Scanning Frustration

“Printers are devices for causing pain and frustration. They also sometimes print stuff out.” - Me, many times over the years. I have an HP LaserJet 100 MFP M175nw networked laser printer / scanner / copier. I’ve had it since 2013 where it’s generally worked okay most of the time. We don’t print a ton of things in this house, but when we do, it’s typically urgently required for work or school. [Read More]

Hunting Down A New Laptop

My most “recent” laptop history looks a bit like this: Toshiba T1910cs (~1994) Toshiba T2100cs (~1995) Sony Vaio PCG-C1 (~1998) Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2 (~2005) Toshiba Portege M400 (~2007) Apple MacBook Pro (~2010) ThinkPad X220 i7 (~2012) ThinkPad T450 i7 (~2016) There have been other, non-primary computer devices over the years like the Intel Classmate, ASUS Transformer, Asus EEE 701 & 900, EEE 1000HA, Dell Latitudes, Toshiba AC100, Pinebook, Pinebook Pro, an Entroware Athena and, briefly a MacBook Air. [Read More]

The Best Toaster

If you know me well in person, or online, you’ll almost certainly have heard me evangelise about the best toaster you can buy. If so, you are excused from reading any further. However, I may test you on this text at some point. So skip reading it at your peril! There are no affiliate links in this post. I do not seek to financially benefit from your enjoyment of deliciously toasted bread. [Read More]

Magewell HDMI Capture with ffmpeg

Three years ago I bought a Magewell USB HDMI capture device (affiliate link). It’s a neat, reliable and well made, if expensive device. I use it to capture the output of computers, mostly to get pixel perfect bug reports, and to make some videos for YouTube. I prefer these hardware solutions over the software screencasting counterparts, as they tend to be more reliable, and don’t consume resources on the computer being recorded. [Read More]

Xiaomi Redmi AirDots S Review

This is a somewhat belated review, as I’ve had these headphones for over 6 months now, but I use them often enough for a long term review I think. Also, I’m no MKBHD, so this isn’t a deep dive into the audio response of these things. Set expectations accordingly. This is more of a ramble than a review. I’m no audiophile. I tend to listen to music while working on whatever headphones are nearby. [Read More]

Two Displays & Two Computers

In my messy office I have a main desk I work at. I have two portait displays on a hefty, but inexpensive BONTEC Dual Monitor Stand (affiliate link), clamped to the back, to lift the monitors up off the desk. The monitors are 3-year-old, low-end 24" ASUS VS248HR (affiliate link) “Gaming Monitor’s” 🤣. I recently bought a Raspberry Pi 400 which also sits on my desk for quick-release arm64-action! The problem I have had with other Pi’s is the spiders web of cables needed, and additional keyboard. [Read More]

Ouya was a Success

On 11th July 2012, the Ouya burst onto the scene via popular crowdfunding site - Kickstarter. It was billed as “A New Kind of Video Game Console” which sold for $99/£99 at launch. It was essentially an Nvidia Tegra 3 based ARM System on Chip crammed into a tiny box which sat under / near your TV and was operated with supplied bluetooth game controllers. They far exceeded the target of $950,000, reaching $8,596,474, setting some high expectations among the backers and interested onlookers. [Read More]

Eufy RoboVac 30C Review

3 months ago I bought a Eufy RoboVac 30C (affiliate link) vaccum cleaner. Now feels like a good time to write a review. Before The Event we had a cleaner at home who came once a week. We no longer have a cleaner and I’m now the only adult in the house, so figured I could do with some help cleaning up. In short, yes, I’d recommend it, if you have similar requirements to me. [Read More]

The Best Portable Spectrum

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was the second computer I ever owned, a natural upgrade from the Sinclair ZX81. I still own a small collection of Spectrums which work perfectly after a bit of light refurbishment thanks to Mutant Caterpillar. They’re not often setup to play with, due to the space needed. Some Many of the Spectrum games are absolute classics, and still remain fun to play now though. There’s plenty of ways to play under emulation on desktops and laptops. [Read More]

Double Your Network Speed with This One Trick

The trick: Read the manual. I pay for 100Mb/s downstream Internet connection at home. For months I’ve been getting around 50Mb/s at my desk, and 100Mb/s over wifi on my phone, under optimal conditions. Here’s how I ‘fixed’ the ‘slow’ Internet (essentially LAN speed) connection at my desk. I use a bunch of TP-LINK “Powerline” adapters around the house to get wired networking to each room. “Well, that’s your first problem, Alan. [Read More]