Thursday, April 5th, 2018 | Gadgets, Insights, Vocabulary | No Comments
Doing laces is art. It seems there’s even a cult among younger people nowadays how to lace their shoes. So it’s been a thing lately to not show laces at all and I got told to just knot them and put the laces inside of the shoes. Well, that worked quite well but I also like my comfort zone, and sharing it with knotted fibre kinda ruined the experience.
So, I was looking for another solution and my brain came up with … Aderendhülse. What?! (That’s German for ferrule) Yes, I had to learn a new word for this minuscule life hack. The German one that is.
Anyway, here is my solution. Just get yourself some ferrules fro the D.I.Y. retailer, thread in the laces and crush it!! After that, just cut the ends off. Done.
No more lace knoting for me, and I don’t have to share the snug inside of my sneakers with random clews.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 | Activities, Gadgets, Insights, Tech-savvy | No Comments
I started streaming on Twitch a while ago and the setup for a decent stream can be tricky at times. One of the biggest issues I had was audio sync or to be more precise, the absence of it. 😉
I use OBS, a free and pretty powerful piece of software. After a few streams I added music to the gameplay, but when I was humming/singing along, I was off. A bit, a few milliseconds, but I could not find a way to get rid of the issue. So I started thinking … there is a “processing pipeline”, from the computer that plays the music, to the headphones, into my brain and out of my lungs into the microphone. I figured that’s where the lag came from:
Lucky me OBS lets you add and subtract delays to each audio source (even though I have a hard time understanding how you can shift a sound source into the past … maybe by implicitly adding a delay to all other sources?). So how did I find out the “exact” delay? It’s pretty tough, ears only will be not good enough.
So here is what I did:
- recorded while some audio was playing (e.g. Massive Attack – Teardop) and used a drum stick and a practice pad next to the mic hitting the pad to the music omitting every third stroke so you don’t get used to your rhythm and stick to the song’s timing
- exported the audio and measured the milliseconds between the real snare and my stroke using an audio editor (i.e. Audacity) – with “Teardrop” they are pretty easy to spot
- open “Edit” -> “Advanced Audio Properties” and change the “Sync Offset” of your audio source accordingly
- rinse repeat, as for some reason I had to do this a couple of times before I got it spot on
This got my singing in sync to the audio that got played. (The lag can also be influenced by changing buffer sizes, but I didn’t want to fiddle with these.)
Now the only thing that is still annoying me: I am not lip-sync on video. I still have to figure out whether there is an option to add/sub delay to the video source as well. Just saw there is a filter available in OBS, but it can only add delay, not sub it. Might play with that as well and hope to come up with a “picture perfect” audio video face-cam mic setup at some point 🙂
Sunday, December 31st, 2017 | Gadgets, Insights, Tech-savvy | No Comments
Sharing is caring. I hope Google will help people who also have trouble with high CPU usage on a Dell system with Waves MaxxAudio find this little piece of information.
I had a strange problem with OBS (or so I thought) consuming high CPU. Every time I launched OBS the CPU would jump to like 30% instantly. The task manager revealed that not OBS but Waves MaxxAudio Service Application consumed like 30% CPU every time I launched a freshly installed OBS on a freshly installed Windows 10 an a Dell Latitude 7280 (just dropping a few keyword here again for SEO 😛 ).
Trying to find a solution for this strange behaviour I found dozens of people that had the same problem but I could not find a solution.
So I tried to fiddle with the Waves MaxxAudio Settings and alas I found a solution (that worked for me)! Simply open Waves MaxxAudio Pro, click on “Advanced” in the lower middle section of the UI and disable the VoIP “enhancement” – CPU usage drops instantly.
Dear Dell, dear Waves MaxxAudio, why are you packing your drivers with shitloads of features instead of just releasing a working piece of software? 99.9% of your costumers only want a system that runs smoothly with a simple and easy driver, not a “fancy” UI with tons of features that foobar the system. Thanks. Just my POV.
Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 | Gadgets, Insights, Linux, Tech-savvy | No Comments
Today I’d like to share a nice project that I stumbled upon: Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements.
Basically it is a small DNS proxy that filters DNS queries based on lists of ad and tracker sites.
It’s pretty kewl, as you just set it up once and all your devices on your LAN will benefit from it.
I have been using Pi-hole (default settings/lists on Raspbian Strech) for a couple of days now without problems and a noticeable better internet browsing experience.
Give it a try and put your old Raspberry to some use!
Saturday, July 1st, 2017 | Gadgets, Language, Linux, Tech-savvy | No Comments
Maybe for podcasting, maybe streaming, maybe recording of music.
First thing that came to my mind was reading a small story for my daughter. So I plugged in the mic – which was the first “challenge”. Sometimes “pro” audio devices only work with Mac and Windoze machines, but the Røde NT-USB just worked out of the box (Linux, Fedora 25). After that I launched Audacity, saw the rec level was a bit weak, maxed out the input using the audio settings and hit record. From my POV the result was awesome. So I just kept on reading the story, only using the Audacity compressor plug-in (default settings) afterwards. Then I added a small intro/outro acoustic guitar jingle. That’s it. No-frills recording with very nice results.
