Category Archives: interfaces

Android Mini HDMI Sticks: HDMI, Android 4 for $30 – Google ChromeCast Replicas

There are a lot of cheap HDMI sticks that offer on-board RAM, Storage and Android 4 support, everything in a small case and with very competitive pricing around $35 including free worldwide shipping.

cnx software compared the MK802 II Mini PC to the raspberrrypi, the cheap android sticks even beat the raspi in price (and features, since the come with 4GB NAND SSD).

Here are two sticks worth consindering. They might be CheapCast compatible, though nanofunk has not tested this yet (we ordered two sticks though, so stay tuned.)

f735de91-e496-4793-a291-3623a13be5a9

 

S1674901-4

Update: Here is a super-cheap HDMI Android 4 Cortex A9 Stick with 8GB NAND for $30 free international shipping: Bluetooth Android 4.1 Mini PC TV Box Stick MK808B Dual Core 8GB RK3066 Cortex A9

Apple MacBook Pro Retina graphics performance is very slow: 18FPS

Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15inch Notebook GPU too slow for pro users?

According to Anandtech the 2880 x 1800 Pixel HiDPI Display of the new MacBook Pro Retina has to deal with so much pixels, the GPU cannot deal with that amount of information anymore. This results in slow performance and a jumpy interface (scrolling and zooming is very slow). Previous models of the MacBook Pro could display between 46-60 frames per second, while the MacBook Pro Retina is only capable of displaying 18-24fps. Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion should improve this a little – but still under 30fps. According to Anand, the solution will be the upcoming Haswell and Broadwell chipsets from Intel, that will be released in 2013.

To quantify exactly what I was seeing I measured frame rate while scrolling as quickly as possible through my Facebook news feed in Safari on the rMBP as well as my 2011 15-inch High Res MacBook Pro. While last year’s MBP delivered anywhere from 46 – 60 fps during this test, the rMBP hovered around 20 fps (18 – 24 fps was the typical range). Remember at 2880 x 1800 there are simply more pixels to push and more work to be done by both the CPU and the GPU. It’s even worse in those applications that have higher quality assets: the CPU now has to decode images at 4x the resolution of what it’s used to. Future CPUs will take this added workload into account, but it’ll take time to get there.

For early adopters and for posers, the new MacBook Pro Retina might be a fit. For serious people using their computers to actually get work done, it might be better to get a MacBook Pro from the previous Generation, since the price drops are significant: the Apple MacBook Air MC968LL/A 11.6-Inch currently sells for $829 new (refurbished from $789), the Apple MacBook Pro MC700LL/A 13.3-Inch sells for $1050 new ($900 refurbished).

The Apple MacBook Pro MC975LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) starts at $2,089.99.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Smartphone has already 9 Million orders – beats iPhone on preorder volume

The Samsung Galaxy S3 (SIII) is one awesome piece of hardware: not yet available (but can be preordered for $774) it already beat Apple’s iPhone in preorders: over 9 million people already ordered Samsung’s Smartphone

“Samsung’s new Galaxy S3 phone has been pre-ordered by more than 100 global carriers, who expect to sell at least 9 million devices at launch.” (via telegraph).

I am still deciding if i go for the Samsung Galaxy SIII Gt-i9300 or the much cheaper Samsung I9250 Galaxy Nexus, which already sells for $389.99. I am not sure if I really need the quad-core CPU and the larger screen; also the battery standby and talking time seem to be quite similar. Anyone can help me make my decision? ;)

Return to product information 	 SAMSUNG GALAXY SIII GT-i9300 16GB PEBBLE BLUE FACTORY UNLOCKED GSM i9300 S3 (3G HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100) - PRE-ORDER

DSLR Rig Shoulder Mount Pad Steady Rig Stabilization System for EUR 100

DSLR Rigs go for as low as 100€ (130 US$) on ebay. But are they any good? How do they compare to expensive DSLR Shoulder Rigs and should you care?

DSLR Rig Shoulder Mount Pad Steady Rig Stabilization System for EUR 100
pictured: DSLR Rig Shoulder Mount Pad Steady Rig Stabilization System for 7D 5D Mark II Z7 from filmcity23 (international orders)

Short answer: go for the cheap Rigs! They are quite durable and you can buy another one if it breaks.

