Tuesday, January 18, 2022 • Welcome to the 💯 No-Nonsense Zone!

About Dong Knows Tech

BigDongCropped
Hello! You’re looking at yours truly.

Hi everyone, Dong Ngo’s here! (Weird last name? Dong “Know” will do.)

Who is Dong Ngo?

You probably remember me as the “router guy” at CNET during its heyday. Fair enough! From late 1999 until mid-2017, among other things, I managed product testing and reviewed networking gadgets there.

What you sure don’t know is how my obsession with technology started.

As a teenager, I ran into a repurposed cardboard piece with a life-size QWERTY keyboard drawing on it. I used it to practice typing with all ten fingers, just for fun… Years later, I got a hold of a real keyboard with a computer attached to it, and my life changed forever.

In a way, that piece of cardboard was my first touchscreen. Now, like many of you, cutting down on screen hours is my daily struggle. So, I’ll make sure your visit to Dong Knows Tech is worth it. I’m not going to waste your time!

A bit of personal stuff

I was born and raised in a tiny village in North Vietnam, surrounded by paddy fields. The part just before I arrived had been ravaged by the American air supremacy during the American war.

For years, we had nothing, tech- and non-tech-wise.

I spent most of my childhood as a farmer, without electricity or running water. I remember being ready to eat a bit more at any given time as a kid — I was just always hungry — and having no experience with shoes until I was 17.

Now I live with my little family (wife and kids) in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has been a long and memorable journey to a real American dream.

English is not my first language. (Not even my second or third, so to speak.) That said, once in a while, please excuse my French! 🙂

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What can you expect from Dong Knows Tech?

“This Dong guy knows tech!” is something you might tell yourself after reading my posts. But that’s not the point of this website.

A bit on the website’s name:

My last name is often mispronounced as “No” which sounds the same as “Know”, so a good friend suggested Dong Knows Tech and I found it a good pun — at least it was easy to say and remember.

Contrary to the name, I have no desire to say or prove that I know better than anyone on any matter.

“Dong Knows Tech” is an alternate spelling of “Dong Ngo’s Tech.” By the way, if you go to dongngostech.com, you’ll also end up here.

What you should pay attention to is that I do my own research and review products independently.

Specifically:

  • I don’t take money to say good (or bad) things, nor do I say good things so I can sell something. (Trust me, I get a lot of offers).
  • I don’t publish just marketing materials, specs, or commentaries and call it a review.
  • I don’t regularly change just the date and a few words within an article, and republish it to keep it “fresh”. (Yes I do update my posts, but they are real updates.)
  • I don’t steal content from other websites in any form whatsoever.

Dong’s promise

I remember every promise I’ve made — I don’t make one easily. Here is one:

My reviews and how-to posts on this website derive from my thorough first-hand testing or real-world experience. You’ll find here no bullshit, no click baits, no patchwriting, no pointless listicles, and no product pushing/placement.

After years in the mainstream tech news and reviews, I understand their dark secrets and the endless online shenanigans. You will not have to deal with that on this website.

I do not and will not intentionally mislead you for my personal gain — via views and clicks or whatever form.

I don’t have a quota. My only pressure is the desire to share my experience that helps make your life easier, one appropriate (tech) decision at a time.

In short, “Dong Knows Tech – And THAT’s good for YOU!” is real. I mean it.

(That is, of course, if you spend time and read what I have to say. Else, it’s only good for somebody else!)

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Disclaimers

The world of tech is fluid — things can change quite dramatically over time. You’ll note that I often update many of my posts with new, up-to-date information, but nobody can keep tabs on everything or test every scenario.

That said, the reviews and how-to posts on this website are accurate to the best of my knowledge, all done with the best intention, but not necessarily free of errors or mistakes.

The point is I can be wrong. If anything, I’m just always working hard on avoiding that.

(But I’d be happy to share over a drink the stupid mistakes I’ve made, tech- or non-tech-wise.)

So, use the content at your own risk. I assume no responsibility for any consequences that might arise from your consumption of the information posted here. Consider yourself warned.

(But I can tell you for sure that it’s OK to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. In that sense, a mistake is better than nothing at all.)

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Disclosure

Dong Knows Tech’s website contains ads (managed by Mediavine) and affiliate links (from Amazon Services LLC Associates Program).

The latter might give me a small commission — tiny — at no additional cost to you when you click through and make any permanent purchase. Amazon decides which purchase is qualified and I have no say in that.

