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New term: “sponge drive” or “spongedrive”, meaning brain 29 October, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Wednesday 2008-10-29 16:50 GMT/UTC (approximate time, to within a few minutes)

I’m laying claim to the coining of the term “sponge drive”, meaning brain, refering to memory, cf. “hard drive” for computer memory. Possibly soon to become a single word, “spongedrive”.


Noting that I’m running out of space on my laptop’s drives (both internal and external), I wanted to set my Facebook status to something to relate this predicament.

“[I] can’t remember much more… Hard drives nearing full. Sponge drive doesn’t work so well for digital assets.”

Of course the first thought was “soft drive”, but the “sponge drive” thought appeared almost immediately after. Must have been a brainwave! The Mind! gig is on again tonight, and I’ve spent a lot of time working on the website, new visuals, etc. Seems it’s starting to affect me… in a positive way! :o)

Plug: Mind! Reggae Dubstep – MINDLONDON.COM



Earl Gateshead [Trojan Sound System] and Unity Selekta [Italy] play a range from old classic roots and reggae to the latest dubstep releases. Visuals by subpixel.

Free every Wednesday, 10pm-2am at The Dogstar
389 Coldharbour Lane Brixton SW9 8LQ


See inside my Mind! 24 October, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Video link: Mind! Reggae Dubstep | 22 Oct 08 by spxl

I created this video from clips and photos I took at Mind! Reggae Dubstep on Wednesday night (22/Oct/2008) at The Dogstar in Brixton.

I wasn’t counting on the branding across the top being made so blurry in the YouTube version, and the titles could certainly do with some improvement. I might try making a nicer overlay next time. I figured I’d already spent enough time pfaffing about, and it was time to release something!.. The render, re-encode, upload cycle takes quite a bit of patience.


Mind expanding news 16 October, 2008 at 10:16 pm

My fortnightly visuals gig is now twice as often: Mind! at The Dogstar every Wednesday night. It’s starting to sound like a lot like work…

And yes, I shall continue with the mind puns. I hope you don’t, er, get bothered so much by it. ;o)

I went to Denmark last week to celebrate the double birthday I share with one of my best mates. It’s a somewhat disheartening thought that I’d not seen him for a year, but while I was there I managed to forget about all the time (and troubles) in between and it felt like I’d never left, and the previous birthday was only a week or so ago. Time is a funny thing, or at least our perception of if can be. It’s all in the mind! More tangible, and certainly tastier, were the nice dinners I had – Chinese in a restaurant on Thursday, fried pork (a Danish specialty) at a friend’s house on Friday, turkey at another friend’s on Saturday – not only because of the food, but because they were occasions with friends.


Mind! Wed 01 October 1 October, 2008 at 6:32 am

Mind! is on again tonight. Yes, it has been two weeks already. Where does time go? :o)


MIND visuals by subpixel

MIND visuals by subpixel

MIND! :: Roots :: Reggae :: Dancehall :: Drum & Bass :: Dubstep :: Breakbeat

Music by:

Visuals by subpixel

Wed 01 October, 10 til 2

The Dogstar. 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LQ

Directions: Exiting Brixton tube station, turn left. Turn left at Coldharbour Lane (KFC is on the corner). The Dogstar is a couple of minutes walk away on the right hand side of the road. Easy! :o)

Don’t panic 30 September, 2008 at 5:15 am

The phrase “Don’t panic” appeared to a couple of times in the past few days, reminding me of the words supposedly adorning the cover of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in the book by Douglas Adams of the same name.

First instance – Brick Lane, Saturday night: a guy handing out flyers spotted one of the Don’t Panic flyer packs nearby and picked it up (so it seems flyering is a two-way street after all!). I mentioned to him that they can usually be found in the record shop down the road (though when I went to said record shop on Monday evening I didn’t see any).

Second instance – in “The Shadows in the Cave” (part 3 of the documentary The Power of Nightmares), Lewis Z Koch from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists says on dirty bombs:

The danger from radioactivity is basically next-to-nothing. The danger from panic, however, is horrendous. That’s where the irony comes. … (Is) Instead of the government saying, ‘look, this is not a serious weapon; the serious danger of this is the panic that would ensue, and there is no reason for panic. Don’t panic.’

I did a search for the phrase and found an interesting reference. George Zebrowski asked Arthur C Clarke in an interview, “If you were addressing humankind, and all its groups were listening, what advice would you give?” Clarke’s answer:

The best advice I think was given by Douglas Adams: “Don’t panic.”

There you go. Enough said, really.

In other news… the last Mind! gig at The Dogstar (Wed 17 September, as advertised in my previous post) didn’t go so well. I’d arrived early to set up only to find a football match onscreen, so no access until that had finished, then being told by the bar manager to stop what I was doing when trying to set up later, citing liability concerns. I’d made sure I was back in London from my trip especially for the gig, so felt a bit miffed that I’d left Berlin that morning for nothing. I’d even booked a hostel in Brixton that night and the following day to be close by. Hindsight is, or can be, painful.

The Sunday of that weekend saw the inaugural Sound on Vision event at Vibe Lounge on Brick Lane. I arrived around 2pm to set up and was on from about 5pm. I decided to start with a minimal setup and build up the content from there. I had some heat from Mowgli as he didn’t think it was eye-catching enough, but had someone ask me about one of the clips I used while I was playing and later had some positive feedback from someone else who had been watching. Mowgli noted some lack of contrast, suggesting that images usually need to be blown out to “too much” on your screen to look okay as a projection. Criticism noted. I’m going to have to work out a way to increase the contrast whilst still allowing for a dreamlike mixture of multiple layers, which might in itself be spoiled by too much contrast! Experimentation required.

