GadgetMutt The Geeks Best Friend

January 30, 2012

Verizon Family Data Plans

Filed under: Cellular — Equinsu Ocha @ 10:13

If a recent report on Engadget is correct then those of us on Verizon who are rocking more than one smartphone and their accompanying data plans (insert ouch here) might have some relief in sight.  For over a year now, there have been rumors of Verizon rolling out a family data sharing price plan similar or in addition to its current family share plan for minutes.  The latest rumor comes from an alleged Verizon insider who shared a screen shot of training screens that show a mysterious line item for a family data plan.

Recently Verizon’s Chief Financial Officer, Fran Shammo, said the company is looking for a way to implement the pricing plan that will be beneficial to both the company and the consumer.

Let’s be honest, Verizon is going to do what’s best for Verizon’s bottom line and any indications otherwise are just fluff.  The real reason for Verizon to even consider this is because other providers, namely AT&T are also considering a family data plan price structure.

 No matter what the reasoning, I for one have several appendages crossed in hopes that the rumors and fuzzy screen shots are real. 

January 25, 2012

Cisco E4200 Dual Band Router

Filed under: Network — Equinsu Ocha @ 21:00

We recently picked up a new router for the GadgetMutt office.  We originally tried the Netgear WNDR4500 but found the lack of access control disappointing and returned it.  In its place we got the Cisco E4200.  The E4200 is a superb router that features both a 2.4ghz channel (G) and a 5.0ghz one (N).  This means we can effectively run any media / bandwidth intensive applications over one channel and general office data (email, web, etc.) on the other.  The performance of the Cisco E4200 has been nothing short of spectacular, which is what one would expect from a Cisco product.  The old update process that used to be a chore has been made super simple with a one click update under the web-based GUI interface. For those that have the occasional office guest, there is also a nice guest channel that provides G wireless to them without allowing them on your internal network.  The range of the router both G and N was very good, which was surprising for a device with no visible antennas.  The cherry on top for us was the free IOS iPhone app that lets you do some rudimentary functions when you are connected to the wifi on your iPhone.

All in all this router is a solid 4 out of 5 stars and we would highly recommend it to the small business owner looking for a robust wireless solution.

January 7, 2012

Dell Studio XPS 1647 – Bargain Beast

Filed under: PC — Equinsu Ocha @ 11:14

I recently purchased two more of my favorite laptops from Dell, bringing our total here at GadgetMutt to three.  The Studio XPS 1647 is an amazing laptop for the business user and the casual gamer.  The key to this versatility is the 1GB ATI Mobility 4670 video card.  Having a video card with dedicated video memory cannot be overstated for just about everything that is done on the laptop.  I have owned my 1647 for over a year and it quickly replaced my desktop completely.

The screen has a resolution of 1920×1080 which can make things look really small on the 15.6″ screen but that can easily be offset by setting the text size to 125% under the screen resolution screen. 

The illuminated keyboard is very nice as well and depends on the ambient light in the room as to whether or not it comes on.  The keyboard itself is very nice and has excellent response and spacing.

As a note, I also purchase from Dell Outlet and not the retail side.  This has routinely saved me hundreds of dollars and I have never had a serious issue with the refurbished Dell computers I have purchased this way. 

My only suggestion would be to get more than the default 4GB of memory. 

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