Category Archives: Product Reviews

Specification analysis, quirks, hands-on information and detailed explanation of various products

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Upgrading to Raspberry Pi Model B+

Often my OpenELEC Raspberry Pi would get stuck at pre-boot. The culprit turned out to be a faulty SD card connector. Unclipping the connector pins (as suggested in the elaborate diagnostic wiki on eLinux.org) and soldering on an alternate low-profile SD card adapter (that I ordered from crazypi.com) fixed it.

By that time, I had already ordered the new Raspberry Pi Model B+. My first impression – this is how the original Model B should have been designed!

A number of reviews speak highly of this new model. You can read up the one from exptertreviews.co.uk or see one on YouTube (the only video review of B+ that makes sense!)

Simply looking at the board – the entire layout looks cleaner, ports better arranged and finally a sturdier SD card slot!

  • Lower base power consumption translating to more stability
  • Audio noise and distortion reduced
  • USB current back feed noise reduced
  • USB hot plug current rush-in issue resolved

Beyond just the physical aspects of it, I replaced my old Model B for “stability” reasons. The biggest improvement on this board (IMHO) is power management. Ditching the linear regulator not just freed up an extra 500mA but also managed to prevent the Pi from getting reset every time certain USB devices were plugged in or out – the USB hotplug rush-in current issue is reduced to a minimum. For me this turned out to be super useful as I could now easily plug in WiFi and Bluetooth adapters without worrying.

The low-noise power supply for the audio circuit has done wonders to sound quality. Previously (in Model B) I was constantly disturbed by erroneous noises on the analogue audio output port. This had literally made it impossible to play audio at high volume. Noises caused by current backfeed from USB devices has totally vanished as well. Finally!

Surprisingly, the cleaner board and better power management causes this model to run at a slightly lower temperature and as such is more stable under over-clocked configurations.

Finally, the ability to increase the limiting current drawn from USB ports to 1.2A ensured that I can safely ditch my USB hub. Not that USB hubs are not needed for high-drain USB devices, but that my specific requirement was satisfied by the extra 600 mA!

In case you are wondering which is the best power supply adapter for Raspberry Pi, after much trial and testing, I have stumbled upon Sony CP-AD2 – a very stable 2.1A power supply with very good build quality.

Overall a great upgrade and a beautifully designed single-board computer. If you are using raspberry Pi as a media centre device and facing stability issues, the upgrade is likely to solve most of it.

Review: Telebrands ‘Kevin Trudeu’s Memory Management Package’ commercial

All these books/course do nothing but “package” and remodel all those human memory management technique that are already available on the net or in books. If you are someone too lazy to research on the net or search through local bookstore and libraries, then I guess you can very well go for this and this-related products/books. Continue reading

Phone Review: Sony Ericsson Z610i

This review is on the cellphone Sony Ericsson Z610i. It is intended to be a buyer’s guide to make a choice of whether to buy this item or not. And also a process of making this yet to be popular phone come to some limelight.

About the phone

If you are looking for technical specifications of the phone, check out Sony Ericsson website http://www.sonyericsson.com/spg.jsp?cc=global&lc=en&ver=4001&template=pp1_1_1&zone=pp&lm=pp1&pid=10527.

In short, the phone is of a clamshell design with smooth glassy mirror-like surface. It has Bluetooth with A2DP stereo, GPRS, 3G, POP3 Email, MMS, Video call, etc. It also has dual camera with the main camera being 2 mega-pixel. There is an outer OLED display that is surprisingly visible only when it is active.

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Nokia 3300 Cellphone Review

Overall Phone Features: (as on Nokia Website and GSMArena)

  • Mobile music player for MP3 and AAC files
  • Stereo FM radio
  • Digital recorder from integrated FM radio and Audio Line-In
  • Music files as ringing tones
  • Music storage on multimedia card
  • Multimedia messaging & GPRS web access
  • Java™ games
  • For GSM 900/1800 networks
  • Xpress-on™ covers

Note: There are two variants of this phone, one released in America (with Qwerty keyboard and Bluetooth) and another for European and Asian market (without Qwerty keyboard and Bluetooth.) All the details here are with respect to the latter (Eurasian) model.

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