This is the website of Neil McDougall, a musician/blogger/podcaster/bookie from Ayrshire.

My Mac Dilemma

Here’s the deal- thanks to the overwhelming success of my ‘Siri Answers The Ultimate Question‘ video on YouTube, and YouTube inviting me into their video monetisation programme, I have managed to squirrel away a few quid.

Subsequently, I’m quite fancying getting a 27″ iMac. The only thing that’s holding me back now is- do I buy now or wait until the forthcoming Ivy Bridge model refresh?

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This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on February 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm, filed under apple, geekery, life, Mac, musings, tech and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Just a wee missive…

If there’s any Mac users out there that read my blog (according to Statpress I get a few hits from Mac users…) feel free to swing over to http://www.macheist.com and snag yourselves a nanoBundle of some nifty apps, headlined by the yet-to-be-unlocked Tales of Monkey island point-n-click adventure game and the Mac-only web design software Rapidweaver.

I’m even using one of the programs from the bundle to write this post- MacJournal.

Oh yeah, the audition went reasonably well. With any luck I should know whether I’m in the band by about this time next week or earlier. Keep ‘em crossed, folks.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on March 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm, filed under geekery, life, Mac, music, tech. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Quick! Hit the ‘reset’ button!

As you can see, if you’ve been here before, I’ve re-jigged the site.  “Ah, it’s the same content, just a new WP theme,” I hear you cry.  Well, to a certain extent, that’s true, from a user standpoint, but the foundations upon which the site sits have been overhauled.

I was with another hosting company for this here site for quite some time.  They had a pretty sweet deal – a year’s hosting, plus a .com domain for something like £30 a year.  However, it was all run by one guy out of his house using one of those ‘Reseller Hosting’ packages, and I guess he stopped giving a toss about the hosting end of things.  Maybe he was having real life problems.  Maybe he was eyeballs deep in his day job.  Who knows?

As a result, I decided to up sticks and find a better host.  I found a nice company called Vidahost that had a similar deal to my previous host, but is actually run as a business rather than a side project.  Their customer service has been very good, and as a result, I decided to jump on board.  Bit of a pain in the arse getting the neilmcdougall.com domain transferred over, but that’s now well in progress, and should cause no further issues.  Best part is, I’ve paid for my hosting up front for the next three years (on a three years for the price of two deal).  £60.  Wahey!  Bargain get!

Been footering about with themes and whatnot, and settled on this nice chunky effort.  The site’s had a white-on-black vibe since I started it.  Can’t seem to find anything colourful that tickles my fancy.  *shrugs*

At the time of writing, some of the links in ‘My Music’ don’t work yet, need to get files re-uploaded and renamed.

So, onwards into 2010, and hopefully more blog posts from me!  Huzzah!

Edit: Yes, I know the header image is guff.  I knocked it up in 5 minutes.  Any Photoshop wizards are free to submit new ones to neil@neilmcdougall.com

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on February 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm, filed under musings, Site, tech and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



My videogaming History

I originally posted this over on ScrewAttack.com, but I thought I’d repost it here, seeing as this is my main blog and all.

Hello, G1s, I’m NeiloMac, a jack-of-all-trades geek from the wintery climes of south-west Scotland.

I’m not sure what prompted me to sign up for a ScrewAttack account, but I thought it’d be fun to start writing about my current thoughts on videogames, as many of you are already doing. I probably won’t be writing anything Earth-shatteringly out-of-the-box, but I hope what I do write is a fun read nonetheless.

Before I start harping on about my opinions, I thought it’d be an interesting excersise to think back over my videogaming life for the past 20+ years.

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This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on November 19, 2009 at 1:16 am, filed under gaming, musings, tech, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



iPhone get!

So, this here is the first (of many to come?) blog posts using the WordPress client on my shiny new iPhone 3GS.

I was using a Nokia N95 8GB before now and that has served me well for the last year and a half, but I never really felt like I was using the phone to it’s absolute fullest potential. I never really used the email functions (writing email on a numeric keypad would royally suck), or the office type stuff, and I had my iPod for music and podcasts, so the multimedia side of the phone kinda went to waste too. It was basically phone calls, texts, calendar, web browsing at work, keeping up with Twitter at work and the odd game of Tetris or Bejeweled at work (yeah, working in a bookies can get dull sometimes, especially in Kilmarnock).

However, things finally came into shape for me to finally jump on the iPhone bandwagon. My iPod went tits up, my phone upgrade was due, and Apple released the iPhone 3GS, which ticked most of the boxes I was waiting to be ticked before I was iPhone-ready- better camera and more storage being the main ones. If a phone was going to be my all-in-one device, I needed it to have at least 32GB on board to replace my 30GB iPod Video. Lo and behold, come WWDC, Apple drop the 32 gig 3GS. And it was good.

