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Richard, Brit Abroad RSS Feed (San Jose, CA)

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Angled Locking and Stacking Banana Plug with Dual Set Screws Poly Carbonate Shell and Insulated Thumbscrew 2 Pair
Angled Locking and Stacking Banana Plug with Dual Set Screws Poly Carbonate Shell and Insulated Thumbscrew 2 Pair
Offered by Parts Express
Price: $22.69

5.0 out of 5 stars works well!, May 31, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm using these to bi-wire speakers to an amp with somewhat loose banana sockets. Easy to install, makes a good connection physically and electrically and better made than any banana plug I have tried before.


ROLLING THUNDER: An Historical Novel of War and Politics (Wings of War Book 1)
ROLLING THUNDER: An Historical Novel of War and Politics (Wings of War Book 1)
Price: $0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic and very readable, August 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I read this a few years back. I've nearly finished reading it a second time and it is every bit as good the second time around. I have no first-hand experience of the Vietnam war or the politics around it (I wasn't even school age at the time) but this books strikes me as intensively authentic. It is also very well written with compelling characters.
If you like this one be sure to read the rest of the series.


Tissot Men's T049.410.11.037.01 Silver Dial Watch
Tissot Men's T049.410.11.037.01 Silver Dial Watch
Offered by Imperial123
Price: $201.50
9 used & new from $191.42

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, but not practical, August 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My previous watch, another Tissot, lasted 20 years until it died a few weeks ago. Perhaps I should have had it repaired. This new watch is fine as a piece of jewellery (shiny, pretty) but not so good for telling the time. The problem is it is very hard to read in many lighting conditions. The hands are almost the same shade as the watch face and the watch face itself has a very strong reflection of light sources. The end result is one has to peer at the watch to determine the time! Not very practical.


Dynamite Fishermen
Dynamite Fishermen
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I really like the way this book paints a vivid picture of ..., May 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really like the way this book paints a vivid picture of what life was like in Beirut during the civil war. Very nicely written.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2016 4:15 PM PDT


Etymotic Research MC5 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones (Black)
Etymotic Research MC5 Noise Isolating In-Ear Earphones (Black)
Offered by Real Deal sales
Price: $53.00
32 used & new from $50.62

5.0 out of 5 stars More than good enough for the gym, October 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought these to replace a pair of ER-6's which eventually died after 7 or 8 years of use at the gym and on international flights. The MC5's are not quite as good in sound quality as ER-6's but then they cost less than half as much.
Fit is critical on these types of phones and mostly I've managed to get a good fit with one of the four types of inserts. I listened to quite a few headphones in a Best Buy after buying these and I believe the MC5s are easily better than anything BB offers up to about $150.
I don't think an audiophile would be totally satisfied but for the gym, air travel and other noisy environments when deep base isn't the main objective, these are a good choice.


DeoxITFaderLube Liquid, squeeze tube 100% solution 2 mL - F100L-L2C
DeoxITFaderLube Liquid, squeeze tube 100% solution 2 mL - F100L-L2C
Offered by Tool Deals
Price: $7.27
5 used & new from $7.27

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amplifier revived!, October 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this to fix my early 90's Pioneer stereo amplifier. The left and right concentric volume potentiometers were so noisy that getting both channels at the right volume had become impossible.

Using this product was easy. Open the case, quick blast of compressed air and a little drop of the lube and performance is restored! Still working fine a month or so later. I expect I will need to repeat in a year or two. Although the tube is tiny, I expect it will last me many years.


Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p (Old Version)
Roku 2 XD Streaming Player 1080p (Old Version)
Offered by e-choices
Price: $83.61
29 used & new from $33.55

278 of 299 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars User-friendly Streaming Video Player, August 14, 2011
My favorite quote from the slim setup manual: "Step 3 establishes your network connection and bring out your inner geek. You can do it!" Well, setup is about as easy as it could possibly be and there's really nothing geeky about it. Choose your wifi network name and enter the password. No requirement to choose the encryption standard (WEP, WPA etc) or anything more technical than username and password. You will need a computer to create an account at Roku and associate it with your new box.

