The last couple of days haven’t been much about music, but have instead been about getting computers together and upgraded and stuff. I realised that while this isn’t the best time for a week of systems offline, it is as less-bad as it’s probably going to get for a while.

But much to my shock, everything kind of went… sanely. Almost smoothly. Ubuntu 10.04.1 is a lot smarter about letting you ditch PulseAudio and while the 8.04.1 upgrader didn’t work, downloading a DVD ISO and burning an install disc with a 10.04.1 upgrader mostly did work, and ripping out PulseAudio so JACK runs is about a hundred times easier than it used to be. (As in, it’s one command in the shell. After the 8.04 experience I expected to be pulling out spaghetti dependencies and trapdoors for three days, no lie.)

Anyway, check this out, the same day as I started a four-distributions-behind upgrade:

yep, that shit be workin’ – and at 20% of CPU.

And so far, it’s even behaving better than 8.04.1 did. Okay, that’s damning with faint praise, but I mean it: improvement is welcome. There are a bunch of small new features in Ardour that are adding up to a lot of usability improvement already, and JACK is – so far – more stable now, too. Hopefully I’m not jinxing it.

Also, the art machine is a Ye Olde Win2K box with SCSI drives (8! gigabytes!) that has slowly been decommissioning itself over the last few years, and the rate has accelerated as of late (PCI slots? Eh, fukkem, you don’t need them. Monitor card? Well, okay, but I’m gonna be weird about it. Monitor? lol, CRTs die, let’s help this one along) so I’ve virtualised it on my MacBook! Which is how you get this:

Photoshop 5.5 and Microsoft Publisher 98 for … OS X?

I finally have Photoshop on my Mac, like the gods intended, but it’s a perversion of holy writ, as it’s the Windows version run in a VM. XD

I can also hit a key and it’s all back running on a windowed Windows 2K desktop, which is actually the default. And it only took three tries to migrate the machine (aheh) but it did work! And is lots faster being on, um, much more modern hardware.

And! The CD duplicator arrived. In the snow. But! Mostly under the porch roof and the box hadn’t been there long and was still mostly dry even on the outside. (And completely dry on the inside.) Eeeeeee!

Now if the USB serial interface will get here, I can try to make my old Wacom tablet work. (Which is the real reason I didn’t want to decommission the old Win2k box – it’s a very nice tablet and still expensive to replace, and requires a Windows-driven serial port, no exceptions.)

But at this point I’m about five days ahead of schedule on all this IT noise, which means TIME FOR A NEW TRAD O’ TH’ MONTH TOMORROW! Yay! o/