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Archive for May, 2013

Windows Blue

31/05/2013 Leave a comment

Windows 8 was supposed to be the operating system that would make or break Microsoft but it did not go as planned. Trust Microsoft to dispel with some of the things that made Windows 8 unpopular. They are releasing Windows 8.1 soon, aka Windows Blue. And if various reports and rumours are to be believed, it’s coming out as soon as June or July. Some things that will be improved on will be the return of the Start button. Now I do not know about you guys but I hated the boot-up to the bloody Metro screen on Windows 8. It was a pain in the arse, having been so used to the Start button that had been there since Windows 95. What Microsoft apparently failed to see is that no one wants to waste productivity hours trying to launch their applications and such. People will methodically look for the damn Start button and get on with their Windows life on the computer. It will also boot up to the desktop, bypassing the afore-mentioned Metro screen. It will come as a free upgrade to Windows 8 users apparently

Well, there are all sorts of rumours out there. Let us see how these rumours take shape.

 

 

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The Adolf Hitler kettle

30/05/2013 Leave a comment

There was a write-up in The Register about a kettle that looked like Adolf Hitler. Interestingly, it does look a bit like Hitler, facing you with the spout emulating a raised right arm in a Nazi salute. Apparently, a picture popped up in Reddit, showing the kettle advertised on a billboard and I must say, even I did a stop-and-stare. What will people notice next?

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Mackie S215 passive loudspeakers

30/05/2013 Leave a comment

I came across this speaker fairly recently. I was always wondering about the other speakers from Mackie besides the polypropylene-encased ones. This one is made of birch wood, which literally translated, means one heavy bugger. But the good thing about wooden cabinets is the sound. It just sounds better! But knowing the dealers in Singapore, this is gonna be one frightfully expensive speaker to purchase. Let us see what we can garner from the specifications:

  • Precision Passive loudspeaker with transducer and crossover design by esteemed EAW engineering team
  • Wide-dispersion, ultra-low distortion, high frequency horn
  • Professional 18mm Baltic birch wood construction with pressure-injected structural resin
  • 350 watts long-term power handling; 1400 watts peak
  • 1.75″ (44mm) titanium dome compression driver with optimized symmetric phase plug
  • 15″ (380mm) LF driver with nearly indestructible high-temperature voice coil
  • Input Type: Neutrik Speakon™ and female 1/4-in. TS jack
  • Maximum SPL Long-term @ 1m: 127dB
  • Crossover Frequency: 1300Hz
  • Input Impedance: 8 ohms

Most of this is taken from the Mackie website so some of it is usual marketing hyperbole. Like the one about the woofer with the “nearly indestructible high-temperature voice coil”. Looks like they got the folks at EAW to design it for them. But the again, Mackie is owned by Loud Technologies, a big conglomerate who also own Eastern Acoustic Works or EAW for short.

There are also a provision for two types of audio jacks at the rear of the unit. One of them is a Neutrik Speakon and the other is a 1/4″ tip-sleeve (TS) jack. According to Mackie:

Few things are as frustrating as having the wrong cable for hooking up. Connecting and setting up the S215 is a breeze. It accepts a speaker-level signal via either a Neutrik Speakon® connector or female 1/4-inch TS (Tip/Sleeve) connector, so now you don’t have to remember to bring the right adaptors.

Yeah, right. This really made me chuckle. But I digress.

The weight of these speakers are a whopping 30 kilograms. Egads. You can literally break your back carrying these. But in all honestly, the Yamaha Club Series will trump these…effortlessly and for less money…as far as Singapore is concerned. They look pretty tempting to me but in an economy that does not look too good, people are going for bang for buck. Well, lets look for offers then!

