Category: Articles

The Best Weather App for iPhone iPad – Storm by Weather Underground

The Best Weather App for iPhone iPad – Storm by Weather Underground

Storm Mobile App Reviewappstore-downloadBtn

Storm is by far the best weather app available for both iPhone and iPad devices. The amount of data and weather information presented in this app is simply amazing. I used to be desktop first when checking weather forecasts and severe weather only having a fraction of that information available on my smartphone. Storm has enabled me to be mobile first when it comes to weather.

So what makes Storm the best weather app?

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Best 4K Monitors of 2016 – Compare 27 UltraHD (UHD) Monitors

Best 4K Monitors of 2016 – Compare 27 UltraHD (UHD) Monitors

Are you in the market to buy a 4K UltraHD monitor?

I’ve put together a list of all the 4K UltraHD monitors on the market today.  All of the models have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 or higher.  This comparison is limited to 4K monitors with a maximum size of 32″. A more comprehensive comparison can be done using the 4K Monitor comparison spreadsheet found below.

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Spin up a ubuntu server in 5 minutes on

Spin up a ubuntu server in 5 minutes on

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create your very own cloud hosted server on is a cloud hosting provider that makes it very simple for anyone to create and run a virtual server connected directly to the internet. calls these servers Droplets.  They offer a range of operating systems to choose from including Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, CoreOS, and FreeBSD.

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Save space by vacuum sealing your sleeping bag

Save space by vacuum sealing your sleeping bag

I’m getting ready for a 4 day, 3 night kayaking trip down the Devil’s River.  Space is limited on the kayak so I needed a way to maximize the use of space.  While ordering a few items on Amazon I came across these ziplock vacuum seal bags.  As you can see from the photos below, vacuum sealing my sleeping bag will save a considerable amount of space.  I also plan on vacuum sealing a couple of clothing items as well.

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Samsung releases magician command line tool for linux – Samsung SSD drives

Samsung releases magician command line tool for linux – Samsung SSD drives

Magician DC

Magician is Samsung’s disk management and diagnostic software for it’s line of SSD solid-state drives. Magician allows you to benchmark your drive, upgrade firmware, check S.M.A.R.T, configure drive encryption, and over provisioning. Until now, this tool has only been available on Windows PCs, today the linux command line version of Magician is available and supports linux distros RHEL, CentOS, and Ubuntu.

Samsung describes this new tools as follows.

Samsung SSD Magician DC software is designed to help users with easy-to-use disk management and diagnostic features for server and data center usage. This software is only for Samsung SSD products.

Samsung Magician DC Features

  • List – Detect list of attached Samsung SSD Drives in the system
  • Firmware Update – Update the old firmware of the SSD to the new version
  • Erase – Erase data on the SSDby issuing an ATA Format Unit command
  • Overprovision – Resize the user capacity of the SSD
  • TRIM – Issue trim command to the SSD
  • S.M.A.R.T – Display smart information and log temperature of the connected Samsung SSD drive, and estimate the lifetime of Samsung SSD
  • SET MAX – Set the maximum address of the Samsung SSD to change its user capacity
  • Write Cache – Enable/disable the write cache of the Samsung SSD
  • SCT Cache Status – Get SCT write cache state of the disk.
  • Disk Info – Display current overprovisioning value, current set max value, state of write cache etc. of specified Samsung SSD
  • Command History – Display history of the previously executed commands
  • Help – Display the command line options

Understanding SSD Over Provisioning

The most important thing you can do to increase the reliability and performance of an SSD is to over provision some space at the end of the drive. This simple task is often overlooked, ignored, or plain misunderstood. Over Provisioning is leaving raw unpartitioned space at the end of the drive so that the SSD controller can remap data from worn memory cells on the SSD hard drive. Samsung recommends a 10% over provisioning rate so on a 250GB SSD drive you should have 23.85GB of OP space reserved.
Samsung Magician Over Provisioning Screenshot

magician command line usage and switches

See Users Guide link below

Current supported drive models

  • Samsung SSD 845DC PRO
  • Samsung SSD 845DC EVO
  • Samsung SSD 850 PRO
  • Samsung SSD 840 PRO
  • Samsung SSD PM853T *
  • Samsung SSD SM843T *
  • Samsung SSD SV843 *
    (* : Limited support ‟ Cannot update FW)


Samsung EVO 250GB SSD OnSale! Price drops below $90

Samsung EVO 250GB SSD OnSale! Price drops below $90

Samsung 250GB SSD hard drive price drops below $100 $90

It was just 6 months ago that I was buying 120GB Samsung SSD hard drives for $129. Today, Amazon is selling the Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD hard drive for $99 $105.49. Currently Amazon has this item limited to 1 per customer.  At this price it may not last long so get one while you can.

As you can see in this chart from, the 250GB SSD drive has dropped approximate 25% over the last 2 weeks from around $132. Just one month ago the drive was selling for $140.  Back in December it was selling for $150. The 850 EVO is a new model that replaced the EVO 840 drive around Dec’14. If we look at the historical price of the 840 drive we can see back in Aug’14 buyers were paying $190 for the 250GB SSD drive. That’s almost a 50% price drop in 6 months.

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB Price History

840 EVO 250GB Price History

SSD Price-per-gigabyte is dropping rapidly

Is this just a sale one off sale or a trend towards lower SSD storage prices? It looks like the prices have dropped on all the Samsung SSD drives including the 1TB model.

The price of SSD Storage is not the only thing getting smaller

If you’ve held one of these 2.5″ form-factor SSD drives in your hand if feels like an empty shell. I’ve never opened one up before to look at the insides.  I can across these photos, check out the actual size of the circuit board inside these drives. I am impressed!


Photo from

Have you switched to an SSD drive yet?

Holdouts says, I’m not switching until the price of a 1TB SSD is $199.  We’ll, I would say to them, your day is coming soon.

I made the move from spinning platters 3 years ago and never looked back.  My laptop boots in under 10 seconds and I never have to wait for it.  I’ve tested many SSD drives and was bitten once or twice by flaky drives.  Samsung SSD drives have been 100% reliable from the very beginning.  As an IT professional, I have purchased and put over 50 Samsung SSD drives into service without one single failure.

The Samsung 1TB SSD is $399 $357.99, the 500GB SSD is $189 $176, and the 120GB SSD is $74.99 $70.86

Update 8/14/2015: Samsung has now added a 2TB SSD drive to their 850 EVO Product lineup, it’s currently selling for $795.

Ubiquiti airFiber 5X – AF-5X Specs & Photos

Ubiquiti airFiber 5X – AF-5X Specs & Photos

Ubiquiti networks announced an exciting new product, unveiling the airFiber 5X.  The latest addition to the airFiber family breaks new ground with 200km range, 500mbps throughput, 45 degree slant polarization, GPS synced same channel operation, and FCC certification for operation in the 5190-5925 MHz bands including DFS frequencies.

The 5Ghz radio is also accompanied by three parabolic dish antenna models that feature dual polarized 45 degree slanted feed horns. This angled polarization combined with GPS synchronization of the radio is an ingenious way to eliminate interference.

The new radio features the same form factor and mounting bracket of previous generation Rocket M5 radios so it can be snapped directly onto existing rocketdish antennas. Ubiquity also offers a 45 degree feed horn conversion kit for RocketDish antennas.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair of these radios and antennas.  Specs and photos will be added soon!



05/13/2015 – Added Photos
02/05/2015 – Original Article Published