We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, October 18. 2017
Poor Bjørn Lomborg. In the world of global warming, he's always been something of an outlier. An outcast. A heretic. A pariah.
Basically, both sides hate him.
He wholeheartedly believes in man-made global warming, thereby earning the eternal wrath of those Evil Deniers. On the other hand, he doesn't believe that we're all going to die in 2055 when Antarctica melts and sea levels rise 2,000 feet, thereby earning the eternal wrath of the Climate Catastrophists.
On the plus side, he believes that it doesn't hurt anything to reduce CO2 levels as long it doesn't — you know — destroy the world's economies, and I think we can all agree with that.
And that's the inherent problem with the Paris climate accords. It doesn't do much to reduce CO2, yet it does seriously hurt the richer nations' economies. I actually paid lots of attention to the accords as they were underway, and a surprising number of eco-warriors were saying the same thing. Of course, they were complaining that the accords weren't strict enough and that the richer nations should have their economies destroyed even more — but never mind those pesky details.
First off, just to set the tone, here's Mr. Lomborg on the Greg Gutfeld Show a few months ago:
Germany just shut down all their nuclear power plants because they were worried about a tsunami? What the hell?
A few years ago, I wrote an article on the Fukushima disaster that mentioned the same thing. Remember the event? A big earthquake in Japan and then a tsunami caused the Fukushima nuke plant to implode. Except that it wasn't a tsunami.
For further Lomborg videos, PragerU's YouTube 'Environmental Science' page is here.
So, let's hear Mr. Lomborg's formal presentation. This was done almost a year ago, so when he refers to "the president", he's referring to Obama.
If we generously assume that the carbon cuts for 2030 were not only met, which, itself, but would be a UN first...
You have to admit; now that's funny.
Saturday, September 2. 2017
Sure, it's fun listening to a half-century old Dylan tune. Sure, it's a kick to hear about how a bunch of snowflakes were scared by a banana peel. Sure, it's interesting reading about how a 1926 tractor was rebuilt.
But let's talk about an important issue, shall we?
For those of you who like your booze mixed with a soda, allow me to introduce a truly wonderful product to you called Everclear. Because here's the fun part: It doesn't have any taste.
Almost be definition, alone, all liquors (yes, even vodka) have a taste. The question then becomes, how does it affect the taste of your favorite soda? Usually in the negative would be my guess.
In my case, I'm a confirmed gingeraleaholic. I've been buying Canada Dry Ginger Ale since it was located in the wine aisle of the grocery store, right next to the Tom Collins mix, simply because it was originally designated a mixer, not a soda pop. It wasn't until years later when the Dr. Pepper people bought Canada Dry and turned it into an everyday soda that it came into its own.
Since I don't like drinking straight booze, I started experimenting, mixing different liquors with my Ginger Ale. I tried a number of different whiskies, scotch, bourbon, brandy, vodka, a number of rums, and they all failed the taste test. Basically, nothing goes with Ginger Ale.
Then I raised my plaintive plight while sitting around the community table at one of the marinas I stayed at while living on my boat in the Florida Keys, and someone suggested Everclear.
Oh, and the reason it doesn't have any taste? It's pure grain alcohol. On top of that, it's 190 proof, so just a splash in your soda of choice does the trick, so one could argue that it's one of the most economical liquors out there.
As a small side note, in case your local liquor store doesn't carry it, there's a similar product called Golden Grain, made by the same company.
Thank goodness we finally got around to discussing an important issue!
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:00 | Comments (26) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, August 30. 2017
With one exception, all of the movies I've reviewed over the past few months have been fairly recent releases. Today, we step back in time.
Here are five wonderful war flicks from the early days:
— Sink The Bismarck (1960)
— The Enemy Below (1957)
— Destination Tokyo (1943)
— Run Silent Run Deep (1958)
— Operation Petticoat (1959)
And there are certain features that distinguish these films from the modern war flick. There's no gorgeous starlet awaiting our hero when he returns home. There's no trick computer gimmicks or the latest, hot special effects. There's no frantic, hurried-up pace; in fact, some of the events actually take place in (gasp!) real-time. There's no thunderous music score when the bad guy is finally bested. And, just as interesting, there's no long list in the credits of stunt men. If there's any list at all.
In other words, these films are genuine.
Continue reading "Movie Review: Five old-timey war flicks (oceanic version)"
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:00 | Comments (33) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, August 26. 2017
First off, if you're having problems with the Flash videos, read this.
