Sunday, August 26, 2007

Guitars - Epiphone Special

I had posted a review to Musicians Friend but they appear to not have chose it as worthy to place on their site so I will try to reproduce it here although with different wording.

I purchased my Epiphone Les Paul Special (probably a "Special II") in about 1999. I stopped playing while in college and just this last summer, of 2007, I started to play again. I was pretty unhappy with my sound so I upgraded the pickups to a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge and a '59 in the neck. This is a common config so I won't post any links. I did this at the same time as picking up an Ibanez RGT42 DXFX, which supposedly was on sale but in reality was just a fair price. The Epiphone now sounds great, the sound has really grown on me. It is a perfect clean with the '59 and with the JB does blues/rock just great. The Epi Special held up decent over the years, good enough for new pickups ;-) and now has a great sound. I definitely recommend the guitar, especially once you upgrade the pickups. From what is out on the internet I don't think their quality has slipped much - all while keeping the price low.

Here's where I want to go farther: the Ibanez does a better 'Metal' sound. I have a Boss Metal Zone MT-2 and a Marshall MG50DFX. The Ibanez sounds awesome through the Metal Zone and with mids 'scooped' sounds better than the JB. The JB still sounds good but as a comparison I thought people should know. I think my next guitar will be something cheap so I can put in a Seymour Duncan Dimebucker and see how that fairs. To be fair the JB is more of a Rock or Hard Rock pickup and not really a Metal pickup; they claim it has that versatility but it depends on your sound.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lamb of God - Empire Expo Hall

I just saw the Lamb of God concert tonight (March 11th) and it was pretty awesome. The biggest surprise - Gojira was fucking awesome. I had only heard one of their songs before hand 'Gojira - Ocean Planet' which they played live. It was amazing, all their songs were quite good, and the energy they played with was intense. Each song was incredibly unique, timing changes all over the place; they were actually hard to predict, which made headbanging quite interesting. Other than that Machine Head was great too, there was only one song I recognized which I heard played on Chronix Radio (or Chronix Metal I don't remember) quite a bit.

The reason I actually went was because I am a huge fan of Trivium, they were basically what I figured I would hear. I had purchased the Special Edition disc of Ascendancy so I saw some of their live performances so I knew what to expect. They sound great live don't get me wrong, just not that polished; but they are getting better. The headliner was Lamb of God which was music I had really never heard before, they were very good. Their main guitarist was amazing, and they put on a good live show. They played for about an hour and a half...I am not much of a fan of constant screaming...but that goes with the territory of metal music i guess.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fedora 6 Review Review

"A software distribution is meaningless if it does not include all of the software that the target userbase expects to use." That quote is quite interesting. I'll get back to it in a second.Here is the post in question.

This review written by Jem Matzan is more of what I would classify as a rant. Hell, I don't even know how it showed up so high on the Google search. But it did, so now I guess this rant will be propagated into the mind of people as to whether or not to try FC6. Basically everything he came across was just small side effects of his individual use case scenario. The things he discusses are not really issues that the Fedora Core team have as goals of addressing, their 'mission statement' so to speak.

The target userbase of Fedora is a group of people Jem doesn't fit into. Which means he is not their "target userbase" I mentioned above. In reality, it's great that FC6 is so easily adaptable to those not in the target userbase. I very likely should be a SUSE user, or a Slackware user, or maybe a Debian user; but I am still able to adapt Fedora Core (and Extras) to my uses.

As another example the review's author brought up MP3 support in Fedora. The Fedora Project addresses this on their About page as such: "Why is mp3 the standard? Because it's better than everything else out there? No. mp3 is the standard because its creators licensed it broadly to spur its adoption. Then, once it was the de facto format, they started to enforce their patents aggressively and restrictively." I could discuss more problems with the review but I feel no need to do so. I also do not wish to personally attack the author, and I hope that any criticism was constructive.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

RSS Feed / Update

It appears as though the RSS feed functionality is least not working as previously configured. I switched over to the new blogger and now the RSS feed hasn't been updated with recent posts.

