My Review of the Sennheiser HD 450BT

My rule of thumb for adapting new technologies is that the technology must provide a net gain to my quality of life. I haven’t jumped onto the Internet of Things bandwagon in part because the added headaches outweigh the benefits. Being able to change the color my lights output would be mildly useful to me, but having to worry about the security issues involved with an Internet connected device, the possibility of not being able to configure my lights if the Internet goes down, etc. greatly outweigh the benefit.

This brings me to Bluetooth headphones. Ever since Apple had the “courage” to remove the standard headphone jack from the iPhone, Bluetooth headphones started seeing a rapid increase in adoption (at least as far as I can tell). I stuck with wired headphones because my use case made Bluetooth headphones a bigger headache than the benefits warranted. Apple’s “courage” did benefit me in one major way though, Bluetooth headphones improved rapidly and have finally reached a point where they offer more benefits to me than headaches.

I settled on buying a pair of Sennheiser HD 450BT for reasons I’ll get into in a bit. This review isn’t going to delve too deeply into the usual considerations for Bluetooth headphones such as sound quality, noise cancelling effectiveness, etc. More qualified individuals have already expounded on those features in great detail. Instead this review is going to be based heavily on my use case, which has a few oddball specifics. So before I begin, I’m going to explain my use case.

My Use Case

During the day I primarily use two computers. The first is my ThinkPad P52s running Fedora Linux, the second is my iPhone SE (2020). I do most of my work on the ThinkPad and listen to music and podcasts on my iPhone. Even though most of my audio output comes from my iPhone, I periodically needs to hear the audio on my ThinkPad. This need to jump between two devices is what has kept me using wired headphones. It’s easy to unplug a headphone jack from my iPhone (which relies on a Lightning to headphone jack adapter because of Apple’s “courage”) and plug it into my ThinkPad and vice versa. Disconnecting a pair of Bluetooth headphones from my iPhone and connecting them to my ThinkPad is a much bigger pain in the ass that involves going a couple of layers deep into Bluetooth settings on both devices.

So my use case requires the ability to easily switch between two devices and compatibility with both Linux and iOS.

Not My Use Case

It’s also worth noting what my use case isn’t. Many Bluetooth headphones offer some kind of active noise cancellation. I don’t like active noise cancellation because I prefer to maintain some audio awareness of my environment so I always turn it off if it’s present. I also don’t commute on public transit, don’t wear headphones when out and about (due to my preference for maintaining audio awareness), and work primarily from a desk. When I do travel, I always take my laptop bag, which is big and already packed with gear. A pair headphones isn’t much extra to carry when considered along with all of the other gear I carry. If portability is one of your primary criterion, I’m the worst person to ask.

Selection Criteria

I have several preferences when it comes to headphones in general. Closed studio style over-ear headphones are my favorite. In-ear ear buds are also acceptable to me so long as they don’t rely on a component that rests around my neck. Wired ear buds with equal length wires (I really hate the style where the wires going to the ear buds are different lengths) and so-called true wireless are both good in my book. I dislike on-ear headphones because I get a headache from wearing them for too long and open studio style never appealed to me because, even though I want to maintain audio awareness, I like having some amount of isolation as well.

I also have several preferences when it comes to Bluetooth headphones specifically. One of my favorite things about wired headphones is that they don’t rely on an internal battery that needs to be recharged periodically. For Bluetooth headphones I’d prefer having a battery life measured in days rather than in hours. Knowing that Bluetooth headphones do need to be recharged, I’d prefer a USB-C charging port (but will consider all standardized connectors other than micro-USB) since that is becoming the powering standard for a wide range of devices.

While I avoid video conferences and talking on the phone as much as possible, built-in microphones for those occasions when I can’t avoid either is a definite plus. So long as the microphones are good enough that the person(s) with whom I’m conversing can understand me, they’re acceptable to me.

Audio playback controls are a must. I hate having to turn on my phone screen to pause music or skip a song. This preference is so strong that my favorite pair of headphones, my Sennheiser HD 280 PROs, see very little actual use anymore. They sound great and they’re very comfortable, but they lack audio playback controls. Instead I usually use my ear buds, which do have built-in audio playback controls.

Because of the number of shoddy products on the market, I gravitate towards products made by companies with which I have had positive experiences. The downside to this strategy is that a lot of great options released by new companies fall off of the radar. The upside is that I get burned far less often by shoddy products. For similar reasons I tend to shy away from newly released products even when they’re manufactured by companies I trust. When I was young, I was willing to be the guinea pig for new products. Now that I’m older and have less free time, I prefer to let other people be the guinea pigs.

