Friday, May 22, 2015

Yes, another one

It's beautiful. Moog engineers their synthesizers like Germans engineer their expensive luxury cars. This thing is solid. If some comicbook superhero were to pick it up and throw it at you, you would not be a happy person. And neither would I. What's funny is that it's the exact same price as the Minimoog I lusted after so badly in 1973 when I was 13yo: $1495US. Taking into account inflation, the Sub37 should really cost about $7,952.13US. Instead, it's effectively a bit more than 1/5th of the price of the early-70s Minimoog and it's got about 8 times the capability. I've got a Moog Voyager, a Moog Little Phatty Stage II, and now this. And I can tell that this is going to be my favorite for many years to come.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

PGD-774 thick, adhesion, blossom. Memory drops.

Like a sentence of death I got no options left I've got nothing to show now
I'm down on the ground I've got seconds to live

    And you can't go now

'Cause love like an invisible bullet shot me down and I'm bleeding
Yeah, I'm bleeding

And if you go,
Furious angels will bring you back to me
Will bring you back to me

You're a dirty needle you're in my blood and there's no curing me
I wanna run like the blood from a wound to a place you can't see me

'Cause love like a blow to the head has left me stunned and I'm reeling
Yeah, I'm reeling

And if you go,
Furious angels will bring you back to me

You're a cold piece of steel between my ribs and there's no saving me
And I can't get up from this wet crimson bed that you made for me

'Cause love like a knife in the back has cut me down and I'm bleeding
Yeah, I'm bleeding

And if you go,
Angels will run to defend me
To defend me

'Cause I can't get up I'm as cold as a stone I can feel the life fade from me
I'm down on the ground I've got seconds to live

    And what's there that waits for me?

'Cause love like a sentence of death left me stunned and I'm reeling
Yeah, I'm reeling

And if you go,
Furious angels will bring you back to me
Will bring you back to me

Saturday, April 18, 2015

It Came From 1968

I've been noticing that the concept of "design" - especially as in "interface design" - has been gradually permeating my professional life of late. I don't mind - I loved the human factors classes I took back in college, and I've always loved a good user interface. Even in television and the movies, and especially when it's not just a bunch of crap buttons that somebody threw together in a hurry. Which was pretty much the standard at one time.

I think it all changed in 1968, when Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke got together to make a movie called 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm going to guess you've seen it. I was 8 years old at the time, and those monkeys at the beginning scared the crap out of me. And the next couple of hours were somewhat tense, 'cause a) I was 8yo, b) I had even less of an idea of WTF was going on than most people, and c) I just knew those fucking monkeys were gonna come back.

But I was wrong, and over the next several years I found the movie richly rewarded repeat viewings. Although I'll be damned if I remember how I managed that, back in the early 1970s. But 1968 was also the year I started to read science fiction, and most of Clarke's work is surprisingly accessible, even to the single-digit-age crowd. If you're young and single-minded enough about something like, oh, science fiction, you will find a way.

Even back then, there were things I "got": like, there were many, many displays and controls, and it was obvious that they weren't the same crap that usually showed up in science fiction movies. I could tell someone put some serious thought (and time, and money) into really thinking about what this kind of stuff might look like, and how it might function. I ate it up. The early exposure to computer graphics was probably a big part of why I ended up being interested in computers and eventually majoring in CS. In fact, I went to college at the place where the fictional HAL 9000 was supposedly manufactured.

All of this is preface to the fact that when I saw the HAL 9000 OS running as a screensaver in Alessandro Cortini's studio, I knew I had to have it.

A few other things, in case anyone actually reads this far down:

The iPad and iPhone have been hotbeds of some really serious radical UI design. I have many, many synthesizer and audio apps and I confess that I've bought some of them just because they cost $.99 and I loved the user interface.

I've got hundreds of projects lined up. One of them is that I should make a User Interface blog and post all of the designs I've collected over the years. I believe this has been done, perhaps more than once, by other people. But I think I have some material than no-one else has even thought about.

There have been two or three other movies before 2001 that put some effort into special effects (which sometimes included misc aspects of UI design): Forbidden Planet (1956), Voyage to the End of the Universe (aka Ikarie XB 1) (1963), and Things To Come (1936) (which was arguably not big on the UI side of things, but it still had some impressive SFX work near the end).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Deus Intra Machina

It has occurred to me that I have a hobby that is a bigger sausage-fest than even Model Railroading. Not that I care, really, but ... that's something of an accomplishment.

This is a really great interview. I've never met Alessandro but it was interesting to hear him say some things that I've thought about that I've never heard anyone else put a voice to. Like: the relationship a person can have with a modular system. I don't know of anyone in the Western world who would, say, incorporate a small altar into their rig and burn candles and incense there ... but I'm wondering about building a few in Eurorack and 5U format and seeing if they sell

Thursday, December 11, 2014

LinnStrument Unboxing

Santa came early!

Well, okay, not really: it was my UPS guy, Carlos (who is awesome, BTW), and today he delivered my wonderful new LinnStrument!

Now where's my damn USB-to-Lightning adaptor?

More as it happens!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Some Music Videos For You

[I've probably posted a few of these here before. Oh well]

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Last Policeman

I'm not typically a big fan of mysteries, but Ben H. Winters' The Last Policeman had me glued to the page. The basic premise is that a young policeman, Henry Palace, is investigating what he thinks is a murder - six months before an asteroid will impact the Earth and end life as we know it. There's something here for everyone: it's got mystery, it's got science fiction, it's got dystopian government; it's funny and it's sad and it's very, very human.

I cannot in good conscience tell you much more without spoiling your potential enjoyment of the books. I can say this, though: the first book works well as a stand-alone, but the 2nd and 3rd books do not disappoint and are worth reading. Henry Palace is someone you won't soon forget.