Posts tagged General
Xbox live gamertag

My gamertag on Xbox Live is chillbaron (it's the opposite of chillbilly) if you would like to add me to your friends thing and destroy.

I started playing Halo 3 solo but god Halo is boring. Please, no more boring cutscenes! Maybe it'll pick up once I try playing co-op as the others did.

Whoops, comments are back

My genius integration of bbPress and WordPress accidentally shut off anonymous comments on the blog here. Anyway you're all free to comment about OfficeMax and black metal again without signing up for an account.

Kaboom

Many years ago my family used to smuggle fireworks into Canada from the US. It was wonderful and maybe a federal crime, like all family memories I treasure.

Then we went without fireworks for a long time but recently we've been blowing a lot of money on grocery and hardware store fireworks that just suck.

For my birthday my girlfriend got me this:

That's a hundred dollars worth of fireworks from Kaboom.com. After the last sad display at Canada day I found this place on the web and had meant to order the next time fireworks were required. Turns out it's me turning 30. We're setting them off tonight and if I die, just know that it was awesome.

Update: I survived, but it was still awesome. They were excellent, A+++, will buy again.

GeneralBrad TurcotteGeneral
New Google junk

It was Google Press Day yesterday. I'm looking forward to Google Notebook launching next week as I don't have time develop cluebacca. I've been trying other notebook solutions (SEO Note, Evernote) to replace Keynote but they don't behave the way I want them to. And the only simple web-based note app I've found is Simpy which is dead slow most of the time. I got the new Google Desktop with "gadgets" (aka widgets) and quickly took a stab at writing a gadget, which is a little widget you can float around your desktop or dock to your Google sidebar. As much as I envy the sexiness of Macs, I'm still unclear on how these things are supposed to be useful in any way. How many floating clocks and plants does a person need?

New sound cards in the house

Nearly a month after buying my laptop, I've moved onto stage 2 of Brad's mobile recording adventure: buying sound cards. Today I bought the Edirol UA-1EX for softsynth and general low-latency use on the laptop. And the Presonus Firebox for recording on the desktop as well as the laptop when I want to move it around. This is my first time using USB or Firewire audio devices so I'll try and record my thoughts and feelings as I set it all up and try it.

Viva la revolution?

BitTorrent + Donations = Viva la revolution? is an interesting question on Ask Metafilter about providing a service that makes it easy to share music and donate to the artists (which I was actually just talking to someone about the other day.) Metafilter user scarabic suggested that the Internet doesn't need any help with the trading but to stick to the  facilitating donations aspect. Which made my wheels turn and I posted this:

The idea is decent but I think scarabic might be right. Why not find a way to hook donations into all the trading activity that's going on right now?

It would be interesting if someone would build a verified directory of where to donate money to artists. Have an open API so torrent trackers and other music trading sites could implement it as a feel-good gesture.

That way if someone's on some torrent tracker and is grabbing my album they could have a little link that says "Hey, like the album? Click here to donate to the artist."

I think that'd be neat and have the potential to catch on and also potentially put a nice spin on all the trading that's going on if it were to actually work in artists' benefit.

Not sure if it's actually doable though. If a big paypal directory's not possible, you could turn yourself into a collection agency, hold and distribute the money or something. (Then turn evil and crook all the musicians out of their cash of course.)

I haven't thought much about the technical aspects of it but I think it's an interesting idea.

State of the remixes

I'm way, way, hopelessly, way behind on posting remixes. I've been in denial about it as they've stacked up, but I think I have to admit that I'm so far behind I may never be caught up again. I still love getting the remixes -- but it takes a lot of time to process them and I'm short on the time lately. CC Mixter and I'll make listing those here a priority. Sorry to all the remixers who sent stuff in that hasn't been posted. Anyway, I just thought I'd come clean.

Update: Remix posts to CC Mixter should automatically show up in the remix section (way down at the bottom) now. Still tidying that up, but it seems to work.

Show done

Well, our first full set went pretty all right I think. Stumbly here and there, but no major disasters. We opened for The Eric Eggleston band and they were really cool to us and great musicians -- thanks to them for allowing the use of their PA and very hot lights. Now I will hopefully spend the rest of the holidays drunk. Merry Christmas everyone!

GeneralBrad TurcotteGeneral
Tech Rocks Finals

The finals for Tech Rocks 2005 are this Friday (December 9th). It's at Barrymore's in Ottawa. Doors open at 7:30pm and we're on first, doing a three song set (Borderline, Look and Feel Years Younger and Dirtbag.) This'll only be our second live performance together, so the fact that we're even getting to play somewhere that real bands play is pretty cool. Also I should mention that it's all for charity:

Proceeds from the event are targeted to support human resource development through projects and programs from kindergarten to the post graduate level and will support the development and expansion of Ottawa's technology talent pool.

Hooray for human resources!

GeneralBrad TurcotteGeneral
History of the Amen break

Here's a video history of the Amen break. It's an interesting story and then it turns into an anti-copyright rant at the end which I'm not feeling. I'm not sure how The Winstons all quitting music and getting nothing while countless artists and companies get rich using their recording is supposed to be some happy ending that everyone trying to make a living in music should be shooting for. "Hey kids, give up the copyright on your music and you too can bust out of the music business and wind up with a PHD in political science!"

Without some sort of success story for The Winstons I think all the example does is serve as a musician horror story: how you can make something that impacts millions of lives and still not be able to support yourself. Spooky!