Snobbery in classical music.

Works of Truth: A life in Music

Snobbery seems to run rampant in classical music. Classical music has long been seen as a product of those living in ivory towers and often out of touch with the so-called common man; snobbishness seems to be cultivated by those who make this music part of their lives. Yes, both concert-goers and musicians are often practitioners of this affected behavior, often aloof to the real dangers it poses to the art itself. Whether in major concert halls or intimate chamber spaces, the air of refinement in which this music lives and breathes is too often stifled by the attitudes of those who see it only as an elite and mysterious craft.

I will admit that I am not free from this sin (though I’ve made a conscious effort to abstain in recent years.) As a young musician, I was afforded some rare opportunities: I got to play in major concert…

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Room escapes: a neglected gaming genre

Online games encompass a huge variety of genres, from FPSes to MMORPGs to Sandbox games, of which my personal favorite, Minecraft, resides. However, all of these big genres over-shadow a small yet important category of games: Room escapes.

These sorts of games are excellent for the wanna-be detective, the future FBI agent, or anyone who enjoys a couple hours of challenging thinking. The objective of each escape game is simple: use the objects provided in a room and find the exit to your freedom. Finding these objects and putting them to good use, however, is an entirely different matter.
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Check password strength against this Password Nazi

Try telling Password Nazi that your password is strong. Chances are, he’ll probably laugh in your face.

The Password Nazi that I’m taking about is actually a website, It is by far the most thorough password checker I’ve encountered, checking over 15 aspects affecting PW strength such as number of characters, repeated characters, presence of symbols, and other factors. It takes your password and runs it through several algorithms, which can either add or deduct points based on the characteristics of your password. For example, repeated character will deduct from  your score 1 point per character, while symbols earn you six points a piece.

Test out your password, and post your results below. My current password (not telling!) has a score of 70%, even though I consider it quite strong. Unfortunately, 70% will barely let you pass in a high-school class.

How to lock your Mac's screen

On Windows, it’s simple. WinKey + L is all you need to prevent unscrupulous people from taking over your computer when you’re away.

On a Mac, however, the lock feature is hidden within a utility called Keychain Access. Besides being able to lock your screen, Keychain also stores passwords that you use on the computer and online. To enable screen locking:

  1. Navigate to Keychain Access (Cmd+Space and typing in Keychain should do the trick)
  2. Go to Preferences,
  3. In the General Tab, check “Show keychain status in menu bar”. When that is done you should see a lock symbol in your menu bar, like this:
  4. Click the lock icon, then click Lock Screen. That’s all!

Minecraft down? Check this website to find out.

At the time of this post, Minecraft is experiencing a giant service outage. It’s causing major problems for people who want to log on to multiplayer servers.

Fortunately, there is a website that pings Mojang’s servers that run all things Minecraft, namely:

  • Login – If this is down, only offline mode will be available
  • Session – If this is down you cannot login to multiplayer
  • Website – The website cannot be accessed if this is down, but logins should still work
  • Skins – All players will show the default skin if this is down