Amazon

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Standby IT Generators


Are your servers safe?
APC provides a white paper that explains the use and function of IT generators. I am not promoting APC or their generators but if you have an IT facility and are not protected you should read their white paper for general information. It is pretty good. BTW I do use a couple of APC products and have been satisfied but this is not a paid blog and I got no compensation for writing it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Tip to Increase Car Sales


Have you noticed how many grey, white, silver and black cars there are on the dealer lots? I’m guessing dealers find those colors safe. They are bland, inoffensive and then hopefully easier to sell. My reaction to that is blahhh!

The only cars on dealer lots that seem to have exciting colors are the little midget cars for people under 5’4” and the muscle cars. I don’t want a weenie car and I don’t want a motor head gas guzzler, I want a sedan but I don’t want a sedate sedan. Is there some Detroit mind set that assumes that consumers are fond of blahhh?

I have a suggestion. In a world of on demand manufacturing and printing why is it impossible to order exactly what you want in a car? For all I know it may still be possible but every time I have asked a car salesman if I can order I car they tell me they can locate me a car. That is car talk for,“ I don’t want to wait months for the factory to ship me a car so I will find one close to what you want and maybe you will take it.”

It should be possible to order exactly what you want and very specifically in the exact color you want. If you are willing to put down a non-refundable deposit, why isn’t the manufacturer willing to build you the car you want. It seems like it could generate increased income. They already do an up-charge on some colors so tack on a custom color charge. I’d pay it to get the color I want. Plus think of all the people who will get tired of a bright color and trade in sooner. It is a win-win situation for Detroit or wherever it is that they make cars today.

All I know is that when I go in, pick out a car, tell the guy to talk to their in-house auto body shop and get back to me with a price to paint the new car the color I want, nobody ever calls me back with a price. Do you hear that Fred Beans? Nobody calls me back!

No wonder cars sales are slumping, they want to sell you what they have not what you want.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bissell ProHeat 2X Upright Deep Carpet Cleaner, 9200-T

Not being fond of cleaning in general, I wasn’t overly thrilled to shampoo the carpets recently. I have never tried any competing products but this one worked just fine. I have seen it referred to as a steam cleaner. I don’t think that is accurate. It has a built in heater but the water is definitely not steaming when applied to the carpet.

It is easy to use and not heavy which would be important to a lot of folks. I found it easy to clean and easy to empty the dirty water and refill. It is about as noisy as my Eureka vac. It does seem to leave drops of water if you leave it sit in one spot too long. The water was dirty when I emptied it so I am guessing my carpets are cleaner. For $199.00 it is decidedly cheaper than professional cleaning. The cleaner concentrate was $14.99 at Ace hardware. It doesn’t seem to go through it very quickly so a 24oz bottle should last you awhile. This unit has bad reviews at Amazon and great reviews at Target. My experience was positive and I feel it gave good value for the price. This was not a paid blog.

Monday, November 15, 2010

HDTV Antenna, Cable Companies BEWARE!

This is a surprisingly cool product. If you are old enough, you may remember when we all had TV antennas on the roof and if you had a few bucks you had a electric rotor to turn it. Then came cable and satellite and Fios and suddenly the idea of getting your TV signal off of the air seemed archaic. Digital conversion drove the final nail in the over the air TV signal or so the cable type people would like you to believe.

Digital signals mean that if you have the appropriate TV or a digital conversion box and an antenna designed to pick up digital signals you can get a GREAT picture for FREE! Obviously Comcast, Verizon and the satellite folks would prefer you did not know this. You are led to believe that the only way to get a good TV picture is to pay someone to deliver it.

Keep in mind the broadcast signal is now digital so if you don’t have a fairly new TV equipped to receive a digital signal you will still need a conversion box. If you got one of the $40.00 off federal coupons and picked up a box, it will work.

My test was for the Terrestrial Digital DB4 antenna. CSN stores provided the product for my test. Assembly was two bolts and then mounting the antenna on a mast of some type. Terrestrial states that if you install the antenna in an attic you will lose 40%-50% of your signal strength. Not only did I not mount it outside, I didn’t even take it above the first floor. I mounted the antenna on a short mast (see photos) and set it on a stool in front of my TV. After letting the TV know that it was no longer on cable and did a new automatic channel finder, I got 31 channels! Say what?

That’s right, 31 channels with the antenna sitting on a stool at ground level. Hmm, how do you like those apples cable, fios and satellite monopolists?

I was stunned with the clarity of the picture and the selection of channels. If I can get 31 channels at ground level inside, who knows how many you can get outside and (gasp) on the roof where the antenna is supposed to be mounted? Slowly turning the antenna I lost a couple of stations and picked up a couple more. A good old fashion rotor would probably make sense.

All in all this was an eye popping $69.00 with free shipping from CSN stores. Compare that to an average of $150.00 per month people are paying for cable type products and it may be time to go old fashion!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Diamond Case Blu-Ray Buyers Guide

Who wouldn't trust this face?
The guys at Diamond Case have put together a comprehensive guide to purchasing a Blu-Ray DVD player. If you are in the market, it is worth checking out. In fact their web site is a wealth of Home Theatre information so it is worth checking out regardless of your need for a Blu-Ray DVD player.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

CSN Preview HDTV Antenna Coming Soon

They have an amazing selection of things that seems to increase every time I log on to their site.   I saw a nice drop leaf table as I surfed as well as other assorted items.  I sometimes just seem to fall down the rabbit hole when I start surfing.

My plans are to review cordless phones, HDTV antennas, outdoor solar lights, a tire swing, pruning tools, sled, a lego set and an air compressor. Of course that may change if I see something else I would rather review. CSN is providing all of the items to review but the choices are mine and they have made no attempt to influence what I write. I will continue to try and post monthly.   I hope to have the HDTV antenna review up soon.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Barnes and Noble’s Color Nook May Not Have A Niche


Barnes and Noble have announced a color Nook for $249.00. ZDnet did a first look report.
The color nook sounds cool but if you recall my post on the Augen reader at $90.00 with a color screen and browsing ability, there is still a huge price differential. In addition, the Augen page turning is quite fast, no lag and that has been a complaint about the Nook. B&N claim that has been remedied in the color Nook but still a $160.00 differential is pretty dramatic.

Then you take into consideration the Vtech V.Reader has a color screen and nifty features for $59.95 and it seems like B&N might want to reevaluate their price point. I know the V.Reader is for kids but the technology is sophisticated so I think it is fair to compare.

Bottom line, B&N should take a look at their price point if they plan on selling many of the color Nooks.
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