Fixing Computers

December 27, 2013

The good – Making music again

The bad – Lost time

The ugly – Money spent

 

I use multiple older Macs and a PC on a daily basis. One Mac, a (Gigabit Ethernet) G4 500DP running Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.11), is used for email, web browsing, web design/development, graphics design, and other productivity stuff. Oh, and listening to music with iTunes! This Mac has been running faithfully since I bought it new in 2000. It’s had some hardware upgrades along the way—RAM, CD/DVD burner, hard drives, etc. I also use an iBook 1.33 for web browsing.

My Music/Recording Computers
My main music/recording computer is a MDD (Mirror Drive Doors) Mac G4 1.25DP FW400. I run Pro Tools audio recording software, and its associated hardware, on this Mac. I run two versions of Pro Tools software on it—version 5.1.3 booted from Mac OS 9.2 (classic), and version 6.4.1 booted from Mac OS X Panther (10.3.8). I recently installed Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.8) on this Mac, but haven’t made much use of it so far.

I built a PC in 2005 that I also use for music/recording. It runs NI Komplete and other software instruments (i.e., soft synths or virtual instruments). I’m running Windows XP Pro (SP3) on this PC. I originally built it for playing computer games, and to test my websites under Windows using Internet Explorer. I began using it for music/recording when another Mac, a MDD G4 1.42DP FW800, started giving me trouble, and I transferred the NI Komplete software to the PC.

Recently, both of my music/recording computers have experienced failures, bringing my music writing and recording activities to an abrupt halt. Not good!

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry

When A Lifetime Warranty Is Worthless

June 6, 2013

The good – Good while it lasted

The bad – Good company closes its doors

The ugly – Seems nothing lasts forever

 

When I built my Windows PC back in 2005, I included an NVIDIA 6800GT video card from BFG Technologies—model BFGR68256GTOCX. It seemed like a great video card for my application, receiving great product reviews from the most reputable websites. You can view its specifications here. Best of all, it came with a LIFETIME WARRANTY.

Warranty Honored
After about 2.5 years of use, the video card’s fan became dirty. I wanted to remove the fan assembly from the card to give it a thorough cleaning, but worried that might void the warranty. So I called BFG’s 24/7 customer support and was told to just return the card for a replacement. I did, and received my replacement card promptly. I was really impressed with the service. No-hassle product replacement, even for a fully functioning product that just needed cleaning. The replacement card worked flawlessly until last week.

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry

What’s Up?

May 19, 2013

The good – Working on music

The bad – Collaboration may not work out

The ugly – A sad situation for my friend

 

It’s been over a year since my last post. So what have I been doing? Several things, including working on music. I’ve been writing new songs and recording demos.

A Collaboration?
Last October, I asked a guitarist, singer, and songwriter friend of mine from my old hometown in Ohio if he’d like to collaborate on music with me. We played music together for a while in the mid-1980s, first at jam parties, then later in a band. We reconnected in January of 2007 and have been exchanging email messages on a weekly basis since, talking about music, sports, old times, and our current lives.

But things have been slow to develop in our music collaboration. We’ve identified some of his previously-written songs that we might record, and some of mine. I’ve written a few new songs specifically for this collaboration. I’ve also recorded some demos of my songs, both old and new, for him to scrutinize, critique, and collaborate on. But his efforts and contributions toward this collaboration have been very limited.

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry

PC Meltdown

February 16, 2012

The good – Disaster averted

The bad – Relying on cheap fans to cool PC components

The ugly – I feared the worst

 

I had two fans fail, virtually simultaneously (I believe), in my Windows PC. One was the primary (rear) case fan, an Antec TriCool 120mm. The other was the cheap manufacturer-installed 40mm fan designed to cool the Northbridge chip on my MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI motherboard. Both fans had been performing without issue since I built this PC in 2005.

Instant failure without warning
I don’t know exactly when these fans actually quit functioning. My first, and only, warning was noise coming from the PC. I traced it to the primary case fan, and noticed that it was not running at its normal constant speed. I then looked at the temperature readings provided by sensors built into the PC’s components, and two others provided with the PC case, an Antec P160. I saw the temperatures rising and immediately tried to save the data file I was working on, before shutting down the PC, but the system shut itself down before I could do so.

