Some time ago Marion made a remark to me that it would be nice to have TV in my bedroom, just as she has at her home. At times she likes to watch a bit TV before going to sleep. But at the same time she made the remark that I should not spend too much money on that. It was not that important.

For some time I did not think too much about that remark. Until today…

By pure coincidence I found the manual of my 24 Inch monitor. I browsed a bit through the manual and there I read something that I already knew “is fully capable of play HD content”. Don’t know why I never thought of this before, but this monitor can be used as HD TV. The monitor has even internal speakers.

After making this conclusion, all the rest went very fast…

Last year I bought a interactive decoder (with hard disk) for my HD TV/Media set in my living room. This new decoder replaced my old more simple older decoder. But basically there was nothing wrong with my old decoder apart that it didn’t support certain functionality I wanted to have for my media set. But for the bedroom it would be more then enough…

Even the connections would be not a problem. When I bought that interactive recorder a 4 ports repeater came a long with it (a repeater is a device that increases the incoming signal to higher/stronger level). Wel, one port is used for the Internet modem. The second port is used for the media set in the living room. So that leaves two ports unused.

So all I needed was a coax cable to connect the old decoder to the repeater and a HDMI cable to connect the monitor to the decoder…. well, those I had to buy. So lets say for about € 20,00 (for the two cables) I have TV in my bedroom. And to be honest, it works very nice!!!

Future plan is to buy a (second-hand) HD TV or monitor that can play HD content that I will mount to the ceiling of my bedroom (there are special mounts available for that). Must say I like it :-)

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Life is there to… play chess!

by Rob on

Already for more than a year I play chess with Sanne. But as Sanne lives on the other side of the country we use modern means to do so… we use mail, text-messages, Facebook messages or whatever that is usable to send each other our moves.
I have to say I like it this way. It gives you a long time to consider all possible movies and the effects they may have. Sure this way a game of chess will take longer as normally when you are at the same location. But that is okay with me. I think it makes the game more challenging as everything is way better considered as you have a limit on the time to make a move.

We play for “rewards”, but not for money. At the start of every new game of chess we agreed what the “reward” we will be from the loser to the winner. Mostly these are small tasks the one has to do for the other. So Sanne has cleaned my windows, she ironed my laundry, she made applesauce for me from apples for her father’s farm, entered for a day books I own into the collection-database I have… I cleaned the windows of her apartment (and she has a lot more glass as I do), I made and processed some portrait pictures of her (that was fun), I replanted most of the plants she has in her apartment (uggghh!) and soon I will help her to paint the walls of her bedroom.

When we started to play Sanne was rather new to chess. She knew most rules and moves, but she was not very experienced in it. I “overlooked” some good moves I could make or a weak spots in her defense. But she improved her playing skills so much that nowadays such a thing would lead to a certain defeat on my account. Sanne has become a real challenge to play with and I like that a lot. And maybe one day soon the student will beat the teacher completely. Already now she wins games from me pure on her trained skills.

In the picture above you can see how she defeated me completely after a very long game with many moves (I was playing black). A very enjoyable game it was.
For those clever people who look at the picture above and see that my black king could take Sanne’s white queen and escape check mate…. below a picture that shows the complete situation. Hint: Look at the white rook :-)

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Life is there to… enjoy music!

by Rob on

Some people noticed that I buying lately quite some CD’s. They are right, but that was not very hard to guess as I place every new CD on my Facebook-page.

You may wonder why. Well, I have this great iPod Classic that can hold 80gb of music. I had my complete music collection on that iPod and I had a docking-station connected to my media-set, so I could play the music from my iPod on media-set and enjoy it without a headphone.

That was nice, until I placed one day a CD directly in the BluRay-player of my media-set. To my surprise the quality of the music was much better than using the docking-station. Trying it with more CD’s confirmed this.
Someone who has a lot more knowledge about music equipment, told me that the docking-station is the weak spot. The iPod gives music in high quality. My Pioneer media-set is capable of handling music of high quality. But the docking station is the weak link that bring down the quality of the music played from the iPod.

A lot of my music is bought through iTunes, so I have no CD of that music. So bummer there…
But there were some options to solve this. I could buy a better docking-station… or I could use the network that I have in my house to stream the iTunes music to my media-set. But I went for the most simple (although not the most cheap) solution: I started to buy CD’s.

I was amazed how many second hand CD’s there are available for a few euro on “De Marktplaats” (some kind of Dutch eBay). And all CD’s I bought this way are of good to very good quality and mostly after paying quickly delivered.
To keep it all affordable I have all the time I am just buying one CD at the time through “De Marktplaats”. This means that from the moment that I do a first bid on a CD (and mostly one bid is enough), until the moment I have the CD here at my place, I do no other bids on other CD’s. This means that I can buy one or two CD’s per week.
Of course when I see something I really want in a shop I most likely will buy it. I “hate” it that there is a Free Recordshop at Sloterdijk Railroad Station (I pass that station every working day and often on my way home I have to wait here a bit…).

Well, as soon I started to buy these CD’s I bought one CD rack in style of my other furniture. This first rack was quickly more than half filled. So I bought a second one, just to be sure.
Then last week I bought a third rack. Mostly likely to be sure that the shop where I bought these would not change collection and I could not get these anymore.
For now I have I more than enough space for new CD’s. When all three racks are full, there will be close to 700 CD’s in there. After that I have to re-think what I will do with more CD’s.

Yesterday, while I was doing some things for my work (on remote from home), Marion placed the third rack together… which gave me some interesting views! Not that I watched. I was busy with my work of course *WINK*

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