Monday, February 23, 2009

Got My "Jasper" Xbox360

Got my Xbox360 replacement yesterday! Wow, what a difference. I suspected my 1stGen unit had some problems, but now I know it had problems.

The new "jasper" chipset is the latest 2008 build of the 360 including smaller CPU chip, lower power supply and overall less HEAT. Also, whereas I live in a motorhome in a particularly quiet area, it is OBVIOUS to me, the new units are much quieter during operation and there is no doubt about it, most of the LOAD times are faster.

The longest load time noticeable because it is a major NXE dashboard function, is that it takes about 20 seconds [while it does nothing] to populate your recent games list. I THINK MICROSOFT SHOULD FIX THIS. When you pop out of a game and want to jump into another one, especially the XBLA games that you purchase, no user should have to wait 20 seconds for a file listing TO APPEAR.

I am pleased in all respects! Last night I had my first 5_hour romp with Civilization Revolution. Real fun game.

The Arcade pack also comes with 6 FULL VERSION games [2 of which I already owned]. SEGA Superstars Tennis [Sonic], Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, PAC_MAN Championship Edition, and UNO.

[sidenote] NintendoDS has a new game called Big Bang Mini which is a stylus game very similar to Boom Boom Rocket on the 360. It's very colorful and a lot of fun! It's one of those games you start swishing the stylus and 3 hours later, you're still playing it!

The Arcade compilation disc has a nice, simple interface. However, I was dissapointed that Microsoft did not include NXE in their startup video, which would impress new 360 buyers. Actually, I didn't realize how much better NXE was until I saw the video that showed the previous, "blades interface".

In anycase, for me, it was totally worth buying the $199 Arcade360 to replace my 1stGen unit, popped on my 20gig hard drive and in minutes had my machine, Netflix and Media Center configured and up and running.

Thank you to Ars Tehnica for the photo.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Busy Times

What a nice way to recoop from the usual pain-riddin lifestyle.

We got a couple days break from rain so I got up on RV roof and repaired some worn spots to disable a tiny, minor leak. FTW ^5

Enjoying the health spa and gym 4 miles away. Yeah! Didn't even know it existed. Everyday I workout and use sauna and hot tub. My body responds to hot moisture so well!! The exercise is good too. Also, a bonus. To get into the health club you must climb 2 healthy [steep] rows of stairs. Once inside the building there are stairs up to the cardio area and elsewhere as well. So even if you don't use the facilities, just walking around you get exercise on their stairs!

My Xbox360 began freezing up. No RROD (Red Ring of Death) yet, but no matter. The freezing is caused by the ATI graphics processor coming loose, I plan to rip open the console and repair it myself. Meanwhile, this coming week I plan to purchase a new Xbox360_Arcade which is the newer chipsets not prone to be problematic.

Still putzin with the /pchelp website. Should be done in another week or so. Keep trying the link on my main site. It will be obvious when it's hot.

Just beginning to dismantle the home theater system and wiring. Moving everything 180_degrees in the RV. The surround subwoofer and speaker connections are getting transferred to the other side of the truck so the 30inch LCD will be taken down from the overhead mount and attached to its table stand where it will grace the studio table and be used with Cubase4 DAW for recording. Additionally, I have a nice PC/Xbox switch to flip back and forth between games and the PC. The PC over there will boot to Cubase4 and fire up Yamaha mLAN. Dedicated recording. Where I am sitting now will be the MacBooth, where TWO iMac24 will be making home any day now.

I won't order the monitors until the stands are made and the surround job is done. Its just too congested in here when things are, "not in place".

Very much looking forward to March. It's music time!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nailed Again

Pain has outran my ability to distract myself from it. I see based on last blog and my overall health and looking at date on computer that I am losing days left and right. Today I tried a simple accounting of past few days and was not able to reconstruct today let alone past two to seven days.

Started some new AJAX code for website. Will get back to that when I am happening. So much to do, so little time with it flying by getting UN-USED.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nailed Again - Rip Roaring Headache & Spine

Jeez my head is gonna explode and my spine is on fire! Well, so much for getting anything done today. I'll putz around if I can stay on my feet.

Let's keep this one short. I'll be back.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rewire Time

Right when I was about to order speaker monitors and subwoofers, it came to my attention that the arrangement of gear in my studio area, including gear on the other side of the RV needed to get swapped with the studio-space side. For very good reasons, it is a good thing that I caught my own oversight! Now, all present entertainment functions will be possible at any time, along with the recording studio. Had I went ahead as planned, home theater surround, cableTV and Xbox360 on 30_inch_LCD would have gone down the drain.

So, next week is a RIP-UP when i remove all cable runs for cableTV, surround system, ethernet and power. New power runs as well with both line conditioning and UPS's on both sides of the truck, then run new cable runs from the forward cab and back to the electrical panel.

This is good timing. The 2 new iMac24s won't be here for a month anyhow, and the Vista laptop that is currently in use will be installed "under" the studio table and be a dedicated power-on to Cubase and mLAN for 01x and MOTIF_XS.

All in all, I am pleased. Even though I am two months behind my original projected schedule. In the end it don't matter anyhow. If the studio setup is not functionally correct, I won't be publishing any redbook CDAs. Where I come from, they call that confidence.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

MOTIF_XS - A Real Workhorse

While NASAV_studios continues to be under construction, I do have the workstation set up now in dedicated space which has allowed for much more TIME to spend learning the DEPTH of this outstanding, 8_element synthesizer workstation. What's left to do? Actually, alot! In this basic 6x4 feet of space, every detail is crucial to the end result of the project studio. I'm considering a dedicated hard disk recorder which will require another uprising stand through the table, so I am pausing plans.

As you can see, mixing is very much the same as a traditional mixing board, and of course the 8_faders and 8_rotary encoders are tied to all controls including the mixer, making adjustments a breeze. Still, I prefer working with 01X and DAW. However, there are some real advantages to dedicated hardware such as HDD recorders having the ability to mix audio, right onboard during a session without the need to transfer data over to a DAW. In other words, no computer needed.

For those of you who like to see things up close, this is a better shot to get a better perspective of the fader, encoder and transport controls. This synth is extremely intuitive to use, considering what a complicated machine it truly is. I keep learning more stuff every time I turn it on. Sometimes things get a little, "hairy" because of it's complexity. However, the upside to that is, when you want to create some special little detail that is not, "built-in" the XS will accommodate your idea with ease!

NASAV_studios photos and videos will be on the new website.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Age of Mythologies DS

Have been enjoying this turn based strategy game. It's a great way to wind down at the end of a day, fighting beasts and conquering kings. The graphics are really good and very easy on the eyes. You can play the game using the stylus or without; I prefer to not use the stylus because I am seasoned with D-pad games.

This game is much more balanced the former game, "Age of Kings" (AOK) and makes for a much more playable game. I am enjoying character development much more than AOK. Another really fun feature are the "God powers" you can unleash upon your enemies. I look forward to replaying this one.



Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Learning Insertion Effects

MOTIF_XS has a full complement of effects, both insert (Insertion) and send (System), and includes a special set of VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) effects that authentically model the elements in analog circuitry, realistically recreating the uniquely warm characteristics of vintage processing gear. XS also includes a sophisticated Vocoder effect that produces classic robotic synthesizer sounds, molded by your speaking or singing voice through a connected microphone.

What I am finding fascinating about the XS is it has over 300 effects presets! For example, you want to jack a mic and make it sound like a telephone call, you simply call up that insertion effect while recording into the sampler, add some compression, and you're done! Very slick!