Review: Drobo FS Network Storage Array


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.

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”

Discovering new apps on your device

One of the neatest things about own­ing a digit­al device is dis­cov­er­ing new ways to use it. Got a spare 10 minutes? Look for a new app. Great way to kill time :smileyhappy:

For example, when I bought my iPad Touch, I star­ted mon­it­or­ing web­sites and twit­ter feeds such as 148apps and

There’s an more than one app for that:
I also installed Chomp — a cool app dis­cov­ery app (so meta) that recor­ded your recom­mend­a­tions and sug­ges­ted oth­er apps based on those recom­mend­a­tions. Apple’s iTune Store and app now does this through the Geni­us ser­vice — though it’s not quite as good as Chomp is.

Last night some friends recom­men­ded App­Shop­per — an app and com­pan­ion web­site that intro­duces some great fil­ter­ing fea­tures to the app dis­cov­ery pro­cess.


The fea­tures include:

  • Pop­u­lar Apps: Over­whelmed by the App Store? The list of Pop­u­lar app changes lets you browse a list of only the apps that oth­er App­Shop­per users think are worth look­ing at.
  • What’s New: Track all the latest changes to the App Store: price drops, updates, and new apps.
  • Wish List: Add any app to your own per­son­al Wish List and get noti­fied of price changes or updates by email. With Push Noti­fic­a­tions, you can get the latest updates sent dir­ectly to your device.
  • My Apps: Keep track of the apps you already own. With Push Noti­fic­a­tions, you can get the latest updates sent dir­ectly to your device.
  • Syncs with Wish List and My Apps auto­mat­ic­ally sync with so you can man­age your lists in a web browser.

A uni­ver­sal applic­a­tion (iPhone/Touch/iPad), App­Shop­per is a rather cool addi­tion to my app surf­ing addic­tion.

Which is great if you’ve got an iDevice…but many read­ing this could care less because they’ve got an Android or Black­Berrry or Other…so, what exists for those plat­forms? iOS can’t be the only device with ded­ic­ated recom­mend­a­tion ser­vices. Time to ask for help…from you! Help us out and leave your favour­ite ‘oth­er’ device app-find­er app or ser­vice details in the com­ments. It’s appre­ci­ated!

This post of is one of many I pub­lish weekly at the Future Shop Techb­log. Read more of my stuff here.