Category Archives: Wittering

HOW TO COPY A LIVE WORDPRESS SITE TO YOUR SYNOLOGY DEVICE


HOW TO ENABLE YOUR SYNOLOGY DEVICE
TO HOST A COPY OF YOUR LIVE ONLINE WEB SITE

I have tried to make this as simple as possible, as I found most of the tutorials online to be either difficult to follow, incomplete or just so long winded that I gave up out of sheer misery!

I would like to point out that I am an amateur in WordPress and web material in general, so I am open to all suggestions on how to make this article better for other people to read and understand, as I have may have some glaring mistakes, that are not apparent to me.
I have worked through this list a number of times and it has worked for me, so I hope it does the same for you.

Lets start by going to your WordPress enabled web site, and installing a new plugin called: DUPLICATOR

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You can search for this in the plugins section, or download it from the creator’s web site over at: http://lifeinthegrid.com/labs/duplicator/

And yes… the plugin is FREE!

Once you have it installed, click on Duplicator at the bottom of the left hand side of the screen. You should see on the right hand side that there are no packages to be found.

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Click the button to create a new package and after a few seconds you will be prompted for a name for this backup and also an option to comment on it if required. Just click on Create Package Set and the backup will be created. Depending in the size of your site, this may take a few minutes to complete.

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Once done, you should see something similar to the image below.

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All you need to do now is click on the button INSTALLER and it will download an installation file, and then click on PACKAGE to download all the site data.

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Once we have the data saved, then it’s time to get the Synology device ready.

Log into your Synology device and do the following:

Go to the CONTROL PANEL and click WEB SERVICES.
Make sure you tick ENABLE WEB STATION and also ENABLE MYSQL.

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Go to the PACKAGE CENTRE.

Install phpMyAdmin and then WordPress.

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If you go to FILE STATION you should see a folder called WEB, and in there are the various folders that have been created to let you do your own thing.

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The WordPress folder is the default one that is created, and you can safely use that if you are just starting out learning WordPress. If you muck things up you can just uninstall WordPress, re-install and start again. Sorry about that.. let’s get back on track again!

Create a folder under the folder WEB and call it the name of the site you are looking to import. As an example, my site of http://www.tasystems.org will sit in a folder called TAS. You can call it anything you like.

Go back to the Control Panel, click on Web Services again, and then click on VIRTUAL HOST. Click on create, and enter the folder name you created earlier. The hostname should be set to local. Change the port to 81 or whatever one you prefer. (You can change the hostname to your WAN ip address and port to whatever you want, if you wish to access this site from the Internet. You will have to set up port forwarding in your router for this work correctly.)

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Now go to phpMyAdmin, and at the top, click on DATABASES.

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Now you need to create a name for the database, so I’ll stick with tas as that is the folder I’m working in and an abbreviation for the site I have live. Just click create.

Now, go to http://wordpress.org/download/ and download the latest version of WordPress. Once it is downloaded, unzip it and it will create a folder called wordpress. Go inside that folder and copy everything from it, into the new folder you created.

You can check to see if things are working by typing in:

http://synology_name_or_ip_address/wordpress for the standard wordpress site.

http://synology_name_or_ip_address/name_of_folder_you_created and the new site should appear, but it will tell you that there is no wp-config.php file available. That’s fine, but just ignore this, as we are not interested in creating a new site.

Copy the installer.php file and the package file you saved at the start of this, into the folder you created in the web folder of the Synology device.
Note: In this screenshot you will see I have the original wordpress zip file in the folder. Makes sure you don’t have that there as having another zip file there will cause you problems, but you will get warned about it if it does happen.

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Once this has been done, go to your web browser and type in:

http://synology_ip_address/folder_you_created/installer.php

Mine’s as an example is: http://omega/tas/installer.php

If everything has been done correctly… you should see the following below:

You will see that I have a Green light indicating that the system has passed the first phase, and is looking good.

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Now you need to fill in your settings and then click on TEST CONNECTION!

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If all goes well… you should see this next:
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Now click on the option “I have read all warnings & notices” and then click on RUN DEPLOYMENT. A screen will then prompt you  to continue… do so!

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Now you need to wait until the files are copied across.

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If all goes well, you should see something similar to the screenshot below:

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The next part may not be needed, but I did experience a few issues trying to log into my site, so have included it anyway just so you can try it if you too have any issues.

Click the section that says NEW ADMIN ACCOUNT and create a new username and password.

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Once this has been done, click on RUN UPDATE. At the end you sill have a summary screen that will give you information on any issues found.

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Click on Resave Permalinks, and then finally click on Delete Installer Files.

