100SILEX, de 0 100 s: (and
1386 Retro Synth Ads: Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88, Keyboard 1982
Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88 drum machine 1-page advertisement from page 67 in Keyboard Magazine August 1982. Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this ad. There just seems to be a lot going on. For example, am I supposed to know who "The Rhythm Section" is? The fact that they include themselves in an already long ad title suggests they must be some kind of a big deal. And then you find their name again in the bottom left-hand corner: "The SR-88. Another innovative product from The Rhythm Section by Sound Master Distributed exclusively by JTG of Nashville." So, let me get this straight. JTG of Nashville is the distributor of the SR-88 which was created by The Rhythm Section which is somehow owned or operated by Sound Master. That is waaaaay to much information. Sounds like something political is going on there, and readers unfortunately get stuck in the middle of it. There also seems to be a lot of ad-copy which actually doesn t give me much information. Reason #4 gives readers the most info including instant stop/start, variable tone and output switches, and a write/play mode indicator. The most I glean out of the four other reasons put together is: 16 rhythms, clock pulse and a price of under $200. The actual specs that are probably most important to potential buyers are inexplicably shoved into the bottom right-hand corner. Luckily for me, there are a few resources on the Web with more information about this beast. Unluckily for blog readers, as soon as I started looking for more info, I got swept up in a certain SR-88/Boss DR-55 controversy. Comparing the SR-88 and Boss DR-55 One of the first Web sites I hit while looking for info on the SR-88 was Dubsounds.com. The site includes a great little write-up on the SR-88, but, more interesting was finding out about a little controversy about whether the SR-88 or the very similar Boss DR-55 came out first. The two do seem mighty similar in functionality. For comparison purposes, I did a quick search on MATRIXSYNTH to find more photos. . A great photo of a gray SR-88 can be found in this December 2005 SR-88 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the less common, but definitely more cool, blue SR-88 can be seen in this January 2011 MATRIXSYNTH auction post. Comparing the two to the Amdek RMK-100 Interestingly, it s not just these two machines that look and function similarly. In this May 2009 MATRIXSYNTH SR-88 auction post commenter "PAC" notices: "Interesting. I have an Amdek RMK-100 (sold as kit), very similar!" Never heard of it, so I Googled "Amdek RMK-100" to see just how similar it was to both the DR-55 and the SR-88. Turns out (according to the Internet) that Amdek products were made by Boss/Roland back in 80s, and, not only that, but that the RMK-100 is actually the kit version of the Boss DR-55. Makes sense on why it would also be similar to the SR-88. I found an ebay auction for an Amdek RMK-100 going on right now with a great photo of the front panel (see below), and indeed it does share a lot with the DR-55 and SR-88 - but definitely not identical to either one. For example, it looks like the Amdek and SR-88 share a similar filler function that as far as I can tell is not available on the DR-55. And the DR-55 and the RMK-100 share a similar accent function that I don t see on the SR-88. Now where does the Electro Dynamics Corporation Programmable Rhythm SR-99 fit in? I also came across another machine with similar features - the Programmable Rhythm SR-99. No - not manufactured by Sound Master, but by Electro Dynamics Corporation. And, it too resembles the others in functionality, and especially the SR-88 in design also. I ve included a row of photos below to help make the comparison between the two. The SR-88 photo is from the 2005 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the EDC SR-99 photo is from the excellent BigBlueWave.co.uk site. I ve also thrown in a photo from another recent E-bay listing that included both - plus boxes and manuals! Sick! Obviously, Sound Master and EDC are somehow connected, although I can t find any info on the Internet concerning these two companies. I do know that they were both advertising separately in Keyboard Magazine in late 1983, making it unlikely that one of the companies changed their name to the other. Anyone know anything? And then there is the Clef Master Rhythm... Now, I m going to throw in a late entry. It s Sunday night, and I just came across this August 2010 MATRIXSYNTH auction post for the Clef Master Rhythm. It not only shares part of the name of one of the other units ("Master"), it too has many features of the other rhythm machines, and identical innards as the DR-55, but is expanded to include even more sounds: "This is essentially a fully expanded Boss DR-55 feature-wise and tone-wise. The circuits are identical (schematically and tonally) to the Boss DR-55, but the Clef Master Rhythm gives you way more instruments than the Boss DR-55..." Interestingly, according to the post, it pre-dates the Boss DR-55 - and also came in a kit form like the Amdek. "The Clef Master Rhythm came out a little before the Boss DR-55 in late 1979/early 1980. It was sold in two versions and available in greater quantities in Europe than in the United States. One version was a kit that the user put together and another one was a prebuilt machine." A photo from the MATRIXSYNTH post really helps show the similarities in functions with the others: What does it all mean? So, looking at all five machines, its almost like there was a rhythm machine salad bar of some sort in Japan, and each company stepped up to it and picked out which features they wanted to include in their product. And that begs the question - since we know there was a kit form available and there are claims that the Clef Master even has the same circuits as the DR-55, could all five products (and probably others) have used the exact same internal parts - each company choosing which features to include and then customizing in their respective rhythm machine? And if so, were those parts supplied by Amdek, or did all five get their internal parts from some other manufacturer? And if that is the case, then the question of whether the SR-88 or DR-55 came first doesn t really matter much, since it is likely that the kit components would have been available first. Plus, we have that one auction post with the claim that the Clef Master came out before the DR-55 - making it all even more confusing to figure out. Or, am I totally off the mark on all this? Were they all created separately? Maybe I ve just been fixated on this a little too much... I ll keep on looking for more info on these companies and any connection they might have, but if anyone want to buy all four and open them up to take a look - it would be muchly appreciated. :D Posted by RetroSynthAds at 12:05 PM Labels: 1982, amdek, clef master, dr-55, drum machine, electro dynamics corporation, keyboard magazine, rmk-100, Sound Master, sr-88, sr-99 2 comments: Simon said... Here s a funny thing - I seem to remember Clef in the early 1980s as a British company that made electronic pianos (touch-sensitive ones!) in kit form. Deep in the back of my mind I recall seeing them at a music fair in London with a couple of their pianos and some drum machines including a prototype drum/bass/chord sequencer called something like a "Band-Box". But it WAS a long time ago. February 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM Simon said... Looks like (for once) my memory didn t fail me. Here is a 1982 ad for Clef Electronics showing all the products I mentioned, plus a natty-looking little monosynth! BTW, I owned an EDC SR99 drum machine in the mid-1980s, but replaced it with a Yamaha RX-21 a couple of years later. February 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM

