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How to blow up a computer

I decided yesterday to go ahead and upgrade the operating system on music recording computer (a Mac) from OS X Tiger to Leopard. My original thoughts were to hold off until Pro Tools 8 was released, but I ultimately figured that using the incremental PT 7.4.2 release would do the job until then.

I won't say that this was a mistake, but I apparently had forgotten how much work this was going to entail.

My plan, to which I stuck, was to do a Clean Install - erasing the system drive completely and installing the new OS from scratch. Thankfully, three things worked in my favor: (1) all of my music data was on a separate drive, which was not touched by the installation process, (2) I had moved copies of applications and data that I wanted to save that were on the system drive to the external drive, (3) the installation process itself was absolutely flawless.

What has been frustrating is installing PT 7.4.2 - it apparently needs a validation code that I can't for the life of me find. I'm going to call the vendor to either get the code directly or find out where to find it. Also, I'm upgrading my version of Waves (effects software - EQ, compressors, delays, and so on), and while I was able to download the package, I'm not able to access the software until it's paid for. Fancy that... (not that I have a problem with that - I use 100% legal software here)

Once I can start Pro Tools, I'll install more of my software. And by the end of the month, Pro Tools 8 will be out and I do that upgrade.

Capital improvements

It's been a while since I've posted here, so I thought I should do a catch-up. I managed to pick up some computer consulting work over November, so that brought in some working capital for upgrades to my project studio. In addition to the cash that I've managed to stash away for later use, I've already bought a new desk (larger, much more rack space), a 25.5" flat-screen monitor (I use a dual-screen system - this is the second), a copy of OS X Leopard, and two software synthesizer upgrades.

There are two reasons for the capital expenditures. The first is that I will be moving into larger quarters in February (complete with a separate room for live/audio recording), and I want to take advantage of that. The second is that my recording software (Pro Tools w/Music Production Toolkit) is about to be upgraded to version 8, which requires OS X Leopard on my Mac, which in turn requires that I upgrade several other pieces of software on that system. Because I want my system to be as clean as possible, I'm going to copy the few applications and such that I want to preserve from the system drive to some other media, then do a Clean Install of Leopard, which will erase the system drive and start over. This should keep me busy for a little while, you think? :)

The Windycon music report

Musically speaking, the Windycon science fiction convention was both fun and productive this year. It's always been fun for me, but there was a productive aspect in the sheer number of music conversations that I had, as well as two shows that I had the pleasure of attending. The first show was Tom Smith's (filkertom) - this was a very fun show. The second was Toyboat (toyboatband), essentially a band of veteran filkers taking classic filk songs and doing them hard rock style - and it works. I'm planning on following Toyboat carefully, as I like the idea of what they're doing.


Tomorrow, I'm going to the Windycon science fiction convention in Lombard, IL. While there are a lot of reasons I attend science fiction cons, the reason that is relevant to this journal is that there are quite a number of musicians that attend them, as well as perform at them. I'm planning to spend some time talking some of the performers about recording, not as a salesperson (I hate sales, personally), but finding out what their interests and expectations in the recording environment are.

I'm looking forward to it.

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January 2010


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