I am a life-long Alaskan who is half-outdoorswoman, half-geek and proud of it. I work as a graphic designer and digital illustrator. In my spare time I enjoy playing guitar, hiking, camping, trail biking, Geocaching, watching anime, and playing board and video games.
Anonymous: i bought one for 23 bucks at walmart last month. great for popping dogs that gety into my garbage--doesnt harm em, just a good sting. I know. i had one when i was a kid and my bro shot me more than once. :) Apr 1, 11
Azureus has been the way to go for me on my Mac so far.
I've since wizened up. I used to have a very old version but since I've upgraded the bloat has become frighteningly apparent. This program is WAY bigger than it needs to be, adds dozens of features I'll never use, and bogs down my computers. I've since ditched it and now use Transmission for the Mac.
Wow, that's some crazy breakage! I'd never heard of them breaking either.
I've had mine (a silver colored one) for over 10 years and I use it daily and it's showing no sign of wear. I've used the bar kind that strap around the neck and a kind where the clamp levers are behind the neck but I prefer the Kyser Quick Change to these. It clamps with decent strength for no string buzz and it works on all my acoustic and electric guitars just fine.
I bought these for our Rock Band 2 Wii drums and I love them. The thick rubber will protect my drum set for the rest of its life, which was a major concern since after only 3 months of drumming some of the drum heads were beginning to wear thin. The sound is not completely silenced but is "dampened". Instead of a clacking sound its a dull thwack or thud. The thick rubber also gives the drums a bit more bounce, making rolls easier.
I did a lot of research before I bought them. It seems there is a love-hate split in people who have tried them. First, apparently there are slight variations in drum head size on Rock Band drums, so these pads fit differently on different drums, working better on some models and not as well on others when applied over the top of the plastic rims and all. I found a series of folks who found a way to put the silencers on with a very high success rate (over 90%) that requires disassembling the drums, which is what I did. This basically entails removing the hard plastic rings around the drum pads so that the silencers lie completely flat on the drum head when applied, the idea being that when applying the silencers over the plastic rings a slight gap is left all the way around causing missed hits, which we don't want. It's okay to remove the plastic since it doesn't act to hold anything in place, it simply protects the edge of the drum head and makes it look nice; the drum silencers extend a bit beyond the drum head edge so will take over protective edge duties.
HOW TO REMOVE THE PLASTIC RINGS:
. Removing the rings takes 15 to 30 minutes, some strong fingers (I'm a girl, I did fine), and a precision (No.0 philips) screwdriver.
. Remove the drum pad assembly from the legs and do each drum head one at a time.
. The plastic rings are screwed in from underneath the drum heads. To get at the screws you have to pop the entire drum pad assembly out of the plastic case of the drum set. Each drum head is held in place by 4 large rubber plugs. If you flip your drum set upside-down you will see the ends of these rubber pegs poking through the bottom (visibly there are 4 on the red and green heads, 2 on the yellow and blue). You can push on these but I found it was easier to simply wedge my fingers in the gap between the plastic drum case and the underside of the drum head and pry upward (I am a girl so I had an easy time with my small fingers). Do this for each rubber peg one at a time, being careful not to pull too far or you'll rip out the wires that go from the underside of the drum head to the drum body (you have 2-3 inches of leeway here). It takes a bit of force but its easy once you get the hang of it. This is the scariest part but isn't that hard.
. In one instance one of the rubber pegs stayed in its hole and instead popped away from the underside of the drum head. This is easy to fix: the peg base is held in place by a piece of plastic held in with two screws (No.1 phillips precision screwdriver). Just remove the plastic bit, thread the peg back through its hole and screw the plastic with the peg back into place. Easy.
. With the drum head popped out, use your No.0 screwdriver to take out the 5 or 6 screws, releasing the plastic ring.
. Pop the drum head back into place. Repeat procedure for the other 3 drum heads.
. To apply the drum silencers I cleaned each drum head with rubbing alcohol and then stuck the pads on. They lie flat with the plastic rings removed.
