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Customer Reviews: 38
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Gruk RSS Feed (Austin, Texas United States)

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Roku 3 Streaming Media Player (2014 model)
Roku 3 Streaming Media Player (2014 model)
Offered by BLINQ
Price: $94.89
68 used & new from $59.99

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In general not too much of an upgrade and much worse in one respect, July 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is probably the 4th or 5th Roku I have bought for myself or friends so I have a fair amount of experience and obviously appreciate the concept. It has huge untapped potential still stymied by content owners and cable companies.
Some comments:
1) First about Roku generally. They abandon models fairly quickly and stop providing software updates. Not only that I presume the SDK they provide to program developers is not backwards compatible. To give a couple of examples (which are also amongst the reasons I decided to buy the latest model: There is a new PBS channel but for some reason it does not appear on older models only the latest ones. It seems strange since I don't believe it challenges the hardware any more than other channels. The second example is that of Amazon (you listening Amazon?) Cloud Player. I am a strong supporter of Amazon and was very excited to read about them developing an app on Roku for this. Despite waiting for a long time it never appeared on any of my existing Roku boxes, which are only a year or two old. So in the end I bit the bullet and bought the latest and greatest.
2) Setup was ok though the new Roku did not seem to like the ethernet cable which had been working fine with my old box - I set them up side by side so just moved it from one to the other. It kept saying no cable was plugged in then it would find the network then say no Internet. Wireless setup was ok though not flawless (the box is right next to the DSL modem and brand new router). In the end I got out another cable and used the Ethernet connection.
3) When you are re-setting up channels you had previously you have to go through the tedium of entering your account information. Entering the same email address and "strong"password all channels (e.g. Amazon Prime) seem to require is a very long winded process with the awful onscreen keyboard and no alternative.
4) One horrifying (to me) difference to the old Roku boxes is that when you look at your channels half the screen real estate is taken up by a huge advertisement. Now I know Amazon do something similar with Kindle but they give you a discount and there is something halfway relevant in the ads. The first one on Roku was for body building supplements or similar with ugly torsos all over it. Couldn't get away from it every time I had to go back to the top level channel selection to set up. Since I paid for the box and had no warning about ads I am ticked off. I know content like Pandora may have ads but you have a choice of consuming the content or not. This is a piece of hardware which I paid for and if I wish to use it I have no choice but to submit to these ads. And believe me they are not cool ads. Bad move Roku. I may be sending this back today


Black and Decker 12-Cup Spacemaker Coffee Carafe, ODC440-03
Black and Decker 12-Cup Spacemaker Coffee Carafe, ODC440-03

5.0 out of 5 stars Thought it didn't but it does, December 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
work that is.

No, this item does not resemble the original spacemaker carafe design (or not any spacemaker I have seen anyway). But it does fit the white under cabinet spacemaker ( Black & Decker SDC740 SpaceMaker 12-Cup Coffeemaker, White ). Since the trip lever which allows the water to flow through the coffee and then into the pot is at the back of the unit, the height of the carafe is not an issue. When you insert the carafe into the unit it will engage the lever and allow coffee to brew. The description on the page for this item could be better since when you receive it, the initial reaction may be that this will not work. However try some water only (no need to use coffee) and you will see whether it does or not. Again it does not look like the original but better than throwing the coffee maker away (after ripping it off the wall!!).


Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar,Worn Cherry Satin
Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar,Worn Cherry Satin
Offered by Chicago Music Exchange
Price: $799.00
7 used & new from $799.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes it is Gibson quality, December 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I own a number of Guitars including a VERY nice (not cheap) Epiphone Les Paul. Obviously this item does not have the high gloss, sunburst finish of more expensive Gibsons but I was surprised how beautifully finished it was. No Flaws at all within the constraints of what Gibson says it is. (Always double check the descriptions back on the Gibson or any other guitar manufacturer's website. a) it's fund and b) you understand what they were aiming at with a particular model).

This guitar has a very understated look and may take some getting used to but I have no problems with the satin finish or the natural wood look. The neck is fine and not rough to the touch or to play. I am sure it will get even smoother with playing. No problems with the general setup, height of frets and the strings are surprisingly good. At this time of year Gibson and Fender prices are very good - make sure you check them out next year in the lead up to Thanksgiving and just after. Gibson and Fender (and even Epiphone) often opt out of promotions / sales that major music dealers (including those who partner with Amazon) have during other times of the year. The price of this item was spectacular a few weeks ago and is still great value though not quite as low.

