Posts Tagged ‘review’

Short review of Samsung Galaxy SII

October 30th, 2011

I won’t write much about what is good because there is so much and it can be found in ads and with sales people.

+ Very good machine.
– No real keyboard.
– Doesn’t have a tonne of external hardware like the Iphone.
+ Big screen.
– Big phone.
– Android OS which means more control.
– You have to sell your soul to Google to make it work good.
– Can’t change memory card without taking out the battery.
– Expensive, like 500€.
– For that price it would have been nice if a (simple) cover had been included.
– Slow camera.
– Android collects addresses from everywhere so one gets multiple entries for several contacts. These can be connected so only one remains. But edit this one and the x originals pop up and it doesn’t show which is which.
– Annoying sleep disturbing beep in the middle of the night when the battery is fully charged. A factory reset might remedy this.
– Annoying beep when the usb is connected. I have used an app to get rid of it and then changed to a night stand clock that mutes.
– Android: the calendar(s) can have problems synching if you have more than one calendar in your calendar. I, for instance, added one more calendar to my already 4 and it refused to site on my phone. Googling showed emptying the calendar data stores and resynching might help. I did and it could then only sync one of my 5. Factory reset did the trick, but I don’t want to do that every time I add a calendar.
– The WLAN antenna could be better.

Short review: Lilliput USB monitor

May 29th, 2011

Small and expensive but totally worth it if you need a third screen for your laptop.

If you are only using one monitor and satisfied with it there are bigger and better monitors to have for less money.  But if you, as me, only have a dual head video card and already two monitors the lilliput makes the day.

I have it for keeping an eye on email or chat or spotify or logs or perfmon or whatever needs little space at the side of my main monitor.

Easy installation in Win7 and it pops up as an ordinary video card.  No pesky dialogs floating around.

Placeholder for review of Nokia BH609

April 30th, 2011

This is a placeholder for a possible review of the Nokia BH609 bluetooth headset.  Intermediate commercial link: http://smartsontestpilot.se/nokia-bh609/bli-testpilot/

Review of Netgear ReadyNAS Duo RND2110 1TB

January 16th, 2011

Just installed a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo RND2110 1TB.

+ Small.

+ 2 disks with a variety of RAID.
– Unfortunately with a proprietary solution called Xraid which we know nothing about.  This is considered Not Good for a device that manges data.  What if a disk fails?  Is it readable again?  Noone knows since Xraid is proprietary.

+/- Outside transformator.  Make it easier to place but one more thing lying around.  For me it was good.

+ Easy to reach disc bays.

( – Noisy.
Noisy like a fan running at full speed.  Always.  Netgear themselves have written that the developers took the drive to the bedroom to make sure it was quiet.  My comment: 0ne developer was deaf and the other had the device turned off. It might be faulty unit I have.
UPDATE: replaced the unit without any problem and the new one was quieter.  There was some error where the machine didn’t recognise the fan. )  I won’t say it is quiet because it isn’t.  But it isn’t noisy.

– The hard drives that came with the machine has gotten louder.  Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of them and am too lazy to open up and check.

+ Dropped some movies into the folder called media.  Started an xbmc client on a laptop, browsed the LAN, chose, and the  movies streamed.

+ At first glance (I haven’t researched) the site/forum/users at readynas.com seems good.  Having a user base and a community is good.

+  Supports Time machine for Mac.  But it only supports 1 client since the user name is hard coded.

– Slow web admin interface.

– Crashes once in a while.

+ Supports dyndns but only with a 3 letter suffix.  E.g.: not myname.dyndns.info.  I guess it is the 3 letter suffix that is the culprit at least; I got …dyndns.com working.

+ It can report errors both through built in SMTP server and through logging in to gmail and send from there.

+ Easy to setup backup.  Just connect a drive to USB, or find a windows share or an FTP or some other endpoints I cannot remember now.  Choose weekdays to backup and which folders (has some choosings) and whether to backup all or inrementally (and overwrite once a week or so).  Seems a bit slow though.  Can report automatically both errors and success per email.

Review of Candy Alisè GO W 465 D washing machine and tumble dryer

January 11th, 2011

Short story:

I have combined washing machine and tumble dryer that seems to do its job.  But like with most washing machines today the user interface is created by twelve pidgeons and a monkey.  When it fails it doesn’t give a serious clue about what is wrong.

Long story:

A review of a combined washing machine and tumble dryer is not very technical.  But it is very much user interface and as such it is close to software development.  Like how we did software user interfaces 20 years ago.

The machine seems to do the washing good and the tumble drying ok during the two weeks I have had it.  It is a centimeter or two shallower than the competitors I looked at which was good in my case.

But the user interface…

To its defense I must say that all washing machines I have tried have stoopid UIs, possibly with the exception of the very simple ones which work like the mechanics inside it which is possible to grasp.