Longer answer:
The upgradeability of the cheap rigs are limited. Furthermore the materials used are also cheap, so of course, if you are a pro-shooter you might want to get the more expensive Rigs, such as the Proaim DSLR KIT-3 or the (very expensive) Redrock DSLR Cinema Bundle. If you are beginner or intermediate, you should definitely try the cheap Rigs for a little over 100€, since they are often sufficient. Stabilizing the video output and generating good footage should be your main concern – after all the rig is not visible on your footage.

Atomos presents the Ninja 2 HDMI Field Recorder with Updated Sceen 800×480 and HDMI Out, adds Avid DNxHD

Atomos Ninja 2 HDMI Raw Video DSLR Recorder - the perfect companion for the Nikon D800

Atomos released the “Ninja 2″ HDMI Recorder, following the success of the previous Atomos Ninja – featuring a much larger screen (800×480 pixels at 4.3″) and support for Avid DNxHD Codecs. Furthermore the device has HDMI Output now, which means that we can mount a Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Shuttle SSD Field Recorder to it, allowing for simultaneous RAW Video and ProRes/DNxHD 220Mbit recording. (that was a joke, why would you do that?)

The Ninja is really an awesome device. Pricing is also quite moderate, $995 USD | €795 Ex.VAT | £695 Ex.VAT is the cost for a portable DSLR recording monster. Owners of the Version 1 of the Ninja will be presented with an upgrade option soon, according to Atomos.
A recent update to the AtomOS operating system allows native 24P recording, which is supported by the Nikon D800. Nikon owners are very pleased, as outlined on some example videos on Vimeo.

Here are the news in a flash:

  • Online or Offline, Master or Back-up: 10-bit 4:2:2, 220Mbps, 2.5” HDD or SSD
  • Any HDMI or HD-SDI source: DSLRS, Decks, Switchers, PC, Mac, iPad & iPhone
  • Ready to deliver, high-capacity HDD or SSD: No more expensive memory cards!
  • 800×480 screen with 170° viewing and loop play: Focus Peaking, Zebra, False Color & Blue Only Exposure
  • Pristine Playback & Playout: SmartLog – Just Mark & Tag

Sandy Bridge-E Intel 2011 Socket confirmed working with Hackintosh

[Update] Intel Socket 2011 does not only support Sandy Bridge-E, but also the upcoming Ivy Bridge-E Chipset, as outlined by one of our commenters. That makes the Socket-2011 Mainboards a perfect choice for a hackintosh system.

Many of us are waiting for an update to the Sandy Bridge (E) Chipset to the upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge (along with the release of new Apple Hardware), that would allow running the new Intel Chipset with Hackintoshed customac systems.

But what about Sandy Bridge-E?
Ivy Bridge will be Quad-Core. If you want more threads and cores, go for SB-E. Sandy Bridge-E as well as Ivy Bridge will have PCIe 3.0. SB-E has 40 PCIe lanes (compared to 16 lanes in Sandy Bridge) as well as 1600MHz memory speed (quad-channel memory) which should be around 33% faster in theory.

There are confirmed builds that can run Mac OSX 10.7 (Lion) as well as 10.6 (Snow Leopard) with the Intel Sandy Bridge-E (SB-E) X79 Chipset. Integrated Graphics are not supported, but who needs them anyway, since the AMD 6990 GPU or the upcoming 7990
Here is a list of the confirmed mainboards:

ASUS Asustek P9X79 Mainboard Socket S2011 hackintosh chimera

Asus P9X79 Deluxe (user: vonmolk)
$370 in the US, €299 in Europe

Pro: good build quality (compared to other versions of that board)
Cons: none. The Asus Rampage IV has even better build quality.

Gigabyte GA-X79-UD7 Mainboard Socket 2011 (ATX, DDR3 Speicher, SATA III, USB 3.0) Intel Hackintosh chimera

Gigabyte GA-X79-UD7 (user: machacks)
€297 in Europe, ??? in the USA

Pro: Awesome board! (nanofunk recommendation). Gigabyte has a longer history of hackintosh-capable boards, so get one of those.
Cons: none, really. Overclocking features could be better.

ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME - LGA2011 - X79 - 8x DIMM - PCIe 3.0 Motherboards Hackintosh chimera

* ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (user: nfsking2)
$415 in the US, €369 in Europe

Pro: awesome build quality, extreme overclocking support.
Cons: expensive.

