Date Joined: 08/09/04
Pros: Proven reliability
Cons: They don't make them all this good
Overall Review: So probably in my life I've owned at least 200 hard drives and worked as a sysadmin in enough places and for long enough to bring the total up close to 2,000 drives. I probably have 30 of these bad boys and most last at least 5 years but I've had some for 7 or 8 years running continuously. When it's 2019 and I pull a drive out and I see a manufacture date of 2011 I just laugh and smile and think what magic dust did they put into these drives?
Pros: This drive lasted a lot longer than I expected based on what I used it for.
Overall Review: So back in the day I was running a large server with many cheap virtual machines on it. Because customers liked to buy the lowest amount of RAM, it meant that they would start using swap memory and we'd have disk contention issues. So I popped this drive in the server and moved everyone's swap space over and it fixed the disk contention problems, while giving people reasonably fast swap. I thought that I'd end up running the drive down quickly but the disk ended up lasting a few years until I retired that server and as far as I know the disk still works.
Pros: Worked well when it did.
Cons: One of the sticks failed after 15 months.
Overall Review: About 15 months into ownership, one of the sticks started having bit errors which caused crashes randomly in Linux. I ran a memory tester and found that indeed one of them had errors. I have bought patriot memory before and since and haven't had trouble with them until now. Maybe this will be the only time. One can hope.
Cons: This phone is not really a VoIP phone that uses the SIP protocol, so you won't be able to hook it up to something like an Asterisk system.
Pros: *Worked right out of the box in Ubuntu, not sure about other distros, but probably has good support all around.
*Price has come down 50%!!!
*Speed and responsiveness are good
*PCI-Express so it'll be usable for a while to come.
Cons: Has 3 antennas. Is that really necessary? Not a big deal though since its for desktop computers.
Overall Review: For a long time it has been difficult to find a PCI wireless adapter that works in Linux. There has been a trend recently towards these USB wireless adapters, but they all seem to require the ndiswrapper nonesense and a bunch of tweaking. Too much effort honestly, and despite what you might htink about me using Ubuntu, I'm actually a hardcore Linux user (since 1997) saying that.
Pros: Choice of colors.
Cons: Its really hard to see those cool lights when they are on your ears.
Overall Review: So is this World of Warcraft some new game or something? I haven't heard of it.
Pros: Great picture and sound. Works well. The interface is straightforward and I haven't found anything I don't like about it. I REALLY like the online features and have ended up using Netflix over the player more than watching actual bluray movies. The quality is adjusted to your connection speed. When I bought the player we had 768kb down DSL and it took a lot more buffering time and used a lower quality feed. But now we have 20Mbit down fiber and it always uses the highest quality available. The quality of youtube videos is amazing. I think it actually looks better on this device than it does on a computer, which is strange. I thought that the video search might be difficult since there is no keypad, but fortunately the auto-complete works pretty well.
The standard def DVD upconversion also works well too. I've found myself going back to old DVDs I've had to watch them again.
Cons: Maybe I'm doing something wrong but it would be nice if when switching away from a bluray you are in the middle of to one of the other apps like netflix or youtube that you could switch back to the bluray without it losing your place.
There isn't a way to eject the disc from the front of the player.
Overall Review: This is my first blu-ray player. I bought this because I didn't want to mess with the DRM part of a blu-ray player on a HTPC, especially since my HTPC runs Linux. Its possible to do on Linux, but from what I've heard its a pain due to all the licensing. I bought an HTPC in order to do some more computery things like watch online videos, but have found that this player is more convenient for YT and NF at least. I wonder if later firmware upgrades may add more apps like Pandora or Hulu, which would be nice.
Now all I need is a receiver that handles HDMI.
Pros: Great performance, generally runs cool. Runs great in Linux.
Cons: After about a year I've started to have issues sometimes with the fan brushing against the frame. Also, I needed to download the windows drivers from the website because I didn't have the CD-ROM with me once and it was annoying that you had to go through registration in order to download the driver.
Overall Review: The metal bar at the top of this card makes it almost impossible to install in some screwless cases that have non-screw bracing devices for the cards.
Pros: Nice design, allows you to get into the case easily. 4 bays SHOULD allow for possibilities. The device offers lots of options for accessing the array through various protocols.
