Sunday, October 8, 2017


It’s been more than a year since the Oculus Rift DK1 headset shipped to developers.

Since then we’ve enjoyed 12 months of blurry, head-tracked virtual reality gaming, and it’s been mind-blowing. We’d go so far as to say the last year has been the most exciting 12 months of gaming that we can remember. Developers have released some incredible games for the Rift, including Among The Sleep, My Neighbor Totoro and Lunar Flight; and there are more to come, including Technolust, Radial-G and Dreadhalls 2.

Needless to say, the DK2 has been highly anticipated; not only by those developing games but also those desperate to get in on the VR craze. When it became available to pre-order back in May, the company advised consumers to wait for the final hardware kit in 2015; but few are patient enough to wait that long, resulting in more than 40,000 pre-orders to date. It’s easy to understand why, because the DK2 introduces a full 1080p display that dramatically improves the image quality, it comes with a positional camera that enables players to lean forward or side to side; its display features richer colours and true blacks, and the software powering it is more versatile and advanced.

Today our OCULUS RIFT DK2 box arrived via UPS, three days late after being left in a depot by accident. We tore it open, took some photos and gave it a spin. Here’s our in-depth first impressions and review…

It turns out to be quite a lot. There’s a bewildering amount of unwrapping to be done, and there are silica gel packs everywhere (we counted seven in total). Here’s the full list of cables and equipment within the DK2 box, each wrapped carefully in crisp plastic bags:
Oculus Rift DK2 Headset
Positional Camera
USB to USB-mini cable
HDMI to DVI Adapter
DC Power Adapter
Four international power plugs
Near-sighted lens cups
Positional Tracker sync cable (looks like a stereo audio cable)
Lens cleaning cloth

While on the subject of the DK2 box, don’t expect to receive a sturdy carry case as with the original DK1. Instead, it comes packaged in a cardboard box, with a plastic handle and logo printed on the side. It’s a nice box, and should stand the test of time, but it doesn’t have that premium feel of the DK1.

Unwrap the DK2 and it’s immediately apparent that this is a new piece of kit. Its edges are rounded, and it feels more solid in the hand. But the first thing that really leapt out at us were the lens cups; they’re huge compared to the DK2. We were hoping this would lead to a better FOV, but that’s not the case, as we’ll discuss later in the review.

The headset is slightly heavier than the DK1 (440g compared the DK1 at 380g), but it’s just as comfortable on the head. We struggled to feel any difference in weight. Two screws on either side of the headset enable you to move the display forwards and backwards – just as they did on the DK1 – but here they appear to be slightly larger, with clearer indents for each setting. Out of the box the screen is at it’s nearest setting, so we had to move it back by 2/3rds to stop the lenses touching our eyes.

The front of the device hides several infrared lights that the positional camera uses to track your movements. You can’t see them, giving the front of the device a nice clean appearance. The HDMI and USB cables are now intertwined together, and come out of the top of the headset, running through the top strap and then over your back, before splitting into two at the end. It’s a nice and tidy arrangement that simplifies the setup, and means there’s one less cable running across your body.

The top of the headset has a small power button and LED light. Again, this simplifies things greatly when compared to the DK1 with it’s hardware box with multiple buttons. The LED has two colours: blue for when the screen is active and orange for when it’s off but the headset is connected.

As for the feel of the headset, it’s solid and smooth. It feels more expensive than the DK1, and has the appearance of a finished product, instead of a prototype. Oculus could put this on-sale today and we don’t think any consumers would complain about build quality.

It’s a good idea to read the brief instructions pamphlet before setting up the DK2, because it contains a simple step-by-step guide to getting everything working correctly. In short, the first step is download and install the latest Oculus Sofftare Development Kit. This installs the drivers for the positional camera alongside a small piece of software called ‘Oculus Runtime’, which is used to setup the device and configure it.

After the software is up and running it’s time to set-up the hardware. You begin by checking that the two cables are properly inserted into the headset. This is done by pulling up the front cover and looking at the cables. In our case everything was plugged in and ready to go. Next, the HDMI and USB cables need to be plugged into the back of the PC (or Mac when the SDK supports it). Simple, but if you’re short on a spare HDMI port than a DVI to HDMI adapter is included in the box.

