Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Nerd Bumbling; My Computing History featuring Mac, DOS, Linux, BSD and FreeDOS

Posted in Uncategorized on September 19, 2017 by Q

Hold up.
Unless you for some wild reason enjoy reading the rambles from someone you don’t know talking about himself, stop now. This will be slightly long and boring. Why am I doing it then? For some reason, I feel like pushing buttons I suppose, and thought it might be a little relaxing to just “write” for a while.

I was born in the early 80’s and something I’ve loved my whole life is computers. I was never academic, I never went to college and never got the opportunity to work in the I.T. field. Still, I’ve been around a few blocks over the years and no matter what anyone could say, I’m proud of the things I’ve experienced. Just out of nostalgia, I know I’ve written once or twice about the beginning for me, Apple. It’s unfortunate that while Apple is a completely different company than what they were “back in the day”, one stereotype has always been prevalent is that the Apple lover is among the lowest on the technical competency scale. I always believed I was an exception to this rule and I’ll explain why. For starters, let’s start with passion. I always had the unfortunate and slightly ridiculous habit of forming emotional attachment and concern for technology that I use which so happens to bring some sense of happiness or joy to my life. My mom used to have to make me go outside to play when I was a kid because if I was left to my own devices, I would stay inside playing video games or playing with my computer. Still, I always felt like my machines were a close friend and even had a soul, which is funny since the idea of a “soul” is something I don’t actually believe in. Like I said, ridiculous.

Still, I went to school every day ready to geek out at any opportunity. I was actually happy that my floppy disks were “Mac formatted” in that time before Macs could read PC formatted disks. I was a big fan of Steve Jobs, and I still revere him as someone important to me, someone who impacted my life. Mind you, we’re talking before I was even a teenager. So back to technical competency. Even at my pre-teen ages, I was already the definition of a “power user.” I understood what file sizes and directory structures were all about, I understood every one of my system extensions and had a few third party ones I used. I could zip around my old Macs quickly because I understood and used a small smattering of keyboard shortcuts. By 6th grade I was an extremely proficient touch typist too 🙂 So, that said I was briefly in the camp of Mac vs PC, but then again my dad had certainly been thru more than a couple computers and I so happened to have a good working knowledge of DOS and Windows For Workgroups 3.11 by the time I made it to 13 years old. I had a basic understanding of what config.sys and autoexec.bat did, and how to mess with them. Of course, between both systems, I had stupid numbers of hours in on games. I had mountains of shareware disks and collections when that was a thing, and there were some games I somehow figured out how to crack with a hex editor that so happened to store registration keys in plain text within the executable.

I use this word again; ridiculous. Seriously, most guys by the time they hit their early teenage years have developed an interest in something like sports, but me? Nerd. Maybe it was evident when I was around the ages of 5 or 6 when of course I loved watching cartoons, but also was relaxed to watch Bob Ross on TV, and was fascinated with Star Trek Next Generation and Max Headroom. My mom used to tell me that she couldn’t understand how such a young kid could me mesmerized by stuff like that.

So, to move on, yes by high school I had a thorough understanding of DOS and absurd loyalty and love for the Macintosh. The world had moved on, we were looking at Windows 98 and Windows 2000 and I still used DOS on occasion when I would fire up the old PC just because those games were awesome. I remember sinking a lot of time into Ultima 6, Eternam, and Jazz Jackrabbit in particular. So, high school rolls around and my machine is a blue bubble shelled iMac. For most of my high school career, I was pretty much all Apple again. It wasn’t until after high school my interests in other things developed. I was working for an office cleaning company and one of the guys whose office I was cleaning happened to be working late. I don’t remember what brought up computer talk, but we started talking tech and he mentioned something to me about Linux. I hadn’t heard even heard of it, and please keep in mind this is still a time when the internet wasn’t 100% daily life like it is for us all now. There was local Linux users group that met once a month at this old school building turned storage and he invited me to it. There, I was introduced to an eclectic group of guys, mostly older adults, I think me and a friend of mine I ended up bringing were in fact the youngest guys there. These men were all I.T. guys or hobbyists like I never knew. A few of these guys were Red Hat men, some were Mandrake, one was a Debian fanatic. The first time I saw one of these guys boot up their machines, I’m watching the kernel output at boot flashing across the screen and man that shit was mind blowing. I felt slightly overwhelmed and thought I was well in over my head trying to hang around these guys. They were all so awesome and friendly though. Finally, I brought in a PC I had laying around and they helped me pick my first distro: Mandrake. They felt it was easiest for the new comer and back in that era, it was definitely touted as one of the easiest to pick up and use Linux distros around.

