Archive for January, 2010

21st January
2010
written by Dom

As anybody who knows me will attest, I have transferred my nicotine addiction to a far more pernicious and expensive addiction – Apple equipment. I have recently bought a second Apple Express ‘Airtunes’ extender – this allows me to stream music from any of my computers to any combination of other computers/stereo’s/speakers in my house – I have 8 devices I can now stream to – so, when I crank open Spotify on my Mac I can now send it to my new speakers in the shed (more later), the g4 imac in my kitchen, the stereo in my back room, the telly in my front room, the appleTV in my bedroom and airtunes speakers on the PCs in the kids rooms as well as the iPhones/iPods.

I’ve always had the problem that I want to listen to my music as I wander about the place, but I hate wearing headphones. When I was a teenager this was simple – I had a big old Kenwood 160W amp which I just used to crank up – this would annoy everybody in my street, but I thought it was pretty cool – I’d put the speakers in the windows just to make sure everybody else could hear it.

What I can do now is far more grown up – I can listen to the same piece of music – at a perfectly acceptable volume – throughout the house as it is streamed to all the speakers – I was trying to explain this at work the other day but my colleagues just looked at me askance – “How much money?” they asked – well – I don’t have loads of stereos, I only have one – speakers are generally a lot cheaper – I have a par of logitechs in the kitchen, and the kids have various quality 2.1 setups in their rooms. The Living room and our bedroom are served by the speakers in the tellies (both Samsung 26″ LCDs) – I reckon the whole setup probably cost less than one big fat 40″ LCD TV but is WAY cooler – it’s just VERY luxurious walking around the house hearing the same music coming from everywhere.

I do still have that childish streak however and have today installed my personal favourite purchase. – A set of Acoustic Energy Aego -M 2.1 speakers now adorn my shed. These puppies are VERY powerful – way more so than the Kenwood Amp of my teens, yet also clear, pin sharp and unobtrusive. I’ve spent the evening in the shed just listening to music – and the Kingspan insulation seems to work a treat for sound as well – nobody seems to be particularly bothered by my booming shed… Rock on!

Those tiny (white) speakers are among the loudest/clearest I have ever heard

Those tiny (white) speakers are among the loudest/clearest I have ever heard

21st January
2010
written by Dom

OK – fairly sure nobody’s actually watching any more – but let’s try(!) – The shed has been a functional (if wet at times) space for the last few months, but I’m finally getting round to making it somewhere I want to be… I had a damp-proof course issue which led me to install a “floating” floor – I didn’t realise that I was actually trapping any water which might make it down between the yard wall and the shed back wall in a non-breathing “swimming pool” in the bottom of the shed. This led to a fairly depressing couple of months where the (water based) varnish was lifting up off the floor and base of the walls – indeed in some sections the walls were beginning to develop a coating of mould – not good.

However, pulling the DPC in from between the brick foundation and base of the back wall and putting in the floating floor (loft boards screwed into standard scant) has utterly changed the interior. Pulling up the varnished plywood wasn’t easy but it’s allowed me to replace it with more comfortable (and far more practical) Coir matting – that’s doormats to you and me (5 of ‘em, great big ones – total cost about £60 – it’s like hard-wearing shag pile!)

instant carpet - been wanting to do this for ages - they're big doormats

instant carpet - been wanting to do this for ages - they're big doormats