Front-end web developer from the UK, currently at The Outlook Creative Group.
Podcasting weekly at munchtech.tv.

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Ferocious attack animal*

*kidding, she’s scared of literally everything


Building a Tom DeLonge Fender Stratocaster – Part 1: Introduction and parts

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a huge blink-182/AVA/BCR/+44 fan and I seemingly can’t get through a single 24 hour period without playing a song by the aforementioned. So ever since I started to learn the guitar, it feels like the natural progression is to build a Tom DeLonge signature Fender Stratocaster, right? Well, that’s the plan! I currently own one of his Epiphone ES-333 signature editions and a slightly modified Squier Bullet Strat (I’ve switched out some of the electronics in it) – so I’m itching to add to the collection!

Having watched a number of videos (probably more than I’d care to admit) online about his Strats, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s definitely not one for the Fender purists. It ditches the famous 3 single coil pickups that give the Strat that iconic tone and replaces them with a single humbucker at the bridge. It also ditches the 2 tone knobs and 1 volume knob for just a single control. I love the sound it makes, it’s a really simple tone that doesn’t have much versatility (it’s a single humbucker with one control after all) and it screams of that early 00’s pop-punk guitar tone, which is exactly what I’m after.

The build…

I’ve spent a little bit of time looking for an original but they’re just so expensive (similar story with the Gibson version of the Epiphone), so I thought why not build one! I’ve already started to compile a rough parts list which I’l go over below. I’m planning to document as much of the process as I can but I’m by no means an expert, so there will be a little bit of trial and error involved. I’m not going exactly like-for-like but I’m trying to get as close as I can.

The Parts

There are a few things that have made life easier in figuring out which parts were used on the originals. The first being the fact Fender have a service document available in PDF form right on their website, secondly “LittleRedGuitars2” on YouTube has also done some incredible builds over the years (he also does epic Blink covers and original work too) and lastly Tom sold off a lof of his older gear a few years ago which means we a) got some decent pictures of everything and b) some of the purchasers have figured a few more things out, all really useful!

I can’t stress enough that this list is still a work in progress and that some things like the body and neck are UK specific.

After that, it’s just the little things such as the actual potentiometers, the control knob, output jack, paint etc.

Talking of paint, which colour will it be?! This is a tough one, I’m torn between pretty much all of the colours. I know there were the 4 colours you could buy it in originally, and I’m pretty sure he had an off white version and he used a brown one in BCR at some point as well.

The colour options are:

  1. Daphine Blue
  2. Black
  3. Surf Green
  4. Graffiti Yellow

The current front runner is “Surf Green” (pictured below).

To be continued…

Update 23-03-2019: I’ve gone ahead and started purchasing the parts (slowly ticking them off above). I’ve also decided to get a block of Alder wood for the body and cut my own with some templates, so here goes!


Link: Why We Have Failed As YouTubers

Fantastic little insight into the current state of YouTube from the guys over at Mighty Car Mods.

So much of the YouTube community is just focused on the numbers, they seem to forget there are a good number of content creators who just want to create fantastic content.

So thanks for your handy YouTube advice. Maybe you’re right and we have failed as YouTubers. I’m sure we could make more money by making daily click bait VLOG videos that are cheap and trash, but seems you’ve got that area covered already so we’ll leave you to it.

Full post here

If you’re remotely into cars, I highly recommend you watch “Turbos & Temples 2“.


Favourite albums of 2018

With 2019 just a day away I thought I’d round up my favourite albums of 2018!

1. Skinny Dipping – Stand Atlantic

Their debut album this year ended up being an absolute cracker! From start to finish it’s a fantastic listen and I can’t wait to go see them live in April.

Spotify

 

2. Is This Thing Cursed? – Alkaline Trio

Yet more proof that Matt Skiba’s talents were wasted on the last blink album…

Spotify

 


3. Love Monster – Amy Shark

A bit of a departure from the other two (although Mark Hoppus does feature on one of the songs 🤷‍♀️) but another great album from Australia!

