Tag Archives: Quick Tips

5 Tips for Amazing Speaker Sound at Home

As a kid, I used to watch my dad with fascination as he hopped from stool to cupboard to adjust a speaker’s position to get it just right. As his little helper, it was my job to sit in his chair and make sure I heard the music from the speakers loud and clear. But of course, not everyone has the option of having a little helper around.

Here are my top five tips to help you get self-started with your sound system at home.

1. Use the Primary Components of a Sound System

You should buy several speakers if you want a superior sound experience. A single pair of speakers works, but as the soundtrack feeds all its separate sounds (frequencies) into the same device, this results in some lost or blurry sounds. To listen to a crisp and clear soundtrack (where you can hear every instrument or voice in it), you need several speakers so that the different sound frequencies are routed to the appropriate speakers.

The primary components of a sound system are as follows:

Left and Right Front Speakers: A speaker is a device that converts analog audio signals into the equivalent air vibrations in order to make audible sound ( definition from pcmag.com/encyclopedia_term).   The front speakers should not point directly to each other. Rear speakers follow the same principles as the front speakers.

The following image shows you how to place your front speakers.

Have you ever wondered why we need two speakers instead of one?

The science behind it is because we have two ears.  Seriously. For example, if you hear a train chugging on your sound system, the sound may be first played on your left front speaker and then on your right front speaker. This gives you the illusion of a train moving from left to right.

Left and Right Surround Speakers: The surround speakers are placed besides or behind your main seat. They are pointed at ear level. The surround speakers face each other more directly than the front speakers.

The following image shows you how to place your surround speakers.

Central Speaker: The central speaker should be in front of you and should point directly to you at ear level. In my opinion, this is the most important speaker, though it likely to burn a pretty hole in your pocket.

Subwoofer:   A subwoofer is a sound system component that focuses on the very low bass frequencies of the soundtrack. It is usually placed in front you (its placement is flexible).

If you hear imperceptible sounds in a soundtrack faintly in the background (the lower frequencies), you need to check the bass. Generally, the bass is set as “low” on your front speakers, which is perfectly fine. A subwoofer is used to bring out the clarity of these background noises and make them actually sound like something. It adds the “punch” to the soundtrack, if I may say so.

You may have two, five, or more speakers plus a subwoofer for your home sound system. Dolby has instructions on the how-to in it’s Home Theater Speaker Guide. I have used some of their wonderful and simple diagrams in this post.

2. Beware of Speaker Sizes

You can have small, medium, or large speakers depending on your budget and your room size. Remember that large speakers are too overwhelming in a small room.

To simplify this, let me categorize speakers based on the following two sizes:

  • larger floor-standing speakers

Advantage: Power

  • smaller book-shelf speakers

Advantage: Easy to maneuver

It is a matter of personal opinion, but I believe that small speakers cannot function with the same intensity as large speakers do, irrespective of the technology used to squeeze out every last bit of sound from the small speakers. You are free to mix and match different speaker sizes to  create your perfect home sound system.

3. Check the Distance of the Speaker from the Seating Area

A simple method to obtain the correct co-ordinates to place your sound system, is to measure the room and locate its center. Use this central point as the primary reference to measure the distance (at appropriate angles) for the various speakers. Ensure that a set of similar speakers is equidistant from the center. The front of the speakers should ideally face you directly; this may result in some speakers being angled (they are not positioned in straight and parallel lines from each other).

The famous 38 percent Rule  says that the best seating position is theoretically 38 percent into the length of the room (from either the front or rear wall of the room). A useful tip if you go to book movie theater seats too.

You will most likely place the speakers near the wall; but take care to never touch the speakers to the wall.

4. Check the Height of the Speaker  from the Floor

The front speakers should be placed at your ear level. This is suggested because of the direction sound waves travel. The left- and right-front speakers should be aligned at an angle of 60 degrees from each other.

The rear/surround speakers should be placed two feet above your ear level.

