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My Recommendations

Revised on

Check back here often as I update this page on a regular basis

Here is my list of things I recommend on a regular basis to my friends and clients

Web Hosting
- I think APlus offers some pretty good services. For one, lots of space. For $9.95 a month you get 1.1GB of space! Man, that's a lot. Not only that, Aplus gets major kudos not only from me but c|net and other major players that review hosting services.

If you wanna throw me a bone and gimme a credit click on the graphic below or this link and I'll get (i think) $10 bucks.

Spam Filter for Outlook

by ~ If you want a really cool very easy to use Spam filter software program for Outlook, then look no further. I've tested and used this software package myself and I like it. I'm currently writing a review about complete with pictures and what-not but for now just take my word for it. It'll set you back $29 but its money well spent.  
Share your Favorite Links

by Mike Giles ~ Furl was introduced to me by one of my favorite clients, Ann Stone located in Burlingame California. Furl lets you add and subtract your growing list of favorites, interesting articles and what-not with your friends and family and well as the growing list of Furl'ies. Its a really cool way to share those great gold nuggets on the net.
File Syncing Software

AJC Directory Synchronizer
by AJC Software ~ I have reviewed about 2 dozen file Syncing programs out there and based on my humble opinion, this is the best one money can buy. Read the article.

DVD Recorders

There are lots of these babies out there right now. A few months ago you had to mortgage the house to get one of these and they were mostly only available to video production houses and beta testers but now you too can drop one of these darlings into your home PC. My favorite is the Pioneer DVR-105. It offers the best mix of features right now with built in formatting for all DVD & CDR & RW formats today. 

DVD Dual Layer Drives

Sony DRX700A or the OEM Equivalent the DW-D18A

These new Double Layer DVD recorders bring new capability to your computer. You can store up to 4 hours of high quality MPEG-2 video (or up to 8 hours of MPEG-1 video) or up to 8.5GB of stuff on a single sided disc with 2 recordable layers. DVD+R DL discs are write once discs of the DVD “+” format, and once recorded they are playable in standard consumer DVD players (mostly) and computer DVD-ROM drives. The new Double Layer drives from Sony record the popular DVD+R and DVD+RW 4.7GB standard discs and CD-R/RW discs too!

Hard Drives

Nothing but a Western Digital will do for me. IBM sold their entire division to Hitachi some time back because of all the trouble they had with their drives, so stay away from anything IBM and I would suspect that Hitachi will have low quality in these in next few quarters as well.

Computer Cases | CoolerMaster

Antec. Antec is the best most premier computer case maker money can buy. Their cases aren't cheap, but made like solid blocks of rock! 

Video Cards

is my favorite right now with the NVidia a close second. ATI has always treated me and my few returns with class and has never screwed me over like NVidia has... it's a long story...I'll post it some day... the 9800 is a fab board and the 9900 (coming soon) is a monster! 


Blackberry 857 or 957
I've had all the PDAs out there. Palm, IPAQ and Blackberry. They all keep track of your calendar, todos, and contacts. But for me I like the simplicity of the Blackberry. I currently own a Blackberry 857. By using your thumb you can scroll to any function and click the wheel using you thumb to access any function. If you get good with it you can also type while holding it with one hand. I won't recommend using it while driving but I have been grabbing it to look up a quick phone number at stop lights.
The most handy feature of having a Blackberry IS the wireless email. Hands down, the easiest thing in the world to use over ANY other handheld. You won't get any color but you will get about a week in battery usage without recharging! The Palm is second to the Blackberry in this department. The IPAQ is a dead last. 4 hours of constant use at best. You can buy lots of attachments for the Palm and the IPAQ but for me the novelty drops off really fast leaving you with a little box of expensive gizmos under your desk.

Where's the best place to get a Blackberry with email service? I think its Earthlink. When I got mine it was $350 and $40 per month for the service.

Sony Clie SJ22
A very very close contender is the Sony Clie SJ22. I used the Blackberry for about a year handing is off to my wife for her use in business because I found responding to email's, while driving, in the car, was a bit to problematic for me...

I picked up my Sony at Best Buy in San Carlos CA for a mear $129 (Sept. 15th 2003). It's Palm based with a absolutely fabulous color screen with the most easy to read text of any PDA I have ever seen. It's size, and hand held friendliness in my humble opinion is unmatched. 


Asus. Day after day, install after install, these motherboards last and last. My favorite board right now is the Asus A7V600. This board simply rock with outstanding features.

If you're looking for a high end motherboard look for further than Asus again. The new highly toughted A7V8X power house sporting a new chipset. Check out the Asus website to see more details. Also, recently announced by my wholesaler ASI, the Intel 

Monitor (All Purpose)

Samsung. Go out and get yourself a Samsung monitor. I think Sammy has displaced NEC for monitor quality, reliability and service. I've purchased nothing but Sammys today for my clients and one has yet to go bad. My favorite is the 17" model (750). Right now I am using a 19" SyncMaster 191T that I picked up for $650. Is got a 500:1 contrast ratio and a really nice black mat screen. I can look at it all day, and I do. 

