Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Poorly designed USB connectors finally ape Apple's superior design

It's no secret that the bulky and awkward design of 'Micro' USB connectors has long been problematic—especially its unidirectional orientation insertion requirement.  While not nearly as elegant as Apple's Lightning connectors, the new USB Type-C connectors promise better than the downright awful existing standard. According to the USB-IF press release:

Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector and cable solution include:

  • An entirely new design tailored to work well with emerging product designs
  • New smaller size – similar in size to the existing USB 2.0 Micro-B
  • Usability enhancements – users will no longer need to be concerned with plug orientation/cable direction, making it easier to plug in
  • The Type-C connector and cable will support scalable power charging
  • Scalability – the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance

Several trade publications have covered this story.

The Next-Gen USB Plug To Be Smaller And Finally Reversible

Key characteristics of the USB Type-C connector and cable solution include

Friday, October 11, 2013

Beginning Scheme programing for Suiseiseki fans


(begin (define DESU
 (lambda ()
  (display "DESU ") (DESU)))
  (DESU))

by @rdsathene: run in any Scheme interpreter. Beats hello world by a long shot.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Delock's 61971, a second generation of high-performance Thunderbolt to SATA device

Delock 61971 Thunderbolt to SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD Drive Adaptor + AC AdapterSynchrotech is now taking pre-orders on the versatile Delock 61971 Thunderbolt to SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD Drive Adaptor + AC Adapter. I can't wait. The device straddles the functionality of the two Seagate Thunderbolt to SATA adapters, with a good price point.

If you're like me with Macs that have Thunderbolt with no USB 3.0, the 61971 is the perfect solution for 7200RPM 3.5 inch drive backups, and running a MacBook Pro off an external SSD. The portability of the 61971 is great for 2.5" HDD/SSD on the road, but it's power supply makes it useful when in a fixed location for backups to spacious 3.5" HDD. Be sure to keep an eye on this space for a future review!


Just got mine today. Let the testing begin!

Delock 61971 Thunderbolt to SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD Drive Adaptor + AC Adapter

It's Time Machine compatible. The Delock Thunderbolt to SATA adapter making backups painless. Now I need some speedy 6Gbps drives and SSDs.!

Delock 61971 Thunderbolt to SATA 6Gbps HDD/SSD Drive Adaptor + AC Adapter

Monday, July 29, 2013

Connecting an iPhone to the M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver

Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver M-510Got a loaner M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver to test out over the weekend. We plugged it into a Bose Wave II Radio using the included double male 3.5mm stereo audio cable. Our test devices were an iPhone 3GS and an iPad with Retina display (4th generation). Both devices were running iOS 6.1.3. Getting the M-510 to work with iOS devices was a snap, and the sound quality was surprisingly good for typical mobile device playback.

The M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver supports the Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) utilizing Low Complexity Subband Coding (SBC). SBC is applied to existing audio CODECs, in other words transcoding on the fly. This is fine for typical medium to higher quality AAC and MP3 stored on portable devices like iPods, iPhones, and iPads. However, if you're expecting lossless formats like FLAC, ALAC, or even high quality lossy formats like lame --preset insane encoded files to sound the same, they won't. Highest quality audio is better served over WiFi with AirTunes/AirPlay enabled audio equipment. That said, the M-510's quality is acceptable for 256 kbps or lower quality iTunes AACs or MP3 files, which is what most people have on iDevices and other portable players. Overall the M-510 is an inexpensive way to add wireless playback ability to devices without that capability. If you're looking for really high fidelity, you're not shopping the under $40 devices market to begin with.

The M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver's other big plus is that it provides the choice between an AC adapter and running off a single AAA battery. That last option provides a lot of flexibility when you think of portable scenarios. Don't want to lug your expensive audio equipment outside, but have an old boombox with a 3.5mm line in? Add the M-510 and now that boombox becomes remote speakers for your iPhone 5.

Pairing the M-510 with the iOS devices is a simple as visiting Settings > Bluetooth" and then finding Music Receiver in the list of devices

Connecting an iPhone to the M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver

Tap on Music Receiver and it will then read as Connected.

Connecting an iPhone to the M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver

Later if you choose to remove the saved connection by clicking arrow to the right of the word Music Receiver and then tapping Forget this Device.

Connecting an iPhone to the M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver

During playback, clicking the AirPlay icon on the bottom right of the screen (in orange next to the volume control) allows choice of where the audio signal is to be sent.

Connecting an iPhone to the M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver

Here the M-510 is selected. We can easily switch to the iPhone's internal speakers by clicking the iPhone button.