Since Bluetooth headphones, unlike traditional headphones, are necessarily a disposable product due to both their built-in battery (which wears out and usually isn’t replaceable) and continuously aging technology (for example, you usually can’t add new Bluetooth features to old headphones), I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a pair. I capped my budget at $150.

Based on my preferences I narrowed down my options to a handful of products. My three favorite options were the Sony WH-CH710N, Sony WH-XB900N, and Sennheiser HD 450BT. I eliminated the Sony WH-XB900N because of its focus on bass, which isn’t my thing, and opted for the Sennheiser HD 450BT over the Sony WH-CH710N because the former supports more high quality Bluetooth codecs.

My Review

That was a lot of preamble for a review, but I believe a review is far more useful if you understand both the use case of the reviewer and their preferences.

As I noted above, I’m not going to delve too deeply into the usual consideration for headphone reviews like sound quality and the effectiveness of the active noise cancellation. Far more qualified individuals have already written extensively on those topics. Suffice to say these headphones sound good to my ears. I haven’t tested the active noise cancellation to any extent so I won’t say anything about its effectiveness.

The three most appealing features of Bluetooth headphones for me are that Bluetooth is built into most modern laptops and smartphones (I had dongles), there are no wires to get tangled, and you’re not tethered the the audio source. My office is in the basement of my house. If I go upstairs, I can get to the furthest edge of my kitchen, a distance of approximately 60 feet with several walls and a floor in between, before the HD 450BT loses its connect to my laptop. I will also note that I live in the country so there is very little electromagnetic interference in my house on the wavelengths used by Bluetooth other than my Wi-Fi network and one or two other Bluetooth devices I use such as my Apple Watch. I’m not sure whether the range I’m experiencing is considered good for a pair of Bluetooth 5.0 headphones, but I’m more than happy with it.

My biggest gripe with Bluetooth headphones was solved by the introduction of multipoint connectivity, which allows a single pair of Bluetooth headphones to simultaneously connect to two or more source devices. Unfortunately, multipoint support is a bit of a mess. I’m happy to report that the HD 450BT multipoint support when simultaneously connected to my laptop and phone has fulfilled my needs. As I noted above in my use case, I periodically need to switch my audio source between those two devices. What I don’t need to do is get audio output from both devices at the same time. When connected to my laptop and phone, the multipoint support provides output from one of the two devices at a time. If I’m playing music on my phone, I don’t get audio from my laptop and vice versa. To switch between the two devices I only need to pause the audio on one device, wait a second or two, and start playing audio on the other device.

I have experienced a couple of multipoint hiccups. The first is that sometimes when a notification is created on the device not currently playing audio, it’ll cause the playing audio to pause for a second or two (the notification sound may or may not play through the headphones). The second is that after pausing the audio on one device and attempting to restart it using the built-in audio playback controls, the command sometimes goes to the other device (so if I pause the music on my phone and press the headphone’s play button to restart it, that play command may go to my laptop instead). These hiccups manifest infrequently enough that it hasn’t motivated me to return to hard wired headphones.

Another quirk that I’ve experienced is that when somebody calls my phone, before answering the call the microphones activate and route the the sounds to the speakers. If somebody calls when I’m typing, I can suddenly hear my mechanical keyboard very clearly. I’d prefer the microphones not activate unless I answer the call and maybe this is a but that will be fixed in a future firmware update.

Speaking of firmware updates, one gripe I do have with these headphones is that firmware upgrades can only be applied using the Sennheiser Smart Control app. This gripe applies to most Bluetooth headphones so it shouldn’t be seen as a criticism specific to the HD 450BT, but a criticism of Bluetooth headphones in general. I want to apply firmware updates using fwupd on Linux. But if Sennheiser is going to relegate me to using its app to apply firmware updates, it would be nice if the app wasn’t so bloody slow. The firmware update I recently applied took at least half an hour, which seems like a ridiculous amount of time to apply a firmware update to a pair of headphones. This is easily my least favorite thing about these headphones and the only saving grace is that firmware updates seem far and few between.