The MSI X79 Big Bang XPower II is suspected to work as well (once it becomes available). Theoretically, most of the X79 boards should work, we just have to wait and see what early birds (early adopters) are coming up with. Keep up the great work, ppl! (and don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments below)

Rumors of Apple iPad 3 to be released on February 24 2012

FocusTaiwan reports (via 9to5Mac) that Apple pushing its manufacturing partners to meet deadlines that would allow the company to launch the iPad on Steve Jobs’ birthday, February 24th.

According to the report, workers at several iPad component suppliers as well as manufacturing partner Foxconn will have limited time off during the usual Lunar New Year holiday. The Lunar New Year holiday itself falls on January 23rd next year, with workers generally receiving a number of other days off from work around that date.


Sources have been reporting a variety of rumored dates for an iPad 3 introduction, with some claiming a debut in the March-April timeframe while others have pointed to a February launch being in the works.

Apple last year launched new MacBook Pro models on Jobs’ birthday, although that unusual Thursday introduction was likely a convenient coincidence driven by the debut taking place during the Presidents Day holiday week.

[original via macrumors.com]

iPhone 5 Prototype Hands-On: Fake or Real?

(via macrumors) Business Insider now reports that it has received word from a source who has claimed to have had access to an iPhone 5 prototype and offered some details on the device. We’ve been told this by an industry source who has been right about future Apple products in the past.

It has not been verified yet, but there are some leaked details, which are of course just rumors:

– 4-inch screen
– Aluminum back
– Capacitive home button
– “Flatter” form factor
– Much faster than current hardware, but poor battery life
– 10-megapixel rear camera
– Siri prototype known as “Assistant”, which had been the rumored name for the feature until its introduction

There are quite some good deals on the Apple iPhone 4S on ebay, an introduction of the iPhone 5 would let the price of the “older” models drop significantly (talking about the Osborne Effect)

RED announces the Scarlet-X 4k Camera to compete the Canon C300 for DSLR film makers

Just as Canon announced the C300 DSLR Video Camera – RED, the company behind the legendary RED EPIC camera, announces the RED SCARLET-X with Canon EF or Arri PL mount: a 4K camera with a price starting below 10.000US$. While the Canon C300 is a 1080p camera that uses 4:2:2 sampling, (50 Mbps MPEG2) and captures a total of 3840×2160 pixels with its Super 35mm image sensor, the RED has other specs: 440Mbps RED REDCODE RAW format at 444 , 12fps at 5K, 25fps at true 4K, 30fps in 3K and 60fps in 2K.

credits go to @alexhallajian for an image of the RED Scarlet-X Camera. The Scarlet-X will retail for $9750, according to @fxguidelive, with a "full kit" chiming in at just under $14k. It's a bummer RED hasn't been able keep its website up to make a proper announcement. Hopefully the November 17th ship date for the PL mount version and the December 1st date for the Canon mount both go more smoothly. We've embedded RED's teaser trailer below, along with some pictures of the Scarlet-X.

Canon also announced a real 4k Camera to be available somewhere in the next year. So 2012 could become the real year of DSLR Video.

Here is the original press release from RED.COM
(via red.com/press):

RED STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD, Hollywood, Calif., November 3, 2011 – RED Digital Cinema has officially released its third industry-changing camera, the Scarlet-X. With burst modes up to 12 fps at full 5K resolution alongside 4K motion capture from 1-30 fps, the camera allows professional photographers and cinematographers to simultaneously capture motion footage and still content. Never miss a shot. Ever. Scarlet-X’s compact design, endless modularity and advanced feature set provide a future-proof solution catering to every shooter’s needs, leaving one-dimensional DSLRs and 1080p camcorders in its wake. Priced at under $10,000, Scarlet-X advances RED’s vision to democratize superlative cinema and professional photography.
Scarlet-X comes standard with a Canon EF or PL mount, which can be swapped easily using Scarlet-X’s interchangeable lens mount system. Panavision, Anamorphic, and Nikon lenses are also compatible with the camera, providing ultimate freedom when it comes to creative decision-making. The addition of HDRx reaches up to 18 stops of dynamic range, bringing digital images closer than ever to the natural perception of the human eye.
With the innate ability to capture 5K REDCODE RAW stills and true 4K motion footage, Scarlet-X produces visually lossless files that can easily be graded and finished. Combining all of the finest qualities of cinema and photography into one camera, Scarlet-X allows the customer to have the best of both worlds. Compromise nothing. Shoot everything.
“The future is dependent on those who push… not those who react,” said Jim Jannard, founder of RED Digital Cinema.
RED is now taking orders on RED.com for Scarlet-X.
Since delivering their first camera – the RED ONE – in 2007, RED Digital Cinema has jumped ahead of the pack over camera companies that had dominated the market for decades. Feature films shot with RED cameras such as the Academy Award-winning movie “The Social Network” and the more recent “Contagion” have contributed to a lineage of cinematic success. Since the 2011 introduction of DSMC (Digital Still & Motion Camera) technology, photography icons like Bruce Weber, Greg Williams and Inez + Vinoodh have used RED cameras to shoot covers and spreads for the some of the most influential fashion magazines in the world.
Follow the announcement at REDUSER.net/SCARLET.