The positional camera then needs to be connected and set-up. First, a mini USB cable needs to be inserted into the camera, with the other end plugged into the cable connector box, which is located towards the end of the DK2 headset cable. The camera itself then needs to be placed on top of your monitor or on a secure tripod (any movement or shaking will result in erratic head tracking). For optimal performance it needs to be located around 1.5 meters (5 feet) away from your head. That gives it a clear line of sight, but we can imagine quite a few gamers having trouble finding space, especially in small bedrooms.
Display Switching

The Oculus Rift DK2 no long mirrors or extends your desktop. Instead, games and apps display directly on the Rift screen, with a windowed preview displaying on the main monitor. Additionally, the DK2 display only turns on when a Rift game is running on the computer. It’s a small change to how the Rift display functions, but it’s a vast improvement, saving power and generating less heat. To indicate when the screen is on, a small LED on top of the headset changes colour. When the screen is off the LED is coloured orange, but when a Rift game is opened the LED turns blue.

The DK2 comes with a small webcam that sits above your monitor. Well, we call it a webcam, but the lens is mirrored, reflecting either your own face or the wall behind you. That’s because the camera isn’t for taking selfies or video calling, but instead tracks several infrared lights (hidden behind the front of the headset), and uses these to monitor the movements of your head in real-time. That means you can lean forward for a closer look at something, or peer over the edge of a wall to get a better look. It’s a subtle effect, but a vast improvement to the realism of gaming on the Rift, and it should alleviate the motion sickness that some have experienced with the DK1.

The new 1080p display is the biggest improvement over the DK1 headset. It uses the same panel found in the Samsung Galaxy S5, meaning it’s a pentile screen, so pixels don’t look square but instead more like small hexagons. Does it make for a vastly sharper screen when compared to the DK1? Yes, but it could be better. There’s still a screen-door effect, but it’s not as pronounced and everything is easier to see. In-game menus are now legitimately readable, which means no more taking the Rift off to squint at text on the monitor screen, aliasing is reduced, and colours are more vibrant. At the time of writing there’s a shimmering effect whenever something black moves across the screen. It’s instantly noticeable, and actually made us go cross-eyed, but Oculus have confirmed that a fix is due in an up-coming SDK release.

We spoke earlier about the new eye cups, which are considerably larger now. We were hoping this would increase the “sweet spot”, where the image is sharp and clear, but unfortunately it doesn’t. If anything it’s the same, and because the image is sharper it’s now very obvious when one of the cups isn’t perfectly aligned. It also appears that the DK2 renders graphics with a field-of-view of around 100 degrees, compared to 110 of the DK1 (here’s an image comparing the two). That means you see less detail around your peripheral vision, but with less detail to render we can confirm that games now run at a higher framerate than those using the same resolution on the DK1. One other note: the blinkered effect, where a black edge appears on the left and right of your vision, seems to be more prominent in the DK2.

Right now owning a DK2 is a mixed blessing. It’s nice to have the latest hardware, but from a gamers perspective there’s little to play. That’s because every DK1-compatible game has to be re-compiled with the latest Oculus Rift SDK for it to work on the DK2; there are simply too many hardware differences at play here for the software to natively work out of the box. At the time of writing only Millennium Falcon Experience and Vanguard Valkyrie works on the DK2 without any issues (edit: Vanguard Valkyrie appears to have been taken down due to an intellectual property dispute!) Every other game, including Radial-G and Technolust, require some tinkering before they run properly with head tracking in place. We’ve got a vast list of DK2 compatible games hereon The Rift Arcade website, and we’re updating it live as games become available, so keep an eye on it if you’re lucky to already own a DK2.

So what’s it like to play a working native game on the DK2? It’s like playing a HD game for the first time, or going from an old iPhone to one with a Retina Display. The difference is immediate and dramatic. Everything is sharper, making it easier to spot enemies or explore alien worlds. Textures look richer, models look more detailed; it’s simply more immersive and realistic. However, the downside to seeing VR through sharper goggles is quickly apparent. The distant hills in the Tuscany demo now look jagged and low-res, and blurry textures are immediately apparent. It’s a bit like seeing an emulated game from years gone by, now rendered on an LCD instead of a CRT television.