Discovering that group set a whole new direction of geekdom in motion for me. I had only just started understanding the basics of using this system before I wanted to try others. Over the course of a couple years, I had been thru Mandrake, Red Hat, Suse, and during that experimental stage, one I used for a good while was called TurboLinux. So flash forward just a bit and here I am at about 22 years old. I was getting very serious about Linux and was rarely using my Mac because one, it was out of date big time. Two, I was becoming passionate about open source software and how awesome Linux was. I decided I wanted to make it a mission to establish some self-imagined geek credit and tried one of the distros that was considered top level advanced at the time, and that was Slackware. I can only say that to a new comer to Linux, it would be intimidating and it could be viewed as the opposite of user friendly. That folks is a myth. It just requires you to like text instead of icons for administrating your system. With the help of a guy who was my closest friend at the time, I built my first computer tower from scratch. The mobo was an MSI, the processor was the new AMD Athlon XP 2200+, it had 1.5GB of ram which at the time was kind of big, and an Nvidia Geforce 2 TI. The case of that tower had this kind of neon plexiglass lining die cut on the front which was clear but had slightly purple hue. It was over the drive bays in separate cuts, and the led lights for the power button and power on indicator were white. The tower was a sort of dark silver/gray that was a little more shiny, but somewhat like Apple calls “space gray” nowadays. The left side had a plexiglass opening so you could see the hardware inside and it had two blacklight bars inside across the top and bottom which made it flashy and attractive. Oh, about the front. It had a pair of clear tubes with led lights behind them that slowly transitioned across a multitude of colors and inside the tubes were water that made small bubbles spin around inside when the machine was on. It was sort of unique and kind of stupid by any standards, but I thought it was badass. I also had one of my Linux friends acquire a metallic and kind of bubble-dome Slackware case badge for it. It was a point of real pride for me.

I ran Slackware for many years. I was out of the Apple camp a good while before all that anyway because Steve Jobs had announced the switch to Intel not to mention the death of OS 9 which I loved very, very much. I didn’t like the look and feel of this new “OS X”, so I was kind of done anyway. So yeah, me and Slackware. I was extremely fond of the GNUstep tools and the WindowMaker environment, it was for the most part the only GUI I used for most of those years, and believe me I tried many of them. I also considered it a “fun” activity to tweak out TWM (tab window manager.) The most basic and borderline useless GUI you can use on a Linux system right? I had tweaked out scripts and really modified the hell out of TWM’s configuration….just for fun. What’s wrong with me? Another example of fun? I wanted to go a full month in pure text mode. No graphic interface, sort of. I never once fired up the X environment, and made it a point to do my word processing in VIM, used BitchX for an IRC client, used mplayer via console to watch movies and whatnot, LINKS for web browsing, and so on. I was ripping and burning lots of CDs, download music from FTP servers, and just all kinds of fun stuff strictly in text mode. Again, what the hell is wrong with me right?

I eventually came into a used dual G4 PowerMac for dirt cheap that had some issue with it’s power button. Once the machine was powered on and then shut down, I would have to unplug it and plug it back in before it could be turned on again. I never knew what that was about, but what the hell, that was the only problem with it. I started using it and making myself get familiar with OS X. I also started using this G3 tower I had picked up for OS 9 because I was really, really missing my old Mac OS. The convenience of the new stuff though was starting to grow on me. I guess my tinkering and learning phase was starting to slow down. I was in a relationship at the time too and didn’t have as much time to sit and bury myself in man pages and web forums, then again in this same era I hardly needed too since I knew how to compile my own kernels and was thoroughly proficient in Slackware. Something else I’ve written about on occasion is my obsession with music from again, a small child. The 3rd generation iPod had just came out and I never much about portable music players prior. The same friend who had helped me build my tower all those years ago ended up selling me his long story short. I was thrilled to death about the notion of being able to carry thousands of tunes in my pocket. This of course absolutely required a Mac. While there many projects starting to emerge to be able to copy music to an iPod via Linux, it was a nightmare for me and I never got that shit to work.

