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Messages - Vurbal [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« on: January 22, 2015, 02:57 PM »
My experience with HP is to stick to the real business class products and you'll be fine. T'was a time when that was all they sold, so it was a no-brainer going with HP. The old Laserjets (II/3/4/5/81xx/85xx, etc.) were built like tanks and un-killable. And they were repairable (often even field repairable) if anything did go wrong.

Then HP (of necessity) got into home/consumer-grade products...and the results are what we live with today.

But I don't completely blame HP's engineers. It's hard to take engineering teams, who were used to designing and building what was often the Rolls-Royce of office and computer equipment, and suddenly expect them to start making "good enough" inexpensive pieces of plastic crap for the masses - most of whom were utterly "price motivated" when out shopping.

"Fast, cheap, reliable - pick any two," as the saying goes. 8)

Since HP got serious in the low end business market in the early 2000s, they've done a pretty good job of addressing the cheap part too. If nothing else, you can buy some fantastic HP computers (from server to laptop), and sometimes printers too, for dirt cheap from a lot of electronics recyclers. When it comes to desktops, laptops, and, to a certain extent, printers, you can save a lot of money just because they don't have all the bells and whistles used to justify the price of most consumer hardware.

Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« on: January 22, 2015, 02:29 PM »
I'll show my ignorance here and ask what's probably a stupid question.

If I can create an adhoc wired 'network' so easily, then why is a wireless solution so much different.  The comm's should be the same, so we're only talking about the means of transmission (is landline v mobile telephony is an appropriate analogy?)

Since others have already covered the basic technical aspects, I'll just add this. While it would be possible to overcome the technical hurdles, it would require an R&D investment which doesn't make sense financially because there isn't enough of a market for it.

Most people who would buy a wireless printer already have some sort of Wi-Fi enabled router or switch installed. Adding the dumb Wi-Fi interfaces used today costs very little because the technology is already commoditized so the cost per unit is minimal but it will sell a lot more printers. They're only going to improve those interfaces if they expect to recoup those costs in revenue growth.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying the results couldn't justify the cost, but I guarantee the manufacturers are.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: January 22, 2015, 01:05 PM »
^In my case, the chief inspirations in my formative years were: Paul McCartney, Jonathan Lodge, Andy Kulburg, Greg Lake, and Dave Paton. I'm pretty much UK inspired with the exception of Andy Kulberg. Hmm...roots in Motown but heavily influenced by that melodic UK vibe. No wonder I don't sound like anybody else according to people I've played with. I don't know what I am!!!! ;D

Yet another interesting coincidence. Once I hit my late teens, and started really expanding my musical palette, that UK sound was a huge influence on me too. I feel like the Brits had some real advantages for a couple reasons. The first is the regional folk music, which provided both the melodic element you mentioned, but also made their compositions less formulaic and pattern oriented.

Once the blues really exploded in London, there was an influx of jazz drummers and bassists recruited to provide the foundation for people like Eric Clapton and Peter Green. Add in the formally trained classical and jazz talent in the recording studios, both among the producers and session musicians, and you have a sort of perfect musical storm to produce a wide array of sounds.

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.

What really changed my playing was when I picked up a stack of old Jethro Tull albums at a second hand record shop and discovered Glen Cornick. His bass lines from Stand Up, Benefit, and Living In The Past created the blueprint for their future arrangements, long after he was fired. Their version of Bach's Bouree is like a master class in how to glue a song together on bass. He starts out right up front, harmonizing with the flute, then slides back between the drums and guitar before throwing down a brilliant solo without a single wasted note, and then leads the whole band back in for the big finish.

What's really cool to me is how he integrates the low harmonies from the Bach original in the walking lines at the beginning and end. Even the first part of the solo evokes a baroque feel without ever losing that amazing groove.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: January 21, 2015, 03:15 PM »
The guys who first made me want to play bass were Paul McCartney, John Paul Jones, and Steve Harris, but Jamerson, Dunn, and Tommy Shannon taught me how to get there.

