Friday, March 14, 2014

Reinout Oerlemans, hartaanval

Reinout Oerlemans getroffen door hartaanval. Reinout Oerlemans ondergaat bypassoperatie. Oerlemans was 'kalm maar bang' voor openhartoperatie.

Waarom is daar geen filmmateriaal van? Dat is wellicht interessante televisie, Reinout...

La Marque Jaune now also in Portugese

Found it in a French webshop, the Portugese translation of La Marque Jaune: A Marca Amarela.

Wacom ArtPad II & Intuos P S

ArtPad II (left), Intuos P S (right)
With support for Windows XP drawing to a close I finally upgraded my XP system with a new operating system. Having seen Windows 8 and not liking it I bought Windows 7 instead. Never change a winning team Microsoft, ditching the oh so familiar Windows 95 GUI style is a bit of a faux-pas IMO.
With new software you always risk that certain hardware won't work with it. In my case it was my trusty old Wacom ArtPad II. I bought it many years ago when I was still running Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (remember that one?). My graphics tablet has replaced my mouse for so long I can't imagine having a PC without one. A quick search showed that my serial Wacom ArtPad II wouldn't work with Windows 7 *). So what do I replace it with? A Wacom of course! I pretty soon settled on the Intuos Pen Small tablet (CTL-480). Why the small version and not a bigger one? Well unlike in sex, bigger doesn't always mean better. How do I know? When I had my ArtPad I kept wanting a larger tablet. The high price kept me from buying one though. A few years ago I saw a Wacom UD-0608 tablet being offered. I bought it for €25. Long story short, I liked the ArtPad much more. Large tablet means large arm movements...

The Intuos is a sleek tablet in stylish black and silver. No more serial connector and a separate power supply but a USB connection that handles both data and power. Installing and using the Intuos is straightforward. The only real difference is the pen. The UltraPen for the ArtPad is thinner and has an eraser on its end like a pencil. The new pen feels clunky, a feeling that will soon pass I think. The UltraPen eraser didn't get much use so I don't miss it. The four ExpressKeys are a nice addition. Just like the side switches on the pen, the four switches can be set to perfom a task you assign to it. Great!
The Intuos has one major drawback IMO. The USB cable. First, the USB cable enters the tablet on the wrong side for my setup. I prefer it in the right top corner instead of the left one. Second, the cable is non standard. You can't just use any other USB cable, you have to use the one supplied with the Intuos. Lose or break it and you can't charge the battery for wireless operation and when the battery finally runs out you lose use of the Intuos all together. The cable being in the wrong corner had me going to the shop again pretty soon to buy the utter brilliant Wireless Accessory Kit. Now my Intuos is untethered and I enjoy not having the awkward cable running across my desk. For those wondering where the spare nibs are, look on the inside of the middle door.

*) apparently there's some sort of homebrew thingamajig that makes it USB compatible. However I prefer my tablet to just work instead of trying to get my tablet to work.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

New Music

I ordered the new Yellowjackets CD A Rise In The Road. It got here this week. Excellent stuff, as usual. I need to listen to it more though. The new tracks aren't commited to memory, yet. The latest Dean Brown however is... I've been playing Dean's Unfinished Business a lot lately. Wow! What a great CD this is, as are his previous ones. Pickup Groove Warrior or Here too when you're at it. Want a live recording? Grab DBIII. Can't go wrong with either. More Dean Brown here: Recommended viewing.

Back to Yellowjackets. Whereas he only intended to take a year off initially from what I gather Jimmy Haslip has left Yellowjackets more or less permanently. Quite a decision, I wouldn't have thought he would do that  being a founding member. Still it's his choice and I respect it. Filling in Jimmy's spot is Felix Pastorius. From what I've heard so far an excellent bass player.

We've been to Paris two weeks ago. Beautiful city, seen all the sights. Found a bottle of Jules by Christian Dior in a shop. Took a whiff. Not my cup of tea. Reminded me of Caron's Yatagan. Pass. Smelled Dior's Granville too. Not bad but not great either. The missus didn't like it at all. Didn't buy any fragrance in the end, most of what is sold there is also available here anyway. And even though a lot of it is made there doesn't mean it's cheaper to buy it in France. I've seen lower prices in Dutch shops.

Monday, May 27, 2013