Behringer U-CONTROL UCA202

I purchased the Behringer U-Control UCA202 to use my mixer as a USB source so that I could keep my 1/8″ plug for a separate voice input. For example, If I was talking to someone on Skype and using the mixer as an input, then they would end up hearing themselves so now I am using the FX Send on the Behringer Mixer along with this USB interface to stop feedback problems.
Here are some specs and details from the Behringer website:

Ultra-Low Latency 2 In/2 Out USB/Audio Interface with Digital Output
-Ultra-flexible audio interface connects your instruments, mixer, etc. with your computer for recording and playback
-High-resolution 48 kHz converters for high-end audio quality
-Works with your PC or Mac computer—no setup or drivers required. Free audio recording and editing software downloadable at www.behringer.com
-Stereo Headphone output with dedicated Level control lets you monitor both input and output
-Additional S/PDIF optical output for direct digital conversion
-Powered via USB—no external power supply needed

Currently, I am not using all of the features this U-Control offers but for the parts that I have used, it is working very well.

Just plug into a powered USB port and you have a secondary input / output for your computer. You can use this interface for inputting from a mixing console, a guitar or other interment, 1/8″ (non-phantom powered) microphone, your optical stereo speakers, and much more. The possibilities are endless. For only $40, this Audio interface can come in handy for any audio producers.

For more information you can checkout the Behringer website.

Linux Mint 9/10

Mint 9 Logo

Mint 9 Logo

Over the years, I have enjoyed and struggled with many versions of linux operating systems (OS). There was a time when the only people who could actually install them were true hard core geeks whom picked up on how to navigate around the OS using the command prompt easily, ummm, sorta. But now with a graphics interface, it has become an OS almost everyone can use.

I say almost because there are still some limitations to certain programs you can run on any linux distribution. As years went by, more and more people began testing the OS waters and reporting what hardware they were able to get to work or not work. Eventually a HUGE list of compatibility hardware was developed and people could see if they could install and run linux. This hardware list included graphics, network, modem, sound adapters, ports in the PC and external devices like web cams, printers, scanners, etc.

There is very little difference in with how linux works and looks. To make it easier for Windows users, they have KDE and Gnome for people that like a completely new look. I personally love Gnome desktop layout and have used it for years.

I use to be a long time follower of Ubuntu Linux, but most recently have fell in love with Linux Mint 9. It was a super easy installation on my tower and my Dell mini 10.1v netbook and seems very fast. Linux Mint seem to come with the right programs I use most including OpenOffice suite, xChat and many others pre-installed allowing me to just turn it on and work or play. Keeping in mind other distributions come with the above as well though some may have to be installed. With thousands of free programs at your finger tips, using the software package manager is a snap to install what you may be looking for.

I highly recommend you try Linux Mint 10, like others it also saw special hardware like my HP 3330 multifunction laser, so I could print without installing old printer drivers (which I have no idea where I put the CD if I need to re-install them on my XP machine lol). Linux just seems to work as OS’s should. Computers were designed to help make life easier, not harder.

Please take some time to learn more about Linux Mint 9/10

Techiegeek

Griffin Simplifi.

The Griffin Simplifi is a charge / sync dock, media card reader, and USB hub. It is made to de-clutter the top of your desk and simplify your digital life. It is one compact unit that handles your iPhone, iPod, USB connections, and all kinds of media cards.

The Simplifi is compatible with 14 different types of iPhones and iPods. Most models from 2007 to present.

It is boxed with a set of about 8 adapters, each made to clip onto the dock, like a support stand for your model of device.

I’ve had the Simplifi for about 4-5 months and I’m loving it. It looks very clean and professional sitting under my iMac. Although I have a USB hub, I could still, and have used the ports on the back as a hub. They work tremendously! The media card reader is fast, and is compatible with a whole bunch of different media cards. Overall this is a great product and I recommend it to anyone looking for a USB hub / dock. It was about $69 but I think it was well worth buying.

What's new in Photoshop CS5

The 30-day free trial versions of Adobe CS5 products are now available for download on adobe.com. Every feature functions just as the retail version does, so you can take every feature for a test-drive.

Download the trial here.

Photoshop CS5 first project

I downloaded and installed this trial on Thursday and have been playing with it every since. Here are some of the new features – from adobe.com – :

Complex selections made easy, Content-Aware Fill, Superior HDR imaging, Extraordinary painting effects, Better media management, Easier UI management, Superior black-and-white conversion, New GPU-accelerated features, Faster performance across platforms, Efficient workflow, Puppet Warp, State-of-the-art raw image processing

Arkview Aquagate USB Hub.

The Arkview USB-PWHB AQUAGATE USB HUB provides 7 High-speed ports for your high-speed connectivity needs. This is a USB 2.0 hub which provides a data transfer rate of up to 480 Mbps. It supports Windows 98SE, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, and Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

Arkview Aquagate 7-port high power USB hub.

I’ve had this product for about a week and so far, everything about it is positive! I like that it has 2 USB ports on the back, 3 on the front and 2 on the top so I can always access USB ports easily when I need them. I’ve tried the hub with alot of peripherals so far, such as a digital camera, webcams, usb drives, mice, keyboards, everything works great. The reason this may be better then just a regular usb hub is that this one is powered by AC so anything that needs alot of power, such as charging an iPod/iPhone, or plugging in an external hard drive, can get the power right through the hub. It is very portable and light weight, which is kind of a downside fro me. This thing is so light that I have to hold it down to plug in something or else it will fall off the desk, I needed to put some padding under it to make stop moving around on the desk every time I touched it, no big deal.  So overall this is a great product and I would recommend it to anyone because you know, you can NEVER have too many USB ports!

The Arkview USB-PWHB AQUAGATE 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub w/AC Power Adapter retails for around $25.

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4621333&CatId=392

140 Twitter Tips ebook

Just this afternoon, Chris Pirillo sent me his newest ebook, “140 Twitter Tips”.  First off, I have to thank him for sending me this …. although I could have just purchased it for $1.40. :D  I’ve read most of the book now and all I can say is “wow”!  I can’t even describe how nicely it is set-up and displayed. I’ve learnt lots and I haven’t even finished reading yet. If you are a new Twitter user or have been using Twitter for months (like me) I suggest you buy it becuase You will atleast learn ONE thing! And what’s there to go wrong? Your only spending $0.01 per tip! $1.40.  This ebook is a 14pg. PDF, which offers useful and practical tips for all types of users.  Just visit http://go.tagjag.com/twittertips to purchase your own copy of 140 Twitter Tips! If you do purchase this book or have read it already post your comments and thoughts below.