[Update 20.11.2011] Philip Bloom posted a balanced take on the Scarlet. Worth a read.

Recommended reading on this topic: The Truth About 2K, 4K and The Future of Pixels

Canon launches the C300 cinema camera: a competitor for Red Scarlet and Arri Alexa?

Canon recently unveiled its C300 cinema camera at Hollywood’s Paramount Studios, in front of a huge crowd. Cameras such as the Arri Alexa and RED EPIC dominate the digital filmmaking world – the Canon C300 aims at people that are into professional DSLR Video and want to take a step further.

It will cost somewhere in the range of $20,000. It contains a Super 35mm CMOS sensor and delivers up to 4K resolution with the outfit’s new “top-end” EF zoom lenses, which come in four flavors: two 14.5-60mm lenses and two 30-300mm. And the lenses keep on coming, with three EF prime lenses in 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm variations. That CMOS sensor offers 1920 x 1080 pixels for the reds and blues and 1920 x 2160 for greens.

Mobius – 1080p HQ from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

Apple Wild West UI Design (HaHa)


hahaha: gizmodo is totally right when stating “Yeee-haw, Apple buckaroos! Whooz ready for some good timin’, multitaskin’? Who wants their iPhone served up with a hot bucket’a grits? HOOOOOOOOOOO BOY. Jonny Ive’s deep in the hooch pan again? Saddle up, grab yer partner, and let’s make some truck-ugly apps!”

What happened to the GUI design guidelines of Apple? Why do we have to use western-style user interfaces – and why can’t we change the looks to something uhm less contemporary?

New Apple iPhone 4S – mainly lens improvements, but: great optics indeed! (plus: Siri A.I.)

Everyone’s talking about the new iPhone 4S that was announced by Apple recently. But is there more to it than improved optics? Even if not, the camera is a huge improvement over the previous model: 1080p video recording, 8 Megapixel photo sensor, f/2.4 aperture.

Behind all the updates, the most interesting is HSDPA support. In countries such as Austria or Japan, where HSDPA is widespread, this is a very welcome hardware upgrade. Still, why is there no HSPA+ support? In cities with a weak broadband coverage (everything above a few MB upstream) – such as Vienna, this is really akward. We still have to fall back to the Samsung Galaxy S2 i9100, which offers HSPA+ among other great features. So the “only” killer feature of the Apple iPhone 4S remains the greatly improved Camera – which is to question, concerning the price of such a gadget. An Amazon Search for the iPhone 4S yields no results, obviously, since the device is said to be available from mid October.

Our recommendations: wait for the iPhone 5 and get some real gear instead.

1) Get a Canon PowerShot S100 for Photo and Video
2) Get a SONIM XP5300 3G FORCE if you need a phone that actually works.

Redrock Micro creates Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds adapter with aperture control


Redrock Micro has created a Canon EF to Micro Four Thirds lens adapter which adds the electronics required to control the aperture on the mounted EOS lenses – 9V battery and a touch-panel allows the adapter to specify the lens aperture in 1/3EV steps. The adapter (LiveLens MFT) costs $442.50 and is available directly from the manufacturer’s website.

The Redrock Micro LiveLens, Active Lens Mount for Canon EF Lenses currently sells for $495 on amazon, while the manufacturer has an introductory pricing at $442.50.

