Sunday, July 13, 2014

Threading the labyrinth

I finally have things together enough that I can show you what my new computer looks like:

Both screens show the same photo. I took it while flying over Detroit on my way home from Italy a couple years ago.

I bought this rolltop desk more than 20 years ago when I moved into this house. It is designed to hold a computer system – as such things were 20 years ago. The little drawers on the left side are sized for 5.25 inch floppies and 3.5 inch diskettes. It has been a long time since I've used either. The space under the drawers was for the computer, back when they were housed in what was known as “pizza boxes.” You can see the modern tower must go in the knee hole. The area below the printer opens up to reveal a platform that pulls out. That was supposed to be for the printer. It now holds my LP turntable – the only way to listen to my collection of LPs is to play them into the computer and listen to the resulting soundfile. Yeah, that doesn't happen very often.

Under the right monitor you can see the surge protector. That came with the desk and has a slot designed for it. But the design wasn't all that good. To connect to the surge protector I must pull it out of its slot, which doesn't really get out of the way if anything is plugged into it. Then I feed cables through a hole high in the knee hole to the space behind the drawers on the right. From there it is a sharp turn upward through another hole to get to the back of the surge protector slot. Then I squeeze an arm into the slot to pull the cable on through. The holes are small, the slot is narrow. It's a tough job. For items on the desktop cables are fed through a hole behind the printer, pulled across the knee hole, and threaded through the labyrinth. Of course, the monitor on the right has its power plug on the right. It wasn't going to make it across to the hole in the desktop and through the labyrinth. Fortunately, I have a second surge protector that has been in the basement since I don't know when. That one is now in the knee hole with everything plugged into it and it's cable snaked through the labyrinth so that the master on/off switch is where I can reach it. Which means I have a surge protector plugged into a surge protector. You just try to zap me now!

There are a few connections yet to complete. The cable out front that ends in red and white leads to my sound system. I need a different adapter for this computer. I also need a new connector to my synthesizer. Then there are another half-dozen things to do.

I installed my music notation program yesterday and tried it out with my current composition project. The music program drives a couple other programs to generate the sounds, so I can hear a full orchestra play what I just composed. I used two programs because neither one had all the sounds I want. Alas, one of them isn't on the installation DVDs I have and is likely obsolete.

Here is the photo you see on the monitors. I added an oval that shows the area of last week's Motown Mission. The house with the porch is in the lower right of the oval, the garden in the upper left.

The tall buildings are downtown and the other side of the river is Windsor, Ontario.

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