W A R N I N G !

W A R N I N G !

This page is full of non-facts and bullsh!t, (just like the internet and especially forums and other blogs), please do not believe entirely without exercising your intellect. Any resemblance to real things in reality is purely coincidental. You are free to interpret/misinterpret the content however you like, most likely for entertainment, but in no case is the text written on this blog the absolute truth. The blog owner and Blogger are not responsible for any misunderstanding of ASCII characters as facts. *cough* As I was saying, you are free to interpret however you like. *cough*

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why do drama shows always show people having lots of thoughts and feelings

...when in real life people's mind are way shallower than you think.

We're probably more human in storybooks and shows, in real-life, we're closer to animals, and like them we do not think a lot over some things.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

If you had 300 dollars:

1) Buy a netbook to replace notes to bring to school
2) Repair Rogers Studio 3

Which would you choose?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Random thought of the day:

How do elves sleep at night with their long ears? They can't sleep sideways for sure.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


The 280 I mentioned is in USD. Plus shipping amounts to around $500.

Calculation of hype

Hype is the deviation between a product's expected worth or performance and its actual worth or performance, expressed in terms of percentage.

It's NOT the number of people supporting the product. We can have lots of people buying supporting a product with negative hype i.e. the product is better than what they think it is, or one idiot preaching that a product is so good so good - the amount of hype is 300%.

Just remember - after factoring in packaging, marketing, distribution, other business whatnots, the worth of a product is very efficiently decided by the market. More efficiently than analysts, more efficiently than government, and most importantly, more efficiently than you.

A law always applies - whatever idea that you think of has already been thought of by others, and they usually know it in more detail, and if they never implemented the idea, they know the problems with it. The only exception to this law is if you are some professional paid to research in that for months, which most of you likely aren't. Or unless the product maker is an idiot. But if that's the case, the invisible hand will do its works.

BTW if by any chance any of you reading are working in R&D, I'm honoured to have you as my audience.

Let me illustrate it better with a case study - suppose a product is priced at $500. Either some or many people are saying it's good it's good it beats $2000 products - which would mean it's a $500 product with a worth of e.g. $1000 as a conservative estimate.

So logically it would be selling like hotcakes.

If something is selling like hotcakes, then manufacturor will up the price. People who need that kind of product within that price range will still buy it if they think it is worth $1000, which goes in line with the economic concept that consumer will buy something as long as consumer surplus >0 (although really, much of basic economics is common sense).

If the manufacturor downs the price, it would be because they are not selling enough at original price, and that they will get more sales at a lower price. To get more sales by lowering price, in economics this would mean an elastic demand, which means people has a greater unwillingness to pay at the higher price. Which means more people think that the product is not worth the original price.

Summary - manufacturor downs price -> because they will get more sales -> because people think that it is not worth the original price

Since the huge crowd of price-determining people here is the market, market forces adjusts the price of product to what it should be worth.

And this value is lower than the hyped value.

Therefore, no matter how much hype a product has, one must always look at its retail price. Of course, marketing and hype can affect pricing, but you can reduce the effect by comparing prices of different ranges but similar products. For example, no matter how hyped a Zero DAC is, it will certainly never beat a Citypulse. The answer is given clear by the works of market forces.

So I stress, always consider the relative prices when guessing a product's performance.

Now, there is actually an irony here - the reason people follow hype is because they are insecure and hence want to go with what is accepted by others. But this others is actually a small group different from the rest of the world.

Hence hype.

Recall that hype does not require a certain number of partipants, any number will work as long as there is a considerable deviation in expected and actual value. Which agrees with the above proposition that hype happens in groups that are small relative to the market.

What about groups that are big relative to the market, or even as big as the market itself?

It would be marketing. And marketing is both an art and science. And it takes effort to skew people's view by so much. iPod is the best example of marketing.

And the difference between hype and marketing is that, I can always sell my iPod off at a high price second-hand, because marketing has actual value. Hype does not, so good luck selling your hyped-up product before its value halves next year.

Random thought of the day:

Saying the correct and omitting the obvious and general knowledge tends to attract response from people who say what seems correct and state the obvious.

Random thought of the day:

People who act as though they've seen the world with their whatever $200 DAC, $500 speaker, or $2000 system should be shot dead.