That pretty much brought me back into Apple’s ecosystem but I wasn’t completely done yet. I still loved Slackware but wanted to try even more things. Here came FreeBSD. I remember the old user group when a couple guys talked about BSD but nobody there was into using it. The first time I fired it up, I had a blank console and the Linux shit I knew didn’t really apply there at all. I hit something on my keyboard that type an honest to goodness triangle on the screen instead of a letter, when I tried to clear it, it somehow got locked in a loop like hitting the enter key and the stupid triangle rose up and off the screen. This is still a memory I laugh about. Here I am trying a new system, and i’m typing fucking triangles that fly off the screen. I was like, NOPE. Whatever the hell this system is, it ain’t for me. I gave up for I think a year or so before I wanted to try BSD one more time. Something about the name and reputation intrigued me similar to Slackware, it was somewhat intimidating to me and that drove me to want to try again because I said to myself “I was able to conquer Slackware, I can do this too.” Looking back I still don’t know what was up with that triangle thing. Anyway, I had burned another disc and tried again. My buddy happened to have a physical copy of the FreeBSD handbook which if you know anything at all about FreeBSD, that thing was big enough to break thru a car window with if you threw it hard enough. Once you find what you need and take it slowly, it’s actually clear and concise. Keep in mind this is all user land stuff for me. Linux and BSD. Other than configuring my network adapter, I wouldn’t know the first thing in either system about setting up and configuring a network of multiple machines. Zilch, zero, nada. Still, long story short I got thru it and figured out how to set up a FreeBSD machine enough to make it usable. I got my video card working properly, I got my sound working, had an X environment with WindowMaker, I was set to go there. The package management system is the best thing I had ever experienced hands down. Unlike the years I had spent with Slackware where I mostly installed binaries and sometimes had to compile my packages, this time I didn’t have to track down and fight with dependencies. FreeBSD is so tightly structured and it solves that shit on it’s own thanks to the ports tree. No more compiling kernels for me to update my system. I can update my FreeBSD system and all the packages on it in just a couple commands. It really just works.

As awesome as that all was, I was still firmly back into the Apple camp again. At this point, I had a new obsession in my life, and it’s name was BlackBerry. I lived and breathed Research In Motion. My first blog online was entirely managed from my BlackBerry and I did tons of writing on those. I still have all of my BlackBerrys I’ve ever owned except one, the Blackberry Storm 2. That was my first touch screen phone and I hated it, I had ended up selling that to a guy I was working with. I then made it my mission I suppose to make the smartphone my mobile computer as best I could. I did everything possible and trudged thru some shit on occasion to do as little on my actual computer and do everything as much as possible on my smartphone. Toward the end of my BlackBerry days, I even did my taxes a couple years via TurboTax on my BlackBerry. Those devices. I called them my third appendage and my best friend. When Windows Phone 7 was first introduced, that was when some big changes were going on. BlackBerry 10 was out and they were shifting to Android. I had briefly tried an Android device, the Motorola Droid X2, and I hated that shit. I don’t know what it was but I hated Android. It was still considered the least secure mobile operating system in the market at this point too. I was going thru the same thing with BlackBerry that I had with Mac OS 9, they were transitioning to new things, and the classic stuff that I loved so dearly was being killed off. So, here came Windows Phone 7. In all my years one thing that was constant is that I hated Microsoft, and the only thing they ever had that I loved was MS-DOS. Me and a guy I worked with were hanging out one day and were at the mall looking at phones. I got to play with Windows Phone for the first time hands on ended up leaving with one. I was intrigued by this sharp, pretty interface with these floating tiles, dark themed OS, and gorgeous print. Seriously, I loved the font Microsoft used for that. Anyway, it was so new and so drastically different and it was the first thing after many years of BlackBerry loyalty to pull me away from that. I was honestly kind of in shock that I was attracted to something Windows. It was tricky since my computer was a Mac. You’d think I would’ve went iPhone, but at first glance it reminded me too much of Android and I thought the static “pages of icons” thing was boring anyway. By the next year when I was due for an upgrade, I tried an iPhone, the new iPhone 4. I had for a couple days and decided to take advantage of the return policy and got myself another Windows Phone. I was crazy about Windows Phone. I remained loyal for a good while. Windows 8 had come out and whereas a lot of people seemed to hate it, I already had a fair amount of time in with my Nokia, and had become extremely fond of the clean, tile interface those had. That made me do something I couldn’t believe; I acquired and installed Windows 8 on my PC. I thoroughly loved it because it was the perfect match to my Windows Phone. The support for it app wise was becoming less and less. I wanted to do a lot more shit on my device than I was able to with Windows Phone, and then I dropped out of the dream. I ended up getting an iPhone and I’ve stuck with that since. I still think it has a boring interface for the most part, but by this time, the world knew about Google’s shady privacy and data mining policies, the shit that most people who buy an Android phone just click “I agree” on. Yeah yeah, all big tech companies in the here and now mine you, but for what purpose? Google’s own (former) CEO described Google as “a marketing and advertising company first, a products and services company second.” I absolutely refuse to sit and get into an argument with people about this. Simply put, I never liked Google and even before I knew much of anything about them, I did not like Android whatsoever. Speaking as to right here and now, I’ve gotten so used to the iPhone that I’m content with it. My job requires me to have a smartphone handy as it’s tied into my company’s email system, calendars, notes, and so on. Everything is so smooth and convenient, so I don’t think much about it. I suppose in retrospect, if Windows Phone had done a lot better in the market and had the same mainstream support that iPhone and Android have, I might very well still be using it. Still, the past is the past and I’m happy where I am.

