Computer Builds

How using RAID 0 Can Increase Your PC Performance

Nothing new #160; Just wanted to document some of the benchmark results from a recent install I am doing with a Dell Precision 690 Workstation that I picked up from a sale at #160; The full tech specs are at the link above and it came with 2 x Dual-core Intel Xeon 5100 series #160; It also came with no drives and no OS and 4GB of #160; My good friend Kevin Schoonover was able to track down 32GB of RAM, 2 x Dual NIC cards and 4 x 150GB WL150GB SATA drives to add to the mix. I was able to install the memory first and get the system running with 32GB of #160; Click any image to enlarge Shot of the entire #160; RAM slots are the 8 rows bottom right The DIM risers filled with 32GB of RAM. Installed in the box With the box up and running, time to install an #160; In this case I am going to use Windows Server 2012 #160; Selected all the defaults and no additional #160; I could have just as easily installed Windows 7 or Windows #160; Windows Server Gives me more virtualization options for tests later on. The goal was to do some benchmark testing with different drive configurations on this #160; The board offers 4 SATA ports on an Integrated LSI 1068 SAS/SATA controller that supports RAID 0, #160; I haven’t done much with boards and RAID in the past, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to test a few things. I started with a single Drive Western Digital 320GB (WD32000BEVT) drive that I pulled from a HP Laptop back in the #160; I knew the performance was going to be bad, just not this bad!  If one is bad, are two any better?  Well the answer is yes, but not that much #160; This time I used 2 x 250GB (WD25000BEVT) that I had purchased to go with an Icy Dock enclosure a few years #160; They were fairly good drives when I got #160; Performance was better, but still not #160; Configured in RAID 0.     Then came the good #160; First, I put in 2 of the 150GB (WL150GBSATA) drives in RAID #160; The results give the system about a 4x performance boost in both read and write speeds over #160; With 3 drives in RAID 0, the performance was just short of #160; Great #160; Some of that came from fast spinning drives (10,000RPM), some of it came from the benefits of RAID #160; You can find the specs of these drives here:   With 2 Drives With 3 Drives Next steps are some virtualizations #160; Now that the server is running well. You can follow more about Jim’s tech projects by listening to the Home Tech #160; Each Thursday, 8pmC/9EST over at #160; or you can join our community Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
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Home Gadget Geeks

Home Tech Podcast Special: Nokia Lumia 800, Windows Phone 7, Nokia Drive, People Hub, Pinning to Start, Camera

With a freshly minted Nokia Lumia 800 on loan and in hand from Nokia and a couple of the best Windows Phone guys in the Home Server Show community, we thought we might take a run at a couple Windows Phone 7 podcasts.  Jim was joined by Chris Lux, Greg Welch, (almost Tim Black) and Mike Howard from jpeg2RAW. We recorded this podcast Sunday afternoon, May 20, 2012 Listen LIVE every Thursday night at @ 6pP/8pC/9pE Listen Mobile:   Nokia provided the phone for this review.  Spec can be found here: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
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Home Gadget Geeks

Oracle v Google, Bing and Facebook, IE Only on Windows 8, NEST, Vudu and Microsoft v Apple Sales Numbers – HT072

Jim and Christian are joined this week by special guest Gordon Schmidt for show 72 of The Home Tech Podcast.  We tried using the very new Google+ Hangout feature called “On Air.”  The show video is now available on YouTube at the Average Guy Podcast Channel.  Give it a try. MozyPro–secure online backup for businesses Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E/1UTC at Listen Mobile:   Christian’s Corner Christian decided to cover enterprise matter this week. We talked Oracle v Google, Facebook helps out Bing, Microsoft returns to it’s excluding roots and of course a deal of the week. Gordon covers the NEST Thermostat, Walmart using Vudu to convert DVD’s to Digital and the Microsoft Touch Mouse. Jim takes a look at the real sales numbers for both Windows and Apple. Microsoft: 1.    At its peak in 2006, Windows XP was sold and operated on about 400 Million PC’s worldwide (legally).  They roughly sold about 10 million copies a month while it was available. 2.    Windows Vista sold 384 million copied before it was discontinued in October 2009.  Also 10 million a month 3.    Since its introduction in 2009, Window 7 has sold 525 million copies as of January 2012.  It’s currently selling about 20 million copies a month.  This puts it on track to sell around 200 million more copies (700 million total) before Windows 8 debuts late this fall.  Early indications are that Windows 8 will get off to a slower start with it containing a major UI change in the Metro interface. Apple: 1.    As of February 2012, Apple has sold a total 122 million Macs since they were introduced in 1984 2.    Compare that to 80 million iPod Touchs (in 4 years) 180 million iPhones (in  4 years) and 55 million iPads (in 2 years) 3.    The Million iOS devices (iPhone and iPads) that were sold in the fiscal Q1 of 2012 was more units per day than the number of babies being born globally each day 4.    In Q2 2012, Apple sold million iPhones and million iPads. Facebook Page:  Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
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Home Gadget Geeks

ISP Cloud Storage, Nike MAG, Google Plus Widgets, Input Director, E3 Spark Plugs, Metro Start Pages, and a stroll along Nostalgia Street – HT043

