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Archive for August, 2012

Denon DJ MC2000 controller

31/08/2012 Leave a comment

This new controller from Denon was just released a couple of days back. I do not have much information on it but DJWorx.com does. Apparently, it is an entry-level controller that ships with Serato DJ Intro. Features-wise, according to DJWorx and Denon:

  • Designed specifically for ‘Serato DJ intro’ Software (included)
  • Plug & Play – USB Bus Powered
  • Full MIDI Output – Map to other DJ Software
  • Denon DJ ‘Professional Grade’ Construction
  • Intuitive File Browsing Controls
  • Built-in Audio interface
  • MIC Input /Line Input

You can read more about it on the DJWorx.com website here.

It has been suggested that this is a controller that is aimed straight at newbies. I ain’t to sure about that because I have seen some professionals using “entry-level” controllers such as this without any issues at all. Even I myself use a Hercules controller without any issues and if I can use it to move a crowd, anyone can, yes, even the professionals.

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Cat 5e network cable crimp tool

30/08/2012 Leave a comment

If you are in the computer line that I am, there are some tools that you absolutely cannot be without. One of them is a cable crimper, like the one shown above. You need to take up cable crimping skills. There is nothing to it once you get used to it. First of all, strip the network cable and align the wires, like in the diagram below, courtesy of Fullduplex.org

There are two types of cable layouts, 568A and 568B. You can use either one of them but for a straight network cable, use either 568A or 568B on both ends of the cable. If you want to make a cross cable, use 568A on one end and 568B on the other end. Fullduplex.org has the tutorial here.

Always remember…crimping skills will come in handy when you least expect it. I once was tasked to find out why the network in a particular company was down. I found out that the main backbone Category-5e cable had been chewed up by rats! (Yes, you heard me…rats. They were caught in the end but that is a different story). A new network cable, some RJ-45 plugs and a crimper ensured that I had a new network cable up and running in 5 minutes!

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The Lexicon Alpha

29/08/2012 Leave a comment

Someone was selling this in my favourite audio forum for about Singapore $50. Not too bad considering that you get an audio USB interface from Lexicon, who are world-famous for their legendary reverb units. According to Lexicon:

The Alpha™ Desktop Recording Studio is extremely compact, yet it gives you the features needed to get professional recording results anywhere! Designed with many of the same features found in professional studios, Alpha Studio is your complete recording solution: a USB powered I/O mixer with Cubase® LE 5, the popular recording production suite from Steinberg®, and our acclaimed Lexicon® Pantheon™ VST® reverb plug-in. A dual-input, 2-bus, 2-output USB I/O mixer with extra high-impedance instrument input and separate headphone output gives you the freedom to not only record but also mix anywhere.

I downloaded the manual to have a look at the functions and what it can do. This is a bus-powered unit. Those LINE-INs you see are TRS 1/4″ phone balanced plugs. Comes with Cubase LE as well is a bonus. For the features of this unit:

  • Stereo line inputs for keyboards, drum machines or analog output of a CD/MP3 player. RF-filtered TRS active-balanced inputs accept either balanced or unbalanced signals.
  • Low-noise mic preamp with balanced XLR inputs.
  • High-impedance front panel input for electric guitar or bass.
  • Separate mic and line level input controls with individual peak indicators.
  • Monitor mix control for balancing an audio source between live input and playback mix level while recording. Can be switched to stereo or mono.
  • High-powered headphone amp offers ultra-clear fidelity while delivering ample power for any type of headphones.
  • RF-filtered and TRS balanced Line outputs for speaker monitoring.

There you go. Not bad for $50!

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Samsung CH@T 322 mobile phone

28/08/2012 Leave a comment

I am currently looking for a dual-SIM phone to replace my old Samsung C3212 and this was one of the models I considered getting. First and foremost, it has the capability to take two SIM cards. This one has a QWERTY keyboard and looks and feels almost like a Blackberry so I am sure that it will feel right at home because I used to carry a Blackberry once. But the only thing that will be wasted is that both the SIM cards that I currently have do not come with a data plan so the advanced features like Twitter, Facebook et al will be wasted. Features-wise, this is what this phone has to offer:

• Dual SIM phone with QWERTY keypad and Optical Trackpad
• 2.2 inch 262K Colours LQCIF TFT LCD screen
• 1.3 Megapixel with 4x Digital zoom
• Smart Home with direct access to Communities™ (SharePix)

Maybe I should wait for Samsung to come up with a candy-bar dual-SIM phone that fits my liking.

