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Jonathan H.

Jonathan H.

Joined on 10/10/05

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

Frustrating buttons, but otherwise good

SAMSUNG S27C390H 27" 1920 x 1080 D-Sub, HDMI LCD Monitor
SAMSUNG S27C390H 27" 1920 x 1080 D-Sub, HDMI LCD Monitor

Pros: - Large screen! - Good brightness, clarity, and contrast - LED makes it power-efficient

Cons: Really only one downside: the buttons. The touch-based buttons are SO frustrating sometimes. They work pretty well for a little while, but after several months, you'll find that turning off the monitor after a really long day can be an unwanted exercise. Usually, my trick is to rub my fingers together rapidly to create some extra static and heat, and then the button seems to respond better, but I have another, older Samsung monitor next to this one, which has the normal "push" buttons, which are far easier, in my opinion.

Overall Review: I own several Samsung electronics with their touch-based buttons, and they just haven't perfected the tech yet. Still, using the buttons is only 0.01% of the time you spend with this monitor, and the remaining 99.99% of it is great.

11/25/2013
Most Critical Review

Drive Lifespan is Under 1-2 Years

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 ST1000DM005/HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 ST1000DM005/HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: When they work, they work fine. Decent speed and storage space. I've maintained 4 of these in a RAID array since July of 2010.

Cons: My drives sit in a HUGE, well-ventilated Corsair case in a temperature-cool room. When the first one failed after about 4 months, I just figured it's bound to happen at least once. I shelled out another $140 at a nearby computer store for another one (same model) and got the RAID back to normal. When the second drive failed, I was frustrated at my bad luck, but again spent $140 for another drive. A few months later, it happened again and I did a complete audit of my system to make sure there was nothing wrong with the UPS or power flow or motherboard, etc... Yesterday, it happened AGAIN, meaning that I am now the less-than-proud owner of 4 failed 103SJ models. One has completely failed, and the others have consistent write errors. I thought it was the model, but I have also purchased two Samsung HD204UI drives. Both have failed and weren't in a RAID, so I lost the data completely. Nearly $1000 down the drain. Bottom Line: Time to look for a better brand.

Overall Review: I really don't know or care if it's anything to do with Seagate making these things now. I'm not loyal to any brand when it comes to hard drives, but based on the failure of a total of 6 Samsung Spinpoint drives in under 2 years, I will be avoiding Samsung going forward, and probably Seagate, too.

Excellent Case for 5+ Years Now

Corsair Obsidian Series 700D CC700D Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Corsair Obsidian Series 700D CC700D Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Pros: I bought this case 5 years ago and it's worked very well. It's extremely roomy, sturdy, and has slide-in slots for drives and such. The various fan points and grills keep the inside relatively clean, and the covers are very easy to take off (a simple button push on the back to detach the side cover for quick access). There's also a slide-out dust catcher below that helps keep the floor/carpet clean. The front panel also has some conveniently-located ports. Honestly, this has pretty much all the features you'd want in a case, and even led to the purchase of another Corsair case (albeit a different model) later on.

Cons: - The metal construction is sturdy, but that also means it's pretty heavy and over time can develop some sharp corners. - Ports in the front are USB 2.0, which might not be acceptable in the USB 3.0 world today. - The drive caddies are easy to remove and slide in, but that also means they can be a little on the flimsy side, and some of the smaller pieces can fall off easily.

Overall Review: Based on my experience so far, I'd definitely recommend Corsair cases in general. I'm sure there's an updated model of this same case.

12/19/2015

Takes 2 USB slots AND needs Power Supply!

Foxconn NetDVD-TS-B-A Slim Magnetic DVD Burner for Barebone
Foxconn NetDVD-TS-B-A Slim Magnetic DVD Burner for Barebone

Pros: It works. No special drivers needed for Windows 7.

Cons: 1. I have no idea why it requires 2 USB ports AND an external power supply, but it does. I hope the special USB Y cable never has to be replaced! 2. With some DVDs, it is LOUD. One of the driver DVDs from my n-T330i made the unit shake like it was going to blow up, while other DVDs worked fine. 3. Loading discs is a little strange. You push the disc halfway in and it feels like it stops. If you push it further until it's about 80% in, the drive will finally grab the disc and pull it the rest of the way in (there's really no other way to say it so it doesn't sound dirty).

Requires some tweaking

Foxconn NT-330I-A-W-NA-A NVIDIA ION White Barebone Systems - Mini / Booksize
Foxconn NT-330I-A-W-NA-A NVIDIA ION White Barebone Systems - Mini / Booksize

Pros: Once it's running and set up, it's good. It can handle 1080p MKV files smoothly after some updates. Low noise, works best with 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium and that OS's built-in Media Center / ffdshow / Gabest splitter. Looks pretty sleek and is pretty tiny. HDMI output is nice.

Cons: Start to finish: 1. Case is REALLY difficult to open and required an extra flathead screwdriver to help pry up the cover. 2. Memory didn't snap into place easily - took some effort and also some pressure on the locks to get them to snap closed. 3. Instructions seemed outdated - didn't match what was inside the unit. 4. Some slight difficulty getting the hard drive in place because of the WiFi cable running underneath the tray (had to push the cable out of the way). 5. Initially tried 64-bit Windows 7 Pro and experienced problem after problem. High CPU usage from a variety of processes, jerky playback, random app crashes. Reinstalling using 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium fixed almost all those problems. 6. My unit has some issue with the graphics card - I'm getting some tiny graphical glitches every once in a while (even during BIOS POST). Enough to make me want to exchange it. Hopefully the next one is better.

Overall Review: Make SURE you don't go with a 64-bit Windows (I've heard trouble with 64-bit Linux OSes, too). The included drivers are meant for 32-bit. There's no reason to get a 64-bit OS anyway, since you can only install up to 4 gigs (only 1 RAM slot). Make sure you buy a USB keyboard / mouse (preferably wireless) so you can set it up!

Meh. Regrets.

ADATA S596 Turbo AS596TB-32GM-C 2.5" 32GB USB 2.0 & SATAII Internal / External Solid State Drive (SSD)
ADATA S596 Turbo AS596TB-32GM-C 2.5" 32GB USB 2.0 & SATAII Internal / External Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: Decently fast and quiet.

Cons: 1. I use this as a boot drive for Windows 7 only, and I install almost everything to a separate drive, but between all the miscellaneous common files, DLLs, etc, etc, the 32 gigs gets eaten up almost immediately. It's just not enough space for a Windows 7 drive. 2. Works right about 97% of the time, but occasionally glitches and gives me a BSOD or other critical problem. 3% doesn't sound like a lot, but it's gotten REAL annoying.

Overall Review: 1. Immediately needed a firmware update which was hard to find, since A-Data doesn't support the drive or offer files for it anymore. 2. Since I don't reboot often, the benefits of this drive's speed are pretty minimal. Most of the programs and data reside on the other, non-SSD drives, so I paid a really high premium to shave off a few seconds of boot time. The times that it DOES glitch up causes far more lost time overall. In retrospect, I would rather buy a good non-SSD drive and get 30x more storage and more reliability for less money. I'm going to be migrating away from SSD for a while. Once I can buy a large, reliable SSD for under $200, I'll reconsider going back to it.

10/14/2010