Bruce B.

Bruce B.

Joined on 12/08/03


Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 55
Most Favorable Review

Really nice stand

Planar 997-5253-00 Black Dual Monitor Stand for LCD Displays
Planar 997-5253-00 Black Dual Monitor Stand for LCD Displays

Pros: +Well made, high qualikty +Easy adjustment of tilt and rotate after monitors installed +Uses little desk space, less than half vs having a stand under each monitor +Balances two HP ZR24W 24" monitors well +Works with monitors in mixed landscape/portrait mode +VESA mount of the stand is coupled to the arm with a pre-tensioned coil spring, which gives some resiliency and lets you adjust the monitor tilt and rotate by hand without loosening any hardware or fussing.

Cons: Doesn't damp vibration exceptionally well, so if there is a bump on your desk, or vibration in the floor, the monitors will shake a bit for a few seconds. This is because the monitors are suspended on the end of the two mounting arms with a pre-loaded coil spring assembly, to provide for easy micro-adjustement with no tools. In the end you have a mass on the end of a rigid but still very slightly flexible arm, coupled through a slightly springy mount and it will have some resonant frequency. Disturb it, and it oscillates a bit as it returns to its normal position. No way around this unless that structure is changed or the arm-to-monitor mount is damped with something vibration-absorbent.

Overall Review: If not for the vibration issue when my desk (a heavy Steelcase with 36 x 72" steel/formica top) is bumped, or even if I type hard, I'd give this 5 stars instead of 4. I'm going to try to dampen the springy coupling with some dense foam or bungees and see if I can make it better. This may be nit-picking to some people, so don't let this dissuade you from purchasing this otherwise excellent stand.

Most Critical Review

What is up with these drives?

Western Digital WD Green WD20EARS 2TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Western Digital WD Green WD20EARS 2TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

Pros: Running diagnostics on these gives me something to do in all my spare time... yeah right

Cons: With 6 of these drives I could not make a stable RAID5 array in a ReadyNAS NV+ chassis. SMART reported lots of errors such as 44 "Current Pending Sector" and 26 "Offline Uncorrectable" so the ReadyNAS reported the drives as failed. I'm running WD WD DLG now and both the short and extended tests are failing and SMART reports flags in the "warranty" column. I'll see if DLG can "repair" these drives but I am not hopeful. Also plugging one of these into a Win7 OS running on a new MSI 890FXA-GD70 mobo made it hang on boot.

Overall Review: This has not been at all a positive experience. On another ReadyNAS NV+, Samsung HD203WI 2TB drives came up no problem. I also purchased some Seagate ST32000542AS 2TB for use in Ready NAS NV+ and NVX. Why are these WD20EARS Advanced Format drives such problem children and other vendor's 2 TB drives are not?

It’s a headphone splitter. Not much else to say. MUY1MFFADPW White Slim Mini Jack Headphone Splitter Cable Adapter - 3.5mm Male to 2x 3.5mm Female Male to Female MUY1MFFADPW White Slim Mini Jack Headphone Splitter Cable Adapter - 3.5mm Male to 2x 3.5mm Female Male to Female

Pros: Works to share two headphones with one output. Will not work with mic input on one and headphone on the other, just two headphones. Seems well made.

Cons: Jack fits in panels that don’t have a lot of clearance around the connector

Overall Review: White color matches Apple products

Great mouse that doesn't use a USB. Works with Linux too.

Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 Black (PN7-00001)
Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 Black (PN7-00001)

Pros: I have several of these and like them. Compact enough for travel. If the tracking on odd surfaces (a blanket for example or my jeans - like I said, travel) was better I'd give 5 stars. Use on Win 10 and Ubuntu. On some older notebooks with Celeron processor and older BT version connection reliability is not great but I blame that on the PC hardware since the same mouse works well with other hardware. Doesn't take up a USB port which can be super important on a laptop when I also have to connect to other USB devices.

Cons: Not super robust if dropped: I did, three feet onto a cork floor and part of the left button switch broke. Scrolling and right-click still work but not left-click and I can hear a bit rattling around inside the mouse. May try to fix it in some spare moment. Yeah, right.

Overall Review: Overall a good deal for the money. Here today to buy another for another family member.


So far so good for programming and writing, should hold up to heavy use

Corsair Certified CH-9101022-NA Gaming K70 LUX Mechanical Keyboard, Backlit Red LED, Cherry MX Brown, NA
Corsair Certified CH-9101022-NA Gaming K70 LUX Mechanical Keyboard, Backlit Red LED, Cherry MX Brown, NA

Pros: - Like the backlight as I often work at night in a darkened area for best screen viewing. Red is good. - Cherry brown keys - Seems sturdy. Two year warranty. - All the standard keys work as expected with Ubuntu 17.04, even the volume roller and mute. - USB extension to move a USB port to the back edge of the keyboard. Might be useful at some point. I use a BT mouse so it's not a big deal for me. - keys are laser etched so legends should last a while. I quickly wear off printed legends. - The backlight shines through the key legend, I prefer this vs just backlighting an opaque key - Did I mention: two year warranty even as a refurb (according to the product listing warranty tab) - detachable and hinged wrist rest is a nice touch.

Cons: - a little more klacky than other Cherry Brown keyboards I have - media keys don't work in Linux, but there might be a fix for that. Not a biggie - The USB expansion port is separate from the keyboard plugin and needs its own USB host connector in addition to one for the keyboard. - it's a refurb, so what does that mean? It is more likely to fail since it did once already, or someone just returned it for whatever reason? What's life without a little risk?

Overall Review: Not a gamer, I'm a programmer, engineer and writer... but try to buy a "programming" keyboard with backlight... and you will be looking at choices such as this. Like this well enough I may grab another. For what it's worth this with a Microsoft BT 3600 mouse makes a great combination.


Great value, very light and comfortable

Sennheiser HD429s Over-Ear Headphones
Sennheiser HD429s Over-Ear Headphones

Pros: Bought as a Christmas present, on holiday sale. Recipient is very happy! I tried these for a few minutes, compared to more expensive Sony MDR V6 and MDR 7506. These are lighter, and very comfortable. Sound is almost as good as the Sonys and better than two other celebrity-branded headsets I also compared: VModa M100, and $200 MSRP 50cent . Sound is overall quite balanced and neutral. Sound isolation is really good. Plus you can use them for phone calls. In terms of price/performance and neutral sound (I hate boomy, artificially boosted bass) these are a great value.

Cons: Deep bass could be better, for example "Ophelia" on the Natalie Merchant live album. It's still good, just not on a par with higher end phones, but for the price it is more than good enough.

Overall Review: Great for anyone who wants to listen to music and also handle phone calls easily. Super light and comfortable.