The confession.

There she was.  Standing silently against a stark white background, smiling sweetly.  It seemed wrong that a beautiful girl like her had to live in such conditions.  A place devoid of warmth and colour.  So young, so little, and so delicate.  A little thing facing the viciousness of our world all alone.

In the instant I laid my eyes on her, my heart fluttered like a million butterflies suddenly taking flight.  A fierce explosion of emotion within the cold confines of the wretched thing.  A part of me that I thought dead over the many years of feeling almost nothing.

At at moment, I knew I had to have her.  I wanted her for myself so badly that I was willing to risk the wrath of my family, the ridicule of my friends, and the disapproving glares from the public eye.  At that moment, I didn’t care.  My heart screamed out loud and drowned out the many objections that were raised in my mind.  Before I knew it, with my heart taking a stronger hold over me, I whipped out my money and paid the man who claimed to have ownership over her.  I couldn’t stand a moment more that she did not belong to me.  She had to be mine.

Now, there was only the wait.  Waiting for the moment when she would be delivered to me and be mine.  I hoped with all my soul that the man who owned her would hold up his end of the bargain.  Evil and violent thoughts flashed at every moment that I thought that she would slip from my grasp.  Every day, I waited with bated breath for the moment that I would see her at my door.

When finally, not long after, I breathed a sigh of satisfaction as I stood at my front door, looking at the gorgeous sight that greeted me.  I could hardly contain my excitement!  Nothing else mattered.  I had her now.  She belonged to me, body and soul.  Holding her gently, I ran my fingers over her head, looking gently into her bright eyes.  Noting the little freckles on her tiny cheeks.  I slowly ran my fingers along her arms.. Her body.. All the way down to her feet..  Mine.  ALL MINE!

I cackled with glee!  Immediately, I took her to my room, as I fantasized about all that I would do with her!  My hands were quivering with my excitement.  My eyes feasted on every part of her.  Every curve, every angle, just seemed to entice me with a promise of so much more I was to expect.

Suddenly, I heard the sound of keys at the door!  ‘No!  Why were they home so soon?’, I thought to myself.  I hurriedly hid the girl, and whispered quietly and sternly to her to stay hidden.  Pulling on a t-shirt, I headed out into the hall to greet my family that had just come home.  But as they laid their eyes on me, they knew that something was amiss.  That I had a secret that I was keeping.

Fear dug it’s claws deep into me, chilling me to the bone.  How was I going to explain myself?  This was not something a grown man could easily admit.  Looking at my family, I could see the looks in their eyes.  Curiosity.  Knowing.  Accusation.  I averted my eyes.  I couldn’t stand up to their scrutiny.  They knew.  They knew my little secret.

In one swift motion, they rushed by me.  Forcing me aside roughly as they threw open the door to my room, walked right up to my bed, and flipped open the covers.  There she was, lying on my bed.  Facing the family with that pretty smile on her face as they stared at her.

Slowly, they turned, looking at me with disapproval.  I bowed my head in shame and silence.  Finally, they knew.  Knew the details of my dirty little secret.  I took a deep breath and made my resolve to face the music.  To face the consequences of my decisions.  Of my actions.

Standing straight.  Standing tall.  I exclaimed to them in a firm voice, ‘Yes.  I bought another minifig. Everyone, meet Little Red.’

=p

image

Copyright© 2016 – Quintessentially Seraph

Advertisements

An independant review of the Asus ZenPad 8 with Audio Cover

1.0 Introduction

The Asus ZenPad 8 (Z380KL), without and with the Audio Cover (Images from Asus.com)

Having been on a search for a tablet for some time, I finally got my hands on a Asus ZenPad 8.0 (Z380KL), after considering a few from brands like Sony and the Amazon Kindle.  I wouldn’t touch Apple, as I get completely confused (I’m the sort that if I see a BIG RED BUTTON that has the words ‘End of the World – DO NOT PUSH/PRESS’ on it, I WILL push/press that button.  Apple’s one button design does crazy things to me.).  Neither will I buy a Samsung, as I have had such bad experiences with it in the past, that I really don’t care how good their products are now.  And personally, I like the flexibility that Android gives me, and have gone with that route of Android devices when I was making my purchase.

button-do-not-press-image

Do not press this button!

