Tuna the cat, on November 18th, 2019

Tuna the cat from today – short before she got about 3/4 of a chicken leg…

Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

I took this with the help of one of studio strobes, “bounced” into the corner above my computer desk. So I had 1/160th of a second at f/5.6, and with ISO200 (the camera’s native base ISO). The lens was at 17mm again like in my last photo. Oh, and this time no post processing at all – straight out of camera .orf to .tif to .jpg. Added only meta information to it (like a title, and some key words).

As always, thanks for viewing.

Bill Evans Trio – Nardis

Here’s something rare – an interview with Bill Evans. And then they play Miles’ tune Nardis in front of a small private audience in 1970:

Bill Evans Trio – Nardis.

Enjoy – and see and hear Eddie as a young man (I was 13, he was 26 while he played this).

DW – Meet the Germans

If you’ve never been to Germany or are just trying to understand us “Krauts” a bit better, our public radio station Deutsche Welle has some funny videos about it – called “Meet the Germans”. Here’s the first of several I/we saw (and liked):

Seeing the funny side of the German language | DW English

Found on the DW News Youtube channel. Enjoy.

A short history of free – and commercial – operating systems

Like the English Wikipedia with its “Featured articles“, the German one also has its “Artikel des Tages” on its start page – each day a different one. I love these, you learn a lot about the world with just looking (and reading if you’re interested of course).

And today’s featured article, or “Artikel des Tages” on the German Wikipedia is about BSD, the so-called “Berkeley Software Distribution” (I’ll link to the German pages here, for English just click inside of Wikipedia if you like).

BSD and its kernel are one of the two mainline free Unix kernels, the other one was/is System V. Both are monolithic, and both stem from the AT&T (later also Bell) labs. BSD was/is used in early and recent operating system versions from Apple, but after Steve Jobs left the company, he founded another one called “NeXT“, and used a microkernel called Mach which was developed at the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for his operating system NeXTStep. When Apple bought NeXT in 1996, part of the deal was that Steve Jobs should come back and become Apple’s CEO. What they developed then was/is known as macOS, and that’s today’s commercially most successful Unix variant for personal computers (actual version is “macOS Catalina“). And even iPhones and iPads (did I write that correctly?) are based on this architecture, tho the end user doesn’t see much of that.

BSD itself split up into three mainline “distributions”, or “flavours”, so to speak, named NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD, each with slightly different goals but from the kernel side pretty much identical. These can also run programs compiled for Linux.

As for the Linux side: that’s younger than its BSD siblings, but older than anything with Mac in its name. I run Debian on my systems which is developed not by a company but by a team of volunteer developers (both hobbyists and employees of big companies) world-wide. The advantage of this is that decisions are based on team votings, and that the system cannot be bought and commercialized (or even be closed down) by any big company.

In case you’re interested in Debian’s history: 13 years ago after I met him at a Linuxtag meeting in Karlsruhe I email-interviewed Ian Murdock (the “-ian” part of “Debian”), and you can read that here on my site (RIP Ian, and thanks again for everything).

So much for a short history lesson, and about free software for today. As always, thanks for reading.

Sunday pre tea time

Uploaded a short bass-only track to the ‘loops:

The same is available without the clicks as a HD track. Harmonies are on Wikiloops (click the track id to go there). As always, thanks for listening.

Piano practice on a dull Sunday mid November

I haven’t taken many photographs this month yet (which for me is the month of the kit zoom if you remember that), so when Zuleikha started to play her piano I asked whether I could take a photo of it, switched on a light, and took this in black & white with a simulated orange filter at ISO 6400 with around 1/13th of a second:

Piano practice on a dull Sunday mid November, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

My lens was set to 17mm, a focal length which I don’t have except with this zoom lens. Ideal for indoor portraits which also show some context, like the piano in this case.

As always, thanks for reading.

An evening with Eddie Gomez

This one is for the musicians – and for everyone who loves music:

An Evening with Eddie Gomez

And for those of you who probably haven’t heard about him before, here are some links to the German and English Wikipedia pages about him, and to his own webpage of course. He’s also one of the bass players in John Goldsby’s ‘The Jazz Bass Book’ (on page 131), and in this video he talks about many others who are, and who came before him. The host for this evening was David Gage, famous amongst bass players for his pickup, and for his service.

Enjoy, as I did.

Mark Wallace shows how to make a Gobo

Here’s a nice and quick way how you can make interesting portraits of your friends and/or family (and I’d have everything shown except that I use Olympus cameras, not a Leica (but I have a Leica lens ๐Ÿ™‚ )):

Use a Gobo to Shape Light for Portraits: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

BAM! A very good explanation and demo, what Mark explains here in 10 minutes took me a bit longer… ๐Ÿ™‚

And now try it on your own friends and family. Have fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheap double basses

My brother Willi had a double bass when we were younger – and we both would love to have one now. I have checked some locally and at Thomann’s (Europe’s biggest music store), and was always kind of put off, either by price (~2.800โ‚ฌ for a solid Romanian bass I loved) or by setup.

But lately I saw a review of a Thomann “Rockabilly” – one of the cheapest Chinese plywood basses they offer. That review is in Italian, but the guy can play, and that bass sounds and looks wonderful (with additional Thomastik Spirocore strings (about 160โ‚ฌ) on it):

Thomann Rockabilly Kontrabass Review

Miked (or picked up? Both?) a bit closer, and with a jazz standard, it sounds pretty good:

Blue Bossa Bass Line backing track accompaniment

So this one is from Thomann’s plywood line of basses, and also comes in black or different shades of wood. My brother’s comment was that if that is how plywood sounds, it would be good enough for him…

I agreed (with the remark about the changed set of strings on it), but there’s a slightly more expensive hybrid model available now at Thomann’s, would love to check that out as well:

Stentor 1950 Student Double Bass

It’s the Stentor 1950 Student bass, and it indeed sounds wonderful as well:

The Stentor 1950 Double Bass

I agree about that “melting the audience” remark – at least you could melt me with that one ๐Ÿ™‚ Available at Thomann‘s as well, for a real good price in my opinion.

I’ll have to try that one. And maybe take my brother with me, maybe they’ll sell two of these ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, thanks for reading.

How much CPU power do I need?

I was reading the latest c’t magazine and also just watched an hour long video talk they had about the finest article in it. The topic: once a year they publish suggestions of ideal machines to build for yourself, with low power consumption, which are quiet, run smoothly, give you the best bang for the buck, and so on.

I find these very useful, and all of my self-built PCs – some of which are distributed to the wider family by now – were always at least based upon their suggestions.

While discussing PCs with my brother (his doesn’t start anymore at the moment, after years of service (it also was a very good one)) and after reading that latest article with a remark that multitrack music productions would love to have many CPU cores I decided to check my own one. So I’ve made a short video about it:

resources 2019 11 16 12 24 28, from my own Youtube channel

The music I’ve used for that demonstration & check was my latest collab with Arno from Wikiloops. Merci Arno for your wonderful track!

And yes, for what I’m doing, an old 4th generation Intel Core i5 is more than enough as you can see. So a nice actual 9th generation one is the one I’d take for any new build, these integrated graphics are more important to me than any assumed or measurable advantage of AMD chips…

Thanks for watching, and for reading – as always.