Sennheiser advertises 30 hours of battery life for the HD 450BT. That advertised battery life is with active noise cancellation enabled. As I stated above, I don’t like active noise cancellation and always turn it off. When active noise cancellation is disabled, the battery life increases significantly. I last charged my headphones on Friday afternoon and have used them heavily since then including through two working days. While I do turn them off a night, I’d estimate they’ve been running between 30 and 40 hours (not always playing audio, I do pause my music when I have to concentrate on something). As I write this Tuesday afternoon, the Sennheiser app on my iPhone shows the battery charge is still at 90%. When I press the volume up and down buttons simultaneously, the headphones report more than 12 hours of playtime remains (which I believe is the maximum the headphones will report). Needless to say, I’m very happy with the battery life of these.

Pressing the volume up and down buttons simultaneously to get the battery life probably seems a bit intuitive and one of the more common criticisms I’ve read about these headphones is the unintuitive layout of the built-in controls. All of the controls are located on the bottom of the right speaker. From front to back there is the power button that doubles as the active noise cancellation activation and deactivation button, the volume down and up buttons, a three position audio playback control switch, and a button for activating a phone’s voice assistant (such as Siri on the iPhone). I actually like the button layout and for the most part really like the audio playback switch. Pressing down on the switch will play or pause your audio, pressing the switch forward goes back a song, and pressing the switch backwards goes to the next song. The only annoyance for me is that pressing down to pause or play music can be finicky. If the switch isn’t perfectly centered when you press down, the control doesn’t activate. Since the switch is easily moved slightly forward or backward when pressing down on it, it’s pretty easy to press the button without your audio playing or pausing.

The last thing I want cover is comfort. A common criticism of these headphones is that they’re uncomfortable when worn for a long time. Most reviews attribute this to the small holes in the ear cups. My Sennheiser HD 280 PRO headphones have large holes in the ear cups so my ears have plenty of room. The HD 450BT has narrow holes in the ear cups. The holes are slightly wider than my thumbs, which is just barely large enough room for my ears. If I don’t position the headphones with some care, the ear cups will press down on parts of my ears. I did find some aftermarket ear cups that are supposed to be more comfortable and may invest in a pair at some point, but the stock ones are decently comfortable although not nearly as comfortable as ear cups on the HD 280 PRO. Compared to the HD 280 PRO, which has a wide headband with a replaceable thick pad wrapped around the top, the headband on the HD 450BT isn’t nearly as comfortable. It’s narrow and the only padding is a thin integrated strip of rubber on the inside that has no discernible padding. I do like the clamping force of these headphones. It’s strong, but not too strong. To me the clamping force feels lower than on the HD 280 PRO, but it’s not so low that I’m worried about them falling off of my head. Overall, I find the HD 450BT to be adequately comfortable when worn for hours, but a couple of steps below the HD 280 PRO.


I paid $99 for them and at that price I’m happy with my purchase. The multipoint feature fits my use case, the battery life is great (with the caveat that I disable the active noise cancellation), there are built-in audio playback controls, and the headphones are adequately comfortable. I’m not impressed with the Smart Control app, especially with the speed at which is updates firmware, but that’s an unhappiness I would likely have with any pair of Bluetooth headphones. If you’re looking for a pair of Bluetooth headphones in the $100 ballpark, I recommend considering them.

It’s Not Your Car

I think the technology behind modern electric cars is really cool. What I don’t like though is that electric car manufacturers don’t seem satisfied with simply replacing gasoline engines with electric motors, they are also trying to replace the owner as the decision maker:

Hurricane Florence is approaching the East Coast of the US, and is predicted to bring with it catastrophic flooding, high winds, as well as a life-threatening storm surge and rain in North and South Carolina. As a result, both GM and Tesla have remotely activated features in their cars that could be of use in an evacuation.

Since OnStar is a subscription service, I at least understand why GM has control over whether or not certain features are available to users. But why should Tesla owners require the manufacturer to decide they need access to the extra battery capacity in order to utilize it? Why can’t the car have a button that enables and disables the capacity lock?

More and more consumers are losing control over devices that are supposedly theirs. Consumers are being treated like children who are incapable of making rational decisions and must therefore be guided by the manufacturer. This doesn’t sit well with me. When I buy something, I want complete control over it. If there is extra capacity in my vehicle’s battery, I want to have the ability to decide whether or not it’s being utilized. Unfortunately, it appears that I’m in the minority because most consumers appear to welcome having an overlord dictate what they can and cannot do with their devices.

