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Generic Blog Post
8:20 PM   Monday
March 3, 2008

Where does the time go!? Seriously, it’s March. How did that happen?

At least my life hasn’t had any twists nor turns in a while. Go to work, play Warcraft, obsess over LOST, study DirectX and C#, chill with girlfriend… that’s about it. No complaints!

I did try composing the other day, actually. Still not feeling it. Maybe once I finish my DirectX experiments I’ll feel the urge again! Hah, I’m going to be so out of practice. The results will either suck hardcore or just be very new and different, so let’s hope for the latter, whenever that day comes…

I bought a new monitor! They got me this 22″ widescreen one at work, and I got used to it, so I decided I needed one at home, too. This is NICE! And it would seem that most video cards today (mine included) actually have two outputs, so… I have my own giant wall of lights here. Mmmm.

Sorry for the inane babble. That’s what happens when we have nothing to report!

register_globals = off
2:25 PM   Wednesday
December 26, 2007

It appears that my music and contact pages have been broken for at least a few months now, as they rely on some old-school PHP that has been deemed kinda unsafe. I was unaware until my friend Ben told me my crap wasn’t working. It’s fixed now, so once again all my music is available and y’all can get in touch with me. I’m sharing the solution in case some other poor fool needs this information, unlikely as that may be.

Most servers nowadays automatically turn off register_globals in php.ini, and for good reason… leaving them on is really pretty hazardous. However, for something like my music page (which just needs a couple simple variables in and out), there’s no harm in using global variables from the URL string. To grab those values and make them available for use even though my server has register_globals disabled, all I had to do was add extract($_GET); to the top of the file. For the contact page, since that uses a form, I had to use extract($_POST); for obvious reasons. Yay.

Scary!
12:55 AM   Tuesday
November 27, 2007

Sadly, much of what is said here is stuff people my age (I’m 22) already know: don’t rely on ANY financial support from the US government after retirement, as there will be none at all. Old folks today are going to eat it all up — and there isn’t even enough for them. Don’t know what’s going to happen then, because this is about more than just benefits at old age… it’s also about the country’s economy itself and how we really do live on a constantly-mounting virtual credit card. May have to move to Europe someday!

Air Vent Escape
9:47 PM   Thursday
October 25, 2007

This one’s been sitting on my desktop since the end of July! At first I didn’t release it because I was holding out for vocals, but after a while I figured they wouldn’t fit a track like this anyway. Then one night, when I finally got ready to publish it, I couldn’t think of a name. So I brainstormed for a while, got distracted with something else, … and forgot about it. Oops. But now I’ve got a name for it and I want to get it out of the way, so here’s Air Vent Escape. Why this name? Because I’ve been playing Half-Life 2 and Gordon travels through air vents a lot! It wasn’t inspired by anything in particular (I started Half-Life 2 long after this was written), it’s not necessarily gaming music, and frankly it’s not my best work. But here it is in all its glory.

Truth is that I have quite a few tracks sitting around that I could touch up and publish right now, some of which are nearly four years old. I think I’ve been trying to save them for some sort of vocal collaboration which may never happen. They’ll see the sun someday, probably when I don’t feel like waiting around anymore.

I’d like to thank all the people — fans, I guess? — who’ve taken the time to email me and let me know they enjoy my work. Thank you, I really appreciate it. =) I’ll produce more music eventually. I haven’t stopped or anything, I’m just at a period in my life where composing isn’t as high a priority as some other things are. It’ll probably come back around with a vengeance at some point, though. On that note, I just picked up Reason 4. Haven’t installed it yet, but it comes with some new toys that should make for some interesting tracks!

Following The River
8:15 PM   Tuesday
September 25, 2007

Naming it took almost as long as writing it!

Well, no, that’s definitely a lie. But it did delay release by two days. So, without further ado, here’s Following The River, the first song I’ve written from beginning to end since December 31, 2006. It makes liberal use of the Miroslav Refills I spent way too much money on, too!

The server I host my tracks on has reverted to 128 kbps, so I’m just going to host them myself now. Gotta have that 192 kbps…

And — as always — if you’re a female vocalist interested in working with me on some tracks, send me an email, serious applicants only, blah blah blah…

Finally
12:42 AM   Monday
September 24, 2007

I finally finished a track and am ready to publish it! Just gotta come up with a name…

Comments, Traffic, and Music
11:44 PM   Saturday
August 4, 2007

I just decided to enable comments here. What that means is that you can now register with the blog system I use and… well, post comments. Isn’t that amazing?

I could have done this nearly two years ago, but I just kind of ignored it and moved on as I created my site. I’m pretty sure it went down like that because I didn’t like WordPress’ default theme (it’s very… white, and well, my site is not) and I was just too lazy to design my own template from scratch. But now — really, who cares? So go ahead… sign up, say hello, and leave your mark at ComradeF.com.

