Current Events: Playing catch up …

Okay, I haven’t posted in a very very long time. (My English teacher said never to use “very very”, choose extremely or some other word).  Not that I haven’t wanted to, but I don’t always have the time and I am easily distracted.  I get a topic in my head and decide that’s what I’m going to post, but I forget about it when I get home or whatever, it just never gets done.  So!  Here are the current events and hopefully I don’t forget anything.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO): I went to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to do a New Year’s Eve show with Fosterchild.  This was to perform for the troops at GTMO, the world’s oldest Naval base …  It’s beautiful down there.  It was more like a vacation than a job.  What I bring back the most was snorkeling … I enjoyed that very much as I’d never done it before.  The water was so salty that it was effortless to float, but nearly impossible to dive.  Coral was very sharp, but I saw fishies!  We played two shows, one New Year’s Eve and another two days later … We toured the entire facility – yes, the entire facility and they were clear that they wanted the things we saw be shared with everyone when we came back.  They showed us “Camp X-ray” (which was only open for 70-90 days) where the detainees were held  in 2003 and all the media photographs depict when referring to GTMO.  This camp is grown over with grass and weeds and hasn’t been used since.  They showed us Camps 4, 5, and 6 which become more restrictive as you go.  We saw what the detainees were provided in the way of clothing and things to pass their time.  How theirs customs are respected and attended to.  It was certainly an experience all in itself.

Bo Bice: On a lighter note (whew!) … American Idol’s fourth season runner up to Carrie Underwood was also performing at Guantanamo Bay as well.  We even shared the 30 seat plane ride with him to the island.  There was a problem with his sound guy’s passport, so he was left at the airport in Florida.  Because of this fact, I performed double duty on New Year’s Eve day by sound checking Bo Bice at their venue and then going to the venue where Fosterchild was playing and complete that sound check.  Bo Bice played that night with Tony, the electrician who is assigned to setup and break down PA systems at GTMO and his crew.  I also had a monitor guy who worked with Tony’s department.  It was a Venue system, and the next day, New Year’s Day they moved that entire show to another part of the base that is their outdoor movie theater and I was able to sound check and come back and mix that show.  So, on New Year’s Day 2011 (1/1/11), I mixed Bo Bice in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – and I got his autograph.

I better get this posted now, more later …

System Fonts?

Way back in the day, when someone said “system font” what came to mind was a mono spaced font used to display information of and relating to the system, hence “system” font.

The reason was obvious to us old-heads, before there were screen fonts for editing, there were punched cards. Each punched card had 80 columns, as did the screen — everyone was happy. Continuation to another card? Put an “X” in column 72. I can’t imagine what these kids today would do if they had to sit down at a keypunch and type in all their code. Wrong key? Whoops! Gotta get a new card … Hunting down bugs? Nowadays syntax highlighting makes errors hop off the screen …

Anyway, my torturous past has nothing to do with the real reason for this post, it has to do with “System Fonts” …

Do you think the system font has anything to do these days with the site design of the operating system manufacturer? I think it probably does. Now, a system font seems to be a font that came with the system. So, Verdana was a Microsoft system font, and Lucida Grande is a Mac system font. I say Verdana was because it seems to be readily available on all systems now, but initially it wasn’t and you will not find Lucida Grande on a MS Windows based machine. MS Windows Vista introduced Segoe UI as its font.

Being that these systems (companies) like to make their web sites in the default font of their operating system, things don’t look the same on all platforms. What I think is strange is that Microsoft totally changed their web site, so it’s back to the ol’ fonts, but how much more does Microsoft look like it wants to be Apple anymore? Frankly, it’s embarrassing … but that’s another topic that will only be mentioned in passing in this post.

This WordPress theme that I’m using while this post was made (don’t know if I will or won’t change it) is made to resemble a Mac type interface. In doing this, the Lucida Grande font is selected to be displayed to visitors. If, however, you’re not a Mac visitor, you’re not going to see the Lucida Grande font just as if you went to http://www.apple.com … So what is the fall back? I chose Tahoma for my MS Windows brethren … I will also look into putting in Segoe UI so that Vista peeps will have a better experience in their viewing pleasure.

So there you have it, a system font is no longer a mono-spaced font used for interfacing with the intricacies of an operating system and its code, it’s now all about style

PC vs. Mac

vista-dadmbp-dadMarch 5th, 2009 marked my father’s 75th birthday. On this day horror of horrors, he was experiencing yet another “computer problem.”

Over the course of time, I have found my father to be somewhat political so I picked an American looking theme for his blog. He being a former newsman, I liked the Courier font for him as well.

If you click on the screen shot on the left, you will see of what he was complaining. The screen shot is from my Windows Vista, and on the right, a screen shot from my MacBookPro. The CSS style sheet specified simply Courier as the leader in the font-family parameter. As you can see, it looked fine on my Mac, and that’s what I’m sure I used to setup his (and my) blog. In fact, I almost exclusively use the Mac for everything. Once you go Mac …

Also, look how sickly Courier looks on Windows Vista. What’s up with that? Looks fine on the Mac. I mean, Courier wasn’t deprecated, was it? Anyway, a simple change from Courier to "Courier New" made everything all better.

Poor Vista, and Happy Birthday, Dad!