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Tech Dude "Dude" RSS Feed (San Jose, CA USA)

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Philips 709996048 Living Colors Iris Table Lamp, White
Philips 709996048 Living Colors Iris Table Lamp, White
Price: $79.99
7 used & new from $73.99

2.0 out of 5 stars NOT Philips Hue Compatible. It's just a colored light with a remote., August 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love the Philips color-changable LED products; they make lighting fun and enjoyable, and let you create a lot of unique looks.

But I'd stay away from this particular product, for a simple reason. Philips offers an excellent system known as Philips Hue that lets you control the color, etc., through an application on your phone or tablet. The IRIS, however, is not Philips Hue compatible. That means that you have to use the lame remote contrl that came with it, and thus cannot integrate it with a Philips Hue lighting scheme.

PowerGen Dual Port USB 2.1A 10W AC Travel Wall Charger for Smartphone Black
PowerGen Dual Port USB 2.1A 10W AC Travel Wall Charger for Smartphone Black

3.0 out of 5 stars SLOW charging if more than one device plugged-in, April 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Read the fine print -- this charger will output a TOTAL of 2.1A/10W, for BOTH devices. It will NOT provide 2.1A/10W for two devices at the same time. That total output is the same as a standard one-port iPad charger. That means that if you have more than one device plugged-in, it will divide the power among the two devices and the charging will be much slower.

This device is fine if you charge things overnight or for long periods where the speed doesn't matter. But if you like to plug in your devices for a half hour to get a "quick charge" before you leave the house, this isn't the right device for you because the charging speed is too slow.

KHOMO Apple iPad Air Case - DUAL Red Super Slim Cover with Black Rubberized back (Built-in magnet for sleep / wake feature) For iPad Air Tablet
KHOMO Apple iPad Air Case - DUAL Red Super Slim Cover with Black Rubberized back (Built-in magnet for sleep / wake feature) For iPad Air Tablet

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than cases that cost may times more, December 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This case gets five stars because it is an incredible value and a great case. The fit is perfect and the material is well made. I have owned $50-60 cases that were inferior to this one. I've since bought several other Khomo cases for all the iPad devices in my family.

Seiko 5 Series Automatic Blue Dial Diver Watch SNZH53J1
Seiko 5 Series Automatic Blue Dial Diver Watch SNZH53J1
Offered by n-Lion
Price: $185.89
13 used & new from $175.65

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Japanese mechanical watch at this price point, August 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Length:: 0:24 Mins

This is a remarkably well made mechanical watch at this price point. Very nice styling that's reminiscent of the famous Blancpain "Fifty Fathoms" watch, but sufficiently distinct to be itself. The blue color is stunning in person.

This particular watch is the SNZH53J1, the "J1" at the end indicating that it was made in Japan. Seiko makes watches in other countries, including Malaysia. A non-J1 model of this watch is available for about $30 less: Seiko Men's SNZH53 Seiko 5 Automatic Dark Blue Dial Stainless Steel Watch. Many believe the Japanese-made Seikos have better quality but I have not seen any direct evidence of that. The Japanese-made ones tend to be easier to sell on the secondhand market, but again that might be because of positive perception of Japanese-made products and may not reflect any real quality differences.

The pictures on Amazon do not adequately show the details and beauty of this watch, so I've uploaded the attached video. Note that this watch comes with a stainless steel bracelet, not the leather strap in the video. The leather strap is an aftermarket Liberty brown leather strap.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 7, 2015 5:08 AM PST

Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Offered by HC Wholesale
Price: $102.95
91 used & new from $70.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mechanical keyboard..., July 9, 2014
I have been using computers, including IBM PCs, for more than 30 years. I remember the "old days" when the industry standard was the 1980s IBM "Model M" keyboard. It was mechanical, solid as a rock, and had excellent tactile feel across all keys. Not until the Razer BlackWidow have I seen a modern keyboard with the type of solidity and quality key feel as the old IBM Model M's.

