Alexander Savin blog

Eng/Ru
31 Aug 2015

Last week of British summer

Camera stack

It’s getting rainy in London, and tomorrow is the first day in school for local kids. This is notable since we’re living just next to one. Today is also Late Summer bank holiday, which occurs every last Monday of August for no particular reason.

Radio Badger live broadcast

Our podcast turned 1 year and in honour of this we decided to try something new. Not only we brought a new host on the show, but also last episode was broadcasted live as we were recording it. Edited version will be available this week, while full length live version is available right now.

In addition to everything, Roisi was attending the live cast remotely. If you think about it for a second, it is quite a complex setup - at least for amateurs like us. We had 5 hosts in total, one of them remotely, 3 microphones in our shed studio with 4 more hosts, while at the same time broadcasting everything to the rest of the world. Our USB audio interface is also experiencing an old OSX bug when it would suddenly start generating lots of static noise - which means you have to monitor constantly what is actually being recorded.

Couple of tools that made everything possible: Audio Hijack and Google Hangouts.

Audio Hijack is an (expensive) but brilliant piece of software. It is node base interface for building your flows of sounds inside of your Mac. It understands multichannel USB interfaces. You can ask it to do things like “get sound from Chrome, record it in lossless format, display level meter and also mix it with the rest of sounds before you feed everything into my headphones”. Super intuitive, with lots of built-in tools. I think this is time to finally move on from Garage Band, which we were still using for recording. It’s fine for simple recording, but not great for fine control.

Google Hangouts on Air is almost universally recommended tool for live casting - be it video or audio only. Free, no limitations concerning length of the broadcast, with good tools for getting other people online. This way we get Roisi as our remote host online, while I was still recording everyone as separate channels for later editing.

Full setup looked something like this.

Relay, GraphQL, CSS modules and PostCSS talk

Me and @albert_still were busy for the past couple of weeks building our Relay based app for Red Badger. It’s been quite a dream project so far, since we were able to pick all the newest tech on our way. Our stack so far includes Node, React, Relay with GraphQL schema, CSS modules and PostCSS, all wrapped in Webpack. We’re building something that will eventually replace current company pages, and blog. Latter is our current priority, and once it works properly there’s good chance it will replace our current Wordpress setup.

Last Friday we did a talk on our progress, which is also available online. A bit of audio issues in the beginning, which you can skip. There is a good intro to Relay, why you might need it, frustration points and moments of joy. It is indeed a missing piece in the whole React / GraphQL stack, and chances are that we’ll be moving away from REST into something more flexible, learnable, adaptable. Something like GraphQL enabled endpoints. A technology we all deserve.

Cambridge

Did a day trip to Cambridge this weekend, with Stanisla and friends. Train to Cambridge takes off in Kings Cross station, and rushes with incredible speed to this small university town. Both times it was a direct train with no other stops, and it took about 50 min to reach our destination.

General hint about crowded destinations - find a botanical garden. For a modest fee you get lots of space and very little other people.

Our camera stack was fairly impressive - 3 film cameras, 4 iPhones and 1 digital mirrorless. Cambridge is a perfect photo destination, with ancient buildings, trees, churches and college buildings. I could easily spend another day there and just walk around the old town with a cup of coffee and slice of apple pie.

Will eventually post some film prints here.