Friday, 21 December 2012



Season’s Greetings, Synapse Circuit Readers!

Yes! We have survived the Apocalypse! Whoo hoo! It’s great to see you as always! I hope that by now you have done all your preparations for the Christmas holidays! And, hey, if you are still wondering about Christmas presents you are still able to buy some decent software that you can download instantly online! So, don’t panic! Check out Synapse Circuit magazines for some great ideas! Wink, wink! Lol!


I have to say that I think that the Samsung Galaxy SIII is the handset of the year! Whenever I review a top of the range Samsung Android handset and give it back I miss it like I don’t know what to say... A girlfriend? Hahaha! From the time I tried out the Galaxy S, SII and lately SIII, I have become a Samsung Android disciple! For me, the Galaxy S series of handsets have been vital in my being a tech writer! The Galaxy S was like having a computer in my pocket and now the SIII was very much the equivalent of Intel introducing the dual-core from the Pentium! Wow! As you may or may not know, I am the proud owner of the Galaxy S, SII and Note II! What? What’s that you say? The Note II and not the SIII? I will tell why I made the decision in a bit...

When the Galaxy SIII was introduced I was taken aback... I didn’t know what to make of the design; I was expecting something like the Galaxy SII and the SIII design was quite radical! And it wasn’t in black as I had become accustomed to! Pebble Blue and Marble White???? I wasn’t sure! I thought these colours were decidedly odd! The handset looked like a piece of cheap plastic – albeit from a distance. However, when a fresh virgin Marble White Galaxy SIII was delivered to my door I was thrilled! It did look like something out of the future. The plastic looked far from cheap! Like all the Galaxy S series the SIII felt like a weird bar of soap! I had to be careful not to drop it it’s so smooth!

It took me a while to get used to handling the SIII; the one thing I would hate is to tell Samsung’s PR that I’ve busted a high-end handset! The worst part of handling the SIII is where taking pictures and videos were concerned; it’s just too thin for a burly man with big burly gorilla man hands! But once I got comfortable I was able to take great pictures and videos! You will almost certainly benefit from getting a case for it that will not only protect the massive 4.8 screen but make it easier to handle for taking pictures, etc.

I just appreciated how the SIII worked from S Voice – yes, the S Voice works quite well for basic functions. Receive a text and instead of replying via text just put the phone to your ear and it’ll start calling that person! Excellent!

I enjoyed the speed of the 1.4 quad core CPU which turned in fast results when surfing the Net both WiFi and 3G!

The video playing over any screen was great! Sure, you can get that function via an app but it’s good that you don’t have to! Also watching video is a superb experience with that lovely screen!

And the Smart Stay eye recognition was more than a novelty! It really works – in good lighting conditions!  So, why did I opt for the Galaxy Note II instead?


Well, the Galaxy Note II is a superlative handset; it’s just like the SIII only bigger! The 1.6 GHz quad core processor just shifts! YouTube video is a breeze; the Internet is zippy and TouchWiz is the best yet! It works so very well – it’s responsive! The combination of TouchWiz & Jelly Bean 4.1 is sublime! I used to think that Samsung ought to run Jelly Bean vanilla, but the Galaxy Note II is a good argument against it! So many people use launchers anyway i.e. Go Launcher, Nova, Apex, etc.

The S Pen is a great addition that allows you to preview the contents of a folder, gallery, etc without touching the screen! It’s easy to preview a video ahead before you get to get to those specific frames!

Then there’s the multitasking... You can have two windows opened at the same time... Email and the Internet... Facebook works in the multiview mode now! It is fantastic!

I think that anyone who does business who uses email and the Internet heavily then the Galaxy Note II is the way to go! I know people who have the first Note who are absolutely thrilled with it as a business device!

I also appreciate the S Note and that one can create some interesting documents. It has the possibility to add video to the Notes but you can’t (unless I have missed something) export to Interactive PDF whereby a video playing within the PDF is possible. I assume that Samsung are banking upon the S Note format becoming popular so that other Note users can share with each other. However, PDF documents can be created and can be edited in suitable software such as InDesign or PagePlus!

The only negative – if you can call it a negative - that I can think of, like most reviewers, is the huge 5.5” screen! Some may find the handset too big, but I love it! The screen is quite vibrant when you turn up the brightness which drains the battery! But a moderate setting will have the 3100 mAh battery lasting a day and a half with light usage! The good thing about the battery is that it charges in roughly an hour! It’s all good!

It also has a whopping 16GB (32 & 64GB on other models) of storage that can be expanded with microSD up to 64GB and 2GB of RAM!!!!

So, there you have it! The Galaxy SIII and Note II are, in my opinion, the best handsets going!

Oh, I have heard that there’s a problem with some SIII units that go dead all of a sudden... I am sure Samsung will either fix or replace faulty handsets! I’ve not heard of any issues with UK users – yet!

