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Logitech Orion Spark | The Better Late than Never review

When you think "Gaming Computer", you probably imagine a system that looks like it fell out of a Black Hole or emerged out of the studio of some fancy Italian supercar maker. The last thing that probably crosses your mind is the design of the keyboard. Some are okay with the generic keyboards that ship with most computers, but [Movie Trailer Voice] when in the heat of battle where every point counts a person will quickly realize that choosing the right input device is the difference between life and death! When shopping for a Gaming keyboard you only have one choice really and that's the "Mechanical Keyboard". The main difference between a mechanical keyboard and the typical "Membrane Keyboard" is the way the physical key click gets translated to digital 1's and 0's. In modern mechanical keyboards, each key has a dedicated switch typically made by the Cherry Corporation that converts the mechanical key press into the electrical impulses required by the CPU to translate typed inf...

Davinci Resolve 12 “No OpenCL”

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...

The Consumer Hard Drive Debate

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 DrivesThe 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...

My experience with Powerline Networking

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 DilemmaI 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...

The (Amazing) Amazon Tap Review

The TapAmazon Tap Top Down| Okay, I know the title is a little cheesy but I couldn't help myself. Not too long ago I wrote a post about Amazon's new Alexa enabled Tap and Echo Dot. This was prior to actually using the devices though and I could only regurgitate what Amazon posted on their product pages. Now that the pre-order period is over and the devices have shipped I finally have my hands on a Tap, I will probably get the Dot at a later time (since it's currently out of stock) and review that also, but for now, we will take a look at what the mobile version of Big A's Smart devices has to offer. The Amazon Tap is basically a scaled down version of the Echo that has been made portable by adding a 9-hour battery and having the always-on listening feature disabled.DesignThe Amazon Tap keeps the cylindrical shape of the original Echo but is packaged into a body that is about a third of the size. The Tap features a plastic frame that is wrapped in a cloth-like speaker grille typ...

Hands on Review of the Denon MC4000

Denon MC4000IntroMC4000 right Jog wheel| The Denon MC4000 is the first controller to be released by the recently acquired Denon DJ. This model is completely redesigned but could possibly be considered as the spiritual successor of the now discontinued MC3000. The MC4000 is a Serato DJ compatible unit that ships with Serato Dj Intro and at the time of this review also includes a 50% discount off the regular price of the Pro version of the popular mixing software. This unit is very well built and has enough inputs and outputs to satisfy even the most demanding DJ. This controller is built to be portable and seems to be designed with the mobile entertainer in mind. It does lack some advanced features of flagship controllers such as the DDJ-SZ/RZ but for those needing that level of performance the MCX8000 should be right up your alley.DesignMC4000 Mixer SectionThe Denon MC4000 features a metal chassis with a plastic base. The Jog Wheels seem to be roughly the same size...

What Apple vs the FBI means for the rest of us

Apple vs FBI| You may be aware of the ongoing dispute between Apple and the FBI by now. If not, here's a quick rundown of what happened. A few months ago there was a terrible act of domestic terrorism that took place at a government funded non-profit establishment in San Bernadino. A number of people were killed and seriously injured but thankfully the Authorities were able to terminate the individuals that carried out the brutal attack. After the dust had settled the FBI started their investigation to gather more information on the attackers, but they ran into a bit of a problem. They could not access an iPhone belonging to one of the terrorists. It seems that in recent years Apple has beefed up the encryption on their devices making them practically impossible to crack.The FBI having its back against the wall and anxious to gather as much evidence as possible reached out to Apple for their help with "Hacking" into the phone so that they could continue with their investigation. Ap...

The Age of the Interconnected Society

  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!

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...

Novation Circuit Groovebox Review

  The Novation Circuit| Novation is a company that has been around since the early 90's, they brought us the original Bass-Station synth and most recently the Launchpad line of Ableton controllers. Through their years of innovation, they were able to create something unique. You get a Synth, Drum-Machine, and Pad Controller all in a package that's a little bit smaller than a Launchpad Pro. Today we will be reviewing the Circuit, Novation's interpretation of the once iconic "Groovebox"FeaturesAt first sight, the Circuit may look like a Launchpad that's missing a few buttons, but the only thing that the Circuit really has in common with the Ableton controller is its appearance. This little "Groovebox" has at its core a 4 track drum machine, 2 synth parts based on the legendary Nova engine, a ton of macro controls and over 128 included Synth and Drum sounds that can be tweaked to the heart's desire. The Circuit could reasonably be considered...
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