Okay, I can't really play any Steve Harris bass lines, but my fingers aren't built to glide across the strings like that. A guitarist friend of mine refers to them as hammers.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: January 21, 2015, 01:23 PM »
^ That's one of the reasons I'm making sure my son gets a good foundation in Motown as he learns drums. Nobody ever made more music out of fewer notes than James Jamerson and Benny Benjamin.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 as an Internet service?
« on: January 21, 2015, 12:11 PM »
Well that's good news! As long as the problem is getting people to the app store, the solution will never be fixing (as in replacing) Windows.

What could possibly go wrong?  :D

Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help
« on: January 21, 2015, 08:25 AM »

Complexity sucks. :)

This essentially sums up the entire conversation. As with most problems, the trick is to make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. Past that point, you actually make things more complex.

Ad hoc networking is not a solution so much as a kludge. Like any "good" kludge, there's a steep decline in usefulness and useability outside of the specific problem it was designed to address. In this case that means quick and dirty one off connections between wireless devices. What we're really talking about is using the printer's ad hoc capabilities to do the job of a WAP and router. To paraphrase Chris Rock, you can do it, but that doesn't make it a good idea.

Connecting a router is the most obvious way to simplify things. You wouldn't be adding a network. In reality you would be replacing numerous unreliable networks with a single (mostly) reliable network.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: January 21, 2015, 07:23 AM »
The original take of I'm Losing You by John Lennon, featuring Rick Nielsen and Bun E Carlos from Cheap Trick on guitar and drums and Tony Levin on bass.

Living Room / Re: ideas that will change society
« on: January 15, 2015, 06:32 PM »
Idea:  Invent a cell-phone-signal-blocker for a sunvisor or dashboard.  Maybe with a 10 yard radius.

This could save some lives, help prevent some road-rage and make people pull off the road to talk.   :)

You're talking about a jammer. :) They exist, but are usually illegal.

As an alternative, I suppose that cars could be manufactured as Faraday cars. :)

Only if you can convince the FCC it's designed for some other purpose, which pretty much means you can't advertise it as a feature.

I seem to recall some movie theater owners trying to get the FCC to let them put Faraday cages in several years back. That worked out about the way you'd expect considering there are almost always wireless carrier insiders on the commission.

Living Room / Re: ideas that will change society
« on: January 13, 2015, 08:23 PM »
No such thing. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Implementation is what changes the world.

But who watches the watchmen? :o

I've watched it several times. The director's cut, in particular, is quite good. Not on the same level as the comics, but good nonetheless.  :P

Living Room / Re: What are your favorite movies?
« on: December 19, 2014, 05:26 PM »
I'd add the 1990 psychological thriller Jacob's Ladder to the list.

I'll avoid any discussion to keep the "go in cold" crowd happy. :P
 (see attachment in previous post)

Any attempt at explaining it would take longer than watching the movie.

Despite your claim to the contrary, if your computer slows down enough to dissuade you from using AV software,  it is not 'decent'. If you are getting infected with easily avoided malware, which appears to have been the case here, your computer is, in fact, inadequate.

First off, what Shades said 1000%. System restore first, and clean it only if that doesn't work.

If you do have to clean it, the 2 tools I use almost exclusively have already been mentioned - Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware. However, I'd start with rkill prior to anything else. That will give everything that follows it a better shot of working.

Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately
« on: December 16, 2014, 11:38 AM »
BTW - Am I the only one here who wasn't impressed by Equilibrium?

I've tried watching it 3 times now, and haven't made more than half an hour in before the IMO entirely paradoxical setting made me turn it off. It's well produced, and skillfully acted, but entirely too silly for me to ignore its major flaws. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, not hang it by the neck until it's dead.

The other night I watched a movie that's sort of the opposite of that, called Radio Free Albemuth. It's an adaptation of the posthumously published Phillip K Dick book of the same name. I say book, rather than novel, since the story is clearly part pure fiction and part autobiographical stream of consciousness from Dick's famously mentally ill and drug addled mind.

It's an extremely low budget production and, frankly, poorly directed. Despite that, I found it extremely compelling, and not just because it makes Phillip K Dick look like a god damn profit in light of certain aspects of modern society.

Well, except for...
Admittedly, it was a little hard not to giggle every time someone referred to the secret police as fappers.

