Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Electronica Moronica

There is a reason I haven’t been here in ages, honest. First there was the whole jetlag thing, which as usual, I don’t believe in until I realise that I’ve been walking around for three days as if I’m just visiting from a different planet. Now, normally, this would not be anything out of the ordinary, but for some reason this time I just felt really detached from everything going on around me.

Then there was the whole “I suddenly have a burning need to put everything in my flat in order” thing. First it was the bookcase - I went through all of the books on said piece of furniture, and basically chucked out everything that has been there for years without me ever having touched it. Then it was the DVD and VCD bookcases, and I have to say there’s an entire canvas shopping bag full of rejects ready to be split among mates. Then came my wardrobe and chest of drawers, which have quite happily housed all kinds of similarly untouched shite for the past two years. That was fun!

And then there was the whole “everything here works wrong, and I’m going to do something about it” thing. Which included me buying an official pair of Apple in-ear headphones, and a Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth headset. First of all, let me explain why I was trying to eschew my Skull Candy ‘Noise isolating bass-rich ear buds with in-line microphone compatible with iPhone and Blackberry Curve and Storm’ in the first place. You see, it all started a couple of Fridays ago. It was the weekend before I was going away to Dragon*Con, and I thought I had to put a few of my things in order before I went away. I spent two and a half hours in the 3 shop, picking up my supposedly “reserved” iPhone 4. Once this was done, I just about had time to race home, plug my new iPhone into my iTunes, have it load my iPhone 4 from the last backup I did of my iPhone 3G, and then get back to work. I was impressed that it took so little effort to accomplish all this, and I certainly kicked the arse out of my new iPhone for (called JT) taking close to 300 photographs and about 30 videos at Dragon*Con. She also worked wonders data roaming in the USA, picking up my e-mail and also using the mobile site for Twitter. I would have preferred to use my third-party app for Twitter, but Twitter themselves decided to change the signing-in authorisation procedure just a few hours before I left Hong Kong. This meant that not one of the three third-party apps on my iPhone 4 were able to sign in to Twitter. I was not a happy camper, as you can probably imagine.

Anyway, it wasn’t until I returned to Hong Kong and had time to get reacquainted with my iPod aboard my new iPhone 4, that I realised my Skull Candy headphones repeatedly used the sound suppression blip, normally reserved in case of incoming mail or text messages, while just playing music or video. While not exactly the most vexing thing that’s happened to me recently, it did start to annoy me after a while. Deciding that I had tried it out every single kind of in-ear headphones during the last three years, I thought perhaps it was time I gave the official Apple earphones a chance. After spending HK$600 on a pair, I was monumentally peeved to find out that they lack any kind of proper bass - by any stretch of the imagination. Inevitably, I have gone back to my Skull Candy headphones, and now I am quite happy to put up with the occasional suppressive blip if it means I can have proper fucking bass.

So, on to my new Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth headset. Within minutes of turning it on, I had it paired to both my iMac and my iPhone. It works wonders with both Skype on my iMac and also receiving or making calls on my iPhone. However - and this is a huge fucking ‘however’ - it takes a little bit of ingenuity and patience to enable it to work with MacSpeech (which is completely MacSpeech’s fault). It is entirely possible, seeing as that is how I’m writing this blog post at the moment. All you need is Soundflower and LineIn. A little bit of jiggery-pokery later, and here we are dictating a blog post.

The headset itself gives good sound and obviously works quite well with MacSpeech, without being too heavy. Being wireless also means I can wander off away from Jarvis my iMac, and still be heard whilst on Skype. However, having it jammed in your ear for anything up to two hours while you’re talking on Skype can mean it starts to make your ear ache just a tiny bit. This could be due to the fact that the earpiece is roughly the size of a dinner plate. That said, I am enjoying using it immensely.

I think I should leave it there, as it is getting quite late and I’m supposed to be up relatively early tomorrow doing private lessons before work. Oh, and I do have a Supernatural/Doctor Who crossover fanfic to finish for my sister.


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