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Things I wish HAD existed (so that people could have told me about them)

You, the beginner, are living in a golden age. There are three things out there in the world that didn't exist when I was a beginner that will improve the quality of your Maxing life. Oh, wait--four things... this column is number four. :-)

Things I wish people had told me, continued

We're living in a world where you enjoy a great number of possible tools you can use to realize your ideas; the "fit" between you and your tools and your tasks can be made for all kinds of reasons.

Things I wish people had told me (part zero)

A lot of what I thought was secret knowledge wasn't--it was only a secret if you thought that nothing of any value could possibly be found in a manual called "Getting Started." I learned this the hard way. You have no excuse. :-)

Welcome

Welcome to the beginner's corner. I will be your designated beginner for the duration of this journey. At the conclusion of your journey, I will be telling you really boring things you already know.

Cycling ’74 and Octiv Demonstrate Octirama

Cycling '74, a software company based in San Francisco and Octiv Inc., the Berkeley-based digital audio innovator, today demonstrated Octirama, a Surround Dynamics Processor for Digidesign ProTools Systems at the NAMM Winter Expo in Anaheim, California January 20-23, 2005.

Another reason why you should read the ENTIRE newspaper

I have found out that the Bush Administration called off the hunt for weapons of mass destruction? It was buried on page 10, a couple of hundread words...

Something that came up….

In the course of a lengthy and wide-ranging discussion with an old friend, we wound up talking about a particular form of anxiety...

Tales of search and seizure

I wasn't planning on googling drug-smuggling secrets...

Winter finally begins. Let’s eat!

Here is a local favorite--a curried Zucchini soup with coconut that we found in Molly O'Neill's fantastic year-round cookbook "A Well-Seasoned Appetite", which is great because it pays attention to the foods that each season delivers to the produce department. You'll probably like it even if it isn't as cold as it is here.

A great question

An amazing part of my breakfast reading was provided by a fascinating article in the New York Times Science section consisting of a dozen or so answers to a single question: "What do you believe even though you cannot prove it?"

Crocheting – it’s not just for scarves and mitties any more

This is the Arts and Crafts column

15 (or more) of the top 10

The radiophonic portion of my life has an annual ritual associated with it that might surprise no one; a top ten. It's that time again.

Until we find out about the Dioxin, here’s a little Ukraine background

Here is a very brief outline on the Ukraine and its current situation. If you're only starting to notice all those news items, this should help you get up to speed. It's faster than going to the public library, anyway. Looks like a little background will come in handy while you're following this in the papers in the coming days.

In our off moments

Sometimes, you're just not in the mood for hard-hitting or even chatty bloggery. In these times, perhaps recursive zoomable artwork or crackheaded Flash book reports are just the thing. Or not.

Stuck (in my head) on a rainy day….

I'm reading at the moment, since there's not a lot of listening I can do. An ear infection I thought I'd whipped earlier returned in a pretty ferocious manner (it even set my ENT to clucking sympathetically and peering sympathetically), with the result being that my right ear is totally non-working (except for being a completely workable source of pain)...

the ICMC and other things

I think I've recovered enough from the ICMC (and the subsequent bout with an ear infection, replacing a wrecked car, and a few of the other shocks to which the mortal life is heir to say a few things about my trip to Miami....

The AES and other things….

Well, I'm finally back home after having survived two major-league spanking machines--the annual AES convention, and the annual International Computer Music Association conference, hosted this year in sunny Miami. It was a wild, exhaustive and fun couple of weeks. Perhaps I should talk about them both. Let's start with the AES....

JazzMutant: Lemur

Recently there's been a lot of talk about this new multitouch LCD controller. JazzMutant website. "LEMUR is a handy and modular touchpanel based controller designed for audio and multimedia real-time applications. Our technology associates multitouch capabilities with visual display. LEMUR is provided with an extensible library of User Interface Objects such as faders, switchs, pads, keyboards, strings, etc."

More pre-novel-foisting about Neal Stephenson….

I know you all probably read slashdot religiously. I should, probably. However, I happened to cruise by the mention of an interview with the same Mr. Stephenson, whose Baroque Cycle I was ranting semi-worshipfully about...

Wow. That last thing was *way* too serious….

Wow. That last thing was *way* too serious....

Neal Stephenson (foisting books on a reading public, part ?+1)

it's with some surprise that I find myself reading the third novel in Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" The System of the World, and feeling that little tickle that tells me that this may all prove to have been worth it. Now don't get me wrong--I'm not going to tell you to start making your own way through several thousand pages without some serious qualifications...

How would Xu Bing sound? (part 2)

I've been thinking about the Xu Bing exhibition on and off--more specifically, I've been thinking not about the large installation, or even the calligraphy lesson, but rather the large ink paintings whose "brushstrokes", on closer inspection, turn out to be calligraphic narratives or comments on the image itself.

How would Xu Bing sound? (part 1)

I spent a pleasant afternoon at the museum, checking out a new installation by the Chinese artist Xu Bing.

While I was away (listening)….

So I thought I'd mention what's been the office ambience during this hiatus. As a critic, I'm never certain about how to listen to new work... do you drop it on the iPod and cycle around lake Monona on a crisp fall day? Do you drop it into the N-disk changer (where N < 10) and play it to death for days? Do you sit down with a nice bottle of Mourvedre and listen to the thing intently in a dark room? Beats me. I probably did all three. So your mileage may vary greatly here, okay? In honor of th...