The other day I noticed a link to an article titled Why Pluto is No Longer a Planet. The article was quite interesting, then I watched the accompanying video, then went over to YouTube, searched for 'space' and watched a number of space videos. While some were way over the top ("Why Black Holes Could Delete The Universe" e.g.), some of them were quite interesting, so I collected the best of the bunch for your viewing pleasure. Given Bird Dog's post of the Voyager link this morning, the timing couldn't be better.
Like many, I was outraged when I heard that a room full of dusty old codgers in Prague, Czech Republic, had suddenly decided to rewrite history. But, as the following video explains, there was a pretty good reason for the decision. Nor, I admit, was it left up to just a few dusty old codgers.
The article linked above is even more in-depth.
Four more vids below the fold.
Continue reading "Space videos"
Wednesday, August 23. 2017
In my opinion, the best show on TV is 'The Greg Gutfeld Show' on the Fox Channel, Saturday nights. While it can occasionally be simply scathing — usually with Greg's opening monologue — it's basically a lighthearted look at the week's political news. This is backed up by the fact that one of his two guests is often a professional comedian.
Or, sometimes not.
On last Saturday's show we had Terry Schappert, ex-Ranger, ex-Green Beret, a tough nut who was in the military for almost 25 years, much of it fighting Islamic jihadists. His Wikipedia page is here.
First, just to set the background, here's Greg on the weeknight show 'The Five', whereupon he reminds us that we, as conservatives, face two common enemies.
The segment continued with the others joining in, but that was the main gist. The full show is here. The discussion begins at the 12:20 mark.
If you'd like to read an excellent essay on Greg's point in the first clip, check this out.
Saturday, August 19. 2017
Pic: Result from using incorrect wiring with the new fast hard drives.
Actually, I should correct something I said up above. I said a digital drive is "blazingly" faster. I probably should have said screamingly faster. I mean, there's really no comparison, as you'll see in the figures below the fold.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: The solid state drive"
Wednesday, August 16. 2017
Cloud Atlas — Marvelous, just marvelous. One of Tom Hanks' best.
The Martian — One of Matt Damon's increasingly good roles.
The Great Wall — Superb special effects, great monsters, seriously hot Chinese chick. What more do you want?
Rogue One — This is the '½' flick. It is, by no means, a 'great' movie, but there's an important point to be made.
As always, you're encouraged to click on the icon on the lower-right of the player's tool bar to open them up to full-screen size. Hit ESC to get back to windows mode when through.
Goodies are below the fold.
Continue reading "Movie Review: 3½ more great movies"
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 17:00 | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, August 9. 2017
Spanning the spectrum of mankind's achievements, there are certain key moments that stand out in each field. I'm going to cover a few here, and if you have any additions that you think I might be interested in doing a future post on, leave a synopsis and maybe a link or two in the comments.
When it comes to the heading of 'Inventions', I think the sublime moment is this:
As I note in the piece, what's particularly baffling about it all is that we have natural axle-ready 'wheels' around us in nature, i.e., an eroded pebble in a stream bed or a sawed-off piece of tree trunk with a knot in the middle which pops out. So you'd think it would have evolved naturally, like fire, without any historical point of reference you could point to. But nope.
So, if you had to boil it down to one single moment, the great architects of the Egyptian empire seeing the wheel for the first time gets my vote.
Continue reading "Great moments in human achievement"
Saturday, July 29. 2017
As you probably know, a total solar eclipse is due in the U.S. on August 21. For now, I want to mention two things.
1. If possible, you definitely want to catch it. It is — by definition alone — a rare and spectacular event. I saw the one in 1979 and it remains on my "Three most amazing things I've ever seen" list. It'll be worth the driving time, even spending the night in a motel. So start making plans now. This is the last total eclipse we'll see for seven years, and that one will only cross the eastern U.S. After that, it'll be a wait of twenty-one years.
2. If you're going to watch it, you'll definitely need some special eyeglasses. An Amazon link is here. Just make sure you get the "ISO certified" type, not just "ISO tested". I'm mentioning this simply because time is running short and the glasses you order might be backlogged or the company might get swamped with last-minute orders.
The best map I've seen of the path of totality is here. Use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in or the plus and minus keys. Head for the center line, as that's where the full eclipse will last the longest. Click on a specific area for a pop-up box with the peak times. They'll be in UT time, so to convert it to your time zone, click here.
A good time promises to be had by all.