I am not a gamer, but I have bought three of these keyboards, one for each of my computers. My daughter prefers the "stealth" model since it is quieter, while I prefer the nostalgia of the standard Ultimate with the clicky sound. Whichever variant you choose, you'll find that this is a good-looking and well-made keyboard (don't let the "gamer" angle scare you -- it's tastefully designed) ideal for almost any application.

NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender - Wall Plug Version (WN3000RP)
NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender - Wall Plug Version (WN3000RP)
Price: $41.99
121 used & new from $16.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Wifi signal strength with latest firmware, but clunky web setup interface, June 23, 2014
I have owned this particular Wi-Fi extender for more than a year, and until recently, I was underwhelmed by its performance. The Wi-Fi extension signal provided by this product always seemed to be about half the speed of the base wireless router, no matter how close you were to the base unit or the extender.

My views changed when I updated the firmware to the latest version (which at this time is V1.0.2.64_1.1.86, March 2014). The stability of the wireless signal, both to the source router and the destination devices, improved significantly under the latest firmware version. The throughput almost doubled.

I give the device only three stars, though, because I think the web configuration interface is clunky and poorly designed. In my case, I never updated the firmware until very recently because the "Firmware Update" check available through the web interface has always reported, "No New Firmware Version Available." This was untrue, as a check of the Netgear website revealed that the firmware had been updated at least two times since I had purchased it. A manual download of the firmware, and update, was necessary. This is a big drawback because a lot of users will trust the automatic firmware check and never obtain the benefits of the new firmware.

The web configuration interface is, in other respects, inferior to ASUS and Linksys products even under the latest version. It is glitchy (with lots of forced refreshes), and slow, and you're never really sure if changes you have made are going to stick. I like Netgear and have always found their wireless products to put out very strong signals, but their poor user interfaces really hold them back.

Corsair Raptor M30 Gaming Mouse (CH-9000042-NA)
Corsair Raptor M30 Gaming Mouse (CH-9000042-NA)
Price: $39.99
8 used & new from $39.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Solidly built, but scroll wheel failure is a fatal flaw, June 22, 2014
This is a well-built mouse overall, excellent on-screen tracking and good in-the-hand feel. I have owned it for several months and it works well as a standard mouse.

The scroll wheel, however, is totally unusable. It "skips" all the time, meaning that when you scroll down, the screen scrolls up and down at the same time, sometimes counteracting the scroll. It's a fatal flaw, and until it's fixed, I'd stay away from this. It is totally inexcusable that a high-end mouse like this could not implement such a simple feature.

** UPDATE **

Turns out the scroll wheel problem is a well-known and well-documented problem with this mouse, experienced by a large number of users. I ended up trashing mine and replacing it with a Razer DeathAdder, which I've been using for six month. The Razer is a superior mouse in every way.

No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uniquely helpful product, but very cheap construction..., May 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this to use an iPhone 5 in a car that had a USB port for charging, and a separate auxiliary port for audio. I like this product because it presents a much cleaner solution than having to plug in and maintain two separate cables for the iPhone's power and audio.

Two issues with this product:

1) The unitary plug for the iPhone power and audio will not work with most iPhone covers. I had to remove the cover on mine in order to plug it in all the way. Not a deal-breaker, and I knew this before buying the product.

2) The unitary plug that goes into the iPhone with the power and audio is very cheaply assembled. It appears to be made of a hollow plastic, and every time I pull it out of the iPhone, I am concerned it's going to break. Time will tell if this product is going to hold up. So far it works fine, but the product would certainly benefit from some higher standards of workmanship.

Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless AC Dual Band Router
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless AC Dual Band Router
Offered by eHouse (No Tax)
Price: $259.00
2 used & new from $259.00

16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to the acclaimed WRT54G..., April 30, 2014
I was initially skeptical of this router, because I had written off Linksys after it was acquired by Belkin, a company that should not be entrusted to build anything more complex than overpriced plug adapters or carrying cases. If you check the reviews on PC Magazine, PC World, CNET, etc., you will find that Belkin's wireless routers are rated among the worst in the industry in every category. So when Belkin acquired Linksys, two thoughts came to my mind. Belkin is either planning to (1) junk their in-house Belkin routers and sell the superior Linksys models (good), or (2) just buy the Linksys trademark to rebrand Belkin's existing routers (bad). This router seems to indicate that Belkin has taken approach (1), and that's a very good thing.