COLLIN CUNNINGHAM / NARBOTIC INSTRUMENTS [BLOG] MidiVox CV sketch update 02.05.2012 The MidiVox CV sketch has been updated to work with Arduino 1.0 - grab it here Also be sure to use the new version of the Midi Library as well! Also, also: Some previous comments on earlier posts seem to have been lost in a recent Disqus migration - apologies to previous commenters. 7 Comments Updated Midi Library & site changes 01.23.2012 Perhaps you noticed narbotic.com looks different? It is different! A big thanks to everyone who picked up a MidiVox kit - you are now the proud owner of a rare piece of electronics. Though the kit is no longer in production, there is now a new version of the Midi Libray which has been updated to work with the Arduino 1.0 IDE. In addition to an aesthetic reboot, this site will now serve as your premiere destination for all things Collin Cunningham on the web. (and I vow that will be the one & only time I refer to myself in the third-person) New things are in the works - more to come 2 Comments

1133 Shutterdown Blog: General Archives
Meeting: Pittsburgh Modular By Antisa on September 30, 2011 12:37 AM | No Comments Tonight we got to play in the basement studio of Pittsburgh's very own modular synth Stradivari - tucked away on unassuming Pocusset Street in Squirrel Hill. Headed by local Richard Nicol, Pittsburgh Modular is fast becoming a contender in the world market of modular synthesizers - supplying analog enthusiasts in the US, Europe and Australia (and possibly elsewhere, but I got too distracted by the beautiful glowing oscillators)... Interest in Pittsburgh Modular is picking up speed - and it's no wonder. The modules are as pretty as they are solidly built. Nicol, who now shares design and manufacturing duties with Thomas O'Connor (Australia) and Scott Swartz (USA), had moved away from producing electronic sounds digitally, in part, because analog is more fun. "The key to modular synthesis is that its captivatingly fun," he says. "After playing with it for 5 minutes, you get sucked into its world... and the next thing you know, you've created something new."