Connecting an iPhone to the M-510 Portable Bluetooth A2DP Music Receiver

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

EverythingHerePlus tests Delock's 91694 CompactFlash FireWire Reader with Xubuntu Linux

Delock FireWire 800 to UDMA CompactFlash Drive Read-Writer 91694Just in case no one has tested the Delock FireWire 800 CompactFlash reader under Linux, the good folks at EverythingHerePlus have. They write about it here and here. The CompactFlash cards they tested aren't of much interest for DSLR folks, so I won't post the actual benchmarks here. Those interested can check out the previous mentioned posts. They used the benchmarking feature of the linux app Disk Utility 3.0.2, and listed their test platform as follows.

  • Xubuntu 12.04.2 LTS
  • Intel Core2 6300 @ 1.86GHz with 2GB RAM

For older Linux systems without SuperSpeed USB 3.0, using FireWire 800 or even FireWire 400 is going to provide much better performance reading high end CompactFlash cards. The Delock 91694 FireWire CF CompactFlash Reader FireWire 800/IEEE 1394B is an excellent piece of hardware. I'll try to get them to test some higher speed CompactFlash on their setup soon.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jason Felice: gambit-objc v0.1.0 for Gambit Scheme released

On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 12:12 PM, Jason Felice <jason.m.felice <at> gmail.com> wrote: Hi!

I've just released gambit-objc 0.1.0.  This is the "it has the basics, and the implementation is complete enough for real projects" release.

* It gives you access to Objective-C class objects.  The easiest way is:

  (import-classes (NSString NSDictionary))

  after which, you can refer to them.

* It dynamically dispatches Objective-C methods:

  (: NSString stringWithUTF8String: "hello, world")

* It supports marshaling of native Scheme objects to C/Objective-C types for parameter and return values, including structures, selectors, all integral types, and UTF8 strings.  It wraps Objective-C objects with foreign.

* It has a objc-repl, an extended version of gsi which supports square-brace syntax, like so:

  [NSString stringWithUTF8String: "Hello, world!"]

You'll find a minimal sample Cocoa app in the distribution as well.

There are many cool things that can be added.  I'd love to collaborate, help people use it, and otherwise enable its adoption.

I'm really happy with how elegant it ended up (after a couple partial implementations were scrapped).  My next focus will be making it easy to boot on iOS and bring into iOS projects.

-Jason

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Delock FireWire 800 to CompactFlash UDMA Drive Read-Writer 91694

I got to spend several days testing the Delock FireWire 800 to CompactFlash Reader. It worked spectacularly with the 16GB Sandisk Extreme 60MB/S UDMA CompactFlash cards that I use in my Canon 7D. I'll be posting benchmarks here soon.

Delock FireWire 800 to CompactFlash UDMA Drive Read-Writer 91694

The Delock FireWire 800 to UDMA CompactFlash Drive Read-Writer is a must for pro photographers and other demanding users of high speed CompactFlash memory cards. Capable of exploiting the high speeds of the latest generation of CompactFlash memory cards, the FireWire readers 800 boasts incredible read speeds. The Delock FireWire 800 to UDMA CompactFlash Drive reader supports all the recent high-speed CompactFlash standards including PIO Modes 0-4, DMA Modes 0-2, and UDMA Modes 0-6. it features a single CompactFlash slot for CompactFlash Type I and II including Hitachi Microdrives and other CFII+ rotating media. It supports FireWire 800 (and 400 with and optionally purchased adapter or cable) connectivity on both Macintosh and Windows Operating Systems. The FireWire 800 to CompactFlash uses FireWire bus power, so the CFFire800 reader plugs and plays with no external AC power. The Delock FireWire 800 to CompactFlash Drive requires no drivers and comes with a one year limited warranty.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Using Synchrotech's X4SD USB 2.0 SD Card Reader Four (4) Slot for SD Card duplication

X4SD USB 2.0 SD Card Reader Four SlotSynchrotech's X4SD USB 2.0 SD Card Reader allows simultaneous access to four SD Card style media. In Automating X4SD USB 2.0 SD Card Reader Four (4) Slot Operations Synchrotech outlines several techniques for automating the copying of files to the device's multiple slots. Here we explore making exact binary copies of media using the device. A common use of this process is duplication.

There's various ways to do do device duplication or byte-for-byte copies of media. Whether we're duplicating CD-ROMs, hard drive disks, SRAM PC Cards, or other removable media, the Unix dd is frequently preferred for these types of operations. While we can execute card to card duplications from one X4SD slot to another, the most common use for the reader is to write an existing SD Card image to all four slots simultaneously. To that end we'll create a binary image of a master SD Card and then use that master to write to blank cards.

