Review of Panasonic RP-HTX90 headphone

15 Dec 2020 13:35 | Geplaatst door Marcel

Judgement: Good set of headphones for not too much money.

Panasonic-RP-HTX90N

My use of headphones is mostly while traveling and I am not too happy to spend too much money on a set of headphones. I prefer to spare the better models of Sony a rough life. The price of this Panasonic HTX90 is still doable, and when sitting on top of them and they break down, the loss is manageable.
That is why the last decennium I lived with the cheaper Panasonic headsets of around 25 Euro with on-ear drivers. They offer a lively sound and the instruments get separated quite well, which I can enjoy a lot and also experience in my Denon amplifier with nice Elac speakers.
This time I wanted to start using active noise-cancelling.

What struck me the most is with drivers that are over-ear the passive noise-cancelling is already remarkably well. When I am sitting in the train and people next to me are talking loud, I don’t really need active NC.
I also notice that with the tightness of over-ear drivers, the audio quality is so much better than with on-ear drivers. In that context I experience the quality of Bluetooth already good enough for my use.
With both of these points I could have gone for the older model, the HTX80. The HTX90 has as extra features the active NC and the possibility to use a cable instead of only bluetooth.

The device has a nice way of using it. The Bluetooth button is on the front. Pairing my phone was easy, a Sony Xperia XA2 with Sailfish OS. An Apple iPhone SE (original SE) was easy to pair as well.
When connecting the cable it switches over to cable immediately and Bluetooth gets turned off.
The active NC can be enabled with a hardware switch at the back. It can be used when using a cable and when using Bluetooth, and also when no music is playing. That last point turned out to be pleasant, I don’t always have a need for music, but cancelling noise will still be a good usecase.

Biggest drawback of the headphones is that when active NC is enabled, the sound quality gets so much worse. In case Panasonic will release an update for the HTX90, this drawback is where the biggest improvement would be.
Personally I notice that passive NC is often good enough already.

There is also the option to turn up the bass. Panasonic doesn’t call this bass-boost nor loudness, but the effect is similar.
One thing that is slightly disappointing is that the bass doesn’t reach very low. With this price I would not want to complain about that any further.
In a review of the HTX80 I read that the mid-tones can sometimes be a bit sharp and irritating. With this HTX90 I don’t notice anything like that.
For the rest there are some buttons for higher/lower volume and next/previous song. I find this kind of small buttons an excercise in searching for the fingers and it’s not for me. I can imagine other people might appreciate these buttons.

I don’t often see headphones by Panasonic being reviewed and I think they are being under-valued, not just in this price-range, but also in the cheaper price-range around 25 Euro.

Plus:

  • Cable and bluetooth are both possible
  • Lively sound and good separation of instruments
  • Price/quality is fine
  • Nice retro design

Min:

  • Active NC decreases sound quality too much
  • Bass doesn’t reach very low
Judgement: Good set of headphones for not too much money. My use of headphones is mostly while traveling and I am not too happy to spend too much money on a set of headphones. I prefer to spare the better…
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WordPress theme Silverbird and updates (fork)

10 Dec 2020 20:38 | Geplaatst door Marcel

The WordPress theme Silverbird from WP3Layouts is in my opinion a nice, simple and rather clean theme. It was first released in 2018 and saw a few updates in the next few months. After that it dried up.
There is also a Pro version for sale, but I don’t really need features in a theme, that is what plugins are for.

I do use the theme myself, but saw that it didn’t work in WordPress 5.6 anymore, due to jQuery updates. It does work with PHP 8, which is quite nice.
I don’t expect any updates coming from the original author.
I forked the theme as Silverbird Lite, which is now available on GitHub. I don’t intend to do much with it, just keep it in working state. I did remove a few things, like Google Fonts, since I don’t like my visitors being tracked by Google.

The first changelog looks like this:

  • = 1.1.0 =
  • 2020-12-10
  • Rename to Silverbird Lite.
  • Tested on WP 5.6 and PHP 8.
  • Fix preloader and disable it by default.
  • Update Bootstrap.js from 3.3.6 to 3.4.1.
  • Remove old modernizr 2.6.2.
  • Remove Support tab in Customizer.
  • Remove Google Fonts, there are plugins for that.
  • Remove Google Plus from social media links.
  • Remove Swipebox, you might prefer your own image modal.
The WordPress theme Silverbird from WP3Layouts is in my opinion a nice, simple and rather clean theme. It was first released in 2018 and saw a few updates in the next few months. After that it dried up. There is…
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Playing with WordPress Core major updates in WP 5.6

10 Dec 2020 13:44 | Geplaatst door Marcel

This week WordPress 5.6 was released and contains automatic updates for major versions. For new installs this is enabled by default, for existing installs this can be manually enabled.

