A List of Remote Work Advice From the Team at Art+Logic

Illustration of home desk showing remote working.

Like many of you, we’ve been receiving daily suggestions of articles offering advice and insights on how to work remotely most effectively. A lot of these lists offer some great advice, and we’ve even been included in a few such articles ourselves (links below). What struck me, however, was that there was always something in a list that felt like it was missing or that might be overstated for my specific needs. Assuming that might be the case for others out there, I asked members of the Art+Logic team to offer their own insights into tricks, concerns, and changes that help them work remotely while still staying focused and maintaining a high standard. We’ve been working remotely for almost 30 years.

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A Note Regarding Coronavirus/Covid-19

Coronavirus / Covid-19

I wanted to share with you an update regarding the current situation with novel coronavirus/COVID-19. As you probably know, Art+Logic is a fully distributed company, which means that everyone, from our sales team, to our designers and developers, works remotely. As a company that has been working remotely for almost 30 years, we are fully prepared to continue to work on your project without disruption.

We are closely monitoring developments and are aware that the impact of the virus could impact your own team and also result in school closures and social distancing recommendations that could impact workflows.

For the immediate future, Art+Logic is discouraging company travel. Unfortunately, that means we were not able to make our presentations at SXSW, which was cancelled, and will not be attending TechDay NY.

If you have a project you would like to discuss with us, please fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you in a timely fashion. We encourage everyone to stay up to date on the latest Coronavirus information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

MIDI 2.0 Specs Released!

sxsw graphic

After over a decade of work, the final specification documents for MIDI 2.0 have been released to the public!

There’s a fantastic article on the MIDI.org site that explains what the hubbub is all about that I’ll just point you at rather than rewriting — check it here: Details about MIDI 2.0

When MIDI 1.0 was released in 1983, the complete document that detailed all you needed to know about it was eight pages long. Expect to need to read a bit more than that in 2020—the full spec for MIDI 2.0 is five separate documents, each looking at a single part of the system:

M2-100: Overview of the specifications
M2-101: Specification of MIDI-CI, the Capability Inquiry portion of MIDI 2 that’s required to enable devices to query each other and determine how two devices can work together.
M2-102: Common Rules for MIDI-CI Profiles explains how to define and work with MIDI 2 profiles to define controllers and other configuration data to permit devices to automatically adapt to the capabilities present in the currently connected instruments.
M2-103: Rules for Property Exchange, the new provisions for querying current settings and capabilites of connected devices
M2-104: Definition of the new Universal MIDI Packet data structure and the high-resolution MIDI 2 message protocol.

Before you can access these documents, you’ll need to create a (free!) account with The MIDI Association, which is an organization of MIDI users. If you’re not already a member, the link to access the docs will redirect you first to the login/account creation page.

Download everything here and then go make cool stuff with it.

Remote-first versus remote-friendly: What’s the difference?

From SiliconRepublic.com:
With remote working becoming more common across many industries, it might seem like a recent trend. But for nearly three decades, Paul Hershenson has been at the helm of a company that is remote-first.

Hershenson co-founded US software development firm Art+ Logic in 1991. Given his wealth of experience in managing employees outside a traditional office space, he gave us some insights into the world of remote-first working.

Why Vue?

Art+Logic chooses Vue

For web development, when all other considerations are equal, we recommend choosing Vue.

Here’s why:

Excellent Documentation

Executive Summary

High quality documentation leads to better results – less time is spent wrestling with the framework or head-scratching about why something is working the way it is, and more time is spent making your project its best.

More Details
The Vue documentation is well written, comprehensive, and instructive. In addition to a Guide which introduces the various concepts of Vue with helpful examples, looking under the hood is encouraged and supported via a full documentation of the API.

Vue then goes the extra mile by providing a style guide which, for an organization which already has an established style guide, is most useful in illuminating certain potential pitfalls when working with Vue, as well as providing some simple examples and recipes. (more…)

The Importance of MIDI 2.0

From Resolution Magazine: Brett Porter explains why the new MIDI spec is important: greater expressivity, better timing, better data. At NAMM 2020 Roland introduced a new high-end keyboard with weighted action and lots of extras. The most dramatic revelation was that this is the first ‘MIDI 2.0’ instrument from Roland. The A-88MKII has three configurable zones, an advanced arpeggiator, chord memory, and multipurpose pads that can trigger commands and events.

MIDI 2.0 Adopted at Winter NAMM 2020

MIDI 2.0 Demonstration

At the recent Winter NAMM convention in Anaheim California, the MIDI Manufacturers Association voted to formally adopt the MIDI 2.0 specification that’s been in development for over a decade. Art+Logic has been involved with this effort for the past several years as part of the group of companies working to validate MIDI 2.0 during its development and refinement by creating prototype implementations of it and connecting those prototypes together to make sure that things perform as well in reality as they do on paper.

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How to Spot a Job Offer Scam

Job scam image capture detail

It recently came to our attention that someone has been using our company name as part of a job scam. While we’re not entirely sure what they expect to get out of scamming people with a fake job offer, we can share with you an anatomy of a job offer scam that affected us.

First, here is a version of the scam email that was sent to people claiming to be from Art+Logic:

Job Scam Letter Example

There are several clues in this email that should immediately set off alarm bells for the recipient. First, the email address that is used, artpluslogiccareers20@gmail.com, is typical example of the false email addresses that scammers use. We are a software development firm with our own URL, we would never use a generic gmail address for any company business. This email address has already been reported to Google, so it is possible that the scammer is already using a different gmail.com address.

Next, in the emails used for this scam, the senders refer to the company as Art & Logic. While that is technically not false, we changed our company name to Art+Logic a few years ago. If you receive an email offering you a job, and something just doesn’t feel right about it, look for the possible inaccuracies in how the company is referenced. Even the smallest discrepancy could be an indicator of a scam.

The details in the summary for the job seem to come from other listings that one can find online and they seem to have just cut and paste them into the email. If you look at them carefully, however, you’ll see that they refer more to tasks one would have at a graphic design company, not at a software development firm. There were other emails sent out to people that did something similar with a fake offer for an animator position.

The About Us section looks like it was just pulled verbatim from our website, which is probably why it gets our name right the second time.

Then we arrive at the strangest part of the email, the section that should immediately make it obvious that this offer is a scam, the How to Apply section. We would never use a service like Telegram as part of a job application process. I’m skeptical that any legitimate company would ask a job applicant to contact them via anything other than a company email address or phone number. It would be very odd for an established company to use an app or web-based account that’s easy to create anonymously and that does not use the company name or that directs someone to an easily anonymized phone number.

Apparently, these scammers will even go so far as interviewing people and then asking them to do some work — but then disappear once it comes time to pay for the work. In similar scams, they have also requested that potential applicants submit a payment for a background check. Most legitimate companies, like Art+Logic, would never ask a job candidate to pay for any part of the interview/job application process.

We encourage anyone who receives a scam job offer to file a complaint with the FTC, submit a report to the Anti Phishing Working Group, and also notify Google.

Fortunately, many people who received this type of email notified us immediately and did not fall for the scam.

What is MIDI 2.0, and what does it mean for musicians and producers?

From musicradar.com:

We chat to Art+Logic’s Brett Porter to find out what makes this new interfacing spec tick.

It’s been an essential building block of how music is made for about 35 years now, but would you be surprised to learn that the MIDI standard – the protocol we use every day to play and program music on computers, synths and other electronic gear – is still at version 1.0?

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