Am I Turning Geek?

According to the google, this is the typical definition for geek:

geek-definition

However, I would much prefer this definition on urban dictionary.  It’s pretty close.  I’m not big on video games.  However, I have spent far too much time on the interweb, but that alone does not make me a geek.  Geek is more about attitude and how much time you can spend on the same task.  I also don’t think you have to ‘be a computer programmer’ to be a geek.  To “geek out” is to obsess over something, it could be a movie, a book, a groovy dance tune or a few lines of code.

man-standing-at-corner

Are you socially awkward?

Most likely, sometimes it’s unnoticeable.  Other times it’s a glaring obvious panic induced situation that I would rather avoid.  I’m not entirely an introvert but I’d much sooner avoid social occasions where there are more than 3 people gathering unless we’re all dancing or at least listening to music, then small crowds are ok.  Never more than about 100 people though if possible.

Things like Canada day gatherings on Parliament, forget about it, you’ll never see me in a crowd like that, not on purpose.

Also, you need not be a geek to enjoy listening to ‘Background Noise 4 Geeks’.  It’s not just for geeks, although I’m hoping a few will enjoy it.

What is the best background noise for work?

About 15 years ago I worked in an office with a white noise generator.  It kept an otherwise loud environment filled with many lively coversations to a dull roar.  It worked rather well, to a point.  Pretty quickly your brain tunes out the white noise, it just becomes part of the environment and makes it easier to concentrate on your work. I’m sure some noise generators are better than others.

Noise Generation

However, a white noise generator can also be very irritating for some people.  I’ve read that it can possibly even increase your stress level rather than do what it is supposed to do which is to provide a peaceful and seemingly quiet work space.

My current office has a rather loud ventilation system that blocks out quite a bit of the distracting conversations in the adjacent cubicles.  When the fans turn off, there’s a sudden deafening silence.  It feels strange without the white noise of the ventilation system.  It turns off so rarely, otherwise it runs continuously all day, every day, winter or summer.  Without the vents on, everything and everyone seems so much louder, so much more noticeable.

If I had to block out the surrounding office noise by wearing headphones, I would not choose to listen to most of the ‘ambient’ noise generator apps that I’ve tried.  There are some exceptions of course, but typically for me,  10 to 15 minutes is all I can take of ambient music, after that my skin starts to crawl. I find that listening to music with vocals can be equally distracting.  If I’m reading or otherwise trying to concentrate, Jazz or Classical music would be a good choice.  I tested my album to see if I can actually work while listening to it.  I have to say it really depends on what I’m working on.  If it’s a mostly visual task like working with Photoshop then it passes the test quite nicely.  Ultimately, not having to wear headphones to block out the noise at work would be best.

burnt

In my opinion, the best background noise for work would be the natural sounds you hear sitting in the woods among the trees, the birds and the insects.   Far away from the fax machine, the paper shredder and the sound of the ventilation system. Somehow, I don’t think listening to a recording of ‘sounds of the woods’ will help my work environment.  If only we could open a window in our office.  Oh imagine the nuisance of that! There would be no end to it, some of us would want the window to always be open, others for it to always be shut.

So it goes.

Can’t Stop Yourself from Singing?

If words suddenly pop into your head while you’re listening to this album, and you feel the urge to sing.  That’s super cool!

Be Courageous!

I hope that you can find the courage to record your voice and share it with others.  Please share it with me!  If you can, please send me a link and I’ll give it a listen.

Do you like one of the tracks but think it could be so much better?  Think that it should have a lot more _______________ or  without so much  ______________?  [please fill in the blanks].  Let me know in the comments.  Good or bad, but please don’t be too nasty, I’m just a kid [at heart].

microphone

This is a screenshot of the microphone I ordered from eBay.  That was weeks ago and it’s still not here!  How frustrating, but that’s ok, because it’ll just make it that much better when it finally arrives!

Then watch out!  Lyrics here I come!  Good grief.

You Silly Wabbit!

Why is track 12  named “:(){ :|:& };:”?

That line of special characters consisting of some colons, a semi-colon, parentheses, brackets, braces and an ampersand is what is known as a fork bomb or wabbit.  This tiny bit of code will replicate itself like a couple of rabbits until it uses up all of your computer resources and your machine crashes.  You would need to type this into a terminal window for it to execute (not a good idea).  To read more details on how it works check out this Wiki article.

When I was creating track 12, the sound from the ‘retro space lead’ synthesizer I was using made me think of a recursive loop.  That is when the fork bomb name came to mind.

Interestingly, when this title was uploaded to the iTunes store, certain characters were stripped out and you end up with only this line: [::&];:  Typing this into a terminal window will give you the following response: ‘-bash: [::: command not found. In other words, it’s completely harmless.

There are some variations between music stores, the Google Play store shows the title as () [:|:&];:  I’m guessing the programmers added a rule that you can’t start the name of your song with a colon (:) because that might be confused with the same character that is  sometimes used in the path name to denote a directory.

At Amazon you end up with :() [:|:&];:  Different software with different rules on how to handle special characters but they all do pretty much the same thing, protect their data from getting messed up.  It seems for whatever reason that all stores swapped the squiggly braces ‘{}’ for brackets ‘[]’.

Where can I find out more information about punctuation marks?

Please try the punctuationguide.com