After that… click Test Entire Site… and if all goes well… you have a fully working site now sitting on your Synology device.

I hope this will help someone out in some way, but would appreciate having mistakes pointed out and any way to improve upon this way of doing things. As it is, it works but I’m sure there must be some things that could do with improving upon!

UPDATE: 06-10-2013
One issue you may experience once the site has been transferred across to your Synology device is that the plugins will not automatically update and you will be presented with a screen asking for ftp details and a username and password. It makes no difference what you do here, the plugins do not want to update.

The way around this is simple as long as you go back in to the Synology device, go to the control panel, Terminal and make sure you have enabled TELNET SERVICE.

Next, you want to TELNET into the Synology device and log in with the username of root and the password you have set up for your main admin account. Once you have logged in, you need to issue the following command:  chown -R nobody:nobody /volume1/web/name_of_your_folder

Once this has been done, the plugins will automatically download and update when you select them.

Thanks go to PedroT over at the forum.synology.com site for this information: http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?p=75746

MICROSOFT RULES? Unless YOU know better…


Microsoft Small Business Server 2003/2008/2011 has been one of the best value, best featured packages that Microsoft has ever released, but sadly the power that be have completely lost the plot and are no longer going to develop the Small Business Server line, so SBS 2011 is the final version.

With this happening, there is a massive market now going to be left struggling to find an all in one, affordable solution, and I believe this could be the time for some other company to snatch this sector if they actually have the right solution on offer.

Through the years I have become so fed up and tired of listening to people arguing about operating systems, what is the best, what is the worst, who sucks at this etc… so once again I am going to ask people to stand up or shut up about how great their chosen platform is by getting them to enter the real world of opportunities that are about to be opened up by Microsoft’s crazy visions of dropping the best all-in-one solution there is for Small Business.

Microsoft haters, Apple haters, Linux Haters, time for you to put all this nonsense to end once and for all with regards the real world of business!!

So, here’s the scenario, and it’s up to YOU to provide the solution… if you can of course…..

A small office, with 5 computers all running the same desktop operating system.

Server for storing their data.

  • The need to have an office suite in place for word processing, spreadsheet and email.
  • The email must be on each desktop, and there has to be the facility for the sharing of diaries, and sharing of email accounts for certain users. Internal email as well as external email must be in place.
  • They must have the facility for remote access to their email and documents from home, and access to their email from iPhone, Blackberry etc.
  • There must be the facility for creating individual user accounts, with security options to restrict access to certain folders (company accounts and the likes).
  • Backup of data should be available on external hard drives, or offline via ftp.

So, come on now everyone who staunchly defends their operating systems, their great applications and their hardware! Time to put something on the table, and not in a half arsed guessing manner, present a hardware/software solution that will allow a small business to do the same, or more, than can be done with Microsoft Small Business Server.

If you constantly bitch online about stuff (like I do) you have to be prepared to put up something that can justify what it is that gets on your goat, and also get ready for other people to come back at you with idea’s and solutions that you maybe did not really know about… and this is where I lay it on the line and say this.

I have yet to find any software solution that is as easy to configure, install and maintain as Small Business Server has been through the years. The whole package has been an incredible collection of components, released at a really great price, and as yet; I believe there is nothing else on the market that compares to it for the complete functionality and solution that it provides to a small business.

C’mon now, don’t be shy, provide the solution that can do all that Small Business Server currently does for a business. Who knows, if you can, present a solution, I may see myself shifting to it since Microsoft will be leaving a major gap in this sector wide open from next year, and I’m just curious who will have the tech savvy to snatch this opportunity up.

So… the simplest of things for your platform of choice to be able to do, is set in front of you. I just have this feeling that there is not going to be any affordable solution presented…. Why not prove me completely wrong?

WINDOWS 8 RELEASED


I can say that when I heard this, I had the same feeling of dread I get whenever I have to face something in my life that I am dreading, and it has been keeping me in a state of depression, worrying about it. I know that no matter what I say or do, no matter how I twist and turn, that event will happen and I cannot escape the pain that will ensue…. That’s how bad Windows 8 is to me and to many other people who seem to have the sense to see what is being thrust before them.

We have kids all saying how great Windows 8 is, we have some tech people saying how wonderful Windows 8 is, but I grow tired of the fanboy, the people selling their useless pathetic books of secrets of the new Windows 8 operating system, and just wish more people would face facts and see reality on what is happening here.

Windows 8 is a pathetic attempt by Microsoft to emulate Apple’s OS’s and it fails so badly that I find it incredible that people really do think that the desktop environment is going to be transformed by this bastardised operating system. Apple has done it the smart way. They have their tablet operating system, iOS, they have OSX on the Mac, they have some features of iOS in OSX but it’s there in the background, pretty much wasted for most of us as we have no use for a tablet OS on a Desktop platform.

