Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

The State of the Desk

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Well. I've made some serious progress, and may be ready for a picture by Thursday.

This is one of those "one thing leads to another" sort of projects. Since the desk looked so clean, I decided to tackle the shelves. And I was seriously sidetracked with sound card issues. You may well ask what that has to do with a clean desk. And I may well answer! One of my ongoing projects is to get set up to do videoconferencing. Yeah, I should have been on this baby years ago. I was, in fact, but between various upgrades stuff stopped working. I decided it was time to get that technical act together.

Of course, I can't just be happy with a twenty buck microphone - not with my audio background. So I plugged in a (very) low-end pro mike that we had sitting spare. Naturally, I couldn't get any decent sound. After much wailing, gnashing of teeth, Googling, installing of various drivers and renting of garments, I finally discovered that most professional microphones put out a lower level signal than the sound card is expecting. Funny, that was my first thought, but it sounded a bit odd, so I didn't pursue it. Guess I should have. I dug around in the axillary black hole garage and found an ancient bit of gear designed for microphone reverb. I don't need that, but it has an amplifier built in. All I had to do was dig around ro the proper cables...

Well, you know how THAT goes.

Long story short, I now have a working microhpone, though I may replace it with something a bit better. I also have a working webcam, and that's another tale.

Anyway, I needed a clean spot on the desk for the microphone stand, and that was the proverbial final straw that led to the cleaning frenzy.

I know the desk won't stay clean, but there's a masochistic streak in me that just won't give up. So here I am.

Besides, it's an opportunity to procrastinate on a looming deadline.


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