I still use FreeBSD from time to time on my PC tower, but mostly it (was) my Mac Mini and nowadays my present MacBook Pro. I do want to share however that in 2010 when I first discovered chiptune and wanted to start making my own, I was rolling with the Atari 2600 right? I’ve wrote about that on this very blog, how I first got into it and how just tinkering and screwing around evolved into my first tune, which then evolved into “BitPusher” and so on. My first EP and LP (Pixelize The System and Modus Operandi) were recorded on my FreeBSD machine. I try to keep myself up to date with FreeBSD, but hell, I am 100% Apple nowadays. I miss the old days terribly, and have genuinely emotional and fond memories, just lots of love. All my years have given me small mountains of knowledge. If you honestly have read all of this, I would hope there’s some fleeting piece of evidence that not all Apple users are simply mindless “sheeple” who are largely incompetent when it comes to advanced computing topics. I use a Mac and an iPhone and yet can fully administrate a Slackware or BSD machine. I choose Apple nowadays because yes it is simplistic, everything works seamlessly and smoothly and I appreciate those things. I will never be convinced either that Windows is superior to the BSD system that powers MacOS, and thanks to MacPorts I can even prove the further extensibility of MacOS beyond just the graphic interface. Just like myself as a kid who was proficient in the underpinnings of the classic Macintosh, I understand MacOS and can have some fun with it’s BSD underpinnings, so thanks for that built-in console there Apple.

Lol. To quote some classic Jobs; there’s still one more thing…that I want to ramble about. My fairly recent discovery of FreeDOS. Having loved DOS most of my life, believe me I am a loyal user of DOSbox. I once in a while crave those old DOS games and just so much enjoy re-living moments of my youth. It was only earlier this year that I discovered FreeDOS. The idea that DOS is still around, still being developed as is software for it as well, that completely blows my mind. I was stoked suffice it to say. Excluding DOSbox I suppose, one thing I have always hated is the idea of virtualization and am the same way with my chiptune. I have not just a strong preference for, but some sense of self confidence and pride in the fact that I work on the real hardware, rather than using a DAW and MIDI to make chip music. Likewise with computers. Now, using real DOS on modern hardware is sufficiently tricky and most of the time a failure for me, so that’s my case for DOSbox because it’s the only way I know of to get that stuff to really work short of buying and ancient machine which I honestly don’t want to deal with. But enter FreeDOS. I still am confounded and surprised big time at the idea of a modern DOS, that runs on modern hardware. I completely re-did my present PC tower and now dual boot between FreeBSD and FreeDOS. I am absolutely in love. Having modern memory management, the ability to use incredibly large hard drives, big plus. So far however, I have not had any success getting my network adapter working, because while FreeDOS has abilities MS-DOS never had, I’m kind of stuck because of no driver support. Likewise, sound card support is a problem too since my machine has integrated Intel HDA and there’s no driver support for it for DOS. Excluding those things though, it is rather amazing. It has successfully run every game and a few other things I have thrown at it as well and does it perfectly. I just kind of smile thinking that I have a relatively modern machine and this OS can be ran on it and do a good job at that. Modern alternatives to himem.sys and emm386.exe, that is just something I almost can’t wrap my head around. I am in love with FreeDOS but saddened big time by the limitations I am facing, the biggest of all of course being zero sound support. Playing those classic games in silence completely sucks and I just hope that Jim Hall and the people who continue to develop FreeDOS figure out some sort of support for that. As for internet, I am ok without it. I just so happen to have hardware that doesn’t have driver support. Still, there are graphical web browsers that are written for DOS, so if you are thinking it would be some text-mode only option available because “it’s DOS”, you would mistaken. It is possible to play movies and music, browse the web with a proper graphical internet browser and so much more. I just really want to say this again: I am in love with the very existence of FreeDOS, and I will continue to follow and support the project as best I can, and maybe someday they will fix these issues. They sort of advertise right on their homepage how great it is for playing classic DOS games and using classic software, not to mention that there’s NEW software being written out there for it. On the whole, it’s still plenty usable now, and of course it strokes my nostalgia big time because dude, it’s freaking DOS.

That all pretty much brings me up to date, and this has been my journey from the early 80’s as a child to right now. I don’t know for sure what will exist and where I’ll be let’s say 10 years from now, but yeah, as it stands i’m an Apple man, a FreeBSD man, and as odd as it sounds, a DOS man too. I am 100% sure nobody will ever read this shit because who would really want to? It felt good to just think back and write for a while, this is how I chose to relax. Take care all, and I want to give a fond and heartfelt nod to the many people across our globe who maintain and support FreeBSD and FreeDOS.

