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 … Continue reading “Oppo BDP-105D: Audiophile Blu-ray Player”

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 … Continue reading “The Amazing Clinometer”

yWorks yEd & UML Doclet

The core products of yWorks are the yFiles libraries for Java, .NET, and JavaScript which handle graph analysis, layout, and visualization. The libraries are enterprise-priced (thousands of dollars) but yWorks also offers some very interesting free tools. Aside from the yGuard bytecode obfuscator, these are all diagramming applications based on yFiles. yEd Graph Editor The … Continue reading “yWorks yEd & UML Doclet”

Quest for EML Viewers

Having recently switched my e-mail accounts from POP to IMAP (highly recommended!), I wondered what to do with my archived e-mail. With POP everything is stored locally, so the archive was naturally part of the local folders in my Thunderbird installation. With IMAP everything is stored remotely by default, unless moved explicitly to local folders. … Continue reading “Quest for EML Viewers”

Microsoft Surface: Pretty But Useless

Well, I finally got my hands on a Surface RT demo unit. The good news is that everything the reviews said is true. Sadly, that’s also the bad news. The tablet itself is light and elegant, with a gorgeous screen and a body that oozes more prestige than an iPad. The RT screen has a … Continue reading “Microsoft Surface: Pretty But Useless”

Microsoft Surface Pro Impressions

Microsoft’s long-awaited Surface Pro has made the rounds among reviewers… and the reactions are surprisingly subdued. While everyone agrees that the Pro is miles better than the immature Surface RT, the new device still falls shorts of hopes and expectations. Let’s start with some positive aspects. Penny Arcade’s Gabe is an artist by profession and … Continue reading “Microsoft Surface Pro Impressions”

EditPad Pro, EmEditor &c

From days immemorial (i.e. for about a decade), Yutaka Emura’s EmEditor was my preferred editor for all kinds of plain text, including HTML/XML documents and source code outside of full-fledged IDEs. Back in the day, EmEditor was one of the first editors to fully support Unicode. Indeed, I switched to EmEditor from two earlier favorites … Continue reading “EditPad Pro, EmEditor &c”

Asus Xonar DGX on Windows 8

Every operating system upgrade involves the popular guessing game, “I wonder which drivers will break this time?” I’m happy to report that my MSI X58 Pro-E motherboard is generally well-supported by Microsoft’s built-in drivers. My AMD HD 6970 graphics card works nicely with AMD’s Windows 8 drivers, too. Intel’s Chipset Device Software has already been … Continue reading “Asus Xonar DGX on Windows 8”

Classic Shell for Windows 8

In a fit of madness I installed Windows 8 Pro on my desktop machine. I’ll have my review up shortly (spoiler: stick with Windows 7) but I wanted to call out Classic Shell, a free and extremely useful program that entirely replaces Windows 8’s absurd new Start screen. Why hello there pretty! This picture shows … Continue reading “Classic Shell for Windows 8”

Surface RT Game Performance

Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has just published its Microsoft Surface RT review. Richard Leadbetter generally agrees with earlier impressions: the device is promising but rather disappointing in its current state; the upcoming Surface Pro should be much more desirable. However, Leadbetter also takes a look at the Surface RT’s launch lineup of Windows Store games, and … Continue reading “Surface RT Game Performance”