Note that money is not a problem here - it applies to all ranges. But those who act so with less budget deserve to be shot with a bazooka or something with a bigger caliber.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I love this site

"Poll: Natural dielectrics like silk,paper or cotton sound more natural than say polyprop"


Those with limited engineering knowledge and inadequate hearing will say no

Those with more engineering knowledge and listen with their brains will say yes

Those with enough engineering knowledge, enough hearing with their ears, and enough thinking with their brains will say this is a stupid poll

Because those in the last category know jolly well that "naturalness" is subjective and dependent on system matching, and that given adequate performance of a particular part and sufficiently good design, the circuit itself will affect the sound more greatly than the quality of components used - which is why active components like op-amps have their own sound, and the better systems are not greatly affected by quality of parts and peripherals - e.g. cable, power conditioner, and tend to use lots more not-as-high-end parts (no Blackgates or paper-in-oil capacitors, no oversized/overnumbered transformer and capacitor banks, etc etc etc, there are lots to talk about here) while sounding better than your overbuilt shyt,

Also, what's more important to understand is that, the answer is between yes and no - it would be possible to measure differences, but would the difference be huge and would it be audible, another thing. And the choice of yes and no is not clearly defined,

hence conclusion - this question is stupid

And more than 60% of forumers chose that. And the thread became an almost complete suanage of the very existence of the question. Or is it complete suanage, sometimes they get too technical and I can't tell.

Yup, this site is good. Lots of pros, meaningful and technical discussions, open-minded. Though I know that already.

So visit this website to be happy that you didn't choose electronic engineering or if you want to persuade yourself to change your major:


Cheapskate Audiophile Rig


It's not a powerful rig, but it is a good entry into something that sounds decent. And it has the most amount of value-for-money.

If I had the chance and the money to start from scratch again I would gladly go for this.

Sadly, the Sonic Impact T-Amp is not value-for-money anymore, far from it in fact - it was super when it was sold for USD$39, but soon after, no doubt due to some audiophile/"audiophile" sites hyping it (especially this one with its adsurb claims, btw quite a few items had increased in prices to become overpriced after their reviews were published by this site, I'm not even sure whether they look at performance or money paid under the table), it was asking for at least twice as much (and the T-Amp 2 asking 4 times, without any significantly more effort put in).

At those prices, there are many better alternatives from China. And two (non-Chinese) ones made it into Singapore - JAM Acoustics Audio Amplifier using the famous Tripath TA2024 chip selling for $79, or $59 without PSU and Scythe Kama Bay amp using YAMAHA YDA138 selling for less than $100 at the local distributor of Scythe products Alex Tav.

In the end (or rather, before those choices were available), I got a chance to buy an Yulong for $100 and another one for $120. I'd rather go for something with a toroid. And bigger caps.

Back to not talking about myself, the rig on top is worth less than $200 in current monetary value (if hyping does not take place and prices are what they should be selling at second-hand - Extigy goes for less than $40, do not have any hope for the T-Amp - it should sell for at most its ex retail price, anything more you can go for the newer better alternatives - the preamp is worth max $100 - around $150 new & shipped), yet in economic value (as in the amount of enjoyment) it is worth a whole load more.

Actually you don't need a lot of money for something with decent sound - $100 for an amp, $100 for a pair of old passive speakers, and you're good to own. Way more so than Aego M, Klipsch Promedia GMX, Creative T3. Maybe not all-roundedly especially in the bass department, but stretch the budget to $300 and some creativity and you will.

So seriously, consider getting a cheap separate set-up. It will be worth your effort. And money. And it's fun. (By separate it is a term for set-ups with amps, speakers, preamp etc separated into individual units, as opposed to combined in a single speaker enclosure, not separate as in another set-up that is not your current one)

How upsampling may be bad - a hypothesis

I cannot live with a HD screen without the trusty Lanczos, because point sampling is too jaggy, and bilinear is too blur.

So the idea that upsampling is good. Because interpolating the data such that it looks more like a line than a flight of stairs is always good.

But in certain cases, it can be bad. Like on a GBA emulator - using bilinear just blurs things too much, because it has just goddamn too little pixels. Seeing pixelated Nintendo characters is way better. Using point sampling (a.k.a. nearest neighbour) of course.

What if this logic is applied to audio also?

