One of my commenters is tro… ::ahem:: ASKing for a statement from me in support of independent music. I know, it’s a little crazy but I guess I’ve confused people by what I’ve said before about filesharing. So in case I haven’t made it perfectly clear as mud already, I have MIXED emotions. I see the good and I see the bad. So here are a few of those feelings for the record, one more time in no particular order:
Archive for July 2003
Isn’t it true that nothing really worthwhile comes without a price, whether it’s in labor or money or interpersonal dramas or whatever? And conversely, that no dark cloud comes without a silver lining? I’ve been ruminating a lot on that today (=yesterday). It’s just something I have to keep in mind all the time regarding all things… trying to keep myself on the right track in whatever I’m doing. Moderation. Not getting obsessed with one thing at the expense of something else that’s equally important. Don’t wanna get too bummed out or, uh… too happy. So. I didn’t do anything on the Linux box today, but that’s okay. :-) I had a pretty good rehearsal with Josh and Lindsay, and by the time the show comes next week we’ll be about as polished as we’ll ever be. It’s a lot of work, but it’s pretty cool too.
I don’t know why, but lately people have been buying a bunch of stuff at Amazon using my pathetic little store as the starting point, so I got the credit posted to my account. Or maybe it was one very shop-happy person who bought 16 items. Either way, THANKS!! I made nine dollars and fifty cents this quarter, and pretty soon I’ll be able to trade it for another new CD. It might not seem like much, but hey… free CD!! If they’re buying my own CDs then I get the credit and the royalties, and if they buy something else then I get to soak up a few quarters on stuff I haven’t even heard of, much less endorsed. Oh I know, you really ought to buy ‘em from Drag City directly, ‘cuz that way WE make the money that Amazon would be taking… but if you have to use Amazon, you might as well start at my place! Hee hee.
It’s now 12 hours into my reindoctrination with Linux. I’ve only spent an hour or two actually using it though; I’ve had other things to mess with today. So. I found my printer, and it works. Check! Found the plaintext editor, and kick ass, it has a tabbed interface just like NoteTab, my favorite Windows editor!! That sure as hell didn’t exist a few years ago that I knew about. Found the FTP client, and it works for sites on the internet. I tried to find my iBook’s public FTP folder but that didn’t work; I guess I have to set up Samba to get the PC talking to the iBook. (I never could figure out FTP sharing over the network even on the old system, but Samba always worked so I’m pretty sure that’s where I’ll end up.) Found my CD-burner and found the Toast client, but how do I get it to work without entering the root password? Also, I can’t remember where my desktop’s at. I’m serious… I wanna know where it lives on the filesystem, somewhere in /usr/local? Linus knows, but I don’t.
Both Blake’s and Scott’s MP3 rarity-of-the-week sites have been squelched due to threats by the RIAA. While I’ve said before that I have very mixed feelings about the issue of whether we should be trading any music publicly that we didn’t actually create ourselves, I have always felt that the RIAA is going about this in exactly the wrong way. They’re acting like fascists, especially the way they’ve created their own laws that allow them to invade our privacy and request info on ANY net user without going through a judge, without even reasonable suspicion that we’ve committed any crime. We all need to support the EFF in whatever way we can, and fight to get back the rights we should have as consumers and/or Americans. Especially the right to privacy, the right to due process of the law, and the idea that we’re "innocent until proven guilty". We no longer have those rights here in America in case you hadn’t noticed.
Hey, I installed RedHat and it totally works!!! Except I can’t update my packages ‘cuz their site seems to be completely kaput at the moment. But I’m here aren’t I? So I must be on the internet right? I’m so glad everything went so smoothly and it let me surf the ‘net right out of the box. Boy, I remember the days. It was never this easy back then. For starters I would’ve had to work pretty hard to get anything USB working — gawd!! — and I used to be on a modem — eek!!!!!!!
Well, I just woke up John with my silent shrieking. It’s almost four in the morning so I’m gonna play around for TEN more minutes and then get me some sleep. I thought I’d be up all night for sure, what a relief! I’m a rocker you know. So this is only a little past my normal bedtime, it isn’t even close to being up all night for me. Up all night means I go to bed at 9 or 10 in the morning.
I am well pleased. Gonna go exploring now. Whoops, RedHat’s working again! So I guess I’ll update them packages. Back in the… uh… morning.
I just wiped the drive on the PC and I’m installing RedHat. Buh-bye Windows! Didn’t expect to do it quite so soon but what the hell. I’m using this distro just because I already have the CDs made… maybe later when I get my bearings again I’ll try Debian or whatever. The graphical install is easy as pie, pretty similar to the one they had on Caldera eDesktop back in the days, except you can’t play Tetris while you wait. :-) But I can surf the net on my iBook instead! I’m excited, I wonder if it’ll work right out of the box? If John can check his e-mail when he wakes up that’ll be swanky. It seems to recognize my hardware no problem, but we’ll see.
Isn’t this exciting? :-)
I’m doing twenty things at once, as usual! Getting the office cleaned out and gathering financial papers in the right places. Practicing songs and trying to get a setlist together for the show. Keeping an eye on my site’s access logs and swatting back the robots. Answering some e-mail, though 99% are as pitifully untouched as always. But mostly I’m researching my plan to dump Windows for good, and get Linux installed on my PC. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t even bother making it a dual-boot system! It seems I won’t have many problems with the hardware I’ve got, so it’s just a matter of figuring out which distro will work best for me.
