Tomas Pettersson wrote a small application, that hit the gaming scene like a rock. SFXR is a sound tool to quickly make sound effects to use in any game. At least Tomas is very surprised about the success of this application, because for him it was just a logic step to write that app.

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Tomas “DrPetter” Pettersson is a 25 year-old guy from northern Sweden who has been toying with computer programming since the age of twelve. His first real contact with electronic and computerized entertainment was the NES and from there it has progressed through the classic line of various consoles, C64, the Amiga and finally PC. Since 2001 he studies computer science and technology at the Linköping University in Sweden, but most of his spare time he uses to experiment with all kinds of things from sound synthesis to game/utility development, music composing and drawing. Digital Tools asked him some questions on the SFXR tool, the context it appears and on future plans and inspiration.

Hi Tomas. Why did you made this tool?

The main motivation for this specific application was that for several years I had noted a distinct lack of sound in most LD48 games.

What are LD48 games?

LD48 stands for Ludum Dare 48-hour game development competition. It is, as the name implies, a competition where entrants sit down and develop a game within a period of 48 hours. Everything about the game has to be created by one person within the given time limit, so you’re not allowed to use content downloaded off the net or borrowed from friends.

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Interview - Date published: December 23, 2007 | 2 Comments

Tobias Leingruber is a student at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart and got last year attention for a media-art webcrawler project called “Hoebot”. This crawler was programmed for the student community “StudiVZ” – the german counterpart of Facebook. Tobias wrote in total two bots: Hoebot – a crawler automated to ask users on the social platform for data and Lovebot – a bot that connects people automatically “love”-based on the crawled data from Hoebot. The StudiVZ as a social networking platform for students got much attention in the german web 2.0 scene and at the same time was criticized for having issues on low security and privacy politics. And exactly at this point the crawlers set the point. The works of Tobias focus on networked and browser-based systems.

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Timemachine on the website msn.com and Tobias Leingruber

Tobias Leingrubers recent work is focusing on Mozilla Firefox add-ons, with the Timemachine as the leading project. It is is a Firefox extension that brings websites back to the 90s by manipulating the display of any website browsing. This will maybe the starting point for a series of art-based Firefox extensions and a related art-add-on community. Read the why and how below.

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Interview - Date published: November 9, 2007 | 1 Comment

Cory Arcangel describes himself as a “29 year old computer nerd from Buffalo / New York”. He works as artist in between media, game and concept art. But most of all he has a very fresh view on things that does speak from his minimal, modified works.

For a long time he is now into hacking things, especially vintage gaming hardware in favor of the Nintendo Entertainment System. He started out doing things with Beige, a “programming ensemble”, that meanwhile also turned into a record label. (You will best check out the incredible old-school Beige website to to get an basic understanding what they are about.)

The works of Cory are artifacts, some kind of derivates or moddings, that play with context of the original work. Who is Cory Arcangel? Is he a hacker? Is he an artist? Is he an actionist? Or just a nerd that likes to play? Let’s roll with the interview.

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Cory Archangel performing Born To Run Glockenspiel Addendum live

Hello Cory, what is your basic concept to hooking on things?

This is hard to pin down. I really have no general interest: each project tends to be different, cause I like to tinker with stuff. Take it apart, put it back together again, etc, etc. The art part of it in many ways is a separate interest. They collide, cause basically I want these things I make to in some way to affect people. Therefore I can’t just tinker, I have to tinker with something people care about.

What does the hackers attitude mean to your life apart from building works and artefacts?

Hacking to me means having fun, playing around, practical jokes, being clever, maybe even being a bit of a wise ass.

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Interview - Date published: October 27, 2007 | 1 Comment

Jari Komppa is one of the leading people around the Finnish non-profit group tAAt ry. They do every year the Text Mode Demo Contest that is held between the 11.11 and the 12.12. He is a programmer and PC demoscene veteran from Finland and still does random things on the scene when he finds the right inspiration. He says about himself, that he tends to like “small freaky projects.. for example, I wanted to play Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri again, and wrote a universal VESA driver for Windows to make that happen”. We directly step into the topic.