Aside from graphics, the positional tracking adds a wonderful sense of freedom to gaming. When standing on the balcony of the Tuscan villa, you can now lean forward to peer over the bannister. When you’re stood against a wall you can literately stand up to look over it. The same goes for Technolust: you can now crouch down and look under tables, or lean forward to take a closer look at the arcade machines. However, the movement doesn’t seem to match my own 1-to-1, there’s less movement than I’m actually making. It doesn’t ruin the immersion, but it’s certainly noticeable.

Friday, September 8, 2017


What is the iRobot Roomba 880?

The Roomba 880 is one of the more advanced robot cleaners from the pioneers at iRobot. I first tested a Roomba almost a decade ago and while things haven’t changed much cosmetically, lots has changed on the inside. The IROBOT ROOMBA 880 offers learning and adaptive navigation with multiple sensors, a high efficiency vacuum and a dual contra-rotating brush system to literally grab dirt from your floors.

Its round shape and low-slung design make it adept at navigating obstacles, corners and furniture with rotating side brushes to get cleaning close to the edge. In use, what looks like a completely random cleaning path is designed to give complete coverage and, with its criss-cross pattern and dirt senor technology ensuring effective cleaning.

iRobot Roomba 880 – Setup

You can tell iRobot has been in the robot vacuum cleaner business a long time because the second line in the manual tells you that it’s not a toy and that small children and pets should be supervised when it is in use. Given the amount of YouTube videos involving Roombas and pets, we assume it means supervised from your smart phone camera. In fact, the 880’s the power switch is now a huge button in the middle, which means a strategically placed cat will actually turn the machine off. There goes our £250 You’ve Been Framed cash.

In addition to the large power/clean button the top, elsewhere the Roomba 880 is superbly designed with four large control buttons, several indicator lights and a large LED segment display showing time and day of the week. The docking station is a compact unit that allows the Roomba to dock close to the wall and this model comes with two of iRobot’s Virtual Wall accessories.

These small battery powered columns can be placed around the home and set-up to act as a doorway barrier, a marker point between rooms to ensure effective cleaning of one before it moves to another, or to give a halo area that the Roomba won’t enter – such as around dogs water bowls. You also get a spare filter, which will need replacing every couple of months, and a handy remote control. For those who really like a gadget to go with their robot, iRobot’s Wireless Command Centre is an optional accessory (around £70) that replicates the controls and display of the Roomba 880 on a handheld device.


The Roomba itself is very easy to set-up and is pushed onto the dock to charge. The dust bin removes easily from the back but is an odd shape and contains the HEPA-class filter assembly, which reduces the capacity to approximately half a litre.

In front of this are the two counter-rotating rollers. Rather than a mix of rubber and brushes like other robot vacs we have tested, these are all-rubber with little blades that squeeze together to pick up debris. As on its first outing we found a yogurt pot lid in the dust bin, we can certainly vouch for its pick up abilities as other robots vacs would have skimmed over this.

At the leading edge of the machine is a small turret sensor for room mapping navigation. This is complemented by a semi-circular spring-loaded bumper at the front of the robot. The principle being that the Roomba will only bump into obstacle the once and the sensor marks the positions so it can adapt and miss it next pass.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Solar panels: what do owners really think?

Solar PV is a long-term investment – the panels you choose will be sitting on your roof for the next 25 years. To help you pick the best, we can reveal which solar panel brands are best-loved by those who already own them. We’ve spoken to more than 1,000 solar panel owners to find out which popular brands they rate, and gathered their tried-and-tested tips for keeping their solar panels ( for example: RENOGY 100W ) in top condition. The highest-rated solar panel brand scores 10 percentage points ahead of the lowest, based on the opinions of those who have them fitted on their home. Our results reveal which brands’ owners are most satisfied with their solar panels, and how likely they are to recommend them. We have results for seven popular solar panel makes, including LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Solarworld. Find out which brand is loved best by solar panel owners in our solar panel brands guide. You can also discover the results of our solar panel factory audit to give you the all-round picture of the best solar PV brands. Electricity: do solar panels produce what you expect? Solar PV panels use energy from the sun to produce electricity, which you can then use at home and/or export to the national grid. How much electricity they generate determines how much money you’ll save on energy, and how much less you’ll need to import from the National Grid. Almost three quarters (72%) of owners said their solar PV system had met their expectations to a great extent in terms of how much electricity they thought it would generate. Another 25% said it met their expectations to some extent. Those who bought their system more than three years ago were more positive about the amount of electricity their system generates than those who had theirs installed more recently. Three quarters (75%) of people whose panels are more than three years old said they met their expectations to a great extent, compared with 58% who have had them for less than three years. How much electricity a solar PV system produces will depend on: the efficiency of the material the panels are made from the number of panels in the system the tilt of your roof and its orientation where you live (the South West of England gets more sun than the North, for example). So it’s important that your installer is clear upfront about how much electricity you can expect your system to produce, and how much this can save you.

