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Jonathan S.

Jonathan S.

Joined on 06/30/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 19
Most Favorable Review

Works Great - If you use it this way:

Acronis True Image 9.0
Acronis True Image 9.0

Pros: So many people who are making backups to an image file, to a CD, or to DVD have problems. Instead of using it in Backup mode, use it with an external hard drive and use Clone mode. That method works perfectly and creates a complete mirror image of your hard drive including OS, data, registry, everything. You can either boot to the Acronis CD, or if that doesn't work install it in Windows and start Clone from there (it will reboot into a pre-windows environment to run the clone which means all RAID configurations are supported even though the documentation says it only supports RAID 0).

Cons: Doing anything other than a clone is risky - you can wind up with a corrupt backup. It would be nice if it had a one-button clone where you just click Clone and it begins the procedure instead of having to click "next" on half a dozen screens to get it to start. That would encourage me to backup more frequently if it was as simple as popping in a CD and cliking one icon.

Overall Review: If all you are going to do is boot to the Acronis CD, you don't need to install it in Windows which means you don't need the serial #...

Most Critical Review

USB Port WILL break

VIZIO VTAB1008-B 8" Refurbished Tablet
VIZIO VTAB1008-B 8" Refurbished Tablet

Pros: Cheap tablet (although there are some really good alternatives for not much more now)

Cons: I've had 2 of these tablets and the USB charging port starts loosing it's connection. You have to put the cable in just the right position to get it to charge. Eventually it stops charging altogether = dead tablet, not worth fixing. I wouldn't buy another.

Overall Review: Knowing these tablets had issues with the USB ports, I always plugged them and unplugged them super carefully, making sure the connectors were lined up rather than just jabbing at it in the dark. (If you know what I mean). The point is no matter how careful I was the USB ports still ultimately failed, so don't expect your experience to be different.

12/12/2012

Nearly perfect!

Black Over the Head Noise-canceling Wireless Bluetooth Trucker Headset Handsfree Headphone Earphone with Boom Mic for iPhone 4 4S 5 5S 5C iPad 4 3 2 Smartphones PC Computers
Black Over the Head Noise-canceling Wireless Bluetooth Trucker Headset Handsfree Headphone Earphone with Boom Mic for iPhone 4 4S 5 5S 5C iPad 4 3 2 Smartphones PC Computers

Pros: I absolutely love this Bluetooth headset. Now I'm no longer tethered to my phone. I can receive calls directly from the headset. AND make calls (using voice dialing). No longer am I holding my cell phone to the side of my head for hours at a time. No more echo hollow sounding speakerphone (with everyone in the room listening to your conversation). Because this is an actual headset (not an in-the-ear type), it is comfortable to wear all day and it has a cushioned earpiece. The boom mic is noise cancelling so sound quality is even better than when talking directly on the phone itself. The battery seems to last forever. Rarely do I ever charge it. I can go multiple days between charges. Of course it depends on how many hours of actual talking you are doing.

Cons: The only negative I've found is that I wish the earpiece volume would go up one more loudness notch. However, I experience the same thing when tethering my phone to my car radio, so maybe it's more my phone than the headset itself (not sure). Therefore I am not taking off a point for the volume. It's adequate but would be perfect if it would go one notch higher.

Overall Review: This headset allows you to be completely hands-free and to no longer be tied directly to your phone. I find that my productivity has gone way, way up since I started using this headset.

Works on Windows 8

Insten 1042814 Aluminum 2.5" Silver SATA USB 2.0 SATA External Enclosure Version 2
Insten 1042814 Aluminum 2.5" Silver SATA USB 2.0 SATA External Enclosure Version 2

Pros: So simple, plug in SATA drive, plug in USB cable. The nice aluminum makes it seem more expensive than it is. Why pay more? Also includes a nice enough carrying case "sleeve".

Cons: The tiny screws (which you really should install to keep things from working loose inside) are hard to install with the included screwdriver. I used a normal small screwdriver and the screws drove in easily. Be careful not to over tighten. These two small screws firm things up and take out the "flimsiness".

Overall Review: You should NOT need a driver for this drive! I plugged it in on an XP PC, a Windows 7 PC, and a Windows 8.1 PC and it was immediately recognized by all. Because my hard drive was already formatted and had content on it, I was immediately able to see and use the drive. (If your drive is new "blank" you'll need to go into Disk Management and format the drive before it will show up with a drive letter under Computer.) To the reviewer who said it wasn't working with Windows 8, I would suggest that is possibly a USB 3.0 vs. USB 2.0 issue. Try plugging into a dedicated USB 2.0 port. No driver needed, this is a standard USB hard drive device! Even though USB 3.0 is supposed to be backwards compatible, I have seen devices that don't work when plugged into a USB 3.0 port. FYI, if you HAVE a USB 3.0 port (usually colored blue) then you really should be buying a USB 3.0 external enclosure anyway. (This one is USB 2.0, thus the low price). Also, make sure you connect BOTH ends of the split USB cable to USB ports (one draws power, the other is for data!) While the drive may power on (LED light on) if you are only using one port you it may not work properly. If you connect and use the device properly, it should work on any modern version of Windows no problem.