Anyways, I have taken the dive: both of my machines are running linux now. (The third, an Sparc64 based Sun Ultra 60 is running Solaris and the CD drive died so I have no means to install anything newer - such as a recent Solaris 10 release.) This box is an AMD64 so I run it more often to save on electricity, though the OSS Radeon drivers w/3d work better than this NVIDIA supplied one does. I started work on my XML engine and the text rpg game again, after 3 years of downtime. I hope that goes well, but I have a very big load for the next 4 months so no promises are made.

Also, take note, it's 27 degrees fahrenheit outside (now it's 30). It's a beautiful day outside right now; at least looking out my window, haha. It's a good day to chill out and listen to some Frederic Chopin - or however you want to spell it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

British Gun Control

I was doing some reading on the American Revolution and that led to further reading in relation to the rights of citizens. I ended up finding this site which presents some interesting finds. Violent crimes appear to be converging in the USA and England. Apparently their desire to curb violent crimes through gun control isn't working. Also it is interesting that their desires to start implementing gun control happened as a fear of the people after the Bolshevik Revolution. I'm not a Communist, but if there are enough people that want something then perhaps it is the 'goverment' that is wrong and not the people. Also interesting, through possession of weaponry this can be a method of being recognized. The colonies formed militias and fought back against these Intolerable Acts but they were still willing to petition the King for a cease-fire and a peaceful resolution of their differences. That the british people have allowed their common law rights to be infringed upon is confusing to me.

Also: this weekend I installed a mediawiki on my Fedora Linux system. The install went very smooth. But upon checking the prices of our provider for a static ip connection I probably won't get a static ip ($99 for 3Mbps down and 256Kbps up or something bad like that.)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Metallica - Seoul Korea

I was thinking today that it would be nice to listen to the Metallica show from Omaha Nebraska, but a search on my work computer was fruitless. I went to the website and noticed that Metallica had sung a new song at Seoul recently so I downloaded the 'album.' Overall the show is pretty good. It is similar to the Omaha one that I attended but in a good way. Metallica can still rock hard. As for the new song aptly titled 'The Other New Song', it is pretty good. I am not sure if this is completely accurate, but it reminds me of Motorhead: fast, raw, and with some melody and feeling that was missing from the St Anger album. Here's a link to the song list and a picture of the show (pdf) in booklet form from the livemetallica site. The one thing that I noticed is that there is little crowd noise. The energy level at Omaha was intense and the singing and screaming was awesome, my only guess is that they had less people attending - but if not then shame on them!

Anyways when I got home I found my backup of the Omaha show, and am now able to enjoy both shows. They will also make great road cruising music while I travel during Christmas. Now the only question is if I want to download the other new song Metallica played at Berlin. Robert Trujillo is THE MUTHA FUCKIN BOMB ! He was with Zakk Wylde, and still is with Metallica. I just wish they would've played Orion at Omaha. The last thing I have to say is that they only played two songs off of '...And Justice For All' which in my eyes is a disturbing development.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

new linux install

Recently I re-acquired my AMD 1900+ XP of yesteryear. It had been away for close to two years, but now is back. I installed FC6 and bricked it after doing a hard shutdown when I noticed the temps rising because I forgot to plug in the CPU fan after cleaning the dust off the heatsink. An install later and hear I am. May that be my vote of recommendation to setting up lm_sensors and the gnome panel's Hardware Sensor Monitor -- at least I didn't fry the cpu! I went from consistant >130 degrees fahrenheit to 114 now. This heatsink from a stock 3200+ XP is a great heatsink for the 1900+ XP. Especially when dust free.

Anyways, FC6 is a solid release. Bricking the box might have been my fault and after trying to resurrect via a Rescue CD I gave up and just reinstalled. I had my data backed up so it wasn't too big of a loss. The point of the post is to give props to and their hosting of the Enemy Territory for linux install. No juke and jive, just an easy to get link to a download -unlike and others. Also, the Radeon 9200 had 3d acceleration turned on by default in the X11 config. I can't say if this is because of Xorg but it probably is, I haven't had this box for a while so coincidentally I wasn't able to notice when 3d became auto-configured. Also I've started to play Wesnoth and may consider doing some development with it soon. I noticed on their site that in August they had a call for more developers.