Synology DSM918+ Review: Something So Simple, Yet So Unbelievably Frustrating

By on Feb 1, 2019 in Hardware | 0 comments

The promise of the Synology DS918+ is that it’s a simple way to setup a powerful network attached storage (NAS) solution. This language is featured prominently in the description on Amazon: High-speed scalable storage serverFeaturing a powerful quad-core CPU, Synology DiskStation is perfect for home users or small businesses looking for a compact and reliable shared storage solution to process intensive workloads. After a few weeks of near-daily struggle with the DS918+ and Synology’s shockingly poor support, I thought it time to share my experience. Let’s Start With The Basics: Setting up the DS918+ This part was simple enough. I installed my three new 8TB Seagate IronWolf drives and ran through the basic setup, configuring them in a RAID 5 array. The DS918+ installed the available updates and I teamed the 1GB network cards for some added speed. I connected them...

Review: Dell XPS 13 9365 2-in-1

By on Feb 12, 2017 in Blog Posts, Hardware | 0 comments

Back in 2012 I got my first Dell XPS 13 and it was the best laptop I’d ever had. It was svelte, fast, and just what I needed in a mobile computer. I used it for years before I got a Chromebook Pixel which was (and still is) a better device. Since then Alona has taken over ownership of the 2012 XPS 13 and has used it daily. While it’s still a solid device, it’s starting to show its age. Windows 10 never worked perfectly on it (neither did Windows 8), with a number of minor nagging issues and a serious bug with the display driver that we were never able to resolve. So, it was time for an upgrade. Alona needs a Windows laptop because she has to run Windows-only apps, so that meant no Chromebooks. In the end, we opted for the brand new Dell XPS 9365 2-in-1. Although the name leaves a lot to be desired, the device itself is dripping with sex appeal. It’s fanless,...

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Google’s OnHub Router

By on Oct 30, 2015 in Blog Posts, Hardware | 2 comments

Way back in the heady days of October 2012 I purchased a popular wireless router – the ASUS RT-N66U. It was so cool that ASUS even nicknamed it The Dark Night. For nearly three years it was not only the router I wanted, but the one I needed. It more than got the job done. Then we moved into a new house, and the wireless speeds mysteriously became unreliable. Even 30 feet away I couldn’t get a decent test result. My 100M/10M Internet connection was hobbled. I ran tests and quickly found that a wired connection to the router worked perfectly. 2.4ghz was fine, but since the limits of 802.11g meant I couldn’t fully utilize my bandwidth, I opened a ticket with ASUS support. After a week of fruitlessly testing different settings, the 5ghz band’s performance was less reliable than Lindsay Lohan. ASUS initiated an RMA. But wait, isn’t this an article about...

How to fix audio issues and crashes on a Gigabyte motherboard

By on Aug 20, 2012 in Blog Posts, Hardware, Software | 3 comments

I’ve had problems with my Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 motherboard every since I built my custom system a year ago. It wasn’t to the point where I couldn’t use it – so I didn’t have to take drastic steps – it was just annoying and would crash once every few days.The blue screen errors were generic and generally pointed towards faulty memory. Since the memory was brand new, that seemed unlikely. I tested each stick thoroughly with Memtest86+ and found no issues. I tried different RAM slot combinations to no avail. I tested different combinations of RAM timings and clock speeds without any luck. Even Auto settings didn’t work.After weeks of useless back and forth with Gigabyte technical support, they mentioned that the memory controller is integrated into the CPU and perhaps that could be the cause of the issue. This didn’t feel right to me,...

New toys and Star Trek nerdiness

By on Mar 4, 2011 in Blog Posts, Hardware | 0 comments

The past few months have brought a few interesting, and of course nerdy, new toys into my life.In my ongoing search for the best wireless headset ever of all time, I’m now using the Logitech G930. After a few months of use I can safely say this is the best wireless headset I’ve ever used – and I’ve had quite a few. It has 8+ hours of battery life, works 10 feet further than most others at about 40ft of operating range, and comes equipped with the most comfortable ear cups I have experienced so far. They could still be a little more comfortable on my giant head, and there is no button on the headset to answer Skype calls. Other than that, these are truly gets cans.After reading about the resurgence of mechanical keyboards over the past year or two I finally decided to take a risk and purchased the Rosewill RK-9000. This cherry MX switch keyboard is affordable,...

Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Review

By on Nov 3, 2010 in Blog Posts, Hardware | 0 comments

After a few years with a pretty generic Logitech wireless mouse, I decided it was time for an upgrade. I wanted something sturdy, affordable and equally useful in gaming and daily computing tasks.I recalled a review I had read about the R.A.T. 7 Gaming Mouse by Cyborg. They proclaimed it “the best gaming mouse ever”, and although I wouldn’t go that far, the R.A.T. is a great mouse.I won’t go into how customizable it is, or how great the sensor is, or even how cool it looks – that’s all been covered better by others. I will simply say that after using it for two months I’ve been very pleased. The only problem I can see so far is that the sensor gets a little dirty since it’s somewhat recessed which leaves a small area for dust to gather.Go get one, or get the wireless R.A.T. 9.