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Benjamin Oakes

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Hi, I'm Ben Oakes and this is my geek blog. Currently, I'm a Ruby/JavaScript Developer at Liaison. Previously, I was a Developer at Continuity and Hedgeye, a Research Assistant in the Early Social Cognition Lab at Yale University and a student at the University of Iowa. I also organize, ICRuby, OpenHack Iowa City, and previously organized NewHaven.rb. I have an amazing wife named Danielle Oakes.


by Ben

I used to be into an operating system called BeOS. There was a band made up of employees of Be Inc. called The Cotton Squares (archived) who had their songs posted in MP3 format on their website, but I can only seem to get two of them: 5038 and Virtual Void. Oddly, only a few people on BeShare seem to have any.

The horrible thing is, I think I deleted them a few years ago. That’s the thing about computers, you can be a pack rat with out cluttering up your house. I guess I went on a spring cleaning rampage.

Update (2010/06/06): I’ve found copies of the MP3s I mentioned since writing the original post. I think it’s pretty safe to say they’re some of the last copies available. Since I know I’m not the only person who would go looking for these, I thought I should post them here. The BeOS has gone away, the band’s site is down, I can’t figure out how to contact their label, their fan club is no more, and I can’t even find anything on Amazon.
I think I found Baron Arnold (a member of the band) Facebook and Twitter, so I’m trying to ask him first.

Update (2010/06/22): My efforts to contact the band, its members, and their label has hit a standstill. All seem to have disappeared a number of years ago (but if that’s not the case, please let me know!) and I can’t find any commercial copies of these anywhere. I know several people have come by my site looking for more info about the Cotton Squares, so I thought I’d post the MP3s. Here they are:

(I especially like Focus Pocus.)

This is strictly a posting as a fan. If you’re the copyright holder and would like them removed, please contact me.

Update (2010/07/14): Baron has blessed sharing the MP3s here. See the comments below.

Update (2010/09/19): Joe Prostko contacted me with a download of the above songs, plus some remixes. Turns out I’m not the only one re-hosting this stuff. :) Thanks, Joe!


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Baron says:

Unfortunately is down right now. I’ll get it back up at a new host sometime before this fall and then you can have access again to all The Cotton Squares, Kissing Contest and Lemon Party goodness. =) Until then, I have no problem with you hosting these records on your site.

Derek says:

One of my favourite Cotton Squares/Kissing Contest songs is still available on SongFight, a weekly(?) songwriting & production contest:
(Theme: “standing in the death car”. Go figure.)

Ben says:

Great, I’m glad to hear that. Let me know when is back up — I’ll definitely want to take a look around!

Ben says:

Cool, thanks for sharing Derek! I just listened to it on my iPhone — I’ll definitely download it to my computer when I have a chance.

Manfred says:

Thanks of sharing this! I was also a Be OS fan and have cherished these The Cotton Square songs in my music library for all these years. I hope that there is more material out there! Would love to hear more from The Cotton Squares.

Joseph says:

These songs may be under copyright, but were also offered as free downloads on The Cotton Squares’ website, some if not all of them are available at the Internet Archive.

BrianMB says:

You are the God-King. Such amazing and rare tunes. I’m going to share these wherever I can.

BrianMB says:

And now they’re on Grooveshark for everyone (except for iOS users) to enjoy and share indefinitely:

[…] has a pretty similar story to me. I was a big fan of the BeOS back in the day, which got me involved with the POSIX command line (bash specifically). That led to OS X and […]

Thank you for these files. Whenever I listen to Virtual (Void) (Remix) it brings me back to 2001 when I was running BeOS R5. Those were better days. It’s not just nostalgia for me. It’s much more. It brings me joy, that song. Brings me up whenever I am sad.

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