While I've tested out various indoor WiFi-based security cameras over the past decade on Phoronix, outdoor WiFi cameras have been a different story. Either through my contacts from Phoronix or through my own personal searching, I've never found an outdoor WiFi security camera that I've liked either due to poor build quality, poor video quality / viewing angles, or other issues but most of the time has revolved around not being well-engineered. That has changed with the Nest Cam Outdoor that was announced earlier this year by the Google/Alphabet-owned company while this week it's finally begun shipping to consumers. I certainly like the Nest Cam Outdoor from a hardware perspective, but the software could still use some improvements.
For the Phoronix 12th birthday and in trying to make a more efficient workflow and some general improvements to reinvigorate my general 100 hour work weeks across the span of Phoronix Media, I decided to set out on building a new desk this past week. Here's the result with having a massive, 8 and 10 foot sides to a L-shaped wooden and steel desk.
Given our open-source/Linux reader base and many of our readers being very privacy-minded, Anonabox sent over their Tunneler and Pro products for us to try out. The Anonabox Tunneler is a WiFi VPN router and the Anonabox Pro is a WiFi Tor and VPN router.
If you are in need of a temperature sensor / thermometer that's USB based and plays well with Linux, there's a decent option for just $14 USD.
With tiling the basement server room this month, I took the opportunity to build a new desk that's capable of easily handling six monitors while allowing for a better layout and more organization than before. Here are some details on building a butcher block wooden computer desk.
If you have ever wanted a thermal imager to get an idea for the hottest areas of your PC, look how to improve the thermal efficiency of your server room or house, or other purposes, you've likely noticed how thermal imagers are generally quite expensive. A lower-cost solution that's also very versatile is the Seek Compact Thermal, which can attach to your Android smartphone or tablet and turn it into a thermal imaging solution paired with the ease of use of being able to save the captured video or still images to your device.
The Thecus N4310 is a small business oriented Linux NAS (Network Attached Storage) device that makes it easy to setup an EXT4-based RAID storage environment with encryption support. The Thecus web-based software makes it easy to take full advantage of the NAS with features such as BitTorrent support, media streaming for iOS/Android, and more.
After months of experimenting with different methods for better cooling the basement server room where 60+ systems are running Linux benchmarks on a daily basis, for less than $100 USD I've found a fan that does an amazing job keeping the temperature suitable for all of the running systems.
D-Link this morning announced the release of the full-HD DCS-2630L WiFi camera. This 802.11ac WiFi security/monitoring camera features a 180 degree field of view and full 1080p video support. D-Link sent out the camera to us last week as a review sample and I've been trying it out and happy with the results as a new indoor security camera.
For the past several months I've been using a Scythe Mugen Max heatsink on one of my Core i7 5960X Haswell-E systems. That heatsink has been working out great, but the only problem is that it's too big -- particularly if trying to fit it in a 4U chassis. In needing to cool this 140 Watt CPU while moving the system into a 4U rackmount chassis, I ended up trying out the much cheaper and smaller Freezer i11 from Arctic Cooling.
Last month was the much-viewed article about losing trust in the Nest Protect following an obnoxious false alarm and the device not silencing, which resulted in me taking a sledgehammer to the offending unit. Since then, I've decided to give the Nest Protect a second shot as they sent out replacements for all of my devices with the second-generation design.
A few months ago, after moving into my new apartment, I decided that I was ready for an upgrade to my PC. New CPU? Nope. New graphics card? Nope. More RAM? Nah. I decided to try my hand at my first ever mechanical keyboard. After doing some Google research and attempting to sort through what others thought the best 'starter' mechanical keyboard was as far as reliability and quality one name continued to come up: Das.
With the basement conversion into a big Linux server room where there's 50~60 systems running daily at full load while running our many open-source benchmarks, cooling has been a challenge with now experiencing summer temperatures. I've already resorted to retro-fitting in extra powered ventilation ducts to keep pushing fresh air into the server room. That did some help, but also of aid is upgrading the cooling systems on some of the more powerful systems rather than using the stock heatsinks and fans. For helping out the cooling situation, Noctua sent out a while ago the NH-U12DX i4 and NF-F12.
