Friday, October 24, 2014

Music Friday, With Associated Technological Musings

Rather shocking to notice the date - how far along this month, and year, has gotten. Time is passing! We have had a week of bloody bad weather - winter is coming....

Meanwhile, I have a new computer, a new Mac Mini; the first time in a long while I have gotten a piece of hardware the minute it showed up in the stores. For all my love of computers and such, I generally wait - partly, I suppose, because once I have something that works, I am willing to keep it as long as I can. I did get an iPhone 5 as soon as they showed up (mostly because the old iPhone I had was becoming noticeably low) - before that? you might have to go back to the beginning - the first Mac I bought was a Classic, 1990, which I also got the minute they appeared. I hope that's not too portentous - the first Mac I ever bought; now the last one? I wonder sometimes. Companies these days seem to be pushing users to mobile devices - operating systems these days seem to be trying to look like mobile devices - Yosemite has the same ugly flat design the new iOS's have; it gives you things like the "launchpad", which acts like an iPad screen - just a flat array of icons. I have been able to avoid Windows 8, but by all reports it is even more atrocious. Lawd, lawd, won't these kids get off my lawn?

I don't know; maybe I'm old and stubborn and set in my ways; or maybe the point is that I was smitten by macs in the first place because they were a better way to write - whatever it is, the core of the computer experience for me is still sitting down at a keyboard and firing up Word. (Or, these days, Scrivener, as much as Word; in the glory days of the early 90s I went through word processors at a dizzying rate - Word Perfect; MacWrite; Nisus - which still exists? there's a nostalgia kick for you...) Phones and iPads and such are good in their way - what they are and do is very nice indeed - but they are something apart from computers. I have yet to find any way to write on them: at least not in the satisfying way I can write on my computer. Which adds up to this - that I am very happy with this new machine: a very pleasing setup: desktop computer, driving 2 big monitors, with a good keyboard (I bought an Apple wireless keyboard for this machine - and I find it to be very good. I have found Apple keyboards in the 21st century to be flimsy and unsatisfying devices - but this one is very good; it feels right, which is what you need in a keyboard), giving me plenty of room to open up a dozen folders and documents and carry on to my heart's content. It is hard to deny that for me, the computer reached its moment of perfection 20 odd years ago - all I really needed was a good word processor, a good keyboard, a decent monitor, and a connection to the outside world - this machine might as well be the old Mac Duo I had back then, just a lot faster for some things. (Though not everything - partly because back then I set up a RAM disk on the duo, and so approximated the fusion drive this one has; and partly because no one has really improved on Word 5.1.) I wanted a computer to write on - I was very happy when the internet developed to the point that I could read on it too - and that's still what I want it for. Music and movies and things like that are nice, but they are gravy - TV and stereos work perfectly well at what they do...

I suppose that's ironic in a post about playing music on my computer. So what? I contain multitudes, just like my Mac! and so enough of that - iTune! Randomize!

1. Deerhoof - Cooper
2. white Magic - The Light
3. Big Boi - Buggface
4. Neil Young - Comes a Time (from Live Rust)
5. M.I.A. - 10
6. Grant Hart - Morningstar
7. Nina Simone - Jelly Roll
8. Tim Rose - Long Time Man
9. Rocket from the Tombs - Foggy Notion
10. Flaming Lips - the Observer

Viudeo? Here's Grant Hart, performing live:

And - say - Nina Simone, playing I Want a Little Sugar in my Bowl (since I can't find a good live performance of Jelly Roll.)

And end with Nick Cave performing Long Time Man:

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