The Inscrutable jOrgan

All the virtual organs are part of a kind of harsh warrior’s discipline to try the would-be organist’s patience in new and astounding ways. But even by that standard jOrgan scores. ... An early-in-life infatuation with Sound Blaster™ cards, so wildly popular in our Windows systems in those dark days, and with which jOrgan was almost always used, probably led to later helpful assertions by the usual incredibly knowledgeable forum experts, in reply to pitiful “no sound” complaints, that of course jOrgan made no sound, because it was such a “pure” front end....

And it made no sound for me, also, and the purity was blinding — until I came across the “Christie Disposition” and somewhere a step-by-step on how to make it work in jorgan. But no más; the Christie “disposition” and the all-imporant how-to document disappeared into the wild innernet and left hollow postings at a jorgan forum. ... Well wait a moment googling “jOrgan V3.20 Install Instructions By Rick Whatson” got me this. — you could probably download it by clicking the gear in the upper right-hand corner and select “download PDF”. ... And here I will provide christie.zip which might contain a disposition and an sf2 font. Probably illegally. ... I probably could still run my copy of this stuff + jorgan, but I tried numerous times to install jorgan without the fabulous “Christie” instructions — well at least 2 or three times — and I failed, so etc., & incidentally, by “failure” I mean jorgan was utterly silent; the jorganistas may regard this as a tremendous success. ... And actually I just tried it after months of absence and in fact, while the Christie disposition came-up, it made no detectable sound. Probably a few hours debugging and perhaps ritual suicide would fix everything right up. ... Oh really all it needed was a PC reboot; someone had used the PC before jorgan and it was obviously miffed, but a clean reboot and it made sounds joyously once again.

... Anyway you’re probably doomed to beg the jorgan forum wherever it may be to make it go, and get snooty put-downs / incompetent know-it-all advice / actual useful help. ... I suspect some people like this sort of thing, ’though maybe that’s just another of my swarming delusions. But if your heart is set on jorganing, I would advise at least first trying the Whatson book....

The Demo

The simple fact is that both Miditzer and Hauptwerk have downloadable Windows-installable “demo” versions, both of which have been played by various happy organists including myself for years.

Jorgan does not. ... I mean, I whine endlessly about the extravagant technical hurdles in the way of getting any of this stuff working, but still, I could download & play Miditzer — on the computer keyboard with computer sound — in an hour or two. Hauptwerk of course takes heaven knows how long and you have to remember to turn-on some stops and use the mouse on the keyboard screen — but still, it plays. ... It makes sounds.

CAFETERIA ORGANS

In my pitiful and ultimately-unsuccessful attempts to make jorgan play nice, and just in case your existence is too peaceful and your PC hasn’t crashed in the last few minutes, I wrote my mad dangerous kjorg which will actually send keys to any windows program and [kjorg.zip] PROBABLY DESTROY YOUR COMPUTER and nearby lifeforms and perhaps all light and all beauty. ... Comes complete with obsolete Delphi 7 source. ... I’ve used it ten or 20 times to actually close jOrgan. And perhaps an equal number of times, it didn’t. ... See the frightening informative message by running the program without any arguments. ... I was blaming the wily jorgan for avoiding kjorg’s blameless keystrokes, but finally it turned-out the code I’d borrowed from the starry web was using interpreted control-S as control-SHIFT-S, and once I used control-s (lower aka without case), the fabled jorgan happily saved when kjorg told it to, and then the gobbledygook “@{F4}” could actually close the program! At least twice! Maybe three times! ... (And then I fixed the upper/lower control problem.) To detect whether jOrgan is running I used another menacing utility “kill95 jOrgan.exe -t”, although I believe kjorg has a command for that now. I do all this in a batch file, trying kjorg and then if “kill95 jOrgan.exe -t” says it didn’t work, the batch file might demand that I close it manually before proceeding. Of course often that doesn’t work and I can’t close it, any which way. And I reboot. ... Because jOrgan is broken....

Taskkill & jOrgan: Eternal Enmity

I wrote the silly kjorg because Windows’ “taskkill /IM jOrgan.exe” and the haughty jOrgan are bad together; and the “forced” version “taskkill /IM jOrgan.exe /f” worse. Generally seemed to require rebooting the PC. ... As doubtless will kjorg the minute you use it in anger so DON’T BLAME ME....

Kjorg Won’t Work! ...

Please understand I’m not claiming that using kjorg to close jOrgan will actually work. It just works better than taskkill and/or various other desperate measures I tried. I’d pretty-much given-up relying on it, although @ 1/9/15 after numerous hacks and wanderings kjorg closed jOrgan 4 or 5 times in a row — with the “$S” save!

... A while later, I noticed the vast and talented Hauptwerk has this same problem: it won’t close if it wants to save, without confirmation. And so with my dangerous kjorg, I taught it what-for, but not without minutes of testing and agony — during which, Hauptwerk never locked up the machine and/or required a reboot. Not once! ... Virtually miraculous, judged by the jOrgan standard....

... And Didn’t.

In the end, I made my cafeteria batch file not try to close jorgan — it forces me to close it manually. ... I grovel before jorgan’s majestic buginess....




The Grand Conclusion: not the happy organist ...

After months, despite undoubted moments of organistic joy, I gave up. It’s not that it crashed that much ... I’ve seen worse — but that would be in my fabled career with computer junk, and I was being paid at least a nominal sum, or at least I was playing with junk I planned to fix, or abandon. And I suppose I could download the open-source jOrgan and set about fixing it, but I know enough to know that’d be a lot of work, and I’m trying to have fun here however unlikely it might seem to casual passersby. And jorgan crashes too much for that.

... It crashes after I do foolish things like multiple jorgan “configs” — which, after all, is the only way I could find the wily and elusive 2nd touch setting. Or anything else. Or maybe it crashes after I use ^S to save? Or maybe I just looked at it funny? — maybe it’s easily-offended? ... And I always suspected and have now conclusive evidence that java crashes are worse than your average broken program. The Java runtime thing has to do operating system stuff — dealing with MIDI devices for instance — but, apparently, isn’t inhibited in the way that normal Windows device drivers are. I mean, I’ve had add-in system-level software components that routinely crashed — Windows™ certified, too! — but such components are broken, and the solution is to remove them. And so far, neither Miditzer nor Hauptwerk have managed to require reboots — well, except for that terrible time I apparently gave the Mitz system-level access — but jOrgan does that at least once a week, and often several times a day. ... Of course I abuse it in my amazing adventures; but it should crash itself, not the rest of the system....