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry

Hackers and Spammers are Scum

December 12, 2011

The good – Nothing

The bad – They are a bunch of losers without a real life

The ugly – They are trying to ruin the Internet

 

I get a bunch of spam email every day. I just delete them without reading/opening them.

This web site gets spam comments nearly every week. My spam filter catches them and I delete them. I require ALL comments to be approved by me before they are posted, just in case a spammer’s comment might fool my spam filter, which hasn’t happened yet.

This web site has been the target of hackers many times. Fortunately, my web site has proven to be secure to this point, and all attempts to gain access have failed. My logs show where the hackers have tried to gain access, and the IP address the attack was launched from. The IP addresses track back to locations all over the globe. However, I doubt that any of these IP addresses are the actual source of the attacks, since it is easy to use a proxy server to hide the true IP address.

If a hacker ever does manage to gain access to my site, and alter its contents, I will immediately shut down this site. I can’t take the chance that they’d use it to post pornography, for terrorist purposes, or any other vile or malicious purpose.

Yep, it’s a strange world that we live in, filled with all types of losers, weirdoes, and scumbags—people without a meaningful purpose in life, and no real life at all, actually. Be aware.

…jf…

Apple losing this long-time loyal customer

July 5, 2011

The good – I’ve been a loyal Mac user since 1997

The bad – Apple kills my MobileMe account

The ugly – Apple throws me under the bus

 

I switched from the Windows/PC platform to the Mac in 1997. Since then I’ve purchased 7 Apple Macintosh desktop computers, 2 Apple iBook laptop computers, 4 Apple LCD monitors, and many Apple hardware accessories. I’ve purchased many Apple OS upgrades and applications. I’ve sent thousands of dollars Apple’s way, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Apple.

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry

My Favorite Jazz Artists and Music

February 13, 2011

The good – Deep musical concepts

The bad – Too complex for some listeners

The ugly – Nothing

 

Thanks to my parents, radio, and TV, I was exposed to MANY different styles of music when I was a child. This included several types of jazz. But I really didn’t become a fan of jazz (and jazz-fusion) music until 1976, when I bought Al Di Meola’s Land of the Midnight Sun album, and Return To Forever’s The Romantic Warrior album. These two records started my ongoing love of jazz, and subsequent journey backwards to its roots and forward through its modern era.

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry

Sonny Landreth – Amazing Guitarist

February 13, 2011

The good – Unique talent & sound

The bad – Obscure to most

The ugly – Nothing

 

I first heard Sonny Landreth in 2005 when my wife surprised me with his Grant Street CD, recorded live in concert. She read a review of the album and thought I’d like his music. She was correct! Grant Street is a great CD. Landreth’s guitar playing simply blew me away. I’ve heard nothing else quite like it before or since. His slide work is awesome.

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry

Vladimir Horowitz – Piano Legend

February 9, 2011

The good – Perhaps the best ever

The bad – Wish I knew of him sooner

The ugly – Nothing

 

My introduction to the great Vladimir Horowitz was when I received two of his CDs on Christmas 1999. I had asked my wife for some classical solo piano music, suggesting something from the CD series “Great Pianists Of The 20th Century,” all double-CD sets. My wife made an excellent choice, giving me the first two (of the three) Vladimir Horowitz titles (Vols. 47 & 48). I have since acquired ALL 100 titles in this series, and these two are my favorites of the bunch.

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry

Dave Alvin – Songwriter Supreme

February 9, 2011

The good – A great storyteller

The bad – Unknown to the masses

The ugly – Nothing

 

My first exposure to Grammy Award winner Dave Alvin was on October 26, 1998, when he was the opening act for a concert at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, IN. We didn’t even know he was on the bill. We went to see Joni Mitchell, with only a passing interest in the headliner, Bob Dylan. We always arrive early at concerts so I can check out the band’s gear and the PA rig. I’m glad we did on this night, as my exposure to Dave Alvin opened up a whole new world of music to me. He immediately became one of my favorite artists.

Read the rest of this entry  Read the rest of this entry