Qi Hardware (featuring the Milkymist) Presentation in miami

Werner Almesberger werner at almesberger.net
Wed Dec 14 08:49:48 EST 2011

Jon Phillips wrote:
> I really want to have a mode for simple advancement through
> performance mode rather than just one patch mapped to one button.

That's something I also want, though for different reasons.
My overall plan is like this:

1) have a "variable" that contains a list of images

2) have another variable, maybe still called "imagefileN", that
   contains the index of the image to display

Then you'd go through the list of images by changing the index

There may still be the issue of long conversion times, if you
have a lot of images. This could be addressed by

- introducing a format for pre-converted images, and doing the
  conversion on the host,

- building upon that, caching of converted images, (this adds
  the cost of writing the converted image, though, so it may
  not yield a net improvement)

- lazy evaluation, with the patch starting with only a limited
  number of pre-converted images, and converting the rest in
  the background as the patch runs.

This needs a bit of experimenting.

For triggering a -1 or +1 index step, you'd just use an input
controller. We may already be able to do this with MIDI. I
need to check. If not, it'll be on my list of things I'll want
an input device to be able to do. (This has uses beyond slide
shows as well.)

> the Milkymist [ that was rendering before ] was in the admin
> screen.

Yeah, it's way too easy to drop out of performance mode if you
have a mouse connected. And this gets infinitely worse if your
"mouse" happens to be a touch pad with the now pretty much
ubiquitous click-on-tap. And even keyboards sometimes send an
unexpected Esc when in a crowded space.

Of course, if that happens to a VJ in the middle of a show,
the VJ will probably be in a foul mood, but everyone else will
have a hoot. So if you subscribe to the philosophy of
utilitarianism, this makes it a very desirable feature ;-)

> But, then after that the m1 functioned fine in the
> performance mode.

Excellent !

> 1.) the resolution must be increased on the pictures. Its just toooo
> low for the expectation of an audience and I'm sure other users.

That may be a hard problem to solve. Perhaps added color depth,
which Sebastien is working on these days, will allow for
smoother antialiasing.

Sebastien also tried a while ago to increase the resolution,
but only got to 800x600, which didn't seem to make much of a
difference in visual impression. Maybe it'll be different for
slides, though.

The limiting factor is memory bandwidth. This also means that
you can't have more color depth and 800x600 at the same time.

Another option may be to just show slides in the desktop mode.
There, memory bandwidth is no issue at all. In fact, when you
first mentioned slides, I was only thinking of desktop mode,
not inside a patch :)

> but I definitely got out of order on my slides uncomfortably, and
> could not find my way back. That was super super super embarrasing and
> it made me sweat.

Heh :-) Maybe a quick band-aid for now could be to include the
button somewhere in the slide. That way, you can quickly get
your bearings.

> Anyway, I made some good connections, but totally was out of my
> element when asked "how does what you are saying apply to people in
> the room who manage 1000's of employees..."

Isn't it obvious ? They should use Milkymist as a token of
inspiration, a great pefect blend of a bold statement of
out-of-the-box thinking with time-proven concept and technology.
Their employees should learn from this, and find courage for
groundbreaking work of their own. A bit like the monolith in
2001, and you don't even have to fly to Jupiter to get it
mass-produced :-)

Congratulations on overcoming all those obstacles, and I hope
your illustrious audience got the message that Milkymist is
indeed "The Next Big Thing" :-)

- Werner

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