Friday, 9 October 2009

RePercussions community drumathon

… a planet-friendly groove-fest!
A call for all to join in!
drummers, dancers, tubthumpers & whistleblowers groove for a groovy future!!!

Sandy Bowl, Porthcawl, Saturday October 24th 2009 global climate change action day

The 350 minute drumathon in Porthcawl is a 'free access' public participation event supported by local community groups and drummers and dancers. People from across Wales are welcome to come to Porthcawl to join in and literally make themselves heard on Oct 24th!!

Sustainable Wales & friends hold a community climate change awareness event in Sandy Bowl, Porthcawl on Saturday Oct 24th 2009 as part of a global day of action co-ordinated by where thousands of people around the world come together and mark the number 350 parts per million - which science says is the level of CO2 in the atmosphere that we need to get back to to prevent dangerous climate change. The global campaign has the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bianca Jagger, George Monbiot and Rajendra Pachauri (head of International Panel on Climate Change) amongst many others. The events are a way for the public to make their voices heard in advance of the Copenhagen Climate Change talks in December.

The Porthcawl event itself involves a 350 minute 'drumming marathon' (a 'drumathon'!)

Drumming starts at 11.30 am and finishes at 5.20pm. 350 minutes (that's 5 hours and 50 minutes to be exact!) of people-powered drumming fun with samba, dance. junk drums will be there for the kids to bang too!

Climate activists, global citizens, drummers and dancers are invited to join in throughout the afternoon.

11.30am – 5.20pm join in as long as you want!

where to find the fun:
follow the sound of the rhythms to the zero-carbon gazebo village in Sandy Bowl nestled between Coney Beach funfair/Hi-Tide car park and Trecco Bay caravan park.

The location is perfect as the Sandy Bowl Drumathon is being held in a grassy amphitheatre in the heart of a disused caravan park right on the beach at Sandy Bay near Porthcawl harbour and funfair - so it is a bit of a celebration of local regeneration too!!

For the climate sinners who have to drive (unfortunately Porthcawl has no train station!!) there is ample parking at the Hi-Tide car park at the end of Mackworth Road, off New Road.

There are regular buses from Cardiff and Swansea ... though if you're bringing a drum to bang ..??

This event is also being run to raise awareness of the 'Living Lighter' energy efficiency project that Sustainable Wales are co-ordinating for Bridgend County Borough. Anyone interested in receiveing free training in home energy use and in helping local householders save money on their bills as well as cutting greenhouse gases should get in touch.

For more info contact Richard, mobile: 0788 231 7097, email

Friday, 14 August 2009

WMD on Facebook

Check out the new Facebook page for the Wizards of Mass Distraction.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Paths of possibility - a new blog about sustainability

Richard Thomas has a new blog about the future and sustainable living. Check it out...

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sound check (movie) - RT noodling.

At Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea. The drone is emanating from the delicious Gforce Minimonsta, playing via Ableton Live 8. MBP and Macbooks, TC Konnekt Live, etc. Way more info than is required really.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Cheapest way to connect two Macs for Logic Node use

Logic Node allows you to utilise the power of two or more Macs when working in Logic Pro. The Logic Node software provided with Logic distributes the computing power required to run plugins and greatly reduces the load on the CPU of the main Mac used for the DAW, this is great for matching up say a Mac Pro with a Macbook or harnessing the power of a second hand Mac Mini to boost your existing set up. However it relies on the use of Gigabit ethernet (1000 base or 1000 kBits ethernet) connections to enable fast communications between your Macs to prevent any latency being added. Slower connections such as the more common 100 base ethernet may work but are unreliable in practice.

This is fine if you have a router or switch that supports Gigabit ethernet but if you don't and are unwilling to splash out on a expensive new router or ethernet switch hub just for Logic Node, then here's a simple, fast and cheap way of connecting two Macs. Apple states that you need at least a PPC G5 mac with Gigabit ethernet connections.

Use a crossover cable - the best approach is to use an existing ethernet cable and an adapter for gigabit connection. This is more flexible in the long run as you can change the cable attached at a later date if you need a longer or shorter length if equipment is re-positioned.