1001 30 Awesomely Bad Unicorn Tattoos: A Gallery – Holytaco
  You can’t shake a stick these days without hitting someone who has a unicorn tattoo (and I shake a lot of sticks.) I’m not sure why people would get a unicorn tattoo, but it app... bad tattoos, Blog entry, Lists, tattoos, unicorn, unicorn tattoos, worst tattoos,

745 Things You Should Do Immediately After Launching a Website
A few things you should do right after launching a website (and if you can, do them prior to launching your website publicly). website management

722 Making AJAX Applications Crawlable - Google Code
If you're running an AJAX application with content that you'd like to appear in search results, we have a new process that, when implemented, can help Google (and potentially other search engines) crawl and index your content. Historically, AJAX applications have been difficult for search engines to process because AJAX content is produced dynamically by the browser and thus not visible to crawlers. While there are existing methods for dealing with this problem, they involve regular manual maintenance to keep the content up-to-date. Learn more Learn why search engines don't see the content you see and what needs to happen to fix this. Getting started guide Get started in making your AJAX application visible to search engines. If you are in a hurry, you can start here, but AJAX crawling is a complex topic, so we recommend reading all the documentation. Creating HTML snapshots Learn more about creating HTML snapshots, and which technique might be best suited for your application. Frequently asked questions Having trouble? Check out the frequently asked questions. Specification Get the details.

719 Facebook owns us — Copy me happy
Facebook has become the event planning system. It’s the place where you have all your friends (and other people) somewhat sorted and organized. All in all, it’s the organized system in the chaos that is otherwise known as the internets. This is leading Facebook towards a virtual monopoly. There are lots of issues with monopolies, but one of the more interesting ones when it comes to Facebook is the impact is has on our social lives, online as well as offline.

484 Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? Answered by Insiders
Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? I long have been fascinated by the extraordinary achievement from the ex-Paypal team and wonder about the reasons behind their success. In the past, mass media tried to answer this question several times but still couldn’t give us a clear answer. I once asked David Sacks the same question during an event in Los Angeles. He told me the secret is that Paypal has built a “scrappy” culture. No matter what problems they faced, they would find a way to solve them. I kind of got the idea, but was still confused about the execution details. So when I saw some of the past Paypal employees answering this question on Quora, I was super excited! After all, they should be the only ones who can tell people the inside stories. Below are some highlights of their answers. *If you want to check out the sources or leave your comments, please go to here and here. On Talent Management “Peter and Max assembled an unusual critical mass of entrepreneurial talent, primarily due to their ability to recognize young people with extraordinary ability (the median age of *execs* on the S1 filing was 30). But the poor economy allowed us to close an abnormal number of offers, as virtually nobody other than eBay and (in part) google was hiring in 2000-02.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Extreme Focus (driven by Peter): Peter required that everyone be tasked with exactly one priority. He would refuse to discuss virtually anything else with you except what was currently assigned as your #1 initiative. Even our annual review forms in 2001 required each employee to identify their single most valuable contribution to the company.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Dedication to individual accomplishment: Teams were almost considered socialist institutions. Most great innovations at PayPal were driven by one person who then conscripted others to support, adopt, implement the new idea. If you identified the 8-12 most critical innovations at PayPal (or perhaps even the most important 25), almost every one had a single person inspire it (and often it drive it to implementation). As a result, David enforced an anti-meeting culture where any meeting that included more than 3-4 people was deemed suspect and subject to immediate adjournment if he gauged it inefficient. Our annual review forms in 2002 included a direction to rate the employee on “avoids imposing on others’ time, e.g. scheduling unnecessary meetings.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Refusal to accept constraints, external or internal:We were expected to pursue our #1 priority with extreme dispatch (NOW) and vigor. To borrow an apt phrase, employees were expected to “come to work every day willing to be fired, to circumvent any order aimed at stopping your dream.” Jeremy Stoppelman has relayed elsewhere the story about an email he sent around criticizing management that he expected to get him fired and instead got him promoted. Peter did not accept no for answer: If you couldn’t solve the problem, someone else would be soon assigned to do it.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Driven problem solvers: PayPal had a strong bias toward hiring (and promoting / encouraging, as Keith mentions) smart, driven problem solvers, rather than subject matter experts. Very few of the top performers at the company had any prior experience with payments, and many of the best employees had little or no prior background building Internet products. I worked on the fraud analytics team at PayPal, and most of our best people had never before done anything related to fraud detection. If he’d approached things “traditionally”, Max would have gone out and hired people who had been building logistic regression models for banks for 20 years but never innovated, and fraud losses would likely have swallowed the company.” (by Mike Greenfield, former Sr. Fraud R&D Scientist of Paypal) “Self-sufficiency – individuals and small teams were given fairly complex objectives and expected to figure out how to achieve them on their own. If you needed to integrate with an outside vendor, you picked up the phone yourself and called; you didn’t wait for a BD person to become available. You did (the first version of) mockups and wireframes yourself; you didn’t wait for a designer to become available. You wrote (the first draft of) site copy yourself; you didn’t wait for a content writer.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal) On Culture & Ideology “Extreme bias towards action – early PayPal was simply a really *productive* workplace. This was partly driven by the culture of self-sufficiency. PayPal is and was, after all, a web service; and the company managed to ship prodigious amounts of relatively high-quality web software for a lot of years in a row early on. Yes, we had the usual politics between functional groups, but either individual heroes or small, high-trust teams more often than not found ways to deliver projects on-time.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal) “Willingness to try – even in a data-driven culture, you’ll always run in to folks who either don’t believe you have collected the right supporting data for a given decision or who just aren’t comfortable when data contradicts their gut feeling. In many companies, those individuals would be the death of decision-making. At PayPal, I felt like you could almost always get someone to give it a *try* and then let performance data tell us whether to maintain the decision or rollback.” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal) “Data-driven decision making – PayPal was filled with smart, opinionated people who were often at logger-heads. The way to win arguments was to bring data to bear. So you never started a sentence like this “I feel like it’s a problem that our users can’t do X”, instead you’d do your homework first and then come to the table with “35% of our [insert some key metric here] are caused by the lack of X functionality…” (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal) “Radical transparency on metrics: All employees were expected to be facile with the metrics driving the business. Otherwise, how could one expect each employee to make rational calculations and decisions on their own every day? To enforce this norm, almost every all-hands meeting consisted of distributing a printed Excel spreadsheet to the assembled masses and Peter conducting a line by line review of our performance (this is only a modest exaggeration).” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Vigorous debate, often via email: Almost every important issue had champions and critics. These were normally resolved not by official edict but by a vigorous debate that could be very intense. Being able to articulate and defend a strategy or product in a succinct, compelling manner with empirical analysis and withstand a withering critique was a key attribute of almost every key contributor. I still recall the trepidation I confronted when I was informed that I needed to defend the feasibility of my favorite “baby” to Max for the first time.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal) “Extreme Pressure – PayPal was a very difficult business with many major issues to solve. We were able to see our colleagues work under extreme pressure and hence we learned who we could rely on and trust.” (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)