That's enough background; now the sound. I have no complaints at all. A very sweet, distinctive sound. It is different to something like a Fender and I am sure you will be happy if you buy this Gibson. I am also sure some people would change out the pickups or other things since lots of musicians like to tinker with their instruments (just look at product reviews on websites like that of Musicians Friend), but I think these are fine out of the box; more than fine. Note that this guitar is "chambered" as Gibson intended. So it is lighter than some "traditional" Gibsons. That can be a good thing as we baby boomers get older.

One other thing is that this item shipped from Amazon itself. I am not sure how other partners pack this item. I know say Musicians Friend double box most guitars. This one arrived in its original Gibson box. No damage at all though I was a little concerned before opening it. The other thing to note is that having the nice Gibson name all over it could tempt some people to "borrow" it from your doorstep if the delivery is left when you are not home. Plain out packaging would be better though it's not a small box anyway so can't be hidden behind a plant when left.......

Do some reading about pickups before buying any guitar so you understand the difference in the way they are constructed and the effect on sound.Overall great guitar and I could not be happier with my purchase.


National Geographic  Magazine
National Geographic Magazine
Price: $19.99
2 used & new from $19.99

91 of 95 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful on the KF. However One star is for Amazon policies not the magazine, November 20, 2012
First off. This is a beautiful magazine both in print and on the Kindle Fire. However to me this is a publication you want to keep as a reference in case you are ever going to make that exotic journey you planned and unfortunately this probably is not going to happen if you buy this from Amazon. There are a couple of things going on here.
1) There are a limited number (7) of back issues issues that can be kept in the cloud. You can keep more on the Kindle Fire itself, however all the Fires including the new ones do not have expandable storage. Color magazines like these are not tiny files and if you have some music plus books plus back issues of a couple of magazines (like I do) then onboard storage starts to diminish pretty rapidly.
2) And this is even more important. IF YOU CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION YOU WILL LOSE ACCESS TO ANY BACK COPIES STORED IN THE CLOUD. YES YOU LOSE WHAT YOU HAVE PAID FOR. Now again you can elect to "keep" the back copies on the KF but they eat up onboard storage and if you have several subscriptions you will have problems.
It is much better to use the Z i n i o app and buy publications through them. In this case they are always held in the cloud. The company also has a much wider range of offerings than Amazon and is often cheaper
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2013 8:39 PM PDT


Dwell
Dwell
Price: $13.99
2 used & new from $13.99

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Magazine - one star is for Amazon not the publication, November 20, 2012
This review is from: Dwell (Kindle Edition)
First off. This is a really good magazine both in print and on the Kindle Fire. However to me this is a publication you want to keep as a reference in case you are ever going to build that dream home. and unfortunately this probably is not going to happen if you buy this from Amazon. There are a couple of things going on here.
1) There are a limited number (7) of back issues issues that can be kept in the cloud. You can keep more on the Kindle Fire itself, however all the Fires including the new ones do not have expandable storage. Color magazines like these are not tiny files and if you have some music plus books plus back issues of a couple of magazines (like I do) then onboard storage starts to diminish pretty rapidly.
2) And this is even more important. IF YOU CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION YOU WILL LOSE ACCESS TO ANY BACK COPIES STORED IN THE CLOUD. YES YOU LOSE WHAT YOU HAVE PAID FOR. Now again you can elect to "keep" the back copies on the KF but they eat up onboard storage and if you have several subscriptions you will have problems.
It is much better to use the Z i n i o app and buy publications through them. In this case they are always held in the cloud. The company also has a much wider range of offerings than Amazon and is often cheaper
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2014 3:53 PM PDT


Islands
Islands
Price: $11.99
2 used & new from $8.99

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Magazine - one star is for Amazon not the publication, November 20, 2012
This review is from: Islands (Kindle Edition)
First off. This is a beautiful magazine both in print and on the Kindle Fire. However to me this is a publication you want to keep as a reference in case you are ever going to make that exotic journey you planned and unfortunately this probably is not going to happen if you buy this from Amazon. There are a couple of things going on here.
1) There are a limited number (7) of back issues issues that can be kept in the cloud. You can keep more on the Kindle Fire itself, however all the Fires including the new ones do not have expandable storage. Color magazines like these are not tiny files and if you have some music plus books plus back issues of a couple of magazines (like I do) then onboard storage starts to diminish pretty rapidly.
2) And this is even more important. IF YOU CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION YOU WILL LOSE ACCESS TO ANY BACK COPIES STORED IN THE CLOUD. YES YOU LOSE WHAT YOU HAVE PAID FOR. Now again you can elect to "keep" the back copies on the KF but they eat up onboard storage and if you have several subscriptions you will have problems.
It is much better to use the Z i n i o app and buy publications through them. In this case they are always held in the cloud. The company also has a much wider range of offerings than Amazon and is often cheaper
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2014 11:06 PM PST


