Graphical Interfaces for Subversion Version Control: TortoiseSvn versus RapidSvn

I’m experimenting with using version control software for programming projects.  What I’ve found is that TortoiseSvn has a way better user interface and documentation than RapidSvn, by many degrees of magnitude.  TortoiseSvn adds Create Repository, Import, Export, Checkout, Repository Browser, etc buttons helpfully to the right-click context menu in Windows so you easily access TortoiseSvn functions while browsing folders etc.  RapidSvn doesn’t even have “Browse” buttons in its import menus; you have to manually type in paths/urls, which seems super rudimentary/user-unfriendly!!!

I had a headache getting Subversion to work with TortoiseSvn and RapidSvn, I forget which Subversion binaries I downloaded first, but they were out of date or something seemingly even when linked from the Subversion page.  I went back and installed CollabNet Subversion binaries which seemed to do the trick.  So, right now if you’re looking for a good GUI/graphical user interface to Subversion, TortoiseSvn is much better than RapidSvn!!!

Here’s a good tutorial on how to import existing files into a new repository you create; it’s kind of non-intuitive, though once you get over the first few steps it’s much easier.


Magazine–Motorcade, Cut Out Shapes, Permafrost


Magazine, my current favorite band ever.  Mix the best parts of Joy Division, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Josef K, Birthday Party, PIL, Bauhaus, T Rex, Flying Lizards…Pink Floyd…etc.

Magazine–Cut Out Shapes


Why the Change of Base Formula Works For Logarithms and Exponents

I find I remember math concepts so much more if I understand why and how things actually work.  That said, why does the change of base formula work?  Check out the proof in this Wikipedia article.

Here’s another description:

Say we have y=log_a b and you want to change the base to c, for example, say you only have a log base c button on your calculator, such as log base 10.  Well, y=log_a b means that a^y= b.  If we want this in base c, that means we want c^z= b where z=log_ c b.  Now check this out…we know that a^y= b…so we can just say, lets make c^v= a where v=log_c a.  Then that would mean that (c^v)^y=b since c^v= a and a^y= b.  Now, we know how to solve an exponent of an exponent:(c^v)^y=c^{vy}.

So, we want c^{vy}, where we know v=log_c a and y=log_a b and thus vy= log_c a * log_a b.  So, c^z= b and c^{vy}=b, thus log_c b=vy.  Then since vy= log_c a * log_a b, log_c b=log_c a * log_a b, and log_c b/log_c a= log_a b.

Finally! We’ve converted y=log_a b to another base, the base of c!

It may have been easier to label the starting logarithm as y=log_a x. Then y=log_a x=log_a b * log_b x. And log_b x=log_a x/log_a b. This may be easier to visualize: say g=log_a b and h=log_b x. That means that a^g=b and b^h=x. Then x=b^h=(a^g)^h. Then y=log_a x=log_a (a^g)^h= h * log_a (a^g) by the power rule of logarithms, and since log_a (a^g)=g, that means y=log_a x=g * h, which means that y=log_a x=g * h=log_a b * log_b x.

Why does the power rule of logarithms work? Say a^g=b and b^h=x. Say g=3. So a^g means a^3 which is (a)(a)(a)=b. Then b^h=x, and say h=2. So b^h=b^2 means (b)(b). Well, since (a)(a)(a)=b, (b)(b)=(a)(a)(a)(a)(a)(a), see the associative property of multiplication for more info. So, that demonstrates an example of how y=log_a x=log_a b^h=h * log_a b. Since h=2 and log_a b=g=3, that’s 2*3=6, as shown by the result (a)(a)(a)(a)(a)(a).

Current Favorite Album: Kate Bush–Never For Ever

Kate Bush’s album Never for Ever is my current favorite album.  It has all the best parts of mid-late 70s jazz fusion, disco, postpunk, new wave, goth, the best of mid-70s Joni Mitchell, Hiroshima, Brian Eno, and other experimental stuff.  Awesome!!!  Highly recommended.  More later…check out the video for her song Babooshka.

Kate Bush–Babooshka

Here’s a song Kate Bush worked on with Prince, “Why Should I Love You?

How to Play Choppy Postpunk Guitar


In response to this question on ilxor:

Choppy post punk guitar technique

That rhythmic thing used by Talking Heads, A Certain Ratio and all dem lot…

How do I achieve this? Is there a method? Is it just playing the chords with muted palm or is there more to it? And are there any particular chords or keys I should learn?

the next grozart, Tuesday, 25 November 2008 16:00 (3 weeks ago)

Here’s the exact answer:

The “chicken scratch” sound

[Jimmy] Nolen [James Brown’s main guitarist] developed a style of picking known as “chicken scratch,” in which the guitar strings are pressed lightly against the fingerboard and then quickly released just enough to get a muted “scratching” sound that is produced by rapid rhythmic strumming of the opposite hand near the bridge. This new guitar style was affected not only by Nolen’s choice of two and three note chord voicings of augmented 7th and 9th chords, but also by his strumming straight 16th note patterns, as in James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” Nolen’s choices of guitars and amplifiers also affected the sound for which he would be nicknamed. In his first recordings with James Brown, Nolen used a Gibson ES-175 and an ES-5 switchmaster, both hollow body jazz guitars equipped with single coil P-90s. He also relied on a Gibson Les Paul Recording model with single coil pickups, an Acoustic Black Widow, and a Fresher Straighter, which were also single coil instruments. The single coil pickups on these guitars produced a thin “chanky” sound; Nolen ran these guitars through a Fender Twin Reverb with the treble set at 8 out of 10. The result of these factors was a rhythm guitar sound that seemed to float somewhere between the low-end thump of the electric bass and the cutting tone of the snare and hi-hats, with a rhythmically melodic feel that fell deep in the pocket. A good example of such tone would be in James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “I’ve Got The Feeling.” Nolen had been experimenting with the sound prior to his joining James Brown: it can be heard on an obscure 45 RPM single called “Swinging Peter Gunn Theme (Parts 1&2), released in 1960 on the Fidelity label, a subsidiary of Art Rupe‘s Specialty Records.

From Wikipedia

Yes, that’s right, Jimmy Nolen and James Brown invented the whole postpunk guitar sound, pretty much…basically take James Brown and dub reggae, throw the two together, throw in some open chords (just hit the strings with no notes fretted) and some harmonics, and BAM!, that’s postpunk for you…

Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill (1985) versus Fleetwood Mac’s Big Love (1987)

I’m a HUGE Fleetwood Mac fan, it’s obvious here that their song Big Love (1987) was hugely influenced by Kate Bush’s Running up that Hill (1987).  Both awesome songs–this music could only have been made in the mid/late 80s.  A lot of mid/late 80s songs had those kinds of synths, and sad kind of dark romance/relationship lyrics–like the most famous Eurythmics albums.  Apparently Kate Bush was discovered by Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour, there’ are a few videos on Youtube of them playing together.

Kate Bush–Running Up That Hill (1985)

Fleetwood Mac-Big Love (1987)

Kate Bush’s song Never for Ever is AWESOME, and it has a song Egypt that sounds in parts like the Mahavishnu, parts sound like Joni Mitchell’s Hejira, lots of nice experimentation and jazz fusion and prog rock.  Here new song Aerial is pretty awesome too!!!  I wish she could get together with Joni Mitchell to do an album together!

Kurtis Blow–Christmas Rappin’

Kurtis Blow–Christmas Rappin’, great song, sampled for tons of other songs like Next’s Too Close etc…

Here’s the full version on Kurtis Blow–Christmas Rappin’

The beginning is sampled for Hold It Now, Hit It by the Beastie Boys which is pretty funny…