Microsoft should have done the same as Apple, and released a tablet OS and an updated version of Windows that actually worked and integrated into the server and office applications they currently have, but they are so greedy and in fact so lacking in vision these days that clearly with the people they have working for them at the moment, this was the best pigs ear of an OS they could come up with.

Maybe Microsoft needs to think of getting rid of some of the people they have there at the moment, as they clearly have no vision, no creative skills, no sense of what the real world wants. They only seem to think on how they can screw people over, and try to bullshit their way through another disaster of epic proportions. The sacking should start from the very top, and the heads should roll all the way down to the bottom so that they are left only with people with vision and talent… but by all accounts that means the offices of Microsoft may all be empty.

On Windows 8, we have people telling us how fast it is…. Heck it should be fast they have reduced the Colour scheme back to the days of the ZX Spectrum! We should be using the keyboard combination to do things, when in fact they are just reinforcing the statements that people like me are saying, that Windows 8 is useless for use in a daily business environment! The POINT of their operating system is touch on the screen, so why on earth would ANYONE want to USE the KEYBOARD????? HELLO? HELLO? Is there anyone there with a working brain cell?

The average user finds it difficult doing the easiest of tasks, but it is very easy to show and explain with Windows XP/7 in it’s normal form, and trying to remember keyboard combinations, where to flick on the screen for invisible items, and watching a screen flip between amateurish icons and the regular desktop, just creates a situation of utter confusion that tech support people must be dreading!

We will see many an office manager having to call the police as their staff erupt in frustration and they just run amok trying to find some way to vent their anger and frustration after having to use this piece of nonsense of an operating system.

As it stands, in the clients I have visited and demonstrated Windows 8 to, every single one of them (12 offices, 58 people) they have all said the same thing. I’m not using that! Well, a lot said things a bit more fruity, but it meant the same.

So, my feeling, my client’s feelings, are the same… Microsoft has the biggest disaster of an operating system release ahead of it, and no amount of PR and spin will change my mind or my client’s minds to use this operating system and we will stick with Windows 7 for all our desktop installations.

What my clients did say was this. Why doesn’t Microsoft get what they currently have, working correctly with everything else? Why don’t they have the operating systems secure from virus and malware attacks yet even after all these years?

The list goes on, as will the debate on Windows 8, but I am not going to conform to the blinkered attitudes of the people out there trying to sell a Donkey of an operating system to the people. I will not try to make money from people by bullshitting them into believing that Windows 8 will be great for them, when it will not be. What I will do is continue to sell Windows 7 to my clients, and if Microsoft continues down this road of madness to try to get rid of Windows 7, I think that a lot of my Client’s may be going the Apple route as at least with OSX, they are given a choice on how they wish to work.

I believe that Windows 9 will see Microsoft backtrack big style and if not, I believe that Windows 8 may be the operating system that finally made Microsoft lose it’s hold on the World’s desktops.

SYNOLOGY DS212 NAS UNIT – 4 MONTHS UPDATE


 

The Internet is full of unboxing video’s and people telling you how wonderful some product is, when in fact they have only opened it up or used it for 5 minutes… and sometimes that instant gratification of receiving a new toy to play with vanishes rather quickly, and you move on to something else to brag about having.

I did an unboxing video of the Synology DS212 NAS unit on the 3rd February 2012, and initially the look and feel of it impressed me, and in turn, I created another video of the device having its x2 3TB hard Drive array broken live, and that too impressed me.

But, time has went on, the device has been running 24/7 and it has been getting used for a wide variety of tasks, so I think I can now come back with an honest opinion on this product and say that it’s so good, I am seriously thinking of buying the DS412+ model that offers me double the capacity that I have at the moment!

So, you may be asking yourself, why is it so good? To put it simply, the reason the Synology DS212 is so good is down to the features that are contained in DSM (the unit’s operating system) that just offer so much, and they all work for me perfectly in a way that really does put many of the older NAS products to shame that I have used in the past.

As it stands, I have a DS212 with two 3TB drives configured as a mirrored array, so have 3TB of storage available that is mirrored to a second drive, so that the chances of losing data is minimised.

I have configured the DS212 with the following features:

AUDIO STATION – Play and organise stored music and radio
ITUNES SERVER – Play multimedia content to ipad/iphone and Apple TV.
MEDIA SERVER – Stream audio/video/images to PS3 and other DLNA/UPnP devices.
DOWNLOAD STATION – Torrent/P2P download manager.
ANTIVIRUS – Checks any downloads or data that are put on the NAS box.
FILESTATION – Lets me organise and move files around.