Thanks Røde, you made my day 🙂
Here is the result (a 96k cbr mono mp3 mixdown). Sorry, German only 🙂 Remember, this is a one take and I have no experience doing lectures – so don’t expect too much.
Eine Meerjungfrau im Schwimmbad (Maren von Klitzing)
Der Kater mit den goldenen Pfoten (Käthe Recheis)
Source: Märchen und Kindergeschichten
I saw this random add on Facebook, some 5 piece Star Wars canvas depicting Lord Vader. Loved it. Honestly, I love personalized ads, as they show me stuff I really like.
This time I fell for a fraud. It seemed legit, I guess, there was PayPal to pay, free worldwide shipping (this should have rung a bell already) and 32.99 USD seemed a good deal.
Bought and paid October 1st.
Contacted seller November 6th.
Hi there, I am still waiting for my “STARWARS 5 PIECE CANVAS LIMITED EDITION”. Purchased at first of October.
Is there anything wrong?
Never got a reply.
Double checked the website November 16th.
Okay, seems I was to naive to trust in this bargain. Contacted PayPal, hope I will get my money back.
So, please, if the offer looks the least dodgy think twice. It can happen, even to old online veterans. When in doubt use a service like PayPal who might give you another layer of buyer protection.
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 | Gadgets, Insights, Tech-savvy | No Comments
I cannot write about this topic any more, so I let my HDMI cable tell the story.
Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 | Gadgets, Insights, Tech-savvy | 5 Comments
So Sony did not manage to solve the PS4 sounding like a hair dryer issue. I had to take it into my own hands and it became sort of like a personal crusade.
Break your warranty. Replace the thermal paste. Hate Sony.
Kill the noise – €10
My first idea was to simply buy some acoustic foam and kill the noise. As this foam works best with high frequencies I thought it might work. I put some foam in my TV stand, made sure enough air would be supplied and fired up the machine. It took maybe 20 minutes for the jet engine to set off. Even though the stand is permanently open in the back and has air vents on top it heated up and got noisier than ever. I took out piece by piece of the foam to no avail.
More air – €2
More cooling – €30
The last frontier – breaking the warranty and replacing thermal paste. – €20
Sony, I hated you so much already that I dared to open the box and break my warranty. You were not able to fix this multiple times, so I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the warranty anymore. I bought myself Arctic Silver 5 with some paste remover and surface polisher. I also got some new cooling pads. It turned out to be a good idea.
As you can see the thermal paste looks completely wasted. Not evenly spread, bubbles of locked-in air, dry. I am not a hardware pro but this looks pretty bad to me. Also, the cooling pads were rather small, also dry and put in place in a very inaccurate way. I fixed that as well.
After replacing the thermal paste and cooling pads the machine was running almost without any noticeable noise. It takes maybe 20 minutes for the fan to speed up to a level where I can hear it, but it is much more silent now. Tried to put the machine back into my TV stand, but that did not work, it still overheats in there. So now the PS4 is sitting below my TV stand, elevated with felt pads, cooled by a giant heatsink and its warranty broken for the final fix, good thermal paste.
I spent over €50 and quite some time to get to this point. Again, I cannot emphasis how disappointed I am with Sony and its customer care. Case closed.
Monday, September 8th, 2014 | Gadgets, Reviews, Tech-savvy | 2 Comments
The is an ongoing blog post as the issue is still not solved. I will update it from time to time to reflect the current status.
I was lucky to get a Sony Playstation 4 quite early as a present. It was the PS4 Triple Pack with Killzone Shadow Fall, inFAMOUS Second Son and Knack bundled for almost €500. So basically a pretty expensive toy that should give you a nice home entertainment experience. Well, it did not work out as expected.
As soon as I fired the machine up and installed the first update and games I realized the machine was pretty effin’ loud. Well, I had set it up inside my media cabinet (that has its back open for sufficient air flow). Nevertheless, I feared the machine to get airborne at some point so I decided to just put it on the floor next to my TV, with no surrounding parts at all. It did not solve the problem, still the fans were blowing extremely noisily (that’s subjective, I know).
The first replacement – September 8th
Looking into this issue I found quite a few complaints about the PS4’s noise level. I read rumors of insufficient thermal heat-sink paste used by Sony and people opening their boxes to fix this. Well, this would void my warranty and seemed not a good idea. So I decided to contact the Sony support. It was pretty much no hassle at all, contacted Sony, had to fill out a form, send in the box and after like a fortnight the replacement unit arrived.
