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Friday, March 05, 2004

What an night!

Went to the bar at work with some colleagues, then on to The John Snow in Soho to meet up with the Tui lot. After a few drinks, everyone was leaving, when Mark Collings & Corrie walked in. Of course, this meant I was doomed to staying until the bitter end, catching up - not seen either of them for ages.

Finally got home (drunkenly) at near midnight and found Louise up to here neck washing up. Being an old romantic fool - I proposed to her. Just like that!

Of course...if I had any kind of writing ability whatsoever, this would give me the ideal opportunity for the cliffhanger ending! However, I'm not one for such cliched devices - thankfully, she accepted!

Of course - we now have the big dilemna of how, where. when etc! It was the answers to these questions that have made us put it off for so long in the first place. In my drunken and therefore 'clearer' state of mind, I decided that if we didn't decide that we were going to it, we'd end up debating all the less important issues for ever. What a night!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Design Rant #002

(clearly I think there will be more)

Cycling into work yesterday, I was considering experiences gained from the last two weekends - it's been the first time I've really seriously used OSX for music production. It's definitely more stable, and a pleasure to run several audio apps simultaneously, all sharing the same audio hardware.

However, I really, really loathe the new 'improved' finder in 10.2.8. My working method involves lots and lots of navigating very deep folder structures both to save and locate many files, instrument settings, samples etc. I've witnessed much questioning of the relevance of the desktop metaphor in relation to today's computing experience - and for the first time, I've started to question the notion of files and folders myself.

I'm not blaming Apple for this necessarily - Logic (largely out of functional necessity) points to specific locations for certain file types, just as I (for equally good reason) prefer to keep them elsewhere. The result - everytime I wish to save or open a new file, I'm being forced to navigate a slow, clunky interface that requires me to scroll horizontally and vertically in order to navigate from one 'end' of my system to another. I'm not being pedantic here in refusing to follow the file structure necessitated by Logic. In order to backup projects, which frequently run to hundreds of Mb, it makes sense to group all the files used by a project together. The default behavior of keeping all files in the application folder would make backups an error prone, and time consuming task.

Not that it was perfect, but in OS9 I could navigate a file system far more quickly by double clicking through folders. Obviously, with this model, you're required to know where you're going, but I'm not convinced that that this is so big an issue (guess I'm biased towards the 'organised' user). Currently, in order to give the user more information, they are being forced to do more work. The depth of content within the window grows with every click. As an increasing number of files and folders are shown, the user inevitably has to scroll to get to their destination.

As we move towards working methods that involve the use of many files (some of which are shared by other projects) the issue of quick, easy file navigation becomes increasingly complicated. I tend to organise folders by what object type they contain, or the project they relate to. In so doing, it's inevitable that with the current tools, I am frequently required to 'run' up and down very lengthy corridors.

Maybe the new, faster G5 and the improved finder of Panther will make me feel differently. Guess I can hope!

Monday, March 01, 2004

Key Dumb Part 2

I guess it was kind of inevitable. After two weekends of heavy boozing and music making, both myself and Gaz appear to have run out of steam. Yesterday went really well, and we worked well into the night, drinking heavily and enjoying the productivity.

We both took a day off work today so that we could attempt to finish 'Key Dumb.' We're both knackered and hungover, and unfortunately, the roll we were on yesterday seems to have halted. Progress has been made, but if I'm honest, I think we need to leave the track well alone for a few days to regain some objectivity.

It's always frustrating when we can't complete a track in the time we've set ourselves, but nonetheless, it's still a good start. I promised to send Gary LaCosta (of KGBeats in Chicago) a CD of the new material after this weekend. I'm still going to do this (having decided that Gaz and myself get too close to what we're doing, and that we should seek input from interested parties).

Just as I don't feel today that the track is quite there, in a week's time, I might love it - who knows? In the meantime, a CD is traveling across the Atlantic and is now completely out of my hands!

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Key Dumb

What did I tell you! Gaz is here and we have indeed drunk huge amounts of delicious Stella Artois!

It's been a pretty productive night - 'Key Dumb' the counterpart to 'Dumb Key' that we're working on is going very well indeed.

At the moment, we think it's possibly the best thing that we've done to date. But then, we always think that when things are going well. Whenever we're working on tracks, they always have this honeymoon phase. More often than not - in the cold light of morning, there are plenty of things to remedy.

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