Brother HL-5350DNLT network capable mono laser printer review

Top quality network capable printer

With impressive all-round performance, the new HL-5350DNLT printer is a very capable mono laser.  With Ethernet network connectivity built-in and 500 sheet paper capacity this printer is ideal for use in large workgroups.  It can use secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption which can be useful in strict corporate environments.  It also lends itself to small home office networks too with low price and cheap replacement cartridges.  Expect around 8000 pages from a high yield cartridge.  Automatic duplex printing allows printing on both sides of the paper, so it reduces costs (and helps save the planet!).

With a 3 years on site warranty, this cheap laser printer is really good value.  Buy now before stocks drop!

Price when reviewed £319.  Latest deals and pricing at the bottom of the page.

Product Features

Media Feeder(s):2 x autoload – 250 sheets weight: 60 g/m2 – 105 g/m2 1 x autoload – 50 sheets weight: 60 g/m2 – 161 g/m2, Total Media Capacity:550 sheets, Max Media Size (Custom):216 mm x 406.4 mm, Output Trays Capacity:150 sheets, Media Sizes:ANSI A (Letter) (216 x 279 mm), Executive (184 x 267 mm), A4 (210 x 297 mm), A5 (148 x 210 mm), B5 (176 x 250 mm), A6 (105 x 148 mm), B6 (125 x 176 mm), Min Media Size (Custom):70 mm x 116 mm, Media Weight:60 g/m2 – 161 g/m2, Max Media Capacity:800 sheets, Media Type:Envelopes, transparencies, labels, plain paper, bond paper, recycled paper, Compatible with Windows 7:”Compatible with Windows 7″ software and devices carry Microsofts assurance that these products have passed tests for compatibility and reliability with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7., Consumables Included:1 x toner cartridge ( black ) – up to 3000 pages 1 x drum – up to 25000 pages, Connectivity Technology:Wired, Data Link Protocol:Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Network / Transport Protocol:TCP/IP, Remote Management Protocol:SNMP, Telnet, HTTP, HTTPS, Networking:Print server, Power Consumption Operational:610 Watt, Power Device:Power supply – internal, Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep:80 Watt, Max Resolution ( B&W ):1200 dpi x 1

Sound Emission (Operating):53 dBA, Sound Emission (Quiet Mode):27 dBA, ENERGY STAR Qualified:Yes, Expansion Slots Total (Free):1 ( 1 ) x memory – DIMM 144-pin, Connections:1 x Hi-Speed USB – 4 PIN USB Type B 1 x parallel – IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP) – 25 pin D-Sub (DB-25) 1 x network – Ethernet 10/100 – RJ-45, Weight:12.2 kg, Printer Type:Workgroup printer – laser – monochrome, Height:34.7 cm, Depth:38.4 cm, Width:37.1 cm,

Service & Support:3 years warranty, Service & Support Details:Limited warranty – 3 years – on-site – response time: 48 hours

 


QNAP TS-453A-4G 4 Bay NAS Enclosure with 4GB RAM Review

qnap ts453 453a review comparison

 

I have been in the market for a new NAS drive to replace the Synology NAS that has propped up my company’s data storage requirements for the last few years. As with many companies, we have outgrown our backup storage and so we opted to go for something pretty future-proof. Well, for the next five years anyway…

What I particularly like about the QNAP system is that it oozes functionality. Nothing elaborate in terms of style or base technology, but there are a raft of free apps to do just about anything you need to. This means that it makes good sense when you need to install for small, medium or large businesses as there is some scalability there. You can run Virtual Machines (VMs) on there so it becomes far more than just a dumb NAS box. It also integrates nicely with a Windows Server environment, taking identities from the Active Directory and bringing them over into its own environment.

Build quality

The box itself is quite well made and fairly compact. We went with a 4-bay unit that we popped some 4TB drives into and got our overall storage capacity up to 8TB (more on that later).

Features and concept

The TS-453A 4G NAS server is said to be designed for small to medium sized businesses, allowing its users to use the NAS as a storage device and a multitasking and multifunctional light-weight server. It is powered by a decent Quad-core Intel® Celeron® N3150 CPU and there is dual-channel 4/8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM (upgradable to 8GB).

