Steamboat Willie Never Sounded Better

Mickey Mouse’s introduction to the world was the 1928 cartoon, Steamboat Willie. Not only was it the first appearance of Mickey with sound, it was also one of the first cartoons to employ synchronized sound. The problem is, the sound is awful. Sure, after nearly a century, what do you expect? But [Oona Räisänen] thought it wasn’t just age, but flutter from the original recording. Could it be made better? What follows that question is a self-described geek’s journey into the depths of recorded sound.

The first step was to find a high quality source. The Internet Archive had a copy that was mostly clean. But it also has a lossless scan of the movie including the original optical soundtrack. A quick script played back the original soundtrack and — you guessed it — the flutter is already there. You can see the original 7-minute short from Disney’s channel, below.

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FLOSS Weekly Episode 765: That Ship Sailed… And Sank

This week Jonathan Bennett and Aaron Newcomb talk with Randal Schwartz, the longest running host of FLOSS Weekly, Perl’s biggest cheerleader, and now Dart and Flutter expert. What’s new with Randal since his last FLOSS Weekly episode in May 2020? Why should you look at Dart and Flutter? And how do you avoid becoming a security martyr?

Randal has been busy since handing over the reigns of FLOSS Weekly, adding to his Perl credentials a solid claim to being a Dart Flutter expert. The Dart language has some real appeal, taking the best features from JIT languages like JavaScript, and also offering binary compilation like a real systems language should. Then the Flutter framework lets you write your code once, and literally run it on any screen. Sure, there have been some growing pains along the way, and listen to the episode to hear Randal describe the “45-degree turns” the language/framework duo has taken through the years.

Then as almost a bonus at the end of the episode, Randal quickly covered his now-expunged conviction for “doing his job with too much enthusiasm”, and covered some basic pointers to keep other security researchers out of trouble. This week is a nostalgia trip for long-time listeners, as well as a real treat for everyone else.

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Should You Build For Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, Or Linux? Yes!

The holy grail of computer languages is to write code once and have it deploy effortlessly everywhere. Java likes to take credit for the idea, but UCSD P-Code was way before that and you could argue that mainframes had I/O abstraction like Fortran unit numbers even earlier. More modern efforts include Qt, GTK, and other things. Naturally, all of these fall short in some way. Now Google enters the fray with Flutter.

Flutter isn’t new, but in the past, it only handled Android and iOS. Now it can target desktop platforms and can even produce JavaScript. We haven’t played with the system enough to say how successful it is, but you can try it in your browser if you want some first-hand experience.

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