Rozovian’s Music Log

Archive for the ‘computers’ Category

iT phone home

Posted by Ad on April 23, 2015

Wow, it’s been a while. I had stuff written, but never posted. So, let’s get some new thoughts online.

There are different ways of using stuff. Take matches. You can light things on fire with them. The orthodox way is to draw the match against the striking surface and the bring the burning match near paper or kindling. A non-standard method is to use matches to light another match on fire, making them stick together. This isn’t the standard way of lighting things on fire tho.

Another creative, non-standard use of matches is to build things out of them. You can build animals out of them and pinecones, you can build houses and things out of them… and optionally also light these on fire.

I can classify uses of things into three categories: intended use, non-standard use, and advanced use. Simple enough?

So there’s iTunes, and OSX. iTunes worked great when it was a music library and little else. It works ok as an mp3-player manager, altho the clunky way of throwing files forth and back could be improved by making it possible in the Finder (or Windows) instead. But iTunes really breaks down when connecting to the web.

I don’t use the iTunes store for much. All my iTunes gift cards have been used in the App Store instead. I don’t really listen to the stuff iTunes sells, except for the stuff friends of mine have already released elsewhere (so I don’t need to buy it from iTunes). So I’ve disabled the store. I mentioned in a post way back when that iTunes wanted to check, twice, that I was aware that I wasn’t logged into the store. That was annoying, but at least it only asked twice.

That’s not the case with the new problem I’ve found: on a computer-to-computer network, the kind that I use when I don’t have access to any other network, and I want to connect two devices; iTunes wants to connect to internet radio. It can’t. That’s fine. What’s not fine is that it tells me. Not once, or twice, but _indefinitely_.

So I was semi-DJ-ing at this event, and didn’t want to have to run forth and back to adjust volume levels with my hastily compiled playlist, so I started a computer-computer network and connected the iPhone to that. And iTunes kept telling me it couldn’t connect to internet radio.


Time to check out Songbird again. With any luck, it can do everything I actually use iTunes for.

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Apple “genius”

Posted by Ad on August 4, 2012

While on the topic of piracy, lemme tell you about the dumbest Apple App Store things I’ve seen so far. Totally hypothetically, I mean.

So this remixer friend of mine is collaborating with another remixer on a track, and this other remixer uses GarageBand. Which I, I mean, my friend; also has. It’s an older version on the music computer, but the Lion (have I mentioned Lion is horrendous to use when used to SL or previous Mac OSs?) laptop I got… for him… this year, has the new version of GB. The problem is that it’s still an older version, so it doesn’t open the other remixers .band files. So my friend goes to the App Store to check the price of the newest version. 12 euros. That’s too much. He also happens to live in a country that Apple apparently doesn’t trust to allow doing PayPal purchases, and he doesn’t have a credit card. I may have mentioned that I have had that problem, and the Apple Support folks brilliant solution was “get a credit card”. In a rudely robo-polite roundabout rude way of saying it.

But he notices the laptop displays only an update button instead of a price. He assume it’s a free update, which the error messages GB gave him alluded to. He tries it. It requires him to sign in with his Apple ID. He does that, reluctantly. An App Store license change dialog open up. Yes whatever. The license appeared in neither my friend’s native language nor English. He clicked some checkbox thing and then a button thing and was then sent back to the App Store and could download the update.

Success! I am so smart- I mean my friend is so smart. S – M – R – T.

Also, this update can open the other remixer’s .band files without a problem.

So where’s the dumb thing, besides Apple reluctance to let Finns use PayPal? Here:

Once installed, my friend casually throws it from one machine to the other. And double-clicks it on the main music machine. And it installs 1.6 gigs of GarageBand stuff, and works just fine.

This all leads me to a couple of possibilities:

1) Apple is watching us, waiting for us to circumvent their licenses.. and when we do, the lawyers pounce. Considering the legal climate these days, it wouldn’t surprise me. Nobody reads license agreements anyway, for good reason.

2) Apple are trying to milk the wallets of rich morons, while not inconveniencing less casual users too much. This seems unlikely, because Lion.

3) Plain old stupid.

I fear the first (for my friend, I mean), hope for the second, and suspect the third.

This is the stuff that – aside from the successful outcome in this particular anecdote – make me consider pirating stuff. And/or switching to Linux. Screw it, I’ll learn programming and make my own OS, and my own networking tools, and my own text editor. And my own DTP suite. And my own… music program stuff. Screw it, I’m stuck with Apple.

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The Lion Experience…

Posted by Ad on January 26, 2012

…is horrible.

I bought a new laptop. So far, I’ve found that my previous workflow with TextEdit won’t work, so I gotta find another light-weight editor to work with. I’ve found that my previous use of cmd-tab and cmd-> (default: cmd-tilde) to switch between applications and windows within them (respectively) won’t work. I can’t even leave TextEdit in the background without it disappearing from the cmd-tab menu.

