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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
Dorks By Night's LiveJournal:
One of the comforting myths about capitalism — one that has the benefit of, sometimes, even being true — is that investment is about creating wealth, not just amassing it. And so we tell each other inspiring stories about the Steve Jobs of the world far more often than we do the cautionary tales of the Bernard_Madoffs or Conrad Blacks.
The reality, though — and more now than since the Gilded Age — is that most investment has little to do with creating wealth and almost everything to do with consolidating it (or stealing it outright). There are many more Blacks and Madoffs than there are Jobs.
I got a pointed reminder of this just after Christmas while cycling up Bank Street. I spotted a sign familiar from my first time living in Ottawa, Prospero the Book Company, which I remembered as having been a very good independent book store back around 1990. I decided to park my bike and pay it a visit.
What I found inside was a non-descript store with generic shelves displaying generic stock, little different from a Chapters mall outlet stuck between a Fairweathers and a Circuit City. And many of the books on display carried familiar-looking orange stickers, which should have given the game away right there.
I cruised the uninspiring shelves for a few minutes, then made a snap decision to pick up John le Carré's Our Kind of Traitor (review forthcoming). The woman at the cash asked whether I had an irewards card and I realized why the looked so much like (almost) any other bookstore in Canada.
"I thought you were an independent company," I said.
The woman shook her head. "No, we sold out to Coles — let's see, my son's 26 now, he was three then — 23 years ago!" (I wish I could say that I cancelled my purchase in favour of a side-trip to the genuinely independent Perfect Books, but inertia had its way, even if I felt a bit like I'd been taken in by a confidence game.)
Not quite a lie, in an era of conglomerate mansions housing many rooms, but the name and sign outside, Prospero the Book Company, was certainly misleading, since there was nothing inside to distinguish the store from its corporate siblings. The name lives on but its purchase by a conglomerate has certainly diminished its reason for being.
I thought little more about it until I read about the sale of the Glebe Apothecary in the January 20 edition of Ottawa This Week, and was reminded of the ongoing strip-mining of the real economy by the same corporate behemoths who recently came close to knocking over the entire western economic system.
|Friday, January 21st, 2011||1:13 pm
Music Editing Software Question(s)
[Massively edited, to remove references to GarageBand as a possible solution. twiin has supplied an answer I don't want, namely that there isn't anything appropriate available for Linux. Can anyone contradict them?]
Does anyone know of there is or are professional-quality music editing software available for Linux? As in the first comment below, I've had something called "Ableton Live" recommended, so possibly something equivalent to that?
Any advice would be most appreciated.
[ETA: I've massively edited this post. My neurotic urge towards not deleting posts requires that I keep the orginal, as per below.]
I know this group is a long-shot, but I thought I'd take the chance and ask for advice.
A musician I know wants to enter the digital age and is looking for serious music editing software. He's heard good things about GarageBand, but I suspect that it is really a glorified toy and that he should be looking at something else.
I'm also trying to push him towards a Linux system rather than a (much more expensive) Mac. Are any of you doing music production? Can you recommend (or warn me away from) any software packages, open-source or otherwise?
Thanks in advance.
|Saturday, November 20th, 2010||1:51 pm
Review: Stargazer, by Von Allan
Looking at the stars in black and white
Once a mainstay of popular culture, truly family-friendly or all-ages entertainment has become a rarity in North American media nowadays (with the notable exception of animated films).
That sort of inclusive work seems particularly rare in what ought to be as all-ages-friendly a medium as animation, its close artistic relative, the humble comic-book. But in North America, for a variety of commercial-historical reasons, "comic" has become almost synonymous with "super-hero", with a small (and happily, a growing) sub-set of "alternative" books addressing a broader audience than teenagers who love fight scenes.
So it was a great pleasure to discover Von Allan's Stargazer, an adventure story meant to entertain anyone "from eight to eighty", in glorious black and white, no less.
Read my review at Edifice Rex Online.
|Tuesday, October 12th, 2010||2:55 am
The Sarah Jane Adventures returns!
For the past three years, the BBC has been producing what must be one of the best "children's television" adventure programs in the world. I'm tempted to call it a "family drama" or some other euphemism because — much as it pains me to admit the truth — I am a few
And yet ... And yet, I am looking forward to its fourth season with what is a frankly childlike — maybe even childish — sense of excitement, despite last year's third series, even if last year's third series wasn't, quite, as much fun as were the first 24 half-hour episodes.
And fun is the operative word here. So far, The Sarah Jane Adventures have captured the feel of its progenitor, Doctor Who, arguably better than the revivified original itself.
