The Long Break

Once again I totally forgot to write anything on this blog. Nothing unheard of though.

I had a longer break in writing for various reasons.

Reason number one might have been pure laziness, but I also got a new laptop and I didn’t want to spend too much time installing apps and configuring my development environemtn. Only the ones that I couldn’t live without. This blog requires quite a few moving bits and wasn’t on the top of the priority list.

I abandoned my trusted old MacBook Pro because it started having weird crash issues and the battery was bulging. I did spill water on it 6 months earlier and I think it might have caused some internal damage. Now I have a MacBook Air which is not very powerful, but it’s lightweight and beautiful. Good enough for me, I’d say. I don’t really need a powerful computer at home!

Another reason was that I moved houses. I actually moved together with my girlfriend, which wasn’t really something I was expecting to happen if you had asked me one year ago. Well, here we are now!

The Internet Is Broken

The internet! The internet is broken! Our broadband provider Relish has usually worked just fine without any major long-lasting hiccups. Sometimes the speed hasn’t really met our expectations, but it’s a wireless 4G broadband. It’s not fibre!

Last Sunday, everything suddenly changed.

Constant hiccups! The connection dies, doesn’t work at all until the router gets rebooted. Speed drops below 56k modem level and frustration grows beyond the limit where it’s trying to make us crazy, constantly pushing the anger-o-meter to the reddest of the red hue of the spectrum.

Today we decided to do something about it by ourselves, as customer service wasn’t really able to detect any issues with our router. “It must be interference”, they said. Yes, they are probably right, but it doesn’t help us as we cannot track the origin of that inteference.

As I had not yet got rid of my old iPhone, we got a Vodafone Pay-As-You-Go SIM card and our internet now pretty much is provided by that loyal old companion of mine.

It’s obviously not a perfect solution and I still need to figure out how to get connection to my TV, game consoles and Sonos speakers.

We have roughly 2.5 months left in this flat so getting a DSL isn’t really an option right now. Originally we decided to go for wireless because the fastest available DSL connections were estimated to be only 11MB, which is ridiculous in 2018.

Vinyl Corner

After dreaming of a vinyl player for years, I finally decided to get one.

I bought a Rega Planar 2 turntable, which is connected via Rega Fono Mini A2D pre-amp to the line-in connector of a Sonos Play 5 speaker.

The setup is not perfect though as the pre-amp doesn’t have a volume output control at all. The only way to adjust the volume is to access the room settings in the Sonos app and change line-in level from there. The built-in volume control in Sonos is disabled for line-in signal. Maybe I’ll get a better pre-amp some day.

Update 17/11/2018: This is not actually true. The volume control works as you would expect it to work. I’m not sure if this was due to an update in the Sonos software or some error in my configuration.

The shelf is made by KomodaFurniture.

My vinyl corner

My vinyl corner

I really like how my setup looks like. The sound of a record feels very different after getting used to digital streaming services, but it’s very much subjective anyway. Some people think that the sound of a vinyl record is close to perfection, while digital signal will always be inferior. I don’t have strong opinion about it, but I sometimes like to do things in an old fashioned way. Browsing through the records in your shelf feels very different to browsing through Spotify playlists.

A spinning record looks insanely cool! Can you achieve that with any streaming service?