What is the best gadget you have ever bought?

K3NS31

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Hi, any suggestions on which Harmony model to get?
I've only ever used the entry-level ones - 600 and 650 I think They're IR only, allow you to do macros and so-on. Has a monochrome LCD screen. (backlit).

The Harmony One (or whatever the current top-of-the-range model is now) has a colour screen, bluetooth etc. but was way overkill for my needs. And way expensive. Still not sure if there's a use for it.
 

PhireSide

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Another honourable mention for me would be my Intel NUC that I use as a Netflix device connected to a dumb TV.

Currently it does the following:

  • Local backups run to it of important documents and files
  • It has Steam installed so I can game from my couch streamed across my network
  • Has a MicroSD card slot so I can offload my GoPro footage with relative ease
  • Has a VM running on it with Pi-Hole, a Dynamic DNS updater, My Unifi Controller software and OpenVPN
  • Has a small footprint and a 28W TDP so it's quiet and uses very little power
 

K3NS31

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Another honourable mention for me would be my Intel NUC that I use as a Netflix device connected to a dumb TV.

Currently it does the following:

  • Local backups run to it of important documents and files
  • It has Steam installed so I can game from my couch streamed across my network
  • Has a MicroSD card slot so I can offload my GoPro footage with relative ease
  • Has a VM running on it with Pi-Hole, a Dynamic DNS updater, My Unifi Controller software and OpenVPN
  • Has a small footprint and a 28W TDP so it's quiet and uses very little power
What OS is it running? We have some NUC's at work running web-based dashboards on windoze. They're endlessly problematic. To the point that I've given up on buying one for home (not that I need it now that the Pi 4 is out, I guess).
 

PhireSide

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What OS is it running? We have some NUC's at work running web-based dashboards on windoze. They're endlessly problematic. To the point that I've given up on buying one for home (not that I need it now that the Pi 4 is out, I guess).
Windows 10 Pro as the Host OS, with Sledgehammer to gain more control over the Windows updates. The uptime so far is around 60 days, and the last time I had to restart it was when I added another 4GB of RAM to it.

I use Hyper-V as the hypervisor with an Ubuntu Server install that has 15GB of storage and 1GB RAM allocated to it. Currently it uses about 50 - 55% of the RAM so I could drop it down a little if I wanted to. The VM is setup to backup to a separate drive daily at 3AM using Cobian Backup and I make use of snapshots as well. The VM is also set to automatically start up in case of a power failure, as is the NUC itself.

What issues are you having with them if I may ask?
 

Urist

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Really enjoying the oculus rift vr I bought from @Deadmanza
Got it for google earth, but using it to rip gladiator's limbs off in Gorn and beating them into submission with it.
 
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K3NS31

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Windows 10 Pro as the Host OS, with Sledgehammer to gain more control over the Windows updates. The uptime so far is around 60 days, and the last time I had to restart it was when I added another 4GB of RAM to it.

I use Hyper-V as the hypervisor with an Ubuntu Server install that has 15GB of storage and 1GB RAM allocated to it. Currently it uses about 50 - 55% of the RAM so I could drop it down a little if I wanted to. The VM is setup to backup to a separate drive daily at 3AM using Cobian Backup and I make use of snapshots as well. The VM is also set to automatically start up in case of a power failure, as is the NUC itself.

What issues are you having with them if I may ask?
Not me specifically, but I know the support guys have been complaining about crashes and freezes. I mean, a device that does nothing but display a live view of a website should not be hanging.

Why run an Ubuntu server vm instead of just native Ubuntu? Just curious.
 

PhireSide

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Not me specifically, but I know the support guys have been complaining about crashes and freezes. I mean, a device that does nothing but display a live view of a website should not be hanging.

Why run an Ubuntu server vm instead of just native Ubuntu? Just curious.
I suppose you have no control over what goes on behind the scenes, but that sounds like a good use of something like a Raspberry Pi or something more suited to just displaying a webpage. Sorry to hear that they are having issues with them. The few people that I know with NUCs are very happy with them, and I also bought one for my SO's parents to replace their old PC with.

I had difficulty in getting Netflix to work properly on the NUC. Strange issues like tearing when watching fullscreen, graphical corruption when exiting from fullscreen and other smaller niggles. The idea was to containerise the services in the background, but when I couldn't figure out how to get Netflix to work properly I gave up and went back to what I know well.