There are 2 Gigabit LAN ports which allow connection to 2 separate networks and the hard drives are SATA 6Gb/s. The TS-453A can deliver up to 224 MB/s read speeds which is not too shabby.

Unusually the TS-453A can automatically increase the processor’s clock rate from 1.6GHz to 2.08GHz when performing CPU-intensive tasks.

There is AES 256-bit encryption for both full NAS volume and shared folders,  which ensures the safety of sensitive business data that may be stored on the drives.  A nice touch is that the TS-453A features an Intel® AES-NI hardware-accelerated encryption engine. This helps to drive transfer speeds theoretically up to 224 MB/s, which is a welcome boost to system performance & security.

Home video streaming users will like the 4K (H.264) video playback and 1080P/4K video real-time transcoding right from the NAS to an HD or 4K display. It also has 1080p video transcoding to convert videos to universal formats that can be smoothly played on PCs, mobile devices and Smart TVs. There is real-time and offline 4K video transcoding which we didn’t have chance to test but sounds good.

Interface

This QNAP box uses QTS, which gives a super-slick NAS experience. The interface is a no-frills, classic Linux look – functional and fast. We found that the intelligent desktop allows you to search for functions extremely quickly (there are lots of them!) and running multiple application windows was not a problem, even when we loaded multiple apps and tasks at the same time.

Disaster recovery

The TS-453A runs something called Real-Time Remote Replication (RTRR). In short, this supports real time and scheduled data backups to either an FTP server or another QNAP NAS. It also synchronizes files to a remote folder from a local folder. What we liked was the rsync support which pushed our data to our remote server at our pre-programmed schedule. If you are interested in this, the push/pull supports Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, ElephantDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage and a few more.

A nice feature is that you can restore files with the ‘QTS Storage Manager’ snapshot tool. You can:

  • take snapshots for both volumes and LUN (up to 256 snapshots per volume or LUN and maximum 1024 snapshots per NAS)
  • efficiently replicate volume/LUN snapshots via Snapshot Replica to remote servers (by copying only the changes made)
  • quickly clone a volume /LUN snapshot as a local volume without interrupting the system’s current operation
  • set up the system to automatically take a snapshot of the volume before backup via ssync/RTRR (even when the file is opened).

Server virtualization

synology qnap ts453 453a reviewYou can host virtual machines on your TS-453A via QNAP’s VM hypervisor called ‘Virtualization Station’. Access to these is provided by VNC or a web browser interface. The TS-453 and the VMs can share the same LAN port as it uses high-speed virtual switches and Software-defined networks (SDNs). We noticed little or no lag in our testing which was impressive.

QNAP’s ‘Container Station’ integrates LXC and Docker virtualization technologies, allowing you to operate multiple isolated Linux systems. For the Docker fans out there, you can also download apps from the built-in Docker Hub Registry.

File searching

QNAP’s file searching is impressive and when we loaded up a Gmail backup with over 15,000 emails it searched very quickly to locate our email, offering a preview of it. There’s also an online document app which adds edit and preview functionality to files.

Cross-platform file sharing

The TS-453 supports SMB/CIFS, NFS, and AFP protocols which means that you can file share across Windows, Mac and Linux/UNIX networks. Data, logs and ISO images of CDs and DVDs can be centrally stored on the TS-453A and protected by an integrated antivirus solution. The Windows Active Directory and LDAP services enable system administrators to configure user permissions by using an existing Windows AD server, LDAP server or built-in LDAP service. The TS-453A supports SAMBA v4 and can act as a Windows domain controller to manage privilege settings.

Hard drives

We went with the 4TB Western Digital ‘Red’ drives that are specifically designed for continuous use and general NAS usage. They are pretty much silent when spinning and come with the WD 3 year guarantee (register for this when you get the drives). We setup a raid array that gave us some redundancy but you could go all-out and combine all the drives into one big fat storage pool. Your call, but make sure that you have backup whichever way you go.  Pushing to Amazon S3 is a good call.