This past Friday night I went to the British Film Institute (the BFI) at Southbank in London for the AV Social, something I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. It is an interesting venue, and I had some idea to go back on Saturday, but I left it a little too late to head down there in the evening, so had a look around Brick Lane instead.

I’ve also recently been reading about OpenFrameworks, the D programming language, and Ruby (as a language and as Ruby on Rails). Nothing exciting to talk about just yet. I installed Aptana Studio to try out Ruby on Rails, and was following some tutorial only to have something fail that probably shouldn’t be failing (setting up or starting some kind of server) before getting to any code. I did drop a simple “Hello World” script on the webserver to see if it will run, and at least that worked. As with the visuals mentioned above, experimentation required (and study!).

Latest news is that I’ve finally booked a flight to Denmark in October for some birthdays. It will be nice to see one of my best mates and some other friendly faces there, and no doubt become reacquainted with the legendary “Fisk” (Fisherman’s Friend and vodka).


Mind! 2nd instalment: Wed 17/Sep 12 September, 2008 at 12:16 pm

From the Here’s one I prepared earlier department… actually, it is just this blog post I prepared earlier, just in case I’m having too good a time over on the continent to get around to posting an item about the second instalment of Mind! at The Dogstar next Wednesday (I should be in Prague today for the Czechsurfing meeting). I won’t be back in London ’til about lunchtime, but should hopefully have cooked up some new ideas from the Ars Electronica Festival. :o)


Mind! at The Dogstar Wed 03/Sep/08

MIND! :: Roots :: Reggae :: Dancehall :: Drum & Bass :: Dubstep :: Breakbeat

Music by:

Visuals by subpixel

Second gig: Wed 17 September, 10 til 2

The Dogstar. 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LQ
£3 on the door, £2 with flier

Directions: Exiting Brixton tube station, turn left. Turn left at Coldharbour Lane (KFC is on the corner). The Dogstar is a couple of minutes walk away on the right hand side of the road. Easy! :o)

Wheels in motion 22 August, 2008 at 6:46 am

Wheels, maybe cogs. Went to a meeting las night about a monthly Sunday afternoon/evening gig starting up at Vibe Live (above Vibe Bar) in Brick Lane next month: Sound on Vision, a visuals-heavy night for VJ / AV / etc stuff with some music, with a focus on the visuals. Sounds right up my alley… well, up the lane I live near. :o)

In preparation for that, and for Mind!, I had a good session of being absorbed into my screen on Wednesday night, working on some new ideas and compositions for visuals and how to control them for a performance.

I’ve also decided to book some flights and make Ars Electronica happen. The part where I go to the Ars Electronica Festival, that is. The fifteen quid flight to Salzburg (with no taxes for some reason) had of course disappeared, but I found a cheaper flight back to London from Berlin, so it wasn’t all bad. I’ve also made a reservation for a festival pass. The wording in the confirmation email is a bit strange, with an incorrect date and words to the effect of “if you don’t collect your ticket at least an hour before the event, the reservation will be void”, so I’ve written to them asking what the deal is. Hopefully upon careful consideration they can sort out what they really meant to say, as “the” event isn’t so clear when there are many events on during the festival.

Rather than repost updated travel plans in the “blogstream” (I just made that word up), I’ve created an Ars Electronica 2008 page that I’ll update with the latest info.

Other exciting news is that I noticed a piece of mail in the kitchen when I arrived home last night that says the power company is going to come to disconnect the service in the week starting… yesterday. Well that’s just great. I’ve only just moved in and already there are major problems! When I spoke to someone at the power company (EDC) about the outstanding bill (from before the time I moved in) I was assured that the power wasn’t going to be cut off any time soon, and I see the letter is dated three days after that conversation. I’m now not so confident.


Possible Ars Electronica travel plans? 19 August, 2008 at 7:14 am

The Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria, looms. It runs from Thu 04/Sep to Tue 09/Sep. I’m thinking about going, and see there is a Central Europe Couchsurfing meeting, Czechsurfing, happening just a few days afterwards in nearby Prague from Fri 12/Sep to Sun 14/Sep. Prague is also close to Berlin, a place I’d really like to visit again. See the driving route from Salzburg to Linz, Praha and Berlin for an idea of proximity.

Keep in mind that I’m putting on visuals at Mind! in Brixton on Wed 03/Sep and Wed 17/Sep (10pm-2am).


London (Brixton) to Linz on Thu 04/Sep

Note: a direct flight from London to Linz is not viable at this time.

London Buses N35 Brixton to Liverpool Street: ~25min.

Stansted Express (GBP24 return): dep 03:40/04:10, ~46min.

RyanAir FR304 (GBP15 and no taxes!): dep STN 06:30, arr SZG 09:25. train (EUR20.70): Salzburg to Linz, ~135km.

Spend some days in Linz for the Ars Electronica festival! Need to find a CouchSurfing host or two.

Linz to Prague on Wed 10/Sep train(s), as yet unkonwn. Perhaps ~EUR30. Linz to Prague: ~250km.

See discussion on Tripadvisor about trains from Linz to Prague.

Spend the weekend in Prague for the Czechsurfing Central Europe CouchSurfing meeting. Meeting Venues Map

Prague to Berlin on Mon 15/Sep

Bohemian Lines bus Praha to Berlin ZOB Am Funktum (CZK490 ~GBP16): dep 17:45, arr 22:45, ~350km.

Spend a couple of days in Berlin… though it isn’t a weekend, so should really find out in advance is anything is happening.

Berlin to London on Wed 17/Sep

easyJet Berlin Schoenefeld to London Luton ($47.19) dep SXF 09:45, arr LTN 10:35

Check Airfares to London from Berlin in September at for options.

Need to be on time to put on visuals for Mind! at the Dogstar in Brixton tonight!