Java Certification Dojo – The BlackBeltFactory way (Review)

BlackBeltFactory-logo-500x317

Think of proving your knowledge in programming Java?

BlackBeltFactory has an interesting concept of using belt system common in martial arts to the Java (and other programming language too) certification system. Unlike other certification, the questions are created and reviewed by its members, this ensures a wide variety of question, certainly a good example of crowdsourcing.

I found the website just recently and registered to start my journey to be a black belt, and here’s my profile.

So far, here is what I think about the website:

Pros:

  • Taking tests are free
  • Exclusivity and Pride (to be a black belt one must pass a lot of exam)
  • Practical knowledge tests (includes Spring, Hibernate, and XML)
  • Constantly growing courses and exams (crowdsourcing)

Cons:

  • Not all courses are free (well, maybe it’s not really bad anyway if we want quality)

Anyway, go ahead and check BlackBeltFactory website and register yourself to start your journey to be a black belt in Java (literally). 😀


Voyage Air Guitar VAD-06 Review

Voyage Air Guitar VAD-06

After only four months living in US without a guitar, I wasn’t able to take it anymore and I looked for a guitar. However, one basic problem, having a guitar will add to my problem whenever I need to move.

So I was thinking to buy just some pretty basic guitar that I probably can just leave someday, or won’t really bother if it get damaged if I travel in airplane. But then, I found Voyage Air Guitar models that sounds too good to be true. It’s a foldable guitar and so it can be carried inside the cabin.

Long story short, I bought the Voyage Air Guitar VAD-06 last February, and this is what I found out so far with this guitar. 😀 Continue reading “Voyage Air Guitar VAD-06 Review”

Altec Lansing VS2621 2.1 Speaker Review

Altec Lansing VS2621

After bunch of earphones, headphones, now is the time to review the Altec Lansing VS2621 that I bought last year’s black Friday sale.

To be honest with you all, I never planned to buy this speaker. I went to Staples to buy the Logitech Wireless Mouse M510 that I’ve reviewed also in this blog. Then, I saw the speaker with a price that almost hard to resist. The next thing I know is, I’m carrying the speaker box out of the Staples. :p

I’ve used the speaker for more than four months now, and here I’m sharing the review of what I think about the speaker. Continue reading “Altec Lansing VS2621 2.1 Speaker Review”

Martin DCX1E Acoustic Electric Guitar Review

Back in Indonesia, Yamaha seems to dominate the acoustic guitar market since it also has a manufacturing line in Indonesia. But in USA, when it comes to acoustic guitar, one USA brand dominates the market and it’s name is Martin.
Although there are definitely Martin guitars sold in Indonesia, it’s not pretty common. The biggest reason for that, I believe, is the price. Martin guitar price usually starts at $700 and in the country where that still sounds like more than two months salary, it’s easy to guess why it doesn’t sell really well.
My roommate who is a guitar player happens to have the Martin DCX1E acoustic electric guitar, and as fortunate as I am, I can review the guitar without owning one. 😀
Sound
——
Martin DCX1E is a dreadnought guitar. What does it mean? It means that it has a wide butt, and a deep bass sound. Just a little bit of guitar history lesson, it is Martin also who first created the dreadnought guitar, so they must know it very well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadnought_(guitar_type)
The sound is pretty good, something that should be expected from Martin guitar. The solid spruce top is certainly one of the factor for the good sound.
It’s an acoustic electric so it has a Fishman classic 4 pre-amp attached. Unfortunately, I don’t have an amplifier to test the guitar sound when it’s plugged, so I can’t say anything about it.
Playability
————–
I’ve always been a classic guitar player and only started to learn to play steel string acoustic guitar this year, so I can’t say a lot also whether it’s comfortable to play or not. Somehow I feel the action is a bit high, but I suppose that can be fixed by some guitar shops.
It has a cutaway, so yeah you can play the high frets without any problem.
Durability
————-
The Martin DCX1E looks and feel really solid, and although I’m not sure how old the guitar is, I think it can handle some mishandling and accidents quite a bit.
Looks
———–
It looks like… just any Martin dreadnought guitar I suppose, and since it can be considered an entry-level guitar, the rosetta is really simple, and nothing fancy.
Price
———
The retail price is $699, but my roommate said he got it second hand for around $300.
Conclusion
————
Depending on how much money you have, and how much you love guitar, you may or you may not want this guitar.
Yes, it’s Martin, it sounds good, and it’s acoustic electric. If that’s all you need, then this guitar might be for you.
But it’s not really special since it’s an entry-level, it’s not all solid (only the top is solid), and it’s not fancy. So if you really appreciate great guitars and got money, then you might want to check the other Martin model.
In the end, I found this Youtube video that also review the guitar, so you can see how the guitar looks like and sound.
http://www.guitarlessons.com/gear-reviews/martin-dcx1e-acoustic-electric.php

