Friday, November 14, 2014

Which Bass

So last saturday I had a play with a bass guitar in Bout Time, a local music shop currently undergoing renovations. and between then and Tuesday the elevelnth I settled on a decision. Im still a little annoyed that I didnt get a fretless bass (More like the doubble) simply because it is 'aparrently' harder. But then again from what I had access to to try out and a desire for a new instrument I'm happy that I got the one with a sound I liked best.
I'm a little surprised that after ringing all of the music and computer game stores in town only two people had heared of Rocksmith, and nobody had any 6.3-USB cables in stock. Rocksmith appears to be dead, eBay was the only place I could find that sold the cable, everywhere else didn’t actually have anything in stock, even ubisoft itself. But untill my cable arrives I've got the cracked version from Sam [Link] and been able to use the headphone in to get the game to work.

Anyway what I have is:
PC with 36Watt 9’Bass speaker [Link]
$125 for Case, may be able to fly with it.
$350 for the actual bass [Link]
$17 lead
$19 Tuning device
$60 rocksmith 2014
$50 real tone cable (still waiting on this)
$60 leather strap
$2 6.3 – 3.5 phone jack adaptor to connect to the PC mic in and the Moshi BassBarrel [Link]
Total $683

and maybe later:
?? for a small powered headphone connection to practice without annoying people.

$350 Amp [Link] to play in a band
?? lessons from a real person
?? bluetooth wireless pre-amp

Currently this and catching up on Naruto has taken over much of my computer time, and it may be this way until my holidays start. So I have untill the 15th of December to decise if I want to take it with me down south as I travel. Most things will fit in my case and will be easier to fly with and cheaper to insure. Plus there is the possibility that I will be able to find somebody to co-op with?

So what has been challenging? Well I've spent about 2 hours a day on the bass since getting it and my left hand can always feel the strings so it may not take long for the callouses. Rocksmith was much harder to setup than I thought. I have no idea which notes belong to what octaves, even with the help here:

It's also a bit quieter than I was expecting (using the line in with no pre-amp) Also if it was windy I'd still go to the beach in preference to practicing.

Why a Bass

Talkbass has been a nice website. I’ve got 1k from grandmas will and have earmarked that as for something memorable. At this stage it’s either for a double bass, a Bass guitar or something Kitesurfing. Either I should consolidate a skill I already have or diversify into something different. I’ve been a bit discouraged buy the starting price of double Basses, and the recommendations that beginners should always start on a well made, nice sounding instrument of the appropriate size and get it calibrated as a personal instrument: Or rent one.

Actually calling something "grandmas harness" seems like a terrible idea. And "Grandma's Kite" would have to be a smaller one for >30knot winds, rather hairy proposition.

Then I started to look at the bass guitars, seems more in my price range. Both instruments should be complimentary to nearly any sort of music, so long as I can hold a beat like a drum (Right hand). The bassist/drummer sets the tempo of the music, and I like the sound of the double bass. Piano Guys was some good motivation but I like the bass better than the cello, its bigger and has a deeper sound. A bit unfortunate that the electric bass needs an amp but I suppose the double bass is also limited in that its rather large to transport.One of the main motivations was my second stop in Brussels, near the train station there must have been a theater and all these well dressed musicians started turning up and going to what I assume was a convert. The Sheela with a double bass was the most impressive bit.,1
Living End
Piano guys, Cello wars
Nightwish and heaps of other bands have an electric Bass, dude with the hair.
Even Donald Duck plays the bass apparently.
Esperanza Spalding can blay both, no troubble.
seen these people live a coupple of times now.
even kids can do it.
Let's kik the beat
Another bearded bassist in Mumford & Sons
I forget
plenty of free tutorial thingy
and a teaching game.

Aside from researching on the net I've also talked most musical people I know.  So thanks to Delwin Ainsworth, Sean, Karl Helbig, Diane McDonald, Aurore, Levi & Tony Bowes; for helping me obtain a decision.

Friday, November 7, 2014

By Xmas

Whenever somebody complains about Monday/work or asks me what I want to do with my life. I end up thinking, So why aren’t I doing this now?

