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Apr 14, 2014

Adair Acoustic

For those who want quality audio you first need to listen to it, there are only a few places this can be done and most of those are tied to a single brand or brands. So it was quite a surprise to me to find an independent shop in central London.

It is not a shop in the conventional meaning of the word. It is on the second floor on the Clerkenwell Road quite near Old Street Tube. However I found it surprisingly quiet and easy to listen with the buses that passed being only a tiny noise.

It consists of a single very large room where a whole range of items from high quality headphones, speakers, DAB radios, LP decks and perhaps most important all the cables and other connections are available to link together.

As far as music is concerned they have a large range of CD’s, LP’s and perhaps more important higher quality music on a PC available to be played to find what parts will form what you require from a whole range of high quality manufacturers from around the world.

They are also quite happy for you to bring your own CD’s or audio files. You are able to select which units to match with which headphones or speakers.

Do not expect bargain basement prices, the equipment they sell is quality.

I have always been an audio fan and thoroughly enjoyed my visit, the staff were helpful and offered advice about what they considered might go with what.

A look at their website (link below) will give you an idea of what could be available at what sort of price.

They also do installations when required and while they are London based I asked the question and was told the home counties and even Bristol was within their work range for installations.

A lot of famous names were mentioned during conversations but I mention just three who are on one of their flyers so they must have approved it, Mark Knopfler from my day and two more recent names Will Young and a certain Harry Styles.

To give you an idea of single component prices DAB units from £179 to £600. Headphones from £50 to £2000. Speakers from ATC, £800 to £15000 and for those looking for an LP deck £200 to £1100.

Their website has details of most of the brands they cover and should you think it worth a visit ring or email first.

www.adairacoustic.co.uk    0207 253 2326

Nov 28, 2013

Games Aplenty

Everybody loves a bargain especially when it concerns their personal enjoyment and pleasure. One company that believes in this concept is Bundlestar.com a part of Focus Multimedia which features regularly with titles in my game reviews. The Bundlestar.com mantra is to bring customers incredible PC bundle deals at bargain basement prices.

According to the Bundlestar website there are six bundles on offer. These are available at prices ranging from £1.82 up to £2.98 which definitely puts them in the impulse buy or pocket money category. Priced at £1.82, the Blaze of Glory bundle consists of six titles. These are Commander: Conquest of the American Gold; WWIII Black Gold; KnightShift; East Indian Company Gold; WWII Panzeer Claws I & II; and Pirates of Black Cove Gold. I make that at around 30p a game.

If you are more into blood and gore then the Bloodbath bundle might appeal. This bundle of six titles is priced at £1.86. For your money you get Clutch; NecroVision; NecroVision Lost Company; The Void; 99 levels of Hell; and Zombie Bowl-o-Rama. This collection sounds like it could keep you awake at nights but it should not drain your bank balance.

Next in line, pricewise, is the FPS Warriors bundle for those who enjoy the action of a personal shooter. This bundle will cost you plenty in ammunition and a £2.25 hit on your personal budget. You can load up your personal weapon as you tackle The Ship; Legendary; Shattered Horizon; Section 8; Dino D-Day; and Super Ghost Warrior as you get your fill of face-to-face action and wipe the opposition at under 40p a go.

The Ultimate Sci-Fi bundle bears a £2.60 price ticket. This offering consists of nine titles set in the vast realms of space and alien environments. The bundle consists of Sword of the Stars Enhanced Edition; Project Freedom; Weird Worlds; Spacechem; Spacechem 63 cervi DLC; Really Bigsky; Planets under Attack; Fast Forward; and Ion Assault. At under 30 a title you might find it hard to resist.

Costing £2.97, the Majestic Indie Bundle is also made up of nine titles. For your money you get Mount & Blade; Majesty 2 Collection; Hoard Complete Pack; Forge Starter Pack; Crusader Kings Complete; Shelter; Enclave; Rune Classic; and Knights and Merchants. Single games I review on a regular basic cost more than this bundle

Completing the various bundles is the Outer Limits. This will cost you £2.98 and brings you ten titles. You can try your skills at UFO Extraterrestrials Gold before moving on to Blades of Time; Insane; Hydrophobia; Race Injection; Warfare; Puzzle Kingdoms; Gumboy Tournaments; Supreme Ruler 2020; and Razor 2 Hidden Skies. Again this is under 30p a game.

At this point I should point out that I have not played any of these games myself nor have I availed myself of the Bundlestar service. According to the website, once you have paid the appropriate fee you will be allocated with serial keys to download and activate the games. These serial keys are personalised to yourself and can be used once only so make sure you save the download. Depending upon the actual games, the serial keys can be used with Steam, Desura or Gamesgate.

