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Quicksilver Or Steam Automatic App Switcher

Posted on Wednesday 6 October 2010

I’ve written another app similar to my keep mainstage running app — Quicksilver Or Steam.

What this app does is quits Quicksilver when you’re playing games in Steam, and launches Quicksilver when Steam has quit.

I know I’m not the only one with this problem – you’re playing Left 4 Dead 2 and suddenly you can’t move because quicksilver has launched in the background with control-space. This app is designed to fix this problem.

This app is more responsive than my last app, and I’ve written a separate app that closes the silent version.

You can add the silent version to your login items to have it run whenever you boot your machine.

Note that the silent version is VERY silent, i.e. you do not see it in the dock, nor in the force quit window. You can quit it with the included “Stop QuicksilverOrSteamSilent” app or by finding “QuicksilverOrSteamSilent” in the activity monitor and clicking “Quit Process”.

Also note that the Steam process takes several seconds to unload after the application quits, so there may be a delay before Quicksilver relaunches.

Here is the source code for those interested. I tried “on idle” instead of “repeat”, but the app still does not respond to quit signals until the delay period is up. I’ve changed the delay period from 30 seconds to 3 seconds, but it still may take up to 3 seconds to quit. I welcome any suggestions on how to fix this. For now, 3 seconds does not seem to tax the computer too much.

[code lang=”applescript”]
on run
end run

on idle
tell application “System Events”
if (exists process “Steam”) then
if (exists process “Qu?c?s?????”) then
tell application “Quicksilver” to quit
end if
end if
if not (exists process “Steam”) then
if not (exists process “Qu?c?s?????”) then
tell application “Quicksilver” to activate
end if
end if
end tell
return 3
end idle

on quit
continue quit
end quit
If you're on mac, click here to open this in applescript editor.

Filed under: Apple andmisc andoriginals
New Trailer – Saving Jake

Posted on Saturday 11 September 2010

I recently completed the music for a trailer for Saving Jake, a novel by Ophelia Julien. You can watch it here:

Saving Jake can be purchased here:

Trailer Animation and Photography by Dashiel Hermann:

Additional Photos by Carmon Elliot:

You can visit Ophelia Julien’s website here:

Filed under: Music andoriginals
In Memory of Edd Balagot

Posted on Saturday 19 June 2010

My Father, Edd Balagot, passed away on May 20 2010 after a long battle with cancer. We are having a memorial for him this Sunday, June 20, at 1 PM, please contact me for details. Dad has always been supportive of everything I do and was an inspiration to me as a human being. I’ve been taking some time off of composing and work and appreciate my friends, family and work being so supportive during this time. Below is his obituary which was published today.

Edgar Antonio (Edd) Balagot passed away on May 20, 2010.

Edd was born on March 12, 1950 in Chicago to Reuben and Lourdes Balagot. He was a 1968 graduate of Francis W. Parker High School and went first to the University of Illinois-Chicago and then to Goddard College in Vermont, where he finished with a Master’s degree in Psychology. After holding the position of co-director at Maple Hill School for some years, Edd returned to Chicago where he switched careers and raised his children.

Everyone who knew him will remember and miss his sense of humor, his love and talent for music, and his penchant for a good story that led to a lifelong affinity for comic books, movies, and novels.

Edd was preceded in death by his father, Reuben C. Balagot.

He is survived by his daughter Rowan, his son Jordan, his mother Lourdes, an entire extended family, and a very large crew of friends.

A memorial service will be held at 1 PM on June 20, 2010. Please contact Jordan for details at 773 742 4400.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Rainbow Hospice, 444 N. Northwest Highway, Suite 145, Park Ridge IL 60068.

Filed under: misc
Wordle of all Britney Spears Lyrics

Posted on Monday 19 April 2010

I need to write Britney Spears-type lyrics for a pop song, so I created a Wordle of all of her lyrics from 1999-2010:

The results were not that surprising, but it’s still helpful.

Wordle link:
Vector PDF download

Another version with over 1000 words:
Vector PDF download

Filed under: Music andoriginals andphotography andsong ripoffs
Keep your MIDI keyboard active with Mainstage and Applescript: Keep Mainstage Running.app

Posted on Thursday 8 April 2010

I know I’m not the only one with this problem: You have this giant MIDI keyboard that doesn’t produce sound on its own, and most of the time, playing it doesn’t do anything. You have to launch logic, or mainstage, or ableton, or digital performer, open a new project, setup a new patch, and then start playing. In music classes, this can be a distraction, and compositionally, it can get in the way between you and your creativity.

I’d keep MainStage open all the time, but there are times when I don’t want a secondary keyboard sound when I’m using Finale or Logic. Ideally, anytime I’m not using Finale or Logic, I’d like MainStage to be running.