Part of what inspired me to do this was my server logs. It’s been seven months since I composed something from scratch and published it, which is the longest I’ve ever gone. My friend Rikard attributes this to my having “a life, a woman, and a job.” That’s no excuse! I did release Jade some months ago, but I don’t think that counts. Well, regardless of the lack of new works, my site continues to receive a damn fair amount of traffic. Furthermore, I keep getting Googled! I figure that if someone is going to tell a friend about my music, they’ll just give them some MP3s or a link directly to my site (and this does appear to be the primary source of traffic, don’t get me wrong). But what I’m seeing more and more is that people from all over the world are running searches for “comradef”, “comrade f”, “music by comradef”, and so on. That, my friends, implies word of mouth. Why it’s happening is beyond me, but it’s happening and I decided it would be cool to let those travelers say hello if they want to.

Oh, right, concerning music… Two things. First, I have a piece in the works and I’ll probably see it through and publish it. When is anyone’s guess — I get these horrible blocks and get stuck halfway through my songs all the time now. I think what may have happened is I convinced myself I have some sort of style and that I need to maintain it in all my works. But you can’t apply that kind of cookie-cutter crap to art! So hopefully I can bust out of that mindset and just write to write. It may also simply be that I don’t want to compose things that sound sub-par to me. Anyway, we’ll see about all that. The other development of note is that I may have a new vocalist. I’m currently in talks with two singers and plan to put some work together to see how it sounds. I’m not making any promises because finding the right voice for my kind of music is insanely difficult. In fact, since nothing is set in stone, anyone reading this is more than welcome to audition for the part as well. I must say though, only serious applicants need… uhh… apply. I’ve had so many flash-in-the-pan communications with singers and it gets really old after a while. I’m sort of hoping that teaming up with a vocalist may breathe some new life into my music and inspire me to once again compose like I’m going to die in a week. By the way, I do still highly prefer female vocals. As a composer, I feel they mesh better with my style.

Right, so, I guess that’s all for now. Stay tuned for a new track sometime soon, hopefully!

Late night bloggin!
2:06 AM   Wednesday
August 1, 2007

A couple quick notes…

First off, I managed to get the product I spend 95% of my time at work on certified for Windows Mobile, which is apparently a relatively big deal. I dunno, I thought it was pretty straight-forward after I ported it to 5.0. It took me an entire day to get the soft keys working properly, though!

I’m working on a new track. Ironically, after blowing a bunch of cash on those great sound libraries, my latest work features a grand 0% of the samples included therein. Eh. But we must write what we can, you know?

Vista is growing on me. Running the 64-bit version is always an adventure, to be sure… Anyway, I still can’t recommend it for anyone yet. It’s pretty and a little nicer, but it still feels like some sort of pre-release product. Maybe wait ’til SP1.

Oh, and I switched to Firefox. Vista was crashing primarily during my browsing sessions, so I figured maybe IE 7 was the culprit. While I crash significantly less often now, it’s uh… no. I have no idea. But Firefox gets my stamp of approval. And yes I know I’m two years late on this one.

The lack of hype is accurate
5:20 PM   Sunday
July 8, 2007

Well, I loaded up Vista 64 to see what’s up in Microsoft-land. The answer… not much. To be fair, I don’t know what we’re supposed to expect from new operating systems today. They organize files and [hopefully] maintain stability while you run executables. The formula is pretty well established by now. And really, Vista seems to accomplish all this so far. Not only that, but it’s pretty swanky — I think Microsoft’s been stealing ideas from Apple. Yeah, again. While the jury may still be out on Vista, I’m sure that in time, as happened with XP, the general public will come to accept and even like Vista.

One interesting little quirk though is that I’m going to need to upgrade my sound card. Don’t laugh, but I’ve been using my Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum eX for about six years now. It’s still in perfect working condition, but I think the nature of American business has finally stepped in to make an announcement: “If you keep using the same damn product forever, we won’t make any money.” And thus, with Creative providing a legacy driver only powerful enough to let me change the primary volume channel on my sound card, I must bid the dusty old thing adieu and throw more money at them. Kinda sad. But I’m looking forward to improved support and possibly even better performance! Wouldn’t that be cool?

Why did I type all that up? Because I’m not even going to attempt composing until I get my new card (which I ordered last night; expecting it in a few days). Theoretically I could dual-boot back into XP (I have, and it’s working just fine), but I’m not in such a hurry to write. Soooorrrrryyyy.

Jade
9:49 PM   Sunday
June 17, 2007

Alright! So I guess my production hiatus has ended. Six months is the longest I’ve ever gone without writing music (though to be fair, I’ve been dabbling a bit here and there). I’ve released a track called Jade, which was actually started over a year ago. As my Music page notes, all the work was already done for me… I just had to make it presentable. =P So here you go, an old track!

I do plan to compose some brand-spankin’-new pieces in the coming weeks. The violin in this track is from that sound bank I bought, and it’s astounding! With any luck, we’ll be hearing more of that library soon.