The Smith's Journal - August 2005

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Not Myself Today *

Awoke to find that the name on my online bank account has been changed to Dr. Madeleine Smith, who coincidentally has the same first line of address, albeit on a different High Street entirely. Spent the morning trying to sort that out...

After breakfast, I installed a 3-way phone splitter and extension cable running to a studio phone upstairs, listening to a *very cool* CD that I just got called Songs Of The Spirit by one of my teachers from Dartington Summer School, the jazz band leader Scott Stroman. Reading the sleeve notes, I found that Madeleine Smith is also a singer in Clifton High Junior Chamber Choir! Then I heard Professor Stroman himself talking on Jazz File on Radio 3! How weird is that for a chain of coincidences?

* [Not Myself Today was the title of Chapter 7 of The Chronicles of Wizard Prang by Stafford Beer, an awesome tale - you should read it! :-]

Gear Lu$t

Yet more reading up on rsync, trying yet again to ssh from one computer to another, but I still couldn't get it to work :-/ (must read more)

[ CLM Dynamics DB8000s front panel ][ CLM DB8000s and Funk Logic Palindrometer closeup ] To calm my annoyance, I moved some studio gear around yet again, still searching for the ultimate setup, which I later found. I've spent the week totally obsessed with audio gear, even more so than ever, deciding that I 'need' (i.e., want/desire/lust after) a CLM DB8000S pre-amp and a Funk Logic Palindrometer. [UPDATE: The Gearlust won eventually of course, on both counts... ;-] The former had appeared on eBay, and I had the money to buy one, but did I really need it just yet? I'd also fallen in love with a new FMR baby and found a Really Nice Compressor going cheap. But I already have a few compressors...

A few days later, I went out for a walk, beside myself with my dilemma. Should I spend a grand and a half on something rare that I've desired for years which will be very useful (and collectable) in future years, but is not totally essential for me at the moment? Not far into the woods, I realised that my panicked state was completely self-induced, and that peace was available *for free* right here, out in nature. I will never be happy with my continual gear-craving. Besides, the current state of the world and the oil crisis brought on by the chaos in America suggests to me to save some of my hard-earned money for more crucial things. This realisation was a pivotal moment; I'm now perfectly happy with what I have. I just need a new computer now, maybe another mic or two... :-)

rsync'ed Up

Later on, I finally came to understand that ssh was wanting me to type in the *host* password, not the private key passphrase! This doh! moment opened the door, and I was able to rsync over ssh :-) At last I can make proper backups! I set to it immediately, beginning by copying /etc/skel from mirage to trancefer to setup my optimum .bashrc file on all of my machines. Next, after reading man bzip and man tar I backed up my complete 12GB /home directory, which took a long time through my 10Mbps bottleneck hub (I really should get a 100Mbps one, but I love my old retro ethernet hub which I got free and nicely matches my cabinet. All this frantic activity lit up blinkenlights I never knew it had :-) The beauty of rsync is that it only copies the changes, so after the initial archive is created, updates are quick. I also copied /etc /var /boot /lib and /usr/local, which ended up filling the remaining space on trancefer's disks! So now I need to get a backplane for my SCSI array for rotating Grandfather/Father/Son multiple generation copies, maybe some nifty automated scripting... But, oh the peace of mind now that two years' work is not just perched precariously on one IDE disk - I can breathe out again.

[UPDATE: I later forgot what I'd learned about ssh, and let my backup routine slip... with disastrous consequences. Having learned the hard way, I now have a fully automated backup system.]

[ Hifi, FX rack, mixer, workstation ]Studio By Night

While this was all going on, I photographed my studio by night, hearing a gorgeous Nick Drake compilation called Way To Blue. After many hours of filing, I eventually slept at dawn, contented after a very productive day.

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 2005-08-01 - last updated 2008-08-20 - links verified 2017-11-14