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by Mike

Anker A7908 Bluetooth Speaker

May 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

If you use services like Spotify or Google Music, or simply have a massive SD card in your phone, you likely keep a lot of music which is sometimes awkward to play when entertaining. Your phone speaker is awful and not everything that sounds good in your house or car may support bluetooth connections. Aux cables can be clumsy and besides, what year is it? Anker® A7908 Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with Super-Sized 4W Driver has been such a great addition to my travel bag.

Moving around the device there are only 3 buttons which serve as volume and play/pause. There is unfortunately no way to skip to a different song. I looked at many devices that supported this but the benefits of this outweighed that feature. An LED indicator which is for Bluetooth connection status and low battery indicator. Around the back is an on off hard switch, AUX in port and micro USB port for charging, as well as an additional LED indicator for charge status.

There are definitely a lot of thins done right with this device and I’ll start with my favourite. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Mike

AUKEY 20000mAh Power Bank

April 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

AUKEY 20000mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank
I spent a great deal of time debating between various sizes brands and form factors. To give you a bit of a tour of the hardware, this model features 2 powered quick charge USB ports at 2.4 amps each, one charging micro USB port and one charging thunderbolt port. The powered USB ports will go to sleep if not being used and need to be activated using the power button on the top. This button is illuminated with a 3 colour LED which serves as the indicator for remaining capacity. If you hold the power button it will turn the LED flashlight on or off. It’s not super powerful but it will do in a pinch and given the capacity of this battery, the light could stay on for a very, very long time. AUKEY took the cake for three big reasons. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Mike

AUKEY 42W 3-Port USB Wall Charger

March 2, 2017 in Kwappy Weviews

If you are always on the go with a handful of devices this is a great companion. Many hotels now have USB charge ports but they are slow and may only have 1 or 2 ports available. This wall charger has a convenient folding outlet prongs, good for travel bags and 3 high amp USB charging ports. All 2.4 amps each, great for tablets or phones with high battery capacity and with the top one supporting Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 this is a total time saver when you need to charge many devices in a short time. Great design and functionality!

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by Brian

Lowering my GPU temperature by 20 degrees – The cleaning of an ASUS Radeon 4890

September 24, 2015 in Hardware

With pictures, not too much text, and an exciting “Woops my computer won’t start, what have I done?!”

Removed the card from my case and set to work taking it apart by simply removing every screw I could see, dusting along the way.

Part 1

 

Got the card apart fairly easily all things considered. Went into the heatsink and removed a good layer of dust. Things are running quite a bit cooler for me now!

 

Part 2

After removing the duty with some tweezers, I carefully put it back together again and went to boot up my computer. Though the computer wouldn’t even POST so I was a little worried there. Some tinkering later, I re-seated the RAM and she was fine! I had taken the RAM out to have a look at some part numbers, but wasn’t sure why it needed to be re-seated.

Results (pictures to come later): 20 degrees cooler across the board, 70 to 50 idle, 80 to 60 at ~50% load and 90 to 70 at ~100% load.

Success!

 

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by Mike

Next-gen USB to be Finally Reverstable

December 5, 2013 in Hardware

PCMACLINK2.CUSB has been a staple in the world for everything from convenient mobile storage and mobile phones to permanent printers and external hard drives. Work has begun on a new USB cable standard that will not be compatible with existing connectors but WILL fit both ways. The goal is to improve ease of use and allow for thinner devices. The new connector, using the USB 3.1 spec, is expected to be ready mid 2014 and will be the Type-C standard. There are no images yet but its expected to be the size of a Micro USB plug with the reversible functionality of Apple’s Lightning connector.

In their press release, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders said that Type-C will “meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability” while it should also allow for future scalability in charging and data transfer. Type-C “will enable an entirely new super-thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops,” says Alex Peleg of Intel. “This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power, and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”

I’m all for this change but the main concern is also that the new specification doesn’t render countless USB chargers obsolete. This change is a good move not only from a usability standpoint but micro USB has come as far as it can. The USB 3.0 adaptation is pretty ugly and makes the Galaxy Note 3 look like it charges over an old 1990’s parallel port.

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by Mike

ASUS RT-N56U Revisited

November 1, 2012 in Kwappy Weviews

I wanted to revisit this review. Earlier I had basically said in summery that the router was great, but the UI had some shortcomings. I have since come across some amazing firmware. Don’t get me wrong I think Asus did a great job, but I was getting a little frustrated. Curiosity got the best of me.

PLEASE, if you have this router or are thinking of buying it, make sure you check out ASUS RT-N56U custom firmware website. I have donated to these guys because I truly feel they over came all of the routers UI shortcomings and turned this thing into a total beast. It still has the same great speed and performance but now has shorter reboot and apply times – Applying settings usually now takes less than 5 seconds and reboots are under a minute. Firmware still takes about 3 minutes to install. It offers VPN access, Guest WiFi zone, the same great built in FTP access and all those little nitpicking features I wanted. Easy drop downs to reserve IP addresses for one! HUGE for me.

Resource monitoring of CPU and RAM with BEAUTIFUL graphcs for both resource monitoring and network traffic stats.

