Category Archive: Reviews

Jun 03 2013

REVIEW: Sonos Playbar – Wireless Surround Sound Speakers

Think style, think surround sound, think wireless and then order yourself a Sonos Playbar. This speaker set connects with an optical cord to your HDTV. Once connected it will play all the music you ask it to play from your satellite box, Blu-Ray, video game console, internet, iPhone, iPad as long as it is connected to your HDTV.

The Sonos Playbar has 9 build in speakers give you full theatre sound and can be used as a stand-alone all-in-one mode. You can also connect it to your wireless router and then pair it with your other Sonos speakers and devices. When you add the Sonos Play:3 speakers and Sonos Sub (all wireless) to your Sonos Playbar you have a full 5.1 Home Theatre Sound System.

Sonos Playbar Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sonos Playbar has IR’s Remote capabilities and can be controlled by using free apps with your Android, iPad or iPhone.

Dimensions (H X W X D):  85mm (H) x 900mm (W) x 140mm (D)

Weight:  5.4kg

Conclusion: If you have some extra cash, this device is rather expensive, treat yourself with excellent sound, beautiful style and latest technology in wireless speakers. Get the Sonos Playbar!

Sonos Playbar Speaker View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 03 2013

REVIEW – j5create JUD500 Ultra Station Docking Station

Are you looking for a neat and sleek docking station for you laptop and other digital devices? Look no further. The JUD500 Ultra Station by j5create is the device for you. The JUD500 is an intelligent USB 3.0 laptop docking station that is compatible with Ultabooks, laptops and MacBooks.

The docking station connect via USB to your laptop and allowing you to connect a second monitor via HDMI or VGA (D-SUB) connectors. It is also capable of connection your network, speakers, microphone and other USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 device to your laptop.

The JUD500 also ships with Wormhole technology which enable you to use either a keyboard or mouse to control the other devices. This enables you to easily drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste files from one device to another. This technology is compatible with Windows or MacOS (iOS) or even transfer between the two.

j5create JUD500 Ultra Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

j5create JUD500 Ultra Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PORTS:

1x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
1x Ethernet 10/100
1x 3.5mm Stereo Audio in
1x 3.5mm Stereo Audio out
1x Wormhole port (USB 2.0 Mini-B Female)
1x HDMI
1x VGA (D-SUB)

Display modes: Extended, Mirror, Primary Display.
HDMI and VGA can be used simultaneously, but the output will be the same on both displays, with other words either Mirrored or Extended.
JUD500 Display compatibility

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just love the look and feel of this device and if you are a gadget junky like me, the j5create JUD500 Ultra Station will fit right into your choice of devices.

 

 

Sep 03 2012

Remote Support Software making IT Support a breeze!

When I got involved in IT about 17 years ago and started to help people with their computer problems, things were a lot different than today. Those days someone would phone you with an email problem… o, wait, emails hardly existed 17 years ago… let me try again. Those days someone would phone you with a Word Perfect problem, or Windows 3.1 question. How would you solve this problem for the client? You will get in your car and drive to the client to click-click and drive back to the office.

Today this has changed completely. In my company we use more than one method to provide remote support to our clients, but the most common software for Remote Support is TeamViewer and Logmein. There is a couple of other software also available that I will get to in a second. Remote Support Software changed the world for the IT guy. If your client phone with a problem, you will try to assist first via Remote Support and as a last resort you will go to the client and then it’s mostly for hardware or network issues.

TeamViewer

TeamViewer is by far the best Remote Support Software available and also the easiest to install. You don’t have to struggle with firewalls and possible Anti-Virus software that will block it. You also don’t have to go through all the trouble using Dynamic DNS if your clients don’t have a public IP.

What’s better is that TeamViewer allow you to use their software for free, but only for Personal Use. We as company bought it and it is worth every cent.  The software works very simple. IT creates and “VPN” between your computer and the clients computer. That way you can view his screen, control his mouse and keyboard and the client can see what you are doing. This way your client receive and instant solution to his problem and you as the IT guy don’t have to travel.

LogMeIn

Logmein is the other software that we use very regularly. We use it mostly for client that are on contract with our company. We will then install it on all the servers and computers on at the client. That gives us access to any computer or server whenever we need to do maintenance or Remote Support.

When you need to do server maintenance on a weekly basis of need to check backups or create a new user in Active Directory or forward an email address to someone else’s email address, Logmein is your best friend.

