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Floyd Ian Slipp "Enthusiast" RSS Feed (Naples, FL)

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Sony LCS-CST General Purpose Soft Carrying Case for Slim Cybershot Digital Cameras
Sony LCS-CST General Purpose Soft Carrying Case for Slim Cybershot Digital Cameras
Offered by FrozenLemon
Price: $13.59
13 used & new from $8.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job just fine, April 17, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this soft case for my recently acquired Sony DSC-T100. The case fits like a glove. It has a velcro front tab closure that works (no surprise). There is a belt loop on the back that fastens with a stiff snap at the bottom (can go through something stationary like a belt loop). It's got a convenient D-ring for attachment to a pack clip or carabiner, and it has a tiny zippered compartment capable of holding a few spare memory cards or a spare battery (both would be tight). The case is padded lightly but surely all over. The top flap is wide enough and sturdy enough on the edges to protect the case's contents if it should fall on something hard like tile or concrete. And it looks OK, too. I'm of two minds about the Sony logo on the front -- sometimes I think it's safer to not advertise what's inside a case, but, hey, it's their product and they seem really fixated on getting their name on EVERYTHING possible. It seems like it's only a matter of time until Sony and Starbucks duke it out in a takeover battle.


Sony 2 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo Memory Card MSX-M2GS
Sony 2 GB Memory Stick PRO Duo Memory Card MSX-M2GS
Offered by Digital Media Source
Price: $12.54
8 used & new from $8.94

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works as advertised, April 12, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There's not much that can be said about a memory card. It works or it doesn't. This one works, so, pretty much that's that.

It comes packaged with a Memory Stick adapter for devices that require the older, long-and-narrow format. But definitely check with the manufacturer of the unit you're planning to use it with to ensure that the Memory Stick PRO Duo is the device you need.

I'm using this with the Sony DSC-T100 CyberShot camera. As a point of calibration for other users, this 2GB Memory Stick show up as storing 619 images at 8.1 megapixels per shot. That should handle all casual use and even a big, long vacation.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2007 7:47 AM PST


The Sole Inhabitant
The Sole Inhabitant
DVD ~ Thomas Dolby
5 used & new from $39.50

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you're a Thomas Dolby fan, you should love it ..., April 10, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Sole Inhabitant (DVD)
... or, at the very least, find it interesting. Dolby made a number of Top 40 hits in the late 80's (She Blinded Me With Schience, Hyperactive), made a few bucks, got totally fed up with the corporate aspect of the music business, and dropped out of the public eye. His few (four is the number, I think) studio albums are much beloved by the cult following that has survived in his wake.

Well, now he's On His Way Back. The concert recorded and nicely documented in this video was the evening half of a day-night doubleheader at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA, in the fall of 2006. As an extension of his daytime clinic with Berklee students, his evening performance provides fascinating insights into how he goes about writing, producing, and performing his odd, evocative, often industrial-sounding music.

This is a solo act all the way. Except for the video guru who mans a camera and the projection gear (great footage projected on a screen in the hall is nicely intercut in the edit to really enhance the music and life-behind-the-music scenes from Dolby's life that inspire his work), and an occasional roadie, it's one man, a heap of electronic gear, all of which Dolby explains lovingly at some point during the show or on one of the interesting addead features on the disc.

I've always loved his music, so I'm not the cherished unbiased observer. The individual songs, while not many in number, are quality nuggets of pure-est and pur-ist Dolby. He's quirky -- no lie -- how else do you explain a wildly overproportioned military trenchcoat and aviator goggles worn atop his shaved head? -- but it's OK. What you get is in a sense a love-in between an artist and his appreciative fans.

Good news is delivered during the concert. Dolby allows that he's influenced the music business enough during his absence to be inspired to write new stuff and distribute it "soon." I got the impression that we should look for a new studio (I hope, I hope) album in 2007. I hope that's all true, becuase the only thing better to a Dolby fan than TD on stage alone is TD on disc with a host of talented studio musicians making a joyful noise (check out his "Astronauts and Heretics" effort if you're as yet not a believer).

