Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Setting Up My Apple iBook G4

Alright, now I'm not so tired. I've been working on setting up my iBook and I'm very pleased so far. I got a gigabyte of RAM, so now I've got 1.25gb of RAM installed to match it's 1.25Ghz processor. I am still getting used to the keyboard though.

I've done a very little bit of recording using Garageband, using my new microphone and guitar. It's a really nice microphone that my dad bought me for Christmas. I've even got some new monitor headphones that he got me too. I'm using an MBox which is an audio interface that connect through USB and I was having latency issues (delay when recording) with it before but now I think I've got the audio driver all sorted out so that shouldn't be an issue anymore. I'm still waiting for the external hard drive to be sent to the music store where I'm probably buying an amp too. The hard drive is a Glyph 160 GB drive that spins at 7200 RPM, which is faster than the 30 GB hard drive in the iBook. Basically the 7200 RPM Glyph is a recording drive for music (or video if I so wished).

Anyway, I've not got much else going on other than that so...


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Happy happy, joy joy!
I just found a new blogging tool called MacJournal! Oh, and since it's only for Mac, I should tell you I got an Apple iBook also. I plan on using it to write with and also to record music with.

Anyway, I haven't got a whole lot to say right now, mainly because I'm tired so...


Thursday, December 16, 2004

Well, things have been going pretty well for me lately. At least it seems that way. I've been selling some books and I've been working on getting out my new CD. It's going to be a mixed mode CD that will include the Dylan VAIos 2005 program that I built. I'm still working out the track list for the CD and am torn on whether or not to include cover songs on the CD. I may release a CD of cover songs later on instead.

I've been in touch with Dr. Richard Wallace of the A.I. Foundation at and we've been talking about possibly providing either copies of my book or copies of my CD (which includes an ebook version of my book, <CodeBase />).

Anyway, I'll post more in a few days, I promise... (not that anyone is probably reading this blog but still, I will continue to write.



Friday, November 19, 2004

Well, as I read through my previous post, and came to the end of it, I realize I've neglected my self-imposed duties of blogging.

A lot has happened in the last couple months for me. The biggest event for me has been the publication of my book, as a final draft. I'll admit that I had previously published it, also with, but I didn't promote it past distributing a couple pdf copies of the 'first edition'. I doubt that anyone will ever be able to find a copy of this original version. Perhaps in the future, with the 'third edition' of the book, I will include a couple of the elements that I'd decided against publishing in the first 'real' final draft of the book.

A big event that occured with the publication of so far has been the promotion by AIML creator and winner of the 2004 Loebner Prize and ChatterBot Challenge, Dr. Richard S. Wallace on his website, I had talked to him through email several times before and after his third win in the competition.

At any rate, here's a what he posted on the November 2004 main page of :

AIML Novel Published
AIML fan Chris Johnson has written a science fiction novel that uses real-world ALICE and AIML as a starting point. The novel, CodeBase, takes us into a future in which a sentient A. I. has evolved from our own humble origins, thanks to the efforts of an introverted programmer obsessed with a pop star.

Though I slightly disagree with the fact that the main character, Philip, is 'obsessed' with the pop star, Sally Stone, (at least at the beginning) I definitely would agree that there is some obsessive behaviour going on in various parts of the story.

It has been great to feel a sense of acceptance from this plug from Dr. Rich, who to me embodies the soul of the A.I. movement among open source and hobbiest programmers. I'll be joining the site soon and perhaps... well, we'll see what happens in the future.

Anyway, I have yet to actually purchase a copy of my book, but my father bought one of the first 'hard copy' 2nd edition paperbacks of my book and so I've been able to hold it and leaf through it. I really am impressed with the quality of the printing and think it's worth the $20 price tag (and that includes shipping and handling).

I'll be offering the book for sale from my website in pdf format soon as well. I have to figure out the whole PayPal shopping cart and password protected pdf file. Dr. Rich suggested that and I think he may be right that a lot of people who use the internet regularly would be more apt to buy a $6.00 copy of the pdf file than buy a $20.00 hard copy paperback.

One of the other things I'll be doing in the not to distant future is sending out copies of my book to publishers. My thinking is that if I can show them a finished product that perhaps they will get excited and want to release my book at a more reasonable price and perhaps even in a hard back version.

Well, perhaps I'll have some more news soon. That's all for now.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Alright... Well, last night I set about working on the program that I've been building. I added several new things, removing other things and setting up the program so it would be able to be run as bonus content on a mixed-mode CD, basically a music CD with a CD-ROM portion that contains the program, Dylan VAIos 2004. It's still very much a beta program and has earned the right to be called that as there a still many bugs to be worked out. Hopefully I'll finish the program soon but it's starting to look like the entire thing may be pushed back to early 2005, when I feel more comfortable with releasing it as a program that can run from the CD without the need for updates.

