FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. I do not collect information on my readers. If cookies or other tracking stuff is used on my blogs it is due to BLOGGER not ME. Apparently the European Union's new rules state I need to inform you if cookies are being use. If they are it isn't byu me, consider yourself INFORMED.
Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't, whether I got it free or NOT!



Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
or visit my web site

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Seagate Central 2 TB Shared Storage Ethernet External Hard Drive (STCG2000100) Dreadful Software!

One year later, this is really a dodgy product.  It gets lost, it loses connection and the software is dreadful.  I just spent over four hours trying to get it re-set up after it lost connection.   It is frankly a huge waste of time.  I do not recommend it. 

This is a NAS (network attached storage) drive.  It is a very good concept, particularly for a small business or a home with multiple users having a variety of devices.  I had some issues getting it to be seen by my computer.  I could not get it recognized plugged into a switch.  I had to plug it into the switch incorporated into my router.  It popped right up then.  Oh, Seagate spring for a brighter light to tell when your drive is working.  It is a pinpoint of light under a black screen that blinks or is solid green, amber and red and darn near impossible to see.  Not a big thing but kind of annoying. 

Quick setup was a breeze after it was direct connected.  Software had to be done online and was not terribly intuitive.   I did download the aps for my phone and tablets.  They worked but again not very intuitive.   It took some puzzling out to get it done.  Once it was done it was interesting to send a file from my phone to the drive and pick it up with my tablet.   I have a flash drive that does the same thing wirelessly  (albeit much, much less capacity)but I can use this from anywhere I can get the Internet.

It will take some time to get all things working smoothly. I have set up the back up and have not seen the results of that yet.  Overall I am pleased.  The YouTube video on the menu helped a great deal but the narrator when too fast.   This is one of those review items that will remain in use and not thrown in the closet.  At $129.00 on Amazon, it is a very good bang for the buck.

From the vendor:

You can't enjoy what you can't find when your digital life is spread across multiple computers, hard drives and flash drives. With Seagate Central shared storage, it's simple to back up all your files, documents and media to one location on your network, and enjoy the convenience of a shared digital library that is compatible with both Macs and PCs. Access your music, movies and docs from computers, game consoles, Smart TVs and other connected devices throughout the home. If you own a Samsung Smart TV or Blu-ray Disc player with Smart Hub (2012 model or later), you can take advantage of the Seagate Media app to enjoy easy content browsing with your remote control. Enjoy your content where you want, when you want. After downloading the free Seagate Media app, you can view your content by type, size, even compatibility, regardless if it is a PDF, Word doc, music, photo or movie file. The Seagate Media app offers a full screen view that allows for quick and easy selection as well as a visually rich experience that is available for Android and Apple platforms as well as Amazon Kindle. You can even offload or back up your photos and personal videos from the Seagate Media app. Upload and download any of your files from most Web browsers-from anywhere-with the Central Remote Access Service. System Requirements: Router with an available Ethernet port (Wi-Fi router required for wireless file access and backup), Internet connection for activation and Internet file sharing, Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3.x, Chrome 4.x, Safari 3, or later Web browser, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later operating system. Remote Access App Requirements Android Smartphone and Tablet (Android 2.2, Adobe AIR) Apps Available: Seagate Media, iTunes App Store, Android Market, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Samsung Smart Hub. Inside the Box: Seagate Central shared storage, Quick start guide, Ethernet cable, 2-year limited warranty, Power supply.

Day Two, the bloom is off the rose.
The software is klutzy.  The Dashboard on the desktop is laggy and unresponsive to clicks.  The backup software claims to be configured but won't start, says job is pending.  The remote access allows you to upload three files at a time.  The option to add more files to upload does not function.  After the three files are uploaded, you can add three more.  That is tedious at best and ludicrous at worse.  You can't upload a folder, only a file.  I got an email telling me support can be done through phone, email, facebook or chat.  I clicked on the link and there is no option for chat.  I left a message on Facebook, waiting for a response.  The link took me to a page that asked for a login.  I registered the product yesterday, I have the password in front of me.  The site did not recognize email address or user name.  So far the drive seems fine, the software buggy and the support remains to be seen.  I'll be back with an update.

