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

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Monoprice Blackbird 4K Pro 3X1 Enhanced HDMI Switch with Built-In Equalizer & Remote Control

This is a very compact switch.  It works easily with no software needed.  The remote only works with the attachment of the IR receiver.  Operationally this works just fine.  One fly in the ointment is the remote.  I tried to open the battery compartment just to see how hard it would be to replace the battery.  I could not get it open. The remote is so tiny and flimsy that I was concerned about damaging it.  I guess when the battery does die, I will need to pry the compartment open and use electric tape to hold it in if I do break it.  The problem with the battery compartment drops this from five stars to three.

·                        Compliant with HDMI, CTS 1.4a, and DVI 1.0 standards
·                        This is a high performance HDMI® switch with three inputs and one output. It supports HDCP repeater functions and fast switching between any of the HDMI input ports.
·                        Supports 3D and 4K video resolutions with up to 16-bits/channel Deep Color
·                        Supports the 7.1-channel Dolby TrueHD™ and DTS-HD Master Audio
·                        Low power consumption, does not require an external power supply

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

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Just Wireless Portable Charger

6,000 mAh Two Port External Battery Pack Power Bank for Apple and Android Devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, LG, Motorola, Nokia, HTC, Blackberry) - Space Grey

Everybody needs one of these.  I have three myself.  It’s like insurance, you hope you never need it but feel so much better if you have it.  The  only  negative to this is the tiny    little connection cable.  Otherwise it is a nice unit, you can plug two device into it and charge two phone phones at once.  They proudly say they have a one year warranty which I naively think is hardly a feature since everything “should” have at least a one year warranty but alas so many tech gadgets do not.  So it has a one year warranty and that is good.

·                        6,000 mAh battery with 2.1A total output supplies a fast quick charge to your devices & 1.5A total input rapidly re-charges power bank
·                        3X Charge: This 6,000 mAh battery will give your smart phone at least 3X additional charges, so you can talk, text, play, listen, and browse longer
·                        Two USB Ports: Charges up to 2 devices at once and features a smart IC Chip Technology that identifies the device(s) plugged in and distributes power across both ports automatically
·                        Features integrated circuit protection to safeguard your devices and 4 LED indicators that display remaining power level so you'll know exactly when to plug in for a re-charge
·                        One-Year Warranty - we're so confident about the quality of our product that we gave it a one-year warranty!

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

DII Heavy Duty Woven Paper Rectangle Laundry Basket

These are nice storage bins but for laundry they are pretty small.  The largest one is still far smaller than my smallest laundry basket.   That doesn’t mean they won’t be useful but realistically these are sized for putting your unmentionables in,  one pair of jeans would feel  the largest of the three.  Good for socks and organization but not so much for general laundry.  They’re good looking but a touch pricey.

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

Friday, January 19, 2018

Monoprice Large Paper Thin HDTV Antenna, 35 Mile Range Model#13805

This is certainly light weight and could be mounted nearly anywhere.  It worked nearly as well as my existing antenna in the VHF and better in the UHF area.  Of course I have no clue as to whether those designations are still applicable in the digital world but that is how I would have referred to them back in the dark ages before cable.

In my area channels 3,6 and 10 are the three major networks and this would not pick up 6 or 12 which is the local PB at all.  It did pick up 17, 29,39, 69 and the variations of those stations such as 17-1 etc.  It provided a better picture on the ones it got but was disappointing in the low range.

The documentation was printed on a card slightly larger than a business card but realistically there is little need for documentation as it is pretty much plug and play.

·                        This Large Paper Thin HDTV Antenna measures 13.0" x 11.8"
·                        Range of up to 35 miles

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

Monday, January 15, 2018

Samsung S7 BEWARE

I have had a Samsung S7 through Verizon Mobile and it was carefully maintained and kept in a case throughout its existence.  Imagine my surprise when it started behaving erratically and I removed the case to discover a swollen battery.  I googled swollen battery and discovered a wealth of complaints. The phone is not even paid off as I elected to buy it through Verizon.  I contacted Samsung and they said that they would fix it for $70.00.   So they sold me a defective product and expect me to pay to have it repaired.   The battery issue is well documented and has caused Samsung a lot of bad public relations, JUSTLY!  If they can't build a phone that can be taken care of and is immaculate with the exception of the swollen battery then they should get out of the phone business. 

