5-Aug-2000 (Sat)

Last week some kid came in and bent Barry's ear with this ``great idea.'' His idea was that we would let him do an event here, in the club's current disassembled state, with broken concrete and piles of wood all over the floor. He would set up skateboard ramps, and get some hip-hop band to play. This would, he assured us, be ``bitchin'.''

I'm sure he expected this to be an all-ages event too.

My friend Joe's analysis of my summary of the electrical system was something along the lines of, ``what you wrote almost makes sense. I think you almost understand it.'' Oh well. He also thinks that 400 amps is a ludicrously huge amount of power, and we'll probably have enough left over to build a rail-gun or something.

On the other hand, I just found out that the guy who owns the scooter shop down the street just spent ten thousand dollars on a bookcase. Well, a toolbox. A big toolbox, mind you: it's about five feet tall, but it's still just a red metal box with a bunch of drawers. And apparently he thinks he got a ``screaming deal'' on it. I know I haven't done anything quite that stupid yet, so that makes me feel a little better about the DNA Money Pit.

In demolition news, Stephen is almost done pulling down the rest of the nails and screws on the underside of the balcony that were holding the drywall ceiling up. Why was it both nailed and screwed? Who knows; my guess is that they nailed it, then realized what a stupid idea that was (subwoofers make nails pop out!) then later they went back and screwed it.

Yesterday we went over to the former DV8 to play vultures and pick over the corpse of another dead nightclub. We got a whole bunch of gear: lights (Trackspots and Data Flash strobes), amplifiers, turntables, sinks, coolers, ice bins, and various other bar hardware. Alexis is quite the negotiator; it sounds like he saved us a bunch of money!

One of the doors in the basement of DV8 was a combination-lock vault door. It's very cool. We tried to take that, thinking ``we can find somewhere cool to put this,'' but after ten minutes trying to wrestle the thing onto a dolly, we gave up and left it there. Aside from the fact that I don't think we could have gotten it into and out of the truck without someone losing a limb, the only place we could think to put it would be upstairs, and that would no doubt mean we'd have to reinforce the floor...

Speaking of which, we still don't have drawings from the structural engineer. But I'm sure you could have guessed that.


And now, the nerd news:

I found out that the video switcher I was considering getting does not, in fact, do timebase correction (a TBC is a device that takes a bunch of video signals and puts them in sync with each other, so that all the frame boundaries line up, and switching between them is clean) so I'm back to the drawing board on that one. I need a cheap way to do NTSC video switching from arbitrary non-genlocked sources (consumer VCRs, cameras, etc) that puts out a continuously clean signal.

Our audio and video feeds were down for more than six hours friday night. Our network situation is not a happy one.

I'm getting like 5% downtime on my Covad DSL connectivity to my ISP; it's very rare that I have connectivity for more than 12 hours in a row. It goes down several times a day for periods of from five minutes to two hours. This is pathetic.

On top of that, my ISP is whining about how much bandwidth I'm using: I'm paying them for what they advertised as ``guaranteed 1.1Mb bidirectional DSL connectivity'', but apparently when they say ``1.1Mb'' they mean ``but only every now and then!'' They don't like it that I'm actually using the bandwidth they guaranteed me, instead of being bursty like web browsers are. This is like the joke about the store that's open 24 hours, but not in a row.

It seems to me that DSL is just a crock. From what I hear, all the other DSL providers are even worse than Covad.

But my only other option is to buy a T1, and that costs easily 10x as much as I'm paying for DSL.

Gee, maybe one of you works for an ISP or telco who would like to give us a discount on decent connectivity in exchange for some kind of product placement, and my undying gratitude?