Once setup is complete, driving the user interface via a very straightforward IR remote is intuitive. IR is quite directional and you might want to position the Roku box where you most naturally point the remote. This should be easy because the Roku is remarkably small at just a couple of inches square. I think you could velcro the box to the side of a TV if that was convenient to you.

My inner geek is an energy miser! I did my initial testing using a Kill-A-Watt power meter and was delighted to find power consumption runs around 1 to 2 watts even when streaming (I'm compensating for a satellite TV DVR that sucks an outrageous 50-60 watts, 24/7). Great job!

There are dozens of stream feeds preprogrammed into the Roku, most of which appear to be free of charge. Streaming of the most recent NBC newscast looks to be useful. I plan to look around at the others when I get some time. My main intended use for this is to stream video from Netflix. That is working fine and is very similar to my Samsung blueray player and rather faster in operation.

I use an HDMI cable with both a 720p and a 1080p TV and image quality is fine; I didn't try the analog connections. When you order, just remember that no HDMI cable is included; Amazon's own-brand cables work fine and are very economical (there's that miser, again!)

Overall, this is a fine implementation of a streaming video player. Usage is tailored very much to normal people; geeks might want to get their thrills elsewhere!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2013 2:06 PM PDT


Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony
Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony
17 used & new from $0.62

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dubious sound quality in places, April 26, 2009
Sometimes my inner cheapskate takes over! And Amazon wakes him up more reliably than most buying situations. I had borrowed the Atlanta Symphony version of this from the local library and liked it a lot. But on Amazon, Atlanta's DDD version it is almost twice the price of the LSO's ADD version. Amazon lists a date of October 1990, so sound quality shouldn't be too bad? Well from the disk itself it seems the recording was made in 1970. Big difference in recording technology!

The piece starts with a huge crescendo. Not only does the LSO version sound heavily compressed, it also sounds quite distorted. This only lasts a few seconds, but by then the magic is gone and I'm reminded how easily I am swayed by my inner cheapskate!

To be fair, the on the other 98% of the disk the sound quality is very acceptable if not quite stellar.


NuForce - Icon - Integrated Desktop Amplifier (Red)
NuForce - Icon - Integrated Desktop Amplifier (Red)

5.0 out of 5 stars Mac meets serious audio, March 1, 2009
Some time ago I came to the realization that most of the music I listen to is sourced from my computer and the pair of powered speakers I scavenged from a cheap PC really were not up to scratch. I have a "proper" hi-fi system (carefully-chosen separates connected by decent cables within a reasonable budget rather than cost-no-object audiophile gear). I bought that 15 years ago. It's too big to put in a bedroom and too disruptive of family life to listen to properly (loudly!).

The ICON and a pair of second-hand KEF Q-compact speakers (89 db sensitivity) allows me access to good quality music reproduction once again. I'm driving the Icon using the USB input and I have the speakers on my small computer desk on some wooden stands I made myself. I'm sitting around 2 feet from the speakers. In this setup I have found there to be ample loudness. The guy I bought the speakers from suggested I should drive them from a 100W amplifier but in my opinion the Icon would be loud enough for most kinds of music in any room up to 200-300 sq ft.

The only comparison I have done is to use an Oppo DV-980H DVD player as a source and compare the same music through the built-in DAC. The Oppo's audio decoding ability gets great reviews; I would say it is a little better than the Icon's USB decoding but both are clearly much better than the Cambridge Audio CD player in my "proper" hi-fi.

I seriously considered buying the matching NuForce speakers but ultimately chose not to because, apparently, digital amplifiers don't have a good reputation for long life and I wouldn't want to have to discard the speakers if/when the Icon dies. While I applaud the direct sales approach, it seems that its almost impossible to personally make comparisons as that is part of the fun when buying audio gear.

I notice a little noise when no music is playing but not enough to really concern me. The only annoyance is the loud click when I power the Icon up. With that exception, I have nothing but praise for this neat little unit. I think anyone other than out-and-out audiophiles would be very happy to have this amplifier at the heart of a computer-based audio system.


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