Raid 0 & 1 Explained With Sandwiches

D-Link takes a very creative way to Explain the different kinds of Raid to people. For techies Raid has been a part of their lives for decades but with more homes using home storage solutions from so many different companies they would be confused as to what is all the different types of configurations for their hard drives. But as for Raid 1 & 0 this is the best explanation yet and you will probably be hungry after the video.

OCZ: 100GB SSD + 1TB Drive Combined On PCI-E

Sounds like something made by Dr. Frankenstein yet it is very very interesting what OCZ has put together. Combining an SSD Drive with a normal HD on a board connected to a PCI-E, giving you theorectical speeds up to 910MB/s which is above and beyond what can be attained from a usual Sata connection. So you get the benefits of both SSD and HD on one board, and OCZ have their special algorithim which learns the way you use your machine so it keeps the hot data on the SSD and the cold data on the HD so it can be faster then any other normal hard drive. I like the way OCZ is thinking and the possibilities of this machine and it can be in your PC just for $499. Its an interesting concept but I don’t think I would install at the moment, but still I wouldn’t mind seeing the tested results of this fusion of technology.

“The RevoDrive Hybrid leverages the best attributes of both solid state drives and traditional hard drive technology to deliver dynamic data-tiering on a single easy to deploy PCIe storage drive,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. “Leveraging Dataplex software to efficiently manage frequently accessed data delivers superior performance and capacity, making the RevoDrive Hybrid the ideal solution for high performance computing and media content creation.”

Link: OCZ

Review: Blackberry 9900

After using the phone for the past 10 days I have really put it through its paces, overall I really do like the phone except for a few small issues which I am overlooking because its a pretty good phone. And its now getting released around town for 190 to 200 KD and the carriers will have the soon with packages, if you are looking to upgrade your blackberry then this is a decent choice.

Pros:

  • Excellent Screen
  • Very smooth Operating System, OS 7 has made the right kind of improvements
  • Excellent Browser
  • Thinner then all the other BBs
  • Nice Carbon Fiber and Rubber Back, doesn’t slip from your hands and can slide on a table if you want it to
  • Excellent quality build
  • 8 GB internal Memory
  • Very nice Keyboard, feels very good when using it, nothing beats a Qwerty keyboard
  • Loud Speaker, had to lower the volume because it was too loud
  • Charges very very quickly

Cons:

  • Lighter then the previous Bold and Touch but still a bit heavy
  • Crappy Camera – No Autofocus
  • Crappy Battery, barely lasts 6 to 8 hours from normal use, but if you switch off 3G and keep it 2G only it increases to 10 to 13 hours
  • Price – A bit on the high side

Overall I am very much liking the Blackberry 9900, its smooth, very well built phone from Blackberry. But what I found surprising is that it doesn’t have autofocus which is a very big disappointment. Battery life isn’t that good, I think we all got used to crappy battery life from all the new phones, when a while ago all the phones had two to three days worth of use, to get decent battery life from your phone you have to switch off 3G and it will easily last the day. Overall this is a decent phone with a few drawbacks that I mentioned, but Blackberry has to do a lot better then this to win people over. Their operating system has improved but they need to change their tactics because they have lost a lot of ground to Apple and Android.

Rating:
r3.5.bmp


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Windows 7 Short Cuts

Windows7

Using Windows 7 so much I have come across a lot of tips to quicken and ease the use of the OS, and below are my favorite set of shortcuts that I use throughout the day.

  • Windows Logo + L – Locks your computer
  • Shift + Delete – The file is gone and even bypasses your recycling bin, you can’t even recover it
  • Alt + 6 – To see all the windows you have open
  • Shift + Ctrl + N – The easiest way in Windows 7 to create a New Folder in your current window
  • Windows Logo + M – To minimize all the open windows, so you can clear your screen
  • Windows Logo + Shift + M – To bring back all the minimized windows
  • Windows Logo + Spacebar – All the windows turn transparent and you can see your desktop, just in case you dropped something there and you wanted to look for it without having to minimize anything
  • Windows + Shift + Left or Right Arrow – A lot of people have dual screen setups, this will move your current active window left or right depending on your choice
  • Windows + T – You scroll through the current active programs and windows on the taskbar, very useful to find a specific active window

Review: Bose Bluetooth Headset

I am one of those people that tend to talk and drive a lot, and I really hate in car bluetooth systems because they interrupt the music when it rings and that drives me nuts. So I have turned back to bluetooth headphones, I tried a few different ones over the years, the Jabra BT250 was my favorite back in the day, but looks like aliens attached something to the back of your ear. I didn’t car because it was comfortable, people could hear me, and it was loud enough but over the years I couldn’t find out that fit that worked just as well and they stopped making them. The jawbone was pretty good but it just didn’t fit my ear very well. Then Bose came out their own bluetooth headset, at long last they have adapted their amazing sound technology to a bluetooth headset. The moment I saw it available forsale I purchased and I never regreted it, now I feel weird talking on the phone and holding the phone. Even when I’m at home walking around, my phone is in my pocket and I’m using the headset.