Using the ITunes Server, I can now store all of my music on the DS212 and have that music stream out to my Apple TV, new IPad and IPhone 4S, and keep specific songs on the devices themselves for when I am out on the road. As well as that, I can also store my movies on the unit as well as do the same! Massive storage with instant access, it really is something you need to try out to understand just how great this is to use.

Using the Media server is similar to the ITunes server but I can stream all my content to my PS3 with ease, and this handles formats that the ITunes side may have issues with at times. The PS3 just finds the NAS box and you click what you want to listen to or view.

The Download Station is a fantastic P2P download application that really is very neat to use. I set up a folder that is monitored on the device, and just save or copy any torrent files into that folder and the software auto detects it and downloads it all for you, so you focus on obtaining while the software handles the receiving!

Since there may be some nasty files out there that you might copy across to the unit, the supplied Antivirus runs and protects your data for you with free updates done automatically.

And then we come to File Station. This allows you to quickly get around all of your folders and copy and delete files in an instant. Simple to use, and really does make things a breeze to keep things organised.

Of course, writing about these features is not quite the same as seeing them, but you can actually test all of the software out yourself on a real system by visiting their LIVE DEMO.

Now, you might be thinking… I have a PC/Mac and can do all of this as well… but then you are missing the point about this device. This small unit draws a lot less power than any PC, and is easier to manage and maintain. Also, all of the applications are in the device and work, perfectly right away. No need to go searching for software and worrying about how to share things out… it’s all in the box…

And… if you have a number of people in your home/office you can set up users and groups with passwords to restrict what can and cannot be accessed on the device. It also hooks into Windows domains with ease, and mine integrated into my Small Business Server 2008 system with no issues at all.

So, my original feelings still stand and are more solid than ever on this product, it really is something you should consider if you are on the market for a storage solution that actually does a lot more!

GRADO SR325i REVIEW


Once again, I have been given the chance to review another model of the GRADO series Headphones, the Grado SR325i unit by the guys over at “LOUD + CLEAR” in Glasgow who specialise in Hi-Fi, Cinema and Home Automation solutions. Expect to pay just over £300.00 for these.

Grado SR325is Features

  • Superb audio quality with full support across all frequencies
  • Special driver design and metal housing for low transient distortion
  • Comfortable design with adjustable headband and cushioned earpads
  • Drivers are matched to within 0.05dB
  • Vented diaphragms are de-stressed for great detail
  • Ultra-high purity long crystal copper wire voice coil and connecting cord
  • Aluminum air chamber
  • Standard stereo 6.35mm (1/4″) full size jack plug

Grado SR325is Specification

  • Type: Open-Air Dynamic Supra-Aural
  • Frequency Range: 18Hz – 24kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 98dB
  • Cord length: 1m approx
  • Connectors: 6.35mm stereo full size jack plug
The shape and design of these headphone’s are the same as the GRADO SR80i and GRADO SR125i models, but rather than being made of plastic, they are made from metal that adds a noticeable amount of weight to the headphone’s when compared to the other models. If you want a closer look at these headphone’s, I uploaded a quick video to youtube that you can check out.

When I put these on, I was expecting to be blown away even more than I was with the SR125i’s I reviewed recently, but I actually sat there stunned….

To me, these headphones seem to push the treble side of the music to the front and the bass is pushed right to the back, and the whole experience for me is one of thinking these headphone’s are more designed for being used on a better quietly amp, rather than through a PC setup/mixer solution. This feeling is further enforced when trying to listen to music through a classic iPod and iPod Touch, there just seems to be no real feeling of power and switching back to the mac/mixer setup the difference is night and day but seems lacking when compared to the SR125s model.

After writing the above, and spending a few more hours listening to music through the SR325i’s I realised that the problem I was having is that I was treating these headphones like a pussy cat… petting it and being nice to it, when in fact you should be pumping these things hard and let the headphone’s take care of the rest! The more you put into these headphones the better the experience, and they just seem to handle anything you throw at them.

I’ll still stick to my guns though in using these with the likes of an iPod, I really don’t think these are the right headphones for this sort of kit. Get a really good amp or push your PC audio through a decent mixer and the sound really does become quite incredible.

In testing the headphones out I used a wide and varied range of tracks that cover subtle sound, through Rock and the obscure, and as you can see below, I have tried to cover a varied range of tracks to prove my point. The hardware used was an i7 iMac, with my audio linked in via the Behringer Xenyx 802 Mixer, with the audio played via iTunes.