Edit to add: Of course, the more simple solution would be to use scissors and trim the silencers to fit. ;)
We just received one of these in replacement for a TV a friend broke playing Wii. Its much nicer than the old set but I am no TV expert so I can't say if this is a fantastic TV or not - I can only comment on whether it meets my personal needs.
. Its big! The resolution on high def is great and I cannot imagine anything more crisp. And true to its plasma nature, the blacks are nice and rich
. The stand has a built-in swivel for ease of screen-rotation. This is very handy for us as we used to manhandle the old CRT TV into position for better kitchen or living room viewing, depending.
. The screen itself is low-glare, as stated in the description.
. The speaker system is far superior to old tv stereo speakers, giving sounds more depth. Kind of a step toward surround sound without the "surround". ;)
. There's only one yellow-white-red AV input on this tv so if you have multiple gadgets that need that sort of input (I had three: the DVD player, the Wii, and the XBox) you'll have to swap them around or buy a switching hub. However, there are two sets of high def AV inputs (Red, Green, Blue, Red White) so both the Wii and the XBox can use those with proper cables.
. The menu for swapping around aspect ratios is a bit burried, which is obnoxious but its really easy to swap inputs, which is a plus since I do that more often. Incorrect: There's a button right on the remote that allows you to quickly flip through the various screen ratios: 16:9, Zoom 1, Zoom 2, and 4:3.
Overall I really like this television. Games look fantastic in HD on it and the sound, while not surround sound, is pretty deep for it all coming from 'one spot' in the room.
Edit to add after 5 months: We've since added a larger LCD tv to our household and though it is brighter it also looks washed out. I find that our plasma is much sharper, has better contrast, and is plenty bright enough for our house (which really doesn't have many windows). I also wanted to mention that I think the viewing angle is pretty great, much better than a lot of TVs I've seen. Coupled with the ease of navigating the menus, I'm super happy with this TV.
Quark XPress was the first design layout software I learned and I used it pretty solidly up until 2009, at which point the company I work for (with great urging from myself) switched to Adobe InDesign. (I started with QXP in the 90s and didn't touch ID until 2007. My primary comparisons here are between QXP 6.5 and IDcs4).
QXP is a great program, don't get me wrong, and perhaps they've fixed some things since version 6.5. But my experience with it just got worse over the years as various graphics applications across the board were blossoming and QXP seemed to take its good time between updates, leaving loyal users in the dust with buggy problems that *might* be fixed in the next version. When they bother to put one out.
First, what I love about QXP:
. Its easy to learn and most of the hotkeys are very intuitive and easy to memorize
. It takes up minimal desktop space and the palettes you DO use a lot are similarly compact and efficient.
. QXP is all about precision with guides, object placements, type, etc. Very tight.
. QXP is an industry standard, so professional designers can't go wrong using it.
Now, the things that got to me in the end:
. QXP crashed WAY more than any other software on my Mac
. QXP is cumbersome and weak w. PDF creation
. Some things, like table creation and object alignment, are basic and/or clunky
. QXP is very slow in its upgrades & development, constantly a step or two behind the upstart InDesign
. QXP is much more strict with what image file types it will allow to be Placed than ID
. QXP sometimes has odd quirks that even Quark or press techs can't figure out; in comparison we've yet to run into any quirks w. ID
. In particular, QXP always had issues with files made in Illustrator.
I really wish there were some middle ground between QXP and ID. Even after a couple years of using ID I still don't feel it is as svelte or intuitive as QXP in terms of the interface. But I really like that ID "gets along" with all other Adobe file types with no quirks in sight.
Like I say, Quark has been updated once or twice since I switched but so far I'm not regretting it. We've sent all kinds of huge and complex files to press and have had no problems with ID. True, we didn't have TONS of issues with QXP but enough on the creation end of things that it has just been much less of a headache to use something that is fully compatible with PDFs, Photoshop, and Illustrator. It just makes sense since all three are Adobe products.
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