The Asus ZenPad 8 retails at about SGD$300, though you could probably find it cheaper on a number of deal / discount websites.  I’ve been a fan of Asus ever since I bought my Asus UX21E Zenbook.  I love the minimalist/uncomplicated design, and the ease of operating it (though the sharpness of the Zenbook could probably be used to assist in your suicide if you ever decide to slit your wrists whilst writing a blog/email/review).  Regardless of what one might think of engineers, some of us actually like keeping things as simple as they can possibly be.

In the words of Einstein himself.  And here’s another button to push if you need it!

If you’re wondering why I picked the Asus ZenPad 8 from my other choices, I could put it simply into 3 words.  ‘It was free’!  Basically, I had narrowed down my selection to the Asus ZenPad 8 (Z380KL), the Sony Xperia Z4 tablet, and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.  However, due to me having a phone plan that was due for renewal, I had an option of re-contracting my line with my mobile provider, and getting a device at the same time.  I was fortunate that the Asus ZenPad was among the devices that came free with a re-contracted line, regardless of the price plan that I picked.  So that made it simple for me!

2.0 First impressions

I didn’t get the chance to do the un-boxing and all those fancy things that people usually do when they write a review.  I had the box opened in front of me by the sales representative at the customer service centre of my mobile provider.  Quite the sweet girl, with a really pleasant personality to go with it too!  But let’s not digress, eh?  And no, my motivations to purchase the tablet did not have anything to do with the girl, if that’s what you’re thinking!  Though if you’re looking to get great customer service, look her up!

m1-imm.jpg

I actually found a picture of her on The Straits Times website! (Image from The Straits Times)

Looking at the specifications that are readily available on the internet anywhere, I had a few preconceived notions of what to expect from my device.  Picking it up, I thought it felt quite solid, despite being made with mostly plastic.  It has a good weight to it, without being heavy.  The screen held promise before I turned it on, as it greeted my eyes with a smooth, glossy sheen.  The design was clean and uncluttered, with all it’s buttons (power and volume) on the right side of the device.  Holding down the power button for about a second turned the device on, and I immediately felt a slight sense of disappointment.

2.1 Screen

Being used to the brilliance from Sony devices, with their amazing screens and the Bravia engine, I was quite let down by the grainy, low-resolution screen that greeted my eyes.  Not that it affected the way we watch movies or view our websites, but being used to something better has made me expect that level of standard for displays.  Looks like I’ve got to get used to seeing raggedy lightsabers when I revisit the Star Wars movies!  Though, after rethinking it for a bit, I realised that it was pretty decent quality for a tablet that would have cost me $300, instead of $998 like the Sony Z4 tablet.

Contrary to what many think, not all of us buy tablets to play games on.  Though they do serve their entertainment purposes every now and then.  As a matter of fact, I’m a HUGE fan of the Kindle app.  I’ve been hooked on it ever since I downloaded it, and honestly I think I spend too much on buying books.  I just seem to never get enough of them!  It doesn’t help that I can get quite addicted to reading!  So, for those of you who use your tablet for reading, this is going to be good news to you.

kindle for android

Kindle for Android (Image from Engadget.com)

One thing that I found REALLY good, was the ability to control the lighting and the colour scheme.  The Asus has this application called the ‘Bluelight Filter’.  I have no idea how Asus does it, but it takes away the regular glare that you get from your electronic devices, and replaces it with a slightly yellow view instead.  This makes reading your ebooks WAY more comfortable on the eyes, and I can read my books for hours at a time!  Which leads me to the next amazing discovery!

image

Screenshot of the Asus screen colour mode

2.1 Power

  • Without the Audio Cover

Asus has managed to include a power saver mode on the ZenPad.  If you’re familiar with Sony devices, this is similar to their ‘Stamina Mode’.  It maximises battery life by limiting device performance and background data (Extracted from the app’s description).  What this means is that Asus has simply combined Sony’s ‘Stamina Mode’ and ‘Extended Usage’ mode into a single option.  This means that I get a whopping 5 DAYS of usage on a single charge!  This is with me using it to check emails, surf the internet for some information, and do my nightly reading on the kindle app.  I’m simply amazed at it’s ability to last that long!

image

Screenshot of the Asus Power Saver mode

  • With the Audio Cover

I managed to get my hands on an Audio Cover by buying it online from a Taiwanese vendor.  I suppose this would be the best/easiest way to get it since Asus IS from Taiwan, isn’t it?  So yes, I purchased it at about $150, and it arrived within a week.  Pretty fast shipping I must say!  Excited about my new purchase, I ripped open the package and immediately installed it on my ZenPad.  As the Audio Cover came without it’s battery charged (it read about 15% when I connected it to the ZenPad), I had to charge it before I could use my device.

