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.


Google Building In Iowa

I flipped on the TV when I woke up yesterday to watch the news on KCCI like I always do. I caught the very end of a piece about Google building two facilities in Iowa. I didn’t believe my ears at first, I just assumed they were looking at Iowa as an option for building.

I got into work and went to the KCCI website. Sure enough, right on the front page was a story titled “Some Not Surprised By Google’s Move”. It was the top story of the day at the time. Here’s some of the article from the KCCI website:

DES MOINES, Iowa — It has been a well-kept secret until Tuesday.

Google Inc. is setting up shop in Iowa. The question is why.

The state’s reputation as a great place to live and work could have played a big role.

” I would like to begin with these four words: Google welcome to Iowa,” said Gov. Chet Culver in a news conference Tuesday in Council Bluffs.

The economic impact is predicted to be huge.

Google will invest $600 million in two new facilities, including a data center that is under construction in Council Bluffs.

The 1,100-acre site will house a data farm. The 200 news jobs are forecast to add up to $10 million a year to the state’s economy.

Google has a page dedicated to the Council Bluffs data center and there’s also a nice FAQ.

Google is currently taking applications for employees in the Council Bluffs data center. Needless to say, my resume will be on its way to them shortly, this position really caught my eye. Too bad I don’t have a degree of any sort, I’ll probably be overlooked for that reason alone.


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.


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]