As befits a spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures isn't saddled by an enormous and fanatical (and extremely vocal) fan-base and so, I suspect (though I'm sure Russel T Davies & Co. would hotly dispute my hypothesis), that its writers and producers are not suffering quite the same pressure to make it BIGGER and BETTER than it was last time out.
Which ironically gives them a better chance to produce more of the sort of stories that made it so bloody good the first and second (and, partially, third) times around. Instead of worrying (even if subconsciously) what fandom and the blogosphere are going to say moments after a program airs, they can, with clean hands and composure, concentrate on telling stories.
Yes, I'm going on about the importance of story again; yes, it's a recurring theme; and yes, it's bound to pop up again here, probably sooner than later.
If that's okay with you, click here to read the full article at Edifice Rex Online.
|Wednesday, June 16th, 2010||11:04 pm
"Pop Life" at the National Gallery of Canada reviewed
'Art' of Onanism:
|Thursday, April 29th, 2010|
DIRTY RECTANGLES SHOWCASE Featuring DJs Dolston and Eynd
The Dirty Rectangles, an Ottawa based game developer collective team up with Death Disco DJs Dolston and Eynd to bring a mash up of music and video games, on May 22nd at Swizzles, at 9 PM.
The games featured will be created on April 30- May 13, during the Dirty Rectangles' Blast Programming Fortnight. This two week long event is open to anyone. Check www.dirty-rectangles.com
The Dirty Rectangles is a collective of Game Development professionals in the Ottawa area, working hard to continue the spirit of community of Ottawa's game developers. With events like game making competitions, weekly meet-ups and parties.
DJs Dolston and Eynd spin disks at the Death Disco, playing their own particular blend of Industrial, Goth and Post-Punk. You can check out Death Disco every First and Third Thursday, at Swizzles.
# # #
|Tuesday, April 27th, 2010|
Windows 7 network sharing
So here's the story:
I can't connect to my Windows 7 computer remotely in any way. It's like it's cut off from the network.
( Read more...Collapse )
|Thursday, April 22nd, 2010|
IBM Model M Keyboard for sale - SOLD (including delivery within the Ottawa area.)
This is a 1993 Model M (1391401) with the 5' detachable PS/2 cord.
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_
"The Model M keyboard is a class of computer keyboards manufactured by IBM, Lexmark and Unicomp, starting in 1985. The many different variations of the keyboard have their own distinct characteristics, with the vast majority having a buckling spring key design and many having fully swappable keycaps. Model M keyboards have been prized by computer enthusiasts and heavy typists because of the tactile and auditory feedback resulting from a keystroke.
The Model M is also regarded as an extremely durable piece of hardware. Many units manufactured since the mid 1980s are still in use today, while the computers and monitors of the day are obsolete. Unicomp, which now owns the rights to the design, now sells the keyboards. Recently, the keyboards have made a comeback amongst writers and computer techs. Unicomp has had difficulty making them profitable because they rarely break, and at US$69, the chain retailers will not stock them."
This keyboard is in perfect shape, with one red pen mark on the underside (see photos).
A few more pics can be viewed on Flickr.
Please e-mail zannerat at gmail dot com if interested.
|Friday, February 5th, 2010|
Recommendation for PC Doctor.
A co-worker has asked for a recommendation of a repair tech. His home PC isn't displaying anything on boot, and is only beeping. I don't want to look at it, and I don't want to start giving him "try X, try Y" suggestions.
If you have anyone to recommend, please let me know.
(bonus points if you aren't recommending yourself)
|Tuesday, December 29th, 2009|
What can be more dorky than a forty-something fanboy "introducing" himself with a bitter tirade about the latest Doctor Who? If this isn't in fact appropriate, please feel free to delete; nothing but physical violence against my loved ones could make me any more bitter than I already am.)
Jesus Christ in an ambulance, did Russell T Davies have a stroke between co-writing The Waters of Mars and Christmas Day's utter travesty of craftsmanship, or did Phil Ford just cover for him?
Whatever happened, and whatever happens on New Year's Day, if there was ever any doubt that Davies has bad days to go along with his good ones, part one of his grand Doctor Who finale, The End of Time was not just the worst episode in Davies' five year run as the Boss of Who, it was one of the worst pieces of television craft I've come across since an sub-par episode of the original Battlestar Galactica. (No link. Just google it, people!)
