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Stephen K.

Stephen K.

Joined on 07/17/03

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Product Reviews
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product reviews
  • 23
Most Favorable Review

Add USB 3.0 to Legacy Machine with PCI-E!

SYBA SD-PEX20139 2 Ports USB 3.0 PCI-e x1 2.0 Card with Internal 19 Pin USB 3.0 Header
SYBA SD-PEX20139 2 Ports USB 3.0 PCI-e x1 2.0 Card with Internal 19 Pin USB 3.0 Header

Pros: This is a very effective way to add USB 3.0 capability to a 'legacy' USB 2.0 machine. It is a PCI-E 1x card; PCI-E should be found in most machines since about 2006. It has the standard 19-pin USB 3.0 socket for the 'motherboard plug' found on many cases and devices these days, making it a great choice to pair up with a USB 3.0 case / front panel / card reader.

Cons: It didn't know the original question when given the answer of '43'. Maybe that will come in a future release?

Overall Review: I paired this up with a Rosewill RDCR-11004 for a friend that needed USB 3.0. For about $60, he now has 2 front and 2 rear USB 3.0 ports; a necessary investment for his work with AV equipment and portable storage! Don't forget to plug in the molex power connector like I did at first!

Most Critical Review

Effective enough, but overpriced!

BELKIN BV112234-10 10 ft. 12 Outlets 3996J Surge Protector
BELKIN BV112234-10 10 ft. 12 Outlets 3996J Surge Protector

Pros: Very high joule rating Long cord Shiny white Effective, unless something steps onto the power switch - again...

Cons: The cost! Does the bling look justify costing twice as much as its slimmer brother - the BE112234-10? The power switch design will probably make you go crazy after you inadvertently trip it a few times!

Overall Review: I received these inadvertently after ordering the BE model. I wish I had realized the problem with the power switch up-front, as I would have insisted on a swap-out, instead of keeping them because of shipping costs. What on EARTH were they thinking with the power switch? Recessed? Only on paper! It's a huge switch that is far too accessible for anything with paws! For this price, it should have a safety / toggle cover, to help prevent accidental switching. If you even bump the face of this unit the wrong way, it'll switch off. The switch on the BE model is on the top edge, under the flange. Much harder to get to, and that's a good thing if you have pets that climb on and behind everything. Save money - buy the cheaper model with a better switch. Better yet? Buy two of the cheaper BE112234-10 model for the same price (or less when on sale!)

Nice Budget Board - Got A Lemon Second Time

ASUS Prime B450M-A II AM4 AMD B450 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS Prime B450M-A II AM4 AMD B450 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Pros: It's a very respectable, Ryzen 5000 ready, mATX board. Kicks right up to XMP3200 on my RAM with no errors. Takes minimal configuration to get it operational. I liked it enough to buy a second one for another kids' computer.

Cons: Unfortunately, I now have a lemon... Second system crashes with WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR at login screen. It runs fine in Safe Mode. It runs fine with generic Microsoft drivers (but you can't practically use it). It crashes after AMD graphic drivers are installed - I've tried multiple versions. I've performed fresh install of Windows 10 AND Windows 11 - same problem. I've performed much testing, but after finally swapping parts (CPU, RAM, and SSD) with other "known good / working perfectly fine" computer, the problem stays with this motherboard. OOPS! It took too long to fully diagnose, so now I need to perform an RMA with ASUS.

Overall Review: I'm still planning to purchase a few more of these as I upgrade kids' computers to modern technology. We'll see how much hassle an RMA is these days!

Updated Review: Stock Is Unreliable - Failed Update Killed Phone / Don't use ASUS Firmware - Use CM13!

Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Unlocked Smart Phone, 5.5" Silver, 32GB Storage 3GB RAM, US Warranty
Asus Zenfone 2 Laser Unlocked Smart Phone, 5.5" Silver, 32GB Storage 3GB RAM, US Warranty

Pros: It's a cheap cell-phone with lots of potential* Works GREAT with CM13 (CyanogenMod 13 IS Marshmallow!) 3GB RAM Micro SD Replaceable battery Dual SIM Respectable battery life

