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Robert K.

Robert K.

Joined on 02/09/04

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  • 24
Most Favorable Review

Addressing lower ratings below

D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure
D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network Storage Enclosure

Pros: 1. to the person who 'accidently' formatted the wrong hard drive (had one drive in the NAS with data on it and added a blank drive and complained that the nas formatted the wrong drive: This happens if you add a drive and select Raid0 (spanning); the prudent thing to do when adding a drive is to first power down the nas and remove the drive containing data, then add the empty drive, have the nas format the empty drive, power down the nas, add the drive with data, and tell the NAS that you want independant drives (not to RAID the drives). 2. to the person who complains that the ethernet networking speeds are 'slow': the dns-323 uses the Marvell 88EE1111 chip. This is the identical chip used on flagship motherboards (msi k8n neo4 platinum). When connected thru a gigabit switch and to a pc with a gigabit nic, guess what? you get gigabit speeds! I suggest you turn OFF large frame support. continued under CONs ->

Cons: getting increased speed using enabling large frames is not trivial. suggest you NOT turn it on unless you know what you are doing. First use firmware v1.06 (released dec08) AND you need to also make sure all your network devices between the NAS and the end user also have large frames on and set to the same size. (this means you need to [at the very least] enable it and set to the same frame size for your network switch, AND the end use pc(s). (fyi -- many switches do *not* support large frames.) ...if you enable large frames without this, loads of packets will be dropped and whola! your network speed will DECREASE. Suggest anyone interested in turning jumbo frames on test the speed both before enabling and afterward. Somewhat related note -- Also: many people (myself included) use 5400rpm drives in the NAS. The 5400rpm drives I bought here had a default jumper which needed to be removed for the drives to operate at 3.0gb/s...

Overall Review: I own three of these, two in raid, one not. I've replaced (upgraded) drives without issue, have 5400rpm drives that have the default (slower speed) jumper set, and do not have jumbo frames turned on. [using the 1.05 firmware, I personally did not achieve significantly increased speeds with jumbo frames, so I turned them off] I have a 2gb/s switch (synchronous 1gb switch) with 1gb network cards in end user pcs. the speed i observe -- dns323 to/from dns323, dns323 to/from end user, server/firewall to/from end user, and end user to/from end user -- is all comparable.

Most Critical Review

READ: Playing DVD rips on the dsm520

D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player
D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player

Pros: Plays a wide range of media formats, handles nonstandard size vobs (larger than 1gb) fine. upnp connects well, but is limited by tedious software.

Cons: Will not play dvd IFO files, nor ISO's of DVDs. Terribly sluggish remote-control. Software looks like someone developed the gui from the early 1980s.

Overall Review: I bought this unit thinking that it would play ripped dvds. It does, in a sense -- it plays VOB files; which a normal dvd player plays in sequence which is listed in an IFO file. In other words, if you have a movie, you can rip a single VOB file, rename it to moviename.vob and the dsm-520 will play it. however, what it will not do (and what seems not to be indicated anywhere), is recreate the interactive dvd menu system, which is unfortunately what i bought it for; to play exercise dvds off my upnp dns323 nas.

Quality four-to-one drive bay adapter

NORCO B-Q2T5 5.25" to 4 x 2.5" Drive Bay Adapter Bracket
NORCO B-Q2T5 5.25" to 4 x 2.5" Drive Bay Adapter Bracket

Pros: Quality metal construction. Easily fits four 2.5 inch drives (laptop, or SSD) into a single 5.25 inch drive bay. Makes RAID easy and compact. Outer metal bracket provides some ventilation (might be a plus OR minus, see Cons).

Cons: For those who have a PC case with front fans (right behind the grill, ie Antec 902) that blow cool air into the case (to exhaust out he back of the case), this 4:1 bay adapter wont fit behind the fans without some significant modification. 2.5" drives are not only smaller than 5.25" drives, they are considerably less lengthy, so they can be mounted further back into the case. This adapter centers the drives, so that even if you remove the front grill, they wont sit back far enough to be behind your PC case's grill+fan. ...Unless you mod it -- see Other thoughts.

Overall Review: 1. remove the drive bay adapter's grill. 2. mount a 2.5" drive, then mark where the front of the drive ends with a sharpie or felt tip marker, then unmount the drive. 3. Use tin snips or other tool to cut the excess metal along the marked line. 4. Now we need to align+mark+drill holes in the adapter so that it we can securely screw it into the case: Slide drive bay adapter into case, mount your front grill and fan, align your pay adapter with a slight gap so that it doesn't rub the fan, then use a marker to mark where the case's holes are. Remove the assembly, drill holes where you marked them, mount your drives, and reassemble.

