ThinkComputers Holiday 2014 Staff Wish List

Colin Dean (Posts)

Raspberry Pi (Amazon)
Rasberry Pi Model B+

The Raspberry Pi has been around for a few years now, but I’ve just recently identified a use case sufficient for me to acquire one: a small wardriving system. A company I’m involved in is in the process of building WiFi maps for all of Pittsburgh. It’d be great to be able to simply plug in the Raspberry Pi when I start a wardriving run, and know that as soon as I get back to open WiFi or or my house, the data will be automatically uploaded to our servers for processing. I’d probably want a Model B+, but a regular B would probably suffice for my needs. I’d want a case and some other accessories, but there are some very specific parts to complete my wardriving rig.

Alfa AWUS036AC WiFi adapter (Amazon)
Alfa AWUS036AC WiFi adapter

When wardriving, it’s great to have a powerful device that also has replaceable antennae. This device from Alfa has decent reviews and meets my desires for something that can handle 802.11ac and has RP-SMA antenna connections, so I could buy an antenna or build my own!

GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver (Amazon)
GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver

It’s USB and it has a magnetic back for tossing out a window or a moonroof.

Ubiquiti UniFi 802.11ac WiFi Access Point (Amazon)
Ubiquiti UniFi 802.11ac WiFi Access Point

I’ve been using a lot of long range link Ubiquiti equipment for PittMesh, and it’s got me interested in trying out their enterprise equipment in my home. I might as well go big, so I’d want to try out the UAP-AC access point. It handles up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. The design of the device is svelte and two of these in my house would cover all I need covered.

GoPro Hero4 Black (Amazon)
GoPro Hero4 Black

I’m not all business! With 4K video at 30 fps or 1080p video at 120 fps, plus 12 MP pictures, I can see every detail when I inevitably attach the camera to my dog, Current, with the Fetch dog harness. I’d also use it record talks, walks, and maybe even CES. I hope to go on vacation in 2015, so maybe I’ll even get some underwater camera going, like my friend Alex did when we went to Costa Rica in 2013.

Chromebook (Amazon)

I used a coworker’s Chromebook Pixel for a month in October and came to really enjoy it. It was a nice change of pace from OSX and had just enough UNIX to be useful for development. However, the Pixel is way too pricey for its aging hardware. If Google was to suddenly update the Pixel, I’d probably ask for it without hesitation, as long as the price was under $1,000.

Until then, I’ll go for a Toshiba Chromebook 2 or a Dell Chromebook 11. Neither has the quality of display nor the build quality of the Pixel, but I could probably get the rest of my list with the ~$1,100 difference!

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