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Customer Reviews: 22
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Don Depresso, Volume I (Color Edition): Comics About a Depressed Guy
Don Depresso, Volume I (Color Edition): Comics About a Depressed Guy
by Ruji Chapnik
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.99
3 used & new from $14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don Depresso hits close to home, October 17, 2012
Don Depresso is relatable to a worrisome degree. He is, as his friend Sober Sally calls him, a depressed pill-popping alcoholic, and his life as an unemployed writer pretty much sucks. He is obsessed with his ex girlfriend and often contemplates suicide. The author is obviously quite familiar with these themes, and you start to wonder how autobiographical the comics actually are. This familiarity is what makes Don Depresso believable--as someone who has struggled with many of the problems Don faces, I can identify very closely with him. The art style helps with this.

Stylistically, it's very simple, with an avatar-like quality that makes it easy to get into the shoes of the character. It's only the expressions of anguish and torment on Don's face that tend to veer toward the realistic. The style is also inconsistent from strip to strip, with the author clearly experimenting with different rendering techniques. Normally I would consider this the mark of an amateur, but in Don's case it actually works very well, highlighting his bipolar tendencies and his inability to express himself artistically (via his chronically incomplete novel).

The comics themselves are often funny, but there's a very clear sadness to all of it that will start to nag at you if you read too much of it in one sitting. It would be a shame if Don Depresso actually commits suicide. I think his story is brilliant and I really hope to see more of it.

Mobile Edge Alienware Neoprene Sleeve - M14x(AWNS14)
Mobile Edge Alienware Neoprene Sleeve - M14x(AWNS14)
Price: $46.45
25 used & new from $36.61

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect. Still, your best bet for M14x., December 10, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Alienware M14x is a pretty weirdly shaped computer. It's angled in such a way that the front lip and rear hinge jut out at hard angles, as opposed to most laptops which are more or less flat in the front and back. Because of the sharp edges, you need to make sure that it's padded properly when you put it in a bag--with all of the system's hefty weight concentrated on the hinge or lip, it would be very easy to damage. This sleeve was specifically designed to pad these "pressure" points, and it does a good job, for the most part.

First, the bad stuff. The zipper looks and feels really cheap. I'm not sure how long it's going to hold up, but it seems okay after a few weeks. Next, that plastic alien head looks really bad. Mine came with obvious flaws on the plastic and has sort of a cloudy look as a result. Somewhat disappointing that something which serves no functional purpose is also really ugly.

Now, the good stuff. There is a lot of padding on the inside for the sharply-angled regions of the laptop. There's also an inner lip that fits over the front of the laptop to prevent the zipper from damaging the glossy plastic. It's quite clear that this bag was designed specifically for the M14x, as it fits very snugly inside. The handles are very helpful for a laptop this heavy. There's a front pocket, but I'm not really sure what you could or would put in it.

Another reviewer rated this lower because the power adapter doesn't fit in the front pocket. I don't think that's a valid point. The M14x's power brick is huge and approaching the bulk of an XBOX 360 power adapter. This is a sleeve designed to protect the laptop when placed inside another bag, not to serve as a carry-all for the laptop and its accessories. Mobile Edge also makes a messenger style bag for the M14x which is actually designed to fit more accessories. But if you already have a laptop messenger bag, this sleeve is a really good way to add some extra protection to those angled portions of the M14x.

Diesel Men's Dolphin Swim Trunk, Turquiose/Green, Medium
Diesel Men's Dolphin Swim Trunk, Turquiose/Green, Medium

3.0 out of 5 stars Too baggy around the thighs, October 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really wanted to like these trunks, but alas, it just wasn't meant to be. The turquoise color and green waistband look really nice against my light skin. The fit along the hips and butt is very flattering. Unfortunately, the fit around the thighs and leg openings is just too baggy, even around my decently-sized legs. The trunks end up looking like a skirt as a result, and it's not a good look. The model is "cheating" with his stance to make these look less baggy than they are. If you have monstrous thighs, these may be the trunks for you, but for everyone else, not so much.

