[PlanetCCRMA] Ahhh, and hello

Marv Smoak smoak@mis.net
Mon Oct 6 11:09:01 2003

Ahhh!  After years of wanting a linux system for music, I finally
have one.  Thanks to Planet CCRMA and all the folks that have 
contributed to linux audio/music software.  I've joined this mailing
list to try to learn more about the system and to contribute when
I can.  Maybe some background on my new linux machine and how I got
it will be useful/interesting to some of you.

First a little about me.  I'm an old sax player.  Took my first sax
lesson in 1951.  Didn't play any between 1961 and 1979.  Met my first
computer (B5000) and ALGOL about 1963 at Ga. Tech.  Worked for IBM
in product/development engineering.  Met fortran, basic and then
APL; I stuck with apl and still use it for my work.  In 79, I met
some folks that met to play music each weekend; blues, jazz ...
Bought an alto sax, then a fender-rhodes keyboard and took lessons
to learn some theory (hadn't had any) and improve my playing. I'm
still trying to learn and improve.  Have plenty of time now that 
I'm self-unemployed (some would say retired but ...).  Got my first
pc about 83; couldn't find any music software useful to me until
I got a win3.1 machine about 1990.  Still have and use that machine
but it's being replaced by the linux machine now.

Early this year (after following linux development since about 1997)
I found Planet CCRMA and the more I read about it the better it
sounded to me.  But after two attempts at getting linux running and
functional (using local linux experts) never yielded a working sound
system that met my needs, I wanted to buy a system and have it
configured for sound when it came to me.  I read and thought for weeks
and then contacted Dave Phillips.  "Would you let me hire you to 
configure a new machine with Planet CCRMA installed and working for
midi keyboard and other app's I need?"  The idea appealed to Dave
and fit in with some other work he was doing, and he agreed to do

The machine we ordered is a microtel pentium 4 1.7ghz with 750meg
memory, 80gig hd, soundblaster live soundcard, plextor cdrw.  It
was shipped from microtel to Dave who installed the soundcard,
cdrw and rh8.0 and Planet CCRMA and got various app's working before
shipping it to me.  It worked when I plugged it in.  Out of the box
it worked!  AAAHHHHH!   (sure; there were a few touchups that had 
to be worked out, but they were things I could get working and not
worth detailing here)

Again, I'm a sax player who hosts a practice group weekly to play
jazz and blues.  Our keyboard uses a soundfont on the sblive.  Muse
works, but we're not using it yet.  CD playing is used; recording
works; not used yet.  Realplayer I'm using often; lots of good jazz
stations out there.  Using alsapatchbay and alsamixer; jack works
not used much yet.  Lillypond works and I'm starting to use it.

Next I'll be learning how to use apt to keep the system up-to-date
and how to use the system more effectively.  Thanks in advance for
helping me as I do.  

Marv Smoak        long-winded today in Lexington, KY