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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 as an Internet service? on: January 26, 2015, 08:48:29 PM
But that wasn't the way that the Windows 8 upgrade was handled for the same purpose.  I received media to install.

Yes. But you either bought a new PC within the "qualifies for free upgrade to Windows 8" timeframe - or you paid money to get it.

This time it's is supposedly going to be absolutely free. But who knows? Maybe they'll give people the opportunity to purchase an optional media kit with disk(s)?


If there's no media and such, there's no way in HELL I'm taking them up on that offer.  And I think that anyone that has any modicum of sense would do the same.  There's too many reasons to need media to fall for that.

Agree 100%. I think hard media is essential for any purchased product - and very desirable even if it's not. But manufacturer supplied disks aren't necessary to recover your machine after the upgrade is completed. You can make a full set of recovery media from within Windows once it's installed. So the old "absolutely needed for disaster recovery" argument no longer applies.

Really blows...I know. But there you are.  Cool
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 26, 2015, 08:21:52 PM
40Hz - if you can play instruments tuned in 5ths I reckon it takes about an hour to adapt to the new spacing.

Sounds good. Besides, ascending-4ths are just descending-5ths going in the opposite direction on bass. Grin It's not that a big mental stretch to grok or use it. Most guitar players are amazed they can strum a mandolin once you tell them it's tuned like the bottom 4 strings of a guitar except going in the opposite direction. So if you use the bottom 4 strings of a guitar chord in a mirrored pattern, there's your mandolin chords!

Music is so mathematical. Probably why it's one of the few things in the world that makes absolute sense to me. Grin

re: Chinese builds

I agree. It's amazing. Any import I've seen from China that sports somebody else's name (Fender's "Modern Player" series for example) rivals or exceeds its US built counterpart. And for about one third the price. I just recently bought an electric bass made in Indonesia for Fender's Squier subsidiary label. This model is called the Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass Special. (Is somebody in marketing being paid by the word?):

[attachthumb=#]

I wanted a "mainstream sound" sort of instrument, intended for use as a low-risk (i.e. "sacrifice") road bass. Turns out it's astonishingly good. The rave reviews it's gotten are spot on IMO. It's not just an inexpensive bass ($199 USD delivered!) that's "good for its price range." It's actually a rather nice instrument that is more than good enough for professional use either on the stage or in the studio. I like it so much I'm thinking of getting a second one as a backup.

Imagine...two quality instruments for the combined price of approximately five sets of Tomastik-Infeld flatwound strings. The mind boggles! Thmbsup
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 as an Internet service? on: January 26, 2015, 06:55:48 PM
I wouldn't think you'd have to install it to get the upgrade, nor have zero media.  Why not get the upgrade, and just not install it?

Oh, can that be done? I thought there would be some activation code or licence that expires?

I'm guessing they'll handle it through the same mechanism they use for their Anytime Upgrade. It'll probably read your ID and activation info, and update their customer database so they know you requested the upgrade - and then irrevocably move you up to 10 - after which you likely won't ever be able to downgrade to (or reactivate) Windows 7. Even if you have disks. If you need system backups or want machine specific restoration disks, you'll have to make them using the recovery tools already built into Windows. Just like you can now.

Seriously. This will be a one-way corridor you'll have to contractually agree (via the EULA) to walk down. The primary reason they're doing this "for free" is to get you off Windows 7, regardless of whatever other reasons they may also have. And they intend to do it once and for all when they do. No repeating that XP holdout debacle.

Microsoft may be clueless at times. But they're not stupid.

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 as an Internet service? on: January 26, 2015, 06:43:07 PM
Gavin Clarke over at The register puts his two cents in. Read it

Interesting article, thanks for this. One thing I don't get it why MS thinks being so cryptic about their plan is a good thing. Their event raised more questions than answers, and now everyone out there is reading the tea leaves and trying to make sense of stupid things like what did MS mean by a "device". They could have just spelled out the plan, rather than allow for all these speculations to proliferate (and most of them seem to draw negative conclusions).

Could they be really so bad at marketing? What is that about? Or maybe they haven't actually agreed on a plan yet (which is not a good sign either)? Or maybe the plan (the truth) is even more negative than the speculations? I just can't see how it could be a good thing to leave millions of customers out there scratching their heads.

I think the short answer is:

  • Yes. They actually are that bad at marketing.
...and
  • Yes. They are not exactly sure how they want to play it just yet.

Some people might say (but you know the sort of things they say....) that this is more a bellwether to gauge audience reactions and objections before finalizing the details of their offer.

