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Michael P.

Michael P.

Joined on 06/11/03

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Product Reviews
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product reviews
  • 5
Most Favorable Review

Great board; works well with Linux

ABIT AB9 Pro LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard
ABIT AB9 Pro LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

Pros: Nine SATA ports! Six are provided by the P965 chipset, two more from the JMicron controller, and one more from the SiI controller. The six Intel SATA ports default to legacy ICH5 mode (called "IDE" mode in the BIOS) for backward compatibility, but for a new system you'll probably want to switch to AHCI mode for performance -- especially if you run Linux, where AHCI also brings full NCQ and hotplug support. The 1.6 BIOS adds AHCI support to the JMicron controller too. I like the fact that this board has no legacy serial or parallel ports, instead using the space on the back panel for eSATA and optical S/PDIF input and output. Nine SATA cables are included in the box, along with one PATA and one floppy cable, so you don't need to worry about whether your drives come with cables. On the newer revisions of this board, the PCIe x16 slot's retainer latch uses a new side-mounted design that I haven't seen before. It makes it much easier to remove the card when doing maintenance.

Cons: The BIOS setup screen has a pink background, rather than the usual blue. It's ugly; I have no idea why they thought this was a good idea. The built-in Realtek 8169 gigabit Ethernet controllers only support "jumbo frames" up to 7000 bytes, rather than 9000 like some devices do. This is is a bit of a pain since all devices on an Ethernet segment need to be configured for the same maximum frame size, but in practice it doesn't really matter since many devices don't support jumbo frames at all so most networks still use 1500 as the limit. With Linux kernel 2.6.18, the built-in sound chip has its channels mixed up -- the mixer controls for "left", "right", "rear", etc. don't actually control the speakers they say they do. I've been told that 2.6.20 doesn't have this issue. But I keep them all set to the same level anyway so it doesn't really matter to me.

Overall Review: I'm using this board with a Core 2 Duo E6600, 2x1GB G.SKILL RAM, XFX GeForce 7600GS, three Seagate 750GB hard drives (SATA), and one Lite-On SH-16A7S DVD burner (also SATA), running a modern Linux system (Debian "sid"). All the hardware, both built into the motherboard and installed by me, is recognized by Linux and works fine.

Most Critical Review

Pointer moves too fast

lenovo  57Y6482  Black  3  Buttons 1 x Wheel Bluetooth Wireless  Laser  1000 dpi  Mouse - Retail
lenovo 57Y6482 Black 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel Bluetooth Wireless Laser 1000 dpi Mouse - Retail

Pros: No need to plug a separate receiver into the PC

Cons: The mouse pointer moves very fast when using this mouse; half an inch of movement on the desk sends the cursor flying all the way across the screen. This happens in both Windows 7 and Debian, and doesn't happen when I use a different mouse (a Logitech G7, specifically), so it seems to be a characteristic of the mouse itself, not a driver or configuration issue. Of course, I can turn down the pointer speed in control panel, but adjusting to a comfortable setting for this mouse makes my laptop's touchpad unacceptably slow since they're both controlled by the same setting.

Overall Review: I bought this because I wanted a mouse that would take advantage of my laptop's built-in Bluetooth so I wouldn't have to plug in a separate USB receiver. I was surprised to find that there were few Bluetooth mice on the market; apparently they're not popular. I might end up buying a USB one after all, just to get a mouse that tracks at a reasonable speed.

11/20/2011

GDI printer

HP Color LaserJet 2600N Q6455A Workgroup Up to 8 ppm 600 x 600 dpi Color Print Quality Color Laser Printer
HP Color LaserJet 2600N Q6455A Workgroup Up to 8 ppm 600 x 600 dpi Color Print Quality Color Laser Printer

Pros: Good quality and inexpensive. Great for a personal color laser printer.

Cons: GDI printer; no PCL or PostScript support. To print to this printer you must use the driver provided by HP, but they don't provide a driver for Linux or (currently) 64-bit Windows. Years down the road if HP stops maintaining the driver, you may not be able to print from newer systems even if the printer itself still works fine. (There's a third-party Linux driver for this printer, but the quality is reportedly mediocre.)

Overall Review: Instead of the 2600, I bought a 2605, which is basically the same printer but with a raster image processor so it can accept PCL and PostScript input. It costs a bit more but it's worth it to know that the printer is compatible with the wide variety of PCL and PostScript tools available, without depending on a model-specific, OS-specific driver.

