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Inateck Mini Portable 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub with 5V 4A Power Adapter - Support Windows XP 7/8, Mac OS X 10.8.4 or above, Linux [4ft USB 3.0 Cable]
Inateck Mini Portable 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub with 5V 4A Power Adapter - Support Windows XP 7/8, Mac OS X 10.8.4 or above, Linux [4ft USB 3.0 Cable]

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, connects really delicate complex devices that need real time speed 100% reliably to a Mac Book Air (DJ&audio interfaces)., 24 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Perfect, surpassed expectations. Have connected a Denon MC3000 MIDI controller and NI Audio 8 audio interface to Traktor Scratch, including with DVS, on a Mac Book Air successfully first time 100% reliably. (I'd consider these devices among the most challenging to connect - disks, printers, etc are much easier and of course work with this hub too.) This review is for the powered 4 port hub.

DENON DN-MC3000 Digital Mix With sound card
DENON DN-MC3000 Digital Mix With sound card

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly good, better than controllers three times the price, sets the standard, 8 Aug. 2013
I am in love with this controller. I have DJed since mid-90s, produced since early-00s, and followed every related technological advance en-route like a gear junkie. I've had this controller for 8 months, using it for studio mixes on monitors and professional gigs through hulking great sound systems and bass bins.

Getting this controller was an epiphany up there with my first pair of 1210s.

Before this controller I had gone high-budget, as I was sick of technology issues taking me away from the music, and I wanted something that just plugged in and worked, and got out of the way, so I got the S4. What a mistake. The Denon DN-MC3000 is WAY ahead of the S4. (I am nothing to do with Denon or NI.)

The internal audio architecture is pro-grade analogue, meaning it easily drives any desk or sound-system. No matter how beaten up or frazzled the sound-system, this controller makes sure every little detail is pushed through, (and provides balanced and unbalanced, high and low impedance outs - so you never need to worry about engineering before a gig). Some complain that it can't be USB-powered - but to me this is a major advantage over others, (such as the S4). You wouldn't USB-power any other signal source, such as a CD player, so it beggars belief you'd try to get a professional sound from a low current, 5V supply. The sound comes out in bucket-loads, (including the monitor output - be safe). Additionally, because of the independent power source and the analogue internals, the mixer is unphased if you unplug the laptop while feeding an audio signal through one of its analogue lines. Having the digital technology as auxiliary to the analogue audio functionality that is central to this mixer seems a major engineering strength. Like all good audio equipment, you run this mixer hot to get the best sound out of it. The beautiful, silky rich bass reminds me of my best Vestax mixers. You can hear Denon's heritage in the engineering immediately. It is also built like a tank.

Then there is the MIDI. I love that the MIDI comes second, that's how laptop DJing should be, (ie, not about the technology but the sound). The Denon works out of the box with Traktor and Virtual DJ, but if you want to tweak any of it, you are in for uninhibited delight, again and again. This side of the controller has also been way over-engineered in every way. The resolution of the pitch faders exceeds that of Traktor, so you can shift by 0.01% increments on a +/-8% range. Some of the buttons have specific controller-side functions, such as the deck selection changing the MIDI page of other controls. Some are pure MIDI controllers. But EVERYTHING, even the mic ducking button, sends at least one MIDI signal, even though that is totally unnecessary to sell the unit and meet their public spec. The paging is also over-engineered - even though filters didn't need to be paged by deck selection they are, for example - so you can do what you want with them paged or not. This means you can make the controller do anything you can imagine in the simplest way possible. The jogs feel identical in precision to the S4 ones, but they are standard MIDI, meaning complete reliability and compatibility and customizability. In every other way they are superior to the S4 ones, as they have weight, and have touch-sensitive platters and non-touch trims, (the S4's are spring-loaded and plastic). The drivers are also sublime - starting and stopping Traktor and using the Denon with DAWs as a standard soundcard is seamless, (and being analogue you can hear the soundcard on the separate monitor line). Once, and only once, of the countless times I've connected this thing, I think a DAW program took exclusive control of the ASIO drivers so Traktor couldn't see them when it fired up, necessitating unplugging and reconnecting the Denon for Traktor to grab the sound. I'm not even sure the drivers could override a Win7 exclusive ASIO lock. And this is once in 8 months of fairly intensive use, and this is the only error I have ever experienced.