Uncontrolled Release of Energy

Your smartphone has a rather sizable appetite for energy. To keep it running just for one day it needs a battery that is capable of storing a rather notable amount of energy. The same is true for your laptop, tablet, smartwatch, and any other sophisticated portable electronic device. For the most part we never think about the batteries that power our portable electronics until they degrade to such a point that we find ourselves recharging them more often than we’re comfortable with. But what happens when something besides the usual wear and tear goes wrong with our batteries? What happens if a battery decides to release its stored energy all at once? This is a problem plaguing companies that specialize in recycling electronics:

MADISON, Wis. — What happens to gadgets when you’re done with them? Too often, they explode.

As we enter new-gadget buying season, spare a moment to meet the people who end up handling your old stuff. Isauro Flores-Hernandez, who takes apart used smartphones and tablets for a living, keeps thick gloves, metal tongs and a red fireproof bin by his desk here at Cascade Asset Management, an electronics scrap processor. He uses them to whisk away devices with batteries that burst into flames when he opens them for recycling.

One corner of his desk is charred from an Apple iPhone that began smoking and then exploded after he opened it in 2016. Last year, his co-worker had to slide away an exploding iPad battery and evacuate the area while it burned out.

Due to their popularity, lithium-ion batteries are receiving a lot of attention at the moment but the problem of uncontrolled energy release isn’t unique to them. Anything capable of storing energy so that it can be released in a controlled manner can suffer a failure that causes the energy to be released in an uncontrolled manner. Consider the gas tank in your vehicle. Under normal operating conditions the energy stored in your gas tank is released in a controlled manner by your engine. But a crash can cause the energy to be released in an uncontrolled manner, which results in a fire or explosion.

Anything that can store a large quantity of energy should be treated with respect. If you’re repairing your smartphone or laptop, be careful around the battery. If you smell something odd coming from one of your battery-powered devices, put some distance between it and yourself (and anything that can catch fire and burn).

Another Processor Vulnerability

Hardware has received far less scrutiny in the past than software when it comes to security. That has changed in recent times and, not surprisingly, the previous lack of scrutiny has resulted in a lot of major vulnerabilities being discovered. The latest vulnerability relates to a feature found in Intel processors referred to as Hyperthreading:

Last week, developers on OpenBSD—the open source operating system that prioritizes security—disabled hyperthreading on Intel processors. Project leader Theo de Raadt said that a research paper due to be presented at Black Hat in August prompted the change, but he would not elaborate further.

The situation has since become a little clearer. The Register reported on Friday that researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands have found a new side-channel vulnerability on hyperthreaded processors that’s been dubbed TLBleed. The vulnerability means that processes that share a physical core—but which are using different logical cores—can inadvertently leak information to each other.

In a proof of concept, researchers ran a program calculating cryptographic signatures using the Curve 25519 EdDSA algorithm implemented in libgcrypt on one logical core and their attack program on the other logical core. The attack program could determine the 256-bit encryption key used to calculate the signature with a combination of two milliseconds of observation, followed by 17 seconds of machine-learning-driven guessing and a final fraction of a second of brute-force guessing.

Like the last slew of processor vulnerabilities, the software workaround for this vulnerability involves a performance hit. Unfortunately, the long term fix to these vulnerabilities involves redesigning hardware, which could destroy an assumptions on which modern software development relies: hardware will continue to become faster.

This assumption has been at risk for a while because chip designers are running into transistor size limitations, which could finally do away with Moore’s Law. But designing secure hardware may also require surrendering a bit on the performance front. It’s possible that the next generation of processors won’t have the same raw performance as the current generation of processors. What would this mean? Probably not much for most users. However, it could impact software developers to some extent. Many software development practices are based on the assumption that the next generation of hardware will be faster and it is therefore unnecessary to focus on writing performant code. If the next generation of processors have the same performance as the current generation or, even worse, less performance, an investment in performant code could pay dividends.

Obviously this is pure speculation on my behalf but it’s an interesting scenario to consider.

A Security Issue Is Still a Security Issue Even If It’s a Hit Job

A series of flaws were revealed in AMD’s line of processors. The aftermath of these kinds of revelations usually involves a lot of people trying to assess the impact and threat. Can the flaws be exploited remotely? If they can be exploited remotely, is there a way to detect if a system has been exploited? What actions can be taken to mitigate these flaws? Instead of the usual assessment, the aftermath of this revelation has been dominated by people claiming that this revelation was actually a hit job secretly instigated by Intel and individuals wanting to manipulate AMD’s stock price:

Here’s a histrionic quote for you: “AMD must cease the sale of Ryzen and EPYC chips in the interest of public safety.”

