Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Star Upgrades Beyond

I watched the new Star Wars last night !

Or was it Galaxy Quest (kidding aside, need to watch that movie again, it's a classic). Nope. Battle Beyond The Stars ? Another classic I haven't watched for too long. Fifth Element ? Multipass.

Star Trek Beyond is another excellent movie from the reboot franchise. Some like the reboots, some hate it. I kinda like what they've done with the place. Beyond borrows from previous Trek (with that much in the Trek universe, you cannot help but repeat some of what has gone before) but presents it in a whole new way.

Yep. I liked it.
I don't want to give any spoilers away though. If you enjoyed either of the reboot Star Trek or Into Darkness, I think you'll like this one.

I reckon the cast do a great job with it too. They're not the same as the legends of the past but they carry off their performances incredibly well. In my opinion.
I do miss that tremendous melodious baritone of the William Shatner though. His voice has a certain rhythm and rumble to it that is utterly unique and if I ever do the Voice Attack accompaniment thing for Elite, the William Shatner voicepack is the one I would get.

Last night wasn't all about the movie though. I went upgrading ... And didn't have enough time between that and film for proper munchies. Oops. Popcorn for tea is bad folks, don't follow my example.
Yes kitty.

Upgrades ? I've been feeling that my monitor has been dimming lately, which is a sign that the backlight is dying. That's the real death sign for a monitor. Oh and I kinda wanted something better too. The Samsung I had before was a bit naff. I've also gone for some new speakers which sound so much better than the portables I had before.

Size matters with speakers, small ones can sound good and the Cambridge Audio ones did. But bigger ones designed for the purpose do so much better with the overall sound.

What did I get ? Did I fall into temptation from salesmen ?
Maybe not, although I did end up spending more money than intended. Oh well. But I do have a better solution for me.

How to choose ? I look up reviews by professional sites but I don't really trust them. The disclosure can be a bit dodgy. Have they given the widget a good review due to placing ads ? Is their opinion swayed by built in What Sony bias ? Do they give the Oh Keep It After The Review freebies higher marks ? Nope. I go by what Amazon customers say. I don't think there is much curation there, or deletion of reviews that are outside the opinion of "buy our stuff", I don't believe Amazon care about that.

So if the Amazon customers give 1* reviews, those are the ones I look at. If there are no 1* or even 2* reviews, that tells me the quality is good enough that the kit won't break early and the performance meets the standard too. If you have a choice between 2 items of the same price, you're going to buy the better one aren't you ? Aren't you ? I hope you are !


Monitor - AOC 25" IPS panel 1440p. That means it's got more pixels than most which will definitely help with those graphic edits, it's smaller than the 27" which means its fits on my desk and the screen goes pretty much edge to edge making it easier to keep clean.

Speakers - Edifier M1380. Pretty standard desk speakers with subwoofer. Sounds good.

And I have a clean desk too for the first time in years. Feels odd. That monitor is super bright too, I may have to turn it down a bit ! I look forward to seeing what it does in Elite and other pretty games.

It didn't go without hitches though, when I first fired it up I got the monitor startup splash screen followed by ... black. Oh dear. I think I know why ... my graphics card has several outputs :

DVI-I - a good connection but not good enough for the 1440p.
DVI-D - looks exactly the same as the DVI-I ... should work, not tried yet.
HDMI - like on your dvd or bluray player. This worked just fine.

Lesson - if it doesn't work right away, there's hopefully a reason. It worked with that different connector for me so ... happy. Tired happy.

Stream is starting so I'm going to close here ...
That goes for you too. Oh and I felt like giving a little salute every time Anton Yelchin, he who played new Chekov, came on screen. I really liked his Chekov, he'll be missed. As will Leonard Nimoy, who has a little tribute in the movie. Apparently there is a tribute to Anton Yelchin too but I missed that ... a cinema large diet fizzy drink has a certain persuasiveness !

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