Milkymist as set top box

Joshua Judson Rosen rozzin at
Sat Oct 15 01:19:31 EDT 2011

Wolfgang Spraul <wolfgang at> writes:
> Joshua,
> thanks a lot for your links, very enlightening as usual!
> One thing struck me
> > the inter-room synchronisation. I don't how (or even if) MM1
> > fits into this picture, though.
> ...
> > I don't see MM1 playing any special role in that either, though.
> Definitely, M1 won't play any role today. Jon is thinking in many
> directions to find new friends, a good understanding of M1 today
> and where it might go tomorrow.
> As a next small baby step for me, I will hook one up to my home
> router and let it run and think about what it could do for me.
> Maybe I need to purchase a second unit from and for myself :-)

So..., I do actually have an idea for how M1 could fit into
*my audio-distribution system*, even though I don't know
how it fits into Jon's video-relay system... :)

I've been sort-of idly toying with the idea of hooking some sort
of `visualisation station' up to the audio-distribution system.
Partly just because light-shows are fun at parties, but partly
because the whole system would just have a better feel to it
if there were some sort of physical `focal-point' for user
interaction. And, OK, so everyone's familiar with the idea of
audio visualisers by now. But...:

Thinking about my specific use-case--where the audio is being
multicast all over the network--there are some novel options
that open up for implementation: the visualiser no longer needs
to be sitting in the audio-path constrained to a particular machine,
but can be running on any host on the network--it can just catch
the multicast packets floating by, just like one of my plug-computer
units does, but convert them into video rather than sound-waves.

Generalising that..., M1 could actually use *any* data it sees
floating through the ether as input--not just RTP (audio or other)
packets. It could, for example, sniff JPEGs and other images
out of HTTP streams, like the `wiretap picture-frame' does
(using Driftnet):

It's even possible to visualise *metadata*, either culled or calculated
from a datastream....

Years ago, when a friend and I first learned about audio-visualisers/
light-synths (via one called "Cthugha"), we sort-of three-quarters-jokingly
talked about the prospect of hooking something like that into the MUD
client that he was developing. Not only could it generate graphics based
upon the content of the text-stream, but "It could be a *network
lag-visualiser*!", we said (just to put that remark in context:
14k modems were still current technology, and it was not uncommon
for someone to have his character killed bitten to death by a mosquito
or something while he was waiting for his "swat mosquito" command
to reach the server...).

That `MUD-lag visualiser' reark was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but there
*have* actually been similar sorts of efforts that actually produced
useful tools--one example being `The Spinning Cube of Potential Doom'
(a network-intrusion/firewall monitor that makes, e.g., certain types
of patterned port-scans much more obvious); cf.:

... and another example being LavaPS (a unix process-manager designed
around `calm computing' principles--basically like `top', except
completely different...):

Maybe someone else has some other examples :)

"Don't be afraid to ask (λf.((λx.xx) (λr.f(rr))))."

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