Adventures in HomeCinema: Audio /4 Multi Bass


  • New subwoofer alone was ok,
  • subwoofer with Parametric Equalizer (PEQ) was quite good,
  • therefore I will buy a second subwoofer.

The second subwoofer was basically a Christmas gift fore me. Now after some setup and testing, both are working and everything sounds really good.


  • better bass at main listening position (MLP; in front of cinema screen)
  • better bass at secondary listening position (SLP; at desktop in front of computer monitors)
  • better bass at other possible places

Initial idea:

  • configure one subwoofer for SLP (desktop), then
  • configure second subwoofer against the first configuration for MLP

This unfortunately didn’t really worked out. It didn’t sound good, and it was hard to configure at all.

Final setup:

  • my PEQ (Minidsp 2×4 HD) can save multiple different configurations
  • official software only runs under Windows, but minidsp-rs allows me to change the config even under Linux
  • therefore I just created two completely different configurations, and just switch whenever necessary

In conclusion the 2 subwoofers and PEQ really made a big difference in comparison to just one subwoofer. Especially for multiple listening positions, and listening experiences (music vs cinema).

More blog posts in 2022

Some thoughts about how to write a little bit more / easier, and which things are in my way achieving this.

These are some very good posts about how and what about one could write:

“Blogging principles I use”

  • be honest about what I know
  • try to not write anything (too) wrong
  • be positive
  • write for a past version of myself
  • stick to my own experience
  • talk about what I’ve learned recently
  • remember it’s OK if not everyone likes it

“Blog about what you’ve struggled with”

  • it’s not about the struggle, it’s about what you learned
  • what you struggled with shows you what to focus on
  • it can take years to figure out what you learned
  • write it down while you still remember what was hard
  • advanced mode: write about other people’s struggles
  • sometimes you just haven’t learned enough about a topic yet (and that’s ok)
  • it’s a bit weird to be vulnerable on the internet
  • you can practice identifying what you learned
  • talk to a friend or coworker to figure out what you’ve learned
  • why I like writing about what I learned in public
  • I really should try to follow these basic points.

Perceived problems, and potential solutions

Now to my perceived problems, and potential solutions:

image insertions

  • getting pictures from my phone and into a post feels cumbersome.
  • Already using the Airdrop app, and I believe there is no easier way without Bluetooth or using a cable.

writing itself

  • composing thoughts and bringing them coherently “to paper” is harder then it sounds.
  • Nothing can be done about this than writing more.

multiple projects or thoughts

  • I used to hold the idea that I should work on a single thing, finish it, and then move to the next. This is obviously a bad way to go about it…
  • Keep notes when working on something or thoughts arise, and publish a refined version when ready.

weekly posts

  • are a fun idea, but put a lot pressure on you, especially when there is no real value to it — except to force you to write more. Writing more is good, but it should not necessarily be coupled with the publishing itself.
  • Better put some time per week aside to write; and publish when ready.

Habits: The Power of Habit / Digital Minimalism


Recently I have read 2 good books back to back: “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg and “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport. The similarities were a bit unexpected for me — which are pretty obvious in retrospect. Nonetheless it made me want to write a bit about the topics at hand.

The Power of Habit is about habit formation in general, and Digital Minimalism is about bad digital habits.

Here are some standout quotes and some thoughts about it.

What are habits

Essential Meaning of habit

1: a usual way of behaving: something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way [1]

Because Digital Minimalism is a bout bad habits, it’s definition is akin to addictions:

addiction is a condition in which a person engages in use of a substance or in a behaviour for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behaviour despite detrimental consequences.[DM]

while Power of Habits core approach is about the habit loop

cue -> routine -> reward

this is how new habits are created: by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward, and the cultivating a craving that drives the loop. [PH]

What drives habits

only when your brain starts expecting the reward — craving the endorphins or sense of accomplishment. [PH]


how tech companies encourage behavioural addiction: intermittent positive reinforcement and the drive for social approval. [DM]


rewards delivered unpredictably are far more enticing than those delivered with a known pattern. Something about unpredictability releases more dopamine — a key neurotransmitter for regulating our sense of craving. [DM]

In essence the reward is not the driving force, but the expectation of a reward. This force is even stronger when the reward is unpredictable.

Modifying habits

based on the cue -> routine -> reward loop, there are three obvious points in modifying habits — and also in establishing new ones.

Power of Habit establishes a protocol for approaching this

1: identify the routine

reducing the easy distraction without also filling the void can make life unpleasantly stale — an outcome likely to undermine any transition to minimalism. [DM]


you must aggressively explore higher-quality activities to fill in the time left vacant by the optional technologies you’re avoiding. [DM]

Removing a routine itself should be accompanied with replacing it with something better.

