Finally, a custom 3.5mm cable for Sennheiser Headphones

I have a pair of HD 558‘s which were gifted to me. They were my first open cupped headphones which at first seemed a little weird but actually, I’ve come to love and prefer. Basically, I can still hear the phone ring or door bell go while enjoying my music to a good fidelity in relative isolation! Also with the baby, they’ve become even more important as I can still listen out for her but listen to music without disturbing her sleep, win-win!

Worth noting that these were replaced by HD 579‘s if you’re looking to buy some.

Give open cup ago! 

The main issue I had with them was that the cable. Although removable at both ends… One end had a 2.5mm jack for the headphones with a custom indent in the mould for locking the cable in place. The other end had 6.35 jack. It did come with a 3.5mm jack adapter but this was bulky to say the least and hardly something you’d have sticking out your phone in your pocket when doing stuff around the house. 

Now I get that Sennheiser target these as home audio but back when I got these it was impossible to get a cable that did 2.5mm straight to 3.5mm. As I had started using these again over my Samsung Level overs (pass, ANC is rubbish, go Boss QC35 or Sony MDR-1000X ) I went relooking and found:

Sennheiser HD558 CABLE

Just what I was looking for! So happy! Link: http://amzn.to/2tLcK08

Despite the county’s issues, Turkey remains popular with holidaying Brits.

While the British Pound suffers against various other economies it’s still doing well again the Turkish Lira so that’s likely a driving force with holiday makers and tour operators.

Given this is an important sector to Turkey they do seem to do their best to protect the industry and its holiday makers but I’m surprised to see it in at number 3 on the most popular destination for Brits. Especially over places like Italy!

I guess maybe there is some unity for both as Britain will soon be sitting just outside the EU also after Brexit completes.

Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40641560

Tools to build / rebuild a bike!

 

In this post i’m just going to link the tools and how-to videos. I’ll discuss the actual bike rebuild in another post.

Disclaimer: I’m linking to Amazon here with pretty cheap products so would appreciate the support (purchases will give me a tiny commission) but you may find these parts slight cheaper on places like eBay. 

Pedal crank remover:

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2dS3xiK

Crank puller video with horrendous / hilarious music:

 

Some good Allen keys:

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2t4q7NK

If you need a how to video for these you may as well stop now..

 

Headset press (not cheap but hard to do the press accurately without):

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2sRsgYJ

How to video:

For a chain tool I used one from this kit:

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2uShva9

How to video:

If your dismantling a bike, get a cleaning kit, trust me:

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/2tJLFxQ

 

Original article: https://alpagot.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/dissembling-mountain-bike-and.html

 

Gardening progress. Summer 2017

We’re starting to get some good progress in the garden with the plants we’ve been growing, A poly-tunnel has certainly helped in the initial stages for getting the seedlings going! The main thing I wanted to establish was the passion fruit as these have lovely flowers, bright fruit and will spread nicely on our new trellis topped fence.

The Sunflowers have done surprisingly well and are getting as tall as the fence its self! The blueberry bush was are only real fruit bearer last year with some tiny Apples also on a dwarf tree. This summer has ramped up its output for the blueberries! Not in shot but are Stella cherry tree gave us maybe 30 or so really nice cherries. I’m expecting a lot from that in coming years.

Play CS:GO? You might be able to play without cheaters for a short while.

June 6th. Valve has swung the VAC-ban hammer on roughly 40,400 Steam accounts in a single day! Thats a hell of a lot for a single day and will have a noticeable effect. To give some perspective, todays concurrent peak of gamers is 537,000. I wonder how many of those accounts will be replaced when new hacks become available and are perceived to be safe for a while. At $10 a game key thats a lot of money for Valve if they convert back to re-purchases!

 https://steamdb.info/stats/bans/

Good to see this being done thought! It really does spoil the experience from customers who want the intended product.