As far as causing uncertainty, Microsoft has made an art of that. Keeping everybody guessing - even after the fact - is not something Microsoft has a philosophical or moral issue with. If you don't believe it, try asking them a direct question about their licensing. You'll get some of the fanciest tap dancing all around the room since Mr. Bo-Jangles died.


Quote
As for the free upgrade, I will probably wait until the last week of the 11th month to see all the feedback on the bugs and issues etc., whether it's really worth it or better to stick with Win7 (unless the early feedback will be really amazing). But to be honest, all I heard so far is that they bring back features for which there are already better 3rd party tools anyway (like the Start menu), so I'm not seeing yet the fabulous benefits of upgrading.


Yep. It's mostly how to fix what's wrong without admitting it was your 'bad' that caused it.

However, Windows 8, once stripped of all the Sinofsky gingerbread & garland, is a really good OS. The underpinning system is easily the best  and most secure (which isn't saying much for that part) Microsoft ever came up with. It's solid and smooth. But like a puma in a pinafore, it's not the cat - it's that stupid dress they wrapped it in that screwed everything.

They intend to tombstone Windows 7. So as long as Windows 10 does as it claims on the tin, and doesn't try to fence you in too much without a viable escape hatch (which is probably too much to hope for), it's probably silly not to upgrade. Or at least no sillier than sticking with Windows to begin with.

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: January 26, 2015, 06:02:49 PM
[attach]

Watched Moonstruck again after some years.

It's just as funny and poignant as the first time I saw it. Recommended.

It's funny how 'comedy of errors' films that have a wedding as a central plot element work out so well. And so often. I guess it's because weddings are intrinsically funny. And they tend to bring out the best and worst in us. Perfect stories for a movie.

Other good 'uns are:

[attachthumb=#]

Four Weddings and a Funeral (even if putting Andie McDowell in a lead role was a huge mistake IMHO)

[attachthumb=#]

The Wedding Date (with the utterly charming Debra Messing - a redhead connoisseur’s redhead if there ever was one!)

[attachthumb=#]


My Big Fat Greek Wedding
 (Nia Vardalos's brilliant screenplay and performance  made this one a classic that spawned many imitators.)

[attachthumb=#]

Wedding Crashers (Owen Wilson, Vince Vaugn, and Christopher Walken in one film! You know it's gonna be good.)


There are many more. But these will do for a start. Thmbsup
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: everyday life revolution on: January 26, 2015, 05:29:49 PM
example: to code! :p


I don't any more. What else? Grin
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 26, 2015, 04:18:52 PM
@SB - really interesting article. Didn't know some of that. Thx! Thmbsup


Quote
Ray knows he has something special. Over the years he has it appraised a bunch of times, and he hears English, Italian, Scotch, etc. Then it turns out it’s a match for a bass known to be an Amati in England. The bass becomes reputed to be a circa 1640 Amati.

Quote
Postscript: The Amati assertion has always been controversial. I’ve talked to at least one guy who says the twin to Ray’s bass in England is now believed to be a Glassel, made in Marknukeurchen

*Mini very rational 40hz rant follows. Please feel free to ignore.*

So typical with orchestral basses.  undecided The disputes that break out over exactly what a given bass is.  tongue

My GF's Mom is a very good violinist who played with several local orchestras. She had (allegedly - although they were both appraised and blessed off as being genuine by some big name string instrument appraisers in New York City) a Ceruti (who was a famous student of Amati) and a Guarneri. They're both fine violins with lovely but very different characters. Not the most beautiful I've ever heard. But they're up there. Especially the Guarneri. However, I've heard some modern instruments I've actually liked better. And those had neither the fancy pedigree - nor the nose-bleed inducing price tags - her two violins had. And let's not even get started on the bows - which are a whole other business and arena for debate!

I guess I just don't get it. Either when it comes to Cremona violins - or '57 Stratocasters for that matter. As long as something sounds good, is responsive, and plays well, I could care less who made it or when or where. But that's me. Which is to say I'm a working musician rather than an investor in rarities or an instrument collector.

Probably the only thing (besides transportation hassles) that I was actually glad to get away from, when I got away from playing string bass, was the mystique and nonsense surrounding the instrument itself. Sure, better instruments made by better makers (using better materials and construction methods) sounded better than those that were not. But I can't really see or hear anything that justifies the some of the reputations or astronomical prices many of these "fine instruments" fetch. I have heard one or two (played by some famous players) that were amazing. But there weren't that many. Certainly not enough to create the industry that exists to buy and sell these things.