Good night.
–BitPusher

dosforever

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Reminiscing: Young MC

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2017 by Q

I generally keep it music on my blog and that’s what I’m feeling like talking about today. I felt like giving a shout and some love to Young MC.

Anyone old enough to remember him? The guy was never one of my top 5 or something but I have a certain fondness for the dude because more by coincidence than anything his music has been a part of my whole life.

Everyone has heard “Bust A Move” when it was new and popular. That particular song, I actually did not like it at all. That aside, I have written in the past about the music aspect of my childhood, from being able to recite “Jam On It” at the age of four to how I was obsessed with certain groups and having a huge collection of cassettes before I had even reached 12 years old. The album with “Bust A Move” was called Stone Cold Rhymin’ and it came out in ’89, which makes me approximately 7 years old.  My mom was careful about what she would let me buy if she could help it, trying to keep away tapes with parental advisory stickers, let alone having a cousin with alot of music and letting me borrow stacks of tapes to boot.

This one was considered a mainstream release at the time and mom got it for me. I listened to Young MC’s album on the regular, often fast forwarding thru just a couple of tunes including the famous Bust A Move. I liked the guy and the music, and what do you expect from a 7 year old kid?

I guess he had done some other music after that but I didn’t know about it until I was about 13 (the album had already been out for a while) but I came across another Young MC album called “What’s The Flavor?” and picked it up having had some sort of a connection with him in the past. Again, there would be just a couple of tracks I would fast forward thru but most of the album I liked…alot. East Coast hiphop was getting harder and  more boom-bap at this point in the time and the beats on this album were sick.

Now, I hadn’t seen or heard anything from Young MC for years after that. Me being me, I would occasionally in the course of a year go back and listen to those songs. I had acquired them both on CD by junior high so they were around. Then I flash forward to the year I graduated high school, 2000. He had a brand new release I spotted by sheer coincidence at Best Buy for $10. I remember feeling almost confused because as much as hiphop had changed by 2000 (and in my opinion mainstream had it going down the toilet) I thought Young MC was long gone from music, plus he wouldn’t exactly be so young anymore anyway. Nonetheless, I remember looking over the tracks and case artwork for a minute and without a doubt whatsoever had to buy it. I remember thinking it was so cool to have something new from someone so “old school” to me personally. I had a system in my car too so I was banging that album for a bit. Felt good to have a childhood connection like that.

Finally, history repeats itself a little. He had an album in 2008 called “Relentless.” I didn’t know he did more after that 2000 release but by this point it was 2010, my ex had already been broke up with me for a while and I was at the music shop browsing the used stuff. *Footnote: this was the same year my BitPusher2600 persona was still just a tinkerer’s idea in the back of my head, and it was in fact “BitPusher2600” instead of BitPusher because I had barely any ambition of creating much of my own music anyway let alone did I forsee myself going past making a couple Atari 2600 chiptunes. Fortunately, BitPusher2600 evolved into BitPusher and now I’ve done all kinds of cool shit 🙂 So back to the story, there sits this relatively new album for a whopping $5. I pulled it out of the case and looked at the year, and just like with that 2000 release it was a “what the hell?” kind of moment and I bought it. Talk about sounding different, it was musically rather modern, lyrically it still had that style Young MC has always had. It also struck me as crazy that his voice sounds very similar to how he sounded in ’89. I like this album. Once again, now a full grown adult with a baby and here’s a new Young MC release. Damn.

So yeah, there’s my story for today. My biggest obsessions from the youngest age up with hiphop were Kurtis Blow, Kool Moe Dee, 3rd Bass, KRS and BDP, and Public Enemy. Hands down. But Young MC was someone I liked listening to that managed to randomly pop up by absolute coincidence a total of four completely separate stages of growth and life. Childhood, early teen, high school graduate, and full grown adult with a kid of his own. So as I said before, I’ll always have a certain fondness for the guy. Hell, I wish I could do a track with him, wouldn’t that be some bizarre irony.

So yeah, long life and good health to my man Young MC. Thank you.

  –BitPusher

Wasting Space On DeviantArt

Posted in Uncategorized on July 4, 2017 by Q

Hello world.

Just wanted to drop a quick mention on my blog that I am now a member at DeviantArt, where I am just experimenting and having a little fun creating pixel and glitch garbage. That’s right, a total shit fest, and it strikes me as odd that people can look at pixelized or glitched imagery and call it “art.” Don’t get me wrong, I like it. I was born in the early 80’s afterall, so I grew up with the earliest home computers and video game consoles. I remember when things would crash and distort. I think it looks cool as shit, but to call it “art” I don’t understand. Nonetheless, I’m very occasionally crafting up some extremely craptastic stuff and keeping a little image library of my own. Come on over and visit my assorted “galleries” at:

BitPusher2600.deviantart.com

In the meantime, if I can ever get my motivation back I need to continue work on my 2nd Gameboy album. I have five different WIP’s sitting on that cartridge barely begun but enough to get rolling on, yet I can’t get motivated. I wish I could understand why I’m like this. I struggle with efficiency when it comes to tracking, but I love LSDJ and even feel good when I’m cranking out sounds within it. There’s just that taking time to stop everything and actually pick up the damn Gameboy and begin. Then of course there’s distractions out of the blue just like this one. Tinkering with digital crap art. Hey, on the brightside everything I’m doing is at least original or original ideas.

