Some of the best value gadgets are of course not brand new but a few years old, I found a little beauty called the Squeeze Box radio for a very reasonable price. These were extremely expensive when they first came out but now can be picked up for almost half the price. They have also had a few firmware updates to sort out various issues that were reported when they were first released. Cool design, cutting edge technology (now fixed) and a huge discount in price plus a great design – what could be better?
The Squeezebox Touch is a big upgrade from its little sister, the Squeezebox Radio. With a 4.3inch color touchscreen display, the same build quality and sound quality that made the Squeezebox Radio so popular, some are seeing the Squeezebox Touch as the first truly dependable wireless touchscreen radio.
Wireless radios connect to your home system using Wi-Fi and can subsequently be used to listen to radio stations all across the globe. As a result of the stream being taken straight from the web, there is a noticeable improvement in the quality of the audio when compared to a standard FM receiver. Just touch the “My Music” or “Internet Radio” prompts or one of your many online subscription services like Pandora, Rhapsody or Napster for instant access to your favorite music.
The Squeezebox Radio left many buyers wanting more. Is the Squeezebox Touch really the radio for the job?
I was wowed by the huge 4.3 inch screen in the compact Squeezebox Touch. The fact that it displays in clear, full color is outstanding. It is instantaneous in its response, and the on-screen menus are laid out in a very sensible, flowing pattern.
I really like the album art or available graphics that are displayed as you access different music, podcasts or stations. It keeps the music experience fun, and helps educate you as to what other music may be out there that you would enjoy.
I have to say though that the “pull it out of the box and turn it on” setup is dramatic. Nothing could be easier, and this step really sets it apart from the other internet radios out there. You literally un box it, plug it in, let it find your WIFI, and you are jamming! Whether you want to listen to the BBC, live Australian Rules Football from “down under”, or any of the thousands of free internet stations from around the globe, the Squeezebox Touch takes you there. It also has the ability to add network specific connection details so that you can even add VPN and proxy servers. I am lucky enough to have some great residential ones which I use as private proxies for Instagram. You can actually add them here to access music sources which are often blocked due to your location. In my instance I use them to access Pandora which is geo-locked to the USA only.
Control from your computer is sort of clunky, so I just stuck to the remote, and everything was fine. As I moved the unit around the house, it never drifted or lost clarity. If you have a signal, the Logitech Squeezebox Touch can access your stereo system and deliver your favorite sounds to your home stereo system or other powered speaker set.
Rich Hi Fi Sound
The Squeezebox Touch is designed to connect to your home hi-fi system or powered speakers. It offers “high resolution encoding support for full, rich stereo sound” which is a fancy way of saying this compact, space-saving 10 x 8.5 x 5 inch table-top stereo receiver transfers digital music to full-sound via your home stereo or other powered speakers easily.
The USB port and SD card slot allow access to all your music hardware. And there are a ton of software programmers who have created a load of apps for the Logitech Squeezebox Touch that extend its versatility even further.
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When you decided to study abroad, there’s an important decision awaiting you. Choosing the type of accommodation can be crucial especially if you’re in an unfamiliar environment. Selecting something where you feel safe and comfortable is essential especially in the early days whilst you become used to your new environment.
What’s the best kind of student-accommodation?
There three basic options for students living-abroad are: Home stay programs, dormitories, or apartments.
In a home stay program you will stay with a family chosen by the school. They will provide some or all of your meals for you, and in general, do their best to provide you with a comfortable environment for your studying. The daily interactions with your host-family can also be a great chance to practice your conversational skills.
Dormitories are large, shared residences for students. They are usually located on the university campus itself, although they are sometimes found at the larger “private” language-schools as well. Your meals may be provided. Shared accommodation like this is usually cheaper, and there is almost no traveling involved in getting to school! There are always lots of people around to talk with and develop your
Choosing to live in an apartment or other form of private housing gives you the most freedom, but can be much more expensive than the other options. You will have to do your own cooking, of course! The biggest problem is likely to be finding housing like this, however – it is much easier after you are already living in the country, and can then look for an apartment in person. Assistance may be available from the institute you are applying to; information regarding accommodation at specific schools is also available online.
What are host families like?
From old couples who’ve just recently retired, to young couples who’ve just gotten married, or even single mothers – many different kinds of people offer home stay services. They are all under contract to the school, however, and many already have experience with hosting international students. They may know what kind of troubles international students frequently have, and so they will be able to offer help. Of course, each family will be different; you should be prepared to live by their rules while you stay with them. Remember to check things that are important to you before you choose, things like internet access can be important for people living abroad for example. Especially to keep in contact with home when you might even need a residential IP service as well,
I have heard that some host families are not nice, is that true?
Before joining the home stay program, every host family has had an interview with the school involved, so there shouldn’t be any problems. Sometimes you may have difficulties because of differences in culture, but most host families are sensitive to these issues, and know how to deal with such problems. However, it is true that sometimes things just don’t work out, just as with any family! If you do need a change, you should request it as soon as possible, as it is most important that your trip is a positive experience for you. You can always talk to your school counselor or us, and a better arrangement will be found, if possible.
Will I have “hostmates” if I am on a home stay program?
Some host families have many rooms for international students.
Depending on the program, it may be possible for you to request a home stay with or without other students.
Is it possible to change the length of my home stay after a few months?
Yes, it is possible. Many students live with a host family for the first few months, and when they get used to life in a foreign country they move to an apartment or dormitory. Staff in charge of housing may be able to assist students in finding new accommodation. If you wish to move, however, you should let your host family or school know at least one month in advance. As well, you may have to pay an accommodation fee again.
When can I get information about my host family?
Your home stay placement is not decided until about ten days before your course starts. We will send you the information about your host family as soon as we receive it from the school. Usually, we also get the host family’s name, address and phone number, so we recommend that you send a letter with your picture before you leave, if you’d like to introduce yourself ahead of time.
I would like to stay in a dormitory. Are meals included?
It depends on the particular school, so please check the right-side of the dormitory fee section in the school-information table. In some dormitories you can choose “with meals” or “no meals,” which will also affect the cost, of course.
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