Robotic Guitar Tuner


A long long time ago I seem to remember Eric Clapton saying in an interview that he wished there was a self-tuning guitar. Well, this is the next best thing, I guess, though Eric probably has somebody to tune his guitars for him. This device might be useful for his hard worked guitar tech, though.

Grateful Dead t-shirts from a football club!

It seems a little strange to me, but I have shopped from them myself. In their club shop, Barnet F.C. have a section called Rock Merchandise. So alongside all of the usual football stuff – shirts, souvenirs, bottle openers, etc., you can get Grateful Dead tie dye t-shirts (I did!), as well as shirts for Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Stones, Velvet Revolver, The Who, The Beatles, The Doors. It seems that all shirts are 19.99 (pounds that is). I’m not affiliated, just a happy customer.

KPFA Dead Marathon – all over!


The 20th Annual David Gans KPFA fundraising Grateful Dead Hour Marathon (a catchy title, I think!), just finished 8 minutes ago. I was around for most of the first 5 or 6 hours, then managed to stream it over wifi to my Pocket PC (very pleased with that!) for a while in bed, and I just got up and caught the last 20 minutes. The playlist (and lots of other stuff) is here. $21,000 raised to keep KPFA doing what it does.

KPFA Marathon – "Radio Shareware"


Every year radio station KPFA hosts a fundraising marathon. KPFA is home to Dead to the World, webcast on www.kpfa.org and presented by David Gans, and he hosts a large portion of the marathon, with exclusive rare and never broadcast music from the Grateful Dead and associates. There are lots of live guests in the studio too, and if you pledge a donation you could get a great gift. There are some fabulous posters being offered this year – see the example above. Many people around the world listen online to the marathon, and rarities and live sets from it are frequently recorded and circulated. KPFA ask for a donation if you get some of these disks.

David says: “We’ll have a live performance from the Papermill Creek Rounders (David Nelson, Banana, and friends) in the afternoon. Bob Weir and Ratdog had to postpone their live performance due to an injury to keyboardist Jeff Chimenti. I’ve got some uncirculated GD concerts to play in their entirety, and a lot of very special treats that I’m sure you’ve never heard before.
Here are some clues:

  • A tuba solo
  • Jerry playing “Sweet Georgia Brown”
  • Brent Mydland solo
  • Phil Lesh talking about “The Ivesian Stretch” (Okay, this is a rerun from 1992)
  • A studio recording of “Man Smart, Woman Smarter.”
  • The event will be webcast via nugs.net, kpfa.org, and kfcf.org

    This all takes place on Saturday, January 28, 9 am to 1 am PST – tomorrow!.

    Turn On, Tune In, Pledge!

    SPV M2000 stuff – Palm, Sync, Skype etc.


    I’ve had my Orange SPV M2000 for a couple of weeks now, so a few thoughts.
    I really really like it. It took me no time at all to adapt from my Palm Zire 71, which I’ve had for a couple of years. Why did I change? Well, the Palm didn’t have wifi or bluetooth, and it wasn’t a phone. But the main reason is that, although I have a PC and an iMac, I generally use the iMac as my main machine at home. And despite a lot of frustrating hours and emails to and from Mark Space (the producers of Missing Sync) I couldn’t get my Palm to sync with my iMac. As I can’t sync it with my work PC either, I needed to make a change to a system that I could rely on, as I used my Palm as my entire diary and contacts store. So, I upgraded my Palm version of Missing Sync for the Pocket PC version (even though I never got the Palm version working) and got the SPV M2000. And it syncs real easy, with a combination of Missing Sync and iSync (ships with iMacs).


    In day to day use the M2000 is real easy to use – I can make and search appointments easy, search for contacts and dial them with the built in phone. Text entry has been easy so far using either “hunt and peck” on the onscreen keyboard, or just writing on the screen with transcriber – it seems to understand my writing without any adjustment on my part. And failing that, there is the slide out thumboard, which is fairly easy to use too. So plenty of choice as to method of input, and the fact that you are offered word completion after you enter 2 letters is useful, especially as it makes sensible suggestions, not like the predictive text on mobile phones.

    Once I got my wifi network set up at home, it was a doddle to get the M2000 to find the network and connect to the ‘net. So – free internet in my hand anywhere around the house. An added bonus of this is that there is a PocketPC version of Skype – as soon as I got the M2000 I downloaded Skype, and last night stunned a friend in Hartlepool when he skyped me and thought I was sitting at my desk. He now can’t wait to see the M2000. This also means, of course, that if I can find an open wifi connection anywhere, (using WiFiFoFum) I can make free Skype calls, as well as browse the internet and collect my emails. Cool. And if I want to browse or check my mails where there is no wifi, I can use the GRPS connection. Oh, and there is Pocket Blogger too – lets me compose and publish to this blog from wherever I am. Neat!


    Negatives? I didn’t like the slip case that came with the machine, so I got a Krussell flip case off ebay. I could do with a combined USB/Sync cable too – less bulky than the charging cradle. And the damned thing not only keeps turning itself on, it also has the ability to connect the GRPS connection too. Sometimes I pull it from my pocket and it is connected, and I don’t know how long it has been turned on. Good job I get some free GRPS minutes! I’m going to have to be more careful with how I carry it around and get it out of my pockets.

    Overall? I like it. I needed to search around the menus a few times to familiarise myself with all of the settings etc., but I soon got the hang of it. Good job, as whilst orange give you a handbook with this, it doesn’t go into great detail about the general operation of the Pocket PC or Windows Mobile 2003. No doubt I’ll be posting a few more times about this machine. I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned here, just a paying customer.