I've played this DVD twice on my home theater rig and watched it once more on my iPod. It worked in both formats.


Delphi XM Roady XT Satellite Radio Receiver
Delphi XM Roady XT Satellite Radio Receiver
Offered by EzPz Deals
Price: $57.00
42 used & new from $19.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roady XT is XL-ent, February 26, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It's small, it's inexpensive (the price keeps dropping), it works, and I installed it in 10 minutes. It's in my wife's company car, and she loves it.

The sound quality is really quite good for running the output through the FM receiver. And I love being able to listen to XM selections on my computer by virtue of an XM subscription.

If you want, you can also buy a home adapter so that you can play it through your stereo or home theater. But I've heard tell that you have to get the antenna really close to a window to ensure decent reception. It works fine in a car, though.

Me likee.


Bellybutton
Bellybutton
34 used & new from $0.32

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jusst looking at the controversy ..., February 26, 2007
This review is from: Bellybutton (Audio CD)
generated in these reviews tells me there's something important in this album. Here's what I think ...

Sometimes you hear a tune and you say, "Wow, what a great copy of the Beatles." A clear example of this is the Knickerbockers' Sixties tune "Lies." A great tune, upbeat pop all the way, with no pretensions to anything but turning a buck with a beat. God bless ya, my boys. To my knowledge, the Knickerbockers are memorialized in the room at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame devoted to one hit wonders. But the song is still a great copy of the sound that made the Beatles the dominant force in a half century of pop music. Anyone who wants to debate this point can meet me at the side of the podium after the lecture.

But this album, "Bellybutton" by Jellyfish, is a subtle, loving, and cleverly complete tribute to the Beatles. In its 10 songs, Jellyfish captures virtually every era and accomplishment of the Beatles, from thier earliest days of raw enthusiasm/talent/new harmonies, through the psychedelic growth years, to the era when the inexorable forces of the Beatles' unprecedented fame were driving them apart even while they made thier most innovative and insightful music. Even this album's artwork is a subtle evocation of the now-classic Sergeant Pepper cover. Jellyfish members have clearly studied music of virtually all genres (OK, I don't think I hear any C&W in this recording), and the mix of influences in truly entertaining.

The songs are each little magic showcases for the impressive talents of this now-gone band. Every one tells a story based on conditions and emotions -- heartbreak, shame, addiction, loss, longing. The musicianship is outstanding. Arrangements pay tribute to the kind of work that made George Martin a vital element of the Beatles' success.

I like the album a lot, even though it is more than 15 years old. I keep returning to its spot on my iPod. It never fails to snap me out of a bad mood and run me through a gamut of emotions in a short 45 minutes. It's a great example of why music is so important to so many people.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 8, 2007 2:45 PM PST


Sony DVP-NC85H/B HDMI/CD Progressive Scan 5-Disc DVD Changer, Black
Sony DVP-NC85H/B HDMI/CD Progressive Scan 5-Disc DVD Changer, Black
19 used & new from $84.99

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony's HDMI-equipped 5-DVD changer, January 5, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
BACKGROUND: I have a fairly high-end home theater (rich people might pooh-pooh this assessment, but I'm a value-oriented consumer), containing a Hitachi 42" plasma monitor (1080i), a Denon AV receiver, and an iPod dock. For changeable media, I wanted two DVD players, one a changer, and one a single disk unit. I get my high-definition signals off my local cable. All of these play out through a 5.1 array of Jamo speakers, five of which are identical and mounted in the walls. The chunky subwoofer pumps away in a corner. It's all controlled by a Universal Remote MX-850 which I've learned to program. Also, when I was buying the home theater rig, I insisted that all components have and accept the High Definition Multimedia Interface socket(s), which replace as many as six cables per device with one.

