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Profile for N. J. Simicich > Reviews

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N. J. Simicich's Profile

Customer Reviews: 225
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N. J. Simicich "Gadget Geek" RSS Feed (Labelle, FL United States)
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BESTEK 400W Power Inverter DC 12V to 110V Dual AC Outlets with 5A 4 USB Ports
BESTEK 400W Power Inverter DC 12V to 110V Dual AC Outlets with 5A 4 USB Ports
Offered by BESTEK.
Price: $39.99
5 used & new from $28.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big but it works., September 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is big and clunky. While the charger ports work when the inverter is powered off, the output is very limited. Because of that, if you plug more than one thing into the USB ports, the charging stops and starts. Turning the inverter on makes all the ports run at rated power far as I can tell. But the fan makes a little noise. On a recent trip I rented a vehicle and it had only one lighter plug. This box gave us four ports from one plug, and once when we needed more we plugged a wall charger into the 110 volt outlet.


Wink Connected Home Hub
Wink Connected Home Hub
11 used & new from $85.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It works, does amazing things, but it needs to do more., September 15, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The devices have gone through a major update recently. If you get an old one, without the blue dot, you either have to force the update by pointing to a special nameserver for a short time or send it back. Once the update is done you can/should go back to regular nameservers.

I got the updated one from Amazon, so no problems. I plugged it in, it loaded the latest fixes and I added it to my account. I had purchased a Schlage lock, and while you can do everything from the keypad, the app is way easier. IF you want to make things happen based on, for example, which code is used, you need to connect the hub to the lock. The lock supports z-wave, not Wi-Fi, so there has to be an intermediary. Since the lock runs on AA batteries, it would last days on constantly connected Wi-Fi, and the design goal for a set of batteries is a year.

I have 4 z-wave bulbs and the z-wave lock. The bulbs that are near the lock are very responsive. One is three rooms away and is obviously at the edge of the range for the device. Occasionally it fails to change state, but sometimes it takes a while. To me it is obvious that the hub has to try several times.

I have two lights in a bathroom ceiling fixture with a simple on-off switch. These are the GE z-wave bulbs. Normally I leave the switch on all the time. If the lights are off, you can turn them on by flicking the switch off and on. It is simple to set up a rule that says, between sunrise and sunset, if one of the bulbs has been on for 45 minutes, turn the group off. It is also simple to set up a rule that says, turn the lights on to 20% at sunset and turn the lights off at sunrise. But you can't say, turn the lights on an hour before sunset and off an hour after sunrise. There is no way to turn the lights off and back on to blink them in an emergency, like if the tamper alarm on the front door lock goes off or of the smoke alarm fires. It is easy to say (for example), if my wife opens the door turn the thermostat to 72 and set the occupied state, while if I open the door, turn the thermostat to 74.

I have some Nest devices, a thermostat and two smoke alarms. They talk Wi-Fi, even the battery operated smoke alarms. If you have a smoke event on one alarm it will relay to the others but it might take more than 30 seconds, because they are intermittently connected since constant connection would drain the batteries. The z-wave lock is much more responsive, if for example, you unlock it or enter a code, before you get through the door the.notification beeps on your phone.

I had one occasion to call Wink customer service. When the electronic egg trays hit $9, I bought a couple. These trays use Wi-Fi, so they bypass the hubs anyway, and the programming scheme flashes the screen of your phone in code. It is whacky, and touchy. After trying 10 times, I called them and they walked me through resetting the device and then doing the parameter set, over and over until it finally took.

It took about an hour to program two trays and I had to wait on hold for under a minute. I could hear other call center calls, and once I recognized the egg tray instructions, it was clear that other operators were helping people with the same issues. They aren't making the trays anymore, $70 for an egg tray is silly, while $9 is close to what one would pay for a heavy covered tray, so they were worth it at this price. They were still cheerfully supporting the trays.

It is impossible to separate the app from the wink hub. I don't know what is executing the robots, for example. I know that what is there works. My reasons for not giving Wink 5 stars are that the robots are not able to do so many of the things I want to do.

I have not had the reliability issues that some have had.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 15, 2015 9:29 AM PDT


Mobo Aluminum Water Bottle Holder, Black, Medium
Mobo Aluminum Water Bottle Holder, Black, Medium
Price: $15.85
13 used & new from $9.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Does not fit my Mobo bike., March 9, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Does not work with the bike out it is supposed to work with. Disappointing.


