The TV show Simpsons is ahead of it’s time in so many ways - fans of the Simpsons will remember the Ultrahouse 3000. Now we have the technology to do exactly that, with a few simple gadgets you can turn your house into a ’smart house’. This is the beginning of my journey.
The following 4 ingredients is all you need to turn your house into Ultrahouse 3000:
Google Home Assistant
Xiaomi Robot Vacuum
Home Assistant software
IFTTT web account
In this short video, the voice command ‘Clean House’ is picked up by Google Home, and the XiaoMi robot will start doing it’s thing. Not too sure why there is a lag of 10 seconds, putting that down to my slow Internet at home.
This is just the beginning. Later I will write HOW-TO blogs on how to do all this, and more.
Audiophiles tend to be opinionated people, there are two big arguments that will flare up periodically on the Internet - Accurate vsMusical, and Objective vs Subjective. In this article we’d mainly be talking about the first case.
Accurate and Musical, what do the two words mean to audiophiles? According to the Stereophile Glossary, they are defined as:
The degree to which the output signal from a component or system is perceived as replicating the sonic qualities of its input signal. An accurate device reproduces what is on the recording, which may or may not be an accurate representation of the original sound.
And Musical -
A personal judgment as to the degree to which reproduced sound resembles live music. Real musical sound is both accurate and euphonic, consonant and dissonant.
Unfortunately people who align themselves to the camps above do not really stick to these definitions. The long version is different people will bend these words in an attempt to fit their arguments. The short version is we simply like an argument!
In this article we’d discuss my take on why these two words are the bane of audiophiles, and the reasons to avoid using them in critical music listening.
Snakeoil OS build 1.0.0 is finally finished and released. It took about 5 months of development (including nearly 2 months of testing). The decision to abandon the 0.1.x codebase and rewrite everything for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is a brave decision, and a crazy decision too.
There are far too many unknowns. At the time, there was a lot of things to do, and I have none of the skills to finish them. The task looks insurmountable, the anticipated time is at least 12 months of development work alone. To actually finish this in such a short time frame is truly amazing. The 12 months is an overly exaggerated miscalculation. This is really the projected 12 month period, squeezed into the shorter 5 month. It really was a joy and rewarding experience working on the Snakeoil OS project. Hope there will be better things to come.
Earlier on I have already introduced all the new technologies in Snakeoil 1.0.0. Give that a read if you havn’t already done so. With the next phase of Snakeoil OS project I am going to introduce GitLab. It just makes it easier to manage the code and will automate the ISO and firmware generation. A lot of geeky stuffs, be assured it’s all good.
That is all, go to the forums and download Snakeoil OS Golden Ears now.
Music should not be a thing one can only be enjoyed at home, music must be enjoyed everywhere - at home, outdoors, or at work. Especially work!
Music brings a lot of joy, and everybody loves a happy workplace. With my new job, I no longer have a fixed office/desk. In the morning on every work day, I take all my work equipment from a central area and take it to an unoccupied desk in the “office pen", where I will work from for the the rest of the day. In the morning I’d unload my equipment, set it up, work and then pack everything up when the day finishes. Everything has to be packed up, no personal belongings can be left on the desk at the end of the work day.
This system is called hot-desking. I love the flexibility this system brings, and my employer can reduce its operating costs (Don’t have to maintain 1:1 staff/equipment ratio).
Win-Win! Except a hot desking environment is not ideal for an audiophile.
This environment is suited for a normal audio system because it’d be too time consuming to setup and dismantle every day. Headfi is the way to go. Previously I’m using a Teac UD-501 DAC. While that unit is already a compact DAC/AMP, the size is still impractical for a hot-desking environment. I need something smaller and lighter, something ideally suited for a hot desk office. Something that don’t require a audit every year. The Teac UD-501 is totally unsuitable in this environment and has to go. The fact that it’s a terrible sounding DAC really makes this a no brainer.
So off I go looking for the 501 replacement - the newcomer must satisfy the following:
Budget of $AUD250 or lower
Works with mobiles as music source
Did not have a lot of time to do my research, so I randomly searched e-bay and basically purchased the only product that meet all the above requirements: xDuoo XD-05 DAC. All at a princely sum of AUD$212.41 (with 10% e-bay voucher applied).
So what’s in it? Let’s take a look and see what a $212 product brings.