Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

  Almost a normal morning

Yes, after several years of running a Windows-Free (tm) household, I've bitten the bullet and installed XP on two systems. On one system I didn't have a choice - boogieman has a 24 track audio card from MOTU that is only supported under Windows, and runs cakewalk and reason, which only work under windows... so, dang it, I'm not going to use one of the new Linux sequencers until I can afford to get at least 8 track capability on a Linux box, which is an investment in hardware I'm not prepared to make for a while.

I've got that machine running quite reliably - I've got cakewalk tracking audio and midi down to 1.5 ms, which is quite nice - the audio playback and the midi playback seem indistinguishable. Reason has trouble keeping up with me playing piano, but I haven't tried the ASIO drivers yet. I really don't want to throw a faster box at this application, as cool as it is... there's an upgrade available too... more things to download... but this is the first machine I've put together in years that I don't want to connect to the net - no distractions - so I'm going to keep sneaker netting it until I get frustrated enough to drill a hole in the floor....

On to machine #2.

Squeezebox is one of my nearly silent mini-itx based PCs. The FPU runs at half the clockspeed of 533 Mhz - Aside from audio processing it's fast enough for browsing, tax prep, and word processing - as well as basic software development. I installed both Redhat 8 and XP on it.

Right away, I was annoyed by IE, so I started trying to make my XP environment as much like my Linux environment as possible. (I know that this is backward from how most reviewers do it!) I installed Mozilla and Openoffice on Squeezebox. I've been able to crash mozilla 1.4 and 1.5 easily with the Cowell's Beach cam. Aggh, I might have to use IE! OpenOffice so far seems OK. I've still got 2 critical updates to XP to install.

Ahh, the care and feeding of PCs... got a cat on my lap, a cup of decaf, and a few phone calls to make. Almost like a normal day, except that I can go to the beach any time I want. Too bad there's no waves. I guess I'll keep building up my home office to usability. Where's the dang power supply to the scanner?
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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