Tag Archives: featured

Review: Velvet Blues Update URLs Plugin

Velvet_Blues_pluginThis is a nice handy plugin for anyone moving their website to a new server or domain, (As I just did this morning). It is extremely simple to use and it gets the job done.

If you have never moved your site between domains or servers you may not realize what a pain in the ass it can be to get all your images/links working again.

This super handy plugin takes care of that for you and is worthy of at least a rating of 10 outta 10 on Tim’s scale of cool stuff!

You can find this handy dandy little jewel right here.


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A short Review…Sabrent USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Device.

Jpeg

Updated: 02/12/2015…the review has changed. Read the last section of this article.

So in the process of upgrading the machine that this little server runs on I ordered about 6 items.

  • A new Western Digital 1 TB Hard Drive
  • A new 2.66 GHz processor
  • An  8 GB flash drive (Kingston)
  • A PNY 64 GB flash drive
  • A PCIMax USB 3.0 PCIExpress card
  • A Sabrent USB 3.0 docking station.

As it turned out I was able to use a Program called Macrium Reflect which I posted about a few days back to backup the small 80 GB  hard drive on this Dell PC to the 64 gb USB flash drive.  I was then able to restore it all to the new drive using the Macrium software on the USB drive.

At that point I used the Kingston flash drive to install Windows 64 bit onto this machine and moved the VM to this partition. That means I got it all done using some relatively cheap flash drives. But being out of practice upgrading/cloning machines, I had thought that I might need that USB Hard drive docking station….

….thanks to luck I didn’t need it, and that is a good thing. It doesn’t work at all. It fires up the drive and the docking station gets recognized and that is where the fun ends. So if you are in the market for a USB Hard drive dock, do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy one of these Model EC-DFLT Sabrent SATA docking stations.

The packaging is fine, the product appears to be decent, but it simply is so cheaply made that it doesn’t properly make contact with the pins on the hard drive. Needless to say, I shall be returning it.

I can actually hear the hard drive starting and stopping constantly, and that isn’t a good thing. At this point all I needed it for was to wipe the old drive, in case someone wishes to buy a nice WD 80 GB drive. But this product won’t even allow me to do that.

In all fairness, I only got to test one of these things, so this may be a bad seed, but based on reviews at Amazon, I think not.

Update!

I received a new product directly from the seller and it works perfectly! So in all fairness I guess I will just say ignore my review and if you need a backup drive, this could be a decent option for you. I did confirm that the original product I received was non-functional and at first I thought this one might also be, but in the case of the replacement, I merely had to right click on the “Computer” icon in the start menu and select manage and do a little Drive letter maintenance. (See this link for a how-to)

Note here, this enclosure should be run with the top door open, otherwise you will fry a hard drive in just a few hours. But since the reason to own one of these things is for backups, I would say that is not a real issue.


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Do you need to install a new drive into an old PC? Macrium Reflect has got ya covered.

Macrium_Reflect1So you have an older PC and you need to replace that old, tiny 80gb (or less), disk with a nice new one you found online for a song. Well, it might seem like a daunting task if you have a PC that supports only one hard drive, but it actually isn’t.

Today I replaced my 80 gb Western Digital in the server here with a shiny new WD 1TB drive from Amazon.  Of course to do a revery via Winderz would require that I have a DVD-Rom burner, which this little box doesn’t have. But, in steps this free piece of software I found call Macrium Reflect that I used with a 64gb PNY flash drive I picked up at Amazon when I bought the new drive.macrium_reflect3

End result? I created an image file on the flash disk using Macrium and then proceeded to install a Windows PE boot environment via Macrium that allowed me to boot to the USB flash drive and put the system onto the shiny, super quiet and fast, WD HD. Of course it put it back on EXACTLY as I copied it using only an 80gb partition. I am pretty sure that was the fault of yours truly who simply never read word one of the instructions and winged it, but no big deal.

No big deal you ask? Yeah, calm down and read on.  I just downloaded Linux Lucid Puppy 5.28 and then ran the Rufus File Utility to create a handy bootable flash drive,  booted it up, then I ran the GParted program (the graphical disk partitioning software) and the results were a success.


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ASUS ME572 First Impresssions.

Asus-ME572C-1On Friday I picked up a nice new  Asus Me572C tablet, which I found on Best Buy’s website for a ridiculously low price of $149.  So having had the new device for roughly 24 hrs I am ready to give my first impressions.

The tablet is super fast and runs all my normal apps flawlessly. Battery life appears to be more than adequate. I have been playing with it all day and am only down to about 75% battery.

Build quality is excellent and I ran 2 updates on it today.  The second update is running as I write this.  There was not an update to Android itself, it is still sitting at 4.4.2, but I am hoping that maybe there will be an update to Lollipop in the near future.

The tablet is extremely thin and super lightweight.  So far there is nothing I don’t love about this thing with one exception. The old Notification/settings interface was actually easier to use and far more intuitive than the newer Zen UI interface. Perhaps it is only because I am used to the other one, but I still am not thrilled with it.

Below are 2 shots of the old versus new interface.

HD7 Interface
HD7 Interface
ME572 Interface
ME572 Interface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may just be a matter of preference. I am certain that some folks will love it, so consider it just an opinion.

The only other downside I have found in my short time with this tablet is the Wi-Fi. Now this may simply be due to a settings thing or to my super cheap router, but the ME572 only connects at 65mbps to my router, my older HD7 connects at 135mbps. I have yet to figure out why, but it does annoy me that an “N” based wireless connection can’t utilize the full bandwidth available.

So there you have it folks. My quickie review of the ME572C Asus 7 inch tablet. Would I recommend this? The answer is a resounding YES! It will out perform a Nexus 7 and is significantly cheaper. If there is a better 7-inch tablet on the market for under $200 I am certainly unaware of it. As usual your comments are appreciated.

If you would like a detailed review with all the specs and benchmarks I would suggest trying this one.

I did run a Geekbench test on this model and the results are below.

Screenshot_2015-03-22-11-38-46

Tim


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I think I am finally happy with my Windoze PC…

tpompcnet_smAs those of you who have read my posts before know, I am no fan of Microsoft, but I have finally reached a state where I can tolerate it with my current machine.

Why is that Tim? you might be asking yourself? Well, it is because it keeps me entertained, is 1 billion times faster than my old Duron based Linux box and it allows me to run a few virtual server based websites (on Linux of course!).

So without further explanation I shall proceed to give you the links to those little sites that I run off this very same single machine that I watch videos on, play an old game called Unreal Tournament on and generally use to surf the web, unless I feel the urge to start-up an extra VM in Linux.

What I run off this machine….

The above sites all run off a single VMWare/Turnkey Linux machine which allows me to play around with all that cool webserver stuff without being constrained by Windows. If you visit my homepage you can get an idea of what can be accomplished with a basic machine and a little determination.

Virtually half that site is server side includes and it really is full of some handy information on virtual servers. It is rather nice to be able to play around with virtual hosts,  SSI, and cgi again. Of course there are the usual databases(MYSQL) and php which run this site.

Bonus here…I can export the VM and put all of this onto any PC/Server anywhere running VMWare. Try that with your Windows server….

The newest version of this server is now on a Zotac Ci323  mini-PC with a 240 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM.

Tim


Follow Tim on Twitter @tl1000rzx2
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