Newsletter January 2000

For anyone who wrestles with it unsuccessfully, technology is an ugly thing, not always the most glamorous area when you have to execute that application. Since our launch, the Help area has been a bit of an ugly duckling too. We thought it a good idea to give a simple guide to the Web and related technology, starting with the invention of computers, showing how these odd things arose. If you know the background, you’ll understand more of the manuals and esoteric things. They need a context. No site provided this. We thought we would. That was over-ambitious.

So now, we’ve revised the Help section to give you the whole story, together with links to useful sites. You can read it like a book, which will draw you into the technical areas gently, or you can access particular sections for a quick geek-speak-free introduction. It’s now for both PC and Mac. The extended QuickPlay section, which gets your music up and running, has new special procedures for AOL users.

Please go check it out. We would appreciate E-mail comments, particularly if something doesn’t work or is wrong. Even more particularly, we want to hear from you if we haven’t explained something clearly and you don’t understand. We’ve put a lot of effort into this section. Tell us what you think. It’s time to spread the knowledge.

Ships That Pass In The Night is a favorite track for many people on Thorne’s Sprawl album. The writer, Carol Lipnik, is unknown to the big wide world, but has a distinctive downtown New York view of it. She is interviewed by Mike Thorne in both written and audio formats. She was born in Coney Island. Need we say more?

The Natural Beauty remix competition closes at the end of January, although we’ve enjoyed many submissions so much that we thought of keeping it going for ever. The practical side of remixing might take time to sink in for you, but don’t despair. We will be offering other Mixman tracks for good clean fun once the forthcoming BETTY album is up and running. Watch this space. There will also be remixes of BETTY’s new album tracks coming from us, mostly available only for MP3 download. For now, you can download an MP3 of BETTY’s new single Millennium Man, from their forthcoming Carnival short CD (28 minutes). This track is, officially, er, happening. Go get it and make loud noises, please.

Name dropping be damned, Thorne dedicated his Sprawl album to two Great British musicians who were his friends and mentors for a generation and who died within weeks of each other as he was finishing production. The least the Stereo Society can do is to show you links to these special people’s sites. Buxton Orr was the less famous figure, but one of the most loved and idiosyncratically creative characters at London’s Guildhall School Of Music And Drama, the most radical of the big three music schools there. For twenty years Sir Michael Tippett was, for want of a better expression, ‘the greatest living British composer’. He stood up straight for his values, and encouraged others to do the same.

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