(I'll no doubt receive more flak for this than I'll have people agreeing, particularly since I'm not planning on sugar-coating anything about this post, but please read in full before voicing your opinion on the matter.)
I take issue with Derrick Cramer's articles posted on MyBroadBand. I have long-since stopped visiting MyGaming for the same reason, and removed MyGaming from my list of Facebook 'likes' so I'd stop seeing links to articles posted by him, largely because I couldn't see the author's name without first opening the link, and so couldn't easily 'ignore' them. I have recently done the same for MyBroadBand for the same reason.
I take issue with his articles because I feel they have the following attributes
- Post Quality
The quality of Cramer's articles do not live up to that of the articles posted by any of the other authors for MyBB. The formatting cannot even be called 'unique' or 'characteristic of his style', as it essentially amounts to Computer Lit 101 standards. Practically every post follows the same text-book crappiness in terms of formatting, layout and style you'd find taught at schools in this country, or on sites that would be best ignored by the general populace of the world that supposedly teach you "how to write editorial pieces for the internet".
In terms of the breadth of information covered, more often than not, grossly incomplete information (and sometimes even misleading information) is provided. For one of his most recent examples, see this article. One of the big issues with this article is that he states, to quote;
PCI-E of all versions, (v1.x, v2.x and v3.0, for those currently available) comes in 5 different classifications in terms of port;The PCIe form factor is perfect for an enthusiast who wants ultimate performance. Since PCIe is natively faster than SATA 6Gbps, it removes a key bottleneck in drives and allows manufacturers to push greater speeds. These are often coupled with large capacities, thanks to the larger form factor of PCIe cards over 2.5 inch drives.
OCZ offers the RevoDrive X2 960GB version consumer offering. Larger capacity PCIe drives do exist, but these are enterprise class devices dealt with below.
Targeted at PC enthusiasts who are looking for a fast, high capacity boot or storage drive, the RevoDrive X2 is capable of 730Mb/s read speeds, and 700Mb/s write speeds. 120,000 random write IOPS round off the package, making the drive faster than many new mainstream SSDs.
Every version classification has two 'lanes' times its multiplier, one lane going in each direction and each lane supporting xGbps of throughput. Motherboards today can still come with PCI-E 2.x ports as opposed to the newer PCI-E 3.0 standard, so taking these into account is imperative for an article like this.
For PCI-E 2.x, this throughput is 500MB/s (megabytes/second) per lane. This means a PCI-E v2.x 1x port has only 500MB/s read and 500MB/s write performance in duplex
In contrast, PCI-E 3.0 has 1GB/s per lane
So in other words, in order for the RevoDrive to achieve its full speed it would need a PCI-E v2.x x2 port as the bare minimum, or a PCI-E v3.0 x1 port. In the card's case, it actually comes in a PCI-E x4 port format - not many motherboards actually have x4 ports, let alone the bandwidth to support it, as not all controllers for the PCI-E bus on a computer are equal.
So in essence, the point is that there is a lot of information that is crucial to determining whether or not a particular device being talked about is suited to the reader's applications; without the information being listed, it's not unlikely that someone may mistakenly think the card is in fact able to slot into a PCI-E x1 or even x2 slot, decide to buy one, receive it and then find that it needs a PCI-E x4 slot, of which their motherboard may have none.
This kind of issue, one of incomplete or poor quality information for his articles, is not uncommon. On many of his articles you will see people (not only me) complaining about these things.
- Post to Category relevance
Most of Cramer's articles are nothing but (poorly constructed) comparisons of 5 items of x category with some very basic information that tells the reader little to nothing of note. An example of these articles can be found here and here, for two of his more recent ones.
In the first, a few bold claims were made that were quickly called out by those commenting on the article. More importantly, the article completely ignores the fact that various well-known component and 'Complete' PC manufacturers have various All-In-One computers available that would be a far better match-up for an article such as this that focuses on the iMac and "competitors".
Furthermore, the pricing of the PC components he found is atrocious, hardly indicative of what anyone that spends a few minutes of searching for themselves would be able to find.
He also claims, as a differentiating factor,
While it isn't explicitly implied, I assume that he took the time to point it out on the assumption that it's something that makes the iMac's display better than the Dell listed. Aside from a quicker 'to set brightness' on startup, which for anyone besides a particularly picky photographer/graphic designer/video editor is generally inconsequential, there is no good reason to list LED backlighting as a special feature of the iMac's display. Information as to why it might be relevant isn't provided, so there's no context for the statement.Note that the iMac display uses LED back-lighting rather than the LCD back-lighting found in the Dell monitor.
What's otherwise overlooked is that in the 27" monitor PC example, specifically, one is afforded the utility of a height and pivot adjustable monitor - this means one can raise or lower the screen's height and turn it into a portrait orientation, if you want to.
There is also no mention made of the (extremely) reflective surface of the iMac's screen, which is a 'feature' you have to pay a premium to have 'removed' by way of having an anti-glare film installed on the monitor - a service I'm not sure they even offer at the registered stores selling iMacs in South Africa. Because it's something that can be important to many considering an iMac, it's something they'd inevitably have to go out and get afterwards - now they need to go do their own research all over again anyway, because a particular article facilitated an uninformed purchase.
And why is Thunderbolt a 'major loss of functionality'? What is it good for? What devices run on it? Is it something readers won't ever be able to get for their desktop PCs? What's an "Intel Ivy Bridge Chip"? In what context was the statement made?
As far as apples to apples comparisons go, the monitor choice in the 21.5" case was also terrible.
This is not news. This isn't even an informative article.
For the second article, stating as a weakness for the iPad 2
Will mean nothing to a hell of a lot of people that might read the article. What is a "full x86-based software"?Can’t run full x86-based software
He doesn't take the time to point out that unlike the laptop and netbook, which both run Windows, the iPad2 is limited to its own App Market. He also, seemingly, completely neglects to take into account that there are tablets that do not run iOS nor Android, that have 'normal' processors in them and can thus run Windows, that slot into the R4k price point he had prescribed for the article.
This is evidenced by
There is nothing to a Windows running tablet that makes it any less functional than a netbook, besides the exclusion of a built in keyboard and trackpad, the former which one can get as an accessory, should you need it, while the latter can be replaced by the tablet's touch-screen functionality or can be supplemented, again, by a mouse.Consumers who want a portable device in order to consumer media on the go should consider a tablet PC. While tablets are not as powerful in the traditional desktop PC sense when compared to the laptop and netbook, they offer versatility of their own in the form of mobile operating system apps. They are great for consuming content, and are even more portable than netbooks while staying in the same screen-size and resolution class.
What features? Who would those features matter to? How would it affect their use of the device?Notably there is no optical drive, and it comes with Windows 7 Starter, which has less features than Home Basic found on the Samsung RV511 laptop.