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Avocado Suite
Avocado Suite
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 35.39
3 used & new from CDN$ 35.37

3.0 out of 5 stars It's actually not that bad, Oct. 3 2003
This review is from: Avocado Suite (Audio CD)
The awful reviews of "Avocado Suite" put me off for the longest time, but I finally bought it cheap out of curiosity, and you know... it's actually not all that bad.
Sure, it must have come as an unpleasant surprise to anyone expecting another "Blues", but that's always been the way with messrs Leonard and Baker, whether they're calling themselves "I Start Counting", "Fortran 5", or the current incarnation "Komputer"... just as you think they've settled on a style, they go and release something utterly different.
"Avocado Suite" is perhaps most comparable to Komputer's "Market Led", which also got some awful reviews due to being nothing like the Kraftwerk-revival-style pop of the previous Komputer releases. Both albums are song-free experimental electronica; if you like that kind of thing, they're pretty good. If you don't, then run away rapidly.
Having said that, Avocado Suite is patchy. It takes a long time to get started, with a couple of tracks of so-so sample fragments and bleeps before anything memorable begins. The album starts to hit a high with "Domewitch", and stays good through "Alan's Ex", but for me the point of sheer brilliance is "And Erm", which stuck in my head for days. Is it worth buying the entire album for? Possibly not, especially not at expensive import prices... but I got my copy for under a tenner direct from Mute, and at the price I paid I'm not complaining.

Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard (Mac)
Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Standard (Mac)

1.0 out of 5 stars Am I missing something?, June 9 2003
It seems that all this offers over what's built in to the OS, is commenting of documents, password protection, and combining multiple documents into one PDF. That's not a lot of functionality for [item price]. You can't even create Acrobat forms or use it for preflighting print runs!

Sym #2
Sym #2
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 275.74
2 used & new from CDN$ 256.23

5.0 out of 5 stars Musique concrète for the digital generation, March 8 2003
This review is from: Sym #2 (Audio CD)
This is "Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers" by [The User], a Canadian duo. The music is performed by fourteen dot-matrix printers of various vintages, played by assorted personal computers dating from the early 90s, controlled by a similarly obsolete file server. The sounds are created simply by printing text files which have been composed and orchestrated beforehand. By varying the patterns of characters, spaces, newlines and punctuation marks, the printers are persuaded to create different rhythms and noises.
It's minimalist music made from the gliding and thumping of printer heads moving, the buzzing of ink dots being deposited on paper, the hum of old power supplies, the judder of tractor feed mechanisms, and so on. Strangely fascinating, harsh yet musical, a reminder of a bygone era that was only a decade ago.

Box Set (6cd)
Box Set (6cd)
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 163.44
2 used & new from CDN$ 79.73

5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest lo-fi songwriter, Jan. 28 2003
This review is from: Box Set (6cd) (Audio CD)
The scene: A flat in Sheffield in 1985. An unemployed overweight middle-aged man
fights off boredom by writing songs. With no musical training, he does his
best to record them using a four track tape deck, a guitar, and a cheap synth
and drum machine.
A few years later, he has around 400 songs on cassette, mostly untitled,
kept in a plastic bag. Major record labels are completely uninterested.
Friends persuade him to release some of the songs on a CD, as is. A music
publishing deal pays for a run of 1000 discs, and "I Was Born A Man" is
released.
The album sells out by word of mouth. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
Three more albums are put out, with postcards for listeners to vote on
their favorite tracks. The limited releases sell out and become highly
valuable collectors' items. Suddenly every record company is calling.
So Baby Bird the solo artist went on to become Babybird the band and have some
UK hit singles. Sure, they were pretty good, but somehow something important
had been lost in the chaos of suddenly selling half a million singles and
playing packed gigs in London.
These are the original four track recordings. They might be musically crude in
places, but they have an honesty and soul that the slick commercial Babybird
albums lack. The songwriting is eccentric, poetic, down-to-earth, witty,
wistful, brilliant. One man pouring his soul into his music.
"Wouldn't let me see you, like an angel swimming in hell, now I know the reason
why, wish I'd pushed the doorbell."
If I could make just one album as good as Baby Bird's, I could die happy.
This boxed set has six of them. They're all good. It's a crying shame this
man hasn't achieved recognition in the USA.
The original quintet of albums has been remastered by Stephen Jones (Baby
Bird), with high end studio equipment used to extract as much as possible from
the master cassettes. The songs are noticably clearer than on the original
releases, while keeping their lo-fi charm. So yes, the box set is worth buying
even if you have all the original CDs.
The mysterious sixth "black album" contains 18 previously unreleased tracks
from the bag of tapes. Though not quite up to the standard of the previous
five, there are some great songs here. In style, it's perhaps closest to
"Dying Happy".