Living Room / Re: 2014-2015: Best tablet specs for ebook reading
« on: December 15, 2014, 11:16 AM »
One interesting factor which most people would never think about, but has a great influence on the experience IMO, is aspect ratio. The iPad's slightly wider aspect ratio is a lot better for reading. When you're dealing with smaller tablets, there are at least 1 or 2  decent Android options with the same size and shape as the iPad Mini. However, I'm not aware of any larger tablets comparable to the regular iPad.

It creates quite a dilemma for someone like me who won't even consider buying an iPad, but there's no doubt in my mind that the size and shape combination of the iPad is as close to ideal for reading, including web pages, as there is on the market.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 14, 2014, 03:07 PM »
^ That shop looks handy just for the cigar boxes.

Given the information provided, it was a theoretical question.

That's not a criticism, but merely an explanation of the type of answers you got.

There is no universal conversion/transfer factor between electrical power and physical power (ie air movement) for speakers. In fact, just to add to what 40hz mentioned about bass cabinets, another common problem people have is understanding, at some point, any additional power may just be dissipated as heat instead of being converted to motion. For example, a cab may be capable of handling 400W or more of constant input, but will typically stop getting louder somewhere around 200W-300W.

I'm not saying that's going to be an issue very often for headphones, just that there are numerous physical issues which act as something of a brick wall for volume,even long before you come close to their electrical limits.

I recently decided to download replacements for my trashed Jesus Christ Superstar CDs (Ian Gillan as Jesus FTW) and ended up finding torrents of 2 different versions. The first was from the same release I bought back in the 90s. The other was released within the last 3-4 years. I downloaded both, just to see if the new one had severe dynamic compression like I expected.

Not surprisingly, it did, and if you're at all familiar with the material,  you won't be the slightest bit surprised to know it sounded horrific. I wish I had saved a screenshot of the waveform comparison to demonstrate it. Of course, I deleted it afterward so I can't repeat it.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 09, 2014, 01:13 PM »
Unfortunately even when it comes to harmonies I'm mostly faking it when I play, but then again I also share your hangup when it comes to my playing. If my tone suffers or, even worse, if I lose the groove, I don't feel like anything my vocals could add would make up for it. As a recent suggestion for a bass player's t-shirt went, 'They're listening to you but they're dancing to me'.

Ironically, if I keep things ultra simple, like nothing but roots simple, I can hold the groove pretty well (on a few songs anyway) and still sing better than most. The problem is, knowing my own capabilities, I can never sing up to my own standards.

I could never play as well as I can sing, but I would never get on stage if I wasn't playing. Besides, there's just more value in being a serious bassist. At the end of the day, it's a no-brainer which one I should focus on.

Personally, I think we butchered it every time . Partly it was how bad I thought my oversimplified bassline sounded, and partly it was just the fact it's just hard to pull off with a 3 piece. It always went over well, though, which is ultimately the only thing that really matters.

Absolutely! That is the attitude of a professional performance musician regardless of the level of musicianship displayed. It's not just about us and what we think. What the audience expects (and gets) is the other part of the equation.

 :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

Yep, if you want an audience - and once you've had one it's just too addictive for most of us to give up - you had better learn to understand how to make them happy.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 09, 2014, 09:36 AM »
It also makes it difficult, depending on the music even impossible, for me to sing and play at the same time.

FWIW that is a very common situation with many, if not most, bass players. Bass players that can simultaneously sing acceptably while holding down a bassline seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Possibly too many brain centers engaged for most people (or at least bassists)  to handle at the same time.

Don't know if you've run into this as often as I have - but one of the first questions I usually got asked when auditioning as a bass player was: "Do you sing?" And if I answered in the affirmative, the very next question was: "At the same time?" Which I think nicely illustrates (a) playing bass while singing is not all that common; and (b) you can never have enough vocal talent in your band.

I do remember seeing (long time ago) an early draft study about something like "split roles" in musical performance that was trying to find what (if any) neurological basis there was for some musicians being able to handle multiple roles (instrumentalist/vocalist) in a musical context. I don't know if it was ever completed. Or if it was, and came to no conclusion. I tried a search but I can't seem to find anything. Maybe I just half remembered it from a conversation I had with one of my GF's cohorts when she was getting her Masters in experimental congnitive psych...

