Late November Snow

IMG_0377, originally uploaded by Adam Schabtach.

It snowed enough to be photo-worthy for the first time this season. That’s a shot of the aspen in the back yard; click on it to go to my flickr photostream to see a few other snow photos.

Comparing Kyma, Max/MSP, and the Nord Modular

There’s a very amusing and informative post here [read the first post, scroll down to the third response] which compares and contrasts the Symbolic Sound Kyma DSP system, Cycling ’74’s Max/MSP, and Clavia’s Nord Modular synthesizers. I have quite a bit of experience with the latter two and have always been curious about the former. I can say that the writer does an excellent job of describing the pros and cons of the two that I’m familiar with, and has reawakened my curiosity in the Kyma system. (I ran across this post while trying to google up information on the new Kyma hardware; apparently the info was leaked and subsequently retracted from the blogs which posted it.) read more

Lots of cables

I’ve been using–as opposed to constructing–my modular synthesizer lately. I think I’ve had more cables plugged into it at once than at any other time in the past, so I grabbed a photo of it.

The Saddest Thing I’ve Ever Seen in a Grocery Store

Tracie and I were shocked and quited dismayed when we noticed this sign in the grocery store today:

IMG 0362

This is truly a tragic turn of events. Mind you, I haven’t bought a package of Mother’s cookies in probably 10 year or more, but they are a prominent fixture in memories of my childhood. I won’t say they were a staple–cookies were treats, not staples, back then. I think it’s not too much of a stretch, though, to say that there was a package of Mother’s cookies in the house more often than not. read more

Sounds You Hope to Never Hear

There’s a sort of morbidly fascinating collection of sounds at this site. The site is a web presence for a data-recovery service named DataCent. They recover data from dead hard drives and other storage devices. Apparently as an attempt to help prospective clients identify potential problems, they’ve put up an impressive catalog of audio recordings of noises emanating from failing hard drives. The recordings of drives with bad bearings are particularly disconcerting.

(Rule of thumb, for those of you who haven’t lived around hard drives for as long as I have: if it makes much noise at all, be worried. Today’s hard drives are usually nearly silent.) read more

First Snow of the Season

It snowed last night, for the first time this season. It didn’t amount to much and may not have even qualified as “measurable precipitation”, but at least it made it feel somewhat more normal around here.

Something Else to Vote For

You have until December 3 to vote for the name of the baby panda at the Atlanta zoo. Go here to see the list of choices and to place your vote. Okay, yeah, it’s kind of silly. The ramifications of this vote are far less serious than those of the presidential election, but hey, he is the only panda born in this country this year.

MIDI Pipe Organ

Some folks in Edinburgh have put a MIDI retrofit on a 19th-century pipe organ. There is info and video clips here. Mostly I think it’s neat that the interest in this project led to the restoration of the organi itself.

Random Bits

Well, now that the election is over I have to go back to actually thinking about things to blog. Let’s see…


Well, okay, here’s a few random things:

It still hasn’t snowed yet. It’s been cold enough to snow, now and then, but it has neither rained nor snowed since my last weather-related posting.

I just started reading Barry Blesser’s book about aural achitecture. I’m only a chapter into it but it seems pretty good so far. It crossed my mind that I haven’t read much of anything for awhile, so I’m trying to get myself to sit down and read every day in an attempt to not look like an inept vice-presidential candidate. read more



I kept waking up last night and thinking, “he did it. We did it.” What a relief. I’m feeling fairly proud of my country today, for the first time in years. Record numbers of us got up off of our collective ass and voted in this election. That in itself is something to be proud of. We voted for change, we voted to take a stab at doing things differently than they’ve been done for the past eight years. That’s something to be very proud of.