Tech Tidbits

How to crop a layer in Serif Affinity Photo

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This guide will show you how to crop an image in Affinity Photo. This is a workaround until an “official” method exists:   1. Select the Marquee Tool 2. Marquee Select the area that you want to crop 3. Go to the “Edit” menu and click on “Copy Flattened” 4. Go to the “Edit” menu and select “Paste” 5. Select the “Move Tool” (Black Arrow) 6. Position the cropped image 7. Right-click on the original layer and delete it. 8. Final Cropped Image Hotkeys if you’re into that stuff 😊:   M > Ctrl-Shift-C > V > Ctrl-V > Right-Click original layer > Delete Layer

The Ra̶̷m̶̷b̶̷l̶̷i̶̷n̶̷g Musings of an Aging Millenial

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The ENIAC is as legendary as it was useful. when it was invented in the early part of the 20th century it ushered in a new era, the age of "The Computer" had arrived! Fast forward a few decades to the present and you will see that the world is now vastly different than it was in a time where Vacuum Tubes stood where transistors now roam. Almost every device on the market is "Smart" and with the emergence of the Internet of Things, it will only be a matter of time before every single device on this planet is connected.What does this mean for us as Human Beings? Well, the main benefit is access to an endless flow of information. The world is powered by knowledge and that information is now accessed and stored as data which can be digitized and transferred almost instantly to anyone with access to the web. The internet has become a utility in homes across the world. Cable TV and landlines have all but been replaced by streaming services and VOIP systems. Virtual and Augmented reality a...

Cheap Windows Tablet as MIDI Host

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The MIDI Chronicles | Recently I purchased a Launch control XL to accompany the Novation Circuit that I've had for a while now. I think that I may have been a little too excited when I acquired my new toy because I completely overlooked the fact that it requires a USB MIDI host for the two devices to communicate. Since MIDI messages can't be natively routed over USB a middle man needs to be present. Novation suggests the Kenton USB Host and the iConnect MIDI 4+ which are very good at what they do but with one almost impossible to find and the other costing over $200, these were things that I could do without. I thought to myself there must be a cheaper easier way to do this and then I came across the solution with some help from a response that I got on a forum post I made. The solution to this problem was right in from of my eyes and cost me less than $100 and a little sweat. If you've been tablet shopping recently you've probably seen a proliferation of cheap Windows...

Davinci Resolve 12 “No OpenCL”

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I recently installed the free copy of Davinci Resolve 12. I haven't had the opportunity to fully test the program yet but it looks to be leagues above my current video editor (Movie Studio 13 Platinum). I watched a few videos of the software in action and it is impressive especially when used for its highly revered grading capabilities. So when I ran the program and received the "No OpenCL Acceleration Hardware Detected". I was afraid that I would need to upgrade my video card (Radeon HD6950), but I knew that based on the system requirements of Resolve my card should be compatible. After a couple of hours of scouring the internet, I was able to find a workaround that didn't require me to spend almost $400 for a new card. The problem lies with AMD's new "Crimson Edition" drivers which are required for newer models but not for my old dusty relic.If you navigate to AMD's driver download site you will the option to automatically detect the driver, manually download the...
Akiatech Disk Drive Comparison

The Consumer Hard Drive Debate

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Over the course of working on and around computers, I've found that there is one thing that people always seem to be concerned about, and that’s hard drive performance/reliability. The hard drive is one of the most important components of a PC and can be best classified as a semi-permanent storage medium for all the data on your computer. With Hard Disk Drives now available on the market in sizes that are in excess of 10 Terabytes, I can see why someone would be concerned with drive performance and reliability. In this blog post, I'm going to provide a general overview of consumer grade Disk Drives and provide a few suggestions of drives I've personally used in my builds. Types of Drives The two main types of hard drives are the traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State (SSD) Drive. Each type has its own benefits and disadvantages. Mechanical Hard Disk Drives are designed around proven technology that’s been around for a few decades while Solid State Drives are based on...
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My experience with Powerline Networking

