Vern's Verbal Vibe

Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of folk 'n' roll: spirit-filled sad songs made better.

August 22, 2012

One for the Designers

A friend recently donated a Vostro1000 notebook (thanks, Dan!), and it's given me enough hard-drive space to enable me to make more music. I've yet to record on it but have completed several rough mixes of a new song, "After You," and so far it's performing superbly.

Here's where the design kudos come in: the laptop has a line in and line out jack, side by side. I had a devil of a time with these on my desktop because they were too close together. I needed to use at least one mini-to-1/4" adapter in order to monitor using headphones while singing, banging on a tambourine or what have you, and had to seriously wiggle one of the plugs to get them both to fit. Recording direct and monitoring through headphones proved impossible, as that would require two adapters side by side.

Today I tested the latter scenario on the laptop and was able to plug in said adapters without having to wiggle anything, leading me to suspect that the ample space isn't accidental. Yes, folks, some designer actually sussed out that end users might use mini-to-1/4" adapters—maybe even two at the same time—so perhaps we should allow sufficient space for that when we design the jacks. Huzzah!

By the way, "After You" is the fourth song completed for what will be my solo album, recorded right here at Grinning Zone Studios (my apartment).

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