Creating an image of the SD Card

dd works with block devices, so we need to unmount the SD Card. To make this simple, we'll be using just one of the X4SD slots at this stage. We'll be using Mac OS X for our example and detail the difference for OpenBSD and Xubuntu. First, we need to identify the mount point of the inserted card. Calling mount in the terminal shows us the information we need (we're leaving out the rest of the output here).

/dev/disk1s1 on /Volumes/NO NAME (local, nodev, nosuid)

We use that information to unmount the mounted device.

[kyoto:~/Desktop] rds% sudo diskutil unmount /Volumes/NO\ NAME
Volume /Volumes/NO NAME unmounted

OpenBSD and Xubuntu would use umount /[devicepath]. Using the block device reference to the X4SD slot, we can copy the card to a binary file using dd.

[kyoto:~/Desktop] rds% sudo dd if=/dev/disk1s1 of=sdcard.bin
1951677+0 records in
1951677+0 records out
999258624 bytes transferred in 1203.276878 secs (830448 bytes/sec)

Writing the image to SD Cards

Inserting a new card into the X4SD, then unmounting it, we can create a duplicate of the original. We then test it using cmp to see if it is identical to the binary file.

[kyoto:~/Desktop] rds% sudo dd if=sdcard.bin of=/dev/disk1s1
1951677+0 records in
1951677+0 records out
999258624 bytes transferred in 1203.276878 secs (830448 bytes/sec)
[kyoto:~/Desktop] rds% cmp /dev/disk1s1 ~/Desktop/sdcard.bin
[kyoto:~/Desktop] rds% 

Here we write to all four slots simultaneously on a Xubuntu machine. It's feasible that using hubs and multiple X4SD, we could write to more than four cards at once on a machine with enough CPUs/CPU cores. However, there's a practical limit to the amount of I/O operations one would want to run at the same time. Perhaps writing to each bank of cards sequentially would be the best practice? Since I was only provided a single test unit, that remains an academic question.

rds@okinawa-lin2:~$ sudo dd if=sdcard.bin of=/dev/sdc1 & \
&& dd if=sdcard.bin of=/dev/sdd1 & \
&& dd if=sdcard.bin of=/dev/sde1 & \
&& dd if=sdcard.bin of=/dev/sdf1 &

1951677+0 records in
1951677+0 records out
999258624 bytes (999 MB) copied, 270.799 s, 3.7 MB/s
1951677+0 records in
1951677+0 records out
999258624 bytes (999 MB) copied, 423.987 s, 2.4 MB/s
1951677+0 records in
1951677+0 records out
999258624 bytes (999 MB) copied, 775.1 s, 1.3 MB/s
1951677+0 records in
1951677+0 records out
999258624 bytes (999 MB) copied, 860.479 s, 1.2 MB/s

Appendices

Determining Media Paths

Here's the abridged results of running mount on our various test systems with the X4SD plugged in and all four of its slot occupied. This output will look different based on what's connected to an individual system.

OpenBSD
sd0i on /mnt/s1 type msdos (local)
sd1i on /mnt/s2 type msdos (local)
sd2i on /mnt/s3 type msdos (local)
sd3i on /mnt/s4 type msdos (local)

Xubuntu Linux
/dev/sdd1 on /media/BF2C-1214 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uid=1000,gid=1000,shortname=mixed,dmask=0077,utf8=1,showexec,flush,uhelper=udisks)
/dev/sdf1 on /media/02A3-1214 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uid=1000,gid=1000,shortname=mixed,dmask=0077,utf8=1,showexec,flush,uhelper=udisks)
/dev/sde1 on /media/3A3A-1214 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uid=1000,gid=1000,shortname=mixed,dmask=0077,utf8=1,showexec,flush,uhelper=udisks)
/dev/sdc1 on /media/5AED-1214 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uid=1000,gid=1000,shortname=mixed,dmask=0077,utf8=1,showexec,flush,uhelper=udisks)

Mac OS X
/dev/disk2s1 on /Volumes/NO NAME 3 (local, nodev, nosuid)
/dev/disk4s1 on /Volumes/NO NAME 2 (local, nodev, nosuid)
/dev/disk3s1 on /Volumes/NO NAME (local, nodev, nosuid)
/dev/disk1s1 on /Volumes/NO NAME 1 (local, nodev, nosuid)

My Test Systems

Here's the results of running uname -a on our various test systems.