Verdict

All in all, this unit excels at being a NAS drive and adds superb additional functionality into the mix. It’s versatile and cross platform and doesn’t require additional software or licences to perform. The simple, clear interface makes some normally heavy technical tasks quite painless. It gives the current offerings from NAS mainstays such as Synology a real wake-up call to add some useful features to their operating systems because many SMBs need these additional tools now.

We’d suggest that you give it a try and we’re pretty confident that you’ll be a convert.

5 star rating

5 out of 5 stars – reviewed 23rd November 2017

 

View QNAP TS453 at the best price on Amazon USA

Kaspersky Internet Security licence renewal instructions

These are the instructions to follow when renewing the licence on Kaspersky Internet Security. I’ll presume that you have a new licence key to hand from a recent version and that the product is the same (eg not Kaspersky Pure etc). If you don’t have a new licence yet, you’ll find them for sale at discounted prices here [Hint: search for ‘kaspersky internet security 3 user’ or however many computers you need to protect]

You can buy the new licence in advance of your current product expiring, but you don’t need to wait until the existing licence has expired to install it any more. Kaspersky now seems to add on the remaining days from your current licence to your new licence, providing the product is the same.

First, open Kaspersky. The quickest way is to double click the icon in your system tray (bottom right of your desktop screen). If you can’t see it there, use the little arrow on the left to expand the icons and find it. It’s a red letter K like this one below:

 

kaspersky-internet-security-1

 

 

Now, look in the bottom right of the Kaspersky window and click on ‘License: xx days remaining’ (where xx is your actual days remaining).

 

kaspersky-internet-security-2

 

 

Now click on the ‘Enter activation code’ button.

 

 

kaspersky-internet-security-3

 

 

Finally, type in your activation code, or copy and paste it if you received it by email. Be careful to get EXACTLY the right code as some letters do look similar! You can copy and paste the whole of the new licence key into the first entry field, it will separate them for you.

 

 

kaspersky-internet-security-4

 

 

Press the ‘Save activation code’ button and you’re done. Give the PC a restart, open Kaspersky again and you should be able to see your licence has the correct amount of days remaining.

I sell full versions in my shop here at discounted prices that are often much cheaper than renewal. Grab the code from those and you won’t need to install anything, just follow the method above.

 


Avgidseh.sys error when starting Windows

avgidsehSince I wrote the original avgidseh.sys fix article, there have been lots of other affected PCs that have passed through our workshop. This is not a rogue update fault now as it was back in late 2010, rather an issue that is, as yet, untrackable to a single problem. AVG are getting the blame for many bad startup errors as the users only see the last driver to load which is often AVGIDSEH.SYS. I have, however, noted that applying an AVG-specific fix works in many cases.

To resolve issues that are AVG related, follow the steps below.

Boot your PC with a boot CD. I recommend UBCD4WIN which is an excellent tool to have in your armoury for PC repair. Download the program and install onto your computer. Build an image from your Windows XP CD (required). If you don’t have a Windows XP disc then you can download the AVG boot disc from here. Please make reference to my original avgidseh.sys fix article for creation and method. Use my updated folder renaming fix listed below in both cases.

What we shall be doing is renaming the AVG folders so they are not loaded on startup. For UBCD4Win, start the computer with the disc inserted and boot from it. This may involve changing the boot order that your PC or laptop uses. Once we have a new ‘environment’ – that is the computer is running from the CD – then we can start a file explorer such as A43, Agent Ransack, Xplorer2 or Free Commander. This will give us access to the files on the hard drive. Folders to rename are as follows:

Windows XP and 2000 (Note: AVG2011 does not run on Windows 2000 so forget a reinstall afterwards!)

  1. C:\Program Files\AVG  –  This is also named C:\Program files(x86)\AVG  when you have a 64bit operating system
  2. C:\Documents and settings\All users\Application data\AVG8
  3. C:\Documents and settings\All users\Application data\AVG9
  4. C:\Documents and settings\All users\Application data\AVG10

Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10

  1. C:\Program Files\AVG  –  This is also named C:\Program files(x86)\AVG  when you have a 64bit operating system
  2. C:\ProgramData\AVG8
  3. C:\ProgramData\AVG9
  4. C:\ProgramData\AVG10
  5. C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\AVG8
  6. C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\AVG9
  7. C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\AVG10

Example:

rename C:\Program Files\AVG to C:\Program Files\OLDAVG

Once renamed, they will no longer load on startup.