 

IPV6 is still a bit of a work in progress and there is no QOS, but there are frequent updates to this custom firmware and the community usually can help if you need any support. Trust me when I say its worth your time to check this out. Feel free to drop any questions in the comments.

ASUS RT-N56U custom firmware ]

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by Mike

BlackBerry 10 Excites Me

October 31, 2012 in Hardware

The more I watch videos on how BB10 works, or what it can do the more I honestly can’t wait to update my BlackBerry. Already I’m sure you have realized I am a HUGE BlackBerry fan… Here’s the thing though, Apple keeps doing the same old crap and everyone knows it. Android has a nice niche but they don’t have the experience I would want from an all touch screen phone. I love my keyboard! The Bold 9900 is the best typing experience I have ever had. I used to love the idea of texting, but hate actually doing it. I know I’m not alone either or I wouldn’t see text messages with terrible bad spelling and grammar. Though there will be a BB 10 device that has a full keyboard, I think without the trackpad and other top buttons, I might as well go with the full touch and just adapt! The word prediction looks easy to use and helpful, not a hinder like some devices you see. The touch keyboard on BB 10 will learn how you type and learn from where you press buttons. If you tap the letter R a little bit low and to the right it will start anticipating it. That is the kind of all touch keyboard experience I want.

Some other things I’m excited for is the power that will come from their new QNX operating system. The PlayBook has been a great experience and I worried about how some apps would work but this will truly be a radical switch to anyone that currently has a BlackBerry. No more rebooting after installing apps. Apps will be able to run services in the background. The beauty and elegance of apps will get much better and no more crappy java memory leaks! Soon you will finally see BlackBerry devices with good specs. Java just couldn’t handle it, but QNX will be able to run dual-cores, quad-cores or what ever else the future brings for mobile phones. The way the operating system handles elements is somewhat interesting too. This video really caught my attention:

Though there isn’t a real practical application to this, the fact its possible its awesome! Everything looks snappy! It’s fresh. Apple is thinking the same “different” they were 5 years ago. Android excites me, but the phones all seem sluggish and the operating system is clunky with all the bells and whistles – not a good business phone. Windows Phone 8 looks promising but with the way Windows 8 looks, I’m worried about where Microsoft is going. RIM has something to prove here and they are doing it right. Apple released the iPhone 5 even though maps weren’t ready. With RIM doing everything to make sure this phone is flawless before its released I think everyone will have a great experience. I have 100% support for this phone and will definitively be doing a Kwappy Weview on it. Alright RIM, lets see you guys knock it out of the park!

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by Mike

Apple Announcement Predictions

September 12, 2012 in Hardware

An Apple site search reveals the iPhone 5 with LTE, iTunes, iPod Nano, iPod Touch but what about the iPad mini? Only time will tell but the tech community is certainly buzzing. Find out more today at 1PM Eastern! Already thousands of people are queued up to watch live blogs, news feeds and tweets. The excitement is palpable!

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by Mike

Portable Devices are Hot

September 11, 2012 in Hardware

Apple has the world talking about them this week with lots of buzz over the iPhone 5 and their new iOS. Pretty much every tech company and their mother has a tablet out now. A whole new generation of laptops are coming out and the most interesting marketing technique I’ve seen yet -they are now being branded as “ultrabooks”!

SO what does this mean exactly? Is there a difference or is this just another way of getting you to buy tech… I want to hear your opinion before I continue.
[poll id=’2′]
Read the rest of this entry →

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by Mike

ASUS RT-N56U

August 7, 2012 in Kwappy Weviews

I haven’t had a chance to use this router very long but already I see a huge downfall in the DHCP reservation and port forwarding. Some of the biggest things I liked about my D-Link is that I didn’t have to type in very much. More drop down menus could improve the efficiency of a lot of options. Host name resolution on more pages would be useful too. Sorry Asus, but I’m not that badass enough to recognize my mac address in the list of 15 other devices…

On the positive side the router performs great under heavy load and with multiple devices. The QOS engine seems efficient and works well. The bandwidth monitor application is not only very neat and useful but graphically pleasing too. The device itself is susceptible to fingerprints and smudges but when its clean and left alone the lights are a great eye catcher and totally a device to be shown off. The cables out the back can be a bit of an eye sore if you are like me and have ethernet cables of every colour and length, running in every direction.

Wifi performance has been great. Despite it not having any external antennas, the 2.4 GHz band is able to reach the full apartment with strong signal even through several concrete walls. 5GHz isn’t perfect but has a far reach compatibly to other 5GHz devices.

Reboot times range from 5-10 seconds and 60 for a full reboot. Firmware updates take about 3 minutes, however no network traffic is impacted for the first 2 minutes. Overall I give the device an 8/10. It performs great and looks sexy, but some of the UI could have easily been improved to help administrative efficiency A LOT. A few strange failures randomly occurred but it seems they are still releasing firmware fixes on a fairly regular basis. Though I would like to be as objective as possible, comparability, every D-Link device I have used has a far more user friendly interface; not only dummy proof but efficient for any network admin.

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