Moving electronically

For the very few people who do keep up with my site here there may be some downtime over the next few days. I’m moving everything to a remote host for quite a few very good reasons:

  1. With the plan to finally physically move house this year, moving electronically out of the house early ensures I don’t even have to think or worry about what my next broadband connection will and will not allow, to say nothing of the likely gap in service during the move.
  2. Reduces my phone/internet expenses by 2/3rds.
  3. Reduced electrical costs from keeping my servers fired up 24/365.
  4. Less environmental noise from fewer boxes running. (The “servers” are even the noisiest so this is kind of a big deal)
  5. Less hardware maintenance. The “server” boxes I use are basically all of my older retired machines and many of the parts are way past their MTBF.
  6. My current DNS management sucks through Visi. They have been a really good ISP, but I should not have to send email to support to get a DNS change made when I feel like tinkering with things.
  7. Kind of tired of re-learning bits of Linux every six months after I have forgotten most of it in the interim when I’m not having to mess with the systems. Though I am seriously moving my non-gaming machine to Ubuntu to give it a serious try.

I’m sure there are a couple of more that I’m not remembering at the moment but as you can see the list is pretty extensive and while in a lot of ways I’m going to miss doing all of my own hosting of everything the advantages are just too many at this point.

No tag for this post.

Identity shift

In the online world handles and usernames are a sometimes necessity that provide a certain small amount of obfuscation along with an often smaller string to remember a particular person. Back in the early 90’s when I first started seriously to get into the BBS community I went by “Line Noise“. At the time I thought it was perversely cool to have a handle that represented something that was an irritant to just about everyone.

Near the end of high school I got into MUDs (Actually, I think it was technically a MUSH) and found that Line Noise didn’t fit the usual fantasy-land setting and had to come up with something new. After a few false starts (most of which I don’t even remember, though I can say that they were without exception pretty stupid) I hit upon “Glyph“. The idea actually came to me while I was designing a new character that was a stereotypical old dwarf. Small, brown, and heavily wrinkled. At the time I thought it rather inspired to list the character’s description as having a heavily lined and creased face that in some lights almost seemed to look like a long lost language, or at least something very similar. That handle has stuck with me for well over a decade at this point and has been just rarely enough used (and it helps being a relatively early adopter for a lot of sites and technologies) that most of the time I could use it and people would have a decent idea that it was me.

I and the world have been changing over the years though, and now the chances of getting to use my preferred handle/username are getting more and more rare as more and more people find their way into places and I have found myself thinking that it would be nice to have something more unique again. A few years ago I signed up for an account on OkCupid and “Glyph” was already taken so I had to come up with something different. Given the nature of the site, I didn’t want to use my other fall back, “nstohlma” as it is a bit too revealing. After what I remember as a couple of days of thinking about it (though it is just as likely to have been a few minutes of intense thought and brainstorming) I came up with “Cavorter”. At the time it was a interesting play on the domain name that I had been using as my personal page for quite a few years. It is also, like “Glyph” in it’s time, a fairly unusual word and so not used by many. I actually have yet to see anyone else use it, though I’m sure there has to be someone somewhere. I think in large part L-Space is the last place that I will have used Glyph as my primary identifier.

Something else struck me while I was writing all of this up: I wonder about the change from a term that means something relatively static, to a word that means something relatively dynamic and if that means anything. I really have no idea, and it certainly wasn’t intentional.

A filling meal

FYI – If you have never made oatmeal out of a canister before (I’ve been having a packet of the instant varieties most mornings for the past 2 years) learn from my folly: Be sure that you figure out which ingredient is which measurement. Quaker Oats, somewhat differently expected, does not list the oats as the first ingredient in the cooking directions table. But I should be very full by the time I’m done with this at least. :-)

No tag for this post.

Sole Inhabitant, but not lonely

My autographed copy (#219!) of Thomas Dolby‘s “The Sole Inhabitant” concert DVD arrived in the mail today from CD Baby and I spent a really great evening getting through the contents despite a couple of little flaws in the package.

The main content is the concert from September 28th 2006 at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. Being a big fan of Thomas Dolby’s music means that it was worth it just to hear some great live arrangements of several of his classic songs, but the video presentation by Johnny DeKam really made it fun to keep my eyes open instead of just blissing out to the music. Using several cameras, video effects, and sometimes the video footage that accompanied the live music, the imagery is very suitable and comes off as very professional even though there is obviously very few people behind the production. The concert itself is presented in two formats: with the introductions between songs, and without the introductions between songs. I tend to like to hear what a performer has to say as much as what they play so I stuck with the version with introductions and was not displeased. The concert is fairly well constructed and moves well between numbers. The monologue’s between tracks are to the point and show an old hand to the stage successfully getting his sea legs back after being ashore for an awfully long time.

Also on the disc are several extras: “Rig Voyage” is a portion of a presentation given to students at the venue, “Building a Song” is a narrated clip from the TED 2006 conference, and “Studio Interview” is exactly as billed. “Rig Voyage” was a pretty interesting look at the content of his current hardware setup and some notes about the equipment he started his career with. “Building a song” was a nice, if quite short, version of something he also does in the show but with a simple narration that helps follow along with the technique. It is also the only video on the disc that is shot in widescreen but unfortunately is inexplicably fairly grainy. There are also a couple of small audio glitches that almost ruin the clip. I’m not sure if those are from the source material or the disc mastering but I actually went to the trouble of verifying it on several players and machines and they were present every single time. “Studio Interview” is a pretty good interview with Thomas Dolby talking about his careers in music, business, and family and manages to not quite say anything concrete about where he plans to go in the future except that there will be more music which is probably all that we really need to know at this point.

Besides the audio glitches in “Building a song” there are a couple of flaws in the mastering of the disc that make for some slight irritation with the packaging. When all of the extras are played, instead of returning to the menu the disc stops. On two of the players that I tried the disc on hitting Play after an extra finishing stopped the disc starts the “Concert (with intros)” track instead of bringing up the main menu which means an extra button press to get to that menu so you can see something else. I also found the low end of the sound to be a bit spotty sometimes making my subwoofers do their jobs and other times sounding decidedly empty in that range. Still, I’ve certainly seen worse and the disc as a whole is functional if more rough than I had expected.

There’s plenty here for a fan, and it’s probably worth watching for someone into electronic music and/or 80’s pop, but if you don’t count yourself in any of those groups I can’t see it keeping your interest.