Saturday, July 22. 2017
Below, I have the now-infamous Marc Morano 'Climate Hustle' documentary that so unnerved the delegates at the Paris climate accords in December of 2015.
Luckily, Mr. Moreno skipped town just before the storm troopers arrived.
Close one, Marc!
Before we get to the video, allow me to set the background with a few relevant links and quotes. You're welcome to skip ahead and watch it, of course; I'm just posting the following to show that the claims made in the documentary are hardly unique.
Continue reading "(We've been...) Climate Hustled"
Wednesday, July 19. 2017
Like many fans of 'NCIS', a big chuck of my interest in the show went out the window when Michael Weatherly left a season ago. It just wasn't going to be the same without our lovable ol' Tony.
Just to get us into that Tony mood, I'm going to include a couple of clips from his NCIS days, then we'll move on to his new show.
What's interesting is that Weatherly played a multi-faceted persona on the show, sometimes being sentimental, and sometimes comedic. Here's a short clip that puts both facets on display.
Gibbs has received (yet another) medal of achievement, doesn't even bother to attend the ceremony, so Tony accepts it in his stead, as usual.
More on this interesting story below the fold.
Continue reading "Whereupon Michael Weatherly morphs into Jason Bull"
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:00 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, July 15. 2017
While I haven't posted a lot of articles on my site since I went on hiatus, I have posted a few choice goodies, so I thought I'd list them out.
Note: If the videos don't play using Firefox, read my comment to Mark. Firefox is decidedly Flash-unfriendly these days and often deactivates
Fans of NCIS
While I obviously didn't watch any TV while I was in Colorado, the first thing I did when I got back to civilization was catch up on 'NCIS' and 'NCIS: New Orleans'. The last NCIS post I made here was when we found out that everybody's favorite ex-Mossad assassin was leaving the show.
And then the delightful Ellie Bishop arrived. Quickly becoming an ardent Bishoprophile, I made a number of posts highlighting her. The last NCIS post I made here was titled 'Tonight's The Night'. The next one on the list continues the saga. The story of everyone's favorite blonde ex-NSA analyst begins with 'An Insidious Plot Revealed', which is about as me a post as there can be.
All in all, I think I have a pretty decent collection of short videos grabbed from the web over the past 20 years. I've posted a number of them here. Continuing the collection are 'Web Vids IV' and 'The Music Is The Message 2', both available here.
More fun and games below the fold. (dudes, wait'll you see the 'For Guys Only' section, heh)
Continue reading "Recent Doc posts"
Wednesday, July 12. 2017
This is the only political piece I put on my site during the election. The reason I'm porting it over here is twofold:
- While pretty much every pundit in the Central Galaxy figured Trump didn't have a snowball's chance in hell, there actually was one small group who thought otherwise. I was lucky enough to be a part of it.
- For Trump supporters, the first video below is outstanding. It's masterfully done and deserves to be shared.
The reason I'm putting this in the Political Humor section is because, quite simply, Trump made a joke out of every talking head on the planet. Every pundit, every pollster, every 'expert', every left-wing writer, almost every right-wing writer, every commenter on every left-wing site, every newscaster, every op-ed writer, every opinion-maker, every every.
She maintained for a year that as long as Trump stayed true to himself and stayed on message, he could very well pull it off. Like Ann, I never bought that the average American would turn from Trump to Clinton over some ancient misdeed on Trump's part that the media blew all out of proportion. Like Ann, I figured Americans had become a lot more politically savvy in the past decade and saw through the spin the liberal media was producing. Or, perhaps more to the point, they simply ignored it.
As for the many, many (many) reasons Mrs. Clinton lost, well, the list is almost endless. First, it was racism, because all white Americans are secretly white supremacists and were just getting back at Obama by way of Trump. Then it turned out all American males are secretly devout misogynists and just couldn't stand the thought of a female president.
The author of this wonderful piece is Paul Joseph Watson.
See y'all in 2020 for Round 2.
Saturday, July 8. 2017
Criminal — Perhaps Kevin Costner's best movie.
Arrival — The greatest 'space aliens' movie — that barely features any aliens.
Hidden Figures — A terrific move featuring NASA's early days
The Accountant — Perhaps Ben Affleck's greatest movie.
Juicy goodies below the fold.
Continue reading "Movie Review: four more great flicks"
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:00 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, July 5. 2017
This will be a two-part post. I'm going to cover two Internet-related topics. If you have a bunch of siblings, kids and in-laws, definitely read the second part.
