Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

6/2/2017

Music for Gaming

Filed under: Fun,music — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Ambient music with the gamer in mind.

Last week, I brought you a blog which explored the latest, and classic, MP3 music. This week, I’m bringing you a link to more music, but of a different kind.
I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone who reads my blog that I was a table-top role-playing gamer. Yes, that means Dungeons and Dragons, as well as others. Games like Traveller and Top Secret and Star Frontiers, not to mention the more obscure Gamma World and Villains and Vigilantes or Dragon Quest. (Yes, Dragon Quest was a table-top game once that had nothing to do with the more well-known video game.) Back in the day, we generally played these games in someone’s spare room or basement and, if we were lucky, there was a TV with a VHS player where we could run appropriately themed movies in the background for a little “mood music” soundtrack.
Now, though, I’d bet that pretty much everyone has a computer, of some kind, in their favorite game area. And, what with all the digital music available, means a much easier means of playing some appropriate music in the background. Which brings me to the link I have to share with you all today, Tabletop Audio, “ambiances and music for tabletop role playing games”. They pretty much have a background track for every genre and most every situation. Everything from a Wild West Saloon to a haunted House on the Hill to a Busy Space Port to the Colosseum or an Elven Glade. They also would probably make good background noise for genre writers looking to get into the right mood for their work.
And, yes, all free, though they do gently ask for free-will donations.

Come back next week to see if I even bother blogging anything at all!
And have a good weekend.

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

5/26/2017

Free Music Downloads

Filed under: Fun,music — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I know, I’m all over the place this month.

Honestly, I think it’s the essential existential crisis of suddenly not having three quarters of our credit card debt. I mean, seriously, that is a huge deal. I honestly thought I was going to be paying those off for the rest of my life. But, now, poof. Gone. And, we didn’t even have to declare bankruptcy to do it or anything. But, one of our challenges now is to stay frugal and keep paying as much as we can against the other debt. And, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I can be a cheap bastard. It’s just how I roll.
Still I do love new music. Or at least music that’s new to me. In fact, I’m told that my wife kind of admires that about me.
One way I try to keep introducing myself to new music is via music blogs, like Fluxblog. And, who Matthew Perpetua has been writing about music on Fluxblog almost every day since 2002, claims that this is the very first MP3 blog. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that he has some pretty great ideas about music and regularly offers free MP3s you can download. Right now, I’m listening to selections from his six “disc” 2016 MP3 Survey Mix. He has others, focusing on other years, but, I’m grooving on the current stuff.
Matthew says the MP3s change often and are only available for a limited time, so grab these mixes while you can!

And, enjoy your weekend. Remember, Monday is Memorial Day, when we remember the brave service members who died defending their country and our way of life. It’s not just another day off.
See you next week!

4/7/2017

Blog Posts

Filed under: Better Living Through Technology,Fun,Geek Work,On Creativity,Stimulus and Production — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

My creative blog posting well is dry.

So dry.
Seriously, if you count my original blog, I have been doing this blogging nonsense for almost 17 years. My first blog post went live May 4th, 2000. How crazy is that?  Back then, I hand coded every page, making the HTML myself with Microsoft Notepad.  Then, I installed Moveable Type.  That was followed by a definite upgrade to WordPress during the great licensing debacle of 2004.  So, yes, I’ve been using WordPress since version 1.2  A lot has changed since then, but I can tell you one thing that hasn’t; the terrible struggle to create new and interesting content.
My wife, The Organizing Decorator, and I were talking about this very thing recently.  She just finished moving her site to her own hosting and content management system, so that I wasn’t responsible for her site as well as all of mine, and she told me how she need to stop tweaking and tampering with it.  My response was that it was a lot easier to mess with formatting than it was to actually create content.  And, after 17 years, I’m really feeling tapped out.

So, what’s my response?  To share with you two links about generating content!
First, a post from the very brainy and entrepreneurial Growth Lab titled How to find 20+ blog ideas your audience can’t wait to read.  It’s a process, but it’s a process that will help you generate content tailored to your blog, brand, or business.
The other is How To Think Outside The Box with 200+ writing prompts by CoSchedule.  And, it’s just what it sounds like, a list of prompts with blanks to get you started on a blog post.  They’re pretty generic, but they may not all be applicable to your chosen subject matter.

Well, there you have it.  Two links that are free and useful, if not exactly “fun” for non-bloggers or content producers.
Maybe I’ll have something better for you next week.
Maybe not.  Only time will tell.

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

12/12/2014

Free Indie Christmas Music

Filed under: Art,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,music — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Yes, free Christmas music.

I love Christmas music of almost any kind.  And, of course, I love things that are free.  So, combining the two is my way of spreading some holiday cheer!

For many years, the music blog Stereogum shared a special Christmas mix of free, downloadable MP3s from Indie artists, some you may know and some you may not.  It was always a fun mix and almost always introduced me to new music while also giving me different Christmas music…
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10/24/2014

Free eMagazines

Filed under: Art,Fun,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:31 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I don’t have much for you this week.

Seriously, it’s been a long, tiring week and I’m kind of burned out, but I have to work part of the weekend, too, so I’m afraid this week isn’t great.   Basically, I’ve just got one thing, but at least it’s free.
If you like to read, especially magazines, and don’t mind reading online or via an app, then check out Issuu, the free digital publishing platform.  Yes, it’s basically a news stand in digital…
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8/5/2011

On-Line EXIF Viewer

Filed under: Art,Fun,PERL — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Another one for the photography geeks.

Some of you may have guessed that I enjoy photography just a little bit.  You may have deduced that from all the photography related links I share on Fridays.  Or possibly because I tell you am obsessed by it virtually every chance I get.  Either way, it’s true.  I find myself staring into portraits of people in magazines trying to figure out the lighting setup based on the reflections in their eyes.  When I see a photo I like on Flickr, I usually check the EXIF data, if it’s available, to get some idea about how the photographer made it.  The EXIF data is far from the whole story, but, at least, it gives me some idea how the photographer was setting the camera to get the light and depth-of-field that they did.

Well, recently, I was reading an entry on Chase Jarvis’ blog challenging his readers to reverse engineer one of his photos.
I kind of love those sorts of things, to be honest.  But, what was cool about this one was that someone in the comments pointed to a website that automagically pulled the EXIF information from the photo!  How cool is that!?
The site is called Jeffrey’s EXIF Viewer.  And you can use it to pull EXIF information from either a photo on your hard drive or that you find on-line somewhere.  I haven’t actually tried it on Flickr for people who don’t upload the EXIF data, but I’m sure I will be in the near future.  In any case, it’s free, outside of some advertising, and it’s pretty cool.  (Also, for the hard-core tech geeks like me, I’ll note that it looks like it was programmed in Perl, which is my favorite programming language.)

So, go forth, find photos and check them against the EXIF data to see if you can guess the photographer’s settings!
And, enjoy your Friday!


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