When the Audio Cover was at about 50% full, I decided to open an audio track to test the device.  My favourite audio pieces/tracks to test any audio devices with, would no doubt be either the ‘Star Wars’ theme written by John Williams, or ‘Alleluia Laudamus Te’ written by Alfred Reed.  Both pieces have a mix of powerful ensembles, and gently flowing segments to mesmerise the listener and take them from one mood to the next.  I opted for the former, and was not disappointed by the sound that greeted my ears.

symphonic band

I love music by symphonic bands. Image from youtube.com

There was none of the static and blaring loud distortions when playing the tracks at full volume.  As a matter of fact, this accessory easily gives the ZenPad the decent sound that it needs to play audio/video in public spaces, and still be able to hear it clearly.  That’s great for trying to keep yourself or the kids entertained on the go.

I decided to keep the audio cover on as a permanent cover for my ZenPad, and started noticing something from the first day forth.  Now, I’m used to the idea of having an external battery pack to extend the usage of any mobile device.  And I had the expectation that the audio cover would work like an extended battery pack when it’s installed on the ZenPad.  However, it did not!  The audio cover seemed to retain it’s charge, but the battery of the ZenPad drained quicker than it did without the audio cover.  Now this is another disappointment for me.  I would think that the operating lifespan of the tablet would take priority over the availability of the audio cover.  I’m not sure if Asus can fix this by updating some software, but I’d REALLY like to have the use of my tablet with no audio cover, than to have the audio cover charged with no tablet!

Yep. As it says. No power = No gadgets!

Also, the ability to select which audio output I would like to use, would be a very good feature indeed.  At this moment, as long as you have the audio cover on, it’s the ONLY output you will get, unless you’re charging the device.

Using the audio cover whilst charging is another strange thing to me.  Whilst I am able to play my movies and charge my tablet at the same time, I am unable to use the audio cover whilst my device is charging.  Is this because Asus is protecting some intelligent chip that controls the power on the audio cover, or is this due to something else?  I know that there are experts out there that say that you shouldn’t be using your devices when they are charging, but for me, I just want to do what I want, when I want.  This means that I will charge my tablet and watch my movie, just because I want to (I don’t get much time on my hands to watch my own movies without kids clamouring over me).

2.2 Performance

The ZenPad runs pretty quick with apps opening almost instantaneously.  Watching movies and doing all my work on the tablet doesn’t faze it a bit.  But if you’re buying it for gaming, I would say that you needn’t be too worried about it’s performance.  It seems to handle games just fine, with the few that I tested the tablet on.  I run the ZenPad with it’s capabilities limited to conserve power and extend it’s operating time, and still have no issues with doing multiple things at once (like checking email, switching to a game, and switching to reply a Facebook message, back to game, etc..).

I don’t get any lags when I’m watching my movies (I use VLC and not the onboard player), and can pause, and start my movie at any time without experiencing any delay between the movie and the audio.

asus-zenpad-8-gaming.jpg

Gaming on the ZenPad! Image from LaptopMag.com

2.3 Taking pictures

Taking pictures with the ZenPad is a clunky affair, and must only be attempted by someone who has very large hands (I’m just joking, though taking a picture really IS rather clunky).  Photo-taking under bright lighting poses no issue.  Though it’s difficult to tell how good your pictures are whilst taking them with the grainy screen.  Transferring these pictures to a high resolution display gives you a better view of what you have just taken.  This is strange as you’ve got a pretty decent camera (for simple pictures, not for you photography guys), and a grainy screen to view them.  Does not quite make sense to me.

Simpsons_DoesNotMakeSense

Image from memegenerator.net

3.0 Conclusion

I’ve got mixed feelings about this tablet.  On one hand, it’s perfect for my type of usage.  Reading, occasional movies, some games here and there.  But on the other hand, the mis-match of the specifications just doesn’t make sense to me.  Awesome sound with the audio cover, but grainy video.  Decent camera, but I’ve got to view the images on my computer to know exactly how good they are.  Having a tablet that runs out of power in 3 days without use/charging, but a relatively full charge on the audio cover.

