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Noel B.

Noel B.

Joined on 09/22/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 9
Most Favorable Review

Works like a charm.

D-Link DPH-50U Skype USB Phone Adapter
D-Link DPH-50U Skype USB Phone Adapter

Pros: Installed without a hitch and runs perfectly on XP Pro SP2. I use it with a Vonage line instead of a land line, but the adapter doesn't know the difference. It simply works and works well. USB powered; LEDs tell you if you're in VOIP or PSTN mode. Looks like it was made to go with my silver/black Uniden 5.8GHz cordless phone. I don't know why I didn't go with this months ago. The software has some basic configuration options, but I kept the defaults, which is unlike me. But everything's great as is.

Cons: New icon in the system tray, ah well. It clicks audibly when switching between VOIP and PSTN modes. It's neither loud nor annoying. But I expected it to be silent, and would have liked it to be. Not enough of a negative to mark it down, though.

Overall Review: To dial as a regular phone (again, works fine with Vonage), you just use the phone as normal. To make a SkypeOut call, you can either a) Dial with the Skype application interface on screen, or b) dial "##" to enter VOIP mode, then "00" (the international access code), then "1-818-555-1212" (the phone number you want to dial), and finally "*" to execute the call. That took all of about six seconds to get down cold. For example, I pick up the handset, dial "##00-1-310-456-7890*" and press Talk. It clicks into VOIP mode, dials everything at once and connects using SkypeOut account. It really is very easy. Taking calls is like taking any other call. It rings...you answer. You can tell if its a Skype call if the lit LED is VOIP, or, of course, if your Skype pops up on screen. Great device, I'd recommend it.

A home run winner.

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

Pros: The ease of installation and firmware features were the first big benefits here. A NAS that's this easy and with these features at this price is outstanding. It's very small and feels very well constructed. Cable-less install for the drives was a pleasure. They plug in firmly and securely. Multiple RAID options, and the firmware is one of, if not THE best I've ever seen, and I've seen a ton of them. The real benefits of the 323: fast spinup and customizable time-out periods. It's always available on the network and it's fast. The FTP server works perfectly. The download scheduler is excellent and a great idea if you run multiple websites, a big plus for me. Users, groups, email alerts...it's all flawless. This is an A+ device. If you need a highly available NAS that you can throw your own SATA2.0 drives into, this is it.

Cons: The only negatives to me are very, very minor: 1) The fan is always on, though nearly silent (only in the dead of night with no other sounds eminating from outside, inside or from any computers can you hear the fan). I think the fan should spin down, say, 2-3 minutes after the drives spin down after their timout period expires. 2) The three blue LEDs are permanently on. I'd like a firmware feature to dim them or disable them. I've seen this feature on computers and DVD players, so why not here? That's it. I can sure live with these two arguable oversights.

Overall Review: I've had the DNS-323 for almost two months and couldn't be happier. Sure, using a direct USB2.0 or eSATA connection would be faster for data transfers, but this is a NAS enclosure. If you want eSATA speeds, get an eSATA drive. This device has a USB2.0 port on it as well, but it's not utilizing what this baby was made for: highly available network storage. For anyone who says it doesn't have NTFS or it doesn't have EXT3 or other transparent complaints, I say: do the research. There are NO plug-n-play NAS boxes that support NTFS on the network, you must always use propriatary software (like Ximeta's DNAS). And EXT2 is the clear winner over EXT3, that's why D-Link removed it from the firmware. Upon installing the drives, choose the EXT2 formatting option. Then upgrade the firmware to the latest 1.03 release from D-Link. Configure, sit back and enjoy! Oh, and it works great with a DynDNS.org account for external access to the FTP server. :-)

Once again...excellent drives.

Seagate BarraCuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (Perpendicular Recording) Bare Drive
Seagate BarraCuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (Perpendicular Recording) Bare Drive

Pros: These babies are great. Fast spin-up, very fast read/write speeds, great capacity, and perpendicular recording is the current wave for very good reason. The price is fantastic for this quality. Newegg ships them wrapped in bubble wrap and the manufacturer's anti-static bags so they'll arrive safely. These drives get an A+ from me.

Cons: None at all.

Overall Review: I've got two Seagate 7200.10 250's in my desktop and two of these 500's in my D-Link DNS-323 NAS running in RAID1 under EXT2. I couldn't be happier. They're fast access drives and will not disappoint. Clearly I'm a fan of these Seagate 7200.10's, but after doing the research, they're the #1 choice for me by far.

Excellent Point & Shoot Camera Gets a Big 'A'

Canon SD550 Champagne 7.1 MP 3X Optical Zoom Digital Camera
Canon SD550 Champagne 7.1 MP 3X Optical Zoom Digital Camera

Pros: Famously fast Canon start-up time (thanks to the digic II chip). Good selection of shooting modes that acutally make a difference. The photos this baby produces are unquestionably top-notch. Nice even coloring and tones; no bright spots or dark spots. Excellent macro mode produces surprisingly good photos. Very fast image processing, too. It has a continuous shooting mode that snaps faster than any digital camera in this category that I've seen - just use a fast card. I like the Ultra II's as they've got nearly non-existant lag. Yes, it makes a big difference. Try it and see for yourself. Zero problems with that big, bright, beautiful LCD screen. Some others mentioned cracking? Weird...not ours. And it got cold, it got hot, it got tossed across the room onto the couch, etc. Granted it I slapped on a PDA screen protector fast as can be to protect that nice LCD. (One scratch and you have to live with it for the life of the camera.)

Cons: Just learn which sooting mode is best for your conditions - use the beach mode for beach shots or you'll see haze in your photos. Use night mode for night shots, etc; simple as that. A negative? Not really, but it's the closest thing to a con I can list. There's no raw mode either, but that's not the focus of this camera anyway so jpeg is more than fine.

Overall Review: SD550 + Two 1GB Ultra II's + Spare battery = All day shooting We used this camera in Hawaii and LOVE it. Day shots, night shots, action shots...the gamut. Very, very good shots with true, even color. And a movie mode with sound! Sweet! We bought the underwater housing for it and got awesome 65 ft deep SCUBA photos and movies of fish and turtles galore. You can even hear the sounds in the underwater movie clips. This camera is a very worthwhile investment and if you're a recreational diver, get the Canon housing. It, too, gets a A...though not available here at newegg. Solid construction feels great in the hand, do use the wrist strap, though. Includes a video cable to hook up to the TV to view the photos back at the hotel room. Supports USB 2.0 = fast transfers to the computer.

Excellent Quality Paper

Epson S041727 Premium Photo Paper 4" x 6" - High Gloss - 92 Brightness - 100 / Pack - White
Epson S041727 Premium Photo Paper 4" x 6" - High Gloss - 92 Brightness - 100 / Pack - White

Pros: This paper is outstanding with my Epson Stylus Photo R320. Impossible to tell the difference when compared with a developed photo. Simply outstanding.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: I probably will never use non Epson photo paper after seeing this quality. Tip top, 5-stars without hesitation.

Excellent Quality Paper

Epson S041405 Ultra Premium Photo Paper, 64 lbs., Luster, 8-1/2 x 11, 50 Sheets/Pack
Epson S041405 Ultra Premium Photo Paper, 64 lbs., Luster, 8-1/2 x 11, 50 Sheets/Pack

Pros: With an Epson printer, this paper is outstanding.

Cons: None.

Overall Review: I fooled a few other people on which photo was a print from the local print shop, or from my Epson Stylus Photo R320. I think I might get fooled too. This paper / printer combo is tip top.