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HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401DNE 35PPM 1200dpi 256MB Duplex USB Ethernet Mono Laser Printer
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs SmartInstall is kind of Dumb 07/15/2014

This review is from: HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401DNE 35PPM 1200dpi 256MB Duplex USB Ethernet Mono Laser Printer

Pros: Fast print time, easy network set up, duplexer, etc. It's a printer, it does what it's suppose to.

Cons: SmartInstall.
I've deployed several of these printers over the past few years, and always used the network since they were all used by a group of people.
Upon deploying one for a single user, I opted to use the USB connection as there was no additional network port and it seemed silly to buy a hub for one extra device. However, that would have been the easier path.

The stock installer has some sort of setting up period referred to as the "Smart Installer" in which the printer does not present itself to the computer as a typical printer where you can specify drivers and the like. It continuously failed at 99% (Win7x64Pro) stating that the installation had taken too long. An observation with which I wholeheartedly agree, as this was several tens of minutes after the initiation of the whole process.

I eventually discovered that using HPs Universal Driver system allowed me to install it in a more traditional manner, but the whole experience left me disheartened.

Other Thoughts: For what it does, it's a great device. Just be aware there are some oddities with USB installation that I wouldn't expect to see with a network deployment. Clearly this must work correctly for someone, else they wouldn't continue to distribute the software as such (at least one would hope that to be the case).

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Mini USB DVB-T RTL-SDR Realtek RTL2832U & R820T Tuner Receiver Dongle MCX Input
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Small footprint, RTL-SDR compatible.

Got this up and running with the RTL-SDR drivers on an Ubuntu machine within minutes. Stock antenna was sufficient for receiving and decoding 900Mhz ISM messages from nearby smart power meters with appropriate third-party software. Worked great for local police/ambulance frequencies as well.

Cons: Wish it had a F-style connector or BNC, or anything other than MCX. Obviously this is a known issue from the product description.

It ships from China. Yes, it really does take several weeks to show up.

Other Thoughts: Software modifications look promising for receiving 0-40Mhz range, which includes AM radio, shortwave, and ELF signals. Stick a microwave dish LNB on the front end of this and start receiving down-converted 2.4 Ghz signals or higher.

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Ubiquiti Aircam H.264 1Megapixel/720P Indoor/Outdoor PoE IP Camera
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Staggering toward greatness 02/20/2014

This review is from: Ubiquiti Aircam H.264 1Megapixel/720P Indoor/Outdoor PoE IP Camera

Pros: Excellent quality video. Low bandwidth utilization. Disruptively priced. Attractive design. Quickly deployable. Included POE injector.

I torture tested one of these cameras in Winter Storm Pax. It survived being over 80% buried on the ground by freezing rain and sleet, and then the resulting melt deluge of a nearby storm drain. It never stopped running.

Several of the cons listed in earlier reviews of this camera have since been rectified by newer releases of the firmware of these cameras, as well as the NVR software. The biggest concern was the amount of CPU utilization for motion detection. The cameras themselves now do the detection, taking the burden off the master computer.
Receiving multiple zone detection on 3 cameras, at 720p has kept my test system at 10% CPU utilization running on a venerable Phenom 9850 (released in 2008, and perhaps a third as powerful as it's contemporary equivalent, the FX-8320).

The folder for storing videos can now be reassigned in the current release of the software. While it still does not natively support selecting multiple destinations, this would be fairly easily remedied by mounting a separate multiple disk raid array as an NTFS mounted folder. (You ARE keeping your valuable recordings on a fault-tolerant array anyway, right?).

Once the NVR software it setup, you can tell it to automatically adopt any cameras which are then plugged into the network at a later date. This made deploying new cameras as difficult as plugging them in.

Cons: No internal IR illumination. Triangular shape means you cannot set the camera down on a flat surface. I suppose you could set it upside down, forgo the sun-shield, then flip the image 180 in the software, but that seems a little silly. Just give me a small foot on the front and back of the camera to make it stable when un-mounted.

Other Thoughts: I'm having a harder and harder time justifying buying analog camera systems.

Three cameras recording 24/7 with motion detection gives me a just over a week of video takes up roughly 465Gb. The third camera was added in the middle of that time span. NVR software reports a total incoming bandwidth of roughly 1048 KBps receiving 720p from three cameras. I expect that number should scale linearly.

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Matthew N.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthew N.

Date Joined: 09/18/06

  • Reviews: 9
  • Helpfulness: 3
  • First Review: 07/28/09
  • Last Review: 07/15/14
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