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Messages - Vurbal [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Cross-utilization?
« on: November 06, 2016, 12:02 PM »
Defragging only makes sense on a physical drive because of the moving parts, ie the time it takes to move from one physical location on the platter to another. On a flash drive the problem is not physical movement, but rather the limited number of reads and writes before it wears out. A properly designed flash drive intentionally fragments data to avoid using the same addresses over and over.

In fact, I wouldn't expect the physical locations of the addresses, nor would I assume they were physically contiguous.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: October 10, 2016, 02:37 PM »
Hmmm... I typed this out the other day, and apparently forgot to hit send. Damn ADD. Let's give it another try.

A week ago I went to an open jam and a friend of mine I hadn't seen in several years was sitting in on drums. He's not around town too much because he does a lot of touring with various artists. I was asking him about a couple of his recent gigs - playing in Paul Rodgers' touring band, followed by a Bad Company tour where he worked as Simon Kirke's drum tech. It turns out he's getting ready to go down to Florida to work with Paul's son Steve.

That's cool, but this was the really cool bit for me. One day he asked Simon if he still had the drum kit he played with Free at the Isle of Wight, and Simon said Paul had it, last he knew. The next time he saw Paul, he asked him about the kit, and Paul said he thought it was in his basement. At this point he's getting excited, so he calls Steve in Florida (at Paul's house) and asks him to check for a gold drum kit in the basement. Sure enough, it's sitting down there, looking like it hasn't been played since the Free days. It even still has the kick drum head with 'Free' hand painted on it.

Simon and Paul don't really care much about it. To them it's just some old drums, but my friend is planning to get it cleaned up while he's in Florida, so it can be preserved, and maybe put on display somewhere further down the road.

He couldn't show me the pictures of the kit, since he didn't have his phone with him, but with any luck he (and his phone) will show up at the jam tonight.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: July 31, 2016, 10:35 AM »
That Stormy Weather rendition, while I love the vocals, so missed that, is definitely excellent from an instrumental standpoint.  It brought to memory one of my regrets.  My father was very big into Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and many more performers of that era.  And he was really into musicals- Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, etc.  In fact, I remember my proudest moment was giving him the complete selection of Rodgers and Hammerstein on DVD when they first came out.  A pretty penny, but the look on his face...

Now that he's gone, and I've started to appreciate that music, I kick myself, and it makes me sad.  I never took the time to cross to his side of the street until it was too late, and I find myself wondering what he thought/would think about certain renditions, or composers, or dancers that I was never interested enough to ask him about.

That sounds so much like my dad, except add in old country music, or as he called it, having grown up in the Alleghany Mountains, hillbilly music.

Sharing that music with me is no small part of what made us so close, although being his first son certainly had something to do with it. I was 16 when he died, and that's one of the few things I had left to hang on to. I'm not sure that helps, but maybe it would have, had he lived longer. My big regret is how our relationship was in the last year or 2 he was alive. It was probably better than most teenagers have with their parents, but it still hurts to think about how I left things with him.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: July 30, 2016, 07:45 AM »
@Vurbal - that sounds pretty awesome. And your wife reminds of my own lady a little. Sounds like a keeper.

She certainly is! And I'm not saying that because she just bought me a set of Sadowsky Black Label flatwounds for my birthday... well not just that.  :D

Unfortunately, that band doesn't look like it's ever going to completely come together, but, as it happens, I've got opportunities coming out of the woodwork now. A couple weeks ago, a guitarist I've played with quite a bit got me an invite to a private get together with a local drummer who's looking to put together a 60s and early 70s R&B/Soul group. It was a great afternoon, and I apparently impressed everybody there by blowing through a bunch of songs I didn't know (all but like 2 songs we played) by just picking up on the groove and running with it.

