Book review: Slide Rules: Design, Build, and Archive Presentations in the Engineering and Technical Fields

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I have trouble with slides. I hate them. I’ve followed a training of presentation to make better ones, and with more or less no slides anymore. I liked that training very much, but it’s difficult to apply to scientific presentations. As such, I’ve decided to read this book who is about scientific presentations (published by IEEE-Wiley) and to see how other people apprehend slides.

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Book review: Googled: The End of the World As We Know It

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Google is intriguing and there are plenty of books on the company. Who did it grow to such a beast? What is their true purpose? This is one of these books, published 5 years ago. Is it still relevant today?
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Announcement: ATKStereoLimiter 1.0.0

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I’m happy to announce the release of a stereo limiter based on the Audio Toolkit. They are available on Windows and OS X (min. 10.8) in different formats.

This stereo plugin limits both channels by getting the max of the instantaneous power of them and applying a limiting gain function on them. There is no oversampling inside the plugin, so the output signal can overshoot.

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On efficient reading and writing for large scale simulations

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Last year, my colleagues and I presented a paper on giga model simulations in an SPE conference: Giga-Model Simulations In A Commercial Simulator – Challenges & Solutions. During this talk, we talked about the complexity of I/O for such simulations. We had ordered data as input that we needed to split in chunks to send them on the relevant MPI ranks, and then the same process was required for writing the results, gathering the chunks and then writing them down to the disk.

The central point is that some clusters have parallel file systems, and these works well when you try to access big blobs of aligned data. In fact, as they are the bottleneck of the whole system, you need to limit the number of accesses to what you actually require. For instance in HDF5, you can specify the alignment of datasets, so you can say that all HDF5 datasets will be aligned on the filesystem specifications (so for instance 1MB if your Lustre/GPFS has a chunk size of 1MB) and read or write chunks that are multiple of these values.

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Announcement: ATKSideChainCompressor 2.0.0 and ATKSideChainExpander 2.0.0

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I’m happy to announce the update of the side-chain stereo compressor and expander based on the Audio Toolkit. They are available on Windows and OS X (min. 10.8) in different formats.

These stereo plugins can work on two channels, left/right or middle/side, possibly in linked mode (only one set of parameters), and can be set up to mix the input signal with the compressed signal (serial/parallel compression). The side chain channels can be used to steer the gain stage (the same setup will be used, right/left or middle/side), depending on the switch on the top right of the plugins. The same coloration stage than ATKColoredCompressor and ATKColoredExpander are used here.

This effectively makes ATKStereoCompressor obsolete, as the compressor can be set up in the same conditions as ATKStereoCompressor.

These new versions have more parameters than the previous ones, which means that the parameters used in a project with the former version won’t be loaded in the same way for these new versions.

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Announcement: Audio TK 1.0.0

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This is the first stable release of the Audio Toolkit, after more than a year of development. In addition to the serial pipeline, there is now an option to use TBB to render each chunk in parallel. The pipeline can also return the maximum latency the pipeline possesses if all latency information is given during the build of the pipeline.

Additional filters were also added to complement the current set of filters.

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Audio Toolkit: Attack Release filter with hysteresis

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For several months, I only implemented a basic attack-release filter in Audio Toolkit (here). But of course, there are filters that have a more custom behavior. The usual additional parameter that can be seen in these filters is called hysteresis.
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Announcement: ATKColoredCompressor 1.0.0 and ATKColoredExpander 1.0.0

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I’m happy to announce the release of a colored compressor plugin as well as a colored expander plugin based on the Audio Toolkit. They are available on Windows and OS X (min. 10.8) in different formats. They are effectively replacing the ATKCompressor and ATKExpander plugins by adding several new parameters: RMS filter (set it to 0 to get peak detection from the old plugins), color (gain change around the threshold, positive color adding gain and negative color removing gain), quality (affecting the coloring on a smaller or bigger area around the threshold). The expander also has a maximum reduction parameter, allowing the user to specify the maximum amount of gain reduction below the threshold.

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