Non-GPS Products we LIKE and DON'T LIKE and Why.
by Joe Mehaffey

1) Cisco Routers,  Modems, and Networking Equipment: 
        Products work well,  few software problems,  good support,  good documentation, high prices. 
2)  Dell Laptops: 
        Reliable screens,  good phone support for hardware problems (less so for software problems),  Good reliability with excellent "at home" service when needed.  Overall reliability is good (but not excellent).
3)  RCA Televisions:  Reliable and good quality at reasonable prices. 
4)  Cadillac Sedan DeVille:
          After the first 10,000 miles (which usually requires 10 trips to the dealer to get the bugs out),  the cars are reliable and comfortable.
HI-Solutions, Inc. ( 
        These building automation and control systems are about the most versatile "high end, distributed around the building" building automation systems.  Reliable,  flexible,  easy to program GUIs,   and not too expensive.   Used by people like Federated Dept Stores,   Schools, Colleges,  Large and Small Office Buildings, and at Joe's house.
6) RF Linx 802.11 amplifiers ( 
        High quality,  low cost,  good support,  have used about 20 of them and never had a failure.  Perform as advertised.
7) Trend Micro AntiVirus:
       Finds computer viruses that Norton AV misses.  More expensive,  with very frequent updates and good tech support.  Costs a bit more but worth it.
8)  TiVo Personal TV Recorder:  I don't know how we lived without it. 
9)  Merak Mail Server Software (, US representatives http:// 
          This is a great Mail Server,  virtually bug free in every new update,  medium cost,  great tech support,  easy setup and maintenance,  built in Anti-Spam, AntiVirus and Instant Messanger options.   Anti-Spam "learns" what is spam for each of your users.
10)  Segway:
          A bit expensive,  but the neatest toy a grown man can own.  Good design,  good reliability.  Parts are a bit expensive but you don't need much maintenance. 
11)   Ademco Vista 40/Vista 20 Alarm System Controller and parts:
             Very reliable,  easy to install,  a bit complex to program (get the modem and software kit  makes it easier).  Reasonable component prices.
12)  Maxtor disk drives:
              Good quality,  reasonable prices,  3 year warranty (on many models).  Great support when you need it.
13)   Netzeye video camera and recorder systems(
             Can log up to 64 cameras to hard drive(s) in one computer.  The four channel IDE card is inexpensive (but not expandable).  Latest equipment has proved reliable and the software provides both local and remote viewing capabilities.
14) Honda Lawn Mowers-  I have a 14 year old self propelled "commercial" walk behind mower.  It has been to the shop once in 14 years and that for carbuerator cleaning when I forgot to put naptha in the last tank of gas before putting it away for the winter.  Still starts and runs like new.
15)  John Deere Commercial Lawn Mower model LZ280  (NOT the Home Depot line).  This mower is built strong and has a powered cuttings vacuum that really works well.  Costs over twice as much as the "home type" mowers but the improved reliability is worth the cost.          


1) Symantec Software and Hardware systems:
       These people seem to buy up excellent products,  curtail product maintenance and updates,  gut technical support and then charge for the (generally poor quality) technical support they do provide.  Examples:  Norton AntiVirus,  GoBack,  Partition Magic, PC Anywhere, NexLand Routers.
2)  Mikrotik Routers and WiFi Hotspot Controllers:  Low cost,  full featured,  difficult to setup system,  poor (but improving) documentation,  extremely unresponsive technical support, lots of bugs in released software.  But..  It works fine when you finally get a version with "your" bugs fixed.   Mikrotik hardware has not proved all that reliable in my applications.  Avoid the IDE DOM (disk on memory) module.  *Mikrotik gets my vote for the poorest software quality control I have ever encountered.  They are really close on the worst Tech Support.
Cub Cadet Mowers:  The one unit I had was a constant maintenance problem.  Ten trips to the dealer in the first 90 hours of operation.  Got rid of it at 90 hours of operation and got a WeedEater Brand which, while not trouble free,  is at least 10 times more reliable than the Cub Cadet  costing  twice as much.   The CRAFTSMAN (by Weedeater) mowers have proved pretty good also.
4)   RayPak Pool Heaters:
          Nominally work well,  but poorly designed for maintenance.  VERY difficult to drain to prevent freezing.  VERY difficult to change heat exchanger.  VERY expensive to maintain.
5)   Wood trim on home exteriors:
             Wood rots and is a constant maintenance problem as a home ages.  PVC boards, molding,  brick mold, and other trim shapes cost a little more but will last for 50+ years and do not (necessarily) need painting.  See:
6)   Thistle Hotel Internet and Telephone policies
7)   Sherwin Williams DURATION exterior house paint.  Here in the SouthEast USA, it seems to be a food for mold and mildew.  After 3 years this premium paint was black and extremely unsightly under porches, under eves, on soffits or anywhere it was not exposed to direct sunlight.  Though SW "guarantees" the paint for 25 years,  they don't guarantee it won't mildew and all they would do was furnish new paint and pay $20 a gallon for installation.  Unfortunately installation is more like $50 to $100 a gallon on complex wood trim and that does not include the pressure washing with bleach and TSP it takes to get the mildew off prior to repainting.  Adding two tubes of M1 mildewcide to a gallon seems to make DURATION resist mildew. 
8) sold out their webhosting+email operation several years ago to  The yearly price for a personal domain name and email address has gone from $5 a year to $30 a year.  This would really be OK except that they now provide a "no human contact possible by email or otherwise" technical support.  There are better options.
9)  Pentair Intelliflo 3x160 Pumps. Technically, this is a great pump.  But the fact that Pentair offers NO SPARE PARTS WHATSOEVER for this pump makes it a poor deal.  My unit failed in about 18 months and with Pentair's ONE YEAR warranty and no spare parts,  it is now an expensive paperweight.  See more details HERE.