new droon album, because fuck it

Droon Because Fuck It

The press release is hilarious so I’ll just copy this here. Droon stands for Belgian breakcore (think Breakcore Gives Me Wood parties baby) and he just releases 27 of his best tracks in one big album. Check it out and certainly the Cripplefight tune cause it’s fucking awesome.

Droon!
Your favourite Belgian B-list Breakcore Live Act! (That you might not have heard of until now)
Fighterjet helmet? Beard? Makeshift plywood ASCII keytar that looks like a post apocalyptic flying V ? That’s the one.
Still not ringing a bell?
Droon serves improvised mashup gabber breakcore
topped up with ample chipmunk bastard pop sprinkles, country nuggets & speedmetal shards.
He’s been flown out to Osaka, Moscow, Sydney, London, New York, LA, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, Beirut and Beijing to crack eardrums.
But also Handzame and Maldegem and Aalbeke and Tubize and Buizingen and countless youth houses and cow stables in Belgium.
So. Hundreds of gigs all over the world in the last decade. Great. Over 30 huge Breakcore Gives Me Wood parties? Brilliant.
But that’s just it. Droon was primarily an organiser and a live act. He neglected his releases.
Poor songs never got the love they deserved from their daddy. Snif.
No more!
Droon collected all the tracks he’s ever made, picked the 27 best ones and put them all in one big album.
He was gonna call it “B-list Breakcore Bargain Bin Bonanza”,
but then thought .. Fuck it.
-=-
It’s every track he ever made that’s any good, really.
Over the last 12 years, these were only released on beer stain encrusted limited vinyl EP’s .
Or cracked-on-arrival compilation cdr’s. Or never at all.
This is and will be the only Droon compendium/greatest hits/best of/anthology thingamajig ever.
There’s never been any other albums or LP’s. This is it, the only time he’ll be “widely availeable”
So it’s kind of a big deal.

how to update chocolatey

I use Chocolatey all the time to quickly install software on Windows machines. At some point Chocolatey itself also gets an upgrade, which just happened recently and then I can never remember how to get Chocolatey itself upgraded.

It’s in the documentation somewhere I’m sure, but since Chocolatey is about easily installing and upgrading Windows software, it was bound to work “recursively”.

So here’s how you do that from a Windows shell prompt, for (my) future reference:

    c:\> chocolatey update chocolatey

free gritty electronica mixes by diskore

Remember these?

Somewhere back in 2004 I got this mix from an LA based DJ called Diskore filled with gritty, distorted electronic breaks and beats and I loved every bit of it. It has tracks from all over the electronic music spectrum. All of them sharing a dirty, unpolished and beat-heavy sound. Without a track listing I had no idea what I was listening to, but here and there I could detect some known artists like Speedy J (check out his A Shocking Hobby), a hard Aphex Twin track, some Hellfish and Producer tracks (Bastard Sonz of Rave is awesome) or some hardcore/breakcore/dnb I know.
Most of it I didn’t know however, but over time I ran into tracks here and there, finding out more bit my bit.

Recently Diskore started posting his mixes on Soundcloud and from the looks of it, he’s still mostly into the dark and dirty side of electronic music. Excellent.
Check out his downloadable mixes if you want some fresh distortion.

Photo by Clement Soh, cc-licensed.

The Teknoist PRSPCT XL 19 mix

punch

Get it at Soundcloud. It’s The Teknoist! You know what that stands for.
It’s full of hardcore beats and chops like these:

THE TEKNOIST & SMYLA – BEASTAGE
DOLPHIN – AWAKENING VIP
ALGORITHMIC – NOOSE NECKED ROYALTY
DOLPHIN – BLACK GOLD
THE DJ PRODUCER – HISTORY LESSON (1997 DNB REMIX)
DR BASTARDO – CRIMSON MASK
BKEY & SMYLA – TEMPTRESS
TUGIE – SYMPHONIC DESTROYER
UNDEAD RONIIN – MUTILATED CORE
THE TEKNOIST – DREDD MY HEAD
THE TEKNOIST – RICHIES BREAKCORE LOVESONG
DOLPHIN – TERPSICORE
THE TEKNOIST – THE CRYING CHIMERA

Photo by Tim Caynes, cc-licensed.

reset the net

On´n´Off - Going into standby mode

It’s on!

If you want to kick some NSA buttocks and claim your privacy then get yourself this reset the net pack and install some super-duper encryption for your PC, Mac and phone(s).

