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Breaking the Blog Jam

by Tom Swan

Let’s Do the Blog

Sounds like a dance step or something. Do the Blog!

Well, this is kind of a dance, or anyway you might think so if you watched me hop between my office where I write and code and my studio nearby where I play, practice and record. I get more exercise running between my two worlds than I ever did in a gym.

Perhaps I’m getting dull, but it took me a while to understand that, with today’s digital explosion in the world of professional music combined with my past in computer programming, I’m in a spot. A good spot for a writer, with years of experience in music and playing the guitar but also in the computer technology that today fuels just about every modern recording studio and stage production in the world. Plus I have a degree in journalism.

I think it’s a calling.

Seriously folks — what, like I wasn’t before? — I am excited to be writing again, and I have a lot of inside knowledge to share about my love affairs (music and computer ones). And please know that, when I get into things, I don’t like to just dabble. I like to really understand what’s going on and then write about it.

Hence this Blog.

Don’t Get Fooled Again For Dummies

They say to write about what you know. And the two activities I know best are playing the guitar and programming computers — two subjects that for most of my life have been my passions, my hobbies, and my professions. This Blog page, then, is where I get to share some of the music and coding tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years. And maybe I’ll write about some other Crud and Crumbles from time to time.

For a long while, I saw no connection between my two passions, music and computers. During the years when I wrote books and magazine articles about computer programming languages, playing the guitar was my hobby and my oasis, a much anticipated hour or so every day that took me away from the computer screen and back to the nirvana of living inside of song.

I never thought, however, of writing about music. Although I’d always had a keen interest in computers, when I decided to return to my self-interrupted music career, I expected to wave goodbye to coding — it was clear I needed to make a choice. I’d done the programming thing for a long time, and so, contrary to the advice of many but like the much-admired Pete Townsend says, I decided to just "pick up my guitar and play!"

Although the song advises prayer in this situation, and I’ll probably get fooled again anyway sooner or later, I don’t care. Fool me once, fool me twice, but I’ll be thrice as nice!
What do I get out of this? It’s a reasonable question. Maybe I’ll write a paper book again one day and you’ll buy a copy. I have plans for video courses and a CD. The Store has one of my books for sale — a facsimile PDF of my very first real published book. Some people pay for a download as a donation to help keep this site going. Thank you. It helps. But to put it mild, Lee, I suppose there’s not too many people interested in 1802 microprocessor programming any more (a way cool chip, by the way).

Back to the Subject

I just read back what I wrote above, and I realized that I have strayed far from my stated topic — introducing this Blog.

But I’ll leave it alone. It’s a Blog, after all, not a brain-surgery how-to.

Yes, I am going to write and publish music and programming tutorials here. I will continue as I have for many years writing how-to articles on subjects that turn me on, now often with companion videos. Whoopie!

But I am also going to just ramble from time to time. Please feel free to ramble back! I say this a lot but I really mean it — your suggestions and comments are important to me and I will read and respond to all queries as quickly as I can.

So, welcome to my new Blog! Please poke around and share with friends.

Every Blog post, including this one, has a link at top for viewing and downloading a PDF file that is exactly the same as the post’s online document. (Audio clips, however, work only online, an unfortunate limitation of most PDF viewers, which don’t yet handle multimedia very well.) Posts that accompany videos also have a link to this site’s Videos page. Select the link and hit the play button in the video thumbnail to start watching and reading. Enjoy!

Tom Swan