OpenBSD okinawa-bsd2.my.domain 5.1 GENERIC.MP#207 amd64
Linux okinawa-lin2 3.2.0-39-generic #62-Ubuntu SMP Wed Feb 27 22:05:17 UTC 2013 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
Darwin kyoto 8.11.0 Darwin Kernel Version 8.11.0: Wed Oct 10 18:26:00 PDT 2007; root:xnu-792.24.17~1/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc

Code example disclaimer

Technology Musings grants you a nonexclusive copyright license to use all programming code examples from which you can generate similar function tailored to your own specific needs.

All sample code is provided by Technology Musings for illustrative purposes only. These examples have not been thoroughly tested under all conditions. Technology Musings, therefore, cannot guarantee or imply reliability, serviceability, or function of these programs.

All programs contained herein are provided to you "AS IS" without any warranties of any kind. The implied warranties of non-infringement, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are expressly disclaimed.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC's as a potential music server

MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC Smart TV Players from SynchrotechSynchrotech lent me a MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC Smart TV Player for a weekend. Since I don't have a television at home with HDMI, I borrowed an HDMI monitor as well.

I had never used an Android device before, but aside from some interface clunkiness, it wasn't too hard to navigate around on the device. While many people have touted the device's video playback, internet, and gaming abilities, I was far more interested in its potential as a power efficient music server.

At home I have a Bose Wave® radio II, but I don't always want to start a computer to use Soundlink—which inevitably requires a time consuming Bluetooth re-pair almost every time I use it. Nor do I always want to use with my iPod, which due to its capacity, has song file bit-rates that sound somewhat flat on the Bose. I've always wanted a reliable, but inexpensive music server with a wired connection to the Bose that had ample storage and a usable interface. Preferably with the capability to play FLAC or ALAC. Synchrotech had already tested the MK802 with USB Hard Drives, so there's no worries about large music collections.

While the specifications for the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC don't list FLAC as one of its audio CODECs, the specifications for the Android 4.0 do, so the first thing I wanted to try was FLAC playback. It turns out that FLAC files play just fine on the device. I also tested a variety of MP3 and AAC files with the MK802. Things were looking pretty good at that point.

Playing FLAC audio files on the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC Smart TV Player
Playing FLAC audio files on the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC Smart TV Player

If there was one issue I had with the native Android audio player was that it didn't display the album artwork for any of the files tested. I asked a friend who has had a variety of Android phones and tablets and he said that he wasn't sure why that was happening, and suggested I try other music players like Spotify and WinAmp for Android. The former has problems with the screen orientation for the MK802 and promptly displayed its interface upside down. No matter what we did, we couldn't get Spotify to display correctly. Hope that's something that will get fixed in the future. We couldn't get WinAmp for Android to run at all on the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC, even though we installed it via Google Play (née Android Marketplace). Any other suggestions for a robust music player better than the built in version are welcome. Displaying album cover art is pretty much a must considering it's a unit for TV display. A visualizer like the one in iTunes would be a nice bonus too. What did run well was Pandora, but unfortunately that doesn't give us the option to play our own files.

Pandora running on the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC Smart TV Player
Pandora running on the MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC Smart TV Player

I'm looking forward to another loaner unit in the future to run more experiments.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Power Supply Information for FireWire Repeater Hubs including Unibrain's FireRepeater Line

12VDC 3A External Power Supplies/Adapters for Unibrain FireWire Devices)
A frequently asked question about FireWire repeater hubs is "do I need the optional power supply?" The answer to this question depends on the types of FireWire 800 or FireWire 400 devices are being used.

Quick Definitions: Self Powered vs. Bus Powered

Self Powered FireWire devices are ones that plug into the wall or utilizes internal batteries. One example is FireWire hard disk drives using 3.5in mechanism which come with their own power transformers and AC adapters. Another example are battery powered DV Camcorders. Most FireWire based audio equipment like those from Pro Tools is self powered as well

Bus Powered FireWire devices draw current from the FireWire bus itself. FireWire hard disk drives using 2.5in mechanisms are typically able to use bus power. Our CFFire800 Pro FireWire 800 UDMA CompactFlash reader requires bus power. Portable devices like the Apogee Duet require bus power as well.

