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Customer Reviews: 34
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Helpful Votes: 406

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Jay Heyl RSS Feed (Orange, CA USA)

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Shimano PD-T420 track pedel Click'R black
Shimano PD-T420 track pedel Click'R black
Offered by Otaku JP
Price: $54.09
100 used & new from $50.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice pedal, June 29, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are my first click-type pedal. Decades ago I used the old toe cage and strap and had cleated shoes. Now that I've taken up riding again I wanted something more than just street shoes on flat pedals. These are a great compromise, having a flat surface on one side for when you aren't wearing cleats and bindings on the other for when you are wearing the right shoes. I had no trouble at all clicking in and after two or three tries found how to click out reliably.

The construction of these pedals seems very good. The ones that came on my bike were cheap junk and the cage actually broke away from the spindle housing. I've never seen a pedal do that. I'm quite certain these Shimano pedals will never fail in that way.

One minor point I've not seen mentioned anywhere is the spindles on these pedals have Allen recesses on the ends. The flats on the spindle are rather narrow and I thought I was going to have to buy a pedal wrench to mount them. With the Allen recesses you can start threading the pedals on by hand and then put an Allen wrench through from the inside of the crank arm to tighten them up. Very easy and secure with no one-use tool required. It was a very pleasant surprise. Hopefully, removing them, should I ever need to, will be just as easy.

NUINKO 5 Pack Compatible Canon PGI250 PGI-250 CLI251 CLI-251 Ink Cartridge for PIXMA MG5420 PIXMA MG5450 PIXMA MG5520 PIXMA MG6320 PIXMA MG6350 PIXMA MG6420 PIXMA MG7120 PIXMA MX722 PIXMA MX725 PIXMA MX922 PIXMA MX925 PIXMA iX6820 PIXMA iX6850 PIXMA iP7220 PIXMA iP7250 PIXMA iP8720 PIXMA iP8750 Inkjet Printers PGI250XL PGI-250XL CLI251XL CLI-251XL
NUINKO 5 Pack Compatible Canon PGI250 PGI-250 CLI251 CLI-251 Ink Cartridge for PIXMA MG5420 PIXMA MG5450 PIXMA MG5520 PIXMA MG6320 PIXMA MG6350 PIXMA MG6420 PIXMA MG7120 PIXMA MX722 PIXMA MX725 PIXMA MX922 PIXMA MX925 PIXMA iX6820 PIXMA iX6850 PIXMA iP7220 PIXMA iP7250 PIXMA iP8720 PIXMA iP8750 Inkjet Printers PGI250XL PGI-250XL CLI251XL CLI-251XL
Offered by OCProducts
Price: $7.99
2 used & new from $7.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Great ink value, April 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've used a couple packs of this ink and have been very happy with it. I don't know if it will hold up as well on photos as the Canon original, but to my eye it looks to be just as good. It's certainly more than adequate for casual printing, which is what I do mostly. Given the price difference between this and the Canon version, I'll be buying more of this.

AcuRite 00613A1 Indoor Humidity Monitor
AcuRite 00613A1 Indoor Humidity Monitor
Price: $9.98
48 used & new from $9.33

4.0 out of 5 stars Works as expected., December 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this mostly to monitor the indoor humidity during the winter. It works well for that. To be honest, I installed the battery or whatever was needed (it's been long enough I forget), stuck it on the refrigerator door among the dozens of photos and drawings, and since then it's been given as little thought as any other common household device that works exactly as expected. I've not checked its accuracy against another device but I have no reason to doubt it. Whatever it says seems to coincide with my general feeling about the temperature and humidity. Overall, I'm very happy with this purchase.

SilverStone Technology 4 Bay External 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure Storage Tower - USB3.0 & eSATA interfaces (TS431U)
SilverStone Technology 4 Bay External 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure Storage Tower - USB3.0 & eSATA interfaces (TS431U)
Price: $164.99
3 used & new from $164.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very solid hard drive enclosure, July 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I own the big brother of this enclosure, the Silverstone Tek TS432U. That unit has built in RAID capabilities. I've been very pleased with it. This time around, however, I wanted something simpler, just an enclosure that would hold four dissimilar drives. I looked at some of the cheaper models but found too many tales of issues of one kind or another. I finally decided that since I was happy with the build quality of the TS432U, it was worth it to pay a bit more for the expected quality of this storage tower. I've had it for about a month and am so far not disappointed in any way.

