Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Bed Time Audio Book

Listening To: the sound of money gurgling its way down the drain as the pipes heat up this late at night.

i just had to interrupt my sleep cycle to tell the world about my new discovery: the post-modern lightbulb joke.


i haven't thought of any good answers yet, or rather, none that i'd risk my blogging reputation for, but i invite you to submit some suggestions.

The Inspiration: i stumbled on a forum post entitled "why do wii owners never get arrested" and it showed links to news stories on a halo gamer that allegedly killed someone, a 13-yr-old that graffitied loads of xbox games n a store, etc. while most thread replies agreed that it was because you can't arrest 6 year olds (ba-zing?), it ended up going down the "lightbulb" route, and i heartily approve (i myself put forward the theory that wii owners were too easily distracted by shiny, colourful objects to have the focus needed to commit crimes).

so i conclude: arpanet internet does indeed contribute to culture, but we need a new word for it to sit snugly next to pop culture.

ooooh! post-pop culture?

Sigh Of Contentment: well-earned, for services to comedy kind. you can thank me later.
Good Night: john boy/mr chips/sweetheart

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Sushi Remix / Synoiz Remix / X-over!

Having finished the remix of Synoiz's Andromeda, what better way could i celebrate than sticking it on a random bit of youtube and reuploading it? needless to say, i haven't got any work done tonight, unless this counts as work. and i think it does.

pleas to send moar hotdogs kthxbai

Thursday, 12 February 2009

How To Save A Life Buggered iPod

The Prologue
i'm a gadget-hungry girl. i always have been. once upon a time, when a beloved walkman died, it was with mixed emotion that i hauled out its sad carcass, as i knew that buying a new one was just around the corner. omnomnom gadgetsssss. in fact, the last walkman i ever bought was a panasonic (i was always a panasonic girl) silver slim thing and it was gorgeous and i loved it, even though it cost £70.

but i'm 27 now, and have literally put thousands of pounds into the great gadget economy since i was a frivolous teen. purchase choice now is now made with a priority of:

  • function


  • style

  • trend

  • curiosity

  • this is why, although i love music and have a wonderful mp3 collection that stretches back years, i only use for my portable music, a 2nd Generation iPod Nano 4GB (which as we know, translates into 3.67GB usable space). i love it dearly, but recently felt the need for greater capacity. so i turned to eBay.

    i bought myself a 20GB 4th Gen iPod for just under £40. cosmetically very good condition, apparently new battery fitted recently and everything was hunky/dory.

    so, beloved newOld iPod worked for about half a day and then screwed up in the middle of a sync: click click whirrrrr. argh. click click clunk. arrrrgh. much trying to format bad sectors later, i got the awful "folder/support" icon. frantically opened it up once or twice to try the *slap* trick and it eventually spat out a "sad ipod" icon. cause of all this: Hard Drive Fail. after fighting down the gollum-like urge to buy a brand new iPod touch, i ordered a new HDD, flexed my geekgirl tech muscles and jumped right into to replacing the hard drive myself.

    >> Not bored yet? Read the bit where i fixed it, got the girl and saved the day...

    The Fixing Bit
    okok, i tired you enough already. don't worry, though - it's real easy to run through the actual steps. lucky for me, i stumbled on this great guide by Josh Highland, without this i would've had to piece the steps together myself - many thanks!

    1: Find A Buggered iPod

    well, i was lucky enough to have my iPod brick on me without (much) provocation, but if you want to play along at home, you might have to hunt around for your own cream-crackered iPod. this should be easy enough, as apple's build quality and internal design is a bit sketchy at best (ouch, steve jobs. ouch.), specifically in the older models. (1st-4th gen iPods)

    1a: How Do I Know My iPod Is iBuggered?

    oh, well, the buggeration of an old iPod can manifest itself in seemingly infinite symptoms. firstly, and i didn't realise it when i used mine on monday, a hard drive that's on the way out can make some pretty loud noises as it seeks the data. other signs that your iPod may not be long for this mortal coil: wigging out in the middle of songs, skipping randomly, not syncing properly (although this may be a bad mp3 file, you know) all of these culminating in the classic "folder" icon on your lcd display, and eventually the dreaded "sad iPod icon". in my case, i first had misgivings when it wouldn't sync past about 10GB of music. ¬_¬

    2: Get a New HDD

    this is easy peasy. find a good retailer on eBay and get yourself the appropriate model. my 4th generation takes the MK2004GAL model, but i could also use the 2006 HDD that was used in the 4th gen iPod Photos. it cost £25 with p&p included, and was shipped via special delivery. a good retailer will send it out through a good postal service as it's important to know it'll be well looked after en route - HDDs are finicky little things.