Mike Oldfield – Far Above the Clouds: This track is a great test track as it begins off nice and soft, a child’s voice, and a steady build up into a dramatic electric guitar and Tubular Bells climax that really is fantastic to listen to through these headphone’s. Absolutely zero distortion and absolutely everything clear and defined.

Uriah Heep – Wake The Sleeper: A great track for testing as it’s literally just electric guitar, powerful drumming and high-pitched audio. Playing this one loud really does feel like you are at the concert, in fact closing your eye’s you begin to wonder if you are in fact a bit too close to the stage!!!!

Velvet Revolver – She Builds Quick Machines: Classic Slash guitar work that comes across crystal clear, and the whole experience is handled distortion free. One thing I really picked up on was the deep bass coming in but it never seems to take over and distort the whole track that some other headphones seem to allow.

Once again, I suffered very sore ears and pressure on my head with these headphones and I really don’t think the extra weight helped here. The Grado’s just need slightly larger ear-pads I think, to get this ear pressure issue sorted out, but the manufacturer does not seen to offer any… so it’s a case of “If the ear’s fit” then you will have the comfort that people like me crave.

The standard connector is 6.35 mm, so you will need to get an adapter for the of 3.5 mm jack that is used to connect to most MP3/iPod devices. I only had a normal adaptor around, and as you can see it’s awful! Grado does sell a converter cable that will allow you to just extend the cable as though it’d part of the original cable, so nothing nasty will stick out!

I had one moment of panic that really had me sweating… the Right earpiece fell off!!! I went to alter the position of the cup on my ear as it started to ache again, and it just came off in my hand!!! A quick push of the cup back on the metal pin and it’s back to normal again, but at the price of these headphones surely this should not happen? My hear rate has went back to normal and after a few more hours the thing is still tight on, so I have no idea why on earth to came off so easily in the first place!

Overall, at the price, I really don’t feel that these headphones are for me. You on the other hand should take the time to go to a quality HiFi store and listen to the music for yourself. Take in your own digital media device and make up your own mind. As it is, they are very nice, but just not nice enough to convince me to pay for them.

GRADO SR125i REVIEW


Once again, I have been given the chance to review another model of the GRADO series Headphones, the Grado SR125i unit by the guys over at “LOUD + CLEAR” in Glasgow who specialise in Hi-Fi, Cinema and Home Automation solutions.

Grado SR125i Features

  • Adjustable headband and cushioned earpads for comfort
  • Vented diaphragm and non-resonant air chamber for great detail and clarity
  • Drivers are matched to 0.1dB
  • Ultra-high purity, long crystal copper wire voice coil and copper connecting cord
  • Standard stereo 6.35mm (1/4″) full size jack plug

Grado SR125i Specification

  • Type: Open-Air Dynamic Supra-Aural
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 98dB
  • Connectors: 6.35mm stereo full size jack plug

The shape and design of these headphone’s are the same as the GRADO SR80i unit, with the ear pads being slightly larger, and recessed slightly more to allow a bit of space between your ear and the speakers themselves. You will still look like “Biggles” but this time around… well… read on!

What a difference it makes to have that larger pad against your ear! The pressure problem that I had with the 80i’s almost disappeared, there was some sensation of pressure but negligible this time and it was only after many solid hours of use that the pressure became noticeable,

As you can see by visiting the unboxing video I made, the packaging is the same as the 80i as well, but with these units coming in at the £160.00 mark, the difference has to be something else… and I have to say, that difference is absolutely incredible.

In testing the headphones out I used a wide and varied range of tracks that cover subtle sound, through Rock and the obscure, and as you can see below, I have tried to cover a varied range of tracks to prove my point. The hardware used was an i7 iMac, with my audio linked in via the Behringer Xenyx 802 Mixer, with the audio played via iTunes.

Velvet Revolver: She Builds Quick Machines – Standard Rock music that you would expect from Slash & Co. I have listened to this track so many times, and now with the SR125i’s I am left thinking what the hell I have been missing! The start of this track is quiet and hits you full on with guitar work, with cheaper headphones just collapsing and distorting, and then the audio kicks in with next to no clarity in the backing guitar work. This time, I’m left almost speechless as there is now a whole new range of guitar work that I have never heard before, and subtle backing audio that again I have not heard before, all just hammering out perfectly clear with zero distortion. I had to stop and restart this track 5 times to just take in what I have been missing on my Sennheiser HD595’s that I regard as being the best headphones I have used!!!

Velvet Revolver: The Last Fight – Ballad style track with plenty of guitar work in it. I’m left stunned again… Lyrics and audio that I have never heard before, it’s just pumping out of these headphones and I’m now becoming quite worried that what I considered to be quality has in fact been… well…. junk!

