Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Drobo B810i Review

Outside of hardcore enterprise systems that cost many thousands of dollars, the DROBO B810I stands alone as a mainstream dedicated iSCSI SAN-only device. The iSCSI feature is often included with lower-cost network-attached storage systems, but mostly as an afterthought. Drobo decided to take iSCSI seriously while maintaining the company's ease-of-use policy. The result is a user-friendly device that takes the complication out of a complicated setup process.

Some things just come with a certain expectation. Ferrari's are supposed to be fast, Lamborghini's are supposed to burn to the ground, and an iSCSI setup is supposed to be complicated. With network attached storage (NAS) devices, any system on the network, if it has permission, can access a storage volume through a simple command. Many NAS, even the low-cost products selling for $200, include the required software to setup a SAN running iSCSI. Most users don't bother jumping through the hoops required to set up an iSCSI pairing because it's difficult the first time. The process involves the language of both storage and network, two sets of principals most people never really want to learn more about after getting a good enough system up and running.

Storage Area Networks or SANs have several benefits over NAS systems. The data moves at the block-level, just like in your PC. The SAN storage array presents itself to your PC just like local storage, so it exposes itself as a hard disk drive in your Explorer window with a standard drive letter. Software that doesn't install or run well on a NAS will not know the array is offloaded to another PC. The software thinks the storage is local, and thus runs without hesitation.

Monday, September 11, 2017

DENON DJ VL12 Quick Review


I’m getting a massive feeling of Déjà vu. I’m absolutely certain I’ve been here before… maybe even twice. Yes I have. We saw the first incarnation of this at last year’s NAMM, and fell in love with it. AND THEN IT TURNED UP AT DJ Expo, but had lost some of its cool black stealth. Denon DJ decided to buck the Hanpin trend and build their own turntable. And here we are, one year later with an updated VL12 Prime (scroll to the bottom of the page).

HEre’s what Denon DJ has to say about this refreshed DENON DJ VL12:

As mentioned above, we’ve been here before. But I can see why it was held back and made part of Denon DJ’s bigger Prime strategy. But I’m reasonably sure it’s more or less the same turntable, just with an updated look.

I’d bullet point the key features, but it’s all detailed above, leaving me with not a great deal to talk about. I suppose ti should pick out the things that makes this stand out above the crowded market dominated by Hanpin derivatives:
Variable torque: It’s hard for some to deal with a platter that pulls you along with the record, and at 5kg, this is the highest (albeit by a small amount) torque on the market.
A different platter: I love the platters on my TTX1s, and equally love that Denon dared to be different.
RGB lighting: It may seem gimmicky, but that platter outer ring light is very cool indeed. We only saw it under bright trade show lights at NAMM and it was still good. And the fact that you can adjust it to your DJ brand is valuable in a brand-led age.

I have to say that I’m disappointed at the aesthetic changes. The original we saw was pure DJ porn, but now it’s like so many other turntables. Sorry guys — you played it a bit too safe here. Perhaps it’s the renders — maybe I’ll feel differently when I see them in the flesh. It’s not just me — this is a DJWORX team opinion.

Me? I couldn’t happier with my 13 year old TTX1s. Now if Denon DJ had “Primed” those instead, and essentially reskinned a TTXUSB with its interchangeable arms, dual start/stops buttons, brake/startup adjusts, swappable controls, huge display, reverse, and USB… now that I would pay top money for. I may just have to get another pair before they disappear completely.

For the more numbers driven people out there — sorry, but I can’t find any specs for the VL12 Prime. I’m sure they’ll be published in due course.

And so to price. £649/$899 is very expensive in today’s market. It’s half the price of the new Technics SL-1200GR, but that’s not aimed at DJs. The comparison you’re looking for is the Pioneer DJ PLX-1000, which is £529/$699. This price is the top end of current DJ turntablry, and that was derided when it came out at £599.

I don’t know how popular the PLX has been, but I do know that it’s generally not especially well thought of, largely down to this teardown video from Bright Pixel. His advice was to stick with Technics, so it’ll be interesting to see what he makes of the VL12 Prime. I don’t have to state that this is quite a premium to pay for what on the surface is little more than aesthetics. But this is an all new turntable with expensive tooling to pay for. So Denon DJ really needs to keep its fingers and toes crossed that people will fall in love with it and pay the premium. Denon fans are very loyal that way though.

Friday, July 21, 2017

How does a solar PV (photovoltaic) system work?

Image result for solar panel efficiency review
Certain materials can be made to produce GOAL ZERO NOMAD 100 when light falls on them; this is called the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels use this effect to convert energy from sunlight into direct current (DC) electrical energy. An inverter unit then changes this into alternating current (AC) for your home's electrical circuits. Any excess energy can be fed back to the electricity grid, for which you may be paid an agreed feed-in tariff, or it could be fed into a battery storage system so you can use the stored power later (at night, for instance).
GOAL ZERO NOMAD 100 work best when they're north facing, pointed directly at the sun, at an optimal angle and not blocked by trees or shading. The effectiveness of solar panels also depends on where you live and the weather.

Cells, modules, panels and arrays

Most solar cells are made of silicon. Solar panels, also called modules, are each made of several solar cells, connected together and sandwiched between protective glass and a backing plate, the whole panel usually surrounded with an aluminium frame. All the tested panels have 60 cells except the GOAL ZERO NOMAD 100 which has 96. The solar panels we're testing weigh around 18 to 19kg each. A typical installation includes several panels connected together in an array.

