Category Archives: Blog housekeeping

Welcome (back) to Crow Caw Music Works

last modified 23 may 2017

Welcome.

This is the place for all things related to and about the musical productions and writings of tim p scott, producer of electronic post-rock instrumental compositions since before there was post-rock.

If this is your first visit, glad you’re here. This is the permanent landing page. Up above there are the main (“What”, “Who”, etc.) menus. You can go to the page “Listen” for samples of tps music, “Who?” for some biographical material, “What?” for general information about this site, and “Where?” for contact information. “How” discusses various aspects of what used to be called “DTMP” (Desktop Media Production).

If you’re returning, welcome back. This site has languished badly in the last 4 years, full of broken links and other embarrassments. It’s time to add some new songs and get rid of accumulated debris.

I did an experiment with trying to host songs on soundcloud.com and then embed players here. I think it will be simpler to just keep all the media and everything on this site.

Finally; while we try to be realistic and flexible about copyright law (who wants to spend all their money on lawyers and lawsuits [besides certain churches]?), we sincerely hope you’ll at least have the grace to give credit to tim p scott and/or Crow Caw Music Works if you use anything from this site. So please try to do the Right Thing, as they say in the Islands:

“It No Kill You”

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Thanks WordPress….

Apparently, I haven’t been paying attention since I didn’t renew my CSS custom design option. But it also looks like I can’t buy that a la carte anymore. And $99 a year, while I’m sure is a good deal, is a little more than I want to swallow at present.

Anyway, WordPress stepped up and offered to renew my old CSS deal for a while. But I do need to revise my plan…

Meanwhile…the other thing that took a month off from music was I actually built my own guitar! Yes, believe it or not I actually bought a Chinese Strat-equivalent from a friend who was giving a guitar building class. I could not have done it without his help though; because there were a couple of special jigs and some exotic, expensive fret files he loaned me. But I did get it built and frankly it’s quite a joy to play.

It all makes sense … ultimately

OK! After attacking all the bad smelling stains in my studio I have reassembled it and moved back in. It’s a much more pleasant space to work in now.

In order to avoid actually working on music, I spent a week experimenting with overclocking my PC. I can’t afford new computers right now. Cats are too expensive.

I got my home built PC with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Quad CPU overclocked and running stably at 3.2 GHz. That’s like buying a newer computer for free.

The next step is for me to clean up this site. The design that I thought was so nice 5 years ago is badly out of date now, and needs to be streamlined. But maybe even more important than that, I want to at least make sure that the sample tracks on other pages at least play correctly.

It’s all on the schedule to be done before I die! Stay tuned…

 

Brainstorm!(?)

Really…just more like random ideas for future “enchantments” to the site…

At some point we plan to implement some “customer only” pages under the various release pages. You’ll be able to access them by entering a password; possibly something that only a CD purchaser will be able to tell from the packaging.

At first, they’ll probably just have the MP3/OGG/WMA versions of the songs for download, but in the future I hope to include other easter eggs. Check back now and then and I’ll make an announcement in a post in this section…

So is this great genius or another fart in a whirlwind idea? I’m sure you can guess…

lastmodified 2010 december

Firefox/Safari/Chrome: better now!

Originally published 2009 Feb 1

The cool thing about wordpress.com is that you can purchase an option to customize the CSS for your site. This is great and allows you to do amazing things to the site appearance.

Of course, the problem is that every browser (Internet Explorer[IE], Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) has its own idea of how to interpret certain interesting CSS code. On top of that this is a moving target since all browsers are continually releasing patches and updates. For instance at this moment (2009 Jun 5) IE is at version 8, Firefox is at 3.0.9 (I think) and Chrome is at about 2.0.172.something)/ Safari I have no idea about.

Update 2010 Mar 6

Now Chrome is at 4.0.249.89 and Firefox at 3.6. I’m pretty happy with my CSS now, because gradually my site is looking OK on those two browsers.

We have been trying to write the CSS so that the site looks at least reasonable for all the browsers; but unfortunately this means they don’t look great in any particular one. This will take more study–maybe there’s another way around it. But for now it will have to do

Since for better or worse 60 to 80% of people use Internet Explorer, if there are conflicts the CSS was written to look best in that browser. Mainly version 7.