If you are using self powered devices with a FireWire repeater hub, then there isn't a need to purchase an optional power supply. Conversely, if you are using bus powered FireWire products, you almost certainly need the optional power supply. [1]

Bus Power isn't always enough for multiple devices drawing current off multiple ports at the same time. If you daisy chain several devices, it also may draw more current than available. Further, the total amount of Amps a hub provides needs to divided by the number of ports to find per port current when each port is drawing current. In the case of Unibrain's FireRepeater 3A supply, this would work out approximately as follows:

Unibrain FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 5 Port
(3 amperes) / 5 = 0.6 amperes approximately per port (max)
Unibrain FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 4 Port
(3 amperes) / 4 = 0.75 amperes approximately per port (max)
Unibrain FireRepeater 800 FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 3 Port
(3 amperes) / 3 = 1 ampere approximately per port (max)
Unibrain FireRepeater 400 FireWire 400 IEEE 1394a Repeater Hub 3 Port
(3 amperes) / 3 = 1 ampere approximately per port (max)

Often computer companies will list ports by watts, instead of amps. When a company lists Watts for their FireWire ports, divide it by 12 (FireWire is typically 12 Volts) to find the Amperage.

The calculation above are the worst case scenario, typical application rarely see devices drawing current of each port.

Unibrain 3 port hub for 2 CFFire800 Pro FireWire 800 to UDMA CompactFlash Drives
[1] A notible exception was the CFFire800 Pro FireWire 800 UDMA CompactFlash reader with Unibrain's 3 Port FireWire 800 Hub. We've tested this off a powered Mac port and were able to run two CFFire800 Pro's without the addtional power supply. Here is a quote from our test results.

While our CFFire800 Pro uses FireWire bus power, we knew it draws less than 500mA, while the MacBook Pro provides just under 1A of current while running on batteries. One product we offer, Unibrain's extremely portable FireRepeater 800, splits source current between two ports. With that in mind we set out to test two CFFire800 Pro readers with FireRepeater 800 to see if it provided enough power off a single FireWire 800 port to enable both CompactFlash readers; we found it worked flawlessly.

12VDC 3A External Power Supplies/Adapters for Unibrain FireWire Devices

This versatile adapter provides up to 3A stable regulated 12V DC output. For use with Unibrain Fire Repeaters, Fire-i Digital cameras and Unibrain FireWire External Hard Drives. It provides power for FireWire devices on laptops that do not provide power through the FireWire ports and can provide additional power for devices connected in an extended link to desktop systems.

Part Number and Description
PS-12VDC-UB 12VDC 3A External Power Supply/Adapter UB (FireWire)
PS-12VDC-UB-EUROPE 12VDC 3A External Power Supply/Adapter UB (FireWire) for European Type C/F outlets
Others available on special order, contact us with outlet type

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Clearly labeled photo explains FireWire Cable Converter Adapter Plugs

FireWire 800 (6 to 9 pin) (9 to 6 pin), and FireWire 400 (6 to 4 pin) Cable Converter and Adapter Plugs
How handy is this photo? It sure makes a lot of prose unnecessary. These adapters cover just about any FireWire 400 or FireWire 800 conversion scenario one could think of.

Converter plugs for FireWire cables allow changing the cable plug type at the very end to match that of the port it's being plugged into. For FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394a) ports, there are converter plugs allowing 9-pin cables to plug into 6-pin ports and converter plugs allowing 6-pin cables to plug into 4-pin ports. For FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) there is an adapter plug allowing 6-pin cables to plug into 9-pin ports.

Instructions for Unix-like Systems with Elan's U111-M SRAM and ATA Flash PCMCIA PC Card Drive

U111-M USB to PCMCIA PC Card ATA Flash and SRAM
EverythingHerePlus.com recently announced a first draft of a document which outlines the use of the BSD and Linux compatible USB reader for PCMCIA PC Card SRAM and ATA Flash memory devices. While the draft isn't complete, experienced users will have no problems using the command line instructions to complete tasks. They tested the device with OpenBSD and Xubuntu Linux.

Elan's U111-M PCMCIA PC Card reader for SRAM and ATA Flash memory devices is unique in that the reader itself brokers all the interfacing with the PC Card and presents itself to the host computer as a USB mass storage device. In addition to working on The Windows platforms, the device works with various versions of BSDs and Linux. Because of this, the U111-M allows users of Unix-like platforms to perform actions on these cards using common command line tools that usually require specialized and expensive software for The Windows. EverythingHerePlus hopes the document will be helpful to those wanting to deploy the U111-M with Unix-like systems.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Operating Systems uname -a results
Plugging in PC Card SRAM or ATA Flash
PC Card Partition Information
Mounting PC Card SRAM or ATA Flash
Unmount PC Card SRAM or ATA Flash
Formatting/Erasing PC Card SRAM or ATA Flash
Binary Image File to PC Card SRAM or ATA Flash
Binary Notes
Comparing Binary to PC Card SRAM
Manual Checksums Binary vs. PC Card SRAM or ATA Flash
View Hexadecimal of PC Card Memory Area (or Binary File Copies)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Samba changes in OpenBSD

The other day when I was trying to mount an ISO image for remote burning of SmartCard reader driver discs on our work network, I was getting error messages when trying to log on via samba. Since I usually use NFS instead of samba, I hadn't noticed that OpenBSD had changed the password back-end for samba. This was with 4.8-current, although they might have changed things earlier without me noticing. In fact, it may well have been a samba change rather than an OpenBSD specific one.

