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Winegard FlatWave HDTV Indoor Antenna w/ Built-In Amplifier for Crystal Clear Picture
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Gets an amazingly good signal in suburbia. Easy to hook up.

Cons: It's not invisible.

Other Thoughts: I read some online reviews on another site that said this was the best amplified indoor TV antenna available, but even so, the reviewers cautioned that local conditions make it hard to predict if a particular antenna will work for you.

I am about 20 miles from the local TV stations, out in suburbia, with a pretty clear view of the transmitter towers. I have been using an amplified indoor antenna of the rabbit ear variety that has been very inadequate, especially since we discontinued our cable TV service.

I hooked up the Wineguard antenna and had great pictures on a very large number of stations immediately. I found that the location and orientation of the antenna did not make nearly as much difference as you would expect. Since the physical antenna is nothing exotic, I conclude that the amplifier must be the providing most of the magic. In any case this is a great alternative to cable if you don't need the premium channels.

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ORICO PHP-35-OR 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Well made hard drive cases 02/09/2014

This review is from: ORICO PHP-35-OR 3.5" Hard Disk Drive Protection / Storage Case (Orange)

Pros: Good workmanship, easy to open and close, they stack very securely.

Cons: Not sure how much impact protection you get with these. I did not drop one to see if the enclosed drive would survive. I don't think that is really the mission of these cases.

Other Thoughts: Handy for folks who have several backup hard drives sitting around.

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BUFFALO DriveStation 2TB USB 3.0 External Desktop Hard Drive HD-LC2.0U3
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Best external drive yet 02/08/2014

This review is from: BUFFALO DriveStation 2TB USB 3.0 External Desktop Hard Drive HD-LC2.0U3

Pros: Quiet, cool, fast!! Technology marches on!

Has cooling vents on four sides so you can place it flat or vertically on your desk. Even during a long backup it barely gets warm to the touch. You can feel a little vibration through the case, but the noise is inaudible over the sound of my computer fans. Comes with a 40 inch (1 meter) USB cable and a small power supply with a 56 inch cable. Nice lengths for most users, I'd say. There is a small green power LED that also dims and brightens to indicate disk access.

I let Windows 7 run a full check on this disk before I used it. It took about 3 hours. No bad sectors reported.

I can see this drive being ideal for say, a photographer who runs Lighroom/Photoshop/Aperture on their laptop and wants to have a fast external drive to hold his/her image database. It comes with software that uses some of the computer RAM as a cache to speed up drive access, which would be ideal when editing photos. There is also a backup utility, a power manager that powers down the drive after a chosen time, an encryption program and a disk formatter.

I chose not to install any of the software, but if you get one of these drives, I suggest you check out the software and see what might meet your needs.

It came in a rather large retail box that should stand up to shipping pretty well.

Cons: If you need a compact portable drive, the 3.5 inch form factor may not be convenient for you.

Not really a con, but there is no way to really quantify how much abuse any hard drive will take. I always treat them with care.

Other Thoughts: I've gone through several external USB drives over the last few years because I'm the principal photographer for BeyondBoudoirPhoto and I have to make multiple backups of my hard drives that store images for clients. The 2 TB size works best for my Lightroom catalog and I have several drives in this size. Up until now I've not been impressed with the performance of USB drives, even the USB 3 drives have been slow compared to internal SATA drives and the USB 3 circuitry sometimes has issues. The last 3.5 inch external drive I bought was so bad that I broke it out of its USB 3 housing and used it as an internal drive! It still wasn't fast, but at least it worked then.

One reason these drives tend to be slow is that they use low-speed motors to reduce energy consumption and heat. This new drive from the Buffalo folks uses a 5400 RPM drive inside, so I was not expecting much. Imagine my surprise when it outperformed my recently purchased 7200 RPM SATA3 internal drives! I use a backup program called Casper to do incremental backups and it gives me a speed number in the backup report. Here are three examples I noted today:

2.5 inch 2 TB USB 3 passport drive: 117 MB/sec
3.5 inch 2 TB SATA 3 internal drive: 181 MB/sec
3.5 inch 2TB USB 3 Buffalo drive: 203 MB/sec

I really don't know how they made this drive that fast, but I'm not going to complain!

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michael b.'s Profile

Display Name: michael b.

Date Joined: 04/14/07

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 68
  • Helpfulness: 33
  • First Review: 12/12/07
  • Last Review: 02/28/14
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