I was so happy I got my PS4 back, all fixed and silent. Hooked up the box, powered it up and installed Trine 2 demo for a test run. As soon as the game started the fans once again sounded like I was mining bitcoins with my machine. The game in question is three years old and should not even itch the PS4. I was so angry and disappointed I can hardly describe it. First, I got a machine that had the exact same problem as the old one and second, I especially asked not to have the same experience as that poor forum guy who said he got 8 (!!) replacement units before the noise was bearable. No one gave a rat’s ass about my nice mail, just opened a case and send a refurbished PS4 to my door with the same issues. Sony, as your customer I already felt treated pretty inappropriately at this point.
To have a little more objective point of view I measured the noise of my running PS3 (first generation as well) and compared it to my running PS4 using an app called Sound Meter. This may not be the most accurate method, but it seemed feasible and the result is conclusive. The PS3 was running at ~60dB and the PS4 at ~70dB – which is roughly twice as loud as the PS3. I measured these numbers approx 10cm behind the machines. 60dB can be compared to a normal conversation and 70dB to busy street noise or a telephone ringing.
I complained again and got the same standard email asking for my name and such (heeeellllooo, you should already have that intel). The only thing new was a threatening sentence that I would be charged €196 in case my warranty was void. Weird. Irritating. A very bad customer’s experience. I am happy there are still no games out I really want to play so sending in the device again is just a pain, not a disaster.
The second replacement – September 30th
Today the second replacement arrived. It still has the faulty behavior. I am sooo disappointed with the PS4 and Sony in general. Fuck, I don’t know what to do any more. Right now I feel exhausted and let down, I just don’t want to keep on sending in devices. Seems I just have to live with this and tell all my friends to go Xbox.
As a customer I think this is absolutely unacceptable. Imagine buying a car with a faulty engine, you complain and get another car with the same problem. You complain again and yet get another faulty car. With the same error. Unthinkable. Case closed, but not solved. It’s absolutely sickening.
I give up – October 7th
I can’t stand to have this noisy device that always reminds me of my miserable Sony customer experience. I will try to exchange it and get a refund. There are no games yet that I want to play right now anyway. Maybe I will go SteamBox as soon as it is available. Oh no, wait, mind the early adopter’s punishment fee!
The third replacement – December 2nd
I tried to get my money back but the retailer said they know the problem and every box they sent in so far got repaired successfully. Well, I waitet a boasting 5 weeks to get my device back and the result made me cry. They keep on sending effed up systems that in no way are acceptable for a living room environment. See for yourself:
So now, I really give up. I cannot stand going back and forth with Sony. I will keep the device, play games with headphones or crank up the game’s volume to a degree where I cannot hear the fans any more. End of story, I guess, maybe until a new hardware revision will come out.
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013 | Activities, Gadgets, Photography, Sites | No Comments
I have recently upgraded my camping gear, so did a friend of mine, and now it’s pretty much winter proof (no more freezing while sleeping at Freak Valley‘s windy camp site!). We both wanted to test drive our stuff in the wild, so we figured a night’s out around the freezing point should do the trick. Weather forecast said it was gonna be dry with the lowest temperature around nill. Perfect!
The site was nice, mossy ground yet slightly slopy and the highway is in pretty close proximity which resulted in faint constant noise. Nevertheless the trip was awesome, we had clear skies and a few beers in the wild. I guess this wasn’t the last time, even though the occasional Brokeback Mountain jokes were on us in the office the next day. Ahh, sweet envy 😛
- April 2018 (1)
- March 2018 (1)
- December 2017 (1)
- October 2017 (1)
- August 2017 (2)
- July 2017 (4)
- November 2016 (1)
- October 2016 (1)
- September 2016 (2)
- March 2015 (1)
- December 2014 (1)
- September 2014 (1)
- August 2014 (1)
- February 2014 (1)
- January 2014 (1)
- December 2013 (1)
- November 2013 (1)
- July 2013 (1)
- May 2013 (3)
- April 2013 (1)
- March 2013 (1)
- February 2013 (1)
- January 2013 (1)
- December 2012 (3)
- November 2012 (1)
- October 2012 (3)
- September 2012 (3)
- July 2012 (1)
- May 2012 (1)
- April 2012 (1)
- February 2012 (7)
- January 2012 (1)
- December 2011 (2)
- November 2011 (4)
- October 2011 (5)
- September 2011 (3)
- August 2011 (3)
- July 2011 (2)
- June 2011 (4)
- May 2011 (1)
- April 2011 (2)
- March 2011 (2)
- February 2011 (2)
- January 2011 (6)
- December 2010 (2)
- November 2010 (5)
- October 2010 (7)
- September 2010 (13)
- August 2010 (6)
- July 2010 (4)
- June 2010 (3)
- May 2010 (3)
- April 2010 (2)
- March 2010 (2)
- February 2010 (1)
- January 2010 (1)
- December 2009 (1)
- November 2009 (2)
- October 2009 (5)
- September 2009 (1)
- August 2009 (3)
- July 2009 (5)
- June 2009 (5)
- May 2009 (6)
- April 2009 (3)
- March 2009 (3)
- February 2009 (2)
- January 2009 (1)
- December 2008 (9)
- November 2008 (15)
- October 2008 (15)
- September 2008 (13)