Thank you for reading!

Keep reading Synapse Circuit magazine here:

Thursday, 20 December 2012



Dear Synapse Circuit Readers!

You and I both know that there’s nothing on TV this year that you haven’t already seen before! If you love movies the chances are you already own the best ones on DVD or Bluray! Why watch ‘em again on TV and with commercial breaks in between?

C’mon, are you going to tell me that you will stuff yourself silly until you can’t breathe and pass out on the couch, are you? C’mon, that’s waste! I have an idea...

Yes, why not have a go at making some music or whatever it is you call it?

My love for music goes back to many decades – before I was even born! But I am very fond of Electronic music largely because it excites me to make a noise that defies conventional music. Yes, I like to experiment. I love Experimental music because it’s unpredictable. Sadly, Experimental music gets confused with Industrial. Industrial music is nothing but hard Disco pretending to be ‘Alternative’. But whatever turns you on!

You’d think that making music – as a non-player – would be difficult, but it’s not. Not really! You can use your ear and record what pleases you! Or you can use sample loops! Better still, you can use a combination of sample loops and whatever you fancy by the way of virtual instrumentation! I guess it may help if you have some musical knowledge however, you can hear that most music in the charts today does not have much by the way of musicianship! But some people like it!

There are many, many music software programs readily available and they cater for all different abilities... Here’s some of my favourite digital audio workstations (DAW):

Magix Music Maker 2013 Premium
This is the one that got me started quite a few years ago! I have used previous versions of Music Maker Premium and this version is the best yet! It is fully compatible with VST = Virtual Studio Technology which is software synthesizers and effects. Therefore, with VST, you can expand Music Maker Premium further! Oh, the standard version has VST compatibility too! But you get more functionality with the premium version!

What I love about Music Maker Premium is that it is so very easy to use! If you want to create your tracks using sample loops then it’ll do that to the max! If you want to make music from virtual instruments and effects then it’ll do that too! And, if you want to plug in your instrument – be it a mic, guitar and / or keyboard – you can do that too! There’s more good news! Music Maker Premium comes with loads of sample loops that will enable you to create many, many musical compositions! Music Maker Premium is a great all round music making software for all levels of abilities. Oh, it can import and edit videos too! Wow!

Synapse Audio (no, nothing to do with Synapse Circuit), Orion Studio
I love Orion Studio because it is geared towards professionals but remains so wonderfully easy to use! It’s got the lot! Built-in instruments and effects of a very high standard; the ability to record from the mic input of your soundcard and is VST compatible too!

In my opinion, Orion Studio is more flexible that Reason which is a closed system that doesn’t allow for the inclusion of VST!

I think the MIDI editor is the best that I have ever seen on within music software! The MIDI editor is clean and clear – you’ll always know where you are when you need to edit in fine detail!

Another thing that I appreciate is the ability to record every – almost every – adjustment of the virtual knobs and sliders on the virtual instruments and effects! This is called “automation”. Automation can make the music come alive! You will love it!

Why don’t you check out the Christmas edition of Synapse Circuit for more tips on music software!

And if you are interested, there’s more audio and visual software and hardware too! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the competitions!

Thank you for reading this blog!

Merry Christmas to you! Keep reading Synapse Circuit magazine!


Wednesday, 19 December 2012



Dear Synapse Circuit Readers!

Once again, I give you compliments and Greetings of this potentially stressful season! It has been madness outside my office! I can’t wait for Christmas to be over for that very reason. People have just gone nuts! And it’s all because of a couple of days of feasting like there’s going to be no tomorrow. Oh, but there won’t even be a Christmas – if you believe in this latest prophecy of doom! Hey, that’s a brilliant name for a Gothic Techno / Industrial band, Prophecy of Doom. Hahahahaha! Anyway, on with this blog...


That seems to be Google’s mantra and now that they have employed renowned futurist, Ray Kurzweil as their new director of engineering. Wow! To me this is a great move from Google! Having Kurzweil onboard with Google is fantastic no matter what the position because that man is a thinker! But don’t ask me what he thinks about! I can’t remember in great detail... Seriously, I have seen many documentaries that have featured Kurzweil’s ideas! They are out there! I believe that he thinks that singularity will happen very near in the future. Humans will physically merge with technology. Well, we are already there. I am aware that I hardly switch off! I have Android handsets that I use regularly! Yes, I don’t bother to sell my handsets on... ...look at it this way: I am stuck, more or less, in a 24 month contract and when that contract is due an upgrade that phone is 2 years old! Nobody wants it! Or if they do it is not worth what they are offering! Besides, I love rooting these old handsets – as you’d know if you have been reading Synapse Circuit magazine.