 


Avgidseh.sys is not the only possible cause…

Now I like to run a CHKDSK while still in this ‘running from cd’ environment as it fixes any errors on the hard drive. These are often caused by the PC being shut down while writing to the drive and can also be the main reason the computer failed to start, don’t always blame AVG because the avgidseh.sys driver was the last thing to load! In UBCD4Win we would run Disk Check which does a full scan and repair of the sectors on the hard drive. Just fire it up, tell it your target drive (usually c:) and let it run. Have a cuppa as this takes a while.

The professional method

If you want to do a complete scan and repair of your disk using a professional repair tool that we use in our workshop and lab, you should investigate HDD Regenerator. We have carried out a full review of HDD Regenerator here. It has fixed the majority of the faulty drives we see that cause constant ‘looping’ of the Windows boot procedure and it’s in daily use in our workshop. It’s not too expensive and is a better solution than the free methods we list above for many people as it is much easier to use. It also blows CHKDSK into the weeds for being able to recover data and salvage your hard drive. Where CHKDSK marks the sector as bad, HDDRegenerator actually recovers the data from it and moves it to a new, good sector. As mentioned, this tool isn’t free (it does give you a free trial) but you can buy it once and fix as many drives as you want with it. It also creates a simple to use bootable USB drive or CD/DVD disk for you. Any self-respecting PC geek or computer repair shop shouldn’t be without it in the toolkit.

Check out HDDRegen here

As mentioned in other articles, despite AVG being a capable free antivirus, I heartily recommend the brilliant Kaspersky Pure as a set and forget internet security solution. Here is my method to get the cheapest Kaspersky Pure and be fully protected against viruses and malware.

Finally, let me know by commenting below if this avgidseh.sys fix works for you and please leave any other information you can share with the community.


What is a shebang in Linux?

shebang script explained

Known as a a shebang or a bang line, this is just the characters at the very start of a Linux script. It is simply a hash or number sign followed by an exclamation point character (#!). This is then followed by the full path to the interpreter, for example /bin/bash

Think of it as a necessary code mark that tells the system the absolute path to the Bash interpreter and you’ll not have a problem.

More info on how to use and execute Linux scripts here


Four ways to execute a shell script

shebang script explainedIf you need to execute a shell script and can’t get your head around the conflicting information out there, I’ll try to clear things up. There are quite a few ways to execute a shell script and each has its pros and cons. If you are coming from a Windows environment where the file extension dictates how we handle the file, then try not to think like this. A script can have no extension but still be run. So, let’s take a look at our four ways to execute a shell script.

 

Execute shell script by calling the filename (Method 1)

This method simply changes into the script’s containing directory and calls the script’s file name to execute it.

We can change into the directory first
[crayon-5c8ffe7c593ec701918161/]
 

and then call the script thus:
[crayon-5c8ffe7c593f4119834412/]
 

Now, my preferred method is to consolidate these 2 lines into 1 , calling it from any directory by simply adding the full path to the file:
[crayon-5c8ffe7c593f6109422242/]
 

If you have the shebang at the start of this script, then it will be executed by using the command interpreter that is specified directly after it.

Execute shell script by specifying an interpreter (Method 2)

You can also run a shell script by specifying the interpreter. You do this by adding the preferred interpreter within the command thus:

Execute the script using the bash interpreter
[crayon-5c8ffe7c593f8788142520/]
 

Execute the script using the sh interpreter
[crayon-5c8ffe7c593fa050196909/]
 

There are usually several interpreters available such as bash, sh,  csh, ksh and more.  Note that if you use a different interpreter in the shebang, this will be overridden by the one you specify.