At the prices being asked for these bundles, it could well be worth while giving it a try even if only some of the titles appeal. You could then report back as to your experience with the Bundlestar service and the quality of the various games for the benefit of other Gadgetspeak members. I look forward to hearing about what I am missing with the Bundlestar experience due to the pressure of writing my various reviews.

Feb 5, 2013

SIRO-A Technology Show

When I was sent an invite to the press night it very nearly went into the recycling, I do not like dance, I do not follow all the various TV programs extolling dance, so why then did I go and why was it such a great experience.

The technology used was the winner for me, the fact that it was a mix of live performers and almost impossible to tell the difference between them and projections. The LEDs their body suits were covered in the total lack of scenery except for some large cubes that were stacked in various precision ways and the whole accuracy of their placement on the stage.

It was a wonderful performance from one person doing the lighting and one the sound at the back of the stage but for me the most amazing thing was that the dancers were only four. See the show to see how just four could do everything they did.

There is a clip of the troupe in Japan and while the curtain bit that is the first part of it is clever the latter part is more of what you can see in the Leicester Square Theatre in London on various dates until the 22nd April 2013.

The amount of technology and training for those four performers – I do not call them dancers – was sheer skill. One word of warning the music was rather loud so if like me it was too loud you should bring earplugs with you. However even a non dance lover like me had a great time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZLSrffJJIA

http://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873489891/events?TSLVq=da3e2905-31d5-48c2-b0c8-6060568915f0&TSLVp=42b9f3b9-989f-4a13-b98e-b693e29083ca&TSLVts=1360055961&TSLVc=ticketsolve&TSLVe=leicestersquare&TSLVh=096868ac6741a6d955a8268dec7c4f91     

Jan 8, 2013

BioLite CampStove

Hi All

Re: BioLite CampStove

BioLite CampStove Picture

This is my first ever post so go easy on me :-). I came across this fantastic little gadget (well at least it looks fantastic) whilst looking for a new camping stove. It's not yet out in the UK (available to pre-order though) but will be here at the start of February. I'm just wondering if anyone happens to have had any experience of it? It's called the BioLite CampStove and there is a review here for anyone that's interested. 

As a camping enthusiast I'm really excited by the thought of being able to chuck some pine cones into this device and subsequently be able to heat up my baked beans. No need for gas so environmentally friendly as well as free to run. Also, has the added bonus of being able to charge your USB gadgets whilst it cooks. Double bonus. I think I will take the plunge and order one but by any chance has anyone out there in the world of Gadget Speak had a go on one?

I look forward to hearing about your experience.

Cheers

GadgetMad

Dec 4, 2012

Dandy goes Digital

Today the 4th December the last ever print edition of The Dandy goes on sale. However now you can get your fix of Desperate Dan etc in Digital form. The first issue is now available for all to download free from www.Dandy.com.

After that you can subscribe and save the walk to your newsagent. Single issue is £1.49 or subscribe for a full year and pay £29.99 which works out at 59p per issue.

All your favourites are there and not just in strip form but now there is also some animation as well as games to play and even the odd Easter Egg is in the graphics for you to find. Currently the downloads are available for PC/MAC with tablet and smart phone coming shortly.

So after 75 years the printed issue is no more, goodbye to The Dandy and hello to The Dandy digital.

Nov 29, 2012

Selecting the Best Power Supply Unit for Your PC

Once you have the central processing unit, graphics card, mains cable, case and the motherboard that you want to use to assemble your computer. The next item you need to have is the power supply. Which one should you choose? What are you looking at when you select the given power supply unit (PSU)? Let us look at some of the aspects of the PSU that you need to keep in mind when looking for one.

What do you look for when looking for a PSU?
As a shopper who has little information on the PSU on the market, you may end up having a hard time selecting the best unit for your PC tower. You will be faced with many form factors, brands, connector types and other factors which may end up confusing you if you have no knowledge about what to look for. Some considerations are discussed below.


The Dimensions of the PSU and its form factor

Before you can consider anything else, you need to consider the size of the PSU that you need. You will be disappointed when you buy a PSU and find that it is small or too big for the slot provided. You need to be sure that the width, length and the height of your PSU fits in the case you have. You need to compare the replacement PSU with the one you have removed, or follow the manual that comes with the case so that you find out the specifications.

The standard ATX PSU dimensions usually range within 3.25" high, 6" long and 5.5" wide. The microATX PSU dimensions come in at 2.5" high x 5" long and 5" wide. The dimensions may change according to the dimensions of the manufacturer.