Let me start with a disease in every modern washing machine I have tried; the lag between opening-allowed and opening-possible.  The machine is finished.  The water is pumped out.  The pump has stopped working.  Sometimes even the key sign has been switched off.  Why do we have to wait 30 more seconds before it is possible to open the door?
That was the easiest, most blatant, example of no-brain-design-this-user-interface.
Another almost as simple here: Machine just started and you notice something you forgot to put in the machine.  The water hasn’t started flowing yet so the machine is dry.  Now you have to wind through the whole program, pressing a button for 20 seconds.  For one Wascator machine I had to release it at spin dry and then press it again for 10 seconds.  Finally waiting 30 more seconds for being allowed to open the door.
The Candy I am reviewing here doesn’t have that sort of fast forward so instead one turns it off.  And then to a program to turn it on again.  And after that I haven’t had to figure out yet.

The graphics are also nice/friendly even though I don’t get why it has invented a new icon for wool.

If you want to wash at 95 degrees you have to set it to cotton and prewash.  All other settings refuses to let the temperature go above 60.  Why?  It is my clothes and I might want to wash something in 95 for 20 minutes.  Or without prewash.
On the other hand – with prewash runs faster than without.  There is probably a perfectly good reason for that. But it eludes me

There is a play/pause button.  That isn’t that.  When tumble trying; it is a Play:start tumble trying and Pause:stop heating the air and change to 20 minutes(or 10 if it was 5 before).
You don’t understand what I wrote? The programmers probably didn’t either.

It does Not have 2 water inlets, one for cold and one for hot.  In Sweden it is often cheaper buying water heated centrally than heating it with in the washing machine.  It is also faster since the water is already heated up.

It does not manage to empty the washing powder slot properly.

The time-remaining-of-spin-drying calculator is built by the same guy that built WindowsXP time-remaining-of-copy-file where 1 minute is anything between 1 and 15.

The top is flat but has lining around the sides that makes dirt and washing powder not being easily wept off but instead caught in the linings.  It probably has something to do with how the machine is assembled in factory.

The door is not rehingable from left to right.  It is possible on every refrigerator I have seen, except the very trendy ones, the last 30 years.  But no washing machine has it.

We are figuring out the user interface bit by bit and are sometimes positively surprised where someone has done a bit of good thinking.

Finally an example that is visible in so many modern washing machines: the program wheel.
In the old days we used a mechanical clock with relays to turn stuff on and off.  The wheel to set this clock was situated to the side due to its size, normally right.  Today we still have this wheel but it is just an electric switch connected to a computer.  So in the Candy I am writing about the program wheel is a mixture of washing programs, spin cycle, empty machine and some more.  Like the Tools menu of MSOffice pre 2007.

Here is another example where the product obviously isn’t tested or used before shipping. I set the program to 40° cotton. I get 1h34m runtime. I press start and it immediately jumps to 2h20m. (the figures are not exact)

Update:

The machine failed for me the other day, after a month’s use, with the clue “E07”.  Searching the manual came up with nothing but “call someone”.  To me this is a FAIL.  Calling “someone” I got a “I believe it is the controller card.”.  There are several other errors like E01 and E02 if I recall correctly.

It is hard to recommend a machine for several hundred euros that doesn’t give a clue about what is wrong.

Update:

I put in clothes and choose program.  It say 1:34.  I press play and it immediately switches to 2:02 or 2:22 depending on god-knows.  What happened to the 1:34?  What did the machine learn the moment I pressed play?

Then of course.  The machine is finished.  The water is pumped out.  The timer says 0.  I still have to wait over a minute before I can open the door.  And you know what? – in other machines there is a small door at the front where a string (or similar) is hidden to open the door anyway.
This machine has a pressure sensor.  So if the pressure sensor breaks down there is no obvious way to get your clothes out.  Or if the power goes.

Review of Electrolux ultrasilencer 3980P vacuum cleaner

January 8th, 2011

In short:

The least noisy vacuum cleaner I have tried.  I would buy it again.

Longer:

It is the least noisy vacuum cleaner I have tried.  Calling it quiet is simply wrong.
A cushion is quiet.  A computer hard drive can be said to be quiet. An idling 200hp car engine is less noisy than this vacuum cleaner.

To compare: one can have a conversation beside it with only a slightly raised voice. One can listen to music from a hifi if one doesn’t listen to the music but just hear it.  But only if the cleaner is set to level 3 of 5.

At level 5 it is still less noisy than other cleaners I have tried, but forget talking without it being painful.

The metal tubes are oval-squarish.  This means one cannot use it for hand tools in the garage which always have round tubing.  The tubes’ connections are fastened with buttons which feels alright.  I cannot say f it is better or not than regular round-tube-friction-connections.

There is no locker for extra tools in the machine but they/it are/is on the tubes, by the handle.  Bigger machine or clumsier tubes; a matter of taste.

I can’t say if the suction is better or worse.  The handle likewise.  Corner handling likewise.

I would like to give kudos to the manufacturer for finally finding out that users don’t like noisy machines but I don’t; since it took them waay to long time.  100+ years.