Talk about bilinear first, it is well-known for excessive blurring when the scaling is too great (e.g. >200%, although anything above 50% is bad enough). In general, resampling will blur a picture and it will blur more at higher scalings, although better algorithms can reduce the amount, but higher scalings still means higher blurring.

With audio, you're resampling to 200% or 400% of original frequency, depending on 96 or 192kHz.

Take a low-res image, make it 4x the scale, compare bilinear to nearest neighbour. I won't blame if you choose either over the other.

Of course, audio uses different (and more complex and better) algorithms than video, but as long as there is a basis for it, there is chance that it is valid.

And like how one can use like trigo-dunno-wat transformation to resize 1600% while still looking like something from earth, throw enough DSP power at it, and you can get anything. Recording studios already did one resampling to 44.1kHz.

So the week's over...

...And I still got quite a few posts in storage.

Will try to finish and post them ASAP. After that, I'm outta here. Leaving this blog in a half-frozen state yet again. Move on with life.

Monday, September 7, 2009

DAC with composite input:

"Selling a mint condition Audio Note DAC 0.1X tube dac. Have both composite and USB inputs."


Hmm, I think composite sucks, how about component? Wait, that isn't the problem. Composite and component and analogue formats, when talking about DAC we mean digital-to-analogue-converter, so the input should be DVI or HDMI. Wait, that still isn't the problem.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Style over substance

Quite a few students in my school use their laptops during lectures and even class - most of them aren't playing games during classes (though there are some that do), but due to the complex nature of the notes system it's much more convenient to bring your computer down instead.

I observed that glossy screens look nice from the sidelines. That is, it looks nice when you're not the person using it.

We know glossy screens stinks for any actual real work due to an optics phenomenum known as reflection. But who cares as long as it looks good from the outside.

And you're not going to buy a product because you know that it's good, but because you think that it looks good. And after you buy it, you get unsatisfactory performance or loads of problems, but companies dun give a hoot because they got your money already.

This does not work for just glossy LCD screens. Think bigger, think further, think wider. Think of parts that look good on the surface only, parts that spoil easily. Think iPod, think Xbox 360 (RROD), think Mac, think Vista, think any product by Apple and Micro$oft, think of a certain stylish small bright-colored speakers that suffers from surround degeneration, speaking of surround degeneration, think Cerwin Vega, think audio products, think *******, think *****, think *********, etc etc etc.

But hey, you may think that this concept seems familiar. I've covered this before.

Damn right I did. This is the basic concept of marketing isn't it? Making your product look nicer than it actually is.

Style extends widely, it may not be aesthetics, even performance numbers can be considered as style.

Beware, the hand is everywhere.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Search Engine Wars

Seems that StatCounter has some pretty handy statistics services instead of just being a counter that you embed onto your webpage.

We look at the Search Engine Wars statistics today:

With a log size of only 500 entries, we'll have to look at this the percentage way -

89 out of 500, or 17.8% of visitors reached this blog from Google

2, or 0.4% reached this blog from Yahoo

What war? More like rape.

The other 81.8% come from...?

Friday, September 4, 2009


If there was any reason to get a T4200 over a T3200, this has to be it:

And it's a good reason. 2GHz @ 0.975V.

Compared to 1.150V without undervolting, and compared to 1.300V of T3200 (same clockspeed, same cache size, 65nm process) in Acer laptops (I know Intel specifies its voltage at 1.075V-1.175V, but it's Acer, and Acer likes to screw us up and being subpar). (Like here, for example)

Using P=V^2/R,

My T4200 consumes 28% less power at 2GHz compared to un-undervolted (to coin a term), and 43.75% less power than a T3200 from Acer.

That translates into slightly longer battery life (most of the battery drain comes from the LCD backlight and the northbridge) and more importantly, cooler and quieter operation as the fan does not have to spin up that often.

But this chip can definitely do better. A lot more better.

That's the problem of having voltage control limits. Something like multiplier lock, but for voltage adjustments.

Without it, it's easy to reduce power draw by at least 33% at near stock speeds. Just as it is easy to overclock at least 33% at stock voltages, or 50% for the cooler and slower Intel entry-level chips. 28% is so little - my A64 at home is running at 38% reduced power, although with a 14% reduction in top speed.

0.975V is the lowest that Intel allows, and it was too easy to hit. Considering this is a 45nm chip at 2.0GHz, based on a technology that can easily do over 3GHz on 65nm with minimal or no voltage raise, I expect this chip to be stable at 0.9V or less.