But having Kurzweil onboard is, to me, as sign that Google is going to go warp speed with what they are doing! In other words they will continue to do what they have always been doing: innovate. Take Android as an example... Just look out how far it has come in comparison to iPhone iOS. Jelly Bean is phenomenal! This leads me to...

I think Android is a great operating system with a few flaws. What I would like to see fixed in Android 5 is the following:

1. I want to see drop-down menus work on tablets and handsets just like it does on the desktop and iPhone.

2. I want to be able to transfer all the apps that I have bought to any other Gmail account that I create for my other devices. I want to keep certain data on specific handsets. Yes, I can alter the sync profiles but that’s not fun to do if you keep a lot of Gmail accounts. Once you enter your credit card details into any Google+ / Gmail account those details ought to be picked up upon and every app that you’ve bought is automatically listed and there on the handset of your desire.

Fix those two details and I will be one happy guy!

On the other hand the apps are quite inexpensive that I don’t mind too much paying twice – especially if it helps developers!

I would also like to see a decent email client. The email client that comes with Android isn’t much cop! I don’t know why Google haven’t bought or supported some brilliant email app development such as Aqua Mail already! Why, Google? Why? Oh, Gmail sometimes notifies me when I have mail and sometimes does not! This is very annoying! Google, sort it out!

I think Google needs to look at keeping Android clean of junk. Through the art of rooting I have discovered that clearing the user data off the handset – synching data with Gmail first – will work wonders for Android. Wouldn’t it be great if Google could create a system cleaner that keeps Android optimised for a great performance each and every time? It sure would!

I think Android 5 is going to be yet another game changing moment for Google - more importantly for the mobile phone industry!  Speaking of which...

What a revelation the Nexus concept has turned out to be! HTC had a go... And it got people talking. Then it was Samsung and people started buying in larger numbers. Now LG has had a go and the phones are flying off the virtual shelf! Each time I look at the Google Playstore I see that the Nexus phones have sold out! Ok, have they sold out or are they having problems with supply? Apparently, Google are blaming LG! Hahaha! When Google gets it right, they get it right! And when they get it wrong they’ve got it right! The Nexus is the most sought after handset in the world today simply because of the price! £239 for a high-end smartphone! It could have easily cost twice as much!

I think Google skimped on adding a microSD card and LTE to keep the costs down to a minimum. I don’t and didn’t buy that garbage that people are “confused” about the external storage. Now that the Nexus 4 has proven to be a best seller I think we’ll see external storage in Nexus 5! Now, which company will create the Nexus 5? With any luck LG should be on their way to being in the top 10 Android handset manufacturers. So, my guess it’ll be a Chinese manufacturer. Google are like talent spotters and they look for the best potential in a manufacturer and then go into partnership! Could Oppo be next? Hey, but what about Acer? I think it could be Acer’s turn to show what they can do! I like Acer’s CloudMobile S500 isn’t bad! Expect a review soon! Google are looking for a handset that will be inexpensive to produce yet have that look about it that says it’s a decent high-end smartphone for your money! Perhaps it’s what people want over the expensive elegance of the iPhone... Hmmmm...

I am thinking that Google’s strategy is to launch their 3G / LTE network; I predict that they would like to deliver a cost effective network that will give competitors a good run for their money! Google Network will cause a massive drop in prices of line rental charges. That’s how they are going to make money from Android! It makes sense... Take a contract with Google Network and get a decent handset to go with it! They have 100s to choose from! I think that’s the icing on Google’s cake! I am sure that they’d have aspects of Android / Google+ that will work through their own network. We’ll see!

I also think Google will also launch a series of stores – not too dissimilar to Apple stores – around the world! I think this will be a good way to introduce their series of Chromebook laptops to the masses. The Chrome operating system has a lot to offer; I don’t think that many people are aware of what Chromebook is capable of! Sure, there are some flaws i.e. it doesn’t do video editing but this could change sometime in the future – especially with Google’s own network! I’ve got a hunch that Google will release its Glass technology once it has its network in place. I think this could happen towards the end of 2013.

Google certainly has a long term plan for the future and this will become very clear in 2013!

When the news broke that Google had been successful in their bid for Motorola’s mobile wing Android fans thought they’d be seeing some far out handsets. Who could have known how long it would take for Google to design and get their Motorola Nexus out? Hopefully, 2013 will be the year in which we’ll see some Google lead Motorola designs. The Razr i with the Intel chip is just the tip of the iceberg!

I think Google are planning world domination! I can see a Bond movie in there somewhere...

Thank you for reading this blog!

And thank you for reading Synapse Circuit! The Christmas edition is now online – if you haven’t seen it already! That’s



Dear Synapse Circuit Readers!

I wish you compliments of the Season! I also hope that the Christmas edition of Synapse Circuit has given you some good guidance with your gifts this year!

