1st Blog post...Good News/Bad News...


Bad News: my computer would not boot up last night. Not a 'bluescreen' error but a 'blackscreen' error that would not even let me get into 'safe mode' to try to resusitate it. This means I shall be taking the box down to our local "Computer ER" (that is actually the name of the place) to see if it can be raised from the dead. This particular error often indicates a hardware crash (at least that's what a 'net search said)...which may mean that about 10 yrs of music files could be effectively gone. Most of my 'Classic Banjo' efforts are actually out on the old Yahoo classic banjo site, so I can retrieve those with no problem. However, I have no backups for the rest (other than hardcopies). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the affected HD is not completely kaput. If it is, I may resort to sending it off for data recovery. All is (hopefully) not lost.

Still, it is disheartening.

Good news: this will force the "get a new computer" issue. "Da Boss" has authorized the procurement of a hot-rod laptop for the home. She always gets what she wants! ;-) This will help my photo-documentation effort considerably, as I will be able to better manage the tools required to do the job.

Other Good News: I went home @ lunch today and the postman delivered a package from the UK. Doug Rogers has returned 1/2 of the music I sent him back in 2003 (parcel 2 delivered...hopefully parcel 1 shall be home soon!). This is a great relief for me and a boon, eventually, for us all. This parcel (#2) contained the following banjo music books/tutors:

Songs For The Banjo (1919)
C Notation Excelsior Method For The Banjo (1918)
Jacobs’ Easy Mandolin & Banjo Folio #1 (1899)
Jacobs’ #1 Amateur Folio (1914)
Smith’s Tuneful Solos For Banjo (1923)
Hamilton’s Banjo Folio (1890)
The Witmark Progressive Banjo Method (1914)
S.S. Stewart’s Banjo And Guitar Music Album (1885)
The Beaver Mandolin And Guitara Folio (mandolin only, 1900)
The Banjoist’s Budget (1883)
Winner’s Eureka Method for the Banjo (1890)

Parcel #1 should contain:

Carl Fischer’s New And Revised Edition of Celebrated Tutors (1890)
Sherwood’s Imperial Diagram Method for the Banjo (1892)
Van Eps Banjo Solos (1923)
Whitney-Warner Mandolin and Guitar Collection #11 (1912)
The Remick Mandolin and Guitar Collection #12 (1913)
The Remick Mandolin and Guitar Collection #17b (1916)
The Remick Mandolin and Guitar Collection #18b (1917)
The Remick Mandolin and Guitar Collection #19b (1918)
Turner’s Banjo Journal #7
Turner’s Banjo Monthly #11
Brooks and Denton Gems #1 (1892)

These books represent literally hundreds of tunes written/arranged for 5-string banjo, the Hamilton Folio is nearly 1/2" thick of nothing but solos and duets (no tutor/method) from the 1880's.

So, a door closes (hopefully it is still ajar) and one opens up!


Views: 213

Comment by Adam on May 21, 2009 at 18:52
Ack! Sorry to hear about your computer woes ... Sending good thoughts that it's something other than the precious hard drive. It's an important reminder to me (and others) to backup our files asap.

I look forward to your digitizing efforts with the returned books and hotrod laptop!

Comment by Jody Stecher on May 21, 2009 at 19:52

If the new laptop runs on the dreaded Windows Vista OS be sure it has plenty of memory. Less than 2 Gigabytes of memory and Dell becomes Hell. I've been there! But *hotrod* suggests plenty of memory so you should be ok.

Sherwood’s Imperial Diagram Method sounds intriguing. Is this chord shapes? Are Imperial diagrams superior to Clipper Diagrams? How do they compare to Paragon diagrams?
Comment by Trapdoor2 on May 21, 2009 at 20:26
Thanks guys. Yes, the *hotrod* will have at least 4g mem. Memory has gotten quite cheap, so if they offer more, I'll probably do it. It will probably be a 17" Dell, so we'll see how badly the savings account will suffer. I guess I'll have to postpone the new bicycle purchase for a while...

Holiday weekend...but no PC at home, so I guess I'll see y'all next Tuesday! Maybe this "lackaPC" will force me to practice more. ;-)

Have a great Memorial Day.

For my UK friends, Happy Cheese Rolling Day!
Comment by Ray Jones on May 22, 2009 at 1:38
Hi Marc
I am very sorry to hear about your computer crashing. It's most upseting. I have all mine on a 200 gigabyte external drive. If it's photos that you have lost, I have hundreds, I could easily put them on a DVD and post them to you. So just try to remember what is lost and maybe between us we can replace it. Regards Ray
Comment by Jody Stecher on May 22, 2009 at 2:31
Cheese Rolling Day may not be entirely banjo unrelated. The coopers who made the first banjo hoops might have made round cheese forms as well. Wasn't there a Barnes & Mullins Double Gloucester model banjo? Maybe not.....
Comment by thereallyniceman on May 24, 2009 at 7:45
Cheesus, Jody, you seem to be developing a British sense of humour! The joke about the B&M Double Gloucester was grate but I camembert to hear any more!

When I first saw the joke I thought it stank but when it comes to cheesey jokes Jody is darn gouda.

Don’t worry Jody we are all very fondue you and we all think you are the “Big Cheese”. I like telling cheesy jokes but I am nowhere near as good as you, no whey.
I am sure there are Stiltons of cheese jokes but I seem to have rennet of steam and as mine are not as good as yours I am feeling a bit blue.
I Butter quit now but when can we expect a next Brie-fing?

I bet Jody ignores all this….. He doesn’t give Edam.
Comment by Jody Stecher on May 24, 2009 at 8:43
Ian, I happily concede that you are my equal or superior in puns etc, to say the least, but Marc Dalmasso is way ahead of us both as he is doing it in a second language. None of us however are in the league of a musician I met long ago in India, who in one word or phrase could make puns that worked in several languages at once. It's too off topic (and off color ) as well as imperfectly remembered to repeat here but I was floored to hear one pun that was at once meaningful in English, French, and Tamil.
Comment by thereallyniceman on May 25, 2009 at 7:46
Well Jody. I am pleased you liked my cheesy puns. I hoped you would, buttered assumed that you would think me crackers.
I can only pay fromage to Marc Delmasso for multilingual puns. Let's all raise our glasses and propose a toast....cheers, everyone likes a toasted cheesy pun....there is nothing grater!

(Notice how I slipped in a multilingual cheesy pun?...wasn't that Krafty ?)
Comment by Nick Robinson on December 14, 2010 at 3:41

Hi Marc,

I'm a new member of Classic Banjo. I'm interested in the mandolin folios in parcel #1. I play with a group called the Ragtime Skedaddlers that does period arrangements for two mandolins and guitar. You can check us out at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ragtimeskedaddlers.

Would you be willing to share/trade/sell any sheet music? Whitney-Warner #11 is of particular interest since we have only the 1st mandolin part so far.

You can email me at ragtimeskedaddlers at gmail dot com.



Comment by Trapdoor2 on December 14, 2010 at 15:13

Hi Nick,

I am always happy to share music. Most of my stuff is still packed away but I think I may be able to put my hands on the Whitney-Warner. I'll look this week and report back ASAP.

I'm currently in the middle of photographing some banjo sheets so if I can find the W-W, I'll just add it on.

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