Michaelwclark.com

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The Supreme Geek in the Sky

Puppy_linux_430

Puppy linux 430 (Image: Wikipedia)

Possessed would be too strong a word. Obsessed might be better. Theologically, possessed means a serious eclipse of free will by an evil spirit. Whereas obsession isn’t quite so strong. Again theologically, I think obsessed just means being harassed by an evil spirit.

In both cases free will never dies. But in possession, it is temporarily eclipsed.

I think that’s right. I’d have to check my own Earthpages.ca “Think Free” entries to be sure.

Isn’t that pathetic? I have to look stuff up on my own website to see if I get it right.

But that’s the way it goes sometimes… 🙂

So what am I possessed/obsessed (whatever…) about?

Well, the Great Geek in the Sky or, as some might call him or her, the Supreme Geek in the Sky, has taken over most of my free time; I have been extremely enthused about learning Linux.

Earthpages, the news, the issues… they’ve all taken a back seat. Instead, searches upon searches about Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and (Slacko) Puppy Linux have been filling my days.

Trial and error… Endless reboots. Wearing out my old computer maybe. But lovin’ it!

I have a nice Windows computer in my bedroom. But it looks like a stranger to me now.

Weird?

A little bit.

Desktop and ROX-File-Manager runnig under Pupp...

Desktop and ROX-File-Manager runnig under Puppy Linux 2.13 (Image: Wikipedia)

I guess that’s what happens when you enter into Linux Land. The “old world” of Windows looks so… ick… banal… easy… bourgeois.

I’m having much more fun learning everything anew on an old Pentium 4 that was broken. It’s actually a mix of two computers. But I’ve talked about that

Anyhow… that’s all for now… have to get back to my learning curve. The Great Geek calls… 🙂

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Firebrand

This is a pretty old tune that I originally sang. The first recording was done in the late 1980s / early 1990s on a Fostex 4-track tape with a Yamaha mini keys keyboard, an Ibanez digital delay and a couple of foot pedals. Despite the limited tech, the end result was pretty good. (I might transfer it from tape and post it some day for interests sake).

This time around I didn’t feel like singing so just did the main melody with a synth line. And I gave it a sorta i Robot update. Digital age…

But still, I left in retro “Disco Toms” and California-style lead guitar. So it’s a bit of old and new.

All the VSTi plugins are freeware. Some were slightly modified with other paid-for VSTs that come with Reaper, which itself is a very modestly priced DAW (digital audio workstation).

Photo (cropped): www.flickr.com/photos/ihearaviolin/8103585130/


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Windows 10 free upgrade ending soon! – July 29 2016

win10aI tried Windows 10 when it was first available and didn’t like it for several reasons:

  • Windows Defender seemed mandatory
  • not as many options to control Windows Update behavior
  • used more RAM than Windows 7
  • seemed like a lot of ads that I didn’t want

But I am a sucker for free things so am installing it now before the free offer expires on July 29. I can always go back to Windows 7 if I want to. But I doubt I will. I have an old machine running Windows XP and fully realize what a hassle it is when software updates are discontinued.  January 14, 2020 in the case of Windows 7.


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fly by night

Here’s a tune I worked on over the holidays. Probably doesn’t sound like it but it’s 20 different tracks in Reaper (my audio workstation). All the instruments are either freeware or my stretching the most out of demo plugins. I tried different types of mastering, and finally decided on the rough and dirty FL Studio “Slam Amp Master” preset in its Maximus plug-in. I thought maybe the result was a bit too cavernous so tried adjusting it. But with the demo version it’s a bit tricky. One wrong move and you lose everything (because you can’t save with the demo). After some mastering variations I decided I liked this best.

Uploading the file to SoundCloud changes the sound balance too. SoundCloud uses mp3 files, at not a very great quality (last I heard, 128 bitrate). So you have to take that into consideration too. How will uploading “crunch” the sound?

Anyhow, lots of fun. I hope you enjoy. My favorite part is the piano. Although I do like the trancey guitar too.


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Elvis – Auto-Tune Demo

I thought Elvis might like a little update into the 21st century. There are two instances of “Auto-Tune” (giving certain notes a robotic twang) in this short passage. Can you hear them? I had to make some extra effort to get the effect because Elvis is so darned good that he’s right on pitch every time!

Plugin – www.g200kg.com/en/software/kerovee.html
Original Song – www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqYqfDZQy8Q


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WE HAVE LIFTOFF!

My challenge is to put music to the Apollo 11 Moon Landing sound clips (Source: NASA – www.nasa.gov) using only my keyboard and 100% freeware. I’ve just begun so this sampler is pretty barebones… I’ll be adding more voices, FX and rhythm variations.


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A free alternative to costly commercial word-processors

ani-coffee.gifI’ve been trying out “Writer” from www.openoffice.org and so far am very impressed.

It’s freeware and sort of fun but not cheesy. A good alternative to those costly commercial word-processors.