Joined on 03/22/05
Pros: It works. Super-easy to switch between computers (press Scroll Lock twice). Reasonably long cords.
Cons: Occasional slight ghosting on the monitor under Windows (monitor is a low-end 17" HP). Not sufficiently noticeable to deduct a star.
Overall Review: I'm connecting one Windows box and one Linux box.
Linux support could be better
Pros: Easy wireless setup w/o special software. Easy to set up with linux (Ubuntu 9.10). Nice that it doesn't have to be connected to any computer. Most print jobs come out quickly.
Cons: Many print failures from linux (a page comes out w/ an error code instead of what I wanted to print) Occasional long wait to first page (1-2 minutes).
Overall Review: Do hook it up with a wire when you are performing initial configuration. The fact that it's a wireless network printer is a big plus---no need to keep a machine running as the print server any more. The number of print failures from linux is unreasonable (I'd guess 10-20% of jobs fail). I don't doubt this is a driver problem, but if so, Brother should be making more of an effort to make good drivers readily available. I had a similar Samsung for 6 years and never had this kind of trouble, so I have to say Samsung has far better linux support.
Big 'n Quiet
Pros: It works as expected. Quiet---I hear soft tick-ing noises when reading/writing data and nothing when it's idle.
Cons: None yet.
Overall Review: This is the best deal I could find in terms of data per dollar. My prior experience is that Seagate drives are much quieter than WD drives---this drive matches that experience.
Dell Dimension 3000 Upgrade
Pros: - 1600x900 native resolution (Dell Dimension 3000 integrated couldn't do this) - no fan/no noise - Win XP recognized & installed drivers automatically
Cons: Not free
Overall Review: Awesome upgrade for PIL's Dell Dimension 3000. Provides native resolution for their 1600x900 LCD monitor. Also, greatly speeds up overall computer performance due to reduced load on main cpu/memory/bus. Breathed new life into what was otherwise going in the junk pile. To install, I just inserted the card in a PCI slot, booted-up the computer and followed the Win XP instructions. I was prepared to have to muck in the BIOS, but apparently that was set to auto-detect. Win XP automatically identified the card and installed the appropriate drivers.
Good tea kettle
Pros: - boils quickly, esp. when you only fill to 0.5 L line - durable - clean
Cons: - no "done" noise - hot surface - poor water level design
Overall Review: Have been using this for over a year for making tea. Generally does a great job. Takes less than a minute to boil 0.5 L of water. There is no insulation for most of the exterior surface, so when the water is hot, you don't want to touch the metal---keep out of reach of children. The only indication that water is "done" is that the lever flips up and there is steam coming out of the top. I can also tell by the fact that the bubbling noise goes from high frequency to low frequency. But, you do have to pay attention, since it's easy to miss. The "level" indicator is designed badly and doesn't reflect the actual water level quickly enough, esp. around 0.5 L. You have to pour water slowly else you could easily pour 1 L before the level fills past 0.5 L. One big plus is that the entire interior is nonporous metal so it's easier to clean than plastic.
Useful, but no replacement for web directions
Pros: It works (no issues w/ the fact that it is "recertified"). Great for areas with no street signs. Great for spontaneous trips if you don't have an iPhone. Verbal directions are generally clear and easy to follow.
Cons: Can take a while (often 1 minute) to acquire satellites. Directions were occasionally wrong. No verbal indication of how close to destination (since when I'm a few blocks away I usually want to ignore it and look for parking). Estimated arrival time is annoyingly optimistic. Garmin's website wouldn't give me a free updated map no matter how many things I tried (still need to call customer service).
Overall Review: We used this for a trip to SF and Santa Cruz. We figured the amount we paid would be less than the rental car company would charge for mere rental of a GPS. I'm glad we bought it---it was definitely useful. But, it paled in comparison to what a mobile web directions might be like. Especially annoying was when it tried to take us down Market St. downtown SF. Private vehicles weren't allowed where it tried to take us and it kept trying to reroute us back to the illegal area (!)