Joined on 12/01/08
Need a little reconditioning
Pros: Cheap and with a little work, reasonably fast.
Cons: Got four and was about to send them all back for their totally inconsistent performance. Had some that were doing as badly as 35 Mb/s sustained read. All the drives had very spiky write times in sustained testing. Most varied from about 40Mb/s to 160 with an average around 60. Wrote 1s (the null in SSDs) across the entire disk and tested again. Came back with solid ~160Mb/s reads for all but the smallest test block size and the write speeds were still a bit spiky but were averaging 125. One disk was still failing integrity tests with Drive Genius though so it is getting sent back. Using these in terminals around the office with no local files stored so I don't really care if they eat it otherwise the price difference wouldn't be enough to make them worth the potential data loss.
Pros: Fairly easy instal and it mostly does what it says. Low cpu overhead.
Cons: The software interface needs work but is livable. Connecting to the host computer from another requires you to use IE and have activex set to run unsigned code without prompting you which is insane. I'd fire a software engineer that even suggested such an approach so you have to wonder what the design team was thinking.
Overall Review: Running 8 cameras at 30 fps on the max settings chews up about 100 Gb a day so a 2TB disk will get you two weeks and change of recording before it starts recycling. The disk the video files will be stored on should either be a different disk then the boot disk or at least a different partition otherwise the DVR will completely fill the boot disk and windows will start pushing up daisies.
Pros: Well made case for the most part. Tolerances are good and the materials seem decent, switches seem solid and there are not many rough edges on the inside. Overall it is a pretty elegant design from the outside.
Cons: Power supply died after about a week. Usually RMA through newegg is easy and with shoprunner free but the return shipping was around $26 :/ I've worked with plenty of smaller cases and they usually aren't bad to assemble. This one sticks the optical bay in line with the 24 pin power cable, RAM and cpu on an ATX board which means that there are an awful lot of wires in one little area and right next to the cpu fan which is about the last place you want such a CF.
Overall Review: If you aren't going to bother with an optical drive than it is a great case (aside from the PSU but that may be a fluke). The bracket for the optical bay and floppy bay (?) unscrew and can be tossed aside to leave plenty of room.
Pros: Decently made hardware. Feels fairly solid accept for the flimsy paper catch tray.
Cons: The epson software is junk. The interface is terrible and the codecs used for pdf generation produce huge file sizes relative to other programs (3 pages greyscale at 300dpi comes to 1.8Mb). The interface for naming files before scanning is buried deep enough to make its use totally impractical. Came with a gimped copy of Paperport 11 (v14 is current) which locks out Letter paper sizes if any of the settings are changed from the defaults. Forces you to scan in A5... Also suffers from huge file sizes. Played with the current version ($99) which with the default greyscale at 300dpi pops out the same 3 page file at 129kb but also bricks to A5 if you change from the defaults. Scanning anything at resolutions higher than 300 and this thing makes horrid screeching noises. Tech support staff are vapid but at least they spoke english and had no wait lol.
Overall Review: Perhaps we got spoiled with the Canon M-160 scanners. They are fast and come with a very simple interface that the drones aren't confused by. Too bad they are a grand each... Played with Paperport, FineReader, VueScan and Scanitto; the concept that scanning a multipage document to pdf and renaming it easily is the core use of a document scanner seems lost on most of them. Million useless features an none of them just get out of the way long enough to just work efficiently on the core stuff.
Pros: Cheap and fast when they work.
Cons: Got three and one was toast within two weeks.
Overall Review: I'm in an office where nobody has local files on their computer and dealing with a corrupted hard drive is a simple matter of imagining a new drive off an archive and putting it in the new machine. These were $50 each when I got them and the discount for the four is probably worth more than my time to deal with a failure and the RMA but I probably wont get more in the future. Got enough to deal with as is.