random things and thoughts … and bad ideas

fun with audio codecs

Have you ever wondered what the stuff a lossy audio codec throws away actually looks or sounds like? After watching the awesome videos with Xiph’s Monty about digital media (which everyone interested in that topic should have watched by the way) I thought that it should be possible to visualize and sonify what exactly is lost during lossy compression. I wondered if I could create some form of diff between the source and the compressed audio. Turns out this is actually pretty easy. Read more of this post

2 seats 1 amp

Apparently I have a thing for finding problems normal customers don’t see. Or maybe normal customers just accept things as impossible earlier and move on. One of these problems is my audio setup in the living room. There is an audio/video receiver sitting right beneath my 40″ screen accompanied by a center speaker and one speaker in each corner of the room. With my couch facing the screen this setup is what you want for watching movies and playing console games on the big screen. At the wall to the left of my couch though is a desk for my PCs where I sit most of the time working, doing web things or playing games. So when I sit at my PCs the front speakers are to my right and the rear speakers to my left. And this is where my pain begins.

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the other kind of stack

I love using passively cooled low power hardware. No noise, no wear that leads to maintenance, no added power consumption. On the other hand modern computer hardware is so powerful that even the smallest, cheapest and most energy-efficient processors are more than enough to handle many day-to-day computing jobs. So when I first thought about building my own router it already was clear that it had to run completely silent and with no spinning parts like a hard disk or a fan. I got the most energy-saving consumer grade hardware available at the time I built myself a compact PC. It did indeed run without additional fans but I was not satisfied with the temperatures it reached. Thinking about what could be done to reduce the temperature even just a bit without adding fans led me to one of the more silly things I did to my computers …

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