Category Archives: unvarnished

Tracking the Past (Part 3)

Part 3: Honing and Honed

PCCFA Fair, where I was asked to turn down my music. Me? A disturber of the peace? How about thrilled to be noticed? My early techno did not impress, but it was on that day I met Admiral Skuttlebutt, who played 280-JOKE for me, a mod I’ve carefully sheltered over the last twenty some odd years. It is a nostalgic song, clumsy in execution, off beat in humour. It still holds deep meaning to me.

We would be back to the fair later, too.

It was the beginning of my education about what I mean to other people. In high school I was the six foot ghost, striding deliberately through the halls to avoid confrontation. In the computer lab Ryan and I were nobles, blessed with access to Foolproof and knowledge of Mac OS’ inner workings. Resource forks, oh, how I miss you.

HyperCard was too easy, too functional. Too good. Modules didn’t have that flaw, and we waited a long time to be able to share our music with friends on Mac LC II, LC III and LC 520 with their caddy loading CD-drives. We (mostly me at first) could impress with four channel audio when most programs managed just two. It was our music, and opened many doors. Ryan would not only compose the music for his graduation, but he also produced a “multi-media video” on the Centris 660AV (with badass AT&T 55Mhz DSP and lightning fast 68040 CPU@25/50Mhz. What a beast!).

PlayerPRO (still kicking?!) and Soundtracker entertained in different ways. The former tried too hard to be a studio with every toy in the box, always failing to play essential mod commands and loops. We’d amuse ourselves by seeing what the programmer’d figured out since the last version. Which of our mods played right? Soundtracker was slow, even on fast machines, but far more accurate.

Ryan was focused on audio fidelity, as ever, learning MIDI and the Roland MT-32 synthesizer our school lent him for the summer. I couldn’t afford to step up, but I did happen into a 20MB SCSI hard drive thanks to him, so I gave it my all, musically, and somewhere we met in the middle. Perhaps because I was blindly persistent. It’s a valuable quality worth cultivating at times.

The Mod format was still in development in those days, with new commands being added from the Amiga side of the scene. So was I, incidentally. Untrained as a musician, I found my own way to enjoyable melodies. Perhaps a paradigm would have improved my development, yet in place of it I gained something else: Confidence.

It was always a struggle, and I admit to deleting mods because of disapproval – gone forever, limited storage, remember? Bygones, naturally, as I was persistent. I didn’t know it then but experience was for me the better part of my musical education. Valour? Probably not.

‘E-Tempral Society’, ‘Power of Emotion’, ‘Faded Thrill’ and most of all ‘Sudden Swiftness’ were my formative tracks in the first four years of involvement with DT. By sheer passion I proved a capable, if unpredictable, musician. Oh yes, and ‘1995’. It was that summer we discovered the Internet, and that our group name was in use by a German industrial company of some variety.

Newly dubbed Trideja, we quickly added Derek Warren to the roster just to destroy the symbolism of the name. What’s done was done, and we laughed about it. Derek’s enthusiasm was infectious.

We had already designed a new logo with my skills in ClarisWorks Draw and Ryan’s with Photoshop and web design. We had our own website before we quite new what to do with it.

Continues next week.

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Excerpts: How to Crack a Planet (Working Title)

Excerpt from ‘How to Crack a Planet’ (working title). The thirteenth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Aaran Coates, a gold-blond silver-blue eyed private detective dressed in a grey suit, blue formal shirt and black sneakers. She has encountered the Tardis for the first time, and this scene explores her reactions.

Casually flicking switches and twisting knobs on the raised, octagonal platform, the Doctor patiently awaited the response. She had crossed the threshold, in body, but not in mind, and had her head poked out, holding the one closed royal blue door and leaning back. Continue reading

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On it’s face; Carrying on Anyway

So no quality reviewers. I’ll admit it; but there’s lots to do, so, moving on. Requiring approval has never been a thing for me. All that being said, I have been getting quite a lot thanks to Twitter. What useful tool! More the flavor is followers who think I have money (to spend on them) or might be a source of profit (ditto). Continue reading

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Useful Misdirection(s)

NYTimes recently informed the world (not just New York, if you catch my drift) that employers are stymied by budget concerns and playing with prospective employees as though they were cat toys. Between hoops, unreasonable expectations and the perfect employee, they just aren’t hiring. Continue reading

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Filed under article, economics, my view, news media, social media, technology, television media, unvarnished

Microprocessor Bubble: Tick, Tock

Whilst my parents and I were playing Lineage II a saying hopping into my mouth: “If you can’t find a game to play, you’re not looking.”

Pre-macroeconomicshrink/shirk, I heard that applied to the valiant task of job hunting. It was true. I fell into work with very little effort. Now the attitude of employers is different – they have the pick of the litter. If we don’t like how we’re being treated, someone else hankering for a pay cheque will take our place. Continue reading

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Calculations Underperformed

The heavy hitters of the gaming personal computing industry have been striking out lately, and they don’t appear to know why. Blogphilofilms has a good take on the epic failure of Windows 8. Watch it. He put the nail on the head better than I could have, though I have to say he reminds me of Vizzini, the Sicilian from Princess Bride. Continue reading

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Bothers and Brothers

Isn’t it annoying knowing you’re right and not being able to rationalize it? None of you know this but I’ve been keen to this activity in China for ten years, easily. How? How much time staying awake and aware does it take to figure out China is America’s oldest enemy? Look, I won’t be getting political, but we’re at the point of utter stupidity here. Continue reading

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Filed under economics, good help, my view, social media, television media, terrorism, unvarnished

Blinked In: My LinkedIn Group

Injustice and nefariousness abounds. The first and presently only LinkedIn “group” I have joined is loaded with spam. HR managers/employees/ilk promise to have the “best answers” and the “way in” through the myriad questions employers will throw at you. Continue reading

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NCSoft Hardstyle: China Blocked

NCSoft just blocked an entire country from accessing their most successful MMORPG, Lineage II, and I want to know why no one has noticed.

“In our ongoing efforts to combat RMT, the Lineage II team is embarking on the first phase of our plan by blocking IP addresses from China due to high RMT traffic.” – NCSoft Announcements

Joystiq, Arstechnica, Gamespot, and others – I’m looking at you. Continue reading

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Consoles By Necessity

I find it refreshing that Gabe Newell is taking a Microsoftian approach to the retail offerings of what may revolutionize in-home gaming. Recognizing your influences is part of being a responsible creator. Unfortunately he hasn’t done that this time. Continue reading

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