Santa Hates You: Domina Mors – Electronic/synth with choir style backing, and increasing heavy synth bass. With these headphones I was hearing extra layers of vocals that I have never heard before, sweeping left/right mixing that again I have never experienced before… Stunned to say the least! The bass increasing in volume was handled with impunity with the vocals remaining clear, and the bass handled as if by a true master… there was no way these headphone’s would be dominated by this track, it took it and controlled it beautifully.

Aqua: My Mamma Said – Pop Music as you would expect! Right… I just have to accept that these headphone’s are pulling out tracks hidden from me for all these years… This track has so many backing layers that I’m feeling like I am listening to a brand new mix once again!!

Rob Dougan: Furious Angels – Dramatic track that I really love but now love even more as once again I feel like I am listening to a new mix of it. The headphones handle it all with complete ease, zero distortion and all the levels coming through ultra clear….

Ok, I give up… You can guess that I like these headphones….

I am genuinely humbled by these headphone’s, more so after I reviewed the previous model and felt that while they produced good sound… they did not do anything else that my current headphone could not do. So for an extra £60 or less, the difference to me is just not worth debating. If you want to buy a Grado branded set of headphone’s then I’d say you buy these over the 80i’s as these are in a league of their own.

PRO’s: Need I even bother writing anything else?

CON’s: After a few hours the ear pieces do start to press into your ears, but that may just be me, you may have a better shaped head than I!! From what I have experienced in listening to my music through these headphone’s the slight pressure is worth experiencing.

GRADO SR80i HEADPHONE REVIEW


I have had the good fortune to be given a set of “Grado Labs”, SR80i headphone’s for evaluation by the great people down at “LOUD + CLEAR” in Glasgow who specialise in Hi-Fi, Cinema and Home Automation solutions.

The one thing I should point out about any headphone review, is that no matter what is considered good, or bad in a review, we all differ in what we want from headphones, and what we hear when we use any. So, this review of this item are based on my needs, my hearing range and my head shape!

Grado SR80i Features

  • Adjustable headband and cushioned earpads for comfort
  • Vented diaphragm and non-resonant air chamber for great detail and clarity
  • Drivers are matched to 0.1dB
  • Copper wire voice coil and 4 strand connecting cord
  • Standard 3.5mm stereo mini plug with 6.35mm adapter

Technical Specification

  • Type: Open-Air Dynamic Supra-Aural
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 98dB
  • Connectors: 3.5mm stereo mini jack plug with 6.35mm adapter

When you look at the box holding the Grado SR80i’s it’s basic to say the least, and on opening the only thing inside the box are the headphone’s, the foam padding, a couple of pieces of paper and the extra connector. Very basic to say the least!To see the box and components you can have a look a very short unboxing movie made to show the items you will receive when/if you purchase these headphone’s.

First impressions of the headphone’s is that they look like something “Biggles” would wear! Certainly a very retro style in my opinion!!

If you are looking for a set of headphones to use while in company, then the SR80i’s are NOT what you want as these headphone’s leak audio like water pouring through a sieve! So, if you are thinking of using this type of headphone on a train, plane or automobile, rest assured, your passengers will not be happy in having to be subjected to your music, and will probably make the point by subjecting you to a few pokes or slaps to turn your music off!

Are we off to a bad start? Not really, just pointing out that these headphones are designed to provide you with clear audio, and to give you the clearest sound possible whilst not hindering the sound by audio bouncing all around an enclosed ear piece and altering the audio experience.

The cable length if fine for general use, and the thickness of the cable seems very good, so there is no feeling that it’s going to snap on you easily.

In testing the sound quality of these headphone’s I had them plugged into a Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer so I could play around with the sound and push them to the limits of my audio needs.

As expected, the quality of the sound through these headphones is really good, and pushing the bass hard did nothing to phase them and no distortion was heard. The mid tones came over very clear as well, but I felt the sound felt sort of light due to the nature of the headphone’s openness. I prefer a more warmer/meatier sound myself, but these produced clear quality audio with no sense of being strained at any time.

Personally I found the ear pads to be quite uncomfortable and felt a lot of pressure on my ears, so for me these headphone’s would not be an ideal choice, but after having a few other people test the headphone’s out they said they felt very comfortable, light and had incredible sound quality, so it just show you that you really do need to go and test out serious headphone’s rather than just reading a review and ordering them up!

New iPad – Is it really what I need?


Today was the day that the world could relax, well, most of it, as Apple released the new iPad to the slobbering hoards and anyone lucky enough have one would have been in a state of extreme bliss at being so lucky to have it in their hands.