This is a quality unit. Metal all around. Very sturdy feel to it. The drives slide in and out easily, though I've only pulled one drive out once just to try it. To be perfectly honest, I put the drives in the enclosure, powered it on, connected the USB3 cable to the computer, and since then I've pretty much completely forgotten about the enclosure. It just works. It's stacked on top of my TS432U and they both just do what they're supposed to do.

There are cheaper enclosures out there. Some of them may even be quite good. Given the cost of the disks I put inside, I decided it was worth paying a little bit more to get something I knew for sure was going to be of high quality. When it comes time for the next expansion I will probably buy another of these units.

Cooks Standard NC-00224 Multi-Ply Clad 5-Ply Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Steamer and Glass Lid, 8-Quart
Cooks Standard NC-00224 Multi-Ply Clad 5-Ply Stainless Steel Stock Pot with Steamer and Glass Lid, 8-Quart

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Stock Pot, April 4, 2014
This is a beautiful and highly functional piece of cookware. The pot itself is very sturdy and substantial. The steamer and lids are a bit lighter, but there's no reason for them to be as heavy as the pot. I should also mention the steamer is very large. The photo doesn't really leave you with an accurate impression of its size. You could easily fit a couple large heads of broccoli, probably three or four heads if you trim it down to florets, and still have room for some cauliflower.

The first cook with this pot was a chili recipe that simmers for three hours. The heat distribution was wonderful. I first browned the meat and then added everything else and brought it up to a simmer. A very low flame kept the chili nicely simmering. I've made this recipe dozens of times in other pots and often have some difficulty with the chili sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Not this time. Not even a hint of anything sticking. The even heat distribution eliminates the hot spots that cause things to stick and burn.

Clean up was a breeze. I let the pot soak for a short time and then used a soapy sponge. There was some very slight discoloration on the inside bottom of the pot, but a quick wipe with some Bar Keeper's Friend removed it completely. I did end up with a few small scratches on the outside bottom of the pot from the grate on the stove. Not much to be done about that.

Overall I couldn't be happier with this pot. It's a joy to cook with. I don't really know if the 5-ply is significantly better than the 3-ply, but I do know this is a very substantial and well made piece of cookware.

Careful price comparison on this item is in order. The price fluctuates rather widely. Even here at Amazon I've seen the price vary by almost 50%. I paid 25% less than the price posted as I write this review, so check around to be sure you're not paying a lot more than necessary.

New Star 26238 Wide Mouth Plastic Squeeze Bottles, 24-Ounce, Clear, Set of 6
New Star 26238 Wide Mouth Plastic Squeeze Bottles, 24-Ounce, Clear, Set of 6
Price: $10.37
4 used & new from $10.20

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice squeeze bottles, February 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very nice quality bottles. The tops fit tightly and give absolutely no sign of leaking or blowing off when under pressure. The tip is sized for thin liquids but is easily trimmed away for more viscous fluids. My only very minor concern is that the bottles are quite thin. This makes them easy to squeeze, but I have some concerns about longevity. The torsion on the bottle when screwing down or unscrewing the lid can be significant and it sometimes feels as though the bottle is about to twist in the middle. This is somewhat more an issue since the lid screws right down onto the shoulder of the bottle keeping you from gripping it there where the plastic is somewhat thicker. Still, no actual problem with this yet, just a potential concern. All told, these seem very nice bottles at a reasonable price.

SilverStone Technology 4 Bay External 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure RAID / JBOD Storage Tower - USB3.0 & eSATA interfaces (TS432U)
SilverStone Technology 4 Bay External 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure RAID / JBOD Storage Tower - USB3.0 & eSATA interfaces (TS432U)
Price: $196.00
3 used & new from $196.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice RAID enclosure, November 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a very well-designed enclosure. Very easy to set up. Within half an hour of receiving the package I had the drives installed, the RAID array configured, and was copying files onto the array.

