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Michael Olson "MLOlson" RSS Feed (California, USA)

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Day of the Dead: Book One - Gaza
Day of the Dead: Book One - Gaza
Price: $8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you engaged but . . ., August 9, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Interesting read about a possible terrorist scenario emanating from the Middle East to be implemented in the American Southwest. Credible? Not to be casually discounted. Unfortunately you won't get to the author's vision of the end of the story for another book or two it appears. I was a bit disappointed as a result.


The Means: A Novel
The Means: A Novel
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good read., January 17, 2015
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Enjoyed reading. Seems a little too deep (as in chess moves, thinking ahead "if I do this then they do that then I do . . ."). Nonetheless, power and money and the press, always an unsettling mix.


Gutter Guard LOSAMPLES Stainless Steel Rain Gutter Guard
Gutter Guard LOSAMPLES Stainless Steel Rain Gutter Guard
Offered by LeafsOut
Price: $7.00
2 used & new from $7.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep the shingle grit out . . ., January 17, 2015
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Bought for evaluation and sizing. Looks good for keeping out the 'sand' from shingles that collects in the bottom of the gutters where it can accelerate rusting in steel gutters. Leaves and pine needles are unlikely to get stuck in the mesh as it is very fine.


BattleBorn 4-Pin PWM Fan Braided Extension Cable (Black)
BattleBorn 4-Pin PWM Fan Braided Extension Cable (Black)
Offered by OutletPC
Price: $6.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Individually Braided Wires, January 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Nice individually braided 4-pin / 4-wire extension cable. Ad misrepresented these as 30 cm (12 in) long - actually 45 cm (18 in) when I placed my order. I've always found as you see on power supplies often, individually braiding each wire is not as tidy as one sleeve around all the wires together. Some users may have a different preference. I made the wrong assumption when I purchased these and now how little cable ties every four inches. Not so tidy.


Lian-Li Case Mid Tower 5.25inch x1 HDD USB PSU microATX ATX Black Retail PC-A51B
Lian-Li Case Mid Tower 5.25inch x1 HDD USB PSU microATX ATX Black Retail PC-A51B

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but naughty (for ATX, SLI performance gamers), January 9, 2015
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This case is interesting but fraught with a few gotchas if you are thinking SLI gaming. It is well constructed aluminum with cantilevered 3.5" HDD bays. However, in my case where I intended to use a couple of ASUS GTX780 Direct CUII graphics cards, only one would fit (if you removed one of the HDD bays. The second graphics card tended to encroach into the power supply space for any reasonable 140 to 160 mm long power supply. The spec says you can install up to a 160mm power supply (maybe if non-modular). However the MB 24 pin cable tends to obstruct the critical SATA and front panel connector area for an ATX board (ASUS Maximus VII Formula in my system). You could get by with a mATX board to avoid the power supply fit problem but then any SLI with two double-wide performance graphics cards would have to be water-cooler to avoid the nearer-to-cpu card being starved for cooling air (in my experience) by the second card. So in my opinion it is not a SLI gaming case for typical double-wide high-performance graphics cards. The ASUS cards are longer than the evga GTX970 acx2 cards which might work, but then you still may have the tight power cable area around the SATA connectors on typical ATX MBs.

I also tried to see if a Corsair H110 (140x280 mm) AIO H2O cooler would fit. No joy, interference with the blue-ray DVD.

So, bottom line for me, a nice case in fit and finish but measure carefully if building ATX, SLI, dual AIO H2O cooler, and 140-160 mm long power supplies.

I did end up with the Thermaltake Core V31 which has a lot of nice features - but broke both back feet off (plastic snap-in) in the first hour of assembly. Lesson here, watch out for chair mats when dragging your PC out from under your desk.