    3: Get Your Tools Together

    for this experiment, you will need, to whit:

    1 x pen knife or other thin implement (fnar, fnar)
    1 x iPod
    1 x firewire cable/wall charger (v. necessary)
    1 x usb cable if you haven't got a firewire port to sync through with your pc/mac/etc (optional)
    1 x guitar plectrum
    1 x spanky new HDD
    1 x courage (abundance of)

    set everything out nice and neat so you feel like you're special. oh, here's a tip: chances are when your hdd was dying, your battery was running out like a mo' fo' too, as the bloody thing keeps trying to restart and restart, so you'll need some means of charging your iPod. if you don't have a wall charger (or firewire cable/port), get one. you'll need it for when your iPod restores. i have no idea why usb won't work - something to do with the older models, i presume.

    4: Open Up Your iPod
    my trusty (and mostly unused as i'm a fingerstyle player) ani difranco plectrum- this is the very unorthodox bit -
    i'm doing this i'm doing this i can't believe i'm doing this
    this is by far the trickiest bit, i found. i looked a bit online, and found that this guy's method is a better description of events than i could give, so pop off and read it and come back. anyway - the case was so tight i did have to make a wee dent in my metal backing with a pen knife to make room for my Ani DiFranco plectrum to squeeze between the metal back and front cover. you should also remember to put your iPod on hold, because you'll end up switching the damn' thing on later if you're not careful.

    5: Have A Rummage

    time to be careful careful now, lay everything out - and take great pains not to disconnect anything by accident! i'm talking battery wires (botom right of the main case), headphone jack/hold connectors (glued to the rear backing) and hdd cables (at the top of your hdd).

    6: Take Out Your Old HDD
    boo! hiss! why did you have to die on me?? swine. judas.
    look at the top of the hdd. you can see the black bit that's connecting the hdd to the ipod logic board. if you lift up your cowardly old hdd using the top connector as a hinge (CAREFULLY), you'll see that it's attached via a ribbon (which appears to be randomly taped to the logic board, i mean wtf?), just like a teeny tiny fairy-like IDE cable. aww. so, carefully remove this cable from the top of the hdd - it'll just come loose using a bit of pressure. you now have the very essence - essence, i say - of iPoddery in your hands. oooooOOOOooh.

    O HAI: if your hard drive is not completely fux0red, removing and reattaching the ide cable may help to restore your iPod back to full health, so you may be able to avoid replacing the costly hdd altogether by reassembling the iPod after doing this and trying it - you never know, it just might work.

    7: Rubber Up

    now that your old hdd is safely out of the way, you can take the funky blue padding off it by gently coaxing it off, and gently uncoaxing it onto the new drive. it should fit nice and snug - and do try to remember which way round it all goes.

    next, use your guitar pick (or the lovely josh suggested one of those razor thingies you use to get the paint off've shiny surfaces) and patiently sort of scrape the last bit of foam off the body of the hard drive.

    josh also suggests sticking this lot back onto the new hdd with a spot of glue, but there was enough adhesive still on the foam for me to keep it in place - not to mention my concerns at melting glue with the hella heat that comes off these old iPods!

    8: Whack It In, I Say!

    ooooh so close! right, so re-attach the hdd cable to the new hdd. they belong together, they're soulmates, they are. so... yeah. press it gently into position.

    9: Close It Up

    now, carefully close your iPod case again, and try to think positive thoughts as you attach it to your pc.

    10: Restore (or "Hold Your Breath And Cross Your Fingers")
    so... iTunes will have a look at your iPod, and hopefully it'll be obsessing about restoring it. that's fine, it's a natural urge. let it restore it. now, if you've got firewire (and all goes to plan) it should finish the restore and be telling you the iPod will be restarting (and that the dialog will close in 10 seconds) or something like that. if you don't, it'll want connecting into a wall charger to complete the restore. once you've done all this, you should see a wee status bar on the screen of your (now-happy) iPod. everything good. if you kept it connected to the firewire all this time, as i did, once you've selected your language on the iPod and checked your "about" bit in the settings to make sure all is well, you'll need to disconnect the iPod from the poot and reconnect it before iTunes will look at it properly and give it a name.

    i named mine "iPob". and i love it.

    Wednesday, 11 February 2009

    Definition: a lunchbreak study on form and netculture.

