February 2004, Issue 65
by Sonaris Consulting, Felix Bopp, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
[formerly Music for New Media Newsletter]
You can find the online version at: http://www.sonaris.info
Fraunhofer IGD Rostock
Recommended book: The Computer
Club of Amsterdam
BeOS - Multimedia
Operating System: Zeta
RC2, BeBits, OpenBeOS
Conferences & events
Fraunhofer IGD Rostock
Fraunhofer IGD Rostock has four departments (Multimedia Communications,
Innovative Interaction and Visualization, Mobile Multimedia Technologies,
Entertainment Technologies) and operates a Lab for Mobile Multimedia
Applications, a Lab for Innovative Interaction Techniques, and a Lab
for Multimedia and Telecommunication. The main research areas are: a)
Multimedia and Telecommunication
b) Internet Technology
c) Computer Supported Cooperative Work
d) Mobile Computing IT-based Learning and Training
e) Graphical User Interface Design and new Interaction Technologies
f) Virtual and Augmented Reality
g) Game based Interfaces
h) Intelligent Systems
In the last century mankind experienced extreme progress in the technologic
field. However, particularly the development of micro electronics with
the corresponding software and the development of modern interactive
devices is hard to follow. Due to bad usability of new devices the end
user is more and more distracted.
On one hand, new interactive devices contain more functionality and
the user interface gets less clear. On the other hand, more products
with similar functionality enter the market. The potential byer has
to make a decision, which is more and more based on the usability and
hedonistic quality of the product. Both qualities have to be ensured
during the product development cycle using usability engineering. Usability
engineering is a methodic interactive process to reach high usability
of systems and products. Methods of usability engineering like user
oriented analysis, usability testing, expert reviews, or empirical user
studies give qualitative results. But there are also methods, that deliver
quantitative results. At the Fraunhofer IGD Rostock in the project RealEYES
a framework for the recording, visualisation, and analysis of sensor
and behaviour data of test persons has been developed. At the moment
the software supports usability tests of internet presentations and
software products through recording, visualisation, and correlated analysis
of application output (screen shot video), audio (test person), video
(test person), mouse and keyboard events, eye gaze position, and skin
resistance. Thus, RealEYES supports usability experts performing and
analysing usability tests for software products.
As service, Fraunhofer IGD Rostock offers development and realisation
of usability tests of software products.
Computer Music Tutorial
by Curtis Roads
The Computer Music Tutorial is a comprehensive text and reference
that covers all aspects of computer music, including digital audio,
synthesis techniques, signal processing, musical input devices, performance
software, editing systems, algorithmic composition, MIDI, synthesizer
architecture, system interconnection, and psychoacoustics. A special
effort has been made to impart an appreciation for the rich history
behind current activities in the field. Profusely illustrated and
exhaustively referenced and cross-referenced, The Computer Music Tutorial
provides a step-by-step introduction to the entire field of computer
music techniques. Written for nontechnical as well as technical readers,
it uses hundreds of charts, diagrams, screen images, and photographs
as well as clear explanations to present basic concepts and terms.
Mathematical notation and program code examples are used only when
absolutely necessary. Explanations are not tied to any specific software
or hardware. Curtis Roads has served as editor-in-chief of Computer
Music Journal for more than a decade and is a recognized authority
in the field. The material in this book was compiled and refined over
a period of several years of teaching in classes at Harvard University,
Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Naples, IRCAM, Les Ateliers
UPIC, and in seminars and workshops in North America, Europe, and
VisionConnection is an internet portal for people who are partially
sighted or blind, the professionals who work with them, the families
and friends who support them and anyone looking for the latest information
on vision impairment, its prevention and vision rehabilitation. Information
about research on vision impairment and vision rehabilitation can be
found in the Research section.
This is the main European website concerned with designing information
and communication technology systems so that they are accessible to
everybody including disabled and elderly people. This site contains
a wealth of information including demographics of disability in Europe,
relevant standards as well as legislative aspects.
Guidelines for the design of consumer products to increase their accessibility
to people with disabilties or who are aging.
