Extraordinary

Discerning elucidations regarding whatever comes to mind.

Bitcrush.org 7 September, 2010

Filed under: Rambling — bonzairob @ 10:45 am

I’ve moved my blog, along with everything else, to my site at http://bitcrush.org/. See you there!

 

And Relax. 30 July, 2010

Filed under: Life,Music,Rambling — bonzairob @ 11:06 am

University

So in my last post, I documented all the crap university has put me through this year. Well, it’s finally all over, and I got a 2:1!
I haven’t checked if I could have got a first, without the docked marks from the essay. I got it done and in, but well below the word-count, and got a bad mark for it.

But, honestly, I don’t care! I’m just glad it’s over! The emotional pain of going over all the marks and working out what I could have got isn’t worth it to me. Sod it, I have a decent degree. And, besides, I don’t think I would have got a first anyway, as most of my marks were low 60s (70 average being the threshold for first).

Music & New Site

A new song for you to listen to! One of my courseworks was to arrange an existing song (by someone else) for string quartet and woodwind quartet. We had these performed live, and I got a really good mark for mine. Here it is:
Waker of Wind

Now, I haven’t updated the music portfolio page, and there’s a reason for that. I’ve re-registered bitcrush.org, and I’m going to turn it into a portfolio site. This blog will get moved there (or simultaneously updated or something, I don’t know yet), along with lots more music, and examples of my art, design, and coding.

I’ve also started a tumblr, which I intend to use to post art; my graduation present from my family is going to be a Really Awesome Thing that will make more art possible =D I can’t wait for it to arrive!

But, next in life comes trying to get a job. See you next time!

 

Rage. 31 May, 2010

Filed under: Rambling — bonzairob @ 5:53 pm

I want to make a note of this, to document it. Because I have a feeling this will affect my degree, but at this point I’m too fed up to care.

Three (3) times in a row, something has changed or become apparent that has forced me to scramble at the last minute (or fail) to get my work in on time.
Three (3) years in a row, there has been part of my course that I was not actually ever informed about. Despite making significant efforts to, after it happened each time.

To save myself digging, I’ll only mention the ones from this year.

Final Album

My course’s equivalent of a dissertation. I had noted down from the very start that the deadline was the 20th of April. I knew how important this was. As it happened I didn’t get as much done as I wanted beforehand, so I made a huge effort in the week leading up to it and got it finished.
Only to find out, on the 19th, that the deadline had been moved back by one day. After all the effort, it was devastating at the time.
No-one had mentioned this to me, or I would have written it down.

I showed the receptionist the date written here and he very kindly put it in the box with the others.

Collaborative Project, to be performed

We were given a rough stretch of time to perform our pieces; my piece was a game, with Pete and Ben, called Bounce. My performance was to exhibit it at the Herbert art gallery.
Now, I had the 20th of May booked, and this was the last date in the rough times. So, I checked with my tutor.
The response from my tutor on the 16th, when I had time to adjust things:

The 28th is fine. Can’t do the Sunday.

The email from my tutor on the 26th:

Robin,
We had the final project meeting today. Did you ask for a deferral? No-one seemed to know anything about it. If you didn’t I’m afraid you’re going to lose 20% because you’re over one week late. Let me know asap when it’s going to be.

Well, thanks a lot. And here I thought “fine” meant “you won’t lose 20% of your marks by doing this”.

And finally…

It turns out I have a 2000-word report to do called Documenting Performing Practice. How did I find out about this? Realising something was up when two of my course-mates on Facebook both mentioned essays. I only know it’s 2000 words because one of them said it was finished at just over that.
I checked my module list, and lo, there it is. It would have been nice if anyone had mentioned this to me, ever. Seeing as it’s about documenting what I did, and it’s (obviously) too late now.
I made some notes, yes. But they were notes about debugging the predecessor to Bounce, Waveform. And there’s not enough to get 2000 words, by tomorrow. I suppose I’ll try, anyway.

I have a viva with my tutors on Wednesday; I think I’ll take it up with them then, if there’s the opportunity. But I’m sure they’ll just tell me it’s my own fault for being unorganised.
I used to be unorganised. I was in my first and second years, and I learnt my lesson. Since then I’ve been making notes and even made myself a custom calendar page for my browser’s home screen; this year, I know for sure, it’s the course.