I’ve written a simple OS X application in applescript that checks every 30 seconds to see if Logic or Finale are running, and if they’re not, launches MainStage in the background. It takes up very little CPU and can run continuously. Here is the code:

[code lang=”applescript”]
tell application “System Events”
if not (exists process “Logic Pro”) then
if not (exists process “Finale 2010”) then
if not (exists process “MainStage”) then
set front_app to (path to frontmost application as Unicode text)
tell application “MainStage” to activate
set visible of process “MainStage” to false
tell application front_app to activate
end if
end if
end if
end tell
delay 30
end repeat

If you’re on mac you can open that code in the script editor by clicking
here. (Thanks to Mac Developer tips for that trick.)

I have created two downloadable versions, a regular version and a silent version that does not appear in the dock.

Note that the silent version is VERY silent, i.e. you do not see it in the dock, nor in the force quit window. A quick way to kill it is to run “killall applet” in the terminal, though this will kill other applescripts you have running as well.

A more precise way to kill it is to run this command in the terminal:
ps -ax | grep -i “keep mainstage”

Get the first process number listed (usually 5 digits) and then run:
kill XXXXX (where XXXXX is the process number)

You can point to either of these apps in your System Preferences > Accounts > Login Items to have them run automatically when you start your computer.

You should set MainStage’s startup action in preferences to “Open Most Recent Concert”. I have a simple concert with just a piano that I keep open.

Included in the download above are instructions on how to make the silent app run in the background again if you modify it.

Known Bugs with 1.0:
For some reason you have to force-quit the non-silent version, quitting alone does not work.

MainStage has an annoying behavior of grabbing focus once a concert has loaded. The script hides MainStage after it does this, but you will still see it briefly pop up when it launches.

The script will not launch Mainstage if you have Logic or Finale running but with no documents open.

The script may launch Mainstage at annoying times (such as shutdowns or software updates). I’d recommend just shutting down with mainstage running, and clicking “don’t save” if it asks.

Filed under: Apple andaudio andGear andLogic 8 andMusic andoriginals
A Quick Note on Time Travel and Universal Coordinates

Posted on Wednesday 31 March 2010

Edit: This comic posted from Max below shows the same idea:

Science Fiction constantly imagines scenarios where a character time-travels on earth using a time machine. In most cases, the concept seems simple–a character uses a time machine and ends up in the same place on earth at a different time. The difficulty of time travel aside, how difficult would it be to end up at the same location on earth at a different time? And I’m even ignoring geological changes to the earth’s surface.
Let’s say you have a 3D coordinate system for the entire universe, and have compensated for universal expansion. At a given moment, you are on the surface of earth at a specific coordinate. But the earth is rotating every 24 hours. Its axis wobbles. It orbits the sun once a year. The sun is orbiting the center of the milky way galaxy. And our galaxy is hurtling through space at 630 km per second. Because of this, the earth travels 51.84 million km per day. (And we’re worried about an asteroid hitting *us*?)
Just by staying completely still on the surface of earth, you are traveling in a squiggly, rotating, wobbling, looping, swirling path hurtling through space generally pointed away from the center of the universe at a tremendous speed. Just once I would like to see a character finally invent a time machine, use it to go back just an hour, and end up thousands of miles from earth in space because they didn’t bother to compensate for that. As for people who accidentally time travel or cannot control the amount of time they travel…God help ’em.

Filed under: bad ideas andMath andmisc andscience
Teufelskicker Soundtrack Released, MP3s for sale on Amazon

Posted on Sunday 21 March 2010

The first fruit of my labor at my new job–arranging, music programming and orchestrating for Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil–has been released. “Teufelskicker” (Devil’s Kicker) opened #4 in Germany last weekend, and the soundtrack CD is for sale. I am proud to share one writing credit with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil, for track 15, “Heimlich Ins Einkaufszentrum”.

The mp3 download version of the album is on sale at Amazon:

Filed under: Music andoriginals
Lanatur – A time lapse nature music video

Posted on Thursday 4 March 2010

Below is a time-lapse nature music video highlighting the MP3 “Age of Innocence” using my amateur photography of Los Angeles:

The extremely talented Ian Maksin is featured on this track, which is available for download here.

Filed under: Music andoriginals andphotography andvirtuosos
‘Neoteny and Human Evolution” video online

Posted on Tuesday 23 February 2010

I did the music for Andrew Lehman’s “Neoteny and Human Evolution” video, RT ~10 mins:

Andrew reaches a very interesting theory towards the end of the video. Check out his work on evolutionary theory at Neoteny.org.

I will be uploading an edited version of the music in mp3 format soon.

Filed under: Music andoriginals andThe Web andvideo
Yi Soon Shin Trailer Online, MP3 Download Available

Posted on Friday 19 February 2010

I recently completed the score for the trailer to Yi Soon Shin, a comic by Onrie Kompan:

The mp3 is available here.

Please visit the Yi Soon Shin Website for more information about the comic, it’s very good!

Filed under: Music andoriginals andThe Web