A little over two years ago, I wrote an a quick “first impressions” post about the Linksys E4200 router. At the time, I was very happy with it. I needed high WAN-to-LAN speeds, and initially, the E4200 delivered. But the first generation of Linksys’s flagship router (of the time) turned out to have serious stability issues. Mine soon started getting really hot, causing frequent slowdowns and crashes. After two years of frustration, I decided it was time for yet another new router. I picked the Asus RT-N66U, and I’ll try to – cautiously – post some first impressions.
More My current routing champion: the Asus RT-N66U
My favorite tech site here in the Netherlands posted a brilliant article (sorry, Dutch only) on UHD television last week. In it, they theorized that in order to see the difference between normal Full HD and UHD, you’d need to be closer than one meter from your 40″ TV’s screen. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I watch TV. I like to sit back on my couch, which is a good three to four meters from the TV.
More There is such a thing as “enough” pixels
When Android was first launched in 2007, it was criticized for not coming with a lot of apps. Unlike Apple’s iPhone, the HTC G1 didn’t come with a full set of vendor-supplied (“stock”) applications. One of the more important omissions was a good note-taking app. Since then, Google has released lots of apps, and most of them have been excellent. Google Keep is a fairly recent addition, and a new version came out this week. It’s a fast, lightweight note-taking app with an excellent featureset.
More If you’re not using Google Keep, you’re missing out
Chromecast is the first media player I know of that has no remote control and no hardware buttons (except for a reset button, but that doesn’t really count. It’s – literally – a plugin for your TV that adds “Google”. Unlike other media players and Smart TVs, it does not have its own interface. Your Android or iOS device is used to browse media and control playback.
More Google Chromecast first impressions
Recently, iPazzPort – known for their wireless media remotes – launched the Pearl. This little plastic ball (seen on the right side of my TV in the image above) and its accompanying remote are designed to be put in your living room and act as a central hub in your digital life. The people at iPazzPort were kind enough to send me one, and I’ve spent some time with it over the last weeks. Here’s what you need to know.
More Ten things you should know about the iPazzPort Pearl
In October of last year, Samsung sent me a Galaxy Note 2 phone to try. I blogged about it a couple of time, and have been using it as my primary device since. I like it a lot, and was getting used to its large dimensions.
But then it started to act up. Random reboots and freezes, crashing apps. Not good. I did some research, and my unit appears to be suffering from “Sudden Death Syndrome”. Here’s what I’ve found out so far.
More Note 2 update: Sudden Death Syndrome
Recently, I discovered Rando, a photo sharing app for Android and iOS that’s pretty much the opposite of every other app in that category. With Rando, you don’t build a social network of fellow photographers, nor are there buttons to like, share or retweet photos. All you do is take pictures, and get pictures in return. You images are each delivered to a single random stranger, and the ones you get in return are from other random strangers. And somehow, all this randomness is fun.
More Rando: Send pictures to strangers, get pictures from other strangers
Now that Samsung has unveiled their Galaxy S4, all candidates for “Top Android Handset” are now out in the open. It’s up to us consumers to decide which, if any, we’re going to get. I’m going to be really unfair to Sony and LG, and discard their efforts straight away. I’ve never been a Sony fan, and I haven’t played with an LG phone since the “Viewty”, which was terrible in every way. I think the real fight is between the current champion Samsung, and the most audacious challenger, HTC.
More HTC One vs. Galaxy S4, which is your favorite?
Yesterday, HTC announced their new flagship phone, simply called the “One”. Not to be confused with last year’s One X(+), One S and One V models. In what looks like an Apple-like move, HTC now has one high end smartphone, available in two colors and with either 32 or 64 gigabytes of storage. I really hope that there won’t be a “One+”, a “One Mini” or a “One Ace II”. Simple is better, and from the looks of it, the new One is the new optimum in smartphone design.
More HTC One: Could this be the One?
When Ubuntu moved from the Gnome desktop environment to Unity with version 11.04, I wasn’t one of the many people who thought it was a bad move. Gnome was starting to feel old, and I like many of Unity’s interface choices. But there’s one thing that makes no sense to me, and it’s driving me crazy.
The launcher bar in Unity is always positioned on the left side of the screen. You can choose to have it “autohide”, set its sensitivity, its icon size, but not it’s position on the screen. And Canonical has made it very clear that they’re not willing to reconsider this. Here’s why I think they should.
More Unity’s fixed launcher position is terrible for multi-monitor setups