Do It, Before You Don't 2013-01-04

Someone I greatly respect used to tell me to ask myself a question, when I might be talking myself out of sitting down and meditating: "If not now, when?"

I have been inconsistent about meditation since college upended my meditation routine, but this mantra has stuck with me. (One of the many deep impressions made on me by regular engagement with Zen meditation.)

It's an important thing to ask ourselves, and it can help put our reluctance to do something in perspective: If not now, when?

I still ask myself this daily, regarding various things. I've started asking myself this question when I might neglect to clean up the code I've just written. Yet sometimes it seems a little to profound when I try to trick myself into thinking some task is too mundane or trivial to concern myself with.

So I've started telling myself: Do it, before you don't. Try telling yourself this next time you almost don't do something. It's been working well for me.

(Not that the mundane and profound are exactly separate. But that's another can of worms.)

Building Borderlands Granular on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 2012-10-23

What Borderlands is

Borderlands is a granular synth by Chris Carlson. It has a really, really slick interface. Chris has released the most recent version of Borderlands for iPad and it looks absolutely incredible. Unfortunately, not all of us have an iPad. But fortunately, Chris released the source a while back.

Get Borderlands here. You can also get my monkeypatch of it, which changes the format for inputting the pitch parameter, here.

Below are instructions on how to build Borderlands from source on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. This is the most complicated source build I've had to do yet, and more or less may be required for your environment. (I built this on a newish Samsung laptop.) Regardless I think that this should help most Ubuntu 12 users get this up and running.

Prepare to make Borderlands

There are various dependencies that we need to install before Borderlands will build or run properly.

Download the source and unzip it

Open a terminal then enter these two commands. (Keyboard shortcut for opening a terminal: Ctrl + Alt + T.)

unzip Borderlands*

If you've never used make before

If you've never used make to build something from source before, you may need to install build-essentials.

sudo apt-get install build-essential # sorry for the typo that was here before!

Download and build libsndfile (from the Borderlands README)

Again, enter these commands. You can enter them one by one or copy and paste the whole block.

# get it
# untar it
tar -zxvf libsndfile*
# change into that directory
cd libsndfile*
# configure, make, and install it
sudo ./configure && sudo make && sudo make install
# change back your home directory
cd ~