Thanks for tuning in.
–BitPusher

 

Forever Unknown. Forever At It. (A Status Update)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2017 by Q

Hello world. How are you liking Digital Bass 2017?….is anyone even listening to it?

I’m actually joking a little, because somehow this album has actually sold more copies and seen more downloads than any of my past works. That to me is surprising. Still never see feedback though, good or bad. That aside, thanks to anyone out there who has tried pushing these bits thru their systems. This was all for you.

So then, what’s going on? I rarely write on my blog, so I thought I’d swing thru for a moment and do that. There has been a change in my life, or more specifically my job that has been, let’s call it significant. I’m in a place I’m just not used to and between the hours and sometimes crushing stress that comes with it, music is something I have not had much time or drive for. That said, I find myself still writing these things believing that someone reads it with interest. Despite all my years in music, I am completely unknown but keep at it anyway. Why? I guess ultimately for me. I’m proud of everything I do and it all means something to me. Being that confidence has always been a bit of an issue for me, I rarely have an easy time accepting compliments let alone believing them. I see no feedback or anything anywhere on my music, but then how do I have so many downloads and CD sales? I love the feeling that comes with that, and I really do appreciate the people that somehow find me and check my music out. Even if my talent for composing is poor, or my music in general for that matter, I keep going at it anyway. Slowly.

With all that said, I am still planning to drop another Gameboy based project at some point, and eventually I want to create another bass CD too. The gist of all this mindless rambling I’m doing right now can be summed up like this:

I am constantly busy thanks in most part to my job. My motivation to create music is weak at this point in time. I am however never quitting and want to let everyone know that I’m still around, I’m not going anywhere, and I will be doing more music at some point.

Love!

  –BitPusher

Bassheads & Car Audio Junkies: A Blabber From BitPusher

Posted in Uncategorized on February 4, 2017 by Q

boomers

See those discs above? These are what I felt like writing about. This is my statement (unwavering opinion) on what is SUPREME for your system.

Let me explain something, please follow if the subject of bass music is of interest to you.

I am as of this writing a 35 year old man. I knew the words to “Jam On It” by Newcleus when I was four years old. I have been obsessed with music (hiphop and electronica) literally my whole life. I wasn’t even in my double digits of age by the time I had shelves full of cassettes. Most kids ask or beg their parents for toys and things, but me? I was always begging and pleading with my mom for a new tape, although now and again I would ask for a video game. ANYWAY, my cousin and her husband used to babysit me alot, and they had a system in pretty much every vehicle they ever owned. Nothing competition like, in fact usually cheaper shit. Nonetheless, my obsession with hiphop and electronic music was nurtured strongly by them, and hearing my music bump so hard always gave me goosebumps.

Over the course of my pre-teen and teenage years, I don’t know. I would have to sit down and really think on this but as an estimate, I guarantee you I have owned over 100 different bass albums. Yes, pre-adult. I had stuff from everybody, including Pandisc Records, DM Records, Newtown Records, IBP Records, and on and on. I was extremely fond of playing my video games and just listening to those songs. That music always connected with me.

The point of this story? What is the best for your system? The younger generations probably don’t even know, though I hope so. You see, there are (I believe) in majority two types of bassheads:
Type one: the person who simply wants ‘loud.’ They want people to hear them coming down streets, and care little about the more technical side of things. Just loud and booming. Budget does not matter here, high grade or cheap, boom is their singlemost priority.
Type two: the purist, or the nerd. The types who drop big money into competition systems and compete fit here. But it’s not just them. Even those on a low budget, but care greatly about brand, about configuration, and complete/overall quality. They invest time in researching and are particular about many or all aspects of their system.

I consider myself type two. Still, one thing that anyone, no matter what their preferences and priorities are, want a fantastic experience. They want bass and is especially critical at such a personal depth for the basshead.

