Relay for Life Cancer Drive 2009

Josh Whelchel, a very talented composer over in the USA, has organised a great big collaborative musical fundraiser for Relay for Life. The idea is that in return for their donations, people get to hear some great music: digital tracks for donations of $10 or more, and digital+CD for donations of $25 or more. There are really talented artists contributing to this project, and I am too. Contributing, I mean. 🙂

Head over to the official website for more information.

Contributing artists

(This list was lifted directly from Josh’s website)

  • Mustin of OCRemix.org fame and head of Mustin Productions,
  • Jimmy Hinson, talented composer and arranger for OCRemix.org (big giant circles),
  • Kyle Gabler, fantastic composer from 2D-Boy and for World of Goo,
  • Alec Holowka, composer for the successful independent game Aquaria,
  • David Saulesco, super talented Swedish composer known for the Eternal Daughter soundtrack,
  • Inez S. deDeugd-McComas, ultra-gifted composer from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music,
  • Vincent Parrish, composer featured on thesixtyone.com,
  • Jay Tholen, talented and multi-faceted musician leading a successful solo career,
  • Barry van Oudtshoorn, Australian Composer Extraordinaire!
  • Josh Whelchel from The Spirit Engine 2 and Bonesaw: The Game,
  • Jussi Nieminen, a progressive-rock genius,
  • David Thatcher, composer for indie-games,
  • James Starkey, collaborating with David,
  • Shane Lu, virtuoso pianist, and
  • David “Warrior Bob” H. from Trax in Space!

New theme!

I’ve finally got around to replacing the placeholder theme I had on the site. The new theme that I’ve made is much cleaner, simpler, and fresher.

This new theme is built around the Sandbox WordPress theme. Sandbox provides you with a really well marked-up document, with appropriate classes, ids, and so on where you need them — essentially, it lets you build the entire theme in CSS without having to worry about the markup, and in so doing, encourages you to build a CSS-only design. I’m proud to say that this design is wholly CSS — there is no extraneous markup, and there are also no browser-specific hacks or files: everything is contained in a single CSS file and about five images, for a total size of around 40kB.

I should also note once again that Firebug is, perhaps, the best tool for web development, be it design or coding — about 90% of the styling was tested in the browser using Firebug before being applied in the CSS file itself.

Comments, questions, or criticisms of the new design? Just leave them in the comments.

Ubuntu and sudo

Ubuntu disables access to the root account by default, for reasons which have never been particularly clear to me. They deem it preferable to give users sudo access, which is all well and good, but typing a series of commands, all prefixed by ‘sudo’, can be very tedious.

Fortunately, there are a few ways around this.

The first is to use a super user shell. From a terminal or console, type:
sudo bash
This will give you a shell with full root access, and save you needlessly typing ‘sudo’. (You can, of course, use other shell flavours, like zsh or csh if you prefer.)

A similar method is to run the ‘su’ command with sudo, thusly:
sudo su
which will also give you a shell with full root access, according to root’s preferred shell.

The third method is to alter the password protecting the root account. To do this, from a terminal or console, type:
sudo passwd root
and enter a password for the root user. Now you will be able to log on to consoles (and, if you’re that way inclined, X sessions) as root.