440 A List Apart: Articles: Taking Advantage of HTML5 and CSS3 with Modernizr
Ten years ago, only the most cutting-edge web designers used CSS for layouts and styling. Browser support for CSS layouts was slim and buggy, so these people advocated for web standards adherence, while creating hacks that made CSS layouts work in all browsers. One hack that became widely used was browser sniffing: Detecting which browser and version the user had by looking at the navigator.userAgent property in JavaScript. Browser sniffing allowed for quick and easy code forking, allowing developers to target different browsers with different instructions. Today, CSS-based layouts are commonplace and every browser has pretty solid support for them. But now we have CSS3 and HTML5, and the situation is repeating itself—different browsers demonstrate varying levels of support for these new technologies. We’ve smartened up, however, and no longer employ CSS hacks nor use browser sniffing—an unreliable, poor practice. We’ve also convinced more and more clients that websites don’t need to look exactly the same in every browser. So how do we deal with this new but familiar problem? Simple: We use feature detection, which means that we do not ask the browser “who are you?” and make unreliable assumptions from there on. Instead we ask the browser, “can you do this and that?” It’s a simple way to test browser capabilities, but doing all these tests manually all the time gets tiresome. To solve that problem (and others), you can use Modernizr.

364 What every programmer should know about memory, Part 1 [LWN.net]
Editor's introduction: Ulrich Drepper recently approached us asking if we would be interested in publishing a lengthy document he had written on how memory and software interact. We did not have to look at the text for long to realize that it would be of interest to many LWN readers. Memory usage is often the determining factor in how software performs, but good information on how to avoid memory bottlenecks is hard to find. This series of articles should change that situation. The original document prints out at over 100 pages. We will be splitting it into about seven segments, each run 1-2 weeks after its predecessor. Once the entire series is out, Ulrich will be releasing the full text. Reformatting the text from the original LaTeX has been a bit of a challenge, but the results, hopefully, will be good. For ease of online reading, Ulrich's footnotes have been placed {inline in the text}. Hyperlinked cross-references (and [bibliography references]) will not be possible until the full series is published. Many thanks to Ulrich for allowing LWN to publish this material; we hope that it will lead to more memory-efficient software across our systems in the near future.

