Message from Bruce about NEFFA

Hello, everyone,

As promised, or threatened, here’s another message from me. NEFFA
isn’t happening until April, but we need to attend to this Wicked

I need to submit names for NEFFA. As you probably know, we’re leading
a West Gallery Music workshop at NEFFA on Sunday, April 10, at 12:00.
We’re listed in the schedule as “The West Gallery Quire.”

Anyone who comes and helps will be considered a member of “The West
Gallery Quire” and will get free admission to the entire festival (3
days of fun! oh boy!). BUT they need your names Real Soon.

To help, I’ll need people to do these:

  • A few people to make copies of booklets in advance;
  • a few people to
    hand out booklets;
  • four people to hold up the signs that show where to
  • and a big lot of people to sit in the crowd amongst other people
    and “Sing (or Play) Lustily And With Good Courage” to help out the
    newcomers (this is the way we’ve done it before; no new surprises).

Having your name on the list will also help them schedule stuff in the
future; they won’t schedule you opposite something else which you’re
also part of. So even if NEFFA already has your name as part of
another event, you still should give me your name.

If you’re hoping to do this, please send me your name NO LATER THAN
Feb. 27th. That’s a week from this Sunday. I’ll submit the names to
the Neffans that evening.


Bruce goes to a 3 column layout

I haven’t changed the blog yet, but the static pages on the site are
now a 3-column css layout, instead of the old two-column table based

Update February 19: The blog is now changed,
too. I seem to be getting a fair amount of correspondence based on
people finding interesting things I’m doing by googling and hitting
the blog.
I also regenerated the music html pages, which
get a fair amount of hits from both google and cpdl.

This should accomplish the following:

  • the Google ads will be “above the fold”. In the old layout, there was no way for both the ads
    and the major navigation aids to be above the fold.
  • It will give a reasonable length reading line for the site content
    without the css margin stuff that some browsers (as far as I know,
    only IE 5.x, where x is a small number, on Mac OSX) couldn’t deal
  • The actual html is more reasonably organized, without a lot of td,
    tr, table, etc., and the content is above the navigation and ad stuff.

If this doesn’t work in your browser, please let me know. I did ask a
bunch of friends with a wide array of browsers and os’s to test, and
the ones that replied didn’t have any major problems.

Report on the February 15 Rehearsal

What we did:

  • Marlbrouk
  • Drinking songs
    • Quant je bois
    • Vignons, vignons
    • Changeons propos
    • Vive la serpe
  • Dowland
    • Go nightly cares
    • From silent night
    • Me, me and none but me

Please note that if I print out 4 copies of something, and don’t throw
any of them away, I expect that there are still 4 copies in our
rehearsal room the next time we want to sing this song. Please tell
me if you are taking music away — I put a lot of work into making
all the music I set publicly available, and I’m happy to help people
print it out, but I need to know that that’s what I’m doing if I think
I’m printing music for our rehearsals.

We only had 4 people, so we couldn’t try out the (5 part) Vecchi swan
piece. It’s probably not reasonable for this spring, but if we try it
soon, we can still change our minds.

Walk for Hunger

We are officially scheduled for the same time and place we’ve been
doing. I am attempting to set up the same kind of schedule we had
last year, with people doing half-hour solo sets in the morning, and
our group plus another one (I’ve asked the Quilisma Consort, but haven’t yet
heard back) alternating 45 minute sets in the afternoon.

So I need official commitments from people who want to play on May 1
from 12:30 to 3:00 PM. It will be the same spot we’ve been playing
at, on the Charles River at the Cambridge-Watertown line, across from
the Cambridge Cemetery.

Also let me know if you’re interested in doing a solo set. is at 3 columns

Mostly. Still to do:

  • put the blog on 3 cols too

    Update: Feb. 19. Done. I didn’t get the blog
    to use the .css stylesheet, so it it in a style tag in the head, but I
    don’t see that that’s a problem, except that I might want some slight
    differences between the private one and the public one.
  • get all the browsers checked.
  • See if I can get the new serpent publications banner to not look
    quite so bedraggled.
  • Fix some odd cases in the footer.

Medway announcements from Bruce

Hello, everyone!


There will be two rehearsals for the Medway March 6 church service –
Thursday, Feb. 24 and Wednesday, March 2. They’ll be at 7:30 at the
Medway church (directions forthcoming, probably early next week).

Please come to at least one; if you’re free both nights, it would be
great if you can come to both.

I want to spend some time actually rehearsing all the music, including
some simple orchestration for some tunes (nothing more complex than
“voices only,” “voices and winds,” and so forth), and make sure we all
know what verses to do (as soon as I decide). Besides going over the
music, I want to make sure we have proper seating arrangements worked

If you can’t come to either rehearsal, please let me know. Maybe I can
schedule another rehearsal, although I’m not sure where or when. We
need more days in the week.

IF YOU NEED A RIDE to either rehearsal or to the service, send a
message to this list (at and hopefully
someone who’s going past your area can pick you up.


This is not the actual order, but these are the tunes we’ll do. Except
for Psalm 23, these are old familiar ones which most of you probably
know well.


    • Psalm 122

    • Cranbrook (with congregation)

    • Zadock (after reading about King David)
    • Psalm 23 (after reading of the same)
    • Allendale or Frome, maybe, if we need another.

  • SERMON – one verse each, to illustrate the talk:

    • Lyngham

    • Birmingham
    • Stocks
    • Gibraltar
    • An Hymn for Easter Day
    • Otford

    • Gwehelog Grace
    • Lydia, if we need another.