Shock Factor: American Snipers in the War on Terror
Shock Factor: American Snipers in the War on Terror
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the press does not tell you about insurgent conflict, January 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
How would you react to an RPG being readied to fire at you? Can you anticipate the clever adaptive tactics of the insurgent? Would you become a trusted partner in battle with rules of engagement that risk you and your fellow US soldiers to err in favor of those who want to kill you? This recounting of actual engagements by US sniper teams will open your eyes to some of the sobering realities of asymmetrical combat. If you want to feel safe and depend on others to make that happen, you should read this book. You might shed some of that preconceived idealism that envelopes the sheltered life.


ASUS Mini ITX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboard MAXIMUS VI IMPACT
ASUS Mini ITX DDR3 2600 LGA 1150 Motherboard MAXIMUS VI IMPACT
5 used & new from $350.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars miniITX an uncanny valley?, March 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First, let me say that I have a history of buying ASUS Maximus Gene series mother boards with a number of computer builds that include the Maximus III Gene, the Maximus IV Gene/Gen3, the Maximus V Gene and the Maximus VI Gene with most of these micro ATX boards installed in some Silverstone chassis: SG04-FH, PS07, and TJ08. Given this new Maximus 'impact' in a miniITX format, I thought I would see how much smaller I could make a semi-portable desktop chassis workstation/gaming PC. The process led me to what the humanoid robotics folks call the 'uncanny valley' where things just don't seem to come together right. In short the basic challenge is that a decent workstation/gaming machine is built around a good graphics card (GTX670 or better in my opinion), a CPU that is rated at say 85W max power dissipation, and a water cooling system to help both cool and run quietly - relatively speaking. Unfortunately this means trying to cram desktop standard parts into a small chassis that really needs custom components downsized from the standard desktop formats. Laptops clearly illustrate this where nearly everything is at least severely downsized, power minimized, and often customized for the specific laptop.

The result was a series of tradeoffs: (a) DVD (blu-ray or not, slim or not) or no DVD, (b) water-cooling or not (many small miniITX cases won't support the all-in-one water cooling given the relatively large radiator), (c) standard length (10.5 in) video card or not, (d) number of internal SATA ports (the Impact only supports four but you can also add a single mSATA SSD - if you can find one), (e) number of chassis fan headers, (f) standard size power supply or small form factor (SFF), and (g) hard drive configuration (2.5" or 3.5" or both).

After all of this wrestling with downsizing I finally configured an EVGA Hadron Air chassis, with the stock EVGA miniITX air cooler (the Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet interfered with the ROG header, the power regulator PCB, and the top of the Ballistix memory that had just a thin metal heat spreader that did not extend beyond the top of the memory PCB). No water cooling unless you get the Hadron Hydro which adds a couple of inches in height to the chassis. A Blu-ray slim slot-load DVD salvaged from a MacBook Pro was installed for a DVD, an ASUS GTX670 (4 GB) just fit, and two 2.5 in SSDs along with a 4 TB Seagate 3.5 in HDD completed the component list along with 16 GB of Ballistix 1600 memory (a Microcenter special sale) and an Intel 4770K CPU. Note that 4 SATA ports get used quickly.

So now, how happy am I with the ASUS Maximus Vi Impact? Well it meets my expectations as a good platform with more features than I can use. OK, I buy a lot of features that don't get used - but they might some day. So that's the good. On the other hand, I didn't like the fact that the RF SMA connectors weren't mounted to a header on the PCB but had to be installed in the I/O back plate - after the MB was in the chassis that's already crowded. The power regulator and ROG connector and memory prevent using many CPU coolers. The 8-pin and 24-pin power supply connectors take up a lot of board space when size gets this small (but they're the desktop standard). Only four SATA connectors means rethinking storage options.

