Joined 2009-11-02
Helpful votes
HTC Desire
10 years ago
Brilliant. One of the best (the best?) purchases that I have ever made. It was a close call for me between this and the Samsung Galaxy S. The Samsung has inbuilt storage (which is better than having them on an SD card) but: * I prefer HTC's Sense Android theme to Samsung's TouchWiz; * I don't like that the Galaxy looks like an iPhone; * the Desire runs Android 2.2 Froyo, whereas I think the Galaxy S is on 2.1; * the Galaxy S comes pre-installed with Swype, which is an excellent way to "type" on the device (and you can only get on the Desire by joining the Beta programme); * I understand that the Samsung updates through a Windows program (I use Linux), whereas the Desire updates itself beautifully over a WiFi connection; and * the Desire was quite a lot cheaper and EKing included an 8GB SD card anyway. At the current low prices it is a no-brainer. I use it for Facebook, email (work and personal), calendaring, watching movies on the bus, GPS mapping for OpenStreetMap and heaps more -- and it isn't much more than a normal good phone. I would choose this phone over an iPhone at the same price.
WD Caviar Green WD10EADS 32MB 1TB
10 years ago
My first of these had serious issues on delivery. My second (warranty replacement) failed in serious and difficult-to-diagnose ways. I'm running this in a Mythbuntu Gnu/Linux HTPC. I don't find the noise to be a problem and the power consumption figures are very low. The difference between this HDD and my old HDD is in the order of 5 Watts on idle, which is a similar saving to that offered by energy-efficient CPUs, but is much less hyped by system-builders. The first drive that I was given did not work -- something was brutally wrong with the sectors about 10GBs in. Once the shop replaced it, the new drive worked fine for me until it began gradually failing and the speeds fell to make the system unusable. The SMART features of the drive all seem to work as expected. I found this drive to be good for an HTPC (when it worked), but it did seem to slow everything down when the drive was doing any heavy lifting. In hindsight, I think I probably got hit with this issue: http://majic.rs/blog/western-digital-green-series-and-intellipark which used up half the life of my WD10EARS warranty replacement drive in a handful of months. The fix in that blog (a DOS application!) seems to have worked, though. Really be wary of any WD Green drive if you plan to use it in Gnu/Linux.
WD Caviar Green WD10EARS 64MB 1TB
10 years ago
Low power use, as advertised. Average performance in a HTPC machine, which was fine (not a gaming HDD). The sectors are 4kB, but reported as 512B (even in the "physical sector size" attribute). More importantly, I got hit with this issue: http://majic.rs/blog/western-digital-green-series-and-intellipark which used up half the life of my drive in a handful of months. The fix in that blog (a DOS application!) seems to have worked, though. Really be wary of this drive if you plan to use it in Gnu/Linux.
Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150
10 years ago
A great analogue card. Works perfectly in Gnu/Linux with MythTV. I used this in an HTPC recording TV day and night like a TiVo/MySky and it was rock-solid. The card is a hardware MPEG-2 analogue card, so it has a processor on the card that converts the analogue TV into an MPEG-2 file, without using your CPU. Not only does this keep your CPU free to do other things, it means you are far less likely to have problems with the recording if you are doing other things and there isn't much CPU left. The only thing stopping me rating it higher is that there really isn't any point in getting this single-analogue tuner when you can get this: http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=308502 *dual*-tuner hardware analogue and DVB-T FreeviewHD tuner for a few dollars more.
Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 (PC/Mac)
10 years ago
Great controller! Works brilliantly in Mythbuntu (so presumably Ubuntu as well) Linux 10.04. The hardest part in the setup was figuring out that I had to push the button on the front of the receiver to pair the devices, then it just worked out-of-the-box without installing any extra drivers, editing configuration or anything (install "joystick" package and type "jstest /dev/input/js0" to test). I'm running with MythGame and MAME. I'm using it from the other end of the lounge with no signal loss. It doesn't work with rechargeable AA batteries, which is a shame (maybe the lower voltage). Highly recommended!
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H
10 years ago
This is a good motherboard, but I'd recommend this board now: http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?e=456676 which is basically the same, but based on the AMD 785G chipset instead of the 780G (so better graphics): http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?j=456676,279997 I use this in a Gnu/Linux home theatre PC running Mythbuntu. It is low-power and everything works out-of-the-box in Gnu/Linux. The specifications for the graphics card have been made publically available, so proper Free/open source drivers are in the works (which is great!), but currently neither the Free drivers nor the non-Free drivers are perfect. If Free drivers are important to you, this is a great choice. If not, the non-Free drivers for nVidia cards are (in my opinion) better than the non-Free ATi drivers and have (in the newer cards) VDPAU support to accelerate video in Gnu/Linux.
Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2200
10 years ago
This is a great card. I've been using it in a Gnu/Linux home theatre PC (MythTV) for months recoding a huge volume of FreeviewHD television. DVB-T support has been in Linux for a little while and experimental analogue support has just been added (I haven't tested it). The card does not come with a remote (I told PriceSpy this ages ago) and comes with both a full-height and low-profile bracket. Capturing DVB-T on this card takes virtually no CPU, though remember that FreeviewHD playback requires a serious CPU or the right graphics card. Easily the best value dual-tuner DVB-T I've seen. The card doesn't work completely out-of-the-box in Mythbuntu, but it isn't far off: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux-firmware-nonfree/+bug/579783 See also: http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Hauppauge_WinTV-HVR-2200
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