I hope that you all are safe and sound; that you have finished your preparations for the Christmas holidays! I was out earlier on today and the streets were stressful with people running amok! It’d be all for nothing if a certain prophecy turned out to be true! It’s funny how such a prophecy should be all the trending at the moment; the goalposts keep moving. 1999, 2000 and now a precise date: 21/12/12. Well, at least I got my Samsung Galaxy Note II just in the nick of time! Hahahaha! Anyway...


Yes, I am talking about all those frivolous lawsuits that Apple have put on the likes of HTC, Samsung, etc. It’s about time that Cook grows a pair and walk away from the bitterness that Jobs left on his deathbed. Incidentally and certainly not disrespectfully, why didn’t Jobs think about investing a considerable chunk of his billions in preserving his life? I mean, shouldn’t his life come before going “thermonuclear” on Android? Do you think Jobs would have lived longer had his focus was his life? It’s something to think about. Maybe Jobs thought that the iPhone and its iOS was his life. I ought to read his biography in more detail...

Now that Cook is that the helm I think he ought to just drop all the litigation against the competition. It has become apparent to me that Apple has suffered as a result of pursuing these pointless court battles with the competition – notably Samsung! I think they, Apple, could have earned more than the 1 billion-odd that Samsung has been made to pay! Again, I do think that this ruling was not fair to Samsung. Just think of what Apple might have been able to come up with for the iPhone 5 if they focused on making it better!

The trouble with Jobs is that he was blind with rage to see that he boxed Apple in a corner by adhering to the stock iPhone design. Well all know how Jobs felt about a 7” tablet. But such notions were ignored with the latest iProducts. Yet, Cook insists on delivering the same cheesy, smug and annoying new product presentations that mask the shortcomings of its products and ridicules the competition. But Cook and his cohorts are the ones that look ridiculous when they produce substandard products: iPhone 5 and iPad mini.

The way Cook sells the iPhone 5 is as if they have discovered the winning formula of desired screen size. No! They talk up the iPad mini only to reveal that it doesn’t have the famous retina design and its awkward 7.9” is not financially competitive. I think my prediction has come true that the iPad mini has confounded their leading tablet market. It’s rather like cloning Darth Vader from his earwax. You’re going to get something substandard. Now rumour has it that Apple are working on adding a retina display for the next version of the iPad mini. This I’ve gottta see! I’ll be curious if the price remains the same once the retina display is added to the mini. Once the retina is added to the mini I think people will go for the cheaper mini than the full blown 10” iPad itself and thus collapsing its own leading tablet market. I know that I could get the same performance from the cheaper 7.9” tablet I wouldn’t bother with the 10”! But that’s just me!

To recap so far: End the lawsuits and concentrate on making iOS better. Android’s Jelly Bean surpasses iOS 6 easily and is therefore looking like yesteryear’s technology. It’s good that Cook has given designer, Jony Ives more of a role in the iPhone and iOS but I think Cook could go further and have LG or, yes, even Samsung, design different iPhone models. I really think that the Ives’ iPhone design is boring compared to that of the Galaxy SII, III and Note II! I think that LG, HTC and many other manufacturers are designing better looking handsets than the iPhone.

I understand that a certain amount of fighting talk is a part of the technological circus arena or boxing ring. It reminds of Muhammad Ali pre-fight hype. The only trouble is, as I have being saying, it only puts Apple in a corner whereby the iPhone has been vulnerable to ferocious attacks by Android. Furthermore, Apple damages itself when they snort derision in the direction of larger screen sizes but add an inch to the iPhone like it’s a revolution. Hahahaha! They look stupid! The first thing that Jony Ives should design for Cook and Schiller is a muzzle!

Apple fans do not want limitations because Cook and Schiller aren’t able to think and speak at the same time! And judging by the 10 million downloads of Google’s Map for iOS I am not alone in my way of thinking. But hang on... I was expecting more than 10 million downloads because Apple have sold more than 10 million iPhone 5 units... Hmmmm... Like I’ve said and keep saying, what Apple says it has sold and the reality are different things. It’s no wonder that Apple’s share value has dropped like it has. Again, the stark reality is a lot different from the Apple PR Hype Machine! I think it is a shame! It’s obvious that there are Apple fans out there and Cook has been letting them down. Think about it, how different is the experience of buying an automobile from a secondhand car dealer who is very economical with the truth any different from buying the iPhone with its “beautiful Map application”? Google has potentially bailed them out when they didn’t have to! They could have even charged a small fee to iPhone customers for their brilliant maps.