If you’re looking for a basic tablet to do some reading on, and maybe some light work, then this might be something you could use if you could live with the mis-match.  Not something that I would highly recommend, though it’s something that I think an average person looking for a low-cost tablet might want to consider.

image

My Asus ZenPad Z380KL

Copyright© 2016 – Quintessentially Seraph

Battle of the Mini-Titans – A Quintessentially Seraph Tale

image

Bright flashes and sounds of clashing lightsabers permeated the craggy canyons of Dantooine.  Blaster fire ricocheted off the canyon walls, sending rocks, troopers and debris plunging to the canyon floor.  A fierce battle was raging between the crevices of the age old canyon.  Once again, the Jedi and the Sith were up in arms.  It was a race to retrieve a holocron that was said to contain the secrets to maximising the use of the Dark Side of the Force.  Secrets, that were hidden by the Emperor himself, to document the source of his power, and how to wield it to it’s fullest potential!

image

Just moments ago, Obi-Wan was making his way through the rough terrain, scaling the walls as quickly as he could to get to the location of the hidden holocron.  Alas for the Jedi, he realised that he was too late as he soon found himself standing face-to-face with Revan.  The Sith was just exiting the hidden recess and Obi-Wan could sense the Dark Side emanating powerfully from him.  Drawing his lightsaber and igniting it in one smooth move, Obi-Wan called out to Revan.  “I cannot let you leave with the holocron, Revan.”

Revan faced Obi-Wan.  His mask revealing nothing of his emotions and intentions to the Jedi.  “Out of my way, Jedi.  You are no match for me.”, rasped Revan under his mask.  Obi-Wan filled himself with the Force quickly and attempted to pull the holocron from Revan’s grasp, but the Sith moved impossibly quick and jumped high, out of the Jedi’s range.  Landing cat-like on his feet, Revan managed to place himself in between the troopers that accompanied Obi-Wan, and Obi-wan himself.  Drawing his lightsaber, Revan let loose a flurry of strikes that drove the Jedi back.  Obi-Wan tried valiantly to match the speed and ferocity of Revan’s attacks, but found himself driven further and further to the edge of the rock face that they were standing on.  Finally, Obi-Wan drew on the Force and jumped to the lower outcropping, distancing himself from Revan’s barrage of attacks.

image

Taking a deep breath to steady his nerves, Obi-Wan shook some feeling back into hands that have gone numb from Revan’s attacks.  “When did he get so powerful?”, thought Obi-Wan.  Seeking to focus his thoughts, Obi-Wan emptied his mind and looking up at Revan, Obi-Wan noticed a figure that now emerged from the previously hidden location and was silently observing the events that were playing out.

‘Mercenaries!’, thought Obi-Wan, as he steeled himself for a tough fight ahead.  Handling Revan alone took all his attention.  He couldn’t afford to be dealing with the Master Assassins that Revan has been known to hire.  He had to settle this fight quickly!

“You cannot afford to be distracted when dealing with me, Master Kenobi!” boomed Revan, in a voice that was amplified through the use of the Force, and promptly set to attack Obi-Wan with renewed ferocity.  The Master Assassins that emerged were now systematically picking off the clone troopers till only their Captain remained.  Captain Rex fought with intense focus, refusing to submit to the inevitable defeat that lay looming before him.

image

Suddenly, a blindingly bright light flashed, taking all by such surprise, that the fighting actually stopped for a moment as everyone wondered what was going on.  Obi-Wan was quick to recover, and having been given an opportunity to turn the tables, he focused all his energies and directed a Force Push at Revan.  Revan was hurled back with immense force as Obi-Wan pushed with all his will.  However, the attack snapped Revan out of his reverie and he simply rolled with the push, and flipped to the platform above.

“Nice try, Master Kenobi.  But your petty tricks are not enough to stop me!”, taunted Revan.

“I WILL stop your reign of terror, Revan!”, Obi-Wan said in calm defiance.

“You might be strong in the Force, Master Kenobi.  But you will not be able to stop me, or the Empire!  I’m far stronger than you will ever be!   Feel the full power of the Dark Side of the Force!”, exclaimed Revan.

image

Revan drew on the force, and let it course through him, directing it to the tips of his fingers and subsequently letting it loose as a powerful blast of Force Lightning!  Obi-Wan raised his lightsaber in defence, taking the attack on the blade but it proved too strong.  Revan’s lightning coursed through the blade of Obi-Wan’s lightsaber, and overpowered the fuel cell within it’s hilt.  The fuel cell and hilt started melting, and in a short moment, exploded in a shower of sparks, and even shattering the crystal within!