That’s a real quote from Viceroy Research’s deranged, apoplectic report on CTS Labs’ security allegations against AMD’s Ryzen architecture. The big story today seemed to mirror Meltdown, except for AMD: CTS Labs, a research company supposedly started in 2017, has launched a report declaring glaring security flaws for AMD’s processors. By and large, the biggest flaw revolves around the user installing bad microcode.

There are roots in legitimacy here, but as we dug deep into the origins of the companies involved in this new hit piece on AMD, we found peculiar financial connections that make us question the motive behind the reportage.

The goal here is to research whether the hysterical whitepapers — hysterical as in “crazy,” not “funny” — have any weight to them, and where these previously unknown companies come from.

A lot of people seem to have lost sight of the fact that just because a revelation is a hit job (which I’m not saying this revelation is) doesn’t mean that the revealed exploit isn’t a legitimate exploit. Even if CTS Labs is a company secretly created by Intel for the specific purpose of wrecking AMD’s reputation, the revealed exploits need to be assessed and, if they’re found to be legitimate exploits, addressed.

New Rifle

I don’t have much for you guys today since I spent last night sighting in an AR-15 I finished building:


It’s nothing too special. I wanted to build either an 18″ or 20″ rifle. Palmetto State Armory had an 18″ .223 Wylde barrel with a 1:7 twist on sale for $99 so I ended up building an 18″ rifle. As far as components I used the following:

  • Alex Pro Firearms (a local receiver manufacturer) upper and lower receiver.
  • Bravo Company lower parts kit (their trigger is basically a smooth milspec trigger).
  • Magpul MOE rifle stock.
  • Magpul MOE handguard.
  • PRI railed gas block.
  • WMD nickel boron bolt (it’s shiny and that’s what’s important).
  • Magpul MBUS Pro flip up iron sights (I plan on mounting an optic at some point).
  • Smith Enterprise Vortex flash hider.
  • Bravo Company Mod 4 charging handle.
  • Magpul Battery Assist Device.

As you can see, it’s nothing terribly fancy but it shot well. I put 100 rounds through it yesterday and experienced zero malfunctions. It’s more accurate than I am but that’s not saying a whole lot. I think I’ll end up replacing the trigger at some point. The Bravo Company trigger isn’t bad but I have a far better trigger in my AR-pattern .308 and I’m kind of missing it. On the other hand I really like the Magpul Battery Assist Device. I wish I could fit one on my .308 but the upper receiver isn’t cut out enough for one.

Lightbulbs With DRM Are Here

There’s a lot of love about this crazy future we live in but there are also some downright bizarre things. For example, how many of you thought your lightbulbs need some kind of mechanism to lock you into a particular manufacturer’s bulbs? Through the wonderful world of ZigBee-enabled bulbs Philips has made your dream a reality:

Philips just released firmware for the Philips Hue bridge that may permanently sever access to any “non-approved” ZigBee bulbs. We previously covered third party support in January 2015, when Philips indicated it was not blocked – and have since benefited.

The recent change seems to suggest any non-Philips bulbs from manufacturers such as Cree, GE, and Osram will not be supported in many situations, whereas “Friends of Hue” branded product are. At the time of publication, it’s unclear whether 3rd party bulbs will stop working immediately after the firmware update or if they may only become inaccessible after the bridge is reset. We’re also not sure if being “reset” means rebooted or factory reset. This appears to apply to both the round v1 bridge and square v2 HomeKit-compatible bridge after the latest firmware update is applied.

I’m not going to be a cranky curmudgeon and bitch about lightbulbs with new functionality. But I will bitch about how companies utilize new technology as a means of baiting and switching. Philips originally stated it would support third-party bulbs. I’m guessing the reason behind that was so it didn’t have to foot the entire bill to encourage adoption of ZigBee-enabled bulbs. Now it has changed the rules and locked out third-party manufacturers. In all likelihood this is because ZibBee-enabled bulbs are now sufficiently popular that Philips wants to enjoy all of the profits. It wouldn’t surprise me if somebody at Philips also assumed owners of third-party bulbs would rather purchase Philips’ hardware than lose the functionality offered by ZigBee-enabled bulbs.

There is an important lesson here. Never be entirely reliant on a third-party for your business. If, for example, you are utilizing a third-party’s software package for your hardware you should have an alternative standing buy in case you’re locked out. Were I one of these third-party manufacturers I would release an open source client on GitHub that works with any ZigBee-enabled bulb.

