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Chris C.

Chris C.

Joined on 05/23/02

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 14
Most Favorable Review

Know the product before you give it a bad review

Kingston ValueRAM 256MB PC 133 Desktop Memory Model KVR133X64C3/256
Kingston ValueRAM 256MB PC 133 Desktop Memory Model KVR133X64C3/256

Pros: Inexpensive, works well

Cons: none

Overall Review: I've used Kingston products for a long time, and the bad reviews on this page are not because the product is faulty or bad, it's because the people ordered the wrong product. To find out what model of memory stick works with your particular computer, go to Kingston's web site and use their memory search; it will tell you exactly what part number you need. Don't blame the memory manufacturer because your computer maker doesn't follow the standards.

Most Critical Review

Decent case, bad power suppy

Antec Solution SLK1650B Black Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply
Antec Solution SLK1650B Black Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply

Pros: Quiet case, 120mm exhaust fan, near-silent power supply

Cons: 1. SP-350 power supply failed after 12 months in 3 of 9 cases purchased. 2. You have to remove the top panel, then pull the sides up to remove them, which can be difficult in cramped areas.

Second one worse than the first

Synology DS410 Diskless System DiskStation 4-bay All-in-1 NAS Server for Home to Business Workgroup Users
Synology DS410 Diskless System DiskStation 4-bay All-in-1 NAS Server for Home to Business Workgroup Users

Pros: None.

Cons: Poor quality construction, easily killed by the smallest static discharge, network connection unreliable. Overall, the DS410 is completely unreliable and untrustworthy. The first DS410 I bought would crash and kill the array when a static discharge touched its case, so I RMAd it. The second one did the same thing, but otherwise operated as expected (able to create an array, write to it, read from it, etc). Because of the static discharge issue, I had to spend considerable time and money building an enclosure to physically isolate the DS410 from all static discharge. I didn't like doing so, but I didn't want to return it and get hit with a restocking fee. It is now three months later, and I finally got the time to install the DS410 and move my data to it. However, when I turn it on, there's no network connection. I've tried rebooting it several times, tried it in and out of my enclosure, tried different cables, and even tried different network switches, all without success

Overall Review: When I received this unit, I created a RAID5 array and tested it by reading/writing for 72 hours straight. During that testing, there were no problems. The unit was then unplugged, packed in its retail box, and put on a shelf for three months. Now that I finally have the time to install it, I unboxed it, placed it inside the protective enclosure I built for it, and powered it up, only to find out that the network adapter no longer works. Somehow, in the three months that it was unplugged, boxed up, and sitting on a shelf, its network adapter stopped functioning. There is no excuse for this. This is the worst and most unreliable electronic device I've had the displeasure of dealing with. Now I'm stuck with a five hundred dollar paperweight (not to mention the expense of the enclosure and hard drives). Avoid this piece of junk like the plague.

Useless due to limited key combinations

Logitech Media Combo MK200 Full-Size Keyboard and High-Definition Optical Mouse
Logitech Media Combo MK200 Full-Size Keyboard and High-Definition Optical Mouse

Pros: Soft, quiet keystrokes. Rubber feet to help keep the keyboard in place. Thin cords.

Cons: The keyboard is useless to anyone who actually types (as opposed to hunt-and-peck). Like many keyboards made today, there are certain key combinations that are not possible. One such combination on this keyboard is O-P-Y. If you're holding down O and P, and then hit Y, the Y will not be recognized. Sometimes it will be recognized once you fully release the O or P. If you're like me, and you type quickly, you'll often have three keys pressed at the same time because you don't fully release one key before pressing the next. On this keyboard, that results in the word "copy" always missing the "y" (and sometimes the "y" appearing after the following space, once you fully release the "o" key).

Overall Review: On reviews for other products, people list the thin cords as a con, but I don't see why. The cords only carry 100mA max, so they don't need to be thick. Thinner cords are easier to manage (and, in my opinion, look nicer). I haven't used this much (only a few days), so I can't really comment too much on the mouse, though it does seem to work well. As for the keyboard, the soft, quiet keystrokes are nice, and the rubber feet (which seem to work quite well) are definitely a nice touch, but the keyboard is useless if it forces spelling mistakes or slows down your typing. I took a risk on a twenty-five dollar (plus shipping) keyboard/mouse combo, thinking that it might be better than the less expensive ones, but the multi-key-combination issue is still present, and even worse on this keyboard than on others. I'd gladly pay more for a keyboard without this limitation, but there's no telling what the limitations of a keyboard are until you buy it and try it.

Beware of static discharge

Synology DS410 Diskless System DiskStation 4-bay All-in-1 NAS Server for Home to Business Workgroup Users
Synology DS410 Diskless System DiskStation 4-bay All-in-1 NAS Server for Home to Business Workgroup Users

Pros: Easy to set up.

Cons: Static discharge to the case can fatally crash the array, requiring you to remove and recreate the array, losing all data. In my case, the drives were spun down (hibernate mode), and when I touched the top of the case, there was a (non-visible) static discharge. At that point, the drives spun up and the DS410 started beeping. I checked the Storage Manager and volume 1 was showing as "Crashed", with only disk 1 listed as part of the volume; disks 2 and 3 were listed as status "Not Initialized" and were not part of the volume anymore (even though they were spun up, successfully completed the SMART quick test, and showed no SMART errors or bad sectors). I rebooted the DS410, and volume 1 was still showing as "Crashed", with disks 2 and 3 still not part of the volume. I was able to create a separate volume with disks 2 and 3, so there was obviously no problem with the drives themselves. For whatever reason, the DS410 removed disks 2 and 3 from the volume, thereby crashing the v

Overall Review: Fortunately for me, I had just finished 72 hours of testing to make sure the disks had no bad sectors, and I had not yet moved my data onto the DS410. The DS410 is obviously not ready for production use (or any use, if you ask me). Static discharge is a common event in almost any environment. One of the purposes of a metal case is to shield the internal components from static discharge to prevent malfunction such as this. When a single static discharge (generated by walking a distance of four feet) to the top of the case can cause the array to crash (especially to the point where the product removes two of the three disks from the array's configuration, thereby fatally crashing the array), the product can only be seen as unreliable and cannot be trusted. If you plan on buying/using the DS410, make sure you put it somewhere (or in some enclosure) which can guarantee that it will never see static discharge.

Be aware of the risk

ZIP-LINQ Model ZIP-PWR-NB Retractable Universal Notebook Power Cord
ZIP-LINQ Model ZIP-PWR-NB Retractable Universal Notebook Power Cord

Pros: Retractable

Cons: No ground pin. Be aware of the risk this poses. When using the 3-pin to 2-pin adapter, you are eliminating your connection to ground. It's a safe bet to say this will void your warranty if anything happens while connected in this manner.

12/18/2008