Redrock Micro’s LiveLens MFT provides the required power and electronics to control Canon EF lenses when attached to a micro four-thirds camera body. With the LiveLens MFT’s control touchpad, the EF lens’ aperture can be open and closed in increments as small as 1/3 stop. The LiveLens MFT works with virtually every EF lens available today, including variable aperture zoom lenses, prime lenses, consumer-level lenses, professional L-series lenses and most third party EF-compatible lenses. A marvel of advanced design, the LiveLens MFT is incredibly compact and weighs less than 6oz. (via dpreview)

RAW Video for DSLR with Magic Lantern and Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle (vs. Atomos Ninja): 5D MKII, 550D, Rebels

[Update] Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 as well as the Atomos Ninja 2 Recorder are already out. We are reviewing them shortly, as we have used both already in production. Both are capable of DNxHD as well as Apple ProRes.

SLR Film making got even more exciting: with the availability of HDMI recorders, RAW Video footage can be recorded to get the maximum out of your Canon 5D MKII or other camera compatible with Magic Lantern. Standard Firmware does not output a “clean” HDMI signal, at least not for Canon cameras; the Panasonic GH2 produces a clean HDMI output, as noted by Philip Bloom (!).

What are currently recommended HDMI field recorders?

1. Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle (RAW Video)

Black Magic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle

* Product information page/ manufacturer: Black Magic Design
* Discussion on the Magic Lantern User Group: hyperdeck shuttle

Pro:

  • Very Cheap: ($339.99 in the USA, 299€ in Europe
  • Records UNCOMPRESSED (!) RAW Footage from HDMI Out.
  • Cons:

  • Expensive in usage: 15 minutes uncompressed (1.6 GB/s) = 180GB
  • SSD drives NOT included, so you might need to calculate in some OCZ Vertex 3 SSDs in your budget
  • No Video Monitoring on the device itself. You might need to buy an external monitor, such as the Liliput external HDMI monitor (starting at $169 in the USA and 186€ in Europe)



    2. Atomos Ninja – Portable HDMI Recorder (ProRes)
    Atomos Ninja HDMI Recorder for almost RAW Video (Apple ProRes)

    Pro:

  • Smaller files, since it is no real RAW footage but Apple ProRes: 6 hours ProRes 422 (HQ) (220 MB/s) (16.5 Hours with 750GB Disks)

  • Monitoring included! 4.3” diagonal, 480×270 resolution
  • Cheap usage, since Hard Drives can be used! (though, the initial price is higher:
  • Less storage space needed
  • Supports two Hard Drives or SSD-Disks.
  • Firewire 800, USB-2 and USB-3
  • Continous Battery: two power cells to guarantee uninterrupted usage

    Cons:

  • Apple ProRes and no real RAW footage (this can be a good thing, as you are saving tons of money and storage space)
  • No ProRes for Windows users yet; Apple users might need to get Final Cut, since Apple ProRes is included in FCP Studio


  • Conclusion:
    Unless you are super-rich and have tons of money to spend for Solid State Drives and a RAID Array, you should get the Atomos Ninja. Besides the actual device, you also get a monitoring solution and have a true portable device, that creates files usable with normal hard drives. Overall cost is much lower and there should not be a really visible difference from ProRes to RAW footage. If you are into Bokeh Porn, you might want to spend your money in the Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle.

    Keep in mind, there are currently some issues with HDMI out an Magic Lantern: there is a video on the 5D MKII’s 1080i out and also some discussions going on in the Magic Lantern Forums, because some processing needs to be done to get actual usable files. Actual resolutionis 12-19% less (depending how you do it) but still the results are awesome – especially in low light situations. Maybe we will get real clean HDMI out with the Canon EOS 5D MKIII.

    Bliptronic 5000: the $39.90 Monome Rival

    The Bliptronic 5000 is a great and super-cheap rival to the $500 Monome although not with such a great chassis and quality. But: it is chainable and has its own built-in sound engine (chiptunes-style, sound similar to the tenori-on or the casiotone)

    createdigitalmusic posted some hacking tips, including information on how to build your own MIDI clocking and how to create a “switchonome”. Another post by runagate describes how to Turn A $50 Bliptronic 5000 Into A Monome Controller [update: Bliptronome conversion kit for $68 USD].