ReactOS is an Open Source effort to develop
a quality operating system that is compatible with Windows NT applications
Around about 1996 some people formed a group called FreeWin95, with
the goal to implement an operating system that would be a clone of Windows
95. Unfortunately, as with many new ambitious Open Source projects,
it was stuck in a rut of endless talk about the design of the system,
with no results.
At the end of 1997, the project had burnt out with nothing to show.
Jason Filby became project coordinator and called on everyone still
subscribed to the list to revive the project. It was decided that the
target should be Windows NT and that there would be an emphasis on results
-- on written code rather than endless talk. The project was renamed
ReactOS, since the operating system's roots grew out of a dissatisfaction
with Microsoft's monopoly over the operating system market. In February
1998, ReactOS began.
The first few years of ReactOS were painfully slow, despite the large
amounts of code that was being written. Only a few of the developers
knew how to write kernel code. It was a time of only a few people writing
the difficult kernel beginnings. Later, as the kernel became more complete
and stable, as basic drivers such as the IDE and keyboard drivers were
written, more people were able to get involved in development.
The kernel has come a long way and is quite stable and many APIs are
complete enough for higher level work to be done. Substantial work has
been done on many libraries. Initial networking code is there, but unusable
for the moment. A basic implementation of the Graphics Device Interface
(GDI) and a VGA graphics driver is paving the way for a GUI. The amount
of developers are steadly increasing.
Soon subsystems for Java, OS/2 and DOS will be started. Code to support
a GUI, with the help of the WINE project, is growing more and more complete
every day. ReactOS is set to experience massive growth in the near future.
ReactOS 0.2 is now available.
: Club of Amsterdam
Steve Jobs Zone
The Steve Jobs Zone
Words by A. David Cooper
Apple CEO and Pixar Chairman Steve Jobs is slowly taking America on
a digital lifestyle ride that promises to change the way we think about
computers, entertainment and creativity.
"Even people who use Windows machines, people who have never owned
any shares of Apple stock, who never use the term 'hi tech,' seem to
follow the ups and downs of Apple Computer with fascination. Steve Jobs
had, like Walt Disney, created an institution." - Gil Amelio, Former
It's a balmy night in San Francisco. Lazily issuing forth through the
dusky metropolis miasma, smoke billows from a manhole connected to the
underground tunnel network that drives the city's erratic rhythm. Clad
in khakis and a button-down shirt, a lone man strides casually in sync
with the city's staccato mechanized palpitations. Passing a store window,
suddenly, he notices movement. Beckoning from inside the window with
its animated flat-screen face, an oddly anthropomorphic computer pleads
for attention. Human and artificial intelligence meet, and it's love
at first sight. A random passerby catches a glimpse of the man's gesticulations,
and immediately the secret human-to-computer interface is dropped -
no sane person actually talks to a computer. Right?
The full story can be read here:
- Multimedia Operating System
As the Internet expands, and as electronic media becomes more prevalent,
the high-performance needs of digital content design and complexity
and ageing architectures of current mainstream operating systems are
coming into conflict. BeOS is the first new operating system designed
to unlock the door to much more powerful personal computers, and extract
more performance from the systems we use today. [beosonline.com]
Zeta RC2, an operating system based
yellowTAB was formed in order to fill the void created by the demise
of Be, Inc., developers of the Be Operating System (short: BeOS) for
personal computers. Zeta is a slick, well-crafted, user-friendly operating
system designed from the ground up for multimedia and performance.
A resource for BeOS software.
Everything listed here is designed for BeOS
- you won't find anything for Windows, MacOS, Linux, or any other operating
OpenBeOS is a project dedicated to the re-creation, followed by the
extension, of the BeOS.
It is an open source effort to first recreate and then extend a most
excellent, once-commercially-supported, closed-source, media-oriented
desktop computer operating system called the Be operating system (BeOS).
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Copyright © 1997-2004 Sonaris Consulting, Felix Bopp. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without written
permission is prohibited. Sonaris Consulting cannot accept responsibility
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