After a full year of operation, I am continually impressed with the quality of the picture and sound delivered by this installation. So when it came time to upgrade my old DVD media player(s), I wanted something good, affordable, and capable of tiding me over until the high-definition DVD players becaame affordable (given that we consumers are faced with the stupidity of two competing standards, each with their own salient features, this decision could be delayed years until a clear winner emerges. My guess -- there will be a VHS/winner and a Betamax/loser after this is over, but we'll have to be patient unitl this is clear. Forgive the aside.).

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT IT: (1) It's Sony, which is no longer a lock guarantee of highest quality, but still a fine marque. They seem to understand the design and building of video-based comsumer electronics as well as or better than the rest. (2) Everything worked right out of the box. Since I bought it at the same time as another Sony single-disk DVD player, I was interested in having a minimum of zaniness in the installation. Plug in the HDMI cable, hit "power" and go. A-OK on this one. (3) The HDMI output is the answer to a dream. When the interface fully catches on, it will become sooooo much easier for the unskilled to buy and set up their home electronics gear. Introduction of the standard will proceed faster when consumers realize that they can buy high quality calbes much less expensively from specialty electronics suppliers. But that's another issue. (4) The upconverted signal really works as well as you can reasonably expect. Although nothing photographed in less-than-HD can look as good as HD, there is some amazing movie and TV photography out there that, when provided a clean electronic path, looks GREAT on an HD set. The upconvert feature available on this unit is worth the money if you can't bring yourself to splurge on Blu-Ray or HD DVD while the aforementioned standards battle rages, or if you already have a sizable investment in non-HD DVDs. (5) The unit remembers the viewing status/position of a slew of titles, so that you can switch around between the titles in the player (and maybe some more that have been removed from the player prior to completion of play), and the clever little device takes you right back to where you were. Hitting "stop" twice lets you go anywhere you want on this disk, as do the navigation tools built into the disk. (6) The remote is simple and functional (and identical to the one I got with my other new DVD player -- this is a small bonus and essentially irrelevant given my use of a universal remote, but some will find it refreshing to only learn one new remote if you like to have two DVD players at the ready to switch back and forth between movies and CDs with impunity. We media junkies have our quirks, and this is one way to accommodate those quirks with no muss and fuss and little expense. (7) The profile of the unit is slim enough to install in virtually any available slot. Remember to give it airspace for ventilation of heat and you'll be fine. (8) Here's a big one -- it plays virtually every kind of disk format you can throw at it. It played some homemade movies of mine that I couldn't get to play on any previous player. Awriiight!

WHAT I DON"T LIKE ABOUT IT: Not that much, actually. (1) You can't rotate the carousel while a disk is playing. Opening the drawer ends play on the disk that's in play. No biggie. (2) The blue LED that indicates operation of the HDMI circuitry is very, very bright. I have all my gear in a closet right outside my theater room, so this is not a factor for me. But I can imagine that this illumination in the same room with the viewing screen could be distracting or maybe even problematic to some users. Tone it down, Sony. Does it really matter to the viewer that upconverting is going on? Shouldn't you figure that out simply by marveling at the picture quality? (3) In the world of the truly picky, here's one. The back panel output for optical audio emits a red glow that could have the same effects as described in (2), above. Sony, why not simply provide a little plastic plug for this socket?

There, I've said it all and more. Now go buy one. They're less than 150 bucks.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 30, 2010 3:02 PM PST


Evelyn Glennie a Luxembourg
Evelyn Glennie a Luxembourg
DVD ~ Evelyn Glennie
Price: $24.99
35 used & new from $5.18

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great workout for your home theater ..., August 26, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Evelyn Glennie a Luxembourg (DVD)
If you love all types of music, you should get to know Evelyn Glennie. For the last 15 years or so, she has stood alone as THE world-class "percussion soloist," earning her living touring the great symponic orchestras of the world.

In this beautifully recorded concert, performed live with the symphonic orchestra of Luxembourg, she lovingly attacks three pieces: a symphonic work featuring the snare drum (too bad Buddy Rich hasn't been around to appreciate her virtuousity), a six-part modernist solo on the marimba, and a Glennie-transcribed Vivaldi piece originally written for piccolo and recorder but performed onstage on a vibraphone. A fourth piece, a Beethoven overture, is included as an opener, preceding Glennie's appearance onstage.