If money was no object and I had all the time in the world then by Christmas I would…
Be good enough at Kitesurfing to join the Olympics in 2016, not win just participate.
Organise Aurore to tour me around Europe, see an orchestra/opera like it was 1805.
Put a game of my own making on steam (via humble bundle) and sell more copies than I have friends. Ie its good enough that strangers want to play.
Own my own house with floorboards and have sufficient Ethernet cables that it is easy (& safe) for visitors to be totally wired.
Have a working reliable anime linux (SteamOS) PC connected to my TV, As well as a stylish portable gaming box for Sojourns.
Finish writing an interesting story about Жизньμαιじつ that uses Russian/Greek/Hiragana nouns in an understandable manner.
Have a flourishing herb garden, using them in my own cooking, which other people enjoy to eat.
Start to settle down with a wife who loves me very much.
Regularly play the Double Bass at church. Also being capable to play and sing along with Classical/Scat/Country music (and the starwars imperial march)
I’d go camping and relax under the stars chatting around a fire with friends.
Have somebody else organise a community that plays computer games in a public manner, which I regularly attend.
Walk on my hands for fun and finish by doing the bridge and standing upright without falling over.
Things at work running smooth enough that I can manage a 4 day week easily, spending the other two working days on the things above and resting all day on Sunday.
Be an example of meekness to the rest of the world. I’m not really sure what it entails, but strangers should recognise me as being Meek. Not for the rewards of the sermon on the mount but because it sounds cool and is hard to describe and because of that Rougelike where I could start as a shepherd.

But this week? What can I do?

BluCat replacement (as I’d given that rig to Scotty Bowes)
Linux, USB Boot?|     |Windows       
TV+Controller|     |Keyboard
         Anime/movies|     |Music/Games
                       UEFI+SteamOS|     |Graphics card, Eyefinity
                                 Permanent, heavy|     | portable (home-made, stylish)
            HDDs +RAM drive|    |SSD + gaming HDD
                 VLC, zSNES, Server|    |Steam, client games, Lol
OR, give up on linux, use the TV as my primary display for my gaming PC.
With the sound system all connected and sitting in the couch to game.
Then dismantle it each time I go away to play games.

In the third case I should run my Linux box to recover all the anime, or whatever else was stored on it, transferring the data to my new HDD in Oil. I still have a new storage HDD that is ready to be installed. For ~$300 I could obtain a 1920x1080 Dell monitor with native mini-DisplayPort input. And setup the Eyefinity a little cleaner with the TV on HDMI in the centre. Probably would cost ~1k for a new miniITX portable setup, which is a bit much for a novel test rig. And I’m unwilling to downgrade my main system in order to use steam on Oil’s UEFI mobo.
But first I should see how the couch feels while gaming, where would my keyboard sit? On the card table maybe? What about back posture?
Couch is OK, using the other folding table as it’s the right height and can fit all the monitors. Not so nice to sit this close to a TV, but the resolution is nicer to manage. The third monitor having less x pixel width means that the Eyefinity program is not centred correctly (possibly to do with the Bezel?). And the peripheral screens actually seem less helpful now. But the sound is much better. Though, it was very much fun to watch Dad racing Dirt3.

Borrow a Double Bass, have had a look at some forums. I should listen to what they are like and Delwin Ainsworth may have one that I can loan. I can either learn with a bow or just using my fingers. Regardless I’d need to get callouses on my left hand. Possibly practice an hour a day. Apparently the best way to start out is to hire a teacher and rent a correctly sized upright bass, but there are also success stories of self taught people that bought several instruments until they found one that they were comfortable with, just like how I’m learning to kitesurf. Although it sounds like you need a really expensive one to be satisfied with learning on, and the electric portable versions are around $5,000.

Procrastinate with computer games, I know I will anyway so scheduling it in makes sense. Still keen enough on Marvel Heroes to do a daily quest or three. And as long as Tony keeps at it I will want to win Space Rangers HD a War Apart. Which is a good game to play while cleaning the house; or making dinner as it is turn based and easy to pick up where I left off. Though neither of these games work well with my current Eyefinity setup they may be better with a central TV. Or three monitors in portrait orientation, but that would cost a bit too much this week.

In reality I have no holidays left to go to europe for a cultural experience, but by the time I have holidays I should be able to afford the flights again (or pay off my house) So for now I just need to keep in touch with Aurore and enquire as to her health and wellbeing occasionally, shouldnt be too hard on facebook.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Eyefinity novel, not helpfull

Well I've tried a dozen or so programs now and there is a bit of difference between three desktops and one large disjointed one. A resolution of 4640x900 may be a little odd, its the max pixel width of the three and the max height of the smallest. I'm impressed that Space Rangers HD automatically detected the new resolution, and though it works I need to move the mouse a lot from one far corner to the other.

note that the radar lines encompass all of my main screen and about 5cm of the side monitors. So things were getting a bit disjointed, and this was especially bad on BIT.TRIP Beat. All the gameplay was on the left monitor.

