Friday, July 31, 2015

Remodeling the House

The exterior will be completely transformed by the end of the summer. I got rid of the Arizona Ash trees I hate and replaced the chain link fence with a privacy fence so far. Landscaping next, then new windows and a metal roof.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nice Vacation

Drove the 456M up the Blue Ridge Parkway to visit my best friend. Have a bunch of upgrades to do to my house, then I'll be ready to get back to music. Enjoying being away from it, though, to be honest.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MMM Turns X

Ten years ago today I started this weblog, not really knowing what I wanted it to become, just knowing I wanted to talk about music. Turned out it became a public musical diary, and a place to work out my thoughts and hone my composing and guitar playing. Highlights for me are the Musical Implications of the Harmonic Series, and subsequent Why Music Works series (Which is about ripe for a final revision, BTW), the Ultimate Classic Guitar Arrangements series, and all of the compositions that have lead up to Fuga Electronica.

Over the next couple of years I intend to finish up Fuga Electronica (Some progress there, finally), write the final version of Why Music Works, and then there are a few more albums worth of music to record.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Still Waiting

I've developed the patience of Job by now. Here's a shot from my track day at Circuit of the Americas last month.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Keeping Myself Distracted

The second Synclavier is coming along, but John is a one man operation, so it's slow going. Since I'm dead in the water with Fuga Electronica until I get all that in place, I've been distracting myself with fun. Did a track day at Circuit of the Americas in Austin on Sunday.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

All OS Versions and MIDI Interfaces Upgraded

After the OS X 10.10 debacle - why do they have to break drivers every release now? - I returned the experimental machine to 10.9.5. Then, I had two older 2010 Superdrive Mac Minis that were still 10.6.8 machines, so I maxed the RAM out in them and moved to 10.9.5 there too. Now, for the first time in years, all of my Macs are running the same OS X version. Well, I still have a G4 450 Cube on 10.4.11, but that's just for nostalgia at this point.

Once I got all four Macs on the same release, I had to change MIDI interfaces, because the old EDIROL drivers were broken, and the product isn't supported anymore. I have MOTU MIDI Express 128 interfaces on all machines now, and everything works perfectly. All of the machines also have Encore 5.0.7 and Logic Pro 10. One of the systems - the one in the master bedroom - is primarily dedicated to programming the FS1R. I put it in an old Anthro desk that was originally designed for the early iMac - I put my Cube there - and came up with a nice solution for a dual monitor setup. The old 24" LED Cinema Display was the largest one that would fit - I still love the 1920x1200 aspect ratio - and for the top, I put an old 32" 720p Sony TV in the HTMI jack that I just had laying around. It works fantastically.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Mac OS X Yosemite: Skip This Release Entirely

I've been using OS X since OS X 10.0, which came on the first model G3 500 iBook - the white one - that I got when those came out in 2001. The machine booted into OS 9 from the factory, but it had the Boot Disk selector with OS X as the alternate OS. I loved it immediately, so I was one of the earliest adopters. Back then, getting drivers for OS X was the battle, so I made gear choices based on whether or not there was OS X support. Every release got better until OS X 10.4.11, which was the first truly great release: Stable, well supported, and very useful. I liked it so much, I still have a hotrod G4 Cube that runs it, but it has been retired to the guest room (Maxed RAM, TwinView video card, 23" lucite Cinema HD display). OS 10.5 was kind of a clunker, but 10.6.8 was another stellar release, and I still have - well, had - two 2011 superdrive Mac Minis running that OS.

Yesterday, I decided to upgrade one of those 10.6.8 machines to 10.10.1 Yosemite, figuring it ought to be usable by now. Big mistake. It broke everything all over again, just like 10.9 did. Even my Bose Companion 5 sound system would not work with it, and forget about MIDI device drivers; they were all toast. Well, I couldn't restore from Time Machine back to 10.6.8 (So what use is Time Machine, really? The first time I needed it, it failed), so I went to the App Store and Purchases and downloaded 10.9.5, which I have on another 2011 Mini and my 2011 Mac Pro, which is the most recent great release. No dice; the old installer won't write over 10.10 (Which is really and truly bullshit of the very highest possible order: You should be able to switch between OS X versions with a single click, whenever you want to). What I had to do was offload Mavericks to an external HD, and wipe the drive clean with a format thumb drive, losing years of data on that machine (I don't guess that's possible to get from Time Machine now either, but I'm not sure. I never tried to use Time Machine before yesterday). Then, I had Mavericks installed on the wiped computer (I could not do this myself, I had to take the computer to Mac TLC, which is in my neighborhood).

So, forget Yosemite. It is also ugly as sin: Flat, no character; might as well be Windows. Even the Aqua buttons are gone, replaced by flat, ugly, characterless versions in pastels.

Tim Cook has been a disaster. I don't like Apple anymore, and I've been an Apple user since the Newton 110 and System 7. I've toyed with the idea of UNIX before - 10.7 and 10.8 almost drove me to it - but I think it's time to get serious about a new OS. Mac OS X is complete crap now. Utter garbage. Filth.