Reviews

Fonus Mobile Review

My experiences with Fonus began at the end of last year, on November 21st when I heard about a disruptive mobile provider that wanted to provide global, unlimited service for a low fixed fee (presently listed at $30USD/Month). I need to disclose that I was part of an initial promotion where the first 500 people to purchase a SIM card on the…

Can you believe power banks mAh ratings?

A guest post collaboration by my friend, Daniel Haworth. Terms Milliamp hours (mAh) and Amp hours (Ah) You’ll see many battery packs (like this Blitzwolf one) listed at 10,000 milliamp hours. What does this number mean? It means that this battery is capable of providing one amp for ten hours (10 amp hours) or can also be written as 10,000 milliamp hours.…

Want to buy your Halloween candy online? (USA)

It’s getting closer to the yearly celebration of small, inexpensive sugary treats given to absolute strangers. If you’ve put off buying candy and don’t want to go to the local department store to trudge through the now mostly-empty shelves you still have time to order your candy online. Both Amazon and Walmart are selling their candies online at prices on par or better…

Buying Coffee Online (in Canada)

It almost feels like a requirement for being a software engineer, a love affair with “the finest organic suspension ever devised.” (Bonus points if anyone recognizes that quote without asking Google.) Coffee, or at least good coffee, isn’t easy to come by here and necessitates me driving at least 45 minutes into the city (both ways) to fetch anything beyond Folgers, Maxwell House or…

Custom Build vs Alienware Aurora Gaming Desktop (Canadian version)

Model from February, 2013.
Alienware desktop model from February, 2013.

It’s been my experience over the years of building computers that in many cases you can build better or cheaper computers from scratch than you would be able to get pre-assembled from major manufactures. For me, there was also great value in getting to have the experience of assembling a PC yourself and having a sense of the “I built that” pride. Despite holding this belief I never set out to actually prove it, until now.

On the right you’ll see the Alienware Aurora Gaming Desktop with the default settings as it retails in Canada for $1,499 for the low-end model all the way to $2,999 for the ALX high-end model (see the end for a detailed comparison of all specs). The goal will be to use NCIX to build a machine with the same specs (or as close as is possible) and compare the custom build based on price.

I’m using NCIX because of their liberal price-matching policy and because they offer a PC assembly option that will let you choose the components you want and have them build it, adding a 1 year warranty to the final machine in the process. This will let us compare the result directly with Dell/Alienware for the fully built machine.