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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!

Friday July 1 2005

Live 8

tomorrow, then. A chance to see the original Pink Floyd line-up for me, as well as numerous other acts. I remember sitting in all day to watch the original Live Aid with a couple of friends and my sister twenty years ago, and I feel then as I did now. Rather cowed by the scale of the problems which these two events have set out to highlight, rather ashamed by the contrast between our problems and those of the truly shat upon, and very proud that, amongst all of the professions seeking to try to make a difference, musicians should be so prominent. Get over to the site and add your name to the list. I have some sympathy with the view that these glitzy events are an Elastoplast, a panacea for the consciences of the bleeding hearts. This is true to some degree. But what happens if we just sneer? What gets better, what changes? Nothing. What gets worse if we lend a little support? Nothing. QED.



Posted at 6:24 pm by Jim Woods

Squarepusher listening orgy,

Tour de France starts tomorrow, bass acquisition contemplation... Feeling, in fact, tired rather than writy. Has TiVo the space to cope with the Tour, given that I'm having a hard time getting around to watching TV right now. Perhaps I should stick a bigger drive in it.

These days life consists of thinking of new ways to finance bigger drives in everything to store more and more stuff that I arguably will never have time for. Good job I don't have a day job. But a wall of tsunami-like media advancing? Douglas Adams is somewhere laughing and saying "I told you so".


Posted at 2:58 pm by Jim Woods

Wednesday June 29 2005

In case I haven't been sufficiently boring about hardware recently,

here's some more. Good news. Computer is now very pleased with its new spanky power supply, supplied by godlike tech henchman Daniel the Manual, and stability is restored across the land (my desk, in truth). As an added big bonus, this unit is also pretty quiet. I love quiet. Quiet rules, really.

I have also acquired a handy gadget which simply adapts IDE to USB 2.0. You get a cable with a load of funky leds, and a power supply. This enables use of any old hard drive or CD drive as portable storage, and although a little clunky and bulky is a cheap-as-chips solution. Cost me £24. I celebrated the arrival of this by putting a new Maxtor 120 gig hard drive in my PC as a data drive. My main drive is a 40 gig job by Western Digital. Substituting the new 120 for the 40 means the computer now has double the storage capacity and I have a 40 gig portable storage solution. Ideal for guzzling people's entire music collections and the like. Not that I'd do that...

So spending is well out of control. Well out of control. Well out of controooooooool. Want a holiday for a month. Want a cracking bass. Want a Mac Mini. Want all the books and records in the world. Want a huge telly, so I can hardly ever watch that either.

Discipline will be the key. Discipline and toys.

I mean legitimate business expenses.

I love working in music.


Posted at 6:38 am by Jim Woods

Monday June 27 2005

Oh yeah.

I have a new toy. So far, very pleased with it.


Posted at 4:11 am by Jim Woods

There is some chance,

and I write this with extreme caution, that I have got to the bottom of and nailed my hardware problem. I know I said I thought I had a couple of days back, but this proved not to be the case. I'll spare you further rant about how incredibly frustrating it can be to trace this sort of thing, but suffice it to say that it was onerous.

My power supply, I think, was shagged. At any rate, substituting it for another - quiet and very high quality - unit seems to have done the trick. Huge thanks to Dan for the loan of it; clearly, he is the man. My cheap and nasty old unit - well, not that cheap but definitely nasty - seems to have some melting and darkening of the block connector to the main board. Noticeable only when unplugged and carefully inspected, which is why it took me so long to spot. But this cannot be good. Computer, melty. Not easy bedfellows, those words.

Whether or not the main board has suffered I do not know. As I write this, things have been stable for a goodly while - fingers crossed and crossed again so as to pretty much twisted. After a ridiculous amount of Googling I think I know a lot more about hardware than I did before. I had got thoroughly confused by a hotch-potch of different temperature and voltage readings coming from several sources. Easytune, provided by the makers of the main board, Sandra, a highly regarded diagnostic program, Mainboard Monitor, which is very comprehensive, and the Award BIOS itself all had different views of what was going on. I always think that the BIOS itself is the ultimate authority, as that knows exactly what the hardware and sensors are all about. But there was a big problem with the system's -5v and -12v values. Despite some minor disagreement, all the above software which I had selected as likely to be good and accurate gave readings which suggested that the -12v was almost random and that the -5v was zero. The BIOS only gave positive voltage readings, so what to believe?

I have now discovered - and I'll happily stand corrected as I don't consider myself a hardware guru - that these negatives voltages don't basically do anything in a modern system. They're for legacy support of what would no doubt these days be technically termed "old crap". I would imagine that the BIOS does not measure them, then, because the main board does not use them. Good. But I'm sure you can understand why I thought that the weird readings I was getting for them were something I should pay attention to.

So it seems that I've got to the bottom of the problem inadvertently. Touch wood.

Now with any luck I can get back to writing about something a little more edifying.


Posted at 2:38 am by Jim Woods

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