    Information via ThinkGeek:

    Product Features
    4595
    * Unusual retro synthesizer is played with a grid of glowing buttons
    * Create looping patterns and change them dynamically while playing
    * Chain multiple units together and create more complex melodies
    * One octave range. 8 notes can be played simultaneously
    * 8 different old-skool synth sounding instruments to choose from
    * Sounds created using FM waveform synthesis
    * Set the BPM (beats per minute) from 60 to 180 in 20 BPM increments
    * Built in speaker with headphone jack and line-out jack
    * Front panel is constructed from brushed aluminum
    * Includes, manual and 2 link cables for connecting additional Bliptronic units
    * Requires 4 x AA batteries (not included)

    C4e1 bliptronic 5000 led synthesizer add1 embed

    Cycling74 Max/Msp 6 – code generation, GPU programming, new features

    Cycling74 Max Msp 6

    The company Cycling74 announced Max/Msp 6 which will arrive fall 2011. Prices have been lowered, starting from $59 for a student 12-month license. Upgrade prices for existing Max5 users will be $199, if there will be a “max for live” upgrade fee is not known at the moment.

    Main news are:

    1. Performance: code generation, HTML5 and a new 2d Graphics API in Javascript has been announced.
    2. Quality: “output gaps” should not be audible anymore when working on running patches, as well as “an advanced toolset for high quality rendering 3-D objects” has been announced. Jitter comes with a new physics engine and better support for 3D model and animation files. Better support for cameras and lighting, as well as a new “materials” systems have also been introduced.
    3. Workflow: a new attribute monitoring and editing workflow, as well as a “new project feature, where you can see all the patchers, code, and media files you’re using” has been announced.

    You can read the full announcement at the Cyling74 website, as well as read the @cycling74 twitter feed for more recent updates.

    Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID system for high-speed data demands: 6x3TB for a total of 18TB (mod)

    [Edit 23.12.2011] CAUTION! People trying the below mentioned modification of the Promise Thunderbolt reported issues and data loss. Please consult the Promise Support if you are planning to do modifications or already did!

    [UPDATE] with the announced Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4000GB(4TB), 5K4000 as well as the 4TB Seagate Barracuda XT a total of 24TB could be reached when modding the Promise Pegasus just replacing the 2TB drives it comes with. 5TB HDDs are reported arriving in January 2012. Read our updated Article: Caution with Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID 6x3TB (18TB) or 6x4TB (24TB) modification. 6x5TB (30TB) possible as of January 2012?


    The Promise Pegasus is the most “promising” hardware for enthusiasts and pro users, since it offers really fast transfer speeds, even topping the OCZ Vertex 3 SATA 6Gbps internal SSD on Macbook Pro computers.

    Delivering over 800MB/s of disk performance, Pegasus is compatible with Mac systems with Thunderbolt

    31ZnpSUvKsL
    41CYNnbqz3L

    Compare the Promise Pegasus R4 (4x 2TB) and the Promise Pegasus R6 (8x 2TB). Of course, if you want to pimp your pegasus, you can replace the internal drives with different ones.

    Internally Promise uses a PMC Sierra PM8011 8-port SAS-2 RAID controller. This is an 8-lane PCIe Gen 2 controller with eight SAS/SATA 6Gbps ports. On the R6 obviously only six of those ports are functional. The PM8011 has an embedded 600MHz MIPS processor and is paired with 512MB of DDR2-533. (via Anandtech)

    DSC 4155

    Possible replacements and hacks for the Promise Pegasus:

    * replace the internal hard drives with SSD drives: at the current date this still has stability issues. We are waiting for updated drivers or a response from Pegasus about the current freezes and issues with SSD drives. If you really have to test it out, make sure you get 6Gbps SSD drives. 2.5inch drives will also fit in the caddy.

    * replacing the internal drives with 3TB drives: this is a confirmed and stable way of pimping your pegasus drives. Pegasus comes with 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 drives, so make sure you are getting 3TB drives from the same brand. We can recommend the Hitachi 3TB 7200RPM drive, but also we can confirm the Pegasus runs with the Western Digital 3 TB SATA II Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive and the SEAGATE Barracuda XT 3 TB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 64 MB Cache. Just keep in mind, not to mix up brands: you should get 6 times the same hard disk for the most stable system.

