Never use iTunes to hold your own music

For pity’s sake:

Every Possible Failure

This is ridiculous. I’ve been trying to use iTunes to make my music (that is, the music I created) available on all my devices for *years*. No matter how many times I’ve tried it, and how many times I think it might, just *might* have worked this time, I always end up with the bullshit you see above: multiple copies, some local, some in the cloud, some that claim they’re in the cloud but you can’t download them, you name it.

It’s impossible to tell what is causing the failures or how you could fix them. You can’t even just go look at what is in the cloud, except through the lens of how it has been sync’ed to one of your iTunes libraries and that seems to *never* be correct.

Somebody, please tell me about alternatives that work.

Yes, the 9.7″ iPad Pro is the iPad you want.

If you’re looking for a tablet because you draw stuff for a living, then there’s no doubt the 12″ iPad Pro is the tool you want. It’s fast, the Pencil is as responsive a tool as you could ask for, and it has all the benefits of being part of the iOS ecosystem. And I can say this as someone who also owns a MS Surface Pro.

The thing is though, if you’re actually in it because you want an iPad, you’re better off going with the 9.7″. It’s almost exactly as fast as the 12″, but its weight and form factor make it a tool that you will carry around with you all the time. By contrast, as Deb said, the 12″ is something you’d “always be worrying about bending”. It’s just too unwieldy to be anything but something you put in a laptop bag when you’re not using it.

The other side of the question is whether an iPad Air would be just as good as your main iPad. All I can say to that is, if you want that to be true, do not try the iPad Pro. The Air is a great device, but the Pro really is materially faster. Really, with the lighter weight iOS running on it, the iPad Pro feels like it’s faster than my MBP for many tasks. It’s definitely the best way to read Notes email now.

And speaking of which, I did indeed put the IBM security package on it, so I can now read my Notes mail and calendar, and get access to VPN, etc. To give you some idea of how much faster this is than my old iPad. My first gen iPad Mini took about 2 hours to install all the software. The Pro took just under 10 minutes. Very nice.

Anyway, the iPad Pro is too expensive to be an impulse buy. I was lucky enough to have my wonderful wife Deb give me permission to get one as an early Father’s Day gift. Thanks, love. It’s awesome.

an iPad Pro on a keyboard

Divertimento Spring Concert

Please join me and the other members of the Divertimento Orchestra for a wonderful Spring concert:

Donizetti – Overture to Don Pasquale
An exciting, rip-roaring overture with some brutally fast playing.
Beethoven — Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 “Pastorale”
This is a deeply moving, powerful Symphony that paints beautiful images, from a shepherd tending a flock, to a ferocious thunderstorm. The more I play this piece, the more I discover in it.
Grieg — Symphonic Dances, Op. 64
Originally written for piano duet, and then orchestra, this is a cycle of four pieces founded on Norwegian folk dance melodies.

The concert dates are:

April 22 & 23, 2016 at 8 p.m.
L'Eglise St. Thomas d'Aquin
1244 Kilborn Avenue
Ottawa

Tickets prices are:

$20 for adults
$10 for Students and Seniors
$5 for kids under 13
Free for kids under 6

I hope to see you there.

spring-poster-preview

It’s Alive!

Once again, I have managed to resurrect this blog after a complete failure of the machine it was living on. This time, I had only a defective mysql dump and an old back up of the directory to start from, but after some random hacking of the files and some digging around in the wordpress database tables it looks like almost all the content is back.

I realized in the process of doing this that there are nearly 400 posts covering more than 10 years of my history here. Losing it would be heartbreaking.

It’s time (most would say “well past time”) to set up Time Machine on this Mac.

Context driven parsing

I thought I’d record this here, because it’s such a great example of why context is important when recognizing text…

Consider this:

Text that looks like "13 Dec"

I suspect almost anyone who sees that image would parse it as a date, that is “13 December”. Of course, once you see it in context, at least the Tim Horton’s regulars would know it said “Black Decaf”.

A Tim Horton's Coffee -- Black; Decaf

Lucas

As many of you know, there’s a new addition to our family: Lucas.
Lucas sleeping

Things have been very hectic here for the last few days. We had a health scare with our adult dog, George, but it seems we’re mostly through that now. In any case, I don’t really have time for a full post tonight, but there’s a short clip of their first meeting on YouTube

And here’s one more picture…
Lucas between Deb's feet
Yes, he crawled between Deb’s feet while she was cleaning up and fell asleep. :-)

Ad astra per aspera