Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hot Rods Tipper

I had a wonderful opportunity this past week to visit with one of the top bodhrán players in the world, Martin O'Neill. He had with him an interesting-looking tipper, which I asked about. He explained that it was a modified ProMark Hot Rods drumstick. So, taking more inspiration from Mr. O'Neill, I picked up my own set of hot rods and set about an imitation hotrod-tipper of my own.
The unaltered Hot Rods drumstick is far too long for regular bodhrán playing. It was a simple bit of sawing to get the stick to the desired length.
A short amount of time with some 320-grit sandpaper was all it took to smooth off the rough end and make the stick easy on the goatskin.
And, that's it. The tipper sounds great. It's a bit heavier than some of my other tippers, which along with the rounded edges produces a nice warm bass thump. The nineteen birch rods make a nice click as well. Many thanks to Mr. O'Neill for the tip(per). :o)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Funky Cygwin Path Issues

In getting familiar with Stuart Sierra's lovely Clojure test library Lazytest, I ran into a problem running it from the windows command console. The test output had special control codes not properly processed by the console:
E:\development\clojure\calibration>java -cp src;test;lib/*;lib/dev/* src test

At  #<Date Tue Oct 04 07:45:47 CDT 2011>
Reloading calibration.test.core, calibration.core

←[33mNamespaces (no cases run)←[0m

←[33mRan 0 test cases.←[0m
←[32m0 failures.←[0m

I use mintty for cygwin, which will process those codes correctly, but I then had trouble with the Java classpath:

yawmark$ java -cp "src:test:lib/*:lib/dev/*" src test
java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: lazytest/watch
Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException:
        at$ Source)
        at Method)
        at Source)
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
        at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)
Could not find the main class:  Program will exit.
Exception in thread "main" [~]

After a little online research, I found that I needed to decorate the classpath a bit:
java -cp `cygpath --path --windows "src:test:lib/*:lib/dev/*"` src test
After that, all is once again right with the world.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Made it to Times Square. S'pose I can make it anywhere now.
Off to Manhattan.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"They didn't care that they'd seen it work in practice because they already knew that it wouldn't work in theory." -- Clay Shirky

Friday, January 07, 2011

SVN Commits To GoogleCode results in 405 error

I received an unexpected error when committing to GoogleCode that looked like this:

svn: Commit failed (details follow):
svn: Server sent unexpected return value (405 Method Not Allowed) in response to MKCOL request for '....'

ServerFault had the answer. Google code allows anonymous checkout with HTTP, but commits require HTTPS. So, I exported my local workspace changes, blew away the workspace, checked out again with HTTPS, and imported my changes. No commit problems after that, and thank goodness once again for the amount of readily-available information on the Internet.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Inspired by Jeff Atwood's excellent blog about the keyboard cult, I was excited to receive my new Unicomp Customizer 104, delivered just today. To my disappointment, however, it arrived inoperable.

The box itself was in fine condition. 

As I removed the keyboard from its packaging, however, I heard an subtle but ominous rattling noise. 

I turned the keyboard toward me, and the tilde key fell to the floor. It just fell right off without out any persuasion or cajoling, like it couldn't get away from its compatriots fast enough.

Shortly after that, I noticed that the "CapsLock," "Shift," and "Ctrl" keys on the left side of the keyboard would not depress at all. The underside of the keys overlapped the plastic molding.

The "Enter" key, et al., on the right side had more than adequate spacing.

But the "Esc" key and a few friends were distinctly off-kilter.

I'll give the company call tomorrow and arrange for a working replacement. I hope to report a good customer service experience.

UPDATE (11/30): I got a hold of Chad in the support department. He was very friendly and helpful. Unicomp is sending a replacement today, along with a return label for the original keyboard. So far, so good!

UPDATE (12/02): No longer a bummer! The new keyboard arrived in great shape, and works like a charm. I was hoping for a good customer service experience, and I got it. Thanks, Unicomp!