Andrew's blog

Music Composition with Reason

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I recently upgraded from Reason 4 to Reason 6 and had a bit of time over Christmas for some remixing and further experiments with PropellerHead Reason. Okay, I know what you are thinking, but I do have history here as I used to have a great MIDI setup in the late 80s and early 90s when I was a student. I've had Reason 4 for a while, but never the time to properly finish a piece before. They're not everyone's cup of tea, but if you are interested in a little electronic music...

3D on the Web - Back to Processing...

Finally got some time to play with Processing again. It's been a hugely busy year with work and I have literally had no time to do any of my own stuff - you can see it's more than a year since my last post on this site. But, like many people in the UK, I took vacation time either side of Easter to take advantage of the Royal Wedding and May Day bank holidays. This gave me a bit of breathing space to look at WebGL and basic app development on iPad and Android, something I'd been looking forward to for a while. However, I always keep coming back to Processing.

Workshop: ACADIA 2010

I will be presenting another workshop at the ACADIA 2010 conference in New York on the 18th of October 2010, to be held at the Cooper Union. The aim of this workshop is further explore performative and generative design using Autodesk Ecotect Analysis, Green Building Studio and Revit.

Interactive 3D in a Web Page

This page discusses the results of my experiments with Processing over the Christmas break. What is interesting about Processing is that it allows you to create fully interactive 3D applets embedded in a standard web page on any platform. For visualising and playing around with complex concepts, this offers something far more exciting than even Adobe Flash.

Workshop: Mastering Performative Design with Ecotect

I will be presenting a research workshop at the ACADIA 2009 conference in Chicago on the 20th-21st of October 2009, to be held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). The aim of this workshop is explore the boundaries of generative and performative design using Autodesk Ecotect Analysis, Green Building Studio and Revit.

Master Class: BIM & Building Performance Analysis

I will be presenting a master class at the Design Modelling Symposium in Berlin on the 5th-8th of October, 2009 at the Universität der Künste. This will cover the use of BIM data for a range of different types of performance analysis and the best ways to convert and transfer what you need.

Stung by Drupal's Filter Caching, Again

When will I ever learn? I just lost another few hours of my life because - again - I didn't properly understand Drupal's filter cache system.

Hacking the 'Read more' Link in Drupal

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When displaying a list of node teasers, Drupal includes a 'Read more' item within a list of links at the bottom of each node. Other items in this list include links for adding comments, the number of page reads and other node-specific actions. For users not familiar with Drupal, this link can be easily missed, making it not particularly obvious that there is more information available.

Embedding Java Applets in a Web Page

I have recently been experimenting with dynamically embedding Java applets within pages served by content management systems (CMS). As the <applet> and <embed> tags are depreciated and not XHTML standard compliant or supported by all browsers, that just leaves the <object> tag. This is fine, but even with this there are some serious inconsistencies between browser implementations - especially the Internet Explorer and the Mozilla/Gecko engines. This example shows how this can be solved fairly easily with some PHP in Drupal.

Browser Detection Methods

Whilst there may be many reasons for wanting to know which browser your web page is being viewed within, the main one I find is needing to tweak some CSS or embedded applet code to accommodate certain rendering inconsistencies. At first glance, this seems pretty easy with dynamically-generated pages as most server-side programming or scripting languages provide a way of doing this as the page is being assembled for delivery. However, for both static web pages and content that is likely to be cached by a content management system (CMS) it isn't so easy. This article therefore considers a range of available browser detection methods.

BS2009 Workshop: BIM & Building Performance Analysis

I will be presenting a 1-day workshop at the Building Simulation 2009 in Glasgow on Friday the 31st of July, 2009. This will cover the use of BIM data for a range of different types of performance analysis and the best ways to convert and transfer what you need.

Universities Starving the Web of Content

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Okay, so its a provocative title, but something I believe is really starting to happen. With the increasing use of online learning systems such as Blackboard, WebCT, and Moodle within Universities, much of the content they are now producing is being locked behind password protected student login systems. This applies to both lecture material and student work/projects, effectively starving the web of what was once one of the most fertile sources of new material.

I'm not suggesting that this is in any way intentional - but it is an important incidental effect.

How Do People Deal With Their Email Load ?

One of my resolutions this year is to get on top of my emails as I know I'm fast developing a reputation for being uncontactable. If you are bothering to even read this blog then chances are at some stage you have been a victim - suffering either a complete lack of response or one well beyond that 3 day limit most people consider acceptable. For this I sincerely apologise. It is a priority problem and I have been working on and studying it for the last few months now. However, its just gone February and I already have 147 unanswered items in my inbox.

My question is this - how do other people deal with their email load ?