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Archive for June, 2009

SSD Watch Pt.1

Posted by Scott

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If you follow the blog you’ll know that I’ve touched on the subject of SSDs before. A quick primer for the uninitiated: an SSD (solid state drive) is a storage device that uses solid state memory (As in no moving parts, other examples include RAM and flash memory) and so it can access data much faster than the mechanical head/platter drives most people use now and with no moving parts, data loss due to mechanical failure is a thing of the past. The promise of SSD is huge and as they become commonplace they will no doubt revolutionize the way we work (think Photoshop swap disks that read and write @ 1400MB/s or computers that boot in 5 seconds). Because I work with such large raster files, swap disk performance in particular is a very big issue for me so I keep a close eye on the SSD market, waiting for the moment when the price to performance ratio hits the sweet spot. Right now most SSD technology is still on the pricey side and there are a few technical issues that are still being sorted out (write endurance supposedly being one of them) so I haven’t jumped in just yet. But as things change I will continue to post updates on the SSD situation.

For the first installment I thought I’d post on the very interesting OCZ Z-Drive. It’s insanely expensive right now, but as we all know, those prices drop pretty fast as the tech matures (remember $800 DVD writers?). The Z-Drive is basically 4 SSD drives in a RAID 0 array on a PCI-Express card. This is a novel concept; by using the PCI-Express bus OCZ has sidestepped the bottleneck of the SATA controllers allowing huge throughput in both directions. Boasting 700MB/s write speeds, the Z-Drive is certainly no slouch, but considering the price (they start at $1500!!) I’m holding out for more. I think the magic number for me would be 1000MB/s for around $500. This would make a perfect solution for Photoshop swap disks and other applications that require massive read/write throughput (video render disks etc.) and while it doesn’t make sense for me right now, it’s great to see this emerging technology headed in the right direction.

New York Times Magazine Redesign

Posted by Alex

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The New York Times Magazine is the reason I wake up early on Sunday morning. Excellent photography, fascinating articles, and sophisticated design fill its pages week to week. It was recommended to me when I started graduate school and I haven’t missed an issue since.

This week the Times rolled out a new, svelte version of the Magazine. Like everyone, they are cutting costs where they can, and it was determined that reducing the size of the magazine by 9% would save them millions in paper costs. To accommodate the smaller page real estate and squeeze in more words, they enlisted Lyon Text, a more condensed typeface than they were using before. It’s a very subtle switch, and as they say, “Perhaps if we hadn’t mentioned it, you would hardly know the difference.” Where the change is most obvious is with the two new display faces: Knockout (H&FJ) and Nyte (Dino dos Santos). Both work really well in the new layout; definitely my favorite part of the redesign. They have also reworked the table of contents, changed the section order a touch, and sprinkled a multitude of new design elements throughout.

I think Arem Duplessis and his team have done an incredible job. I loved the Magazine before, and was initially concerned they might mess with a winning formula, but I think they succeeded in turning budget induced page shrinkage into a successful and well-executed redesign. Intact is the nuanced and ultra refined look and feel that first caught my eye. The smaller size is actually more manageable (a la Rolling Stone), and afforded them the opportunity to make the exciting upgrades. I don’t think anyone will miss the extra millimeters.

note: There were two covers that came out with the redesign. The one above, with a model by Thomas Doyle, was my favorite, but be sure to check out IC4Design’s version on the NYT website if you’re interested.

CVJ + Noze + Holy Ghost + Trus’me

Posted by Jakub

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I love the concept behind this release of Casino Versus Japan and Freescha, a split EP with a couple tracks from each artist on a CD. I think more artist should be open to this idea, Daedelus recently started a label that is doing this called Friends of Friends and it looks very promising, also on a side note did everyone know that Freescha did a song for Britney Spears called Heaven on Earth??

I’ve been really impressed with tracks by Nôze, their remix of Franz Ferdinand is a simple yet very effective track for the dancefloor. The combination of that flute, synth and tambourine make me actually like this Franz Ferdinand song.

I wonder who picks the remixers for Moby? Do you think he does? I know he djs a lot in New York but does he play this kind of music? Well this Holy Ghost! remix and the recent Apparat remix are some top choices, i’ll post the Apparat one next week, this one you can add to your weekend night out mix even though its a bit older.

If any of you are in town this Saturday i’ll be djing with Trus’me and Worst Friends at some Circus/Performing Art/craziness at S.L.A.M. Warehouse, i’ve posted a track of Trus’me before awhile back in October, I might like this Drilling track even more now.

Casino Versus Japan – Come Along, Do

Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls (Noze Remix)

Moby – I Love To Move In Here (Holy Ghost! Remix)

Trus’me – Drilling

Delicious Library

Posted by Beamer

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So, I’m sure most of you have heard of Delicious Library already, but the mastermind Wil Shipley released the iPhone companion this morning (iTunes link), along with v2.1.

Delicious Library has a lot of neat features that I simply don’t use, but the best use I’ve found for it so far is cataloging your vinyl collection. Unfortunately you have to manually enter everything, as well as find the album art yourself… but it’s really handy to have your collection in a lusciously designed searchable beast in your pocket.

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It’s $40, but the demo let’s you add 25 items so you can play. The iPhone app is free.

Also, be sure to check out this fun stop-motion video introducing the iPhone app.

Moodgadget Summer Tour 2009 – Part 1

Posted by Jakub

Moodgadget Summer Tour 2009 – Part 1 from Alex Koplin on Vimeo.

“This is the first chapter of the Moodgadget 2009 Tour compilation video, with video and photos of wacky antics and performances from Detroit, Ann Arbor, Chicago and Cincinnati with Shigeto, D. Gookin, Charles Trees, Mogi Grumbles, Calmer, Worst Friends, Guardian, Mux Mool and more! Stay tuned for the next chapter, with full-length footage from shows in Brooklyn and Baltimore!” – Alex/H34dUp

Some of you know Alex/H34dUp on the blog from positive comments on Scott’s topics, well he went on tour with some of the musicians we post on and took some good photos and video from the shows. The video includes: Mux Mool, D. Gookin, Charles Trees, Shigeto, Calmer, and Mogi Grumbles and a lot of unreleased material that I thought some of you might get a kick out of. Some of the best parts are the Adult Swim style bumpers which you can read along to and enjoy the layout. Scott actually came to the Detroit show which is mostly just a collection of photos from that night. There are some awkward moments at times which kind of show you how crazy you might get driving 9 hours a day.

Highlights
- D. Gookin’s cover of Smashing Pumpkins – 1979
- Mux Mool / Shigeto live collab
- Shigeto’s drumming style
- New Charles Trees song
- New artist Dubstep artist Guardian
- Photos of the tour flyers
- The credits

Triennale Design Museum

Posted by Alex

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I recently visited the Triennale Design Museum in Milan and saw some nifty little things. The exhibit was dedicated mostly to Italian industrial design from the 50′s/60′s. Some of my favorites are pictured above; a Ferrari P6, Olivetti Lettera 22, Brionvega TV and radio, and a Zanussi Refrigerator which looks like a time travel device. Unfortunately, I missed Design Week by a few days, but the museum was a decent substitute. It wasn’t very big at all—took only about 15 minutes to walk through—but it’s always nice to see a dedicated design exhibit.