In my case it's a little more extreme than usual. I have almost no capacity for task switching, which essentially means I have to learn the vocals and bassline for a song as one single part, where some people can learn to simply (note that I call it simple rather than easy) switch from one to the other.

Ironically, if I could do that it would solve my problem of being able to be a front man. It's amazing the distance simply playing an instrument puts between me and the audience.

On an unrelated note, there's a funny story about the one song I used to sing lead on. When I started playing professionally, my new bandmates sat down with me and taught me about 30 simple 3 chord songs over the course of 2 days. They talked about playing Taking Care Of Business, but didn't know all the lyrics. I mentioned that I knew them, thinking I could be helpful and write them down, at which point they decided that should be the first song I would sing.

Fast forward a couple months. I've never even thought about singing anything besides backup vocals and although we all know Taking Care Of Business, we've never worked on it together. We have been playing 4 sets a night, 5 nights a week in a little out of the way hotel bar - usually to so few people it was more of an extended rehearsal.

One night a bunch of nursing students come in after final exams. After they've been drinking an hour or so, we're going on break and one of them catches up to me and asks if we play Taking Care Of Business. Without really even thinking about it, I told her yes, and from that night on I did.

Personally, I think we butchered it every time . Partly it was how bad I thought my oversimplified bassline sounded, and partly it was just the fact it's just hard to pull off with a 3 piece. It always went over well, though, which is ultimately the only thing that really matters.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 09, 2014, 07:39 AM »
but they can be developed.

If they're there to begin with. That is something, unlike a musical instrument, that can't be bought. Some vocal abilities can't even be developed. It's there or it's not. And no amount of hard work or sincere effort will get it for you.

I sing too. I'm not bad. Three years with a university chorale that ran the gamut from Gregorian chant to Cole Porter taught me a lot about performance and various vocal technique. It made me a vastly better singer than I was before. But I would never consider myself a vocalist first and foremost.

I suspect (no proof to offer on this btw) that probably something like 70% of all people could be taught to sing adequately, with a higher percentage of them being women rather than men. But that's not the same thing as considering them 'singers', any more than being able to accompany yourself on a guitar in a workmanlike manner automatically earns you the title of 'guitarist.'

There's that difference between talent and skill; and craft and art. Difficult, if not impossible, to define. But oh so obvious to almost anyone when they encounter it.

That's what I mean by a gift. Superb singers are gifted rather than merely talented.

(Does any of the above even make sense, I wonder? ;D )

I keep meaning to get back to this, because I do agree, at least where it concerns the great ones. I would add one caveat, that a great voice alone can't make you a great singer any more than dexterity makes you a great drummer.

Ironically, I'm something of an anomaly, in the sense that I have both the gift and the ear, not to mention the good fortune to have received some first class training in my youth,  but my Asperger's Syndrome,  which actually adds to my music, makes it impossible for me to be a front man. It also makes it difficult, depending on the music even impossible, for me to sing and play at the same time.

However, on the subject of great singers, I can think of one in particular who illustrates your point perfectly, and that's Corey Glover of Living Colour. Given that every other member of the band could arguably be among the best in the world on his chosen instrument, it would be easy to dismiss Glover as less important,but that would be a huge mistake.

As impressive as it is for the rest of the band to smoothly move between playing R&B to heavy metal to hardcore to hip hop, they still have one huge advantage compared to him. He doesn't get to change instruments when he needs a different sound. What he was born with is what he's got.  Arguably, it's even more than that since singing, even the most beautiful singing, actually damages your vocal chords. The fact he sounds amazing singing stuff influenced by, or even flat out copied from, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Bad Brains, Neil Young, and any number of other acts, is at least as impressive as anything you could say about the rest of the band.

Mostly I disagree, but for the truly great ones you're absolutely right.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 08, 2014, 01:45 PM »
I've heard numerous stories about an old guy - think the stereotypical uneducated blues man - who used to go to open mic nights at the local blues club with a plastic kazoo. He would apparently blow the doors off the place.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: December 04, 2014, 05:40 PM »
Yay! The 5 pack of replacement fuses for my amp came a day early - and with an extra 5 fuses.

Sorry, I'll let you get back to discussing awesome female vocalists.  Oh yeah, and while we're on the subject, let's not forget the late, great Sandy Denny.

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