First thing’s first. My Lexus ISF is the most awesome piece of gear I have. Its bulging hood covers a 5L V8 engine with 417 horsepower and 503Nm of torque. The 8-speed automatic transmission switches gears in 100 milliseconds. Under normal circumstances the engine is quiet but at 3400 RPM the second-stage intake fully opens and the beast is unleashed. The 14.2″ six-piston Brembo brakes have enormous stopping-power, and match the car’s performance. The drive-train and steering are all-electric, meaning I can feel 100% confident in any situation from sunshine to snowstorm. To top it all off, this car is unequivocally the most reliable of its kind.
The ISF is more than a list of specs though. When I walk up to it, the lights fade in as if to say, “Welcome back Robert. I’ve been waiting for you.” Touching the door handle unlocks the car, and adjusts seats, steering wheel, and electronics to the way I like them. The car just feels smart and classy. As a brand, Lexus stands out against bland Audis and BMWs. It is a reflection of Toyota’s LEAN and high-tech culture. It conjures words such as refined, modern, reliable, and in an instant… beastly.
This phone has a couple of stand-out features that, in combination, form a very enjoyable device. At 6″ it is comparatively big and most people would call it a “phablet”. The disadvantage of not being able to navigate with one hand is mostly offset by the fact that most things on the phone can be controlled using Microsoft’s voice-activated personal assistant Cortana. The advantage of such a huge screen is two-fold. Firstly it very nice for viewing web-pages, navigating maps, tele-conferencing, and even remote-desktop. Secondly, the phone is essentially a giant battery, meaning I can surf, listen to music, use the GPS, play games, and still have enough battery for a whole additional day even if I forget to charge the phone. The camera outclasses the competition with a 20M-pixel sensor and optical image stabilization for sharp flash-free photos.
I like Windows Phone. The start screen is informative and feels personal. The “metro” user interface feels modern and clutter-free. Everything on the phone is linked to the cloud, so my browser tabs, photos, contacts, and even app-settings are backed-up and synced with my PC. Windows Phone does not have as many trendy apps as iOS or Android, but that in itself has never been a “make or break it” for me.
Surface Pro 3
The Surface is many things.
1 – It is a very light and portable computer.
Due in part to the magnesium casing and other premium components, this machine weighs in at an amazingly low 800 grams. No other laptop even comes close. This would not be so impressive if it weren’t for the fact that the Surface houses a 3.3GHz Core i7 and 8GB of RAM. On top of that, I get a solid 8 hours of battery life during typical work-days.
2 – It’s a tablet with 10 touch-points and a pressure sensitive pen.
With a 3:2 ratio and 2160x1440 resolution, the optically bonded screen is excellent for reading text. According to DisplayMate, it also has the most accurate colors in the industry. I’ll admit that using the pen didn’t come naturally at first, but after taking the time to learn its advantages, I’ve come to like it a lot.
3 – In the docking-station the Surface acts like a desktop machine.
The dock gives me 5 extra USB ports, a DisplayPort, and GigE. As you can see in the photo above, I have my external soundcard plugged in, an external USB3 drive, a 4K Dell monitor, and more. It’s simply a pleasure to work with Photoshop and Reaper on this setup.
Digital Audio Workstation
I built this workstation in December 2012. The components are not very energy-efficient by today’s standards, but they still perform very well. During recording I use the RME soundcard which provides a rock solid 4ms latency in+out. I have set up my disks using Windows Storage Spaces so that two are striping and two are mirroring, meaning the drives load data quickly and my files are always backed up.
– Water-cooled 8-core 4GHz Core i7
– 32 GB RAM
– 2x 256GB OCZ SSDs in RAID 0 for operating system
– 4x 3TB HDDs in ReFS Storage Pool
– Nvidia GeForce GTX 670
– 2x Dell 27″ WQHD monitors
– KRK Rokit 8 speakers
– KRK 10s subwoofer
– RME BabyFace soundcard
– Fractal Audio Axe FX II
– Reaper & Windows 8
My 30″ 8-string guitar and 35″ 6-string bass are custom-made by Vadim Pashin in Moscow Russia.
They are 5-piece maple / ebony neck-thru with ebony fret-boards, and both have custom Lundgren humbucker pickups.