Regardless, the new configuration isn't any harder than the previous incarnation, just different. Took all of one minute to get things working again.

See

/usr/local/share/doc/samba/README.OpenBSD

for full details

Friday, September 10, 2010

5 Port FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs Ship for just $1.00 in September

FireRepeater-800 Pro 5 Port at EverythingHerePlus.comCheck out EverythingHerePlus.com's latest deal: $1.00 Priority Mail Flat Rate delivery to every address in the United States on the FW8-FIO-UB5PRH FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 5 Port. Purchase a power supply (PS-12VDC-UB or PS-12VDC-UB-EUROPE) at the same time, and both items ship in the same box for the same price — EverythingHerePlus.com will subtract power supply shipping at time of order processing. For international orders or shipping other than USPS Priority Mail, they'll apply a $4.00 USD discount to quoted shipping prices. This offer is only available on USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Small Boxes shipping to United States destinations. Offer expires Midnight, September 30, 2010.

Monday, September 6, 2010

FireRepeater resources

FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 4 PortThe folks at EverythingHerePlus have been busy as of late. One of the more important piece they've put together is Power Supply Information for FireWire Repeater Hubs like Unibrain's FireRepeater Line, which takes all the mystery out of when and why one would need a power supply for a FireWire repeater hub. The information is especially valuable for those using FireRepeater-800 PRO and FireRepeater-400 products.

Along with that, they make brief mention in Store News for EverythingHerePlus.com: FireRepeater-800 PRO gets a glowing review from IT Enquirer, of an excellent review which discusses the FireRepeater-800 PRO Four Port. An excerpt:

In contrast to its competitors, Unibrain’s FireRepeater-800 PRO has a wall mounting bracket to secure the unit in place, and the ability to screw-lock your FireWire cables in place. I would recommend the Unibrain FireRepeater-800 PRO to anyone wanting to connect more devices to his computer than he can daisy-chain, and up to a longer distance than is possible without a repeater device.

Given their breadth of FireWire knowledge and glowing customer reviews, you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to purchase FireWire products.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Farewell to the clickwheel?

Out of all the iPod's I've been fortunate enough to own over the years, the 4th Generation model iPod Nano has been my favorite. It struck the perfect balance of size, screen usability, and heft in the hand.

What made it best for me though, was that incredible click wheel. There are people that will probably be happy to see the venerable clickwheel go, but they're are superior to multi-touch screens in two significant ways.

  • Pause/play, skip songs, without looking at the device.
  • Fine tune volume without looking in a more elegant way.

While younger folks might not appreciate the second too much, for most of us, turning volume up and down with a knob seems more natural. Sure, that's a relic of potentiometers. Nevertheless, I find the circular motion of clickwheel volume far more granular and controllable than a series of buttons or onscreen controls.

Multi-Touch screens are great for some things. Yet I can't help thinking that Apple has gone a little overboard here. Some people argue that music collections are too big for the original iPod navigation system chickwheel support. There may be something to that, but I have never felt the replacement (I do have a 1G iPhone) music interface was better. In fact, I find that interface so awkward that I don't use the iPod functions on my iPhone at all.

That's probably the rub. I use the iPod as a music playback device only. While device convergence is inevitable and all the rage, the simplicity of clickwheel based iPods make them, in my eyes, superior music playback devices. Further, I think some of this has to due with how a person listens to music. For people that buy mostly singles and songs, features like shuffle and genius probably seem heaven sent. For many of us that import full albums from our CDs (hence being album oriented to begin with), those features aren't that compelling. I'm typically listening to full albums (occasionally skipping some songs). When I do listen to playlists, they're usually carefully crafted ones that I listen to in order. Like this:

I Can't Quit You, Baby Willie Dixon I Am the Blues
I Can't Quit You Baby Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I
You Shook Me Muddy Waters Muddy Waters, Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues
You Shook Me Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I
19 Years Old Muddy Waters Hoochie Coochie Man
I Can't Quit You Baby Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions (Disc 1)
Killing Floor Howlin' Wolf Blues You Can Use
The Lemon Song Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Bring It On Home (Single) Sonny Boy Williamson His Best
Bring It On Home Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed Blind Willie Johnson Dark Was the Night
In My Time Of Dying Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti (Disc 1)
In My Time Of Dying Led Zeppelin DVD (Disc 2)
When The Levee Breaks Memphis Minnie Queen Of The Blues
When The Levee Breaks Led Zeppelin IV

As for dropping video on the nano (display and recording), I'm not too disappointed. I've never used the video capability on any of my iPods, and friends with 5th Generation model iPod nanos don't use the video recording capabilities on theirs. Those features have always fallen under the "I'm glad it can, but never use it" category for us. Other than using the world clock function on the rare occasions that I am traveling, my iPod only sees action in the music section of the menus.

