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"Rimmer, people who say 'har har' have no sense of humour, they just can't think of a witty retort."

David Lister 
 .:[ Here we go again... ]:.Posted: 13:05 on Monday, 01 January 2007 
State: awake (just)  Music: Thrust 

Well, here we are in 2007 (at least, i think everybody is in 2007 now...?) and what a difference it's made. Well no, obviously i'm being mildly sarcastic but at least we released a little one-parter to "celebrate" the event (it's available from the Cosine site and all good C64 sites - and one or two bad ones too) and i spent a couple of hours on IRC with good friends... in fact, short of one detail i pretty much started the year as i'd like to go on. Decent action movie on the telly? Check. Friends on IRC? Check. 6502 source and PHP open in Crimson Editor? Check. Kids here? Check. In fact, short of the Boss not being here for it (she was at work, but we did speak on the phone) it was a good start to 2007 all told...!

And now there are just under three and a half hours until the pilot episode of Sarah Jane Adventures goes out and again just under eight and a half to the double-episode season finale of Torchwood - so can everybody guess what i'm going to be doing for a large part of the rest of today?!

 .:[ Get this party started ]:.Posted: 16:57 on Wednesday, 17 January 2007 
State: happy  Music: Chain Reaction 

January 2007 is moving on apace and, since the technology exists to do so, i'm writing this web log entry from the "comfort" of my new office. The word comfort is in quotes because, at this point, the office itself isn't complete and right now only our two servers are in there, although i've commandeer the build server as an impromptu work machine until everything is ready and i can move the rest of my hardware into place. i do have a very nice swivel chair to sit on, though!

The "big news" at the moment has to be big league producer Tim "Timbaland" Mosley who, back in 2005, released a ring tone called Block Party and in 2006 was producer on Nelly Furtado's album Loose and, of interest in this particular case, a track therein called Do It. All fine and good you might ask, what's wrong with that? Well, the tune in both cases was the same one and, whilst there's still nothing wrong with a musician "recycling" his own work, that's where the fun starts; y'see, the allegation goes that it wasn't his own work and that the original tune was an Assembly 2000 oldschool music entry called Acid Jazzed Evening by Tempest/Damage. A comparison featuring clips of both tracks and one of Do It that's been fired through a selective EQ to quieten off Timbaland's "enhancements" can be found here on YouTube, whilst a comparison of the ringtone is over here. Have a little listen, because we're not talking just taking the odd note or two here since the videos provide some pretty conclusive proof that the entire tune and sounds of the original Protracker module (or in the case of Do It, the sampling is of GRG/SHAPE's C64 cover) are used directly on both tracks, even going as far as merely adding a drum track to Tempest's original in the case of the ringtone.

The ultimate irony here has to be that Timbaland's publisher is music industry giant Geffen and they in turn are one of the noisiest players in the Recording Industry Association of America, the RIAA for short - and yes, that's the same RIAA who have spent years going on about how pirating music harms their industry. They've also been churning out legal paperwork as though it was going out of fashion to, amongst others, a twelve year old, the U.S. Navy and someone who was somewhat reluctant to settle with them on the fairly reasonable grounds that they were dead. Considering that the letters sent out to the aforementioned and thousands of other peer to peer users (not all of whom were guilty of anything or, in a few cases, even using peer to peer software) by the RIAA over the last three or four years stated that fines could be as steep as $150,000 per track (which is hideous and ridiculous in equal measures since the average CD doesn't cost more than $15 and Nelly Furtado's Loose is on Amazon for a mere $9.99 at the moment), it does leave me and indeed others wondering just how much wonga Geffen, Timbaland and Furtado are going to be fined for taking someone else's track and publishing it as their own...

 .:[ Adventures with Penguins - part 1? ]:.Posted: 20:26 on Saturday, 20 January 2007 
State: industrious  Music: none 

So today i have a new plaything... i've been making noises for ages about looking more at Linux and i've made a start today; i wedged a spare hard drive into Hellgate, our P3 800MHz build server usually but not in service right now, and installed Ubuntu onto it. So far i'm only doing the basics (after a surprisingly easy little prod around to set up networking) but within a couple of hours from starting the box up with the CD in the drive i've got web browsing with Firefox (yes, i'm posting from Hellgate right now), one of my IM identities open with GAIM and ChatZilla connected to IRCnet. Considering that i haven't read any docs whatsoever and i'm making this up on the fly, it's going well so far.

The only issue i've got at the moment is that, for some reason, when i try to change the screen resolution down to 800x600 (it's currently set to 1024x768) it doesn't seem to want to; since i only have a cheap-as-chips onboard video card with a pitiful amount of RAM and it seems rather keen on crawling along at this size... apart from that (and i'll look into it at some point this evening) i have to say that i've been rather impressed with what i've seen so far - but to date i've not actually done anything with it past the basics!

 .:[ Who knew...? ]:.Posted: 12:44 on Tuesday, 30 January 2007 
State: busy(?)  Music: Who Knew 

Yay, everything is back "on the road" again after a busy day yesterday when all my workstation machines were put into the same room as the servers - everything is up and running once more and, fingers crossed, a four way KVM that i blagged on eBay should be turning up in the next couple of days to add to the current arrangement and remove the need for one of the monitors which will make a little room for an RGB SCART unit and a Dreamcast.

A couple of entries back i made a reference in the title to Pink's Get This Party Started - now, i'm not normally one to go on about chart tracks (unless they rip off C64 tunes, of course!) but i've been listening to a couple of hers from the 2006 album I'm Not Dead all morning, in particular U+Ur Hand and Who knew and they're absolutely awesome tunes. i know, this entry is probably getting a few "dirty" looks from the music police because i happen to like some of Pink's work, but as i've previously noted, my musical tastes wander around like a fart in a trance most of the time and cover everything from some current chart to the most obscure "indie" material going, so it's hardly surprising... plus they're good tracks to have running whilst working on stuff!

Speaking of working, i'd just like to say how impressed i've been with Fujitsu Siemens - we returned a laptop last week for warranty repair and, just as i was tapping away at the keys for this web log entry, a courier knocked on the door to return it! One quick boot up later and our returned machine Goldrunner seems a happy bunny and merely needs her software reinstalled... result!

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