Christian Johnson with Hard Drives, Wifi and Private 5G – HGG606

Christian Johnson from joins me this week. We open the show with some talk of the current state of hard drives and ask Christian what NAS he would buy in 2024. We talk about the current state of Wifi as well as some of the benefits of private 5G. We wrap it with a little AI discussion. Thanks for listening!

Full show notes, transcriptions (available on request), audio and video at

Join Jim Collison / @jcollison for show #606 of Home Gadget Geeks, brought to you by the Average Guy Network.


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Private 5G

Show Segments

  • Tech gadgets, updates, and community support after a tornado hits Nebraska.[0:00]
    • Host Jim Collison shares updates on recent tornado damage in Omaha, Nebraska.
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss Maple Grove Partners’ performance and hardware upgrades.
    • Christian Johnson provides an update on the company’s uptime and customer base, while Jim Collison expresses interest in tracking hard drive failures and replacements.
  • Web server storage and NAS options for personal use.[4:15]
    • Christian Johnson discusses web server storage configurations, including use of SSDs and RAID.
    • Christian Johnson discusses managing aging storage infrastructure for personal use.
  • NAS storage options for various use cases, including drive redundancy and blu-ray ripping.[8:43]
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss NAS boxes and their storage capacity, with Jim preferring higher density storage for long-term use and Christian considering factors like drive burnout rate and budget.
    • Christian Johnson mentions several NAS brands available in the market, including Synology, Qnap, and Ugreen, and how they are entering the space with their products.
    • Christian Johnson recommends using eight drives for optimal storage and durability.
    • Jim Collison agrees, citing the potential for drive failures and the inconvenience of re-hosting Blu-rays.
  • Backup strategies for NAS devices.[14:30]
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss hot-swappable storage solutions for data backup and recovery.
    • Jim suggests buying multiple drives to create a hot spare for quick replacement in case of drive failure.
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss their reliance on Roku for media streaming and the potential for Roku boxes to fail.
    • Johnson suggests buying spares of HD homerun tuners to replace them if they go out of business.
  • Streaming services and their impact on traditional TV viewing.[20:07]
    • Christian Johnson and Jim Collison discuss the shift from traditional cable TV to streaming services, mentioning Netflix, Apple, Hulu, Disney+, and Prime.
    • They speculate about the future of sports broadcasting, with Christian mentioning Thursday Night Football on Prime and Jim wondering if the Super Bowl will eventually move to streaming platforms.
    • Christian Johnson and Jim Collison discuss the abundance of content on streaming platforms and how it affects consumer behavior.
    • They also share their preferences for watching sports games, including using YouTube for quick recaps and highlights.
  • Private 5G networks for businesses, particularly in manufacturing.[26:29]
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss their TV watching habits and preferences, including streaming services and YouTube content.
    • They also share their fascination with storm chasing and watching live storm chaser videos on YouTube.
    • Private 5G networks are being used in manufacturing to replace traditional wired and wireless technology, resulting in cost savings and improved efficiency.
    • Private 5G networks are being managed by companies rather than network engineers, allowing for more efficient and cost-effective operations.
  • Private 5G networks, their potential uses, and market growth.[32:34]
    • John Deere, a non-tech company, bought up spectrum space on the cheap and upgraded to private 5G implementation.
    • Christian Johnson suggests private 5G networks in rural areas as a solution for internet connectivity.
    • Company offers hardened private 5G networks for EMP resistance and failover use cases.
  • Private 5G networks for enterprise use, cost benefits, and potential for AI applications.[38:11]
    • Private 5G is an infrastructure enabler with potential for world-changing applications.
    • Wi Fi and 5G have different strengths and weaknesses, with 5G offering greater range and bandwidth.
    • Enterprise can use managed private 5G services to reduce costs and complexity.
  • 5G networks and their security compared to VPNs.[44:48]
    • The security of a 5G private network depends on the security of the over-the-air encryption and the isolation from the internet.
    • A 5G private network can provide better security than a VPN tunnel by eliminating ancillary metadata about usage, but it may not completely exclude ISP or VPN provider metadata.