For my money, the marimba piece is a complete stunner. The instrument has the most beautiful tonality, and is made to literally "speak" under Glennie's mallet work. Each of the six parts has a distinct personality, speaking to a different segment of the musical spectrum.

The Vivaldi piece is beautiful, too. Glennie's perfectionism is evident as she blends her vibraphone playing seamlessly with a small string orchestra that includes a harpsichord. Her rapid-fire mallet work turns incredibly expressive at all the right moments. She must love what she does.

The recording, both video and audio, is flawless in its quality. The DTS and 5.1 sound help make it so, but the on-site recording staff clearly knew their stuff regarding microphone and camera placement and large hall sound levels to get everything right (a bonus feature shows Glennie and the orchestra in rehearsals, but sound levels in the bonus are over-driven, indicating that the audio levels were pre-set for a hall with audience present). Anyway, everything looked and sounded great on my home theater rig. Turn it up -- the neighbors won't mind!

Oh, yeah. What was the Beethoven connection with the opeining number for an Evelyn Glennie concert? Both Ludwig and Evelyn share profound deafness. That fact makes this and every Evelyn Glennie performance all the more astounding.


Hitachi Ultravision 42HDS52 42-Inch Plasma HDTV
Hitachi Ultravision 42HDS52 42-Inch Plasma HDTV

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncompromising, as long as the features suit you, April 21, 2006
If you are buying HD for a single quality -- i.e., picture quality -- then I'm not sure why you'd go any further after you see the picture on this unit. Unless, of course, you are one of those rare consumers who can see beyond what everyone else sees into some other realm of discernment. Then you might continue your quest for happiness elsewhere.

The look is sleek, high-end no-frills brushed metal deep blue-black. No built in strobe lights, no dashing/slashing/curing chrome strips, no gun ports. Just a discrete reference to the brand.

This TV operates essentially like other TVs. I've installed it as part of a wall-mounted home theater arrangement, with all cabling and external speakers concealed in the walls. So the hookup features of the 42HDS52 were particularly appealing. Everything (a full complement of antenna, set-top-boxes, audio, and video inputs, as well as outputs for external speaker systems) is concealed behind the unit except for a limited set of side inputs -- Input 5 (i.e., one for a USB device like a still camera and another for a composite video/S-video/audio input like a video cam or an iPod) on the left side recessed panel. On the right side is a set of external button switches for operating on/off, volume, channel external to the included remote.

At the time I bought, I really wanted simply a monitor -- no speakers, no tuner(s). I bought the HDS because it had an HDMI input, which I thought was mandatory. Therefore, I've never used the tuner or speakers in this device.

I also haven't used the remote control except for initial setup, so I won't comment on it. I spent some extra dough on a third-party programmable remote. BTW, if you're thinking about an A/V receiver-driven home theater setup for the first time, seriously consider a highly-featured third-party remote. All of the so-called universal remotes that come with your electronic devices will leave you ultimately disappointed. Compounding your frustration will be the inevitable flotilla of remotes on the coffee table. This caution is especially valid if you have someone in your household or extended family of casual users who is in any way daunted by change or technology. If you're technology oriented yourself, you'll end up using your computer to customize the crap out of the programmable remote. Even if you don't take this self-customizing step, you won't regret the purchase of the remote and you'll never go back. End of digression.

The rear panel of the Hitachi is replete with inputs that bring the total to five, including an HDMI hole. My hookup uses only the HDMI input that comes from a big honkin' Denon A/V receiver.

The Hitachi has a number of nice features, including a great picture-in-picture, powered side speakers (I haven't heard them in action), 1080i screen, screen saver, on-screen display, and a slick remotely controlled rotating stand (removable for on-wall installation) that rotates + or - 30 degrees.

However, its main draw is the picture, provided by a gazillion teeny-tiny pixels that help ensure that Hitachi's stellar reputation in plasma screens does not go down in flames with this unit. After five months of living with the Hitachi, my wife and I still marvel aloud when something designed for HD flashes to breathtakingly brilliant life on the screen.