Can solar panels save me money? Besides helping you use less electricity from the grid, solar panels are also eligible for cash payments under the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme. You get payments for the amount of electricity generated and the amount you export back into the National Grid. The FIT scheme was quite lucrative when it first launched in 2010, and owners could make several thousand pounds over the life of the system. But rates have since been cut for new applicants. Overall, 68% of owners told us that their solar system has met their expectations of financial benefit to a great extent. Another 28% said it met them to some extent. But owners who bought their panels more than three years ago (when FIT rates were higher) said their financial expectations were met to a greater extent than those who purchased solar panels in the last three years: respectively, 73% vs 47%. The FIT rate was cut by 65% in 2016, and reduces by a small amount every three months. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Kinds of Checks Available Today

Kinds of Checks Available Today

Now that you're knowledgeable about the sources of test writing, you probably arrived here in search of some high-quality advice regarding assessing and Now you have more options than ever for assessing. It is possible to pay bills on conventional and dull, or you may purchase which match your character.

The options are endless in assessing now. It is possible to purchase pastel checks, paychecks checks, creature checks, animation checks and much more. Foil embossing and complex designs are another popular option among customers and supply the additional benefit of additional security.

Some of us are gung ho about whereas others favor side tear checks. You might end up shopping for affordable, whether cheap or company checks. Still, others want something to match applications programs and create massive amounts of tests that tie in their financials. That is where Deluxe(TM) along with other technical are convenient.

Specialized Check Composing

Should you have your own company you likely need which are compatible with your applications programs. One of the more prevalent in this class include:

Deluxe(TM) Checks
Quickbooks(TM) Checks
Quicken(TM) Checks
Deluxe(TM) checks are really the title of a business that prints These tests are popular throughout the planet. They give additional security features like micro printing a safety screen to reduce copying as well as chemically sensitive paper. This paper looks altered if somebody attempts to change the initial

Quickbooks(TM) checks and Quicken(TM) are equally helpful for business owners searching for checks which streamline using their accounting program. These technical tests make processing deductions a breeze. Most come in prime fashions compatible with most computer applications though you may also purchase side tear variations to stay with you while on the move.

Of both, Quickbooks(TM) will be the most popular, supplying customization alternatives and matching assess envelopes and stationery. But, Quicken(TM) are only as useful for people owning this software application.

Regardless of what your character, business or personal enjoyment, fortunately, you've got an abundance of options in regards to test writing. Make sure to explore all your options, prior to purchasing. Better still, try out a couple of distinct designs to see which suit your individual preferences. We have come a very long way from ancient Rome, where retailers and clients likely longed for the personalized test amenities available now.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Your Payroll Needs a Good Paystub Template

If you're in business, you'd have surely searched the net at some time to find a suitable template for maintaining a record of the payrolls and of your workers. Perhaps you're a bit surprised to find a good deal of templates to your needs, which makes it quite difficult for you to choose the one which is going to deliver satisfactory results for the kind of business you're running. It is quite a normal practice for companies to decide on a template on which they may depend to offer accurate results consistently, as it makes the task of their accounting personnel easier. An essential feature of a good is that it must provide accurate information, in an easy to read manner.

Your Workers count on you

Certainly, you expect your workers to put in their finest for the interest of your company. Subsequently, they have specific expectations from you, apart from the wages you them. On their payday, apart from expecting their, they also expect to receive a precise that is simple to understand. As a company, it is your obligation to find that the they get would be to the point and easily understood.