A sincere note

I don’t want you to buy something from Amazon solely to support me, nor do I ever coerce or trick you into spending money on anything.

But, if you find a good product that you’d like to buy anyway, it helps my work when you get to Amazon’s store via a link on this website.

As for the ads, I don’t directly manage them on this website. The ad network does that. A couple of things to note:

  • Online ads are a number game, the site needs to reach a certain ad impressions to start making money. And then I only get to keep a portion of it.
  • The higher the impression levels, the higher percentage I’m allowed to keep. But the amount needs to be at some threshold before I actually receive any payment.
  • The number of ads displayed is based on certain settings. And within my control, I’ve already picked the option for the best user experience.

That said, if you see more ads that you’d like, that’s likely because others in your area (city/country) don’t allow them at all — they use an adblocker. The impression game must go on, or the site can’t sustain itself.

In other words, if you appreciate the honest content and want to see fewer ads, you need to do your part in ad displaying. Thoughts and prayers don’t keep a product alive.

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“How do you get products to review?”

I got this question a lot and want to be completely transparent on this front.

While many parties take products in exchange for “reviews” — among that, the Amazon Vine program is a typical example — that’s not how I operate.

Product acquirement

I buy many, if not most, of the products I review with my own money.

But yes, increasingly, vendors also offer to ship me the hardware, and I sometimes send them requests.

In this case, while I appreciate the timeliness — I tend to get the product ahead of the launch — I make it clear that I’ll test them thoroughly and evaluate them impartially.

In fact, I often send them to this page — we’re literally all on the same page.

Please note:

  1. Not all products pitched get to be reviewed. (I often refuse even to receive stuff I don’t want to spend my time on.)
  2. After reading this page, some vendors actually withdraw their review requests — put two and two (that’s 1 and 2 in this case) together, and you know why you don’t see certain “popular” products reviewed here.
  3. Some vendors offer to pay for my time. I mostly decline. In rare cases that I accept the offers, the product might get coverage but still with zero favoritism.

“What do you do with the device post-review?”

That depends. I treat those I buy the way anyone does theirs. It’s nobody’s business.

(Sometimes, I return them if I finish the reviews timely, there’s no need for additional testing or personal use, and the logistics work out.)

Those vendors send me I generally prepare to ship them back. Many vendors, however, would like to leave their products with me. Some even refuse to provide a return label or address.

(In all honesty, in many cases, repacking and shipping can be a hassle, and I’d rather not have to do that for the sake of efficiency, among other things.)

In that case, and if the device is not broken after being tested, I might use them for myself, friends, and family for further long-term evaluations. That is how I’ve been able to publish posts with extended or extensive hands-on experience, as you will note.

Still, inevitably I’ve ended up with a sizable collection of reviewed products in my garage — one can use only so many Wi-Fi routers so to speak. Once in a while, having those readily available can become quite handy for a spontaneous geeky project. Eventually, I recycle them as e-waste.

But in case you’re wondering, I don’t sell them for cash. Again, the monetary gain is not worth the logistics of selling, shipping, and keeping records.

That said, the only benefit I get from these “free” products is the experience and real-world knowledge I share on this website and whatever that returns.

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How you can support Dong Knows Tech

Thank you for thinking of supporting this website! You can donate a Ko-fi right now or, better yet, do that monthly. (I live off of coffee, that’s true.)

The devil is in the details. Running a tech site, especially one free of nonsense, involves so many things and substantial financial costs. It’s also time-consuming.

And I do this (mostly) by myself, from the design and functions of this website itself. It’s a hobby, a passion for tech, the labor of love if you fancy. I do keep a day job to take care of the growing family — I have to.

That said, additionally, please:

  1. Take your time and really read my articles, instead of skimming over them — you’ll miss a lot. You’ll note that I work hard on the writing, it’s only fair that you do your part on the reading.
  2. Report typos when you run into one by selecting (highlighting) the text in question and hit the red button to the right of the screen. I proofread myself, and that’s very challenging.
  3. Turn off your adblocker– ads help me make money. Ads on this website are all non-intrusive, some are even fun, by the way.

Also, please let me know when you run into sites that reuse my materials without disclosing the source.

Finally, I welcome suggestions and appreciate constructive criticism. Please keep them coming!

Thank you for visiting Dong Knows Tech and for your support! ❤️

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