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2018/04/28 Trance Family SF 8 at Midway, SF
π 2018-04-28 01:01 in Clubbing
It's already been a year since the great TFSF 7 party last year, I was definitely looking forward to this new one in an even bigger venue.

I got to try my new shirt, I had spent weeks working on:



found a friend :)
found a friend :)

The outdoor patio was nice, and the psytrance wasn't bad either :)



Khromata did a nice set, quite enjoyable
Khromata did a nice set, quite enjoyable


Other inside pictures:





The main room sadly was way too loud most of the time, even with earplugs, kind of a bummer. At times, it was also way too smoky. At times, it was not possible to take any decent pictures when it was barely possible to see the stage due to smoke. On the flipside, that allowed me to spend more time in the Trance Classics room, which worked out totally fine :)






did I say too smoky?
did I say too smoky?


Other rooms:




I spent most of my time in the Trance Classics room. It was smaller, but it was definitely the best music for me :)


David did great work with the video visuals
David did great work with the video visuals





then, my friend DJ Blurr took over
then, my friend DJ Blurr took over





Taj was last, spinning vinyl
Taj was last, spinning vinyl

I definitely had a great night. The venue was nice, the decors were also good, and the choices of DJs and music were great. Thank you!

Quick sample/summary video:

And DJ Blurr's entire set:

Oh, and if you're curious, an early demo of my new shirt prototype, which I got to try for the first time that night (still work in progress):

See more images for Trance Family SF 8 at Midway, SF
2018/04/23 FastLED::NeoMatrix library
π 2018-04-23 01:01 in Arduino
I've been a fan of Neopixels and Adafruit's Neomatrix library since last year. Why is Neomatrix special? It allows you to create Neopixel displays and treat them like a panel display on which you can apply Adafruit::GFX primitives.

The problem is that https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_NeoMatrix only supports the https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_Neopixel backend which in turn only supports neopixels, and only in a serialized fashion. Serialized means that if you have 1024 pixels (32x32 matrix), it takes about 35 to 40ms to send a single frame, which means you can only update at a 25fps rate, which is not that good.

https://github.com/FastLED/FastLED fixes this by offering support for a lot of different kinds of LEDs, but also for offering parallel output on multiple MCUs, allowing you to get up to 16x faster updates by segmenting the strip to update sequentially. It also offers much nicer primitives like automatic fading, and the ability to have multiple independent strips of different lengths that can display different patterns.

Neomatrix is aweseome since it offers access to the GFX library primitives (circles, lines, rectangles, and fonts), but since it didn't work with a FastLED backend, I ported it to FastLED.

You can get the code here: https://github.com/marcmerlin/FastLED_NeoMatrix
You can also see my NeoMatrix Shirt on this page


Hello world
Hello world

Thanks to Adafruit::GFX, it's easy to display fonts and bitmaps
Thanks to Adafruit::GFX, it's easy to display fonts and bitmaps

32x32 is slightly better to display bitmaps
32x32 is slightly better to display bitmaps


This will be the display on my shirt
This will be the display on my shirt

GFX allows drawing lines, circles and all
GFX allows drawing lines, circles and all

Fonts can be of any size
Fonts can be of any size

See more images for FastLED::NeoMatrix library
2018/04/17 Private BBR Track Day at Thunderhill
π 2018-04-17 01:01 in Cars
Rob setup a few track days for his customers at Thunderhill.

Luckily the other folks hired a pilatus PC12, which I was able to join instead of flying my own butt as usual. It didn't suck :)





Once at the track, few people, lots of track :)







Sadly my car apparently has a wire harnest loose somewhere, causing some errors when I was driving. We tried multiple places, but haven't quite found which one is causing issues yet.


Nonetheless, we got it driveable and I was able to get a 1:48 lap before running out of talent and tire grip (not sure which one came first :) ). The car can go faster, but that's the best I could do that day. I guess I still have a bit of room to improve :)

Thanks to Rob for setting this up.

2018/04/15 Jean Michel Jarre @ San Jose City National Civic Theatre
π 2018-04-15 01:01 in Clubbing
Like I was saying in my previous post, I've been a fan of Jean Michel Jarre since the 1980's when I was a teenager. Along with Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre is one of the founders of Electronic Music. The two of them were popular before anyone else was even around doing any EDM.

Well, after never having managed to see JMJ live in all these years I was listening to his music in France, I now get to see him twice in less than a year. His last show was less than a year ago at the Berkeley Greek Theatre. It feels so weird to see him twice in such a short time when I had never seen him in the last 30 years before that.

A few pictures:














great show, fun to see it again
great show, fun to see it again

2018/04/12 Late Season Quick Powder Day at Sugarbowl
π 2018-04-12 01:01 in Snow
This year was not the best snow year in Tahoe, it only got good in March, making for a short season. After that, we got warm weather and a lot of melting.
And out of nowhere, a cold front came. Unfortunately, the initially promised 12 inches for sugarbowl became a mere 5 inches by the time we arrived, so that was a bit of a let down, but eh, it was still snow :)
This wasn't quite enough to cover the ice underneath and wind blown locations were sheer ice given that the new snow was actually cold and light.

I hadn't been to Sugarbowl in over 10 years, so it was nice to go back and give it a shot. A big thanks to Marius who was a trooper and drove us there and back when I was clearly not awake.









By the end of day, clouds came in and it was starting to ice up a bit, so we had enough and went back.

2018/04/04 First Droid and Friends of the Year at Thunderhill
π 2018-04-04 01:01 in Cars
It was early in the season, but we got lucky enough with the weather. I however was rusty for sure, and apparently managed to mismanage the tires on my first session, and after that I never really got good times due to limited traction from the tires by the time I was making fewer mistakes and getting faster.






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