Revan continued to drive the lightning into Obi-Wan, hearing him scream in agony, when at that moment, a huge tusk cat padded curiously to the wall that the combatants were on, sniffing at a few of them and tried to make away with Revan by snapping it jaws on his cloak and dashing away!

“COME BACK HERE WITH MY MINIFIG YOU ANNOYING CAT!!”

– To be continued…

Copyright© 2016 – QuintessentiallySeraph
Posted from WordPress for Android

Abominations and the Prodigy! – A Quintessentially Seraph Tale

image

During an infiltration and spying mission on Coruscant, Revan chanced upon a massive subterranean cavern under the Jedi temple.  An important development that should not have escaped the notice of the Empire, but somehow yet did.  This did not bode well for Revan.  The Jedi had far too many secrets that the Empire should know about!

Revan’s excursion into Jedi territory was to attempt to find the Prodigy that the rumours spoke of.  One who is strong with the force, and possibly stronger than the Emperor himself!  This would be disastrous for the Empire, should the Jedi successfully induct him into their order.  Roles would be reversed and the Jedi would hold immeasurable power and control over all territories, forcing the Sith to go into hiding or be completely annihilated.  Revan had to work quickly to either seduce the Prodigy to the powers of the Dark Side, or eliminate him before he became a threat to all that the Sith knew.

Trudging stealthily amongst the many tunnels within the cavern, Revan finally came upon a reinforced blast door.  Suspecting that this was where the Prodigy was being held, his eyes glinted with excitement and anticipation.  Finally!  Power to crush the Jedi was just beyond those blast doors, and nearly in his grasp.  Barking a few terse instructions to the R2 unit that accompanied him, he set to secure the perimeter with another trooper as the R2 unit sought to unlock and open the blast doors.

In a few short seconds, the blast doors hissed open on their rails, and a terrifying sight met their eyes!  Huge vats filled with giant carnivorous plants lined the room from end to end.  Fluorescent liquid bubbled through pipes that were spaced evenly between the line of plants. A cold, icy fear gripped Revan as he took in the sight. What monstrosities are the Jedi breeding in this place?

Removing his lightsaber from his belt, Revan walked slowly and deliberately towards the centre of the room.  Looking around, he noticed that the long room was designed with a transparisteel ceiling.  Topping that ceiling was an elaborate assembly of blinds and shields, probably to control the plants exposure to the fierce light of Coruscant’s sun.  Strong, artificial lighting ran in rows along the tops of the vats.  These lights were now directing their powerful beams throughout the facility.

“What nefarious plants are the Jedi breeding in these vats?” asked Revan.

“I believe they’re known as Pitcher Plants, Lord Revan.  Originating from Terra, and made even more dangerous when bred using the fluorescent waters off a radioactive lake on Kamino.” replied the Trooper that was accompanying Revan’s party.

Suddenly, Revan noticed movement from the corner of his eye.  He whirled around quickly, and activated his lightsaber in one swift motion.  A red suited figure sat on top of one of the vats, and was watching him intently.  Revan approached the figure cautiously and asked, ‘Are you the Prodigy?”  The figure stared blankly at Revan for a few moments, seemingly talking to himself during the time, and suddenly gestured excitedly at the party, exclaiming in a loud voice.  “Hey you!  The one with the fancy light stick!  Are you the chimichanga delivery boys?  It’s about time you got here!  Though I must say, you don’t look very Mexican to me!”

Bewilderment came over Revan as he wondered what this strange exchange was.  Calling upon the Force, Revan reached out and sensed nothing from the strange, red-suited individual sitting atop the vats.  Sighing in disappointment, and realising that the rumours were untrue, Revan felt a surge of anger filling him.  With the rage filling him with power, Revan leapt towards the red-suited individual.  Killing him would not sate his anger much, but it would be better than admitting that he went on a wild goose chase because of a rumour.

