New smart Wi-Fi Router review part two — Linksys EA3500

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This week we’re going to look at the second router in my three-part series on the latest offer­ing from Cisco / Link­sys, and for this post we’re going to step it up a notch with the Link­sys EA3500, tar­geted at folks with slightly more soph­ist­ic­ated net­work needs.

If you haven’t read my pre­vi­ous post on the EA2700, take a moment and do that now. It’ll give you a good frame­work to build upon, because that’s what Link­sys has done with this router series and the EA3500 in par­tic­u­lar; taken everything that’s great about the EA2700 and made it bet­ter while adding a few new fea­tures, at a slightly dif­fer­ent price point, of course. Con­tin­ue read­ing “New smart Wi-Fi Router review part two — Link­sys EA3500”

Guild Wars 2 Open Beta Weekend Overview

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There are those who eagerly anti­cip­ate online gam­ing events. And then there’s the rest of the world. I kinda fall into the first cat­egory.

This past week­end I par­ti­cip­ated in such an event — the first Guild Wars 2 open beta test. Basic­ally it was two and a half days of fresh Guild Wars good­ness! But first a little back­ground.
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Guild Wars 2 Open Beta Week­end Over­view”

New smart Wi-Fi Router review — Linksys EA2700

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Since the last time I looked at home Routers, home net­work­ing has got­ten more com­plex. These days, folks are hook­ing up almost everything to their home net­work, either wired or wire­lessly: game con­soles, audio sys­tems, tab­lets, hand­held gam­ing devices… the list goes on. And older routers have occa­sion­ally been cranky when mix­ing brands and types — caus­ing more net­work head­aches.

That being said, home net­work­ing just got much easi­er with the recent intro­duc­tion of the new smart Wi-Fi router lineup from Link­sys.

Over the next few posts, I’ll be look­ing at three mem­bers of this linup — start­ing with the power­ful Link­sys EA2700.

Con­tin­ue read­ing “New smart Wi-Fi Router review — Link­sys EA2700”

Powering your devices while on the go — Morphie Powerstation review

Earli­er this year, I atten­ded SXSWi (South by South­W­est inter­act­ive) and immersed myself in social media, gami­fic­a­tion, and tech­no­logy. Oh yeah, there was the odd party or two 😉

Being that this was my first time in Aus­tin, I relied heav­ily on my tech­no­logy to keep me on sched­ule and help me nav­ig­ate this unfa­mil­i­ar city. Using 4G was a treat, the best I get back home in Edmon­ton is 3G. But boy, does nav­ig­a­tion really suck up the band­width. And power!

Yet, in order to be effect­ive at that crazy SXSWi you have to be at all the events all over the con­ven­tion core. And the tech is on *all the time*.

Which meant that while I was mobile, I was using up my iPhone’s bat­tery faster than I nor­mally do.

Luck­ily for me, I’d taken the excel­lent advice of Liz Strauss and picked up a Morph­ie Juice box — basic­ally just a very smart, fast char­ging bat­tery box that’s pretty much the same size and shape as an iPhone 4.

And it works, as advert­ised. Kept me mobile and my devices in use — I wasn’t tethered to a wall out­let for sig­ni­fic­ant peri­ods of time — as many oth­er seemed to be.

Ini­tially char­ging the 400mAh bat­tery pack took around four hours, using my iPhone char­ger adapter and an included mini-USB cord. The Power­sta­tion doesn’t come with it’s own wall adapter; use your own.

Then, it’s basic­ally pack and for­get it, until you need to juice up your iOS device (yep, it’ll power an iPad too, but it won’t give you a full charge).

I didn’t test it on oth­er devices, but any­thing with a USB char­ging sys­tem could likely be powered. PCMag.com offers the fol­low­ing detail on that:

With its 4000mAh bat­tery, the Power­sta­tion helped a Droid RAZR get 5 hours, 13 minutes more of sol­id LTE stream­ing, and let an iPad 1 watch video for 4 hours, 16 minutes more than before.

Over­all I like it. Small, does what it advert­ises, and (as long as I remem­ber to charge it) is ready to power and charge my iOS devices when I’m out and about, and run­ning low. A good $70 invest­ment.

Review: Drobo FS Network Storage Array

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Wow, that title’s a mouth­ful — Net­work Stor­age Array — but don’t let that tech­nic­al-jar­gony sound­ing term scare you, this Drobo FS device is really as easy to use as your Fridge. And for me, that’s a Holy Grail — some­thing that you use and basic­ally for­get the com­plex­ity.

Whut?
But let me back up a moment and describe what a Net­work Stor­age Array (or NAS — Net­work Attached Stor­age) device is.

Basic­ally, it’s a box with a bunch of hard drives in it, and some net­work intel­li­gence. You con­nect your NAS to your home or office net­work, and it appears to your com­puters as if it’s anoth­er com­puter on your net­work that’s shar­ing some drives.

You copy stuff to your NAS and share files with any oth­er com­puter on your net­work.

Pretty simple, yet dif­fi­cult to do well

And this is where things get a little squir­rely. Some people have a house­hold with mixed com­puters shar­ing the same net­work. In my case, I’ve got Win­dows (2 vari­et­ies), OSX and Linux machines. And some net­work stor­age devices don’t play well with dif­fer­ent machines on the same net­work. Sure, the box may say Win/Mac, but invari­ably issues arise. Not so with the Drobo FS. Con­tin­ue read­ing “Review: Drobo FS Net­work Stor­age Array”