Day: April 10, 2007

Trying out StepMania

I remember the first time I saw a bunch of kids hanging around a Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) arcade game. It was at the Metreon in San Francisco, and I was just waiting for the movie to start. 

There I am, watching twelve-year-olds jumping like maniacs, realizing that was a variation of dance that combined arcade game qualities with physical exercise. It sounded like a dream combination: you appeal to the kids' competitive nature to make them work out more. And the whole jumping and twisting looked cool, not at all like the stupid exercises to the tune of video games. I remember the dorky treadmill that had a runner in front of you – my, this was to that what Dragon's Lair was to Pong

Now, a while ago I discovered stepmania, a game that for all intents and purposes is a remake of DDR under the GPL. It runs on a bunch of different platforms, so I tried downloading and running the Linux version – what do you know, it worked just fine, and it allowed me to play the dorky themes from the download page.


Running iPodLinux

Call me crazy, call me a fool, just don't call me late for dinner! I just bought a 30GB iPod Video 5.5G for the sole purpose of running iPodLinux and RockBox on it. I am sick of my iPod (Nano), and I am more than interested in creating something that is more user-friendly than the thing I am using. 

iPodLinux is a fairly new project, and it hasn't been successful in porting a lot of stuff. Just the right moment for a geek like me to start working on it – I can contribute a lot of userland experience, and don't have to deal (a lot) with boring hardware internals. Additionally, I get to implement some of the things I always wanted to do – like skip-playing (which allows you to listen to songs more frequently if you listened to them without skipping), mood-playing (recognizing that you enter moods where you want to listen to the same set of songs over and over again). In short, I want to implement intelligent skip recognition. Maybe stuff like if you rewind the same song more than twice, you probably want to put it into infinite loop until you are sick of it and play forward.

There is lots to do in music land – and the companies that run the show don't know how to do that. Probably because they never listen to songs…