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technology podcast 202 is now available!

Hi folks, on our RSS feed, we have just released podcast 202. On it, Phillip Tracy, Scott VanGorp, and Herbie Allen are along with me to discuss IOS8. Some Strong Language

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The bad points about the soundblaster play

Hi all.
never thought I’d actually
be doing a double posting on this but I am.
I have a few points about the soundblaster play that I am not happy with.
1. while it seems ok with games and I have played with some 3dfx in the physical card its sadly not much.
Fact is when I tried to play with the new fsl engine deathmatch was running, the card switched off all the effects and ran it as stereo.
it looks like half the effects in fact do not work.
2. clipping.
While there is a slight quality improvement, the volume of the card for headphones really over 6 % is an overkill.
for a speaker its 20% on amped speakers but it is overkill.
The processing of music is quite nice.
However with speech it appears the card will crackle and cut out a lot, also is the fact that it will do this when pressing keys.
The effects are the same as my realtech card obviously you can adjust them but I was hoping that programs would access them on demand having them on all the time is no fun, believe me I have tried.
The 3d effect is nice but even so, I still don’t know.
in some cases quality is a bit less.
If you want to use it for music which is what I may end up using it for, then that’s fine.
But for standard games, and other such lot I won’t be using my soundblaster for that, the power of the card is just about as much as the realtech card in my laptop which is crap.
at least when this clips it doesn’t take everything with it.
And that’s another thing, it appears the control centre is an inaccessible overlay for the control panel, not much use.
while pushing buttons I muted sound and had to plug in another device to unmute the sound.
When switching to another device say for one program windows does not always reconfigure itself so I had to start another screenreader to switch nvda back to the sound mapper in order for me to get speech.
In short, I am finding it quite hard to find any reason to keep the sb play.
My idea was something that would run so I could run speech from one card and something from the other.
With all the issues I am having with the card, I am no longer sure.
I do hope that I can get the card configured right and maybe it works.
If I keep it I will use it for music only maybe though to be honest the only time I have found it usefull is listening to midi on headphones and there is not even a midi device in the card.
For 38 dollars I guess its not to bad but I have no idea what I will use the card for.
For normal stuff my realtech works well.
I guess if I have it loaded to my amp, have everything including windows going over the card and then using it for winamp only and maybe Skype and teamtalk which may be all I use it for who knows.
Its not a card I’d use for speech.

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Review of the soundblaster play

Hi all.
Long time no type.
Well anyway I decided to get new soundcard this week for some of my job related stuff.
After searching the local computer stores I found from pb tech in nz, the creative soundblaster play external sound card.
Price 38 bucks including gst.
The card has full eax effects bass boosts, environment emulation and 3d fx called cms effects.
Good for music and games.
The card itself is the same size and weight as your average usb memory stick.
The sides are tapered at the edges and concave in the middle.
On the rear face of the card are 2 ports the one closest to you is usually the earphone/ speaker jack.
This can take everything from earphones, buds, right up to amplified speakers with the standard analog jack.
The other is a microphone jack which can take basically any microphone.
pulling off the other end of the card will review a usb port.
I recommend you do not plug this straight into a
jack as the card is big and if you knock it you will break the port or card.
I recommend an extention lead.
Warning! I found this out the hard way, that if you plug the card into a usb hub with any cooling weather that be laptop fans or external cooling that it is not grounded for any proximity noises.
in fact if you pick up the card and drop it while connected you will hear that sound come back at you.
So its not shielded really so be carefull.
Right, plug in the card.
Now make sure you have a speaker connected to it because windows will default to the card, right now I am at a loss how to make different programs choose the card or the internal, right now windows is all on the card, however I will probably try to have everything on the internal except for maybe winamp and stuff though who knows.
Anyway, we get to the software.
right now, the card can be used in basic mode.
If you are happy with basic mode, and don’t care about the extra features, after all your card will if you make it do so support 48000 hz 16 bit stereo and mono output hd dvd right now without anything installed.
I assume you are a geek like me and want to install everything.
1, open the cd.
Brouse around.
AAh so many files I wander what this setup does.
Yes you can do it that way but there are some dangerous ms files you must not load else you will have to restore because of you bashing your internet explorer program for new windows and tabs.
did this yesterday and just had to restore today.
Luckily I have points back a while and was able to restore to a couple days ago when all I did was install an update to the antivirus program.
Also note some settings will not be set right if you do it this way.
You will need sighted help to get through the first few screens.
Once you are out of the shell client launcher though just hit next till the cows come home.
Another note though, if you see buttons like graphics 1234239t5sdf8534 or something these are graphic buttons.
Most installers have one button which need to be clicked.
if you have 2 buttons one is tipical and one is custom.
I think this only happens in one app so that should be ok.
once you complete everything a success message will appear on the launcher.
I don’t know if there was any screen after that because I just closed the launcher down.
on restart, you will have several things popping up at you.
1. the reg program starts.
Firstly select the device you have hit refresh if its not there but it should be selected.
do not try to enter purchice data or anything because its visual.
hit next.
fill out your info the fields are marked.
hit next.
select no because if you don’t you will get yelled at.
hit next.
hit ok.
hit ok and that’s done.
Next the updater comes up.
hit run now
hit next
when the dialog comes up hit alt I twice.
hit check.
wait, if an install button comes up hit alt I again it won’t necessarily do so.
hit alt f4 and you are done.
A few things I left out.
the installer for windows will warn you at some point about possible malicious hardware not passing ms whql tests.
hit alt I to install the hardware.