Avoiding The Domain Havesters
Pic: artist's conception of average domain harvester
If you ever, ever, think you might want to start up a blog or web site one day using your name (or future business name) as the domain, you need to do it ASAP, then hold onto it with both hands. The problem is that once a domain expires, the domain harvesters will grab it up, and then they'll charge you a pretty penny if you want to buy it back. I've seen them ask for upwards of $3,000.
And you can see why they do it. If you want to open Mary Brown's Boutique, and desperately want the 'marybrownsboutique.com" name, well, you'll probably be willing to shell out some bucks for it. And that'll be especially true since you'll then be able to write it off on your income tax as a business expense. In your mind's eye, that might be enough to justify it.
So, the answer is to get the rascal registered now, then desperately hold onto it until the day you want to use it. I'd suggest you use BlueHost, the web hosting company I've been using for 15 years. The domain will only cost you $3.95/mo, which beats the heck out of paying some domain harvester their blood money down the road. And BlueHost will help you keep the domain, either by billing you automatically every year, or notifying you by email when it's due.
Some tips on grabbing a unique domain:
— If you're looking to register "jimcrawford.com", but it's already been taken, try using your middle initial, your full middle name, or perhaps "james" instead of "jim".
— You can use hyphens, so if all the above are taken, try "jim-crawford.com".
— If you're opening a fun blog site and "coolestblogintown.com" is taken, try adding "the" to the beginning, or "a", "another", "yet another", "my", "your", etc.
As for using domain suffixes other than ".com", I tend to recommend against it. If someone's trying to remember your domain name from memory, and it finally comes to them, they're going to use ".com" just by default. And if someone else already has your domain but with a ".com" (which is likely, or you would have used it), that's where they'll end up.
BTW, there's no web site involved. All you're buying is the domain. Come the day you want to use it, that'll be when you either hire a webmaster or do it yourself using the remarkable WordPress software and my easy step-by-step guide.
Here's the link to BlueHost. The sign-up process is pretty simple. At one point you'll make up a BlueHost password. Scribble it and the domain into a Notepad file and keep that rascal safe. You might also print out a copy and stick it in some file folder.
Below the fold, the wonderful adventure of opening a family blog. If you've got a bunch of siblings, kids and in-laws, it's a great experience for everyone involved.
Continue reading "Of Domain Harvesters + The Family Blog"
Saturday, July 1. 2017
Side note: I still haven't found a place to live. If you didn't catch my about-to-be-homeless post, it's here. I had a couple of promising leads in the comments, but they both flamed out. I have a couple more I'm still pursuing, but if you have something offer, that would be very appreciated.
First off, for those of you using windows 7, I have a fairly comprehensive Win7 site here. The 'Setup' page is really somethin' else. It solves a number of pesky problems, like those annoying thumbnails that pop up when the pointer's over an entry on the Task Bar.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: General Recap"
Saturday, June 24. 2017
Side note: This is Saturday, which means three of the best shows on TV are on tonight on Fox. 'Watters World' at 8 (EST), 'Justice With Judge Jeanine' at 9, and, especially, 'The Greg Gutfeld Show' at 10. If you don't have a TV (like me), all three will have been posted to YouTube by tomorrow. If you haven't seen a Judge Jeanine opening monologue, buckle your seat belt.
Following is a review of four movies.
I'll put the whole mess below the fold.
Continue reading "Movie Review: Four great flicks"
Posted by Dr. Mercury in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:00 | Comments (22) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, June 22. 2017
Dr. Mercury, checking in.
For you Maggie's newcomers, I blogged on this site about every other day for five wonderful, tumultuous years. This was through the heady election days of 2008 and 2012, so there was obviously a lot to talk about.
Then a bunch of things happened.
- Helped with the construction of four 2-bedroom cottages — built from kits, no less — in a Colorado forest, as well as installing a large wind & solar installation to power them all. I was there for over two years.
- Helped birth a baby and whelped four litters of puppies.
- Lost my beloved to a brain aneurysm.
- Had a heart operation.
- Bought an extremely cool sports car that I didn't even know existed until an hour before I handed over the bread.
- Have lived in four states since the last time I blogged here, surrounded by champion show dogs.
Busy, busy, busy.
I'll relate the whole story below the fold, but for now I wanted to give a shout-out to a number of old friends who I see are still here.
Texan99 - My wonderful Texas belle.
GoneWithTheWind - Always one of the great voices of reason on this site.
