Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Free speakers

As I've mentioned before, I love scavenging for treasures.  And therefore, I love the "kerbside rubbish" weeks -- where people place larger items out on the kerb, for the rubbish collectors to (sometime that week) pick up.

About five days ago I was driving to where I park my car to commute by train.  Amongst the other items piled in front of one house, I saw an item which I perceived as a large shopping bag with two large blue circles on the front (photo above) .

But the next morning, I drove more slowly, and realized:  a speaker box!!!

So that evening, on my way home after work, I grabbed it.

Here are some more shots:

Just a simple plywood box, with a bass port, and rope handles.  I checked the terminals on the back, and we indeed have continuity:  about eight Ohms worth.  So at some point I'll add a quarter-inch jack (the front is held on by screws -- so, easy to disassemble), sand it just a bit, and paint it blue or green (or, blue-green).

And then -- just yesterday -- I came across this pair of speakers:

Just a fake wood-grain vinyl covering, and some sort of chipboard constuction.  As you can see from the reference ruler, they're about one foot by one foot by one foot (or:  30cm x 30cm x 30cm).

As with the earlier speaker box, both of these speakers have continuity -- so they probably work -- although I haven't tried them with an actual signal.  For these, the resistance is just above four Ohms.

At some point -- but not until the new year at the earliest -- I'm going to connect them together with some scrap wood, wire the two speakers in series (so the total will be around nine or ten Ohms -- and that's OK [better to have too much impedance than not enough!]), and mount a quarter-inch jack on a spacer between the two speaker boxes.

And, again:  paint them some variation of blue or green:  I have a fair amount of "mis-tint" paint in blue and in green, which I pick up cheap.

FWIW, here's the plate on the back of one of them.  It's an actual brand name -- although I don't know anything about the fanciness of that brand.

Anyhow -- two "free" (plus labor) speaker cabinets, within the space of a week:  not bad.

Although:  I wish people would throw away from amplifiers, or guitars...  ;)


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Sunday, November 09, 2014

Adorable pedal

There was an ad in the local, online, classifieds for this effects pedal (used -- at a very good price).  I picked it up today.

I think it's adorable:  it's about half the width of a typical guitar effects pedal, and maybe 80% of the usual length. It's so small that a nine-volt battery won't fit inside:  you have to use an external power supply.

It's a Mooer "Pure Octave", from their "Micro Series Compact Pedal".  The large white pedal chooses the harmony notes: e.g. "+2 -1" produces one octave below, and two octaves above. The small black knobs are "SUB" (the lower octaves), "DRY" (presumably, the wet/dry mix), and "UPPER" (the upper octaves).

I haven't had a chance to play it yet -- but I bought it on the strength of some of the YouTube demos.


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Saturday, November 08, 2014

Very good Saturday

Usually, weekends are my "getting things done around the house" days.

But, I was recently given the final season of How I Met Your Mother on DVD.  So I spent all of Saturday lying in bed with some of my kids while watching the final two-and-a-half disks of the season.  Didn't change out of my pajamas.  Didn't leave the house (except to go out on the porch:  once to help The Lady bring in the groceries; and again to put some recycling in the bin).

My only concessions to productivity were to take the recycling out; empty the dishwasher and put on a new load of dishes; and put on a new load of laundry.  Oh -- and show the boys how to fold laundry:  they occasionally put laundry away for money.

So:  a good day!  :)


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Saturday, November 01, 2014

Cloud computing shortcomings

As I understand it, ''cloud computing'' is when you don't keep your files on your local device (your laptop, tablet, etc.), and instead just keep it on some server -- often third-party -- somewhere on the internet.

It sounds swell -- access to the internet is pretty ubiquitous these days -- but a few shortcomings to this approach occurred to me.

1) Internet access.  You won't always be in a place where there is internet access.  And sometimes you'll have to pay for the internet access.  Wouldn't it be easier to to have the data already on your hard drive?

2) Security.  Even if the service **claims** to store files in an encrypted manner -- can you verify this?  It could be a giant scam to get ahold of copies of your financial documents, for identity theft.  Of course, this is more of an issue for when someone other than yourself or your workplace is hosting -- esp. if it's a free, or oddly inexpensvie, service.

3) Impermanence.  What happens if the company's servers crash -- or worse (and probably more likely) suddenly goes out of business?  How do you get your files?  (BTW, this is why I still buy CDs, rather than ''rent'' them from iTunes.  My understanding is that techncially you don't ''own'' the music you get from iTunes:  you're just leasing it.)


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