The VM also allows me to do tweaking in the background while the SO watches her series so I don't impact on her too much. If I need to SSH into it to bounce it or do updates then it's transparent to her as opposed to me wrestling the keyboard and mouse from her when she is halfway through a binge-watch session:p
 

Barbarian Conan

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WHAT?! Such a thing exists?! Link, pic, video. quick please!

That is the one we have, although it is not exactly as easy as in the video.

My experience is more like in this video:

Bar a couple of squashed ones if I shake too hard.
 

K3NS31

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That is the one we have, although it is not exactly as easy as in the video.

My experience is more like in this video:


Bar a couple of squashed ones if I shake too hard.
That's awesome. Where'd you buy it? (Checked TaL but they don't have it)
 

K3NS31

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I suppose you have no control over what goes on behind the scenes, but that sounds like a good use of something like a Raspberry Pi or something more suited to just displaying a webpage. Sorry to hear that they are having issues with them. The few people that I know with NUCs are very happy with them, and I also bought one for my SO's parents to replace their old PC with.

I had difficulty in getting Netflix to work properly on the NUC. Strange issues like tearing when watching fullscreen, graphical corruption when exiting from fullscreen and other smaller niggles. The idea was to containerise the services in the background, but when I couldn't figure out how to get Netflix to work properly I gave up and went back to what I know well.

The VM also allows me to do tweaking in the background while the SO watches her series so I don't impact on her too much. If I need to SSH into it to bounce it or do updates then it's transparent to her as opposed to me wrestling the keyboard and mouse from her when she is halfway through a binge-watch session:p
Oh ya, I get why you have the VM, just didn't understand why you'd bother running Windows 10 only to let Ubuntu do the heavy lifting. Netflix - makes perfect sense now.

To answer your other point - had I been in charge of work equipment I would definitely have used a Pi instead of a Nuc for our dashboards. Still surprised at the number of times the one above my head needs a hard reboot though. It really doesn't get used for anything else.
Anyway, good to hear some people can get them to run stable. I'll bear that in mind in case I ever need more power than a Pi for anything.
 

Polly101

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That's awesome. Where'd you buy it? (Checked TaL but they don't have it)
looks just like a sealed jug? Is it a special material? rubberized? am thinking my nutribullet cup is a similar share, just put the lid on it
 

PhireSide

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Oh ya, I get why you have the VM, just didn't understand why you'd bother running Windows 10 only to let Ubuntu do the heavy lifting. Netflix - makes perfect sense now.

To answer your other point - had I been in charge of work equipment I would definitely have used a Pi instead of a Nuc for our dashboards. Still surprised at the number of times the one above my head needs a hard reboot though. It really doesn't get used for anything else.
Anyway, good to hear some people can get them to run stable. I'll bear that in mind in case I ever need more power than a Pi for anything.
The screen tearing issue seems commonplace with Intel drivers on Ubuntu, but I could never get it to work properly - not on Firefox nor on Opera nor Chromium. Some workarounds have been posted, but none that worked for me. Plus then there was the fact of a possible angry girlfriend so I chose the route which allowed happiness in the home :)

I hope your support guys mange to get to the bottom of the issue. It may be worth it getting the hardware vendor involved after doing the usual BIOS updates and driver updates. They are really awesome little machines, much the same as the Lenovo Tiny's. I actually sold my Pi to fund the NUC, as it has the benefit of having x32 arch so I'm able to run Windows and other distros on it should I require, and not be limited to ARM-compatible distros as with the rpi.
 

Barbarian Conan

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looks just like a sealed jug? Is it a special material? rubberized? am thinking my nutribullet cup is a similar share, just put the lid on it
Plastic with little knobby protrusions inside. My guess is that the trick is in the water. You can probably get the same effect with a nutribullet cup.
 

Stokstert

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Plastic with little knobby protrusions inside. My guess is that the trick is in the water. You can probably get the same effect with a nutribullet cup.
With a bit of practice you will get the same results with an empty glass or plastic bottle, I use a jam - or peanut butter
bottle. The right amount of water and the strength of shaking is more important than the vessel used.
In a transparent vessel you can clearly see your effect, shake with a bit more vigor or longer to get the required result.
 
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