The R&B project doesn't have a timeline yet, since the drummer is recuperating from a health scare he had a couple months back, but he would like to be playing out by the end of September. But another drummer who was there invited me to possibly do some recording with him on an originals project he's doing with a guitarist. They call it prog, which it really isn't. Mostly, it just has slightly oddball time signatures, like 9/8. However, it's interesting enough for me to spend a couple hours every weekend working on bass lines, and recording is another mountain I was looking to conquer eventually anyway.

The most exciting one for me, though, is this. Since my wife and I started going to the Sunday night jam, I've gotten a lot more stage time, since very few bass players show up. By the end of the night, the host band's bassist and I usually end up taking 3-4 songs at a time. After a lot of playing time together, a very good guitarist who's been sitting in with them, mostly just to fill up his musical calendar, wants me to work with him on an originals project - sort of a late 60s style power trio. He's apparently been looking for a bassist for months, but couldn't find anybody who played melodically enough. He also invited me to come sit in with him at an open mic night he hosts about 15 minutes away from my house.

Of course, the downside, as any musician (or music lover period) who has sat through enough open jams can tell you, is listening to the same handful of standards being butchered almost weekly. There are only so many times you can hear They Call It Stormy Monday played without feeling before you snap. Don't get me started on Cissy Strut or Shakey Ground. Let's just say that some people should not be allowed to play funk in public.

Not that I'm claiming to be perfect. A friend of mine showed up one night and wanted to sing Me and Bobby McGee, which she does very well, even when both the guitar and bass are off key, as it turns out. Since the guitarist and I had both played it in the past, we just looked up the chords as a refresher before hand. Unfortunately, we didn't look closely enough to remember the key change after the first verse. :o We spent most of the rest of the song giving each other funny looks, since neither one of us could figure out exactly what was wrong. Fortunately, the singer is a real pro, so we only made ourselves look stupid.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: May 04, 2016, 03:49 PM »
For the last month I've been going to a Tuesday night jam, which got me authorization from the wife to buy my Ampeg 2x10 a twin brother. A guitarist I've played with each of the 3 times I got up is putting together a band, and asked me to play bass. I've enjoyed playing with him, and he has the seal of approval from my friend Kenny. He knows (or knows about) all the live music in the area, and he's as good a judge of character as I've ever met.

The best part is now that I'm going to these things as a player, my wife suddenly decided she wanted to go with me. I wasn't expecting that to last, since she gets up crazy early in the morning and, frankly, had never shown much interest in checking out local musicians. That changed last night, when I made her wait for 1 more group of musicians to play.

The reason I insisted on staying was the guy who had walked in about 20 minutes before I got up. Hopefully he couldn't hear me any better than I could. He's a hero in the local blues scene named Bob Pace. The kind of guy you find in little markets all over. He's better than all his peers, at the level of the top session guys, but lacking the extra little something that vaults you from top pro to all time great. In fact, I saw him open for Johnny Winter back in 2000, and his band (as headliners) would have been worth the extremely modest ticket price. Then Johnny took the stage, and that was a whole other level of playing.

My wife agreed that Bob's performance was worth the wait, and I think she really paid attention to the music in a way she almost never does. She even suggested we check out the Sunday night jam, hosted by some of the players who show up every Tuesday, starting on Mother's Day. Yes, I do have the world's most awesome wife!

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: March 30, 2016, 09:38 AM »
So I've been playing my re-engineered bass for almost a week and it's like a whole new instrument. I ended up turning the preamp gain almost all the way up - to about 5db. Initially that was just to compensate for output level differences when switching from mid focused (bass/treble cut technically) to mid cut tones. As it turns out, it also makes fine tuning the amount of dirt I'm getting from the overdrive pedal.

The difference with the buffer is so significant that my wife, who does not at all have the ear of a musician, immediately noticed it sounded clearer - before I actually got a good tone dialed in BTW. At rehearsal last week, it cut through the mix at a significantly lower volume. Just as importantly, the volume and tone from one string/note to the next is relatively balanced for the first time ever.