If I had to criticize this controller in any way it would be the encoder knob - it needs more of them and it can feel a little light; the lack of documentation on the MIDI out signals so it is hard to re-programme the lights, (although again when you do, you realize they have more functions (colours and shades) than Denon advertises); and it'd be good to have something capable of displaying numbers on the controller, so you don't have to look at the screen to see your loop length for example.

But you have to see these minor niggles in context. With several past iterations of controllers and software I've had to reserve half an hour or more before gigs to ensure everything on the laptop side is working and performant, and another half an hour matching signal impedances, etc. I've had this controller in use for 8 months now, and I'm a demanding user, and there has been just one single time when I've had to reconnect the controller. Never had to restart the laptop, never had to make a change to the default Windows 7 setup, no custom Win7 install, no killing services and devices, etc. Countless, countless times in all manner of circumstances and technical complexities, this controller just plugs in and works, first time, absolutely perfectly, for the duration, running tiny scratch-compatible latencies, with no tweaks necessary to Windows 7 at all. For gigs this and sound are the bottom line. This to me is a revolution in controller DJing, I have fallen in love again like when I first got Technics, and this controller deserves to be wildly popular.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2014 12:23 PM BST

Native Instruments Kontrol S4Digital DJ Controller
Native Instruments Kontrol S4Digital DJ Controller

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible drivers for Windows, will never work reliably on some Windows laptops, (search forums), cheaper alternatives are better, 30 May 2013
I had one of these for 18 months, spent hundreds if not thousands of hours trying to get it to work reliably, and often defended the unit on forums. I nearly gave up DJing because of the problems I had. I have 15 years experience in sound engineering, production and DJing, and after my 18 month nightmare with the S4 I now know Windows audio internals in great detail. The drivers for this unit are not only poor quality, they are not written according to the USB standard, so they will never work on some laptops reliably, only the specific models NI tests, (ie, Macs, Sonys, etc). I tried mine with three laptops, the second two bought specifically for the S4, and I got maybe 10 DJ sets without problems. Most of the time it would bluescreen, the audio would glitch, or the unit would freeze and require restarting the laptop, within an hour of use. I had help from NI technical support during the 18 months but it never worked.

The point at which I realized it was not my fault was when USB3 came out and NI said it doesn't work on USB 3, and may never do so. If it was properly USB conformant it would work on USB3. This indicates NI have written code that does not conform to the standard, then bodged it to work on specific models. I tried to discuss this issue on their forums, but my posts were blocked, (having spent 18 months posting in discussions to fix my and others' problems).

Don't take my word for it - search the various forums out there. There are hundreds of forum threads out there with people trying to fix problems.

NI likes to blame Windows, because they can fudge their code to work with every possible Mac, but they can't with Windows because the configurations are endless. After 18 months of nightmares I sold the thing and bought a Denon MC3000, (for a third the price, their four deck version is still much less than the S4). The Denon worked perfectly from the start, it is engineered better, beyond the formal specification, (more control signals, more MIDI options, more mapping flexibility, pure MIDI instead of the custom version that NI use which locks up all but a few of the buttons, jogs are just as good for scratching, better sound, analogue circuitry so you can continue the mix via analogue if the laptop dies, the encoder knobs are worse on the Denon but everything else is better.)

NI spent a lot on sponsoring DJs and promotions. Denon seem to have spent the money on engineering. With the S4 I had to spend half an hour killing services and processes and going through a list of steps and restarts to get the S4 connected, and it'd still last maybe an hour before problems required a restart mid-set. I deeply regret the years I wasted with the S4. With the Denon I just plug in and start Traktor, and consequentially I have rediscovered my love for DJing.

Ethiopia (Bradt Travel Guides)
Ethiopia (Bradt Travel Guides)
by Philip Briggs
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect guide if you want to create your own experience rather than follow someone else's, 26 Sept. 2012
I have been living in Ethiopia for nearly a year, so I invested in all the guidebooks available for the country and the region.

Lonely Planet is the best if you want to save yourself the hassle of deciding what to do, as they make very clear their favourite cafe, hotel, and attraction for each given location, so you only need a cursory look at the book before making your arrangements and bookings - you are spared the decision process.

