Year: 2015

December 17, 2015
Good grief. Just received a very pleasant email from the good folk at Intus Healthcare, who supply me with CPAP equipment for my sleep apneoa.

Turns out that Google are hassling them over a link I have in my blog sidebar. They interpret the links as advertising spam because they appear on EVERY page of my blog and the website is not about sleep apneoa.

December 12, 2015
December 7, 2015
I’m on holiday this week. There is going to be a little retail therapy, but I am also planning to make some more inroads in clearing out the junk.

A while ago, my electric piano conked out, beyond my ability to repair (plus, this was about the 4th time, and I was fed up with being in the mood to play, only to find something else had gone wrong with it).

November 26, 2015
Over the last couple of days, there have been a small but growing number of errors reported on disk one of my NAS (RAID 1, so mirrored). I wasn’t too concerned, as it didn’t look calamitous. I had a spare disk somewhere, I would fix it when I had a moment. Meanwhile the NAS device worked around the errors.

Last night, the RAID simply shut down, and it wouldn’t come up again this morning. I unplugged the faulty drive, and tried starting the NAS with the single good drive, nothing.

October 26, 2015
Over the weekend, I’ve been playing with scoring some of my songs. It’s been on my to-do list for a very long time; although most of my songs exist as lyric or chord-sheets (more recently in chordpro format), very few of my songs have notes on paper. This is not a problem for me, as I remember my tunes better than I recall my lyrics, but it makes it difficult to share original songs.

I’ve been encouraged to look at a few large packages, including Notion and the more affordable Progression. I do intend to examine those, but for the moment, I have been using the free and open source MuseScore. This has been a revelation; although I expect it has less functionality than the more commercial packages, I’ve managed to hit the road running and produce a decent bit of sheet music.

October 1, 2015
Since upgrading to an EOS 1100D, 2 years ago, my old Canon EOS 350D (Rebel XT) has been on the shelf. Pretty decent camera, but not worth enough to sell it.

However, the price of specialist conversions have been coming down recently, and for 80 quid I could have the internal filters removed to turn it into a full spectrum camera. This would let me use it, with appropriate external filters, both as an infra-red camera, and for astro-photography with better response in the Hydrogen Alpha band.

September 11, 2015
In other news, I have also managed to pick up a nearly new Roland GR-S V-Guitar Space, at a bargain price. More toys for this boy.

I’ve had a GR-33 Guitar Synth for some years, which I use with my Godin Synth Access guitars. The GR-S has nothing like the features of the GR-33 – it essentially has 4 sound/affects: Crystal, which is a bell-like synth sound; Rich Modulation – an enhanced chorus effect; Slow Pad, a warm synth, with octave control; Brilliant Clean adds additional octaved strings (above and/or below) for a 12 or even 18 string effect. There is also a brilliant freeze function, which allows you to hold a pad on the synth, while continue to play on the guitar.

September 11, 2015
I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve been shopping again for toys.

I’m going through a fairly creative time at the moment, and have both been writing some new material and arranging other folk’s material. I’ve recently bought some new instruments that are challenging me (in a good way), and have been doing some music with others, in particular, my friend Annie.

July 24, 2015
There was once a time – 15-20 years ago – when I was always fiddling with a computer in my spare time. I was heavily into Fidonet, and an early adopter of the internet. To my pride, I designed a little bit of software that was quickly picked by others in the UK wishing to bridge between Fidonet and the internet (the actual programming was kindly done by John English); and my old Fidonet system, Minstrel’s Hall, provided many of my friends with their first internet address.

Then a little later, I taught myself php and perl (in that order, strangely), and went to work designing modifications for systems like phpBB and Wordpress, not to mention the now-long-defunct Filklore Music Store.

July 13, 2015
[caption id="attachment_1992" align="alignright" width="300"] See link for more information and tickets[/caption]My friend Annie is organising a show this Friday, at Bishop Grosseteste University. I thought I would help get the word out.

The three Bishop Grosseteste University Community Choirs (Vocal Authority, Coop Choir and Treble Cliff) are joining together to bring an evening of upbeat, cheerful songs from musicals to The Venue!

June 18, 2015
May 11, 2015
I have a sleep apnea appointment in a week’s time, at Papworth. As a result, I have just downloaded data from my AutoPAP, to prove I remember how to do it – I will do it again the morning of my appointment.

The geek factor of this machine is wonderful. I made the decision a few years ago to buy my own machine, which is why I have to download and print reports, rather than give them the machine and let them do it themselves. But the detail is incredible, including both summary information and drill-downs to individual nights.