Open Source: Sigmatizm, A Virtual Additive Synthesizer

Back in 2012 I wrote the most complex audio application I had ever written. It’s called Sigmatizm, and is a standalone additive synthesizer. Additive synthesis works by adding together sine waves of different frequencies (harmonics) to create a more complex sound. This particular application adds up to 128 sine waves together in real-time, while transitioning from […]

Open Source: Proxima Controller, a Virtual MIDI Controller

Back in 2008 I created an app called Proxima Controller. It’s a virtual MIDI controller that runs on Windows, OSX, and Linux. I wanted an easy way to control external MIDI hardware (synthesizers, etc.) from my PC and there wasn’t an app that I liked available. It started out as a Windows-only app. A few […]

Spells and Sample Zones Added to ModernMUD

I wasn’t sure whether I’d ever end up working on the ModernMUD project again. Turns out that the answer is yes. Today I added four sample zones, a bunch of spells, and a sample help file to the open source project on GitHub. It’s available here:

Trigram Generator for Windows and Linux

A long time ago I wrote a free Windows app called the “ZC Trigram Generator”. It was a simple app to generate plausible-sounding words based on a set of input words. It had a steady trickle of downloads for around 8 years or so, about 1500 downloads per year. Two years ago I open-sourced it […]

Guitar Tuner and Bass Tuner for Windows

Guitar Tuner and Bass Tuner are the first desktop Windows apps that I wrote. I don’t recall how long ago, but it was certainly more than a decade. They’re super-simple apps that let you sound notes to tune your guitar or bass to. They only support standard tuning and use the default MIDI device for […]

Bad Job Descriptions Waste Everyone’s Time

Most companies hiring software engineers want you to know a few specific languages and/or technologies. It makes sense. The more you know about their existing infrastructure, the faster you’ll be able to contribute effectively. When those companies completely fail to include any of those desires in a job listing, it wastes everyone’s time. They get […]

Java: Overcoming A Technology Prejudice

For a very long time I’ve been anti-Java. It started when I was a PC technician in the late 1990’s. The Java Runtime was always a nuisance to maintain and the apps were terrible memory hogs with bad user interfaces. My view of Java didn’t improve as I learned and worked in C++ and then […]

FreeWaveSamples: DMCA Response Period Expired, Samples Restored

This is an update to a previous post about a DMCA request frivolously filed by Roland Corporation against I sent a DMCA counter-notice to my ISP, Linode, and they forwarded it to Roland. 14 days (10 business days passed) and Roland did not respond. Yesterday Linode contacted me to let me know I was […]

Karaoke and Cold Lazarus by Dennis Potter

I recently watched a pair of British Sci-Fi dramas by Dennis Potter filmed in 1996. Over the years I’ve seen references to Cold Lazarus here and there (including as the title of a Stargate episode) and decided to check it out. It’s the second part of a pair, the first being Karaoke. Apparently they’re available […]

Open Sourced: SpaceTheremin, a Virtual Theremin

Back in 2007 I wrote an application called SpaceTheremin. It is a simple app that lets you use your mouse to control a virtual theremin by moving it over a beautiful public domain image from the Hubble Telescope to control pitch and volume. Over the years I also released versions for Linux, webOS, and OSX (via […]

Open Sourced: RoboBlather, a Text to Speech Application for Windows

Back in 2008 I released the first version of a simple text-to-speech program for Windows called RoboBlather. Over the years it has enjoyed some popularity among a small niche of users due primarily to its uncomplicated interface. Today I finished open-sourcing it under the MIT license. If you’re interested, it’s available here on GitHub. You […]

Thanks Again, Capitalism

Two days ago I started a new job doing DevOps at a large public company. I was really excited about it because they were doing interesting things combining technology I know well – Python, Django, C#, PostgreSQL, and C in a Linux environment on AWS managed using Salt Stack. They were also using some interesting […]

My History As A Musician

Like many Americans, I was exposed to the recorder in grade school. I didn’t much care for it, and the terrible traditional public domain songs we played like Hot Cross Buns made me not really care for music. Later, in middle school, there was a choir class. At least one mandatory semester. Didn’t like that […]

Roland: Wrong But Persistent

This is an update to the unsubstantiated legal threat I received from Roland a few weeks ago. My ISP, Linode, was reviewing the situation and still hadn’t come to a decision (I suspect they wrote to the email address of the sender and failed to receive a reply, as I did). However, today they received […]

Free Wave Samples Is in Danger

Ten years ago I created because there was a shortage of free high-quality samples online. Specifically, the type of samples that would be useful for making music with samplers and trackers. I recorded sounds from my large collection of synthesizers (and some other instruments), a mix of preset patches and custom patches that I’ve […]

Having a Career Again

For the last five years, since moving to Portland, I’ve been obsessed with building a viable startup. During that time, I was either working on my own startup as a founder (or cofounder), or working a regular job just long enough to get the money to try again with another startup. None of those four […]

Old Basternae Blog Posts Imported

I ran a blog for about seven years at It was almost entirely about Basternae MUD and the evolution of the ModernMUD codebase, but also included a lot of general programming-related entries. I’ve imported all of the previous posts from that blog for the sake of preserving history, though many of them will no […]

Quora Answer: How would you find the websites to build a search index from scratch?

I originally wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora. It depends on the scale. If you just want to experiment with web crawling and build a basic search index, it’s common to start with the Alexa top million websites, which can be downloaded in a CSV file via S3 at: The top […]