What are ya doing Wednesday night?

Are you in the SF bay area and have a band instrument you haven’t picked up played in a few years and wondered if you wanted to get back into it?

Maybe you play in a community band and are interested in seeing how the other ones are?

The Ohlone Community Band is holding an open-reading session on April 8, 2009 for folks just like you.

The OCB is open to musicians of all skill levels and does not require auditions. During this open reading night we will be sight reading through a bunch of music to figure out if we want to play it on our May concert in the park or not. It’ll be a fun event with no worries about wrong notes or being rusty.

It will be from 7:30pm to 9:30pm in the Ohlone College Band Room – Music Building #2125.

If you’re a wind or percussion player, all you have to do is bring yourself and your instrument or sticks.

Details and directions are on the website for the OCB at http://www.ohlonecommunityband.org/

Lucky? Or Unlucky?

After surviving the blast in Hiroshima, he went back home to Nagasaki to recover from the burns….

http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2009/03/24/japanese_man_certified_as_double_a_bomb_victim/

The worlds only double-atomic-bomb survivor.

British War Bunnies

Hey badboybunny! Have you seen this trailer, or the original manga?

Whee

Playing a concert of local-composer music tomorrow. Should be fun, but might not be fun to listen too. Hopefully it goes well.

In other news, according to the scale I haven’t weighed less than this since about 2003. I don’t think I feel or look that different, but here’s hoping that trend continues.

A lot of editing …

From cooner

A whole shit-load of editing time and lots of youtube videos.

Nature’s balance

Isn’t it nice that after being paired with racist, bigoted, and homophobic players in online gaming that you get points for putting an RPG (rocket) in their face?

Oy.

So I’ve seen 6 traffic accidents in the last 24 hours.

People need to learn that a wet road means longer braking distances.

Heehee!

I am apparently 1,056,347,758 seconds old! (and easily amused)

#!/usr/bin/perl

use Date::Parse;

my $birth = str2time("07 Sep 1975 07:06:01 EST");
my $now = time;

print "I am ", ($now-$birth), " seconds old.\n";

It’s coffee time!

Open Office

So somewhere in the ancient technological past when we still had water-powered web servers, AKA 1998, I got handed this CD of something called Open Office.

It was an open source document suite in the style of Microsoft Office. And this was in a time when anything open source was instantly considered cool.

Sadly, it was complete drek. It was clunky and annoying at best.

On my Mac I have Microsoft office installed in a VM. (I have a VM of windows on my Mac for outlook, ESX tools, and other things that either require a PC or work only has the PC copy of, such as office.) The bridge between the VM and Mac OS is good, but not seamless. And the printing bridge from the PC back to the Mac side was not clean either.

A coworker suggested I try Open Office. His comment was that it could directly open and edit microsoft files and was a decent suite of programs now. So I gave it a try.

I was more than mildly surprised. I was impressed. In some cases (such as cell formatting in spreadsheets) it is cleaner and has more features than Microsoft Office. In the few cases where the formatting doesn’t perfectly translate, it is easy to quickly overcome. All of the manipulations I do in documents with complex layout, tables, graphics, etc are right where I would expect them and function well.

I was also surprised that OpenOffice was able to open a lot of older document formats that office won’t touch. (Corel Word Perfect 3.5.1 for Mac anyone?)

I am now laying out a book project with Open Office to see how well it can translate though a print on demand company. It’s interesting that print-on-demand places even have templates in OpenOffice format.

Man, the Gimp team needs to take a clue from the OpenOffice team. If they had their UI this together, they’d be stealing some of Adobe’s market.

Of course, it’s not a perfect piece of software. There is not such thing and there will always be different features people don’t like. (For example: I’d like to up the number of entries in the “Recent Documents” menu entry, but can’t find that config. Also, Open Office still wants dearly to open a virtual-desktop at start, but quickly gets out of the way if you don’t use it.) Considering the low standards I have to endure on a daily basis from rather expensive for-pay software I am rather impressed with this.

Right now at work we have the headache that one manager has Office 200X and the other managers have 200Y or whatever. And so Microsoft’s upgrade-or-you-can’t-open-the-document treadmill is causing everyone headaches. OpenOffice just quietly opens them all and moves along. Its somewhat refreshing to have software that just does its job cleanly and doesn’t get in your way.

So if you, like me, have never taken a second look at OpenOffice, I highly recommend you do. On a side-by-side comparison I’d rate it as good or better than Microsoft Office now.

(If you’re on a Mac, especially so. It’s a single 300 meg native application bundle. It doesn’t invade your system with hidden updaters, weird font locations, and take gigs of space like the Mac version of Microsoft Office does. Save the $400 for something else.)

A presidential day

So apparently I got George Lincoln’s birthday off? Or was it Abraham Washington? Oh well. At least he was born on a Monday for a convenient three-day-weekend.

I’ve been in need of a few good days off. I still am, but I’ll take what I’ve got now.

I went through all my back copies of Megamorphics and checked all my tribs. It turns out I have source files for all but two of my stories. Hopefully I can OCR the two. Between those, some editing, and a bonus story, I think I have my book project underway.

And now, time for some music.