Monday, March 30, 2009

MMM Makes Craigslist

Sorry for the absence, but I've been sending out mailings, which I'll post about at a later date. Basically, last week I did 20 art galleries, and for the next three weeks I'll be doing 60 restaurants, 20 per week. Then, there will be about ten hotels, and twenty event planners, wedding planners and caterers. San Antonio is huge: "restaurants in san antonio texas" returned over 50K Google search results! I went throug about 500 of them to get a list of sixty that have live music of some kind or other.

The goal is to get over 100 promo packets in circulation, which include a cover sheet, a flyer, a demo CD and a business card. Like I said, I'll detail this later. I haven't posted about developing business plans here before, but it's probably the biggest area of weakness among musicians. Anyway...

I do check in to my Sitemeter stats every morning over coffee, and today I had about twice my usual traffic, which averages about 110 hits per day now. I noticed that all of the extra flow was coming from Canada - British Columbia mostly - so I looked at one of them and found a referring link from Craigslist Vancouver with this link back to MMM.

LOL! He could, you know, just email me and start a correspondence. Anyway, I got a chuckle out of it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Showing Mom Some Love

Being, as it were, sick and tired of being sick and tired of my computer problems, I decided to back up my new-to-me PowerMac G5 2.3 Dual Core and aluminum 23" Cinema HD Display with an old G4 450 Cube coupled with my old lucite 23" Cinema HD Display. Sure, I have a G4 400 15" titanium PowerBook (The very first model of that machine) and a 17" G4 1.67 aluminum PowerBook (The very last model of that machine), but I don't care how cool a notebook is, it just isn't as good as having a desktop with a vast display to work on coupled with a full sized keyboard. So...

After considering several options, I noticed that the old G4 Cubes are very inexpensive on eBay these days. Since I had a Cube before, I did bunches of upgrades to it - and so I know how to work on and in the machine - I decided to get another Cube for my backup. While buying all of the components for my "Super Cube" I decided to go ahead and get a second one for my mom. See, she has an Intel Pentium III machine that a friend gave her - a very nice gesture as it was a major hotrod in its day: Two HD's, two optical drives, &c. - but I haven't worked on a PC in about ten years, so when she gets stuck, I'm stuck!

Worked out perfectly. I actually bought three Cubes since they were so cheap and I wanted a machine to cannibalize for parts should something go wrong with one of the other two, and with all the extra memory, I was able to set mom up with a nice Cube with a lot of memory and a 17" TFT Studio Display (The largest display the stock Cube's graphic card can run). Those old 17" lucite displays are cheap now, so I bought two of those as well.

After upgrading the memory from the stock 128MB to 512MB I booted up the machine only to discover that the internal backup battery was dead. Ack! Well, better to start off with a fresh one anyway, so after a trip to Radio Shack I had mom's sexy machine up and running in the Hucbald Testing Laboratory.

I upgraded the OS to OS X 10.4.11 and ran Software Update to get her up to speed (I didn't think 10.5 would really give mom any advantages, and it's a memory hog). Then, I took it over and surprised mom with her new computer. She was tickled pink, and I felt like a good son: More than ample reward.

Of course, for the rest of the evening she was calling every fifteen minutes when she got stuck. LOL!

She's really cute - and she reminds me of a GF I had named Sydney - but her name is Georgia, so it could never work out. I like the name, but think about it: George and Georgia. See what I mean?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Back in Bee's Wax

Things are settling down here at the monastery, as I have my "new" PowerMac G5 and 23" Cinema HD Display system all sorted out now.


Funny thing, but this exercise proved me a genius. Why? Well, when I first took the Cinema Display to The Apple Store's Genius Bar, the resident Genius who worked with me declined to take the display's power supply. In fact, he used the store's power brick to test the monitor and confirm that it was dead... but he never tested my brick. So, when I got the repaired monitor back and plugged it in with my supply, the monitor was uncannily bright. I mean, it was like sitting in front of one of those light therapy boxes people use to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. I dimmed it as much as the controls allowed, and it was still brighter than my seven year old lucite 23" Cinema HD WFO (Wide Fucking Open. LOL!). When the monitor burned out after a mere thirty hours, I figured that my power supply must be malfunctioning, and sending the display too much power. Way too much power.

At my second appointment, a different resident Genius - both of them were nice guys, mind you. I'm not slamming them at all - took my case, and went through the same test as the first, with the same results, natch. When I told him I suspected that my power supply was burning the monitor out, he quick plugged it into a 20" Cinema HD he had for testing, and I thought it was too bright, but he thought it was fine. I got him to send my brick in with the monitor this time - "OK, if it will make you feel better." - and guess what? Yup, I WAS RIGHT! The original power supply I got was malfunctioning and wrecking the monitor, so they gave me a new one, free of any charges but the original repair. Oh, that was $275.00, which still made my original purchase good, but not screaming great like it would have been without any troubles.

I was thinking about actually buying another G5 and Cinema HD display for a backup, and then I had another masterstroke: BUY AND HOT ROD AN OLD G4 CUBE! Since my old lucite 23" display is still fine, all I'd need would be the Cube, a pair of those special Cube USB speakers, and a GeForce 2 Dual graphics card, and I'd have a very inexpensive backup system! Long time readers will remember I had a hot rod Cube before the Mini - and, truth is, the Mini is still no replacement for a Cube - so that's what I did. I can't believe how cheap Cubes are on eBay now! Bought a Cube, 1GB of RAM, the GeForce 2, an original AirPort card, the Cube USB speakers, and another MiniMate Firewire/USB HD and Hub (It will be a CubeMate, while my original MiniMate will go with my AirPort Extreme Base Station as a network HD), plus, I bough a second complete Cube system for my mom! She currently has an old PC I hate - have no idea how to fix the thing except by trial and error when it messes up - and so now she'll have something Apple, something cool, and something I can work on. I did all of this for WAY less than my G5/Cinema system cost too.

Damn, I'm good.

She looks like she has doubts about my extreme awesomeness.