11/19/2014

It shouldn't be difficult

TP-LINK TL-WDR3600 Dual Band Wireless N600 Router, Gigabit, 2.4 GHz 300 Mbps + 5 GHz 300 Mbps, 2 x USB port, IP QoS, Wireless On / Off Switch
TP-LINK TL-WDR3600 Dual Band Wireless N600 Router, Gigabit, 2.4 GHz 300 Mbps + 5 GHz 300 Mbps, 2 x USB port, IP QoS, Wireless On / Off Switch

Pros: Gigabit wired speeds, dual band, USB network storage I purchased this router for two reasons. 1) to upgrade my network to gigabit as the majority of my components are now gigabit capable. 2) to divide my wireless traffic into the 2.4 & 5 GHz bands to better accommodate my network traffic.

Cons: The familiar TP-Link interface was easy to use as I have set up dozens of "cheaper" TP-Link routers over the years. Everything worked out of the box, but my 2 Android phones (Nexus & Galaxy S4) absolutely refused to download at anything above 5Mbps (my Internet is 70Mbps). I tried every combination I could think of - 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, N-Only, 20MHz, 40MHz, one frequency disabled, the other active, visa versa, in-other-words HOURS of time. I flashed the latest firmware...no change. My wireless computer devices were linking at 300MHz and downloading at near 70Mbps. It made no sense. I almost gave up and sent the unit back, as my old TP-Link 150N would at least give me 20+Mbps out of the box and it only cost $17. But I decided to install DD-WRT instead just to say I had tried everything. Instant success! ALL of my devices now are getting amazing download speeds. My S4 is downloading at over 45Mbps in another room through walls so I'm completely happy with that. The DD-WRT interface is excellent, so much so that I wish every router just shipped with it as the standard interface.

Overall Review: As for the gigabit wired Ethernet, all of my devices are linking correctly at 1gbps and file transfer speeds on my LAN are excellent. Final note: I had put my son's phone on the 2.4GHz frequency. He said today he lost connection twice but it's too soon to tell if there's anything to that. I have not had any issues on the 5GHz band and speeds are very close to what my wired computers get which is excellent.

12/31/2013

Great games, NOTHING else

Nintendo Wii U Deluxe System Black
Nintendo Wii U Deluxe System Black

Pros: Increasing great game library, plays old Wii games too, unique 2 screen experience in some games (love it or hate it), great sound, Mario games are finally in HD and look great.

Cons: The entire user interface is awful. It is SO slow, arguably the slowest interface to ever grace a game console. To the point that I do NOT want to use it for anything other than playing the latest Wii U game. Nothing else. Currently on the 3.1.0U update which I believe to be the latest. You also only get the gamepad controller which means NO multiplayer gaming until you buy another remote. And NO classic console gaming with the gamepad unless you upgrade (PAY) to convert those games to Wii U. So that's another reason you'll need to buy a remote after you've already bought the deluxe set. And the gamepad experience is overrated. I don't particularly care for it although it does have a certain appeal in games that utilize it well.

Overall Review: I have 5 bars wifi, 30mbps Internet, and when I turned on the Wii U for the first time it took over 2 hours to download and update. THEN each app I tried to go into (Netflix, Youtube, etc.) required an additional mandatory update so that was fairly absurd right out of the box. Speaking of Youtube, scrolling through the list of videos is slow and choppy. Going in and out of games or apps takes at BEST 10 seconds and sometimes lots longer. 10 seconds doesn't sound like a lot but if you have ever used an Xbox, Playstation, or even the Wii, you will likely quickly become frustrated with the overall clunky and slow user interface. It feels slow and choppy all the time, and I believe it's because they are constantly feeding data wirelessly to the HUGE AND CLUMSY gamepad controller. The inherent design of this system means that they are never going to be able to fix it with software updates. It is always going to be slow. Still, if you are a HUGE Nintendo fan, some of the games themselves are really great. That's really the one and only reason. I waited until it hit $299. Honestly? It's worth $149 in its current configuration and someday when Nintendo ultimately gives up on it you'll see it for under $99 on clearance, mark my words. Ambitious? Yes. Satisfying? Only the games themselves get it a 2 star ranking.