There ain’t that much on there really, but if you scroll down to the Other Resources section there’s links there like the Prism Break one I mentioned before, which contain tons of (more techy) tools and software for all your stealthy encryption needs.

Photo by Sven Seiler, cc-licensed.

what drains your battery faster? 3G or WIFI?

So what drains your smartphone’s battery more you think? Using a local WIFI network or the 3G cell network to download stuff from the internet? I Googled it but I didn’t find any solid hardcore scientifically based evidence. Time for a small home-grown scientific experiment then!

So here it is *drumroll*, the WIFI vs 3G battery drainage challenge!

I fired up the Grooveshark html5 app (which is quite nice actually) to non-stop stream music for 20 minutes and checked the battery usage when repeating this for both types of networks. In the meanwhile I was keeping anything else down to a minimum (like activating the screen which is also a juice sucker). Checking the battery usage means simply writing down the percentage displayed in the top Android menu bar before and after the test, so it’s not that precise, but it’ll do.

The results after 20 minutes of non-stop music streaming where:

  • WIFI battery usage : 2% drained
  • 3G battery usage : 5% drained

WIFI beats 3G with more than half of the battery usage in this (not so inaccurate) test. But still, it gives a pretty clear idea of the winner here. So roughly speaking, on 3G you have about 6 hours of music to go and a whopping 16 hours on WIFI before your battery is dead, if you have a Sony Xperia. Taking mobile data costs into account, WIFI certainly seems to be the preferred option to stream anything over.

Heck, I’ll even trow in some pixelarty kinda infographic, to make all the numbers just look a bit more pleasing.

wifi vs 3g battery usage duke-out infographic (sort of)

speeding up your TFS CI builds

Entering Hyperspace

If you’re using TFS as your build server for CI builds of .NET projects, you want your CI build to be bleeding fast so devs don’t sit around waiting until their build completes. This is even more the case if you use a gated check-in on that CI build.

The ideal time frame is less than 5 minutes, but as a solution grows and more projects are added it gets hard to stay below that time limit without tweaking the build. With a CI build in this case I mean a build used to check if all code compiles, is integrated with other code and all unit tests pass on it.
This build is not used for deployment. There should be a separate build for that.

So what are the time sinks here in a standard TFS build?

It helps if you know what’s it’s doing, even though it’s pretty straightforward. First your code is fetched from TFS. A local workspace is used on the build server and all files are retrieved. Then the VS solutions build with MSBuild. Code analysis is performed if requested, unit tests run, outputs are copied to your drop folder and build reports are published.

Here are a number of things you can do to speed this up:

  • Get only the latest changes, not the full code base every time by not completely cleaning up the workspace. If you only clean up the outputs, it takes a lot less time to update the workspace. The more code you have, the more this counts.
  • Code analysis is CPU intensive and slows down your build significantly. Make sure you set this to “as configured” in your build configuration, so it doesn’t run on projects that you don’t want analysed. Then configure your projects in Visual Studio that need CA, and disable it for the rest.
  • In the Source and symbol server settings, set “Index sources” to false for the CI build. This feature includes source information into your PDB files which makes things easier to debug later on, but since we’re building strictly for a CI build we don’t need this data afterwards.
  • Disable copying output files to the drop folder. The output of the CI build shouldn’t be used for any deployments, so this can all be skipped to speed up the build.
  • Look for slow tests. Often these are integration-like tests which will be causing disk I/O by manipulating files or accessing a database etc. You can disable them for the CI build only by adding a TestCategory attribute called “Integration” (or whatever you like) and exclude those from the build in the test settings. Another trick is to put all your integration tests in a separate assembly and exclude the tests from running using the test assembly file pattern.  E.g. With *.Test.dll project Foo’s Foo.Test.dll is included, but Foo.IntegrationTest.dll isn’t.
  • Avoid lots of small projects in your solution. Every project will take a few extra seconds to build, so merging them into a single larger project will build faster. Make good use of namespaces instead. For example one assembly for unit tests (or 2 if you take that integration test project in mind) is better than a test project for each regular project.

Pick and choose as needed, but these should give you a considerable boost.
Remember to analyse your build before starting to tweak it. There’s no point in optimizing what’s fast as hell already. A good tool to check out what’s taking so long is the open source TFS Build Explorer. It shows your build steps in a tree-view, including timing info and is a hell of a lot quicker than the default build output from TFS for big builds. Depending on your TFS server version you might have to use an older executable, but they are all available in the download section.

Photo by Éole Wind, cc-licensed.