Great product for the price

LITE-ON Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with Replaceable White Front Panel
LITE-ON Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with Replaceable White Front Panel

Pros: Inexpentive, short profile, and the SATA interface means no unwieldy ribbon cables. Worked flawlessly out-of-the-box with a modern Linux system (2.6.18 kernel) on Abit AB9 Pro motherboard with the SATA controller set to AHCI mode. Haven't tried it on Windows or with the SATA controller in legacy ICH5 mode. (AHCI mode is preferable anyway.) If you're concerned about accurate CD Audio ripping (see http://www.accuraterip.com/), this drive has a read offset of 6 samples, which is the best I've ever seen. (Even if your ripping software can do offset correction, you lose this many samples at the end of the last track -- they always come out zero -- so if you're concerned about perfect digital accuracy, a low offset is good even though it's unlikely to make an audible difference. Unfortunately, I've yet to see a zero-offset drive.)

Cons: Older motherboards/OSes/applications may not support SATA optical drives, so check compatibility before buying. (As with PATA optical drives, no model-specific drivers are needed -- all modern optical drives use ATAPI so a single ATAPI driver, which is built into the OS, supports them all. But older systems might not support ATAPI over SATA. Linux didn't fully support it until kernel 2.6.15.) Doesn't seem to support Mt. Rainier, according to the feature list. Not really a big deal to me, though.

Overall Review: I recently built a new system with three SATA hard drives, and wanted a SATA optical drive too, so that I wouldn't need any ribbon cables. At the time, Plextor had one, but that's expensive and I've heard they're not as much of a quality leader as they once were. So I bought the new computer sans optical drive, and waited for Lite-On to release an inexpensive one. Eventually I found this one and bought it, and it's working great.

"Engineering Release" BIOS and poor AGP 4x compatibility

MSI GeForce 6200 128MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card NX6200AX-TD128
MSI GeForce 6200 128MB DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card NX6200AX-TD128

Comments: A friend and I both bought this card around the same time, and we both noticed something odd: on the card's info screen, when the computer is first turned on, it says "Engineering Release - Not For Production Use". I used MSI's LiveUpdate tool to download the latest BIOS for the card, and the version it said it was going to install was the same as the version it said the card already had, but now the card doesn't show that info screen at all at system startup, so there's no "engineering release" warning anymore. Also, despite the fact that the specs here say "AGP 4x/8x" compatibility, this card does NOT work properly in an AGP 4x system. In graphics mode, the picture on the VGA port is too dim to be usable, though on the DVI port (through the provided DVI-to-VGA adapter) it's OK. 2D graphics performance is OK, but 3D has serious problems, ranging from texture glitches to most of the scene simply not being drawn. My friend tells me his card is working pretty nicely on an AGP 8x system, but in my 4x system, it's essentially unusable.

seller reviews
  • 1

Don't believe them when they say "ships from United States"

I ordered an item from this company whose product page said "ships from United States" and "most customers receive within 5-9 days". I chose it over other similar items that would ship from China, because I expected shipping from China to be slow (due to COVID disruptions) and I wanted to avoid that. But the item actually shipped from Shenzhen, China, despite what the product page said, and it took more than a month to arrive. Two weeks after it shipped, when tracking showed it was still in Shenzhen, I asked the seller to cancel the order (because I'd bought an alternate item elsewhere). They said sorry, can't cancel after it's shipped, shipping from China is slow. (Yes, that's what I was trying to avoid by choosing their product.) I filed a refund claim with Newegg pointing out the false information on the product page about where it would ship from, and *then* the company refunded me. The item eventually arrived, 38 days after it shipped. Since they'd already refunded me the price, I offered to send it back if they provided a pre-paid shipping label, but they said I don't need to return it. (It's an $8 item, so probably not worth the cost of shipping it back to China.) But even now, the item's product page still says "ships from United States" and "most customers receive within 5-9 days" three weeks after I pointed out in a Newegg refund claim (that the seller saw and responded to) that it's not true. The item did (eventually) arrive in good condition, and it's not the seller's fault that shipping around the world is disrupted by the pandemic. But if you live in North America and want your order to arrive within a reasonable time, be aware that "ships from United States" doesn't actually mean it'll ship from the United States.

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Satisfactory