I thought that Mechwarrior online would be really cool, but mostly all I could see was the inside of the cockpit. Until I rediscovered FPS mode, all FPS games seem to work the same and rather well.

 But I was hoping for something to put on the extra monitor that was informative without requirering me to move my mouse there. Making it like an ingame desktop. This was ok for Artemis and Guildwars 2, as they both (kind of) let you rearrange the UI. If I could make the minimap take up all of the left monitor that would have been great. Especially in a game like Divinity original sin, where the fish eye thing make the extra screen realestate useless.
Remembering that my dekspace makes these monitors disjointed, you should be able to tell the edge of the screen in these bottom two.
So overall novel but not entirly helpfull. I'm probably better off running VLC on the left, game fulldcreen in the middle and firefox on the right.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

three monitor resolution

With resolution I set out my resolution to accurately divine the resolution of my monitor’s resolution so that it’s no longer blurry, the resolution resolution probably revolves around acquiring new drivers. I’ll derive the appropriate driver my monitoring the modification of my monitor’s resolution resolutely. Eventually I’ll resolve the riddle and return a reliable solution for my resolution resolution resolutely. Hopefully I won’t have to monitor my monitor to maintain a reasonable reliable resolution.

At work I’ve been doing a bit of CitetSCADA user interface re-design. In order to properly test the layout I needed to significantly increase my display resolution, and so acquired the justification for a graphics card and 1920x1080 resolution monitor. I also took the opportunity to keep my old monitor. So I was one of the early people at work to adopt a duel monitor workstation and certainly put the second monitor to good use the first two years. Lately I have not been doing a lot of work on the Citect user interface but have managed to acquire matching monitors.
At home: while I’ve had the opportunity to use duel monitors (and it much easier to get them) my experiences at work with popups constantly appearing on the join between screens has meant that I’ve shied away from the idea. Added to this are the issues of tabbing out from full screen mode games, back to the other screen or losing the mouse. This week though Artemis got me inspired and I found out about eyefinity and Flex. So for $100 in cable adaptors (way overprices I think) and a couple of ‘give away broken old’ monitors I now have a nice 3-monitor setup, with the possibility of a 4th.  The main attraction was to have an odd number of screens and a clear uninterrupted image immediately in front of me.
My Saphire Radeon HD 7870 is connected to:
Via mini Display port -> miniDP to VGA adaptor -> 1280x1024 Polyview on the left
Via mini Display port -> miniDP to VGA adaptor -> 1440x920 LG (landscape flipped) on the right
Via HDMI -> nothing (only my TV has HDMI input)
Via DVI -> 1920x1080 HP (primary display) in the middle

For playing Artemis I swapped out the smallest monitor for a 81cm TV at 1360x786 and that worked great, the graphics card even remembered my settings and put the 1280x1024 back the way I’d initially set it up when we finished. Though there were six of us only three were keen enough to fly a spaceship. We won a level three defence scenario and having a third person is probably twice as effective as only two crew. Another note on this game, windowed mode runs much better, when running two instances in fullscreen (one the server) whichever I was currently tabbed into was clear and the other game instance went black.

I think I will keep the tree monitor setup, left for music mid for games right for steam/firefox. Or I may turn them off to save electricity. Another alternative is to setup the Eyefinity system whereby all the available screens merge into one large desktop. It would work much better with identical screens I think or at least screens of the same height. Because my start menu was waaaay all the way over the left and the right screen defiantly had the wrong aspect ratio. Now that I have re-read the instructions I may try to play a game over all these monitors, maybe Mechwarrior online will let me.
Seems interesting, motly it looks like part of the screen is at the wrong resolution, Serious Sam 3 could work well and Rouge Legacy just triplicated the same image. I think I'd need at least two monitors of the same resolution and all with the same aspect ratio before I'd leave it like this.

 Incidentally the screnshots all apear to be in the correct resolution, bit in real life they are blurry. To the left here is the back of my PC, I did not find any mini Display port To DVI adapters so I'm using VGA. Also they are probably active adaptors even though they do not have any additional USP power requirements.

Belos is Sam3, unfortunatly I died while trying to take a pic, but this game was the one that seemed happiest with the mixed ratio displays. THough I had more fun playing it on linux when none of the textures loaded all all the game was made of white boxes and square bloodstains.