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HP Officejet Pro 8100 Wireless Color Inkjet Printer
HP Officejet Pro 8100 Wireless Color Inkjet Printer
Offered by CORMORANT
Price: $99.00
72 used & new from $40.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought March 7 2014, It Died November 4, 2014, November 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like the headline says - I bought it March 7th after a Epson Workforce inkjet decided it wanted to pour the yellow cartridge ink out all over my desk. I just threw the Canon away since many reviews mentioned both the yellow ink problem as well as lousy customer service.

I had had great luck with HPs before even though ink was expensive so decided I would try them again and bought the 8100. It worked great until just now. The little LCD screen just flashes a little bit and various buttons will have their indicator on dimly. But it isn't really on and cycling power just gets a flash on the screen and then nothing.

Edit / Summary... I spent about 8 hours either waiting on chat or on the phone with tech or customer support to get this resolved. And now it is totally resolved. They sent me a replacement printer and since my nearly brand new XL ink tanks were trapped inside the printer that I had to return, they sent me a replacement set of XL inks. The inks themselves cost more here than a new printer would have.

It wasn't as easy as it should have been to get this all settled, but HP made good on everything. I have to thank them for that though it also is exactly what should have happened anyway since the printer was under warranty. A bit of advice for dealing with any product and possibly from any vendor - you may have better luck escalating than staying in the loop of dealing with the people who can only read from scripts. In my case I found a feedback page on the HP website and told them how I kept having to verify the troubleshooting steps even after it had been decided to send me a replacement. My case got bumped to a US rep and the US rep that handled my case (Thank you, Hugo!) took care of everything and even sent out the replacement inks after I couldn't find a way to get the tanks out of the dead printer without risking breaking something.

So all in all, aside from the printer dying (but electronics can do that at any time), this was a very satisfactory experience overall. I didn't care for the time spent in the tech support and get the credit card number to guarantee I would send the dead printer back loop, but as I said, HP did make it right. I completely understand the frustration others have voiced here with HP support and I agree - their front line support people, while polite and well-meaning, aren't good with anything other than basic stuff. But escalate through the HP feedback form and they at least took very good care of me and expedited the printer and the inks.

I'm changing the rating from 1 star to 4 both for the print quality and for the US customer support. It would be a 5 but the front tier support just wasn't able to get a replacement printer on the way. Again, thanks to Hugo for making this all right.

Nest Protect Smoke Plus Carbon Monoxide, Wired 120V S2001LW
Nest Protect Smoke Plus Carbon Monoxide, Wired 120V S2001LW
Offered by Eonline
Price: $124.99
30 used & new from $64.89

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Failed - At 2:30 AM - Total Waste Of Money, July 29, 2014
What a waste of money. Glad I saved the original alarms. I bought two of these, both at Amazon. I bought one to try it out but then a second one when the first seemed OK. That's when the problems started. The second one Amazon sent was an open box and had already been installed/initialized. No way i was going to use an alarm in an unknown condition as carbon monoxide sensors are subject to damage by various fumes. I sent it back and Amazon quickly sent out a replacement. Installed it and it worked more or less fine until just a few minutes ago when it started beeping then announced the sensors had failed at 8 months from its date of manufacture. Checking the Nest app it says the smoke sensor has failed. It's not even the CO sensor.

I wasn't going to buy more of these anyway. Nest was bought by Google and Google is a surveillance company. As much as they say our private data is kept private, all it takes is a change of terms and when we are home and when we aren't, when we get up, when we go to bed, etc, all can be revealed by our little, mostly silent, sentries that we invited into our homes.

Then it turns out the wave function to silence an alarm (would have been real handy right about now) has to be disabled as it can accidentally disable real alarms, and they have yet to fix it, so now I have a little beeping demon at 3:00 AM that apparently won't shut up until I open it and yank it's batteries.

These were pricey to begin with but I liked the connectivity and ability to monitor while away from home. We have pets and being able to check in while traveling, etc, is nice. Now that one has failed, it has lost functionality, and Google is able to monitor were they to choose, I'm out. The original smoke detector goes back in tomorrow and I'm not going to seek warranty replacement.

Save yourself some money, time, a headache, a loss of privacy, and a 3:00 AM incessantly beeping pain in the rear.

