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Fractal Design Core1100 (FD-CA-CORE-1100-BL) Black MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

5 out of 5 eggs I am impressed - this is an excellent little case 03/23/2015

This review is from: Fractal Design Core1100 (FD-CA-CORE-1100-BL) Black MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

Pros: Smart design, modern, excellent for placing next to expensive furniture (I use it for streaming foreign movies in the living room).

Motherboard stand-off holes are cleanly pre-threaded (not all cases have tapped holes).

Intelligent well thought-out design is easy to work with; everything fit properly including the DVD drive.

Tons of extra space for hiding/storing excess wiring from power supply, etc..

No sharp edges, not so much as an ouchie on my baby-soft typist fingers.

Lots and lots of screws, and more screws, and some more.

Cons: Absolutely none, well, okay, one: I want Fractal to make a case with the same front styling that fits a full size ATX motherboard.

Other Thoughts: I installed 2 each 3.5" hard drives vertically while leaving the front fan as-is: there are four screw holes for each hard drive (8 holes total), and eight special screws are included for mounting two hard drives. On the back of hard drives there are four tapped screw holes. Four holes, four screws, four tapped hard drive holes: is that not obvious? Some reviews (on this case and other similar cases too) stated that they were not able to figure-out how to mount a hard drive vertically. Wow. Seriously, any hard drive mounting problems will be the user's, not the case's.

If a person wants to turn the hard drive to have the SATA connections pointing towards the rear, then a new thinner style hard drive will fit on the top vertical mount, but older thicker hard drives will not fit because they hit the front fan, and the bottom hard drive will not align with the holes because of the front fan's thickness. If a person absolutely must have power and data connections pointing towards the rear, then simply use the bracket's two rear holes to run two screws into the hard drive's two forward holes: no brainer. (This isn't an off-road vehicle; two screws will hold a hard drive plenty well.)

This is a sweet little case; I did not find any problems like what the bad reviews claimed.

Yes the metal is not as thick as 90's XT 'car ramp' cases, but still more than sturdy enough to fulfill any sane PC need.

I did not so much as care to look to see if cable management was good or bad. I stuff extra cables into a DVD slot, put a wire-tie on them, and close the case: done. This is a micro case with small dimensions, which ought to be obvious that it does not have a lot of additional space devoted to empty space.

Unless a person has a special need for an old DOS program or live CD or such, the absence of a reset button is rather irrelevant with modern Linux/Windows operating systems. No Atari joystick/paddle connector either! Not even an RJ11 modem jack! Surely running two wires to a reset button would be no more difficult than mounting a hard drive vertically…

Microsoft Office Home & Business 2013 - Download - 1 PC
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

2 out of 5 eggs Another drop of usability in MS Office 02/10/2014

This review is from: Microsoft Office Home & Business 2013 - Download - 1 PC

Pros: This review is for the download version of Office 2013 Home and Business that I have installed for customers and myself.

The programming itself is good, and Office 2013 has some quality features, but the suite is unsuitable for those of us who must use a computer several hours a day in a business setting.

Word has a few small improvements of layout that I personally like, like the opening screen showing recent files, and the lightly expanded thesaurus display (I like change, so I like new layouts). Outlook 2013 (of which I have not yet installed all of my email accounts on for fear of corruption due to possible compatibility problems with the existing Outlook 2010 (I have had far too many similar problems in the past)) seems to function well enough for my limited needs, but when compared side by side with Outlook 2010 on the same PC, I choose 2010 without a second thought.

No matter how bad a Microsoft Office version might be, it is still of a higher quality than all known open source suites, although the margin of quality is rapidly narrowing.

Cons: The skin is simply intolerable for my eyes and personal preferences. I restore-down all apps in Office 2013 to enable a dark desktop 'border', but still the GUI has so little contrast between different commands that I quickly close the app and return to 2010. I like the spartan-like layout, but the eye strain is unacceptable. No software is worth the cost of a person's eyesight.

The speed of Word is noticeably slower than 2010, and 2010 is noticeably slower than 2003. If I were upgrading straight from 2003 to 2013 I would be much more displeased than I already am. Each release of Office appears to be running slower although each version is being installed on a faster PC, and I am progressively becoming concerned that future releases may become fully unusable due to prolonged hesitations within the apps. (Word 2003 running on an old Sempron 2.3ghz cpu is far faster and more responsive than Word 2013 running on an A10 at 4ghz.)

I have been told that the downloaded Office 2013 upgrade might not be capable of being reinstalled even on the same PC. I have not had time to keep-up with all of the recent EULA changes, and perhaps the reinstallation permissions have now been extended, but I am not taking any chances. The Office 2013 installation is useful to me so that I can use it for researching problems in customers' installations of 2013, so I want to keep the current Office 2013 on my test rig and not risk losing it.

Other Thoughts: I continue to find no other business software to be as good as Microsoft's, but Office 2013 is not Microsoft's best for desktop/laptop business users. Office 2003 Professional is very good for businesses and professionals (fast, stable, and easily learned), but Office 2007 was a major downgrade, Office 2010 basically just seemed to correct some of 2007's inappropriate layouts, and Office 2013 is another major plunge downward for usability and appearances. Seven years of new versions being less useful than the previous version is not a good indication.

When recently needing to install an email client on one of my computers I had the choice of Office 2000, 2003, or some 90s editions (all of which I already have on disk), or buy another copy of 2010 or 2013. I was tempted to install 2003 Pro, but I needed something more modern, and since Office 2010's and 2007's prices have gone insane due to the high demand (if the versions can be found at all), I did something that I did not think I would ever do; I installed the Thunderbird email client. If Thunderbird does not meet my needs I will simply make-do with what I have (remote into a different computer just to use the Outlook) and accept the fact that new usable software that can be transferred to different computers if necessary may not again be available for years, if ever. At this point, even if Microsoft corrects the skin in Office 2013 I will still likely not buy a copy. For me, Office 2010 may be the last Microsoft Office I ever buy.

A lot of us are growing increasingly more concerned that Microsoft is distancing itself from business customers, and if so, then what future options do we have beyond Linux and open source? I am a big fan of Microsoft, but the last eight major pieces of software installed on my primary computer were from Microsoft's competitors, and I have not purchased any Microsoft software for my own use since Windows 8 was released (I received my upgrade download of Office 2013 for free); not a good sign.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A85X-D3H FM2 AMD A85X (Hudson D4) 8 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Three video outputs, full-sized ATX, able to run two full-sized PCIE cards, very reasonable price, and I like the black color.

Cons: The first one that I received apparently had an intermittent problem of shutting off by itself, but the replacement MB is working fine.

Other Thoughts: This model has been discontinued, but if the new model is similar to this one then it ought to be pretty good.

I chose this one for its many features, primarily those of my being able to run three monitors with an AMD A10 without the need for graphics cards, and its ability to be expanded with more cards if/when I want more monitors.


Larry G.'s Profile

Display Name: Larry G.

Date Joined: 11/02/11

  • Reviews: 11
  • Helpfulness: 7
  • First Review: 11/23/12
  • Last Review: 03/23/15
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