The central speaker should be placed at your ear level.

The subwoofer may be placed on the floor.

5. Angle the Speakers Appropriately (from each other)

Have you ever wondered why we need two speakers facing each other at an angle? It is because our ears face in opposite directions. Over simplistic isn’t it?  The following figure explains the angular separation of the speakers from each other.

 

Set-Up a File Server as a Drive in OS X Finder [How-To]

The other day, a colleague here at Techie Buzz asked for my recommendations on programs to blog using a Mac.  I told him about my favorites, and tried to provide a good reason why. Then, another contributor asked if there was a way to integrate the FTP system into the file system, like you can do in Windows  and Linux.

At first, I was dumbfounded. I had never thought of that as an option on OS X. However, it turns out that you can do it, and its possibly the most seamless way to use FTP on a Mac. The only caveat I see to this is that you can’t use it to upload files via FTP. For that, I highly recommend Cyberduck, which is now my personal choice for FTP.  Let’s take a look at how you set it up.

1. Open a Finder window. You can do that by clicking the ‘Finder’ icon on your dock, or by using the keyboard shortcut Command-Space and typing ‘Finder.’

2. Click the ‘Go’ menu, and then click connect to server. This will open a dialog box like this one, where you can choose to add a new server to the list. You can also use the keyboard shortcut of Command-K to access this window.

3. Fill in your server’s details.  Be sure to use complete addresses. For example, if it is an FTP server, use the whole address like ‘ftp://files.server.com’. If you have a username or password set up, you will be asked to provide those credentials.

Those are all the step you need to take. If you entered everything correctly, you should see a new drive in your finder side bar under ‘Shared.’ That’s the file server you just connected. It will work like any other file server connection, and its housed in your Finder window.

If you have any trouble getting this tip to work, or if you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below. We love hearing from you.

How To Delete System Restore Points In Windows XP And Vista

System Restore helps us to roll back all of the system files, registry keys and installed programs to a previous state in the event of malfunctioning or failure. Whenever you install a program, a system restore point is automatically created which indirectly eats up a lot of disk space. Today I will show you how to delete system restore points and increase your disk space.

To delete system restore points, first you will have to download and install Ccleaner. After that follow the steps shown below:

1) Open Ccleaner.
2) Click on the Tools tab.
3) Now click on System Restore tab.

Delete System Restore Points

4) Delete all the system restore points except the recent one.

Watch this video to learn how you can increase your disk space by deleting system restore points.

How To Access Bing Visual Search Outside US

Microsoft Bing recently launched a unique Visual Search feature which is currently available only to the users living in United States. If you are trying to access Visual Search outside US, then you will get the following error:

Bing Unavailable

Today I will show you how to access Bing Visual Search from any country of the world. Just follow some simple steps shown below:
1) Visit Bing Worldwide.
2) Change your country to United States.

Bing US

3) Save the settings.
4) Now visit Bing Visual Search.

Now you will be able to access Visual Search, even if you are miles away from United States. Browsing through 39 different categories inside Bing Visual Search is really a fun experience. I hope you will enjoy using this unique feature.

Bing Visual Search

Windows Seven : Start Exploring From (My)Computer

Windows Seven is a highly polished release which gets most of the things right. However there are a few minor annoyances here and there. We already shared how to fix the Windows Seven Taskbar (Superbar) idiosyncrasies with Taskbar Overlord. Today we will share another little tip to improve your Windows Seven experience.

By default when you click on the Windows Explorer button in the taskbar your Libraries folder is opened. This is nice if you have your content neatly organized into multiple Libraries. However, most people that I know would simply prefer to begin exploring from (My)Computer.

Right click on Explorer Icon and then again right click on Windows Explorer entry in the Jump List. Select ‘Properties’ from the context menu. Change the target from %windir%\explorer.exe to %windir%\explorer.exe /e,::{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}. Click on OK to save the settings.

