Edimax BR-6258nL Wireless Router

Here’s another great little gadget to have in your travel kit, a wireless router the same size as a USB memory stick!

Configure it once with a unique SSID and password, then plug it into the ethernet cable in your hotel room and it creates your own WiFi network for all your devices. It also works as a WiFi repeater so it will retransmit any wifi you are already connected to.

Much smaller, lighter and cheaper than an Apple Airport Express.

£22 from Amazon

Revive Dead SSD

Got a dead SSD? My 256GB boot drive packed up yesterday. I tried reformatting it in Apple’s Disk Utility and in the Terminal, and also tried in Windows 7. All efforts to format failed, and eventually the drive refused to mount.

I got this from Crucial Support: plug the power cable into the drive, but not the data cable, leave it for 30 min, unplug for 30 seconds and repeat. After two power cycles the SSD may come back to life – mine did!

Netgear XAV5501 AV+500 Powerline Adapters

Holy moly!

I’ve been using a pair of Netgear XE104s to extend our network to the living room. They connect using mains electrical power, and have worked fine for a couple of years.

Netgear XAV5501 AV+500

This morning I replaced them with Netgear XAV5501 AV+500 adapters, which claim to work at gigabit speeds. So I ran a small test, sending a 30mb file to the mac mini in the living room using the XE104s: 28 seconds. Same test with XAV5501s installed: 4 seconds!

Brilliant!

Here’s a link to a proper review, and here’s the Amazon UK link if you want to buy.

Barnes & Noble Nook STR

Just picked up a Nook STR at B&N Georgetown DC. I already had a B&N account so it registered straight away in the store. Later, back in the hotel, I tried to buy a book and, not surprisingly, it asked for my cc registered address, adding “it must be an address in the US.”

So I added my UK address, it accepted it, and allowed me to continue and purchase the book, which appeared a moment later on the Nook.

The system may have looked at the IP address and and allowed the purchase because I’m in the States. I’ll try it again when I’m home.

Anyway, this may encourage other non-US residents to buy the Nook STR on their next visit to the States.

iPad 2: Protecting the back

Everybody loves Apple’s Smart Cover for the iPad 2. But it doesn’t protect the back of the iPad at all.

Several companies have released “smart” back covers, such the SwitchEasy CoverBuddy, the Hypershield, the Smart Cover Enhancer and the Simplism Smart Back Cover. However these back covers aren’t cheap and, as far as I know, aren’t available in the UK yet so you have to add on international postage. Bah!

But now there is a huge choice of cheap back covers on Amazon UK. I wanted a clear cover to show off the iPad’s Apple logo, so I chose the LuvMac Clear Solid Gel Back Cover.

LucMac Clear iPad Back Cover

Less than £10 including delivery and it does the job well without adding much bulk or weight to the iPad. Recommended.