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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

iHome iAVS16 Alexa Bedside Speaker System with Far Field Voice, Bluetooth, and USB Charging

This seems like a good idea.  I can turn on lights and control Alexa controlled devices from this unit. It also has a very decent speaker system which means that music played through this should be much better than in the Echo Dot or it would be if I could get it set up in the Alexa ap as a device.  The Bluetooth worked just fine from my phone and the sound quality was excellent.  The idea of this unit is positive but so far the implementation is disappointing.   The first unit I got would not connect to my Echo Dot regardless of how many factory resets I did. I spent over two hours with a large part of that being with a very nice tech rep from iHome.   They asked me to return it and I did so.  They decided that the unit was defective and sent a new one out.  It connected immediately which was satisfying.  You must download their ap to get this to work at all.  For those of you who are as oblivious as I am, the more important menu is at the bottom of the screen.  On my phone I may have noticed it sooner but on my 10” tablet I was getting annoyed prior to my seeing the menu.  

This unit needs better documentation.  I was able to use it to turn on devices through the Echo Dot.   I like that part.   I was not able to get music to play through it via the Dot.  I am sure it is possible but I could not figure it out.  I think that better documentation would help, lack of such has colored my opinion.

From the vendor:
  • Amazon alexa is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. Just Ask alexa to play music, control your smart home, hear the news, check weather and more.
  • The iAVS16 also allows you to play your music and answer calls over the Bluetooth wireless Connection.
  • The iAVS16 works great with iHome smartplugs (sold separately), just Ask alexa via your iAVS16 to turn off your lights, turn on a fan, Start the coffee and much more, all from the comfort of our Bed.
  • The integrated light bar provides all the familiar alexa-based experience while also allowing for always-on mood lighting with adjustable modes and colors.
  • One-touch action buttons provide the quickest way to trigger a Series of events such as controlling your smartplugs and playing a Spotify music.

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

Sunday, January 7, 2018

VTech VC7151 Wireless Home Monitoring System with Cordless Telephone and VTech Sensor Compatibility

This is a phone and answering machine that works well. The phone clarity is positive. This also is the base unit for a home monitoring system.  Conceptually it is a very good idea.  You can purchase door sensors and motion detectors and have them synced with this base unit.  The base can then call numbers that you have preprogrammed to alert to the sensor’s alarm.  As an example you could program your cell phone to be called if the sensor on the garage door showed it was opened.  This is what the documentation says.  However as the base unit does not come with any sensors, I can not report as to the veracity of their claims.  It works fine as a phone as to the rest, you will have to get sensors to determine if that feature works. 

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

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

DII Fabric Bins for Laundry Room, Nurseries, Closets & Everyday Storage Needs, Asst, Assorted Set of 3, Black Stripe

This is a nice set and comes in some good sizes.  The fabric seems sturdy.  I’ve found uses for two of the three already.

·                        100% Cotton
·                        Imported
·                        FABRIC STORAGE BINS - Set of 3, SM - 12 x 8 x 7.5", MED - 14 x 9 x 8", LRG - 16 x 12.5 x 9.5" prefect for organizing your laundry room, nursery, bathroom, and any other room in your home.
·                        STURDY CONSTRUCTION - 100 % Cotton bins made to hold all your laundry needs. Just wipe with a damp cloth to clean
·                        LIGHT WEIGHT BUT DURABLE - Light weight durable cotton material. DII bins provides attractive, lightweight solution to many storage needs, also great for storing accessories, cosmetics, toys and other home essentials
·                        VERSATILE USE - Universal use for every household member. Perfectly sized for the laundry rooms,bedrooms,bathrooms or closets
·                        STYLISH AND STURDY - Chic, versatile and functional laundry accessories for every room in your home. Two comfortable sturdy handles for easy carrying
·                        KEEP YOUR LAUNDRY ROOM CLEAN AND ORGANIZED TODAY! Contribute it to your Home Decor while adding Organization to your living space. Shop amazon.com/dii

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