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Jari Komppa and a contribution from TMDC 9

Why do Text Mode Demos matter?

Interesting things come from limited environments. If you look what happened to the Amiga, or what’s still happening on the C64, the limitations have stayed the same for ages, but people still keep finding ways to make more creative and interesting things with them. The Text Mode has a very low resolution (or, if looked in another way, a very strange resolution), very limited contrast and very limited and fragmented color space. Once you start to see these not as obstacles but as challenges you may end up with something completely unexpected.

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Interview - Date published: September 21, 2007 | 0 Comments

Next up is another 5 Minutes and it’s a great pleasure to present the work from Yann Seznec, maybe better known as “The amazing Rolo”. He is one of the first who did a real music application for the Nintendo Wiimote controller, the Wii Loop Machine. Besides the pure application he got special awareness, because he definately brought a special flavor in using this controller interface. Check out his almost famous video upon that.

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Hello Yann. Please something about yourself and what you do.

My name is Yann Seznec and I am a Franco-American musician and sound designer. I currently work with my brother Cory Seznec in Paris on music and sound design for a play at a 13th century abbey. Later this summer I’ll be finishing a masters degree in Sound Design at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Besides I do music and try to make as many different types of music and sound as possible – from Appalachian folk music to interactive sound installations. I also keep weblogging.

Why did you made this tool for the Wiimote?

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Interview - Date published: June 11, 2007 | 0 Comments

This is the kickoff of our new series 5 Minutes. We will feature here spotlights on people with current topics. The first one is Frank Westphal, Agile Software Technologist from Hamburg, who works as freelancer and consultant. His approach is about Web 2.0, Lean Management, Extreme Programming and test-driven Software Development. He did consulting on qype.com, makes an German podcast called Tonabnehmer and his latest project Rivva is a “Meme Tracker”, that searches weblogs in context of Web 2.0 for top-stories and zeitgeist topics.

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Hello Frank. Why do you follow the “Agile Software / Extreme Programming” approach? And why do you think this strategies work on software development?

I’ve been a proponent of Agile Development and especially Extreme Programming (XP) because I think that their approach to developing software is true to the nature of software. For the first time in computing history, we see software as what it truely is: soft, malleable, flexible and extremely easy to change. Software has this funny characteristic that its very existence changes its own requirements. How often have you demo’d some stuff to some people and got dozens of new ideas along the way? It’s due to the fact that software is so intangible that directions keep changing during the course of a typical software project. Some people think that setting everything in stone (the plan, the requirements, everything) is the right answer, but we think that’s just stupid. Change is inevitable. In fact, that’s why we do software, not hardware, in the first place.

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Interview - Date published: March 15, 2007 | 1 Comment

Marius Watz is one of the leading players in the Generative Art movement. He set up a conference on Generative Art and a touring exhibition called ”Generator.x“ that can be seen all over Europe. His designs and own works are very strong and they seem to ask the question ”how can something so colorful be such a beauty“? Marius Watz just sits between the the ancestors of the Generative Art who developed of the programming language
Processing, Ben Fry and Casey Reas, and pushes the boundaries for this emerging form of art in the 21th century. Generator.x takes the art out of the web and prepares the ground for it in the real world. I met Marius in Berlin with some questions in the backpack.

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How did you get into that computer stuff?

I started coding when I was 11, my dad brought home a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer and I fell in love. I was an awkward but bright kid, so programming was a perfect creative outlet. I figured I would become a software engineer, but then I started using programming to create graphics. I ended up giving up computer science and started doing graphics for posters and flyers for the Oslo techno scene. That was in 1993. The result was that I worked as a graphic designer for many years, combining commercial work with self-initiated projects. These days I call myself an ex-designer, working as an artist only. I’ve lost the interest in client-based work, instead I focus purely on developing my own work.

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Interview - Date published: December 24, 2006 | 2 Comments

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