Will Xbox Music see more cross promotion?

With the coming rebranding of the Zune marketplace to “Xbox Music,” am inclined to wonder if this will lead to even more cross promotion on the Xbox Live Marketplace.  Microsoft has been extremely good to the members of the Zune marketplace on Xbox Live by having weekly deals and discounts highlighted on the dashboard, and featuring artists and contests that could allow you to play a game or two with celebrities.  But what more would I hope to see?  A little bit of gamer-goodies. Continue reading “Will Xbox Music see more cross promotion?”

Free IRC app for Android: AndChat

AndChat is a free IRC app for Android that works astonishingly well. You can save multiple connections to connect to different servers, save credentials to speed up the IDENTIFY process, chat logging, and it gives you a nice clean chat interface while talking with people. It even features a widescreen mode!

The free product is full featured, and there is a ~$3.25 donate version of AndChat available, or you can donate your own amount of your own at andchat.net/donate. Download AndChat Free from the Google Play Store and check it out!

How to use NTPassword to reset your lost or forgotten Windows password

NTPassword is a free tool, available for download, which will help you reset a forgotten password for a computer. For example, if you have lost your Administrator password on your computer at home, etc… if this is your “work” computer, or if you computer is joined to a network “domain,” then I would advise letting your IT people handle this. Otherwise, for most home users, this could be helpful.

Although NTPassword doesn’t work in every case (for example, some SCSI and even SATA configurations can confuse it and prevent it from booting), I cannot deny that it has made me look like a super hero on more than one occasion. It is an extremely useful tool, and although I have mentioned it before, I haven’t explained how it works. So why don’t I show you? Continue reading “How to use NTPassword to reset your lost or forgotten Windows password”

2008 – Lucas Johnson – Love

Update 2018: the Amazon links in this article are no longer valid, but Luke still maintains his page at http://www.reverbnation.com/lucasjohnson.

It’s not every day you have the opportunity to listen to 11 original songs from from a musician in a small town in Pennsylvania. That small town is Corry, PA, and it’s my home town. The musician? Lucas Johnson. The album? “Love.”

Lucas Johnson plays acoustic guitar and sings on the album, with a few tracks highlighting other talents. It has a morose, blues sound to it, with the edge of someone who grew up falling asleep to grunge rock. Some people may not like the effects on the voice, and some of the compression of a low-budget produced album comes through on the cymbals of the first track, but for an album made with a few friends, the guitar playing and lyrics stand out enough to keep you driving onward to each next track. Alongside creative lyrical witticisms like “the only soul you bear / is through the hole in your socks,” the album pushes and pulls the listener in several directions, all of which contribute to that all mixed up inside feeling that you feel Lucas had to be going for.

Love” is an album written by a United States Army veteran, who is now back home raising a family – and the album doesn’t shy away from that. Hey Mother is one of my most favorite tracks on the album, because it absolutely reflects the attitude I’ve heard from dozens of veterans: I appreciate your concern, but I want you to trust me: I’m going to get through this. “This,” in this case, is the one noun that changes depending on the person, but a lot of times it may have to do with their reintroduction to “normal life” – life outside of a warzone. It may have to do with a traditional young man pushing back, ever so slightly, on their parents who might be concerned that they’re getting married too soon. It might have to do with a person dealing with a break up or another mess in their personal life – but he has confidence that things will come out all right.

A local favorite, when Lucas is seen in a pub playing with a band, is often White Trash as Ever. Although he plays it with a bit of reluctance, there is no denying the guitar comes alive in this deeply personal song. “Post traumatic slash bi-polar / is most of what I am / everything I’ve built up / just like castles in the sand.” Christian overtones come through on the album, but they’re still the feelings of a lost man. Confused, wondering where he stands between agnostic and angry, but finding comfort in his religion at times when almost nothing else will soothe his soul. The catchy strumming makes you want to listen to the album over and over, and the way Lucas lays it all out on the table makes this one of the most raw albums I’ve ever heard.

The album was once handed to me in the form of a CD by Luke himself, and I’ve very recently re-purchased it on Amazon. I encourage you to do the same. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear what someone is genuinely thinking, not what their producer wants them to think, not what their friends want them to say, but what is really running through the mind of one man, who doesn’t want to cut you to the core, but doesn’t have much control over that once you listen to the album. You can download more free tracks and get more information on ReverbNation.com/LucasJohnson.