Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Audacity: Can I remove the vocals from a recording to make a Karaoke track?

Today I was asked to remove the voice from a song (for a kid's Christmas event). I already knew that it is simply impossible to achieve in a general-purpose tool - it depends on the frequency arrangements of the voice parts of the song. However, I found a little program (I've used before) called Audacity that is able to help us with this task. the authors have even written a small page with the necessary steps for a specific (albeit common) case:

  1. Import your stereo file into Audacity.
  2. Open the track menu (click the arrow next to the track title), and choose “Split Stereo Track.”
  3. Select the lower track (the right channel) by clicking it in the area around the mute/solo buttons.
  4. Choose “Invert” from the Effects menu. 5. Using the track menus, change each track to “Mono.”

[See the full article in Audacity: Can I remove the vocals from a recording to make a Karaoke track?]

Friday, November 23, 2007

UserFriendly Strip

It's always fun when Emacs shows itself in the comics: User Friendly

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mac trackpad tap - a click!

I'm surprised I didn't see this before! Never going back...

Do you use the trackpad on your Mac laptop for clicking (via the Trackpad Gestures section of the Trackpad tab in the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel)? I do, and for me, it’s one of those things that quickly becomes natural [From Macworld: Mac OS X Hints: Mac OS X Hints Weblog]

Friday, August 31, 2007

Welcome to Tassilo Horn's Wiki: doc-view.el

This is probably a good alternative to my last post about Skim. but right now I'm so into Skim that I won't break my workflow routine, at least for another 3 weeks - after that, I'll give this a try!

(spoiler - read pdf's within emacs itself!)

[See Welcome to Tassilo Horn's Wiki: doc-view.el]

Thursday, August 30, 2007


This is my first post with an advice for the Macsen, and Emacsen alike!

So let's say you're working on your LaTeX article. Let's assume you're into the "\C-c \C-c" way of life. Isn't that a bore to compile the pdf and then also have to (close any opened window and) open the file, every time you make the smallest of the changes? Fear not. Skim to the rescue! Go to the preferences pane, in the Skim tab, you'll find an unchecked box saying "Check for file changes". Now why is this unchecked in the first place? No one knows for sure... Just pick from the preset Aquamacs Emacs (or tweak arround to match your preferences), and you're ready to go. Open the file once. Now switch to emacs, change the TeX source, and compile it. Skim will ask you if you want to reload the file, just tell it to keep doing it automatically from now on - and that's it! One less "\C-c \C-c" for article compilation, multiplied by... lots!, that means... well.. a healthier life for your fingers, at least! Here's the screenshot, for your delight.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

ObjectDock, TopDesk and Launchy

Recently I've come across the task of modding a common Windows XP to look and feel more like a MacOS Tiger. I've stepped up to the challenge, and there's lots of good software to help you. After giving them all a try, I find the following the most usefull:

  1. StyleXP - with this one you'll get the bar and windows just like a mac (look for styles in wincustomize!)
  2. ObjectDock - Rocketlaunch is also cute, but objectdock is more versatile.
  3. Launchy - Remember quicksilver? this is close :)
  4. Topdesk - this is a good expose!

As for the dashboard, the only widget tool I'm familiar with is google desktop. so you're probably good with it, too, if you have a reasonably decent machine (RAM-wise).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

mp3 links are now a player

Use this greasemonkey script:

Inline Flash Mp3 Player – Userscripts.org

Sunday, April 22, 2007


It seems both Quicksilver and Vista Start Menu have impressive productivity gains where starting up an application is needed. But you don't need MacOS, nor you need Vista. Simple add up this piece of gold to your most used app. list:

Colibri - Type Ahead.

In a few seconds you'll be hitting your favorite key combination as if there was no tomorrow! It's fast, it's functional, it's even pretty! What else would you ask for?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Finally, Firefox most wanted add-on - the wand!

Here you'll find a nice wand to auto-sign-in your pages with the data stored within firefox. it's just marvelous:

Mozilla Firefox extensions - Secure Login & Autofill Forms

Sunday, April 15, 2007

CD Library

Well this was fun to make. I picked up my favorite language (Common Lisp) interpreter (CLISP 2.40), an API to use Windows' MFC controls and widgets (Graphic-Forms, by Jack Unrue - thank you!), and started up building some abstractions to make it usable as a UI builder. The output was an initially example application to catalog a media collection. Now I can see this getting bigger, and even useful for the likes of me that own tons of misplaced discs in between home, workplace, several cases and boxes and even in friends' places.

