Sunday, May 08, 2022

Tips for sharing drives between computers

Operating systems each have their own native ways of formatting hard drives and allocating storage for files. Here is a practical summary for Windows 10, macOS, and Linux. Included are some little-known facts on compatibility that can save you serious headaches!

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Portable Audio Recorders Summary 2022

It's three years on from my last audio recorder summary (July 2019) and so time to update my comparison table. This time it's quite compact, largely due to vendors streamlining their offerings. Please download the PDF. I've included columns for those characteristics I find most useful to distinguish between recorders. YMMV, but it should be a helpful starting point.

Saturday, March 05, 2022

On Censorship and the Zaporizhzhia Fire


This article exists for several reasons. First, to stop the spread of fear over a potential nuclear disaster in Ukraine. We are all overburdened with worry at the Russian invasion of that country. The last thing we need is further hype and extremist announcements. Unfortunately, these are accepted at face value by too many people.

Second, I wish to assert that the censorship of Russian state broadcaster RT is a demonstration of Western propaganda. Since there is almost no free press in Russia, RT exerts unparalleled influence. But this is not to say that Russians naively accept all that it publishes. Outside Russia, RT is a useful way to gauge what the Russian government thinks. How can we fight disinformation if we don’t know what that consists of?

I will perform a media analysis of the coverage of the attack and seizure of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP). To do this, I made a snapshot of several websites on 5 March 2022 between 1300 and 1400 GMT. These articles are from the online versions of RT (Russia), Kyiv Independent (Ukraine), and Al Jazeera (Qatar). All are government-funded agencies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

On propaganda and the Ukraine crisis

Current events in Ukraine are worrying in and of themselves. But they are doubly troubling in how they are being reported, bereft of historical context, full of unsupported assertions. This article will highlight certain evidence that challenges the dominant narrative.

Please note that this article was written in the week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Such state violence must be condemned in the strongest terms. The provocations of NATO and the West do not justify such actions. Nonetheless, it is important to understand a context that goes deeper than the simplistic equations Ukraine=good, Russia=evil. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Buying a laptop for everyday use

The focus of this blog is generally on higher-end hardware for video production. I've written several articles on that subject in the past year. But this article is for people who:

a) Need a laptop but have minimal funds.

b) Don't want to contribute unnecessarily to e-waste.

c) Don't want a crappy commodity computer that might fail at any time.

d) Don't want to buy from Apple (see a and b). 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

What men can do to stop male violence

We live in a society where the dominant patriarchal order offers men individual and institutional power, resources and opportunities, respect and status, and control over their lives. Women, as a group, do not have the same privileges, a fact that is continuously demonstrated. If a woman is not safe even to walk down a public thoroughfare, there can be no argument that we live in a fair society. 

It's not up to women, the victims of these assaults, to change their behaviour. It's up to men.

Monday, January 10, 2022

How fast are Apple M1 computers for video?

Since Apple introduced their new M1 "system on a chip" there's been incredible hype over the capabilities of their laptops. In this article I will summarise information provided on the Blackmagic forums, in order to judge the worth of these systems for video editing. The results may surprise you. 

Sunday, January 09, 2022

The origins of "glitch"

The word "glitch" is now in common usage, used to describe any fault, applied to artistic products like glitch video and glitch music. It was firmly established as a genre of music circa 1994 when Autechre released the track "Glitch." 

An online discussion prompted me to look for the origins of this curious term. There are multiple places in which the source is cited incorrectly or the source quote is garbled. This post will set matters straight.
Monday, December 27, 2021

60 Voices: A mixtape to open your ears

It's year-end, a time when music lovers are besieged with lists and charts. These rankings rankle for several reasons. First, I refuse to view music as a contest. Yes, a "top ten" can be a way of highlighting new music. But I've been seeing too many, especially those of a historic nature, that serve only to confirm an existing canon. Read on, and you'll hear what I did about it: 60 carefully-chosen tracks mixed for your listening pleasure!

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Heldscalla system cooling, heat, benchmarks

This article will benchmark my current Heldscalla system against my previous VALIS computer. I will be comparing specifications and getting results from both Passmark and Cinebench R23. I'll explain that I turned off the overclocking built into the motherboard settings. And I will describe the physical air flow and choice of CPU cooler, as a prelude to measuring operating temperatures and noise levels. 

As usual, my goal is an article that doesn't avoid discussion of necessary technical considerations, while remaining comprehensible to readers not steeped in jargon. YMMV.