Pros:

  • Crip Sound, very clear and loud(The other end can’t tell its a head set). You can’t hear the background
  • It only weighs 136 grams which is very light, and you don’t feel it while you are wearing it
  • It fits comfortably in your ear, same as the tri-port head phones
  • Works with bluetooth enabled devices to stream music to them, so you can listen to your iTunes
  • Very simple to use and intuitive, not a confusing headset
  • Battery lasts for about two days with heavy usage which is pretty good
  • Charges via micro-usb so its the same as the Blackberry and Android, so you don’t need a spare charger

Cons:

  • A bit on the expensive side but worth it since quality built headset from Bose
  • You can only use it on your right ear

Overall this is an excellent bluetooth headset, Bose have really done their homework when putting this product together, they knew what people wanted. If you don’t mind it being only a right side bluetooth then I highly recommend it to anyone, it 4.5 out 5 because of price but its an excellent product and does exactly what it promises.

Price: $149
Link: Amazon
Rating:
r4.5.bmp


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WD My Book @ 6TB

WD6TB

There are a lot of storage solutions out there, some simple and some complex, the WD My Book line has been very successful for people looking for a home storage solution. I’m more keen to go for something slightly more complex and works on the network but if you need a solution on your desk then this would the way to go. It may not be on the network but its a lot of space and looks good.

WD My Book 6TB with FireWire 800/400, eSATA, and USB 2.0 for connectivity, and it also works with Apple’s Time Machine.

Link: Gizmodo

GeForce GT 430

GT430

Now this is the perfect graphics card for an HTPC, simple, small, powerful, and cheap. Now you can play everything you wan’t through your Home Theater PC without worrying about the machine’s capabilities. NVidia have really made the perfect graphics card with it’s capabilities, 1080p movies without any effort and now in small forms. A few years ago you needed a real powerful graphics card to handle HD movies, and now they can offload the processing to graphics card since its more powerful

Important Bits:

  • 1 GB DDR3 Ram
  • Blu-Ray 3D Playback (HDMI 1.4a)
  • Loss-Less Audio
  • HDMI Audio Playback
  • Small Form Factor
  • $60

Network Storage Alternatives (Windows Home Server is Gone)

WHS

Since getting rid of the Drive Extender everyone lost hope in the new Windows Home Server iteration, the Vail Edition. I was waiting for so long for that edition that I am somewhat saddened by their decision. Luckily for me I got a ReadyNAS 3200 alternative which I shifted everything over to and rebuilt quite a bit of my collection since a lot went missing due to hardware crashing. I even went to the extent of shutting down my Windows Home Server as it wasn’t performing the way I wanted it to, and I started cannibalizing the hardware for other uses.

ReadyNAS

One of my first alternatives is the ReadyNAS line from Netgear because they have proven themselves to be extremely durable and probably the best warranty service I have seen.

  • Network Oriented
  • Works with all different platforms (Windows, OSX, and Linux)
  • Choices of Hardware from 4 TB up to 24 TB, Consumer Level to Professional Level
  • Reasonable prices and more expensive for the higher level hardware
  • More complex options available depending on your requirements
  • Lots of redundancy
  • Excellent Forum Support
  • But has to be specific drives to work with the ReadyNAS

Drobo Pro

My second choice being the Drobo S or Drobo Pro S. My preference for all kinds of storage is for rackmounted because its easier and cleaner to setup so I would go for the Drobo S. Now the Drobo is an even easier solution and they have had years to improve on it and perfect it, and they have really done a good job with it. Initially it was just a storage device without any network options, but they have added a network connection but it had a few flaws and gradually improved. There are still some skeptical reviews about this product but its a simple product

  • Simple
  • Easy setup
  • Any type of drive can work with it
  • 8 Bays is more then enough
  • Works with All types of Operating Systems
  • Varying pricing depending on the which Model you choose

Samsung Galaxy Tab – Try Out

I was walking in Piccadilly just going store to store and looking around, pretty much enjoying roaming around the area. I walked into HMV I stumbled upon the Samsung Galaxy Tab sitting on the counter in their little tech area. I wasn’t expecting to see it there, I kept seeing lots of reviews online and I thought to play around with it for a bit.

The Android Tablet is a very different then iPad, it feels more like an oversized phone then it does a tablet. It has a spot for a SIM Chip, so you can use it for connectivity same as the iPad, but its quite a bit smaller at 7inches. The screen was crisp and it was smooth when going from app to app, it feels like there is a lot to it and it can be tweaked. Looked like a very good tablet overall, it is said to be the best Android Tablet currently out there and some people might like it over the iPad, and I am one person who loves the Android platform but honestly speaking it is leagues behind the iPad in content and overall usage.

All the applications are developed for Android to run on the Android phones and this Tablet, Google is a bit lacking on the Market Direction and simplifying the users experience, the best part of the iPad is its simple application Market, but with Android you get lost and developers are getting lost with all the different iterations and different hardware. So it Tab is an excellent tablet but its lacking in Applications, and Developers haven’t taken advantage of the extra real-estate. For the first real Android Tablet, its excellent but they have a ways to go and Google really needs to step it up if they plan on developing Tablets, we want applications specifically for Tablets. I will stick to my Android phone as a phone, and keep my iPad for all my other needs for now.


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Recycling Electronics?

ElectronicsRecycling

For the last few weeks I have been going through my stored items and electronics that I have sitting on my shelf for a while. Some of them are very useable and some I don’t think have any use at all for them. I really don’t like throwing electronics away, it feels like a complete waste when I know there is a use for them still but I don’t have a need for them. I usually cannibalize PCs so I always know what to do with the next part but with normal electronics they either sit on a shelf and gather dust or go inside my closet. Is there any place in Kuwait that genuinely recycles electronics? I would want to make sure that they go some where they really do recycle items or take care of them at least for other use. I have too many items over the past decade just sitting in the corner and I don’t use any more. I don’t have the heart to throw electronics away but I don’t want things piling up.