That is because your workers depend on you and look forward to becoming informed of their wages occasionally. They surely need that information for availing any sort of loan or if applying for a house mortgage. Additionally, the giving specifics for the number of hours that they were without work enables them to apply and qualify for the benefits available to them in the form of public assistance.

You Will Need a dependable template providing accurate output

If you are running a business, you basically demand for delivering accurate and reliable month after month. Since most companies these days employ some accounting software or the other, it becomes absolutely essential to select a template that is compatible with all the accounting applications being used. That makes it a lot easier to transfer the data of every employee straight from the program to the

Whatever template you may choose, you must guarantee that it is intended to offer the basic required information, including gross of worker, and the hours of work put in by them. In addition, in addition, it needs to reveal deductions made towards income taxation and health care. The close of the stub should show the net earnings of each employee.

A very important advantage of providing your employees their, including a precise, is the fact that your accounts section is well-equipped to solve all disputes if any. By going online, you may surely track down a whole lot of templates out there for preparing You may want to try a few these, to determine which ones would best fit the accounting software you're using, then pick the one for use in your business.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Understanding Your Roof Replacement Estimate

You have determined you desire a roof repair Bronx. Several companies have provided you quotes. How do you know that is appropriate for you? It's vital that you understand precisely what the contractor is suggesting when creating a choice on your own roof replacement. There are usually several items/companies included of all re-roofing estimates.


The primary product over a roof alternative estimate will be the actual brick masonry contractor. The estimate will record the maker and sort of shingles the contractor plans to use. It will also display the kind of shingle. Architectural or dimensional tiles will be the most widely used. They build more attention and often copy the appearance of other roofing contractors Bronx NY for example stone or tile. It might contain color alternative or selections if the layout was an area of the original conversation. The estimate will even reveal the length of the maker's warranty for that type.
roofers bronx


In case your roof has fireplaces, dormers, and walls, then you certainly might find sporting in your estimation. Blinking stops water from seeping behind and under shingles, producing water injury to the framework.

Flashing is normally thin sheets of aluminum or galvanized steel. Several professional roofers Bronx will fashion their particular from sheet metal. Sporting is fitted over bones in the roof & wall design. Probable locations are valleys, fireplaces, dormers, windows, pipes, skylights, porches, units and sides.

Fresh flashing is frequently mounted on Bronx roofing contractors. If flashing dips or comes loose it can trigger extreme harm to your property. It is vital that you be sure it is mounted properly to prevent unnecessary damage.


One merchandise that needs to be included on every roofing Bronx replacement appraisal is underlayment. Underlayment is really a layer of protective substance involving the roof terrace or plywood as well as the tiles. Categorized as felt paper, it is the primary level of waterproofing Bronx to your roof.

Suppliers bolster the underlayment with fiberglass to reinforce and resist tearing, create installment easier and boost its waterproofing Bronx effectiveness.

Suppliers are continually developing new underlayment engineering. Newer synthetic underlayment more increases the performance, convenience & protection to install and increases longevity. Some companies allow US natural and natural underlayment products.

It's typically recommended to use underlayment from your same producer as your tiles as they are built to come together. It may be necessary for a valid guarantee.

A contractor may select the right sort of underlayment on your Bronx roofing company in line with the form of sidewalk violation and weather by which you live. In case you have any issues regarding their option, they are the top resource for your particular project.


Spill side is another crucial and occasionally overlooked part of a roofing Bronx NY work. Even though producers suggest it, plus some involve it to get a valid warranty, some technicians don't contain drop edge on their estimates.

Spill edge is metal pieces applied along gutter collections, eaves and a few rakes. It prevents water from receiving underneath the shingles and damaging the deck plywood and defends ligament. Precisely utilized drip side will lengthen living of the roof and further protect your home from water damage.

Drip edge is not pricey to include in roofing contractors in Bronx New York along with the gains significantly out approach the fee.


The purpose of a roof is to guard the home from the elements; the wind, rainfall, snow, etc. In most places, ice and/or water really are an issue you can't overlook.