[attach]

Sad thing is, that same nonsense is coming to the world of electric bass. There's already the 'collectable instrument' feeding frenzy starting to develop around the '60-'62 Fender Jazz and '58-'60 Fender Precision basses along with Gibson Thunderbirds from the early 60s...

I mean what is with these people? These are mass-manufactured production instruments. In the case of Leo Fender's instruments, they were acknowledged (by Leo himself) to be designed to be as easy and cheap to manufacture as was humanly possible. Even those vintage paint jobs so prized by Fender collectors were the result of his using automotive paints purchased in odd lots from a company that was conveniently located just down the road from the Fender factory. There's a half-joke at Fender that says if house paint was as readily available, and a nickel cheaper a gallon, Leo would have used that instead.

Maybe I'll follow Carol's lead and just switch to cello. Wink

In the case of Ray Brown, I think it wasn't so much the bass itself as it was the bass + Ray Brown. Because the "thing" isn't the instrument (which is just an inert pile of metal, wood, and potential) OR the player (which is heap of DNA, biomass, and spirit) but the combination that really makes whatever magic there is happen.

[attach]

Ok, I'm done! Carry on. Grin
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: everyday life revolution on: January 26, 2015, 02:35:54 PM
You will find better things to enjoy...

Could you give me some examples? I'm actually curious about what you have in mind. smiley
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Cuba's awesome SNet - possibly the ulltimate homebrew network hack! on: January 26, 2015, 02:28:43 PM
Tired of poor or non-existent networking services? How about you build your own 'off the map' network like some Cubans did?

Hardly ideal by any definition, but when you don't have any, even "a little" is sometimes worth pursuing.

This from The Register (full article here.)

Quote
Cubans defy government's home internet ban with secret home-made network
26 Jan 2015 at 18:18, Simon Rockman


Cubans are fighting back against restrictions on their use of internet with SNet, a secret network. Also known as StreetNet, it pools the resources of citizens, who are effectively prohibited from using the internet.

The Washington Post reports that while the full fat internet in Cuba is government-controlled – home internet is banned and the government controls uber-expensive access in hotels and internet cafes – a local proxy has been set up which links 9,000 computers on the island. Using CAT5 strung from house to house and hidden Wi-Fi antennas, the Cuban network repurposes equipment to create a massive intranet.

It clearly has a level of control with gaming servers and online communities. Cuba has a top level domain – .cu – and is recognised by ICANN, but access for ordinary individuals is controlled by the government and priced way beyond their reach. It appears that the authorities are turning a blind eye to SNet, which in turn is policed by volunteers to ensure that it’s not used for (other) illegal activities or porn. Lack of connections to the wider internet helps ensure the government doesn’t act to shut down SNet...

The spirit of Fido lives on! Thmbsup Thmbsup
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 as an Internet service? on: January 26, 2015, 11:57:27 AM
Gavin Clarke over at The register puts his two cents in. Read it here.

tl:dr - Microsoft is releasing Win 10 free for one year to speed adoption because (a) it can't afford another marketing disaster like it had with Windows 8; and (b) it needs to force people off Windows 7 - because Win7 can't use Microsoft's App Store.


------------------------------------

Bottom line: Microsoft is playing what it feels is the long game. Even if it means kicking it's partners and the entire PC industry under the bus to do so. Like a punch-drunk prizefighter, they know it isn't always a matter of being the best competitor. It's sometimes just being the one who is able to absorb the most punishment and remain standing the longest.

Microsoft’s deep coffers may ultimately be the thing that ends up getting them where they want to be. And too bad for about any collateral damage that occurs along the way.

[attach]

Nice to know. Thanks.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: everyday life revolution on: January 26, 2015, 11:15:18 AM
I rather enjoy taking a hot shower and don't see it as a wasteful inconvenience.

Agree. I enjoy a shower too. And on a few particularly bad days I've experienced recently, that morning shower was the high point of the day. smiley
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 26, 2015, 11:08:07 AM
Cello is inconvenient for travelling but pales into insignificance with double bass hassles (I used to play bass years ago)

Couldn’t agree with you more about travelling with the double bass. And I never humped anything bigger than the 3/4 size. I can only imagine what a nightmare carting the awesome 4/4 would be like. In my "union member" days we used to get a flat "cartage" fee  on top of the hourly session fee if the client insisted on hiring someone to play the "doghouse." Needless to say, Leo's Precision and Jazz basses got very popular with booking agents once their clients realized they could save some coin by not automatically insisting on a "real" double bass.

My advice it take the plunge -  get a cello and go for it - apart from tuning you have a good head start from bass!!