Next, I recommend you do the following using msconfig, ccleaner or other such program, remove or disable the volume app.
the app is not usable no matter what and you don’t need it.
The programs installed.
1. creative sorce5.
startup wizard works but the rest does not.
looks ok but I have not really got many games to test with it bar gtc maybe or teraformers.
I just updated shades of doom 2 so whatever.
Audio centre.
audio control panel.
99% of that is accessable.
you can enable eax which is like the internal realtech environment.
For us users don’t use it.
cms effects.
This is for 3d, I have not found effective uses for this but its interesting.
There is a slider for each and you can adjust it as you will.
I did try to register with the site but to be honest I had a lot of issues trying to do it as not all forms are labled and combo boxes are strangely coded.
That’s about all.
Manuals and other stuff are in compiled chm help files and can be read with html help or belabolka though I have mastered enough of the operation to not need this.
audio properties
In recording, acg is your microphone boost feature.
there are various bass boosts and other effects but to be honest I couldn’t get those to even work right.
Its a bit of a mixed bag.
later all

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IOS 8 is now here!

Hi folks,
This will be my first IOS update since I got my phone. See podcasts 191-194 for details on my search. On an up coming podcast, I’ll be on the line with two beta testers who have done the testing. We’ll dysect what Apple Vis has posted, we’ll talk about their experience, and I will then take the opportunity to update my phone and see if anything breaks. This may be a podcast on its own, we’ll just wait and see. Please check out apple vis to get a list of possible issues so you are aware of them. There is one big thing that may be a problem for me, but I think we’;ll play it by ear. Please take the comments to heart when reading negative comments. There are people who aren’t going to be happy no matter how things are released.

IOS 8 has gone through 5 different betas before release. My understanding is limited, but nobody can find every bug on eveyry possible senario. The list of bugs that Apple Vis has posted are known by apple. If you would like to leave me your comments, the boards await you, or write me at tech at menvi.org.

Please be civil, as I’m new to IOS still, although I’m familiar of its working, and I’ve read everything.

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Podcast 201 is now available!

Hi folks,
Podcast 201 is available on our RSS feed. It includes some fresh books news, and Herbbie and I talk about accessibility stuff.

Show notes:

On podcast 201, Freshbooks gets revamped in regards to its folder on Sendspace goes. I introduce Herbie Allen who is along to talk with me about accessible apps, programs, or the lack there of. A true story follows that in regards to phishing. Enjoy!

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Fresh books is getting new hours, folder now updated

Hi folks,
In talking to Freshbooks this afternoon in regards to a thought I had while in there today, they notified me that they will have extended hours. Starting September 2, 2014: they will opperate from 8 am ET to 8 PM ET.

On a side note, our fresh books folder on Sendspace has been updated with podcast designations at the beginning of each segment. I hope that this helps where you can find something of interest. Any questions? Reach out.

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