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss the potential benefits of 5G technology, including faster speeds and better coverage.
    • They also mention the possibility of using 5G to create a private network for a specific location, such as a John Deere facility or an Amazon distribution center.
  • Wi-Fi and 5G technology, including signal strength and deployment.[50:01]
    • Jim Collison ponders the future of Wi Fi with the advent of 5G technology.
    • Jim and Christian discuss Wi Fi 7 and 5G deployment in Central Arkansas.
  • Home networking and router options for outdoor coverage.[54:34]
    • Jim Collison discusses his efforts to improve his home’s internet connection, including using TP Link extenders and creating a hotspot with his phone.
    • Jim expresses interest in having his own 5G network, similar to John Deere’s facility, for easier access to the internet in different areas of his property.
    • Jim Collison is considering replacing his old Wi Fi router with a new one that offers better security features and coverage.
    • Christian Johnson recommends the Ubiquiti U6 mesh as a great outdoor access point for Jim’s needs.
  • Upgrading routers and their durability.[1:00:37]
    • Jim and Christian discuss upgrading their WiFi routers, with Jim considering the cost and inconvenience of replacing his router.
    • Christian mentions that he’s been using the same router since college and has flashed openWrt on it, but it’s starting to show its age.
    • Jim and Christian reminisce about their old Linksys WRT54G routers.
  • AI advancements, NPUs, and Windows 11 updates.[1:05:00]
    • Christian Johnson notes Nvidia’s decision to prioritize GPUs over NPUs for AI performance, with implications for consumer and business markets.
    • Christian Johnson predicts Windows 12 will showcase AI features, while Windows 11 update may provide early indications.
  • Windows 11 upgrades and stability issues.[1:08:54]
    • Christian Johnson experienced random reboots and bit rot issues on his PC due to faulty RAM chips.
    • Upgrading to Windows 11 was the only way to fully resolve the issues and restore normal functionality.
    • Christian Johnson expresses disappointment with Windows 11, feeling it doesn’t offer anything impressive or measurably different compared to Windows 10.
    • Jim Collison agrees, stating that Windows 11 is relatively stable but doesn’t provide anything new or exciting compared to previous versions.
  • Using AI tools for summarizing audio transcripts and translating languages.[1:14:11]
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss Windows 10’s Copilot Preview, with Jim finding it helpful for summarizing information but not using it as much as he thought.
    • Christian Johnson has not used Copilot Preview yet, despite it showing up in his taskbar, and wonders if it’s helpful for summarizing complex topics.
    • Jim Collison discusses using AI to summarize customer reviews, with being one such service that feeds audio into the AI to decipher the script.
    • Jim Collison also mentions using LLM to translate and clean up transcripts, with the AI able to pick up 90-95% of the clues and make a second run at cleaning it up.
    • Jim Collison discusses using Microsoft’s translation tool to listen to podcasts in other languages in real time, finding it amazingly good.
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss the potential of LLMs to summarize product reviews, with Jim noting that bad reviews are a real issue.
  • Web design, hosting, and troubleshooting issues with WordPress.[1:22:37]
    • Christian Johnson shares insights on web design and hosting, mentioning Maple Grove Partners as a reliable hosting option.
    • Christian and Jim Collison discuss the challenges of converting Squarespace websites to WordPress, with Christian mentioning the lack of a one-click export and import tool.
    • Christian Johnson: Less is more with WordPress, but it can be overwhelming for users.
    • Jim Collison: Edge browser issues can cause WordPress problems, try clearing cookies.
    • Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discuss clearing cache and cookies for faster browsing.
    • Jim plans to clear his cache and cookies this weekend, and invites listeners to join him on the Discord group.

More from Chat GPT

Jim Collison and Christian Johnson discussed their experiences with Windows 11, NAS storage solutions, media devices, and private 5G networks. They shared their thoughts on the upgrade process, stability, and hardware failures. Christian preferred a mix of SSDs and hard drives for production web servers, while Jim suggested four terabytes as sufficient storage for most people. They also discussed the emergence of private 5G networks in the manufacturing industry and their potential benefits. Later, they talked about the latest trends and innovations in AI, including dedicated AI chips, local AI processing, and AI-powered transcription and summarization tools.

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