I’m a nerd. I can gut a laptop in minutes and love keeping up on the latest tech. I like technology passionately and enjoy educating people about what technology can do to make your life easier and more engaged. I encounter many people every day that just want to use technology and don’t care about how it works or what the latest widget and gizmo do. With those people in mind I’m starting a series for those non-nerds out there. These should give you a better understanding so you can make a more informed decision about what is right for you.
One thing that I find people don’t do enough is backup. There’s many different things that can hold copies of your information for safekeeping.
Here’s an explanation of what is available today: READ MORE
Audioengine A5+ long term testing
Are the disco aliens from the planet Xanadi bothering you all day long with their horrible skull melting tunes from 1978? If so, it’s time to bring out the big guns and fight back! Our weapons of choice today are the flagship Audioengine A5+ speakers.
Iterating on the company’s best selling speaker, the A5, Audioengine comes back with force bring many user-requested features and upgrades to the A5+ lineup. Up front, we have a 5″ Kevlar driver with 1″ silk dome tweeters. Dual audio inputs, new thermal management, and speaker terminals grace the back of the solidly built cabinet. To make sure the music never stops, Audioengine also includes a USB port to charge your portable music player of choice. A remote is also included to make sure your easy listening isn’t disturbed when you have change the volume to drown out the aliens’ music.
The back of the projector is where you can dock and iPhone, iPad 1, 2 or New (3rd generation) or iPod. The projector takes over from there. The projectors built in menus find your photos, music and movies and allow you to browse them hands free with the included remote. For things like YouTube or presentations from Keynote you have to start them on your device then control them with the remote. There is also inputs for a computer or game console – HDMI, VGA, Component and Composite.
I’ve been testing the Megaplex MG-50 and have to say I’m impressed. The iPhone 4 I have is full of pictures and home movies. Within minutes from cracking the tape on the box I had a whole wall in my living room showing off photos of my kids and laughing about videos long forgotten about – all from my iPhone. The MG-50 is 2200 lumens which is quite brite for my living room which is open concept and impossible to totally seal off to light. The biggest area is can project is about 5.9 feet tall by 8 feet wide. For someone like me who’s used to a 50 inch plasma TV that’s big! My living room allowed me to go to about 5 feet by 7 feet and even in the middle of the day – with the blinds closed – the colours were very deep. This is due to Epsons 3LCD technology which uses three separate layers to mix the colour. This also allows for deeper black levels and brighter whites – overall reproducing a deeper picture without needing to play with any settings.
I must confess I’m pickier about speakers then most but the Epson engineers who know how to make great projectors didn’t just slap a couple of tin cans and a dock on the back. There’s two 10 watt speakers under the hood. The bass isn’t going to shake your windows but I wouldn’t expect that from something this big. There was enough juice to fill my modest living room and I could even hear it from the second floor of my house.
To try out the picture quality I plugged the HDMI from my Playstation 3 in and fired up Burnout Fury HD. For those of you who don’t know the game it’s a racing game with very cartoon anime like graphics. The movement was smooth and there was very little streaking. Gaming can really test a projectors tech because of the fast motion and perfectly rendered details. The race track didn’t streak or ghost and all of the details in the explosions were very clear. Overall a great entry level projector for the gaming crowd.
Epson Megaplex projectors are very portable which makes them perfect choices for students, to take to the lake or to bring with you to immerse your surrounding with a movie or game.
Specs and more information from Epson
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I have worked years with computers and one thing that is overlooked by many is a UPS. They can give you substantial cost savings and protection so I thought I’d share my explanation with all of you here.
A UPS, or Uninterrupted Power Supply, is at its basic a power surge bar with a battery backup built in which supplies power to some of the plugs should a power failure occur while your computer is running. The intent is to give you enough time to shutdown your computer safely and prevent any data loss or corruption. Throw in some extra connections like phone and cable modem protection and that is it.
But what about all of those extra things mentioned on the box? What do they do and why should I pay extra for those? Also good questions and here is my answer on what those extras are:
VA Number: This is really easy. The larger the number means a larger battery and thus the longer the battery will last when your power is out. Most UPS boxes will have some chart giving an estimated run time for different computer combinations to help you choose.
USB Connection with Auto Shutdown: This means that, once setup, your system will execute a system shutdown automatically for you after a power failure. A great feature for people that need, or want, to leave their computers running all of the time.
LED Indicators: A great way to see the status of a unit at a glance. Better than just a little light. Not an absolute necessity but very convenient.
Phone/Network/Coaxial Filtering: The UPS has these ports to filter potential power surges coming from these connections. This is actually extremely important as many power surges come via phone or coaxial connections causing damage to a system.
Number of Powered / Non-Power ports: While a UPS is intended to provide power for shutdown not every device needs that power. Usually you need just the monitor and Desktop so UPS units will only have part of the ports powered by the battery. Make sure to choose a unit that covers your total powered and non-power plug in needs.
Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR): This is a very handy feature for those who experience brown outs or power fluxes caused by our devices in your home. UPS units with AVR will monitor power for these dips and “top” up the power if necessary. Power dips can cause miscalculations resulting in errors in your software popping up.
As you can see investing up to a few hundred dollars to protect your new purchase and future purchases from power surges, costly software repairs, and the frustration of important data loss or time is worth every penny.
I hope that this information will give you the knowledge necessary to choose the right level of UPS for your needs.
London Drugs Computer Manager
18 years experience
Did you know London Drugs has computer experts? With so many options to choose from, they’ll answer questions and walk you through any concerns. They even have iPads to help you find product reviews and compare prices. Plus, with free Wi-Fi in every store, you can research while you shop.
If you’re looking to create a specific computer system, the Certified Data Build-to-Order system can help you put it together. You can pick and choose the components, parts and customize a system tailored to your needs.
Certified Data is the third oldest computer manufacturer in Canada – they’ve been making computers since 1984. Certified Data systems are sold and supported exclusively by London Drugs.
If any purchase isn’t to your complete satisfaction, return it to London Drugs within 15 days for a complete refund or exchange. Just remember to return it in the original packaged condition with proof of purchase. Some restrictions apply. For more information regarding online returns see our RETURN GUIDE.
If you find the same merchandise advertised in print at a lower price and we confirm the competitor has the product in stock, we’ll match that price for one product. Even if you find that lower advertised price after you buy, we’ll step up and match that price for 30 days.
Customers can bring in their old electronic items and appliances that were originally purchased at London Drugs for recycling. On items not purchased at London Drugs, recycling fees will apply to offset recycling costs.
We are one of the only computer recycling options where your valuable personal data is cleaned from your hard drives before they are destroyed and recycled.
Remember, you can bring back packaging from anything you buy in our stores for responsible recycling! Customers like you have helped us recycle over 100,000 lbs of styrofoam!
Visit one of our computer experts in store, or start shopping for your computer online