So, what am I enjoying so far?

The apps are tremendous. Well, some of ’em anyway. There’s plenty of shovelware on the App Store, so it’s definitely worth doing a bit of snooping around for app recommendations and community word of mouth. Alternatively there’s often free trial or lite versions of some apps to tickle yer fancy. Check out this Twitter feed for a feed of apps that go from being paid apps to freebies. I’ve got a couple of decent ones out of that. There’s also a podcast called Appslappy that’s available on iTunes and the like. It’s all about iPhone app reviews, but it’s quite entertaining.

Anyway, I reckon that’s enough iPhone blogging for now. I’ll be updating this blog, my twitter feed (link at the bottom of the page) and my audioboo feed (more on that soon) with more stuff in the days to come.

Oh, incidentally, thank for all the great feedback on the Rick Astley/Dream Theater mashups. Glad so many folk enjoyed them

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on August 6, 2009 at 12:27 pm, filed under apple, musings, Site, tech and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Three Out of Four

So I backed Mon Mome, amongst others, in the National last saturday.  93p each way – it was all I had left in my Paddy Power account after I backed all the horses whose form I liked.  I picked it based on the jockey silks.  Same way I picked Numbersixvalverde in ’06.  And probably Silver Birch in ’07.  Yeah, I’ve picked three out of the last four Grand National winners.  w00t.

Not had much chance to get to grips with Logic Pro yet.  Noodled around with some of the virtual instruments and installed Addictive Drums (my favourite source for multisampled drums – they sound terrific with some careful programming.  Just wish there was a couple more cymbal slots, mind you), so I might have a crack at doing some proper recording in the near future.

My next door neighbour died of cancer today, and it looks like my mum’s cousin might not be long for this world either, thanks to it.  Fuck cancer.  Fuck cancer up its tumerous arse.

On a lighter note, my friends/bandmates Toma and Ross produced another comedy music video, based on Biffy Clyro’s song Machines. You can watch it below.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on April 9, 2009 at 11:40 pm, filed under gambling, logic, music, musings, racing, recording, sports, tech. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



So I got Logic Studio

As some of you may know, I record my own music (examples of which will hopefully be on this site in the future.  Although I said that on the old version of the site…).  The program I use to record said music is a Digital Audio Workstation package called Sonar, by the now Roland-owned Cakewalk.

I’ve used Cakewalk stuff for seven years-plus, from Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 through multiple versions of Sonar (up to version 7, the version I use now. Haven’t tried 8 yet, but I bet it’s great), and it’s a great package.  It comes with a bunch of nice effects plugins, software instruments and the like.  Definitely under-rated in the Pro-Tools-dominated DAW world.

However, I now have a Macbook Pro, and I quite fancied the look of Logic Studio, having had a shot of the previous version on my friend’s machine.  The latest version, Version 8 is a whole different kettle of fish to the version I’ve tried previously though – a totally revamped single-pane interface, plenty of bundled effects, instruments, samples, sounds, content, several additional programs (Soundtrack Pro, a stereo audio editor that also comes with Final Cut Pro and Mainstage, an app to help you use your virtual instruments in a live setting, are the two biggies for me) and best of all, it’s cheaper than most of the other equivalent pro-level DAW packages (Sonar Producer Edition, Cubase et al).  And to top THAT, I got it for even cheaper on eBay.  £175 to be exact.  Just.  Over.  Half.  Fucking.  Price.

As Chris Kamara would say, “Unbelievable, Jeff!”

So, the box turned up today, and it’s a sexy beast indeed.  As one might expect, the packaging is up to Apple’s usual standards.  Heck, even the shipping box is up to Apple’s usual standards, with nice foam inserts to protect the box in transit, and an internal sub-box frame thingy with handles to help get the main box out of the shippong box.

That last sentence had more boxes than a lesbian orgy.

Inside, you get a stack of manuals (including two big ones for Logic itself and another big-ish one for the software instruments – I forsee stuff like the big ESX24 sampler taking up a lot of that), the seven or eight DVDs for all the software, sounds, content, et cetera, a couple of things about Applecare and the likes, and another bit of Apple Foam (you Apple fans know the stuff I’m talking about) to keep everything snug in the box and provide a little bit extra transit protection.

A very nice package so far, and I haven’t even installed it yet!  I plan on using The Metal Shop Podcast to air my thoughts on Logic in audio form at some point in the future.  I’ll blog here about it when that show’s done and up on the feed.

In the meantime, I’ll be taking the big fat Logic manual into work with me tomorrow.  Those double shifts can tick by slowly indeed….

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on April 2, 2009 at 11:51 pm, filed under apple, logic, Mac, music, musings, recording, tech and tagged , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



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