The photograph you see at the left was taken on April 30th, 2023 -about four days after we've physically moved into our new house. You'll note that one of the rooms cannot really be walked into, since it is jam-packed with boxes and belongings! The rest of the house was never quite that bad, but it was pretty bad: there were 150+ boxes and on day four I think we'd unpacked about 4 of them 🙂
Around three weeks later (on May 24th, to be exact), the room destined to become my music room looked like this:
There is the vague outline of something approaching order within the general chaos -and two speakers with evident cables tells you that I was at least able to listen to music around this time! But it's clearly a work very much in progress... with not a lot of signs of actual progress!
But finally, with assorted furniture being moved experimentally about the place and various bits of artwork making appearances and disappearances as the mood took me, we have ended up, today, June 26th, with this:
The speakers have not really moved, but everything else has been more-or-less sorted around them. My music room is functional and pleasant to be in, at last!
There has been something of a revolution on the audio side of things: it's all lurking in the dreadful 1970s video cabinet thing you see on the right:
A large Denon amplifier sits on the top; underneath it (barely visible) is my trusty Topping E30 DAC (digital-to-analogue converter). That feeds an analogue audio signal into the Denon and gets its source digital audio signal from the slim, silver box to its immediate right: that's a 2012 Mac Mini which is now my Giocoso-running 'audio server'. I've co-opted it into its new role because of its own outstanding feature: it runs practically silently. It does have a fan, but you can't hear it under normal circumstances and, housed within its 1970s video cabinet, with the doors closed, it's completely inaudible... which was a bit of a sine qua non for all hardware running in my new music room. Sporting a third generation Intel i5, 16GB RAM and a 1TB solid state hard drive (itself, of course, silent), the machine is no slouch, even at 11 years old. It is certainly running Giocoso more smoothly and capably than my Raspberry Pi 4 was ever able to: it has therefore been consigned to the spare parts inventory, for now!
I'll mention in passing, though without wishing to antagonise anyone, that though it's a Mac Mini, it's not running anything produced by Apple: its original operating system was summarily wiped and replaced by bog-standard Manjaro Linux.
On the shelf below it, a touch screen monitor (I discussed it previously back here) allows me to interact with the Mac Mini directly, if I ever need to. I usually don't have to, though: I can ssh into the Mac from any other PC or laptop (or even my mobile phone or tablet) to issue OS-administrative or Giocoso 'play music' commands. Indeed, since I'm still running KDE Plasma, my Android phone can issue Giocoso commands directly, thanks to the KDE Connect software which runs on it, no ssh required.
My cable management skills being what they are (i.e., non-existent!), the thing is best left in its video cabinet with all the doors most definitely closed! It then runs unobtrusively and without me having to think about it at all. In the future, some new and more modern piece of furniture might make the thing more visually acceptable... but as it is, I cannot complain about the audio results!
It has taken six or seven weeks to get to this point -and I can't help feeling that progress could have been quicker! However, it's finally there, and that's the main thing. More-or-less normal service regarding this website and blog will resume in due course, too: we're just waiting until mid-July for a huge set of solar panels to be installed before we declare ourselves confident in the uninterruptibility of the electricity supply in these fairly rural parts of Lincolnshire!
Edited to add: Having mentioned 'rural parts of Lincolnshire', I meant to add a photo of the view from my music room, but promptly forgot to do so. By way of a late correction, therefore, here is a photo of that view:
As you can see, rather flat with a water table that is practically at surface level! Thoroughly lovely, just the same...