Another thing Apple could do with is to be practical with their devices in terms of the material; I would prefer a rubberised backing instead of aluminium for their tablets. It’s great that the iPad looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, but unfortunately the materials is prone to scratches and dents. I think the iPad would still look great if they used practical materials that can cope with everyday use; perhaps this can bring the costs down. I think everybody should have a tablet be it iPad, Nexus, KindleFire, etc. At this moment in time an Apple tablet is a luxury for me but I don’t desire one. My PC – for the moment – does what I need to do on a day to day basis. Again, I have had my PC for a couple of years now. I hate the feeling of having to scrap a device each year! Build some longevity into these things! It makes me laugh that people look at me oddly when I take my Galaxy S out... Yes, I know it is not a tablet, but the phone still serves me after all those years. Sure, it is modded with a custom ROM but the Galaxy S works better than it ever did!

To recap: Please, please and pretty please with sugar and strawberries on top: Please stop putting Apple in a situation whereby it cannot produce what its audience wants which is larger screens and a better operating system that lends itself to sharing easier.

Look at what the competition is doing! They not only produce flagships, but they also produce handsets from their flagships that may be smaller and less extravagant where the functionality is concerned. A lot people today just want their phones to take decent pictures and video and to share them. Oh, they also want basic apps that will allow for free calls, texting and so on. Not everyone wants to fill up their storage with the 100,000-odd apps out there. Give iPhone fans a freedom of choice! I would go further by allowing other manufacturers to design and produce iPhones! Why not Apple cash in on Android and produce an Android phone? Why not do a dual booting phone: iOS / Android? Or how about a doublesided screen with iOS on one and Android on the other? Wow, dual SIM, dual operating system. I think that sort of innovation would go down with people who love technology! I’d have one!

Here’s my double-barrelled question to Cook: Why try to build a Map app when Google Maps exists? Would you have been better off developing iOS further?

Here’s another question, “Why couldn’t you have taken the iPhone design further? It stinks!”

Again, I am certainly not an Apple hater. I think the products are great looking – to a degree. I mean, I like the look of the iPad but I don’t think it’s built for practicality. I’d be holding it with kid gloves! The iPhone looked ok to begin with  but, in my opinion, Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola and just about every high-end Android handset manufacturer have and continue to design and put out better looking phones on the market! It’s time for Apple to change it up where design is concerned!

I do hope Apple will bounce back! Why? Because... Yes, you know it... Competition creates innovation! Apple is not going to be doing much of that if they continue to take the competition to court! Or is because Apple doesn’t have any ideas that they feel they must make up for their distinct lack of vision by suing the competition? C’mon... There’s no way that Apple could have come up with something like the Note II! Uh-uh! No way!

However, now that Apple has seen what others can do they might be inspired to come up with some much needed innovation! Think of your fans, Apple! Think of your fans!

Thank you for reading! In the meantime please check out Synapse Circuit magazine:

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT TECH-NEWS DECEMBER 2012: Apple, Google & Samsung...


Dear Synapse Circuit Readers!

It’s great to see that you have been reading the Christmas issue! That’s awesome! Thank you! I was so relieved to get the Christmas issue up online; that was a lot of hard but rewarding work! Once again, YOU have helped to make Synapse Circuit rewarding! Thanks again!


December 12, 2012 Google releases their Map App for iOS devices. This is great news for Apple as they have lost their way – literally! iPhone fans must have breathed a heavy sigh of relief! This move by Google may actually cause the sales of the iPhone 5 to rise! As it goes Apple shares are down below $500! Not good; but I believe that this situation is temporary and the share value will be up again in 2013. I think that Apple is going through a transitional phase what with their new lightning socket they obviously thought it was better to launch the iPad 4 sooner than later to solidify the arrival of lightning. Plus the iPad mini wasn’t well thought out... ...add the disappointing iPhone 5 to the mix. It’s a shame, but Tim Cook’s reshuffling of staff should see Apple coming back and hopefully with some innovation.

But, yes, it could very well be that Google’s Map app for iOS devices will help iPhone sales to climb up a little.


As a Samsung / Android fan I can say that this news has come as a relief because I don’t see why Apple have been relentlessly gunning for Samsung... What, because they are innovative? But I am glad that Apple’s bid to permanently ban Samsung devices from the US market has been rejected. On the other hand the same judge, Lucy Koh, has denied Samsung - in a separate order on Monday - a new trial based on an allegation that the jury foreman was improperly biased in favour of Apple.

Who knows where the two tech giants will go from there; if the recent patent denial is upheld against Apple then Samsung may win an appeal. We’ll see...


