Last week, Jonathan hooked up some LEDs to the kiosks to illuminate the keyboards. I think it made a huge difference: you can actually see the keyboards in the dark now. The black keyboards are cool, but sometimes I forget that not everyone can touch-type... He these blue LEDs (two each were needed to hit the whole keyboard, since they throw a 30 degree beam), and he made little enclosures for them out of plastic pipe-ends. They look cool, and seem pretty solid, too (a key point, given the kind of barbarians we have to deal with.) He got the 5v power for them right off of the CPU's power supply, and just ran another pair of wires down through the flex conduit to reach the monitor.
Danfuzz and I spent yesterday hauling televisions around. Wait, back up. Last month, a few of us headed over to the Alameda County Computer Resource Center and dug through piles and piles of used televisions. That place is amazing: it's a huge warehouse that goes on forever, and is just filled with crazy, obsolete electronics. They have pallets of computer monitors that are saran-wrapped together and moved around with forklifts. It's definitely worth a visit, if only to wander around in amazement at all the stuff people throw away. I kept alternating between thinking "wow, look at all this great stuff!" and thinking "wow, look at all this useless junk!" Barry said, "this is a lot like being at the club during remodeling. Except their remodeling job will never end."
Anyway, after spending a day sorting through and testing piles of televisions, we came away with a dozen or so that mostly work. So yesterday, Dan and I took stock of the various TVs tucked into corners around the club, figured out which ones work, and shuffled things around. We had to abandon a few of them because they have this irritating feature where they stay off when power drops and is re-applied: so if you're turning them on and off from a power strip, as we are, you'd also have to climb up and turn some of the TVs back on by hand, which is too much hassle. I'm told this is some legally-mandated "energy saving" feature. Maybe it will be possible to short across the power buttons to avoid this on some of them. We'll see.
So most of the TVs looking down on the lounge display pictures now, and there's a new stack of them under the main stairs in the main room. I think it worked out pretty well!
We were planning on putting a row of TVs under the balcony downstairs by just setting them on top of the deceptively shelf-like plumbing and electrical conduit that runs the length of the room near the wall, but it turns out that (surprise) TVs are actually kind of heavy, and the way those pipes were flexing was just a little too nervous-making for comfort.
Every now and then I get mail from somebody who read this log who says, "wow, that's really something. You should write a book." This confuses me. Because I did, didn't I? What do they think this is? Maybe it would help if I put in chapter headings, instead of just sorting it chronologically:
- Chapter One: I Am Born.
Chapter Two: I Am Nailed to the Hull.
Chapter Three: I Am Eaten by Sharks.
I updated my Webcasting Legally document to correspond to the new varieties of impending doom that are looming over the head of every webcaster as of last month.
I had to crank down the allowed number of simultaneous connections to the webcast archives, because apparently the Disco Biscuits show last wednesday was insanely popular with the listen-at-home crowd; they pushed us over our bandwidth limit for long enough that our ISP put a rate limiter on us, which was killing performance across the board. I don't really know how to deal with usage spikes like that; short-lived spikes are ok (e.g., 20 listeners for half a day is fine if there are only 5 during the other half) but when the spike lasts too long, we've got trouble.
Hey, I just noticed that I've been doing this little weblog for two years now as of March 3, which is the day we closed escrow! Wow. The web site had been up since January, which was when we finally got control of the domain, but mainly contained a call to arms about our permit battles at that point.
This month has been going really well! We might actually be able to pay everyone's salary this month. It looks like yesterday's Wicked party was our biggest night to date: lots of people showed up to see Doc Martin spin, and we didn't shut down until almost 7AM. The cool thing is (if I understand the history correctly) he actually got his start DJing at the DNA Lounge back in 1986.
I put some more pictures in the gallery. If you ever take pictures of DNA Lounge events and wouldn't mind sharing them, please let me know: I'm always looking for more stuff for our gallery...
Oh, also you can now buy DNA Lounge t-shirts and tank-tops by credit card online, in addition to in person at coat-check. You know you want one.
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 12:12:25 -0700
From: "Terry freiburg" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
This site suks cause u could never hear the damn Webcast!!! Get it together guys !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dought theres that much people hearing the sets!!!!!!!!!! Even at 6:00 in da morinig thats pretty stupid.. cause it still dosn't work =Q
We got a couple of new CD players, Pioneer CDJ-100s. This came about because someone was interested in buying one of our Denon 2100s, so it didn't end up costing us much to trade up. I'm not sure the Denons have ever been used by a DJ who mixes; most DJs who beatmatch use vinyl, and the few who do use CDs tend to bring their own CDJs with them, and DJs who don't beatmatch probably would have been satisfied with a pair of Discmans. So clearly we bought the wrong thing the first time out; nobody who cares likes the Denons.
We ended up putting the new decks in the lounge instead of the main room. It would probably make more sense for them to go in the main room, but the layout of the lounge coffin lends itself to them, and getting them well-situated in the main room's coffin would basically require us to rebuild the coffin, and we've got better things to spend the money on at the moment, unfortunately. I'd definitely want them to be firmly mounted, because I've seen the sticky, banged-up mess that becomes of any gear we leave up there that isn't bolted down, like our VCR and DVD player. (I even had to attach a cable to the DVD player's remote control so it would stop walking off, just like in a cheap hotel room!)
I don't know how many of you ever call our info line (415-626-1409) but Barry has been updating that about once a week. It takes him a long time, because he usually only gets part of the way through it without screwing up and having to start over, and by the fourth or fifth try, there's usually someone in the office making fun of him, which doesn't make it any easier. So, I played around with the Festival speech-synthesis package (which works pretty well) and I hacked up another Perl script to translate our calendar pages to English sentences. So from now on, our info line will be read by a slightly-deadpan British robot.
The mechavoice isn't up yet, though, because Barry's really proud of how well he read the most recent announcement and doesn't want to delete it yet!
I'm told DNA got a nice mention in the April issue of Maxim, though it doesn't seem to be online. We also got a brief mention in NewsWeek, and I was quoted in a recent Chronicle article on the state of the SF club scene (with a couple of pictures of the club!)