December 22, 2014

I worked today. Originally I had set aside the full two weeks here at the end of the year (thereby using up my allotted vacation days that nobody really keeps track of anymore), but we have this enormous backlog of interviews due to A Lot of Circumstances so I got up & went in to the office & did two interviews & also did some emailing & other miscellaneous Things.

I will do the same tomorrow, and then I have the rest of the week off. But next Monday & Tuesday I’ll be back in there.

It’s like the good old days of being an hourly worker who works through holidays, except now instead of sitting around doing nothing & getting paid I actually have to work.

Anyway. Between interviews & emailing I managed to download the source for jackmeter, a kind of ancient (9 years old!) cmd-line digital VU meter for the Jack Audio Connection Kit.

I had needed a way to check input levels on our streaming server at WXDU, which doesn’t have any sort of X server or other GUI installed, so I poked around & lo and behold, someone had written just what I needed.

Only it didn’t work for us because I’m using an option on our jack server that didn’t exist 9 years ago.

So I downloaded the source, acquainted myself with gnu getopt and the basic outline of how one connects to a jack server, and then wrote a patch & applied it and … it didn’t work. And then I fixed the thing I screwed up and then it DID work and it was pretty thrilling, actually, because I’m basically a freshman-level C programmer. 

And then, in sharp contrast to literally every other time I have modified a piece of open-source software to suit my needs, I actually pushed the patch back up to github and submitted a pull request to the guy who wrote the thing (and who had already proved himself to be a good guy by responding to my random email about a little piece of software he had written 9 years earlier).

My first pull request! After years of haranguing students to get more involved in open-source projects.

If *you* need a console-based VU meter for your jack server that you’re running with a non-default name, here you go:

December 22, 2014

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