Execute shell script with . ./ (Method 3)

If you execute the shell script by using . ./ (aka ‘dot space dot slash’), it will not fork a sub shell and you’ll see it executed in the current shell.
[crayon-5c8ffe7c593fc679534373/]
 

Why do this? Well it’s normally used after we have changed something in the .bashrc or .bash_profile. Using this method of execution we won’t need to logout and login again.
[crayon-5c8ffe7c593fd869608633/]

Execute shell script with source command (Method 4)

source is a bash shell built-in command that executes the contents of the file, which is passed as argument, in the current shell. It has a synonym that you can use which is the dot or period (.)

This can replace the ‘dot space dot slash’ method.
[crayon-5c8ffe7c593ff525093329/]
 

A word of warning here though because ./ and source are not quite the same.

./myscript runs myscript as an executable file in a new shell
source myscript reads and executes commands in the current shell environment

To help further, ./myscript is not the same as . myscript, but . myscript is exactly the same as source myscript

 

Do you have a preferred method for executing shell scripts and if so, why? Let me know below.


Cannot find unread emails in Gmail inbox

I have had quite a few customers calling over the years to say that they cannot find unread emails in their Gmail inbox. It’s a common complaint and one which I have found can be quickly cured by doing the following.

Logon to Gmail in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari etc).

Go to the search bar at the top of the Google page (the one with the blue and white ‘magnifying glass’ search button that looks like this):

cannot-find-unread-email-inbox-gmail

In that box, type this:

is:unread in:anywhere

Note that there is a space after the word ‘unread’ but not anywhere else. Copy and paste my text above if you aren’t sure.

Now press enter and you should see all of your unread emails! You can click to read individual ones or select them using their check boxes and then do ‘More’, then ‘Mark as read’.

Try some new search terms to get more out of Gmail

If you want to take things further, there are lots of useful search ‘operators’ that you can use within Gmail too. Get used to using these and you’ll open up a whole new level for this great email tool. Here’s a list of the most popular ones:

 

What you can search by Search operator & example
Specify the sender from:

Example: from:amy

Specify a recipient to:

Example: to:david

Words in the subject line Subject:

Example: subject:dinner

Messages that match multiple terms OR or { }

Example: from:amy OR from:david

Example: {from:amy from:david}

Remove messages from your results -

Example: dinner -movie

Find messages with words near each other. Use the number to say how many words apart the words can be AROUND

Example: dinner AROUND 5 friday

Messages that have a certain label label:

Example: label:friends

Messages that have an attachment has:attachment

Example: has:attachment

Messages that have a Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides attachment or link has:drive

has:document

has:spreadsheet

has:presentation

Example: has:drive has:document

Messages that have a YouTube video has:youtube

Example: has:youtube

Messages from a mailing list list:

Example: list:info@example.com

Attachments with a certain name or file type filename:

Example: filename:pdf

Example: filename: homework.txt

Search for an exact word or phrase " "

Example: "dinner and movie tonight"

Group multiple search terms together ( )

Example: subject:(dinner movie)

Messages in any folder, including Spam and Trash in:anywhere

Example: in:anywhere movie

Search for messages that are marked as important is:important

label: important

Example: is:important 

 

Starred, unread, or read messages is:starred

is:unread

is:read

Example: is:read is:starred

Messages that include an icon of a certain color has:yellow-star

has:blue-info

Example: has:purple-star

Recipients in the cc or bcc field cc:

bcc:

Example: cc:david

Note: You can’t find messages that you received on bcc.

Search for messages sent during a certain time period after:

before:

older:

newer:

Example: after:2004/04/16

Example: before:2004/04/18

Search for messages older or newer than a time period using d (day), m (month), and y (year) older_than:

newer_than:

Example: newer_than:2d

Chat messages is:chat

Example: is:chat movie

Messages delivered to a certain email address deliveredto:

Example: deliveredto:username@gmail.com

Messages in a certain category category:

Example: category:updates

Messages larger than a certain size in bytes size:

Example: size:1000000

Messages larger or smaller than a certain size in bytes larger:

smaller:

Example: larger:10M

Results that match a word exactly +

Example: +unicorn

Messages with a certain message-id header Rfc822msgid:

Example: rfc822msgid:200503292@example.com 

Messages that have or don’t have a label has:userlabels

has:nouserlabels

Example: has:nouserlabels 

Note: Labels are only added to a message, and not an entire conversation.