    * replacing the internal drives with SAS 6Gbps Hard Disks: while this would render the promise pegasus a real pro system that is rock stable, drives should be used, that offer a compatible SAS-connector. Since SAS-drives are generally compatible to SATA-connectors, we can generally recommend the Seagate Constellation ES.2 3 TB Internal Hard Drive SAS 600 7200rpm 64MB

    Conclusio: The Promise Pegasus is a fast solution for great read/write speed plus the extra feature of having the possibility to daisy-chain more Pegasus devices together, to increase the space when needed. Compared to the Data Robotics DROBO PRO System, it only offers 1-drive fail (1 drive can get corrupted, if 2 fail your data is lost) while the DROBO offers dual drive redundancy. Also, the DROBO PRO supports different sized drives, while you can only put drives of the same size (and it is recommended to also only use the exact same drive models) in the Promise Pegasus.
    Overall, nanofunk is recommending the Pegasus R4 and R6, because of its faster speed and possibilty to enhance the system. Since we had our DROBO PRO replaced twice (the unit itself was faulty) we are currently fully in favor of the Promise Pegasus.

    Save Money with replica Apple Hardware: the good and the bad.

    Apple original Hardware is very pricy. There are some items which can be bought as replica and are (almost) the same as their original counterparts. But which items should be bought as rebuilt?Good idea: Replica Apple Power Adapters (for MacBook, MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad). Bad idea: Lithium-ion polymer battery packs.

    We recently had bad experiences with non-Apple battery packs, so we can definitely not recommend getting them from another vendor. Good news: if your Battery is less than 300 cycles and lower than 80% of the battery health, they will replace it for you (if you have Apple Care or are within your 1 Year warranty). If not, stay tuned, we will post a guide on this very soon.

    Apple replica/ rebuilt Hardware that actually makes sense to buy

    1. Apple Magsafe Power Adapters (and G4/G3 Adapters as well)

    Apple Magsafe Power Adapter Replica. Cheaper than the original, same quality.

    The cheapest versions are EUR 27,98 for a AC Power Adapter für Apple MacBook Pro MagSafe 85W( even cheaper in the USA: $25.56!) and EUR 21,99 for a 60W Power adapter for Apple MacBook ( only $19.27 in the US!)

    2. Apple USB Power Adapters for iPhone and iPod

    The Apple original USB Adapter sells for $29 on the Apple Store, while a Multicharger Set (Car, Wall and USB) sells for €4.50 in Europe and $5.47 in the USA. Be careful! I selected items that we already ordered and tested before, there are “bad” replicas as well out there (see this example and read the comments on Amazon).

     

     

    Apple Replica Keyboard. WTF is that a windows key?

    Apple Replica Keyboard. WTF is that a windows key?

     

    I will post my experiences with Apple replicas here if I have any news. Currenty, we can NOT recommend the following list of items as replicas:

    • Apple Replica Batteries. They mostly died on us too fast. (we will post a specific Apple Batteries Guide in some days)
    • Apple Replica Keyboard (not tested) – is this really available somewhere? WTF is this windows key? Although the Macally USB Slim Keyboard – ICEKEY has some good reviews, i like my keyboard to be an original. [UPDATE] the Macally Keyboard has severe driver issues. Not Recommended!
    • Apple Mouse Replicas: we ended up going hi-tech with the Apple Magic Mouse which is $67.99 – or just using the Logitech Value Optical Mouse which is $4.99, but can not be really considered a “replica”, since the Apple Magic Mouse has soo much more features (wireless, swipe, better optical resolution).

    monome: greyscale sixty-four release date

    Monome.org just released the information in the release date of their greyscale sixty-four: 1st of January, 2010. The 64 edition is US$ 500 plus shipping costs. *Update*: Orders are accepted as of NOW. I just ordered my monome via google checkout. International postage fee is 90$ +customs. Let’s see when it arrives…

    What is a monome? “a reconfigurable grid of backlit keypads which connects to a computer. interaction between the keys and lights is determined by the application running on the computer. there is no hard-wired functionality.”

    (see more videos of the monome on vimeo)

    Owl Project: electronic musical instruments made of wood

    Owl Project is a collaborative group of Manchester based artists who share interests in human interaction with technology and process led art. Over the last few years they have become known for a distinctive range of wooden musical and sculptural instruments that critique human interaction with computer interfaces and our increasing appetite for new and often disposable technologies.