Cons: This really is the Achilles heel. Believe it or not but according to Thecus' own tech support, this NAS doesn't support more than one disk array. Can you believe that? I bought this hoping that I'd be able to setup 1 RAID-1 array and then another single disk array using JBOD mode for an offline backup. Nope, no way to do this unless you could get into the embedded OS on the device.
When I called tech support, they immediately knew about that limitation and said that its because the device only has a 500MHz processor in it. This answer doesn't make any sense. First of all I've run servers since the 90s and I've had servers with multiple RAID-1 arrays that were running on Pentium 1 - 133Mhz processors. The second problem with this answer is that he suggested I use RAID-5. RAID-5 is much more processor intensive than having a RAID-1 array and an extra disk. They said that their higher end models support multiple arrays so its obviously a marketing mistake to get you to upgrade
Overall Review: Thecus' tech support is horrible. I submitted a ticket through their website about a month ago and updated it two times after that and never received a response. When I called them tonight I received excuses about how their systems are separate or something like that. I don't care, I just want help.
The price/form factor for this NAS is what we needed because I needed someone to take this box on a plane overseas where it will be put in place for a special application. Carrying a big case was out of the question, but after running into stupid problems like this, it probably does just make more sense to buy a full PC and ship it internationally.
Do yourself a favor, if you need to do anything professional with a NAS, stay away from this company.
Pros: Works great, no reliability problems
Cons: Too much confusion in the marketplace over raid class hard drives
Overall Review: We have something like 12 of this specific model of drive in various systems. All of them are in RAID arrays. All of them work fine. 4 of them are in a RAID-5 array hooked up to a 3ware 9650SE-8LPML w/ BBU and have been working fine for about a year now. This system is our backup server and gets hammered pretty well each night. No drive failures or major performance issues as of yet.
I have a lot of experience with hard drives, RAID arrays and have had my share of that fail. I think that the so called RAID class hard drives are a rip off. I've actually bought RAID class hard drives before that failed rather quickly. And I've had plenty of non-raid class hard drives that have lasted for well over a year in a RAID array. So I'm not sure what all the fuss is about, it seems more like a way for companies to make extra money for just a little extra performance. What I don't like is that companies like 3ware or whoever leave non-raid class hard drives off their supported lists.
Pros: Good processor
Cons: Requires reading the description in order to buy the right thing.
Overall Review: To the intelligent person who complained about not knowing that the CPU was passive cooling. You can read under the specifications for this device that it says "Cooling Device Heatsink included" and for the other processor with active cooling it says "Cooling Device Heatsink and Fan included". That should be a dead giveaway. Also, Intel product numbers for their CPUs either have an A or a P at the end of them which stand for Active or Passive cooling.
You can buy anything you want on Newegg, including enough rope to hang yourself, but you should read the description first to make sure you've bought the right rope.
Pros: No idea
Cons: No idea
Overall Review: What is this device. Is it a USB hub, is it a network hub? Is it some hybrid of both that allows you to share USB devices over a network? Upon first looking at it, it seems like the stupidest device imaginable, but then it says things like supports vfat and ext3 (Linux) and Unicode. Might be something unique and useful. Especially if it costs as much as it does.
Pros: Cheap switch with rudimentary VLAN and SNMP support.
Cons: SNMP is very slow. It takes a couple minutes to walk the whole MIB of the switch. I've used SNMP on many other switches and hosts and this is the slowest I've ever seen. I also have a Netgear FSM7352S and SNMP on that is fine. But if I need to walk the interface part of the tree, it takes at least 10 seconds, which is not acceptable for any programs that show bandwidth usage in real time.
Overall Review: I'm not doing anything special with this switch right now so the CPU on it can't be that overloaded. The times I gave above are for a switch with only a few hosts plugged in and passing very little traffic. If you need fast SNMP support, I'd look into Netgear's managed switches.
Pros: I bought this card to replace an eVGA card I had that blew out its capacitors. This card works great under Ubuntu Linux and I was able to turn several of the games I have there up to max settings with no perceivable slow down. I also bought it to try the bathroom demo for Blender and it worked great for that too. The price of this card for its performance are fantastic.
Cons: Having to plug in more and more power receptors into video cards that are already plugged into the motherboard is kinda annoying. I know this isn't a problem with just this card, its more of an industry mentality.
Overall Review: Great, now I have a reason for resubscribing to WoW to test this baby out. Thanks a lot XFX.
Pros: Its pretty and it has a brand name on it.