On the good side, struggling to tame those problems for nearly a year has done wonders for my technique. Even better, the guys I've been regularly playing with for the last few months, are actually sounding like a real band. If that doesn't work out, now I've got everything I need to look elsewhere.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: March 30, 2016, 09:04 AM »
So I have a question that I've not really found a reliable answer to.

First, I was using a Korg GA-40 for a tuner.

I moved on from that to a TMR50BK, mostly for the dual use of recording and a metronome.

As of late, I've switched to a Snark SN-5 after seeing it in use in one of my local shops.

I just saw a GoGo Pedal Tuner on massdrop.  The lowest drop price is 39.99, and I'm thinking about joining.

Is there any real discernible functional difference between different tuners that any of you have noticed?  The Snark is convenient, and doesn't actually plug in, but I don't hear any difference between that and a plug-in tuner.  I can hear the difference on lower end tuners for sure.  But once you get past a certain price point, it doesn't seem that the difference is anything but form.

Personally, I wouldn't want to be without a pedal tuner. At the very least I'd want something I can plug into. Fortunately, a friend (with more money than sense) gave me a Pitchblack+ he decided he didn't like, but I don't recommend that for you, or most people in fact. I'm damn happy to have it, but I certainly wouldn't pay $150 for it.

You want something that's accurate to +/-1 cent, which the more recent models of clip-ons from Snark and TC also are, if I'm not mistaken. The Monoprice knockoff of the regular Pitchblack is supposed to be quite nice, and only costs $20. Some people claim it's the actual Pitchblack, which it might be, but I've never seen any proof of that. In any case it's supposed to be an excellent pedal.

The Pitchblack+ is accurate to 0.1 cents, which mostly just makes it suitable for setting intonation. In my case, it also has a couple additional benefits. Unlike most people, my perception is a lot more accurate than +/-1 cent, and I have perfect pitch. Even in a mix, extremely small intonation issues can bug me.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: March 25, 2016, 08:40 AM »
Last night a friend helped me install a preamp (Bartolini AGB 918-2) in my bass. By helped, of course, I mean I double checked which wires he was rerouting where (he's always worked on passive guitars), and set up my amp to test it out when he was done.

It sounds amazing now! Since I no longer have to roll off the bass and mids nearly all the way, while boosting the treble to about 3/4, the noise floor has dropped to near nothing. This morning I tweaked the gain trimpot on the preamp. Now I can keep the bass volume at about 80% running through my Joyo American Sound, and a little extra for bypassing it without having to adjust at the amp.

Besides the pedal, which does an amazing job of copping a Fender amp feel, I recently bought an Ampeg 210 (AV) cabinet, and I'm searching for his twin brother. Together they'll make a fantastic stage rig. For the time being, it's great by itself at surprising volumes - perfect at practice and rehearsal volume. Actually, I imagine it would carry a small bar just fine.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: March 11, 2016, 02:08 PM »
Journey in 1974 at Winterland. If your only exposure to Journey has been their career in Top 40 radio, this will not be at all what you expect.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: February 19, 2016, 08:59 AM »
Last night my daughter was watching The Daily Show on Hulu and they had a musical act called The Suffers on. They looked like an old school funk show band, which I love. Then they started playing, and it was even better than that. They're actually the most authentically awesome old school soul band I've seen in... well ever really. In fact, I would put Kam Franklin up against any soul singer from any era.

Then there's this one from last year.

Living Room / Re: Http vs Https Universally
« on: February 18, 2016, 01:01 PM »
The bottom line is that certificate based security is only as trustworthy as the companies responsible for the certificates. Companies generally, large companies in particular, and large security companies especially, are ultimately vulnerable to the whims of government actors. Look at how effective the NSA has been at undermining security standards without even bothering with bringing the coercive power of the government to bear.

