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Learning the guitar… after 10 years of playing

I’ve been playing the guitar (both electric and acoustic) for quite a while now. Come to think about it, I think it’s over 10 years when I bought my first guitar, a horrible Jackson/Charvel superstrat with an awful Floyd Rose-type tremolo. I’ve been playing ever since, but sometimes weeks if not months have passed by without me even touching my guitars. My level as a guitarist is nowhere near where it should be considering the amount of years. I really struggle with leads/solos and my chord strumming is erratic.

For the last year or so, however, there’s been a noticeable growth in my guitar-slinging skills, as we started a (cover) band with a couple of my colleagues. We rehearse weekly and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me as a guitarist! Seriously, the best way of learning to play is to play with friends. In our band the only one who really can play is the drummer, and I tend to think that having a good drummer who stays in time really helps me to keep nmy strumming in time as well.

Anyway, that’s a long introduction to the beef of this post. Yesterday I happened to stumble upon a YouTube video about pinch harmonics, a skill I don’t yet master. Even though the quality of the video is sub-par, the content was great, and through that video I ended up on the website of the guy behind that video, justinguitar.com. He has a lot of great stuff there, just by watching (a good deal of) the videos there I learned more on music theory and guitar playing in general than I have learned in the past 10 years combined. Time well spent.

But just watching videos or reading about theory doesn’t help you to ace those soloes. Time to rehearse!

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Malware seems to be a real problem for Android

Malware seems to be a real problem for Android

Kaspersky Labs:

Over the three-month period, the company found more than 14,900 new malicious programs targeting the platform.

Every now and then the geek in me rises it’s head and quietly whispers “Sick of that springboard? There are alternatives to iOS, you know!” to my ear. Then I see news like this and realize I’m not switching anywhere anytime soon.

Also, note to self: blog about vendor lock-in and Apple.

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Finally a good use for Excel macros

Finally a good use for Excel macros

Victor Jakubiuk:

NitroBird – a Twitter client for Excel – using Python, tweepy and DataNitro.

OK, so perhaps not a “good” use, and actually it’s not even using Excel macros but Python — but it’s a cool hack nonetheless.

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Is it time for password-less login?

Is it time for password-less login?

Even though I solve the password problem with 1Password, I can easily see what a wonderful idea this might be for the not-so-computer-savvy people.

Especially since OpenID’s an incomprehensible mess and OAuth is failing too.

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Dear Nokia, focus!

This subject is probably beaten to death already, but just a couple of the latest Nokia links:

Nokia links up with Groupon to promote deals on phone maps

Nokia Lumia 900 Gets Its Own Matching Pink Nail Polish

Groupon crap and nail polish? Please.

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“Yep.”

“Yep.”

iMore has learned that Apple is planning to debut the new iPhone at a special event on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, with the release date to follow 9 days later on Friday, September 21.

And here comes Jim’s famous “yep” practically confirming the event.

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My favourite replacement apps, part 1

As I did a fresh install of Mountain Lion the day it was released, I’ve been slowly installing the tools I usually need as I’ve needed them. I thought it’d be interesting for the like-minded geeks to se how I roll. I’m planning to release this information as a series of posts, this being the first one.

iTerm 2, the Terminal replacement

I tried the default Terminal on 10.8 but as I’ve grown so accustomed to iTerm 2, I downloaded and installed it instead. It’s a great Terminal replacement with nice features such as split panes. And page up/page down work straight away with irssi, with zero configuration.

Oh-my-zsh, the Bash replacement

Oh-my-zsh brings zshell with awesome default configuration. I’m sure Bash can be configured to act & look similar, but this thing just makes sense out-of-the-box, so why not? From the top of my head, some nice features:

  • Case insensitive autocomplete (where multiple hits of the tab key go though the alternatives)
  • Git integration
  • Fancy themes (yes, really) featuring colours in e.g. file listings
  • Handy aliases, such as .. instead of cd .., – instead of cd –

Chrome, the Safari replacement

I don’t fancy Safari. Even though I’ve bee flirting with Safari 6 that comes with 10.8 (unified location & search box! crazy fast and smooth scrolling! no Flash!) it still has some things that drive me next to crazy. For instance, Safari has a lot to learn about tab handling from Chrome. Tab duplication is nowhere to be found (except as a flaky plugin).

And Chrome just happens to be the least bad option. There are some things that I don’t like with Chrome, but it’s mostly good.

Adium, the Messages replacement

Well, Messages is the mess of ages.

I’ll be back with more apps in part two. Stay tuned, and as always, for comments & feedback you can reach me on Twitter as @anttti.

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Getting Apache, MySQL and PHP up & running on Mountain Lion

Getting Apache, MySQL and PHP up & running on Mountain Lion

Posting this mostly for my own future needs, as I seem to keep getting bitten by the MySQL sock error every single time.

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Baldur’s Gate coming to iPad in September

Baldur’s Gate coming to iPad in September

This is great. I hardly ever play games on any other platform than iOS, and more specifically, my iPad.

Via TouchArcade.

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“Emails to My Unborn Daughter”

“Emails to My Unborn Daughter”

Speaking of emails, this is such a great idea by Jeffrey Inscho:

For the past five years, I’ve been writing emails to my son. Shortly after he was born in 2007, I created an email account in his name so I could write to him throughout his childhood and then turn the account over to him when he was of age.

Definitely something I’d consider doing if we had kids.

Via Minimal Mac.