Not specifically mentioned that I noticed is the included software. I use Windows and didn't check if there were versions for other platforms. The software allows you to bypass the hardware switch configuration and any use of the front panel. Install the software, plug the array into your computer, and you can do everything from your desktop.

You probably need to already understand the various forms of RAID and which one you want to use. There was very little hand-holding in that regard. But if you know what you want to do the software makes it simple to accomplish. At least it did for me using all four drives in a RAID-5 array.

Once the array is configured it should show up in Windows disk manager and allow you to format it. Windows sees the array as a single device. You're free to create multiple partitions just like on any other disk. I formatted mine as one large partition.

I have the array plugged in to a Plugable USB 3.0 hub along with three other USB 3.0 external drives. Transfer speeds from the other external drives are averaging about 80MB/s. Transferring a large file from my SSD showed the array capable of speeds over 175MB/s. So there's little to complain about concerning speed, at least now when the array is new.

One minor negative is the array by default powers down after five minutes of non-use. This causes it to drop off-line in Windows. It came right back online as soon as I tried to access it. The only real downside appears to be Windows' annoying habit of beeping every time a device goes on- or off-line. The configuration software allows you to change the time out value, including setting to zero, which I assume turns the feature off. I changed it to 60 minutes and will see how that works out. You do need to use the advanced mode in the software to get access to the time out setting.

Another minor negative is there is no printed documentation with this device. The manual is on the included CD. This is just as well since the manual effectively contains about half a page of English instructions for using the enclosure as a RAID array. The remaining 97 pages talk about how to use the device as a disk duplicator. Very nice if that's your intended use, but pointless if you want an external RAID array. No points off in my rating for this as set up was quite simple using the software, but it still would have been nice to have some kind of basic printed instructions.

I've only had the device for a few hours so it's impossible at this point to say how it will perform over time, but right now I'm very pleased with it. I've copied about 500GB of data to it and it's chugging along nicely.

UPDATE -- I've had the RAID array in regular daily use for six months now and have absolutely nothing negative to say about it. It has worked flawlessly.

A couple years ago when I was trying to set up a very fast new computer I read some things suggesting that use of file compression was once again a good idea, not because of disk space savings, but because the disk is the slowest element involved and reducing the amount of data going to and from it should speed up the overall process. Newer CPUs were said to be more than fast enough to de/compress the data without any significant impact to other processing. It sounded like solid logic, and it may be in some instances, but my experience with this RAID array is that you should avoid Windows file compression. I don't really think it's unique to this device, but I do know that occasionally I would see transfers going at about a tenth the speed they should be and eventually noticed it was always with folders that were compressed. I switched everything on the RAID array to non-compressed and haven't noticed the slow transfers since. Just a word of warning.

I have taken to running defrag software on the array on a regular basis. The standard Windows defrag software didn't seem to really do much. I tried several alternatives and finally settled on Auslogics Disk Defrag Pro. The first defrag operation took literally two days, but it was defragging and moving over 10TB of files. Subsequent daily touch-ups usually finish in well under an hour. I mention it only as something known to work well with this device. Some of the others I tried were so slow as to be useless. I'm not sure the defragging part does all that much for performance, but Auslogics will also move files to make the open space contiguous. That, I think, helps quite a bit when writing new data to the disk. Since running this regularly I've had no issues with occasional slow operations.

In the six months I've been using it I've moved almost 12TB onto the RAID array, moved 4TB off, then put another 2TB back on. There's only one user so I can't say how it would react in a more strenuous multi-user environment, but it has met my expectations completely. I am considering purchasing another one.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Sprint) Extended Battery with Cover
Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Sprint) Extended Battery with Cover
Offered by Noble Planet
Price: $5.92
12 used & new from $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fits Verizon phone, November 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Just to make it perfectly clear, this battery does work in the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus. The included Sprint cover does not fit the Verizon phone, but the standard Verizon cover fits over the battery. It's a very tight fit and there's a bit of a bulge in the back, but it does lock in place.

I've had it for less than 24 hours so I can't really say much more than that at this point, but I wanted to clarify the situation with Verizon phones for those, like me, who weren't totally sure this battery would work. It will.