First place tie is Sony & HP. My third choice would be Apple. Sony gives a lot of free preinstalled software for video making, most of which is somewhat mediocre but for someone using a laptop for video editing one must assume that you're a low-key video producer yes? I'm not discounting laptops for doing video and graphic editing, heck, I use a Sony Viao PCG-GRV680 myself to run my business, perform onsite backups of client servers and for everyday use. All I'm saying is laptops, although they come a long way aren't up to snuff when it comes to serious video editing. Only a desktop will fit that job description.

MediaPlayer or iTunes

Leave it to Microsoft for picking a truly perfect name for there product. I know a lot of you out there sneer at the thought of putting another MS product on your computer but in the case you don't have to, it's already there. And if you don't have it you can download it for free. Windows Media Player lets you do more with less than any other Media Player out there right now. I guess if you have unlimited resources like Billy does, you can't go wrong. Anyway, there are other really good Players out there like WinAmp, Real Players/Real One, Apple's QuickTime 5 and others, but WMP is the best so far in my opinion. The one thing I like about it first of all is no popup ads asking to purchase the full version every 30 days. That's the main problem with Real Player. I can't stand to be nagged over and over about all the damn ads from Real's media player everytime I load it. It also puts a icon in my startup group and in my system tray and in my startup group and on my desktop along with a bunch of other crap that really does more to hurt what they are trying to do rather than help. Huhh.. back to WMP...
I like WMP because one, you can add built in compatible players for MP3, WMA and several others to it as easily as 123. By default WMP lets you copy songs from your favorite CDs and store them on your PC in their own WMA (Windows Media) format. A WMA file is like a MP3 file just a little smaller. If you are a Compaq iPAQ user like me, that enables you to store almost twice as many songs on your iPAQ for music listening than a MP3 player. Nice. Also you can turn off the music protection stuff if you like. Another cool feature is DVD playing. With one simple to use program, Windows Media Player lets you listen, copy, move songs to you MP3 player or iPAQ, categorize, even purchase music directly from the web to your PC. It's cool.


Cool Freeware

Panorama 32

When I got my Apple G4 Duelie the first thing I liked about it was the automatic wallpaper background changer. You know, after a few minutes the background picture on your desktop rotates through a folder of pictures you have to the grand kids or your favorite race car.

Panorama 32 is an unobtrusive, but powerful and flexible, Wallpaper Manager for Windows 95 and Windows NT.

Support for JPEG, GIF and PNG files! Use JPEG, GIF and PNG files as wallpaper. Change your wallpaper at any interval--from every second up to every 24 hours. Runs in the Explorer's Tray Notification Area (The System Tray). If you want it to, of course. The wallpaper may be changed in random or sequential order. You can choose to automatically tile small bitmaps. Automatically search your hard disk for image files. Supports MS Plus! scaling. 

Networking Products

WRT54G DSL/Cable router

Consistently, Linksys is my favorite networking company 90% of the time. Cisco is my second and if you've seen Cisco prices you'll know why. I only use Cisco stuff for really advanced systems of which I only run into about twice a year. My most used most reliable unit from Linky is the BEFSR41 DSL/Cable Router. This coupled with a good DSL modem like 2Wire or a Alcatel Speed Touch Home and you've got one heck of a good solid network. 

D-Link DI-624

In the past I have had a lot of trouble with D-Link stuff. I considered them a bottom-feeder product group. As of late I had the chance to review and play around with a D-Link DI-624 DSL/Cable (Wired/Wireless) Router. I have completely come away with the impression that this is a pretty good product with the exception of tech support. Read my article about the D-Link DI-624. Anyway, I would recommend this product. It worked a bit better than my Linksys WRV54G wireless at the office...

Wireless networking

Don't use wireless network equipment. 802.11 is not very secure. That doesn't matter if you have nothing worth stealing, but these guys can piggyback on your signal and slow your connection speed without you knowing it.

If you live in apartment building or wanna share you DSL/Cable connection in your home with the kids, use PowerLine adapters. They use the power outlets in your house. You still need a DSL/Cable Router but you can get away with a single port one for under $35. Plug your Powerline Master Bridge adapter into it then another Powerline adapter where ever you want a internet connection and that's it! 

MP3 Player

There's no question here... The Apple iPod version 2 (the new one) is the undisputed champ here. I've seen several MP3 players and there are basically 2 types. You have the little pocket keychain size ones that hold about 10 or 20 songs and run on batteries and then you have the iPod and the Nomad.

The Nomad is a cool MP3 player, don't get me wrong, but it's cheap plastic design and kinda goofy controls put it way behind the iPod.

The iPod is sleek, sexier, and very functional. Heck, you can even use it as a backup device for your personal data files!

Nice Nice Nice - Get one!


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Ink Jet Cartridges

Several of my clients have been using for their Epson, Canon and HP inkjet printers. I too have just ordered








Things I Don't Like

Linksys is starting to creep up my back site. As of Aug 2004, I have been returning more and more of their wireless routers and replacing them with D-Link products. Apparently, the Linkys are not holding connections to the wireless clients/computers that are on the local persons home network. When I recently purchased a D-Link DI-624 to "see" if it would do any better, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only did it get and hold a wireless connection but it did it at a greater distance. It's now my wireless router of choice.

IBM Hard Drives
(too many bad ones)

Anything Intel

HP Printers look cheap these days, so I've started looking at others like Epson, Lexmark and Minolta & Canon.