I’ve also found that Logic 8 doesn’t work on Lion. That means I can’t work on music on my brand new laptop. Sure, there’s baby GarageBand, Reaper, and other DAWs around – but all my music is in Logic. My music workflow is in Logic. I can neither pay for Logic 9 with PayPal (because my Apple ID is registered in the wrong country) nor can I use Logic 8 on it. Buy Snow Leopard or don’t make music on the laptop.

I can handle the cosmetic differences, and I can appreciate much what’s changed under the hood, but when a machine I wanted as a portable music studio can’t do music anymore, it makes me mad. I have half a mind to write a message to Apple on the machine and throw it through the window of an Apple Store somewhere. I try to resist the urge of slamming the thing into the wall. This is not the ease of use that Apple promises its users.

In trying to find solutions to these problems, I’ve found that long-time Apple users all over the net despise Lion. If they want everyone to get an iPad instead, why create Lion at all, why not sell 27” iPads?

I’ve been spending the past day trying to figure out how to get Lion to behave, but it doesn’t let me. Perhaps I should just get Linux, it’s probably less trouble.

edit: I now got Logic 8 working, and I got rid of Lion’s TexEdit and replaced it with SL’s. Progress!

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Change / Policy

Posted by Ad on August 21, 2011

Two things, besides acknowledging that I haven’t been nearly as much on AIM as I used to, and have been slow to respond this summer. I blame it all on it being summer. 😀

So, thing #1 – Apple. I’m starting to dislike how they handle some of their products. I went through about 150 semi-old projects I’ve made in Logic to bounce them to mp3 and see which ones I like enough to make real songs out of. Well, each bounce required at least 6 manual mouseclicks – no shortcuts. I could have played with AppleScript to get some macro going, but Logic has some inherent stability problems in that it can run out of memory and crash without any warning, so I’d rather do things manually so I know when and where things go wrong. Still, no keyboard shortcut for bounce audio? No memory as to what format I’ve exported the last HUNDRED projects as? No way of getting out of the id3-tag window without using the mouse? Stupid.

But what really bothers me is when they change stuff without giving users the option to switch to the new scheme or keep the old one, they don’t offer options for advanced users. The other day, they changed the order in which tabs open in Safari. A minor annoyance for ppl who use two or three tabs. A stupid, unreasonable change for ppl who open a dozen tabs and want to go through pages of a forum in the order they’ve clicked on them. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Offer options, sure, but don’t go “fixing” stuff just to annoy users.


Thing #2 – I removed a comment by someone who apparently runs a recycling blog or something. I don’t know if I’d call it spam, but it seemed more like self-promotion than a response to my post. The comment itself was short tho applicable, but it seemed like someone trying to get their search engine rank boosted. Just wondering if any readers have any option on this – should I treat it as spam or as a genuine comment? Remove link and approve? What do?

And no, this is not about politics. No Obama talk here… atm.

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Mass Defect

Posted by Ad on December 15, 2010

A copy of Mass Effect recently appeared near one of my computers. It said it worked on Mac. It kind’a did. After a couple of hours trying to figure out the problem, I think I’m sure it’s the graphics card. The game allegedly runs fine of an nVidia-MacBook, but not on my Radeon-iMac. And obviously not on my pre-Intel Radeon PowerBook.

So what bothers me about this? That there’s no official Mac version? That it works on some macs and not others? That it took me hours to figure this all out? Yes to all applicable, but the last one more than the others.

The game and the audio works just fine, but the 3d parts of the screen turns white and a lot of models are missing. I saw vistas of space and empty chairs in the intro, then a quick whiteout and flashes of the geometry. Said white flashes might be effects, since they managed to obscure just part of a hallway at one point, but once I turned too far the whole world went white again. Not the HUD, just the world.

On a related note, we have a lot of snow outside. They say there were these things called ditches than ran across the lawns. I have no idea what they’re talking about.

Anyway, missing models and a big whiteness. And there are instances where I found myself probably in a corner with the camera inside some thing, outside the geometry. There I could see something, but it was pretty weird and abstract looking. And dark, so probably just the other side of the thing I was looking through.

I might have spent 2-3 hours on figuring this out, trying different settings and seeing if the same problems persist, googling how to tell if the firmware is up to date and how to force an OS X 10.5-compatible updater to update on 10.6, rendering issues and how to access the graphics card’s settings, getting all kinds of support forum posts and torrent links in all that searching. And it all leads me to a simple solution:

I need to steal that laptop.

Also, I came across probably dozens of threads with ppl stating these same problems, or similar. On that note, some Radeon-OS X compatibility problem could explain the weird texture things happening on big ships in FreeSpace 2. Or did I solve that with some vSync thing, I don’t remember.

And to address the piracy issue, I’d buy a Steam licence if the game would work for me. It’s just 15 euros. BioWare, do you hear me? Make an official Mac version available, or leak a Radeon-compatible Cider version or something. Keyword: Radeon-compatible.

Post title refers to defects, not defecting. It’s punny in writing.

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