Now to open it and yank batteries. Even though it's in a box in a room with the door closed, I can still hear the beeping.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 - Full Version
Microsoft Windows 8.1 - Full Version
Offered by Timur Ruvinov
Price: $103.00
49 used & new from $100.87

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Windows 8.1 is tile hell and frustrating for power users, April 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I needed to install Windows for a project. I'm a Linux person and love it. It makes sense, works well, and it's easy to do common configuration tasks like setting up a RAID volume.

I'm now installing Windows 8.1 for the third time. Simple drive configuration is all you can do with Windows setup. It co-opts drives. It even overwrote my boot record before I was ready when I booted from the install CD. I hadn't backed up all the stuff I wanted to on the system before rebuilding it into Windows and it wouldn't boot after that. Luckily I was able to boot it using a Linux install disc.

People need to do custom setups because otherwise Microsoft is getting what looks like constant updates on everything you do on a Windows box. In the custom setup it at least asks you if you want to send Microsoft your browser history and pretty much everything else and you can say no. It's quite a list of things they request of you - all to help you of course.

The tiles thing is a total pain. At least you can turn it off for the most part (there are checkboxes to boot to desktop, etc) but I still haven't figured out how to make Windows 8.1 just be a desktop and only a desktop. It keeps reverting to the tile display at odd times and I have to navigate back to the desktop every time. Internet Explorer is the worst offender it seems. Looks like time to install Firefox. I know how to navigate Windows (the old versions) but this tile layer is just an obfuscation and maddening. My desktop is not a tablet. It doesn't have a touch screen. And Microsoft really should have anticipated how useless the tile menus are for people using Windows on a desktop.

On the other hand, the reason I needed to run Windows is because I had a few nagging problems running some Windows applications under Linux and I finally decided to run both again. But for Windows applications Windows does seem to do a good job. Although I have definitely found one issue where a Windows application runs better under Linux (using a helper application - I use Crossover but many use Wine), for the most part Windows apps do run better in Windows.

The more I use Windows the more I wonder why Microsoft chooses to insulate their users so far from complex tasks if they need to do them. The seem to literally hide things and it takes a fair amount of online research to be able to do anything worthwhile with the OS now. Maybe they just think their users are that dumb. I really don't know. But the actual task of creating user accounts or giving and taking admin privileges away from user accounts (they still for some unknown reason make the first user account an admin and then don't tell you which exposes probably most users to system exploits) is easy, but they force you into tile hell and make the actual task way harder than it should ever be.

I still much prefer Linux and probably always will. The more Microsoft works to dumb these things down the more frustrating it is to use their operating systems. I can do everything I need to do to configure a Linux system in far more detail than I even can in Windows in far less time with much less effort and very much less frustration.

I suppose if you have a desire to point, touch, and grunt at your screen, you might like Windows 8.1. If you want to actually get things done, prepare to waste hours setting it up like you want it. And whoever chose their default colors should be fired. The desktop is nasty. Really nasty yellow.

You get the idea. For me it is a necessary evil now - and it is evil. Windows at least used to be manageable and configurable. Why they ruined it even more (yes, it turns out it actually was possible and no doubt they will do it again with 9) is beyond me.

But at least it works for what I need it to. That's about all I can say for it. Anyone who wants a real operating system ought to look at Linux. It doesn't treat you like some kind of imbecile.

EDIT --- I've now come up against what Windows "Full Version" doesn't come with and one thing is the venerable Media Player and who knows what else. It will play MP3 files in the garish Metro app, but it won't play DVDs. You need an add-on app for that. So you can go to Microsoft's built-in "store" and look for it but you won't find it. It's apparently only included in the Windows 8.1 "Pro Pack" which means another $100 (give or take - Amazon has it cheaper than Microsoft) and you also get a bunch of junk most don't need like Remote Desktop, disk encryption, etc. The stuff Linux just includes and Windows used to.

So, don't want to double the cost of Windows to watch a DVD on your computer? It's the store for you and it is lame. There is a huge array of somewhat relevant apps (100 when you search for DVD player but some aren't players - e.g. The NOOK app) and most are rated 1 to 3 stars out of five. There are some four star reviews but those say "Desktop App" instead of give you a price. For those you have to go to the publisher's website and prices range from free to one I saw was $100 which is the same price as the pro pack. But free is never really free and I couldn't find the click wrap agreements to check out what free meant before downloading and starting the install. But what you find in the reviews is the "free" apps come with all sorts of bundled-in junkware and bloatware, are crippled and they want money to unlock the features, etc.

