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Profile for Stephen A. Swope > Reviews


Stephen A. Swope's Profile

Customer Reviews: 7
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Helpful Votes: 29

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Many questions about quality, December 8, 2013
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I have had the drive only briefly, so I will say just two things about the hardware, followed by a note about the software bundle.

First, the drive capacity is not really 1Tb. It is slightly less than one trillion bytes, or about 931Gb (a full terabyte is 1,099,511,627,776 bytes). This is about 7% less than expected. Technical terms have precise meanings, and I object when they are misused.

Second, the drive may not run if it is connected to just one USB 2.0 port. I did not see this power issue mentioned anywhere before I bought the drive, but it gets a single sentence in the manual (which has many pages, but it is really just one page repeated in several languages). The manual says that a Y-cable may be necessary if the drive gets insufficient power from a USB 2.0 port. While the product provides two USB 3.0 cables (a 3-foot cable for desktop connections and a 4-inch cable that clips to the side of the drive when not in use), it does not come with a Y-cable.

Of course, the big question is whether the drive gets enough power from a USB 2.0 port. Here's what I can tell you: when plugged into a USB hub attached to a USB 2.0 port on a Dell Inspiron laptop, the drive's power indicator did not come on. When I plugged the drive cable directly into a port on the laptop, the indicator activated. Does it have enough power to operate without dropping bits? I can't tell. I doubt that I will find out, as I intend to return the drive ASAP, as I no longer have confidence in the thing.

That's all I have to say about the hardware. The software is another matter, however. The "SP Widget" that provides back-up capability is questionable. It must be downloaded from the company's web site and subsequently installed on the drive. That's a minor nuisance, but the real problem is that the software immediately terminates with an assertion failure dialogue box (a value in a C++ header file is something other than what was expected). I have been developing software with C++ for nearly 30 years. This sort of error should NEVER be seen in the release version of a software program.

The assertion failure dialogue box prompts you to "Abort, Cancel, or Ignore", If you select "ignore", the program's user interface appears. I have not attempted to do anything with it yet, as it seems evident from the assertion failure that important problems with the application remain unresolved. Rather than subject my files to the SP Widget, I will simply return the drive.

Further evidence of questionable attention to quality comes from another software package. On the same page as the SP Widget download, the company's web site also points to a free utility called "Recuva" which purports to recover files (like the old Norton Utilities "undelete") inadvertently erased from a drive. I downloaded the file, but it was unreadable (I tried several times with the same result, so I conclude that the file available for download from Silicon Power is corrupt). The Recuva utility is freely available elsewhere, so this is not a huge problem, For me, however, it further illustrates a lack of attention to significant detail that leaves me with little confidence in this company's products.

Note that I downloaded the files on 08 Dec 2013. One hopes that the problems will be resolved sometime after this date.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 23, 2014 6:26 AM PDT

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding arc, August 13, 2013
Without revealing any significant developments, I will only say that character development is as significant as action this season. Viewers may be distressed on occasion, but the hallmark of a superior program is its ability to make its viewers care while avoiding predictability. Buffy season 2 rises to that level.

A Voyage to Arcturus
A Voyage to Arcturus
Price: $0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, flawed, June 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Remarkably imaginative, but the writing can be clumsy and the symbolism heavy-handed. . Easy to see how Lindsay influenced C.S. Lewis. Worth the effort.

The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas
The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas
by G. Richard Shell
Edition: Hardcover
135 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars best book about persuasion in the past 30 years, June 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very practical and systematic, yet easy to read. I have used this book in my classes at Purdue and the University of Wisconsin, and my students like it, too.

Fancies and Goodnights Vol 1
Fancies and Goodnights Vol 1
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a worthy winner of the International Fantasy Award, September 9, 2012
This outstanding story collection won the IFA in 1952. Several of the stories were made into episodes of popular radio and television programs such as the Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents (one story, Evening Primrose, was adapted for musical theater by Stephen Sondheim), so you may be familiar with some of Collier's work even if you don't know his name. Once you read a few of the stories themselves, you'll understand why. A quirky sense of humor makes even the gruesome subject of murder appealing (the volume also won the Edgar award for best mystery publication).

Principles of Corporate Finance + S&P Market Insight
Principles of Corporate Finance + S&P Market Insight
by Richard Brealey
Edition: Hardcover
69 used & new from $14.61

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars popular for good reason, November 26, 2010
I completed my MBA in 2007 at Ohio State University. The basic course in corporate finance used the 8th edition of this book. My review is based upon that edition plus some of my PhD work at Purdue University.

I appreciated the clarity of the writing. The authors are very transparent about key assumptions, particularly re: the evaluation of long-term investment decisions. This is useful for students at all levels, but it is especially good for beginning students. Beginners do not have to accept the authors' conclusions sheerly upon the basis of their authority; the rationale for preferring Net Present Value (NPV) analysis over alternatives (such as IRR or BCR) is completely demystified.

Based upon my research (in progress as I write this in Fall 2010), there is no unanimity among schools as to which text ought to be used in their MBA programs. About half of the schools from whom I have received a response so far use this textbook. The other half use 1) Berk and Demarzo, 2) Ross, Westerfield, and Jaffee, or 3) Higgins.

While book choices vary among schools, method does not. Every school so far expresses a firm preference for NPV analysis over its alternatives. If you find a book that anchors its analysis in NPV and is clear about its proper use and limitations, that book will serve you well. Brealey, Myers, & Allen do not have the only book in this category, but they have a very good one. Its popularity is warranted.

D'Addario DIY Solderless Pedalboard  Kit, 10 feet, 10 plugs
D'Addario DIY Solderless Pedalboard Kit, 10 feet, 10 plugs
Price: $69.99
20 used & new from $62.68

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to make, but less flexible than I'd like, August 7, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The kit is extremely easy to use. A straight cut through the cable (a tool is provided), a twist of the connector onto the cable end, a turn of the set screw, and you're done. Even if you're terribly unhandy, it might take all of a minute. My rig isn't composed entirely of this cable, but I can say that its addition to my pedalboard hasn't introduced any negative artifacts into my sound. I can't speak to the durability or longevity of the cable or connections, as I've only been using them for a week. However, everything feels sturdy enough.

I do wish that the cable were thinner. My kit included cable the thickness of a standard guitar-to-amp cable. As far as I can tell, Planet Waves doesn't market any kits with different cable guages. Using standard guage cable on a pedalboard is unwieldy if you are cramped for space and have to make lots of twists and turns.

I haven't tried them yet, but George L makes a thinner, more flexible cable for use on pedalboards. Although it's supposed to be a little harder to assemble, I'll try it next time. If the trick of the connection isn't difficult to learn, I think I'd prefer to have the flexiblity of the thinner cable.

The ease of assembly of Planet Waves can't be beat, though. If they offered a thinner version, I'd be content to continue using their product.

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