Korg Poly 800 (Limited Edition)
There has been a new arrival in the MC Evillest Coven household this evening, and the hallways are resounding to the pitter-patter of tiny DCOs. The Kord Poly 800 is a (very underrated) 1984-vintage analog-digital hybrid, kind of a poor man's Juno, and now I've got one of the rare ones. You can see it below with my other new toy in the background.
I have Plans for this machine, but for now I'm just enjoying the sounds - I've been at it for four hours and it is Fun.
playing with the joystick
A bit loud, overdriven upper register filter stabs
Detuned sawtooth & lots of delay.
Similar to the above but with 'clicky' envelope.
More bass using the 'hold' control.
All the above recorded into audacity through a Berhinger UB802 mixer and a JSH DX99 Digitec delay. I'm still figuring out the levels so there is some clipping.
Things for linux users to bear in mind when starting to use a mac (part 1: hardware)
So I (finally) agreed to see what the fuss was about. I must confess to being a little, um, underwhelmed. I'm not going to write off something on the basis of less than a weeks' experience, but my initial impression hasn't been wonderful. In short - if you don't mind messing about with libraries, installing many things by hand and generally being prepared to do a lot of learning (the kind of learning that doesn't help solve your problems), by all means use a Mac. If you want it to 'just work', stick to Linux.
Some caveats; there are really three exeriences for me to have first
impressions of here: hardware, software, and the integration between the
two. We will consider OSX in a separate article, which will be
imaginatively titled 'part 2'. I am using a 2007 15" macbook pro with
It should also
be borne in mind that I am only interested in it
a software development laptop; the ease with which one can back up their
iPod is not relevant.
Having said that, I can report that as expected the integration component of my first impressions was excellent. With almost complete control over the hardware environment, apple can restrict what kernel development needs to happen to the essentials, and get them right, much like Sun did with sparc Solaris. I was expecting to find this wonderful as this has always been the weakest part of the Linux user experience. Other things which linux isn't great at like proprietary codecs and JVM implementations 'just work' as well. It's worth pointing out that in fairness there are economic and legal forces outside the Linux kernel developers' and distribution creators' control here.
The hardware is of excellent build quality, but very quirky. I am
very impressed with the power connector - so many otherwise
functional laptops are lost to damaged AC connectors which nobody
will admit to being able to repair.
The lack of a
proper mouse at first seemed to be an infuriating hinderance,
but later the OSX environment obviates this by making impossible most of
what you'd use one additional buttons for. The keyboard is bizarrely
laid out -
'Alt-3' to get a hash symbol (the § and ± are
located where the escape key normally is, for some reason). The enter
is so small that I regularly hit several of my fingers off the side of
the keyboard trying to press it. The caps lock key is much larger and
more conveniently located (this is a bad thing). Inexplicably there is
enter button concealed between the left-arrow key and one of the two
logo keys - which have replaced ctrl in most of the software. The
keyboard warms up rapidly, to the extent that it is actually
uncomfortable to use. In fact the whole machine warms up the room quite
Replacing the keyboard and mouse with external usb devices is better,
but leaves no free usb ports (though there are two flavours of