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. 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!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Micra Digital Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Cable




The Micra Digital Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Cable connects your USB devices to your computer for data transfer rates of up to 480 Mbps. With a USB Type-A termination at one end and a Type-B termination at the other, the Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Cable is hot pluggable, supports up to 127 daisy-chained devices, and comes with Micra Digital's 5 year limited warranty.



I hooked this cable up to my laptop and sent some test prints.  It worked fine.  I didn’t see any speed differential between it and my older cable.    I have no need for it’s ability to support up to 127 daisy-chained devices.  It is definitely hot swappable as I tested that.   The $1.98 price at Amazon makes this a very attractive purchase.  Compare that price to a USB 2.0 cable at retail stores.   


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

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Netgear N300 Gigabit Router with External Antennas (JNR3210)



This is the first router I have reviewed in awhile that really was plug and play.   It had a very simple and clear 5 step start up.  The start up got you onto the Internet using both a cat5e cable and wireless.   Using the defaults everything worked just fine.   I was impressed with that part. 

The less impressive part was when NetGear Genie gave me my success screen and it had an onscreen button to push to go to the Internet, it took you to a screen that said “page not found”.  Nothing worked at that screen so I went to the Netgear site and proceeded to track this product down through their product numbers.   I found the product and found multiple entries for manuals for Genie.   I opened the PDF for the manual and found a Skype number highlighted so I Skyped and told the tech about the defunct page just for their edification.  I will follow up that with an email.  

The product did work for it’s primary purpose right out of the box and that was both satisfying and a surprise as that sadly doesn’t happen with any great frequency.   As far as seeing how the router works as a repeater or a bridge, I did not pursue that.   When I clicked on products supported in the PDF manual, it took me to a page listing products.  When I clicked on this product it took me to a page that was totally in Japanese or Chinese, I am not conversant in either so I don’t know for sure what language it was in.  That ended my foray into exploring the other options as I don’t have the patience to pursue dead end links. 

It may do all the other stuff the website claims, I did not test that.
I did test installation and that went smoothly, my devices responded well, I was able to get on the Internet hardwired and wirelessly.   I was able to get a technician on my Skype with only a 5 minute wait and that is a plus as well.   I have had positive success with Netgear products in the past.  They make a point of having a CD-Less installation and that is true.   I’m not sure how simple getting to the ancillary features may be with the issues I saw on the PDF manual. 

Overall the product seems good and the lifetime warranty is also a nice feature.  The $60 price tag at Amazon puts in the same ball park as other routers I have tested but the installation was much, much easier.   The $25 TP-Link Nano is substantially cheaper but took nearly two hours to get it working right.  Your choice is to save money or time.  

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

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TL-WR702N 150Mbps Wireless N Nano Router




First you will be amazed at the size of this thing. (see photo)   Then you will be dismayed at how cumbersome the installation was.  It did install and I have it working as a repeater.  Once it was configured it worked just fine.   The instructions with the unit it were for all intents useless.   The mini-CD held the manual.   Here is where cumbersome begins.   It teases you with an overview of all the things it can do first.  BTW when it says quick installation guide, their definition of quick is way different than mine.  



Auto id did not work on a Vista or an XP machine.  I do not experiment with new products on my Win7 machine.   After being bounced hither and thither throughout the manual I was eventually able to manually configure the unit to be a repeater.   In all fairness, once you got to the right place and were able to see the &%$^#^ thing it was pretty straight forward. 



I plugged it in at a far point from my wireless router and saw double the signal strength.  I have a meter ap on my phone and before plugging in the Nano and after plugging it in was dramatic.   In fact the signal strength was now the same in the far corner of the house as it is in the same room with the wireless router.  Pretty impressive considering how inexpensive this is. ($24 on Amazon)



Budget 2 hours for installation and you will be fine.  It will speed you up if you have the mac address, SSID, the type of security you are using and the pass code before you start.  This way there will be no spelunking under your desk to look at the router when you can find the paper you recorded said info on when you installed it.  



Also you will have less difficulty if you don’t have the level of crap on your network that I have so bear that in mind when you install this in 15 minutes.  I’m not stupid but at times I make my own life complicated.



This is a pretty cool piece of tech and so far my only complaint is truly abysmal documentation.  
 

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

Friday, May 17, 2013

ProActive Clip On Golf Bag Watch




This seems very well made and reasonably sturdy. It is made to clip on to a golf bag. Hopefully it will help speed play if you see you are lagging behind the recommended pace. The metal box it came in was a big hit with the 4 year old grandson. It is perfect for keeping treasures in it. It keeps time and so far is durable, not much more to say about a gussied up pocket watch.  $16.95 on Amazon.