When I took delivery of the device (early January), the street price was about $3K. I've seen it now about 5 months later at less than $2.2K. By the time this review goes online, they could be giving them away. Who knows.

For my money, the best test isn't whether you'd recommend it to a friend. It's whether you'd buy it again. I would.


No Title Available

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works like a demon, but not without its downside ..., November 30, 2004
It's nearly impossible for me to rate something five stars. It just is. Very few things do what they do so perfectly that I can give it N out of N in any rating scheme.

But this vacuum is good. Very good.

PROs:

(1) It vacuums big time. It pulls a serious suck on the hose. And the point of the Dyson design is that the strength of the vacuum doesn't drop off as it gets full or clogs. Obviously, you have to empty the huge dust bin before it gets full, and if the hose or beater head gets clogged, you have to clear it. But beyond that, it really pulls up a great deal of dirt that our previous vacuums missed.

(2) The attachments work. The neat little mini-tool is powered by the airflow through it, so you don't have to attach any electrical connection. Three of the five attachments (the small long-brisled burush, another brush, and the crevice tool) are so designed to be stored on-board, which is a fine idea. Also, the two brush tools are slickly designed so that the head swivels on a 45 degree plane, allowing the brush to straighten out to a more convenient angle for some jobs. Nice design.

(3) It's durable. Good design. Lots of materials, and as the advertising says, the materials are STRONG LIKE BULL. Every connection is sturdy and mostly intuitive. Each working connection or fitting responds with a distinct click when the operation is completed.

(4) It's easy to empty. Move a slide, remove the big canister, pull a conveniently located trigger, and the bottom falls away, releasing the contents into a trash receptacle. Virtually effortless and foolproof. If you screw up and dump it onto the floor, put the bin back on and vacuum it up. The unit does not dump dust back into your atmosphere, so it's no big deal.

Now for the CONs:

(1) It's complicated. I took it out of the box (no mean feat -- it's really packed well to keep stuff from moving around inside and being damaged in transit.) The manual is well done. This last factor is important, because you will need it, both to assemble the beast and to figure out how the thing works. The handle for the device is actually the extension wand, which fits very tightly inside the extension hose on the back of the unit. Once you have it figured out, things move more easily, and once the rough spots in the moldings wear down a little, it's also easier.

(2) Two of the tools -- the floor brush and the mini-beater tool -- do not mount onboard. Thus you have to tote them around with you for availability when you need them. There's no obvious design fix for this one.

(3) It's heavy. About 20 pounds heavy. Now, if you're cleaning along, the weight is almost unnoticeable, balanced as it is over the wheels. And it rolls along nicely on its rear whells over a floor for transport. But once you have to lift it, say to carry it up and down stairs and such, you know it's 20 lb. It's designed with a carrying handle (the manual warns you that the handle by which you maneuver it in use is NOT the handle to use to lift it) that is a little too high on the unit (looks like every Dyson in the line is the same way) for a short person to carry with the arm fully extended. Taller people will not likely suffer from this, but our housekeeper is not tall and consequently is not fond of El Dyson for this reason. This may sound picky, but we like our housekeeper and want her to stay with us. So we have some work to do with her over El Dyson.

(4) It draws a lot of current. My other vacuums claimed current draws of 13 and 14 amps, and they never popped a circuit breaker in my relatively new house. This Dyson, rated at 12 amps, popped a breaker in my kitchen (granted another appliance was turned on in the same circuit, so that won't happen the next time). That breaker had not tripped in the 10-plus years I've lived in the house. But my point really is this -- if you have old or suspect wiring where you want to plug this in, you may be retreating frequently to your basement to reset breakers, or, God forbid, replace fuses. Caveat emptor on this one.

That's about it. I know it's a superior product just by looking at it. Which is as it should be, given the dear price for the thing. But it does deliver the goods. And if you're allergic to dust or simply comjitted to your family living in the cleanest possible environment, the Dyson line is worth the money and the learning curve.


