Category Archives: Applications

Applications, services & devices

Alienware Andromeda X51 R3

I rather happily used a Dell XPS 15 for the last 1.5 years, but there was no denying that its NVidia GT 750M mobile video card was getting rather long in the tooth. It could just about handle the Steam edition of Rise of Nations at 1080p but even the more complex Zen Pinball tables […]

Yamaha RX-A1040: Virtual Surround Receiver

When I wrote about the audiophile Blu-ray player Oppo BDP-105D back in January 2014, I was using an otherwise fairly simple A/V setup with an analog amplifier for my stereo loudspeakers, and a separate headphone amplifier with virtual surround sound. In closing I mentioned Yamaha’s Silent & Virtual Cinema DSP technologies which might allow me […]

Logitech Multi-Device Keyboard K480

I recently stumbled over the Logitech K480 at the local electronics store. Apparently the keyboard had been released last September but I only noticed it now. The full name is “Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480” which highlights the most important feature: support for Apple Mac OS-X & iOS, Google Android & ChromeOS, and all modern […]

Dell XPS 15 Review

About a year ago I switched to a stylish ultrabook hybrid, the Sony Vaio Duo 13. While I was overall quite happy with that neat little device, two of its unavoidable compromises eventually got on my nerves: the sheer lack of computational power and the cramped screen space. So after revisiting the current laptop scene […]

Returning to Wjjsoft myBase

Wjjsoft myBase is an “outliner database,” one of an old and illustrious group of applications whose perhaps most famous specimen is TreePad. TreePad has existed since 1995, myBase since 1998. Both are still under active development, but their user interfaces are clearly children of the 1990s. While certainly usable they look rather cluttered and ugly, […]

Enter the E-Cigarette

Nicotine is an effective nootropic second only to caffeine in popularity. Lately it has been on the decline through little fault of its own, as the standard delivery method of burning or chewing tobacco is extremely unhealthy. Tobacco contains a powerful mix of carcinogenic chemicals (which do not include nicotine!), and inhaling smoke particles damages […]

Mastering the Mocca

For the past 2½ years I’ve been brewing coffee with the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741, generally accounted the best drip coffee maker in existence. It’s not cheap – I paid €200 for the predecessor of the linked model – but it very thoroughly extracts the coffee grind’s tasty chemicals, thanks to a precise water heater […]

Sony Vaio Duo 13 Review

Microsoft’s latest attempt to fight the race to the bottom in Windows hardware has once again ended in a whimper, mostly because its own Surface and similar upmarket devices showcased the Metro part of Windows 8 that nobody wants. Anecdotally, I saw the elegant ultrabooks and hybrids vanishing again that had populated store shelves around […]

Oppo BDP-105D: Audiophile Blu-ray Player

The Oppo BDP-105D is one of the biggest, heaviest, most expensive Blu-ray players you can buy, but with a quality and feature list to match – including audiophile stereo reproduction. I recently got one of those to replace my PS3 and assorted other players, so here’s a mostly enthusiastic review with a brief description of […]

The Amazing Clinometer

Peter Breitling’s Clinometer is a small but sophisticated and very useful application for iOS, Android & Windows Phone. Using the various motion sensors built into these devices, it turns them into multipurpose (in)clinometers that can measure any surface’s three-dimensional angle relative to the ground. The picture below shows the two main display modes: a simulated […]