Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

Back in 2017 I did a review of Seeed Fusion Studio for PCB fabrication and was impressed with their quality of service. My hobbies have since evolved and now I'm in need of more advanced services like PCB Assembly, which Seeed offer too. So I decided to check them out again.

There is currently an offer of free assembly of 5 PCBs which is really worth taking advantage of. It's limited to being done once per customer but if you're unsure and want to try out PCBa before diving in and placing a bigger order, this is a good way to do it. I wish more PCB fabrication factories did this.

So lets look at the end result and then take a step back and see how the order process works. It took just 14 days from the time I placed my order to when I received it. It arrived in a rather large box, which was interesting considering I only had 5 assembled PCBs inside. It was really well packaged with lots of bubble wrap.

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Each of the PCBs was packed in their own zip lock bag.

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My PCBs were small but the quality was great. It's good to see that Seeed have maintained their production quality over the years. Note that my boards used white solder mask, which didn't incur any additional cost - just like many other PCB fabrication factories, Seeed is now also offering different solder mask colours at no extra cost. I used HASL surface finish, but you can also get ENIG, Hard Gold and HASL Lead Free. I was quite happy with the PCB itself.

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Wireless earbuds are huge now and their prices vary from cheap fakes to very pricey official products like Apple's AirPods. I've been on a lookout for a pair for a few months now. I didn't want to get cheap earbuds that would end up as useless duds, but I also didn't want to pay the exorbitant amounts that the most popular brands go for. That's when Banggood reached out to me to check out the BlitzWolf BW-FYE5 Bluetooth earphones and so I agreed.

In a nutshell — these earbuds are amazing considering their US$35.99 price. They're compact, yet stay comfortable in your ear. They have a good battery life. They come with a case that also doubles up as a charger. The sound quality is also really quite good.

I was skeptical of these at first and really wasn't expecting much. However, my mind started to change when I saw how they were packaged. These earbuds came in a nice box with foam padding. Included inside were some manuals, the charge case with the earbuds inside and a box with a micro-USB cable and extra silicone tips.

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The manual was a little bare on information but contained the basics on how to pair the headphones with your device and some general information about charging. The manual was written in several languages, not just English. The warranty card had an especially clever design I thought!

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All GSuite users will soon have confidential mode enabled on their accounts by default. Google sent out a notice to admins telling them that confidential mode beta can be enabled already, so I thought that I'd try it out and see if it's any good. This mode is available in the public Gmail as well and looks the same as in GSuite.

So what is this mode? Well this is how Google describes it...
Gmail users can help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access using Gmail confidential mode. Recipients of messages in confidential mode don't have the option to forward, copy, print, or download messages, including attachments. Users can set a message expiration date, revoke message access at any time, and require an SMS verification code to access messages.

To use it, when composing a new email, click the Lock and Clock icon in the attachment toolbar.


That will bring up a dialog box with various options for confidential mode.


The recipient is sent an email from your email address, but it's not the email you wrote, instead it has a link to view your email.


To view the email, the recipient has to enter a code, which Google sends to them.



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I use SoapUI (on my Mac) quite often because I develop, update and enhance a number of custom built web services. Most of these are SOAP based and sometimes I need to run small load tests to simulate concurrent requests and other circumstances that single requests aren't adequate enough to test. Sometimes, I also need the ability to capture responses from each of the web service calls during a load test - unfortunately the load test runner doesn't have an easy way of doing this. But there is a way!

The trick is to set the 'Dump File' property on the test step that you're interested in (TestSuite > TestCase > Test Steps). I set it to something like /tmp/soapui.txt. What this will do is let SoapUI save each of the responses into this file.

The only issue is, each time a response is received, it overwrites the file. However using the tee command in conjunction with tail solves that issue. Open the Terminal.app and first make sure this file exists before running your load test (touch /tmpt/soapui.txt). Then you can use the following command to capture all the output...
tail -f /tmp/soapui.txt | tee /tmp/loadtest_responses.txt

The concatenated responses from all of the web service calls will be stored in the /tmp/loadtest_responses.txt file.

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