Jim and Andrew and Christian are joined by Rich O’Neil for this week’s installment of the Home Tech Podcast. The show starts off with Andrew giving an update of the status of solar installation rebates in Victoria in Australia, and why he is installing more solar panels on the house. Jim tells us about Cox Communication’s new offering, which gives their Internet subscribers a cloud-style backup solution, starting at 1GB to 50GB up to Unlimited storage, depending on your subscriber plan.  If you are a subscriber, this is a great alternative to the other cloud solutions we have spoken about in the past. Listen Mobile: Andrew brings us the Nike MAG, a new shoe that will have all fans of the Back to the Future movies drooling, being the self-lacing shoe that Marty McFly wears in the second movie – check it out at Nice Kicks; not the best looking shoe in the world, but definitely one for die hard fans of the movie!  The shoes will be available on eBay, and all sales proceeds will go to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Unfortunately no-one has designed a functional Hover Board as yet, but we live in hope! For the Google Plus users who want to be able to integrate their social feed onto their Windows 7 desktop, the folks over at Kalamon Software have released a Google Plus Windows 7 desktop gadget, which “Displays live Google+ messages feed on your Windows 7 desktop”.  The guys discuss the various desktop information feed utilities that they use, including Rainmeter, HTC Home, and the built-in CPU and Memory widget.  The guys go on to talk about how Google Plus is being used as opposed to how folks use Facebook and Twitter. Andrew brings us a fantastic utility called Input Director, which allows a single keyboard and mouse to control multiple PC’s on multiple monitors.  If you’re confused already by the description, this image might help! The setup was a very easy setup, with an Average Guy rating of 2/10 for simplicity!  If you’re a Linux or Mac user, you should check out Synergy, which although being a little more difficult to configure, provides a similar service, but allows you to slide between platforms as well as monitors, using a single keyboard and mouse. From Christian’s Corner, the Deal of the Week, is the E3 Spark Plug, which Christian’s family have found has improved their highway cycle fuel economy by around 4 mpg, just by changing the plugs over. Christian’s Tip of the Week is a Windows 8 Metro Style Home Home Page for your web browser, which lets you pre-define websites in the same style as the Metro Style that is seen on the home screen of the current Windows Phone.  A very cool way to start your browser, sure to get your friends talking. Christian tells us about his latest project, designing and installing a security camera system for a baseball field, and the constraints of finding an Internet Provider, and the guys discuss some of the ISP and network connectivity options available. Rich tells us about the latest audible book he is listening to, “The Master Switch” by Tim Wu, who coined the term “Net Neutrality”, which talks about the cycle through which information industries rise, consolidate, monopolize, capture governments, force out competitors, and eventually, fragment into something less grandiose, less perfect, but more vibrant, open, and innovative. The guys take a walk down Nostalgia Street, talking about the advances in communication in the past 20-25 years, including the reduction in the cost of international phone calls, email, and communication as we now know it, including video calling. The guys close out, talking about some of the horrendous hail storms that have lashed Melbourne and Nebraska in the past 18-24 months, with hail stones the size of baseballs, and the damage that these storms do to property. Don’t forget our feed location is changing – click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at
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Home Gadget Geeks

SSD Drives, RAID, UNRAID, Apple, Android and Windows Phone 7, Rich’s Random Podcast Generator Beta – HT037

One weekend, Rich O’Neil (and some of tech guys that hang around the Home Server Show Podcast) thought, “what would happen if we just recorded some of the conversations we have around our tech stuff?”  The result was this podcast that we recorded on July #160; Rich’s Random Podcast Generator was born!  Interested in your feedback. We used Google+ Hangout to record the #160; If this project is successful, we will try it again on it’s very own RSS feed! We chatted about SSD Drives, RAID, UNRAID, problems with Apple, Android and Windows Phone 7 and much, much more. Listen Mobile: Here are some links for the show: ;Tpk=yeti%20blue ;ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&_lwgsi=y #entry23868 , Thanks to those who joined us on the podcast – John Zajdler, Bill Paulmenn, Mike Howard and Mike Faucher Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network
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Home Gadget Geeks

HP Pavillion dm1z, Xbox and Media Center, Skype Crashes, Antivirus Tips, Windows 7 SP1, Speech Macros and SyncToy! – HT013

With both the Home Server Show and The Home Tech Podcast back on their regular schedule, Jim, Brian, Christian and a new regular Andrew Morris, welcome Gordon Schmidt to the #160; Gordon is a long time listener and fellow family tech support #160; With a full compliment of tech guys, it’s time to get down to business. This this weeks show, we cover the new, redefined purpose for the #160; “From Tech Guys, For Tech Guys!”  Jim does a quick review of the new HP Pavillion dm1 Netbook, covers the much needed fix for his Xbox and media center and covers Windows 7 SP1 with the #160; Christian covers some speech recognition macros in Windows 7 and get the team all fired up about #160; Gordon looks at SyncToy right before a major Skype #160; You would have heard all the mayhem if you had listened live! Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E at Listen Mobile: We close the show with some talk of tablets and cell #160; Christian’s Dad chimes in and later joins the podcast for a special extra show to be aired later next week. Find the other Podcasts on the Average Guy Network at Anti-Malware Software · SuperAntiSpyware Portable · Malwarebytes · Microsoft Security Essentials · Avira Antivirus File Transferring Software · SyncToy · Teracopy Christian’s Corner · Windows Speech Recognition Macros · Setup Windows 7 Speech Recognition · Asus Tablets Extras · Special Guest Gordon Schmidt Knee Jerk Reaction blog · USBTypewriter · Jim’s HP Pavilion DM1Z · Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on  to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
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Home Tech

How To Connect Windows 7 Media Center To an Xbox 360 and Stream Media

If you’re new to Windows 7 and own an Xbox 360, you might want the ability to watch the Media Center Content from Your Xbox. Here we take a look at how easy it is to set it up using Media Center Extenders. The cool thing about Windows 7 Media Center is you can access your movies, music, and other digital media from it with your Xbox. Here we’ll walk you through the process of adding media to the Windows Media Center (WMC) Libraries then setting up your PC and Xbox to talk with each other so your Xbox 360 can access those Libraries.
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