    Watching: the clock

    i have a very heavy net-life. being a web developer, this is right, proper, and it's how i keep my eye on the web-trends. i have a twitter account, quite a few blogs, check my personal list of favourite sites often. i also have a myspazz account for various musics (as well as better outlets for such creations) and lastly (but not leastly, it's just narrative convenience) - a flickr account for my photos.

    thanks to flickr, i'm doing a "one photo a day" project this year. it's a pretty tall order when you're not a professional photographer, or travelling, or doing something exciting. mostly it tends to be stuff that happens to be near me when i remember i should take a photo. but in participating in this, i've noticed there's a few flickr-based terminology trends cropping up: bokeh wednesday, self-portrait tuesday, zen friday.

    ah, but not just flickr. i got excited about today being zero punctuation wednesday. and of course, there was always caturday. someone mentioned sandwich thursday, too? what a concept.

    well, it got me to thinking, and if i had the time, i'd muse here in my blog on the following points for a lot longer, instead of leaving them as an unordered list:

    a) humans still love to apply structure to whichever culture they create - twitter is so amazingly open-ended, and there's so many people using it, that new rules and clubs and styles are created all the time
    b) funny how quickly the net became part of boring life, instead of being the new novelty


    3) netculture replacing the TV as a medium for week-shaping? (think x-factor saturday, corination street mondaywednesdayfridayandsometimessundaysomnibusatweekends)

    It's So Cold: so terribly, terribly cold.
    iPod: is a profanity in the anguaji household right now. more on this in a future post.

    Wednesday, 4 February 2009

    iRant: look, but don't touch. v1.7

    i can't believe that there's people out there who're still not clued up about usable space on ipods/hdds/etc. "my ipod only holds 18GB - it says 20GB durr what dis?" i don't mind techno-ignorance as i'm pretty used to being immersed in it, thanks to my mega-techoid-brain, but this particular branch of the infidel seem to think that they're being ripped off by some... some bizarre inner circle conspiricy, when they should just clue themselves up on technology.

    for reference: hard drives have less usable capacity than advertised because, like the universe (we Pratchettians suspect), quite a large portion of the actual, physical, object is taken up with the knowledge of where the rest of the stuff in the object, is. er.

    that is to say, 1.5GB out of 20GB is keeping a record of where the actual files can be located in the rest of the 18.5GB.

    see? hmph. maybe that's not the best explanation, after all. anyway, it's listed as 20GB because it is 20GB, it's just the file system (FAT32, NTFS, etc) is unwieldly and in need of it's core updating, i suspect.

    i've often thought privately that computers should be treat like cars - pass a test and then be allowed to buy one. and drive it. er. and crash it. oh! that works. at least after crashing cars, the drivers don't ring the carmaker and whine and complain that the car crashed on them. well, you get the idea. it was a weak meatphor (i think that was meant to be "metaphor" but lack of red meat is starting to affect my subconcious).

    at the very least, we should implement some system... something along the lines of restricting learner computer users from interacting with the internet. look, but don't touch people. look, but don't touch.


    Another: crossover with the _music_ blog
    Sorry, but: nothing else has been happening.

    here's an interesting pondering: i don't know how long it normally takes to finish a remix of a track. isn't that strange?

    i'm remixing a track at the moment for Synoiz, called Andromeda. i've loved the track for a long time - well, since it was made last year anyway - and i'm pleased with where my first try at remixing is going.

    but as i made a cup of tea this morning, i thought: "if i got me skates on, i could have the structure finished by tonight" ...and this from someone who's unaccustomed to finishing anything musical? (which is the by-product of having the shortest creative attention span in the music world) so... i'm just wondering how long it normally takes to remix a track. strange, isn't it? i have no frame of reference, so i don't feel hindered by either not spending enough time on it, or by being too needlessly in-depth. i'm going to keep myself ignorant until it's done, so that i can look it up later and see how i compare.


    ooooh i got a nanoPAD last week - i'm sick of programming beats one click at a time, and having no decent midi interface, that's the only option. the thing is, money's a bit tight at the moment, so i was complaining to a friend on monday (during the great snow-in of 09) that i should probably sell it, as all i keep doing with it is picking it up, waving it around making "ooh shiny" noises, bashing out the same crappy beat and putting it away again - and though it was a bargain, it was still £50 - which is a weeks shopping as we young professionals know.

    that was monday night, and i now have three more beginninngingingings of newer tracks, and the start of the remix, all contributed to greatly by the nanoPAD.

    my guilty, guilty thoughts betray an unease with all this materialism though and want me to sell it anyway.

    stupid thoughts.