I have had this router connected for three weeks now, and it is working flawlessly. I have the WRT1900AC connected to about two dozen devices including TVs, set-top boxes, three tablets, four phones, three computers, two game consoles and a bunch of other assorted Wifi devices. It is also wired directly into three other devices, including a Powerline Ethernet adapter that's providing Wifi coverage for a number of other devices in a more distant part of my home. I also have it connected to a USB3.0 storage device that is used as shared storage across several computers. The performance of this router, simply put, puts it well beyond the level of a "home" router and into the territory of a router you'd use for a small business or enterprise. It is extremely fast and capable of handling lots of simultaneous loads across multiple devices, on both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. The performance and range across the 5Ghz band is particularly outstanding. The range and throughput far exceed my previous router, an ASUS RT-N66U, which was ranked as one of the best routers out there before this one came out.

I will have to admit, I was emotionally drawn to the WRT1900AC based on its industrial design and bought it before I knew how well it performed. The WRT1900AC is designed to look like the iconic WRT54G that Linksys released in 2003, which was a revolutionary piece of consumer electronics and, for many people, their first real Wifi product. The product was rock solid reliable and infinitely customizable. The new WRT1900AC is an attempt to recapture the enthusiasm from that previous design, and based on its performance, it appears that Linksys has succeeded.


This unit is, as of this review, the most expensive "home" router you can buy. But it is worth the extra cost, and here's why..

The past several years has seen a dramatic increase in the average number of Wifi devices used in the home as tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes, game consoles, and tons of other devices are now simultaneously competing for access to your Wifi bandwidth. With all of that added demand, you need a wireless router with a super-fast processor that will not stumble or slow to a crawl when it is called upon to deliver simultaneous bandwidth to multiple devices. Your wireless router sits dead center among all of those devices. So from a price perspective, if you've spent thousands of dollars on all of the computers, phones, tablets and other Wifi-capable devices that you use throughout your home, why would you skimp on the central component that provides network access to all of those devices?

Six or so years ago, a device like the WRT1900AC would have been wholly unnecessary for most home users, because most of them used their Wifi routers, at most, to connect one or two desktop or laptop computers. But today, with the explosion of the number of Wifi devices, the cheap routers of the past just won't cut it.


A lot of the negative comments are focused on the current lack of availability of open source firmware. I think this concern is overblown. The open source firmware will come with time, but it's being developed by third parties, not Linksys, so it's hard to blame Linksys for the fact that it hasn't yet been completed. I like the fact that the product will support open source firmware because it shows that the design and capabilities of the product are being vetted by developers in the open source community, but the actual availability of open source firmware right now wasn't critical to me. I've loaded and tested DD-WRT and Tomato firmware with previous Linksys routers, but did not find them to be much of an improvement over the stock firmware. Open source firmware offers some advanced features that I never found particularly useful. If what you want is a fast, rock solid router for daily use, and do not care about all of the features added by OpenWRT, this is not a significant concern.

Patriot 32GB Tab Series Micro-sized USB 3.0 Flash Drive With Up To 140MB/sec & Metal Housing - PSF32GTAB3USB
Patriot 32GB Tab Series Micro-sized USB 3.0 Flash Drive With Up To 140MB/sec & Metal Housing - PSF32GTAB3USB
Price: $15.53
45 used & new from $15.53

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Junk, April 26, 2014
The form factor is initially attractive, but the alignment of the pins and shape of the plug do not follow USB form factor specifications. The result is that it doesn't fit properly into a USB slot. I had to "jam" into the USB slot to make it work. The internal pins on mine eventually bent when I took it out, so in the trash it went. (At least it didn't damage the devices I plugged it into.)

Replaced it with a SanDisk Cruzer Fit. Superior product from a real company that knows how to manufacture a USB plug.

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