Day 3
I got a response on Facebook 2 hours later. The "fix" they suggested did not work.  I uninstalled the software. I disconnected the drive, I rebooted the computer, I reconnected the drive, I downloaded the software again and reinstalled the dashboard. when I click on the icon placed on my desktop by the software installation I got "This action is only valid for products that are currently installed." So that didn't work. Seagate's Dashboard software for the desktop does not work.  I did use 2nd Copy, a third party backup software that I am fond of and it worked just fine with the drive so the drive isn't useless.  The Remote access doesn't allow me to see anything but the "public" folders, there may be a work around and I will be back to post that if I find it.  Also if I can get the Dashboard problem solved I will be back to post that as well.  So far it seems like a good idea with decent hardware and the drawback of klutzy software.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

KRUD KUTTER CR32/6 Carpet Cleaner/Stain Remover, 32-Ounce by Krud Kutter

Rug 1
Price:   $12.83  at Amazon
This was a more involved review than some.  I had no carpet spots so  I created some.   I got to carpet scraps of different types and stained them.  One carpet type is similar to a Berber  and has lots of deep kind of holes.  The other type was a smoother, sheared type.   I took blackberry jelly and smeared it on both scraps.   I gave it 30 minutes to set and then I sprayed each carpet scrap.   See rug 1

Rug 2
The stain on the smoother carpet was practically eradicated on the first spraying.  I followed the instructions to not soak but to spray thoroughly.   I then rubbed it and patted it with a scrap of terry cloth and then  wiped it with  a damp terry cloth.   The Berber carpet did not fare as well on the first spray.   See Rug 2

Rug Final
I used the spray again  and on the smooth carpet the stain is gone.   The only problem is that it was a pretty soiled scrap and there is now a lighter, dirt free area where the stain used to be.   The Berber carpet came out very well on the second spray.  See Rug 3 and Rug Final for close up.
Rug 4

On the heavily soiled smoother carpet, there was a long time (years) spot of indeterminate source.  I sprayed it and it came out beautifully.  See spot at top, middle of mauve rug on Rug 1 and missing spot on Rug 4.   

Overall this spray seems to work better than any other spot cleaner I have used.   I, admittedly, never rubbed blackberry jelly into a carpet before so I am quite impressed with the results.  

Details from Vendor:
Penetrates deep into the carpet fibers
Works on dirt, grease, odors and stains
Leaves no sticky residue
Safe for all carpet types, including nylon and other synthetic carpets, as well as stain resistant carpets
Special polymers repel dirt and stains so next time its easier to clean

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Good Sense Cetirizine Antihistamine HCL Tablets, 10 mg

Zyrtec is the brand name of this drug.  This is a generic.  I have used a generic Zyrtec for several years with good success.  This drug is effective for general allergy relief.  This specific brand is not as inexpensive as other generics found on Amazon.  However it is available in smaller sizes than some of the other generics so it provides you with a less expensive means of trying the drug to see how effective it is with your specific allergies. 

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, November 18, 2013

TYLT Band - Green - Flat Silicone Dual-charging Micro USB Car Charger

This is a pretty nifty device.  Apropos to nothing, I love the color.  It allows me to find it easily in the morass that is my console box.   It also has the ability to allow me to charge both my tablet and my phone simultaneously.   The automobile manufactures claim to be in touch with modern needs but a single power port and a single usb charging port doesn’t begin to handle the phones, tablets and accessories we all carry.  This company seems to be more in touch with what we need.  This is a handy item and works well.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Belkin 7-Outlet Commercial Surge Protector with 6-Foot Cord

This is an adequate surge suppressor.  I have purchased and used a wealth of Belkin equipment over the years and it has always held up quite well.  The specifications meet most peoples needs.  As far as performance after a week I have noticed nothing amiss nor have I noticed any protection but you usually don't.   I am a bit surprised that there are no outlets on the edge or sideways to allow the ubiquitous oversized power converters from cell phones, etc.   At $17.99 list it isn't going to break the bank but it seems dated in it's design.  It is a good basic surge suppressor and knowing Belkin the warranty is probably going to be upheld if needed.  