Brother DCP-7065DN Monochrome Laser Multi-Function Copier with Duplex Printing and Networking
Brother DCP-7065DN Monochrome Laser Multi-Function Copier with Duplex Printing and Networking
Offered by MAS TECNOLOGIA
Price: $282.02
26 used & new from $120.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been more stars, November 16, 2012
I bought this printer as a special deal on Amazon since I wanted a low cost B&W laser printer (not inkjet). The printer is very easy to set up. One of the list of features I wanted was networking. I connected the printer to a network port on my wireless router and my laptop found it on the network immediately. the standard driver within Windows 8 works great right out of the box and the printer prints fine. No need to install any of the software on the disc. BUT (and here's the rub), in order to use the scan option you need to use the software on the disc supplied by Brother. Yikes the software does not support Windows 8 so no scanning. If you go to the Brother support website and do all the searches you find a slew of dates for feature support (including scanning) which stretches into next year (assuming that they don't quietly give up because it will be such an old model by then. Unfortunately you cannot even install the software, to see if it might work, since when you get part way through the installation you get a message saying outdated driver on the disc and a link to the Brother website. After that you can only exit the installation. The presumption is that it is talking about the scanner driver (since a usable printer driver does exist) though the words are as clear as mud.

So In summary, the printer will print. The printer will even copy, shame it does not do the other basic multifunction function....

I will keep it since I only paid $70 on a gold box deal. But the printer lists at $130 today on Amazon (you might see a different price since that's how Amazon works) and I would be ticked off even more if I paid that price.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2013 5:48 AM PDT


Garmin City Navigator Europe NT - UK/Ireland (010-10691-00) SD  Memory Card (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Garmin City Navigator Europe NT - UK/Ireland (010-10691-00) SD Memory Card (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by TLKShop
Price: $45.55
11 used & new from $35.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for directions but you may (will) get a speeding ticket if you trust this! too much, November 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I gave this 3 stars since it works well in its basic form and the maps seem up to date. I needed something to use while on vacation in the UK. BUT (and it is a pretty big BUT) even though this map card was new when I took it on my trip a few weeks ago, the speed limit data is WAY out of date. I would say it is several years out of date in many places. The Garmin is good in principle in that it tells you your speed as well as the speed limit. But unfortunately you cannot rely on it. The UK is riddled with speeding cameras these days and with the number of speeding cameras you WILL get a ticket, eventually. In a rental car the extra fees added onto a ticket are expensive when they catch up with you (as they will). I understand there are periodic updates of software but this was new out of the box and the data was very old. If there's one place you need accurate speed limit data these days, it's the UK. Perhaps I am spoiled by Google and how up to date everything is there. Unfortunately as a visitor and with International data roaming rates, using my phone as a GPS was not practical. Neither was a prepaid local smart phone.

I am an ex Brit living now in the USA for many years. I am used to the roads there but there have been a lot of changes in the last decade. It used to be that once you were outside of a small village that the speed was simply 60mph or 70 on a divided highway or Freeway. Now the speed limits vary a lot along the same stretch of road as well as within towns and villages. If you are new to driving over there it is easy to miss a change in speed sign. Be careful.


TP-LINK TL-PA211 KIT AV200 Mini Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, up to 200Mbps
TP-LINK TL-PA211 KIT AV200 Mini Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, up to 200Mbps
6 used & new from $17.94

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Well, November 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So far these have worked as described. I found them very easy to set up and have had no problems. Essentially plug and play. One of these adapters is on the first floor of the house next to my router and the other is in an upstairs 1st floor office. Not much more to say so far which is good They just work.

However I have bought a third one so we will see if that complicates the picture when it is installed or if I have trouble installing. That will be a separate review.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 22, 2012 8:33 AM PST


Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar
Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar
Price: $99.99
22 used & new from $74.99

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for value, October 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Received this guitar a few days ago and have to say that for the price it is hard to fault. First it arrived packed very well from this Amazon seller (packed and shipped by Amazon). No Problems visually with the guitar; no Bumps, dings or blemishes. Note, it is not really clear in the text that this item is a satin finish. The description of the non-cutaway version (s35) does say satin finish but the S34 just says natural finish.

This is an inexpensive guitar so yes it will not have the tonal richness of a much more expensive model. However it sounds very good (and meets my need of not having to carry my amp and electric all around the house if I want to play or practice in a different room). I did change the strings to some Ernie Ball ones soon after receiving the guitar and they improved it lot. This is a cheap and worthwhile upgrade. I definitely recommend this guitar for beginners or if you just need an inexpensive "extra" on hand.


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