Monday, January 26, 2009

The magic of psychill/psybient and psytrance

Some parts of psytrance and psychill/psybient tracks have patterns which seem to musically express fundamental patterns in reality. The music makes me imagine vague generic and/or stereotypical patterns of events in reality. It's practically never something specific. It feels meaningful yet meaningless.

When I listen to that, I start seeing the world more like music or dancing. I start thinking less about the meanings of what I observe, and I start simply appreciating things more.

A good example is an experience I had at a mall while listening to Sirius Sounds by Children of the Bong. I came into the Santa's palace area, where there were many chains of Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling. Ordinarily I would see those as cables with small light bulbs on them at regular intervals and with plugs at the ends, and I might think about their context. Then I just saw a wonderful arrangement of countless points of light. It felt truly magical.

I guess classical music can probably do the same thing. I should probably try to get into it more. However, I find psychill and psytrance holds my attention better and is more fun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Associating .vbs files with Notepad++ breaks VBScript

I associated .vbs files with Notepad++ 5.1, thinking that will make editing them more convenient and prevent accidentally running some nasty script. Actually, it totally disabled VBScript. When I tried to install a new driver for my network card, I was told "There is no script engine for file extension VBS". Re-registering vbscript.dll and other DLLs didn't help. Running Notepad++ as administrator and removing the file association fixed the problem.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Apple is evil

It's well known that Apple uses DRM, and DRM is bad. However, many other companies also use DRM, so this doesn't make them seem exceptionally evil. What makes Apple evil is that they go far beyond just trying to protect copyrighted works. What seems worst to me is that they're preventing 3rd party software from putting content on iPods and requiring an authentication chip in iPod docks. They've also added protection to newer iPods which has so far prevented Rockbox and iPodLinux from supporting them. The firmware is encrypted with AES and digitally signed, like on the iPhone. Apple even wants it to be illegal to find a way around that and run your own software on their devices. (Post updated in February because I learnt more terrible things about Apple.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Finding properly ripe peaches

Sometimes, peaches sold at supermarkets seem totally ripe from the outside but are not ripe inside. For example, they may be mostly red outside but green inside. It's possible to check for this by looking into the indentation where the stem is. Unripe peaches tend to have some green there and ripe peaches don't. I suppose some chemical ripening agent (ethylene?) is used to ripen the skin, and that agent doesn't make it deeper into the fruit or into the stem indentation.