Revan approached Red-Suit with extreme speed, and yet, when the lightsaber was mere inches away from Red-Suit’s neck, Red-Suit flipped backwards and dodged the strike easily.  Somehow in the process, he even managed to whip out a sword, and take a picture of the party in a single move!  “Such amazing combat prowess!” Revan thought.  And just as both combatants were about to land on their feet from the clash, a loud booming voice resonated seemingly from everywhere!

“WILL YOU STOP PLAYING WITH YOUR TOYS AND PLANTS?!  GO WASH THE DISHES NOW!”

Copyright© 2016 – QuintessentiallySeraph
Posted from WordPress for Android

An independant review of the Sena 10C

It has been awhile since I last wrote on my blog, and little did I expect that the next time I decided to write, I was to write a review of the Sena 10C Bluetooth Camera and Communication System.  This was based on the request of my BMW C6 Singapore Club mates.  They wanted a regular user’s perspective of the Sena 10C, before they committed to purchasing one.  And so, here it is!  An independent, amateur writer’s review of the Sena 10C!

  1. Introduction

image

My Christmas presents! Awesome Christmas this year!

It was on the 29th of December, 2015 that I got my hands on a Sena 10C.  This little device had excellent reviews all over the internet (at least on the sites that I went to), and I decided to purchase one for myself as a late Christmas present (an excuse to go with the new helmet that I got for Christmas).  Though in my excitement of installing and using the device, I forgot to take pictures of quite a few of the test cases, so do pardon me for that if you were looking to see more of the Sena 10C.

2. Installation

Sena 10C

Image of the Sena 10C contents from Sena.com

Installing the Sena 10C on my new AGV Tartaruga Tortuga K3 SV was extremely simple. The supplied cables, speakers, microphone (both the full-face version and the boom mic version were supplied), double-sided tapes and mount were so comprehensive that you wouldn’t worry about mounting it on a full-faced or an open-faced helmet.  All the items necessary for mounting were there.  Which is a good thing, considering that you had peace of mind knowing that you could install and use the device as soon as you bought it!

Installation took me a little less than 30 minutes, and this was only due to me fumbling with my helmet.  The cushion securing pieces were slightly different from my existing AGV K3 SV helmet, and being the muddle-headed person that I am, it took me awhile to figure that I didn’t need to remove the cushions to install the Sena 10C.

2.1 Speaker and microphone installation

I felt that the wires for the speakers were a little thin, and was worried that I might accidentally snap/break the wires as I was installing the speakers.  (Be gentle when you’re installing them!)  Thankfully, that didn’t happen or I would have to purchase a new set of speakers!  Routing the wiring was easy enough if you followed the grooves that the AGV K3 SV has (or any other helmet that has the provision to install a Bluetooth communications system).

As with all cabling, there will be excess and tucking this into the recesses of the helmet was not difficult as there wasn’t much to tuck away.  Sena has managed to provide enough cable without it being excessive.  Good job Sena!  The speakers stuck onto the felt pads in the helmet easy enough, and there were additional speaker spacer pads provided in case the recess was too deep, and you needed to place the speakers closer to your ears.

The microphone was simpler still!  Just plugging it into the cable connector that is on the speaker wire harness, and pasting the microphone onto the helmet is all that you need to do!  I felt that the short wire of the microphone is of a benefit to the installation, as it placed the microphone to the side of your mouth, instead of directly in front of it.  This eliminates the breathing sounds and puffs of air the microphone catches when you are speaking into it.  It also places the microphone away from the frontal vents on the helmet which may cause the pickup of wind noises.

As for the actual device, I chose to use the supplied 3M double-sided tape mount, and stuck it onto the left side of my helmet.  Getting the viewing angle of the camera was a little tricky, with me having to wear the helmet, look in the mirror, and estimate the amount of tilt necessary to get the camera facing forward.  This can be resolved if you decide to use the clamp instead.  The clamp allows for adjustments in the camera tilt angle on itself.

Here’s the result after installing it on my AGV K3 SV Tartaruga Tortuga!

image
Finished Sena 10C installation on an AGV K3 SV Tartaruga Tortuga

3. Using the Sena 10C

Having been on the Sena SMH-5 previously, the learning curve on the operation of the 10C was not difficult.  Sure, it had a whole lot more features compared to the SMH-5, but the operating sequences were quite intuitive and user-friendly.  Sure, memorising all the sequences took some time, but I don’t think it was difficult to remember them all.  The buttons were easy enough to get to, with light gloves on.  And the buttons were also spaced well, and there was no confusion as to which buttons I was getting.

