7 posts • joined 26 Dec 2012
Re: Symphony of complexity
For my tests, I immediately set out to see how it handled low tones and bass lines. I suspected that a device that small with that little amount of juice wouldn't be the best at it, but I also know that consumer-level stuff like this sometimes likes to crank up the bass so stuff like RnB/modern pop artificially sounds better (looking at you, Beats by Dre).
I started with some Fleshgod Apocalypse and Vader which mostly confirmed that suspicion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAyR_wS1kxY & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT5_NrPbRYA
I wanted to see how it handled more of a mix of sounds, so I threw Sons of Winter and Stars by Wintersun at it. The track includes a lot of traditional melodic death metal - screams and growls, power chords and double bass but mixes it in and progresses through several orchestral sections as well as some choir and clean vocals. It handled all but the lows reasonably nicely, but with the bass player of metal band and the kick drum almost constantly going, a decent chunk of the mids and highs are drowned out. You can listen to the track here (it's 17 minutes but I promise it's worth it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG7_fOuM5vE
Lastly, I wanted to hear how it performed with something that isn't centered around low tones. I played Acid Rain by Liquid Tension Experiment - they're a four-man show (3/4 members from Dream Theater with Tony Levin playing a 10-string 'Chapman Stick' bass guitar) playing really awesome and fun instrumental jams. This track showed me that that the mids and highs are actually quite clean, the treble is great but again, the bass leaves something to be desired. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edqH0ofRQrM
I got the impression that this device was designed to play your regular top-40's radio music and netflix videos. I queued some random music videos from YouTube and everything seemed to sound alright, the video media I watched (all speech-based content) came through very well. I confirmed this with some of the more rock-and-roll style Dream Theater tracks (because I know what these sound like under relatively optimal conditions) and I was a bit surprised to hear how well that came out.
As for what I listen to on a regular basis, I like almost anything progressive (regardless of genre, contrary to popular belief - they just don't make prog country or 9 minute rap songs with constantly changing beats to keep my ADD ears interested). Decapitated just released their latest album Blood Mantra and I've been enjoying the hell out of that, Wintersun and Dream Theater are some of my all-time favorites, and I'm headed to Amon Amarth's (VIKINGS!!!) show this Friday with every intent to push my neck to as close to whiplash as humanly possible. Meshuggah and Decapitated are my go-tos for getting shit done, and sometimes when I'm feeling like I want to change things up I'll listen to psy trance or drum and bass (check out The Algorithm if you're into both metal and dnb) or even some jazz (Exivious and Thank You Scientist will blow your mind!)
Re: How many
We got in touch with the local fire department to see if they had any recommendations on how we could do this. Edmonton is a city that regularly places and lifts bans on backyard fires, but fortunately at the time we did the burn no such ban was in place. I can't speak for UK legislation, but fire legislation here for the most part isn't overly sensitive (excluding the kneejerk city-wide fire bans because someone did something Darwin Award-worthy).
I had a very confused firefighter/admin staff have to push the "These guys are going to set a computer on fire for science... Do we have any legislation for that?" question up the chain of command but ultimately the fire chief didn't have anything for us beyond "If anyone thinks it's dangerous we'll have to show up and shut things down" implying that there would be some degree of hell to pay if we weren't being responsible.
We looked into using official firefighter training facilities but those were not available to the public (even for science!), so we gathered all of the safety equipment we could and made sure we could have the flame under control in a matter of seconds if at any point things started to look questionable. The flame reached a point where I couldn't stand within five feet of it without the raw heat forcing me to reflexively shut my eyes, but at no point did anything in the vicinity suffer any damage (and no firefighters were called) so I'd say everything went well!
Identifiably AWESOME demographic. Glad you liked it!
Re: How does it fare
The 214 weighs a 12.4 kg or 28 lbs. That's a lot of mass to pack in a box that small (5.9 in (150mm) x 9.06 in (230mm) x 11.5 in (292mm)), and the vast majority of that weight went into that high-density, not-quite-ceramic white insulation that you'll see us pull out towards the end of the video.
We wanted to keep the video under ten minutes so we didn't get too much into that, but suffice it to say this stuff is HARD. We could not for the life of us compare it to quite anything else we've ever seen, there's a good five minute segment of footage of us passing the chunk that was in front of the drives around and giving our collective oohs and ahhs before deciding that we have absolutely no idea exactly what we're looking at and are clearly not getting any useful footage out of it.
I'm sure with enough pressure you could crunch this thing, but it would take an unholy amount of destruction to come down upon it. I would honestly not be worried until we were talking DC-in-basement-under-skyscraper levels of debris falling on top of it.
Re: Yes but was the NAS RoHS?
Danny is our odd-jobs guy. In one of his odd jobs over the years he managed to acquire some legitimate fireman protective gear.
I on the other hand had never operated a fire extinguisher before, and it seemed like a perfectly good opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. Being a systems administrator and gaming nerd, I have not had such opportunity to put out a fire using an extinguisher or acquire anything in the form of protective gear.
I have been informed that I am indeed NOT DOIN IT RITE and ate some of that extinguisher powder. FYI, it tastes terrible and you should stand farther back than I did :P
Re: not exactly holier than thou
Hit F5 on r/randnsfw a few times. There's worse than that. And a lot better (not necessarily NSFW) . Like I said, it's not perfect - it aggregates content from the entire internet.
All of it. Reddit is far from a utopia by any means, but you can't paint a whole website with that brush because it has some questionable sections. The reddit hivemind contains people from literally all walks of life - pervs to presidents.
Re: Great article
Heaton and SpawN specifically found ways to continue using the skills & knowledge they acquired as well as the brand image they built for themselves to continue to stay relevant by helping companies like BenQ and Zowie Gear design monitors and mice. There are a lot of different paths people choose to take - a lot of them retire and move on to other forms of employment, many will stay in the industry but in other areas - CS players moving on to Call of Duty or WarCraft 3 players moving on to StarCraft 2, or moving on to management or consulting roles for other businesses as well. I could certainly write an entire article on it!
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