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Samsung Galaxy Note

27/08/2012 Leave a comment

First of all, before I begin anything, I would like to give my props to Androidguys.com for the photo above. I was looking at this phone to upgrade to when I I finally upgrade from my Motorola Defy, which is still in pretty good condition. Nothing is wrong with it but if push comes to shove, I am looking at something like this. Its a cross between a smartphone and a tablet. Its a bit unwieldy but I like the large screen real estate.

In any case, according to Samsung:

GALAXY Note is a new type of smartphone, borne of insight and innovation. It is the ultimate on-the-go device which consolidates core benefits of diverse mobile devices while maintaining smartphone portability. Equipped with a 5.3″ large HD SUPER AMOLED screen, it minimizes your screen transition and scrolling with the embedded S Pen for convenience during operation. To do all this, consumers need to carry multiple devices as each device has unique benefits that work best in different situations. Therefore, consumers constantly need to switch between devices. Even for consumers with multiple smart devices, they still carry around a notepad for writing down ideas. There is an emerging desire for a primary device for on-the-go use that could consolidate the core tasks of multiple devices as well as recreate the ease and simplicity of using a pen and paper. The GALAXY Note is a primary device that will minimise the need to switch to other devices while on-the-go and open up the potential of your mobile experience.

It sure has. Imagine looking at your emails and other stuff. It just looks marvellous. But I suppose its biggest selling point is also its bugbear…the size. I know I cannot put this in my pocket! It is gonna bulge out like crazy. Specs-wise, from Samsung’s website:

HSPA+ up to 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100
4G LTEEDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900
1.4GHz Dual Core Processor
5.3” WXGA (1280 x 800) screen*
HD Super AMOLED
1080p Full HD video recording & playback
Recording: 1080p@24~30fps/
Playback: 1080p@30fps
Codec: MPEG4/ H.263/ H.264/ DivX, WMV, VC-1
Codec : MP3, AAC, AMR, WMA, WAV, FLAC, OGG
Music Player with SoundAlive
3.5mm Ear Jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS
Main(Rear) : 8 MP with LED Flash / Front : 2 MP
Action Shot, Beauty, Panorama Shot, Smile Shot
Bluetooth® technology v 3.0 + HS
USB 2.0 HOST
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct
16GB Internal memory + microSD (up to 32GB)

Not too bad isn’t it?

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Since when was my favorite tau huay too low class?

26/08/2012 Leave a comment

One thing I cannot stand is elitism…especially social elitism. That is precisely what happened when this so-called posh French picnic Diner en Blanc (The White Dinner) wanted to hold its event in Singapore.  According to their website:

At the last minute, the location is given to thousands of friends and acquaintances who have been patiently waiting to learn the “Dîner en Blanc’s” secret place. Thousand of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space. Over the course of an evening, the diners enhance the function and value of their city’s public space by participating in the unexpected. Beyond the spectacle and refined elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by a love of beauty and good taste. Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamour of court society, and diners engage one another knowing they are taking part in a truly magical event. There are no disruptions: no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic, except for the occasional amazed and astonished looks from passersby at the scene unfolding before them. And we, as they, wonder whether it’s all not a dream…

A local food blogger was uninvited to the dinner after he posted a list of local foods he suggested that guests could bring to the event. The blogger, Daniel Ang, was invited to cover the event. The food suggestions he had posted on his blog included chee cheong fun (rice noodle rolls), fishballs, chicken rice, chwee kueh (steamed rice cake) and tau hway (soya beancurd). When he asked the organisers whether his post was all right, he was told that it was. However, he was asked to remove it the next day. Apparently, he was told by the organisers that local delicacies were not on a par with the image of the event. He refused to take down the post and what happens? He gets uninvited from the event.

Twats.

Now people are asking…is our local food considered “peasant food”? All I say to the organisers is: Go forth and multiply

 

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Settng a network up in the office

25/08/2012 Leave a comment

It is very simple to do actually…setting a network up that is. All you need is an internet connection from your provider and hooking it up to your router. After that, hook it up to a switch and distribute it to all the computers in the office via a switch or if you want, wireless. I recommend switches with cables because it is more secure. Anyone, if they have half-a-mind, can sniff out your wireless password and get into your network and if they are hackers, they can steal your information and do other terrible things besides. This picture was taken at a customer’s place, in the office where they work. It is a very simple setup and they are very pleased with their connection because it is fast. the wireless router there is for those who go to a meeting room and there are no LAN points in the meeting room. The router is set up as a wireless access point with WPA encryption. I might do something like this to my office when it s fully set up…

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