The Real (and Virtual) Adventures of Nathan the IT Guy

July 24, 2012  12:39 PM

USB 3.0 Power Delivery Specification

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Big news here, well I am a few days late, but who cares. unveiled a press release, which contains the following.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group, in conjunction with the USB 2.0 Promoter Group, today announced the completion of the USB Power Delivery specification, which enables increased power delivery through USB cables and connectors. The specification expands cable bus power capabilities in USB applications, supplying higher voltage and current to deliver power up to 100 watts over USB Power Delivery certified cables. It is capable of delivering higher power to charge notebook PCs and power external hard-disk drives, devices which previously did not receive adequate power from traditional 5V bus power.

The USB Power Delivery specification enables a switchable source of power without changing cable direction. Existing USB cables and connectors are also compatible with this specification and will coexist with the USB Battery Charging 1.2 specification as well as existing USB-bus powered applications.

“USB Power Delivery enables a path to greatly reduce electronic waste by eliminating proprietary, platform-specific chargers,” said Brad Saunders

How cool would it be to never have to bring another external adapter for anything? The adoption rate needs to standardize as soon as possible to make this happen, but happen it should. Read the rest of the press release here.

July 24, 2012  12:29 PM

Sysinternals July Updates

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Some updates to Sysinternals Tools!

Handle v3.5: This update to Handle, a command-line utility that lists open handles, uses the most recent Process Explorer driver so that it now resolves system process handles and types.

Process Explorer v15.22: This release addresses a bug that caused Process Explorer to crash when viewing .NET thread stacks of 64-bit Windows XP and 64-bit Windows Server 2003.

Process Monitor v3.03: A bug that caused some symbols to not resolve in stack traces is fixed in this release.

RAMMap v1.21: This fixes a bug that causes RAMMap to sometimes report an error on 32-bit versions of Windows.

ZoomIt v4.3: This update to ZoomIt, a screen magnification and annotation utility, adds an option that enables you to configure it to automatically start when you login.

Also updates from the page itself. The Case of the Very Slow Logon is very interesting and gives you insites on how to use Process Explorer. One of my favorite apps.

  • Mark’s Blog: The Case of the Veeerrry Slow Logons
    Mark’s latest troubleshooting blog post documents how he used Process Monitor to fix a problem with slow logons he started experiencing while travelling at the TechEd North America conference.
  • ZoomIt v4.3
    This update to ZoomIt, a screen magnification and annotation utility, adds an option that enables you to configure it to automatically start when you login.



July 20, 2012  12:29 PM

OCZ Vertex 4 – Maximum Performance

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

The new OCZ Vertex 4, ultimate consumer performance, at a very reasonable price! We are talking around 100$ for a 128GB drive, not bad at all…

As the fourth generation of the legendary Vertex family, the Vertex 4 Series pushes storage performance to the max and redefines the modern day computing experience. Vertex 4 SSDs are innovatively engineered to deliver industry-leading file transfer rates and superior system responsiveness, all while providing a more durable, reliable, and energy efficient storage solution compared to traditional hard drives. Designed to take full advantage of the SATA III interface, the Vertex 4 unleashes ultimate productivity, gaming, and multimedia applications. source

Check out the specifications below.

Performance 64 GB 128 GB 256 GB 512 GB
Sequential Reads1 460 MB/s 560 MB/s 560 MB/s 560 MB/s
Sequential Writes1 220 MB/s 430 MB/s 510 MB/s 510 MB/s
Random 4k Read IOPS2 70,000 IOPS 90,000 IOPS 90,000 IOPS 95,000 IOPS
Random 4k Write IOPS2 50,000 IOPS 85,000 IOPS 85,000 IOPS 85,000 IOPS
Maximum IOPS3 85,000 IOPS 120,000 IOPS 120,000 IOPS 120,000 IOPS

 Now you might say, oh the pretty numbers, when in fact, SSD is really really fast, I mean, boot Windows 7 in under 10 seconds, and boot Windows 8 in under 6, absolutly ridiculous… I have one in my HP Elite Book as a boot drive, and I can say that I will never go back. Also note that OCZ has a 5 year warranty, so you won’t have to worry about your SSD drive all that much. Here are the rest of the specifications.