    Continue reading

    The Future Sounds Like This: 10 Magnificently Modern Musical Instruments

    MontageMusical1_weburbanist.jpg

    via weburbanist: “The study of musical instruments (’organology’ – no, really) is the study of the human condition. Every culture is defined by its own distinctive set of trills, whistles, parps, honks and beats, and every corner of the world has evolved its own location-specific indigenous instrument to renew a sense of cultural identity through noisy self-expression. And instruments evolve – never more so than now, in the midst of a technological revolution that has opened up entirely new ways to make music. So settle back and compose yourself as we look at ten new instruments that look set to accompany us into the world of tomorrow.”

    Percussa AudioCubes: a platform for audio-visual creation and exploration

    Percussa’s Audiocubes are some sort of “intelligent interfaces” that share information with each other. They can “Generate, Process and Control music loops and samples”. You can link them to you existing music software or also use them with Percussa’s own Software. The cubes have an USB connector, as well as 1/4 inch jacks to connect them with each other to be used as “lo-fi sound generators”. Cubes interact with each other wirelessly, change their color according to the settings, blink on triggering, etc.

    “Each AudioCube is identical. You connect them with a USB cable to your computer, one after the other, and assign a colour and behaviour. After that, they work wirelessly with each other, and use their four onboard infrared sensors to communicate and measure distances to objects nearby. One cube stays connected, to pass the information from the cubes to the software on your computer. Location, orientation and distance information is passed to the software, while you interact with the cubes. The software can connect via MIDI or OpenSoundControl (OSC) to any software or hardware for music or visuals which you already have, or you can use it within your DAW (digital audio workstation) software as a VST plugin, or as a host for VST instruments to let you create sound immediately.”

    In the Video below, there is also an example how to trigger loops from Ableton Live. All in all these interfaces look really nice – they seem to be a quite intelligent and intutive interface to create, modify and trigger sounds. (see other AudioCube videos on Vimeo)

    2 AudioCubes are priced €399.00, if you get a set of 4, they cost €649.00 (including tax). AudioCubes work with computers running Mac OSX 10.4 or later, or Windows XP SP2 or later. Drivers are not needed. Dimensions are 75mm x 75mm x 75mm.

    I definitely have to get those. I will post a full review and some examples when i have them!

    New Ableton Live Contoller: Novation Launchpad

    launchpad-ableton-main-gimage-copy

    A Monome for the rest of us. The new Ableton Live Controller by Novation looks quite like the monome. Still, if it integrates in Ableton as well as the Akai APC 40, it can be a quite handy – and cheap: 150€ (199US$) is said to be the street price (to be released Nov ’09).

    Still since the APC40 uses a proprietary protocol, it is uncertain if the Launchpad will be usable for controlling other things than Ableton Live.
    Continue reading

    “Totally Wired” – a film about Schneider’s Buero, Berlin.

    Doepfer Sneak Peek from niamhguckian on Vimeo.

    (via the blogosphere)Dear Friends,
    It gives me great happiness to announce at last the release of ‘Totally Wired’, a film about Schneiders Buero, now available on DVD from Amazon
    To thank you for your patience and support, a 10% discount is available to you with the following code: FRLD3JPV
    The film will also be available from HERE and in Schneiders Buero, Berlin.
    All Tweets, Forwards, Adds and Posts would be greatly appreciated!
    I hope you enjoy the film and look forward to your feedback.
    Niamh Guckian, Director, ‘Totally Wired’.

    Workspaces and Enviroments


    TRASH AUDIO at blogspot collects really nice videos, interviews, photos and other stuff – audio and synth related. Best of all: “Workspaces and Enviroments” – you get some information about how other people arrange and produce their music – and how they arrange their workspace, which tells a lot about themselves. In the end I like to look at other people’s environments. we likey!

    Monome: minimalistic bi-directional interfaces.

    three models: two fifty six (16×16), one twenty eight (16×8), and sixty four (8×8). each is a reconfigurable grid of backlit keypads which connects to a computer. interaction between the keys and lights is determined by the application running on the computer. there is no hard-wired functionality.

    I am really looking forward to get one od those. If anyone wants to sell his 8×8 version, please drop me a mail. Currently only the DIY-Kits of the 40h version are available again, everything else is sold out. I think i will get myself one, stay tuned for a detailed review when i got it.

    New Arduino Mega microcontroller board: bigger, more powerful, still blue.


    The Arduino Mega is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega1280 (datasheet). It has 54 digital input/output pins (of which 14 can be used as PWM outputs), 16 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.[...] (via arduino.cc)
    Continue reading