Price Hacking Guitar Rig Pro

Quick post with an example of price hacking. What's price hacking? It's using promotional offers and bundled deals to reveal discounts in the price of goods and services, and it's very easy to do with software.

For this price hack, we're looking at a bit of software to make a computer act as a guitar amp - Guitar Rig Pro.

The full Guitar Rig Pro v5 software is sold at GBP169/USD249. But you can upgrade to the latest version from an older qualifying product, and then the price is only GBP89/USD135.

First thing, what are the qualifying products?

Upgrade for users of - Guitar Combos (also Behringer) - GUITAR RIG 3 LE - GUITAR RIG 3 XE - GUITAR RIG 4 LE - GUITAR RIG 4 Essential - GUITAR RIG Mobile (all) - GUITAR RIG Session (all).

If we were really looking for a saving, we might be able to get one of these secondhand, but here we'll see if we can we find brand new, in a bundle.

How about: Ion Rig | 5m Guitar to USB Adapter Converter Cable with Guitar Rig 4 LE Software - GBP20/USD30

If we buy this, use is it as qualifier for the Guitar Rig 5 Pro upgrade, we spend GBP 109/USD165 (and we get a guitar interface), as opposed to GBP169/USD249.

That's a saving of about GBP60/USD95. And the same holds true for most software. If you can see an upgrade price, look for a way to conduct a bit of arbitrage and find a qualifying product that will provide an overall cost saving.

Clevo laptops and Windows 10

I've updated most of my PCs to Windows 10 over the last couple of days, and overall I'd say it's been a pretty painless process. There's one issue I encountered that did leave me puzzled for a few hours.

On a Clevo laptop (Chillblast, great guys), the Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet card would randomly decide that its cable was disconnected. But… the cable was connected, and everything else in the chain including hubs and powerline connectors were also working just fine. (I learned this after two hours of poking and testing).

Given that I'd just upgraded to Windows 10, I hadn't considered looking for a driver update, but when I finally checked the manufactures site, there was a new driver available.

The stock version installed with Win10 is version 10.01, and there is now a version 10.03, Win10 Auto Installation Program (SID:1743532) , which is not being offered automatically by Windows Update.

Download Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller Drivers

Updated driver

There are no patch notes on this, but it solved my problem. So keep that in mind as you're upgrading - if you're having problems with a bit of hardware, check the manufacturers site for updated drivers, as it'll probably take 6 months for some of these to be offered automatically through windows update.

Roland VT-3 Voice Transformer - Review and Demo

A video review and demo of the Roland VT-3 Voice Transformer (as a tool for voice over work, prototyping characters and fast, real time effects.)

If you're doing sound and audio design for Games, get one of these. Things you can do:

1.Build a casting list for a project using one actor in a single session.
2.Model audio treatments in real time. Find a sound you like, then use that as a template for creating the audio space in your game.
3.On a budget? One voice actor can do many more roles in a single studio session.

Potentially this is also useful for doing Audiobook narration, as you can do some real-time processing of audio to build multiple characters and scenes.

And of course, it's a vocoder and Auto Tuner, so you can live your dream of being a Cher impersonator.:smile:

Equipment in Use:

 

Elance is not for Homework

Here are some top tips for getting your undergraduate academic coursework done on Elance:

  1. Don't.
  2. Seriously... Don't.

Example A from a budding young lawyer in the UK:

hi iv posted this job that is due on the 15th of November this will also be paid when the job is done and sent for the date said please do not send sooner then required also will be checked for any amendments that may be needed this essay will require the highest grade if you cant get that grade please reject this offer once iv hired i will send all the info you need this should not take a exsperienced law individual long to complete should no english law thank you and good luck this is not a hard essay to do so please do not expect to get hundreds of dollars

A quick look at the attachment to the job reveals that the specific essay in question is  Tutor Marked Assessment (TMA) 01 for the Open University's course W102 An Introduction to Law, which costs a jaw dropping £2,632 ($4250) .

 

There's really no ambiguity on this; getting someone else to research and write an answer to your assigned coursework is Academic Misconduct. Best case scenario - you have to do it again. Worst case? You get thrown off the course, or out of the institution and lose your money and academic record. It's not worth it.

"But what if I rewrite it?", says the sophisticated academic outsourcer.  Well, no. That's still "borrowing statistics or assembled facts from another person or source"[1] and "paraphrasing the words from a text very closely" [2] as it might typically be described in the guidance given to undergraduates.

However, the actual act of misconduct only occurs when you submit the work under your own name. So you've still got time to rewrite it and do it proper-like.

Footnotes

  1. Open University Assessment Handbook, Appendix I.
  2. Ibid.

Today's Blue Screen of Death - Page Fault in Nonpaged Area

If you're reading this around the middle of August 2014, you've rebooted your Windows 7 PC after a recent windows update, and you're seeing a Blue Screen of Death complaining about a "Page Fault in Nonpaged area". Short Version of the fix:

del c:\Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT

But if your PC can't boot, then how do you get to your file system to delete the file?

Maybe you've got the Windows install DVD handy. You can boot from this, and run a recovery console. But watch out if you've got a few copies of Windows 7, as you seem to need exactly the same version of the disc even if you just want to boot to the recovery console.

Or maybe you've locally installed the Windows Recovery Console, in which case you have command line access to your hard disk. But this one isn't so easy to explain to your Mum/Grandfather/Aunt/Other Non-techie Family member.

Here's another option:

Burn a Linux Mint boot disk (or make a MintStick), boot from it, use the nice point and click interface to navigate your file system, and delete the file. Much less hassle all round.

Imgur