Credit for search operator list:  https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7190?hl=en


Lowest prices on Norton Antivirus renewals

cheap norton security discountBeing asked often about where to find the lowest priced Norton Antivirus renewal made me come up with this article. Symantec offer a renewal by credit card that is often too pricey for most people. With Norton Anti-virus being a capable product, it’s a shame to uninstall it so here are a few tips to get a new and fully licensed program at a much reduced price. And there’s nothing illegal about it!

You don’t have to uninstall your current product, simply buy another package (at much less than the price to renew your licence!) from our software shop which will open in a new window for you. When you open it up, use the serial number you find inside. Type this into your existing product and you’ll get another 12 months of updates (or more if you buy a 2 year package).

Remember to match the amount of user licences you have, eg if you have 3 PCs buy a 3-user licence.

Not got Norton Antivirus? Click here for the cheapest Norton Internet Security renewal or click here for the cheapest Norton 360 renewal

Don’t forget to ‘Tweet’ or Facebook ‘like’ this article if it saved you some cash! or tell your friends about our low-priced software shop


How to unzip files contained in a zip archive

Many people struggle when faced with a zip file and don’t understand what to do with it. I’ll try to explain and look at options for different devices.

Why use zip and what is it?

When you want to download large or small files to your Windows or Mac PC or tablet computer, the standard format is a compressed file such as zip. There are other compressed file formats such as rar, gzip, 7-zip and many others, but they are all effectively a ‘container’ for the files that you ultimately want to download.

how to unzip 7zipWe use zip to reduce the overall file size and make the transfer over the internet much quicker. The files can then be extracted from their container (the zip file) by ‘unzipping’. This is also known as extracting or decompressing. To do this, we use a utility program such as 7Zip.  There is also built-in unzipping in Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8, although it is not as competent as the 7zip program. 7zip is completely free, it’s stable and reliable and it can be installed on any Windows computer. Download it here:

https://www.7-zip.org/  (opens in a new window for you).

Make sure you get the correct version for your computer, there are 2 versions – 32 and 64 bit. If in doubt, get the 32 bit.

Using 7Zip to compress and extract files

Look at this video that explains both in detail:

How do I unpack zipped or compressed files on my Android device?

The Android operating system does not come with an unzipping program but you can download them from Google Play. Look at WinZip, AndroZip File Manager or WinRAR. As usual, note that some applications on Google Play are free but many carry advertising or a hidden price.

To download and install them, visit Play Store from your Android device’s home screen. Check user reviews if you are unsure which to go for.

Personally, I like to unzip the files on my desktop PC and send them to the tablet using a file sharing and syncing utility such as Dropbox (free) or the excellent Livedrive (Free trial). This type of seamless file sharing is such an aid to moving files around devices you own and also backs up these files in ‘the cloud’.

Using WinZip to create a zip archive

WinZip is proprietary software that has an evaluation period. This allows you to use the program for free for a limited time, after which you should purchase a licence.

For Windows 7, Windows 8 or Vista

Tip – hold down Ctrl and left click to select multiple files at once.

  • Open WinZip and select Add files
  • Choose the first file you want to add and click Zip
  • Choose a name and where to save your zip archive then click Create
  • Click Add files to choose another file Zip to add it to the archive
  • Repeat until all of your files have been added

For Windows XP

  • Open WinZip and select New
  • Choose a name and where to save your zip archive then click Ok
  • Choose the first file you want to add and click Add
  • To add more files, click the Add button in WinZip and choose another file

Using 7-Zip to create an archive

7-Zip is free software that allows you to create and view many types of archive formats including zip.

Tip – hold down Ctrl and click to select multiple files at once.

  • Select the files on your computer
  • Right click on the highlighted files and choose 7-Zip then Add to archive
  • Under Archive choose a name for your file and where you want to save it
  • Change the archive format to zip, everything else can be left as the default values
  • Click Ok

 

Hope this helps you to understand and use zip files.