Tony Gallichan is Mildly Perturbed by... His Computer (and other mechanical creatures)
Hmm... "Mildly Perturbed". Such a small, light, easy going sort of a phrase. I think that really I should call this particular musing as follows..
Tony Gallichan Is Incredibly Fucked Off by....
There. That's better. Yes. I like.
Shame I need to rename though.
Listeners in black and white may recall that computers and I do not really see eye to webcam. We don't get on. Not at all. It hates me. Loathes me. Would like to do nasty little things to my genitals. You see, I have a secret. It's a biggy. But I'm prepared to share it with you all. Just be warned. Your PC might just freeze, crash, then explode once you've read it.
You see....I have the world's first true artificial intelligence sitting inside my tower casing. And it has the most evil sense of humour imaginable.
The first pc I got was swapped for a playstation. And what a deal I got, oh yes. A Pentium 90, 64meg of RAM and a 400 meg hard drive that had been compressed into an incredibly slow 800 meg. As for the sound card, well, it didn't have one. The IDE controllers didn't work and basically, it existed to make Adam say "Hmm" an awful lot. However, bit by bit I upgraded. Got a 166 chip, 4 gig hard drive, different motherboard etc. Things started to look up. However....
Things seemed to go wrong. Often. I had to keep reinstalling Windows, much to the delight of Mr. Gates and his "associates". But the odd thing was this. It always seemed to go wrong just when I needed it most.
I feel at this juncture that I should explain one rather important thing. Electrical thingies and I don't seem to get on. This was proved by several photo copiers. I only had to go near them and they'd die. Seriously. I even remember, a few years ago, running an experiment. Every time I'd walk into a room, the photo copier would go phut. Didn't matter when I walked in, morning, noon or overtime, phut it would go. I even lost a job because of it - I kid you not! So, you can imagine and understand why I'm always slightly nervous of doing anything important myself to my pc.
Anyway, bit by bit my pc was improved. I have to thank Adam and Bill for their generosity - I got their hand me downs and bloody grateful I am too.
As you may know, I don't just do music for this site. I've been working at it now for about 5 or 6 years with one aim in mind - to work for Big Finish, or at least, get paid work somewhere composing etc. I've sold a couple of pieces, however, not for money. I normally get webspace or cds or something. But, I've worked long and hard, stuck to it and finally, finally, I think I'm getting somewhere.
Well, yes. Of course it is. But listen.......
At the beginning of the year, young Andy "Crumbly" Simpkins upgraded his pc and sold me the motherboard etc from his old machine dirt cheap. This was wonderful, though I did wonder why Adam said "Tiny. Hmm.". I thought he was muttering about the size of his Velma doll. Or something. Anyway, all was put together and the first thing I noticed was that the Tiny motherboard didn't seem to like my Creative Soundblaster Live card. Now I know they've moved onto Audigy etc, but have you seen how much those things cost? Exactly. I am a poor, struggling musician and that's way out of me league. So...
I've been lucky enough to have been offered a chance to come up with a version of the Doctor Who theme for a charity cd - The Cat Who Walks Through Time. I decided that as The Schrodinger Effect seems to be a dead project, I'd use the test version of the opening theme for that project as the basis for the charity theme. However, to do it properly, I needed access to a soundfont embedded in my soundcard.
My pc wouldn't allow that font to be used. The whole thing would slow down and make the most God-awfull noise. This was somewhat frustrating. I tried to find soundfonts with similar "voices" on, but even though friends have helped and had a good shufty through their soundfont collections, I couldn't find a match. Also, when I tried to load the large Fluid fonts there was a damn good chance the pc would crash. It also developed a large, looooonnnngggggg pause whilst booting up.
So, there were problems.
Young Cook William was somewhat good about this though. He popped onto E bay and found me a cheap motherboard. Adam was good enough to pop around a few days before he went on holiday and tried to fit the thing.
I never knew a motherboard could make a noise like a French Police siren.
Alarm! Panic. Quick, put the old motherboard back!
The processor then died.
So, for the past three weeks or so, I've been without a pc. No internet access except when I pop over to Adam's or want to give the public library my money. And no means of making music.
So I'm sitting there, hitting my head against the wall in frustration. Not only do I have the Charity theme to do, I'm also part of the way through scoring A Time Lord In Prince Henry's Court. Both Aaron and Neil are waiting on me. Arrrrrrgggggggggggggg......
But here's the kicker...
The day after Adam had tried to fit the motherboard I pop up to Tavern. Now, if I'd had my head together and wasn't flustered 'cos of all this, I'd have remembered that folks from a certain publisher of Doctor Who audio plays, amongst other things, would possibly have been there.
So, I turn a corner and bump into Gary and Jason from Big Finish.
"er, um...CanIhaveanauditionplease?" I asked quite clearly, slowly and precisely. There is, of course, the slightest possibility that I may have gabbled something nonsensically at them. However, they seemed to be able to translate my gibberish and said "yes, of course. Do you have a CD?"
Ploppy The Yak indeed!
As it happened, I did have a cd on me. We'd put together a small selection from the site to take up as a promo in the hope that somebody might be interested enough to come along here and laugh at us. So I somewhat reluctantly handed it over. It's not too bad a cd, but given the choice, I'd rather have made one up specially for them.
So, I have the chance of an audition for Big Finish. A chance at realising my ambition.
And no computer.
And double drat!
Anyway, Adam gets back to the UK and pops over to see what he can do.
The poor bloke spent 4 hours trying his damnedest to get my pc to work. He brought with him another motherboard and two more processors.
Yup, they stopped working.
Everything has died.
So, I'm currently without a computer. And it's doing my head in. Oh, there's a couple of possibilities on the horizon, I might be back up and running in a couple of weeks.
So, my apologies have to go to Neil and Aaron. I hope you guys can just bear with me. Your music will get done, promise.
Er, you do like the sound of paper and comb, don't you?
Tony Gallichan is mildly perturbed was brought to you by the number "Adam Purcell" and the letter "Bill Cook". With grateful thanks.