By Imran Khan
Valves and turntables
When we got back home we noticed the revolution of listening to vinyl music is in full swing. Major music retailers are now selling turntables and records and it does not seem to just be a novelty item anymore. We dug further and found some really cool gadgets that are now being imported. There are now specialist analogue music dealers in South Africa that stock turntables, valve amp systems (Vacuum tubes) and speakers.
Now these toys are not just for fun as they come at quite a price and they also get very hot. After visiting one of these specialist shops in Cape Town, we were amazed at how well the good old analogue sounds were, comparable if not better than the surround sound we know today. The drawback was the amount of heat that the vacuum tubes on the amplifier produced, making the shop a bit stuffy. However, for the real muso at heart this is easily overlooked, because the natural harmonics of these systems is a real treat to listen to.
So if you get a chance this weekend, give vinyl a go and if you are in the Cape Quarter district, check out a shop called “The listening room”!
Gadget Buddies in Bangkok
We were fortunate enough to visit Bangkok, Thailand, recently to check out their techno scene. Let us begin by saying that they are light years ahead of us and that old technology divide that we thought we had bridged is still there. Bangkok is a bustling city featuring a wide mixture of activities taking place in it, from the streets to the biggest malls – with technology everywhere.
Just downstairs from our hotel we were greeted by huge LED screens on the sides of buildings with bright advertisements running 24 hours a day. It is really amazing to see the scale of the screens, especially the ones that follow the contours of a building. Our first stop of course was the technology hub of Bangkok, Pantip Plaza. The plaza is the most famous electronics mall in Bangkok, with four floors of just technology. Everything from a digital watch to the latest tablet PC can be found here.
We went through each floor and picked up some amazing gadgets like an adjustable DPI mouse. With a click of a button you can increase the “dot per inch” count and make the mouse more responsive. The ultimate find was the Windows Surface tablets. These 10 inch windows tablets can be transformed into functional net books easily and run Windows 8.1 pre installed. We couldn’t resist snapping up one and bringing it back home.