    • Corfe Castle

    • Pentonville

There are some major butt-kickers on this list, but we will be about
24 in number, so as long as we all know our words and notes, we can
stay relaxed for most of it.

Please let me know if you have any questions. And stay tuned to this
channel for up-to-the-minute news bulletins!



Cantabile Renaissance Band meeting reminder

The next meeting will be tomorrow, Tuesday, February 15, at 7:45 PM at
my place.

The next Dowland, “Go nightly cares”, is one we’ve done before, so
I may transcribe the one after that. In addition, we’ll try to
finalize the candidates for the river music set. The one we’re
thinking of that we haven’t done recently is the Vecchi “Il Bianco e
dolce cigno”. One of the two soprano parts is higher than any of us
likes singing, and the bass isn’t especially low, so we’ll try it
transposed this time.

We have performances coming up on Saturday, April 2 and Sunday,
May 1. (I have the official Walk For Hunger invitation, and have
replied to it, but have not yet received the official time and
location.) So I’d like to know as soon as possible who wants to play
these performances.

Since we aren’t really a performance group, we have in the past
performed with some people who don’t play with us regularly but like
performing. I would like to keep this to a minimum this year. So if
you haven’t been coming regularly and would like to play at either of
these gigs, let me know, and we’ll try to figure out a rehearsal
schedule that lets you get to at least a couple of rehearsals.

If we keep to our every other week schedule, we’ll be conflicting with
Roaring Jelly in April, so I’m suggesting the following schedule:

  • February 15
  • March 1
  • March 15
  • March 29 (this will probably be limited to and compulsory for the
    people playing the April 2 gig.)
  • April 5 (previously had said April 3)
  • April 19
  • April 26 (ideally limited to and compulsory for the people doing
    the Walk for Hunger.) This is probably a conflict with Roaring Jelly,
    and if that’s a problem for people who want to play May 1, we can talk
    about it.

I’ll be getting better set listings with links to all the music in
the next week or so. But the big picture is that we’ll do three sets
at the Walk for Hunger:

  • May music
  • River Music
  • Drinking songs

We will do either the River Music or the Drinking songs on April
2. If the schedule on May 1 is the way it’s been the last couple
years, we’ll do a 45 minute program twice, with some other group
performing in between.

Irish tenor serpent

The tenor serpent has decided that he’s the next John McCormick.
So I’ve been learning “How are things in Gloccamora?” and letting it
loose on “I’ll take you home again Kathleen” and such.

It’s much better at staying on pitch than it used to be, and when
it doesn’t spend a lot of time above middle C, it’s usually pretty
close to on when I check it.

So the right way to be practicing it would be with chant or
something and a drone, but it want to sing the McCormick repertoire.

Making progress with the Zaurus

Yesterday I reflashed Openzaurus 3.5.2 with the 56-8 Zimage. I
decided not to pivot_root to the sd card, but to reformat it as ext3
so that I could install most stuff to there.

I have opie-reader with the FixedMonofonts.

Justreader seemed to break the terminal, so I removed it.

The irk and the terminal in sideways work fine.

I figured out the mystery of how to install konqueror-embedded.
The answer is that you install libstdc++6 from the devel feed,
libpcre0 from the updates feed, and then install konqueror-embedded
with the -force-depends option.

Wireless seems to work, although I don’t have an open channel at
home any more. opie-wellenreiter installed with no problem, and
wasn’t finding anything either.


Audio is still a problem. xmms-embedded seems to play mp3’s. (I
only tested one; apparently there are some that don’t work, but the
one I tried was ok). Opie-recorder still says it can’t write to a
file, and opie-vmemo doesn’t seem to do anything at all. I can’t find
the command line program that I couldn’t use last time because
Justreader had already busted the console.

I did find a site
about how to develop sound on the Zaurus, and all the command line
stuff there works in a fashion. The record command line seems to be
writing a raw sound file without a header about the sampling rate, so
the play command line plays the file at a different speed depending on
what xmms has been doing. The first time I played it, it was too slow
so it sounded like I was speaking some slavic language very pompously,
and then I played the mp3 on xmms and then I sounded like a munchkin.

Nothing I’ve tried on the desktop computer seems to be able ot
decode the raw file.

So I will look harder to find a command line app, or see if tkcvox
can run under the compatibility mode, or something.


I attempted to install oz-compat and run my opera .ipk under it, and
was unsuccessful. I’m not sure that’s the right .ipk though.

No static webpages yet

I attempted to generate the static webpages on the main site, but
instead of writing .html files, it just spewed html out to stdout.

The documentation has something cryptic about needing the correct
passwords if your host isn’t honoring some convention, but no
information about how to give blosxom the password.

I wrote a query to the blosxom mailing list, which initially
bounced because yahoogroups decided to sulk because one mail message
bounced. It may be sulking in general, because I’ve gotten very
little yahoogroups mail this morning. However, I supposedly
reinstated my account, and have gotten some mail from them since then,
and the message I sent is on the website but hasn’t been answered.

It’s surprising that people as technically savvy as the blosxom people
must be are using yahoogroups instead of a mailing list that actually
works and can be fixed when it doesn’t.

More work on the website(s)

I wasn’t up to tackling the lilypond scripts, so I sent the test css
page url to a bunch of people, and put favicons on both laymusic and

The way I found to get a favicon was to use display to generate a
square image of the right size, and then use png2ico to get the icon.
I gave it both 16×16 and 32×32 icons. The serpent is OK, but the
recorder is only recognizable if you already know what it is.