2002 : Cut N Pastried


Little boy on a stoner loose bike. Purple woollen, handknitted beanie dangling from his handlebars. Cherishing a Portuguese custard tart in one hand. Parks in the shade under the Information Highway overpass, and takes his hearing aid out. Feels better that way. Lifts the little puppy from his beanie and figures it’s okay to let him have a run here. Might save him a bit of crust. Graffiti opposite him says ‘Bush is a terrorist’. The traffic din is soothing somehow, washing over him in crumpled waves. Scoops out the free street press magazine he picked up with the custard tart. Time to poke fun at that hit and miss technology column once again. Plays a little air guitar to celebrate at finding the right page. Zooms into the words:

‘Best Software of The Year’

Some complained that the act of writing and ‘recording’ our thoughts, would in fact worsen our memory and lead to the downfall of our then oral culture. However, shifting gears has never been a problem for the human race when it comes to adapting to new forms of communication. Writing and the printing press later, both profoundly altered the human experience, and enrich us daily. We are still in the embryonic stages of televisual immersion, our perceptions of the world invariably shaped by the ways it is presented onscreen to us. With this in mind, and the massive adoption of computer and internet use over the last decade, thought I’d reflect on the most interesting software packages to hit their straps in 2002.

Sez boy with bike: “Glitch puppets.”

Best Audio Software
Newest cat in the stable would have to be ‘LIVE’ from ableton.com. Mixed metaphor, but seems that most audio companies trying to produce software for making live electronic music have been mixing theirs. Or at least missing the mark a bit, by attempting to reproduce the conditions of a recording studio used to record a rock band, when they could be exploring what a computer is good at and uniquely suited to do. ‘LIVE’ grew up under the wings of Monolake who knew what he wanted in a live application, and many are the peeps, who b.vario happi with this elastic masher of sound. Reakor 3 & the Traktor mp3 mixer from native instruments shoudl also get a nod. ‘nod’.

Sez boy with bike: “ziga ziga, ch buk buk chaaaa”

Best Live-Video Software
PC heads have been getting down n dirty with Visual Jockey – an app which lets you customise your own effects in a modular fashion, but not to the same extent as apps built with nato – a video programming environment of sorts that runs on top of max audio software. VDMX 3 looks like da bom 4 mac-peeps with a capacity to mutate live camera feeds in real-time, auto synch any paramters to audio and excellent playback speeds. As always audiovisualizers.com has all the vid-booty a girl’d ever need.

Sez boy with bike: ‘Show us your fractals.’

Best Web Design Software
Given that everybody decided simultaneously sometime around April this year to stop building useless webpages, and companies decided that they felt guilty about turning the net into a shopping mall, web production ground to a halt and so most web software developers are now actually getting into herbal medicine, acupuncture and weekend parachuting.

Sez boy with bike: “Is this custard organic?”

Best Anti-Terrorist Software
Available online for you to play with , software at www.lemonbovril.co.uk/bushspeech/ lets you cut up and rearrange George Bush speeches for yourself. Combined with an address to the American nation, this presents a powerful tool for reversing the damage that Bush has been perpetrating around the world.

Sez boy with bike: ‘That sounds cool.”

Best Pro-Terrorist Software
Microsoft’s Outlook Express is a clear winner here for its buggy, bloated and haphazard approach to security. It is also one of the main vehicles on a PC that can be used to pass on a virus.

Sez boy with bike:“Heeeeere, little puppy.. ”

( Enjoy your custard tart in the summer shady. – jp )

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