The Smith's Journal - September 2004

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Mundo Pequeno perform at Club Coliseum

Mundo Pequeno in Spectrum Radio studios ] [ Mundo Pequeno rehearsing in Spectrum Radio studios |Into London with the horn section for another Mundo Pequeno gig. We met up at the studios of Spectrum Radio, a multi-language community station where Missael works. Since we were early, we were beckoned into the studio to talk on the air about tonight's gig which was being heavily promoted on the station. My radio debut was quite exciting - I'm quite used to microphones but I couldn't quite convince myself that our happy little conversation of friends was being heard live all over London. The staff there treated us wonderfully and let us rehearse in one of their studios before feeding us. Then we travelled to Club Colosseum in Vauxhall to set up the gig. What with all the hot weather, palm trees, and everyone around us speaking Spanish, it really did feel like another country. The venue was large and swish, with fine views across the Thames, quite Miami Vice. Setting up took way longer than anticipated, and we only got chance for a brief soundcheck, having to skimp on microphones between the ten of us:

[ Trying not to be nervous in the bar before the gig | Mundo Pequeno on stage (side view) | Mundo Pequeno's horn section | Mundo Pequeno on stage | Missael strikes again | Grinning Paul, Missael, Rob ]

[ Malc spacing out on congas | Mundo Pequeno horns in pink | Hilary playing flute | Mundo Pequeno rhythmists | Missael, Rob and Ian looking the other way | Mundo Pequeno's rhythm section ]

The gig was quite a baptism by fire, playing to a Latin crowd who were ready for a certain sub-genre of the latest salsa style, rather than the real good old stuff we were doing, but they gave us a respectful welcome, curious no doubt to see a bunch of mostly Ingleses playing their music on real instruments (all other music at the club was DJs or people singing to CDs). Sadly we only got to play for half an hour, due to miscommunication: the organisers were intending us to stop for a break and then play more later on, but by the time we realised this, we had dismantled half of the instruments! So, it was a long, hard day's night, but it was fun doing it.

A big thanks goes to Areles for taking these photos with my camera, sadly without a tripod, so they are rather fuzzy in the low-lighting. You might like to see some more pictures of earlier Mundo Pequeno gigs back in July.


Politicians talking sense? Surely not!

What's this? Politicians talking sense? Surely not? It's not generally what they're famous for. Maybe they've seen the light? Or maybe this stuff is to do with the fact that today's Virgo New Moon is having a big party with Jupiter (ruler), Mars (pioneer), Mercury (messenger), and the Sun (centre) ?

I had a nice thought today: "Just think what a great place the world would be if Bush is voted out." Would John Kerry do any better for the planet? Hopefully he'll reconsider US policy on the Kyoto Protocol; it's time for politicians of all nations to realise that they must make potentially 'unpopular', 'vote-losing' policies which are not in their own nation's short-term (selfish) best interests, because the Earth is in a bad way, and we've put it there.


Global Transport

This month's Resurgence magazine discusses the real cost of global trade in terms of transport, explaining very simply why air transport is so heavily subsidised by us taxpayers, and how the building of a vast Asian road network is sure to increase the death rate and other real costs, while "drain[ing] its wealth into the ports and then out to the colonial economy." It reminds me of the Art Bears' "Song of Investment Capital Overseas" (from the fine album 'The World as it is Today' [Recommended Records LP Re 6622, CD: ReR ABCD]) -

Out of town, my work takes me
out of town.
I empty villages
I burn the houses down,
I set up factories,
lay out plantations,
and bring prosperity
to the poorer nations.

The roads and rails run like cracks
and carry me upon their backs


Resurgence also have an interesting piece on putting the adventures back into childhood. And don't forget that Children Learn What They Live.


Freesco router

Yay! After much head-scratching trying to fathom out networking, IP Masquerade, et al, I have set up a firewall using Freesco on Mama's old 486 100MHz 64MB with no hard disk :-) I wish I'd have known all along how easy it is to get a network going! It runs from one floppy disk, with a firewall, DHCP server (to automatically link up any machines plugged into the local network), NAT (to send the data to the correct local machines while convincing my ISP that there is just one computer online), plus lots of other server options I'm not using. Best of all, it has a nice coloured text console, and can be accessed remotely by any browser to reconfigure options - it even plays the tune of Kraftwerk's "The Model" rather brashly through the internal speaker when it logs on (optional, of course ;-)

I looked seriously at SmoothWall: it's very cool, but perhaps my 486 is a bit underpowered (especially with a non-bootable CDROM) and I don't want to tie up one of my 'best' machines! I downloaded and read all of its fine manuals, but since my CD-burner is currently in a machine that can't be built until I get a router working... (chicken and egg stalemate), I checked out the other floppy-disk based firewall programs I've found over the years. I wanted something that doesn't need a hard disk, as I was quite disturbed at the noise my old 2.1GB drive makes now that I'm used to the quiet modern ones I've replaced into my desktop. I like the idea that it can be run *read-only* if necessary. So no hard disk, and the 486 processor runs fine with no fan. When I'm confident that it all works OK, the power supply fan will be dealt with too; I need this box to be silent enough to use all through the night if necessary.

Anyway, I'm bouncing off the ceiling at having got this to go. So now I can install DeMuDi, and then test if I can upgrade a Woody machine directly to Sarge and report back to the Debian team.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v3.0 Licence © The right to copy is left with the user copyleft Malcolm Smith 2004-03-03 - last updated 2006-02-12 - links verified 2006-02-12