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Apple AirPods wireless headphones - thumbs up!
Wed, Jan 11th 2017 96
2016 Technology Year in Review
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Fri, Dec 16th 2016 3
My impressions of the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 and more
Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 8
My visit to the US Open Tennis 2016
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Apple schedules September 7 event; expected to launch new iPhone 7
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Tap to speak time on Apple watchOS 3.0 beta
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Apple AirPods wireless headphones - thumbs up!
Wed, Jan 11th 2017 96
2016 Technology Year in Review
Sat, Dec 31st 2016 12
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Fri, Feb 21st 2014 10
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Mon, Jun 20th 2016 8
Tap to speak time on Apple watchOS 3.0 beta
Tue, Aug 2nd 2016 8
My impressions of the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 and more
Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 8
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 Summary
Fri, Jul 18th 2014 7
Looking for faster in-home wi-fi performance? Consider the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (R7000)
Tue, Oct 14th 2014 6
4 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10
Wed, Jul 29th 2015 6


Looking for faster in-home wi-fi performance? Consider the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (R7000)
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I'm a work from home employee and my wife, kids and myself have a wealth of wi-fi devices from phones, tablets, PC's, Chromebooks, media players and more.  My wi-fi router is a critical component of my home network and I recently upgraded to the Netgear Nighhawk AC1900 WiFi Router (R7000) with support for 802.11ac.

I've been using a Netgear N600 router since 2010 but it was starting to drop connections which forced me to manually reconnect devices.  In addition, with more 802.11ac compatible devices available, like the iPhone 6, it made sense to upgrade to take advantage of the increased performance.  However, as a cheapskate, I was concerned about the cost.

The advantage of  802.11ac is increased throughput but with slightly less range as it uses the 5GHz band.  802.11ac advertises gigabit speed but a network is only as fast as its weakest link and in my case it's the 50 Mbps Internet connection provided by my local cable company, Charter Communications. I rely on both wi-fi and gigabit Ethernet wiring throughout my home.   More details on my home network can be found here.

Based on low price, $129 after rebate, and prior positive experience with Netgear products, I decided to purchase the Netgear R7000 from Staples online.  While the router is a bit large, it was easy to install and I'm seeing increased throughput of ~20-30% vs my older router.  Range seems to be improved as well as there was one area in particular in my house which had poor connectivity with my old router and has improved dramatically with the new one.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that the new router has improved external antennae and my old router was 4 years old.  

If you're interested in what other gadgets I have in my home, I use Engadget to keep track of them (formerly GDGT)



