Sunday, August 30, 2015

Concert Venue Ratings

As a seasoned and opinionated concert goer, listing venues strengths and weaknesses seems like it would be interesting and fun. When it is all said and done, we will see if it is useful for the global good. These will be mostly venues in and around Cleveland, Ohio, my home town. The posting will expand as time permits and experience grows. These will be generous at the top - there is room for plenty of grade A venues.

Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio
The Beachland has the best vibe of any concert venue. The ballroom sounds better than it has a right to, thanks to Mike Miller. The room is too square and isn't right acoustically, but Mike gets it to sound just fine.
Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, Ohio
The tavern shares the vibe of the ballroom, just smaller. Both have good bars.
House of Blues, Cleveland, Ohio
Great sound everywhere. OK bar (it used to be much worse). Somewhat over priced. It's a great place for a concert.
Agora, Cleveland, Ohio
No matter what they've done to try to improve this once great opera hall, it is a dump. Surprisingly good bathrooms. Scary hall and neighborhood. Excellent sound on the bottom. The top is more like an arena for some reason. Bad bar. The old Cleveland Agora on E21st was a dump too, but with low ceilings.
Severence Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
Acoustic music sounds great here - anywhere in the hall. Amplified music rattles around and doesn't work very well. I preferred the 1960's configuration with panels on the ceiling. The seats are great. The bar is usually limited.
Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
This is the ideal stand-up bar venue. Small, quirky. Great bar. Things always sound OK.
Nighttown, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Next to jazz club in the dictionary should be a picture of this place. Surprisingly good sound, good food, good bar, good vibe.
Wilberts, Cleveland, Ohio
OK sound. Quirky seating. Good food. Bar is good but have had stale beer on taps. Clean.
Cain Park, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Nice outdoor setting. OK sound (rattles around a lot). Stupid moat in front of stage. There is a bar and food, but not much selection.
Blossom Music Center Peninsula, Ohio
Outdoor venue that feels more like a stadium or festival. Huge. Close in can be intense, though. OK sound that is like a festival in back. Horrible for orchestra. Concessions passible.
Kent Stage, Kent, Ohio
OK sound and not too big. Poor seats. Bad bathrooms. Dumpy old movie theater.
Nautica Stage, Cleveland, Ohio
Mediocre sound. Poor seats. Concessions vary. Large venue feel. Nice setting.
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Usually decent sound. Huge venue with high altitude seating. Modern.
Public Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
Sound is never good pretty much anywhere. Seating usually uncomfortable (sometime very much so). Usually very weak concessions. Old school arena. The Music Hall side of the venue is seldom used anymore. It was much better.
Foster Theater (Rock Hall), Cleveland, Ohio
Intimate theater with great sound for smallish events. Comfortable seating. First class.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Lobby, Cleveland, Ohio
Very tricky sound – usually not the best. Temporary or no seating. Fun for often memorable events.
Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville, Tennessee
Great sound, seating and consessions. 19070’s modern facility that works and has character.
State Theater, Cleveland, Ohio
Mediocre sound and sight lines. Unfortunately this venue is used for a good number of musical events.
Allen Theater, Cleveland, Ohio
Wonderfully renovated. Great sound, comfortable seats and good sight lines. The old version of the theater was big and beat up but not a bad venue either.
Hard Rock Rocksino, Northfield, Ohio
Good sound everywhere. Flat floor seating with a few risers in the back. No class. Very weak bar. Interesting location.
E J Thomas, Akron, Ohio
Great sound and decent seating. Multiple high balconies. Weak concession. Needs upkeep.
Lakewood Civic Auditorium, Lakewood, Ohio
Large older auditorium. Decent sound and sight lines. Cramped. Feels like a high school (because it is).
Mentor Performing Arts, Mentor, Ohio
Large modern auditorium. Good sound. Comfortable seats. Doesn’t feel too much like a High School (though it is).
Akron Civic Auditorium, Akron, Ohio
Older auditorium with decent acoustics. Older seating. Weak concessions.
Mahall’s, Lakewood, Ohio
Good sound. Garage quality seating but clean and unique. Good bar.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

SharePoint Double Encoding Space in URL to %2520 - An Easy Solution

I got bit by SharePoint double-encoding a %20 (space) in a list name when I tried to rename a customized display form used in that list.