I just installed Firebird on my iBook. It seems to have everything Camino has, and get this, IT CHECKS BOOKMARKS FOR CHANGES!!!! Which means if this thing isn’t too buggy and it works out for me, I can stop using OmniWeb for that one job, and stop feeling guilty because I never paid for it, because I only used it for that one thing. (Checking to see if Empty-Handed posted a new blog entry because he refuses to put up a freakin’ RSS feed, and things like that.) Fuggit, I think I found the browser of my dreams!!! The one true browser that will eliminate need for any other!! I am SO excited!!!! Why didn’t anybody tell me it would do this? Why didn’t I know about Firebird before? Oh! My! God!!!!
It’s 12:30 in the morning. There was this guy in back of our apartment about an hour ago, screaming "LEAVE ME ALONE!!" at the top of his lungs for a few minutes. He laid down right by our back-door gate and as far as I know he’s still there. (The light’s still burnt out too!) We called the cops, and they never came, or if they did we didn’t hear ‘em. I wish there was some online 911 service where we could submit a complaint over the web, and then go back to find out if the problem got resolved, wouldn’t that be cool?
John was surfing on my PC, which I never use. Apparently he went someplace faraway and exotic, and now AVG tells me we’re infected with this trojan called MusicSearch. I took the PC off the network and now I have to figure out how to clean it up. I’m so sick of fucking Windows!!! I want to just wipe the damn drive and install Linux on it instead, make him use that. It’s funny because last night I was reading scare stories about another new worm that’s going around, and I asked him if he’d mind if I installed Linux and showed him how to use that. He was all against the idea because he didn’t want to suffer through me pulling my hair out over another computer-related pseudo-problem. Now he has the proof of the dangers of using Windows, and suddenly he’s all for the Linux idea!! Heheh. So this cloud does come with a silver lining… :-)
Disclaimer: I suck at reviewing movies, I usually either like ‘em or I don’t. But anyway, John and rented the Trainspotting DVD tonight (=last night). I liked it! I wanted to see it because I liked 28 Days Later so much, I thought it was about time I saw this one too. John had seen it twice already. He knew which parts might give me nightmares, so I made him warn me about ‘em beforehand. I was glad, ‘cuz knowing what was going to happen, I didn’t let myself get too attached to that baby! He also said it was pretty brutal at times (that wasn’t too much of a problem) and also thought the general mood of despair, pointlessness etc. might get to me. It didn’t, I enjoyed it just fine. The drug-taking scenes were a little gross, but not nearly as heavy-handed as the last druggie movie we saw, Requiem For A Dream.
I swear I’ll stop talking about spiders at some point, because I know nobody gives a shit, but… I’ve been messing around with that trap script a lot this weekend. One of the things that really drives up my bandwidth is when people try to grab hundreds of pages for offline browsing. Well, I think I figured out a way to prevent that. It doesn’t matter what tool you use either — any tool (or browser) that tries to download my site for offline browsing, without following the instructions in my robots.txt, will hopefully be caught by this trap and banned right away. I don’t think this will affect anybody who’s just surfing and doing things the normal way, only the genuine site-grabbers. But I’m fully prepared to eat my words and un-ban anyone that gets locked out by accident. I can’t promise, but I think this is the finishing touch that will allow me to step back and not have to constantly study my traffic the way I have been. I’ll be so glad, I really have better things to do that comb through my own trash!
I just spent a few hours channeling my frustrations with the world by taking it out on the bad robots. Finally got a GOOD spider trap working, to automatically ban misbehaving spiders. I used to have to do it manually after being e-mailed by the old trap-script, and by that time it was usually too late. Now it does the banning for me, instantly. It’ll only ban the ones that access the trap, which doesn’t happen all that often. But maybe that was because of the warning page which had ‘THIS IS A SPIDER TRAP!!’ in big letters. The rude robots would see that page and usually they’d leave, not following the link to the old trap script I had, which was a php file. The new one is a perl script — the famous trap.pl at WebmasterWorld. And I’m using mod-rewrites trick to disguise its scriptiness, too. Heheh. It was fun to do and I really do feel better. :-) I have to get some sleep now, the sun’s coming up… if I screwed anything up, I’ll fix it if I have to, no big whoop.
Note to the curious: Do NOT go looking for my trap unless you really don’t want to come back here again! I am serious!! But if you’re a webmaster wanting to do this for your own site, just search WMW for ‘trap.pl’ and you’ll find the instructions.
Here’s another article that bothered me today (=yesterday)… Desperately seeking Kraftwerk at the Guardian. The band doesn’t want to be disturbed; they only want to make music on their own terms if they make it at all. If they have to talk, they only want to talk about the current music and not go into discussions of the past. But the reporter wouldn’t take no for an answer; she went all the way to Dusseldorf and tried to track them down. Failed, but I guess she didn’t try hard enough. Still, what exactly was she looking for? I know she’s a journalist trying to make a living the same as everyone else, but I don’t understand the point of trying to hammer them down for an interview they clearly didn’t want to do. It reminds me of poor Syd Barrett trying to lead a private life but constantly being pestered by well-meaning fans and less-well-meaning photographers. Just doesn’t seem fair, but then nothing’s really fair, we all know that.