Sounds like a big difference to me

In my earlier life I put a lot of emphisis on durability cheapness in my compuer periferals. Duribility mattered for traveling to lan events, cheapness was because my bottom line was very low. I hated to see good equipment broken and when it came to cheaper headphones that was something that happened all the time. Now however I have learned the value of the expression ‘you get what you pay for’, and then some. I have become a headphone snob/junkie.

Now, when I say snob I just mean, I am beginning to care more about quality than anything else. There are some people out there posting on amazon saying, “I had this and this headphone and the decible output on the base was less satisfactory at 1200 mhz.” F those guys, you think that helps me figure out of this is a good pair of headphones or not? No way! I want to know are the headphones comfortable, do they have good sound (I don’t care how many mhz’s) and are they going to last long enough to make them worth the hundreds of dollars they sell for.

Enter the Sony MDR 7056 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphones. Some good advice from a former soundboard student these headphones were recommended as good sound, great durability at a reasonable price. Now 80 bucks is nothing to scoff at but I needed help at work. With a large wide open room and only crappy little earbuds to protect me I had a hard time getting work done for not being able to concentrate. These headphones saved my butt and the sound they produce I think is quite awesome for the price. I didn’t think the headphones would make that much of a difference but man, was I wrong. With these headphones at work, I knew I needed better headphones for home and gaming.

I did a lot of searching around the internet over the period of months looking for a good pair of headphones with a good microphone for chatting and comfortable enough to wear for hours on end.

This is what I found.

Christmas Headphones

The Sennheiser PC 360 headset for Pro Gaming was the result of my efforts researching. What stood out about this series? The headphones are full ear covering but not noise canceling which means air can get in and out and keep your head from getting too warm. Another advantage is that these headphones have no control halfway down the cable for volume controls, rather the volume control is on the right earpiece and the boom actually works as the mute button; when it is down, it is active, when it is up, it is muted, easy enough. Finally, instead of leather ear cuffs, which can feel a but sticky and hot at times on your face, these ear pieces are felt, comfortable and cool.

The sound is excellent, even my friend’s voices on Skype sound better and I didn’t think those could improve, heeeyooo! The point is, I now know that a good pair of headphones is sometimes worth the price for good sound and better comfort.

I think a cheaper pair which also might be just as good is this one here. The Steel Series 7H also looks like a great pair of headphones and a shade cheaper than the Sennheiser, I haven’t tried them on, but my research extensive as it was for gaming headsets makes me think this would also be a good pair.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a new game!

I’ve got my tree up, I’ve hung my stocking, the manger scene rests on the windowsill, my house, the neighborhood are all decorated and teaming with Christmas spirit. Family, friends and coworkers are in the holiday mood and yet, something is missing – or at least is was. To me, it’s just doesn’t start to feel like Christmas without the Steam Holiday Sale, fortunately, it started yesterday and I’ve already begun to reap the deals.

If you’re not using steam to manage your digital copies of most of your pc games, where have you been? Steam has been around since the early 2000’s originally being developed to help distribute and update Valve games such as Counter-Strike, Team Fortress Classic and Day of Defeat. Slowly though the steam platform has grown to house around 1,400 games and is estimated to manage a 70% share of all digital game distribution. Needless to say, if you’re not on steam already, you should be.

Moreover, on the week of, and post Christmas every year, steam puts on a fantastic sale featuring massive discounts on all the game titles of the past year.

Any games you hadn’t yet purchased throughout the year might end up being a part of a sale. These titles change every day at noon so it is a new gift every day to see what games you might be able to curl up with on the cold winter night to come in the new year. I picked up Amnesia the Dark Descent already and who knows what else I’ll find this year.

Happy Holidays and a very merry steam holiday sale to everyone!

Kindles rooting on an open fire

I had the distinct pleasure the last week to be in on a Christmas gift for a family member who best not be reading this blog post (I’m very sure he wont be). The gift was the Kindle Fire, the desire, to be able to play games found only on the Android Market. Well the kindle only has the Amazon Market so it was going to need some customization to get this to work.

My thoughts on rooting the Kindle Fire

I don’t necessarily recommend the process at all. I was able to do it though with little prior eperience. It was not an easy task though, at no point was I having fun and all the while I worried about royally screwing up the device. At one point the device was not starting thanks to a launcher .apk file which you need to install to be able to view the Android Market App you finally got installed properly. 

However, once it works, it works well and makes so much sense. Why a tablet maker would not include the android market on such a capable device is beyond me. I realize there is money to be made, but, it is almost a reason not to buy the device. These tablets are nothing without great apps, the Android Market gives you the greatest ability to find great apps, the limited amount in the Amazon Store seems laughable and seriously hinders the tablet.

At least let me share some links I used

Well, if you want to try this yourself, here are some websites I found pretty useful, be prepared to be patient and learn a lot about these tablets along the way.

http://liliputing.com/2011/11/how-to-sideload-apps-even-the-android-market-on-the-amazon-kindle-fire.html

http://androidadvices.com/android-market-place-amazon-kindle-fire/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/244303/how_to_root_your_kindle_fire.html

There were a couple of others but the top one here was actually the most useful set of directions for me, it had some little hints along the way that made a big difference. The last link here is what you need to do first, you can’t do any app sideloading without rooting, but make sure you unroot when you are done to avoid hangups in your amazon video streaming service.