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Anthology Solutions Yellow Machine Review

Anthology Solutions Yellow Machine Review

We firmly believe in the importance of keeping your important files backed up, and we also think you can never have too much storage space, so we were pleased to get our hands on the Yellow Machine from Anthology Solutions which boasts a massive 1000 Gigabytes (1 Terabyte) of storage space (and is also available in a 1.6 Terabyte version).

The Yellow Machine is more than just a network storage device though: it also can act as the entry point to your home or small office network with a built-in 8 port Ethernet hub, firewall and proxy server.

And did we mention that it looks nice?

Read on for the rest of the review......

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Sparkle GeForce 6600GT Review

Sparkle GeForce 6600GT Video Card

We bought a new Dell PC recently that was a great bargain, offered all the latest technology, but its gaming was very poor due to it coming with a basic Radeon X300 graphics card.

To replace the card we had two choices, spend $400+ on a top of the range Radeon X800/X850 or GeForce 6800 card, or keep the budget more sensible and get a mid-range card for around $200 such as a Radeon X600 or GeForce 6600 card.

We wanted a card that would handle the latest games like Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 at a good resolution (1280x1024) with high graphics settings, and after researching we bought a Sparkle GeForce 6600GT graphics card from Directron for $207.

How did the card perform, and how much did it improve over the 16377 Aquamark3 benchmark score we got with the old X300 card? Keep reading to find out......

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Dell Dimension 8400 Review

Dell Dimension 8400

This review should have been called "how to get a high-performance desktop PC with 17 inch LCD monitor for under $650".

Yes, you read that right. If you had the chance to buy a PC with 3.2GHz Pentium 4 processor, PCI Express Graphics, Serial ATA Hard Drive, 533MHz DDR3 Memory, Gigabit Ethernet, and lots more, for about half the price of buying each component and putting it together yourself, would you do it?

We did, in fact we jumped on the deal, and now we are going to tell you if the Dell Dimension 8400 lives up to the promise of being a high performance PC with all the latest technology.

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Posted December 15, 2004 in Computer Systems , Reviews | TrackBack (0) | Comments (1)

Buffalo Linkstation Review

buffalo linkstation review

Network attached storage is an area of computing that is moving beyond being a solution just for large businesses and is becoming a lot more affordable for the average small business or home user.

What is network attached storage?, basically it is a box containing one or more hard drives that is connected to your wired network (like an external USB hard drive but connected directly to the network where all users can access it).

We were looking for a networked hard drive to use as an automated backup solution for our PCs and decided to test out the 120GB Buffalo Linkstation.

Did the Linkstation make the grade? keep reading to find out.

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Ultra X-Connect 500w PSU Review

ultra x-connect 500w power supply

We had been planning on upgrading the power supply on our main PC for a while as our power supply was noisy and underpowered for the 3 hard drives, 2 optical drives, and power guzzling ATI graphics card in our system.

Replacing a power supply is one of the most complex do-it-yourself jobs on a PC, in my mind second only in complexity to replacing a motherboard. We therefore looked around for a solution that promised to be a high-quality replacement that wouldn't need to be upgraded again for years.

We thought the Ultra X-Connect 500w PSU looked to be a good fit for our needs and Ultra Products were kind enough to send one over for us to review.

An additional advantage to upgrading to the Ultra X-Connect is that is has a modular cable system where you just install the cables you need removing a lot of the clutter from your PC (hopefully improving airflow and reliability at the same time).

How did we fare at replacing our power supply?, and how has it performed?, keep reading to find out......

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Posted November 5, 2004 in Computer Hardware , Reviews | TrackBack (0) | Comments (1)

Slappa CD Case Review

slappa cd cases review

Slappa were kind enough to send us a couple of their inexpensive hardbody CD cases: a graphite collection 40 CD (or 20 CD and 20 covers) case, and a camel collection 240 CD (or 120 CD and 120 covers) case.

The Slappa cases feature a solid hard shell in a number of different styles, and CD storage inside their patented stitched sleeves.

