Search Results for Category: Hardware

Gold-Plated HDMI to VGA Adapter with Audio Support


It might be a little confusing who this product is for, so let’s start there.

If you have an older monitor laying around (and who doesn’t??) that doesn’t have HDMI in, chances are you’ll end up with a device (laptop, tablet, phone, even video players and game consoles) that are “HDMI OUT” only.

This little guy let’s you plug that sparkling new HDMI device into that VGA monitor and use it. What’s neat is that you can still old VGA monitors (big ones) from thrift stores that are still useful if you have the right converter. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Computers, Hardware

RAVPower BOLT 30W/6A 4-Port USB Charging Station


There are some days when my insatiable need for USB charging outlets surprises even me.  It seems every couple of weeks I have ANOTHER device I need to plug in to charge frequently; and the devices I do not need to charge frequently ALWAYS need to be charging when one of my critical devices is dead or dying for more power.

I installed a 6 port USB hub under the lip of my desk; hoping to cure my need for USB ports/plugs but I learned quickly that USB hubs just don’t deliver the juice fast enough to revitalize my high drain electronics.

A few months ago, I contacted RAVPower, the folks that provide us with a lot of hardware to review here about essentially a “power extension cord” for USB power.  Something with a lot of plugs with plenty of juice to push power to my greedy devices.  The apologetically said that they didn’t have anything like that yet, but they would let me know if they did in the future.

The future is now and they were happy to send me one for review. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Taotronics Bluetooth Speaker TT-SK01


I wasn’t really in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, but my wife was interested in something for her classroom.  Something small, cheap, portable and easy to use – something she could take to school (she’s a teacher) and use to listen to music when class isn’t in session.  Since her students have light fingers, she really wanted something she could afford to lose.

Of course – she wanted all this AND it needs to sound great.

CIMG3554Looking for something under $30, I ran across the TT-SK01 at Amazon. The TT-SK01 (just TT from now on) comes in a box smaller than you think.  When you open the small box, you find a little black “egg”.  It’s little, solid but not too hefty and rather attractive as cheap electronics tend to go.

Further inspection of the box reveals a short, multi-language manual that actually tells you exactly what you need to know – in honest to goodness English.  Finally, there is a flat, USB cable included – again, remarkably decent quality for a cheap Chinese piece of electronics.  Mine is even red.  Nice compliment to the black egg. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Synology DS212j Network Attached Storage Solution


Storage. For almost everyone that owns technology, storage is the very fabric of life. It doesn’t matter how entrenched in tech you are – storage need eventually raises its ugly head. When it does, we scramble for a “storage solution” which is commonly equated to “more”; more GBs, more TBs (maybe even PBs for some). Some people are more worried about the format of storage; do I need a bigger old school hard drive or should I go for faster SSD solutions? Unfortunately, the “solution” part of “storage solution” is rarely looked at from an ever-growing need point of view; how do I access my storage?

Ah, yes. “The Cloud”. This decade’s biggest buzz phrase and an explosive industry all on its own. There are so many solutions it can make one dizzy and each one promises SOMETHING that “the others don’t have”; be it more storage, automatic syncing across devices – you name it. Unfortunately, they all have shortcomings – ensuring that none of them provide exactly what everyone needs.

Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

RAVPOWER WiFi Disk/Power Bank (RP-WD01)


I can barely contain myself long enough to write this review.  For the longest time I’ve been searching for the ultimate, portable solution for storage for my non-microSD slot Nexus phones and tablets.

We need more storage.  No matter how much memory your device has on board, you need more; movies, documents, music, personal files – whatever it is you need – there is never enough room for it all.  So you turn to cloud services to help ease the pain.  Of course, there is a problem with that.  What if you have no 4G?  No WiFi?  What if you’re on a plane?  The cloud doesn’t help you. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

NFC Tags: Novelty or Ready for Prime Time?


A couple months ago, I ran across something from Samsung called “TecTiles”. Coupled with Samsung’s Android app, you could use these stylish $3 each “tiles” to cause your phone to perform functions – just by waving your phone over the tag. From placing a call to opening a web page … turning on GPS to dimming the screen … it seemed like an endless supply of possibility.

I got excited. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+