Joined on 04/25/06
Works with Linux
Pros: Works with linux out of box - IBM-T61, Fedora 12: Linux/x86_64 (126.96.36.199-127.fc12.x86_64), xawtv-3.95, Fluxbox 1.1.1 I've only used the NSTC Composite input - all other features untested. No need to touch Mfgr's included info or CDs for Linux use.
Cons: Mfgr's included info does not address MAC use. Requires USB 2.0 so old PCs may not be useful.
Overall Review: I don't do windows so it is nice to find a video camera interface that works with Linux. I'm only interested in capturing video from a camera that produces an NSTC composite (RS170?) output. Linux setup: connect to video camera, plug in USB connector, invoke xawtv, in xawtv select video source, view video from camera or your video source.
Pros: I worked for a while... I had data backups.
Cons: Date of manufacture (from drive label): 02/2013 Date installed/placed into IBM T61 that lives on a shelf in a controlled environment: May 20, 2013 Date failed: March 24, 2014 The drive lasted less than one year in service.
Got a Lemon - keyboard stinks
Pros: Used IBM/Lenovo laptops have proven useful and reliable in my experience; unfortunately that is not true of the one I just received.
Cons: This particular sales item is not properly described. Proper description: We got this laptop from a location that does not use the English alpabet so we placed stickers on every alphabetic key and numeric key and a few other keys with the characters that you would expect from a standard US keyboard. Yes the edges of these stickers catch your fingers when your type transforming one of the nicest laptop keyboards into a major annoyance but perhaps you will get used to it.
Overall Review: All IBM/Lenovo laptops I have seen have a product ID on the bottom - this ID should be part of the sales description - there are a lot of variants within the T61 and T60 generic models. Providing this information would help a customer identify the machines specific features.
I suggest you do NOT purchase the Corsair Padlock
Pros: I seems to be operating system independent
Cons: Facts: The Corsair Padlock uses an internal Lithium battery. Before committing data to a battery dependent device I wanted to see what was involved in replacing the battery. After removing the single screw that seems to secure the front and back portions of the Padlock together I attempted to open the device. The Padlock turns out to have a clear substance that acted as an adhesive inside the device - this made it impossible to open the Corsair Padlock and gain access to the battery without damaging the device. Details: Internally the Padlock contains two circuit boards. Since the board with the Flash memory was effectively glued to the back half of the Padlock enclosure and the board with the battery and keypad was effectively glued to the front half of the Padlock enclosure and the two circuit boards are joined by a small pylon with 4 solder pads on each end of the pylon, solder pads are torn from one or both of the boards when you open the unit.
Overall Review: Speculation: I doubt that the Padlock provices secure storage if it is physically in the possession of a minimally sophisticated individual/organization. Given that one can access the connections (4 solder pads on a pylon) between the board that locks/unlocks the Padlock (the front board) and the Flash storage board (the rear board) one might be able to learn the unlock information from a sacrificial Padlock and use that info to possibly unlock another Padlock which contains information that someone may have thought was stored in a secure manner. Bottom Line: I would not store sensitive (or any other) information on this device. There is a finite probability that the data "locking" can be broken. There is a 100 percent probability that the battery will die at some time in the future probably preventing the user/owner from accessing the information stored on the Corsair Padlock.
Canon A710 - not problem free
Pros: A very impressive compact camera - features, capabilities and resulting photos exceed any other digital camers or film SLR I have ever owned or used. My uses are typically low light (no flash) club photography and astrophotography. The camera's image stabilization and continuous shooting mode used with a collapsable monopod and a 2 gig memory card enables me to take series of photos at a relatively slow (and noise free) ASA200 in club lighting conditions. The blur free shots are subsequently retained and the blurred shots discarded. If you want blur free, use flash or go to ASA800 (expect some visible noise at 800). For astrophotography a starting point for relatively dark skies is ASA800 and use the self timer feature to shoot a string of 10 shots of 15 sec each (wide aperature, manual focus at infinity and no zoom). With no zoom there is essentially no star motion visible given the brief 15 sec exposure. Using GIMP (in Linux) you can then stack the shots to improve the s/n ratio
Cons: Has a single IMO fatal flaw which is why I do not recommend this otherwise excellent camera. This camera requires that the two AA batteries used be in like new condition. Look at the tag on the bottom of the camera - it states "DC 3.15V" - the camera uses 2 AA cells for power. After limited use (30 to 50 non flash photos) the low battery indicator begins flashing - a few photos later the camera puts a message on the LCD display telling you to change the batteries and then gracefully powers down. This holds true with three diferent major brand alkaline AA cells. Best performance was with new and freshly charged rechargable NiMH cells however as these cells age their performance degrades. 99 percent of my shooting is done without flash but with both image stabilization and LCD display on. Why Canon made this a 2 AA cell camera instead of a 3 or 4 AA cell camera is beyond me.
Overall Review: Even though I criticize the power aspects of this camera I continue to be impressed with this compact, capable, feature laden, and very useable camera. Being able to do low light club photography and astrophotography with something I can fit in my pocket is why I continue to use this camera. If you buy this camera be sure to by a big (2G or larger) SD card and at least three sets of rechargable NiMH batteries. You may swear about the battery life but you will be impressed by what you can do with the built in image stab, 6x optical zoom, and 3072x2304 resolution. As a point of reference I've shot over 8000 photos with this camera since I bought it in December of 2006. If Canon should decide to make a follow-on to this camera using 4 AA cells I'd be the first in line to buy one.