235 MATRIXSYNTH: Alesis Andromeda A6 Aurora Mod
This was a custom mod. I originally put a post up in August of 05 here. Anyone know the website where more info on this mod is hosted? I accidentally lost the link when mucking around with Blogger's settings a while back. This image via Photobucket Update: I found the original site but it is down. Some info and additional shots pulled from the Internet Archive Way Back Machine. You can find some thumbnails there, but most give you a 404 if you click on them for the larger shot. I pulled the large pics below before they are gone forever. "Alesis made Synthesis History when they released their Alesis Andromeda A6, an analog polysynth bred with new technology and classic analog sound! Sixteen awesome voices with two types of filters, a vast modulation system, and enough bells and whistles to make the Andromeda A6 THE most highly featured analog polysynth in existence. If it only had a sloped panel... SPECS: * Take one Andromeda, lightly used (but out of warranty - very important!) * Add one black on blue BETA Panel - because the pre-production beta panels were lacking the Pre- and Post-Filter Mix VIEW buttons, either the buttoncaps must be pulled off of the switches on the PCBs OR two holes need to be carefully drilled through the panel to accomodate. I drilled the holes after measuring about fifteen times each. * Tilt that panel at approx. the same slope as the Korg MS-20. Requires the extending of a couple of ribbon cables inside, and some pop-rivetted braces. Not too hard. * Custom wood endcheeks of nice Oak, plus a wood accent over the keyboard. I chose to go with thick, high quality wood to make Aurora more of a beast. * Replace all green LEDs with red high-intensity ones. This also required changing some resistor values to increase the brightness. * Replace the LCD with a Hantronix Blue-on-White display. Also, some resistor changes are needed. * Have a very agreeable Alesis burn a custom Boot EPROM with the custom-designed bootup screen below. * Build a custom top panel, complete with several additional controls (two joysticks, several switches and knobs) as well as a full 16-channel mixer with level and pan per channel, one for each of the 16 individual outs on the Andromeda. * Add lots of careful, hard work and time, and PRESTO - you have the Aurora A6! The Name: I went with Aurora for a couple of reasons. 1. Alliteration - AurorA - AndromedA - get it? 2. There is some legend/lore as to how the Alesis Andromeda got its name. Could be related to the Greek mythos. Could be related to the Andromeda galaxy. Could be darts thrown at dictionary pages :-) In any case, Aurora fits with the mythology bent because in Roman mythology, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn (Andromeda was rescued and married by Perseus in Greek mythos). Aurora also fits the 'celestial' thing as well, as the Aurora Borealis. Either way, it kept with what might have perhaps been Alesis' reasons for naming the Andromeda. 3. I just liked it. 4. The A6 is kept because this fits with Alesis' naming convention (QS8 = 81-key QuadraSynth, A6 = 61-key Analog). There is some rumor that A6 was a play on ASICs, the custom chips within Andromeda, but I'm assured this is just rumor :-) "

210 What is your most productive shortcut with Vim? - Stack Overflow
I've heard a lot about Vim, both pros and cons. It really seems you should be (as a developer) faster with Vim than with any other editor. I'm using Vim to do some basic stuff and I'm at best 10 times less productive with Vim. The only two things you should care about when you talk about speed (you may not care enough about them, but you should) are: Using alternatively left and right hands is the fastest way to use the keyboard. Never touching the mouse is the second way to be as fast as possible. It takes ages for you to move your hand, grab the mouse, move it, and bring it back to the keyboard (and you often have to look at the keyboard to be sure you returned your hand properly to the right place) Here are two examples demonstrating why I'm far less productive with Vim.

67 The Audio Playground Synthesizer Museum
The Audio Playground webpages offer a virtual tour of the collection and shows some of the the electronic instruments and gadgets which have shaped popular (and not so popular) music through the years -- from the earliest innovations, to more recent toys. Enjoy!

101 - 201