Monday, April 30, 2018

A crash course in project management


Introduction

A project starts as soon as you have a team of people working towards a goal. The naive approach is to start emailing backwards and forwards. This results in a mess of transactions that hides important patterns. Adding in some shared documents, say using Google Docs, only creates greater confusion. This quagmire is avoided by structuring work through project management software.

But which app? There are several overlapping categories of software, and within each category are dozens, if not hundreds, of potential solutions. This article will help simplify, by explaining the core concepts and defining terms. If you are new to project management, this article should save you a few dozen confusing hours.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

A short history of development methodologies

Currently in the news is an IT meltdown at TSB. A mega-project to migrate their banking software has ended in complete chaos, with clients unable to access their accounts, deductions from one person being made to another, pay cheques gone missing, etc. It's just about the worst outcome any software development project can have, and proof again that large development projects simply do not work.
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Annihilation: Stalker for dummies



Review of Annihilation (dir. Alex Garland, 2018) in the form of an interrogation.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE ITS FORM?

No, not really. I mean, it's rather conventional.

IS IT CARBON-BASED?

I don't think so. It takes many shapes, all tantalising, but none substantive.
Monday, February 05, 2018

Join me on Patreon


You might have noticed that I recently posted three articles after a drought of some months. The fact is, I don't always know what to post and who I am posting for. It's great to get feedback, but this doesn't always happen. Without encouragement, the site stagnates.

I have been wondering for some time how to bring together my supporters. How do I give back more, but in a relevant way? I am committing to Patreon as an answer. Please check out my brand new page.

If you are familiar with Patreon, hop over there now. Otherwise, keep reading and I will explain.
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Jordan Peterson, demagogue

Recently I was introduced to Jordan Peterson, a charismatic speaker and psychology professor at the University of Toronto. The context was a debate on trans rights and Canadian Bill C-16. What I initially encountered encouraged me to watch hours of video interviews, debate, and lectures. I quickly went from admiring, to suspicious, to deeply dismayed.

Peterson is the latest in a long line of self-help gurus. Their job is to simplify the world, in order to present facile solutions to personal problems. Peterson's technique denies the social realm, instead emphasizing personal development in a political and societal vacuum. In this post, I will critique Peterson's approach and beliefs, demonstrating how badly argued, contradictory, and harmful these are. The topics will be as wide-ranging as his own targets.
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Being professional

Every so often the debate flares up in online communities around a certain audio recorder, microphone, or other piece of equipment. Someone will state that Product A is "not professional". Others will jump to its defence. The debate then focuses on the product and its uses.

All of this is wrong. There is no such thing as professional gear.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Font managers for Windows: 12 products reviewed

Organising fonts is a straight-forward task that can be greatly aided if you use the correct tool. This article is a comprehensive survey of font managers for Windows 10, an operating system that historically has had less choice in this area than the Mac OS.

Contents
introduction
Tweaking Windows
Extensis Suitcase Fusion
Insider FontAgent
Proxima Software FontExpert 2016
High-Logic MainType
Blacksun X-Fonter
Printer's Apprentice
The Font Thing
Font Runner
Opcion
dp4 Font Viewer
Fontbase
Nexusfont
conclusion
Monday, October 30, 2017

Review: The Seventh Victim

The Seventh Victim (1943)
Directed by Mark Robson
Produced by Val Lewton

The premise is standard pulp. A schoolgirl, Mary Gibson (Kim Hunter), searches for her missing sister Jacqueline in New York City. She discovers relationships to a lover, a psychiatrist, and a strange cabal. I won't get too specific here (mild spoiler warning) because I wish to encourage you to view this remarkable film.
Sunday, August 27, 2017

Suggested improvements to the Korg Volcas


This articles is part of my ongoing series on Desktop Electronic Music (DEM). The landing page provides easy access.




I have spent several articles describing the creative use of the Korg Volca Sample. Nonetheless, there are many limitations in the design and implementation. Many of these could easily be remedied, resulting in a much more functional and expressive instrument.

In this article I list 27 (!) improvements. And then present a redesigned interface.
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mika Vainio and DEM



This articles is part of my ongoing series on Desktop Electronic Music (DEM). The landing page provides easy access.

I have been studying the music of Mika Vainio, after his unexpected death this year. Though I was always aware of Panasonic, I must say that their work had no direct influence on mine (until now) since I was already working in parallel, exploring aspects of noise and decomposed beats. Nonetheless, there is much to learn from him.