General Music Reviews

Finale 2010 fail

I either must really, really not be the target audience, or Finale 2010 for Mac is underwhelming to the point of sucking. Last week was my first time using Finale since 2003 in music class, and my install lasted about 10 minutes before going straight to the trash.

It feels like a Microsoft product of the late 90s – scattered, intractable UI with backwards compatibility concerns taking form as an innovation hindering albatross. The UI is almost exactly the same as I remember the OS 9 version being, with the same Carbon era UI quirks. They embraced OS X by lamely Aqua-fying a few buttons. It seems like the developers value backwards compatibility and user familiarity with all of the Finale quirks to the point of being uncompetitive with modern music software. Maybe the legions of Finale users fiercely resist any attempt at change. And granted, Finale is among very few competitors when it comes to music notation. But what a travesty. My sympathy goes out to the many musicians out there that have no choice but to use this.

I’ll be sticking with Ableton. GarageBand, the same one that came free on my Mac, is fine for those few notation-needed occasions.


A misty fug

So yeah, Borders last Friday at midnight, buying that highly popular book. With the rest of those robe and lightning bolted kids. I’m not embarassed, although I felt out of place standing way above even the parents. I got to be lucky customer number 477, receiving my lucky treasure at ~2:30 AM. And although the Border’s crew is usually overtly helpful and nice, they were tight lipped about how many copies they receieved. From the looks of the line, at least 500.
So the popular series draws a little closer to the end…and…


Edit: To avoid a potential spoiler skip the next paragraph. But there aren’t any names mentioned either, just hints.

I finished it last night. This time around I was pleased to find things had become quite a bit more mature for a supposedly ‘junior’ novel series, with more plausible tensions and a quite significant death. No, not Harry, but someone rather important. It was quite unexpected at the time but upon reflection it will certainly help the last book’s thrill factor. Good for JK that she gets away with all of these PG-13 things in this day and age.

Regardless of how people feel about Harry Potter, I think JK is deserving of some praise. Absconding with my idealistic seeds away from the pervasive big car/fast food/short-lived marriage culture, my views of the future generation gravitate towards the cynical. But JK, you’ve turned an entire generation of kids on to reading. You had to compete with PlayStation and HDTV, and won square and fair.

I wonder what book will have me lining up at midnight next time.

General Humor Reviews

“Anakin, I’m hit!” – a review of Episode III

Wednesday night last week was the most fun I’ve had in the movies for a long time. I’m so glad I had the chance to see Episode 3 the night it came out; it will exceed the nerd quotient for long time.

Females? I can count them on one hand. Of course there is Padmé (1); there had to be a Skywalker mom after all. Female Jedis? There was a blue Twi’lek with crazy head tails (2) who died in the same scene she is first seen in. Then there were Beru Lars (3) and Leia’s mother, Bail Organa’s wife (4) – they got to hold some babies, how becoming.

Its like the emp says “yeah, so you’re bad now” and anakin is like “sweet! i can slice me up some little kids!”

The other amazing parts were when yoda saw chewbacca, and when R2-D2 and C3-P0 were together for a good portion – but had their memories erased right before the end. Convenient. Where “convienent” = cop-out. I guess they had to include the old school characters after the utter lambasting Episode 1 got by the critics.

This is reading a little harsh for a “review”. The movie certainly was a good time, and nicely wraps the two trilogies together. Even though you know Anakin has to become all evil and heavy with the breathing, it’s like Titanic – people want to see it anyway.