Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants

Salut! I'm a twenty-something Web developer from ice cold Quebec City. I love music, comic books, hockey, 35mm films and India Pale Ales. Follow me or write me at louisroy+spam@louisroy.net if you wanna get in touch!

Some studio time with Albatros at Le Pantoum.

Some studio time with Albatros at Le Pantoum.

Raspberries

I’ve been experimenting with Raspberry Pis for the last couple of months now. I have two ongoing projects and these little things never cease to amaze me.

My first idea was to build a micro Super Nintendo to carry around. A lot of people have had the same idea in the last years and so I managed to get it working without too much problems. RetroPie, EmulationStation and the overall Raspbian community made it all very easy to get it up running. I ended up 3D-printing a case I found on Thingiverse (it’s not a SNES, but it’ll do the job). This Pi has a 64GB SD card which can pack a lot a whole lot of ROMs (all legal, of couse). Surprisingly, I’ve been able to run PS1 games without too much hassle (Twisted Metal, baby!!). N64 games have been challenging though, hope I can fix that in the next few weeks. 

The other thing I’m working on is a video streaming computer. With the camera module attached, this Pi’s job is to encode a video feed then transfer it to a remote server who then streams the data to users. We’re currently using it to monitor our 3D printer and make sure it doesn’t do anything crazy overnight. I have followed this quick tutorial to make it work and I’m currently releasing some code based on what I learned in the last few weeks.

CDN-hosted JavaScript Represents an Additional Point of Failure

With the recent launch of jsDelivr, I came across a good discussion on Hacker News. With everything seemingly going towards CDN-hosted assets these days, Andrian Rossouw had some valid concerns about that recent trend. Most notably, his example about living behind the Great Firewall of China and not being to properly load a website really struck a chord. That’s the kind of problem that is hard to track down and that can have disastrous effects on the long term. I still think CDN-hosted libraries are great for rapid prototyping and for very small projects, but you do have to be careful and think twice before using that kind of code on larger projects.

C’est du sel que ça faut.

Last week, I’ve dusted out my Carvin LB75 to jam some tunes with Albatros, a awesome local band I’ve followed for the last two years. Turns out I’ve landed the gig! Pretty stocked about this. I’ve been meaning to get back into music for a long time but I never found the right opportunity. These guys are doing something unique right now and I’m really happy to be part of it.

Programming Is Hard, Let's Go Shopping!

This is an old article by Jeff Atwood I came across while reading Hacker News. I really, really, really liked Joel Splosky’s quote :

If it’s a core business function — do it yourself, no matter what.

Having spent a good chunk of the last weeks building a Git server/deployment platform for my team at work, I felt somewhat reassured about my decision. While this is not what I could call a “core business function”, I could have just gone with GitHub, GItLab or any pre-packaged solution out there. But I felt I needed to get the grasp of what was going on behind the scenes in order to provide support for my team, customize our workflow and be as productive as ever.

White Noise

It was Dark Tranquillity's turn to visit Quebec City this winter at Le Dagobert last Thursday. Even though I haven't dug their last album that much, from past experiences, I had high hopes for this show. Mikael Stanne is still an incredibly energetic frontman and the band is as tight as ever (albeit they don’t have a bass player anymore). Unfortunately, for my taste, some crucial songs we’re missing from the setlist (particularly from the Character era). I am also puzzled as to why any band would want to book Le Dagobert. The sound was excellent but the configuration of this venue with the three bars splitting everyone apart is definitely not adequate for a metal band. Anywho, I still had a good time and I’ll still be there when DT will be back in town.

Again. So late. Much delay.
We shipped our Christmas gifts for our clients back in December. These are 3D printed Arduino clocks. jesuismarjorie and I designed, programmed, soldered, glued, stained and built almost everything in-house at Cossette. More info to come the project’s website.

Again. So late. Much delay.

We shipped our Christmas gifts for our clients back in December. These are 3D printed Arduino clocks. jesuismarjorie and I designed, programmed, soldered, glued, stained and built almost everything in-house at Cossette. More info to come the project’s website.

Colored Sands

Pretty late on this one, but whatever.

I’ve been a huge metal fan since my teen years. I’ve diversified my taste a whole lot since then but I still have a sweet spot for distortion, screams and blastbeats. So anyway, Sherbrooke’s Gorguts visited my hometown last December. They’ve been making the headlines lately with their latest album, Colored Sands, making year-end top 10 lists everywhere. This is an awesome comeback for frontman Luc Lemay who had postponed the project for a long time following the death of drummer Steve MadDonald.

They showed up around 11pm, pounding their way through “Le Toit du Monde" and ended up playing the entire Colored Sands album. The aggressive yet groovy "Enemies of Compassion" got my head bouncing up and down as were the show’s closer classics "Inverted" and "Obscura". They could have benefited from a better venue and, perhaps consequently, from better sound, but Luc Lemay and his crew delivered the goods that night.

Props to my buddies in Unbreakable Hatred who opened the show and delivered a good dose of crushing riffs.

Filmage is the story Descendents and All, two tightly linked and influential pop-punk bands of the 80s/90s. I’m a sucker for music documentaries, so I got really interested when I heard there would be a screening at Le Cercle on December 11th. Refused Are Fucking Dead was pretty much my only experience in terms of punk rock documentary so I came in with a lot of expectations and I was pleasantly surprised. Filmage is at the opposite spectrum of Kristofer Steen’s film : it’s funny, upbeat and, most importantly, it’s positive. Even though they battled with death, breakups, illness, these guys never doubted themselves and kept going. After thirty years of being underdogs, Descendents/All are just starting to get some recognition and I must say it’s well deserved.