LG Tone HBS 730

For many years, I’ve been using Apple’s earpods regardless of the phone I’m using. Why? Because they are the best that I’ve used when I just need a plain headset for music and phone functionality. One of the key features it can do is it’s tangle-free, at least the newer ones are. They even survived a trip to the washing machine.

Recently AT&T had a promotion that enabled me to get a pair of LG Tone+ HBS-730 bluetooth stereo headset for the cost of a pair of Apple earpods – $30. I’ve seen many people use these, great reviews online, so I figured it’s worth taking a look at. I’ve never been a fan of bluetooth headsets for three reasons:

  1. It was another device that I had to charge.
  2. Previous devices I looked into suffered intermittent connections.
  3. Price.
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front
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The front flap is held with a magnet and shows the functionality of the buttons.

So what’s in the box?

  • The HBS-730 headset.
  • Micro USB cable for charging. I just love how most non-Apple devices use micro USB cables.
  • USB to AC wall adapter.
  • 3 different sized earbuds. 2 are in the bag and 1 on the headset.
  • The usual paperwork.
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contents

The headset is worn around your neck. The earbuds are held in place by magnets. Just pull them out and pop them in your ear. They are pretty comfortable.

The headset can be easily paired to multiple devices. I currently have them paired to my Macbook Pro, Mac Pro, and LG G3. When you turn on the device, you will hear an audible notification power on and it will tell you the current battery level. Battery life is good. I’d say I use it about 3 hours each day on average and don’t need to recharge for about 3 days – with battery still left over.

The sound quality is great for my taste both music and phone conversation. My way of adjusting noise cancellation is by shoving the ear buds in and out of my ear. When fully inserted in my ear, it’s nearly impossible to hear anything else.

What I have noticed though is there some interference that occurs during music playback. At first I thought it was because my phone is in my pocket and the interference is caused by a line of sight issue with the bluetooth connection. I tried the playback with the phone on the table, but I still experience the interference. To somewhat describe it, it sounds like lowering the volume 3-5 levels then coming back up – but it happens in under a second. It happens frequent but not enough to where it’s bothersome. It is noticeable.

I really like the headset but I feel it’s not worth its regular price for the interference I’ve been experience. Other than that, it’s a great device. If you can get a good deal, I’d recommend getting one.

My Desktop – September 2014

I’ve decided to do some consolidating of machines. I wanted to combine my main desktop and home server into 1. So i dismantled my server and took my RAID card and hard drives and added onto my desktop. I also got alarger SSD for the OS drive. Here’s what I ended up with.

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Here is the list of parts that make up my current desktop.

Adding 8 hard drives was a bit of a challenge in terms of cable management, but I was able to pull it off. What do you think? You can also check out my video.

Crucial MX100 CT512MX100SSD1

I just picked up the Crucial MX100 SSD 512GB model. I’m consolidating some machines at home and needed to increase space on my OS drive. For cost and performance ratio, it’s one of the best. It’s not the fastest but not the most expensive either.

I’m replacing 2x OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G in RAID0. I’ve done some benchmarks before I replaced the drives and reinstalled Windows. This time I’ll only be using 1 SSD, no raid, and SATA port will be in AHCI mode.

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After installing the new SSD, I used the same software to benchmark the drive.

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IOPS for the 4K tests aren’t all that great in RAID0 at least for the drives I’ve used. I think I’m going to stay with non-raid OS drives from now on and get a larger sized SSD.

Here’s some pics while unboxing.

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It’s a simple packaging. Only comes with the SSD and adapter that turns it from 7mm to 9mm.

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That black piece is the adapter.

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After formatting and ready for Windows installation, you are left with 476.9GB from 512GB.

Canon DR-C130

I borrowed a Canon DR-C130 to play around with. I’m looking for a way to scan receipts, documents, pretty much decrease my paper trail. So far I have mixed feelings about this device.

