Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I don't usually suggest recordings...

The New York Philharmonic has released a recording of their performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony from January. The final performance in the weekend series featured the now-infamous iPhone alarm incident. Thankfully, the Philharmonic's recording is not from that ill-fated Tuesday evening, or at least the last movement is not. As I listened to the recording, I was tempted to set off the alarm on my phone during the closing bars to reenact the event. But as when I was there in the hall, I got caught up in the music and only gave the incident a passing thought.

If you're curious to hear how glorious Mahler's music can sound and why Alan Gilbert's interpretation of this work earned such rave reviews, you can buy the recording from the online music store of your choice via the Philharmonic's website. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

a few quick tech thoughts

I don't know why I keep charging my work-issued Blackberry. I never look at it. I can get my work email on my phone and my (also-work-issued) iPad, so I hardly ever use the Blackberry. I suppose it's more out of a sense of obligation that I keep it nearby and ready. I can't stand the interface compared to iOS, and the little keys have never been kind to my giant fingers.

Speaking of the iPad, I've been reading George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones novels on my tablet with the Kindle e-reader. I wanted to read the books but I couldn't imagine carrying around large book after large book for weeks. It seemed to be the right time to give ebooks a shot. Aside from a bit of glare on the screen, I hardly notice I'm not reading a paper book. The fonts look the same as the printed versions, and while there are no page numbers, there's a page counter and index a tap away. I love that the Kindle app includes a free dictionary to look up those archaic medieval terms, and the search feature makes it easy to find a character's previous appearances. I do have to be careful when I'm carrying the iPad around at lunch, especially outside. It would break my heart to drop it.

I still like real, physical books for some things, like signed copies and sharing with friends, but I have to admit that ebooks are better than I expected. And given a dearth of space on my bookshelf at home, I think there will be more ebooks in my future. My future is now!