The weirder sort of blog

Chris Harris's Blog

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Last update: August 2021

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I'm still releasing albums on Bandcamp as pay-what-you-want deals, (and that continues to include free, because I know times are still hard for a lot of people right now.) The latest is a collection of music written during May and June 2021 for the Fifty/Ninety: The Prequel songwriting challenge. It's called Green Screen. This time around you get a stonking hour and a half of music from a very wide selection of genres. I hope you'll find something in there that you like.

My most recent commercial album Oneiric Tulpas is available on Bandcamp! You can also check it out on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Tidal and all your other favourite streaming services. My previous album Beyond is also on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal and the rest as well.

My earlier albums Generator and Fort are also available at Bandcamp, together with a large collection of other music from me.


After zooming to the half-way point on the Fifty/Ninety songwriting challenge over the last month, I'm taking things easy today. To be honest, I don't think I'm up to doing anything particularly challenging at the moment as the brain fog has descended once again and even my habitual double-shot latté this morning hasn't lifted it at all. I kept waking up last night. I had the windows open, and that meant that the slightest sound made me jump. So right now I feel exhausted and drained and I'm in quite a bit of pain. I'm sore, and I'm tired.

That seems to have become my default state and it's beginning to really get me down.


Of course, as I'm a nerd, I can't just kick back and relax because there is always something to tinker with. So I've just installed version 12.4 of the Netbeans Integrated Development Environment, or IDE. This is free programming and web development software provided by Apache, and I have been using it to keep my website maintained for years—I was using it even before I gave the site its CSS facelift.

So much for the IDE's update engine notifying me that a new build was available, though; I've been using version 12.2 since February and yesterday it was still insisting that "Your IDE is up to date!" The installer is still as clunky as ever and it still can't be bothered to read my previous netbeans.conf file to migrate the tweaks I've made to the interface to make it usable on 4K monitors. Fortunately I remembered that the last time I did this, I made a careful note of what I needed to do to get things up and running. But the fact that the installer does not detect that my system uses high-resolution displays is deplorable. It's not like 4K monitors are a niche demographic these days but when the IDE ran for the first time just now, it did so with text that bordered on the microscopic. It looks like version 12.5 will be released in a couple of weeks, so I'll make sure I install it directly rather than waiting for the update engine to do its thing, as the tweaks that I need to make will still be fresh in my mind.

The IDE's annoyances are still there, though; once autocomplete kicks in on your code you have to explicitly turn it off again. And I was rather alarmed to read that this version has not been tested as thoroughly as earlier releases so it might not be as stable. But free is free, so I will stick with it in the hope that with version 13 I might actually see some more concrete improvements to usability.