Music Whackamole


I had Grooveshark. I loved Grooveshark! I spent a lot of time looking for artists, looking for obscure music, making playlists, favorite-ing songs. I installed their app. I paid money to have an upgraded, “pro” account even though I didn’t have to but I wanted to support them. That is how much I loved Grooveshark. You think you love your apps but do you actually give them any money? No you do not. Then Grooveshark turned out to be in violation of I don’t know how many laws (music rights are complicated!) that they had to shut down. I was shocked! One day they were just gone with a simple we are gone now, here is our apology for what we did wrong, thanks for everything message on their website.

So then I found Rdio. I loved Rdio! I spent a lot of time looking for artists that I had already found on Grooveshark, re-creating my playlists (OK, I did not re-create all of them but I tried) and favorite-ing the same songs I had favorite-ed on Grooveshark. I installed their app on my desktop and my iPad and even ended up paying for 2 subscriptions even though it was a mistake and Rdio helped me figure out what went wrong and why it was not good to have two subscriptions (and we had a bit of a laugh about it). But now Pandora might have swallowed Rdio. Now I will have to go to Pandora?! I don’t like how Pandora works! I don’t like music “neighborhoods” or whatever the fuck they call their algorithm of getting songs to me that I might like because I like The The so damned much.

And I will have to do all those playlists again? Do you even know how much time I spent on theQuietus and NME and Rate Your Music looking up names of the songs that I only knew a few lines of so I could track them down in Grooveshark and Rdio & add them to a playlist or just listen to them? It was a lot of work yo.

I already have Soundcloud and even though I do not really like it I also have Spotify. But what I’d really like to do is find yet another little music app/site to join and devote another few weeks getting my songs and stuff sussed out in it then find out after a wild and crazy and very torrid affair of love a few months later that they have also been shut down by the gov’ment or swallowed up by a larger competitor and are shutting down also.


UPDATE – after I hit publish I Googled “how do I export my Rdio playlists” and maybe yes, cocaine is a hell of a drug because would you not know it there’s already this and this that will do that. By this and this I mean they will export your playlists to Spotify. I used this:

Downsides & general objections to change of any kind:

  • exporter had to split my playlists into two parts. Now I have dumb looking playlists like 1980 -1990 Part 1 and 1980 – 1990 Part 2. Yes I know I can rename them!
  • not every one of my songs can be played in Spotify. Apparently Give it Up by KC and the Sunshine Band is such a rare and precious jewel that Spotify just cannot have it.
  •  oh drag and drop doesn’t work to re-order my tracks? Lovely.
  • dang it! I’m on Spotify.

Where You Been?


If you visited my site in the last couple of years you would have noticed that I hadn’t added anything new since 2013. The reason for that was I’d taken a real job type job, working 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday for a web development company not based in NYC. I was excited to be able to work with a team. Also, after attempting to describe my work to my friends and relatives I thought it would be nice to be able to talk web dev shop talk with other people who would maybe know what I was talking about. And having a regular paycheck seemed like a nice thing too.

So, instead of giving a long list of the gory details ( who really cares anyway) here is a story of my time working with that company, told in the form of famous quotes:

Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to doOscar Wilde

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here – Dante

You can’t fire me, slaves have to be sold – unknown

The End Is Extremely Effing Nigh – 28 Weeks Later

Yeah, I came back and censored the f-bomb.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it – Yogi Berra

Now take a look at these people with crazy eyebrows!



Internet Explorer and Z-Index and me

I’m sure you’re already aware of this but IE is a pain in the butt. I just spent more time than I like to admit trying to figure out why my dropdown menu would not stay open (on mouse hover) over my stupid slideshow. At first I thought it was because my stupid slideshow had a z-index value that was too high. So I spent time messing that up. But then I noticed a very curious thing: when I added a background color to the ul, the menu stayed open over the slideshow.


I had added a background color to the ul but I’d used rgba for a transparent-ish background.Lower versions of IE(less than IE9) ignore rgba and I knew this. What I didn’t know, shockingly enough was that lower versions of IE will create a bug when they have an element with z-index and no background color. So if you want your drop down menus to stay open on hover over another element (no matter if it has z-index or not) you better add a background image or a color or both.