Oh well, back to Amazon these go.

Atlona 2X1 Mini Displayport KVM Switch
Atlona 2X1 Mini Displayport KVM Switch

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Now I know why this product was discontinued., October 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I knew that this product was discontinued before I purchased, but was at my wits end trying to find a DisplayPort KVM that works with the Apple Cinema Display. Unfortunately, this product didn't end up working either. It has serious issues and I'm afraid it might damage my components if I were to continue using it.

Let's get the one good feature out of the way first. All the cables you could possibly need to hook everything up come included, so you get 2 Mini DisplayPort and 4 USB cords for your computers. They're short, but high quality, and they may be useful later. The same cannot be said about the KVM unit itself.

The KVM is made of plastic and is ugly. It will look out of place anywhere you put it. That shouldn't come as a surprise since you can see a photo of it. The construction quality feels very cheap, especially the ports. Some of the metal housings for the ports stick out the back of the plastic shell a bit, so it's very difficult to line the connectors up with the ports to plug them in. Unless you're the engineer who designed this thing, there is literally no rhyme or reason to how the ports are laid out on the back, making it very confusing to hook up your devices. In this order, you have: USB (B) In 2, USB Main Out 2, USB Main Out 1, Mini DisplayPort Main Out, Mini DisplayPort (B) In, Mini DisplayPort (A) in, USB (A) 1 In, USB (A) 2 In, USB (B) 1 In. Completely confusing.

Once you have everything hooked up properly, the unit works... some of the time. The KVM switching action is mechanical, so there's no power adapter to hook up. When you push the button for computer A, the button for computer B pops out with a satisfying metallic "thunk," the display goes blank momentarily and then comes back on with the display output of your other computer... some of the time. Other times the screen just stays black until you do some combination of restarting your computers or re-plugging in the cables, or just wiggling the KVM unit. The issue seems to be due to a weak internal connection with the ports, not the cables themselves. Perhaps the pins for the DisplayPort connection aren't internally lined up or connecting properly. Depending on how the KVM unit is positioned, it will sometimes work better than others. Sometimes certain screen resolutions won't come through at all, so the computer will show a black screen while booting, but works fine in Windows. Sometimes it works perfectly. Sometimes it will work intermittently with a flickering effect.

USB and DisplayPort connections are NOT supposed to "flicker" or be intermittent. I have serious misgivings about using any product that causes these issues and fear I would potentially short out or otherwise damage my components leaving them hooked up to this device.

Given the shoddy construction of this device, the poor performance and the fact that the product is discontinued by the manufacturer with no replacement, I seriously doubt that my experience is just an isolated incident or unusual. My gut tells me this is a fundamentally defective product, and I would not recommend it to anyone for any reason. Use it at your own peril.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2012 4:15 PM PDT

Adobe Photoshop CS5 [Mac] [Old Version]
Adobe Photoshop CS5 [Mac] [Old Version]
2 used & new from $1,449.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Photoshop!, October 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been using Photoshop on PC since version 3.0. When I made the switch to a Mac, I was aggravated to find that Adobe sells the Mac version as a separate license. Many other high-end software providers allow one license to work on either a PC or a Mac, so this was a little surprising. I'm not writing a review of Adobe's licensing practices here; I just wanted to point this out as something to be aware of for potential buyers.

Full disclosure: for the work I do, Photoshop is probably massive overkill. I use it mainly to lay-out, slice up and export images for web development, maybe adding an effect here or a drop shadow there. For this type of work, it works very well (and also hasn't changed very much since version 3.0). As for all of the photo editing and retouching features Adobe has added, like content aware fill or 3D support--well, I haven't really used these. I'm sure they're great, but I suspect mainly there to justify releasing expensive upgrades to the suite every other year. Between Photoshop CS5 Mac and the PC version of CS4, which was also very expensive, I have a hard time pointing out any significant differences for the work I do. There are slight workflow enhancements around working with layers and selections, but other than that I'm not sure.

