NPR Stuff

Joey Ramone’s brother Mickey Leigh has a book out (I Slept with Joey Ramone) that I want to read. I have to laugh at the caption informing visitors to the NPR review that in the picture accompanying the piece: “Joey Ramone is second from left.”

I haven’t seen Iggy Pop for a couple of years, but he’s interviewed here. As my friends grow tired of hearing, he touched me once.

And on a non-music note, who in the hell at NPR decided David “Cornel West is a black airhead” Horowitz was the proper contrarian voice to add to the acknowledgement of the death of historian Howard Zinn?

Maybe I Should Be the One Editing a Sci-Fi Web Site

From the AP:

Some see racist theme in alien adventure ‘Avatar’

Annalee Newitz, editor-in-chief of the sci-fi Web site , likened “Avatar” to the recent film “District 9,” in which a white man accidentally becomes an alien and then helps save them, and 1984’s “Dune,” in which a white man becomes an alien Messiah.

First off, Paul Atriedes in “Dune” starts out as a human, and the Fremen of Arrakis are humans. Paul does sort of become an alien worm thingie in the story after “Dune” (although not in the movie) but at no point in the book or any of the various film adaptations is he ever anything other than a spiced-up human.

And in “District 9,” Wikus Van De Merwe turns into an alien, but he doesn’t become the leader of the aliens. He does help the leader and his son escape, but Wikus himself gets stuck picking through garbage in the new alien relocation camp, waiting for the sequel.

Life Is Like a…

Once, somewhere, sometime ago
His eyes were clear to see,
He put his thoughts into my mind,
And gave my self to be
He stopped me from living so unsane,
I could be just what I want to be,
Things appear as they really are,
I can see just what I wanted to see

Come on, and let it happen to you
I say, I say come on, and let it happen to you

You gotta open up your mind
And let everything come through…
Come on yeah!

Well it starts like a roller coaster ride,
So real it takes your breath away
It slides you through your point of view,
You look back to where you thought you’d stayed

Your ride changes outside view,
While it glides you like a neon ray,
And you find you don’t have to search for words,

For there’s nothing to be said

Come on, you gotta let it happen to you
Hey, come on, and let it happen to you
You gotta open up your mind
And let everything come through…

After you trip life opens up,
You start doing what you want to do
And you find out that the world that you once feared,

Gets what it has from you
No one can ever hurt you
But you know more than you thought you knew
And you’re looking at the world
With brand new eyes,
And no one can ever spoil the view

Come on, and let it happen to you
Hey, hey, hey come on, and let it happen to you

You gotta open up your mind
And let everything come through…

Open up your mind,
Let everything come through…

— Roky Erickson & The 13th Floor Elevators, “Roller Coaster”, Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators

Out Retrospect

Over the past several decades of computer work, I’ve dealt with a variety of archive and backup methods. I still have a couple of 8.5″ floppy disks from the Terak system that was in the basement of Prince Lucien Campbell Hall on the University of Oregon campus when I got there in 1980.

Terak Computer System Features & Major Components

Over the years, I’ve tried to hold onto most of my personal digital output. There are still 5.25″ floppies for a TRS-80 upstairs that hold the code and most of the data for the play-by-mail gang warfare game I wrote more than twenty years before the current social network mafia games. I used to have buckets of “hard” floppies, then 44MB Syquest removable hard disks, then 250MB Syquests, but for the past sixteen or seventeen years I’ve relied on a program called Retrospect for both backup and archiving.

I came across Retrospect (originally from a company called Dantz) back in the days when I was working in the pre-press business and we were looking for a way to, duh, handle the firehose of data from four-color scans, juggle jobs on and off the limited space of the servers of the early ’90s, hold onto old scans for pickups in future jobs, and cover our butts when a machine or a server went out. With the advent of DAT tapes holding a then-inconceivable gigabyte or two of data, Retrospect — with its ability to back up multiple machines across a network, run unattended, and search for files by name or folder or date — was a literal godsend.

As the years have gone on, I’ve used it on a semi-daily basis. When I had an office outside the house and was running my own servers plus multiple workstations on both Windows and Mac, everything got backed up twice a day: mid-day and after business hours. I burned through a couple of DAT drives, then as terabyte hard drives became available I moved to those.

Archives started off on DATs as well, but I moved most everything to CD-ROM (then DVD-ROM) because of the flakiness of the tape systems. A few things got missed in the translation, but that’s my own stupid fault.

So for the past several years things have been pretty stable. My main workstation, an old dual 1GHz G4 has an external terabyte drive for incremental backups of everything it can access (the PC hasn’t been turned on for a while, but it has a Retrospect client). As jobs age out, they go onto DVD-ROM (and because I’m a little crazy about these things, I make a non-Retrospect version of the archive, as well, look for me soon on Hoarders).

The problem, of course, is that I got a new laptop to work on iPhone projects over a year ago and the version of Retrospect I’ve been using — 6.1 — won’t back up the newer OS X operating system. Since the only times I’ve broken my rules on twice-a-day backups have generally coincided with a big disk error that’s screwed me over, it’s been on my nerves. So last month I downloaded the trial version of Retrospect 8 (now from EMC) and installed it. I can back up both the desktop and the laptop now, although the engine works as a server (it runs on either a PowerPC or Intel chip) and a management tool (on the laptop, because it can’t run on a non-Intel processor). It takes a little getting used to, but the backups seem to be coming off on time. The desktop’s usually on and it runs the backup, and if the laptop’s on at the right times, it gets backed up, too.

The holidays and a cold cut into my time to play with the system for the past couple of weeks, but I spent part of this morning trying to figure out how to deal with the archives. I couldn’t seem to add them and I started to get frustrated at the lack of information in the online knowledge base. Apparently, I’d missed this important bit of info from the Read Me when I set up the trial:

Upgrading from Retrospect 6.1

Because Retrospect 8.1 does not read Backup Sets created with previous Mac versions, the installation process does not overwrite or remove existing Retrospect 6.1 (or earlier) installations. It is recommended that you continue to maintain your existing Retrospect installation to perform restores from legacy Backup Sets.

We’ve had a lot of discussion on various Director forums about whether a new, glorious version of Director would need to maintain backwards-compatibility in file format and functionality, and I tended to say “Why bother?”, but Director wasn’t a tool where one of its main purposes was to maintain archives of data.