I'm not alone in these concerns. Chris S. and Michael wrote very similar pieces in the OWC blog concerning the new nano's transition to screen based controls. The Register has a write up on all of the new iPods. Their comments on the iPod Classic are interesting. My second most used iPod is my 40GB pre-classic iPod, something that I would only replace with an iPod classic as opposed to an iPod touch.

Monday, June 14, 2010

iPad Oriented United SGP Corp. Products Now at EverythingHerePlus.com

SGP Premium Protective Cover Skin DeepBlack for Apple iPadSGP makes amazing products for portable devices including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. A whole range of quality cases, protective skins, and touchscreen films are available.

They are now offering the SGP Premium Protective Cover Skin Series for Apple iPad. Three different textured themes are available.

DeepBlack

Carbon

Cube

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FireWire 800 to FireWire 400 Cable Tip

Did you know FireWire 6-pin to 9-pin cables are the same as FireWire 9-pin to 6-pin cables? You simply flip the cable!

FireWire CablesUsing FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 Cable Converters and Adapter Plugs like the CAB-FW8-6-9-CONV and the CAB-FW8-9-6-CONV for existing cables is an inexpensive solution. However, the best solution in terms of electrical and signal shielding for bridging between 6 pin FireWire 400 Ports and 9 pin FireWire 800 ports is a 6-pin to 9-pin FireWire cable. EverythingHerePlus carries 2M (6.6F), 4.5M (14.8F), 10M (32.8F) versions of FireWire 6-pin to 9-pin cables.

Check out the full range of FireWire 800 Cables and FireWire 400 Cables at EverythingHerePlus.com in the shopping cart section on any of their FireWire Product Pages.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Congratulations EverythingHerePlus.com, on your Terry White review!

13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (black or white)Terry White, Tech Guru and Worldwide Design Evangelist for Adobe Systems, Inc. just reviewed EverythingHerePlus.com's new 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hubs. He weighs the advantages and disadvantages of the devices and in the end says:

If you need to have a lot of peripherals connected at once and you're short on built-in USB ports, this is a great option.

Available in glossy black or white finishes, these inexpensive 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Hubs come with 4 amp power supplies.

USB-HUB-HU1310B 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (Black)
USB-HUB-HU1311W 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (White)

EverythingHerePlus.com is fun place to shop for fashion accessories, electronics, books, music, and more!

Friday, January 22, 2010

U111-M Q&A, Compatibility with Mac OS X? on EverythingHerePlus.com Store blog - Plus U111-M on OpenBSD and Linux updates!

The store blog from EverythingHerePlus.com answers questions regarding U111M compatibility with Mac OS X in Store EverythingHerePlus.com: U111-M Q&A, Compatibility with Mac OS X?. Of interest is the OpenBSD work around testing we did. U111M units with the most current firmware (1.05 above) work just fine with OpenBSD, with the exception of PCMCIA PC Card hot-swapping. As long as the card is inserted in the U111-M prior to connecting, the OpenBSD kernel recognizes it. In fact, there's no need to reboot between PCMCIA PC Card exchanges. Unplugging and plugging in the U111M on the USB bus is all that's necessary to recognize a new card.

Using OpenBSD, we were able to read, write, format, create binary images from, and write binary images to PCMCIA PC Card SRAM and ATA Flash. These capabilities, using just standard command line Unix utilities, are features once exclusively part of expensive, proprietary, Windows software packages. Now, using the U111-M with OpenBSD or Linux provides important low level features often needed with equipment from Honeywell, Canon, Epson, and others.

EverythingHerePlus.com will soon have detailed instructions for these operations.

Monday, January 18, 2010

U111-M USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot PCMCIA PC Card ATA Flash and SRAM Memory Cards

U111M USB reader for ATA Flash and SRAM PC CardsThe U111-M is an external read-writer for PCMCIA PC Card SRAM, and ATA Flash memory cards. The U111-M works without additional software or drivers on supported operating systems, treating both SRAM and ATA Flash as standard removable USB mass storage devices. Used in concert with a Type II PC Card adapter, the U111M USB to PCMCIA Memory PC Card drive will work with a variety of consumer memory cards including CompactFlash and SD Cards. Used with desktop or notebooks computers, the U111-M USB to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot PCMCIA PC Card ATA Flash and SRAM makes copying files to and from PCMCIA PC Card SRAM and PCMCIA PC Card ATA Flash devices simple and straight forward without confusing software interfaces.