One thing that I would want is to not have these automatic updates on the first major release, like 5.7, but have it update a few weeks later, on the first minor release, like 5.7.1.

Luckily this is possible, and this plugin came out of it:
https://github.com/MPolleke/auto-update-on-point-release

It is hosted on Github. For updates, it might be a good idea to also use this plugin for updates from Github:
Github Updater plugin

/Edit 21:00 o’clock
And ofcourse I just received the tip that there is already a plugin that does this and much more :) The plugin WP Auto Updater has different modes for Core updates. My plugin does the same as the ‘minor_only’ mode.

This week WordPress 5.6 was released and contains automatic updates for major versions. For new installs this is enabled by default, for existing installs this can be manually enabled. One thing that I would want is to not have these…
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Peugeot demi-course from the sixties (PL50 or PX50)

07 Oct 2020 12:32 | Geplaatst door Marcel

Again a Peugeot with guidonnet brake levers, this time with French cantilevers.

This Peugeot demi-course is probably from the early sixties. The rounded logo was used untill the mid sixties, after that the letters became more square. The fenders with extra details are from the fifties and sixties. In the fifties the luggage racks were higher and with a different shape.

Compared to my transparant-green demi-course from the late seventies the top-tube is 1cm shorter and the stem is 1cm shorter as well.

Almost everything about this bike is original, except the handlebar tape and the saddle. It probably had white handlebar tape in plastic. The current tires are Kenda with brown walls. When they are worn out, it will be time for Michelins with white walls.
And yes, the bike has lots of patina :) It will never ever become a collectors item.

Again a Peugeot with guidonnet brake levers, this time with French cantilevers. This Peugeot demi-course is probably from the early sixties. The rounded logo was used untill the mid sixties, after that the letters became more square. The fenders with…
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Biological levers

06 Jul 2020 13:33 | Geplaatst door Marcel

We all know the function of anti-psychotics, they are used to decrease psychotic symptoms. They can be very effective against these symptoms, even though the experiences and opinions vary. The cause of these psychotic symptoms is often not clear and they are not targeted directly by these medications.

From more recent research it seems that people who are suspectible to psychosis consist of genetically different groups. Personally I have heard so many stories that I am convinced there exists a whole complex of causes and that every person who is suspectible to psychosis has a personal story.

My acute psychosis has been over for years. Since 2013 I only need to take a low level of medication for maintenance (around 1 mg Orap). I have always had the wish to be able to stop taking medication completely, but never managed that. More recently I got interested in a more biological approach; there might just be a chemical inbalance or hormonal inbalance that is causing problems.

Omega fatty acids

In my network of people with the same background there is someone who has been happy for years now with Omega fatty acids. They are available in fatty fish and in some other food sources, while also being available as supplement over the counter. They have a strong effect on proper functioning of the brain.
She tells that mostly because of Omega fatty acids she could stop taking anti-psychotic medication. She does have to put more focus on avoiding stress and also accept the fact that she is more vulnerable without medication, but for years now she has been stable without medication.

Anti-inflammatories

In 2014 (if I have the year correct) Iris Sommer gave a presentation about anti-inflammatories at the yearly day of Anoiksis. People who recently had a psychosis seemed to be responding well to simvastatins, which besides decreasing cholesterol also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Me myself ended up with glycine. This amino acid is a natural part of the protein collagen, which is part of skin and connective tissue. In our modern diet this has mostly disappeared (who still eats chicken skin and chicken bone?). A shortage of glycine can result in inflammation, also in the brain, which can lead to psychotic symptoms.
My experience with glycine is very positive. When I let a teaspoon of it dissolve in a glass of water and I drink that, the next part of the day I feel my head clear up a lot. For some years now I take this twice a week.

