Tag: blog

New Year’s Eve 2015

Well, we’re all a bit zombiefied today, but it was certainly worth it. We christened Ju’s Studio with a party with good friends, drinks and lots of pizza. Turns out the studio is a great place to party! There are a few bits and pieces to finish off inside, as can be seen in the pics (Ju is in the process of varnishing woodwork, and there are a couple of decorative wood structs and ceiling insulation bits to add in), but we’re down to the details now, finally.

Shortly after midnight we blasted out The Ace of Spaces at maximum volume on the PA just to give a nod to Lemmy as well… hehe.

Happy New Year to all 🙂


 

2016 – Time for some MUSIC!

For the last couple of years, I’ve not been very productive on the music front, and I think it’s a bit of a shame. There are a number of reasons why this might be, I’m not entirely sure which apply to be honest, but in recent months the pressure has been building within me and I’m about to kick it all off again.

Certainly, I have been busy with work, and for the last year especially, I’ve put a phenomenal amount of time and effort into the landscaping and construction projects in our gardens. If I’m honest, I’ve also let my studio get very messy and cluttered and this is not a good environment within to get creative.

A big spring clean int he studio is about to commence, and as part of that I have also mixed things up a bit by ordering a couple of new devices which I think will inspire me greatly. The first of these is an analogue synthesizer in the form of a Prophet 6 …

.. and the second is a Moog Mother-32, which is also analogue and I am intending for it to be the start of a semi-modular system…

I’ve also decided to sell some of my digital synths. Certainly I’ll sell the Kurzweil K2500 as I never use it, and I’m pondering selling my Yamaha ES7, as although I do like it a great deal, I think it’s redundant as I have it’s bigger cousin, the XS8, which can do everything the ES does and more. Finally, I think I’ll sell my Korg Triton, as I have the Trinity, and I prefer the sound of the Trinity (even though the Triton is a later model).

Anyway, here’s to a musical 2016, a revamped studio and some thumping good output in the short term!

Keyboard of doom

Recently I spilled a little coffee on my Mac Pro keyboard and it developed a fault whereby some of the keys on the bottom rows would not only trigger the character I wanted, but also it spits out some kind of control-code which causes all kinds of randomness. I researched it a little and discovered that you cannot disassemble an Apple keyboard because it’s glued together.

This is annoying and also quite at odds with the accepted modern wisdom of encouraging recycling and reducing waste. In the old days, with my 16-bit micro I used to disassemble the keyboard and give it a good spring clean and wash every now and again, but with Apple (and they are not alone in this) making their keyboard non-serviceable, the chances are that a little coffee will end up requiring the unit to be discarded and a replacement obtained.

As a last resort, I’ve run it under the hot tap for a couple of minutes in an effort to rinse out whatever caffeine-powered clogginess there is in there. It’s drying face down on a towel at the moment. I’ll leave it there for a few hours then put it on a radiator to dry out a bit more, then test to see if it works.

I’ll be happy if it does – the concept of throwing away a keyboard is ridiculous when it’s only got a little coffee in it.

What with all the Paris global warming conference and the incessant talking by politicians the world over, it also seems ridiculous to me that so many technical things these days are non-serviceable, sealed units. Also that there are so many things (not just technical ones) that are shipped in plastic packaging which way exceeds the amount required for the item in question.

As for individually wrapped sachets of sugar, don’t even get me started…

Info on registration and comments

Update: 7th Jan 2016 – We have disabled comments for now, as the number of automated spam bots sending mind-bogglingly stupid junk  to our inbox was getting tiresome 🙂

Original text of the post is below:

We have a number of options for handling comments on this blog so I thought I’d take a moment to explain how it works currently.

  • Comments can currently be submitted without a login, but the first comment you make will have to be manually approved (for obvious reasons!) before you can make further comments using the same nickname and email address.
  • If you would like to have an account that you can simply log in with, and then be able to make comments freely from then on (in which case they will appear immediately), then drop me or ju an email and we’ll set one up for you.

We’re not really expecting much commenting, but we wanted to make it available as an option for any friends and family who wanted to be able to post comments, so for now this seems the best approach!

A quick thought on facebook

A mental addiction

 

When Ju and I were talking about her deleting her facebook account (I deleted mine ages ago), we both observed the fact that facebook is much like an online game. Regardless of whether one really cares, there is an innate satisfaction in collecting ‘likes’ and seeing people comment on stuff you put up. This very easily becomes a habit, and it’s difficult to see past it when you’re interacting with facebook on a regular basis.

There is a well known psychological technique used by people who write ‘freemium’ games – you know, the ones that are free to install but then try to get you to buy stuff in the game. The details are quite involved but the summary is that these games give people continual little ‘rewards’, occasionally interspersed with bigger ones, that make them feel as if they are not wasting their time playing the game. This technique feeds that part of the brain that accumulates points or status in one form or other and we are all susceptible to it.

Facebook have been very clever in that they have effectively turned their whole site into an online game. There are points to be gained in the form of ‘likes’ and prizes to be gained in the form of comments. It’s easy enough to get both, up to a point, but now and again when you post something that gets an unusually high number of likes or comments, your pleasure centre in the brain is stimulated and these occasional boosts to the ego reinforce your habit of playing the game.

The result is narcissism, and in some cases, self obsession. Facebook is training people (especially young people) to feel as if they need the admiration and approval of their peers, because this drives the feedback loop that makes facebook more money. Many people on facebook are effectively building their own brand, and spend more time maintaining this facade than they do interacting in a healthy manner in real life. Looking at it from the outside, it’s quite scary actually.

The truth is that in  facebook’s case you are the product. They sell your information, and indirectly they also profit from the posts you put up. They make a lot of money from it. Facebook are also actively seeking and implementing ways to extend their ownership of you as a product, by proactively filtering what you see and hiding from you the things they are doing with your data.

In short, you are being manipulated, and many people seem not to realise this. Many of those who do go ‘meh’ and remain using it because of the established habit I wrote about above. When I left facebook (and I was already a cynic), even I found it hard to drop out of the collective for a week or so. After the initial habit wore off, I never looked back and somehow my life was better for it. I felt the same way when I stopped playing World of Warcraft, incidentally.

As a final thought, this struck me. You don’t need facebook, facebook needs you. The same is true of vampires.

Ju and Eddy’s goings on….

Hello 🙂

Well, it’s been a long time coming but finally we’ve gotten it together to put up a family blog/website/whatever to keep people informed of our progress with projects and general updates as to what we’re up to. As you may know, Ju has joined the ranks of the enlightened and is deleting her Facebook account (yay!) but it is true that Facebook has been useful to keep friends and family informed of what we’re up to so here is the official replacement for that.

Unlike Eddy’s wordpress blog, which sort of languished after setting it up, we will be updating this site regularly, as it is effectively a Facebook replacement, so watch this space. Anybody can submit comments to anything, if they feel the need (and we’ll welcome them!). You don’t need to log in to leave a comment, but to prevent spamming from dodgy err… well, spammers, we’re vetting comments prior to publishing them for the time being so don’t worry if your comments don’t appear immediately.

By the way, we will be tinkering and experimenting with various settings and stuff as this new site evolves, so please bear with us if any links are broken or things don’t appear to be working as they should. We’re on the case!