What the Microsoft App Store is is a way to make you pay and pay for all the stuff you really need for a complete operating system. If Microsoft isn't the one fleecing you, it's someone else and who knows on what terms, what information they collect, what junk the app installs, or who they sell your information to. It's terrible.

Windows 8.1 is a pared down, bare minimum OS that is the springboard for Microsoft to get your credit card information so they can sell you the little charms you need to actually use it. Carving out Media Player and turning it into something bundled with a bunch of junk I don't need that doubles the cost of Windows is a joke. On us. I'm lowering my review to one star for being hoodwinked.

And not to leave you hanging, I found a great media player that uses the GNU public license, is free, and comes with no adware, spyware, etc. it's called VLC Media Player. You can find it on the web.

DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter with Integrated FPV Camcorder (White) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter with Integrated FPV Camcorder (White) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by DDM Racing
Price: $599.00
37 used & new from $499.00

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way Cool and Easy To Fly!, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got mine, stuck on the stripes, charged the batteries, and made my first flight the next morning. I've flown R/C planes but never a quad. The big fear was what would happen when I ran up the throttle. What happened? It flew. A totally uneventful and very amazing first flight as I cruised around the park and around the neighborhood. After the flights (3) I looked over the videos from the camera and was blown away. Beautiful!

These aren't for everyone and certainly aren't for anyone who would fly them into the paths of airplanes, over crowds, or do other stupid things with them. Nor are they for people who can't be bothered to read the manual or watch the tutorial videos or learn from the online quad copter forums. But for people looking for a new camera angle or even search and rescue folks, it's the whole package and an amazing introduction to the world of quads, real time video downlink, and great medium end quality photography.

A few things to know - there are already firmware updates that improve functionality and noise immunity so buyers should be comfortable installing Windows software and following procedures (simple) to update firmware. If that is Greek to you, make sure you know someone who can figure it out. It will fly great with the firmware it ships with but even better if you update. You also should be comfortable opening up cases as the USB firmware update port is inside the transmitter (design oversight by DJI) and you have to crack the case to get to it.

You also need a smartphone. The idevices are compatible and so are a lot of the Android ones, but not all. You should make sure the one you have is before dropping this amount, or be prepared to possibly upgrade your phone or tablet.

There is also a dance you need to do before each flying session to calibrate the gyros and compass, as well as let it find the GPS satellites. People need to be able to follow procedures to fly these safely. There are a number of stories and videos now where people have crashed or lost their quads because they ignored low battery alarms, flew without calibrating, etc. There are also all too many videos of people with nearly severed fingers, cuts in their arms, legs, hands, and their face. Not to be too much of a wet blanket, but these have sharp little propellers spinning at high RPM. This is why you don't fly them over or in crowds, let your kids chase them, etc. It's why you read and follow the directions and pay attention to the cautions. How safe they are is entirely up to the operator.

But for the careful and those willing to invest the time before first flight to read and study up, it's really hard to beat the Vision 2. It can do amazing things and the photo and video quality is great! 5 STARS!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2013 8:58 PM PST

Sophisticated Science Perfume Science
Sophisticated Science Perfume Science
Price: $54.22
23 used & new from $39.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Customer Service!, November 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review isn't about the Perfume Science kit itself yet as I haven't given it yet to the person who gets it for Christmas. What it's about is Thames & Kosmos itself. I opened the box to take a quick look inside and saw where the Flory perfume container had leaked. It doesn't look like anything was damaged as everything is securely packed in a styrofoam tray that contained the liquid. I wrote to their customer service address and explained what happened and they have a replacement Flory bottle on the way. It was nice of them to get that out so quickly and they said if it turns out there was any other damage to just let them know and they'll take care of it. Very impressed.

I bought it through Really Great Toys and also have to commend them. It arrived much faster than promised and was well-packed. The leaking Flory container is unrelated to their packing and they would have had to open the box to even know. Really Great Toys is a great affiliate seller.

South Beach Diet Gluten Free Chewy Nut Bar, Nut Crunch, 1.23 oz. Bars, 5 Count
South Beach Diet Gluten Free Chewy Nut Bar, Nut Crunch, 1.23 oz. Bars, 5 Count
Price: $5.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for being a diet item. You wouldn't guess that from the taste., November 3, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are actually pretty good. I don't add salt to anything pretty much as a rule and could taste the salt but it wasn't overbearing and the nutrition information shows the salt level to be reasonable. So all in all I'd get these again. They taste just as good as any other snack bar I've tasted.

