Hardware Blogs

Review of Fiio X1 High Resolution Lossless Music Player
Last edited on: 27/09/2015 - 15:24
The Fiio X1 High Resolution Lossless Music Player provides an option for those demanding more fidelity from their portable players than say a traditional iPod or their cellphone. The supported formats are APE, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, WMA and Ogg Vorbis although MP3 is there too in the event you haven't got round to ripping all your CDs to lossless or don't have the media any more to do that anyway. »   Read more
Tutorial: Setup Mobile 4G/3G Hotspot with TP-LINK TL-MR3020 Router, ZTE MF823 Modem and EE Data Sim Card
Last edited on: 27/09/2015 - 12:30
Here is a tutorial for setting up a mobile 4G hotspot to share Internet connectivity with a number of hand held devices. This is particularly useful for a group of pals on long train journeys (e.g. me and my mates going to the football) but also for camping holidays and of course moving into a new property before a landline based Internet connection has been established. »   Read more
Building a MythTV HTPC - Bill of Materials
Last edited on: 18/04/2014 - 08:10
It would not be correct to say that money was no object with my MythTV HTPC build, but I did want something special, something I would be proud of, and a HTPC that performed well as well as looking good. Therefore keeping costs down wasn't my primary objective. I bided my time and got the most important part - the chassis - mint in box off eBay after waiting for the correct one to turn up. The hardware was selected to be good enough to do a job whilst having headroom to spare and to have all the functionality I will need for the foreseeable future. »   Read more
Building a MythTV HTPC - Motherboard + CPU + RAM
Last edited on: 01/04/2014 - 18:43
I elected to go for a motherboard and CPU combination that would balance performance against budget and provide all the functionality I need for the MythTV HTPC build. Having scoured around the Internet and read numerous reviews, the best I came across was the ASRock H77M board combined with an Intel i3-3225 3.30GHz Ivy Bridge CPU »   Read more
Perixx PERIBOARD-804i UK Bluetooth Keyboard
Last edited on: 18/11/2012 - 11:15
If you intend to do a lot of typing on a tablet computer or cellphone then it's wise to invest in an external Bluetooth keyboard. With that in mind I purchased the Perixx PERIBOARD-804i UK keyboard for use with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and my HTC Desire HD. »   Read more
Building a Home FreeNAS Server - Copying Data From Linux HD
Last edited on: 10/08/2012 - 12:50
Once my FreeNAS server was up and running, I needed to get my existing data on to it. One possibility is copying over the LAN, but since most of my data is held on ext2 Linux had drives, it made sens to me to mount these drives in the FreeNAS server, and copy using the command line. Here is an example on how to achieve it. I have chosen to copy the contents of a 400GB IDE HD which holds my MP3 music collection into the FreeNAS file store. »   Read more
Building a Home FreeNAS Server - Troubleshooting
Last edited on: 10/08/2012 - 11:31
The first time that I rebooted my completed FreeNAS server I was surprised to note it wouldn't boot. I got a diagnostic: This is a FreeNAS data disk and can not boot system. System halted. In fact this isn't a FreeNAS problem - it's a problem with the boot order of the PC which is set in the BIOS. This was a big surprise because I'd configured the BIOS to only boot from the USB memory stick. But that's not the entire story. »   Read more
Building a Home FreeNAS Server - Bill of Materials
Last edited on: 08/08/2012 - 11:38
The objective of the exercise was to build a budget FreeNAS server with 4TB capacity to house my music collection in MP3 and FLAC format, yet costs as little as is possible by reusing hardware from previous projects. I was actually very lucky; in most instances there is additional expense, such as having to buy additional cabling, screws, or Molex to SATA connectors. In this instance I didn't have to buy anything else - I was able to source everything from the bone yards that are my many junk boxes. Bill of Materials »   Read more
Building a Home FreeNAS Server - Sundry Hardware
Last edited on: 08/08/2012 - 11:36
The remaining hardware fell into place relatively easily. There were precious few decisions to be made - it was a case of what I had, I used. »   Read more
Building a Home FreeNAS Server - Motherboard + CPU
Last edited on: 05/08/2012 - 11:14
I have two motherboards I've used in previous projects, either of which is a likely candidate for my FreeNAS server. The reality is a brand new motherboard and CPU are totally unnecessary for a home use NAS; what I have available will more than be sufficient for my needs. So which motherboard do I use? ASUS P5E-VM HMDI Socket LGA775 with Intel Core 2 CPU 6300 @ 1.86 GHz »   Read more
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