You need to match your form factor with the size of the PSU. You need to check out the way your case is laid out so that you can get the best case that will fit in the enclosure. If you are not sure about the form factor of your PC, you need to consult with your manufacturer guide.

Is the brand reliable?


You need to check into the history of the manufacturer so that you know how reliable the manufacturer's product is. You can check out the reviews of the product on different websites or review forums. Don't trust every review, but go with the problem that is coming up time and again.

Many manufacturers will certify units that are processed by a processor company. This will act as a reference for the dealer to show that the power supply meets the output and input quality of the manufacturer.

The type of connectors


The PSU unit you get needs to have a description of the type of connectors and how many they are. It also needs to have a specification of the power ratings on every rail. If you have a Pentium IV computer, you need to have a PSU with an extra 4 pin connector to provide adequate power supply to the unit.

What is the total deliverable power?


You need to target a PSU that has a maximum power rating that is higher than the drain from devices in the computer. This will allow for growth in case you decide to add another device in the unit.

Nov 27, 2012

The Best Power Tools in the Market Today

Festool power tools are some of the most reliable and efficient power tools in the market today as evident by large number of clients who have in the past purchased these products. They are designed by experts who possess all the required skills and expertise. In addition, they are made using high quality materials that are first tested so as to ensure that they meet the recommended standards. This in turn helps to boost their durability and effectiveness in performing various procedures.

There are a number of technological innovations that have being developed in the recent past. This new technological changes has significantly revolutionised the manner in which Festool power tools are designed. Incorporation of this technology in the manufacturing process gives these tools an upper hand in the market. Here are some of the power tools available under this brand.

Cordless Drills- This drills are available in different models that vary in terms of their specifications hence you can be sure to get a product that best meets your needs and preferences. Example of some of the models available includes T 15+3 Cordless drill, T 12+3 Cordless Drill, T 18+3 Cordless drill, CXS Cordless Drill, C 15 and C 12 Cordless drills. One of the major benefits of using these tools is that they are light in weight hence users can easily carry them around.

Guide Rail System- The rails are available in eight different lengths that helps in ensuring that your length measurements are accurate at all times. One can also use a special connector to match and mix the different sized rails in bid to create the exact configuration as per the requirement. They can be used hand in hand with other Festool power tools such as routers and jigsaws so as to deliver the expected results.

Multifunction Tables- In order to carry out cutting or assembly works correctly; one has to have a stable work bench. As the name suggest, this tables are designed to support various tasks at the same time hence users don't necessarily have to by several tables. Perhaps the most flexible and economical to use table is the MFT/3 because it can easily be moved from one location or workshop to another. It's also important to note that these products are available in varying sizes hence be sure to select a table whose size best suit your needs.

Domino Joining System- This has being approved as one of the most convenient joining system due to the fact that it's very easy to use unlike other joining systems that entail very many complicated steps and procedures. This system can be used for various purposes such as wood work and cabinet making.

Price is one of the factors that hinder most people from accessing quality tools. Fortunately, all the prices on these tools are very affordable. One can also take advantage of the discounts offered to reduce the costs even further. Ensure that you only purchase from accredited suppliers so as to enjoy the full benefits of using Festool power tools.

Nov 22, 2012

Repairing Your Power Tools Will Save You Money

High quality brand name power tools often come at a higher price. The reason for this extra price is the extra quality of these tools. Once you purchase one of these high quality tools, you expect them to perform well for a long time. However, in some rare cases these tools break down as well. If this happens during the warranty period - you're covered. But, what if your warranty period has ran out. Then what? You've paid for your power tool quite a lot. You feel bad to throw it away (because you've shelled out a lot of money), yet you have no use of it because it doesn't work anymore.

Luckily, there is a solution. Spare parts. In the past, you couldn't buy spare parts for power tools that easy. If your tool broke down, the repair would often cost more than a new tool, so you either had to pay expensive repairs or throw it away. Nowadays, you can order original spare parts online! Depending on the particular part, the price can range from $0.90 to $100 or more. All you have to do is to locate the label plate on your power tool to find out the exact model number of the tool, and then search for spare parts by this model number. This is great, because you can now replace anything from a tiny screw to a whole motor assembly.

For example, if you need a spare part for your DeWalt power tool, you can easily visit Dewalt's ServiceNet online (or a third party spare parts store) and order a spare part that you need just by knowing the model number of your power tool. DeWalt actually has in place a customer-friendly policy which guarantees that the cost of repair will not exceed the cost of a brand new tool. Ordering spare parts and repairing your DeWalt power tool will increase its life expectancy, lower the wear on other components within the tool and ultimately save your money, because you don't need to buy a new tool.