We tried out the cases around our office and on a trip to Mexico. Keep reading to find out what we thought......

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Posted October 13, 2004 in Reviews | TrackBack (0) | Comments (0)

Pioneer DVR-108 16x DVD Burner Review

pioneer DVR-108 16x dvd writer review

The Pioneer DVR-108 is the OEM version of the first 16x DVD Writer that also supports 4x dual-layer write speeds.

The main differences between this and the retail box version (DVR-A08) are that the DVR-108 comes with a plain faceplate and no software or cables.

We got a Pioneer DVR-108 to test from Directron. Keep reading to find out what we thought of it.

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Matias iPod Armor Mini Review

matias ipod armor mini review

We are getting a lot of use out of our iPod mini, and one thing we felt we needed was a bit more protection when working out at the gym or on a bike ride.

We looked around for a solid metal iPod mini case that had a belt clip, and we came up with the Matias iPod Armor Mini.

Did the Matias iPod Armor Mini case meet our needs? keep reading to find out......

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Altec Lansing inMotion Review

altec lansing inmotion ipod speaker system

The iPod mini is a great portable MP3 player, but what about those times when you don't want to listen to music through earphones, what if you want to play music for your guests, or listen to music in your hotel room?

One solution is the Altec Lansing inMotion powered portable speaker system: essentially a little white shiny plastic box that opens up to reveal two pairs of speakers and a dock for the iPod and iPod mini.

Altec Lansing sent us an inMotion speaker system and we tested it out for a few weeks in our apartment, on a business trip to the west coast, and on our recent Hurricane Ivan delayed vacation to Mexico.

Did we like the inMotion? keep reading to find out......

The Altec Lansing inMotion is currently available from for $109.99 with free shipping

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Piel Frama Case Review

Piel Frama leather case for dell axim X30 with extended battery

For our business trips and vacations we needed a case that would fit our Dell Axim X30 pocket pc with the Mugen extended battery attached.

After looking around we found the Piel Frama leather case designed specifically for the X30 with extended battery.

Piel Frama also offer a wide range of cases for other pocket pcs and gadgets in cowhide, crocodile, and ostrich, and prices average around $50 and up.

How did it perform on our recent gadget testing roadtrip? keep reading to find out......

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Roadwired Pod Review

roadwired pod gadget bag

You may have guessed from the rest of that I love gadgets: I normally have one or two gadgets in my pockets but when I travel on business or go on vacation I need a better solution for transporting my camera, iPod mini, pocket pc, cases, headphones, chargers, memory cards, etc etc etc.

Roadwired were kind enough to send me their Pod "digital lifestyle" bag and I tested it on a 10 day trip to Mexico: A trip that ended with Category 5 Hurricane Ivan coming to visit!

How did the Pod cope with Ivan?, keep reading to find out......

Buy the Pod from ebags for $49.99

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Apricorn EZ Bus Mini 20GB Review

apricorn ez bus mini 20gb usb hard drive review

The Apricorn Ez Bus Mini 20GB is the Mini-Me of USB 2.0 external hard drives.

The EZ Bus Mini comes in two sizes 20gb and 40gb for around $200 and $280 respectively, quite a bit more than larger USB external hard drives (both physically and in terms of storage capacity).

Is it worth the extra cost? keep reading to find out.......

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Micro Solutions Lockbox 80GB Review

micro solutions 80gb lockbox biometric fingerprint hard drive

The Micro Solutions Lockbox is a USB 2.0 external hard drive protected by a biometric fingerprint sensor system.

The Lockbox comes in 3 sizes: 80gb ($199), 120gb ($249), and 200gb ($299) and works with Windows 98 or later PCs.

As of 8/23 you could get the 80gb Lockbox for $191.99 from with Free Shipping.

We got hold of an 80gb lockbox to review, keep reading to find out what we thought of it......

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Fossil Wrist Net SPOT Watch Review

fossil wrist net SPOT smart watch MSN direct

The Fossil Wrist Net is a Smart Watch that uses the MSN Direct service to receives information such as news, weather, sports results, stock prices, MSN messenger messages and more via FM radio signals.