OpenGL(R) Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 1.2
OpenGL(R) Programming Guide: The Official Guide to Learning OpenGL, Version 1.2
by OpenGL Architecture Review Board
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from CDN$ 0.39

4.0 out of 5 stars The best OpenGL book on the market ...unfortunately., Jan. 2 2003
If you have a degree in Computer Science or Mathematics, this is the OpenGL book for you; otherwise, you'll want to start with something substantially simpler.
Even for those with the requisite pre-education, some parts of the book gloss over details a little too much, leaving you to experiment with the demonstration software to work out what things do. For example, the description of texture blending modes is very skimpy--if you want to know the difference between alpha, luminance and intensity textures, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Another problem is that the arrangement of information is sometimes perverse; while it may make sense from a reference point of view, learners will need to skip around in the book to learn things in a logical order. For instance, you're told how to define texture coordinate arrays, and texture mipmap generation is explained in detail, long before the book has gotten around to explaining how to actually paint a texture on a polygon.
Finally, with OpenGL at version 1.4, the book is in need of an update. I wish I could recommend a better book, but at the time of writing this really does seem to be the best one available.

Dial-a-Song: 20 Years of
Dial-a-Song: 20 Years of
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 38.95
11 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly overpriced, Dec 17 2002
($$$) for a compilation of back-catalog tracks? This is the most overpriced album I've seen yet.
If you're a fan, you already have all the tracks. If you become a fan, you'll want to go buy all the albums anyway, for all the great tracks that aren't included here--like "Kiss Me Son of God", an all time favorite of the fans I know. And if you're not a big fan, why spend so much cash on a compilation?

Koyaanisqatsi
Koyaanisqatsi
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 19.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

1.0 out of 5 stars No longer necessary, thank goodness, Sept. 17 2002
This review is from: Koyaanisqatsi (Audio CD)
As I write, Koyaanisqatsi is available on DVD. On the DVD, the soundtrack is uncut--so why would you buy the cut CD version with lower sound quality, when the DVD with 48kHz 5.1 surround sound is available for less?
Even before the DVD was released, I never liked the CD abrigements as they left out my favorite bits. I bought the CD, but ended up listening to a tape of the soundtrack from the HiFi VHS release in preference!

Autechre Gantz Graf
Autechre Gantz Graf
DVD ~ Autechre
Offered by Vanderbilt CA
Price: CDN$ 29.95
5 used & new from CDN$ 10.98

5.0 out of 5 stars This DVD has warped my fragile little mind, Aug. 31 2002
This review is from: Autechre Gantz Graf (Audio CD)
A lot of people let their musical appreciation muscles atrophy. They end up listening to the same stuff they listened to in college, for the rest of their lives. Hence the popularity of oldies radio stations. It's not too late, though. If you want to give your musical appreciation muscles a good workout, this is the DVD & CD for you. Forget easy listening; this is difficult listening.
The title track, gantz_graf, is almost overwhelming in its complexity--and so is the video. Don't expect it to be on MTV any time soon. (Stunning fact: The video was animated by hand.)
The video for second bad vilbel is here too, newly remastered. It's a disturbing vision of alien robotics by Chris Cunningham.
The basscadet video is sadly dated, but hey, it's there for completists.
The CD included with the DVD includes two more tracks, which manage to pack an album's worth of progression into fifteen minutes.

The League of Gentlemen: The Complete Series 1
The League of Gentlemen: The Complete Series 1
DVD ~ Mark Gatiss
Offered by torontomediadvd_com
Price: CDN$ 24.30
16 used & new from CDN$ 3.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Hokey cokey, pig-in-a-pokey, Nov. 21 2000
This is the most sick, twisted and bizarre TV series I have ever seen, bar none -- it makes Twin Peaks look like 90210. It's also very, very funny.
If you don't get BBC America, this is your best chance to see the series as intended -- Comedy Central seem to dub over an extra-loud laugh track, perhaps to try and reassure the audience that it's OK to laugh at what's on screen, and they also show it pan-and-scan instead of letterboxed.

"Happy, Texas (Widescreen) " (Bilingual)
"Happy, Texas (Widescreen) " (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Tim Bagley
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 44.94
9 used & new from CDN$ 5.58

3.0 out of 5 stars A fun little movie, a slightly flawed DVD, Aug. 11 2000
OK, so it was a little predictable in places; but it made me laugh. The acting is good, the humor doesn't pander too much.
I'd give it four stars, but once again Disney (Miramax) have botched the DVD mastering, so that the disc erroneously produces an annoying "multiple angles" icon throughout the opening sequence. (No, there are no multiple angles.) You can usually reconfigure your DVD player to get around the problem, but it's a pain to have to wade through two or three obscure menus just to watch a movie. I don't know what it is about Disney that they can't get it right; every other movie studio seems to manage.

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