IE is so EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No Way, there’s a FIX for this?! Windows 7 – Resolution problem with Intel 915 – Apparently yes!

I am by no means a gadget-loving geek or an early adopter (or is is adapter?) of gadgetry. I have a tendency towards reticence when it comes to buying any kind of electronic equipment. And so it seems my eventual purchases have mostly been out of real necessity: do I need a Mac if I am doing Web development: yes. Do I need a PC if I am doing Web development:yes. Do I need a Blu-Ray DVD player so I can watch Netflix on my TV? Not really ( I did buy it for the mans birthday but I seem to be the only one who really uses it).

Anyway, enough with the preamble! I had an old Compaq PC tower(bought by the mans’ brother back in 2005) that used a new Compaq Q1859 monitor for the display (I used to have a NEC monitor then the mans bought me a widescreen HP HDMI widescreen monitor – sweet). On one side of my desk I have the Mac mini and the HP HDMI monitor – on the other side I had the elderly PC with the Q1859. I would develop my Web sites in Firefox, Chrome and Safari (Mac) and then safety-check them for cross browser support in Windows IE 6,7, 8 and other major browsers that Windows can run) on the PC. It was my simple system and it saved me from being one of those designers who never checks their sites in any other browser except the one they use because they don’t have the machine that can run it or can’t be bothered or just doesn’t think it matters – by the way, after loading my own recently re-designed site in IE8 in Windows 7 I’ve just caught some F**k-ups – yikes!

Then after about 2 days of not paying any attention to it, my PC wouldn’t turn on. It had no secondary on/off switch in the back – the power cord wasn’t the issue – an even older PC tower could use it. All of a sudden I was without a sure-fire way to check a site in IE and my client was reporting some rendering issues in IE and was kind of getting impatient … I begged for time and even though I could load the site in Chrome and basically see the same kind of issues as in IE (yet another reason to develop in Chrome, 1st) I needed to replace my PC, case closed. It’s just very distracting to lose half of your development system overnight.

After pricing refurbished Windows 7 laptops on and and reading laptop reviews on – I still really only needed a machine that could run Internet Explorer. I went on Craigslist and arranged to meet the seller of a Dell XPS M140 with Windows 7. I figured that the size of the laptop display didn’t really matter because I had the external Q1859… So I bought the Dell, took it home and plugged in my monitor. I got the VGA: No signal, Going to sleep message. I rebooted: the same message. Oops. Was this really happening? Seemed like I could not use my monitor with this laptop because of the video card driver. There’s a lot of info online about older Intel video drivers and Windows 7 and a bunch of folks unhappy with Intel for dropping them after only 3 years (or so I read on several forums) and if you research this topic you might get as discouraged as I did; it seems that there will never be an upgrade available from Intel. I was just getting used to the Dell’s 14 inch screen when I decided to look around online just one more time.

Before I did this I also ran a Windows Update since the seller had last updated in February. After I did my Devices listed the Compaq monitor, finally. Before it didn’t even recognize it existed.

Wow you are chatty. Is there a fix or not?

Well, I can’t swear it will work for everyone who has an older Intel model but the one I have is from 2006 and it worked for me.

I found this forum: Windows 7 – Resolution problem with Intel 915. I read the reassuring words of satanicdude and used TekBoi’s download link and followed InstallWizard. There was 1 minor hiccup just like I was warned about. But the driver installed the second time much like the way satanicdude said it would. I restarted Windows and saw the Windows start up screen on my Compaq Q1859. Additionally my laptop display automatically reset to 1280 x 800. Before it was stuck on a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768.

Still, everything is not perfect. My Compaq Q1859 auto detects the factory setting of a resolution of 1366 x 768 & from the Dell’s 1280 x 800 display it looks a little stretched out (but it did on my old PC) but it also doesn’t fill the monitor screen. Although at least now the Action Center no longer reports any issues with the Video Card!

Still no Aero though. But for now I am Ok.

And now I have 3 screens!

Update Re: stretched/squished screen appearance with external monitor/laptop combo.

If you also have a widescreen monitor determined to stick to a resolution that makes the desktop & Web pages look stretched or squished and/or displays pages in letterbox and not full screen, try this suggestion from our all caps loving friend. Don’t bother clicking the link at the top of the post, the YouTube video is not available.