Zach - Dude, you're the very definition of fortitude.
Dr.Torch, mudbug, Gringo, jma, bob sykes, Assistant Village Idiot, Sam L, JTW, rhhardin, JC, IdahoBob, Apple Pie, Clovis, Agent Cooper, Old Codger, BillH, Dorf, The Distributist, Claritas, Ben David, SgtBob, NJSoldier, faculty wife, Ken in NH, JLawson, BillH - Hey, doods and doodettes! It's nice to be back.
Side note: Boy, imagine how ol' Zach's going to feel when I pull out my (hold on a sec: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...) 213 anti-AGW links. It won't be pretty!
And, of course, my best bud, feeblemind - By the way, guy, I noticed that some of your recent comments have actually made lots of sense. We'll have to work on that.
Bird Dog, Barrister, News Junkie, Gwynnie, Dr. Bliss, Bulldog - I'm honored to be back among such distinguished peers.
If you're curious, my main web site is here. The whole mess is comprised of 1,204 posts, 1.1 million words, 2,856 pics and 640 vids.
Busy, busy, busy.
So, on with the story...
Continue reading "Return of the Wayfaring Wanderer"
Saturday, August 16. 2014
This will be one of those famous "user participation" posts you read so much about in Blogger's Digress. As we did in Bag O' Links, I'll add any additions left in the comments to the list ASAP. The rule is, two of the foods have to evoke a "Yuck!" when mentioned together, but go perfectly well when a third food is introduced.
Another oddity is pepper on bananas. You never see anyone peppering a banana, just because it would look too weird. In secret, or in the confidence of a mate, perhaps. I wouldn't know, I've never tried. It would just look too weird.
And here's one I bet you've never tried. How about munching on some barbecue potato chips... then washing them down with chocolate milk? Doesn't sound very appealing, I admit. We're back to that salt-sugar clash.
But, assuming you like egg salad sandwiches, the next time you have one, buy a bag of BBQ chips and your favorite brand of chocolate milk. It's just amazing how well the three go together.
How about garlic bread and soy sauce?
Exactly. But there I was the other night, eating some garlic 'Texas Toast' with some Chinese eggrolls, dunking the garlic bread in the soy sauce on the plate. Somehow the eggrolls magically tied everything together.
Continue reading "Food Quirks, reposted"
Tuesday, September 24. 2013
We shall continue below the fold.
Continue reading "NCIS: Tonight's the night"
Saturday, September 21. 2013
I believe Bird Dog and the missus have taken off for the famous Annual Two-Seed-In-The-Spirit Predestinarian Baptist Revival And Used Gun Sale in Woostah, Mass (only true New Englanders will know where that is), so I'm doing today's morning links.
First off, here's an official 'scoop' for ya. Sites like PJ Media and Hot Air are always linking to the latest Solyndra-type 'green' company going belly-up, with the most recent one being Ecotality, a maker of electric car charging stations. Here's a fresh one hot off the press:
That 'do nothing' link contains this gem:
So, if I'm reading the gist of the article correctly, it's better to be civic-minded than sit around playing video games. I think we can all agree with that sentiment.
Speaking of religions, here's a great article demolishing the whole 'sea levels rising' meme:
And two articles on the EPA's war on coal:
No, wait, I got that backwards. The Pope is asking Catholics not to get all worked up about such trivialities as abortion, gay marriage and contraception.
Since atheists are now included in the congregation, I presume he's talking about fringe groups like disenchanted Two-Seed-In-The-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists. Look out, Mr. & Mrs. Bird Dog — the Pope is gunning for you!
Speaking of religions, you might have read how the professional grievance-mongers want to do away with the Washington 'Redskins' name, because of its obvious horrific racist overtones. You know, along with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and, especially, the Cleveland Indians, because there's no more horrid and racist word for an American Indian to be called than 'Indian'.
Here's the best article I've read yet on the subject.
The last line of the article is one for the books.
Speaking of religions, the professional racemongers at CNN are still hard at work. After the Zimmerman trial, I noted CNN's top headline a few days later here. Well, an India-Indian woman won the Miss America pageant last weekend and a couple of lunatics came out of the woodwork making racist comments.
Blaring from the CNN headlines the next morning:
What's to note is that not one other news agency mentioned racism in their own articles that day. I'd be willing to bet even money that CNN staffers wrote a bunch of them in order to fit the preordained headline.