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Yamaha DXR8 powered speakers

29/05/2013 1 comment

I had the chance to listen to these babies yesterday. All I can say is WOW! Imagine. A powered speaker, with an 8″ cone, with NEXO processing. Man, I could feel the thump and power of this tiny powerhouse. Now I know why my Yamaha dealer was trying to get me to get these…these bloody things ROCK! All you need to complement these are a pair of subwoofers and you are done. These can handle a room of 150 people easy…given what I heard just now. Simply awesome! Specs-wise, these are what these speakers are made of:

  • Speaker type: 8″ 2-way, Bi-amp powered speaker, Bass-reflex type
  • Frequency range: 57Hz – 20kHz
  • Output power: Dynamic:1100W (LF: 950W HF: 150W) / Continuous: 700W (LF: 600W HF: 100W)
  • Maximum output level: 129dB SPL
  • Processors: D-CONTOUR :FOH / MAIN, MONITOR, OFF
  • Net weight: 13.5kg (29.8lbs)

Damn. Now these speakers have really got me thinking. I was thinking of getting a pair of passive speakers with an amplifier and such. Now with these, and after I heard them, I am having second-thoughts.

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Jalan Besar in Singapore

28/05/2013 Leave a comment

I used to come to this place a lot when I was still studying. Besides looking for bike shops and taking buses from school to the National Library, we used to pass this stretch of road all the time. It has all changed now. You still can find some old shops dealing with all sorts of stuff and I dare say that if you look really hard, you can find some pretty good bargains there. there are lots of hotels here and more seem to be springing up, to say nothing about the hundreds of backpacker hostels springing up as well. Interesting place and well worth the walk if you are a tourist reading up about this place,

Does StarHub Cares really care at all?

27/05/2013 1 comment

This is their Facebook page and this is the place where Starhub sends people, asking them to write in with their grievances against Starhub. And this is the funny thing….you can write in all you want…you can send as many posts as you want but nothing gets done. How do I know this? Funny you should ask. I will tell you a story

About a year ago, my Starhub Mobile Broadband was having issues with regards to playing videos from YouTube. Apparently, videos being played from Youtube were considered P2P browsing which was disallowed. What happened is that they throttled my bandwidth and as a result, when I was trying to show a client some videos I made for his firm, on my laptop with the afore-mentioned Starhub dongle attached, let us say that it was jerky. My client, a foreigner here, just laughed and jokingly asked if I had paid my bill. In any case, I apologised to my client and called up Starhub to complain, only to to be sent to this page. Writing in the whole story and what do I hear from Starhub? Zero. Zilch. Nada. So I call them up and blast them on the phone and finally, some manager comes over but cannot give me a satisfactory explanation. Long story short, they told me that they would check with their back-end to make sure I was not throttled again.

This is just one story. I could tell you more but I would have to write a book. maybe I will one day.

In any case, they also have a Twitter account, aptly named @StarHubCares and if you think that they will solve your issue when you write to that one, fat hope. You will still get zero, response-wise.

So ask yourself…is it worthy to write in to a portal like this? Do not waste your time. Go down to the head-office would be a better way. Its a time waster in my opinion. Another way would be to open a blog and write about it, like what I am doing now. The world deserves to know about this ridiculous telco from Singapore. And I can almost hear someone asking me to change to a different provider. I would but the other providers / telcos are just as shitty, with their own issues. In Singapore, when you switch telcos, it is like going from Shit A to Shit B. Go figure

Chris Medina – What Are Words

26/05/2013 Leave a comment

Early yesterday morning, while taking a cab home, this song was playing. Now, I have heard of this song before, and have always wanted to find out who the singer was but did not get the chance. So the moment the familiar opening chords on the piano came on, I reached for my mobile phone, fired up Soundhound and got the title.

When I got back home, I did some research on this song. There is s story behind this song, and a very touching one at that. You can plainly see in this video that Chris is crying while singing this song. He co-wrote this song for his fiancée who was involved in a terrible accident and is left brain-damaged. This guy was a contestant on American Idol and when Jennifer Lopez had to send him off for not qualifying (he was one of the finalists), she did so very reluctantly and sobbed uncontrollably. That is because the song and the story WILL tug your heart strings. You must have a heart made out of stone if you are not affected by the story and the song.

But this song made Chris famous. He will be starring in a show about his life. I can safely say this song made me tear. It will make you tear too.

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