Tokyo According To Tamae-san

It’s the morning of our third day in Tokyo. Yes, I’ve already fallen behind on blogging. I started writing an account of yesterday’s adventures yesterday evening, but we succumbed to fatigue and jet lag and fell asleep at about 7:40.

We spent the day with a tour guide named Tamae. Tamae-san is an engaging young woman and we enjoyed her company as much as we enjoyed the places that she took us to. What follows is a very brief summary of what we did which I’m squeezing in before we go to breakfast and then to Kamakura. read more

Categorized as Japan 2007

We’re In Japan!

Yes, we have arrived. It’s about 8:00AM local time. We just came back from having breakfast in one of the several hotel restaurants.

Our room is on the 20th floor of the Asakusa View Hotel. It lives up to its name; we have a spectacular view of the city, with Mt. Fuji dimly visible in the distance. I’ll post some photos later; the hotel doesn’t seem to have any internet access services and I’m not sure yet how good the connectivity is with my dial-up account. At this time I mostly want to post a quick note to let people know that we’re here safely. read more

Categorized as Japan 2007

Get Your Lost Stuff Back with StuffBak

I found out about an interesting service recently called StuffBak. It’s a business that helps people return lost items to their owners–sort of a global 21st-century Lost & Found system. The basic idea is that you put their stickers on valuable things you might lose, like cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, portable electronic games, laptop computers, backpacks, flash drives, cameras, eyeware, keychains, briefcases, sports gear, luggage, etc.–anything you move around that you can stick a label on, in short. The labels have a serial number and StuffBak’s phone number and web address. You register the serial number with them and provide your contact info. If you lose the item and someone finds it, they have a way to return it to you. StuffBak makes it even easier for them to do so by providing free services for sending your stuff back to you. read more

Go To College, Make Robotic Dancing Peeps

There’s a couple of videos here of a dancing robot built by some fellow at Carnegie Mellon. It’s actually a pretty impressive bit of engineering, although the demo with music is more impressive than the demo with the hand tapping the drum. (Click the “Keepon dancing to Spoon” label on the video player to see the music-based demo.) What makes me laugh, though, is that it looks like a dancing Peep to me.

It’s possibly also worth mentioning that the page says that the programming was done in Max/MSP, a product I worked on before founding Audio Damage. It’s amusing to know that my work may contribute to the advancement of dancing yellow blob bots. read more

You Think You’ve Had Bad Computer Days?

There’s an article on CNN here documenting one of the worst computer mistakes I’ve heard of. It’s one of those tales that kind of makes you wince when you read it, and feel gratitude that you’re not responsible for this kind of data.

I do wonder, however, why nobody sent one of the drives to a data-rescue service. They can usually recover data from a reformatted drive with little trouble.

This is a test

If you can read this, it means I’ve figured out how to use a feature of
Wordpress that I haven’t used previously. You can ignore this posting.

Categorized as Japan 2007

Praise for Replicant

The new issue of Computer Music magazine just arrived in my mailbox. In it is a very positive review of Replicant, Audio Damage’s latest product. The reviewer practically gushes about it, gives it a 10 out of 10 score, and concludes by saying “consider it the first essential purchase of 2007.” It’s a tidy coincidence that it’s also our first product of 2007.  Replicant is also mentioned in the cover-story article on remixing.

Also notable in this issue is the inclusion of a free version of the excellent Zebra soft synth, created by Urs Heckmann. Urs makes plug-ins that both look and sound excellent, so it’s quite a treat for CM users to get a version of his flagship product for free. read more

First Butterfly of the Year

The temperature broke 70F today, which, frankly, is a bit warm for March. However, in a happy event that may or may not be related, Tracie spotted a butterfly circling in our front yard. I managed to get a fairly good photo of it, despite not being able to get closer than about 10 feet to it. (The digital zoom on the Canon SD700 IS works remarkably well.)

photo of butterfly

We’re Going to Japan!

Tracie and I are going to Japan for a vacation at the end of this month. We (mostly she, honestly) have been planning this trip for about two years; suddely it’s about to happen. We depart on March 29. Here is our itinerary, with links to infomation about each place:

• Mar 30- Apr 04: Tokyo

While in Tokyo we will most likely visit Kamakura on a day trip. It’s where the Giant Buddha lives!

Take bullet train to: read more

Categorized as Japan 2007