Culture Music Technology

The Free iPod Book 2.0

The Ipod BookIt’s just like a real book, full of glossy ads of things you will really really want and cant afford, but at the price (Free) how can you go wrong.

Besides The Free iPod Book 2.0 by is full of really useful info about iPod’s. I should declare here that I don’t own one. I prefer the Creative Zen or my old Sony CD (yep the round one which plays MP3’s) BUT I end-up supporting these things because there a lot of users with them in various clients offices.

Back to the book. There is a section down the back on how to get the most out of iTunes. I am not a huge fan of the iTunes software (Winamp user here) but reading this book I learnt a bunch of things that I will be trying out over the coming week.

If you have an iPod… download a copy. If you are thinking about buying an iPod… download a copy (or at least have a look at the Zen). If you are thinking of buying me an iPod… it must be Christmas.


Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20060605

Everybody has a blog it would seem, including Geoffrey Chaucer. I’m sorry but this cracked me up, it’s all written in Middle English here is the :”About Me”…
“I here neyther that ne this, for when my labor doon al ys and have made al my rekenynges I goon hom to my hous anoon and, also domb as any stoon, I sitte at another book tyl fully daswed ys myn look. Certes, I oghte to get outte more. Thou kanst fynde myn feede for liveiournale at the username ‘chaucerhathblog,’ sum swete soule hath sette yt vp for me.”
Mind boggling for a Monday.

Geoffrey has some interesting stuff “Playing on Myne Ipod” to boot.

OK you are at work and they have stupidly left the supplies cupboard door open. What to do with this unexpected bounty. Well here’s a suggestion. Build a Trebuchet.
Step by step instructions of how you can fling bluetak four feet. (OK so it isn’t a small car half a kilometer… it’s built out of paperclips and rubber bands… what do you want)
Send pictures if you get one going.

This is my favorite for this week. It’s been around for ages (2003?) and it’s done in Flash.


Eye Candy – Desktop Backgrounds

With the arrival of the new OS on my audio PC I thought I might tart up the desktop with some new eye-candy. Don’t get me wrong I like the Ubuntu look, it is so distinctive but it’s really brown. So a change is as good as a holiday as they say (my normal desktop is of a holiday)

So here is the first of probable series…

I have mentioned
555 Door555design before in “Mondays”. If you like a grungy lived in “old jeans” kind of look, this is the place for you. The open door made it to the short list.

Deviant ThumbNext up we have Deviant Art. I sometimes think you really don’t need to look any further than here. There are some bits that wouldn’t be classed as “workplace friendly in a fit, lets face it there is some stuff that isn’t even friendly BUT this place will kill a day or two and you wont even have scratched the surface. Huge and worth a look or three. Jools mentioned it at last October as well. Everybody really should waste at least a day here.

Mandolux has some truly beautiful pieces squirrelled away in the archives. I found a dozen contenders here in less than 10 minutes.

Artlebedev ThumbAnd the final contender today is Artlebedev. The Abbey Road Barcode broke me up. Lots of funny, quirky pretties here. The Mao is a beaut as well.

Some more soon.

By the way I still have my original picture on the desktop… I couldn’t decide.

Open Source Technology

More Firefox Bits

A little firefox zealotry.


You select text and it is automatically copied to the clipboard. No tiresome Ctrl-C, no right click, very simple and very elegant. It basically bypasses the Ctrl-C involved copying snippets of text to the clipboard. It also has another trick “Paste on middle click” which makes Ctrl-V unnecessary. If like me you are always copying huge slabs of script and stuff from the web it’s a great little timesaver.

You can get Auto Copy from the Mozilla extensions site.

Firefox Help: Mouse Shortcuts
This is a list of the most common mouse shortcuts in Firefox, and the equivalents in Internet Explorer and Opera. The shortcuts are for Windows, but most of the Firefox shortcuts should work in Linux too.

Culture Open Source Technology

Dapper Drake Arrives (Ubuntu 6.06 LTS)

The much-anticipated (by my laptop at the very least) Ubuntu 6.06 LTS has officially been released. Ready for enterprise deployment, the 6.06 release is the first to feature the availability of long-term support on both servers and desktop computers. Ubuntu is a multi award winning Linux distribution with it’s main emphasis on being usable. It’s populated with stable versions of the usual suspects ( 2.0.2 etc) and a wide variety of cutting edge Linux software.

Ubuntu installation disk images are available for download for x86, AMD64, and PPC.

This release has a number of spiffy improvements, including a faster startup and login, a new Live CD with an integrated graphical installer (think Simply Mepis), integration of the GNOME Power Manager, and optional support for NetworkManager. It also has support for installing Ubuntu on a USB drive (including flash drives), and comes with a new upgrade tool that simplifies the process of migrating from one major release to another.

There is a server edition also available for download, with complete support for Ubuntu’s certified LAMP stack, which can be installed with a single command (woo hoo). Click on the download link and grab a copy. Oh yeah you need at least 192M of ram for this one.

Well I know what I am doing this weekend, my laptop gets a new OS.


More on Orchestration

Small OrchestraThis is a follow up post on orchestration ( I touched on this a few weeks back). Garritan who make a rather spiffy line of orchestral samples have announced a FREE Interactive Edition of “Principles of Orchestration” based upon Nicolay Rimsky-Korsakov’s celebrated text. In this Interactive Edition you will be able to simultaneously hear and see examples from Rimsky-Korsakov’s own works realized with Personal Orchestra. You can find it at Garritan Orchestral Libraries and then follow the links.

Here is the hype

Announcing a new on-line course, based on 19th-century Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s lessons on the Principals of Orchestration. There will be 26 in-depth lessons covering melody, harmony and composition on a range of popular orchestral instruments, with interactive activities and feedback.

During the course, 275 animated scores will be used to demonstrate composition techniques, while students can listen to embedded audio examples and experiment with MIDI files. At the end of the course, Garritan plan to announce a competition that allows the students to put their newly-learned skills to the test and have their work performed by a full (and real) symphony orchestra.

This could be a lot of fun.