What’s going on with Samsung, huh? They are producing Android handsets like a virus! They have recently announced the Galaxy Premier which is a mid-high-end handset to be released for the Russian and Southeast Asia, China and South Korea markets. It will be available on 3G and LTE networks dependent on territory and carrier. It looks pretty good; it’s sort of like a slight cut down version of the popular SIII! Here’s the spec:

HSPA 21/5.76 (850/900/1900/2100 MHZ)        
EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900 MHZ)

4.65” HD (720x1280) Super AMOLED

68.02 x 134.2 x 8.99 mm, 130g

Android™ 4.1 (Jelly Bean)

Main(Rear) : 8 Megapixel Auto Focus camera w/ LED Flash
Sub(Front) : 1.9 Megapixel HD camera

MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, RV, DivX, Xvid, VD-1
Recording & Playback : 1080@30fps

Codec : MP3, AAC, AAC, eAAC, WMA, RA
Music Player with SoundAlive
3.5mm Ear Jack

8 / 16GB User memory microSD slot (up to 32 GB)


It also features NFC, Bluetooth 4 and WiFi. No details as of yet regarding the processor; I’d hazard a guess that it’ll be a dual-core 1.2 GHz.

As you can see the Galaxy Premiere is a hefty-ish handset. Who knows if it will ever reach the UK / European and US markets?

Now here’s the Galaxy Grand... The Grand is a 5” handset that is probably a version of the Note II! Well, it certainly looks like the Note II! For a start the screen is a 5” 800 x 480 WVGA TFT LCD display instead of Super AMOLED HD; I presume this is to keep the costs down.

Furthermore there’s a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and 8-megapixel camera, available in both single and dual-SIM models. There’s more... 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal memory and a large 2,100 mAh battery. Its bodywork is 9.6mm thick, which is slightly thicker than the 4.8-inch Galaxy S III. While it’s very powerful the Grand is very much a mid-range handset presumably aimed at those who prefer a large screen but have no need for an HD screen and some of productivity offered by the Note II software and stylus. The Grand could be another hit in the budget sector of the market; the big brother to the Galaxy Ace 1 & 2. GT-I9082 is the dual SIM version and will be followed shortly by the single SIM GT-I9080 model. At the moment there’s nothing on costs and availability.

Interesting stuff! But knowing Samsung the best is yet to come... Will they reveal the SIV at CES in January 2013 or will they reveal it at the Mobile World Congress in February 2013? Probably neither! Samsung, of late, have taken to revealing their top of the range models at their own events and quite rightly too! I’d be very surprised if Samsung reveals the Galaxy SIV before May. It’d be cool though! I am due for an upgrade in April... Lol! I am crazy about Samsung Android phones! Well, I am crazy about handsets in general! I hope 2013 brings more of these high-end handsets that have only been seen in places like China...

I will keep you updated!

In the meantime keep reading Synapse Circuit magazine! Here:

Friday, 14 December 2012



When Reallusion comes to London Town to demonstrate a new version of their software I am always excited! It’s always a wonderful experience to see John or Enoch showing off what their amazing software can do!

I am a huge fan of iClone and CrazyTalk because they are powerful tools for animation and the tools remain easy to grasp in the hands of children. I hazard to recommend an age limit for children as each child is different! But I know that if these programs were in existence when I was bringing up my daughter I know that I would have had fun creating cartoons with her from the age of 4 or 5 when she showed a considerable talent for drawing. Like most children at that age they are crazy about cartoons! Being the creative and understanding dad that I am, I would have used iClone and CrazyTalk to increase her understanding of the English language – I would encourage her to write scripts! I would also encourage her to tell a good story not only from perspective but from how she’d see others; yes, I think it helps children become more socially aware and responsible for their actions. I think awareness of others could help reduce bullying in schools!

If I were to be a school teacher with lofty ideas in my head I would invest my own money in getting these fantastic products as part of the school curriculum. I would love to see the minds of children expand beyond game consoles. All we are waiting for is Reallusion to come up with visual way to create games! Anyway, let’s be thankful for what we have got!

The following bit of great news has come as no surprise...


I am not surprised at all by this wonderful news! I am telling you right now that CrazyTalk 7 will be hot on any platform be it, PC, Android, Linux, etc. CrazyTalk is one of those programs that allow you to be nuts about your computer PC or Mac! I can’t tell you enough how liberating it is to be able to be creative and to share the creation or creations with everyone – the whole wide world! When it comes to animation I can’t think of any other program (programs including iClone) that produces fast results and so very cost effectively!

Bring any face to life with CrazyTalk 7’s simple face-fitting alignment process then simply use your voice to turn images into talking videos! Bring the character to life with the auto motion templates in the Pro version of the program!

Check this out...

CrazyTalk 7 uses powerful Auto-animation technology that’s allows any user, no matter if you are an iMovie-maker or a creative user, from any level, to create talking character videos from any digital photograph.  Bring any face to life with CrazyTalk7’s simple face-fitting guide, and then use your own voice to puppet your actor’s performance. 

