TendonUSA Cables

A company called TendonUSA contacted me the other day offering me the opportunity to try out some of their products, all of which are cables of various types. They have a fair number of cable products, from ethernet cables to HDMI cables. The one product I wish they had but don’t (it’s not on their website at least) is retractable ethernet cables. I’m hoping they have some in development for release sometime soon, they’re so cool!

Their CAT6 ethernet cables immediately caught my eye. Their ethernet cables have a feature called EasyConnect, which, if I understand it correctly, replaces the little clip found on traditional RJ-45 plugs with a simple push button. That’s excellent for me, because I have to replace the traditional RJ-45 plugs far too often at work due to broken clips. The EasyConnect feature sounds like it would totally put an end to that little nuisance. No little clips to break on ethernet cables would be dreamy.

The representative from TendonUSA who emailed me compared the quality of their cables to that of Monster Cable and Belkin. Both Monster Cable and Belkin are way overpriced in my opinion, which could have something to do with lack of competition in the high quality cable market. TendonUSA has much more reasonable prices on all their cables, which is great, assuming the quality and performance is there. Hopefully they can bring some competition to the high quality cable market and drive prices down a little. I’m sorry, but $30 for a simple USB printer cable is just madness.

On the TendonUSA about page, they describe why Tendon cables are cheaper and how they can maintain such high quality in their products while selling them for quite a bit cheaper than the competition. Here’s a little piece from their about page:

Why buy TENDON?
Lets make it simple. Tendon connectivity cables are higher quality.
All audio, video and computer cables that fall in the same category (5, 5e, 6, high-speed USB, fire wire, etc) all perform to the same standard. So why are you spending the additional 15% to 25% more on other brands of cable?
What makes Tendon cables better and why should we buy them? The only differences between our cables and theirs are:

From there, they describe the differences between TendonUSA cables and “theirs”. The “theirs” being Monster Cable and Belkin products of course.

I’m hoping to get a few different types of cables from TendonUSA, all of which I will review here. I can’t really compare their performance to that of Monster Cable as I’ve never owned a Monster Cable product. I do have some friends with Monster Cable products for their Hi-Def setups. I plan on purchasing my first Hi-Def television later this month. Perhaps I can talk one of them into loaning me their Monster Cables for some testing. Cuz I sure as hell can’t go out and purchase a $150+ cable for testing purposes. 🙂 As for Belkin, the only product of theirs I’ve really used are their USB 2.0 cables, and their performance was matched by many generic USB 2.0 cables.

I can’t really say much more about TendonUSA and their products until I actually try them out. One thing I can say with 100% certainty though is all their products look very sleek and sexy, all look to be very well designed. Hopefully TendonUSA cables live up to consumers performance expectations. I’d love to see more competition in the high quality cable market, it’d drive prices down and would probably bolster the market as a whole. It’d open the market up to people who won’t pay ~$30 for a simple USB 2.0 cable.

Anyway, I’ll post reviews once I’ve spent a little time with the products. If you’ve ever used any TendonUSA products, I’d love to hear your experiences. From what little exposure I’ve had to TendonUSA, they seem to be a very honest, enthusiastic, no B.S. sort of company. I’m guessing their products will all be top-notch, I just have to wait and see.


OpenDNS Introduces Shortcuts

David Ulevitch, founder and CEO of OpenDNS, sent me an email yesterday letting me know about a new feature from OpenDNS. It’s called Shortcuts and looks really sweet. Shortcuts are very simple, similar to bookmarks in your browser. Here’s how OpenDNS describes shortcuts:

You type something short and easy to remember into your address bar and you leap straight to where you want to go. There’s nothing to install and it works how you want it to, no matter which browser you’re using. Add, remove or change your OpenDNS shortcuts at any time.

Instead of going into any more detail about OpenDNS shortcuts, I’m gonna direct you over to Paul Stamatiou. Paul already has a great post with some screenshots and examples of shortcuts, go check it out.


Some Uptimes

uptimesI like to know how long each of my boxes have been up and running. I really don’t care so much about Windows PC’s, but I really like knowing how long my Linux boxes have been up. Notifications of uptimes are very nice, if a server goes down, I’ll get an email letting me know it’s no longer up and running.

Anyway, for the last year and a half or more I’ve been using The Uptime Project from MrEriksson. I don’t think the project is being developed or even maintained any longer, but it still works very well. All you need to do is get a username and password then download the client for your operating system.

But, I just wanted to point out that one uptime, for router.longren.org. It’s got an uptime of 155 days, almost half a year, by far the best uptime for any box I’ve personally owned. The neat thing about The Uptime Project is that it records reboots and total downtime.


WordPress MU 1.0

WordPress Multi-user 1.0 has been released. WordPress MU is designed for hosting and managing hundreds or thousands of blogs, similar to WordPress.com. Setup of WordPress MU is considerably more difficult than setting up a stand-alone WordPress installation. Here’s some text from the post to the WordPress development blog:

WordPress MU is an official branch of WordPress that is designed for managing and hosting thousands of blogs instead of just one. It’s the software that powers WordPress.com, for example. MU has been in heavy development for about a year now, and we’ve finally polished it up to a place where we feel like it’s ready for public consumption. Since setup is a bit more complex than the 5-minute install of regular WordPress, MU is best suited for a more server-savvy audience. You can download it on the WordPress MU site.

bbPress 0.72 was also released. bbPress is a piece of forum software “with the WordPress touch”.

Head on over to the WordPress Development blog for more info on both of these products.

On a related note, WordPress 2.0.5 is still due out soon. Lorelle has a post in which she goes over a few of the changes we can expect in WordPress 2.0.5. Go check it out.


Songbird 0.2

Get SongbirdI’ve been using Songbird 0.2 all day long. The first thing I noticed was how slow Songbird is at parsing ID3 tags. I’ve only got 1,276 songs in my library and it took 5+ minutes to scan all those mp3 files and figure out the artists/albums.

The volume seems flaky too. I’ll set the volume and go work on something else, and I swear it sounds like the volume is rising and falling slightly as I work with other applications.

I really like the interface, it’s very quick and responsive, and it looks pretty too. I really can’t believe how responsive it is. I sort of expected it to be on par with iTunes, slow as hell.

If you’re going to give Songbird a try, the minimize to tray plugin is a must. Well, it is for me, I hate clutter on my taskbar. Songbird 0.2 has been very stable for me so far, it hasn’t crashed or died unexpectedly once. I will probably end up sticking with Songbird as my main music player, mostly because it’s cross-platform.

[via Download Squad]