Long, un-edited, straight-from-the-bitter-Id, rant — with spoilers galore behind the fake cut at my own journal. If you're not interested, or don't what to be spoiled about the plot twists in this remarkably inept instalment of this venerable series, just scroll on down to the next item on your friends' page. The rest of you, click away.
|Wednesday, November 18th, 2009|
Experts Exchange + Grease Monkey = less Stupid
This script will hide all the crap that nobody wants to see
between the question and the answers.
|Tuesday, September 15th, 2009|
weird wiring connectors
Does anyone know of a source for weird wiring connectors in Ottawa? I'm looking for what I believe is called a "weatherpack" connector. Similar to the 2 pin connectors listed here:
|Wednesday, September 9th, 2009|
|Tuesday, July 21st, 2009|
LF: Jim Henson's Labyrinth
The new Return to Labyrinth series has rekindled my childhood obsession with the movie. I totally want to watch it again! I want to find a copy (DVD or VHS; just not Beta!). Chapters is apparently not carrying it, and searching every thrift store in town is not something I have time for. Has anyone seen it anywhere, or has a copy they're willing to lend me?
I also somehow failed to get volume 2 of the new manga series, even though I subscribed to it >:( so if anyone has one, I'd love to buy it!
Current Mood: anxious
|Saturday, July 11th, 2009|
Sony HDTV with stand for sale! Can you do any less?
Does anyone want to buy the best 30" CRT ever made?
I'm selling my Sony KD-30XS955, which is the 30" model of the final generation of widescreen CRT HDTVs that Sony ever produced (and retailed for $1200 USD back in the day). This is the single best television ever made for HDTV gaming, which is why I bought it. There's (literally) zero lag, and no burn-in or image retention problems. Movies look better on this TV than all but the very top of the high-end LCDs/Plasmas for sale today.
I love this television more than I love my own family, but it is really fucking big and it won't actually fit up the narrow staircase in the new apartment I'm moving into. So I need to sell it and get something thinner.
First good offer that can come pick it up takes it.
|Friday, July 10th, 2009|
making files available online
What's your favorite service for making files available online? I've used mediafire in the past, but it is kindof awkward, and if I remember correctly, it makes it look like you need an account to use it (even though you don't).
(it's just a pdf file I created that I want to make available to a large group of people, there are no copyright issues with it at all)
|Saturday, July 4th, 2009|
Monsterpocalypse events at Fandom II.
Not sure how many other people are into this but I'm trying to drive up interest in organized play. Information on this game can be found at this URL: http://www.monsterpocalypsegame.com/
For a simple summary it's basically Godzilla the miniatures game.
The following events are upcoming
All your Base Post-Launch Event at Fandom II on Saturday July 25
Secret Base! at Fandom II on Sat Aug 22
Still Kicking! at Fandom II on Sat Sep 12 The Greenest of Furies at Fandom II on Sat Sep 26
The Greenest of Furies at Fandom II on Sat Sep 26
Current Mood: geeky
|Friday, June 26th, 2009|
Nerd-friendly hip-hop on Canada Day!
My name is Jesse Dangerously and I am a sort-of renowned rap nerd (I resist the label Nerdcore, but I appeared on the MC Frontalot song that gave the scene its name, plus toured with mc chris and appear along with Weird Al on MC Lars' new album... so there's my nerd cred, I guess?). I come from Halifax but Ottawa is my home now, and I want to tell you about the awesome Canada Day show at Zaphod's next week, where I'll be performing along with a bunch of other great local bands (I am the only rap, but am I the only nerd? Can't say for certain.)
ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX, SPACEMAN MUSIC & DAVE'S DRUM SHOP present:
"The Best Bang since the Big One!"
THE WATTERS BROTHERS
THE SOUND TECHNICIANS
plus DJs MATTY & EMMETT!
Wednesday, July 1/ 2009 (Doors 2pm)
27 York Street, Ottawa, Canada.
Age 19+/ General Admission
TICKETS: $5 in advance
( Click here to read more details!Collapse )
To purchase your tickets, please contact Jesse at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 613-237-0271.
|Wednesday, May 27th, 2009|
Ok, no one said I was an expert at regular expression. I am trying to write a regular expression to search for whole words (so anything bracketed by a non letter or number....so punctuation, space, etc...). The trick is also matching the start and end of line. So far, I haven't been able to figure out how to say "start of line OR punctuation character". Right now, I am just doing multiple searches (see below), and it works great, it just looks clumsy and amateurish (and all things considered, when it comes to regular expressions, I am an amateur).
Please tell me there is a more elegant way to write this search, by which I mean, write it in one expression.
( Read more...Collapse )