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The Filter Wizard "kendallcp"

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Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse
Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse
Offered by eZee Trade
Price: £43.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A glorious piece of industrial design, 14 July 2011
OK, it's only a mouse, but it's a joy to own; the novelty still hasn't worn off. Arc-shaped to fit the palm in use, the mouse is turned off by snapping it to a thin, flat state, in which it fits really nearly into a tightly-packed traveling bag. The tiny USB dongle sticks to a magnetic zone on the base. Haptic feedback is used to mimic the feel of a click wheel, without the mechanical elements. Overall, it's just a lovely thing!


Brother HL-2270DW Compact Wireless Mono Laser Printer
Brother HL-2270DW Compact Wireless Mono Laser Printer
Offered by Ideal Office Supplies Ltd
Price: £174.85

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars small, quiet, fast, cheap: what more could you want?, 31 Mar 2011
Laser printer design has come a long way since the health-and-safety-busting big HP Laserjets of some years back. I bought this Brother to retire an old HP on our home network. It's tiny by comparison, yet has a big paper tray. It's so light you think they've left something out. Yet it's fast, both to the first page and for each subsequent one. It's quiet and it doesn't smell. It prints double-sided if you want. And the wireless setup is really easy. If you have a recent router with an auto-discovery protocol, you need a pen tip and a finger, and that's it. Of course it does wired Ethernet and USB as well.

I'll give one piece of advice, though. Flushed with success, I got another one for another location where we need to print. It came with a slightly different version of the print tools, and it proved rather difficult to install multiple drivers for the two locations, insisting that the old drivers were uninstalled first. The Brother admin tools are pretty opaque to use unless you're quite an IT nerd. I think the solution is to copy the install CD with the latest, version and ensure that you have a disk at every location.

Apart from that, I think it's a great piece of no-nonsense printing kit.


Toshiba PX1664E-1HF4 640GB 2.5-inch External Titanium Steel Hard Drive
Toshiba PX1664E-1HF4 640GB 2.5-inch External Titanium Steel Hard Drive

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sleek, shiny, beautiful, 22 Sep 2010
If you don't mind how things look, you'll just be happy that this is a tiny yet capacious external drive (640G, the largest in this 2.5" form factor at the time of purchase) that runs fine on a single USB port with no external power supply.

If you like nice things, though, then you and your friends and colleagues will probably fall in love with the sleek look and the elegant dark metallic finish. If I was being periodic-table-pedantic, I'd say it was a bit more niobium than titanium, but, whatever, it's lovely. Tech products don't have to be this beautiful, and let's face it, many of us geeky types wouldn't notice. But I bet that in comparison to some of the other similar drives out there, you'll get a bunch more cognitive assonance from buying this.


No Title Available

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Versatile and competent; a celebration of black faux wood finish, 26 Mar 2010
Actually the Germans would say 'Kompetent' and that's a good word for these speakers. No obvious foibles, "does what is says on the tin". The finish? Well, the pretend- wood-grain black plastic is utilitarian - but probably quite robust. Though if robustness is what you need, be aware that these speakers have no grilles, and though the tweeter is partly protected by a little plastic phase plate, the woofer is exposed to prying fingers. The diaphragm is a hard plastic, though, so it might be reasonably resistant to the occasional stabbing with a misdirected headphone cable. Speaking of headphones, you'll need a 0.25" jack adaptor if you have a pair with the common smaller plug. Connecting the headphones mutes the speakers.

I got these speakers primarily to test some equipment with s/pdif output; there is both a coax and a Toslink input. It works fine with the Hitachi micro system I normally use to play music in my study. There are two analogue inputs, one of which can be mixed in with the digital feed; the volume controls are old-style pots on the front of the RHS speaker; there's no remote control. Feels like a bit of a retrograde step to have to reach over and turn a - quite small - knob to adjust the volume.

The other reason I got them was that they are exactly the same height as the previous (30-year-old!) pair of speakers that were holding up the shelf that my monitor sits on (282mm). This made them an easy swap-in.

Sound-wise, they are rather thick and chesty to my taste with the tone controls set flat. With bass control at 10-to and treble at 10-past (there are no blobs or numbers round the pots) the response is acceptable for normal listening. Oddly enough, they seem more at home on classical program than modern electric material. They go plenty loud enough, especially as they are intended for near-field use. The bass unit is loaded by two small reflex ports; I've not driven them loud enough to detect any port noises. The bass isn't particularly 'quick', but the whole thing is reasonably tuneful in the sense that everyone appears to be playing from the same score (sometimes this critical factor can be missing!).

The one thing that made me shriek with amazement when unpacking and installing was the ridiculously thin and spindly cable supplied to link the passive left speaker to the right-hand one where the electronics are. Phono sockets are used, in the manner of the cheapest possible home systems. I immediately made up a mono phono to phono lead with a decent grade of speaker cable - something like chunky 2-core mains flex will do fine, whatever you can get into a phono plug.

And the speakers make a quiet but really rather old-fashioned thump when switched on and off. I hadn't realized how long it was since I'd heard that sort of noise.

Overall - yep, not bad sound though you'll need to tweak the tone controls. Seem solid, and could be very versatile. Price-wise, they aren't cheap enough to be a bargain and not expensive enough to be a disincentive. As Dilbert said once, "that's a little trick I call marketing"...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2012 7:48 AM BST


Digital Filters: Basics and Design
Digital Filters: Basics and Design
by Dietrich Schlichthärle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £47.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Particularly good for analog(ue) people, 20 Sep 2009
This book is particularly good for those who already have a strong grasp of analog(ue)filter theory - i.e. in the s-domain - who would like to ramp up quickly in the z-domain. It covers a rich set of filter topologies and design approaches. Extensive space is devoted to the stability and noise behaviour of several second order sections (not just the ubiquitous direct form) in the face of various numerical issues such as quantization and overflow.

The first book you buy on practical digital signal processing should be Lyons. The second one could very usefully be this one.


Netgear Wireless PCMCIA Adapter
Netgear Wireless PCMCIA Adapter

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great wireless card for old no-USB laptop running 95, 17 Feb 2003
Once you put a wireless network in, you just want to get every PC up and running on it, even those older ones which are just snoozing on a shelf somewhere. My main laptops use the D-link 650+ card which is great but has no '95 support. The big-box machines all have USB adaptors and here I chose the Netgear MA401s. I was impressed with the installation simplicity - I prefer it when you can connect the device *first*, before fumbling with the driver disk. On some products that automatically plug-and-plays the wrong driver, leading to a labour-intensive uninstall. No problems like that with Netgear.
Anyway, I got the MA101 for an old tiny laptop with PCMCIA but no USB ports, running a 'B' build of 95. Installation and operation was effortless and it works perfectly. There's not much else you can ask for, really.


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