Cons: Total waste of money. If you buy this cable you are over paying for an DVI to HDMI cable by 300% or more. Belkin and other companies know this and are trying to make out on this cash cow because of consumer fears that a cheap cable will not transmit a quality signal. The thing is, as long as the cable doesn't break, you'll be fine. You don't have the same signal quality issues that you do with analogue signals.
I work in a network operations center where I set up 4 37" LCD TVs hooked up for network monitoring. We've used $30 no-brand cables for 1.5 years now without any issues and the signal quality is just fine. Its the same as how you won't be able to find high end USB and Ethernet cables.
So this is a warning to all consumers to not waste money on these expensive digital cables. Use the money to buy that better TV or video card.
Pros: This is a nice VoIP phone for the price, full of features, the quality is good.
Cons: I wish that the volume on the speakerphone and the handset could go higher. I've found myself on speakerphone with the volume up to the max and still having trouble hearing the other party.
Overall Review: Anyone who wonders about the power supply not being included probably doesn't understand what this specific model is targets. It is meant for larger companies that have Power Over Ethernet switches. Most people don't have this and I think POE is a waste of money anyways. If you want a phone that comes with a power adapter, look into the Linksys SPA941. Its the same phone, but without POE support, and it includes the power adapter.
Pros: Looks neat. The drive case material seems sturdy.
Cons: On the first day that I tried to use this drive, it started having IO errors. I tried the drive on 3 different computers with the same results. Since this was going to be a removable backup drive, this is not something that can tolerated.
The base, while it might look cool, feels a bit too flimsy for what I wanted to use the drive for. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who was going to move it around a lot.
Overall Review: I'm getting tired of hard drive errors. The hard drive manufacturers really need to stop jerking us around at our own expense. I'm the sysadmin for a web hosting company and have had way to many hard drive failures from reliable brands after only weeks or months of operation recently. And these were supposed to be high quality drives. It really wastes time and money for everyone. I think they aren't using enough quality control.
Pros: Pretty box.
Cons: This is not a docking station, it is a monitor expander with inputs for keyboards jingamjig. All the docking stations that I've seen in my life let you close the laptop and continue using it on the keyboard , mouse and monitor that you have hooked up to the docking station. Duh!
Overall Review: Next time I buy a laptop, I'll stay away from Toshiba. They don't really make laptops for business. A good laptop would have a true docking station with the connector on the back or bottom that lets you really dock it.
Pros: There is a Linux installer script on the CD/DVD that comes with this. What more could you ask for. Works pretty well in Linux.
Cons: The upgrade steps for ECE and Megapack could be a little more obvious if you care for downloading those things. It would be nice if you could get bots to join a seperate dedicated server.
Overall Review: I bought this for $7.50 in a half price book store, so can't complain about that price. Its nice as a game I can recommend to other Linux users that is very high quality and allows them to play along with users of other platforms.
Pros: I've been using ergonomic keyboards since about 1996 and have a lot of opinions about how they should be laid out and function. For me, this keyboard is nearly perfect because it meets all my requirements for a good ergo keyboard:
*Keys are comfortable and quiet
*Split is at 6 and 7, t and y, g and h, b and n. I think this is the most natural. (some keyboards have odd splits.
*Arrow keys are in inverse T (avoid ones with + orientation)
*The insert,delete,pgup/pgdown set of keys are horizonal.
*Has some extra keys outside the normal layout that don't distract you.
*Angle of the board is right and has tilting options.
*Has no odd problems working in Linux.
Plus it has the following extras that I really appreciate:
*Good quality, has lasted me for over a year now.
*Having the space bar connected is nice.
Cons: Um, its made my Microsoft? I'm a Linux user. ;-)
My only gripe is probably that it has one of those function lock buttons that you have to press if you want to use the function keys, but that's minor and only needs to be done once per boot.
Overall Review: Having bought about 10 or so ergo keyboards over the last 11 years, I can say that good ones are hard to find and there are sometimes some disturbing trends in what manufacturers want to do. Already I'm starting to notice that this MS 4000 keyboard is not appearing on shelves where it used to be. That's too bad. It makes me think about buying 3 or 4 more of them to last me for the next 10 years.
Also, those who complain about the keys not being visible, you are probably not typing enough or good enough at typing to warrant an ergonomic keyboard. I type about 90 wpm and do so about 10+ hours a day. For me, ergonomics are crucial.