Bottom line: I like the ASUS Maximus VI Impact but you should expect to make a lot of trade-offs in what you can force into a 12 to 18 liter chassis using standard desktop components - many of which won't fit the intent of downsizing the footprint of your PC. I do recommend the Impact, but don't be surprised if you experience a trip into the "uncanny valley."
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2014 5:59 PM PDT


Swann SWDVK-830004-US TruBlue D1 3000 8-Channel DVR with 4 x 600TVL Cameras and 1 TB Hard Disk Drive (Black)
Swann SWDVK-830004-US TruBlue D1 3000 8-Channel DVR with 4 x 600TVL Cameras and 1 TB Hard Disk Drive (Black)

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bugs drive motion detection nuts, July 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have been experimenting with 4 cameras on my Swann DVR8-3000 using motion detection to capture useful security events. Three of the cameras are outside mounted under the eaves and are used day and night. At night, the areas seen by the cameras can be partially illuminated with porch lights. One camera is mounted indoors. My primary issue is with the motion detection on the outside cameras. There doesn't seem to be a useful sensitivity and motion detection area bounding (to a small fraction of the image area) to prevent numerous false alarms from flying insects triggering the motion detection. (I have been using 10 to 15 for sensitivity and bounding the motion detection area to about 15 to 25 per cent of the image seen by the camera.) However, I still get over a hundred 'false' alarms in one 24-hour period. (Bugs instead of people). This is basically useless for my purpose of monitoring the coming and goings of persons of interest.

It's interesting that motion detection lights don't have this problem.

I'll be seeing if Swann Tech Support has some useful ideas on how to deal with a flying insect triggering motion detection (they fly right up to and by the camera). If you have a similar application, you might want to do some more research, or, if you have a solution, I'd like to hear it.

Another bit of frustration related to trying to use my PC to setup the DVR. Not all functions (such as erasing many useless video files from the DVR HDD) can be accessed via the PC. Instead you must have a monitor connected directly to the DVR to manage a few functions. For remote operations, the last thing one wants to do is a forced site visit to manage the DVR. Of couse, this helps keep the DVR video files from being inappropriately deleted.

And the network setup can be a tad confusing. I had to have tech support take charge of my PC and set parameters appropriate to my Internet Service Provider and my modem/router.

10 August 2013
The bug fly-by motion detection seems to have no real solution from Swann. I have read that using two cameras looking at the same area, but placed several feet apart can help reduce the false motion-alerts. (False in the sense of not wanting bug motion alerts to send you an email notification of a motion detection.) However, that setup requires additional software to compare the alerts from the two cameras before determining if an email should be sent. The alerts must be within a few seconds of each other to be more likely caused by some motion of interest (e.g., people, cars, animals) rather than a bug fly-by. This feature is not available on the Swann system and I'm not sure what vendor would support this.

Also, every week or so since I've had the system in operation for about a month, the email alerts (many because of buy fly-bys) stop. Twice I've had to call to get Swann to determine what has gone wrong. And it seems that some configuration (e.g., port assignment) may have changed. Bottom line here, remote support is a challenge since some corrective actions require an on-site visit. Not all settings can be changed remotely, including a firmware upgrade which seems to be recommended in my case. This experience tends to support some other users' comments about buggy software. And a firmware upgrade requires scheduling a time and day for a senior level tech to mange the update with someone (owner / user) being at the DVR for local control. It's not an Apple user-friendly product . . .

Finally, Internet access speeds - four cameras with lowest remote access bandwidth settings still tend to struggle supporting remote viewing at todays 1.5 Mbps Internet access. An up to 1.5 Mbps downlink (which roughly tends to correspond to an uplink of a few hundred kbps (DVR to remote user)) access link struggles to keep the four images even somewhat updated in near real-time. Remote users will likely have a better remote viewing experience with uplinks of a Mbps or more available to the DVR.


SilverStone Micro ATX Desktop Computer Case with Carrier Handle SG04B-FH (Black)
SilverStone Micro ATX Desktop Computer Case with Carrier Handle SG04B-FH (Black)
Offered by Eio
Price: $174.62
2 used & new from $174.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Silverstone SG04FH w CoolIT ECO A.L.C, May 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was looking for a small portable mATX case for an ASUS Maximus III Gene motherboard. When I saw that someone had been able to install a Corsair H50 liquid CPU cooler in the Silverstone SG04FH, some of my concerns about finding a good CPU cooler for this small case were eliminated. Long story short, the H50 was a bit too hard to fit in my opinion but I did end up using a CoolIT ECO A.L.C. (advanced liquid cooling) that seems to work quite nicely. You can see my presentation review on slideshare. Search for 'Silverstone SG04FH mATX Case'.