PCMCIA System Architecture: 16-Bit PC Cards (2nd Edition)The U111-M comes with a USB 'Y' for use on rare systems with underpowered ports. Simply plug in the additional power only connection in order to provide necessary current. The U111M provides an inexpensive, hassle free solution to deploying legacy PCMCIA PC Card memory SRAM and ATA Flash cards on modern Linux and Windows computers with USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 ports.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

EverythingHerePlus.com Introduces 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hubs with 4A PS (Black or White)

EverythingHerePlus.com offers 3, 4, and 5 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs.EverythingHerePlus.com's new 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hubs provide host computers with 13 additional USB ports. These stylish devices allow flexible tiered Hi-Speed USB configurations with a single hub! Both robust and inexpensive, these 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hubs run in self powered mode and provides over current protection at each of their downstream ports. Fully USB 2.0 compliant and USB 1.1 backward compatible, they supports Low, Full, and Hi-Speed USB devices and work with any system that supports the USB specification. One of the 13 downstream USB ports is on top of the unit, and folds down for convenient access to portable USB Drives. Providing thirteen (13) downstream USB 2.0 ports in total, these USB 2.0 hubs features plug and play installation and transparent operation. These hubs are available in glossy black or white finishes, include a power supply with a generous 4 ampere capacity, and USB 2.0 cable to connect to a host computer.

USB-HUB-HU1310B 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (Black)
USB-HUB-HU1311W 13 Port Hi-Speed USB 2.0 External Hub with 4A PS (White)

EverythingHerePlus.com is fun place to shop for fashion accessories, electronics, books, music, and more!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

FireWire 800 Hubs for New iMacs and Macs as easy as 3, 4, 5!

EverythingHerePlus.com offers 3, 4, and 5 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs.The recent transition to 9-pin FireWire 800 across Apple's product line has many people scrambling to find FireWire 800 hubs. Not to worry, EverythingHerePlus.com offers 3, 4, and 5 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs. Great for new Macs, iMacs, and other computing environments utilizing high performance FireWire 800 peripherals.

FireWire 800's sustained performance, coupled with other advantages like long cable runs, the ability to daisy chain, and more, make it one of the best and most versatile standards. With a theoretical maximum throughput of 800Mbps, FireWire 800—also known as IEEE 1394b, can typically deliver 80MBps (megabytes per second) performance when used with high end external hard drives like those by G|Tech.

FireWire is a true peer-to-peer technology, unlike the prosaic USB standard. Connectivity terminology for FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs is a little different than those that use star topologies exclusively. The count on a FireWire 800 Repeater Hub comprises the total available ports, since a host computer is considered another peer level device. In other words, plugging a computer into a five port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub leaves four available ports left.

These five, four, and three port FireWire 800 hubs are great for the new Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iMac and other computers deploying FireWire 800. The 3 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub edition is a highly portable plastic model, great for traveling. The 4 port and 5 port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub models are constructed from sturdy aluminum and are great for studio and industrial applications. All three FireWire 800 Repeater Hubs accept the optional (purchased separately) PS-12VDC-UB 12VDC 3A External Power Supply to power devices that run off bus power.

Using 6-pin to 9-pin cables or FireWire cable adapters allow FireWire 800 hubs to work with FireWire 400 device of both the 6-pin and 4-pin variety. In fact, since FireWire 800 is backward compatible, investing in a FireWire 800 Repeater Hub for use in mixed FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 environments is the higher performance, and more economical choice.

5 Port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub at EverythingHerePlus.com
Unibrain FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 5 Port
2504 / FW8-FIO-UB5PRH Available with $5 USPS Priority Mail shipping!

4 Port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub at EverythingHerePlus.com
Unibrain FireRepeater-800 Pro FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 4 Port
2502 / FW8-FIO-UB4PRH Available with $5 USPS Priority Mail shipping!

3 Port FireWire 800 Repeater Hub at EverythingHerePlus.com
Unibrain FireRepeater 800 FireWire 800 IEEE 1394b Repeater Hub 3 Port
2501 / FW8-FIO-UB3PRH Available with $5 USPS Priority Mail shipping!

EverythingHerePlus.com is fun place to shop for fashion accessories, electronics, books, music, and more!