Usable Capacities (IDEMA) 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
NAND Components 2Xnm Synchronous Multi-Level Cell (MLC)
Interface SATA III / 6Gbps (backwards compatible with SATA II / 3Gbps)
Form Factor 2.5 Inch
NAND Controller Indilinx Everest 2
DRAM Cache Up to 1GB
Dimensions (L x W x H) 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3 mm


MTBF 2 million hours
Data Path Protection ECC corrects up to 128 random bits/1KB
Data Encryption 256-bit AES-compliant, ATA Security Mode Features
Product Health Monitoring Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) Support


Power Consumption Idle: 1.3 W Active: 2.5 W
Operating Temperature 0°C ~ 70°C
Ambient Temperature 0°C ~ 55°C
Storage Temperature -45°C ~ 85°C
Shock Resistance 1500G


Serial ATA (SATA) Fully compliant with Serial ATA International Organization: Serial ATA Revision 3.0.
Fully compliant with ATA/ATAPI-8 Standard Native Command Queuing (NCQ)
Operating System Windows XP 32-bit /64-bit; Windows Vista 32-bit / 64-bit; Windows 7 32-bit / 64-bit; Linux; Mac OS X


Additional Features  
Performance Optimization TRIM (requires OS support), dynamic and static wear-leveling, background garbage collection, Indilinx nDurance 2.0 Technology to extend SSD lifespan
Other Performance Features Ndurance 2.0 Technology (Reduced Write Amplification without Compression, Advanced Multi-Level ECC, Adaptive NAND Flash Management)
Service & Support 5-Year Warranty, Toll-Free Tech Support, 24 Hour Forum Support




July 18, 2012  1:05 PM

1.75Gbps WiFi @ Home

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

D-Link has brought the first 802.11ac home wireless router to the masses!

“New Cloud Router 5700 (DIR-865L) Leverages 802.11ac Wireless Standard to Deliver Up to 1750Mbps Dual Band Wireless Performance for Today’s Connected Home” source

The company has pulled the curtain back on its first router that’s compatible with the aforementioned tech in the Cloud Router 5700. Boasting performance of up to 1,750Mbps (that’s 1,300 ac + 450 n), the kit implements a 5Ghz band for cutting out the clutter and houses four Gigabit Ethernet ports alongside a single USB receptacle around back. Looking to snag one for the purposes speeding up your home network? You can do just that from either Amazon or Newegg for $189.99 as fast as your fingers will click. source

It comes with “apps” to help you with monitoring your network, and the ability to stream from USB storage that is plugged into the back of the router…

More about the Cloud Router 5700

The Cloud Router 5700 delivers a range of performance and security features, including:

  • Up to 1750Mbps Wi-Fi with 802.11ac: 1300Mbps 802.11ac + 450Mbps Wireless
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • App-enabled remote monitoring and control: mydlink Lite App
  • Easy media sharing: Wirelessly access videos, music and photos on your iPad, iPhone or Android device from any connected USB drive with SharePort Mobile app
  • Extended wireless coverage: Powered amplified wireless signal
  • Total Security: Complete set of security features including an SPI firewall and WPA2 to protect your network against intruders
  • IPv6 Ready for future internet service performance, security and overall reliability

“The improved speed and range enabled by our 5G WiFi technology make it the preferred solution for the new generation of wireless routers,” said Dino Bekis, Broadcom Senior Director, Access and Wireless Entertainment Business. “D-Link routers based on 5G WiFi will deliver reliable video streaming, faster file transfers, and an overall more satisfying wireless experience.” source

Go here to read more.


July 15, 2012  8:54 PM

Meet the iPhone 5

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

So how many of you are waiting for the next iPhone? I currently have the HTC One XL, and I don’t see any reason to go back to iPhone (I had an iPhone 4 for about 6 months about a year ago). Anyways, has an update for you guys that are looking to get your hands on it…

The iPhone 5 rumors are continuing to pick up steam. The latest report comes from Japanese blog Macotakara. The blog, citing reliable sources within Apple’s supply chain, reports that the iPhone 5 has already already gone into production. Macotakara also reported that the iPad 3 had gone into production in January and the device launched in March. If the same time frame applies to the iPhone, we are looking at September release.

Apparently the world will meet the new iPhone August 7th.. go here to read the whole story.