I'm not saying that I don't use HTTPS everywhere possible, but I understand that it's like putting a band aid on a sucking chest wound. It addresses a handful of problems, but leaves the underlying issue untreated. I don't know what the solution is, but I'm absolutely sure it will involve a complete paradigm shift in how we handle trust relationships.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: February 18, 2016, 12:34 PM »
As 40Hz already knows, I bought a new Schecter 5 string bass about the time I stopped posting to this thread last year. With a budget of only $400, I was actually planning to buy something used, which really sucks for a lefty. Fortunately for me, Schecter had discontinued this particular model, and I managed to get one literally a couple days before they became pretty much impossible to find. As a bonus, the new price was about what I'd probably get selling it used, so it was practically a zero risk purchase.

I fell in love with it the first time I played it, and I love it just as much now. It's everything I expected from a Schecterat that price (it normally sold for around $650 - $700), except for one annoyance. I say annoyance, but had I payed full price, or if I had to pay someone to fix the 1 design flaw I discovered, I'd be pretty pissed. Instead, I'm mildly annoyed with them, and more annoyed with myself for not tracking the issue down sooner.

To make a long story short (mark that on your calendar), Schecter put passive EMG pickups in the bass, which is fine, but then they paired them with the wrong EMG EQ module. EMG sells 2 OEM specific EQ stacks, one for active pickups (which most of theirs are) and another for passive pickups. Not being an OEM, I can't be sure, but I'm betting the active pickup (200k input impedance) version is cheaper than the passive (1M input impedance) one, because it doesn't need to include a buffer (which active pickups have) to avoid impedance loading the pickups. Even if they're the same price, generally, I know Schecter sells a bunch of basses with active pickups, so it would probably have increased the cost moderately to buy a separate (and smaller) batch of high impedance tone stacks).

Whatever their reasons, here's what the difference between 1M and 200k looks like on a frequency plot. They're different pickups, but the effect is fundamentally the same. There are actually 3 different impedance options listed, because it's for an Audere preamp with a variable impedance option. However, the Low Z and Mid Z plots are for the exact impedances for the active and passive pickup EQ modules, respectively. Not to mention that 1M is what every standard onboard preamp uses, and for the exact same reason.


Fortunately, it turns out Bartolini sells a reasonably priced buffer/preamp circuit, so I can fix it without buying an entire preamp/EQ unit. At this point, I can't say I even know what either the pickups or EQ sound like when wired properly, so it would be wasteful to replace them without finding out - especially at nearly half the original cost of the bass.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: January 19, 2016, 06:46 AM »
Lemmy makes breakfast:

General Software Discussion / Re: Mind mapping software
« on: September 06, 2015, 09:17 AM »
Thread necro powers, activate, form of...Graduate Thesis Student!


I am interested to see how your quest to organize your thoughts has turned out as it seems you and I share a similar mind. I was wondering what you found and what you see as the strengths in such a product. I am not officially underway on my thesis in my Master of Science in Information Assurance course, with the ultimate goal being a Doctorate of Science in Information Systems to follow. As such, I am looking for a way to keep all of these random ideas and thoughts that populate in the tangled mess I call my brain somewhat organized. Have you had any luck?

I don't have time right this moment,  but I'll try to answer this with enough detail to be useful. The short version is yes, I have had some luck, but with quite a few caveats.

If I haven't posted again before tomorrow afternoon, shoot me another PM because it probably means I've forgotten entirely.

Living Room / Re: [SOLVED] Boot problem/s
« on: July 26, 2015, 01:49 PM »
Congratulations.   I have pretty good experience messing with MBR.  But with W8 they changed to this UEFI and GPT jazz.  I understand it had to be changed to accommodate huge storage.  But I don't dare to do anything without a lot of reading in preparation and expendable machines to experiment with.  :)

Plus a lot of bootable utilities that worked for sure on MBR are now suspect.  Can't take anything as a given. 

As I learned last year, Dell's recovery process was already suspect on MBR systems - and that's being generous. Throw in those additional variables and it's clearly a train wreck waiting to happen - at least for the average user.

Living Room / Re: [Help!] Boot problem/s
« on: July 25, 2015, 08:47 PM »
So I am not sure what to make of the 1st partition on your hard disk. Likely when you make the 3rd partition the boot partition your system will start working again.