3.1 Features of the Sena 10C

sena-10c-features

Image from Sena.com

The Sena 10C comes with a host of features for entertainment and communication.  Apart from the standard suite of features of the SMH-5, like Bluetooth pairing to your mobile phone for calls, GPS turn-by-turn navigation, and playing of your favourite MP3 tracks, the 10C also includes video recording, taking of still pictures, and an FM radio!

This combination of separate technologies into a single compact package works out well in my favour, as I used to have an Ion action camera attached to my helmet, in addition to the Sena SMH-5.  This made my helmet extremely bulky, and a pain to ride with at higher speeds with the wind buffeting the helmet setup.

3.2 Using the Sena 10C

3.2.1 Basic commands

Memorising the command sequence for the basic features is quite easy if you break it down.  It works with either a short press, or a long press.  Though you WILL need to know which button triggers which function.  The camera button only serves to command the camera.  The jog dial serves to trigger the intercom, the playing of your MP3s, skipping radio stations / tracks and as an exit button.  And last but not least, the phone button controls the voice dialing feature, and to turn on the FM radio.

3.2.2 Camera

The camera button is dedicated to the camera.  The command sequence that I figured out without reading the manual is as follows:-

Press once: Turn camera on; Press and hold for 1 second: Start/Stop recording; Press and hold for 5 seconds: Start Timelapse Video; Press and hold for 8 seconds: Access camera menu.

Taking photos only requires a single click of the camera button.  You need to be mindful that it takes about a second after the button press, for the photo to be taken.

Junction Evening Snapshot

Photo taken on my way home from work

I tried to capture the orange Audi making the turn, and clicked on the camera button when the Audi was at the traffic light, making a right turn.  Look how far the Audi has gotten after the button press!  And no, the Audi was not speeding, if that is what you were thinking!

There are 3 settings for video quality.  For the sake of saving memory space, I set my camera to 720p@30fps.  This allows me to record videos for about a week on a 32GB before having to format the SD card.  There are 2 additional settings for video recording.  Namely, 720p@60fps, and 1080p@30fps.  If you require capture of high speed activities or higher resolution videos, then these would be the settings you could use.

If you’re keen to see what the video capture quality is like, I’ve got one that you can view of my morning commute.  Here’s another if you wish to see how it performs on a rainy day.  Forgive me as I only have ambient noises/sounds recorded on this.  However, if you choose to, you are able to record your intercom activity, MP3s played, or even what you’re listening to on the radio from the setup!

3.2.3 Radio

Operating the radio was simple enough.  Just holding on to the phone button for 2 seconds will turn the FM radio on.  Reception is sufficient for you receive your favourite channels, but if you’re looking for stereo sound, it might be difficult unless the radio station signal is really strong.  Setting the preset radio channels was easy enough without the Sena PC/Android app, but I still preferred to double-check my settings using the Sena Bluetooth Device Manager.

radio settings

FM Radio settings page via Sena Device Manager

My setting disabled the RDS AF as I had the annoying occurrence of my radio station being switched to another channel when the signal was bad.  I think I would be alright if it skipped to a frequency close by, but it tended to skip to the strongest channel, and I would get strange music being played in my helmet.

3.2.4 Power

Using the Sena 10C for radio, intercom, and video at the same time, gave me an operating lifespan of approximately 2.5 days.  Which is pretty good considering that it is running 3 different operations at once!  When the power gets low, the Sena 10C sacrifices the camera operation for communication.  This means that it will stop the recording function, to maintain the intercom function should you be using it.  The intercom will still be able to last the next 3 days before you’ll need to charge it.

However, if you’re the kind who is concerned about road footage when you’re riding, you may also opt to charge it while you’re on the road!  The Sena 10C package comes with a cigarette socket charger, and I’ve used it to charge the unit whilst on the road, and having the camera in operation!  The cable has plenty of length, but is taut enough not to cause a hazard with the movements required in riding a motorcycle.

image

Me connecting the charging cable to the 10C whilst riding!

This would easily be the best solution for those who love to tour, and want to grab every moment of their road trip on video!  Having an unlimited supply of power for your intercom and helmet camera sure is a nice thing!

