Yearly Archive for 2010

Christmas cheer and all that….

Well, Christmas is once again coming up really soon and I guess I am a little unmoved by the whole thing. I can’t really afford a decent present for either myself or Ina (that’s what going on all these holidays this year has done), my birthday will, as usual, be a non-event (again, no present expected) and then we’ve got New Years to celebrate. Before celebrating New Year I need to remind myself of what the hell I am celebrating. Geez, Mr Negativity – yes – you called?

Anyway, it’s been really funky weather here – freezing cold with lots of snow really early on – just how I like it. The complete polar opposite of a Christmas in Sydney. I guess I really enjoy this type of weather – still. It matches my mood in a way……hehehehe We were meant to go down to Frankfurt Main for Christmas but due to all the airport crap of late I don’t think that’ll be happening. A real pity actually because both Ina and I are quite concerned for Wolfgang and his well-being and were looking forward to Christmas. Well, that’s Europe for you, every Winter it seemingly comes as a surprise to the local councils – I mean – what the hell is that all about?? Can you imagine if every Summer came as a surprise to Sydney council?? I can just imagine the news: 40 degree + temperatures sweep across the inner Sydney city suburbs causing mayhem and catastrophe. I mean seriously, can you imagine…….no? Because it’s the same kind of thing that happens here every year really. Anyway, a few shots below will give you an idea of how cold it is. The last one is just a reminder because I agree wholeheartedly – it is hard to be a citizen.

Well, not a lot else to let you guys in on. Drove up to Denmark the other weekend, that was interesting. Such an odd place – built from tiny towns with not much going on really…….bizarre. Didn’t take any photos or anything though because I was driving – was helping a friend out with a Uni assignment where the topic was “road-trip”. I will try to procure some of the footage though because there was an awful lot of the trip filmed.

So, Merry Christmas peoples and if I don’t post before then, Happy New Year also! ๐Ÿ™‚

The price of fame

Too funny – something tells me these guys aren’t any rocket scientists.

A UK teen named Lamar Johnson has recently plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud. His crime? JailIt seems that he and his band (both in a musical sense and in a “Robin Hood” sense) used stolen credit cards to purchase something like $750,000 worth of their own music from both Amazon and the iTunes Store between January 2008 and June 2009.

There’s no telling how much the group would have earned from royalties, and the name of the band hasn’t been disclosed (believe me, I’ve looked), but something tells me that they probably recorded dubstep. Also, something tells me that — since the royalties would have to be paid out to someone with a bank account — this was a painfully easy case for prosecutors to crack. While Johnson will find his sentence tacked onto the 5-year jail term he is currently serving for grievous bodily harm, the rest of his 12 member “band” will have to wait until they appear in court in January to discover their fate.

Sometimes the word FUCK is not enough….

Well, things have been very, very tough in this household for a couple of weeks now – let me lay them down in list form and in chronological order:

1.) Broke my ribs
2.) Caught the flu
3.) Trying to find a backup solution for home
4.) Old backup died before new backup was installed
5.) A SATA controller in my computer died
6.) iTunes library got corrupted (all 244GB of it)

So things have been hectic.

And I am still sick – working half days at the moment trying to get over it – well, half day at work and the other half working from home. I must say, healthcare and whatnot is quite a lot better over here really, I mean, I don’t want to knock Australia or anything because the healthcare there is good too – well, that is before bloody Howard tried to rip it apart, but anyway. I could go on about how each person is health insured for one, but also the care that is administered both from the medical and the employer side. Both want you to get better, rather than juicing the work out of you; still, I can’t get over my Sydney mentality, and feel amazingly guilty and scared whenever I need more than a couple of days to get over something, as has been the case of late. And unfortunately, it seems to be inevitable to catch the flu once a year over here. But my coughing is hurting less, so my ribs must be getting better ๐Ÿ™‚

Man o man, can you believe the computer shit I’ve had to deal with though, it’s been a fucking nightmare. I wanted to reduce the number of external drives I’ve got lying around and consolidate my backups and iTunes and iPhoto into one massive drive. That was a great idea in principal, just, unfortunately, one day too late. Device Removal I sat down to set up this new box that runs Linux and sits on our network and whilst I was doing that one of those “Device Removal blah blah blah was removed without ejecting, data might be lost or damaged…” – well I thought, there wasn’t any external hard drive plugged in that could have been removed accidentally. Then I checked my drive list and it appeared that one of my internal drives that contained two volumes was missing. The two volumes were Jordan and Streaming. I used Jordan for all personal stuff as well as full backups of everything that is important on my machine. Streaming was for all my music making related crap.

