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July 12 2022 Asterisk, audio input, black and lint, editors

Posted on July 15, 2022
( 4 minute read )

Brian had been able to set up Asterisk and knew that he could make outgoing calls. He demonstrated that his mobile showed up under ‘mobile shell devices,’ he was successful in calling Nick’s ’phone and the quality was all right at Brian’s end. However, when Nick tried to call him, he got Brian’s mobile voicemail. John mentioned that, in setting up some new cordless ’phones at home, he had found his provider began its answerphone message after four rings. He suggested the problem might be his provider’s settings.

Brian also asked about SMS to email. (At the time no-one could come up with a suggestion but John later found SMS Forwarder.)

Darren had brought his new microphone but was unsure how to switch between modes. Much later in the meeting it was clarified that the microphone just had cardioid mode, that is, it picks up sound from a heart shaped area in front of the microphone and creates a stereo signal from that. The output would therefore always be stereo. John recommended he use Audacity though, as Nick pointed out, some people swear by Ardour. Audacity will pick up whether the input is stereo or mono.

Darren said he was looking at k-Wave and at Mycroft.

For his Open University course he has to do a top quality report on what he had done. He wondered how he could get a good mark for it, given that not everything had gone as well as he had hoped, and John suggested he structure it round:

David explained that he had not made the progress he had hoped on the project he had first mentioned at the January meeting because one of the tasks was to unsolder a tiny resistor, rotate it and solder it in a new position; in the process the pad on the PCB had come away. He shook the ‘box full of emotional trauma’ containing the physical remains of his actions.

David also mentioned a GCSE computing paper which a friend had spent two hours going through Wikipedia verifying all the errors in it.

Darren asked about whitespace in makefiles and the immediate answer was to use tabs and not whitespace. With python, run it through black before you commit. Even better, said Nick, use lint which is not just a formatter but also a syntax analyser and will make sure, for example, that your use of brackets is consistent. This prompted a sharing of editors including Kate, Bluefish, Vim and Emacs all of which offer syntax highlighting. Nick mentioned IntelliJ IDEA which is very heavy, being written in Java, but is fully featured and appears good. Michael mentioned vscode which offers an IDE for any language. David commented that cool kids use vscode! Michael commented that you could compile the Marlin firmware using vscode but not anything else.

Michael shared a problem he had had with getting the touchpad on his laptop to work and also a difficulty changing the UEFI boot settings. Various suggestions were made including examining the CMOS settings and getting permission to change the UEFI settings.