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Alexander T.

Alexander T.

Joined on 10/21/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 20
Most Favorable Review

Outstanding!

Netgear ReadyNAS Duo  500GB (1 x 500GB) Network Storage (NAS) w/ Gigabit & speeds up to 25MBps
Netgear ReadyNAS Duo 500GB (1 x 500GB) Network Storage (NAS) w/ Gigabit & speeds up to 25MBps

Pros: Extensive feature set, yet easy to set up and use. Web configuration interface is extremely well designed and thought out. I have this little beast streaming iTunes to three computer as well as a SONOS music system, as a video, picture, and torrent server. Easy to plug in a USB drive and either copy the files over for back up bi-directionally. I am consistently impressed with what a well designed and well built product this is. Upgrading to twin Samsung F3 1 TB spinpoints was easy as pie, and I took the drive it came with and stuck that in my desktop.

Cons: Noisey and bright. This was sitting on a desk in my bedroom for a while when I was configuring it and even when idle it is audible. It might be possible to swap out the fan for a quieter model but it is smaller than an 80mm. Also, the blue led in the power switch is galactically bright, particularly directly in front of it. I have moved the NAS down onto my rack of network gear in the basement so neither of these are issues for me any more, but both issues mean you should think twice before planting this in the open next to your HTPC setup.

Most Critical Review

Poor support

RAZER Lycosa Keyboard
RAZER Lycosa Keyboard

Pros: Good feel. Illumination options. Music controls on keyboard.

Cons: The keys are clear plastic with a black soft-touch coating. I have had my keyboard for about 6 months now and the paint is starting to wear off the frequently used keys (space bar, vowels, the WASD keys) making them illegible globs of light. I would be ok with that but...Razer does not even stock replacement keys! I paid $80 for a keyboard and they don't have replacement keys? What kind of idiocy is that? I have $10 keyboards that will outlast this thing.

Overall Review: In sum the rather meagre collection of pros do not justify the price. Add in the inability to replace keys that are essentially designed to wear out prematurely and you have an unmitigated rip off.

12/27/2009

Excellent case at any price

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Pros: Build quality, fit and finish, interior layout and design, easy of disassemby, surplus parts, ventilation, case fans with individual three position speed controls, quietness. I have built dozens of computers and this is now my go-to case. It is attractive, extremely solid, very well ventilated and has enough room for almost any build. It's very easy to work with as the drive mounts, front panel fascia, and both side panels come off easily. Also...it's steel! Some of the Asian cases are now coming with aluminum and MB trays and it sounds great for high-tech finish and feel, it's heat dissapation and it's lighter weight, but dent them or strips some screws or posts in them and your enthusiasm wanes. I want steel! And this case has plenty of it. Very sturdy for it's price point.

Cons: I really can't think of any someone mentioned shorter leads but I have used this case with half a dozen different motherboards and I have yet to have that problem. If I could make one design change to this case it would be to add mounting for another top fan but honestly I've never had to use one or to set the fans on anything but low. But if I was going to gear up a high-end gaming rig it might stretch it's ventilation limits.

Perfect

APC BE350G Back-UPS 350 VA 6-outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
APC BE350G Back-UPS 350 VA 6-outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Pros: I have this unit backstopping my cluster of low wattage networking gear in my basement. An Actiontec wireless router for FIOS, a SONOS Zonebridge, and a Netgear 2 terabyte ReadyNAS. I live in an area with frequent power dips and short outages and APC keeps everything up and running nicely. Particularly handy as my model ReadyNAS does not have an auto start function after power interruption.

Cons: None for my application.

Overall Review: Know what you need, and buy the right product. It's pretty basic that the unit's wattage needs to be adequate for the equipment plugged into it and 95% of the bad reviews here are by people who clearly don't understand that and bought the wrong product for their needs. This model is great for low wattage situations like mine. If you need to power your 1000w gaming rig or your 600w AV receiver you are clearly going to need a larger and more expensive unit. Total up the watts of the equipment you are going to backup and then pick a model with higher wattage.

A great value

Polk Audio Monitor 50 Two-Way Floorstanding Loudspeaker Cherry Single
Polk Audio Monitor 50 Two-Way Floorstanding Loudspeaker Cherry Single

Pros: These are very efficient speakers and I am quite pleased with the soundstage they create and their range and clarity. Don't assume you need a sub with these until you have them installed and have given them a listen. They do deceptively well on the low end depending on positioning. Mine were abit boomy but after breaking in they are surprising smooth for a speaker in this price range.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: I don't understand complaints about the posts on Polk speakers. You connect them, and then forget them, and 14 gauge wire is going to be adequate for any 8 ohm application in your average sized room with runs of 45 feet or less.

Excellent with a few flaws to be aware of...

Netgear ReadyNAS Duo  500GB (1 x 500GB) Network Storage (NAS) w/ Gigabit & speeds up to 25MBps
Netgear ReadyNAS Duo 500GB (1 x 500GB) Network Storage (NAS) w/ Gigabit & speeds up to 25MBps

Pros: This is a high quality piece of hardware, well built and solid. It does what it says it does and does it relatively well. I immediately replaced the 500 GB drive with two 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint drives and it configured them and mirrored them perfectly. The RAIDar utility is very well designd and provides extensive data and configuration options.

Cons: Loud. I had to put mine in the basement, which was fine as it put it near the router. However, doing so has made the next flaw all the more irksome. It does not auto power on if there is a power outage. I live in an area with power that goes out for a second or two with some frequency. If you have your NAS configured for lots of purposes from itunes to Bittorrent it quickly becomes a major PITA to have to check that the NAS is running.