An armchair, post-NAMM wishlist.

2014 NAMM Show - Day 3

I always look forward to January, and my annual trip to the NAMM show in Anaheim to gawk at the cutting edge of music hardware (and software).  When I realized my schedule wouldn’t get me to NAMM this month I was bummed, but kept my ears and eyes peeled online. Despite no significant time on the show floor this year, there were a few announcements and developments at NAMM 2015 that still caught my attention. It should come as no surprise that I’m rather focused on effects & amps for guitar & bass. Here’s my video post-NAMM wishlist, with commentary.

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Personal productivity.

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From DayRunners to Franklin Planners to Palm Pilots, Handspring Visors, Android and iOS phones and tablets and more, I’ve regularly pushed the boundaries of the tools I had on hand to make organizing my life as minimal and frictionless as possible.  However, the basics of personal productivity transcend technology- and are much more about routine and discipline.  Without discipline and consistency, any productivity strategy will fail.

Here’s the simple tactics I use to keep life on the rails – whether on paper or electrons – and how you can do the same for your own life.

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Install a Badass II bridge on your bass.

Installing a Badass II bridge in your bass

I’ve installed Badass II (series) high-mass bridges in every bass in my collection that will take them, and love ‘em to death for their beefy sustain and definition. That said, they often come without string slots cut- which doesn’t exactly make them a drop-in mod, but in need of some handiwork to install. I would personally avoid the pre-slotted bridges, as cutting them yourself allows you to get a perfect string spacing and fit for your particular bass. If you’ve got an unslotted Badass II bridge (and even if you don’t, you can just skip the filing/slotting section below), here’s a quick rundown of how I installed them in my basses, when I did the work myself.

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4 reasons to love the Pebble smartwatch

Pebble notifications- turbocharged!

I was an early backer of the Pebble smartwatch – well before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon – and the recent update to both watch and app have only made my early adoption decision a more solid choice in hindsight. There’s four significant reasons as of this week why the Pebble continues to be the perfect smartwatch for me, regardless of what existing smartwatches – including the oft-rumored Apple iWatch – decide to cram into their products.

1. iOS Notifications – Turbocharged

With the recent update, the Pebble went from good to great in regards to the notifications you receive on your iPhone, and granular control over how and when they’re delivered to you. Previously, you could recieve basic notifications on iOS – phone calls, text messages and email (by configuring the Pebble iOS app to both monitor your email accounts directly, and provide the notifications via the app itself, assuming you left the app running), but a paltry selection compared to the vast notifications available on the much more hackable Android platform. As of the recent update, however, any app or function that leverages the updated iOS 7 Notification Center framework can send your Pebble a notification simply by assuring that the ‘Banner’ style of alert is set for it in Preferences > Notifications. This is a huge step up for Pebble’s iOS support- and puts the Pebble on par for iOS devices to the support Android’s seen for months.

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Centered

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.

If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever.

– Lao Tzu