In any case, Photoshop CS5 Mac is a very solid product. It's stable, launches quickly, and mostly doesn't have the feeling of a PC product shoehorned into the OS X environment (hello, MS Office!). The significant workflow and interface upgrades made in CS4 carry through and make working with multiple files easy if you have the screen space for it. The GPU-accelerated rendering, zooming and panning makes the program feel more responsive, and the 64-bit support is great if you're into that sort of thing. The web export wizard is as useful as ever.

There are a few niggles. As mentioned, the software launches in 64-bit mode by default if the OS supports it. Some of the lighting effects only appear in the 32-bit version, so if you want to use these, you have to exit and relaunch the program using 32-bit mode, which could be accessed by right clicking on the Application icon if only your mouse had a right button. Oh wait. So that's a bit annoying. Also, Adobe needs to get out of your face. Between the all-too-frequent Adobe updates that automatically download even when you're not using any Adobe apps, the product registration pop-up, the user experience improvement program opt-in pop-up, and the software activation, you're forced to endure way too many pop-ups that seem unnecessary and get in your way. The default installation contains way too much bloat in terms of other Adobe apps you'll probably never use, so make sure to customize the installation.

Ultimately, my complaints with this software are pretty minor. It's very expensive, but it's also very powerful and thankfully stable. If you need something just for simple web design-related tasks and you haven't already been using Photoshop since version 3.0 and completely used to the workflow (which again really hasn't changed much over the years), then there are much cheaper alternatives available on the Mac OS X App Store. But if you know you need Photoshop, the Mac version of CS5 is a solid choice.

Griffin Technology Elevator Laptop Stand (GC16034)
Griffin Technology Elevator Laptop Stand (GC16034)
Offered by Instrumentpro
Price: $29.99
20 used & new from $25.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Works but ugly and kind of cheap-feeling, October 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
From an ergonomic standpoint, a laptop stand is a must-have when using a laptop on a desk. I'm just not a fan of *this* particular laptop stand.

Don't get me wrong--It's a perfectly functional product and a good value for the money. Although not pictured, there are little plastic snap-in stoppers to keep the laptop from sliding off the stand--not that this would actually happen. The soft material on the top of the stand is very grippy and kept my aluminum Macbook Pro in place perfectly. There is room underneath for small items such as portable hard drives or KVM boxes, which is nice for conserving desk space and something other stands don't have.

I just don't like this product from an aesthetic standpoint. The clear plastic end stoppers and bottom lip just kind of tacky and don't mesh with the otherwise aluminum look of the product (or the Macbook Pro the marketing material seems to indicate the stand should be used for). It just looks weird on my desk. Also, the aluminum ends that go into the bottom lip don't fit snugly enough, so there can be some wobble when putting on or removing the laptop, something really bothersome if you're of the OCD sort.

If you're on a budget, this is a fine stand to get. If you are vain and have money to burn, there are much nicer looking products on the market for more money.

Levi's 514  Straight Welder Jean, Sail, 31x32
Levi's 514 Straight Welder Jean, Sail, 31x32
Price: $39.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good jeans for showing off the goods, October 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you've got it, flaunt it, right? That's what these jeans are about.

I initially ordered 1 inch too slim, but found the next one up to be perfect. If sized properly, they fit snugly around the waist and crotch--not overly tight and not loose. These are good jeans for someone with a round butt--they will really bring out the shape of it. They don't leave a lot to the imagination in front though, which is why I knocked off a star. The fit combined with the lighter material accentuates what you've got in front. Although you can mitigate the bulge a bit by keeping your wallet and phone in the two front pockets, I wouldn't recommend these jeans for an office environment.

The straight cut of the leg is a slightly loose fit, but it doesn't look unreasonably baggy and it really works aesthetically when factoring how well the jeans fit around the waist. The material is an interesting lighter fabric with an almost shiny look to it. It's definitely a unique look. The fabric isn't thin enough to wear quickly but not too thick or restrictive either. It feels quality.

