I'm sure it's clear from everything I write, but I am, as they say, an Old.

Upcoming Sync Pairs: More Sygna Suits and Halloween Seasonals. Windows is copy protected and won't boot from a clone. You can image the drive and restore though but can't test if the image is good or not like you can with a bootable clone. However if it's a new internal drive, you can reauthorize Windows. Aug 30, 2009 I run SuperDuper as my main backup solution since Leopard. I bought the full license immediately after trying once. I have no issues whatsoever with SuperDuper or the backups it creates. If you have any issues, I advise you, to contact Dave at the shirtpocket site (you might have to buy a license, to qualify for his email support).

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Part of that involves going through many technological transitions: computers; cars; TV; cable, satellite; cell phones; BBS systems; internet; touch-tone phones... I mean, it goes on and on.

Many of those are major advances; certainly, I wouldn't want to go back to the days before computing was ubiquitous. At least, I don't think I would. Probably.

Got the error, checked the backupd log messages, found out it was an old iMovie project that was tripping it up, put that on the Do Not Back Up list, and now it's running again. It's already further along and seems to be running faster as well. I run SuperDuper as my main backup solution since Leopard. I bought the full license immediately after trying once. I have no issues whatsoever with SuperDuper or the backups it creates. If you have any issues, I advise you, to contact Dave at the shirtpocket site (you might have to buy a license, to qualify for his email support).

Ch-ch-changes

Music has always been an important part of my life. The first thing I ever saved up to buy, in a serious way, was a decent stereo: a Sansui integrated amp, Thorens turntable, Nakamichi TX-2 tape deck and a pair of AVID 230 speakers. I think nearly all of two summers' wages went into this, and the rack to put it in. (Sadly, it was later all stolen out of my dorm room in college.)

Over the years, along with that equipment came a lot of music starting, of course, with LPs. (Embarrassingly, I think the first album I bought with my own earnings was the Jaws soundtrack. It's a great soundtrack, but geez...nerd.)

For the most part, over the years changes to 'music storage' were motivated by either 'convenience' (vinyl LPs weren't something you could play 'portably'; CDs took up space; etc) or 'quality' (much less common, but CDs were an attempt to be better and more robust than vinyl; basically all other attempts at improving quality have failed in the broad market -- people don't seem to care).

But at each point, something was lost in the transition. Leaving cassettes aside, the transition from vinyl to CDs basically lost the album art and liner notes. The move to digital lost the physical media entirely, so even the size-reduced 'cover' was gone, tactile experience lost. And streaming has been, well, awful for artists and completely eliminated the whole idea of 'owning' an album...you almost don't even care whether you've 'selected' something...with no cost, there's no need to engage, research, or even think about it.

Sure, streaming service. Hey, iTunes. Just put on something I'd like. Whatever.

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The Wayside

But, in that ubiquity, we've left so much behind.

The whole experience of music stores; talking with a proprietor whose tastes help you find new things (hi, long-ago-closed Tom's Tracks in Providence!; hey there, long-ago-closed Town and Campus in Plymouth!); flipping through bins of beautiful covers; reading Robert Christgau's haiku-like descriptions of music in his guide; trying to figure out what the hell he was trying to say.

And then, selecting—sometimes on instinct—and bringing it home. Committing real money...and being invested in what's going to happen. The experience of opening an album; coaxing the disc out of the sleeve; placing it on a turntable, cleaning it, carefully lining up the stylus with the lead-in groove and...with the descent...a soft pop...and, somehow, music, taking you on a journey.

Comprehension

I look at a CD and I kind of understand the deal with how it functions. You take waveform in the analog domain, where we all live. You sample that at a rate that basically works. You record the numbers. You burn the bits to a disc. It basically makes sense. It's a scheme I could have thought up.

Mono music is kind of the same. Waveform makes wiggles. You trace the wiggles on a disc. You play back the wiggles. I get it.

Stereo, though, I just don't know. 45-degree cuts? A single groove that somehow produces two channels? I mean, the music is literally right there. It's entirely visible with your eyes, and yet so mysterious. It's not something I would have thought of. Analog is a kind of crazy, weird thing.

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There's some sort of magic going on.

Experience

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Sure, there are limitations, as there are with everything. As 'receivers' of the information we're profoundly limited.

We're also limited in attention, which has, at least in my case, gotten worse over the years. Albums, though, are something you can't really ignore, because in 17 minutes or so they demand your attention as you need to lift, flip, clean and start side 2.

It's an experience that has to be planned by the musicians. Sequencing. Time between tracks. The side break. The inner sleeve, gatefold, cover, type, art...all of it working together, encouraging attention, focus.

Focus

And I think that's part of it. Vinyl encourages—requires—attention. You have to be an active listener.

It can clearly sound just as good (or bad) as any other method of music storage and reproduction. I'm not going to make claims of some sort of sonic miracle that occurs when stylus hits groove. But I am going to say that everything, as a whole, is just so much more enjoyable.

Your own focus makes you hear things. And the trip the musicians planned for you takes you somewhere. They tell you a story. You just have to listen.

You have to focus.

It Came from the Basement

So, up from the basement came my old records. A turntable from years ago, restored and plugged in.

With the spinning, the vibration, the concentration, a broad smile. It's really good to have this music ritual back.

And amazing to discover what you can hear when you give yourself the time and space to focus.

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