d like to, but the reality is that Ruby is a language I use for side projects – mainly small Rails applications. But I’ve long been conscious that it’s also a pretty handy scripting tool to hang from your belt and recently I found myself using it in that manner.

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Project statistics with git, awk & excel

I found myself wanting to get a picture of the history of a project at work yesterday – just general stuff like getting a feel for the growth of the codebase over time, the commit patterns of the developers during key phases etc, etc. I knew I could get a lot of information out of Git, but I’d never really done it before. Cue one late night hackathon!

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Writing a church sign-in application with WPF

Two Sundays out of every five I provide technical support for the children’s ministry team at our church, setting up and looking after the laptops and label printers in the sign-in area. The church uses a third party, on-line application for this and when everything is running smoothly it’s a great solution. But sometimes we have problems with our internet access and then we have to revert to a paper-based process. If our church was small that wouldn’t be a big deal, but we’ve reached the kind of numbers where handwriting labels is really not OK any more – for example on Easter Sunday we signed in almost 400 under elevens across the two morning services, that’s 80 more than the same Sunday last year! So I decided we need an offline system that does just enough to keep the queues moving, and our fantastic volunteers smiling, when we need to resort to “Plan B”.

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Recording music with the Yamaha THR10

A few years ago I tried to get into home music recording. I bought an audio interface and established a basic set-up using Ableton Live and some other packages, but I just found myself constantly fiddling with the guitar sounds in the software without ever really finding tones that sounded authentic. That plus the slight latency issues I was experiencing with hearing what I was playing a fraction of a second late just frustrated me and, in the end, I gave up.

When we moved house last year I decided to buy a digital practice amp so I could play guitar a bit more without using my (small but still fairly loud) valve amp. After looking around a bit I opted for the Yamaha THR10.

As well as being a pretty decent sounding practice amp, the THR10 also acts as an audio interface for the guitar, and I finally got around to trying it out in the last week or so. Using the THR10 itself is pretty straightforward, but it came bundled with the Cubase LE AI Elements 6 DAW and I have to say it’s not at all easy for a newbie like me. But I persevered and managed to record a very short snippet of music which I’ve uploaded to SoundCloud and linked here.

If you feel like commenting, that’s fine – but please be gentle … it’s my first attempt!

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