SEARCH: Basics

Review: Samsung Chromebook Series 5 – Ready For Business?

Samsung Chromebook Series 5Opening the box, this Chromebook felt very light. So light that in some ways the screen and body felt almost too plastic. The screen itself is bright, but very thin and some may think this is too flimsy. The keyboard is nice, large and feels great when typing. I didn’t find myself accidentally hitting buttons and causing issues and the trackpad stayed out of the way (for the most part). The included USB port was useful for adding a wireless mouse to the mix and detected the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 I tested without issue.

Truly, this is a Google ecosystem device – so you’ll find better integration and power when you use a Google account (on Apps or merely just a free Gmail account). Other options for mail access are possible, however, the integration you should expect is little more than accessing web mail. In the future, I’d like to see every mail provider offer an HTML5 web mail interface – making the ChromeBook a great option for that future.

With a Chromebook Series 5 in hand, it’s time to test and review this new and intriguing option from Google’s engineers – here’s what I thought of it.

Nexus 7 Review: One Tablet To Rule Them All?

Nexus 7 Tablet

As consumption devices go, Android tablets haven’t really held a candle to the iPad. There’s a storm of positive reviews out there that say that the Nexus 7 is a tablet that can rival Apple and Amazon’s offerings, and finally I’ve been able to use it and let you know. On a personal note, I was looking forward to seeing a good Android tablet experience after trying some really crappy ones (yea, I’m talking to you Colby). In a word: Impressive. But, more than one word is applicable for this great little 7 inch tablet, so I’m going to try to add my particular thoughts to the mix about this tablet.

The Volume Shadow Copy and System Restore Conundrum

ShadowCopy-01For those users of Windows, there is exists a service that protects your data on a regular basis. This service is called Volume Shadow Copy and runs on every version of Windows post XP SP1. In Windows 8, this service will essentially be renamed File History, but share many of the same underpinnings. The difficulty I speak of, however, is that of the files this service creates, and the ability to make gainful use of them (especially if you don’t have the system to work with).

Dell PowerEdge T410 Server Review

poweredge-t410-01The tower version  of  it’s cousin, the R410 Server from Dell, the PowerEdge T410 is a lower-end server suitable for up to 15 users on a small Network. I have previously looked the R410 (read that review here) and now have the opportunity to check out this one. The intention of this new server was for it to become a simple Domain Controller coming in at a less than $3,000 price tag. Here’s my look at the server, the setup and how well it stacked up to the intended job description.

Consulting: Is A Technology Certification Worth it?

CertifyYou have the choice of Microsoft’s MCSE or MCTS Certifications, there are the CCNA and CCIE or the CompTIA A+ or Network+ certifications. With so many of these around and time time and money required to complete them, you might wonder what’s the best use of your time. I don’t see it as prevalent now as it was ten to twelve years ago, but many in the IT industry still ask me “Is an IT certification worth the time and money?”. I wanted to look at this idea of becoming certified and if it’s worthwhile as an IT Consultant. (Disclosure: I’m an MCSE in the NT 4.0 track, I have not upgraded since).

Review: Drobo FS Network Attached Storage (NAS)

DroboThe storage space comprised of  NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices is an interesting one. It appears to be growing in multiple ways –  companies are downsizing away from the server they didn’t need, gamers are looking for that home data store, and businesses are increasingly using them for backup applications. I’ve seen great many of these devices, and today I was able to look at the Drobo FS, a five drive NAS device with one and two drive failover capabilities aimed at users and small businesses.

PowerEdge T710 Server Review

The higher-end (and much heavier) server tower offered by Dell as the PowerEdge T710 is one heck of a monster. Measuring more than a few inches deeper than the lower-end T410 server, this bad boy looks to be built for power and speed. Today, the plan with this PowerEdge T710 is to set it up as a member server of a domain and eventually use it as a database server. I’ll take the machine through it’s paces and show you what I thought of this server. Along the way, I’ll share some tips and other information I think might be useful.

Using Apple’s OS X Server With a Windows Network

OSX-ServerIt seems more and more that the main driving forces in the Apple world are focused squarely on simplicity. In the case of Apple’s Server offering for OS X Lion, this simplicity is never more apparent. Choosing this sort of solution for an office of OS X machines may be a no-brainer, but, what if you wanted to run a network of Windows computers on this server? Would it stack up well to what Microsoft offers? Does it offer the kinds of things you might expect from a Windows Server? Let’s take a look.

First Look: Cubby – A New Cloud Storage Tool


The pace of cloud file storage application releases have been fast and furious. Now that Google’s Drive is here and some of the more popular services in this space are Dropbox (Sign up here and get 500mb free), SugarSync, Bitcasa, and Box.Net. Today, I was invited to check out a new file storage service from the creators of Logmein called Cubby and I wanted to take a look at how this works.