The Burton Tech Journal

New Orbi Installation

by on Nov.26, 2018, under Hardware, Wireless Networking - 802.11 WiFi

I did another installation with a slightly different model of Orbi. This time I used an Orbi AC2200 RBR20 Router (available on Amazon – and a Orbi AC3000 RBS50 satellite (also available on Amazon – This configuration also utilized a wired backhaul network but this time the backhaul worked perfectly. It appears the latest firmware may have resolved any issues that were occurring the month prior.

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List of decent office monitors

by on Nov.02, 2018, under Uncategorized

Here’s an ongoing list of decent office monitors to minimize time shopping:

ViewSonic VA2446MH-LED 24 Inch Full HD 1080p LED Monitor with HDMI and VGA Inputs – On Amazon

ViewSonic VX2252MH 22 Inch with HDMI, DVI, and VGA inputs – On Amazon

Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch IPS inputs for HDMI, DVI, and VGA – On Amazon

Also cables to connect the monitors to various outputs:

DisplayPort to HDMI (for Lenovo computers) – On Amazon

or if you already have an HDMI cable, you can use a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter – On Amazon

If you already have a DVI monitor and a DisplayPort output, you’ll need this cable – On Amazon

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Orbi Wireless System

by on Oct.25, 2018, under Hardware, Wireless Networking - 802.11 WiFi

The Orbi system has been featured at numerous retailers from Costco to Amazon, and the expansion units are widely available. Although it would be find for most small business installations, the product is mostly marketed towards the home user. Installation can be done directly on the unit like a traditional wireless router, but Netgear also offers a mobile app to facilitate installation.

I recently installed an Orbi AC3000 RBK50 (available on Amazon – router and satellite as well as an addition two Orbi AC3000 RBS50 satellites (also available on Amazon – The router installed without any issues and it was able to be setup as a pure access point (transparent bridge). All units were wired into a switched network with a single subnet.

The satellites did present some minor issues accepting the backhaul configuration. After trying the latest firmware, as well as some older firmwares, nothing worked. I found that connecting the satellites to the router directly with a cable, then configuring the satellites to use a static IP address and moving the satellite to their final location on the network worked. Using the scan function subsequently results in the backhaul dropping, so I recommend not making any changes once the units are disconnected from the router.

After the Orbi’s were setup, performance was good. This installation site did not allow for radios to penetrate the walls well yet roaming between the various access points worked well. I would consider owning these units myself.

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Non-Subscription Adobe Acobat

by on Aug.03, 2018, under Software

Like more software companies, Adobe is pushing people to subscribe to software as a service, rather than owning the software. Many of my customers are not happy about this model and refuse to participate. Luckily Amazon is still selling the traditional one-time-purchase software for Acrobat 2017. You can buy it on Amazon using the links below:

Acrobat Standard 2017

Acrobat Pro 2017

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Rack Gear

by on Jul.18, 2018, under Hardware, Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Occasionally you find you have to rack standard desktops or other non-rackable gear in a 4 post rack. I’ve found the StarTech Server Rack Shelf (sold on Amazon has great build quality and I would buy it again.

Racking an APC UPS on a two-post rack can be an expensive prospect. I’m found this solution on Amazon to be one of the more economical.

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Old SAS Drives

by on Jul.10, 2018, under Hardware

It seems like it’s getting difficult to source SAS drives that are shipping with a variety of Dell servers (such as the one on Amazon Has anyone used a SAS to SSD adapter in a server RAID array?

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After Market SSD Upgrades

by on May.15, 2018, under Hardware

Unfortunately many computers shipping with SSD drives add an unusually high price tag for a mid-quality drive. We’re also seeing systems with relatively decent hardware, plenty of available RAM, and well less than 75% CPU utilization performing poorly. Putting a decent SSD drive into the computer greatly improves performances.

Here’s a list of drives that we update periodically, which have performed well in the field. You can view them on Amazon below:

Samsung 860 EVO 2TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E2T0B/AM) – (Amazon Here’s a bundle with the mount for a desktop (


Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM) – (Amazon You can also get a desktop mounting bracket on Amazon

The data migration software is free on the Samsung support site and it works decently.

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Ubiquiti AirFiber PoE

by on May.04, 2018, under Hardware, Wireless Networking - 802.11 WiFi

Ubiquiti’s AirFiber is a great product for point-to-point wireless bridges. We’ve set up these units to connect buildings that have line of site and tunnel all internet and voip traffic over the connection. Unfortunately the devices require a 50V PoE injector which occasionally fails. Luckily they are easy to source on Amazon –

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Wireless Mesh Networks for small businesses

by on May.01, 2018, under Hardware, Wireless Networking - 802.11 WiFi

Mesh network devices are beginning to become more popular in the home and small businesses. While I prefer Unifi devices for most small business installations, Netgear and other manufactures have easy to use apps for home users. You can see a variety of these devices on sale at Amazon

These devices work best if you have a wired back-haul network using a log CAT6 cable (like these on Amazon to coordinate the hardware, but they can be used as wireless bridges for hard to reach locations. It will be interesting to see this technology mature over the next few years.

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macOS High Sierra bug can reveal passwords in plaintext

by on Mar.26, 2018, under Apple, Security

When converting a previously unencrypted APFS drive to an encrypted APFS drive of macOS 10.13.1, run the following terminal command to reveal the passwords:

log stream –info –predicate 'eventMessage contains "newfs_"'

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