As I write in Of The Moon And Mushrooms, the mushroom in the above article, 'fly agaric', aka Amanita Muscaria, in conjunction with other natural phenomena, might have been the first building blocks of religion. Imagine all those Arizonans eating the things and inventing 225 new religions!
On the galactic scene, I mentioned this bad boy about six months ago and here's an update:
Think you have good eyes? Think you can spot a photoshopped picture when you see one? The following image of Putin and Obama is obviously photoshopped, but the question is, what obvious telltale sign gives it away?
President Obama rides sidesaddle.
Friday, September 20. 2013
I have an intro to him here. Carry on, Stilty!
This will cover generally cleaning your keyboard, thoroughly cleaning your keyboard, and repair.
A lot of keyboards over the years have been tossed in the trash "because the (fill in blank) key stopped working!" That's not to be confused with the Any Key not working, which we'll cover later.
If a key starts getting a little erratic or stops working altogether, chances are it's just a piece of grit that got in between the two layers of plastic sheets that reside inside the unit. The ESC key going out is the most common, just because it sits up in the corner by itself near the edge of the plastic sheets where a piece of grit could sneak in.
Amazingly, of all the pieces of computer gear, this is the one item you actually can fix yourself, and without a lot of effort. Just take a large garden hose and-, no, wait, I'm getting ahead of the story.
Continue reading "Doc's Computin' Tips: The keyboard"
Monday, September 16. 2013
The problem with the audio coming out of computers is that there simply isn't very much power, mainly because they're only designed for those little computer speakers. If you want to play a song or movie on the computer and have it sound decent, you need to use a couple of normal room speakers.
The hitch there is that normal speakers need a lot more power to get moving than a computer can provide. So the answer is to use something like this:
That's an AudioSource AMP-100 Stereo Power Amplifier, $103 on Amazon.
It's important to note when shopping for amplifiers that there are two different power ratings; RMS, the real amount of power, and 'peak power', the peak it can hit for a millisecond, which is basically worthless. If you search around Amazon for "speaker amplifier", you'll see a number of ads for a cheaper brand called 'Pyle', which cheats by advertising the peak power. Their "100-watt" unit is actually 10 watts of RMS power — which isn't much more than the computer has. So you have to be careful differentiating between the two. The AudioSource unit, above, is 100 watts RMS, or 50 watts a channel.
The speakers, themselves, also make a difference. Some older 4'-high monsters might not be near as 'efficient' as a smaller, newer 'bookshelf' model, and are going to require more power to get them to a loud level without distortion.
Along the same lines, how loud you plan on playing them enters the picture. For just your average speaker played at an average room level, 100 watts should be fine, but if you're planning on cranking them up, you'd better think in terms of 200 watts or higher. That'll also require much bigger bucks.
In all honesty, I can't officially recommend any brand over another, simply because I haven't bought one of these in decades, but the above info should get you going if you want to search around, and don't forget the user reviews at the bottom of the page.
And speaking of user reviews, there's an important point to be made if you're buying the above unit. Apparently, the 'Line 1' input has some kind of goofy feature that automatically mutes the volume if it doesn't sense any input, so use 'Line 2', which operates normally. The user reviews loved the unit but hated that feature, with a number of them bitching and moaning because they hadn't bothered to read the manual and thus didn't know that 'Line 2' doesn't use the feature.
The one other piece of equipment you'll need is this rascal:
The stereo 'mini-pin' plug on the left goes into the 'Audio Out' jack on the back of the tower and the two 'RCA cup jacks' plug into the back of the amp. Hook the speakers up to the amp and you should be good to go.
Update: Reader 'rhhardin' suggested a Radio Shack Ground Loop Isolator, so keep that in mind if you get any humming out of the speakers. It sometimes occurs when two power supplies are involved, in this case the computer and the amp.
As for there being four speaker jacks, while you could probably play four smallish bookshelf speakers at a normal volume without distortion, I wouldn't plan on anything bigger. If you don't mind snipping off the jacks of your existing computer speakers, you could wire them into the 'Speaker A' slot and put the room speakers on 'B', then switch back and forth as needs be.
Saturday, September 14. 2013
My personal feeling is, if nature can create this...
...then it can create pretty much anything.
"Oh, Doc, that's such bullshit! Evolution, create the eye? Get serious! What's next, interlocking gears?"
Well, uh, actually, yes.
Learn somethin' new every day.
Of course, not everyone might agree. My own post on the 'How we got here' question is here.
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