Sound Logic Retrophone Cell Phone Handset Attachment

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More expensive versions of the retro-handset concept have been around for a while. A buddy of mine used to have a Bluetooth version that he used with his iPhone. I wasn’t interested in buying one at the time because they typically cost around $40 at the time. However, I just couldn’t pass this one up at only $10. I came across the Sound Logic Retrophone Cell Phone Handset Attachment at our local CVS (during the same visit when I purchased a cheap router).

It works well as a gag. The sound quality seems to be OK though it doesn’t sound as good as my iPhone speaker. However, this actually adds to the retro concept – the reduced quality is reminiscent of the old analog phones.

There isn’t really much more information to offer. It works as I expected it would and at only $10 I’m not too concerned if it falls apart in the next couple of months.

Default Settings for a Netgear 54 Mbps Wireless Print Server w/4-port Switch (WGPS606)

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Someone gave my father-in-law an old Netgear wireless print server. It includes two USB ports (for printers) and four ethernet ports. The device can connect to an existing wireless network, so it’s essentially a wireless bridge device. He wanted to use it to extend Internet access to an out-building on his property.

I configured the device to work with his network. In the process, I had to find the default settings so I could connect to the device and configure it. Netgear no longer offers support for this device and I wasn’t able to download the manual from Netgear’s Website. I had to use third-party sources. I figured I’d go ahead and post the default settings needed to connect to this device.

Netgear 54 Mbps Wireless Print Server w/4-port Switch (WGPS606)

Device IP: 192.168.0.102
Username: admin
Password: password

CrystalView Wireless Instant Router and Repeater

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The Short Version: I only purchased this to extend an existing network. Once I figured out that it could only setup a new wifi network by using the original one as an Internet connection I ditched it. I had no interest in setting up multiple wifi networks just to extend my range. I probably could have configured the device to successfully setup another wifi network, but since that wasn’t why I purchased it I didn’t bother tweaking it any further. For more information about setting this device up you might find the many comments more useful.

I came across a very cheap wireless router at the local CVS (CrystalView Wireless Instant Router and Repeater). Now, I’m not in need of a router but what caught my attention was that it also claimed to have a repeater mode. It was marked at $25 and I thought it might serve as a good alternative to other wireless extender options. I didn’t need anything fancy but I wanted to increase the wireless coverage in part of our home.

After tinkering with it I found that it doesn’t work the way I expected. Technically, I don’t think it’s appropriate to call this device a repeater.¬† As far as I can tell it doesn’t repeat a wireless network. In my mind this should mean that the wireless configuration is the same and that all devices appear to be on the same network. It does not seem to be capable of extending an existing wireless network.

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Using the Machine Gun Turret in a Scorpion Tank in Halo 4

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This is probably obvious to anyone that has played a Halo game after Halo: Combat Evolved, but if you haven’t played since then, or it’s just been a long time since you’ve played the others, then you may not be aware that the Scorpion tank controls were changed.

As the driver of a Scorpion in Halo 4 you can move the tank and shoot the main cannon but you cannot operate the machine gun turret. Only another player (or NPC) can shoot the machine gun.

Should you purchase an Xbox 360 without a hard drive?

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Before I go into the details I’ll state that I think it’s best to purchase an Xbox 360 with a hard drive if you’re a hardcore gamer. You certainly can use one without a hard drive but you’ll be restricted on what you can do with the system. You can purchase a drive at any time but you’ll probably end up spending about the same amount that you originally saved up front anyway.

Microsoft has offered an Xbox 360 model without a hard drive for a long time. They may have been available since the system was released but since it’s been several years now I don’t remember for certain (I think they originally only came with hard drives until Microsoft added the ability to store content on external, USB storage devices). Around the holidays these systems are usually heavily promoted. Typically, they come with some form of storage, most likely just a flash drive around 4GB in size.

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Mediasonic ProBox 2.5″ SATA HDD Hard Drive Enclosure – USB 3.0 (H21-SU3)

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I had a 2.5″ SATA drive just sitting around unused, which I pulled out of a failed ASUS netbook a while back. The drive was in good condition so I decided to order a USB enclosure to stick it in and make it more useful.

This initiated my usual process of visiting Amazon, viewing products, and reading several reviews. Ultimately, I settled on a Mediasonic ProBox 2.5″ SATA HDD Hard Drive Enclosure – USB 3.0 (H21-SU3). I wasn’t looking to spend very much and it seemed like a good buy at about $15. In addition, it also supports USB 3.0 and my 13″ MacBook Pro has USB 3.0 ports.

I’ve only used it a couple of times but it seems sturdy and I haven’t had any problems with it. I can’t make any claims about how good the USB 3.0 support is since I haven’t really done very much with it. The case is plastic but it feels sturdy and with only one screw it’s very easy to open and close.

Updated 05/22/2013: I bought two more of these after upgrading my MacBook Pro hard drive and my wife’s for use with the old drives.

Updated 07/18/2013: All of these cases are still working great.

Using Keurig Starbucks House Blend in a Regular Coffee Maker

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First of all, I’m not suggesting that you can save money by doing this. I ended up figuring out this work work simply because I wasn’t paying attention when I picked it up at Walmart. The box of Keurig Starbucks coffee was sitting near a bunch of other Starbucks items including the different offerings for single-serve coffees. I mistakenly thought I was picking up a box of the single-serve coffee pouches that can be mixed up in a cup of hot water.

Once I got home I realized it was intended only for Keurig brewers. As it turns out, we do have one but I didn’t try to use it because it’s been sitting around collecting dust for a while and probably needs a good cleaning, at the least.

Rather than try to return the coffee I decided to put it to use in my coffee maker. I figured the Keurig didn’t do much more than mix it with hot water anyway.

So far it seems that one Keurig coffee container goes well with four cups of water in the coffee maker. It seems to scale up fine – I’ve brewed eight cups using two containers.

If you go this route just be careful when opening the containers. The coffee blend is dry but very fine and can easily get all over the place.

Updated 02/20/2013: Well, once again I made a similar mistake but this time it worked out much better. I purchased a bag of Starbucks coffee beans thinking that I was buying ground coffee. We don’t have a coffee grinder but my father-in-law showed me a simple trick. He ground the coffee beans using our Magic Bullet, which worked great. I found out that he had recently made the same mistake and also happens to own a Magic Bullet.