On Shelves Soon

Tuesday night, Zues came over to look over a new house that Danielle was building (she’s always building houses; she both likes the building practice and hopes to sell a few one of these days), giving his input on the various aspects of the build and its textures. While he was there, looking at the scripted windows she’d put in, I rezzed a scripted window I’d built for another purpose, showing its various modes. Little did I know where this was going…

Zues has had ample opportunity to see some of my scripted gizmos in action, such as the Distributed Music Changer (used at our home, the Gin Rummy, and Velvet Dreamz), the Application Kiosk (which we use at the GR, and which Zues now uses at Velvet Dreamz too), and so forth. He immediately proceeded to give me a “good for my soul” lecture, the gist of which was, “If I had the ability you do with scripts, I’d be selling the hell out of them! Why aren’t you doing so?” My answer, rather halting, was that these things weren’t in saleable state right now, and, anyway, I didn’t really have a lot of time to do stuff like that these days, what with the GR and all, not to mention the very important time I spend with Danielle.

Eventually, it got me to thinking…maybe there’s some things I can do, putting together these items and bits of code I have, and actually produce something worth offering for sale. So I’m attempting to do that now…and the first candidate for the vendor will be what I am now calling the “Erbosoft Distributed Music Changer Mk.I.” The changer has the following features:

  • Distributed operation – many “terminals” can operate off the same “master component.” Use one to change the station, they all change at the same time. Ideal for larger houses, businesses, and clubs! (3 terminals included with system, of various sizes, all copyable so you can install as many as you like.)
  • Pre-program up to 12 stations, complete with custom textures to display on the terminals when the stations are selected. Additional textures can be added.
  • Manual override mode – speak a URL over a private channel to cause the changer to select the URL. Great for “guest DJs”!
  • Usable on group land, thanks to the included “slave tuner component.”
  • Easy dialog interface for selecting stations.
  • Owner and group security options.

So I took the pieces of my “beta version” changer and started tweaking them. The code received some minor tweaks, and I also documented the hell out of it (not that anyone but me will ever see those comments, but it’s the principle of the thing). I had to create a new “front panel” graphic for the master component; the one I’d been using is an image of an XM radio, which is obviously not gonna fly. In the past, I’ve basically whipped up terminals as I needed them; I’ve now created the “standard group” of copyable terminals, which will be used as needed. I’m writing an actual user manual; God, I hate technical writing, but it has to be done to provide something to throw in the box. And speaking of boxes, I’ve designed some graphics for one, based on a cardboard box for a piece of networking gear I found at the office. Naturally, I’ll have to test the permissions for the thing, making sure no one can tamper with the code, but can edit the configuration and things. And then I have to take a picture to put with the object in the vendor…

But, if all goes well, you’ll soon be able to buy the Erbosoft Distributed Music Changer Mk.I at Don’t Panic! Designs in South Sunset. (Zues will get a free upgrade, naturally, as thanks. And I’ll also upgrade the ones at the GR and at the Evans Family Compound.) And then it’s time to figure out where I go next…I have another project cooking that I know will result in a saleable product eventually, and I have at least one more good idea in mind…

“Real artists ship.” – Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple Computer Inc., January 1984


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