From my slide show review summary - "Bottom line, 10 to 15 oC cooler running CPU than with the air coolers tested. Final config- ASUS Maximus III Gene, Intel i7 860 CPU, XFX HD 5850 graphics, 2 GB OCZ DDR3 RAM, LG CH08 BD-ROM/DVD Rewriter, CM Silent Pro M 700W PS, two 1.5TB Seagate HDs, and WinXP Pro 32bit - and a bit easier to stow under the desk and move around.

Since the review I changed out the CoolIT 120mm fan on the radiator and replaced it with the new Cooler Master Excalibar which seems likely to be a better fan to pull more air through the radiator. I used 1 1/4" 6-32 screws to mount the fan to the radiator.


The Secret Green Sauce: Best practices used by actual companies successfully growing green revenues including "how-to" case studies on pricing, ... seeking "cost less, mean more" solutions.
The Secret Green Sauce: Best practices used by actual companies successfully growing green revenues including "how-to" case studies on pricing, ... seeking "cost less, mean more" solutions.
by Bill Roth
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.95
36 used & new from $7.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Growing 'Green' Revenues, January 18, 2010
The typical small and medium size business owner has to be practical or his business will simply not survive. I suppose he could get lucky, but that's the rare case. The green energy and environment movement has yet to prove that every business can grow revenues by being green with energy efficiency, waste management, and customer insight focused on green solutions. Sure, you can save some money, but that will take you only so far. The challenge is how to grow your customer revenue base beyond the early adopters and "cross the chasm" to engage with the customer who looks for solutions for the jobs they hire your product to do for them. They want solutions that "cost less, mean more." Bill Roth provides a roadmap of insights that starts with three `most asked' questions from business people - "Can I make money going green?" "How can I do it?" And more importantly for long term growth, "How do I grow green revenues?"

Bill leverages his experiences both as an entrepreneur, participating in the energy efficiency revolution, and interviewing numerous pioneers who are innovating green solutions to offer a roadmap to success. He describes the steps necessary to reach beyond the customer who has embraced the `green religion' to the pragmatic mainstream consumer that has everyday needs that can be met with properly configured green solutions. Bill identifies three key groups to address: concerned caregivers, CEO's who see the handwriting on the wall from `green' regulation and multinationals like Walmart driving green supply chains, and Millenials who are becoming aware that they are in charge of their future `environment.' Each of these provides an opportunity for an entrepreneur to support their `values with [a] value' proposition.

Bill offers numerous examples (as many `making green pay' authors do) and wraps these into a clear series of steps that help the business owner actually grow green revenues as opposed to the less-satisfying simply saving money being green. One analogy I liked was Bill's prompting of a client with a baseball analogy: "OK, you know the objective in baseball is scoring a run by touching all four bases in sequence. But what is your strategy to get to first base? Do you even know where first base is?" Here he focuses on price-strategy and builds on Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the Chasm" insights for entrepreneurial success. But this is just getting to `first base.' Bill leads one around all the bases to home plate with sound advice on vision, strategy, crossing the green-pricing chasm, innovation of "cost less-mean more" products, and growing revenues via the green aware customer to score. In all, he presents a quite useful roadmap for framing your successful engagement with the emerging green-aware customer.

And as a footnote, I met Bill in mid-2008 when he gave a presentation on his book, "On Empty, Out of Time." I took the time to mind-map the content of that book to better retain all the useful points. Since then we have engaged in an ongoing discussion of how to best develop green businesses. I was not really aware of the extent of "The Secret Green Sauce" until I read the published version and my reaction was "Good job, Bill." He offers sound practical advice for the small to medium-size business owner who seeks to grow green revenues.


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