Mini-Review: Generic hot-swap eSATA Docking Bay with Ubuntu

Review
I regularly deal with external hard-drives, be it for data backup or if I'm rescuing a client's hard-drive from uncertain death. Since the idea of opening my PC on a regular basis to connect a drive is a bit of a turn off, I used to use an external USB drive enclosure. This works fine, but it's a bit slow (well, at least until USB 3.0 makes its debut). The eSATA standard allows you to connect external drives at full SATA speed, but it's not cost-effective to buy an enclosure for every external drive you have. Enter the Docking Bay. This is a simple weighed base that allows you to connect a hard-drive in a similar way to how you used to plug in game cartridges into a classic game…
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Mini-Review: Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 8.10 on the PlayStation3

Review
So I finally joined the masses in next-gen console gaming nirvana when I finally bought myself a 40GB PlayStation3 that I got cheap at a Big W clearance sale for AUD$398! After playing a couple of games, one of the next things I did was to partition the hard-drive and install the PPC version of Ubuntu 8.10 onto it. This is a quick run-down of my experience installing and playing with it. (more…)
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Mini-Review: Transcend JF V60 32GB USB Flash Drive on Ubuntu

Review
It was only just 10 years ago that some of the first USB Flash Drive storage solutions became available in the form of highly expensive sticks that only had a capacity of upwards to 32MB (yes, Megabytes) and had transfer speeds that were slower than molasses on sandpaper. Today, we now have 32GB USB Flash Drives that go for a paltry AUD$95, and this is a review of Transcend's offering. (more…)
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Mini-review: LG GGC-H20L Super Multi Blue Blu-ray Disc & HD DVD-ROM Drive on Ubuntu

Review
Optical storage certainly has come a long way, and with each new advance brings new affordable hardware to help nudge it along. The HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc formats brought along with it the ability to store and distribute high-quality, full high-definition 1080p movies. Unlike when DVD first appeared, and probably thanks to the battle that was waged between the HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats, the provision of high-definition media and associated players has dropped in price rather dramatically to drive acceptance. I have a fairly large original DVD collection, but I am a quality freak and in light of high-definition releases, I loathed the idea of buying a DVD version of a given movie knowing that for about the same price I can buy a high-definition version. So I decided to…
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Mini-Review: Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000

Review, Tutorials
Well, it's post-Xmas sales time again and vendors everywhere are struggling to get rid of their stock in readiness for 2009. Whilst I wasn't in any specific need for something, I found JB Hi-Fi selling Microsoft's Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 series for AUD$45. This isn't the cheapest I've seen it, mind you, only a few months ago Officeworks sold them for a brief period for only $35 in conjunction with a Microsoft promo, but I digress - I decided to purchase one of these mice for my EeePC 701 since they're some 35% cheaper than its nearest rivals such as Logitech. But does that cheaper price come at a cost? (more…)
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Mini-Review: The Fujitsu Dynadisq III 320GB USB Portable External HDD

Review
Actually, I tell a lie - the full title for this product is the "Dynadisq III High Speed USB 2.0 Portable Storage & Backup Solution for Fujitsu 2.5" SATA Disk Drives" (say that in one breath 5 times)! Title aside, this is one of yet another series of pre-packaged drive & enclosure solutions being bandied about the market today. These solutions are gaining interest with a lot of consumers because they generally manage to undercut the combined cost of buying the same hard-drive and enclosure separately, so much in fact that many users who only need the drive, buy the solution package, rip out the drive and discard the case because in some cases (pun not intended), it can be cheaper this way. Cost aside, what if you simply need…
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Ubuntu vs Vista Resource Usage

Misc, Review
Everyone always rambles on about how much of a resource hog Windows Vista is compared to Linux, so I figured why not find out exactly how much of a hog it really is? For this comparison, I have pitted the following versions of Ubuntu and Vista against each other: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 and all system updates to 29th October 2008 Ubuntu Linux 8.04.1 Hardy Heron with all system updates to 29th October 2008 Ubuntu Linux 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Release Candidate with all system updates to 29th October 2008 (just for kicks) The tests would be simple. A fresh vanilla install of Ubuntu and Vista doing four of the most common things a typical user might do everyday: Nothing View a web page Listen to an…
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Mini-Review: Benq E2200HD widescreen monitor on Ubuntu

Review
I've been waiting a long time to replace my aging, yet faithful Compaq 17" LCD monitor for the last 6 years with some high-definition, widescreen goodness, but have always balked at the price of any display 24" and higher. For a long time, these were the only displays that offered true high-definition at 1920x1200, but now Benq have released a 22" display that does full high-definition for less than AUD$300! It was too tempting - I had to get one! (more…)
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