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Comment Studio gear... (Score 1) 620

I had a circa-1986 Mac 512K running in my recording studio up until the early 2000s. It ran Opcode MidiMac (sequencing) and SoundDesigner II (sampling, front-end for an Ensoniq Mirage). Never crashed, reliable as hell, and very quiet since there was no fan or hard drive. Load the OS and software from a 400K floppy and it would run until the heat death of the universe.

Most everyone involved in music production (EDM excepted) has an affinity for vintage equipment, whether it's an old RCA ribbon mic, an EMT plate reverb, a pre-CBS Fender guitar, or anything with vacuum tubes. It's the one field where "vintage drum machine" is not an oxymoron.


Comment roybatty.exe (Score 1, Offtopic) 187

I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe... Iranian cerntrifuges on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Ford River Rouge Assembly Plant. All those... moments... will be lost in time, like tears... in... rain.

  Time... to die...

Comment Re: Ain't that bad in small doses... (Score 4, Interesting) 326

The administrative remedy process was seemingly designed by Franz Kafka to be an exercise in bureaucratic futility.

You have 15 days to file a BP-8, which you must get from your counselor. If he only visits the SHU every three weeks, you're SOL. If you do manage to file, it goes to your case manager and unit manager, who will veto it. Then you have a limited amount of time to file a BP-9, which theoretically goes to the warden. In practice, it stops at an assistant warden's desk. Denied. So you try to file a BP-10 to the regional office. You need to attach all supporting documents, including the original incident report. Good luck getting those from your counselor or case mangler. If you do manage to file it, it will come back in 4 months with a dot-matrix printed page of boilerplate reasons why your grievance is denied. Last but not least is the BP-11, which goes to BOP Headquarters in DC. By this time you're either dead or on the bus to the halfway house.

Only when the process is completed can you petition a court for action under 18 USC 1983.

It's like a bad high school production of Terry Gilliam's "Brazil".


Comment Ain't that bad in small doses... (Score 5, Interesting) 326

I just did five years in Federal prison and did two stretches in the SHU (basically solitary), totaling about two months. First time was for drawing on a paper food service hat. Second time was for being a smartass to the prison shrink.

Me, I didn't mind it so much. Peace and quiet (though occasionally you get a screamer on the range). Got some reading done. Meditated.

But you only get to make one call every thirty days. No coffee, no commissary. The cops keep the place cold like a meat locker. Lights never go off.

It's not for violent criminals. You get sucker punched or stomped and you go to the SHU for 30 days for an "investigation". You file a grievence against a staff member and you go in for a 90-day "investigation". You get the flu or scabies and you're in there for two weeks: quarantine.

The really violent people end up on a USP or AD-Max in Florence, CO.

I didn't mind the SHU because I enjoy a bit of solitude now and then. But in California, there are guys who've spent decades in the hole. That totally fucks you up.


Comment Re: lacking answers here, ask roadie on a band for (Score 4, Funny) 250

Seconded. We had spray painted stencils on anything larger than 12". For mics and cables we used colored duct tape and wrote on that with a Sharpie. Every gig ended with a "dummy check" at the end of the night: even if you think everything is in the truck, it never hurts to make one last check (onstage, backstage, etc.). You'd be surprised how many times something turned up in a dummy check.

Designate one person as the gear wrangler. Teach him the Roadie's Creed:

If it's wet, drink it.
If it's dry, smoke it.
If it moves, fuck it.
If it doesn't move, PUT IT IN THE TRUCK.


Comment Re:Twenty Seconds? (Score 1) 587

Twenty seconds...that's too much for you to suffer through?

Fuck, get a drink or take a piss. You probably won't have time to do either.

If this is the level of inconvenience that would cause anyone to get upset, they need to see a shrink because they have issues.

Well, yeah. Except I stick the disc in to the machine, wander off to get a drink, or a snack, or take a piss, and when I get back the DVD is stuck on a language select screen, which is only there so that it can better serve me the copyright warning. So I still have to wait around to get to that screen, or come back and wait through the copyright messages. On a disc I've bought.

Then there are the discs that start playing the feature automatically after a short period of time, because, I dunno, they think some people are too stupid to work out how to start it running? So I stick the disc in the machine, go to get a drink, snack, or have a piss, and before I get back the film starts and I have to skip back to where I want to be.

No, on the level of frustration it's not particularly high, but it is a frustration. I only wander away from the machine because it has lots of unskippable crap. I have been conditioned to start a disc before I'm ready to watch it. This isn't right, and certainly not when I've been a good little consumer and paid for the product. I should be able to get myself ready, then start the disc, in much the same way that I do with a computer game, book, bath, car, washing machine, cooker, board game, any-other-thing. I have yet to find that I need to prime a toilet twenty seconds before I need to use it, just so that it flushes there and then and doesn't have me standing near my own filth waiting for it to be ready.

Comment Re:Nothing new (Score 2) 374

Ditto to what Trepidity and Seumas said. But I have questions. The article has a quote: "If you’re not paying for it, then you’re the product being sold." So: I just installed OpenBSD on some hardware I had lying around. You see where this is going.

I didn't buy the CD set (yet). It's about an 80% chance that I will now, and 99% if I turn the box into a packet filter as planned.

(1) In what way am I the product being sold (by OpenBSD)?
(2) If I'm not "the product", then how can I tell? I'm dissatisfied with any answer that says it's obvious on its face: "I just know in my gut that Google has the capacity for evil, yet OpenBSD is good."
(3) If I am "the product", then by what mechanism am I suddenly relieved of that status when I buy the CD sets?

I'm not trying to argue that OpenBSD is good therefore Google is good, nor that Google is bad therefore OpenBSD is bad. I genuinely can't reconcile my experience with the quote, so I think the quote is an overgeneralization. Both Google and OpenBSD may or may not be selling me as a product, the fact that they're free tells me very little, and I have to research them myself.

Comment Re:Isn't bad... (Score 1) 228

Then you get product placement like in I, Robot, where products are not just in the world but featured, talked about, shoved in your face in a blatant attempt to influence your purchases. Rather than being immersed in a real world, we are snapped back in to our own world full of obvious advertising.

I suppose product placement isn't bad in itself, it's how product placement is used that determines how it is perceived. Populating a world with items increases the verisimilitude of the circumstances, making it too obvious reminds us we are only the pawns of big corporations.

Comment Re:It's actually a discount (Score 1) 499

Lower prices on 2.0GHz chips. This will increase sales, but means giving up on the money of those people who really need (or think they need) the extra speed and are willing to pay for it.

Oh, boo-fucking-hoo. They have advanced their manufacturing process to give superior yields, and rather than offer these yields to more people they want to suck the market for as much money as possible by artificially restricting demand. Yes, they're a business and that's their job, but those are still weasel words apologising for a corporation who are stitching up the public.

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Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long