March 20, 2021

Personal virtual computing pt 4: the install

This is a series about my journey in building a multipurpose PC using virtualisation technology and RGB strips. This is the 4th and final part, which is about using this system in anger and working out the bugs! If you missed the beginning, you can jump all the way back to part 1. At this point I have built a PC, installed Proxmox as the hypervisor, and configured a random collection of Ubuntu and Windows machines. ... Read more

August 20, 2020

Personal virtual computing pt 3: the build

This is a series about my journey in building a multipurpose PC using virtualisation technology and RGB strips. This is part 3, which is about putting the pieces together and getting a prototype running. If you want know about why these pieces, try part 2, if you want to know about the software challenges and solutions skip to part 4. I had a budget in mind of somewhere between £2000 and £3000 - about the same cost as a new 2020 Macbook Pro, and given inflation, the same sort of money I put down 5 years ago. ... Read more

August 15, 2020

Personal virtual computing pt 2: the design

This is a series about my journey in building a multipurpose PC using virtualisation technology and RGB strips. This is part 2, which is about some of the research and design choices I made. If you want some self-indulgent history, try part 1, if you want to read about the construction, start at part 3. I’m trying to accomplish two things with one machine: A recording / 3D design / gaming rig. ... Read more

August 5, 2020

Personal virtual computing pt 1: the beginning

This is a series about my journey in building a multipurpose PC using virtualisation technology and RGB strips. This is part 1, which is mostly made of self-indulgent history. If you just care about the hardware and tech, start at part 2. 5 years ago I upgraded to a brand new Mac Book Pro, and it’s done me proud. However, between development on Android apps, doing more with my music and some experimentation with 3D modelling, I’m starting to ask just a bit too much of the poor thing. ... Read more

July 12, 2020

Upgrading video calls

I’ve already written about routing audio from different sources into video confs, and waxed a little lyrical about my history, and the present, of remote music collaboration. A recent generous offer to join in with a remote roleplay game (City of Mist) being run by a friend gave me just the excuse I was looking for to experiment with streaming technology for video conferences. My hypothesis is that there’s a lot of benefit to be had by being at least familiar with the streaming tools that are now basically plug and play. ... Read more

June 25, 2020

Making music remotely

With the need for social distancing, the internet is full of remote shows. Take That got in on the action, as did Dua Lipa on James Corden, and countless others. Prompted by the questions of “how do they do that?” and “what are my options?” I wanted to dig into the state of the nation regarding remote collaboration tools, especially with regards to music. As it happened, my good friend Richard was also interested in poking around remote recording. ... Read more

June 13, 2020

TeslaBridge III - keeping up to date

Early last year, I detailed the construction of a special guest wifi access point for my car. Then how I had to fix it to make it work. Until recently, this was working just fine: my car connected, software updates were downloading, everything was happy. I stopped thinking about what I’d built and started relying on the service it provided. I don’t know exactly when things stopped, since we’ve all been spending less time in the car, but a few weeks ago there was a software update available but I should “connect to wifi to download it”. ... Read more

May 16, 2020

Audio routing in OSX

Once upon a time I used to collaborate online and make a lot of music. As I write this, the UK is in the 10th week or so of lockdown (although it’s now “stay alert”) and I find myself with a little more free time on my hands for things like music, but without a workflow to make the collaboration happen! In the olden days, I had a shared Dropbox folder that handled the synchronisation of files between me and my collaborators. ... Read more

February 3, 2020

My second digital life: replacing Dropbox

Part of an ongoing series exploring my digital life, starting with “Designing my digital life (again)" With Dropbox positioning themselves as a collaboration platform, rather than just a synchronisation service, I find their products and my needs are diverging. As mentioned in the opening post, this observation about Dropbox and their intentions was one of the core drivers to reevaluating what services I was using and where I’d gotten to with my digital life. ... Read more

February 2, 2020

My second digital life: trying Brave and Duck Duck Go

Part of an ongoing series exploring my digital life, starting with “Designing my digital life (again)" Thinking about privacy and surveillance as I did here began as an emotional reaction to Inbox being shut down, but the approach I took with the privacy topic could also be viewed as a somewhat academic exercise to explore an idea. As a more practical exercise to understand what “let Google see less of me” looks like, I figured I would try to make changes to ensure that Google sees less of me. ... Read more

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