ADA MB-1 tube bass preamp

About 5 years ago or so, I purchased a bass preamp from my bass instructor/mentor/friend, Rusty Springfield. The ADA MB-1 was a real masterpiece of engineering, and had both a tube portion as well as a solid state portion that could be mixed together for that “perfect sound”. This unit had seen a lot of use, as Rusty used it in his travels with the Big Apple Circus, and it survived roadies, tent dust, and endless use. So, when I decided I wanted to do a little home recording, he was willing to sell it to me for a good price.

All was well until about a year and a half ago. For some reason, the little guy would just stop working and dump its programming. If I could get it to work, bumping it would upset it again. I searched for a place to repair it, and after much procrastination, took it in. The guy said it would cost around $60 bucks just to bench it, and then he still didn’t know if it could be fixed. And, since ADA had been out of business for some time, he didn’t know if it’d be worth looking at.

So, I went online. There were places that could repair and service it, but it was still going to be pretty expensive. So, for the time, I gave up, and chalked it up to “well, I got good use out of it while I had it”.

Fast forward to last week. As you know, I’ve started a new job, and in the course of 5 months, I’ve learned a lot about hardware, and much has been demystified. So, armed with these new learnings, I decided I had nothing to lose by at least taking a look at the preamp and see if it could be fixed. Worst case, I’d need to replace some parts. The guys at work could probably figure out what I didn’t know, so the prospect was good in my mind. So, I opened up the case and looked around. Lots of chips and lots of other electronics that I have no clue about. So, I decide that maybe a chip is loose. I start poking around with my fingers on all the chips that are mounted on sockets. There was a lot of creaking and flexing of the mainboard, until finally, one of the chips I pushed on gave a little. Hmmm, it seems it was loose after all. So, I plugged it in, and, “voila!”, the preamp ran through its normal POST, then warmed up the tubes, and displayed its normal screen. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I immediately plugged in my bass, and there was nothing but sweet, sweet music 🙂



who shoots first?

Okay, I’m going to confess my dorkiness. I love Star Wars. And I don’t mean all the fancy digital effects of episodes I and II. I mean, I love the campy, minature-model goodness of the original trilogy. Fortunately, so does A2C 🙂 So, for her birthday, I got her the (along with other stuff) new release of the original trilogy (episodes IV, V, and VI) on DVD.

I read an interview with George Lucas regarding this release. He claims that the edits that he made to this release makes them the way he intended them to be in the first place. The trilogy that we grew up with was, in fact, a hack: an unfinished piece.

Now, being the creative type myself, I can understand the desire to make one’s creations exactly how they were envisioned. Unfortunately, making some of the changes that Lucas made here are, as Noodlemonger so aptly puts it, “like rewriting history”.

The biggest change that has been talked about is the “Greedo shot first” change that was made to the “special editions” that were released in theaters in 1997. This of course changes the portrayal of Han Solo, whose “bad boy” image gets turned into a softer, more moral Han, who shoots only in self-defense. There were rumors (that have proven false) that the new DVD release would have Han and Greedo shooting at about the same time. This would at least blur the line between hero and bad boy for our friendly neighborhood smuggler.

Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to sit and watch them yet, but I can’t wait to see the whole trilogy in its entirety, changes and all.


A2C 365

Wow! Yesterday marked one year since A2C and I have been together (that 0x016D days in hex, or 0000 0001 0110 1101 in binary). She’s the best! As a gift, she got me the LOTR trilogy on DVD. It’s the theatrical version in widescreen. She was bummed that it didn’t have all the extra footage, but honestly, I don’t really care that much. I like having what was in the theaters. Also, widescreen was my primary concern. The whole set is 6 discs in all! Whoa. I can’t wait to see what’s included in the exrtra features.

She also managed to find something I’ve been looking for for a long, long time. She found a Buttercup keychain! It’s so groovin’. AND, she also found a little Godzilla keychain as well. Man. What a woman 🙂

In all serialness, she’s the best thing that’s happened to me, and not merely because of the aforementioned things!

A2C… she pwnz0rz!



Linux at work!

Yay! I am writing this from RedHat Enterprise Linux 3.0. Yeah, yeah, I know, “why not Fedora?”. Well, we got this one free with the server we bought. No reason not to use it 🙂 Anyway, I can do everything I need to do for work from Linux now.

I use VNC to connect to the Windows machine with the compiler. I also use Samba to connect to that same machine to edit the code. I can read/write Office docs, so long as they don’t get too complicated. Of course, web and email access are a given.

It’s nice. I think I could really get used to this 🙂 Okay, that’s enough outta me.