Types of solar panel

  • Monocrystalline panels are typically black in colour and have a reputation for higher efficiency than multi-crystalline (or polycrystalline) models, which are typically dark blue and are sometimes said to have better temperature tolerance (see efficiency below). The differences come from the manufacturing processes of the silicon cells in each case. In practice there's not necessarily a clear advantage either way; as with most high-tech products, solar panels are a complex assembly of many components and the overall performance depends on more than simply the type of cell.
  • Interdigitated back contact solar cells (IBC), or rear contact solar cells, are a variant of standard solar cells. They can achieve higher efficiency by having all the electrical contacts on the rear of the cell (rather than at the front), so there are no metal contact strips preventing light getting to the cell surface. The Sunpower panel in our test uses IBC cells.
  • Thin film solar cells are made from a thin layer of photovoltaic material (such as amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride or copper-indium-gallium-selenide) on a base plate of glass, metal or other substance. This technology is evolving and while it promises more flexible applications than standard solar panels, it's so far generally less efficient and is rare in rooftop arrays. It's used in various large and small applications, from building-integrated PV systems to solar-powered calculators and garden lamps.


This is simply a measure of the panel's electricity output (in watts) compared to its surface area. Generally, the higher the efficiency, the more power you can get from a given roof area, and you might have lower installation costs too. However, if you have plenty of roof space, you might find it more economical to buy cheaper panels with lower efficiency and just use more of them.

This may come as a surprise, but although solar panels are meant to sit on roofs in direct sunlight, they actually become less efficient as they get warmer, due to the physics of the photovoltaic effect. So you'll sometimes get less power from the panels on a very hot day than on a mild day (and remember, even on a 25°C day, your rooftop panels could be operating at well above 40°C). Solar panel power ratings are based on standard conditions (25°C panel temperature). Some panels have better temperature tolerance than others (look for a lower 'temperature coefficient') and are therefore a better choice in hot climates. Correct installation is also important; that's why panels should be installed in a way that allows air to circulate underneath the panels to help keep them cooler.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How to Reclaim Lost Business Mojo through Digital Marketing

As a small or medium sized business, you probably have never pictured yourself as capable of competing with big companies with entire marketing departments and million dollar budgets. When business gets slow, you struggle to keep your head above water and riding the waves of success feels like a long way off.

Digital marketing has changed the playing field for everyone, but especially for small to medium sized businesses who can now compete and grow in ways that they weren’t previously able to. Everything from cost to customer interaction is different online, and these changes work in a way where if you have a strong digital strategy placed in capable and professional hands, your small business will be able to able to compete in a big way.


Digital marketing allows your efforts to be more targeted.

From Search Marketing to Instagram ads, you set the parameters for who and what you want to target your marketing to. Choose keywords that are relevant to your business, age ranges for customer bases and specific locations or times of the day for your ads to run. The targeting aspect of digital marketing means that no matter how big or small, you know exactly where your marketing budget is going. You won’t waste money just throwing your ad out into the world and hoping it sticks to the right potential customer.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Why Online Local Listings Are Vital to Your Business

Search engine optimization has evolved several times since the concept first came to light, and as a business owner who must constantly find ways to improve your page’s SEO rankings, you have had to no doubt evolve along with it. Businesses that do not keep pace with new trends and cling to old SEO techniques usually find themselves failing, and one of these newer trends is to remain relevant in local business search listings. No matter what search engine you register with or what SEO keywords you use, being visible in local directories can give your business that extra online presence you have been looking for.

Local Listings Can Boost Visibility

Google has typically led the way when it comes to listing local directories and offering the most complete information at a glance. When people search for a business, the first results that usually pop up are local listings for that customer’s area, along with the contact information. Getting into this listing can be vital for the success of your business.

While investing in local listings might seem unimportant to you because you believe that your SEO ranking is already high enough to bring new traffic to your site, cornering the market on local business is just as important, especially if you have both a website and a brick-and-mortar establishment. One may not be successful without the other.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Taking Your First Steps in Business? Read This Guide First

Starting out in business can be daunting. Especially when you’re on your own you may feel as if you don’t really have anyone to lean on and nowhere to turn for those first few months. There are always places online to go to where you can chat about your problems and worries and get helpful tips and advice. If you’re starting out as a blogger, this may be very exciting as there are so many people starting in this exciting industry, and online and social media is a great place to start to get help. You can always turn to someone and a lot of companies offer free advice to new business startups, even banks if you are looking for loans and some solicitors and accountants. There are also some really good business courses to take locally, some are free, but some you may have to pay a small fee, it all depends on how much you want to learn but look at local colleges or universities.

Starting your business is very exciting. If you’re working from home, it may be slightly easier because you are not having any additional worries of premises renting or any additional bills. However, if you have a premises and a team in place then you probably want to look at pingboard organisational chart software for your staff members. You always want to keep your staff members happy, and this can be difficult when you’re starting out as there are always teething problems. Ensuring you have good communication with your staff is key and of course keeping in good communication with your customers, or clients is also important because you want to make the best impression and keep them coming back over and over. First impressions always count, so make sure you are friendly, professional and outgoing; nobody wants to work with someone who is rude or abrupt.