Windows Seven - Being Exploring from Computer

That’s it. From now onwards, clicking on the Windows Explorer button would open (My)Computer instead of Libraries.

Arrange Your Explorer Icons Neatly By More Filter Options

Most of the Microsoft Windows users often get messed up with their files because of the lack of grouping or categorizing of the newly added items to the computer. This creates a compete chaos in the system that it becomes too difficult to go through them. And at the end, after clearing this mess out, we end up with many important files deleted.

This can be prevented by proper grouping of the files and folders based on different filters. Unlike what you maybe thinking, there is no need of any extra software for this. There is a option in the Windows Explorer itself, which I am sure many of you have not noticed. So, I thought that I would introduce them to you people.

Go to any folder,

  1. Click on “view” button in the menu bar.
  2. Go to “choose details” option in that. You will get a list of options that have check boxes. These are the options that you get in your “Arrange Icons By” filter. For example, by default you have “Arrange icons by> name,   size, date, type and modified”
  3. Now by checking the option “Author” you will get an extra filter for you files i.e., “Arrange icons by> author”. These options depend on the files in the folder you have selected.

This is really good for people who keep on installing new softwares to their system and often get messed up with their softwares.

SppedDial | Quickly Access your Bookmarks with this Firefox Extension

Bookmarks and Favorites are frequently used by most Net Savvy persons. My Bookmark list   today contains more than 100 websites, which I frequently visit. Organizing them into categories sometimes is difficult, but I have just come across a nice web tool, which I might switch to in coming days.

Welcome to Speed Dial.

OMG, yet another Firefox Extension. I just seem to be loving them all.

Speed Dial is a Firefox Extension that allows you to quickly access all of your favorite websites with a few clicks on your keyboard or mouse. To assign any website to Speed Dial, you just have to use the new “Set as Speed Dial” option in the bookmarks menu. Or alternatively just right click on the tab you want to add, and choose “Set as Speed Dial”. You can use this option from contextual area menu.

Thereafter, you can access the added bookmarks in any of the three ways.

  • via the Speed Dial Tab, which gets opened with your bookmarks whenever you open a new Firefox window or a new Firefox tab.
  • via keyboard shortcuts, OR
  • Speed Dial Button, which may be added to the toolbar and gives you a dropdown list of your bookmarks.

Cool Application. I just love Firefox.

How to enable NumLock Key to be ON when Linux Boots

If you’ve tried Linux before, chances are you found this frustrating. The NumLock key on your keyboard is by default OFF when Linux boots. There’s a way to enable NumLock key stay in the ON state when Linux starts up.

Here’s how to do it if you’re in Ubuntu:

Using the shell, install NumLockX by typing this command

$ sudo apt-get install numlockx

Otherwise you can download the tarball from here, compile and install it by executing the following set of commands from the directory where the tarball was extracted:

./configure
make
make install
make xsetup
make xinitrc

Reboot, you should see that the NumLock key is on by default.

KeyScrambler | Firefox addon to avoid Key Loggers

Key Loggers are the small malicious scripts, which are planted in your PC to spy on your private data and passwords. They are memory resident programs, which store your important user-ids, passwords and other valuable information, as you type that into your keyboard. This data can later be misused by the master mind behind the operation, and you might not be knowing it at all.

So, how to avoid Keyloggers

I have just come across a nice Firefox extension KeyScrambler, which does the job in a nice way. Its an extension, OMG I love firefox just for the extensions themselves and one day will dedicate a complete blog for them.

Oops, I was talking about KeyScrambler, a Firefox extension, which encrypts your keystrokes at the kernel driver level to protect your login information from keyloggers.

KeyScrambler defeats keyloggers by encrypting your keystrokes at the keyboard driver level, deep within the operating system. When the encrypted keystrokes reach your browser, KeyScrambler then decrypts them so you see exactly the keys you’ve typed. Keyloggers can only record the encrypted keys, which are completely indecipherable.

Check it out at the Mozilla Addon site.