Knurd Tech

Home and Mobile Technology Reviews

Set up a computer for TV using OpenELEC

We previously reviewed a few options for an HTPC. So what is an HTPC? It stands for home theater personal computer and can have different requirements based on your needs. Some may also refer to it as a TV computer or a media center PC.

VIA Nano X2 U4025 Review

Three Zotac ZBOXs standing on endsThe ZBOX nano VD01 is the most difficult system to review. Inside the only mini PC we tested from Zotac is a VIA Nano X2 U4025 processor with VX900 / Chrome9 graphics (pictured on right).

Intel Atom D2700 - HTPC Review

ZBOX ID80 and remoteThe ZBOX-ID80-U sports an Intel Atom D2700 processor and onboard Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics in a small package. Does the latest and greatest Intel Atom work well as a Home Theater PC “HTPC” or Media Center computer?

Asus RT-N56U review

Features: 802.11n, dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz), gigabit ethernet ports, and high throughput.

Memories without much Memory

Unless you feel nostalgic and want to take a ride down memory lane, stop reading now. This post is just reminiscing on old computers from the past.

Mobile Processor Snapshot

The goal here is to break down the main differentiating features of recent, new, and upcoming mobile processors. ARM-based processors lead the superphone and tablet market. I will break-down and quickly explain fabrication and number of cores plus touch on the graphics engines each mobile processor uses. Let’s dig in.

Line2 Review for Android

Took the opportunity to load Line2 (Toktumi) from the Android market for a free 30-day trial review.  After all it did receive great praise from David Pogue of the New York Times.  Balderdash.

Samsung Captivate first impressions

Finally broke down and purchased one…been playing with it about a week. So now it is time for first thoughts about the phone, Android 2.1, and the network.

LTE, WiMAX, and HSPA+: the 3.xG battle

According to Verizon, the initial LTE network will support average 5-12 Mbps down and 2-5 Mbps up. Sprint/Clear WiMAX currently supports average 3-6 Mbps down and up to 1 Mbps up. While T-Mobile’s current HSPA+ network along with AT&T’s planned rollout should fall somewhere in the middle.

Motorola Droid X / Droid 2 and Samsung Galaxy S

Still holding on to a Nokia e71 waiting for something that really stands out. These phones almost fit the bill but the Droid X ends up being a smaller upgrade than initially thought. Verizon fans considering a Droid X or Droid 2? Hold out a month or so longer to give the Samsung Fascinate a fair shot.

Cheap desktop upgrade

Finally bit the bullet and did a minor upgrade. After exhaustive research I settled for a very low end system that is still two to four times faster than my old hardware. More on that in a bit. So without further ado, here are the parts:

Turn USB devices into a NAS solution

Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station is out now for $99. If you have USB hard drives, thumb drives, or printers and no way to connect them all to your home network…this may be it. It draws a mere 5 Watts while accepting 4 USB 2.0 devices. The iConnect supports Gigabit ethernet and wireless 802.11(b/g/n). If they had thrown in an eSata port I may have been sold.


After mentioning Nvidia’s latest Tegra updates and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon announcement; it’s only fair to plug Texas Instruments as well. Their OMAP 3 line already does rather well for itself by powering Motorola Droid, Palm Pre, and Nokia N900 to name a few.

Maemo 6 coming soon

Nokia announced phones coming out in 2H 2010 with Maemo 6. It could be a great upgrade and provide much more user friendliness than their developer oriented N900 phone (running Maemo 5 with a TI OMAP 3430). Maemo is a linux based OS (like Android) for handheld devices that is a drastic change from Nokia’s main Symbian based operating systems.