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TP-LINK TL-PA8010P KIT HomePlug AV2 MIMO AV1200 Gigabit Pass-through Powerline Starter Kit, up to 1200Mbps
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: As fast as wired
Simple physical installation
Simple pysical connection

Cons: PITA software (required if you want more than defaults)
Passwords on devices themselves
Limited usefulness

Other Thoughts: Remember that these only work on the same electrical circuit - if your breaker won't turn off all the outlets you want to use, the PowerLine network won't work. For me this limited its use to the outlet opposite of my router, just three meters away.

The increased latency by using the powerline is offset by having the same upload/download speeds I have on my wired desktop.

I used the software to ensure I had the network setup correctly - it's now uninstalled as I'm not using the PowerLine network anymore. You will HAVE to install WinPcap to use the software. All I could find is that it's a service that monitors network packets. Even the vendor of this service (it becomes a service in Windows) doesn't directly (or indirectly) tell us what it's for. I have a firewall and router to monitor and direct packet data - I don't need a fourth/fifth-party doing that for me. Other notes on the software are that you MUST enter the existing password for a 'remote' device to change it. The only way to do this is to plug the device in to see the device. So that leaves you having to write down the password. It wasn't worth the hassle for me.

If you need the full speed of your network and willing to keep them all on once cicuit, this device will do. If you're looking to extend your network access across floors or rooms, this likely won't work.

G.SKILL RIPJAWS SR910 Real 7.1 Surround Sound USB Gaming Headset
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Best Headset Ever! 09/27/2015

This review is from: G.SKILL RIPJAWS SR910 Real 7.1 Surround Sound USB Gaming Headset

Pros: Packaging:
Professional, easy to remove and unpack (other than one twist-tie that I had to rip off via pliers), and secure. Removing the control box took effort - a GOOD thing.

I normally wear earbuds with my phone, and have only been able to use headphones for a short time before I would get a headache or feel raw where the cups sit. Not with these. Two straight hours exploring the Ishimura or chasing Saren/Reapers and I barely notice them. The cups themselves rotate slightly within the housing frame, increasing comfort for those with "non-standard" heads (like me).

Crisp (when using noise-cancelling feature) and retractable, without the boom most others have. The physical design is very chic.

Configuration (this will be both a Pro and a Con):
Easy to do if you're a gamer or audiophile - if not, well... it might be a bit much for you. The options are plenty, and you can even change the distance for EACH speaker (to a point). The default Gaming profile is great (but not perfect) and the Music profile is excellent. Each Environment Profile is realistic and provides only the distortion for that environment (absolutely no echos for Plains, hardware driven precise echo/reverb for Garage and Quarry).

Ease of Use:
Rather than setting your speakers to a set volume and using keyboard or on-screen controls, set your system volume and use the dial. There IS a sticking point between 4-5/5-6 where the volume will jump, but I've only experienced it when going from YouTube to games.

I'm coming from just a normal 2-Channel audio experience, and I can tell the difference. My locating a sound's origin in games is MUCH better now, the few movies I've watched are MUCH more detailed than i originally thought, and music is both sharper and richer (because of the digital interface rather than analogue).

Cons: Frame:
I have no idea how to implement such a modification, but it would be nice to have the top comfort band be adjustable. What makes me remember I'm wearing a headset is the extra 3cm of space between the pads on my head and the top of the headset's frame. NOT a dealbreaker.

Because it's always connected, the microphone stays on - even if you de-illuminate the microphone on the control box. You need to disable the mic in the Vendor-Only control software. Considering I'm using Win10, I'll take the program. Also, the rotating speakers is misleading - you can rotate the ENTIRE SET you're configured to, but not the individual speakers. Each speaker can be moved "closer" or "further" from you, but each set only goes in one direction. Then again, if you had an external speaker set you'd just rotate each speaker so all of them are facing you.

I don't mind the red LEDs on the sides and control box. It's actually nice as it lets me know they're plugged in and working. I'd just like the "Standard" issue to have a basic Red/Green/Blue option built in. Not a complex set like "256 colorspace" or "Fully Customizable 16M color combinations!"

Other Thoughts: Notice how I haven't knocked any eggs for the Cons. The Cons are not a dealbreaker nor something that most users can't work around.

Basic resolutions to common issues with this Headset:

The issue with the LEDs remaining on is Standby Power. If you can charge your phone/tablet/music player with your computer turned off, the LEDs will stay on. My first computer required a pair of dip-switches to do this, but most computers now have this as standard (all 4 computers in the house now provide Standby Power). If you unplug them, just remember to plug them into the same port or Windows (if that's your OS) will COMPLETELY REINSTALL the headset.

It took me three tries to figure out that the poor sound quality and having the headset just not work was my fault - I had them plugged into a port on a card reader/eSATA/3xUSB hub. DON'T DO THIS! Use a dedicated port either in the back or the front/top. Lucky for me I can use the back - I have a 14' extension cable. Constant use & I don't have to worry about the LEDs.

If you're experiencing an echo or distortion, make sure the system hasn't re-enabled the microphone. Just tap the side of the mic or snap your fingers near it - if it got turned back on, you'll hear it (one time I heard my phone ringing as an echo). Windows did this to me THREE TIMES before I figured out what was happening. Of course I also use a fan rather than A/C as much as possible, and some of the buffeting noise I hear is air pushing past the frame-cup joint. Disable the Mic from the G.Skill control panel - this sidesteps Windows (oddly).

Until something better comes out, this is the ONLY computer headset I'll ever recommend anyone buy. Now if I only had a way to test them on a Console or mobile device...

WD Blue SSHD 4TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD40E31X
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Standard size
Visible to Legacy BIOS (non-UEFI)
No tweaks needed for Windows or Ubuntu to use
Runs fairly cool
No stutter file transferring (conditional)

Cons: Still mechanical
Roughly half the speed of first-gen SSDs at load (single operation)
Binary capacity advertised - 4TB = 3.63TB when formatted exFAT

Other Thoughts: The drive was able to achieve almost 93MB/s when copying files from the drive it was replacing (WD Green - WD20EARS), but only for about 75 seconds. Then it maintained roughly 64~72MB/s.

Maybe with a UEFI BIOS (the kind in modern mainboards, where you can use your mouse and flash from within it) this could be a boot drive, but not with legacy. I even left just a single 640GB partition and moved it to the front of the drive, but Windows 10 wouldn't 'see' it as a potential install location (and yes, I spent about 4 hours changing it from a GPT disc to an MBR disc).

The hybrid drive IS an excellent concept, but I'm not seeing much of an improvement - partly because I can't use it as a system drive, I am seeing a MASSIVE improvement in loading games I have installed on it. Mass Effect loaded everything within 5 seconds, Start-menu, menu-to-save. The 8GB of SSD cache helps there, as playing for several hours a day has 'trained' it to load that data. Mass Effect 2 is a different story, but we can agree that ME1 to ME2 is, well, not describable in approved terms.

Excellent price, above average performance for a mechanical hard drive, and so far plenty of capacity for my current needs. For the time being though, I can only recommend this as a storage drive or a secondary to supplement a lower-capacity SSD.


Joshua m.'s Profile

Display Name: Joshua m.

Date Joined: 10/18/07

  • Reviews: 49
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 11/25/08
  • Last Review: 10/29/15
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