Category: Reviews

How To Think About Compression, Part 2

February 17th, 2009, 12 Comments

Yesterday, I posted part 1 of how to think about compression. If you haven’t read it already, take a look now, so this post makes sense. Introduction In the part 1 test, I compressed a 6GB tar file with various tools. This is a good test if you are writing an entire tar file to […]

How To Think About Compression

February 16th, 2009, 49 Comments

… and the case against bzip2 Compression is with us all the time. I want to talk about general-purpose lossless compression here. There is a lot of agonizing over compression ratios: the size of output for various sizes of input. For some situations, this is of course the single most important factor. For instance, if […]

Video Hosting Sites Review

February 12th, 2009, 8 Comments

Last July, I wrote about video uploading sites. Now that I’m starting to get ready to post video online, some public but a lot of it just for friends or family, I’ve taken another look. And I’m disappointed in what I see. Youtube has made the biggest improvements since then. Now, they can handle high-definition […]

Review: Video Editing Software

February 9th, 2009, 14 Comments

We recently bought a Canon Vixia HG20 camcorder. The HG20 records in AVCHD format (MPEG-4 h.264) at up to 1920×1080. To get from the camcorder to a DVD (or something we can upload to the web), I need some sort of video editing software. This lets me trim out the boring bits, encode the video […]

Review: The Economist

January 25th, 2009, 10 Comments

A few months ago, I asked for suggestions for magazines to subscribe to. I got a lot of helpful suggestions, and subscribed to three: The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The Economist. Today, I’m reviewing the only one of the three that I’m disappointed in, and it’s The Economist. This comes as something of a […]

Garmin Nuvi 500

January 3rd, 2009, 12 Comments

I’ve owned two different GPSs in the past: a Garmin GPS III, and the Garmin eMap. Both are based on similar underlying firmware. This week, I did some research on more modern GPS units and decided to buy a Garmin nuvi 500. Here’s my review. Overview The Garmin nuvi 500 is one of only two […]

Tree Classics

November 22nd, 2008, 44 Comments

Update 4/12/2011: Our tree developed some serious issues with its lights. Tree Classics offered to repair it for us, but between the time we took it down and the time we were going to ship it, seems to have disappeared. Others in the comments below have reported similar experiences. It seems they may have gone […]

Review: Silicon Mechanics

November 11th, 2008, 4 Comments

After some hilariously frightening reactions from Dell support to simple problems, and HP becoming aggressively competitive on price, we’ve been using HP servers for a few years now. The hardware is good, and the support, while reasonable, always… pauses… when I mention that we’re running Debian. I try not to let it slip if I […]

A Tale of Three Monitors

October 25th, 2008, 2 Comments

For quite a few years now, I’ve been using a Dell 2001FP 20″ LCD. Aside from the fact that this is the monitor that has apparently placed me on Dell’s “permanently harass with paper catalogs” list (BTW, USPS has sent them a nasty enforcement letter over that), and the fact that when it needed warranty […]

The Best Photo Printing Services

October 15th, 2008, 7 Comments

When I first got a digital SLR camera a few years ago, I spent some time evaluating photo printing options. I sent a set of test prints to several different companies, and wound up deciding to use Shutterfly for my photo printing. It’s been some time since then, so I figured it was about time […]

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