Well I thought to myself, that sux. I took it easy though and just thought – well, nothing I can do about that now – and continued setting up the Linux box. I later removed the internal hard drive from the Mac and plugged it into Ina’s machine to see if I could resurrect it, I couldn’t. That is where the story took a bad turn, I thought to myself, well, I’m pretty sure I backed that drive up somewhere else not long ago so all is not lost, let me put a new drive in the machine and go from there. So I put a new drive in my machine but – she no go. I did a system check and apparently the SATA controller must have died first which in turn ejected and damaged the disk (Volumes Jordan and Streaming) – and now I cannot add a new hard drive cause my computer’s fucked.

I tell ya, I took that on the chin like a champ. No getting crazy angry or anything.

So last night I was doing the final touches to the Linux box. I have ported across our entire iTunes library (244GB) and our entire iPhoto library (40GB) and had set my machine to mount the drives as if they were local. The thing is, in order for Ina and myself to share the same library database (not just the music but all the ratings etc.) I had to write a couple of scripts that would access, combine and recompile the XML music database. My scripts were working but not as streamlined as I wanted – anyway, I found this program online that said it did everything I wanted to do and more – great I thought and proceeded to download and install a copy. I installed and tested a copy on my machine and everything seemed well. It’s difficult to test without another machine also connected and running though, since this is a tool dedicated to synchronising two individual library databases. I went over to Ina’s to do the same thing and sync the library XML and everything looked ok but the track counts just would not match up. That’s when I checked my machine and the sky started to fall down. For some reason, this stupid fucking program (called Syncopation) was completely corrupting my iTunes database, wrong album art was associated with the wrong albums, tracks were missing all over the show – it’s just lucky that I turned a garbage collector on on the Linux box so that I could see what this idiot program was doing behind my back. I’m talking about around 50GB of music that had been randomly deleted from the library – one track here, one track there – an utter fucking nightmare.

Luckily I kept the original iTunes music library (not to be confused with the database) so have attempted a restore from that, but I didn’t have a recent backup of the iTunes music database, so I have had to attempt to restore from an older DB which may not have all the music listed nor ratings etc. Hopefully it works out – but man!

And the computer is now officially on its last legs, not that I can afford a new one, but I’d better start saving anyway – and you know how the kind of macs I like are – very expensive. I mean, this one that I’m currently using was $5000 when I bought it and the next one won’t be much/any less I guess – OUCH!

Can’t help myself….

Well, there ain’t much to post about but as the title suggests…..I just can’t help myself! I received the new chainrings for my BMX on Sunday!?! Like WTF? We do not have a postal service on Sunday….but that’s where you have to love Berlin – nothing is ever as it seems ๐Ÿ™‚ So, thanks for the help FSA – ahhh, rather NOT! These fucking idiots could not only not supply me with a new spider (which I desperately needed) but they also couldn’t even tell me what the freaking spline was based on or whether it was (as I suspected) actually the same spline as a Shimano m952… WTF??? these guys make the stuff, surely they know what they base it on…. Anyway, $300 dollars for cranks and that’s the service you get. Fuckers.

So, after literally months and months of research I found a solution so I can run my favourite cranks once again, I dunno, it seems there must be problems with these cranks or something or maybe they were too expensive to manufacture, because they don’t sell them anymore. Damn, I just searched their website and things don’t look good….are they broke?? Maybe it’s because the evil Shimano empire and their take-no-hostages DXR series was the final nail in the coffin, either way, I love these cranks. They’re stiff as all @#$% and (touching wood) they’ve always performed fine for me with zero slippage. The combo I have now is ultimately tough as well as being amazingly light – now if that ain’t a match made in heaven I don’t know what is ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, regardless of FSA’s shit I guess I’d better mention the solution. There’s a guy called Dan that runs his own business (and a brilliant business it is too) called Homebrewed Components. Basically he makes custom chainrings and cogs and chain-tensioners (in heaps of colours) which is exactly what I needed, if only FSA could have confirmed some details for me. In the end I just risked it, Dan thought (he’s in the States and I’m in Germany) my old spider looked like the Shimano pattern as did I, so I bit the bullet and ordered a couple of chainrings. 35 tooth and 31 tooth – it was only because I was changing gear ratio so drastically that I ordered two, I used to run 42 up front and 18 down back and I wanted some flexibility. Now I am running 35 up front and 15 down back and it is perfect. My chainline has never been better, the set-up is way lighter than how it was spec’d when I first bought it and it just looks right.

So please, look at the couple of shots I have for you but don’t drool too much….it’s just not PC!