On a side note, this site is great for stats on your account such as how much money you might have spent roughly (it’ll be off due to sales purchases etc) and how many of those said games you’ve actually played!

https://steamdb.info/calculator/76561197970728257/?cc=uk

 

Stream-ripping is ‘fastest growing’ music piracy

Snippet from the article:

“Several sites and apps allow users to turn Spotify songs, YouTube videos and other streaming content into permanent files to store on phones and computers.

Record labels claim that “tens, or even hundreds of millions of tracks are illegally copied and distributed by stream-ripping services each month”.

One service alone is thought to have more than 60 million monthly users.”

Link to article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40519137

I think they’ll always be piracy. Its when the actual consumers of the content suffer that really irks me. Hence why I love services that offer DRM free content so I can do what I want with my purchases! Humble Bundle, Good Old Games (GoG) for instance.

I bet that sometimes its down to awareness as well. Example: I love using Spotify when i’m at my desktop but I only use the free version. If i’m on the go with patchy mobile signal or want to use a bit less battery i’ll use the Amazon Music app as I have prime and can download tunes to play offline. How many people unknowingly forget things like that…

Piracy is pretty harsh on the content owners why you think about it. Be it musicians, games makers, movie makers or any other form of content. They’ll already have cuts taken off by anyone in the middle of the release process so to impact them further really hurts. Just as a games / movie 3D artist working in a central London job and you’ll soon see what i’m talking about.

University of York and ESL announce world-first partnership in teaching and research of esports

Snippet from the article:

“The University of York, one of the top universities in the UK, and ESL are today announcing a world-first collaboration to make industry-aligned teaching and research for esports a reality. Recognising the potential of esports, UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) has highlighted the importance of growing the UK as an esports hub, including the need to develop UK-based, highly skilled talent and to foster technological innovation.”

its good to see development in this area but the degree may end up spreading its self too thin from the sounds of it. There is a lot of money around this at the moment and poses some interesting challenges in terms of OTT delivery. Mainly due to the interactive audiences (side chat bars etc) and the speed at which content is required to delivered while being up to an expected quality.

Link:

https://www.eslgaming.com/article/university-york-and-esl-announce-world-first-partnership-teaching-and-research-esports-3598

UK centric broadband information and diagnostic help.

Have you turned it off and on again?

Only kidding…

One of the major gripes users have is the speed of their broadband. Bare in mind i’m mostly talking about the OpenReach network of ADSL which is typically copper  all the way to the exchange or Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) which has a shorter run of copper from the green box into the house (voice is still copper all the way back btw).

When talking about the speed of your broadband there are two big differences to be aware of.

Sync:

The speed which will usually be looked at first by your ISP first and primarily is the synchronisation speed (sync). This is the speed at which your modem / router can connect to the equipment in the telephone exchange (Central Office for our American friends) or at the green box in the street (PCP). This is the maximum speed at which data can pass down the line and shouldn’t vary too much on each reboot of your modem / router.

Things that can effect the speed are:

  • Attenuation.
  •  REIN,
  • SHINE,
  • extension wiring (further attenuation),
  • equipment  issues,
  • bridge taps,
  • poor cable shielding,
  • engineer mistakes,
  • capped profile settings on the exchange,
  • There are other causes but these are some of the most common for example.

To check your sync rate, this will involve logging onto your home router (Seek ISP support or router support for instructions) and checking the status page for connection info.

Throughput:

The next speed we’re interested in is the throughput speed. A good metaphor for this would be a water pipe. If the sync mentioned above is the pipe its self, throughput it was water going through it.

Lets pretend the pressure on this water pipe isn’t changeable for the sake of our metaphor 😉 

This is tricky to diagnose as as the issue can lie on the customers side as much as is can with the ISP or beyond depending on the endpoints of the testing and everything inbetween.

Various things that can effect this:

  • Fault with the sync speed (knock on effect)
  • Server on the other side not providing you with data fast enough
  • Congestion on a network (not necessarily the ISP’s).
  • Downloading on your connection while running speedtests (congesting your part of the network to give you slower, skewed results).
  • Connection to the router such as via wireless .

Continue reading “UK centric broadband information and diagnostic help.”