I found the Hama Cat 5 Crossover adapter works fine (link below) is well made and great value.

So try out Logic Node simply, and cheaply! (More notes are in the comments)

Logic 9.1 64bit update - Logic Node is not yet supported when running in 64 bit mode. (Jan 2010)

More on Logic Node

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Public beta of Live 8

A public beta of Ableton Live 8 is now available for download...
A public beta of Live 8 is now available. If you own a full version of Live (versions 1 - 7) and would like to test Live 8, you can download the current beta version at

Great way of syncing files across Macs & PCs, Linux

Dropbox I've been using this service for about six months it's an excellent sync and back up solution - stores your files encrypted on Amazon's S3 servers. Dropbox works across Macs, Windows and Linux. Dropbox has had rave reviews, I've not had a single glitch with it syncing about 1.3gb of files across two macs.

Dropbox creates a folder on your PC and can be used to 
  • sync files across several machines
  • access your files via the website
  • storage for back up files
  • share large files to other people
  • set up shared access for several people to a folder or files
  • host image galleries
  • compatible with Truecrypt containers etc.
  • all files remain on your PC/s as well of course
  • it actually works, unlike many of these things
Also dropbox has
 a decent versioning system so if you change or delete a file you can look back at previous saves and restore previous versions. The developers are helpful and very active in releasing new versions, check the forum for the latest experimental builds of Dropbox. 

2gb storage is free.
If you register using my personal link, below, I get more free space and so do you (above the usual 2gb)

Move the tab bar on Safari 4 and other hidden preferences

Safari Buddy v1.0 makes it simple to change often requested hidden preferences.

A Mac OS X Utility that enables the ability to change several hidden preferences in the Safari 4 Public Beta web browser, such as: moving the Tab Bar, reverting the Progress Style indicator, disabling Google Suggest and Top Sites and more.
I think the tabs on top approach is intended to show the tabs open across multiple open Safari 4 windows without you having to click on the underneath windw, or they're simply copying Google's Chrome.

Freeware from:

Terminal method to directly set preference:
To quickly change the tabs to the old Safari 3 position enter the following into terminal:
defaults write DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool NO

To change tabs back to the top, enter again but with -bool YES at the end.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Fruits Manuva: Commune Gig Porthcawl...

Fair Trade Bananas - At the Commune 2009

The Commune gig on Sat 7th March at the Pavilion Porthcawl will also be involved in the Fairtrade bananas promotion which will be taking place that weekend... expect banana related mayhem.

Tickets for the gig are available at the main Pavilion box office and at Sussed on John St Porthcawl, opposite the Fulgoni’s cafe.

Known Safari 4 bugs on Mac

  • Breaks Wordpress add link function on blogs
  • Hotmail doesn't work fully
  • GMail logged in on http:// rather than https:// doesn't work
  • Resorts the currency convertor widget on Dashboard so that the lists are out of sync and therefore creates incorrect conversions.
  • Breaks Mail when Growlmail is installed.
Update: the full release of v4 in June fixed many of these issues.

Safari 4 Mac breaks currency converter widget

Resorts the panels so they mismatch currencies. Clever.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

How to manually remove GrowlMail plugin if safari 4 causes Mail to Crash

  • Quit Mail
  • Delete the GrowlMail plugin stored in your Library, here ~/Library/Mail/Bundles
  • Logout and log back in again.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Sync Safari and Firefox bookmarks

Foxmarks (free) is a plugin for both Firefox and Safari which will keep your bookmarks in sync between these browsers across multiple computers. Also supports something called Internet Explorer. You can also access your bookmarks on their website when away from your computer. Started by the chap who created Lotus 1-2-3, Mitch Kapor, who was heavily involved in the early stages of Firefox.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Friday, 16 January 2009

ableton Live 8 videos

Ableton have posted some video demonstrations of the new version 8 of Live. The voiceover sounds amazingly like John Hodgman. (wikipedia)