The details and source code will be released as soon as I get some more spare time (I may rush it if get any special request, but hey - I know the outcome isn't *that* good!). For now, grab the installer here. Note the two buttons called "New" and "Remove" aren't working yet!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Emacs and portuguese spell checking

I've been using ispell for ages, now. And it's been working out pretty fine, imho. But today, as I was setting up a new work-machine, I found out that aspell had Portuguese dictionaries with a few months old, instead of 5 or 6 years old versions I had with ispell... So what have I found? not only Emacs recognizes the cygwin aspell and simply ignores any ispell it may find, but the Portuguese dictionary installed with NO complication at all. For future reference's sake, here's where I downloaded the Portuguese aspell from:


If you want there's also the ispell 3.3.02 for windows, found here, and the Portuguese dictionary here. But I strongly recommend getting aspell from cygwin, it's the fastest way to have emacs spelling!

Here's my emacs incantations:



'((\"^To:[^\\n,]+\\\\.pt[ \\t\\n, . \"portugues\"))



'((nil "[A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêîôûÂÊÎÔÛçÇ]" "[^A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêîôûÂÊÎÔÛçÇ]" "[']" nil ("-B") nil iso-8859-15)

("american" "[A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêîôûÂÊÎÔÛçÇ]" "[^A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêîôûÂÊÎÔÛçÇ]" "[']" nil ("-B") "~latin9" iso-8859-15)

("british" "[A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêîôûÂÊÎÔÛçÇ]" "[^A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêîôûÂÊÎÔÛçÇ]" "[']" nil ("-B") nil iso-8859-15)

("english" "[A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêîôûÂÊÎÔÛçÇ]" "[^A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêîôûÂÊÎÔÛçÇ]" "[']" nil ("-B") nil iso-8859-15)

("portugues" "[A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêôÂÊÔçÇ]" "[^A-Za-zàèìòùÀÈÌÒÙáéíóúÁÉÍÓÚãõÃÕâêôÂÊÔçÇ]" "[-']" t ("-C" "-d" "portugues") "~latin1" iso-8859-1)

("portutex" "[A-Za-z\\\\\\\\]" "[^A-Za-z\\\\\\\\]" "[---~`'^{}]" nil nil "~tex" iso-8859-1)))

powered by performancing firefox

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Free music for everyone

So you know of a specific group, artist, song name, and you never got arround to have the album in your hands. Say you'd like to show it to someone. Feel free to try out the hype machine @ http://hypem.com . This great page looks for mp3 in blogs, and presents it to us in a little playlist player, for our delight.

Since we're at free music, please don't forget the great last.fm, that keeps playing fine tunes I don't know I'm about to love :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

DIY Mousepad

I got myself a MX Revolution laser mouse. It works pretty much perfectly, but I need a decent mousepad, so as I started to look through my options, I saw this:

The Best Gaming Mouse Pad You’ll Ever Make - PaulStamatiou.com

I must give this a try, but I like the number of good comments on the page!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Untitled post on Sun Feb 04 21:18:14 2007

Posting remembered data in emacs

Here's the important piece of code:

;; Attach this feature to remember:
(defun blogspot-post-when-remember-maybe ()
(when (y-or-n-p "You might as well send this to your blog, if you're online. Go for it? ")
(let ((body (buffer-string)))
(blogspot nil nil body)

(add-hook 'remember-handler-functions 'blogspot-post-when-remember-maybe)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Emacs sending to blogger, made easy

(defvar blogspot-post-username "yourname"
"The first part of the email address: `blogspot-post-username'.`blogspot-post-blog'@blogger.com")

(defvar blogspot-post-blog-list '("blog1" "blog2")
"List with second parts of the email address: `blogspot-post-username'.`blogspot-post-blog'@blogger.com")

(require 'cl)
(defun blogspot (title url &optional text)
"Opens a gnus msg buffer with the active region or the parameters passed in the body.
Configure `blogspot-post-username' and `blogspot-post-blog-list' to set it up."
(interactive "sPost title:
sPost link (tip - an empty string won't create the link): ")
(let* ((blogspot-post-blog (completing-read "Where to? " blogspot-post-blog-list nil nil (car blogspot-post-blog-list)))
(to (concat blogspot-post-username "." blogspot-post-blog "@blogger.com"))
(subject (cond ((and title url (not (string= url "")))
(concat "<a href= \""
(title title)
(t "")))
(body (or text "")))
(let ((gnus-posting-styles
(mapcan (lambda (x)
(list (remove-if (lambda (y) (and (listp y)
(string= (car y) "Face")))
(gnus-msg-mail to subject))
(when body
(insert body)))
(message "Edit the buffer and press \\C-c \\C-c to post it to %s." blogspot-post-blog)))

(defun blogspot-region (beg end title url)
"Call `blogspot-text' and inserts the active region as the post's body."
(interactive "r
sPost title:
sPost link: ")
(blogspot title url (buffer-substring-no-properties beg end)))

Edgar Gonçalves - http://www.esw.inesc-id.pt/~eemg

Software Engineering Group @ INESC-ID
IST/Technical University of Lisbon

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gmail Tips

Here's a great page with tons of usage tips for Gmail:

Gmail Tips - The Complete Collection

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