Audio Zeitgeist

A smattering of recent playlist favorites. Audio links will open in iTunes.

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System 7 Connected

System 7 AIM

I can’t believe it actually worked, but it did.

This is a screenshot of my pet project from the last month. It is an Apple Powerbook 520c from 1995 running System 7. Finding the hardware to connect it to the internet was the easy part. Making the software actually work was another thing entirely. But, low and behold, I’ve been able to make it work. The fact that AOL’s instant messenger still works on a 13 year old machine with modern computers is pretty amazing.

Special thanks goes out to Dan Palka’s amazing resource System7Today.com.

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Die Festpause

If you are reading this you are either:

a: a regular visitor/voyeur, living vicariously through my life

b: on holiday break and bored out of your mind

c: googled “megajerk”

If any of the above is the case its time for Link-o-Rama. Clicky-click and learn something new. Bulleted-List GO!

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Bravo Trent

Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor had an interesting post on his website today.

Hello everyone. I’ve waited a LONG time to be able to make the
following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally
free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have
been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the
business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very
different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a
direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate.
Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008.
Exciting times, indeed.

First off, bravo Trent. You get a golf clap. In a bold move Trent Reznor has taken his band away from the influence of the malicious RIAA and his stifling record label. This separation was not unnexpected. For a long time now Reznor has been vocal about his fans having access to his music. By releasing the tracks online in a mix-ready format, by leaving USB drives at concerts loaded with tracks, and by encouraging fans to download his music Reznor has undercut everything the RIAA so desperately has been fighting by taking music lovers to court. Rather than persecute his fans Reznor has adapted to the new music distribution model.

The technology savvy Reznor has proven that he no longer needs the support of the label or the RIAA to be successful. Any user of a new computer has access to the same multimedia suites Reznor does. It is entirely possible for Johnny Noname to produce a studio quality album without the need for expensive equipment. Reznor also recognizes the implications of the more pervasive iPod and the views that current generation hold in regards to media. The costs of downloading untethered media for free are infinitely more attractive than paying for tracks that limit you to a certain device, number of times you can burn, etcetera. The key is to provide quality content that people will ultimately decide, “Hey, this song really rocks. I’m going to buy the album/DVD. Then I’m going to go buy tickets to the concert.”

I look forward to doing just that the next time you roll into Milwaukee or Madison Trent. The last time I saw you in concert led to an album and DVD sale. It is dichotomously infuriating and funny to encounter the effects the RIAA has had on the industry. They sue their fans and yet complain that physical CD sales are on a perpetual slump. They implement invasive DRM that makes media incompatible with players and then get lose the following lawsuit. Reznor has jumped ship and I can’t wait until the iPod generation is at the helm to deal a deathblow the RIAA’s dying business model.

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Wii’re Back

Just a reminder that if you have a Nintendo Wii hooked up to the interwebs you can share your friend code. Mine is : 1423 3644 2287 4084

Oh and Mom, pick me up a Wii Points card next time you go out. Don’t get it at ShopKo because they charge $29.99 for $20 of credit. Jerks.

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Historic Recommendation

There are few podcasts out there with production values worthy of subscription. There are those rare few, who with little or no modification to the source material, are truly great. Learn Out Loud.com’s “Great Speeches in History” would be one of those podcasts. After a brief advertisement, the famous speech of a selected individual is presented in its raw and unedited format. It is a pleasant suprise to receive a moving speech in my podcast directory every now and then. The best part is that it is free. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

I would also highly recommend downloading President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s fairwell address. This speech warns the US of the broadening military-industrial complex, squandering the wealth of today at the cost of future generations, and the tenuous balance of sustaining democracy. The current administration could learn a thing or two.

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On Generosity, Exploration, and Lederhosen

First order of business. I would like to thank the reader who donated last week for their contribution to my study abroad experience. Last week my Airport card stopped functioning, essentially cutting me off from all means of communication with family and friends back home. You paid for most of a DWL-G122 USB WiFi stick, which after some extensive hacking, works very well with OS X. Thank you very much and keep an eye on your mailbox. Reader contributions go toward legitimate needs. The exchange rate is hovering at about 1.35 US per 1 Euro. This makes everything 1/3 more expensive. I really do appreciate not having to worry about some of the minor expenses.

On Thursday, June 7 I will be making my way into Bayern (Bavaria) to the historic city of München (Munich). This will be the last “big” journey for me until the end of the semester. I plan on making it a good one by visiting Neuschwanstein and Konzentrationslager-Dachau. Of course you cannot go to München and not enjoy some of the local Brauerei (breweries).

When it comes to donations I cannot be picky. The axim “Beggars can’t be choosers” certainly applies. I do not make specific requests normally, but this one is too good to pass up. I have purchased some small Germany related momentos in the past. I have a stack of postcards, requisite pieces of the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall), Krieg der Sterne: Das Imperium schlägt zurrück (Empire Strikes Back), and a scarf. However there is one thing that would trump all: Genuine Bavarian Lederhosen.

Lederhosen

If you can help me offset the cost of a pair of Lederhosen I promise the following. I will record myself dancing and singing a german drinking song. I will then post it to the interwebernettubes for all to enjoy. I leave for München next Thursday morning and will be there for only three days. Hell, I’ll even wear these things back home by request for all who donate. Even if I don’t have enough to justify the cost, your donation will go towards food, razors, and other daily expenses. It is for a good cause.
[donate]

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Skype Contest

My Skype number is going to expire on May 28 and I will not be renewing it. Other than my parents and the occaisional telemarketer I do not get very many calls or voice messages with it. I could extend it for another three month chunk, but I will only be here for two. I don’t think it is worth it thanks to e-mail, instant messangers, SMS, and video chat. What does this mean for you?

It means that you have a week to leave me the most messed up message. It does not necessarily have to be obscene, but those who craft a funny message without will get bonus points. My Skype number is an Oshkosh area number so local rates apply. You won’t get hit with an international charge because the messages are forwarded to me over the interwebtubes when I login to Skype.

The best message will receive something german in return for their efforts. Caller must clearly identify themselves in the message. Multiple entries will be accepted. Winners for this contest will be decided on criteria totally made up by me at the moment of judging. Messages left may be posted (with names removed) at a future date on this website.

You can reach my Skype message box by calling 920-626-4536. You have until May 28!

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Thanks for Your Support

Thanks to my supporters (yes, plural) who have contributed to my study abroad experience in the past two weeks. Your contributions do go towards necessary costs. This week you bought me the following.:

  • 1L 1.5% Fett Milch
  • 1L Orangensaft
  • 2L Pepsi Light
  • 750ml Riesling Wein
  • 2x Corny Riegel
  • 200g Crunchips
  • 150g Nachochips
  • 500g Hackenfleisch
  • 10 Scheibe Käse
  • 1x Vollkorn Brot
  • 2x Laugenbrezel
  • 1x Lasagne
  • 2x Salami Pizza
  • 500g Spaghetti
  • 400g Classico Soße
  • 500g Peanut Butter
  • 250g Butter
  • 4x 100g Johgurt
  • 6x Razors

Average food costs per week are around 50 Euro ($65) cooking all of my meager meals. I rarely, if ever, eat at a restaurant around here unless absolutely necessary. With all seriousness, thanks for your continued support.
[donate]

(Edit: I have to buy groceries at least twice a week. 50 Euro is closer to reality.)

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