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Powerline Networking | The network cable has been around since as far back as I can remember. Ethernet as we know it was patented by the Xerox company in the mid 70's and standardized by the IEEE n the 80's. As much as people dislike running cables and networking the "right way", it is a method that has stood the test of time and even the most complex networks depend on physical cables. The network cable has faced stiff competition over the years. The first true competitor to challenge this mainstay was WiFi. I think it's fair to say that wireless networking has become the dominant standard in home networks, although there's usually at least one Ethernet cable somewhere in the mix. My Dilemma I got a little sidetracked with the intro for this post but I wanted to give the Ethernet cable the nod it deserves. Now for the actual reason that I'm writing this article. I recently ran into a situation where I needed to connect a workstation that was in an area with no physical network co...
Zurich Airport by Erez Attias

The Age of the Interconnected Society

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I remember a time when the internet was a place to work. You were either researching stuff or uploading the results of the stuff you researched. It wasn't a "fun" place, it wasn't chic nor sexy. The worldwide web was just that, a platform for communicating with your peers in ways that never existed before, gone were the days of snail mail and penpals. You could now correspond at the speed of light and that was only the beginning. Fast forward to the year 2016. The information superhighway is now flowing with vast amounts of digital traffic. The floodgates were opened and the internet is now (or should be) commonplace in every community. Now we can do practically anything on the web. If a person so chose they could literally never leave the comfort of their own home and still be able to survive in our connected world. Telecommuting has become the norm for many individuals and because of the digitization of currency almost any product or service can be acquired from behind a monitor a...

iPhone SE, sometimes less is more!

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iPhone SE | Phone technology has been advancing at a rapid pace in the last few years. There are now mobile devices with specifications that rival computers. Initially, the mobile trend was geared more towards portability. Practicality and functionality were not at the forefront of phone design. A good example of the form over function design process was the Motorola Razr. These phones were ridiculously thin and even though they had advanced features such as cameras, speakerphones, MP3 Ringtones etc. They were limited in their capabilities and could never really be considered Smart-phones. This was the age of Palm Pilots and Pocket PC's. The phone was still a phone for the most part but then something great happened. Companies decided that convergence was the way to go and having multiple devices was (and would become) a thing of the past. Apple was one of the main innovators in the smartphone arena with the introduction of their iPhone in 2007. The original iPhone was a game changer...

Introducing the Amazon Tap & Echo Dot!

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AMAZON TAP & ECHO DOT | When the Amazon Echo was released from the amazon stables. I was one of the first people to write about the device. I eventually pre-ordered, received and love my Amazon Echo or "Alexa" as she likes to be called. When I initially reviewed the product I had a few questions on expandability and how Amazon planned on extending the capabilities of the device. Well, my questions have been answered with the introduction of Amazon's two latest devices with the Alexa "engine" at the core of their hardware. Enter stage left (and right), the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot. Amazon Tap If you are not familiar with the Amazon Echo please view my prior review of the device, It was written before the latest updates which now include Home Automation among other benefits, but should give you a good idea of what the device's intending purpose is. The Tap is an extension of the Echo in the sense that it takes what seems to be the full experience of the "Alexa" vir...
Denon MCX8000 top down view

The Denon MCX8000 is on my wishlist!

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Denon DJ MCX8000 UNITS BACK IN STOCK If you've ever thought about getting into the digital DJ game, you probably know by now that Pioneer is king. Their products are refined and their marketing is second to none. As far as controllers go you would be hard-pressed to find the quality and features available in Pioneer gear. So every time a manufacturer releases a new product it's no surprise that a DDJ or XDJ comparison is waiting just around the corner. When inMusic Brands' newly acquired Denon DJ released their current flagship model the MCX8000 everyone took notice, and then shortly after the Pioneer comparisons were all over the internet. So what exactly does this device bring to the table? Well according to Denon DJ's official spec sheet you will get the following key features: MCX8000 Features Revolutionary Denon DJ Engine standalone technology with integrated Serato Cue point support 2 USB inputs for Engine playback in standalone mode  Includes 4-dec...
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