Thursday, October 6, 2011

Useful Free Software for Ethology, Behavior Analysis and Conservation

This is just a list of software that I played with or just found interesting. I will come back with more detailed descriptions.

Agna - Social Network Analysis
SocNetV - Social Network Analysis
jWatcher - Behavioral Analysis
CowLog - Behavioral Analysis (not as complex as JWatcher)
EthoLog - Behavioral Analysis
Distance - Distance sampling surveys of wildlife populations
Vortex - Population Viability Analysis
ArcGIS - online mapping application
Maxent - species habitat modeling
Garp - predict and analyze wild species distributions
JAABA - The Janelia Automatic Animal Behavior Annotator (JAABA) is a machine learning-based system that enables researchers to automatically compute interpretable, quantitative statistics describing video of behaving animals.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fender Classic Player 60's

This is my Fender Stratocaster Classic Player 60's.
Up until recent I was a very metal oriented guitar kind of player, although I listen to music from a very wide array of genres. About 6 months ago I discovered a guitar player whose playing changed my world: Jeff Beck.
Of course I had heard of him before, even listened to some of his music but at the time it just didn't impress me I guess. I've come to the conclusion that in music, as in literature there is a right time and age for a certain author or piece of work. I probably had to turn 30 to really learn to appreciate the exquisite technique and feel of Jeff Beck's playing.

Which brings be to the Classic player 60's. So after falling in love with Jeff Beck's playing, I decided I really needed a strat (actually a guitar with a tremolo system, which my previous ones didn't have). At the time I had a PRS SE Mark Tremonti signature (which will most likely be the subject of a different review since it is a great guitar for the price). I quickly sold the PRS and headed to the guitar shop to search for a strat. I had my eye on this one but I needed to feel and hear it. Even though the Classic player 60's comes in one of my favorite colors (and highly sought after in strats) - sonic blue -  I wasn't willing to compromise on the sound just for that.

The Classic player 60's comes in Sonic Blue and Tobacco Sunburst. It is Custom Shop designed (not built, just designed). The classic player series is made in Mexico.

Cool features:
- The Sonic Blue (obviously) :)
- Two point tremolo (never before availble outside custom shop). The guitar stays in tune like a dream, in spite of heavy Jeff Beck like tremolo abuse :)
- The Custom '69 pickups. I could go on for hours about the fantastic warm and punchy sound of these fenomenal pickups, but you have to hear them.

Not so cool features
Keep in mind this guitar is largely built after the specs of 60's strats. Which means:
- The truss rod adjustment is acessed through the base of the neck, close to the neck pickup. A lot of people say that in order to adjust it you actually have to take off the neck. The guitar tech at the guitar shop managed without. So it's doable.
- The more modern strats have the middle pickup in reverse wound. Which means that when you select two pickups together the positive and negative polarities will act as a hum reducer. Well, back in the 60's it seems they didn't know this. So yes, in any position, the guitar hums, especially when subjected to higher gain.
- 21 frets - says it all. There will be a lot of songs you will not be able to play simply because at some point you may run out of frets :)

Overall, at this price this is a fantastic guitar that I will probably never part from, no matter what other toys I may buy in time. After all, you know what they say.... Stratocasters are like must own at least one.


Dog training materials

HERE is a link to my Dog Training collection on Dropbox