Martin DCX1E

Back in Indonesia, Yamaha seems to dominate the acoustic guitar market since it also has a manufacturing line in Indonesia. But in USA, when it comes to acoustic guitar, one USA brand dominates the market and it’s name is Martin.

Although there are definitely Martin guitars sold in Indonesia, it’s not pretty common. The biggest reason for that, I believe, is the price. Martin guitar price usually starts at $700 and in the country where that still sounds like more than two months salary, it’s easy to guess why it doesn’t sell really well.

My roommate who is a guitar player happens to have the Martin DCX1E acoustic electric guitar, and as fortunate as I am, I can review the guitar without owning one. 😀 Continue reading “Martin DCX1E Acoustic Electric Guitar Review”

Youth Ministry Web Resources

(Note: This post was written by me two years ago for Youth Insight Resource magazine, but I think it’s still aplicable, *other than the Facebook part* :D)

In this web 2.0 era, collaboration is what makes the web interesting, and I believe the youth ministry can benefited much from it. Sometimes the best information doesn’t come from the article itself, but from the comments written by the article readers.

When it comes to a great youth ministry web resources, I primarily look for two things. First is the fresh activities ideas because this was what I, as a youth leader, was always constantly looking for. Second, is the stories and tips of other youth leader experience with their youth groups.

I scourge the web for different websites that can be useful for youth ministry and found the following websites worth mentioning. (Sorry guys, but Facebook does not belong to the list, at least not yet..). Continue reading “Youth Ministry Web Resources”

Three Seventh-Day Adventist Media iPhone Apps Review

SDA Media apps

Ever since I posted my blog post of “Five Free iPhone Apps for Seventh-Day Adventists”, I got a significant number of visitors to this blog from search engines. Though I don’t want to make a quick conclusion, it somehow means that there are a lot of SDA who are curious about what kind of apps related to the church are available in the iTunes store.

In this blog post I’m going to review three more SDA apps that are specifically related with the information media. Continue reading “Three Seventh-Day Adventist Media iPhone Apps Review”

Sony MDR-7506 Dynamic Stereo Headphones Review

Sony MDR7506 Headphone

My roommate bought another Sony headphone to replace his Sony MDR-NC6 headphone that I reviewed a few months ago. The Sony MDR-7506 looks a bit bigger and sturdier than the MDR-NC6. The other two things that interest me is the label ‘Professional’ it has on both headphone, and ‘Studio Monitor’ written on the over the head pad. This must be good.. 😀

Well, indeed it is, check out this following review: Continue reading “Sony MDR-7506 Dynamic Stereo Headphones Review”

Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse Review

Logitech M510 Mouse

When we talk about mouse, one of the most popular name that immediately comes to mind is Logitech. Initially I was thinking of buying Logitech V220 because I was really not looking for special mouse, I just need one for my laptop. However, last Black Friday 2010, Staples offered the mouse for only $15, only $3 more to the V220. There were also sale for Microsoft mice, but I like the Logitech M510 because it is a full size mouse.

I’ve now use the mouse for more than 3 months and here’s what I have to say about it.

Continue reading “Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse Review”

Five Free iPhone Apps for Seventh-Day Adventists

SS Apps

If you own an iPhone or iPod touch, there are some apps you may want to have in your device. Although not all of these apps are created by SDA, but three of them are. It sort of surprise me because this time the church seems to adopt the hype of mobile application quickly. These apps also get updated quite often so far (and I hope they always will).

I only put three apps of the church that I used most, although there are more apps avaiable in the iTunes store.

Continue reading “Five Free iPhone Apps for Seventh-Day Adventists”