Well, that’s not true, as there is one person who is not really excited, and in fact, is in a state of indecisiveness on whether to actually keep the new iPad he has! Yes, that person is me!!!

Ok, stop your spluttering and put away all the sharp object you have at hand to sort me out and let me tell you how the day has went.

I never owned the other two iPad devices as I never felt they had a use for my social and business needs. With the new iPad specifications announced, and screen shots shown, I got that tingle that told me…. Be careful, you want it, you desire it, but do you really need it or have a serious use for it! Needless to say, blind “I WANT IT” took over sanity and I then sat back and waited for it to arrive.

Now, here’s a thing. Why is it that you can order a product up from a company, but they will only deliver during the day when most of us are working? Even asking for  Saturday delivery from some companies usually becomes a nightmare with the stuff never arriving… So surely some firm needs to think of evening deliveries for products and charge and even charge an extra tenner for the inconvenience.

Sorry, I’m moving away from the iPad, so anyway, Friday the 16th was the delivery date for my new iPad, and of course, being self-employed, if I am not out and about, I’m not earning money. So I had to make the choice of lose money or go and earn, so I took the tactic of get out in the morning fast, and get back as fast as I could as well!

Cutting a long story short… 4:30pm and the device was delivered!

I got the camera out, and started to create another exciting unboxing video of the new iPad 32GB, Black device. I have to say that there was no real sense of excitement over this unboxing, and my first impressions are that the device certainly looks nice, and feel nice, but will it really be any use to me on a daily basis?

Setting the device up took around 5 minutes and I have all my apps, contacts and photos etc. all in place. And then it was down to using the device and see how it performed.

Firstly, the device does feel very nice…. The screen is really REALLY nice, and all the apps I use on my iPhone4S are there, plus a few other iPad apps so I have all the general stuff I need. But, the niggle was still there about the device, and even as I am writing this on my MBP, and after having my wife trying it out, it’s nice, but there is something that is just niggling away at me…. And after a few hours, I can now put my finger on it…..

It really is a device solely for consumption, and the creative aspect of it is limited to very basic things such as tweeting, Facebook, and general non serious productivity.

Ok, I know it’s still early days yet, as I have yet to go out on the road with the device and see if I can seriously support customers remotely, and create the content I need for my daily business needs. Yet, I still have this feeling that it maybe not be the device I need for work, and my entertainment side can still be handled by my MBP.

My wife raised a very interesting point though, and here again it proves the points I raised above… She said the iPad would be handy when in the car (me driving of course) and handy if we went on holiday or a short break. Allowing us (her of course) to catch up on FaceBook, and various web sites…. Once again re-enforcing the feelings that I have that it’s just a non-serious device.

I have the device to try out and can of course return it to Apple within 14 days for a full refund if I still feel it’s not going to be the sort of thing I need. Time will tell, and hopefully it will be still with my after day 14… we will soon see.

WHO BROKE MY WINDOWS?


As many people are aware, Microsoft released Windows 8 Consumer Preview to the masses, and by all accounts there have been millions of downloads of the forthcoming operating system.

The Microsoft hype machine has been pushing Windows 8 as being the best and most revolutionary version yet of their operating system, and with this release we are all given a chance to see if this is true or not.

Windows 7 is the current desktop operating system, and nearly everyone who uses Windows will agree, it’s been the best version to date, more so if we all forget Vista and the disaster that was. With the release of Windows 7 we could all forget how stupid Microsoft was for releasing such a disaster in the past, knowing full well that there would be no way they could ever be as stupid again… that is until we have Windows 8…

To me, the purpose of an operating system is to provide you with a platform that allows you to use the applications you wish, and an easy way to organise the data you need to work with. The operating system should be simple to use, simple to move around in and easy to access your data as and when required. The operating system should never really be in the foreground when you are working, it should just be there supporting the applications you are working with and basically just do what it’s supposed to do… run, not crash and just be a front end that we see initially and then just ignore for the rest of the time.

Microsoft, however has taken the idea that we don’t want this; we want an operating system that looks like it has been designed by someone with no artistic skills, who thinks people only do one task at a time on a screen, and think people have no need to see where the applications and data reside. That is what Windows 8 is currently providing you… a nightmare scenario, which just seems to get worse the more you actually start to use the thing.

METRO: This is a word that is making the normally stressed IT people, go beyond their extreme stress levels, venturing into new dimensions of nightmares. The idea of trying to support their current desktop users switching to a Metro interface I think will see many of them just throwing in the towel and moving on to a new career… the hassle factor will not be worth the money… really… it is that bad.