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Oct 14, 2014
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Recent Blog Posts
96
Apple AirPods wireless headphones - thumbs up!
Wed, Jan 11th 2017 12:26p   Christopher Pepin
I've been using the new Apple AirPods headphones for a week now and I'm a fan. I ordered the Apple AirPods online on December 13, the first day of preorders. The delivery date was January 12 but the AirPods arrived at my home early on January 4. The AirPods fit my ears perfectly like the similar wired Apple EarPods. I've used the AirPods at the gym and in my home office on conference calls and find them comfortable to wear. Sound and microphone quality is a step above the stock Apple EarPods
12
2016 Technology Year in Review
Sat, Dec 31st 2016 9:38p   Christopher Pepin
In no particular order, the following are my top technology hits and misses for 2016. Mobile was hot in 2016 led by the exploding Samsung Note 7. The iPhone 7 offered incremental improvements and Google double-downed on smartphones with their new premium Pixel smartphones. My most used apps include Messages, Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Super Mario Run, YouTube, Netflix and Waze. From a business perspective, my favorite apps of 2016 included IBM Connections, Box
3
Star Wars Rogue 1, Super Mario Run, Man in the High Castle season 2 and Apple AirPods
Fri, Dec 16th 2016 6:16p   Christopher Pepin
This was a big week with four major milestones of interest to me: Super Mario Run app for iPhone and iPad was releasedThe premier of Star Wars Rogue OneSeason 2 of The Man in the High Castle was released on Amazon PrimeApple AirPods wireless headphones were releasedSuper Mario Run is now available for free for iPhone and iPad. The game includes 3 free levels and all the additional levels can be unlocked with a $9.99 in app purchase. I'm not very good at it, but it's a fun game the can be playe
8
My impressions of the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 and more
Wed, Nov 2nd 2016 10:50p   Christopher Pepin
It's been several weeks since I last blogged and I wanted to share my impressions of several new devices I purchased: Apple iPhone 7 Plus (black, 128GB, Verizon) I had been using a 2 year old iPhone 6 that was due for an upgrade. While it took almost 2 months for my iPhone 7 Plus to arrive, it was worth the wait. I like the size, form factor, performance (3GB RAM), battery life, screen, haptic TouchID sensor, dual camera and new portrait mode with iOS 10.1. I'm not missing the headphone jack
4
My visit to the US Open Tennis 2016
Wed, Aug 31st 2016 7:02p   Christopher Pepin
Earlier this week, I attended the US Open tennis tournament in Queens, NY with my son. IBM is a sponsor of the event and I also volunteered at the IBM Cognitive Court, an interactive event showcasing Watson technology. I attended the Monday evening opening ceremonies in Arthur Ashe stadium with its new high-tech retractable roof . Phil Collins performed "In the Air Tonight" and Leslie Odom Jr performed the national anthem to a capacity crowd filled with celebrities. Novak Djokovic, the rein
6
Apple schedules September 7 event; expected to launch new iPhone 7
Mon, Aug 29th 2016 3:30p   Christopher Pepin
Apple sent out invites to members of the press of its September 7 event earlier today. While Apple didn't specify on what would be announced, its widely expected that the new iPhone 7 and iOS 10 are likely to take center stage along with macOS "Sierra" Not attending the event in person? The event can be streamed online at Apple.com the Events app on and Apple TV
8
Tap to speak time on Apple watchOS 3.0 beta
Tue, Aug 2nd 2016 6:23p   Christopher Pepin
Apple watchOS 3.0 beta offers a number of new features including improved app performance (faster app launches), a new app launcher, activity sharing, new Breathe app, new watch faces and Face Gallery, scribble feature feature to reply to text messages. Additional, watchOS offers a new "Tap to speak time" feature for both the Mickey and Minnie Mouse watch faces as shown in the video below Enable this feature by opening the Apple Watch app on an iPhone running iOS 10 beta and enabling "Tap t
8
Apple WWDC 2016 and iOS 10
Mon, Jun 20th 2016 8:28p   Christopher Pepin
Just one month after Google IO, Apple's World Wide Developer (WWDC) conference took place in San Francisco last week. Watch the videos on Apple.com. Key announcements included: iOS 10 includes a redesigned lock screen, Siri SDK, a new an improved Messages app with a new app store, HomeKit app, improved Apple Music and Maps app, the ability to delete several iOS installed apps, Cisco VoIP integration (Enterprise)watchOS 3 includes improved app performance (faster app launches), a new app launc
2
Google IO 2016 and Android N
Tue, May 24th 2016 8:57a   Christopher Pepin
Google hosted its annual developer conference, Google IO last week. Key announcements included: Android N: successor to MarshmallowGoogle Assistant: replaces Google NowGoogle Home: smart speaker system (similarAmazon Echo)Allo: messaging (similar to Apple iMessage)Duo: video chat (similar Apple FaceTime)Daydream: virtual reality (similar Oculus Rift)Android instant apps: use apps without downloading themAndroid Wear 2.0: connect to wi-fi, support for iOSThe following infographic has a great sum
3
Android Nexus 5X smartphone - thumbs up!
Mon, May 23rd 2016 12:30p   Christopher Pepin
I recently purchased a new, Nexus 5X 16GB unlocked smartphone on eBay for $229 (deal of the day). The phone itself is made by LG and uses Google's Android reference architecture including a native Android 6 Marshmallow experience. After using the Nexus 5X for over a month, I'm a fan. The new Imprint fingerprint reader is easier to setup and quicker to use than Apple TouchID. Initially, I didn't like the placement of the fingerprint reader but I quickly got used to it. Using Imprint to unloc




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