Cons: I'll begin by saying the biggest caveat is ASUS quality control. I've had enough! EPIC FAIL: The phone failed during a software update. I don't know exactly what updated, but when I rebooted afterwards, the phone failed to boot. It was stuck at the ASUS loading screen for 2+ hours. A cache clear did not fix it. A factory restore did not fix it (?!) I had to fully re-flash the phone. While a pain, at least it was possible. Unfortunately, I ended up losing all but 3 of my contacts from the device. O/S: How long did it take for Android 6 (Marshmallow) to be available on this device? Was it because of the next item? BLOATWARE: The pre-loaded bloatware is not only excessive, but also obnoxiously obtrusive. You want pop-ups while in the middle of doing regular tasks? It's got it! Here, let's prompt you to customize the texting UI while you're in the middle of typing a text! If you don't like it, you can go back, but it'll start annoying the cr*p out of you again! That's not the only place where it will annoy you about customization. It'll annoy you every time you install a new app with the auto-start manager; I like the idea, but the implementation needs to be fixed. Oh, and please make sure to rate and 'encourage us' for each of the apps! Generic responses that users can disable apps are not helpful - please don't pre-load the stuff in the first place. SYNCHRONIZATION: I'm not sure what happened, but this phone didn't sync most of my contacts with my Google account, my ASUS account, or the SIM card. The ASUS software/auto-start manager apparently continued to interfere with my backup utility, so even what my manual contact backups were corrupt and unusable. UNSTABLE: The phone is unstable, but mine wasn't as bad as some others reported here. It will reboot on you randomly, whenever it feels like it. Generally during use, but not always! MICROSD: The Micro SD will intermittently disconnect/reconnect; the phone tends to flake when that happens. The card is good, from my old phone, but working better now* BLUETOOTH: The factory Bluetooth implementation is horrid. There are no other words to describe it! Sometimes it works, sometimes not. When it does, it's choppy, stutters, distorts quality, and/or drops out entirely. Messaging didn't work at all with my car head unit. Streaming audio via BT was painful. Phone calls via BT were painful, especially when the phone would drop BT, and then sometimes resume it while I was driving. I use BT for hands-free; this is not acceptable! SPEAKER: The speaker phone is a joke. The 'external' speaker is on the back of the phone; the volume does not get loud enough to be usable in an environment where you'd need a speaker phone. You can turn the phone around to hear it better, but the microphone is on the front, so then the person you're talking to can't hear you either. When the BT malfunctions while you're driving, this is a very serious, and frustrating problem! USB: The USB port is upside-down from other devices sold in the civilized world. Really. LTE: No LTE Band 12. This may seriously limit your coverage in certain areas with certain providers. I do not use T-Mobile, so I can only report this issue. WIFI: WiFi works acceptably most of the time, but the lack of 5GHz is very curious. SCREEN SENSITIVITY: Sometimes it's too sensitive, sometimes it's not sensitive enough. It's usually too sensitive when you're trying to unlock the device, or swipe-away an alarm. BOTTOM BUTTONS: The bottom buttons have no back-light. Good luck guessing where they are at night! This makes one-hand usage at night exceedingly difficult.

Overall Review: This was supposed to be an updated review, but for some reason couldn't edit the old one. Old one wasn't intended to be anonymous either. I'm docking one further egg (from 3 -> 2), because it shouldn't be necessary to run third-party firmware for the device to work as expected. It shouldn't EVER fail to sync contacts - that continues to be an epic nightmare to try and get people back. So many failures on so many levels at once =( Prior ASUS ticket info from old review: cl-frank@asus.com with case # N160279268 I've been unhappy with the factory software and general performance from the start. After its epic failure and loss of my data two weeks ago, I finally decided to take the plunge and go third-party with the firmware. It couldn't be any worse than the last 6 months had been! CyanogenMod 13 makes this a completely different phone. While it ran acceptably well for the most part before, it's now very fast, very responsive, and best of all, no bloatware! The CM13 software is basic, but great, and can even self-update with new nightly builds. Although, I'd be leery of flashing too frequently. No more problems with the SD card! Bluetooth works properly! Messaging to/from my car head-unit works! It appears to be properly syncing my contacts with Google. It doesn't interfere with my backup utilities. No more sporadic reboots - yay! Screen sensitivity is still a touch flaky. I've had ZERO stability issues with CM13 on this hardware!

Homeplug AV2 w/Gigabit!

NETGEAR PL1010 Homeplug AV2 1 Gbps Powerline Kit, Up to 1000 Mbps
NETGEAR PL1010 Homeplug AV2 1 Gbps Powerline Kit, Up to 1000 Mbps

Pros: Homeplug AV2 Gigabit connections* Pretty cheap!!!

Cons: This thing is HUGE! The device cannot be reversed (upside down) because it has a ground prong. Whatever is plugged in above it must be a normal style plug. Right-angle plugs where the cord exits straight down, or at a 45-degree angle (from down) cannot share a wall outlet with this adapter. Right-angle power plugs can't share a wall outlet with this unless they exit sideways/up.

Overall Review: Haven't had a chance to see if it can exceed 100Mb/s - if it can't, then the GBe port is kinda pointless. I've used other adapters that were reversible (no ground pin). I've used other adapters that were much smaller. Primarily purchased to extend Ethernet to existing powered locations, where it's not practical, or otherwise readily possible to run new Ethernet cabling. Looks like I'll probably be installing a few more outlets!

Working As Intended (Update)

ASUS Desktop PC M32BF-US011S A10-Series APU A10-7800 (3.50 GHz) 16 GB DDR3 3 TB HDD AMD Radeon R7 Windows 8.1 64-Bit
ASUS Desktop PC M32BF-US011S A10-Series APU A10-7800 (3.50 GHz) 16 GB DDR3 3 TB HDD AMD Radeon R7 Windows 8.1 64-Bit

Pros: Update to previous review: The replacement unit is working as intended. Tons of RAM! Lots of hard drive! It's already 8.1, so you don't have to fuss with the 8 -> 8.1 update.

Cons: Nuisance pre-loaded OEM software Not 8.1 Pro. Please be advised!

Overall Review: ... but the pre-loaded software is not exactly pre-loaded! It has to install during the first few boot cycles. Don't attempt to bypass/cancel the install - it can fail in such a way as to disrupt Windows! I speak from experience, because 'something broke' catastrophically in Windows after I forcefully aborted the software installations. Windows ended up broken somehow. I eventually gave up and performed a destructive system restore to fix the problem. You can pretty easily uninstall the unwanted bloatware 'later' when it is done. Just walk away and let it do its thing. It does take a while... Otherwise, it's rather speedy, and gets the job done well.

seller reviews
  • 1

Stellar Seller!

Have used this seller for multiple purchases in the past. I have not been disappointed!

On-time
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Product
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Satisfactory
11/18/2022