Speaking of updates, I spent a couple hours last night helping my father get his computer up to date. It was in desperate need of the updates too. I don't think he'd ever done a windows update but even still, it took way less time to do the updates than expected, though we still have to add a couple more programs like an anti-virus program and Ad-Aware. I'm also going to have him install the .NET Framework 1.1 so that he can run the program I'm building on his computer. Hopefully he will see all the work I've been doing on it.

It just occured to me I have to vote today. One of the propositions up for a vote today is one that is proposing the construction of a new arena in Kansas City. I'd already decided, despite my fathers forceful words that I vote in favor of it, that I was planning on voting for it anyway. It would be nice if the acoustics of the building were taken into consideration this time, unlike was done with the construction of Kemper Arena. I could care less about any basketball or hockey teams why might potentially get from the arena, but am very interested in the musical acts that would possibly play there in the future. Anyway, I'm making sure my vote counts. Too bad no one reads this blog... At least no one that I know of.

Anyway, I'll try to write some more in a few days.


Saturday, July 3, 2004

.NET Undocumented: Whidbey May Miss the Next Coding Revolution: "Text editors are going to go away (for source code, that is)! Don't get me wrong, source code will still be in text files. However, future code editors will parse the code directly from the text file and will be display in a concise, graphical and nicely presented view with each element in the view representing a parse tree node. (NOTE: I now the word graphical is misleading, so I explain it more in this newer post.)"
- from

I found this while surfing today. It's officially July 4th, 2004. I have been using Whidbey Express, Visual C# 2005 Beta for the past few days and am thrilled with the direction that it's going. Only about a month ago did my curiousity in C# peak to the point that I was inspired to go out and get Chris Sell's "Windows Forms Programming in C#" (TODO: Add link). Most of the coding I did on my first app was done through trial and error. Coming from a web only background, I'd never really gotten into programming real programs for Windows, or any platform for that matter. I'd played with other languages and IDEs but couldn't get the hang of it.

I'd been starting to focus on Javascript more when I picked up SharpDevelop, a free C# IDE that does some nice things with .NET 1.1 as the compiling language. Some of the cool features are the fact that it can convert to and from C# and VB.NET. I used the feature once and everything compiled fine.

Now the issue that I first found when I started looking at .NET versus other languages was that you had to had a CLR (Common Language Runtime) on your machine in order to use the programs built with it. However, the promise of CLR and frameworks like .NET, DotGNU and Mono is that you can install one of these frameworks on any major platform.

That said, I predict a slew of custom Operating systems based on the CLR. There may not be a slew but I'd suspect we can expect several more companies to enter the operating system market. Sun is one example of a company that will probably introduce a consumer level OS around the same time that longhorn comes out. Don't count Linux distros out either. IBM and their commercials hyping support of Linux and such factors as free software like Apache, MySQL and PHP, has really garnered a large user base for linux. Apple can be included as a platform that can use a CLR, though I'm not sure which one it uses.

The point is that it doesn't matter what platform it is, the apps that I'm building, will work on machines that have the one of these frameworks. Right now, I'm developing with .NET 1.1 as well as .NET 2.0 Beta. The latter may change in it's capabilities over the next couple years but my app isn't currently so complicated that I won't be able to update it when I need to. I have plenty of time to develop this app as well considering Longhorn, which will use .NET 2.0, won't be out for another two to three years. I suspect that .NET 2.0 will be available for the windows platforms that the beta can be run on.

What I'm still eager to see is sparkle. I've heard it uses Avalon and I suspect it will use vector graphics and tweening to perform animation in programs that are built to use it. I can see the option of using HTML as well as XAML, C#, VB.NET, C++.NET and ASP.NET to build windows forms. The paradigm I see is a blurring of what an application is. The fact that HTML, or I should say DHTML (though I hate that term in describing Dynamic HTML...), is so capable of achieving programmatic fuctions, using server-side as well as client-side scripting, makes it very powerful. Throw in some interoperability between the webpages and the program and you have a Rich Client that can be updated in areas as needed, such as a current "Update Program" link, XML feeds, Up to date help files, etc...

Right now, I'm still playing around to see what I can program and evaluating what I need to program to build the application I want to build. I've got a beta of my first application with a few songs and a copy of the first edition of my book, in pdf format, at my site.