At a high level, how it works is: you buy a watch and sign up for a subscription with MSN Direct ($59/yr linked to a .net Passport) where you specifiy your home and commute areas. As long as you are in range of FM towers in those locations you get data sent to your watch automatically.

We got hold of a Fossil Wrist Net Smart Watch to review. Keep reading to see what we thought.

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Digiana Audia-X FM Transmitter Review

digiana audiax audia-x fm transmitter for mp3 players cds and pocket pcs

For the past week I have taken a break from listening to local radio as I drive around and have instead been listening to music on my Pocket PC and iPod mini played through my car's radio and speakers thanks to an interesting gadget: the Digiana Audia-X FM Transmitter.

How does it work? Continue reading the full review to find out......

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Mugen 2000mAh Battery for Axim X30/X3 Review

mugen 2000mAh extended battery for Dell Axim X30 and X3 pocket PC

While I was very pleased with most aspects of the Axim X30 high in my recent Dell Axim X30 Review, I did feel I needed an extended battery to make it more useable on long flights.

I looked around and picked up the Mugen 2000mAh extended battery on ebay for $49.99 (the same price as a regular 950mAh battery from Dell).

Continue reading for the rest of the Mugen Extended Battery Review......

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iPod Mini First Impressions Review

ipod mini storage

At long last our blue iPod Mini has arrived (thanks

We will be doing a full review over the next couple of weeks, both standalone and in conjuction with the Audia-X mini FM Transmitter and some Bose noise reduction headphones.

Until then we wanted to give you our first impressions on the packaging and build of the Mini.

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Netgear WGR-101 802.11g Travel Router Review

netgear WGR101 wireless 802.11g travel router

I took the new Netgear WGR-101 802.11g Travel Router on a 2 week business trip/stress test to San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen (China).


This is a simple to use router that is perfect for roadtrips to hotels with high-speed internet connections. The router itself is tiny, smaller even than a Pocket PC, and comes with a good carrying case. I had no major problems using the router and I will be taking it on all future business trips.

Carry on reading for the full review.

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Logitech MX900 Bluetooth Optical Mouse Review

logitech MX900 bluetooth Optical Mouse Review

The MX900 is Logitech's Cordless Mouse that connects with Bluetooth Wireless technology and uses their new MX Optical Engine which they say is the fastest most accurate mouse technology around.

What do I think of it? read the full review below and find out.....

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Dell Axim X30 Pocket PC Review

Dell Axim X30 Pocket PC

Premise: Stress test the Dell Axim X30 624mhz Pocket PC, a Netgear WGR-101 Wireless Travel Router, an Igo Juice ac/air/car charger, and assorted other gadgets on a two week business trip from New York to San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen (China)

  • What software did I need
  • Where could I get wirelessly connected
  • What didn't work
  • What made life easier
  • What made life harder


The Igo Juice Power Adapter allowed me to use my Laptop continuously on the 2 12+ hour flights.

The Netgear WGR-101 Router allowed me to have 2 laptops and a pocket PC simultaneously connected (wirelessly) to the hotel's high-speed network and to use those gadgets outside the room.

The Pocket PC allowed me to get emails, check the news, weather etc without switching on the laptop. It also allowed me to track expenses and keep flight/hotel information together in one place, and kept me occupied with books, music, and games.

See the extended entry below for the full review.

For more info and to order click here

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about shinyplastic
ShinyPlastic is brought to you by Search Network and operated by Mark:

Mark is a thirty-something guy living in New York who loves to own the latest tech gadgets but also loves a positive bank balance.

Mark visited gadget sites that list every upcoming gadget but dont let you buy them, and coupon sites that list great deals but don't tell you what is hot; hence Shiny Plastic, how to get the nice Shiny Plastic tech gadgets without ruining your credit.

Mark reviews every fun gadget that he buys, searches other technology sites for interesting items, and regularly searches all the online stores for the best deals.
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