This is a huge benefit both for DIY (do it you yourself) community and professionals (industry, construction contractors, woodworking) who make a living by using power tools. This of course creates confidence when purchasing a new tool, as you can buy it without second thoughts because you know that it can be repaired efficiently if it breaks down and that you can count on a widespread network of service centres and online stores if something goes wrong. For example, a side handle for a cordless DeWalt 18V hammer drill, costs only $4.14. A side handle is not a large part, but you still can't hold the drill firm enough if it's missing.

It is also good to know that all of these parts are factory originals, made by DeWalt. This means that your power tool will continue to perform reliably and that it will pack the same quality as it had when you first bought it. So, don't spend money where you can save it. Do a bit of research, order DeWalt spare parts and get your power tool fixed.

Nov 21, 2012

How To Ensure That Your Power Tools Are Always Working When You Need Them

Power tools have such a detailed internal structure that it can be extremely challenging to understand precisely where the issue is, if the device will not work. It is true that wear and tear does affect power devices and that at some point one either has to replace the tools or repair them. Nevertheless, there are a couple of straight forward actions to take to minimize the need to repair or buy a new power tool.


Power tools do not come cheap, and there's nothing worse than investing a fortune on a brand-new power too just to have it break down a year later. Unless one is an avid power tool user, they are likely to use power devices moderately; probably only a few times a year. In order to ensure you do not waste your financial investment or risk your safety, some routine maintenance of your power tools. Another essential explanation to routinely take care of your tool is for safety reasons. A rusty gear can easily break away and cause injuries. That is why it is always said that one should never turn on a power tool that is suspected of having a fault.
To help minimize tear and wear on power tools, it is extremely important to keep these devices in a clean and dry location, away from dust and moisture. Dirt can be trapped in the device mechanisms, either reducing it performance or stopping them altogether. Excessive wetness could also trigger corrosion, which can quickly ruin these power devices. This is especially true if they are battery powered. Batteries, should be examined frequently for leaks and changed. Electrical cords and plugs must additionally be examined for damages prior to using them.


If it is too late, and your power tool breaks or malfunctions, you need to relax as all is not lost. Fixing your power tools is one great idea that one should consider. This is truly one of the smartest practices to adopt as a power tool user. Fixing your power devices can easily conserve an impressive chunk of change. But that is not all, as it will also help minimize your very own carbon foot print. Every power device that can be kept out of a land fill lessens the number of devices that release carbon dioxide into Earth's atmosphere. This, as a result, helps keep jobs, the earth safer and healthier. Lessening usage and restoring power devices could look like a very small amount, but it can surely make a difference.


So one should not be discouraged to perform the repairs on their tools especially Black & Decker as there are many Black & Decker spares in the market. Minor fixes like old brushes, split cords, or housing replacements on your Black & Decker devices can be performed by any repair shop that has access to Black & Decker spares. More complicated repairs can be handled at a power tool solution centre for a relatively fair fee. Purchasing pre-owned power tools could yet another way to keep your carbon impact small and your wallet fat. Used devices can normally do all the same things a brand new one can, but they do them at a fraction of the price.

Oct 19, 2012

The House of Marley Get Up Stand Up

House of Marley Get Up Stand Up iPod/iPhone dock and speaker

iPod docks are ten-a-penny now. What many of these products lack though is great, original design. And lets face it Apple's products are all about design. The iPod wasn't successful because it was a music player. It was successful because it wrapped all that clever technology up in a must have design. The House of Marley  have stepped up to the mark with an original design that won't put your iPod/iPhone to shame!

The House of Marley "Get Up Stand Up" minimises plastic and brings wood back to the fore in home hi-fi design. The design is based around a curved birch wood panel with a walnut finish into which are set two each of 11.4cm woofers and 2.5cm tweeters which are backed with a decent power amp. The wood itself is sourced from sustainable sources (Forest Stewardship Council)

"We thought back to how people used to admire the large floor speakers back in the 1970s and 80s and how those speakers were design elements in the home..." said Rohan Marley, on behalf of The House of Marley. I can remember back to those times and yes - we used to put speakers on stands - making them part of the furniture.

Like many produces this system also has a 3.5mm jack so you can use other audio sources, but this is very much aimed at the Apple audience that want to show of that latest iPhone 5 they rushed out to buy!

The MARLEY "Get Up Stand Up" is available for purchase at HMV and other selected retailers for a RRP of £299.99:

http://hmv.com/hmvweb/home.do