2: experiment with rewards

3: isolate the cue

asking patients to describe what triggers their habitual behaviour is called awareness training, and is the first step in habit reversal. [PH]

4: have a plan

patients who didn’t write out any plans were at a significant disadvantage, because they never thought ahead about how to deal with painful inflection points. they never deliberately designed willpower habits. [PH]


this is how willpower becomes a habit: by choosing a certain behaviour ahead of time, and then following that routine when an inflection point arrives. [PH]

A plan in this context means not only what you should do if everything works out perfectly and there are no obstacles.

A plan in this context really means to think about everything you always do wrong in situations, and how you will tackle the situation correctly. With yourself in mind. Make backup plan you can really execute.

Be deliberate, and believe in change

Change is hard.

the sugar high of convenience is fleeting and the sting of missing out dulls rapidly, but the meaningful glow that comes from taking charge of what claims your time and attention is something that persists. [DM]


approaching decisions with intention can be more important than the impact of the actual decisions themselves. [DM]

The decision what to do is far more important than the actual result of the decision. Things do not always work out, even when the decision and way was objectively correct, and vice versa.

we do know that for habits to permanently change, people must believe that change is feasible. [PH]


however, to modify a habit, you must decide to change it. you must consciously accept the hard work of identifying the cues and rewards that drive the habits’ routines, and find alternatives. you must know you have control and be self-conscious enough to use it. [PH]


and once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom — and the responsibility — to remake them. [PH]


– [PH] Power of Habit
– [DM] Digital Minimalism
– [1]

Some diet tips

Diets are always hard if you don’t know how to do them 😉
Everything here is for “normal” weight loss, down to 15% or so, where the abs are beginning to show.

Here are some tips that have helped me:

  • Calories in / calories out are the single biggest weight loss driver
    This means, that calories consumed mused be reduced, and daily activity should remain, or slightly increase
  • Protein is more filling than carbs and fat
    and it helps keep the muscles, when you keep training
  • Volume and regularity of meals helps with hunger
    instead of just removing things to eat, or removing whole meals altogether, try to keep the volume similar by replacing foods.
  • Water fills also
  • Hunger before meals is ok, and normal.
    But you should not be always be hungy. Fruits and vegetables are great snacks.
  • Sleep more.
  • Still try to enjoy foods. Skipping breakfast at the weekend to enjoy some icecream instead? Yes please.
    Small treats and gifts for yourself are important to keep going, and make the journey not to bland.
  • Eating out: minimize
  • Eating out with friends / parties: It is ok to occasionally indulge a little bit, when the situation arises
    Just be mindful about the foods and portions
    You don’t need to eat a whole cake

That’s most of it, I believe. Nothing special, and posted everywhere else.
There is no magic trick to do it.

6 weeks down I now am at 3kg less weight 😀

New diet plan, but manual

One of the last goals of this year was to get a bit leaner. I am well-versed in counting calories, having successfully used it to loose weight at the beginnings of my fitness journey.

The first steps at the time were of course some online tools, but I found them horrible unusable. Therefore I wrote my own Python based command line tool. It was equally horrible to use, but streamlined to my needs.

This worked, I lost weight, and after some time being comfortable with myself, the weight slowly increased.

Now, the tools are not really less horrible to use (tried fddb and myfitnesspal) and my old Python script is broken.

A few months back i tried to wrote something new and better with Electron and typescript, but things always got broken, and learning UI while always fighting the tools really left me dispirited. Nothing against the tools, they obviously work, but it didn’t really fit how I liked to use them.

The latest iteration is completely manual. On paper (together with a spreadsheet).

It is not as bad as I first had guessed.

Only calories and protein is tracked. Protein is rounded to the nearest 5, and calories are rounded always up to the nearest 50. It’s less to write, easier to calculate, and should cover the most important numbers. The weight itself is tracked via the median, maximum and minimum weights per week. I try to weigh myself always after breakfast, which usually includes something to eat and a cup of tea.

I have been doing this for 3 weeks now, and it gets the job done for now 🙂

Supplement that I take

Just a short overview over every supplement I usually take.

My personal guidelines for which/if to take a supplement are

  • ROI: cost vs potential benefits
  • potential benefits: how well studied / safe is it
  • potential benefits: are they applicable to me / my goals

In general you don’t really need to take anything, unless there are actual deficiencies. But there is also a difference between having just enough of something, or having optimal amounts; this is the gap I try to bridge.

I usually take

  • protein powder as needed (meal plan)
  • creatine, fish oil and vitamin D with my breakfast
  • everything else gets mixed in my greek yoghurt mix, which I eat every evening.

Protein Pulver

Creatine Monohydrate

  • improvement in strength and power output during resistance exercise


  • against allergies

Fisch oil

  • general wellness
  • against muscle soreness


  • against allergies
  • against muscle soreness
  • potential for joint health

Vitamin D

  • general wellness

especial in COVID and home office times

Collagen Protein

  • potential joint health
  • skin health

Adventures in HomeCinema: Audio /3 Bass woes

As stated in the last post about my cinema, for me there are two concrete possible solutions for my bass problems, a
  • (Parametric) Equaliser (PEQ), and an
  • additional subwoofer.