Antihistamines

Histamine is an organic compound that has several functions in our body. With people who are suspectible to psychosis, histamine is more often inbalanced than in the general population.
Me myself had some physical problems and my search on the labyrinth that is called the internet seemed to point towards allergic rhinitis. I had an allergy for citrus fruit, a light form of post-coïtal asthma, together with itching and bad sleep. These problems can happen when the level of histamine is too high. I started with antihistamines, which are sold as hay fever medication or anti-allergy, in my case Cetirizine. It made me very drowsy, and the evening was the right time to take them. My psychotic and allergic symptoms decreased a lot, more than I had dared to expect. I have been using this now for a month and my dosage of anti-psychotics is lowered to an amount that was never feasible before, and the last month symptoms have only further decreased.
There are some anti-psychotics that have an antihistamine effect, like Zyprexa (Olanzapine) and Seroquel (Quetiapine). The drowsiness that I experience from Cetirizine is very similar to the drowsiness of these medications.

Taurine

Just likes histamine it is possible that Taurine is inbalanced, especially with people who are suspectible to psychosis. I have no experience with it myself and I don’t know anybody who has. I do think it can be a good supplement to try out.

Selfinvestigation

I think that for people who are suspectible to psychosis, it can be good to investigate if there is something here that might be good for you. I can imagine that besides these approaches, there might be more possibilities. The body is a complex machine where things can get inbalanced easily. If you can find such an inbalance and know how to improve that, you might improve your health.

Update October 2020

It is now a few months later. The antihistamine pills have done their work well. Problem with them is that they block the receptors, but they do not decrease the release of histamine. In the last two months, and with that aim in mind, I started taking supplements that might have that effect. Currently I don’t use antihistamine pills anymore. Supplements that I am using:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, including olive oil
  • Calcium + Magnesium
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc + Copper, in 8:1 combination
  • Manganese
  • Chromium
  • Melatonin (good for sleeping as well)

The melatonin I use daily, the other supplements only once or twice a week. When you have a reasonably varied diet you should only use supplements in a limited amount, I would think overdosing is unwanted.

I started taking Taurine, but I am not sure what the effects are :) It is somewhat similar as GABA, but I have the impression that I can tolerate it better.

I also started taking Tryptophan, which is a precursor to Serotonin. I was a bit worried about psychotic symptoms, but it turns out it is not causing them.

All together I am not in need of anti-psychotic medication anymore while also experiencing less psychotic symptoms. Profit :)

Update December 2020

Some things came together in an unfortunate way. With the supplements that should decrease histamine I moved to once a week instead of twice to lower the risk of overdosing it. In the course of a few weeks I did build up some psychotic symptoms. I think it was also caused by tryptophan/serotonin and melatonin, which can cause hallucinations. Back to twice a week and without tryptophan and melatonin things went back to normal again. In hindsight I did not notice and added value with tryptophan and melatonin, not in increasing them or after stopping them.

We all know the function of anti-psychotics, they are used to decrease psychotic symptoms. They can be very effective against these symptoms, even though the experiences and opinions vary. The cause of these psychotic symptoms is often not clear and…
Read more...

How to create a Custom Provider for XML Sitemaps in WordPress 5.5

20 Jun 2020 20:27 | Geplaatst door Marcel

WordPress 5.5 will be released in August 2020 and the feature plugin for XML Sitemaps has been merged this June. You can read about the original proposal on the development blog make/core.

This feature generates a sitemap.xml in the document root to make it more easy for search engines to index your website.
It will list all pages, posts, tags, categories and users. It also includes support for Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies. You can also extend it to index custom datatypes. That could be from a custom plugin that uses its own database table and its own functions to display that.

This blogpost is about creating a custom provider for your own data.
Please understand that for custom post types or taxonomies you don’t have to do anything.

First you create a custom provider, that will generate pagination and the url_list.

This is all for the Custom Provider that you need. I do hope you understand that you need to code your own pagination and your list of urls :)

Now to integrate it with the Sitemaps in WordPress 5.5 you can use 2 ways.
First option is to use a filter and add the instance of your Provider class.

The other option is to call a procedural function call in an action hook.

Both these hooks to register your custom provider should end up the same.

WordPress 5.5 will be released in August 2020 and the feature plugin for XML Sitemaps has been merged this June. You can read about the original proposal on the development blog make/core. This feature generates a sitemap.xml in the document…
Read more...