shipping Holiday Shipping Details & Extended Holiday Returns
cover
Dewayne H.

Dewayne H.

Joined on 04/02/05

0
0

Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

Setup is Tricky

U.S. Robotics USR5432 Wireless MAXg Bridge
U.S. Robotics USR5432 Wireless MAXg Bridge

Pros: From a functional perspective, the device performs the task for which I purchased it. I wanted to connect several computers and a print server to a wired switch, and use the USR5432 to bridge these computers to my wireless DHCP router. It took hours for me to determine that the USR5432 needed to be setup in "Infrastructure" (client) mode, and NOT in "Bridge" mode to accomplish this task. The unit has good transmission and reception, and a reasonably good GUI.

Cons: I wrote patents for 802.11 authentication hand-off schemes, so in theory I should have been able to set this up in 5 minutes. It took 5 hours. The documentation is very poor. You must access the unit via the LAN port, which unfortunately assumes the device is hooked up to a DHCP server. So you have to drag it to your router or use Network Connection Sharing to set it up initially. The pass phrase is in ASCII (there is no option for Hex), so make sure your router is set to use ASCII and not Hex.

Overall Review: The USR5432 will indicate that it is "Associated" to a wireless access point, but this does NOT mean that it is "Authenticated." There is no indication of whether the USR5432 has been authenticated by the access point, so the only way to know if your pass phrase is correct is to ping access point.

Most Critical Review

How to use 1TB Drives

MASSCOOL PCI Card, 4 internal SATA Model XWT-RC040
MASSCOOL PCI Card, 4 internal SATA Model XWT-RC040

Pros: Very cheap and a nifty little card. It allows several software RAID options, and also "pass through" to just use the drives without RAID. The included cables alone are worth the cost of the card.

Cons: You need to go to the Silicon Image web site and download software for the Silicon Image SIL 3114 chipset. Get these four things: The DOS based UPDFLASH.EXE flash updater software (the Windows version DOES NOT WORK), BIOS version 5.4.0.3 (r5403.bin), version 1.5.1.10 of the drivers for your OS (XP, Vista, etc.), and the software package, version 1.5.1.10. Then you need to make a DOS bootable CD or floppy disk, and copy the UPDFLASH.EXE and r5403.bin files to it. Then shutdown your computer and connect a small drive (1TB will not work) to the card. Without a drive connected, the flash update won't work. Boot from your CD or floppy, and type "UPDFLASH.EXE r5403.bin" without the quotes. When it ask if you want to continue, hit Y, and then wait until it returns with a confirmation that the BIOS was upgraded. Turn off your computer and remove remove the CD or floppy.

Overall Review: Finally, boot into windows, and when the New Hardware Found Wizard runs, point it to the drivers you downloaded, and the card should be active. After that completes, install the RAID software by double clicking the 3114-W-I32-R_15150.msi (for XP, or the appropriate version for Vista). This will install the RAID software. Now you can shutdown and install your 1TB drives. When you reboot, everything should work, and you can configure a RAID array with the software.

Simply Great Player

Sony 3D WiFi Ready Blu-ray Player BDP-S470
Sony 3D WiFi Ready Blu-ray Player BDP-S470

Pros: I have an electrical engineering degree, so design flaws really scream at me. This player really doesn't have any. The sound is flawless, the video is flawless, it loads discs very quickly, and it communicates with my receiver and TV over HDMI -- when I turn on the BD player, the TV and receiver magically power up. I rent Redbox and Netflix a lot, and no disc has skipped or failed to load.

Cons: This model does not have a wireless interface. This is not a con unless you don't understand the difference between "WiFi Ready" and WiFi Enabled."

Overall Review: The only two differences between this model and the S570 are built-in WiFi and built in memory. A 1GB memory inserted in the USB slot in the back takes care of the memory issue.

Rosewill Customer Service -- All Talk

Rosewill RX355-X2 BK ABS Cover and internal metal shielding 3.5" Black USB2.0 & eSATA External Enclosure
Rosewill RX355-X2 BK ABS Cover and internal metal shielding 3.5" Black USB2.0 & eSATA External Enclosure

Pros: Item works if you don't mind a fans that sound like a Weed-eater.

Cons: I posted a review that my fans failed within a month, and Rosewill customer service immediately posted a reply that they were sorry, please email them and that they would send a replacement. Well, I emailed them -- 13 months ago, and I never got a reply. No fan, no email, no letter, no nothing.

Overall Review: Do not believe the "cut and paste replies" that Rosewill posts on every bad review.

Pathetic Packing

Hitachi GST 0A38016 1TB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Hitachi GST 0A38016 1TB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: These drives are big and cheap. I ordered two drives at 3:00pm with free shipping, and they were at my house by 10:00am the next day.

Cons: It's a miracle that my two drives were not destroyed in shipping. They were taped together with one layer of bubble wrap in between them. Then more bubble wrap covered the two drives, and they were placed in a box that was very loosely filled with Styrofoam peanuts. This allowed the drives to shift to the bottom. One of the bags of silicate descant was ruptured during shipping, and the antistatic bags had holes in them form the multiple impacts of the corners, screws, and solder joints of the drives. I'm pretty sure that my proximity to the warehouse in Edison, NJ is the only reason these things survived.

Overall Review: If you tape two drives together, you double the impact created by dropping them. So if one drive could survive a 4 foot drop, two taped together could only survive a 2 foot drop. (Actually, because gravity accelerates falling objects, it is probably even worse, but I'm too lazy to do the math.)

Fan Design Flaw

Rosewill RX355-X2 BK ABS Cover and internal metal shielding 3.5" Black USB2.0 & eSATA External Enclosure
Rosewill RX355-X2 BK ABS Cover and internal metal shielding 3.5" Black USB2.0 & eSATA External Enclosure

Pros: My first review didn't post yet, so I'm writing this one to replace it. For pros, the unit works great, has a good cable, and is easy to use. It ran 24/7 for a month without issue. It works with my Tivo using winMFS tools, and the eSATA cable also worked with my Tivo. The enclosure has a hard on/off switch, so there is no danger of it hanging the Tivo after a power failure. Overall, it is a very well designed and manufactured unit ... except for one critical flaw.

Cons: One of the fans failed after four weeks. The "oscillation" that others describe is a failed motor bearing. The fans are mounted such that both of them blow air into the case. The case is airtight except for a dozen tiny holes in the back (maybe 2mm each), so essentially the fans do not move air through the case, they pressurize it. The fans are basically fighting against each other in an endless tug-of-war, so it is only a matter of time before one of them fails under the load.

Overall Review: I disassembled the case and removed the failed fan. The enclosure runs cooler than it did with both fans installed.