Now, to put all of this together, it is my declaration that the two CDs I have pictured above are the supreme discs you NEED to have to demonstrate the both quality and decibel crunching power of your system. NOTHING compares. Of all the ridiculous mountains of bass music I have owned and loved since my childhood, and including the many experiences I have gained over the years (from dicking around with my own or friends’ setups to having been a spectator at some actual competition shows), I can attest, again my personal opinion, nothing compares to these two discs. Younger generations who weren’t anywhere near being born when this stuff was being produced have probably heard nothing like the old bass music. But if they have, I’m glad for them. ANY decent system with ANY modern music can certainly slam. Monster systems can shake the air out of your lungs with just about anything. So people love going for modern hiphop, trap music, modern R&B, or any one of a couple dozen subgenres of electronic music to toss into their system and boom the hell out of it. Likewise, ANY bass CD will definitely push your setup nice and hard.

All I want to say is this; if you are any breed of basshead, car audio junkie and fanatic, etc, find a copy of Bass 305’s “Digital Bass” or Techmaster PEB’s “Bassgasm” and just listen. Sure, like most modern produced electronic music the entire production is completely and purely digital from top to bottom, just like these albums were. Digital composition, digital recording, digital processing, digital mastering. Yeppers. There is still something more to these albums though. Of all the bass music I have owned and heard and know from front to back, the sound quality and production of these two albums are simply unparalleled. I value these two CDs more than any music I own. My attachment to Bass 305 is extreme anyway, and perhaps my bias is present here since I had Digital Bass on cassette, and it was in my headphones often when skating around the neighborhood and so on.

I’m not all that talented of a musician myself and have limited capabilities, so I am not able to produce music of this quality and this composition. Believe me, you have no idea how badly I wish I had the equipment and such studios. But please at least take one second to consider my personal history here and then think why would this person make such a statement about these albums? He’s not a child, he’s been around a few years suffice it to say, so why does he hold such a strong opinion? Look, some nobody and his blog can’t really influence anyone to do jack shit, not to mention the likelihood that anyone targeted here would even see it or read it. Still, if you do, get those CDs. Yeah I had those cassettes, and later got them on CD not just because I loved them so much as a kid, but because as a pure basshead, I believe them to be absolutely essential for testing your setup, and for the listening experience they provide. I will repeat myself for the last time: these two CDs are the finest possible choice any basshead can make to demonstrate both the sound quality and raw power of their system. The absolute best of bass music. Just because you might not be the type who would casually listen to this kind of music like I do does not mean that they can’t serve you as a tool. Tune your system with these. Especially Bass 305. Absolutely gorgeous. DO IT RIGHT! Don’t download those albums as mp3s and expect gorgeous fidelity. If you really don’t know any better, understand that mp3 and similar compressed audio really do effect music in many negative ways, but make small files in return. Fortunate are the people who can’t hear the difference between an mp3 or iTunes aac vs a CD. When you get into higher-end equipment though, this begins to really matter, most of all with bass music since we’re talking about music with extremely low frequencies which take some real damage from the many processes involved with compressing audio into one of these “lossy formats.”

To all those who understand and live with the addiction I do; I love you guys. Bassheads for life.
–BitPusher

How Can I Improve? Wrong Question Chiptuners.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2017 by Q

I hate question although when people first get invovled in the chiptune community that is some kind of dogma, the question everyone seems compelled to ask.

If I could offer just one valuable, genuine idea in the form of an answer to the question “how can I make better chiptune?” Don’t ask. You ought to quit right now if that is your biggest question.

Asking people how to better implement a specific software technique, how to better process audio, better methods for executing such a such a function, surely. Ask away. You can expect snobbish assholes to throw you the “read the manual” and “search the web yourself” attitudes (they can be correct there however), or help you out.

But all aside, you go into a forum or the like asking people how you can improve your chiptune? I despise that mentality because all you are really doing is asking a group of people on a forum what they want to hear. You are honestly taking other people’s opinions of what sounds good and what doesn’t upon yourself. Consider this; one person could love hardstyle tracks and the sounds that come from that, vs someone who prefers softer, more rhythmic sounds vs someone else who loves uppity pop style tunes, and you want them to tell you how your music is wrong. What could you do better? By whose standards? Hell no. Absolutely not.

If you want to make chiptune or any music for that matter, quit daydreaming of being a big star or building some kind of admiring fanbase like a goof because if impressing people is where your head is really at underneath it all, you are really, truly missing the point or at least you are aware of that fact and your goal is to be plastic. If people like your sounds, great. Attention is always nice, but if people don’t like it, so what? You should be happy to hear your own creations and shamelessly play them in your own car or headphones and still feel good that they are your tunes and you made them. That right there, that’s what it’s really all about.

I’ve been pushing my bits since 2010 and have had brief moments here and there of recognition, but I’m largely unknown and I don’t have fans. So I’m a shitty musician with shitty music? That’s cool. It’s now 2017 and I’m still at it, at my leasure not going wildly far out of my way to promote and sinking alot of time into that effort. I love making music and my pride is stroked every time I hear my own tunes banging out of my system. I hear them and remember nearly every step of constructing the tune, and the journey (long or short) to its completion. As I said, this process and this feeling are what it should be all about, especially something as niche as chiptune.