So, our apologies in advance if you’re using another browser and things look “off”. They should at least work even if not well…

last update before I delete this post (feb 2011)

It seems that for whatever reason, I always revert to Chrome for browsing the web. Its current version is 9.0.597.98. As far as I know, all the major browsers seem to be happy with WordPress and my CSS and I haven’t changed it in months.

What happened to the old web site?!

For those of you who visited www.crow-caw.com within the last 5 years, something has obviously changed. It was time to revamp the look and organization of the site so it made more sense and was easier to update. (Not to mention cheaper to run!)

For the time being, for those who need instant gratification, I’ll have a few things to listen to on the page “40-Listen“. To hear a lot more, buy downloads or CDs, see the page “50-Where?

The site is now hosted and powered by wordpress.com, and is built around the “Sandbox-10” theme and a whole bunch of custom CSS. For those of you who care about such things, I’ll eventually explain all the trials and tribulations of that on the page “70-Site Stuff.”

I guess the other technical thing I need to say is that www.crow-caw.com will still get you to my web site, but it does it by redirecting to “http://crow.caw.com” (and then to “ccmw.wordpress.com”). Hopefully that all goes on “behind the scenes” and won’t really bother anyone, I think, unless they had something bookmarked like www.crow-caw.com/music or www.crow-caw.com/tech which probably won’t work anymore.

Site impressiveness level: 85%

16 Apr 2009: www-crow-caw.com site impressiveness level: 85%

Just kidding, of course: actually, I’m happy with progress. What is actually a little depressing now is the fact that the site doesn’t look the same when I use Internet Explorer and the new browsers Firefox and Chrome, which more and more people are using. I don’t know a way to write the CSS design for the site to make it look good in all the browsers.

Notes on wordpress.com and CSS

OK, we decided to pay WordPress in order to be able to use the cool CSS upgrade. It’s a pretty reasonable deal, when considering the cost of Crow Caw Music Works’ previous web hosting arrangement.

The way you give it its CSS is a little clunky. You have to enter it in the box under Appearance > Edit CSS in the Dashboard. And once you do, it strips out all the comments and space. So if you want an annotated/commented version you need to keep it in a separate document somewhere. Here’s a good idea: why not save it as an OpenDoc format file in the media library attached to the site?

But the only text-type format that it will let me upload is a .doc type. Hmm. So I guess I’ll have to keep it in WordPad or MS Word format, and either cut and paste or save it as text and paste it into the Edit CSS box each time I want to try something new. That certainly isn’t very elegant.

The solution is: keep a text file on your computer with the current version of the CSS that works (and if you’re a cautious person, the last few working versions as well.) Then create a page in the site that’s out of the way. You can then paste the CSS onto that page, and wrap it with the “shortcodes” that indicate to wordpress not to format it. That was if there’s ever a problem you have the CSS right there on the site. This has the beauty that you can work on the site on any computer that can connect to the net anywhere, and save your CSS file to it.

You could also go through the hoop of renaming the CSS file to stylesheet.css.doc which will allow you to put it into the Media Library. That will allow you to keep a lot of back versions too. The problem with the WordPress Media Library is that it’s not organized in any way that I can see, and once you have a bunch of items it’s going to get pretty unwieldy to keep track of.

(Update 23 Feb 09) Well, if you’ve read this far or elsewhere, you probably know there are a lot of possible solutions here. In my case, I also paid for the space upgrade, which allows you a lot of extra other features, such as the ability to host mp3s, and upload and store a lot of different kinds of files. Especially “odt”s, which are “OpenDocument” format files, which are created by the OpenOffice suite. I think I’ve written about this somewhere else, but in a nutshell it’s a free, Open Source replacement for Microsoft Office. It’s well worth a looksee, and probably indispensible if you’re a Linux user. So now I can save my CSS file as an ODT file and store it in the Media Library.

Just as easily, I can simply cut and paste it and include it on a page in wordpress. The problem with that approach is that wordpress gets confused and tries to interpret the CSS as CSS rather than just presenting it as text. wordpress tried to give a wrapper to allow you to circumvent that problem, but for some crazy reason it doesn’t wrap lines so you get lines that are 1000 characters long.

Last edited 20090612