The tuning isn't a problem in my case. I already use a few alternate tunings on bass and guitar (on those rare occasions I get to play one.) Cello also uses the same "Ron Carter" ascending-5th tuning a piccolo bass uses - so I'm right at home. It would be more a matter of adjusting to the different scale length for me. If I can't close my eyes and (almost) always fret (or stop in the case of cello) the note I'm looking for, I know I have some work ahead of me.

If you play electric bass, give the E A D♭ G♭ tuning a try. (Think top 4 strings of guitar!) It's rather amazing. It does make a few things slightly harder to play than they would be with standard E A D G tuning. And you lose some of that lovely fingering symmetry the standard ascending-4th tuning provides. But it makes more melodic passages noticeably easier and less fatiguing to finger. And it only takes about a half hour to get perfectly comfortable with if you've been playing for a few years - or you have a guitar background, as most of the truly lousy (kidding!) bass players do.

 Thmbsup
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: everyday life revolution on: January 26, 2015, 08:56:44 AM
Um...there are some "business establishments" on the fringes of the 'hospitality' industry that will do just that for you. For a small fee of course. tongue
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 26, 2015, 08:54:03 AM
Sorry I haven't been around much over the last few months - been totally obsessed by my cello!!!

Understandable. Being a bass player, the cello (along with the saxophone) is an instrument I always wanted to take up. Imagine...to be able to play melody for a change...can such a world exist? smiley
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 26, 2015, 08:20:35 AM
Of course there's also the Diddley Bow for people with no building skills or money. It's just a hunk of any wood you have lying around; any guitar string or piece of wire you can get your hands on; something to use as a bridge and nut (an old eye bolt, or piece of doweling, or a pencil stub are traditional); a screw (or whatever) for a 'tuning' key; and a pickup of some sort. Usually it's the cannibalized piezo element from an old buzzer or something like the microphone end of an old telephone...

After that it's up to you. Because the truth is: even "a piece of junk" can become a pretty remarkable musical instrument in the right hands. Here's Seasick Steve, a Jedi master of junk instruments if there ever was one, showing what you can do with a Diddley Bow:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPOMYHKWGTE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPOMYHKWGTE</a>

BTW: The Diddley Bow is a modern manifestation of the monochord. A musical  instrument, teaching tool, and research device that dates back to classical antiquity. From that single string came much of what we know about the physics of music, the harmonic series, the geometric ratios of notes to one another, and pretty much everything else that passes for music theory to this day.

 Cool Thmbsup
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 26, 2015, 08:04:02 AM
re: Ukulele

So why not build your own? And why not a solidbody electric while you're at it?  huh

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq1zoYhSmSk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq1zoYhSmSk</a>

Link to download plans here.
Link to Dan Hulbert's Circuits & Strings website here. Great source for uke builders.

And since we have an electric solidbody, how about doing up a bass while we're at it?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SsYCTzZUY0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SsYCTzZUY0</a>

Or if woodworking isn't your thing, maybe try using a detergent bottle for the body. A resonator is a resonator. Some sound better and work better than others. But they all do the same basic thing. Experiment! Thmbsup

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wrKGbZJ9tg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wrKGbZJ9tg</a>



17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Authorities suspect a shark tried to eat Vietnam's Internet on: January 26, 2015, 07:37:56 AM
I am so getting shot for this

Among other things. And along with the rest of us. Wink Grin
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Beware of download sites on: January 25, 2015, 06:13:37 PM
I know Sourceforge can allow the people they host to have bundled junk.

In that they supposedly bless off on anything submitted, they have a tiny amount (very tiny) of moral responsibility for whatever they're hosting. But not legal responsibility. See below for the relevant part of their ToS.

19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 25, 2015, 05:52:37 PM
Jake Shimabukuro!  Wow!  Damn that was so good.

Yup! He's one of the poster children for the "new" ukulele sound. And deservedly so IMO.

He's been called the Béla Fleck of the uke. Seems to be an equally nice guy too. Thmbsup
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: January 25, 2015, 10:33:29 AM
Are you still not playing a ukulele?

It's fun. It's cool. It's quite the thing.

Article over on at The Atlantic provides a good introduction to the Uke Renaissance.

Quote
...
Despite a long history that once included a reputation as an exotic and highbrow instrument, the ukulele has also endured decades of snubbing from both the pop music scene and the more cultured world of classical music. But with the help of trendsetters and tastemakers, it's making a strong comeback—the National Association of Music Merchants reported a 54 percent jump in ukulele sales in 2013—that can be traced in large part to the instrument's accessibility, affordability, YouTube popularity, and celebrity esteem.