From the vendor:
750-joule energy rating provides maximum protection of all your sensitive electronic devices
7 surge-protected outlets supply complete, 3-line AC protection
Filters EMI/RFI noise up to 43 dB reduction
Maximum Spike Current: 102,000A (H-N: 39000A, H-G: 39000A, N-G: 24000A)
Lifetime Product Warranty and Connected Equipment Warranty

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Coast DX350 Double Lock Folding Knife 3.5-Inch Blade

I’m not a knife collector.  To me a knife is a tool.  Although it does occur to me that I do have a couple of collectible knives so maybe I am a collector.  Hmm, who knew?  I got the Smith & Wesson CH0016 Bullseye Folding Linerlock last September and it has been a work horse.  It was about a third of the price of this knife and I find it easier to open one handed than this knife.  With that said, this still seems like a nice quality knife.  The double lock feature makes sense for a hard working knife.  I’m quite fond of my fingers.  The deeply textured handle provides a secure grip.  I do find one handed opening on this somewhat problematic.  Perhaps I have a wimpy thumb.   The clip is placed very near the top which allows the knife to be positioned deeper in the pocket.  I like that feature, the S&W knife’s clip allows entirely too much sticking out and thus it tends to catch on things.  Overall, a good quality blade with solid features. 

·  7Cr17 stainless steel blade

·  G10 handle on stainless steel frame

·  3.5 in. blade; 8.25in. overall

·  5.0 oz. weight

·  Deep-carry, 3-position pocket clip

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Toro 51609 Ultra 12 amp Variable-Speed (up to 235) Electric Blower/Vacuum with Metal Impeller

Tis the season for leaf clean up.  I was blowing my leaves into piles and then shredding them.   The shredding is the part that really lights my fire due to the 16x1 compression ratio.   I can get the enormous pile of leaves down to four 50 gallon trash cans and I don't need to bag.   I was thinking to myself how amazing my Toro blower was and how long it has given me good service.  Arrgghh!  I should have realized that was the kiss of death as moments later it died.  Dead, gone to the other side, non-functional!

After a suitable moment of silence I left is sit for the afternoon in hope that it had overheated or "something".   Well after testing on multiple outlets in the futile hope that it was the extension cord or outlet, I concluded it was truly dead.

I researched blowers.  My boys have gas powered ones that they love.  Alas the infernal combustion engine and I have a bad history.  Every time I have gotten a gas powered tool, it has died over what ever season it spent in disuse.   Adding Stabil, draining the tank, etc, none of my hand held gasoline tools got through a season without taking it in for service.   My Toro Blower on the other hand continued to blow (in a good way) year after year.  

I discovered that Toro still makes my blower!  It is red not black but I can live with the color change.   The only upgrade I can see is the metal impeller which is a smart upgrade when that is what does your shredding.   My only beef is that none of the parts or accessories from my old one will fit on the new one.   The new one made short work of the balance of my leaves and looks to be as good or better than it's deceased forbearer.  

When throwing the box away from the original blower I found the UPS shipping date on the box.  November 7, 2001 was the date.   That means that I got just slightly over twelve (count them 12)  years of service for a $70.00 tool with moving parts.  Kudos to Toro for usability and durability.

From the vendor:
Toro Ultra 3-in-1 blower, vacuum, and leaf shredder makes completing yard work fun and easy
Move a substantial volume of leaves and debris with ease with air speeds up to 235 mph and air volume up to 390 cfm
Variable speed motor for better control; rugged metal impeller creates a fine mulch
Quick-Release Latch lets you convert your blower into a vacuum in seconds without tools
Comes with power unit, blower tubes, vacuum tubes, and vacuum bag; 2-year warranty

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

K'NEX Nintendo Mario Kart 7 Mario Pullback Glider Kart

I am more familiar with the bristle block type of K’NEX.   This toy is more Lego like than what I would consider the traditional K’NEX.   The instructions are clear.  The parts are well made.  The little pull back motor seems durable.  I don’t see a problem with a normal five year old assembling this toy.   I can’t see a seven or eight year old being interested in assembly as I suspect they would find it too easy.   It does include a super leaf which I had to Google to see what the heck that is.  It is a power-up item that doesn’t seem to have any function except hype.   List price is $16.99, $14.99 at Amazon and value wise I think $9.99 would be more realistic.  In all fairness though, it is price substantially better than similar Lego kits.  

From the vendor:
·  Build Mario? in his Glider Kart from Mario? Kart 7
·  Pull back motorized action!
·  27 pieces, including super leaf item
·  Re-usable ramp package
·  Recommended for builders ages 6+

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.
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