These are great jeans and have resulted in many turned heads and compliments from some fashion snots, so for the price they're a no brainer.

High Gloss Argyle Smoke Flexible TPU Cover Skin Phone Case for Epic Touch 4G D710 (Sprint) [Cruzer Lite Retail Packaging]
High Gloss Argyle Smoke Flexible TPU Cover Skin Phone Case for Epic Touch 4G D710 (Sprint) [Cruzer Lite Retail Packaging]

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great case., October 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love this case. Sprint's version of the Galaxy S2 is a huge phone that can be very difficult about sliding into pockets. I had a different case (silicone) which didn't fit the device as well and would also come loose and bunch up when trying to coax the phone into my jeans pocket. I have no such issues with this case--it fits the phone snugly and stays put.

The Galaxy S2 on its own is a very slippery phone. It tends to try to shoot out of your hand and rocket across the room. That other silicone case I tried was way too grippy which caused the problems with it bunching up. This case is the perfect compromise between slippy and grippy, and the material is pleasant to the touch. Also, the argyle pattern looks good and being able to see the phone's branding through it is a nice touch.

The only negative I can think of is that it doesn't fit completely straight vertically around the area with the power button cutout--there's a very slight bulge. Very slight.

In my opinion, this is the case to buy if you have a Sprint Epic Touch 4G, no question.

RND Apple Certified Cable for iPad, iPhone, iPod (6 feet/white)
RND Apple Certified Cable for iPad, iPhone, iPod (6 feet/white)
Offered by RND Power Solutions
Price: $15.99
2 used & new from $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly, October 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This cable works perfectly. I've been using it for months and have had no connectivity issues. It seems to charge my iPad as fast as the stock Apple cable. Really, no complaints whatsoever.

Booq Viper Hard Case for MacBook Air 13 (VHC13-BLR)
Booq Viper Hard Case for MacBook Air 13 (VHC13-BLR)

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sturdy case, October 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Let's get it out of the way: this product is expensive. When other laptop sleeves cost half as much, you have to really look at what you're getting and decide if the price makes sense. In this case, it really does make sense.

Most other sleeves that fit the Macbook Air are soft material that will protect against scratches but not lend any structural support to the machine. The Booq Viper is a semi-hard case that does add structural support. This is important when stashing your notebook in a bag or backpack where other objects will press against the chassis. When this happens, the screen can flex and make contact with the keyboard, and this can cause permanent marking to form on the surface of the display. I've gone through that with other notebooks. It's not a pretty sight, and definitely not something you want happening to your expensive Apple computer.

The Booq Viper is an exceptionally high quality case when taken for what it is. This is a case you use when putting your notebook inside another bag. It does not have a handle or pockets suitable for your power adapter, although there is an interior pocket suitable for documents or other flat items. The case is not fully rigid--press down on it and it will flex generously, but it is rigid enough to protect the Air. The interior lining is a soft, pleasant material. The branded spine, zippers and silk-screened Viper logo on one side are all nice touches (incidentally, you can use the silk-screened logo to help you determine which side is up.) There are three rubber "bumpers" on both sides to further protect against compression. Really I have no complaints with the quality of the case.

The only negative aspect I can think of (aside from the price) is the weight and size. This case will add a non-trivial amount of weight to your Macbook Air. It's not really a big deal, but you're definitely over 3 pounds when you throw this in your bag. It adds a considerable amount of thickness as well.

So is it worth the price? It really depends on how you get your Macbook from point A to point B. If you isolate your notebook from other objects and baby it painstakingly, then you'll probably be fine using a cheaper, thinner fabric sleeve. If you commute on a bike and have the notebook in a backpack, then yes, it really makes sense to buy a hard case. Particularly, this hard case. You can't really go wrong with the quality of the Booq Viper, and it's a small investment to protect your expensive computer.

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