Ekobrew Stainless Steel Elite, Refillable K-Cup For Keurig K-Cup Brewers
Ekobrew Stainless Steel Elite, Refillable K-Cup For Keurig K-Cup Brewers
Price: $13.39
16 used & new from $13.39

5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't overfill it, it works perfectly., March 9, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This reusable K-CUP compatible reusable devicr works petfectly. Put one standard coffee measure into the chambrr, and brush the grounds off of the rim. It is hot when used. I have used mine hundreds of times and dropped it even. Don't overfill it.


ScoopFree Self Cleaning Litter Box
ScoopFree Self Cleaning Litter Box
Price: $129.95
24 used & new from $106.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Get refills as soon as you buy it. Do not expect more than 10 days on the initial pack., March 5, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Our cat is a working cat, the kids love her, and the mice hate her. But my wife and I both hate the process of scooping, and without scooping, regular litter starts to stink in a few days no matter what the claims are. The cat puts up with it, but we can't. So, I ordered this to stop the arguing. For the first two weeks it was really odor free. I did not expect it to be. Then it started smelling a bit, and by the end of the third week it was rank. I had gone by the claim of 20-30 days for one cat, and had been waiting for my subscribe and save to arrive, and it got to the point where I had to buy an emergency pack. This is with one cat. I think that the end result will require 2-3 packs per month, for one small but hungry cat. This is still better than scooping all the time. But if it had actually lasted a month, I would have been a lot happier.

Caveat: This box Is way bigger than a typical cat box. If you have your current box in a place where it barely fits, measure. I do not think it is loud. Others do.

I wish the anti-tracking pad attached to the box somehow. It works marginally at best.

We had a small amount of poop that got stuck in the comb.

The cat started using it as soon as it was installed. We got the fancy one that counts cycles.


Flashman at the Charge
Flashman at the Charge
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition rife with scanning errors, December 16, 2014
It is apparrent that the output of the scanner was not proofread. "It's a he!" cries Flashman at one point, when I'm sure lie was meant.

The typos were frequent enough to mar my enjoyment of the read.


Stranger in a Strange Land (Remembering Tomorrow)
Stranger in a Strange Land (Remembering Tomorrow)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story about a story, October 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
People who go to science fiction conventions tell a story about a bet made by Robert Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard over dinner. The winner would be the one who wrote a book that started a religion. Heinlein wrote Stranger, and Hubbard wrote Dianetics.

Without the Martian language, humans can never do what the man from Mars did. We can't perform telekinesis, can't read each others thoughts, and can't understand why we should abandon monogamy. Heck, we can't even understand enough about our own bodies to control conception or disease transmission.

When I first read this book, I was a 16 year old kid. It rocked me. I am old, in the hospital with heart problems and pneumonia, and I have had to face my own mortality. I wanted to read this book one more time before I died.

I am glad I did.

Not so much for the story of Smith, but for the wisdom of Jubal Harshaw.

All that said, this book has to be read as a period piece. No Martians, no Martian language, and most people don't consider homosexuals "poor in-betweeners". HIV and friends changed the rules. I can imagine how a contemporary author would write it.

Still, reading this book is a life experience. I recommend it highly.


Sci-Fighters
Sci-Fighters
Price: $1.29

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lookout does not call out anything on the app, October 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sci-Fighters (App)
I use lookout for phone security. It scanned the game's install file and didn't see any problem. It either does not have a signature for this Trojan or it is a fall positive.

In any case, I didn't play it. I thought the permissions were excessive for a game.


First Meetings: In Ender's Universe (The Ender Quartet series)
First Meetings: In Ender's Universe (The Ender Quartet series)
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I now want to read some other ender stuff, September 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have always been a great fan of the original ender book, and I really enjoyed it back when Card was allowed to do his "Secular Humanist Revivals" at SF cons. But I have been hesitant about sequels since the endless Dune trash. This process to me that Card can write in his universe. I will probably finish the stuff written in this universe now.


The Treasure Box
The Treasure Box
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a horror fan, September 26, 2013
This review is from: The Treasure Box (Kindle Edition)
I consider this book well into the horror genre. I am not a horror fan. It seemed inventive, but the ending was telegraphed from about the middle of the book. In general, I like Card's writing. Not this one so much.


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