After having implemented one, I will also doing the other. Not because it is bad or not working, but there are now other… “problems”.

Because of the immediate cost, und potential future additions, the chosen solution for now is the PEQ.

Parametric Equaliser: minidsp 2×4 HD

The minidsp 2×4 HD box was very easy to install: just plug the audio wires and power in, and then connect per USB with it.

I choose this PEQ because of the apparent easy and fast setup in conjunction with REW and a measurement mic. And it really was easy to quickly get good results in a timely manner.

Setup with REW

REW has a module to generate PEQ configurations, among others for the minidsp 2×4 HD.

The procedure is pretty simple:

  • measure the subwoofer at your preferred listening position
  • start the REW PEQ module with this measurement
  • configure your target curve, how you would like to have the subwoofer responded
  • let the REW PEQ module calculate the parameters for the 2×4 HD.
  • load the parameters into the 2×4 HD.
  • profit

A subsequent control measurement with the PEQ versus the target curve shows a very good approximation.

Further improvements

Bass at the main listening position is now pretty good. The control measurement shows only a small dip now, but it is not as significant.

A remaining problem now is way too much bass in music at my second listening position at my desk.

Because if these I will definitely add a second subwoofer to eliminate the remaining dip, and hopefully also get to lower the bass while listening music. Another improvement could be to use the bass from the tower speakers, even though most sources don’t recommend this.

Lettering the plates

I always like the look of colored plates, regardless if the are actually completely colored like competition plates, or just classic black with white lettering.

Therefore I grabbed some paint and did just that.

Thing learned: space efficiency is not great, if your goal is to reach everything…

After two hours later, and two rounds of color for each plate, they look great. Much better than it seemed while painting.

My Personal Budgeting

A (personal) budget is just like a plan, or a calendar: it shows things that are, things that have to be, and things that could be.

Being free to spend money on the things that matter to you as much as you can is the goal of a good budget.

There are apparently many different named “categories” or “types” of budgets. I am not going to even try to distinguish if there are different types in my approach.

For one, it seems that there are multiple, overlapping names of different things by different parties; meaning there is not really a standard naming scheme. And secondly, how you personally achieve your money goals depends on how you personally have to handle money — it doesn’t matter if it works for me, if it couldn’t work for you, but maybe you understand the idea, and adapt it to your needs.

A budget is the sum of finances allocated for a particular purpose and the summary of intended expenditures along with proposals for how to meet them. It may include a budget surplus, providing money for use at a future time, or a deficit in which expenses exceed income. [1]
I am assuming that income and expenses are already in some form allocated and are tracked. I personally use GnuCash[2], but there are many other programms, or you can use spreadsheets, or even track it with pen and paper.

General ideas

  • Income budgets are slightly smaller than the real income.
  • Expense budgets are slightly higher than the real expense.
  • Cashflow at the end of the month has to be positive.
  • Always have at least one month income buffer
  • We are interested in the overall picture. Every week could be different, but over the year it should make sense.


I have some categories for were my money is allocated, in order to easier see were something can be adjusted.
  • Income: Everything you earn at your job, gifts, dividends, …
  • “Hard” expenditures: Rent, utilities, … everything you have to pay, that is basically out of your control.
  • “Soft” expenditures: Food, gifts, … things you need, but are more under your control.
  • Long Term Savings: personal retirement provisions
  • Short term savings: bigger financial spending (vacation, bigger subwoofer, …)
  • Buffer savings
  • Fun Stuff: Books, Games, Music, Movies, …
After writing it down this way, this is basically my budget.

Income and Expenditures are at least predictable and can be budgeted. Just check what always has been, and think about what is going to happen. Gifts can also be budgeted: you know when people have birthdays, and what gifts are expected.

Long and short term savings can be automated. For short term savings just use a suitable second account (for example “Tagesgeldkonto” in Germany). If you do not want to automatically invest in your long term savings (you should), then you could also just transfer this temporarily to a different account.

Buffer savings don’t need to be much. They are just there, to get to a positive cashflow every month. If there is enough buffer savings, this budget can be removed for the time being, and spend on other things.

Which leaves the remaining budget for fun stuff. This fluctuates a bit, because peoples birthdays are not regular, or some other expenditures are not every month. There are two ways to deal with this: use what you have for the month. If it is less, then it is less. Or calculate the average for every month.


Don’t be too hard on yourself, if not every budget is working every time. Life happens. If you spend too much one month, then spend less the next month. Or adjust the respective budgets.

There is a reason you should have a buffer on your main spending account, and under-budget income respectively over-budget expenditures, and have dedicated buffer savings.

At the end of the year, we want to have maximized our goals in term of savings and fun money, while also don’t have to be stressed about paying the bills.

[2] Gnucash