3.2.5 Waterproofing

The ports of the Sena 10C are very well placed and covered.  The ports are placed at the bottom of the device, which makes it difficult for water to enter via the ports unless you decide to mount the device upside-down.  The rubber port covers are about 2mm thick, and sit in the slots where the ports are very snugly.  I’ve ridden in heavy rain, with the Sena 10C in operation without having to worry about the ingress of water.  Brilliantly thought out design, and perfect quality manufacturing by Sena!  Another great job done!

Sena 10C ports

4.0 Software

Using the Sena mobile app or the Sena Bluetooth Device Manager is simple and intuitive.  The app works well without being overly complicated.

However, I have very different expectations when it comes to dealing with Android applications, versus desktop applications. The Sena Android app though simple, lacks the full features that the desktop application has. This can be quite annoying as there are still people in this world that may not have a PC in their homes, or have moved on to tablets and other computing devices.

The desktop application on the other hand, has it’s own little annoyance. I understand the need of keeping everything compact, sleek, and simple. But with all the screen space that you have when utilising a desktop, I would think that Sena would have made a software that could open full screen, and have ALL the settings available for view. Instead, we have a scroll style menu, that works in the windowed mode instead. Yes, it’s a pet peeve, but I dare say that it would make more sense to use the entire screen space available.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Slideshow of the Sena 10C Device Manager on Desktop

5.0 Conclusion

Having owned the Sena 10C for about a month, I can confidently say that this is the best ‘all-in’one’ helmet accessory that I have purchased.  Whilst it may not have some creature comforts like loop recording, my opinion is that it definitely more than meets the needs of your average biker.  It’s like having the SOG / Swiss Army knife version of a Bluetooth Communications System for your helmet!  This is one item that I would highly recommend to those who are looking for a new or replacement Bluetooth intercom!

Copyright© 2016 – Quintessentially Seraph

A night of laughter!

image

Just last night, I attended Jeff Dunham’s, Spark of Insanity Tour show at the Star Vista!  And must I say, it was insanely funny, immensely enjoyable, and definitely the best birthday present I have ever had in my life! (however short my time on earth may be..)

With signature antics from the likes of Walter (I love this guy!), Bubba J, Peanut (or Batnut, whichever you prefer), Jose Jalapeño and Achmed (Jacque Merde for those of you in the Malaysia show! =p), I went home with a belly full of laughs, stitches in my side, and very sore lungs from laughing so hard.  I was still laughing, even on my way home from the theatre!

I seriously recommend those who have absolutely no sense of humour, to attend one of Jeff Dunham’s shows as a therapy session.  It will BLOW YOUR MIND! His spontaneity was amazing, and even without having spent much time on our tiny island, he managed to touch on topics close to our heart, with humour, and voiced out what many Singaporeans think.  I really think that Jeff wouldn’t have any trouble integrating with us at all! (if he chose to immigrate here..)

For those of you who weren’t able to get the tickets, or just missed the show.  You’d be relieved to find that they will be releasing a DVD of his tour, and you’ll be able to catch the show in the comfort of your home!

Check out http://www.JeffDunham.com for all your laughter needs!

Or
Twitter: @JeffDunham
Instagram: JeffDunham

P.s.
Unfortunately, photo-taking wasn’t allowed during the show, else I’d have more wonderful pictures and experiences to share. =\

#jeffdunham, #sparkofinsanity, #Achmed, #Walter, #JoseJalapeño, #LittleJeff, #standupcomedian, #starvista

Seraph Tan
Copyright© 2013
– QuintessentiallySeraph
– BlynkDefenseAcademy

A morning of apprehension…

Lifting the device from box, I held it with apprehension.  Gently placing it on the floor, and calibrating it. I knew I couldn’t avoid the process.  It was inevitable. Knowing that I had to do it sooner or later..

Surmounted with an indescribable fear, I gingerly placed one foot on the device, noting how the dials seemed to spin oh so quickly!  Terror gripped it claws around my oh so fragile heart!

Scraping up the last dredges of courage, I placed my other foot on the device, standing solidly on it, to be presented with a pleasant surprise!

68kg!  I’ve lost another 2kg in another short span!  *claps hands happily*  I’ll soon be able to hit my target! Yay!

#sighofrelief, #weightloss, #feelinggoodaboutmyself, #senseofachievement

Seraph Tan
Copyright© 2013
– QuintessentiallySeraph
– BlynkDefenseAcademy