Spotify

 

Good Charlottes ‘Generation Rx‘ gets an honourable mention, it’s a pretty great album albeit with only 9 songs.

2019 should be another good year for music with the upcoming blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves albums.


“On Switching from an iPad Pro and a Macbook to a Pixelbook”

Came across this fascinating blog post from Fraser Speirs who is a recently promoted head teacher at a school in the States, Fraser is making the Switch from Apple to the Chromebook (specifically, the Pixelbook) and he lays out some of the reasons why. I’ve highlighted some of my favourite points below, but I highly recommend you check out the full article here.

…although I could make a strong case that every change made to multitasking in iOS 11 worsened the experience in every way.

Bingo! I 100% agree with him here. This way of thinking seems to go completely against the usual grain if thinking in the tech/iPad user community, most people welcomed the changes made in iOS 11/12 with open arms and whilst yes, it was a step in the right direction, it definitely made a lot of stuff more difficult for me. For example, to open an app in split screen you’d simply have to select it from a list of all apps (this did need to be improved, the list made a terrible use of space) but now (and someone please correct me if I’m doing it wrong) you seem to only be able to choose from an app in the dock which is a pain in the ass!

It seems that as laptops get more tablet-y, tablets are getting more like laptops

Another spot on quote, and it was highlighted so much with this years iPads Pros. The prices are now competing with laptops (I.e. going the wrong way) and we are adding these hideous keyboard cases, basically making them a touchscreen laptop.

One other thing that hurts to say but I believe is true is this: ChromeOS is getting better faster than iOS on iPad.

I think this is an observation even the biggest Apple fans have been making recently. Apples schedule is all over the shop at the moment, not that they’ve ever been predicable, but we are now left guessing year-to-year whether we are going to get a new Mac mini or a new MacBook etc.

I think 2019 will be a very interesting year for software on the iPad, it’s like Apple has laid the groundwork with the Pro hardware in 2018 and the only thing holding it back now is iOS, which still feels like a larger version of the iPhone software.


#NowPlaying Coffee Talk with David Kennedy

For anyone who knows me, it’s no secret how much of a Blink/Box Car Racer/Angels & Airwaves etc. fan I am, so you can imagine how excited I was to learn that Angels & Airwaves were working on new stuff this year!

I came across a link to this interview with David Kennedy on Twitter this week and it has some absolutely fascinating content, especially if you like coffee and music!

Direct link


Happy 20th Birthday iMac!

Yesterday, the iMac turned 20 and we thought we’d dig out some of our collection and boot them up for the first time in a while.

From left to right: iMac G3 Ruby DV+, 2013 27″ iMac, iMac G4, 17″ iMac Intel Core 2 Duo.


The Two Techies 411: Information Required

A little late this week but a new episode of ‘The Two Techies’s is out! We talk about online tracking being brought into the real world, Dropbox and it’s IPO along with some more Snapchat talk!

Geo-privacy with your smartphone, Dropbox officially files for IPO and the iPhone SE 2 could create further fragmentation.

munchtech.tv/two-techies-411-information-required


Blink-182: A Letter To Elise

A song (cover) I basically have on repeat at the moment (starts around 40 seconds in).


The new Snapchat

The new version of Snapchat sucks. There, I said it. Now you probably haven’t been able to visit any tech news site in the past few weeks without seeing something about the new version of Snapchat, but I’ve been wondering what all the fuss was about, and this week I was graced with the presence of the new update!

I wasn’t an avid user of Snapchat before, a few snaps here and there directly between friends and I would occasionly scroll through the stories feed but oh boy does the new update ruin all of that. Upon first open I was definitely a bit taken aback by how little had changed (upon initial impression) but the more and more I’ve used it over the past week, the more and more I’ve realised how much less content I’ve been watching. I still use it for sending Snaps directly to friends but I don’t think I’ve watched a single story since! I still don’t understand why some stories are on the left and some are on the right?

Despite peoples best efforts, the update is more than likely here to stay.

/rant


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