Metro has no place at all in a Desktop PC working environment. For a tablet, the cheap front end will be fine, more so when you can just click the amateurish buttons and use a single application at a time, and flip between each one, but on a desktop we want to have multiple windows open at a time and easily navigate to our data, not having to click multiple buttons to do a simple task.

The beloved Start Button, or ORB is also gone…. So when you install a new package, let’s say Office 2007 or 2010, it installs fine… but then you are left with a collection of icons on the Metro interface that you need to drag around or unpin, as it shows every piece of garbage installed. Utterly stupid! A complete waste of time once again just so Microsoft can have a different look to their operating system.

Windows 8 for the desktop must have:

NO METRO INTERFACE in any shape or form.
The Start/Orb button has to be there for access to program files.

Two little things, that’s it, just two little things that will allow people to keep their sanity with a Windows product, but then…. If they do that, we just have Windows 7, so why on earth would anyone want to upgrade to Windows 8?

And that’s the real point here. Microsoft is a software company, they need to keep releasing new products that they can sell to the masses, but their complete lack of vision on what people want or need is a major problem.

They changed Office to use “The Ribbon” and nearly everyone I have spoken to in business, hates it and would gladly just have Office 2003 installed on their systems… but Microsoft tells us all that this is what people wanted, and it’s a better experience. NO IT’S NOT! It’s hacked off millions of people, and the only reason for the change was so Microsoft could make more money, and heck, while changing the interface, why not change the default .doc files into .docx and cause more misery for the business users through the world.

With Windows 8, all Microsoft appears capable of doing now is to screw up the front end, and then try to push the thing out to the masses and make out that they are the ones who asked for it, and that it’s a great move forward for us all.

Sorry, this bullshit is not going to be taken lightly this time, more so when there is also changes happening to the Server family where they are seriously thinking of having a Metro interface on that as well!!! ARE THEY REALLY THAT OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY? A SERVER PLATFORM RUNNING METRO??? ARE THEY FRIGGIN INSANE????????

There is a maniacal Captain running around Microsoft these days, who has lost complete control of his senses and what reality is like. Maybe we need Bill gates to come back and start slapping a few heads and throwing out the idiots who are currently at Microsoft, and getting in people who understand how to design a user interface correctly, who know how to design something that does not look like a chimp has drawn it, who understand what the business users needs and requires to function daily… and then, maybe then, we may see Microsoft get back on a track that will allow them to release great software that is usable, manageable, and above all else, worth upgrading to.

As it is, Windows 8 will never appear on any systems I use, nor supply. It can sit on a tablet, as that is where it should be, but Windows 7 will remain the platform of choice until someone can get this madness sorted out once and for all.

And people wonder why Apple sales are increasing? If they don’t understand why, then clearly Metro is designed for their mentality…

DOES SIZE REALLY MATTER?



IS A 64GB SSD – TOO SMALL?

To evaluate SSD technology, I bought a Crucial 64GB drive a while back (video here) and have been using it on the main Windows 7 PC here ever since.

I consume and store a lot of data, so you would think that this device would have been too small for any serious use? Not really, if you decide to manage exactly what the drive is being used for, and for me that was for speeding up the operating system, with my data stored on 2TB drives attached to the main system. It has worked fine, been very quick, and has in fact pushed me into being more thoughtful on what I do and where I store data, rather than just dumping it onto the desktop in a folder!

I have been tempted to get another SSD drive for use in my MacBook Pro, but once again, I don’t want to spend a lot of money… so I thought I would do a test to see if I could manage with the Crucial 64GB SSD inside the MBP, and see how long it would take before I encountered storage issues!

So, I removed the internal 320GB hard drive and replaced it with the Crucial 64GB SSD (video here) and proceeded to install Lion onto it via a DVD I had made earlier.

After, what seemed like an eternity, Lion finally installed and I than had to download all the new updates that recently came out for iCloud iTunes, iPhoto etc…

Yes, this actually felt like I was back to a Windows XP machine and having to wait ages for it to install and update fully!

Windows 7 systems are up and running in 20 minutes…. Well the one’s I have done and that’s a lot, so let’s say well done to Microsoft on this side of things!!!

So… after the installation of Lion, and all my applications have been installed, my email configured what am I left with to play with??? 36GB of space!

On my MBP I don’t store music, I don’t store much video or Photographs, that’s all handled by my I7 27″ iMac, so (in theory) I really should be ok with the amount of space I have left… but as I mentioned at the start of this post, this is a long-term evaluation, and I’ll update this post as time goes on, and that way you get a serious and useful evaluation on whether size really does matter at all, depending on your own storage needs.

So, when other people comment on your size (of data storage) don’t worry, as it’s all about how you use it, and that’s all that matters!

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