Archive for Hardware


Petty cool looking custom ColorWare hardware company. Choice of either new or re-colouring your own.

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Zonbu – a clever device

Zonbu: an intersection of open source, Web 2.0 and energy efficiency is a brief review of a clever convergence device.

reloaded with an office suite, email, IM, web browser, multimedia player, games and Skype, Zonbu is aimed at being a general computing appliance. You can’t install anything else on it, but then again, that way you can’t break it easily either. It sounds the sort of thing I’d be happy leaving with non-technical family and friends.

The Zonbu has 4GB of compact flash storage on board, which it uses as a cache for Amazon’s S3 storage network. All your files get encrypted and sent to S3, and are retrieved when you need them. One really neat consequence of this is that you can get at your data via the web any time you want.

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Silent data corruption on AMD servers with 4G+ RAM

Seems there is a silent data corruption bug on AMD based systems with over 4G of RAM running Linux. Solaris has a similar problem. Luckily none of my AMD systems have more than 4G, but this is a pretty nasty looking bug.

From smugmug.

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OQO2 the most efficient UMPC

All the demo videos that have been shown around the net at the moment for the OQO2 have been very compelling. This report just adds to the geek allure: ‘Worlds most efficient UMPC’ title falls to OQO. I suggest also reading the Gadgeteer review, it covers a good amount of detail.

The VIA UMD platform is efficient, I know that, and until now its not really been used to its limits.but in this report from The Gadgeteer (great review) they talk about 2.5 hours real world usage with the 16W/hr battery. Excuse me, did you just say that the QOQ Model O2 consumes an average of 6.6 watts of power?

From ultramobile life.

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Review of RoadSync for the E-series

A review of RoadSync on the E-series.

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Quality Video on the E61

An article on improving video quality on the Nokia E61, linked from the E61 Blog. The comments on the later provide some additional useful information.

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Mediagate MG-350HD

I bought a Mediagate MG-350HD on Monday after seeing it at a friends place. Although aspects of the setup are difficult to use, for example adding the wireless is a pain and the file share thing requires a guest share. However, it is overall a very nice unit to use. Video’s just play and the selection interface is probably easy enough for even my mother to understand.

Mediagate MG-350HD

I’ve put a 750Gb drive in it, and I because of this probably won’t bother too much getting the wireless work. Just wait until I’ve got the house wired with cat6. I’ve been ripping my DVDs with DVD Shrink and AGK, and this unit is a perfect to play them with. Since I’ve already got a Solaris based raidz NAS, I probably wont worry about the NAS functionality of this unit, which is after only has a single disk.

The only thing I wish was better about the unit was a web interface and wake on lan. It would then also make a very good jukebox. All that said for $300, excluding the HDD, this small unobtrusive unit does a perfect job for just playing videos.

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I borrowed an ST Labs external eSATA enclosure from a friend today. I’m impressed. Very fast. This case is only SATA1, but if I get the SATA2 case I’ll get the full SATA2 rate of 3GBps. Even so SATA1 at 1.5Gbps compared to USB2 at 480Mbps or even Firewall 800 at 800 Mbps is very fast. I’m running this on a Gigabyte GA-M59SLI-S5 motherboard, which includes a two port eSATA bracket.

The really nice thing about this that I like is that the drive being connected directly to the SATA subsystem will be powered down on IDLE. This is one thing I was hunting in a good USB enclosure for a while. The other nice thing is multi-access; with USB if you try do multiple things on the drive the system really starts to dislike you. eSATA handles this all no problem.

Also when I’ve finished putting together the notes, I talk about the 65MB/s (yes bytes!) I’m getting from this eSATA drive on my XP desktop to the home storage OpenSolaris machine with 3.75TB of raw zfs storage. 3Tb effective with RAIDZ.

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Drobo is an interesting looking four disk chasis with advanced management features. Some sort of auto-raid management, presenting JBOD but with raid features in the background. The interface seems to be USB2, but I’m not sure if there is any additional drivers as the demo has some fancy reporting interface. See engadget for a promo code in the comments until 30/05.

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Install Asterisk on Apple TV

Running Asterisk on an Apple TV is clever. I wonder if Ubuntu would run, maybe the Apple TV is something that could replace my SLUG. Will have to stop in the Apple Store and see how noisy it is.

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