Now, mind you, these are two things I always avoid - spaces in list names and customized forms. But I inherited these, and then I proceeded to muck it up with the rename. The result was that links on tasks that went back to the list were double encoded - the % in %20 becomes an incredibly insidious %25, which is just a horrible thing in a web browser.

Now you might want to try some simple workaround or fix, like a redirect or something, but touching that %25 is real hard. I found a great solution using jQuery to rewrite the URLs. I did not try this but it seemed like it would work.

I found that if I renamed the list without any characters to encode, the links were all fixed.

Next I wanted to put the list back to the original name. This turned out to be impossible. No matter how I did this, SharePoint was nice enough to double encode the thing and make it %2520.

So the answer is to permanently change the URL for the list to not have any encoded characters (spaces, etc.). If need be, you could do some sort of redirect for anything with the old name, but this is largely unnecessary as SharePoint really does a good job with fixing all the URLS (just as it broke some of them).

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Multiple Mouse Pointers

We can use touch, mouse, keyboard, voice control, and even various camera based controls that Microsoft and Sony have introduced, and I have used MIDI devices since the 80's, but there is a missing feature on our computers. What if I want to use TWO mice and have TWO pointers?

I'm not sure if there are analogous missing features for other inputs, but just think about the mouse. I use two mice most of the time (much of my waking hours). I got used to using a left hand mouse when I was having back and neck issues years ago. We often have two or more screens. But there is only one pointer.

Someone needs to think of ways to separate the inputs - much like touch vs. mouse, only going a lot further.

With MIDI, there were always multiple inputs available either on the same channel, a separate channel, or globally. You can use a couple keyboards, a breath controller, etc. to control whatever device is set to listen. The 32 year old Musical Instrument Digital Interface specification for serial data streamed at low speed was an example of how the problem could be solved.

Why is nobody working on this?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Opening Form in a Popup from a Link

I know I figured this out more than once (who knows, there may be another version on THIS blog somewhere). That, and there are multiple ways to do this. It should also be noted that sometimes this is a bad idea and won't work right, so think about how it might not work and test it!

Take yer link:{F06E16DD-3D2B-4022-8E76-495BAAED3DDC}&RootFolder=

and transform it into:



Saturday, April 04, 2015

Greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Performances

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is currently polling this topic: Voting ends May 1, 2015.

I consider myself uniquely qualified and exceedingly opinionated, having visited the museum hundreds of times, attended many events related to the museum (though only one induction, in 2012, but soon to be two), I bought the 10 DVD boxed set of induction videos when it came out a few years ago, and most importantly, I carefully listened to all the entries yesterday evening on my big hi-fi at as high a volume as I could take it.