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

OttLite L24554 Task Plus High-Definition 24-Watt Floor Lamp, Dove Grey




Hmm, once again I am a bit lost for words.  This is a nice floor lamp.  It assembled easily.  It was missing the flat washer that was supposed to be included but its not like it is hard to find a spare flat washer.  It did include a little wrench to tighten the included bolt so you need no tools for assembly. It feels sturdy and the base is heavy enough that it doesn’t feel like it will fall over. 

The goose neck allows flexibility for adjusting where the light shines.  The light is very clear and provides good direct like on things like hobbies or cards if you happen to be playing in a room without overhead lights.  I don’t know how long the bulb will last or what the replacement will cost.  It is an unusual shape for a light bulb.  Outside of that, it’s a light.  It illuminates what I want to illuminate.  Ascetically it isn’t anything to write home about unless your d├ęcor is technogliche.   There are not a lot of paces to put this through so since it does what it is suppose to do I have to recommend it. 

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

Monday, May 13, 2013

Velocity Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Bike





This is a well made bike for the price.  The cost of this bike including shipping is $149.00 at Amazon.  You can spend that per month at your local fitness center.  



Assembly was fairly straightforward.   No missing parts and no specialized tools were needed.  I like the recumbent feature as it is much easier on my knees than the old bike I had.   This bike also has wheels (really more roller than wheel) than makes it easier to move around.   The distant adjustment works well as long as your intent is to keep the same distance consistently.  



This is not a $1000.00 bike for $149.00.  This is an excellent choice for a single rider who plans on using it once a day for a short period of time.   It does not feel like it would handle being used eight hours a day.  It appears that multiple daily adjustments might tax the equipment but once it is adjusted it seems fine.



Although the adage you get what you pay for always seems to be used in a negative way, I feel this bike exceeds what you paid in quality and durability just don’t expect a $1000.00 cycle.  

Note: after several uses there is no tension, I have not taken it apart to see what is wrong nor have I called the company yet but this is just a heads up, it was not abused but it is now broken after minimal use. 


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

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Do Not Call List Is a Joke




I have concluded after another Card Services call that our highly touted Do Not Call List is a joke.   You put the same telemarketers on the same list time after time.  You file complaints at the state and federal level to no avail. We need to put some teeth into our laws regarding the abuse of the Do Not Call List.

Sadly even if we put our teeth into the butt of the people who supposedly represent us, I doubt if it will promote any action.   Look at the wonderful way they responded to the fiscal crisis and public pressure for adult behavior and compromise.  My suggestion is that we plead with our providers to provide longer and more extensive applications to block these intrusive and annoying calls. 

Comcast allows a list of 12 numbers to be blocked.  That list should be infinite not twelve.  I tracked down the Call Services creeps and addressed the Attorney General’s office in their home state.   The same person has been coordinating the complaints for three years and has gotten no where.  This supports my argument that we need to prevail on our phone service providers to provide us with better weapons to deal with these unwanted calls. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Panasonic EW-DS32-P Compact Battery-Operated Toothbrush for Children


First this toothbrush is grossly overpriced at $29.95 at Amazon. I expected at this price that the battery would be included. There was no triple A battery included. I got these (one blue, one pink) for my grandkids. I thought the light and the electric aspect would encourage them to brush better. The light is fine. The brush aspect is disappointing. I know it does not say it revolves or does anything like the $16.00 adult electric tooth brush I have but it just vibrates. The vibration lets you know it is running but that seems to be the extent of its cleaning power. The head of the brush is very small and probably more appropriate for a toddler than a six and eight year old. If this product was $5.00 it would still be no more than two stars. At this price though, it should be a negative star.

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

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Acer Iconia Bluetooth Case with Bluetooth Keyboard for Iconia A700,


This is a great value for the money.  It fits the Acer perfectly.  Everything worked as advertised.  My only reason for a 4 star review was it was too small for my hands.  My hands are between large and extra large glove wise.  If you have medium size or smaller hands and and an  Acer 700 I highly recommend it.  If you have large hands prepare to type gibberish.  Of course if your manual dexterity is better than mine, you may be fine.  Key layout was a bit confusing.  Larger shift and return key would have been better but that is back to the size limitation again.  Check out the keyboard layout before buying.  Lots of people are put off by changes in keyboard layout.


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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