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John F.

John F.

Joined on 12/06/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 14
Most Favorable Review

Imperfect, but an excellent value.

ATEN CS62DU 2 Port DVI USB KVM with Bonded Cables and Audio
ATEN CS62DU 2 Port DVI USB KVM with Bonded Cables and Audio

Pros: Switches cleanly, provides USB and DVI support. I've got mine connected to both a PowerMac G5 and a MacBook Pro. As noted elsewhere, the purple (keyboard) USB plug doesn't work so well, but the black (general) USB plug works fine -- if you run it through a cheap powered hub.

Cons: The device seems to draws just enough power to prevent the Mac keyboard, keyboard hub and mouse from running without a powered hub in between. I started using the USB hub in my monitor as the powered hub, but I found I would plug in a USB device (iPhone, thumbdrive) and get device removal errors when I switched, natch. I now have an old USB 1.1 hub taped to the underside of my desk dedicated to the KVM. The active system gets the true EDID passed through. System Profiler shows the 1600x1200 Dell monitor I have connected. The inactive system is given dummy EDID data for a "KVM Monitor" that does 1024x768@60Hz. The smaller screen size causes my windows and icons to be rearranged when I swap back and forth. The cables are decent, but not perfectly shielded. If I have my iPhone sitting under the monitor near the KVM cable, the GSM traffic that puts static on my speakers also causes the video to blank. The phone has to be sitting *very* close (about an inch away) for this to hap

Overall Review: The black (general) USB plug appears to be a pass-through. No USB hub appears when it is plugged in, and devices appear to connect directly to the USB root hub. The purple (keyboard) USB plug appears as a USB 1.1 (12Mb/s) hub with a "CS-64U V1.0.091" connected to it. Overall, I'm happy with it. I took off an egg because the cons are annoying and require additional (albeit common) hardware to work around. That said, the issues are not deal breaking. This is a great device for the price.

Most Critical Review

TN panel at an IPS price

Acer K2 Series K272HUL 27" WQHD 2560 x 1440 2K Resolution 1ms 60Hz DVI-D HDMI DisplayPort Built-in Speakers Eco Friendly Design LED Backlit LCD Monitor
Acer K2 Series K272HUL 27" WQHD 2560 x 1440 2K Resolution 1ms 60Hz DVI-D HDMI DisplayPort Built-in Speakers Eco Friendly Design LED Backlit LCD Monitor

Pros: 27", no dead pixels.

Cons: The office cleaning lady threw out the box already. I can't even return it.

Overall Review: I bought a K272HUL years ago after doing much research on it. I wanted a matching monitor to pair with it, so I punched in the model number, and clicked "Buy." I expected some changes over the years, a smaller bezel, maybe a slightly different IPS panel, but roughly the same monitor as before. Why should I bother checking the specs when I already own one and know the monitor? Yeah. The base and the model number are the only things in common with the original. Ports, panel, firmware -- all different. Someone at Acer thought recycling a model number for a completely different monitor was a good idea. They should be fired for cause. Acer, if you're reading this, it isn't just a bad idea. It's a breach of trust. I won't bother considering Acer products anymore, because when I need to guard against "is this the high quality version or the substandard version" of a particular model, comparison shopping becomes unreasonably difficult. I don't have time for that.

11/18/2019

Better performance, no problems

CORSAIR Vengeance Performance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3L 1600 (PC3L 12800) Laptop Memory Model CMSX8GX3M2B1600C9
CORSAIR Vengeance Performance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3L 1600 (PC3L 12800) Laptop Memory Model CMSX8GX3M2B1600C9

Pros: Installed in an AMD A6-4400M based laptop easily, auto-configured, no problems. The system feels a bit snappier, but it's so bogged down by the slow HDD that it's hard to tell.

Cons: DRAM has gotten expensive since the China fire.

Overall Review: These replaced a single DDR3-1333 SODIMM with these two DDR3L-1600 SODIMMS. This brought the system from a single-channel 1333 configuration to dual-channel 1600. Windows Experience Index jumped the RAM from 5.9 to 7.2, Graphics jumped from 5.7 to 6.6. Gaming graphics got a modest bump from 6.5 to 6.6. Processor and HDD stayed the same at 5.5 and 5.9, respectively.

As near an incandescent as you'll find

Foreverlamp A55 6W Omnidirectional A19 LED Light Bulb, Warm White
Foreverlamp A55 6W Omnidirectional A19 LED Light Bulb, Warm White

Pros: Near instant on, zero warm-up period, and close enough to color and lumens that you need to put them side by side incandescent bulbs to tell the difference.

Cons: Still really expensive compared to regular bulbs. As a renter, I don't want to invest a couple hundred dollars in bulbs for the house over the next year or two for the 25 year benefit of the property owner.

Overall Review: I put two into a four-bulb bathroom vanity fixture that obscures the bulbs for direct comparison. These light up after the incandescent pair after a slight (1/10 second?) delay. It's just long enough to notice when installed alongside regular incandescent bulbs, but not nearly long enough to make you flip the switch a second time. They seem slightly cooler (maybe 100K), and slightly brighter (less than 10%, so not even 45W equivalent) when compared head to head. After a couple days, I stopped noticing. The long lifespan of these bulbs assumes the electronics are not burned out by a power surge from lightning strikes or dirty power.

Solid, high performance switch

NETGEAR 5-Port Gigabit Unmanaged Switch (GS605NA)
NETGEAR 5-Port Gigabit Unmanaged Switch (GS605NA)

Pros: I use this for connections between several systems at home including a file server. In five years of continuous use, I've yet to have a problem with it. During file transfers, I've sustained >80MB/s with this switch. I'm not sure if I hit the limit of the switch or the systems transferring the files.

Cons: Odd shape makes stacking it difficult.

I ? Not Swapping!

G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Laptop Memory Model F3-8500CL7D-8GBSQ
G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Laptop Memory Model F3-8500CL7D-8GBSQ

Pros: This has been installed in a Core i5 iMac bringing it up to 12GB of RAM. Installation was easy, and the memory works perfectly. I use this to run multiple VMs, do photo editing, web site development, and open a bazillion web browser tabs, all without ever swapping.

Cons: This went on sale and sold out twice before I was able to snag a pair for myself. Is it a con to be too popular?

Overall Review: Memory is still your best upgrade option to maintain a high-performance machine. Sure an SSD is fast, but not as fast as RAM, and when you start swapping you're turning your SSD into slow RAM. Dole out for DIMMs first, SSDs second. If you're running on a modern Mac with 4GB RAM or more, you'll get better performance by switching to the 64-bit kernel.