Slight Noise Reduction

SilverStone Silent Foam SF01, Sound Dampening Acoustic EP0M Foam Material, Black, 21"x15", 4mm thick, 2 pcs
SilverStone Silent Foam SF01, Sound Dampening Acoustic EP0M Foam Material, Black, 21"x15", 4mm thick, 2 pcs

Pros: Two very large sheets. Forgiving adhesive allows for re-seating. Easily sticks to metal, plastic. Can hide wires under this foam to make case innards look more tidy. Black color with no words/names/logos on it. One package of this is enough to cover a mid tower case. Modestly reduces high pitch noise (see Other).

Cons: Thickness of sound dampening foam determines effectiveness -- 7mm would be better than 4mm. Once adhesive dries, it is difficult to remove. Easiest to apply to a bare case-- before adding components. Foam acts as a slight insulation, so make sure you have good airflow in your case. If you go to a rock concert and stand in front of the speakers while holding each pad in front of your ears, you are still going to go deaf -- this product will NOT make a noisy pc quiet on its own. See Other.

Overall Review: Philosophy of Quiet PCs/How To: The first step in a quiet pc is always the fans. Even expensive cases come with noisy fans. Super high volume fans are very noisy. And counter-intuitively, super high airflow does NOT make your PC run any cooler than moderate and unobstructed airflow. You might want to read that previous sentence again. Noctua NF-S12B are the best of the best when it comes to silent airflow, 56.9m3/h at 6.9dBA is unbeatable. Sound bounces off hard surfaces. Open-cell foam captures sound waves, which is the basic principal behind acoustic dampening coverings. Also, sound bounces off corners, so rounded corners are better than 90 degree angles. Apply this foam to all the flat surfaces of your case, cutting the foam so that it goes 1cm or so under your motherboard. Make sure you also get the inside panel of the case that faces the CPU Cooler (cut around the window if you have one and want to maintain the pretty view). Sound bounces, so don't forget to cover objects such as the back of your DVD. After the case is lined, you can round off the corners: At the corners, mark off ~2cm above and below the corners, next you are going to want to place something in the corner like pencil or rolled up piece of foam (you want a curve, not a 90degree angle), then cut and apply a second layer of acoustic foam to round out corners. If you bought quiet fans, your noisiest component is going to be your graphics card (or if water cooled, the pump). Most (air) CPU-Coolers are a standard size and can be fairly easily replaced, expensive CPU-Coolers usually have PWM fans with the speed controlled by the system board and low noise adapters included. So double check whatever your fans are pointing at and make sure you have some foam covering everywhere you can.

Datacolor Spyder4 Pro
Datacolor Spyder4 Pro

Pros: Monitor color calibration (accuracy-enhancement) tools are terrific tools geared toward professional graphics-industry users. They fine-tune colors to 'true life.' These units compare colors to accepted 'true' values, then produce a custom icc color profile for your monitor to use.

Cons: Typically LESS accurate than downloading a (free) icc color profile for your monitor. There should be a market to *borrow* one of these, because once you have adjusted the color on your monitor(s), they are expensive paperweights. Also, you get what you pay for here; the more expensive units produce better results. Price is prohibitive.

Overall Review: do not try to attach hardware color correction units to a monitor that is standing upright; there is always a gap between the unit and the monitor screen. instead, temporarily lay your monitor down -so that it is facing upward- and then put the hardware calibration unit on top and run it.

11/26/2012

looks real enough

Titan Dummy Security Dome Camera With Flashing Red Light & Proximity Sensor
Titan Dummy Security Dome Camera With Flashing Red Light & Proximity Sensor

Pros: looks just like pretty every other 'real' security camera. you can add a couple AA batteries and push the lid and it will blink red every few seconds (it's timed, not motion activated), or just leave it as is with no batteries. mounts with a few tiny screws. simple, inexpensive.

Cons: a bit flimsy when handled, they dont look flimsy when mounted and seen from a distance though.

Overall Review: i started paying attention to other security cameras of the similar type in stores and banks and such, so far i havent seen any that blink red. i mounted these on my home's front and rear porch and on the garage overhang. combined with a security sign on my lawn, i imagine they are fairly convincing.

seller reviews
  • 1

poor packaging

ccd cameras would be best shipped in a cardboard box, NOT a padded envelope. duh. 1/4 arrived dead/broken.

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