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Archive for February, 2015

Rest in peace Leonard Nimoy

28/02/2015 Leave a comment

I heard on the news early this morning that Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr Spock on the long-running Star Trek series, died at the age of 83. It’s a sad day indeed for Star Trek fans. He did indeed, as he always said as Spock: “Live long and prosper.” Rest in peace Mr Nimoy

Would you DJ for 5 hours for $50?

23/02/2015 Leave a comment

Check this out. This is self-explanatory. How cheap can some people be? Not as cheap as this guy I guess. DJ for 5 hours, with your own equipment for $50 and a free meal?

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Samson XP1000 portable PA system

22/02/2015 Leave a comment

This was released recently at NAMM 2015 and I must admit that I was intrigued by it. Now, before you all think that this is something revolutionary, you all need to know that this design was copied from Yamaha’s Stagepas line. But nevertheless, it does look interesting. What is it all about?

Well, for starters, the XP1000 is part of Samson’s Expedition Series of portable PA systems. I have done some write-ups in the part about their previous offerings. How about this one? Well, for starters, the XP1000 is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing you to wirelessly stream music from your smart phone, tablet or laptop. This is an interesting feature indeed. No more hunting for Bluetooth receivers for just this purpose. Even Yamaha does not have this feature. Some people may call it a gimmick.

The XP1000, like the Yamaha Stagepas Series, has a removable 10-channel mixer with a 1,000-watt (2 x 500) Class D amplifier which powers the speakers. Remember all, this is 1000 watts peak music power, not RMS. The mixer features four Mic/Line input channels, each with XLR and 1/4″ inputs for connecting microphones or active line level instruments. It also includes three stereo input channels for connecting external devices like MP3 players, keyboards and more. Each channel features Bass and Treble controls, and the first two Mic/Line channels have a selectable compressor to even out levels while preventing overload and distortion. The XP1000 even has a USB Wireless port. I do not know if it serves the same purpose as the USB port on the Stagepas 600i .

For precise control over your sound, the XP1000 provides 16 presets of DSP effects. For larger applications, the XP1000 provides stereo monitor outputs with level control to use the system with additional powered speakers. In addition, the mixer has a Phantom Power switch to enable the integration of condenser microphones into your PA setup. This is where the Samson system trumps over the Yamaha Stagepas series. The Stagepas has no selectable DSP.

Speakers-wise, the XP1000’s 2-way vented speakers look pretty good. Their drivers complement consist of 10″ low-frequency drivers and 1″ high frequency drivers attached to a horn which gives a dispersion pattern of 60 x 90 degrees. These ABS enclosures feature integrated 1 3/8″ speaker stand mounts, as well as a 30° kickback design for use as floor monitors.

Not bad eh? Something to thnk about!

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HDMI to VGA converter

21/02/2015 Leave a comment

I was due to give a presentation to a client but when it came to hooking up to their projector, I found out that their projector in their board room did not have a HDMI port that was available on my laptop. All they had was a VGA port. Luckily I had one of these and so I was able to project my laptop screen on the projector by using this converter. If you can, get one and always have it in your bag. They do not cost a lot and will save you should you need to make that connection.

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Helium gas for balloons

20/02/2015 Leave a comment

I remember back in the 70s, when my dad worked for Far East Oxygen, our birthday parties always used to stand out because dad used to buy a cylinder of helium gas and use it to fill the balloons. Other kids used to love coming to the parties because they had never seen balloons that could “float” before. After a while, the company that dad worked for started commercializing the helium but made a special concoction calling it “balloon gas”. It was a mixture of helium and some others to make the balloons last longer than if it was pumped with pure helium. This balloon gas used to come in a white cylinder, unlike the brown ones that helium came in. That is the way it stayed for many years and was the industry standard of sorts. So imagine my surprise about a week ago when I went to a baby shower and I saw this canister of helium there. Looks like they are going back to helium, and in smaller canisters too.

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Happy Chinese New Year of the Goat

19/02/2015 Leave a comment

I would like to wish all my Chinese friends and relatives a very Happy Chinese New Year Of The Goat.

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The usual Chinese New Year goodies made by my in-laws

18/02/2015 Leave a comment

My father-in law used to be a pastry chef and every year, without fail, he makes his Chinese New Year delicacies like pineapple tarts and butter cake. I do not know how he does it but he makes them very well indeed and most of the time, he gets lots of orders. It’s only a few days before Chinese New Year so there are orders a-plenty, so he is up to his ears in work. But he enjoys doing it and so I am glad that he is enjoying himself by doing just that. I can’t wait to wolf down his delicacies when I go to his place!!

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