Soundmatters foxLO Palm-Sized Powered Subwoofer - US Version (Black)
Soundmatters foxLO Palm-Sized Powered Subwoofer - US Version (Black)
Price: $117.47
7 used & new from $109.77

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good sound, poor controls, May 2, 2013
The FoxLO fundamentally does what the manufacturer claims, extending the low end of the FoxL. It rounds out the low end nicely considering its size. My problem is with the controls.

Setting the volume level on this speaker is essential to getting satisfying performance. Too low and you don't even hear it. Too high and the speaker is over-driven into nasty vibration. Unfortunately, I'd be hard pressed to have come up with a worse control -- a slide switch. A tiny slide switch that's in a spot that's far too easy to accidentally touch, altering the setting. A rotary control would have been vastly superior, or even digital up/down buttons like on the FoxL. This control is far too fiddly and far too easy to knock off the sweet spot. Total fail on this.

Not having an auto-off function, the power switch is going to get a lot of use, but it is a rather tiny push-button switch that's sandwiched in between the auto-limiter button and the power cord. I find it very difficult to activate without actually picking the unit up, greatly increasing the chance that I move that volume slider control to a setting I don't want. Bad placement on this switch.

Unlike the FoxL, the FoxLO requires AC power to work. I knew that going in and I don't knock it for that reason. I do, however, downgrade it for not having the foresight of providing a power tap that could be used for the FoxL. You're never going to use the FoxLO completely on its own. It's designed to go with the FoxL (or some other similar small speaker). As long as you're plugging in one device, it seems silly to run the other off battery. So when you're using the FoxLO you're probably also going to want to plug in the FoxL. Why not make it easier on the user and require just one device to be plugged into the wall? Given that one of the primary uses of this would be when traveling, where there is often a shortage of power outlets, providing power for the FoxL just seems an obvious feature. An obvious feature that's missing on the FoxLO.

I love the FoxL and everyone to whom I've demonstrated it has been impressed. They hit a home run with the FoxL. The FoxLO is more like a long foul ball. It came really close to being a homer, but the poor controls and lack of convenience features pushed it just to the wrong side of that foul pole. My recommendation is to hold off and keep an eye out for a version 2 where hopefully they address the shortcomings.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2015 12:29 PM PST

Cuisinart MCP193-18N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 3-Quart Saucepan with Cover
Cuisinart MCP193-18N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 3-Quart Saucepan with Cover
Offered by Gourmet Kitchen Gallery
Price: $59.95
5 used & new from $59.95

37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, very poor execution, February 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really wanted to like this pan. The three-ply construction sounds great. It looks like a very serious cooking tool with the brushed stainless exterior. Unfortunately, the execution on this pan leaves much to be desired.

My first use of the new pan was cooking some pasta. From watching the water come up to temperature I could tell the pan had excellent heat dispersion. There were virtually no hot spots from the gas flame. Cleaning the pan after cooking the pasta I noticed what looked like spots where something had stuck to the bottom of the pan. I scrubbed a little harder and still they wouldn't come out. Upon closer inspection I realized it wasn't stuck on pasta but several spots where the inner layer of stainless steel had flaked away. I know virtually nothing of metallurgy, but that inner layer of stainless looks awfully thin to me. And it clearly hasn't been properly adhered to the aluminum core if it flakes off after simply boiling water in the pan.

I notified Amazon of the defect and they immediately sent out a replacement. I used the new pan to again cook some pasta. First use and the stainless inner layer begins to flake.

One defective pan might be a fluke. Two defective pans in a row and I have to think Cuisinart has a serious design or manufacturing defect. Personally, I think they've scrimped too much on the stainless steel, making the inner layer way too thin. I do know I've had two pans fail on the very first use under far less than strenuous conditions. If the pan can't boil water under a medium flame without literally falling apart, there's a serious issue.

I've posted photos of both pans so you can see for yourself what I'm talking about. In both cases there is significant discoloration of the stainless surrounding the spots that have flaked off. A couple of the spots are about 1/16" diameter. You'll probably have to zoom the photos, but the bad spots should be easy to see.

If you're looking for cookware that looks attractive hanging in your kitchen, this might be your ticket. If you want something that will last for decades, I'd keep on looking.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 15, 2015 4:42 AM PDT

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