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Driver support is horrible. I’m used to seeing no Mac support but according to their website, it doesn’t even support Windows 8 either. It claims that Windows should detect it, which it does, but it doesn’t know what to do with it.

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I downloaded the Windows 7 version and that worked. Windows now recognizes the device. Next I used Adobe Acrobat X Pro 10.1.10.

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It does double-sided scanning without having to run the page twice. The quality is pretty good and at 300 DPI, it scans it at a fast rate. So for five pages, double-sided, it approximately took 15 seconds. Five page single-sided took the same amount of time. The feeder itself could be better. The paper detection needs improvements. I kept getting a lot of these.

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I had to keep adjusting the paper before it finally detected them and it started to feed. This was a big turn off for me after seeing great videos on Fujitsu scanners on Youtube. Those scanners took different size papers – wrinkled, folded, etc – and the feeder didn’t break a sweat. All of the papers fed through consistently. I was able to ignore the driver support since many of these scanners don’t support Macs anyways, but the feeder is a big deal. Not worth using if you have to constantly fix the sheets in order for it to be fed.

OCZ VTX460-25SAT3-240G

I just picked up a new OCZ VTX460-25SAT3 SSD drive. I needed more room to install games on my PC. This drive is now my E: drive on my computer. My main drive is a Sandisk SDSSDX240GG25. Both are SATA3 (6Gbps) and 240GB so I wanted to run benchmarks and compare the two. I used CrystalDiskMark v3.0.3 on Windows 8.1. I also included my results for my Western Digital WD10EAVS. This is using SATA2 (3Gbps).

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Here is my result for the Sandisk.

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Here is my result for the OCZ.

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And finally, here is what I got with the Western Digital 1TB hard drive on SATA2 (3Gbps).

I’ve been running SSD drives for a few years now and never looked back. The performance is night and day. SSDs can make an old computer feel new again (unless the CPU is really old and using the original SATA (1.5Gbps) but I’m sure you’ll feel a difference.

A note during installation. It took four restarts before Windows finally recognize the drive. My bios recognized it with no problem. From the looks of it, the drive was originally formatted with GPT – I’m guessing this is why it was difficult for Windows to detect. Here’s a screenshot of Windows when it finally recognized it.

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If you haven’t tried SSD, I definitely recommend it. Prices have been dropping steadily.

Icy Dock Flex-Fit Trio

I finally was able to use a custom bios for my HP N36L microsever. I got one from the bay. No I can use the 5th SATA port not just for the optical drive but for another hard drive. I also bought an e-SATA to SATA cable adapter so I can add another hard drive, bringing the total to 6 hard drives. Here are the parts I used.

The Icy Dock can hold a total of 3 hard drives – one 3.5” and two 2.5”. I ran out of SATA ports so I only have 6 hard drives total. I plan to run Freenas v9.x. I will post some power consumption readings and transfer speed once I get a chance. For now, here are some pics and a video.

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Above is the eSATA to SATA cable adapter. I have it run through a hole from the back, through the upper part of the case.

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Late 2013 Mac Pro

I recently got a new Late 2013 Mac Pro. So far it has been a great upgrade from my Dell T3600 at work. I took a few pics of the external and some internal.

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Good amount of ports.

  • 6x Thunderbolt 2
  • 4x USB3.0
  • 2x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1x HDMI
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The outline of the ports light up as well, nice touch.

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One of the area where the ram is installed. Each area has 2x 8GB of ram for a total of 32GB running at DDR3 1866MHz. The left part on the pic shows one of the two ATI FirePro D500 3GB DDR5 video card, yes it comes with 2. The stick above the video card is the 500GB SSD hard drive. It runs off the PCI-Express.

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Above is a pic of both ATI FirePro D500 video card.

about this mac

about this mac

Here is what the system detects when powered on.

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A screenshot that shows almost all 12 threads maxed out when running Handbrake.

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The SSD is very fast. Both read and write speeds are nearly identical.