Photos are up of all your dorky friends at the last Meat and Pop Roxx events.

Stiletta played at Pop Roxx, and they were fun: old-school girl-punk. Do check them out.

You may have noticed that when you order tickets from us online, there's a $2 service charge to cover the bank credit card fees and the general pain-in-the-ass of running the store. I thought this was low as such things go, but apparently I had no idea. Imagine my surprise when, for the first time in years, I tried to buy a ticket for a show at The Warfield! (Apparently someone over there hates us, so it's damned near impossible for us to get guest-listed, even though we let their staff in here for free all the time. Whatever.)

Anyway, Gang of 4 are touring again: they're playing at The Warfield on Tue Oct 18. You must go see this show. When I saw them in May, they put on what is probably the best rock show I have ever seen in my life.

But when you do, please do so by going to the Fillmore box office instead of ordering them online, because if you go through TicketBastard, they will try to charge you $14.75 worth of "service" on a $25 ticket. That's a 59% service charge!

One of those fees is $2.50 for the "print your ticket out at home, instead of having us maybe remember to mail it to you in a month" charge. Yes, that's right: if they print and mail it, it's "free". If you print it yourself, it costs $2.50.

Screw those guys, seriously.

Ok, just skip this entry if you don't care about my periodic bitching about computers.

So, the other day I made the mistake of running the software updater on the webcast machines. (FC4 yum.) I have a habit of doing this crazy thing, in the possibly-misguided hope that it will cause me to have the latest round of security fixes and prevent the script kiddies from running roughshod over my machines.

Yet, you may have noticed my use of the word "mistake", because this time it happened to update ALSA (which, laughably, stands for "Advanced" Linux Sound "Architecture".) Now what do you think often happens when ALSA gets updated? If you're guessing "something bad", well, you're right. In this case (and, I think, in every previous case) what it means is that they changed the names of all the parameters of my sound cards. This means something like, some teenager decided that where it said "EMU10K1" it should really have said "EMU10K1 PCM", or some shit like that. Why should I care about this? Well, I shouldn't. Except that this means that the previously-saved configuration file for my sound card NO LONGER WORKS because (I guess?) it has the old names in it. It spits out errors like the following, and doesn't make any music:

    alsactl: set_control:894: warning: name mismatch (Music Playback Volume/Synth Playback Volume) for control #7
    alsactl: set_control:896: warning: index mismatch (0/0) for control #7
    alsactl: set_control:898: failed to obtain info for control #7 (Operation not permitted)

So we lost saturday's webcast. Thank you, anonymous, incompetent teenager.

To fix this, I had to run the confiuguration program that lets you "graphically" reconfigure the sound card. It runs in a terminal. (In another universe, you may know this as "DOS".) It is dead sexy and looks like this:

Aw yeah. So at this point, my task is to conduct an exhaustive search of all these fucking sliders and mute buttons to figure out what they do this time, and which one makes the sound come back on. There are sixty-five of them, and most of them have names that mean nothing to me.

When I do mindless sysadmin bullshit like this, I always write it down. This time, my notes didn't help much.

Last time what I wrote down was:

    alsamixer SigmaTel STAC9708,11:
      Master: 84
      Bass/Treble: 50
      PCM: 100
      Wave: 100
      Wave Capture: 100
      Capture: 33
      AC97 Capture: 100
      EMU10K1 PCM: 100

      Everything else 0/Mute.

This time, the answer is:

    alsamixer SigmaTel STAC9708,11:
      Master: 84
      Bass/Treble: 50
      PCM: 100
      Wave: 100
      Wave Capture: 100
      Line: 0 Rec Mute
      Capture: 33 Rec
      AC97 Capture: 100
      EMU10K1 PCM: 0/0 (the first, stereo one)
      EMU10K1 PCM: 100 (the second, mono one)

Did I leave something out when I wrote it down last time? I'm pretty sure the answer is "no", this shit just changed.

This is exactly the kind of time-wasting bullshit that caused me to give up on running Unix as my home desktop. I switched to MacOSX about four months ago, and I haven't regretted it for a second.

Why am I still running this halfassed teenager-ware called Linux on my servers, you might ask? Well, I believe that the sad thing is that (hardware support aside) I'd still have to run exactly the same halfassed teenager-ware on a Mac to make the webcasts work (e.g., Icecast); it would just all be even less reliable, because it'd be running on a platform that none of the developers use.

In other words, I'm just fuckin' doomed.

Photos are up of the Stromkern + Battery Cage, Madad belly dance, and Stendal Blast shows.

A funny thing about the Stendal Blast show: admission was free. This is because, despite the fact that the show was being promoted by the German Consulate, even they weren't able to talk the United States into issuing work visas. So instead, the band came on tourist visas. This is legal if they don't charge any money.

In other words, the German Government rented out the DNA Lounge just to let a band play for a couple dozen people, because they consider it part of the function of government to promote the arts.

Can you even imagine the U.S. Government doing something like that? What if your little industrial band could get an NEA grant to pay for your European tour? With free admission to every show?

Those wacky Socialists. What will they think of next.

(And the band wasn't even any good!)

Photos are up of the Genitorturers + Beautiful Creatures show last week. Genitorturers put on an entertaining show, as always. It was a less intricate/raunchy show this time, but still fun. My camera got sprayed with fake blood. Beautiful Creatures sounded like Wasp or something. Total time-machine 80s metal.

Our ISP is closing down the colo facility that the webcast machine is in, so we had to move it to their new place. This means that we also had to have our T1 circuit moved, which meant dealing with the phone company, which is always a joy. So the phone company sent a guy out to the club -- we didn't know why, because it was the other end of the link that was changing, not this end. Apparently he was there to install a whole new phone line. We asked "why" and he said, "if you don't want me to do it, I won't do it..." So, he did it. It's all working now, and the machines have been moved, and there was much rejoicing.

Did you know that all this crap was hidden under the concrete slabs in the sidewalk?

This is what The Internet looks like. It's a wonder that anything works at all.

Here are our colo machines in their lonely new rack.

These are our new rack neighbors, Internet Archive and Exploratorium.

Photos are up of Meat and of the Voltaire + Jill Tracy show.

Jill Tracy was awesome, as always. I enjoyed the between-song banter of Voltaire's set more than the actual show, because while he's a funny guy, I generally don't like comedy music. Especially when it's filk. Yeah, that's right, he performed accoustic guitar songs about Star Trek. That sort of behavior hurts me real bad inside.

You may have noticed that the RealVideo webcast hasn't been working for the last few days. The upstream server isn't responding, and I have no idea why. Nothing has changed, so I'm hoping it just fixes itself eventually.

Don't forget, Halloween is Saturday!