» home » blog

the blog

With Bated Breath

2007-02-27

I used the term "baited breath" yesterday, which brings to mind a poem:

Sally, having swallowed cheese, Directs down holes the scented breeze, Enticing thus with baited breath Nice mice to an untimely death.

Baited breath is a silly idea - what does one bait one's breath with? (Evidently cheese if one is a mousehunter). Why do we say this?

Well, to start with, the word is all wrong. It …

read →

Friday Frivolity

2007-02-26

For anyone who was waiting with baited breath for my latest edition of 5✭ Fridays, I apologize. It will likely be posted on Tuesday now. I'm still having some music player issues.

For those keeping score, we've got iTunes solidly scrapped and uninstalled (I still use it on my Mac, but mostly to play CDs). WinAmp is running a strong game, but the rating thing isn't as intuitive as I'd like it to be. I'm working on that. Right now, with a…

read →

The Unbearable Lightness of Spam

2007-02-21

For a long time, I appeared to be immune to the terrible plague of spam which seemed to inundate everyone, all the time. Within the last year, however, my spam count has increased by approximately 72,100%. For the most part, my various spam filters do a fantastic job and I do not have to read any spam, and I don't mind tagging the occasional spam item that gets through, so this isn't going to be one of those posts in which the author bitches a…

read →

5✭ Fridays - Franz Liszt

2007-02-16 music romantic era 5✭

These unplanned 5✭ Fridays are really entertaining for me - it's fun trying to pull an unplanned and slightly unhinged article out of places that are best left unexplored. This week in music, we're going to go for the Hail Mary pass and talk about Franz Liszt.

Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 - July 31, 1886), was the Elvis of his day, which is to say he was a bit of a sex symbol. He gave autographs; he performed in front of thousands at a time; he slept around. He started out as a pianist (and is probably most renowned for his work as such) and was, quite possibly, the best pianist there has ever been. Many of his compositions reflect this - one must be a very skilled technical player to even attempt to play most Liszt pieces, and to play them well, one must be intensely passionate.

read →

Rank Amateur Mistake

2007-02-14

I came to the realization that something was wrong with my site this morning, and while looking into it, I realized I had made the mistake of a rank amateur web designer.

I just reinstalled Ubuntu on my computer, and I have been customizing it to make it look how I want it to look. Among the customizations is the default text colour - it ended up being set to quite a light blue (my backgrounds are all dark in the theme I've created). I …

read →

Naming Conventions

2007-02-13

One of the big issues faced by geeks is what to name their computers.

Servers, for instance, all need specific names so they can be easily identified. Once upon a time, I had the pleasure of working with Tycho and Gabe our production and test servers for a website, respectively. They were an obvious tribute to Penny Arcade a webcomic favourite of mine. Those servers, by the way…

read →

5✭ Fridays - Tool

2007-02-09 5✭ music rock prog

Time passes and I have not yet finished my ongoing evaluation of music players (the race is close between WinAmp and Windows Media Player, of all things. iTunes is right out, again). As a result, I cannot turn to a random 5✭ song and expound at length about song and artist, which is my normal modus operandi for these articles. Instead, we shall explore in some detail one of my favourite bands of all time; Tool. Once again, a caveat: you may find Tool to be strangely offputting and discomforting, and you may find them to be wildly offensive; they may just get you thinking, though, and that's quite the accomplishment in the MTV age. And another caveat: any information here may be inaccurate, since Tool is notorious for spreading (often hilarious) misinformation about themselves.

read →

The Music Player Challenge

2007-02-08

I have downloaded iTunes. I have downloaded WinAmp. We'll see if either of these applications has grown in me in the last 3 years.

Please note that tomorrow's 5✭ Friday may be a little late, as the problems I'm having with MusikCube means that all my music ratings and metadata are gone (on 8000+ songs), so I no longer know what's in my 5✭ category.

read →

MusikCube Gets Trashed

2007-02-07

I thought I liked MusikCube. I really did. It even made the list as one of my Windows Necessities I liked the UI; I liked how fast it loaded; I really liked the meta-data editor, especially the bulk editing feature. However, as of right now, MusikCube has been "retired" from production on my computer. The reason is two-fold.

First, it's buggy. Every once in a while, …

read →

Thoughts on Steve Jobs' Thoughts on Music†

2007-02-07

Steve Jobs and I frequently do not see things eye to eye. I am certainly not a Mac fanboy - as evidence, I submit my seething hatred of iTunes - and I think Stevey's got his own little despot that people don't attack as much as Bill's because Macs are fashionable. Full disclosure - I have a Mac and I like it. I don't love it, yet, but I certainly like it quite a bit.

Stevey, though, sometimes gets things right. Wander on over to

read →

← newer older →