Airborne Very Berry Immune Support Supplement, 10 Count
Airborne Very Berry Immune Support Supplement, 10 Count
Price: $4.79
43 used & new from $3.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Berry Tastes Fine, October 31, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We use Airborne but hadn't tried the Very Berry flavor. It has a very pleasant taste and that can help as some of the other flavors are a little rough for some. How effective is Airborne? That's open for debate but we use it and take it before visiting relatives with housefuls of kids, before trips, etc. it's at least got all the vitamin C and other things people attribute fighting off colds to. This is a nice flavor, though.

AmazonBasics PC/Silicon Case for iPhone 5C - Cyan Blue / Grey
AmazonBasics PC/Silicon Case for iPhone 5C - Cyan Blue / Grey
Price: $2.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Overall Nice Case, October 31, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I thought this was a two step injection mold to make one two color piece but it's actually two separate pieces of plastic that seem to fit together well. The gray part is soft silicone or silicone like plastic and the color part is a hard shell. Fit and finish are really good with no flash. All in all it's a very good case.

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies H-racer 2.0 with IR control and Solar Hydrogen Refueling Station
Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies H-racer 2.0 with IR control and Solar Hydrogen Refueling Station
Offered by MindWare
Price: $59.95
12 used & new from $39.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heads Up To The Non Science Crowd - This Is Not Meant To Be A RC Car Toy. It Is An Educational Project., October 23, 2013
I see the reviews here and it makes me sad. It is not an RC car or meant to compete in that arena. It is an educational device. I got the version before they added the IR remote and it still works great after a few years of sitting on a shelf.

What this shows is splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen with the fueling station using either battery power or a solar panel, and combining the produced hydrogen with oxygen from the air to produce useable energy. If children aren't old enough to be interested or curious about fuel cells, this may not be an appropriate choice. If they want to race RC cars around the back yard, get one of those instead.

This is something where you need to read the manual and follow the directions. I would bet money that the people who had such disappointing results didn't think they needed to read the manual or thought that proper purging or emptying procedures were unnecessary. The fact is that extremely short run times are probably due to operator error.

And actually, there are some other fuel cell car kits that might be better for the science aspects that give access to the electricity from the fuel cell in the car, that make it easy to compare volumes and collecting of hydrogen and oxygen produced in the water splitter (there will be exactly twice as much hydrogen produced as oxygen since it is H2O), etc.

But for a high class but reasonably priced fuel cell demonstrator, this is a good kit. It's not a toy and anyone thinking about it like that should just move on. It's better suited to more mature kids that are interested in the underlying science and processes involved. Those complaining about short run times should turn it around and ask why run times are short. Is it the buildup of non-reactive gases like nitrogen (yes, that is one reason) or is it demonstrating some of the limitations of hydrogen fuel cells and problems with hydrogen storage (this too). Did anyone complaining about the short run time notice what the storage balloon was doing? No thoughts on what could be done to increase range? No thoughts about the very important concept actually being demonstrated?

These kinds of things are vehicles (no pun intended) to all the science behind fuel cells - not toys. They are great classroom demonstrators and the reason the manual is wordy is because it is trying to explain these things. Parents who themselves don't understand what these are about, and aren't interested, and aren't willing to learn, should go elsewhere and stop leaving ignorant negative reviews.

I'm very impressed that the cells in mine came back to life after an extended period (years) left unused and dehydrated. The generator went right back to work (after letting it sit with distiller water in the reservoir for a few minutes). The fuel cell in the car took a while to rehydrate and start working hard enough to drive the car but that is normal. It was a dry plastic membrane that had such high resistance no real current could flow. After a few fill cycles, dribbling some distiller water on the oxygen side of the fuel cell and shaking it back off, etc, it now works great! That's a big plus and says something about the way these are designed and built.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 29, 2013 5:53 PM PDT

Lumber Jack 100-Percent Maple Wood BBQ Grilling Pellets, 40-Pound Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Lumber Jack 100-Percent Maple Wood BBQ Grilling Pellets, 40-Pound Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Pellets, October 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really like the flavor and the smoke smells great. Medium amount of ash. But Prime delivery to my door? That's a combination that's hard to beat. I feel for the Fed-Ex driver, though as these are 40 pound bags in not so sturdy boxes. Probably makes it a real pain to carry to the door. But the pellets themselves are great!

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