So I mercilessly rated all the nominated performances from 1 to 10. The obvious favorite is posted in the #1 position on their page - the sublime While My Guitar Gently Weeps performance from 2004. 
  • While my Guitar Gently Weeps 2004 - I get chills every time. One wrong note sticks out. Still a ... 10
  • Let it Be 1999- horrible rubbish. 2
  • Roll Over Beethoven 1986- the real deal - Jerry Lee! Keith! A real JAM. 8
  • Sweet Emotion 2001 -Nice Take on the song! Totally rockin. 8
  • Light my Fire 1993 - Nice, nice Doors + Don Was and Eddie Vedder. Acid. 7
  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For 2005 - UBoss 7
  • When the Levee Breaks - Neil  Young and Crazy Zeppelin. He dominates ANY band! 8
  • I Saw Her Standing There 1988 - Fun jam. Jeff Beck guitar solo! So many great moments. Dylan! 7
  • In the Midnight Hour 1999 - The most soulful! 6
  • The Weight 1994 - Best song of this bunch. Well performed. 7
  • Honky Tonk Woman 1989 - Best party (just cuz it's the Stones for cryin out loud). 6
  • Green Onions 1992 - Really bad. Keith, the Edge, Johnny freakin Cash, Neil Young, Joh... aw nevermind. 1
  • Blue Suede Shoes 1987 - Carl totally carries an otherwise poor performance. 5
  • Sunshine of Your Love 1993 - CREAM, A bit slower but better than ever. Real rock and roll. 6
  • Enter Sandman 2009 - Welcome to Cleveland. 6
  • I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) 2003 - lost jam but lots of joy! 5
  • Come Together 1994 - Good tribute to John Lennon. 6
  • You've Lost That Loving Feeling 2003 - The vocals are hard to take. 1
  • Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend 1996 - They should do this again in 2015. 4
  • Hey Bo Diddley 1987 - Paul Butterfield rocks! 5
  • Teach Your Children 1997 - CSN & JT. A bit rough. 3
  • Teenage Lobotomy, Rockaway Beach, Blitzkrieg Bop 2002 - Green Day showing why they are being inducted. Great covers. 7
  • Respect Yourself/I'll Take You There 1999 - nice. 6
  • Higher Ground 2012 - I was there! It's about how I remember it. A cacophony at 1:30 in the morning. 6
  • Wish You Were Here 1996 - Nice unplugger. 6
  • Barracuda 2013 - Still works. The Gibson SG sounds great. What a riff. 6
  • Crossroads 2013 - Geddy Freeking Lee! Great synthesis of performers. Dave Grohl. One of the best thanks to Geddy. 9
  • Paradise City 2012 - Clevelander Gilby Clarke has the smallest ego on stage and should also be inducted. 6
  • It's So Easy 2014 - I saw Linda in 1973. This did not capture that spirit. 4
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit 2014 - Joan Jett channeling Kurt. Outstanding. 7
It was a lot of fun to watch them all. It took hours to do! After all the careful listening, While My Guitar Gently Weeps is still solidly number one. Crossroads is a surprise #2!

Other observations

Early on I was impressed with Billy Joel taking the lead in I Saw Her Standing There and elsewhere, but I also quickly hated Paul Schaefer's contributions. He did not belong on stage with the others, and he kept showing up, ruining many of the songs. Sorry, Paul. It didn't work.
I hope there will be great moments at this year's induction. Ringo and Paul can't help but be cool, Stevie Wonder inducting Bill Withers sounds exciting, and I look forward to Joan Jett. Green Day opened the 2012 inductions with a nice little set and a dozen f-bombs about the audience that arrived in a comatose state (and by the end at 1:30, we were mostly zombies). Hopefully we will be a better audience this year, but the line up looks huge again and I don't see how they can make it through the proceedings without going late into the night. Bring a blankie and pillow. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

You CAN Attach the Same Content DB More Than Once

... you just have to detach it first.

Let me back up. I think at least three times I've gotten all excited and apprehensive about restoring a test DB to a SharePoint 2010 farm for a second test because I already did a test in the same farm with the same database.

If you read this great Technet topic you could walk away with the idea that you won't be able to attach the database (even though you have detached it).

Rest assured, that although the Technet posting is accurate, it is not trying to say that you can't attach the database, detach it, and then reattach it. I think it would have been better worded to simply say that all the site collection/GUID combinations must be unique, so you can't attach the same one twice.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Personal Automation - what I am looking for

I want my computer assistant (device) to always be on and watching and listening to what is going on. I want it to identify me by voice and face, and learn who other people (and animals!) are. It needs to interface with devices around me (communications, car, lighting, heating and AC, etc.). It needs to know where I am at all times and go with me everywhere.

We have the technology for all that and we can make it secure. I hope we don't have to wait too long for it to all work well. Microsoft seems pretty far down that path (farther than anyone else), but it isn't quite all there and working well enough to really be effective.