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Matthew C.

Matthew C.

Joined on 09/09/04

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 7
Most Favorable Review

Does the job...

SAPPHIRE 100104SR-BL-H Theatrix Theatre 550Pro PCI TV Tuner Card
SAPPHIRE 100104SR-BL-H Theatrix Theatre 550Pro PCI TV Tuner Card

Pros: It works, is half-height (good for some with small cases), and comes with a lot of stuff for the price. The remote is actually surprisingly good for MCE 2005.

Cons: It gets pretty hot, the bundled software is awful, it's a bit slow to change channels (fine if you're just doing DVR and not watching live), and it took a weird double-reboot cycle to get it to show up in Windows Media Center 2005. Normally I'd just chalk this up to me installing it in an unintended order, but the same thing happened to a friend of mine setting up his machine with the same card. Download fresh drivers, be persistent, and this card works fine.

Overall Review: The CPU usage is a bit high on my under-spec (for MCE 2005) Athlon XP 1800+ when playing/recording one stream, but it holds up decently. I'll be ordering a second one shortly to bump up the MCE box to two tuners. A re-buy is generally the best I can say for a product.

Most Critical Review

Fat, slow, okay...

Kingston Elite Pro 16GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card Model CF/16GB-S2KR
Kingston Elite Pro 16GB Compact Flash (CF) Flash Card Model CF/16GB-S2KR

Pros: It's big. It's cheap. It works.

Cons: It's slow.

Overall Review: If you're a RAW shooter, especially on something like a D700, do yourself a favor and get a faster card. Other 133x cards seem to outperform it. Everything, from shooting to picture reviewing, suffers with this card in my camera. That said, I'll keep it in my bag as an "Oh noes! I ran out of space!" card, but I won't use it until I absolutely have to. If I were a JPEG shooter, I probably wouldn't care one bit.

Awesome, solid choice. Especially without TRIM.

Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1
Crucial RealSSD C300 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) CTFDDAC256MAG-1G1

Pros: Very good performance in all sorts of situations (small files, large files, random, streaming).

Cons: Not completely stellar performance, and I've had it drop out on me once (requiring a hard reboot of my late 2010 Unibody MacBook Pro 15").

Overall Review: It's held on to solid performance even when mostly filled on a non-TRIM machine. It's not spot-on perfect, but it's been a very good performer for me. I have a number of different SSDs, and I'm considering getting another one of these.

Awful packaging, problematic service.

SHARP CV-P13PX 13,000 Cooling Capacity (BTU) Portable Air Conditioner
SHARP CV-P13PX 13,000 Cooling Capacity (BTU) Portable Air Conditioner

Pros: - The unit itself is quiet, though not as quiet as one might expect. - Air blown is cold. - Window system is reasonable, and the exhaust hose feels well put together. - Very pleasant service people.

Cons: - Really optimistic packaging. The unit is less than three inches from the edge of the box in places, and the styrofoam packaging doesn't stand a chance with these weights. - I've had a lot of trouble with service (still ongoing). See other thoughts. - Unit is loud at times. - Exhaust hose gets really hot, and this heat seems to cause the unit to start to blow cold air even when the room is *well* below the set temperature.

Overall Review: Packaging that looked okay on delivery, but the unit inside rattled and blew only warm air after 3-5 minutes of running. I called Sharp service and was given a phone number and a case number. The service center seemed confused when called and said "we don't do *that* model of air conditioner... Some Sharps, but not that one." I called Sharp back and received another service contact to call. Really confused, they said "we only service Sharp TVs." Repeat two more times. Finally, I spoke with someone who went away for a few days then called back and offered a replacement, shipped by Sharp. The unit showed up, a bit battered, but working, and I awaited my return label, which they said they would mail. It turns out that the label was in a manifest envelope with the replacement. I called service, and they apologized, but the department for returns was closed. On Monday, I received a stern call telling me my credit card will be charged. Unit shipped, nervous Re: charges. Av

Spend a bit more.

OCZ Special Ops 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3SOE13334GK
OCZ Special Ops 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3SOE13334GK

Pros: - It can be made to "work" with some tweaking. - It looks pretty. - You can have the most expensive paperweights of anyone in your group of friends.

Cons: - My two pairs reported SPD's of 7-7-7-20, but won't post at that. Changing my settings required putting in the old RAM. - They won't run stably at the spec-stated timings, either. Having just crashed again (about 3 days of running), I'm at 10-10-10-28 (as far as my board will go). 9-9-9-27 gave me runs of a few days. 9-9-9-26 gave me runs of a day. Yes, I changed from the SPD-stated 1.5v setting to the spec-stated 1.7v setting.

Overall Review: What can you say about RAM that isn't stable and doesn't meet its specs? This was ordered by my IT department when I specifically requested another product. Guess how disappointed I am with wasting several days on this junk?

Get something else.

ADS Tech PTV-305 Instant TV Deluxe
ADS Tech PTV-305 Instant TV Deluxe

Pros: Lots of things in the box for the money, and it works with Orb.

Cons: This card has a terrible time with anything but a really strong signal (has trouble tuning many channels). Other cards worked fine for me. Even when I put it on a strong cable signal, the video quality is really bad. It looks very blurry, even scaled down to 1/4 size.

Overall Review: Get something else.