However Bradt is the one if you want to find broader information, about intimate details of a place, the quirky little cafe on a backstreet, where the little track out of the west of a village leads and how you can navigate it, and a genuine attempt to bridge the cultural divide on issues like tipping or overcharging, and an excellent guide on the controversies and ambiguities of Ethiopian history. You have to invest more time reading but you will have a better grasp of the country and you will meet a broader cross-section of the Ethiopian people than those drawn to the tourist hot-spots.

Schwalbe Big Apple 26 x 2.0
Schwalbe Big Apple 26 x 2.0
Offered by Y Frame Discounts Ltd
Price: £31.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tyres - I never get punctures, glide beautifully and feel nimble, 22 Sept. 2011
I've ridden about 50 miles a week through London rush hour pretty aggressively for about 4 years, over glass and nails when traffic doesn't let me avoid it, often having to skid to a halt, etc, and never had a single puncture, even though the rear is now ridiculously bald. Had numerous problems with other tyres but replacing the bald one has been a no-brainer - I want exactly the same tyre again. Also very light for their strength - many tyres with this level of protection, eg, Marathon Plus, are heavier and spongier so more resistant but these glide beautifully, and they're nice and rounded, fairly 'slicked', so super-stable on rough roads and tracks, and they feel nimble, (remind me of my BMX many years ago).

Only qualification - wouldn't recommend for wet off-road mud, as you can see from the pics.

Paradise Now [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Paradise Now [DVD] [2006] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5.0 out of 5 stars Somehow simple and effortless yet profound and revelationary, 22 Dec. 2010
I can't add anything to the reviews regarding the content. This is my favourite film, I've left it several months since watching it to ensure perspective, but the film is awe-inspiring. It provides no answers, barely an analysis, it is an effortless viewing, yet the film keeps touching and teaching you long after the credits have rolled. I can only compare the impact of this film on me to reaching the end of Marquez's 'One-Hundred Years of Solitude' - that dawning realization you have been taken on a journey far more profound than the one you thought you'd traveled.

Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment
Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment
by Thania Paffenholz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, the first comprehensive study linking theory to real contexts, 13 Oct. 2010
Thoroughly recommended, an incredibly insightful application of a well-developed framework of analysis by one of peacebuilding's most experienced researchers to 11 real contexts. Detailed, authoritative, sophisticated and empirically grounded.

I have read a fair amount of research on peacebuilding and in particular civil society's role, and doing my own post-grad research project, and in my opinion nothing comes close to this book - it is no exaggeration to say it transformed my thinking.

Stephen Brooks - Training In Indirect Hypnosis
Stephen Brooks - Training In Indirect Hypnosis
Dvd ~ Stephen Brooks / Avril (demonstration subject)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-stated, genuine competence, 26 April 2010
I was skeptical when I read of Stephen's free course in return for the up front payment, weary of the enigmatic sales techniques of so-called 'influence experts'. In contrast to the usual suspects teaching solution-oriented therapy, Stephen Brooks' course is down to earth, free of self-aggrandizing hype, confusing flights of fancy and extraordinary claims. Stephen teaches Milton's discoveries directly and clearly, he illustrates all his lessons with hours and hours of footage of his real sessions, putting his own performances available for all to pick apart and analyze. In this way you really understand how all the skills weave together, so the transition from learning to providing therapy is as easy as possible given this is not a live training. And given the price and limitless access to course materials and forums, I certainly didn't expect live moderation by trainers or responsive technical support! Stephen Brook's desire to genuinely improve people's lives more than his own reputation and bank balance is very clear.

The West Highland Way 2008
The West Highland Way 2008
by Jacquetta Megarry
Edition: Spiral-bound

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for background info and planning, map not great, 10 Oct. 2008
This book has some great background on geology and history, and very useful planning information (such as what services are available where). Unfortunately the map lets it down - it is not very detailed and sometimes sacrifices accuracy for appearance - on several occasions we expected a campsite to come up a couple hours before it did because some landmark or campsite logo was a positioned a mile or two out. That said this is a small criticism, the map is only intended to be indicative - there is never any doubt about navigation as the Way is so well signposted. If I did it again I'd also buy a proper map to help with working out where you are and what time you'll arrive etc.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 6, 2012 6:36 AM BST

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