Thursday, May 4, 2000

Laboriously read bits of the AML code on my machine. Spent the majority of the time paging through the ACPI standard. Most things I wanted were neither in the table of contents nor the index, and so I had to search through it like Dufflepuds looking for a magic spell. (Read Voyage of the Dawn Treader if you don't get the allusion; it will be worth your time.)

Spent a few hours this afternoon going to the automatic musical instrument museum here in Utrecht. Everything from 14th century carillons to 1990's music boxes, with lots of variations on the music box, mechanical birds, clocks, player pianos, automatic organs of many sizes, even mechanically-played violins in a player piano (an automatic orchestra). Worth every guilder in admission cost, even if the English explanations in the tour were suspiciously shorter than the Dutch ones. :-) One of the funniest things, to me, was a painting of an orchestra, somewhat hazy, all grouped around a more vividly-portrayed player piano on a concert hall stage. My musical favorite was an early 1900's Steinway baby grand player piano with full expression (what we now call "touch" on synthesizers) playing a bit of concert ragtime. It was clearly a fancy mechanism, all the way down to the automatic rewind of the piano roll, but it was also a really nice piano and the mechanism was well suited to it, and so it produced much nicer music than any other player piano I have heard (except perhaps the modern electronic ones).

Indian for dinner.