As a quick Friday note, if you're looking for a 802.11n/g USB WiFi adapter that's very affordable and will work great with Linux, here's one of my recent purchases. After being pleased with one of them, I've since ordered a few more of these Wireless-N adapters for Linux usage.
The latest IP assignments for our 32+ system open-source Linux benchmarking test farm isn't for more benchmarking systems at this time but rather for the smoke alarms. Adding the Nest Protect devices give a bit more peace of mind running many computers on residential wiring.
When receiving the new Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 and E5-2687W v3 CPUs, the CPU heatsink I switched to using for cooling the eight and ten core workstation/server processors was the Noctua i4 CPU Cooler (NH-U9DXi4). I've now been using this heatsink for over a month and it's been working out great for my range of LGA-2011 v3 CPUs.
A new gadget we received recently at Phoronix from Apotop is their Wi-Copy device. Apotop's Wi-Copy is an interesting little device that can serve as a personal WiFi router / hot-spot, wireless/wired card reader, and as a USB device charger.
It's been nearly a decade since last checking out any XTrac products (the last being the XTrac InstaGlide and XTrac Hybrid back in 2005) but with 2014 rapidly marking the evolution of Linux gaming, this weekend we're checking out a few XtracPads for those that may be looking to improve their Linux gaming system.
For those looking for a gaming mouse that's Linux friendly and not too expensive, the ROCCAT LUA is a nice option.
If you plan to buy an Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E or any other high-end processor, a good heatsink is needed especially if you plan to do any overclocking. In looking at a new cooling option today we're trying out the Scythe Mugen MAX.
Our friends at Sumo are out with another interesting creation that we've had the chance to review and it's already likely our most favorite Sumo product to date. Let's checkout the Sumo Omni Reloaded this weekend.
The Avanti CB350S is a very nice accessory for a home or small office when working long hours, but the engineering quality of the interesting product is questionable... Many Phoronix readers will likely love the Avanti CB350S once the issues are worked out.
For those in need of an outdoor-ready HD wireless network camera for added security for your home but that isn't dependent upon any Windows (or non-Linux-compatible) application software for viewing and managing the device, meet the D-Link DCS-2330L.
This week Amazon unveiled the Fire TV as a small network appliance primarily for HD video streaming and complemented by some gaming and mobile app capabilities. The Fire TV is powered by Amazon's Android-based Kindle Fire OS so in this weekend review are my initial impressions of this Linux-based media system after using it the past two days.
While we don't generally review keyboards and other gaming peripherals at Phoronix, occasionally such a product will come along that is worth checking out in close detail. One of these products is the Func KB-460, a new high-end gaming keyboard. The Func KB-460 looks great, but will it work on Linux and be worth the nearly $120 USD price tag?
While not directly Linux related, this afternoon at Phoronix we are looking at the SilverStone Air Penetrator AP123. If you're looking to make your "Tux" powered computer system a bit cooler this summer, the SST-AP123 is a great way to quietly do so.
Taking a break from our usual Linux hardware coverage and performance benchmarking this weekend is a look at the Sumo Emperor, a comfortable basis for lounging or working from a laptop.
If you plan to upgrade your Linux desktop hardware in the near future or will be shopping for new PC hardware this holiday season, here's a few words of advice on recommended components and manufacturers to go with for the best Linux hardware experience.
If you are looking for a secure and nearly indestructible way to transport your laptop and other items, Zero Halliburton has a very viable option with their S1-SI Premium Slimline Attache.
When sending over the Intel Ivy Bridge kit back in April, Intel also included an engineering sample of a PCI Express x1 WiFi adapter that is part of their "Desktop Intel WiFi - 2012" platform. Does this Intel 802.11n WLAN adapter work as well under Linux as their open-source graphics driver?
162 peripherals articles published on Phoronix.