Monthly Archives: March 2009

Mix 1

My first recorded mix. I figured I was playing a lot of music, doin sweet stuff, so I might as well save it. I hooked up the decks to my Gentoo box running a newly compiled Audacity. The tracks are more or less random, though recognizable, and I’d say it’s uptempo, if not danceable, overall. If you need appx. 2 hrs of music and don’t feel like committing anything, this might be your lucky day.

About half an hour through I was graced by the presence of a somewhat inebriated Mr. Oltman, who had some interesting requests. I did what I could to make it work, but bear with the rest of it. It’s way more fun to mix with an audience, even if it’s just one. We had fun, so just think about that when it gets ugly 😉

Mix 1 – 3/26/2009

1:51 running time – 205MB 256kbps MP3

Tracklisting (Spoiler Alert!)

Highlight it for a better view.

  1. Mr. Scruff – Get a Move On
  2. David Snell – International Flight
  3. Hooverphonic – Electro Shock Faders
  4. Ladyhawke – Paris is Burning
  5. New Young Pony Club – Ice Cream
  6. Snoop Dogg – Sensual Seduction (Some Dance Mix of)
  7. Kid Cudi vs Crookers – Day n Nite (club mix)
  8. Mr. Oizo – Flat Beat
  9. Daft Punk – Phoenix
  10. Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy, Hey Girl
  11. Groove Armada – Superstylin’
  12. Kanye West – Love Lockdown
  13. Smashing Pumpkins – 1979 (New Originals mix)
  14. Benny Benassi feat. Sir Mixalot – Benny Got Back (Bass211 mix)
  15. John Legend and Andre 3000 – Green Light (MSTRKRFT mix)
  16. The Police – Roxanne (DiscoTech mix)
  17. The Glimmers – Cassette
  18. The Faint – Let the Poison Spill From Your Throat
  19. The Rapture – Olio
  20. Death From Above 1979 – Romantic Rights
  21. The Prodigy vs OutKast – Hey Ride
  22. Pink Grease – Superfool
  23. Spank Rock – Bump
  24. The Sneaker Pimps – Kiro TV
  25. The Prodigy – Warrior’s Dance
  26. Elite Force – Ghetto Fabulous
  27. Groove Armada – I See You Baby (Fatboy Slim mix)
  28. Royksopp – Eple (Shakedown mix)
  29. The Avalanches – Live at Dominoes
  30. Ragtyme – Fix It Man
  31. Kid Cudi – Maui Wowie
  32. dZihan and Kamien – Before
  • At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep the recording, so I was just futzing around at the beginning. International Flight was only in there for like a minute.
  • I really like Mr. Oizo’s Flat Beat into Phoenix; it works really well for a minimal beat mix.
  • Hey Boy, Hey Girl was a silly choice that I just included for the “Superstar DJs” lyric irony. I remember really not liking the transition into Superstylin’.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins to Benny Got Back cut was intentionally horrendous and sudden; I only did it to make Oltman lol, and it worked. Ben lol’d too, so I hope you can appreciate it.
  • I hope you caught the Green Light-Roxanne joke (Green Light && !Red Light). I don’t know if the humor makes up for the lame mix.
  • The Rapture to DFA1979 was a 25 bpm differential mix, so I ain’t ashamed.
  • I was really pleased with the Eple (Shakedown) and The Avalanches’ match. To the point where I _know_  I played with it too much, but that’s a mashup waiting to happen.
  • I got to use Ragtyme’s 1987 track Fix It Man. Took me forever to find the vinyl rip and it’s one of my faves.
  • I wish Kid Cudi didn’t have stock audio of farts peppering his new (unreleased) album.
  • dzihan and kamien bring us home with one of my old tyme favorites.

Anyway, the tracklisting and notes are good for me as they solidify the mix. I hope the tracklisting works for you. DJing’s not magic and I don’t intend on keeping secrets. If you need help finding any tracks, hit me up in the comments or email.

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1985 Cheverolet G20

I recently added to my collection of possessions with the purchase of a 1985 Cheverolet G20 Conversion Van.

My 1985 G20 and I

My 1985 G20 and I

Without further ado, here are the relevant stats:

  • 46,000 miles
  • 4 super-comfy captain seats that fold all the way down and swivel.
  • No consequential rust.
  • Previous owner was a retired mechanic, kept it in great shape.
  • 20 mpg highway
  • Spiffy windshield visor (it’s like my van is playing golf all the time!)
  • $1200.
  • $1200.

Originally I was searching for a light truck to move all my junk cross-country to my new job after graduation, but this works so much better. It has so much room and handles a lot better than one would expect.

The A-Team Van

The A-Team Van

Being that I was looking for a random ride and not a diamond in the rough. It’s only 2 years and a model off of the A-Team van (a 1983 G15). It’s older than 25 years, making it technically a classic car. For a while, I felt a desire, no, an obligation, to renovate and restore it. After all, they don’t make conversion vans anymore, and I basically hit the jackpot. I should do my part to preserve history.

