New GPS Watch: Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire

I recently upgraded my fitness tracker. I’ve used my Garmin Vivosmart HR for 5+ years. It works fine for tracking heartrate, steps, sleeps etc., but it doesn’t have a GPS and do activity tracking that well. So I ended up ponying up the cash for a Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire GPS watch, and here’s what I think about it so far.

Garmin Fenix 6X Sapphire edition with diamond-like carbon (DLC) finish
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New Network Attached Storage: Synology DiskStation DS220+

Another tech item I purchased this year during Black Friday sales is a network attached storage (NAS). I want to setup a personal cloud where I can back up data over the internet and share photos and music, but don’t want to store my data with an online cloud provider like AWS or Google Cloud. I ended up getting a Synology DS220+, and here are my impressions unboxing and setting up my new NAS.

No fancy packaging for the DS220+
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New WiFi Router: TP-Link Deco X55 Mesh System

I bought a bunch of stuff for myself this Black Friday. One of these is a new wireless router system. I’ve been using a Netgear Wireless N150 router from more grad school days, and I get spotty connections from my bedroom and bathroom in a small 620 sqft apartment, so it’s time to upgrade. I decided to get the TP-Link Deco X55 Mesh WiFi two unit kit, and here are my first impressions.

Deco X55 two unit mesh Wi-Fi kit
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Fixing My Old iPod Color

I still have a 20GB iPod with color screen that my parents bought me for college in the mid 2000s. Recently it stopped working completely and I want to see if I can get it working again. Turns out the old iPod had a bloated battery, and a loose connector port on top of that. Here’s my experience bringing this old gadget back to life.

iPod bad battery
The bloated battery pack explains why the iPod popped open on its own
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Extending the Life of an Old Laptop with Linux

My parents have a number of computers at their place, the oldest of which is an 11-year old Compaq laptop. The laptop still works fine, but it’s not really usable anymore mostly because of software. Yes, all of our smartphones and tablets that we bought within the last 5 years probably has more compute power than this laptop, but the main reason it can’t be used is because it has Windows Vista. Windows Vista is so old that even Chrome or Firefox don’t support it anymore. Running a Windows machines without updated software is a bad idea. My parents still wanted to keep the laptop around just in case, so I turned to Linux to extend the life of this old laptop.

Linux on Old Laptop
Getting into the Linux game with the old Compaq A939CA laptop

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New Monitor: HP Pavilion 32″ Display (4WH45AA)

Black Friday was the biggest shopping day of the year in the US, and this year I bought a few things for myself. One of my purchases was a new 32-inch LCD Monitor to replace the 24-inch one that I currently have at home. My old Dell 24″ monitor still works fine, but I got used to having two 30″ monitors at work so I wanted a larger monitor at home as well. I ended up getting a 32″ unit from HP (model no. 4WH45AA). Here are my first impressions of my big new monitor.

the box
Big box for a big monitor

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New Drone: Tenergy TDR Sky Beetle

Drones have become more and more common over the last 5 years, and I finally got into the game. The drone I got is the Tenergy TDR Sky Beetle. As with a number of my gadgets, I won the Sky Beetle from an online sweepstakes. With a retail price of about $45, the Sky Beetle is a neat little drone that has some tricks up its sleeve. Read on to find out my first impressions of the Sky Beetle.

tenergy sky beetle box
Got a new toy to play with :)

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