Still, it's better than nothing.

Oh, and the reason I only did it now (usually I underclock CPUs the day I get them) is because the Multiplier Management of CrystalCPUID (the function responsible for this) does not work in Windows 7 - one more score for XP.

You may say - it's unfair to the T3200 as I didn't compare it undervolted. But the lowest a T3200 can go is 1.087V - this is the limit imposed by Intel. Or even higher, if that T3200 can runs @ 1.3V. What's the deal here? Well, Intel has a very strange system for the new mobile processors out there, the same VID translates into different voltages for either different CPUs or different mainboards, I can't remember. But I'm sure I've read it somewhere. And it's the problem that affects the 45nm "Penyrn"-based processors, like this one. In fact CrystalCPUID says the lowest voltage setting is 1.087V, but I get 0.975V with it.

Something strange, nothing spectacular, nothing to be proud of, nothing to be flamed about. Just something normal, and get on with life.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Best done by gerbils

"Best results obtained if braiding is done by rare south americian mountain gerbils."


Ah... the power of nature. Natural is good.

I don't know how a cable braided by gerbils looks like, but I've seen cables done by weasels before. It looks like this:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


(Please be patient while waiting for the entire flash to load finish, Netfirms isn't exactly a fast host. Any suggestion on a fast host that allows direct-linking and ftp access?)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Goodbye Windows 7, Welcome Back Windows XP.

Apart from being the day of 200th post, yesterday was also the day I switched back from Windows 7 RC to Windows XP. So September 01 also marks the day I first use XP on my laptop. It's also Teacher's Day, but who cares.

Windows 7 was a piece of lard. Incompatible drivers and software, bloated and slow, an interface that looks better than it works, all the advanced settings are almost the same as XP but hidden behind flashy menus meant to either make life easy for beginners or make life hard for both noobs and pros alike. Some functions of XP gone in exchange for features better to be not get used to.

And the most spectacular of all (deserves to be on the front page), it screws the internet connection.

Very interestingly, when I was using the M1 Mobile Broadband, it is very unresponsive and unstable and I cannot download any file without the connection breaking at the 28MB mark. Modem works fine, internet stays connected, but it's just goddamn unstable. And unresponsive - I spend more time waiting for the servers to respond than actually surfing the net. By a factor of a few times.

It's not the modem - as I swapped the modem with my brother. It's not the infrastructure - as his modem is right beside mine.

So, it must be the f*cking OS.

And yes it's true, after returning to XP, my internet is fast again.

Screw u Win 7 RC.

I did lose out on the hardware-accelerated H.264 playback available from Vista and up, but it's a small price to pay for using XP. Although this means that the money I paid for the GL40 chipset is wasted.

And the reason I got Windows 7 in the first place? I mistakenly thought that the SPDIF-out of Acer laptops can only be used with Windows Vista and up. Due to the lack of documentation and the lack of training of the service centre staff.

There's really no need to upgrade your OS unless there's really a need to, like if you have some software that does not run on the previous versions, or there are better functionalities. or if it supports your newer hardware.

Else, you'd be better off sticking to your current OS. I stayed with Windows 98 until around 2005 I think. Furthermore, unless you need the OS to use your hardware effectively, you better don't upgrade unless you have good hardware - 256MB was overkill for Win98 (unless you're playing C&C: Generals, which 512MB is best), but the bare minimum for XP; 1GB is enough for good speed in XP, but barely in Win7.

Now I have a dual-core that requires XP. But nothing else that requires Vista/Win7. So XP's gonna stay for a looong time.

Speaking of which, Microsoft seems to have a 'Tick-Tock' model like Intel, but their Tick-Tock is between products that work and products that don't -

("works" is defined as widespread and prolonged use of the particular product, without being complained too much of bloatedness, incompatibility, and any other complaint that you can throw at Microsoft. Even if a product did not work well at the start, if towards its end of life it gets widely used, then it's still a success. "fail" is the direct opposite: basically nobody would care if this product wasn't released; rather, everybody would be happier if this product wasn't released)

Windows 3.1 - works
Windows 95 - fail (late release + lots of incompatibility + 98 came out)
Windows 98 - works
Windows ME - fail
Windows XP - works
Windows Vista - fail
Windows 7 - *should* work