Except that would cost about $3000 or so. If you want it done right, it’s going to cost you. In the end, I think I’d rather donate the money to a charity than obsessing over and over-investing in the market of fleeting worldly items. Ah well. If you want to dissuade me, hit me up in the comments.

A looong exposure of the interior of my G20 van.

A looong exposure of the interior of my G20 van. Feel free to make it your wall paper. Copyleft, etc.

P.S. The easiest way to car shop is to subscribe to your local Craigslist RSS feed for vehicles sold by owner. A couple times per day, peruse for a minute and you’re done. Glorious.

Cloudkick is awesome

Cloudkick LogoOh man, cloud computing. It gets talked about a lot, and usually in a really fluffy, “it’s-the-future” sort of way. I’m not sure if we’re all going to have a unified online OS by 2011, but cloud computing is serious business for Internet startups. The ability to lease and scale in smaller and smaller units means a lot for reducing initial costs and maintaining a high level of service for your growing product.

Of course, using cloud-hosting services like Amazon EC2 leads to a different flavor of complexity compared to a considerably more traditional/less scalable/more expensive solution like a dedicated server. So, what can one do to keep it simple while taking advantage of the features offered by cloud computing?

If you haven’t seen it on TechCrunch already, Cloudkick is a free service that can help you do just that. I got a chance to use it a bit during private beta and was very impressed. Alex Polvi and friends at y-combinator have put together a very simple, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing way to monitor and manage all manner of nodes, all from within your browser. Really, some of the stuff these guys do with JavaScript is amazing. (It’s got a sweet in-browser console and it introduced me to the Orbited JavaScript networking library.)

Anyway, if you’ve already got some nodes of your own, or even if you’re just a startup hopeful like myself, I recommend letting the site speak for itself. It’s free, it’s public now, and it’s growing fast.

Jobs and work and personal development and stuff (pt. 2)

For all you nail-biters, here’s the belated follow-up on this post. Summary for those just tuning in: I was telling my bosses how I don’t want to work on the project they gave me, for various reasons.

The reply was very favorable, striking positive notes on all counts. Highlights include:

  • A thank you for bringing it up
    “…yes, definitely thank you for bringing this up…”
  • Acknowledgment of my main points
    “It’s good to be aware of effort vs. value… it’s probably at a reasonable stopping point.”
  • Further kudos
    “… being able to communicate effectively about this sort of thing is really important, so you’re on the right track.”
  • New prospects
    “I have a much longer-term project I want to get going, so it’s ok if we wrap this one up for now.”

So, great. I think it’s a good example of how a good workplace is far superior to even above-average school environments; at work, you should be able to have a fair amount of say in the work you do. I know I’m new at this, but I believe that when it comes to knowing your skill set and how it can work for your company, few people have more pertinent input than yourself.

Failure something something personal growth

Update: The happy ending is here.

I wrote an email to my bosses tonight. This one’s kind of special and I haven’t seen many of them around, so I’ve decided to post it here. The background is that I’ve been working on a neat little project for the past couple months. I was really excited to do it and had some fun results. Now, even though I spend a good chunk of time thinking about it, when I actually sit down to program I can’t seem to get it implemented.

This last week I clocked 4 hours, down from 20. I wasn’t sure if that was going to be indication enough that I wasn’t working, so, here’s my email.

Hey XXXX,

I’m writing this email because I have a problem. It’s been bothering me for a little while now and I’m not sure how this is going to come out, but I thought I’d best bring it up.

The problem is that I’m stuck. For the past couple weeks I’ve been unable to do any work on the project that actually feels like progress. I place all the blame on applicable-sounding excuses, like school/exams/projects, but to be honest I’m just not as motivated as I was before. I understand that the idea is to create a usable tool and make it available to people via a friendly interface, and I have a lot of design ideas I feel strongly about, but I just don’t see it being used enough to merit the implementation effort. I’m not sure that I have the full picture on the issue, but it seems like my program, as iffy as it may look and load, does about what you need it to, since it’s only going to be run every few months by a select few people.

It’s hard for me to express it precisely, and also to approach you like this, because I don’t want to come across as though I’m giving up, even though it feels that way a bit. I just feel much better coming clean on the issue. And long story short, I still do want to work on it, but I would like to come back to it in a little while. Or pick it up again before then if I feel so inclined. I just don’t want to keep banging my head on this when I could potentially be working on another project. Not to mention banging one’s head gets old kind of quick. I’d appreciate it if we could talk about this some more, if you have time.

Let me know what you think. This could just be something easily remedied with an expectations-management pep talk or a poignant anecdote, as far as I know. I’m just a proto-professional experimenting with openness techniques. I haven’t seen many guides on how to tell your boss you suck, so I’m guessing you don’t get a lot of emails like this.

Thanks,

Mahmoud

So it’s kind of wishy-washy and not the proudest display. But it’s honest and I feel better. Not as good as if I could wrench this program out of my brain and onto the server, but this way he knows now’s a good time to chime in. Also, maybe I’ll start a trend of circumlocutive openness in the workplace.

Well, I’ll post the result if it works out. Otherwise, I’ll downplay my double failure. I don’t want to turn this into a whiny blog.