Thoughts on the Original Surface Book

1 Jun

I’ve been very fortunate in my life.

Working in the industry that I work in, I get a lot of opportunities to learn about and experiment with new technology all the time. That being said, the original Microsoft Surface Book is not “New Tech” so to speak. It’s “New to Me Tech” that I feel lucky to get to play around with.

Originally released in November of 2016, the Microsoft Surface Book was a hardware marvel. Merging the worlds of tablets and full fat PC experiences, it did both jobs pretty well and still does today.

I am blown away by the keyboard especially. I love the way the keys feel. I love how it feels to type on this device. Every key stroke has a very satisfying sound, and when you type as fast as I do it sounds like something straight out of a hacker movie.

When you pair the typing experience with the fact that you can also use the the Microsoft Surface Pen with this device, it really comes in useful in sooooo many situations. Taking notes in meetings, drawing up diagrams of new network setups, or even just letting my kids doodle on it for fun.

I’m really enjoying using this Surface Book at work and at home, and the only real gripe I have is that the storage is rather small and not very friendly for a user to replace on their own. You essentially risk destroying the entire PC if you try and upgrade the storage in it. My suggestion would be for you to pick up an SD card and make a habit of storing non-critical files on the SD card.

Just my thoughts on this so far. This may change in the future as I use it more and more.

Super Disappointed in OnePlus

15 May

When OnePlus first came to the mobile phone market they were the “flagship killers” offering a mobile device with top end specs for a rock bottom price.

Over the years they have remodeled and redefined what a budget phone could be and started a change in the market. They had a great device, a great platform, and a reasonable price to get all of the above in a nice little package, so why am I disappointed?

Yesterday OnePlus released their newest device the OnePlus 7 Pro. This device is the same as all previous generation OnePlus devices. It has new design language, a couple new features, and all the latest specs you could ask for. The price? $1000 CAD.

OnePlus has now become one of the “big guys” that they were working to defeat with their pricing and platform. Now there is literally nothing differentiating them from Samsung, Apple, Google, etc. It’s a $1000 phone from a company in China with no local RMA support.

Thanks OnePlus, but I’ll take a hard pass on this one.

Thoughts on the Asus Zenfone 3

17 Nov

I’ve been using the Asus Zenfone 3 as my daily driver for about a week now, and wanted to lay down some initial thoughts and impressions about this phone because Christmas is coming and I truly think this device is something any mobile phone fan would love.

Tech Specs

  • Dual SIM Card Slots
  • 5.5 Inch Capacitive Super IPS+ Display
  • Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625
  • 64GB of Internal Memory
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 16MP Camera with Phase Detection and Optical Image Stabilization
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • USB-C with Fast Charging

The Camera (Photos)

The Camera (Videos)

Network Speeds (WIFI and LTE)

screenshot_20161117-075201.jpg screenshot_20161117-075240.jpg

Screen Shots

Final Thoughts

After some strong consideration, I have actually decided to sell my Pixel and stick with the Zenfone 3. It’s a perfect phone for me that offers the features I want at a crazy attractive price point, and performs well without any stutter or lag.

EndOffice Dedicated Servers and Colocation

9 Feb

I’ve been known to browse around WebHosting talk looking for dedicated server deals when I came across a physical location that I rarely see on offer from any form of provider.

I worked as quickly as I could to snag one of these servers but a few things struck me as odd that I am hoping is resolved in the near future.

  • No ordering system. You have to email them to get set up.
  • No billing system. I was simply sent a paypal money request.
  • Single Homed Cogent Connectivity (New carrier incoming next month).

Aside from the above mentioned issues, I have had nothing but a joy ordering from EndOffice. Their staff are super responsive at all hours of the day, and really do whatever they can to get a customer online and happy.

My only real concern is this company up and disappearing in a short period of time, however you take that risk with quite a few providers so it’s really something you just have to be prepared for.

Here’s the benchmark from the server I purchased:


System Info
Processor       : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           L5520  @ 2.27GHz
CPU Cores       : 16
Frequency       : 2260.938 MHz
Memory          : 16031 MB
Swap            : 7167 MB
Uptime          : 2 days, 7:58,

OS              : Debian GNU/Linux 7
Arch            : x86_64 (64 Bit)
Kernel          : 2.6.32-39-pve
Hostname        : boston

Speedtest (IPv4 only)

Location                Provider        Speed
CDN                     Cachefly        96.3MB/s

Atlanta, GA, US         Coloat          60.4MB/s
Dallas, TX, US          Softlayer       30.6MB/s
Seattle, WA, US         Softlayer       19.5MB/s
San Jose, CA, US        Softlayer       18.9MB/s
Washington, DC, US      Softlayer       65.2MB/s

Tokyo, Japan            Linode          11.8MB/s
Singapore               Softlayer       6.13MB/s

Rotterdam, Netherlands         15.3MB/s
Haarlem, Netherlands    Leaseweb        41.4MB/s

Disk Speed
I/O (1st run)   : 94.4 MB/s
I/O (2nd run)   : 86.6 MB/s
I/O (3rd run)   : 90.3 MB/s
Average I/O     : 90.4333 MB/s

Still not a bad deal assuming the service sticks around! This box is $29 per month with a 20 megabit unmetered connection or for an extra $10 you can go to 10TB over gigabit.

Again still a pretty good deal if you’re OK with Cogent.

The Nexus Player

29 Dec

Nexus-PlayerThis Christmas my wife got me on of the most awesome gifts I could have asked for the Nexus Player by Asus and Google.

The Nexus Player is the second attempt by Google at a set-top box that offers media streaming similar to the Apple TV, Roku and others.

The first thing I did was install Kodi (Xbox Media Center) on the Nexus Player so that I could have access to a much broader range of media at my disposal. I followed the instructions posted on the Kodi Wiki here. It was super simple and now this little box is incredible!

The Nexus Player is now and all in one device that offers far more than our Apple TV ever did. We get Google Play Movies, Kodi (Movies, TV, Music, Apps), Google Play Gaming, Netflix, and a lot more.

So far I think it’s a really great device for $110!