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Got Me

Posted under Other Technology at . Last updated 2022-07-24 02:52.
Tags:drive, hardware, security, software

got U

Iʼm trying to work out what happened to someoneʼs disk. This is one of a rotating pair of external drives used to backup an Ubuntu laptop. One of the pair, Backup 2, failed to mount the other day. I confirmed the problem and ran a backup to Backup 1. I now think that may have been a mistake, but weʼll see.

I tried fsck from the administrator account with no result, but noticed along the way that Backup 2 is seen as a single exFAT partition, which seems a little odd as Iʼd have expected ext3 or ext4.

Switching over to an OSX laptop where I have a better range of tools to hand, I can confirm that it reads as GUID/exFAT. But a look at it with a sector editor is puzzling. I see nothing in sector 0. Moving on to the sector 1 I have what looks like an EFI header so that should be fine. Sector 2 seems to be part of the same system. And I went back to 0 but this time scrolled down. That helps.

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A Spotterʼs Guide to HIPs and Strings

Posted under Musical Technology at . Last updated 2022-05-05 17:11.
Tags:artwork, ELEX, ELKA, Hohner, Logan, piano, reference, string machine

A summary of investigations into Hohner analogue electronic pianos and string machines. (To date. Not planning any updates at this point, but you never know.)

Not long after the technology became reasonably affordable, Matth. Hohner AG sold several electronic piano and string machine models under their Hohner International brand, apparently aiming at cheapness and portability compared with their acoustic and electromechanical keyboards. Most of these were either rebadged ELEX (Excelsior) products or perhaps Hohner-inspired modifications of them. Some were rebadged ELKA and Logan instruments, and they produced a couple of their own designs. [1] (Hohner did also produce organs, bass keyboards and pedalboards, acoustic and electromechanical piano-like instruments amongst others, but thatʼs not todayʼs topic.)

The plethora of these instruments from different manufacturers, some sold as Hohner, some not, some easily distinguished, some not, some modified either inside or out over their production span, has led to a certain amount of confusion in the years since, and poses a puzzle for people interested in obtaining and/or repairing them. But perhaps itʼs possible to construct a comprehensive overview which will allow them to be identified and distinguished?

[...]

HIPs and Strings

Ephemeral photos of most of these instruments turn up occasionally in online sales; longer-term linkable references are given below. Different branding seems to have been used by Hohner in different national markets, however, so even if this list is comprehensive technically (which I canʼt guarantee), there may be alternative names in some parts.

Drawings below are sketches intended to highlight the distinguishing characteristics of the instruments, rather than be exhaustively accurate. Or get the perspective right or anything. Slider caps in particular may vary even in the same model; so Iʼm not trying too hard to represent the exact types found — where they havenʼt all vanished or been replaced.

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Honour

Posted under Miscellanea at .
Tags:politics, satire

The Russʼs children are a wild bunch. We knew that all along. Theyʼve never been easy neighbours, though sometimes their parents were our friends. But yesterday we heard a scream from the little sister and wondered what it was now. Turned out that the biggest brother was dragging her into a cage heʼd built. Sheʼd been trying to get out and meet people, and the brothers didnʼt like that. The littlest of them was always too small to dare to do anything himself, and too scared to talk to anyone or to disobey. So heʼd helped build the cage and kept quiet.

We wondered what to do. Could we, should we, do anything? Sometimes everyone knows whatʼs going on, but no-one says anything. This wasnʼt the first time sheʼd been dragged into the house and tied down, while Big Brother did whatever he wanted with her, and the Little Brother sat and watched, giggling to himself about the things heʼd do when he grew up. How she got over that and still had enough nerve to talk to anyone, I donʼt know. Perhaps she wants to believe that itʼs good to be friendly, so long as people are friendly to you.

But this time I donʼt know. Iʼm afraid. Iʼve heard of it happening before in other villages. Maybe theyʼll just tie her to the bed again and Big Brother can use her like before. Or maybe heʼs so crazy about her, so mad that heʼs not the only thing in her world. Maybe itʼll happen this time. Maybe heʼll say, it was an honour killing. And all the people looking for excuses will just say, well, honour. Yes, thatʼs important, isnʼt it. Itʼs traditional. Itʼs their family business, after all.

Stop looking at me like that. Youʼre not helping.


Korg SD pictures

Posted under Musical Technology at .
Tags:BBD, Korg, musical equipment, photographs, SD‑200, SD‑400

Side by side shots of the Korg SD delays, the -200 opened for comparison while I convert the -400 for 240V.

Korg SD-400 and SD-200 front panels

The SD-400 (brown) has the bypass, short/long delay option, swell, and ADT settings, but no tone control. I havenʼt quite worked out which I prefer; the -400 seems to have a fixed filter; itʼs smoother than the SD-200 (silver) on simple delays, unless you turn the -200 tone down. Maybe the -200 is better for harsher delays. The only online technical information Iʼve found for them suggests they have roughly the same range of 30–400ms for the -200 and 25–400ms for the -400. Presumably the -400 should go lower on its Short setting, but itʼs the same as the -200 on its Long setting. In practice, comparing these two, the -400 gets up to around 10% longer delay, but that could just be a calibration thing on one of them.

Korg SD 200 and 400 open

Maltron Keyboard Retrospective Notes
(& Related Considerations)

Posted under Other Technology at .
Tags:hardware, keyboard (typing), Maltron

Having finally worked out how to write blogging software capable of containing the Vosathenik pages, I feel able to publish my page of thoughts about why I didnʼt adapt to the Maltron keyboard. (Apart from a few grammatical edits this was mostly written in late 2014.)

In their defence, I have to say it was probably more to do with the structure of my fingers than anything else. The Maltron keyboard is based on some design principles which reflect usage assumptions which may be valid for some people, but not for me.

Maltron keyboard

1. Long and Short Fingers

Some of us have longer fingers than others, some have relatively long third fingers, and some have relatively short fourth fingers. My impression is strongly that the Maltron was designed for a more even balance. I found using it less comfortable than a standard flat keyboard, partly because of the extra tendon strain involved in keeping my third fingers out of the way. Conversely, with a flat keyboard, I get on reasonably well by angling my fingers over so that they meet the keys with a similar level of tension, though the Vosathenik layout now helps with that.

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Zen & the Art of Synthesiser Maintenance

Posted under Miscellanea at .
Tags:site‑admin

So, a new site? Yes, after a year of covid and code. The older site was no longer serving its original purpose, and Iʼm writing now mostly about . . . well, Zen & the Art of Synthesiser Maintenance seems to sum it up. (Contrary to my expectation, it seems no-one had used it before . . . ) Also Iʼm consolidating a few other things here which never worked very well in the old CMS, and mostly got lost in different subdirectories in earlier/other sites. (They still have their original publication dates though, near as I can work them out — anything prior to this post.)

This site will be divided into topical sections for ease of access, and will be less constrained by templates — Iʼm doing my own CMS. This may involve a bit more vector graphics than works well with off-the-shelf software, and anything I fancy trying out. Some pages will even have scripts for special operations, but this will always be a) handcrafted, b) lightweight, c) served from this domain, d) stated and explained, and e) honest (but donʼt just trust me on that). Enter at your own pleasure over pain ratio, but feel free to contact me about visibility issues.


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