Category Archives: Technology

Microphones: The Big Debate

365DoB
Recently, I dusted off my dSLR and pulled it out to record an unboxing of my Razer Naga Epic Chroma, which I still need to finish processing so I can upload it, but we’ll talk about that later.

In any event, my current set up is to record video on the camera and use a portable recording device for the audio. It works for what I need, but it can be a pain in the but because it’s currently on a boom stand which just adds another element to the recording that I have to make sure does not show up on video.

Don’t get me wrong, I really do like the mic but it would be nice if I had something that was geared more towards what I intend to use it for. With that in mind, I have started researching microphones, particularly a focused mic that rejects sound from the side and rear of the microphone and excels, instead on picking up sounds directly in front of it.

A shotgun microphone seems to be my best option, however it’s something that will need to wait as it is certainly not in the budget. I am still doing some more research to determine which microphone I want to go with, but I imagine this will go a LONG way in helping with video recording and I can use my Razer Seiren for specifically for podcast purposes.

This week has definitely been on off week for me given how little sleep I have gotten so I am still researching and then hopefully, I’ll have a good idea of what I want to use and can pop it into my wish list for safekeeping.

For those of you who do video recording, what type of equipment do you use, specifically what microphone or microphones have you used/considered? What have you found works best for your use case?

In Which I Argue Why I Need an iMac

Hi Kids,

I’m alive.

Barely.

I started working on Monday and to say the least, it’s kicking my ass… or it’s kicked my ass.

I’m not nearly as miserable or exhausted today as I was on Monday or Tuesday.

Either my body’s adjusting (doubt it) or it’s anticipating the weekend where I can sleep in and feign death (hello, WoW reference) so it’s tricking me into believing that I’m not too old to work full-time and go to school full-time.

I guess we’ll find out when next Monday rolls around.

Speaking of, I want an iMac.

Okay, that had nothing to do with the earlier statement BUT still.

Do you think I could potentially convince R that it’s for the sake of productivity?

I mean, I can’t game on it (unless I dual boot—which is not going to happen, I’m lazy, remember?)… so the argument is valid, right?

RIGHT!

Shut up, logical side of my brain that keeps telling me I’m being ridiculous and I don’t need an iMac.

Except I do.

No, really!

I DO!

Okay, maybe I don’t actually need it…

Who the hell am I kidding?

It’s shiny, pretty, and it does things…

ALL THE THINGS!

Conclusion: I need an iMac.

Apple iMac

Image courtesy of Audio Fanzine

It’s okay, you can admit it…

You NEED one too, don’t you?!

Another Lost Customer

For those of you considering buying Alienware, please read this prior to purchase. Keep in mind I’ve been a loyal Dell customer for years. We have bought 5 computers and 1 laptop with them with no issues so we decided that it was time to upgrade me to a higher performing desktop which we expected to last awhile. Price tag was $2400 on our build. Here’s what happened:

dell_hell-750076

Image Courtesy of: Marketing Facts

I bought an Alienware system almost a year ago and from the moment I received it I’ve had nothing but problems. The computer came to me bricked, PSU was blown so they sent a tech out. He replaced the PSU, the computer booted up but it refused to post, including no lights on the keyboard. At that point he swapped out the motherboard and again the computer booted up, but again it didn’t post and still no lights on the keyboard. His recommendation at that point was to return the one I’d received as a defective product and have Dell send me a new one, so that’s what we did. So I basically had to wait another 2 weeks to get the new PC, totaling a few month before I had a working PC.

The new PC came and this time it actually started. I connected my 3 monitors finally after initial problems doing so and being told by Alienware tech support that wasn’t possible, despite the fact that I had two graphics card and both cards had 2 mini display ports, but even after figuring that issue out, I ran into the issue of the system shutting down on me every few minutes and more frequently if I was attempting to load a website or program.

I googled the issue and it turns out others had experienced the same issue and determined that it was the PSU. That’s two PSUs so far that I’ve had issues with.

At this point I got tired of dealing with Alienware and their incapability of fixing their broken parts so I just went and bought a new PSU for $200 and replaced the one that was supplied. That fixed my issue with the computer shutting down and I was able to use the computer for several months after.

Now, just before my warranty expires (end of the month), the motherboard dies on me AGAIN. That means since the time I purchased the unit 3 motherboards have either not functioned properly to begin with or died. Noticing a trend here?

And sadly while I still have two weeks left on my warranty, I figured my best bet was to spend $300 on another motherboard and swap chassis rather than deal with another motherboard failing on me after it’s replaced. My computer is functioning again and I suspect it’ll last much longer this time, unless of course the graphics cards decide to go out, which I haven’t ruled out given my luck so far this year.

To put it simply, it seems as if the components being put in these systems are crap components that continue to fail and despite that, Dell/Alienware continues to put the same parts into these systems. I really wanted to like my Alienware, especially since prior purchases have been excellent. It’s sad that after purchasing 7 computers with Dell, it took one computer and poor customer service to deter us from ever purchasing from the company again. For those of you who choose to purchase Alienware, I wish you good luck; as for me, I’m sticking to custom builds moving forward or companies like Falcon Northwest that ensure top quality parts for the products they build.