Now I want to retake my student survey, please. I have some amendments to make.

 

Mix Song 26 April, 2010

Filed under: Rambling — bonzairob @ 11:12 pm

THE RULES:
Playlist on shuffle
The first line of a song that plays is a line in your song
Skip tracks with no or garbled lyrics
20 lines, and the 21st is the title.

Ruth got an emo song with the occasional french line (but also “I love you love he love she love chicken bone”); our friend Ben got a terrible emo love poem. I think mine is just as revealing, in a different way.

 
  

I’m In The Sky Tonight

Windy, windy
Lately I’ve been livin’ in my head
I don’t care if it rains or freezes
Somedays aren’t yours at all

OK mister sunshine
Unit three-thousand twenty-one is warming
Hey, what were you thinkin’
Good and bad I swear I’ve had

I see you there
You are
Two white horses in a line
Well don’t ya think that I’ll overreact now

Beautiful land
Again and again, I get up and say
To be the motion actor
These toys are all lifeless, the armour’s worn off

I want to sing
ZEL-DA ZEL-DA ZEL-DA ZEL-DA
No more runnin’, says my mind
One to three four five SEX SEX SEX

 

Consoles and Updates 18 October, 2009

Filed under: Games,Rambling — bonzairob @ 11:49 am

I’m going to see if I can squeeze out a post a week for a while. We’ve been managing it at P&R so without limiting myself to developing info, it might be easier.

Having just read a destructoid post highlighting fanboys, I thought I’d weigh in on consoles:

Either they’re all good, or all rubbish.

They all have their pros and cons. In fact, I shall list them here.

Console Pros Cons
Wii
  • Fun party games
  • nostalgic exclusives
  • Innovation
  • Free online service
  • Waggle
  • Shovelware
  • Nintendo hates you
Xbox360
  • Huge range of good games
  • Current market leader, huge support
  • RROD
  • Online costs $$$
  • Obfuscating menus
PS3
  • Best graphics of home consoles
  • Interesting exclusives (Katamari Damacy, Flower)
  • Expensive
  • Not many top-tier games
  • PS Home
PC
  • Hugely flexible
  • Thousands of Indie games
  • Best for FPS
  • upgrade a bit at a time rather than whole lot every 5ish years
  • Compatibility issues
  • No gurantee games will work
  • Finite storage (games must be installed rather than read from CD)
  • Constant upgrades, never just good for 5 years

I have a confession: I was once a fanboy. I was young, it was for Nintendo, last generation. But, even when I was a fanboy, I was never so far gone as to claim mine was the best console. I was mostly a fanboy to annoy a friend who WAS that far gone for the PS2. With a third friend, who had an XBox, we would poke fun at the PS2’s graphics (from the Xbox side) and the gameplay (from the Gamecube side).
Now, however, after being shafted by Nintendo for being in Europe (6 months delay on SSBB, Pokemon games, you name it), for not having all that much money (£35 for a game when it’s $35 in America?), for wanting more good games and less rehashes, I’m not a fanboy of anything in particular.
I used to be a strident fanboy of Apple products, but their walled garden approach completely turns me off (less of a problem in Unix-based OS X, but I have to jailbreak my iPod Touch to get a terminal? Really?), as well as the lack of games.

And, to be honest, I don’t see the point any more. If you let a product of some sort define you, in the way I did and many others do, you’re only going to get hurt one way or another. It’s really not worth it.

Seems like it’s part of our culture, purely because it’s what the makers (or rather, sellers) of products want us to do. If you define yourself by use of a product, you’re a guaranteed recurring sale and advertisement rolled into one. Apple is most deft at this; so many people have iPods, they must be awesome. That guy’s cool, he has a Macbook. And so on.

Fanboys may take the “holier than thine” road, but it’s somehing they should be attempting to transcend. You don’t have to be defined by a product to enjoy it.
I have a Wii that is currently on loan to a friend, an iPod Touch that I had to jailbreak to reach its full potential, an iMac that I dual-boot into Windows XP to enjoy gaming. While I still prefer OS X to Windows or Unix, I’m not sure I still prefer Nintendo to other platforms, purely because it seems their best games are behind them. But maybe if I used a more polished Unix like ubuntu, or a later version of Windows, I would change my mind.