Quit asking. Be yourself and love it. Also, fuck corny cliches. Please consider my words.

  –BitPusher

deadmau5 & That Originality Rant

Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2016 by Q

I fucking loved this, can’t lie.

I love a majority of the guy’s music, rarely pay attention to his videos. I’m glad however I caught this one because it speaks to a truth you either get, or you don’t care. I pity the latter.

A massive music library, and nobody I’ve ever known (even my best friend) know hardly any of it no matter how much I could rant about it. Anyone has their opinions of what is good and not good music, but god damn is it sad that opinion in that matter can be biased or based on the majority. He mentions Justin Beiber, and that is a damn good example. You could look at that kid as a player in the game, making money. Fine, but that doesn’t change that he’s garbage. He sells millions of records, and then there’s guys like me who get excited if more than one person checks out a tune. So who’s the winner and who’s the loser? Well, if young Beiber were to ask me that with that traditional scoff on his face, I would still say yeah, you’re garbage.

What deadmau5 touches on here is something I believe in with all of my being, and that is that if you call yourself a musician, an artist, etc, you have to be creating. So called artists who serve no purpose in life but to run with and boast the fruits of everyone’s “art” and efforts in their own name are people I have no problem seeing fall of a building. This isn’t like someone designing and building and instrument, a synth, a tool of some sort and then someone else making big on it. Example, Jimmy Page is one of the few guitarists in the world I revere greatly, and he did not invent the electric guitar. He used the tool however to craft his own, beautiful and awesome work. Whole different subject matter. The point is, what was crafted is what he wrote, he created. He didn’t have someone else craft his music and then just emulate it in front of a crowd.

Compare that to Justin Beiber who has a small team of people writing his music, writing his lyrics, crafting his “art” and the dude turns around and considers himself a musician and artist solely because he can carry a tune. How in the world can any rational human look at that as legit? Now take mr. mau5 for a moment. I don’t love the guy because he’s known for cocky comments, because he lives a lavish lifestyle, because he plays in front of millions of fans. I couldn’t care less. I love the guy because he composes badass tunes; himself. Because he is a brilliant studio engineer, and because when it comes to his music he does not waiver. It’s his way or the highway. That formula goes beyond just being a fan of a CD or two, it’s a fundamental respect.

This whole argument is the very basis of my character which is what had me enthused when I decided to watch this video and got about a minute into it. I have been making my own shit for a long time, and I prefer vintage video game hardware for making beats. I will never be recognized, nobody likes my shit. I figured that out quickly, and I still do it anyway. I maintain a website, I at great leisure craft tunes that sound neat to me, and throw ’em up anyway. My passion and obsession with electronic music evolved a good deal vs coming from my youth when I was all about DJ’ing, just mixing and manipulating other people’s shit because the mixes could come out sounding dope. I still considered myself a musician of sorts and how fucking stupid I was. There is nothing like being your own creator, which is the entire point of any so called “art.” I am as proud now as I was when I started making chip beats of every single thing I did, even the shit during my learning and experimenting phases (which i’m not sure ever really ends.) Trust me, I try to keep to myself but I’m never afraid to say “yeah, I made that and it’s mine.” I sincerely hope I’m not a total blasphemy and shit stain on any small element of EDM, chiptune or etc. Ahhh yes, nothing like those damn I love myself motherfucker moments.

So cheers to those known and unknown alike who are actual artists, no matter how good or awful your work is labeled to be. There is such a profound truth and degree of integrity in originality compared to the Bieber’s of the world. Forgive me for calling you a cocksucker if you know better and just don’t care, maybe money does that to people. The label often thrown at guys like me is “hater.” Guess so, because I will not give respect where I don’t believe it is earned. I can only say that I will go to my grave never convinced that sales and fame tell the real story, because those two points are not nearly enough for me to appreciate anything. I would be a liar if I said I didn’t want to perform a Kraftwerk cover or two on my Gameboy for fun and out of pure love, but there is no way in hell I would ever allow someone to write my music for me and then call it my own no more than I would do said Kraftwerk cover(s) and claim that I wrote it. That, and I rather like giving my music away, and I’m not even sure why. I don’t want to be paid for music, ever. That is not where I belong, no matter how stupid that sounds. Truthfully, my biggest dream is having one my own albums pressed on vinyl, and sold for as dirt cheap as possible, with zero money going to me. Man that would be awesome. You know, I’m not sure if that attitude makes me a complete tool or not, but on the other hand, I’m only following that for me, all for me. I won’t write something for someone else. Fuckery.

end babble.

–BitPusher