Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, December 07, 2006

  "Cat"astrophic RT debugging (part 1)

I've moved the music gear and part of my office into the living room while I repaint. Naturally, my cat now decides that she'd rather sleep on a couple of the upper piano octaves than in a bed.

This is kind of cute for a while. I get used to the occasional trill up the keyboard. The living room is shared space, it's hers as much as mine, I don't see how I can stop her without reducing her area of the house to the laundry room.

Then: One morning she blew her kibbles all over the xv-88 keyboard. I don't really want to keep it covered, so I merely bring out the second level of the keyboard stand and pile stuff on it, and put a phone and other gear in the way of other landing spots. The design of the second layer of the keyboard stand is such so she can't get comfortable on it, can't crawl underneath it well, can't jump that high.

All this really messes up her jumps - there isn't an angle on it where she can jump up from the floor to the keyboard. She tries all sorts of angles of attack, I find new stuff to put in her way - it's kind of sad, actually, seeing her jump, and look exceedingly surprised as she hits something new, scrabbles for a hold, and falls off. Still, my engineer's joy at coming up with an elegant and effective solution increases as her attempts to sleep on top of the piano keyboard cease.

She gets into the piano bench for a while. Cute, even cuddly sometimes, but this is taking shared space too far. The bench is not big enough for the both of us, and we tussle over that for a while. She paws at the keyboard during a big mixdown while I've walked away, so I get a whole messed up track... worse, I find out that she'd done it after I'd edited and automated the gain on the first 5 minutes of the 40 minute long recording....

Did I get mad? no. But I started kicking her off the piano bench any time I caught her on it. And disconnecting the keyboard for mixdowns.

So finally, she moves to sleeping on top of the music rack. This would be fine, except 1) that it sucks hair off of her faster than she can grow it. and 2) her path is now - piano seat, bottom two octaves of the keyboard, scrabble, and jump.

There's something about hearing the bass notes F,F# at 4AM that always gets me up, where a sharp trill on the higher registers I snore right through. Maybe because it's the first two notes of the "Jaws" theme, a movie that I saw at much too young an age.

And 3) she's sleeping where the tangled mess of mixer and cables is going to eventually go.

So I keep working on the latest linux kernels patched for rt, while trying to hunt down bugs I have long thought were in the kernel, but might actually be in userspace.

In the time it took me to get a haircut and do some shopping, Ingo released 3 new rt kernels. He's taken to releasing a yum based installable build, so I can just download and reboot, yea... but I remember:

It's really pleasant to stroke a cat during a long compile.

Thankfully, ardour2 and hydrogen give me some kitty time. Ardour2 in particular eats 400+MB of memory while compiling certain modules....
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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