The instrument's renewed appeal can be seen in the rise of ukulele music festivals, which have cropped up in places like Reno, Milwaukee, Napa, Port Townsend, Washington, and Rockville, Maryland. Take New Jersey's second annual Ukefest last August at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship Hall, which kicked off with 86 beginners tackling their first piece, "Surfin' USA." During the festival, the rented church was awash with love for the novices—a kind of generosity rarely seen at a piano or guitar convention. “Strum with your index finger or thumb—whatever feels good,” ukulele teacher, author, and songwriter Jim Beloff told the beginners. “There are no ukulele police.”...

For an example of just how good a uke can sound, listen to master player Jake Shimabukuro performing his interpretation of While My Guitar Gently Weeps while visiting Strawberry Fields in Central Park NYC. No fancy effects, no recording studio, no big stage show...just a fine musician, a simple acoustic instrument, and open air.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puSkP3uym5k" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puSkP3uym5k</a>

There's a bunch of instructional videos for ukulele up on YouTube if you want to give it a go.

Why not? Cool
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Quick list of 7 FOSS Cloud Storage Products for Self-hosting on: January 25, 2015, 01:45:29 AM
Full article link doesn't go anywhere smiley

@rg - Apologies. Now fixed in OP.  embarassed

@wraith - thank you!  smiley
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Quick list of 7 FOSS Cloud Storage Products for Self-hosting on: January 24, 2015, 08:12:04 PM
Nice quick summary courtesy of the nixCraft website:

Quote
7 Awesome Open Source Cloud Storage Software For Your Privacy and Security

by nixCraft on January 14, 2015

Cloud storage is nothing but an enterprise-level cloud data storage model to store the digital data in logical pools, across the multiple servers. You can use a hosting company such as Amazon, Google, Rackspace, Dropbox and others for keeping your data available and accessible 24x7. You can access data stored on cloud storage via API or desktop/mobile apps or web based systems.

In this post, I'm going to list amazingly awesome open source cloud storage engines that you can use to access and sync your data privately for security and privacy reasons.

Ignore the gushy "awesome" bit and check it out. tongue  Full article here

23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Storage Spaces talk on: January 22, 2015, 11:22:18 PM
^Not much if at all AFAICT.

Some of it is opinion - although pretty solid opinion - in my opinion. Grin

More seriously, when it comes to storage technology, there are as many opinions as there are people to have one. And there's no recommendation that doesn't require some qualifiers be attached to it. Because a lot of it depends on what you're doing. Each of these technologies has its pros and cons. There's no universally 'perfect' or 'best' choice. Just the one that's most appropriate for a given application.

 Cool
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: January 22, 2015, 09:34:26 PM
I guess I technically discovered Greg Lake when a prog rock nut friend of mine gave me a copy of pictures at an exhibition. He seems to get dismissed as a bassist by a lot of prog rock fanboys because he's less about technical virtuosity than sitting back in the pocket. For me, of course, that's part of his appeal. What's even cooler, though, is how he throws in all kinds of harmonies you wouldn't expect, but he can still bring the funk.


For me it was hearing his bass line on From the Beginning on the Trilogy album. That was my "What the heck is that???" moment. It was...OMG...utterly melodic! That bass didn't only sound smooth and clear and beautiful - it could also hold its own balanced up against the tonal purity of a Moog using the awesome 'Cosmic Wow' patch!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBvGZP4srZA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBvGZP4srZA</a>

Then I read his interview in Guitar Player and discovered he was using something called Rotosound Swing Bass strings on a really oddball (for the time) bass made by Gibson called The Ripper (or more prosaically the L9-S).

[attachthumb=#]    [attachthumb=#]

I immediately switched to Rotosound strings on my Fender Jazz bass, and saved up as quickly as possible to buy a Ripper about a year later - which I still have and use as my main instrument to this day. It now sports nickel roundwounds from DR since D'Addario no longer makes the copper-wound strings I preferred to put on it. (They have recently introduced copper-coated strings called XL Reds - but they don't produce the same warm sound, or have the same buttery feel as their original wound 'Reds.' To me, that coating is mostly cosmetic.)

But that's me... Wink

25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Storage Spaces talk on: January 22, 2015, 08:53:27 PM
^It has a higher suggested RAM requirement than some things. But, as you said, RAM is cheap. And when it comes to servers, it's generally a good idea to max out your RAM if at all possible - regardless of what file system you're running. These days I prefer most servers to have a minimum of 16Gb of RAM as their base configuration, and then go up from there based on what it's going to be used for.
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