2 days using a 2.1 speaker etc

2 days using a 2.1 speaker – 5:28 PM 7/7/2006

I usually hear sounds from my sound card using a headphone. I have a speaker, but the sound quality is awful. It is cracky, for a lack of better word.

For some reason, yesterday I decided to buy a speaker. I visited Resentika Computer after KKN to buy it. There were three alternatives: a cheapo 20k speaker which seems to be the same as my free (as in beer) speaker, a 35k Mentari speaker which seems to be better, and a 53k Sturdy speaker which has a left, right, and subwoofer speaker. After comparing the sound quality and looking at my wallet, I decided to buy the 2.1 Sturdy speaker.

Sturdy is its brand, and a “MADE IN CHINA” was printed of the box. Must be some randomly named company mass producing cheap electronics. Well, at least it is a lot better than my current speaker. Big names like Logitech and Altec Lansing is out of my reach.

Installing it is simple. First you plug the power which stems from the subwoofer. Then you connect the subwoofer to the sound card using the provided cable. The last one is to plug the cable from the left/right speakers to the subwoofer. An extra bonus is that the subwoofer has another hole for a headphone. When a headphone (or any other device) is plugged there, the sound output is completely redirected to the external device.

When the time came to position the speakers, an immediate problem is to identify the left and right speakers. As I thought, there was no indication on the speakers, an obvious usability minus. So I played an MP3 and opened Windows volume control. Windows volume control had a left/right balance slider. I tried sliding it to the extreme left and then to the extreme right.

A problem was immediately obvious. When the slider was on the extreme left, no sound came out. When the slider was on the extreme right, both speakers still emitted sound. There was no problem whatsoever with my headphone and even my free speaker in this matter.

I also loaded Moyo Go Studio. In MGS, a stone placed on the right side will really emit sound from the right. However with the Sturdy speaker, I couldn’t get the illusion.

It turned out that the culprit was the subwoofer unit. If I plugged the left/right speakers directly to the sound card, they would work correctly. If I plugged my headphone and free speaker to the external hole on the subwoofer, left/right balance didn’t work. It seemed that the subwoofer transformed a stereo audio into a mono one.

So the next day, also after KKN, I went to Resentika again. I described the steps to reproduce the bug (feature?) and the bug faithfully appeared. The technician proceeded to get 3 other units from the back and as I had expected, they all didn’t work. It was a feature after all.

To give the idea to the technician the correct behavior, I asked him to take another brand. He took the cheapest speaker and it worked like wonder.

When I asked for a return, the technician pointed me to a lady. I told him about the problem and the lady discussed this with other staffs.

The lady then told me that I need to pay a fee because I didn’t return the item on the same day that I bought it. I told her it was impossible since I bought the item just before the store was closing. She then told me that I should’ve returned the item this morning because then she could discuss it with upper management guys. I told her that I couldn’t do it because I had KKN. When she showed me that there is a “GOODS CANNOT BE RETURNED AFTER BOUGHT” on the receipt, I argued that my case is different because I bought a broken product. Finally, I told her that I was a customer there (I bought my printer and cartridges there) and if she still insists on making me pay a fee, I would stop going there and tell my friends that Resentika’s customer service is bad.

Customer power worked well. After more discussions with other staffs, she handed me a return form and finally the money (if there’s a return form, what’s witht the “GOODS CANNOT BE RETURNED AFTER BOUGHT” notice?).

So there it goes… I am now back with my headphone, free speaker, and 53k. Don’t buy a Sturdy speaker, they can’t do stereo.

God bless Notepad++ – 5:25 PM 7/7/2006

If I set the language settings of Notepad++ to HTML then activate the “Plugins” – “TextFX Settings” – “+Autoclose XHTML/XML <Tag>”, Notepad will do autoclosing of tags like <p> and <h>! This feature is very handy because this blog is written in HTML.

Image size limitation on WordPress – 11:11 PM 7/4/2006

Using the current WordPress theme, if I post an image with a horizontal size larger than 450, the image will be scaled so that the horizontal size is exactly 450. This produces horrible-looking images because browsers don’t use any kind of filtering to resize the image. I’m really puzzled, is it really that performance demanding to resize images using a decent filtering? I’m going to visit Firefox’s bugzilla.

PS: Bugzilla sucks. I like Malone a whole lot more (Malone is the bug tracker of Launchpad, used for Ubuntu development).

So, for the meantime, I need to always remind myself to limit the horizontal size of the images I post on this blog.

PS2: MediaWiki has a very cool server-side image resising. Examples:

Analyze the URLs of the above images to understand what I mean.

3 Responses to “2 days using a 2.1 speaker etc”

  1. Anjar Priandoyo Says:

    Finnaly i found your blog argo, you know what, its very difficult find your blog in internet, i spend almost two week to find the right keyword to find your site. The thing is because i dont know exactly whether using ‘rahmatullah’, ‘rachmatullah’ or rakhmatullah, seems there are million combination. anyway how are you bro 🙂

  2. Anjar Priandoyo Says:

    anyway what is your email address gro?

  3. Agro Rachmatullah Says:

    Lol. I can imagine the pain of it :).

    I’m fine, now doing KKN on BID (Badan Informasi Daerah). The main job is to make a disaster management system using PHP and CakePHP. The chief of the developer team is Mas Sahal.

    My email is agro1986@gmail.com.

    Punya WordPress juga ya? Great… Let’s blog using open source blogging technology 🙂 (WordPress lisensinya GPL).

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