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Review: TP-LINK Archer T4U AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter

The following is a review of the TP-LINK Archer T4U AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter, which I received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Quite the big boy

On a Windows 8.1 machine, the TP-LINK Archer T4U AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter does what it says. Speed tests and usage suggest that it's on par with a wired connection, and I had no issues playing online with it.

However, there are two things about this that knocked a star off my rating.

First, this thing is big. I'm not sure why it has to be so large, in thickness or length. However, if a smaller size would have meant that it would have felt flimsy (it feels solid) then I suppose it's better to be how it is, especially for portable purposes. The included USB cable means you don't need to have this sticking straight out of your computer, but it's still larger than it seems it would need to be (based upon similar products).

The second issue I have is that the install disk is required for Windows support. I can't remember the last time I had to actually use an install disk for drivers for a USB device. It would be great if these could eventually be discoverable by Windows in the future.

On the bright side, while the instructions tell you to install the drivers and management software, only the drivers are required, which should be more than sufficient to connect to a wireless access point.

Ultimately the TP-LINK Archer T4U AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter gets a 4 of 5 stars from me, with the single missing star due mostly to the size of the product.

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(All original content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.)

Review: Perfect Fitness Pushup Stands

The following is a review of Perfect Fitness Pushup Stands, received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Makes pushups easy

I don't find pushups all that difficult, outside of the fact that I just don't know what to do with my hands.

Since my apartment is carpeted, putting my hands into fists results in carpet marks on my ends, and some irritation. As a developer, who works on a computer most of the day, stretching my fingers out causes me some concern as I'm wary of wrist issues.

So I've eyed something like this product, the Perfect Fitness Pushup Stands, for some time. However, reviews tend to be relatively poor for most products, which just doesn't make sense, since how difficult could it be to make such a product?

That resulted in me using some heavy 15# weights as makeshift stands. But being metal barbells, this resulted in my hands feeling soar after just a short amount of time.

When I saw the Perfect Fitness Pushup Stands as a possible item to try, I decided to give them a go. They certainly seemed like they would be workable. Having now used them for a little over two weeks, I'm impressed. In fact, I'm (not surprisingly) able to do many more pushups than I could before, using my rather lackluster alternatives.

The handles are comfortable (the size took a little bit to get used to), and with a wide base they feel very secure on my carpeted floors.

There certainly isn't much to them, but the Perfect Fitness Pushup Stands do exactly what you'd hope, and therefore get a full 5 stars from me. If you've constrained your pushups to the methods I've mentioned above, give these a try, and you might be as impressed as I.

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(All original content on this site is licensed under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.)

Enabling ADB on a Lenovo A7600-F TAB A10

As of this post, Lenovo does not have an ADB Interface Driver for their Lenovo A7600-F TAB A10. However, since I'd like to develop on it, I had to find a solution.

An initial forum post pointed me to the older ADB Interface Driver for their ThinkPad Tablet. However, trying to update the android_winusb.inf with the necessary information was throwing a signature error when I tried to install it on Windows 8.1.

Luckily StackOverflow had an answer to the question "Google Android USB Driver and ADB" that stepped through how to make this work.

The specific steps I followed for the Lenovo A7600-F TAB A10 were:

  1. Downloaded the ThinkPad Tablet ADB Interface Driver.
  2. Extract the contents of the zip to a new directory.
  3. Update the android_winusb.inf file with the code below, which is also available as a Gist. This was added above the ;NVIDIA Tegra line.
  4. This may not be necessary, but I also updated the file at C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\sdk\extras\google\usb_driver\android_winusb.inf with the same code. I added it above the ;Project Tango (generic) line.
  5. Run cmd and then use shutdown -o -r -t 0 to reboot. I unfortunately didn't keep track of the exact steps, but it's close to what the SO answer had, so something like "Click ‘Troubleshoot’. Click ‘Advanced Options’ Click ‘Windows Startup Settings’ Click Restart."
  6. When you have the option, "Disable driver signature enforcement," which I believe was option 7 in the menu.
  7. Once you've logged back into your machine you should be able to go into Device Manager, find the Lenovo tablet, and choose to update the device drivers. Point to the extracted zip directory. You might get a security warning, but you'll be able to install it.
  8. Run cmd and navigate over to where adb is installed. In my particular case I'm using Android Studio, and upgraded to 0.8.14, so mine is in C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\sdk\platform-tools.
  9. Restart ADB and then check the devices. This is done by running adb kill-server and adb start-server to restart ADB, and then adb devices to get a device listing.
  10. I found that I had to unplug the USB cable from my computer first. You'll also have to accept the connection from the tablet.
  11. Checking Device Manager should display "Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet ADB Interface" under Android Phone, and "A7600-F" under Portable Devices. You should also be able to run Android applications on the Lenovo A7600-F.

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