Friday, May 31, 2013

Korg AW2+ Quick Review

Got a Korg AW2+ tuner today, an upgrade from my really old Casio. The casio is great for wind instruments, but it takes awhile to lock on a pitch, and does not work well with strings. Hence, the AW2+. There is an AW2 model available, but that is for instruments with concert tuning only. The AW2+ has additional settings for transposing instruments, perfect for sax, french horns etc.

It can pick up the tuning using either the piezo pickup or mic, has several back lighting options, as well as a feature for changing the reference A frequency. A bit pricey ($32!), but I believe it will be a good long term investment. My other Korg metronome is still kicking butt.

Here's a random underexposed photo of the sky:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Nexus 4 and Unity 3d

So, this weekend I picked up a micro sim -> mini sim adaptor in the hopes that I could use my Xperia Ray here in Canada. Initially, it worked and seems to be fine, but after I could not access any data related options (google maps!), I did some reading and found out about data bands vs voice bands.

Evidently, the phone does not support the data bands here in Canada, but voice is fine. So, boo. The Xperia Ray felt so good in my pocket, i.e. can't really feel it. I was also looking forward to not charging my mobile every 4 days or so. I've found that disabling every friggin' thing on the Nexus 4 really improves its battery life but I digress.

Being rather free tonight, I decided to try out Unity3D with the Nexus 4. I had some minor hurdles, which was mainly not knowing where to find the USB Debug Mode on the phone. Evidently, it is hidden away, and googling will get you the answers.

Things proceeded quite smoothly after getting debug mode enabled, and I had no issues running a test apk on the phone. I must say, the display is simply glorious, the Unity logo, as well as my test cube and sphere were very nice and sharp.

I think I will definitely look around for a smaller sized, less power sucking android phone shortly, and leave the Nexus 4 for fun with unity, or when I have a need for high powered google maps usage again.

Speaking of Android.... my Kindle Fire has developed some kind of illness... it runs excruciatingly slow, and it seems like I'm not the only one experiencing this issue >.>

I have no idea what could have caused it, as I do not install "apps" and only download into it the music I buy off amazon. Grrr..... when I get more settled in I'll look into doing a reset to see if it helps. And also, figure out what to do with a UK Kindle in Canada....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Xprotolab Portable Oscilloscope

Had this appear today! Woo! At the moment, I don't have my belongings with me so not much things I can do with it. Here's a few things I could comment about it. The build quality is very good, and the buttons are very responsive to input.
And it is tiny.
The included protective case fits all the cables perfectly.
Here's all the stuff inside the case. I actually forgot to take out the 3.5mm -> BNC connector, so it's not in the photo :-/

Random glamour shot :P Shoulda taken the screen protector off.
Given that I have no signals to test against, it was very nice that the two analog inputs have a loopback to the signal generator. Here, we have a beaaaautiful 1khz sin wave being displayed.

The interface in generally seems quite intuitive, though I had to spend a quick moment going through the manual to figure out how to change the time (horizontal) scale. The manual has a flowchart of how the various functions work, that was a massive help. Hopefully life will settle down to routine in the next month or so.

So many idea, only one wolf.

#filing this under arduino since this is going to be for use with the arduino.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday stuff.

So, continuing from this morning's post, I headed over to HSBC to ask about their cards. Evidently it is only useful for withdrawals at atms and for interac..... ok, I'll need to figure that out.

Explored a bit more of the underground city, all the way up to Guy Concordia Metro. Found a games workshop here, woo!
Which is pretty awesome as they've got a new Space Wolves book out, which I didn't want to buy in Singapore. Also checked out some jeans, Old Navy's range started from just a touch under 20, and levi's were a touch under 100. Not bad.

After that, went over to check out another apartment. Hopefully I can get it, but there are at least 6 other people who want to rent that place, whilst I was there, with probably after me. Sigh. Decided to have a late lunch at A&W (again!).
I love the fries they got, skin on chips in a cute little basket :D
Soooooo need to find a place fast >.>

Grah, what is this card?!

Due to some snafus, I got my bank card about a week in after I landed in Montreal. Supposed to have got it in Singapore. Whatever.

But I've never really had to use the bank card until Thursday evening when I attempted to buy a Metro ticket. And got refused. I was like... ok, perhaps I got the pin incorrect. After checking, I went to an atm (the atm I visited charged a $2 transaction fee... culture shock, yes!) and it worked fine.

Trying again at the Metro ticketing station, no go. I also tried at one of the Metro supermarkets, no go there as well :-/

From the signs on the Metro vending machine, the debit cards accepted there appear to have the visa symbols, whereas mine does not (HSBC canada). Annoying, but not the end of the world. New country, new things to adapt to.

Still hunting for a place, it's like places that appear on craigslist/kijiji dissapear almost as fast as they are posted, and only the really high end expensive and lower priced student lodging is available. Doesn't help that all I want is just a studio or at max, a 1 bed place. Couples have it easier, as there are much more 2 bedroom (and larger) apartments around.

Going to hsbc right now to check about this card I have, then hopefully those emails I've sent out for places to visit will be replied and I can check out a few more places today. GAH!

Oh, here's a piano re-used as some sort of horticulture experiment.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Blargh: Random posting.

So, things have been going swimmingly, in general. One little hitch was my apartment. I had an agreement with the tenants to pay the rent when I got my keys (which was supposed to be today...). However, on Thursday evening, I received a text that because I didn't put a deposit, the apartment will now not be rented out. I was like... what?! This wasn't our agreement at all!

So, I'm back in the house hunting mode again. Sigh. Will probably be heading out shortly to troll the neighborhoods on foot. Oh, here's a random ice cream shoppe photo.

Also have been using the Nexus 4 for the past two weeks, and I have a love-hate relationship with it. First, the screen is awesome. The response of the phone is also amazing. Battery life is poor, but with my usage needs, it is actually not too bad. I'd say with my needs, I'd easily go 3-4 days between charges - unlike my 2g iphone which gets over a week!

Now what I really do not like is actually the size of the phone. When making phone calls, I really need two hands to use it. I can't for example whilst making a call, use just my right hand to hit the icon that brings up the numeric touchpad. I mean sure, I could, but it makes the phone really wobbly.

Also, whilst in the phone mode, attempting to switch between the phone, call log and contacts is simply not possible with my genetic makeup. Ok, so I can reach the call log button with a little stretch but the phone button (located at the very very top left of the screen)? Not with my hand.

Once life settles down a bit more, I'm probably going to just sell the Nexus 4. Picking up my Xperia Ray, it just fits so well in one hand. It also helps that I prefer the Xperia Ray's camera. Will miss the Nexus 4's photosphere though. Maybe there is an iphone sized android 4 phone out there, I dunno. Or I could do what some of my photographer friends do. Buy an iphone.

EDIT: One other niggle that bothers me, the on/off switch is located by the right side of the Nexus 4. So when pressing it, I tend to have to press against the left side of the phone, which, so conveniently, the volume buttons are at. Causing the volume controls to appear onscreen. Consider this against the Xperia and iphone 2g which have it on the top, and friction from the phone being held on both sides is enough to support the button pressing.