Cakewalk is one of the most popular computer programs used by musicians.

There are three versions of Cakewalk. THe Home Studio version records up to 8 tracks of audio and MIDI data, and allows printing out the notation. The Home Studio version costs around $100US.

The next version is the Pro Audio, currently in version 9. This expands the Home Studio version to 128 tracks. It incorporates faster audio processor and mixing. Pro Audio also includes extensive MIDI features and a copy of Cakewalk's Guitar Studio for the guitarist (recording, editing, notation for guitar parts). This version lists for $429US, but can be found in larger stores for around $300US.

The top of the line version is the Pro Audio Deluxe. It includes the above Pro Audio system plus the Musician's Toolbox, which is two CDs of MIDI, tools and samples, and even video clips - over one gigabyte of multimedia data.

Anyone interested in creating high-quality music in a modest studio (even a virtual studio) should have a copy of Cakewalk. The list price is $529US, but it can be found for $380US.

Cakewalk does have a steep learning curve (especially the Pro Audio versions), but it is essential for creating and mixing quality tunes on your Wintel box. Of all the music-related programs on the market, this is the one I'd personally recommend you buy over all others.

Atari 2600 Game
Produced by:CommaVid
Model Number:cm008
Year of Release:1983
Rarity:9 Extremely Rare

This is a very rare Atari 2600 game from CommaVid. Earlier copies of this game are labeled as Baker.

This is a food game. Similar in gameplay to Tapper and Kaboom. You have to catch the cakes as they come off of the conveyor belt.

This game, because of its rarity, is valued at $100-$150 USD.

A cakewalk is also a southern social "game". Traditionally ladies of the community would bake a bunch of cakes. The local church/school would then have a cakewalk as part of the festivities of the evening.

The rules are thus:

1: There are numbered spaces forming a loop around the school gym/church floor.

2: One walks around the spaces till "stop" is called, at which time everyone stops on one of the numbered tiles.

3: A number is drawn from a hat, if you're standing on that space, you win a cake and are removed from the game.

Though harmless in appearance, cakewalks have a much more sinister side. Rivalrys would often be built up over who made the better cake, often times leading to almost outright social warfare. Friendships were lost over whose baking skills were superior. Southern women take their cooking very seriously. Keep in mind that often times recipes have been handed down through generations of mothers and daughters. Meaning that if someone else's family recipe beats yours in an impartial taste test, then obviously their family is better than yours. If one thing is important in most southern families, it's being better than the neighbors. Status, however conferred, is absolutely vital.

If this seems like complete and utter nonsense to you, then you're obviously not from around here.

I also have my suspicions about cakewalks origin of the phrase "this ain't no cakewalk"* cakewalks can usually be entered for relatively low ticket prices or by donating something to the church charity, like a coat or children's toy. Generally speaking, if you win a cake you've sort of pulled a something for nothing, in that the price you paid probably isn't equal to or greater than the "cost" of the cake. Also one need only be able to move forward to have a good chance of winning, making the whole act rather easy with often times very sweet rewards...

*The wu mentioned has been deleted, apparently... (April 21, 2005)

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