Audio-Technica ATR3350 Lavalier Microphone

I’ve seen many Youtube videos that are great but the audio quality is poor. It takes away from making the video better. I admit I’ve done some videos with poor audio. I’m not saying I’m a professional at creating videos but I’d like to present them with more effort than usual.

So I’ve been trolling around Youtube for reviews on microphones and seeing what others have been using. I decided to get the Audio-Technica ATR3350.

It’s not too expensive so it was worth a try. I got it for under $20 so it’s not a huge investment if it doesn’t work as I expected. But based on the videos I’ve seen people use it with and reviews I’ve read, it looks like a good choice. So far I’ve used it on a couple of videos and the results have been great. The cord is long enough for how I use it. I just have to stock up on the battery. It should last long but I don’t want to be without one when I want to record something. It uses LR44 batteries and they are pretty inexpensive.

I have used it to record on my MacBook Pro and my Sony A65 DSLR. Both came out as expected. Here are some pics below. You should check it out if you find yourself in need of a microphone. They’re great for Youtube videos. It’s a small investment that will provide a higher quality sound in your videos.

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Audio-Technica ATH-M50

It’s been a few months since I replaced my refurbished Beats by Dre headphones. Whether refurbished or new I will never buy another one of those headphones. They are overpriced and it doesn’t even sound good. That’s why I bought refurbished just to try it out. Never again!

I’ve been hearing great things about the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 all over the internet. Lots of good reviews. They had a sale on them during Black Friday 2012 and decided to try them out. They are great! Not too heavy and I got comfortable after a few days with them. They isolate the noise and the music is nice and clean. I got the coiled wire version.

It comes with an adapter for the cord and a leather bag. They fold nicely so they fit in the bag. I would highly recommend these and try them out. You can find them for around $100 sometimes – much cheaper than similarly looking Beats and personally, they perform better.

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Adaptec is great

I’ve been running the Adaptec 6805 raid card for a few months now and it’s been great. Actually, Adaptec in general has been great. Their tech support is phenomenal, at least from my experience.

Today I received an email warning me of a bad block.

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The message didn’t say much except something happened. I searched online and didn’t find much either. I ended up calling their support line. I didn’t have to make any option choices. There was an automated introduction and then I was put in a queue. About 2 minutes later someone was there to assist me.

They just asked for my name and what the problems were. She didn’t even ask for my TSID or my serial number. That’s great! I guess for more serious issues they will, but at least no time wasted.

She explained how to check the status on each drive and where to look for the information.

hdd status

Yes, I’m a bit new at this – which is why my friend from JB Tech Enterprises highly recommends Adaptec – it just works. If it doesn’t, finding support wouldn’t be a problem either. He’s right! Adaptec hardware may be expensive but the 2 instances I had to call support have been flawless and worth the premium price of the hardware. Thanks Adaptec.

Raspberry Pi Rev. B

I finally got my hands on a Raspberry Pi. I’ve been curious about it for a few months now and it’s always been in backorder. I ordered it from http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-14346 and it took 2 weeks to get it delivered. I bought the kit that came with a case, SD card, and AC adapter – I didn’t know too much about it so I went this route. The Rev. B comes with 512MB or memory instead of the original 256MB. A couple of things to consider now that I know more about it.

  • You don’t need the AC adapter unless you plan to use it. It can be powered by USB ports. For instance, my TVs at home have USB ports and can power the device when the TV is turned on. Plus it uses a micro USB – many Android devices use this, not the digital camera one.
  • The case that the kit came with is horrible. It’s way too big for the Raspberry and while plugging in cables, it can come loose off the case.
  • They forgot to ship the SD card. I have may just lying around and I’ve been too lazy to contact them about it.

If I were to get another one, I wouldn’t buy the kit. With that said, the OS can be downloaded from their website. You can also use it with XBMC – using Raspbmc.

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The SD card I’m using is a 4GB class 4. I might get better performance if I use a faster card but I don’t have any spare ones at the moment so I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

The video out is using HDMI or RCA video (the yellow one). If you don’t have access to either one on your monitor/TV, you can always get a converter. The one I tried is from Sabrent.

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The resolution may not be the best or optimized. HDMI has worked great for me so far.

The performance is what I expected. I will be using it with Raspbmc for HTPC purposes. I have noticed a 94% CPU usage constantly. I may have to do some tweaking to get that lower. For $35, it’s not a bad little device. It’s a lot cheaper than the other HTPC projects I’ve done in the past.

FoxIt PhantomPDF and Windows 8

I’ve trying out the demo for FoxIt’s PhantomPDF software. I was able to install the trial version 5.4x. Today, I tried to use it and an update popped up. I told it to update it and I get the following error.

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I Googled the error and didn’t find anything. I tried to right-click on the installer and see if I can run it as administrator but the option isn’t there. Is it not compatible? But how was I able to run it for about a week until this update. I have emailed tech support. We’ll see what they say.

I wish PDF support was built in on Windows like it is with Apple. I really don’t want to pay for Adobe Acrobat since all I need is to scan to PDF and print to PDF. Maybe I’ll check out Nuance.

UPDATE: So after looking around my file system, the folder is indeed locked. I tried to use command prompt as administrator to try to manipulate it and it won’t work. I ended up using Unlocker. I still wasn’t able to delete it (it’s empty) but I was able to delete it after restarting. Not sure what happened but now I’m able to install the newer version.

Trend Micro Worry-Free 7 and Windows Server 2012

My adventure continues with Windows Server 2012. I was able to fix the issue with enabling the Hyper-V role and not being able to start. It turns out I had to disable the USB3.0 feature from the bios. For whatever reason, it creates a conflict and it won’t let me boot into the server. It just keeps restarting and gives me a screen that displays something is wrong.

Now that I have that worked out, the next issue is finding an antivirus to work with Windows Server 2012. I was using Trend Micro Worry-Free 7 on my previous Windows 2008 server. When I try to install it, I get the following error.

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The “Search Now” button takes you to a Trend Micro page that tells you to check out an article by Microsoft –http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822798. Then the page tells you to download a Fix-it patch but that leads me to another error.

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Error after error, I finally decided to call their tech support. I had a feeling that the software may not be compatible with Server 2012 yet but I thought I’d give them a try. After talking with the tech support, they said that Trend Micro has released a service pack to fix the issue. Unfortunately, you can only apply it on an installed software. Well the whole problem is I can’t install it. For those who can use the service pack, you can find it athttp://esupport.trendmicro.com/solution/en-us/1095227.aspx. It will be a waiting game for me since I did a clean install of Server 2012. If I had upgraded from Server 2008 with Worry-Free installed, I may have been able to apply the patch. Hope they get the fix soon.

I may try OfficeScan 10.6 SP2 Beta in the meantime.