I'm pretty sure it's part of the Dell restore crap. Not all of it, obviously, since it's not big enough. IIRC it contains the restore program, accessible through the Windows startup repair process. At least on the one I dealt with, the WIM image was actually stored on the system drive, but hidden so you wouldn't know it was there.

It's still a little fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure all I had to do at that point is set the correct partition to boot (using diskpart obviously), and it was fixed. I do remember for sure that the recovery partition was at the beginning of the drive, just because I had always seen them at the end in the past.

Living Room / Re: [Help!] Boot problem/s
« on: July 24, 2015, 01:20 PM »

I ran into this exact problem last year after replacing the hard drive in a Dell laptop. The restore process is supposed to hide that partition at the end of the restore process, but doesn't necessarily do so. IIRC I found a way to do it from the command line. If I get some time, I'll see if I can find the command I used.

Probably diskpart.  Run it from an administrative command prompt(or elevated as they say these days.)

edit: This tutorial on a Vista system changes a recovery partition to show it by changing the type to 07. Supposedly 07 is visible ntfs 17 is hidden and 27 is a recovery partition.  If 17 doesn't work try 27.  :)


This was actually one of Dell's command line utilities, but yeah, DiskPart should do the job.

Apparently I did just use diskpart, at least according to what I posted here at the time.

For anyone unfortunate enough to get stuck repairing a Dell with DataSafe (a truly ironic name) backup software, I do now have a few words of advice. The first word that comes to mind is run and that's only halfway joking.

It seems someone at Dell came up with the brilliant idea of integrating half assed backup software with the Windows deployment process. Actually that's not exactly right which is really the problem. Instead of launching their proprietary tools inside the deployment process, a successful restore required me to use their tool directly so it could select the correct (original) install image rather than the DataSafe backup which just looked like it was the original.

Also, since Dell decided to leave the recovery partition accessible from Windows, when the Win7 upgrade ran it used it as the boot partition and changed it from E: to C:. That, of course, isn't nearly as problematic as the fact the upgrade obviously had to also make it the active partition. On the good side I can now definitively say I haven't forgotten how to use diskpart.

The tl;dr version goes something like this. After booting with a Windows disc I started by making the correct (OS) partition active. Next I used imagex to manually apply what various Internet sources indicated was the factory image. In reality it ended up a backup from some point which at least got me to the point DataSafe was available from the Windows repair menu. When I booted the next time I let DataSafe do another restore which applied the actual factory image.

Living Room / Re: [Help!] Boot problem/s
« on: July 24, 2015, 12:34 PM »
Sounds like the order of the partitions got jumbled up in (parts of) the Windows configuration.

During the boot routine some hard-coded path's are used and it appears that there things go wrong.

Windows partitions are assigned a unique code that is later on translated into a drive letter. My suspicion is that here your problem starts. Suddenly all parts of the operating system are not in the location where the operating system expects them to be and a generic error code 0x3 will be served up to your screen.

Fixing this kind of errors might prove more time-consuming than re-installing or putting an image back. Laptop manufacturers have the nasty habit lately to put the recovery partition in front off the other partition. The reasoning behind this doesn't make a lick of sense to me. After all, this is the fastest part of the hard disk, which should be used for the Windows partition. After all, you will spend more time using the laptop instead of restoring the factory setup!

My guess is that they do this, so they can crank out laptops faster. Anyway, even the Windows installer gets "confused" by this on occasion.

I ran into this exact problem last year after replacing the hard drive in a Dell laptop. The restore process is supposed to hide that partition at the end of the restore process, but doesn't necessarily do so. IIRC I found a way to do it from the command line. If I get some time, I'll see if I can find the command I used.

General Software Discussion / Re: why MS Word breaks format
« on: June 08, 2015, 04:08 PM »
ok guys, but the success of a program is not to spend 1 whole year to master it!!!

Maybe not for the user, but if it takes a year to master, but people keep buying it anyway, that's exactly what Microsoft would call a success.

