The Mobile Music Netbook: Linux-Powered Indamixx OS + Laptop Looking Slicker

Going ultra-mobile: Korg’s nanoKEY controller plus a svelte, two-and-a-half-pound netbook running Linux and energyXT. Laptops for music are nothing new. But better versions of Linux make no-hassle music production easier and more powerful – and new netbooks make it cheap and ultra-portable, too, for times when even that 15” laptop feels clunky. Netbooks aren’t for everyone, and I imagine some people will miss Windows and Mac OS, even with better compatibility and powerful features on Linux. But if you are looking for an additional, more mobile machine, the combination is definitely worth a look. A significant revision to the one …

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Looking at Your Computer Desktop through 3D Glasses

Ah, those crazy Linux-using, Deviant Art artists. Someone has created an anaglyph theme for the GNOME (Linux) desktop. Don some red and blue-tinted glasses, and watch your desktop pop out of your screen. After all, it’s not as though all this Vista Aero glass and drop shadow and flying windows and such makes it really look 3D. (This should make animated transitions look … interesting.) Useless? Of course. But then, as always I see a deeper theme: I think the standard desktop UI is not long for this world. Skins have been around forever, but computer vendors and OS makers …

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Circuit-Bent Browser: Webcrawlers Make Live Visuals

Hacker extraorindaire Gijs Gieskes has turned your local web browser into an insane, glitched-out audiovisual instrument. He writes: Here is a new project, it involves using webcrawlers to make live visuals with music. <http://gieskes.nl/browserjockey/>. works quite o.k. The music is some of my old recordings on mini disc’s i still had.. mostly 2000 till 2003 i think, its just to show the scripts in action. Some more description is here <http://gieskes.nl/?archive=browser-jockey> Flickr? YouTube? Explode? If you could actually circuit-bend web browser code, the results might look something like this. Think of it as a software short-circuit. (The famous example of …

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Cybernetics and Spare Parts: A Robotic Opera and Workshop in Ontario, Online

Before you correct me, this is actually a Commodore B128. But it’s one of the oddities you’ll see at the Personal Computer Museum. What if all the technology you loved, everything that ran on electricity, came to life and played one epic musical performance? That’s about as best as I can sum up the “Emergence” event happening in Ontario and in an online stream. It’s a workshop. It’s a performance. It’s Commodore 64s and surplus parts. It’s cybernetic theory. There’s a robotic singer. It’s at a computer museum. Nerdtastic. Rod Adlers describes his own setup: “3 Commodore 64’s running Cynthcart …

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Rain Diablo Audio Quad Laptop: Powerful Enough to Be Kind of Ridiculous

Rain Recording make audio-ready notebooks – that is, they’re pre-tested to function well with audio software, with Windows tweaks, driver selection, and configuration all chosen and tested for music and visual production, and no crapware installed. They’re one of a handful of music-friendly vendors that does that (see also: PCAudioLabs, etc.). Given that the PC music making experience can range from awesome to awful depending on which hardware and (particularly) drivers you’re on, that’s no small matter. Rain has always styled themselves a premium brand. But the latest Diablo really does go to extremes spec-wise. It’ll cost you – base …

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White MacBook Snubs Adapter; I Want My TV Out

Bad news from comments: while the white MacBook has the same mini-DVI output as its predecessor, it doesn’t work with adapters that support TV out. That means, basically, forget what I said earlier. This adapter is not compatible with the 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo white MacBook introduced in January 2009. Oddly, as far as I know the card itself should support TV out. So anyone who thinks this is all some DRM conspiracy, more fodder – though the same machines still do support VGA analog out, which is not a protected path and could itself allow piracy. I’m stumped. …

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Want a FireWire, Non-Pro MacBook? The $999 MacBook is Looking Better

Apple has updated the US$999, white MacBook to some of the specs of the new “unibody” models – but retaining the one thing we like about it, namely, an actual FireWire port. (The only other option has been upgrading to the Pro for significantly more cash.) Now for US$999: NVIDIA 9400M graphics (meaning this is mainly a story for visualists, so see our take on Create Digital Motion – but the rest of you can more easily enjoy World of Warcraft, if so inclined) Newer Core 2 Duo, still 2.0 GHz but now with a faster 1066 MHz frontside bus …

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Updated $999 White MacBook Becomes Good Budget Choice: 9400M GPU

Photo: Rob DiCaterino. Apple apparently isn’t killing the white, $999, plastic MacBook at the low end of its line any time soon. They’ve even gone so far as to update the model – and that turns out to be a very good thing for visualists who want to go Mac on a budget. Previously, you had a sort of painful choice on the Mac line: 1. Get TV out and FireWire with the original white MacBook, but have to settle for the lousy Intel X3100 integrated graphics – something that, speaking as an owner of one of these models, I …

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NVIDIA Sets Notebook Graphics Drivers Free, Makes GPGPU, PhysX Mobile; ATI, Your Move

Finally, NVIDIA extends a welcome mat. Photo by Anna Irsch. For graphics cards, drivers are everything: it’s just not possible to be on top of stability, performance, and functionality without access to new, stable drivers. But for Windows notebooks, unlike desktops, traditionally you had to turn to OEM PC vendors to get your NVIDIA graphics drivers. That would be fine, if PC vendors kept pace, but my near-universal experience has been that vendors are awful about drivers. Just finding drivers on many sites is a Herculean task, let alone getting something up-to-date. That had meant that, for GPU gurus, the …

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Your Display Isn’t Authorized: DRM Flap on New Apple MacBooks

DRM on displays and projectors? Believe it. Apple, like many computer vendors, has added DRM to its new laptops in the form of HDCP (which, bizarrely, stands for “High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection”). This is doubly odd, because Apple cited technical restrictions of Blu-Ray as a reason for not including those drives on their machines – only to turn around and add restrictions to their own content on the iTunes store. It might not be worth mentioning at all, but it serves to demonstrate yet another disconnect between vendors and the way people actually use video output features on laptops. You …

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