Ice and water safety must be reviewed for nearly every residential roofing project and certainly will probably look on your estimation. Snow and water barriers permit suitable water flow blocking injury due to high-wind and rainfall storms and ice build up called ice dams. It strongly adheres towards the plywood sidewalk repair Queens patio supplying another type of protection towards the underlayment. The barrier is placed on the most susceptible areas of the roof. Depending on the type of roof this may be the valleys, eaves, and rakes, or the complete deck surface. Contractors may also advise utilizing it around chimneys along with other locations where leaks will probably happen.


A is the position established by the intersection of two sloping brick pointing Bronx to offer water runoff. Because of the number of water passing through that section of a roof, it's very important to consider the way the spot is going to be secured when replacing an asphalt shingle roof.

You will find various options for shingling the location with dimensional concrete sidewalk repair. Shut cut valleys are most widely used beautifully. In a closed slice Valley software, shingles from one side of the area increase over the pit while shingles from the different aspect are attached back a few inches from the area centerline. Any blinking is not revealed. While using the open cut area concrete sidewalk strategy the sporting can be viewed. Open-cut valleys can be utilized to make visual awareness or enrich characteristics on some style variations.

Some technicians use snow and water shield under the tiles, others can decide to install steel flashing. More, some companies may mount both for extra safety. A professional brick pointing contractors will consider several factors and make a recommendation regarding the most practical way and model for that specific task. A detailed estimation includes these recommendations.


All homes have to be vented to allow humidity to flee and avoid harm to the cement sidewalk as well as the entire house. There are several types of roof ventilation devices. The most used are ridge vents. They are fitted over the ridge or peak of the roof and invite hot air to flee and bring heat air within the soffit vents.

A detailed roof repair NYC estimate should include which sort and type of vents will be fitted. Ridge vents are available in several designs to complement the home, shingle layout, and homeowner's preference regarding just how much they are noticeable or merge using the remaining new roof.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Full review of Grape Solar 390 W

Since its inception in 2009, Grape has built a network of installers for its products, and the company also sells directly to consumers. It has pushed sales energetically throughout the U.S. and Canada and created partnerships with such firms as Costco and Home Depot. The Grape Solar is as much powerful as GOAL ZERO YETI 400 SOLAR GENERATOR KIT

The Grape Solar 390W panels provide a solar efficiency percentage of 15.21 percent, which is good in the solar panel industry. The module cells are monocrystalline and the frame is made of anodized aluminum. The cover is tempered glass.

With this panel, you get a maximum power output of 390 watts, a maximum power voltage of 49.4 volts and a top power current of 7.92 amps. These modules are constructed to hold 95 individual cells.

You get a solid warranty with the Grape Solar 390W modules. The company offers a 10-year warranty on materials and workmanship. There also is a 10-year warranty covering power output that states you will receive 90 percent of the power you were assured of receiving when you originally bought the panels. Additionally, there's a 25-year warranty that states you will get 80 percent of the power output you were originally promised.

These solar panels can handle temperature ranges of 40 degrees below zero to 194 degrees F. The Grape Solar 390W panels can take on hailstones that are approximately one inch in diameter traveling at terminal velocity, and they can withstand a two-inch steel ball weighing nearly 19 ounces dropped on it from a distance of slightly more than four feet. They also can handle a maximum load of snow at 50 pounds per square foot.

Theses solar modules can take on brisk temperatures of 40 degrees F. below zero, which is standard in the industry. They also can handle blistering weather that produces rooftop temperatures up to 194 degrees F. The cover materials are made of tempered glass and the frame is made of anodized aluminum.

Each Grape Solar 390W module measures 77.2 inches long, 51.5 inches wide and 1.57 inches deep. Each weighs 78.2 pounds. These solar panels can be cleaned with just water.

Grape Solar makes an effort to be available to consumers and is proud of its Oregon headquarters and the English-speaking workers in the U.S. and Canada. If you have questions about the product, you can consult the frequently asked questions section on its website. You also can contact the company either through email or by calling the firm Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The level of customer service you get by phone is first-rate, with helpful and well-informed representatives available to answer your calls. You also have access to a customer hotline to contact the firm’s technical support team if you have an extremely pressing question.


Although fairly new in the solar world compared to a number of other companies – it was launched in 2009 – Grape Solar has built a North American network of installers who sell its products and consumers who buy them. Despite the company's relative youth, it produces solar panels that are durable and efficient, and you'll get excellent customer service if you ever need to contact the manufacturers.