Looks like the timing of this post was better than I knew - today, Musk started choking access to Substack from Twitter… currently it seems any tweets with Substack links cannot be replied to (even by the author, no way to make a thread), or even simply liked. More innovative energy from a “disruptor.”
How do you fight corporate pirates? By becoming one yourself, of course....a no brainer.
What took you so long???
Super interesting. And extra interesting that so many sound engineers seem to regard this not just as normal but as essential. The other day I was hunting for a new 'to do list' app. I remembered that I'd had a *perfect* one a few years ago - really simple, just lists, no complex integration with calendars or project management software etc etc - then an iPhone OS update rendered it useless and that was that. Gone.
I like the second line in the OED's first definition for innovation: "the introduction of novelties." Innovation is antithetical to invention, which is why it is hard to invent/create when someone is busily strewing novelties in your path.
Man, I feel your pain. As a Graphic designer and multimedia artist, I too get caught up in that BS of Apple and Adobe constantly screwing with workflows. I've gotten to the point where I've begun to use alternatives to Adobe's software which are just as good (without the cost) and have stopped the system updates from Apple (who been known to brick older machines with their updates.)
Like the saying goes, "if ain't broke don't fix it."
I love seeing the Sontag in here. My decision, years ago, to (mostly) stop using photo references in my painting studio was driven, in part, by reading On Photography. It reset my understanding of the use of limits and the idea of absence.
I am always grateful that the 2B pencil is not being "revolutionized" by tech bros.
I’m a software engineer for a big tech company. We routinely lock down our tool chains for the same reasons; we need to have reproducible builds and remove variance.
I really like this piece. Reminded me that I'm actually doing something similar with my personal computer, a Macbook stuck in the past in terms of operative systems (currently at macOS 12.6, mine at 10.14). I started refusing to update when I found out that if I did, some of the games I love the most, that I bought on Steam, would simply stop to work once I updated to the system. That sucks! Even so, keeping a machine completely unplugged from the internet sounds really rare in these days. Also appreciate de Sontag mention, I've been meaning to read that book for some time...
It's important to preserve old "environments" for archival retrieval purposes. The digital halflife of ten years doesn't really refer to decay of the data itself, but of methods to access it.
" . . . chose to ignore innovation for the sake of stability? "
i never read such a reasonable words in my life. and definitely!
Yep, I have a 2009 MacBook Pro staying at OS X 10.6 because if I was to update it, my Pro Tools, Logic, Reason, Final Cut Pro, Painter 12 etc. etc. won't work.
This is part of a bigger discussion about the drawbacks to having so much culture, journalism, knowledge transmitted in digital format. There is *no* commitment on the part of tech companies to support file formats nor the storage systems into the future. I used to be a reporter with an alternative weekly. My journalism about civil liberties and other issues was posted on the Web archive of the paper. But then the paper was bought out, and then bought out again, and the archives were dropped. I've got hard copies because it was an actual newspaper but if it had been a completely online journalism site? That would all be gone.
When I wanted to recover artwork made for a CD I put out in the 1990s, I had to look all over creation to find a company that could retrieve the data from my SyQuest cartridge (remember those?). (RetroFloppy.com, if you're in the same position.) Even at that, because the files were created on a Mac running pre-OS X operating system, there were some files that were lost.
At some point, this is going to be a huge clusterfuck that will be tough to unwind.
As a writer, I feel much the same about my tools. Most of my drafting takes place in plain text these days. When it comes to sharing or collaborating on later iterations, I'm forced to use other platforms and tools, but in creative mode, I'm working in bare text.
Great article. One question: Do any of your music software tools require a constant internet connection for verifying you own a license? I'm thinking stuff like iLok Cloud? Or were you able to use substitutes like iLok USB ? Just wondering if you can get away with literally no internet connect at all?
Very interesting - and nice Sontag reference.
On a more simplistic level, I try to use and own as few tools as possible. For music making that includes: Supercollider, Musescore, Max/msp, and Logic. Not possible for many I fully understand, but in general I strive for better skills and fewer tools, and not the reverse.
Technology is expensive and unstable. Less is definitely more.
I have a Dell tower with pro tools v 8 that has been offline for 10 + years for precisely the reasons you listed in this article. Nothing more annoying than something that should improve your system doing harm to it. Seeing the songs and instrumentals I composed are and always be in a musical style that don't require the latest and greatest of what the pop radio at the moment is playing this seeming limitation has never ever been a limitation for me. Like millions of other musicians I do it as a labor of love and to share with friends and family and on a YouTube channel that barely gets any hits. But I'm happy just creating and the less time messing with updates and other computer related problems and just playing is a good time for me.