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Toby R. Douglass

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Linksys E1500 Wireless-N Router with SpeedBoost
Linksys E1500 Wireless-N Router with SpeedBoost

2.0 out of 5 stars Unconfigurable, 18 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A bit about me; I'm a software engineer, twenty years experience. I've always built my own computers, as well as for a few friends.

Now, having owned Netgear wireless routers and having been left with the feeling that under the hood, the software is in terrible shape and where those routers are in storage in England and I'm in Sweden, I thought I'd try a Linksys to see what they're like.

And what they're like is : UNCONFIGURABLE.

Now, it may just be me. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Perhaps there's something I don't understand. But I have YET to configure this router properly AND every time I come back to it to try again, the admin interface will not respond - and I have to perform a factory reset on the device to make it responsive. And that means configuring the ENTIRE device configuration, A G A I N.

I've just done that now for what must be the tenth time and I'm sick of it. The Netgear I had never EVER responded in this way so I see no reason this Linksys should.

The initial problems I had I think in the end (after much experimentation to find the cause - there's no information on why network access fails; it just fails) were due to the modem doing DHCP and the Linksys being unable to do a passthrough on the IP address (I had only one device, you see - I didn't want NAT). So turning NAT off broke network connectivity. That doesn't explain why coming back to the device a week later the admin interface wouldn't work. In my most recent effort, just before writing this device, I switched on the MAC whitelist for wireless access and HTTPS for the admin interface. This appears to have broken access. Firefox accepted the SSL cert, but then told me it couldn't display the page. Another factory reset, here we go... basically, I am discovering the functions which don't work via factory resets, one per function.

I won't be buying another Linksys.

Akasa Elite S AK-IC09U3-BK USB 3.0 2.5-inch SATA/SSD HDD Enclosure
Akasa Elite S AK-IC09U3-BK USB 3.0 2.5-inch SATA/SSD HDD Enclosure
Price: £23.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended (until someone sorts out SATA II performance for externals), 2 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First, a bit about me - my credentials as a reviewer.

I'm a software engineer, about twenty years experience. I've built a number of PCs from the ground up, for myself and for friends, and currently remotely look after two friends PCs using VNC. Softwarewise, amongst other things, I've written drivers in the Windows kernel.

Currently my PC setup is based around a Vaio laptop. I have an SLC SSD - small and very very fast. As such, I need external storage. As of today (Nov 2011), you need to be looking for USB 3 (three) on the outside and SATA 3 (three) on the inside. Secondary requirements are build quality and size (the smaller the better).

I did a --LOT-- of looking around for units - some days worth of looking. There are quite a few units which are USB 3 but only SATA 2 (two). There are some units which are USB 3 but have no DC in, so can't power a hard disk from a USB 2 hub (USB 2 supplies less power than USB 3 - two cables are needed, one for data, one for power). There are other units which simply look, to my eyes, ugly as hell; others still where reviews were unhappy with build quality (for example, Icybox enclosures, where the USB 3 enclosures have a big problem with the USB socket becoming detached and falling into the case!)

In the end, this was for me the *only remaining eligable candidate* - and even these units are not perfect, because of the limitations of the SATA 2 (two) chip - it simply won't go as fast as a modern SSD drive, despite the USB 3 connection being able to handle it.

Still, it was the best there was.

I have the units now and I'm satisfied - the build quality is solid, the unit is aesthetically pleasing and small enough. It comes with DC in, with a USB 3 cable for data (and one lot of power) and a dual headed USB 2 to DC cable, which can provide another two power loads, if required (most hard drives will only need one, so you won't need to plug in both heads).

One thing which surprised me and which was mention in not a single review is that the hard drives are fitted *upsidedown*. I did a bit of checking around and apparently this is (and has been for a long time) absolutely fine. Hard drives don't care about orientation - they're not gravity sensitive.

It'll only be perfect once the performance issue is sorted out (although it's plenty enough for any hard disk you put in it - it's just not suitable for SSDs) but for now, no one has that issued sorted out.


(Addendum: I've had the units for about two weeks now. I noticed a few days ago - and I don't know if it's the drives I have, 1 TB 9.2mm Western Digital Scorpio Blue) or the Akasa unit itself - but when my laptop is off, the disk drives *remain powered up and spinning*. This is not what I want! I want them to power down when the laptop is off. So now I have to disconnect the power lead from the USB hub).

Samsung SE-506AB External USB 2.0 Slimline  6x Blue-ray Writer and 8X DVD Writer - Black
Samsung SE-506AB External USB 2.0 Slimline 6x Blue-ray Writer and 8X DVD Writer - Black
Offered by ADMI Limited UK
Price: £65.95

63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 27 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are at the time of writing no reviews for this unit on-line so I thought I'd add something here.

(About me; I'm a software engineer with about twenty years experience, mainly on Windows using C. I've built a number of PCs from scratch, for myself and for others. I maintain Windows installations for a couple of friends using VNC - actually on in both cases PCs I built for them.)

The unit is physically well-made; solid plastic shell, curved edges (no angular corners) and comes with a two-headed USB to mini-USB cable, since the drive needs two lots of USB power to run.

I realised after opening the unit up that it in fact supports triple and quad layer BD-R disks! Panasonic have apparently -just- produced the first triple layer BD-R, which I cannot find for sale, so it's ahead of the curve, although I wonder if the support will really work when the disks actually become available - I mean, how did they test?

I plugged the unit into Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and it was recognized. I put a DVD in the unit (all I have with me here right now) and played the disk with Media Player Classic. The drive is *very* quiet in operation when playing and reading - I was impressed. (Addendum : I am currently, as I write, ripping a blu-ray. The drive is very nearly silent. There are no seeking noises; just a completely steady very quiet hum of the motor; this is the quietest drive I've ever heard).

I've not run any benchmarks, so I can say yet if the unit is particularly slow or fast or has any hidden issues; I've not tried burning anything yet, either.

Will add more to this review as I do things with the unit.

I've given the unit five stars now - the one improvement I can suggest is to do with size. The unit is compact - you won't think it big in any way - , but I there's room for making it a little smaller - I've seen a really small (DVD) drive from I think it Philips, which really was just barely larger than the DVD disk itself, and that set my expectations :-)

Addendum, 16th Nov 2011. I've been ripping DVDs. Using DVDDecrypter, the drive rips at about 6.0x.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2012 1:10 PM BST

Sex and the Psyche: The Truth About Our Most Secret Fantasies
Sex and the Psyche: The Truth About Our Most Secret Fantasies
by Brett Kahr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.99

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 14 Feb. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've done nine years of psychotherapy, so I'm primed to comprehend the material in this book. In fact, it's been something of a watershed for me; a lot of stuff has suddenly come together, been connected, makes sense.

I suspect people without experience of psychotherapy will find the Freudian concepts here a lot to swallow at first glance!

The book is just amazing - I literally couldn't put it down. I mean, I don't put books down anyway, but this book I *extra* couldn't put down. I should have been working, but I was reading, because I had to.

I learned why I fantasize about what I fantasize about - I saw exactly where those thoughts came from. I now understand; and I got that from this book.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2010 4:11 AM BST

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