After all, it’s just a console/game/platform/OS/band/product/company/few hundred pounds…

 

Music 5 May, 2009

Filed under: Life,Music,Rambling — bonzairob @ 4:16 pm

I’ve whinged a bit about me and music on here before, so time oto do it again! HURRAH!

I’ve just spent an enlightening half an hour searching for and listening to the pieces of music I wrote for my AS and A2 levels. I don’t feel like I’ve written anything better, so I wanted to have a listen. And then, of course, it hit me.

Nowadays, I know a lot more music theory than I used to; I’m a bit out of practice but I can work out what time signature, key, tempo a piece of music is in. just recently for some exercise, suggested by Luke, I transcribed the opening bit of 19 Days by Gavin Harrison (Spoiler: swaps between 7/8 and 12/8).
Yes, now I’m more technically skilled than I was. But, back when I wrote music that I couldn’t write today, it just flowed. I didn’t know what the chord sequences were that I wrote, I wrote them because they sounded good; because that, in my head, was where the music wanted to go. I’m attempting to write some battle music for TurnShip and I spent some minutes (displacement activity) writing out what chords I’d used, what relations they had, and the other chords in this key.

That was wrong of me. I should be listening to the music, not telling it what to do.

I’m going to try to write how I used to, and see if itflows easier; if it does, I might have cracked it. If not, I haven’t really lost anything.

There’s an mp3 up here of my AS piece; the A2 pieces weren’t put together in a long piece like this so I haven’t bothered. The recording is simply my computer’s midi instruments; there are one or two little skips. It’s still better than the midi itself.

 

Active and Passive 6 March, 2009

Filed under: Rambling — bonzairob @ 11:37 pm

I think sometimes that there is a big difference between various types of entertainment, and that it’s best described as active vs. passive.
Speaking for myself, I am a creative person. Active entertainment for me includes drawing, making music, occasionally writing, coding, and simpler things like playing video games (PC more than console as of late. Stupid Nintendo). Passive entertainment is something I want more when I’m sleepy, or otherwise drained: reading, watching videos, listening to music. However, I usually end up feeling bad because I’m not doing anything active, as I should aim to constantly improve my skills (or feel like I should).
Perhaps this is when I blame the Creativity Fairy. After reading this post on Wired, I’ve started blaming my Creativity Fairy for creativity coming, as it has with the inception of this post, when I can’t really do anything useful with it. It’s useful in some ways (I don’t feel so bad for not having any sparks) but less so in others. It usually makes me wonder if the fairy is ever going to bother me, for instance, when the sun is up, or when I have pencil poised over paper, finger over key or fret, etc.

My to do list:
Draw a thing a day for a week (two so far over three days… need to make it up tomorrow :C )
Make a simple clip-on mic for Ruth (I have the parts, just need to glue them together)
Uni work including making a musical instrument and jazzing up some retro game tunes (need to email people things…)

Ongoing:
Work on the Sauce site and try to free it of bugs
Art for TurnShip and TuRnPG (on hold until I feel like I can draw worth a damn)
General university and personal work.

I’m worried regarding my Fairy visiting me at the right moment because, in high schol, it often did. But since I left for university, I honestly don’t feel I’ve written better music or can draw any better. I can perhaps get to the same point faster, but that’s a case of technical skill improving marginally, not the talent itself. Is this as good as I will ever be, stuck being a quarter good at coding, music, art, writing? Should I focus on one thing to be fully good at it, and even if I did, which one should it be? Will I ever achieve the potential people said, and I thought, that I had?
I’m not doing very well at university; it seems like even though I can feel music in me, I can’t access it as readily as I did once. It doesn’t force it’s way out like it used to, either. I don’t care about famous/popular bands or musicians. I don’t get lost in sound like I once could. I don’t really feel it. Have I lost something I never understood?

Anyway, it’s about time I gave up on this post. To finally sum up, in a TL;DR fashion:
FUCKING CREATIVITY FAIRY STOP BEING SUCH A BITCH GOD