Auto-animation in CrazyTalk 7 is an innovative, time-saving feature that helps you create life-like animations in a matter of minutes. The ability to animate characters with any voice or text-to-speech engine, allows any user to quickly create animated shorts, video hosts, cartoon characters and more.  CrazyTalk7 is unlimited in what you can bring to life. Choose a photo or illustration, fit the facial features, add audio to generate animations, and see your characters perform in real-time.  Save movies for editing in iMovie, or directly upload them to YouTube.  CrazyTalk 7 positions itself as an essential, quick animation tool in any artist’s toolbox.

Charles Chen, CEO at Reallusion commented “This is fantastic news for Reallusion. We are very happy that the Mac App Store has given CrazyTalk 7 this much sought after recognition. Shortly after its launch, CrazyTalk 7 received a New and Noteworthy rating for the Mac App store and this new acknowledgement is testimony to the power of this creative app. With excellent feedback from users, we are confident that Crazytalk 7 will continue to be a success for the Reallusion team”

CrazyTalk 7 Mac is available in the Apple App Store for GBP £29.90.
Visit Reallusion’s website for more info, training and demo video:

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Reallusion is a leading-edge software developer providing cinematic animation tools for PC, Mac and mobile platforms.  Reallusion’s pioneering storytelling technology excelling at character animation, facial morphing and voice lip-sync allows fast creation of interactive avatars for 3-D real-time filmmaking and previsualization for professional post-production. Their powerful yet easy-to-use tools make character animation accessible to both Mac and PC users of all skill levels. Reallusion’s development of core technologies and growing base of intellectual property firmly establish the company as power among emerging technology innovators, furthering their graphic and imaging embedded kernels to top-brand device manufacturers worldwide. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012



Are you a Mac user? Are you an audio connoisseur perfectionist? Here’s the good news...
Magix has given Mac users a magnificent gift: Audio Cleaner Pro! Are you ready for the greatest news???? Magix has given Synapse Circuit 5 copies for our competition! If you love audio and are an audiophile then I don’t have to tell you how much you need Audio Cleaner Pro!

For details on how to win just check out Synapse Circuit magazine @

Be a winner! 5 great copies of each to give away to the fortunate winners!

Merry Crystal Clear Christmas to you all! 



Music is a great gift and to be able to play an instrument is most gratifying! However, thanks to multimedia software giant, Magix, anyone can make music! Check out the fabulous Music Maker Special Edition software: Soundtrack (new); Rock and Dance! You can win one – plus a special bonus prize!

For details on how to win just check out Synapse Circuit magazine @

Be a winner! 5 great copies of each to give away to the fortunate winners!

Merry Music Making Christmas to you all! 

Synapse Circuit Christmas Edition 12/12/12

Season’s Greetings Synapse Circuit Readers!

You have probably noticed that the Christmas edition is now online! Good! If you have just found out about Synapse Circuit Blogger or Blogspot, you may not be aware of the Interactive PDF magazine that is Synapse Circuit! Well, in this Christmas edition there are loads of tech-gift ideas! There’s still time to shop!

I hope that you will enjoy this awesome issue!

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Happy 12/12/12!

You can read the Interactive PDF magazine here: Synapse Circuit dot com

Tuesday, 4 December 2012



C’mon, you know as well as I do that Christmas TV is boring! So, how about getting up to some audio / visual creativity of your own? Check this lot out...


Why not give the gift of sound this year? The following music software known as digital audio workstations will turn the user into a sonic alchemist!

Key elements: Here are a few attributes to any music software that I think you need to know.

VST compatibility! VST stands for virtual studio technology and what this technology does is to essentially replicate hardware i.e. synthesizer keyboards and effects units with software. Therefore, the musician / composer can purchase high quality synthesizers and effects and / or download free ones from trusted websites!

You want to make sure that any music software you buy is compatible with VST! Don’t be confused by some music software’s own set of virtual instruments and effects. Make sure it says VST compatible on the box or on the specifications page on the product website!

ASIO, this is more to do with the quality of your soundcard. ASIO stands for audio streaming in and out! The soundcard is fitted with a processor that leaves the audio work to the soundcard and compatible software instead of having the central processor unit (CPU) handle the task, thus well make the computer system more efficient. It’s a mark of professionalism when you see ASIO supported by a digital audio workstation (DAW).

Bear in mind that the soundcard of the intended may not be ASIO compatible, there will be other options such as Direct Sound. But most modern soundcards will support ASIO.


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Monday, 3 December 2012



Tablet PCs have arrived and they are here to stay! They are certainly handy for a multitude of things: surfing the Web on the go; accessing email on a larger screen; watching video; gaming; performing productive tasks such as word processing; learning to play piano and just about anything you can think of... There are so many tablets on the market it can be confusing as to which one to get for yourself or for a tech-savvy teenager!

Here’s a rundown of tablets explaining their pros & cons.

