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The Wonderful Comcast DVR

At 7:30pm, I decided that I wanted to record the new Ken Burns documentary, The War, so I could watch it later. It airs at 8:00pm. My Comcast DVR was mostly full, so I spent 15 minutes tediously clicking through the abominable user interface menus, deleting one recording at a time. As any experie... read more →

Shiny Frets

After neglecting my Takamine acoustic guitar for a few years, the frets became tarnished and dull. Many guitarists would recommend rubbing steel wool against the frets to polish them up, but that's a fairly barbaric way to treat an axe. Not only will it booger up a nicely finished fretboard, b... read more →

Putting PowerPoint on a Web Page

I've seen a lot of creative and sometimes hair-brained schemes for publishing PowerPoint files to a web site. But if a timed sequence of static slides works for your presentation, a simple animated GIF is a cheap and easy way to go. The free ImageMagick command line tools make it straightforwa... read more →

Fat Ibanez TS7

If you're in to the Tube Screamer sound for your guitar playing, the bargain pedal from Ibanez is the Tone Lok TS7. At around 40 bucks, it has the same circuit and IC as the more expensive $100 TS9 Tube Screamer and the ridiculous $170 TS808 "Tube Screamer Reissue." (I'm personal... read more →

"Hi, I'm Zach"

I went to the Steve Vai show at the Fillmore last night. Most self-respecting guitarists can't pass up the chance to see the spectacle that is Steve Vai. And a guitar spectacle is was, but not just from Vai. As the roadie crew was setting up the stage after the opening act, a tall, lanky, cowb... read more →

Tenacious dts

I watched the Tenacious D in The Pick of Denstiny DVD last weekend. Funny flick, if you like the Jack Black rocker shtick. And if you have a dts-capable sound system, as I do, you must hear the dts audio mix. Wow! As usual, the dts mix sounds incredible compared to the DD 5.1 mix, with hefty, w... read more →

EVH 90 Phase Shifter

I received a much-coveted MXR EVH 90 Phase Shifter pedal as a birthday gift. Wow, this pedal really rocks! You can totally get the Van Halen Atomic Punk sound, as well as crank up more modern "spacey" phase shifting. And more, the phasing is so clean that I've decided I can use thi... read more →