iPod Shuffle box headphone amp

Picture of Amplifier

Sometime after Make magazine Volume 4 came out, I built the circuit board for a CMoy headphone amplifier. I tried to fit the amp in an altoids tin as the article suggested, but with the larger capacitors I used it was just a little too big. I put the completed board aside for a while, until a friend bought an iPod shuffle. The clear plastic box the iPod came in proved to have plenty of room for the CMoy. I just wish I’d been a little more organized with the wiring.

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Define a transparent dream

Last night I dreamed that I was lost in a large complex that was some strange amalgamation of a huge hospital and an electronics store. The most memorable image from this dream was an underground hallway with a beautiful terrazzo floor. Although I don’t remember most of my dreams, there are some recurring themes in the ones I can recall:

  1. Architecture – The interior layout of a building is important in many of my dreams. Often, I find myslef on a quest to reach the “coolest” part of the building. The layout of the building(s) often changes over the course of the dream. At the beginning of one dream my parents’ house was in its normal configuration, by the end it had sprouted towers and secret passages.
  2. Confusion – A feeling of being “dropped” into the middle of a situation with no knowledge of what led up to it. I also often have the feeling that I’m supposed to be doing something, but can’t do it because I don’t know what it is.
  3. Physical/Mental Limitation – Frequently in my dreams I am subject to some sort of disability that prevents me from functioning properly. In some dreams my vision is so fuzzy that I am essentially blind. In many (most?), I am unable to walk properly (e.g. I walk stooped over, or very slowly, or fall down frequently). Sometimes I’m just not able to think.

I’m sure the psychoanalysts could have a field day with this information (a Freudian Field Day, hehehe).

SoftSqueeze on an Xbox

I’ve been working on archiving all of my CDs in FLAC format and making them available on the network at the house via Slimserver. Since I have an Xbox hooked up to the stereo system in the living room, it would be nice to use that to stream music, rather than dropping $250 on a squeezebox. I found SoftSqueeze, a software implementation of the squeezebox (it even emulates the nifty VFD), written in Java. Here’s how I got it running on the Xbox:

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Django + Dreamhost

I finally got django up and running on my dreamhost account using these instructions. While I didn’t have as much trouble as some people, I did have a few problems. Dreamhost is an awesome hosting provider, but they may not be the best option if you really want to do stuff with django. I’ll write more about what i’m doing with django once I get my application going.

Pycon Day 2

State of the Python Universe – Guido van Rossum

Python source repository has been moved from Sourceforge CVS to svn on svn.python.org. Buildbot checks out and builds code after each checkin, keeps code quality high by finding broken code fast. New python.org site goes live next Sunday. 2.5 release around 09/30/06.

What’s new in 2.5:

  • absolute/relative import – applies to modules that are in a package, resolves ambiguities.
  • Conditional expressions – like C ?: operator. Guido’s choice: expr1 if cond else expr2.
  • try/except/finally unification
  • yield inside try in a generator is allowed
  • with statement – Context management, easy syntax for try/finally mutex code
  • Exception enhancements
    • All exceptions will be new-style classes
    • BaseException class which will be the base class of all exceptions
    • Maybe eventually get rid of except: syntax
  • __index__ to convert classes that represent exact ints to a python int. Allows these classes to be used as slice indices.
  • AST-based compiler – new bytecode compiler integrated into HEAD
  • ssize_t – Strings greater than 2Gb work on 64-bit platforms.
  • python -m
    . – runs package.module as __main__
  • Lots of new stuff in 2.5 standard library
  • defaultdict – {key:[]}, map one key to many values

wxPython BOF session

About 50 people showed up. Cool!

Internationalization in Chandler

i18n goes beyond string translation. Python doesn’t have internationalization built in. Used SWIG to wrap icu. All text data in unicode. All buttons, exceptions, etc. go through translation manager.


This talk was packed. It was in one of the smaller rooms, and about half the conference showed up for it. Because of the general craziness in the room, I wasn’t really able to follow this talk.
Lightning talk notes


  • Tsearch2 – Postgress full text search
  • Routes – URL mapping


  • Cool, but it’ll definitely make the security guys cringe.