Yes, TeamViewer also have a unattended access option, but Logmein is just so much easier.  From the Control Panel, you can see what computers are online. That way you can immediately determine if it’s a computer problem or a certain section of the network or a DSL downtime problem.

Join.Me

Join.me works the same way as TeamViewer but for me it’s not as reliable, but the funny thing is that if, and that is if, TeamViewer does not work you can almost be 90% sure that Join.me will work.

Join.me is also very easy to install and your client can view what you are doing. It’s not my first choice Remote Support software, but maybe you will like it so give it a try!

VNC

This is probably one of the oldest Remote Support software available. VNC is also very good and works brilliant, but it works best if the computers are on the same Local Area Network than the one that you are trying to access it from. With other words, if you have an client and you have an IT technician that is always onsite at the client, he can then use VNC to remotely connect to the computers on the network using the IP address or Hostname of the computer.

Using VNC over the internet is possible but not close as easy as TeamViewer or Logmein. You will have to create and VPN between your computer and the clients network so that your computer has a local IP address and then you can access the computers via Hostname or IP address.

Radmin

Radmin works almost the same as VNC. It’s easy to setup on a local network and access computers via Hostname or IP address. I did use Radmin Viewer years back to provide Remote Support on servers, but today’s software works so smoothly that I will never consider going back.

Now this is the Remote Support Software that I use/used regularly and that I incorporated into my company’s business model. Yes, there also is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) the ships with Microsoft Windows and also works fine. I’ve used it a lot, but it’s just so old school.

Please give me your experiences. What Remote Support Software do you use and why do you prefer it.

Aug 27 2012

HP USB 2.0 Docking Station (AY052AA)

If you need a Docking Station Solutions for your laptop that does not ship with a standard docking station the HP USB 2.0 Docking Station (AY052AA) is the device you will need to make your life alot easier.

You can use it to connect all your accessories to your laptop. With other words, connect your Network Cable, Keyboard, Mouse, Printer, External Harddrives and External Monitor to the HP USB 2.0 Docking Station (AY052AA). Inturn connect the docking station with one cable (USB) to your laptop. It’s also very easy to install as the flash memory on the docking station stores all the software and drivers.

HP USB Docking Station AY052AA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PORTS: 1x DVI External Monitor Port, 1x RJ-45 Network Cable Port, 4x USB 2.0 Ports
POWER: DC 5V Input and Rated Current 4A
DIMENSIONS (WxDxH): 1.1 x 7.0 x 3.4 in

For security you can add a security locking cable to secure the docking station to your desk.
The docking station is compatible with Windows XP (SP1 and SP2), Windows Vista 32/64bit, Windows 7.

HP USB Docking Station AY052AA

Aug 27 2012

Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire

So Amazon has come up with their version of a Tablet. At first glance it looks to me like it will become a very popular tablet. The Amazon Kindle Fire is by far the cheapest tablet on the market at the moment and if you are like me that want a tablet only to browse the web, read your eBooks and magazines in full colour or watch a flash movie or other movie online, then this is for you!

The Kindle Fire is stylish and ships with Android as OS. At a price of $199 this looks like a very attractive deal. It ships with 8GB flash memory storage and of course it’s fully connected to Amazon’s cloud that will store all your eBooks, magazines and movies, so you won’t need more than 8GB – especially if you just want to read and browse the web.

The critics recon that 8GB is way too little for today’s multimedia demand. You probably won’t be able to store more than 20 movies on the Kindle Fire, so if you want to store all the seasons of Dexter on it you will get a big surprise. On the other hand, how many people watch the full series of Dexter or any other series on a Tablet? Certainly not me… I’ve got a HD Media Player connected to my 42” LED TV so why would  I want to watch Dexter on a Tablet if I can watch it on my TV with bigger and better quality??

That all said, I don’t think that the Kindle Fire will make a dent in the Apple IPAD customer base, because it falls in a complete different market. If you are like me and you got kids and they want tablets then this $199 Kindle Fire looks more like an option to consider than paying four times more for a device that will probably be used just for chatting and browsing.

So for me, that want to use my tablet as a browser and an eBook Reader and don’t want to spend too much money on it, or want to give a tablet to my kids to play with this is the best option. My Amazon Kindle Firehas been ordered… is yours?

Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet

Here are some specs on the Kindel Fire:

 

Display:

7″ multi-touch display, 1024 x 600 at 169 ppi, 16 million colours
Size: 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm)
Weight: 14.6 ounces (413 grams)
Storage: 8GB internal and Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback
Connectivity: Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots
USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
Audio: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers
Content Formats:

Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively,
Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG,
GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8