Sony VAIO PCV-RS630G Desktop PC (3.2 GHz Pentium 4 (Hyper-Threading), 512 MB RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, DVD+/-RW/DVD Drives) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Sony VAIO PCV-RS630G Desktop PC (3.2 GHz Pentium 4 (Hyper-Threading), 512 MB RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, DVD+/-RW/DVD Drives) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

4.0 out of 5 stars Like the VAIO desktop (RS613GX, smilar product), August 23, 2004
Through my own miscues, I managed to screw up the confiuration of my new Sony VAIO desktop within four hours of taking it out of the box (slightly different product, which included a 2.8gHz P4, 1gb RAM, 160gb hard disk, and virtually the same configuration described in the first review above. The only difference is that my purchase included a delicious 17" LCD display.) I installed a Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition product without first uninstalling the unbeknownst-to-me complimentary antivirus and Norton firewall. The computer -- rightfully -- slowed to a crawl.

I called Sony's 800 number. Magic, or nearly so. The person on the other end was courteous, knowledgeable, patient, and had a sense of humor. He talked me through the Windows restore I'm new to XP and wasn't aware of the beauty of this feature), waited until I did my own tests to ensure I would be able to continue on without him, and then we went our separate ways. Thanks to this fellow and to Sony for a quick, effective safety net to bail me out.

From that point on, I've been happy with the product.

PROs:

* The included 17" Sony LCD display is great with color and clarity. I intend to do a lot of photo and video editing and DVD creation, so this monitor is really going to come in handy.

* The 1gb RAM is very useful, given my penchant to write documents using Word 2003 with Excel, PowerPoint, and maybe Visio open at once. No problem with this unit.

* The card reader is a great feature to have on the front panel, along with a firewire port, three USB 2.0 ports, composite video, and S-video inputs. See CONs, below, for the downside of this arrangement. The fornt firewire port recognized my Canon camcorder right off the bat.

* I'm not a software developer or network administrator at heart, so Windows XP is really OK for administering a home network consisting of three users and four computers connected via a wireless/wired network.

* The unit is quiet, with variable speed fans to solve the cooling needs.

* Construction is more substantial and of higher quality than other similar devices on the market (notably HP), which is to me worth a few extra bucks if you don't plan to trade your computer every year or so.

* The multimedia software included seems very good and comprehensive, although I know I will be using my Photoshop software to do the detailed editing I like to use for digital photos.

CONs

* How can 7 USB ports not be enough? Easy. The front patch panel/card reader bay is placed at the very bottom of the front panel, which makes it difficult to insert cards and cables into the right hole if the computer is set on the floor or in a cabinet below a shelf. Sony should take a page from the manufacturers of component cases (like Antec) and place the card bay at the top of the front panel or maybe at the front of the top panel for convenience.

I solved this issue by buying two items: a powered 6-port Firewire hub, and a powered 4-port USB hub. Now I can hook up everything (printer, Palm PDA, wireless network adapter, and the USB hub) that's a "permanent" part of the configuration to the back 4 USB ports, and the "transient" items, like the sensor for the remote, the external hard drive, and the myriad of thumb drives, can be hooked to the free holes in the hub. I used some double-sided tape to affix everything to the inside walls of my desk knee-hole, and it neatened up the installation a lot. Now at least I don't have to grovel on the floor to hook up my various USB and Firewire compponents (iPOD, video and still cams, blah blah blah).

* Small point, but the motherboard should have four memory slots instead of two.

* Sony should build in a wireless adapter. It's the future. Hell, it's the present. No doubt this is for price competitiveness, but they should be able to buy cards like this for about five bucks and charge us $20 more for the convenience. No install, no tirp to CompUSA, no frenzied calls to equipment vendors ...

I love the video viewing and capture feature. It's great for grabbing news clips and editing them into little election year parodies to amuse your friends. No realy, I'm still not quite sure to what use I'll put it. Maybe there will be something good on TV one of these years that I can't get on HBO or On Demand. Who knows.


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