7 to 8 INCH

WIFI ONLY VERSION: 16GB £269 32GB £349 & 64GB £429
WIFI + CELLULAR: 16GB £369 32GB £449 & 64GB £529

Yes, the iPad mini is a curious device that is more or less the recycling of the old iPad 2. It’s a contradiction in terms of Apple’s derision of the competition for not having a Retina display. Therefore, by Apple’s reckoning they have proven that it doesn’t really matter too much about having a very high definition display (or does it?). It has given the competition more of an unintended boost!

It has a good build that is prone to scuffs and dents. The iPad mini’s saving grace is the apps that are available for it (see outro). Where the price is concerned, I do not think that it is competitive enough. It’s got a 7.9” screen that looks good – especially as it is framed by a thin bezel, but for the price? I don’t think so!

WIFI ONLY VERSION: 16GB £159, 32GB £199

This has been a runaway success for Google and Asus! It’s not hard to understand why! You can see straightaway that the price is just right! Like the iPad mini, you aren’t able to expand the memory with an microSD card. According to the user interface designer, Matias Duarte, “People get confused over where to store their data... They don’t seem to recognize the difference between internal and external storage...” I am just paraphrasing for expediency but this more or less the context in which Duarte spoke of regarding not including a microSD slot! Personally, I think the idea is silly! Put it this way, if you run out of memory you’ll soon find out soon enough about your external storage! Also, could this be indicative that the Android operating system is for geeks? No! But I think this move is to keep the costs competitive and to encourage users to take advantage of cloud storage! It’s a bad move to make such as statement because it adds weight to the idea that Android is just for geeks, which is totally untrue! I think 16 to 32GB of storage should be enough! Also, be aware that there is said to be a docking station for the Nexus that could very well add USB ports whereby you’ll be able to store data externally!

The 7” screen is decent – it’s HD unlike the iPad mini. 1280 x 800 display! It features a quad-core processor compared to the dual-core in the mini! And, in my mind, the Jelly Bean Android 4.1 operating system is superior to Apple’s iOS!

Be aware that it hasn’t got a back-facing camera, but I personally don’t need any more cameras beyond getting a decent compact!

There are enough apps on Google Play to entertain!
This is my favourite tablet so far! It certainly one that I would be after! I would go for the 32 WiFi + cellular version!

What I like about the Nexus 7 is the rubberized back-plate; it’s built for handling! It’s robust!

WIFI ONLY VERSION: 16GB £169.00, 32GB £209.00

Here’s an alternative to both the Nexus 7 and iPad mini! It too boasts an HD display – the same resolution as the Nexus 7, but to my eye, the Nexus 7 is more vivid! But the Kindle Fire HD screen is better than the iPad mini! I don’t like the rather wide bezel. That’s just me! I like the way it handles though! On the other hand, no pun intended, it doesn’t have me touching the screen inadvertently!

The plus side is that it serves its own eco-system that is Amazon App Store! This means that Android (a version of) is kept in the background! You don’t get the full Android experience, which, to me, is preferable! But the interactivity is good – not as good as the full Jelly Bean Android 4.1 experience.

It is also features a 1.2 dual-core processor! Obviously, the Kindle Fire HD processor doesn’t trump the Nexus 7!

The Kindle Fire HD is a good choice for entertainment purposes i.e. film, eBooks / magazines, games, etc.

It’s a cost effective alternative to the iPad mini, but there’s not enough on it to beat the Nexus 7!

Fair play to Amazon for carving out a niche for itself in this crowded market place!


You'll be able to read the full article very soon! 

Please read Synapse Circuit magazine at 




Once I received my ticket to the Gadget Show Live @ Xmas 2012 it was as though Xmas had come early for me! I love gadgets (understatement of the year) and I was in Gadget Heaven! Secretly, I was hoping to meet Gadget Show’s beautiful Pollyanna Woodward!

As tech shows go, the Gadget Show Live @ Xmas was quite good! Over the last 5 years, tech shows / events have been lacklustre. Since the Internet has taken off most manufacturers / software houses announce their products online! With YouTube and streaming video it is very easy to demonstrate products without going to the trouble of paying to exhibit at an event! As a result, most tech shows / expos have become specialist i.e. music tech, mobile, PC, Mac, etc. However, the Gadget Show Live @ Xmas was a welcome return to the huge tech expos that I once knew and loved!

It was great to see a large number of exhibitors from different sectors: HTC with a number of Android and Windows handsets; LG with their smart-televisions; Windows showing off their selection of tablet / laptop hybrids along with Acer and HP; Canon with their cameras and printers! And there were many, many Android tablets too! Of course, there was a large amount of gaming software too! The Gadget Show did exceptionally well – even though I missed Samsung for their high-end range of handsets, cameras, etc. I also missed Magix and other music & multimedia software / hardware vendors! I think that the public ought to be exposed to more creative options!

This is a preview of the Xmas issue which should be out very, very soon!

Please read Synapse Circuit magazine @