Turn It Off And On Again

A small update to my initial thoughts on the Apple Watch. The abysmal battery life and crashing apps problem appears to have been corrected after I rebooted the watch. After that it notified me that an update to WatchOS was available. I’m not sure if rebooting or the firmware update ultimately fixed the problem but things are working much better than they were.

Apply firmware updates to watches? The future is weird. But it’ll get a lot weirder when we have to apply firmware updates to our batteries.

Initial Thoughts On The Apple Watch

Best Buy is selling the Apple Watch at $100.00 discount, which brings the price of the cheapest model down to $250.00. $250.00 happens to be the price range I think is fair for the Apple Watch so yesterday I decided to pick one up. I opted for the cheapest model, the 38mm (I have small wrists) Sports Edition in Space Gray.

Before I start with my initial thoughts lets me be up front and say that I’m a watch guy. By that I mean I’m a huge fan of watches, specifically the mechanical kind. They are to me what paintings are to other fans of art. Up front I will admit that it’s unlikely the Apple Watch will ever replace my mechanical watches for more than a few days at a time. So why did I want one? Because it makes a good fitness tracker that many of the apps I use, such as Cyclemeter, can interface with. In addition to having interfaces for a lot of my apps it also manages not to look completely like ass.

With that out of the way, let me give my initial thoughts. Having owned a Pebble (until the down button broke) and looked at most other popular smartwatches currently on the market I can say that the Apple Watch is probably the closest to being a watch. This is both good and bad. The bad is that the mentality is probably responsible for the high cost of the device. The good is that it is a very well designed product for a smartwatch. Everything from the packaging to the watch itself has a level of detail not found on any of the competing devices I’ve looked at. When you pick up and hold the watch it feels sturdy, the crappy rubber strap is less crappy than most other rubber straps (that is to say it’s softer and more flexible), and the controls feel very tight (as opposed to my Pebble, which had very mushy buttons).

Although the display is tiny it is nice. It’s a Retina display so it has a very high resolution and good color definition. Showing an attention to detail, and to get around the fact the battery in the watch is tiny, the display turns on automatically when you bring your wrist up to look at it. When you put your arm back down the display turns off. I have already developed a love-hate relationship with the touchscreen. On the upside it gives you a lot of options for controls. On the downside many of the buttons are very small. The home screen is a downright mess in my opinion and you really have to use the crown to zoom in quite a bit if you have any hopes of bringing up the app you want. With that said, controls are a problem on every smartwatch and will likely remain less than optimal until somebody thinks up a completely new way of doing things.

Speaking of controls, there are two dedicated hardware controls. One is a crown that can be rotated and pressed like a button and the other is a nearly useless button that serves only to bring up your contacts list (a feature I don’t need). I like the crown control for the most part. The only thing I run into trouble with is it doesn’t act like the back button on the Pebble. Pressing the crown returns you to the home screen, it doesn’t move you back a screen in an app. That’s probably something I just need to adjust to.

Most of the included apps don’t show the same attention to detail as the hardware. Overall I’m not really thrilled with the included apps. They all feel haphazardly put together and I have had a lot of issues with them crashing when they first open.

The battery life is shit. It’ll get you through the day, so long as you don’t use it too heavily, but that’s about it.

I still need time to use it before making any final conclusions. Right now I feel that it is a good buy at $250.00 but really does show a lot of problems, primarily on the software side, typical of a 1.0 release. It is a very nicely presented product and I think the next release will be much better. For what I want, a fitness tracker with some additional functionality, it appears to fit the bill. If you’re already tied in the Apple ecosystem it’s probably the best smartwatch available (although most models of the Pebble will give you actual battery life but at the cost of functionality).

Nothing To See Here

Instead of typing posts for your reading pleasure I spent last night replacing networking equipment. For the last several years my network has been running off of a Netgear router. Last week I could hear the bearing in the router’s fan starting to go to Hell so I started looking for a replacement (admittedly I could have replaced the fan but that device is so old it doesn’t even have IPv6 support so it was a good excuse to upgrade).

For AgoraFest we’ve been using Ubiquiti access points to build our mesh network. I’ve really enjoyed working with the hardware so I decided to look into Ubiquiti’s wired options. As it turns out their wired networking equipment is pretty nice so I ordered an EdgeRouter Lite and EdgeSwitch Lite (the Lite versions lack Power over Ethernet, which I didn’t need). They’re now up and running. I still have to fine tune the configurations but you can see this site so the important work is done.