According to their website, there's still a free (Basic) version.

The ^lichen method would actually be a very good approach, although current GMO abuses with Franken-foods have given the subject of genetic engineering a bad rap.
Yeah, GMOs... ask the Thrints what happened to their food animals, the frumious Bandersnatch, that their genetic engineers, the tnuctipun, created for them...  ;D

Frumious Bandersnatch broke up in 1969. Most of them went on to play with Steve Miller. Ross Valory and George Tickner also became founding members of Journey in 1973.   :D

I would also suggest to use the Windows 7 installer instead of the XP installer. Because that installer will not burden your hard disk with hard disk alignment problems like the XP installer does.

Seeing an 8MB chunk of unpartitioned space at the beginning definitely makes me think it's a Windows install problem. I ran across a similar issue when I had to replace a NT 4 Server install with the Terminal Services version. Specifically, it had to do with an unsupported drive (actually RAID) controller. Normally, if you told Windows to use the whole drive, the installer would leave 8MB of unpartitioned space at the end of the drive. However, because the IBM controller wasn't supported until at least SP3, it put the unpartitioned space at the beginning of the drive, and before the actual partition, instead.

Had I provided the driver on a disc, when prompted during Windows installation, it would have worked fine. Of course, IBM didn't bother to mention anything about it with the documentation, and finding anything on their website was practically impossible. In fact, they didn't even ship the driver disc with it. I ended up using a Win 98 boot disc to partition and format to FAT16, after which Windows installed normally.

I started having that problem with Gizmo's Freeware a couple years back.

so did I. But I assumed it was because of my many addons for Firefox, so instead I subscribed to their email, and automated the use of Internet Explorer. But now I am on a new old computer, so I forgot.

Funny you should say that. I came to the same conclusion. I actually tried disabling them 1 at a time back then, but didn't figure it was worth actually uninstalling anything over. Apparently I was right, since it wouldn't have fixed the problem anyway.

I wonder if anyone has ever pointed this out to them.

I don't think anyone has; the Contact-page has no contact, only adverts.

So you're saying we should report that first?  :P

I started having that problem with Gizmo's Freeware a couple years back. In my case at least, the problem appears to be a complete lack of CSS. That wasn't always the case, but since it started, it's been completely consistent. I ended up adding an exception for the site to HTTPS Everywhere.

I did go ahead and try it out in both my desktop and mobile Firefox, and I get the stripped down page in both. Then I found the issue. The external stylesheets (and apparently some images) are being served via regular HTTP. Turning off mixed content protection solves the problem.

Well it answers the question. It only solves the problem if you consider trading up for a bigger problem to be a solution. I wonder if anyone has ever pointed this out to them.

General Software Discussion / Re: Fax Software
« on: May 09, 2015, 10:00 PM »
...Many programs assume they can write files in the folder where the exe is.  I usually create an .ini file for my AHK programs in the same folder as the AHK utility.  From Vista on the system has gotten progressively more persnickety about writing to Program Files folders.  To avoid running everything As Administrator on W8 I took ownership of all the files in the Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders.  It's a pita.  If the error occurs in XP then it is likely some other issue.
It is not recommended o take ownership of either all of C: or the Windows folder.  Just in case anyone was considering that as a quick solution.  :)

^ That's why I install almost all software to a custom folder instead, although that obviously doesn't solve every permissions issue.

^^ +1 for that. I've tended to do that (install to custom folders rather than in Program Files) more and more over the years, to combat the increasing lengths the user has to go to, to defeat the growing number of seemingly unnecessarily restrictive system "security policies" and bugs therein.

You, sir, have a gift for understatement. That may be the single most effective strategy for eliminating bizarre access errors, especially if you have any software that's getting long in the tooth.

I do, generally, let Microsoft software install in the standard folders. I've never actually run into problems sticking any of their programs elsewhere, but their installers almost always put some files and folders under Program Files no matter where the main install location is. I figure splitting things up like that is more likely to cause problems than solve them.

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