Monthly Archives: March 2015

Two awesome little gadgets…

Well, technically it’s one gadget twice.

I recently purchased a powerline adapter starter kit for around $30. Since moving my computer out of the office in our house to make it a down-stairs play room, I first moved the computer to our bedroom. But that got crowded. The one plus of that arrangement was that there was a phone jack for the DSL modem and I could hook my desktop right into the modem. Well, we moved my computer into the spare bedroom. One problem–no phone jack and no ethernet jack. (I had replaced the original phone jacks with phone/ethernet jacks.) Using an extra wireless router, I created a wireless bridge, but this wasn’t ideal.

Along with my gaming desktop is a desktop computer I’ve converted into a Linux server we use for photo storage, among other things. Using the wireless bridge meant that Sav’s connection would only be about 20Mbps instead of ~150-300Mbps. So I went online, and I stumbled upon these: TP-LINK TL-PA4010KIT AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit. I’d never used powerline adapters, but for just $30, it seemed worth a try. I combined that with a gigabit switch for speedy transfers between my gaming machine and the server (I use it to store music, docs, and game backups).

Well, they all got here yesterday, and I couldn’t be more pleased. They were super easy to setup, and they just plain work. I haven’t done a speed test or anything, but downloading Left 4 Dead 2 from Steam wasn’t having any problems. I’m going to put it to the test this weekend with a little online gaming. And I’ll need to see how well I can transfer files from the server over the network.

This was a pretty boring post, but the moral is: if you’re looking for an easy way to network two rooms without running new cable or using wireless, I recommend these power adapters. If you need higher transfer speeds (gigabit), then you’ll want to go with the AV600, but for most people, the AV500 will be plenty fast. (It claims 500Mhz, which is 5x faster than the ethernet ports are rate (though those are duplex, so I guess only 2.5x faster). Still, that gives plenty of margin for overhead. I’m almost tempted to buy a couple more and move that Linux server out into the garage. Almost.

Currently listening to “Believer” by American Authors

Windows 8 isn’t awful…

But that doesn’t mean I like it.

I bought a netbook around Christmas. I got a great deal on it, as far as size, RAM, and disk space. The AMD APU (processor) could use a boost, but it does OK for web browsing and email. And surprisingly, it’s able to remote into work very well, which was one of my main reasons for wanting a smaller device. Upon bringing it home, I immediately installed Ubuntu (Linux). But sadly, it couldn’t remote into my work. So I put Windows 8 back on. And although I’m constantly fighting with all the Microsoft Account crap, it’s actually been alright. But if my netbook didn’t have a touch screen, it would be retarded.

But what’s weird is the Windows Store, which sells “apps” for stuff like Facebook, which seems really pointless, since you have a full browser. And the last thing I want is for Facebook to have access to my computer. But probably the worst part is that Windows 8(.1) and all of its apps (e.g. OneNote) want to sync everything to the “cloud”. If you make your account a Microsoft Account, your WiFi passwords and email accounts are synced before you get a chance to disable the OneDrive sync and other sync settings. Annoying.

Well, after 2-3 weeks with Windows 8, I’ve finally almost got it setup the way I like. the only thing I can’t get rid of is all the crappy Acer branding.

Currently listening to “Feeling Myself” by Nicki Minaj feat. BeyoncĂ© (thanks, Sav)