July 9, 2012  1:40 PM

Google Nexus 7 – Canadian Pre-orders

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

If you have been waiting to pre-order from a Canadian retailer, your wait is over… Futureshop, Bestbuy, and Staples all have the Nexus 7 online for pre-order, of course if you want 25$ in free applications, order it from Below is info backing up my post.

Google Play ordering is still the better option here considering you can get an additional $25 in apps when ordering direct but when these devices it hit stores, it should help those waiting to get a hands-on before diving in help decide if it’s everything they are expecting. Speaking of dates, Best Buy and Future Shops says they’ll be arriving in the warehouse on August 10th (bit late?) while Staples says July 14th. We’ll be keeping our eye on whom, exactly ends up with them first. In the meantime, have you read our Nexus 7 review yet? If not, what are you waiting for? source

So are you ready to jump on the Nexus/Jelly Bean Android OS 4.1 bandwagon? Would you like more information? Go here for a video review! 

Perhaps you are you looking for information on when you can order the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity? If so go here to find out and join the discussion.

Either way, we live in a world of choices, and all choices are good!

July 9, 2012  12:37 PM

Mega Outlook Automation?

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

Outlook in itself if one of the most used applications on the planet… Outlook 2010 is one of the most powerful applications on the planet… to help you uncover all the goodies I am highlighting an article from Microsoft Small Business Technet page.

Case Notes…

The Target: Outlook 2010, some features also apply with limited functionality to earlier editions of Outlook going back to 2001

Whereabouts: Included in Office 2010 “Home and Business” or “Professional” Editions, or available standalone from the Microsoft Store.

Modus Operandi: Manage calendars, tasks, contacts and priorities along with all your communications (emails and information feeds). Outlook is the one-stop-shop for day-to-day organization. 

Interested? Go here for the full article.

July 6, 2012  1:12 PM

HTC wins Slide-to-Unlock patent against Apple!

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

You got it, HTC defeated Apple in the courts of London! I sure am glad that Apples injunction was overruled, I mean, they were claiming that they invented it, when in fact it already existed in 2004! Good work Apple, way to try to fleece HTC…

 The same patents that are being granted blindly to Apple in the US are being challenged in other countries, and it seems that the latest verdict coming from the UK high courts has revealed that some of these patents are not exactly innovations or new concepts. source

Score for HTC and Google in general, Apple go and keep feeding your sheep and leave us real folk alone! I’m just joking! or am I? 🙂 Go here to read more…

July 4, 2012  1:15 PM

HTC to release three Windows 8 phones by year-end.

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

If you are anything like me, you want the latest and greatest, well, HTC is the latest and greatest manufacturer of Android phones out there today, and I am very happy with HTC and my One XL. Although as I mentioned, I want the newest all the time, that brings us to this post… by the end of the year HTC should have three Windows 8 phones for us to play with.

Starting at the top is the “Zenith,” which reportedly sports a 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 display, HSPA+ 42Mbps support, and, 8-megapixel camera, and an unspecified Qualcomm quad-core processor. Meanwhile, the “Accord” is slated to take up the position in the middle of the pack with its 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 display, 1GB of RAM, and a Qualcomm dual-core processor — it reportedly retains the same network support and camera module as seen in its bigger brother. source

There is also a smaller phone for those that do not want that much screen realeastate, but after seeing the screenshots and the rest of the info over here, you will want the biggest and baddest of them all… the Zenith!





June 29, 2012  2:09 PM

Meet the Google Nexus 7

Nathan Simon Nathan Simon Profile: Nathan Simon

If you are looking for a good review of the brand spankin’ new Google Nexus, AnandTech has put up a mini review with comparisons to the ASUS Tablet series.

The Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean installed, which we’re going over on the next page. It brings improvements to UI performance through Android

Most important is the Nexus 7’s price point, which up until now has largely been one of the main issues with Android tablets – price. It’s fair to say that the Kindle Fire has done a good job proving that there is indeed a market for lower cost, simplified tablets at an aggressive price point, and the Nexus 7 is Google’s answer. Pricing for the Nexus 7 is $199 for the 8 GB model, and $249 for the 16 GB model. There aren’t any other differences between the two, nor is there a model with cellular connectivity – this is strictly WiFi only, but again, this is a tablet for the masses without the carrier hurdle.

Check out the full article here.

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