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telackey "telackey" RSS Feed (Livingston, MT United States)

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ILIFE V3s Robotic Vacuum Cleaner for Pets and Allergies Home, Pearl White
ILIFE V3s Robotic Vacuum Cleaner for Pets and Allergies Home, Pearl White
Offered by Ilife Innovation
Price: $179.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, June 10, 2016
It does a great job. Occasionally it will get stuck under the cabinet doors in the kitchen, or on the leg of our baby swing, but for the most part it simply [gently] bounces around the house each day, and we have a clean floor.

It gets into the corners pretty well, is able to fit under almost all of our furniture, and does a pretty decent job of winding through tricky places, like through chair legs under the dining room table (though there are limits to how tight a spot it can fit in).

It has had something of a psychological effect on helping us keep things clean, in that knowing it will run in the morning, we make sure to pick up our shoes and things like that at night and put them where they go (or at least in a bedroom) so they don't get in the way.

The first few days were a learning process. I would recommend you run it while you are home and can watch for the first few runs. That way you can see if it gets stuck anywhere, what cords it might get tangled on, etc. We had a few problem areas, mainly related to cords, that we needed to arrange. As a plus, it just looks neater now.

We usually shut the bedroom doors when it runs, since the bedrooms are carpeted, and the V3S is meant for hard-surfaces. It will run for just under 2 hrs, and usually makes its way across the rest of the whole house. It is random, so one day it may spend more time in one area than another, but since it runs every day, it all averages out. It finds its own way home to recharge automatically better than 95% of the time.

We bought it only intending to use it for the hard-surface areas (living room, dining room, kitchen, hallways, guest bath, and laundry room). It has done such a great job, exceeding all our expectations, that we are considering getting the ILIFE A4, which has a beater-brush for carpets, so that we can let it into the bedrooms too. If we do that, we will keep using the V3S in our home office, which has exclusively hard floors.

The short version is that this is one of the best purchases we've made for our new home, and a great help on the housework.


Infant Optics DXR-5+ Portable Video Baby Monitor, Blue/White
Infant Optics DXR-5+ Portable Video Baby Monitor, Blue/White
Price: $100.99
2 used & new from $100.99

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wi-Fi Channel 6 Interference, February 26, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First off let me say that I bought this at full price. No review copies or discounts (though I can't say I would mind learning how reviewers for so many products are getting stuff for free lately...)

It worked well out of the box for about half an hour. It then started beeping frequently about lost signal, even only a few feet away from the camera. I bit of research suggested it might be getting interference from my 2.4GHz wifi on channel 6. Sure enough, my wireless access point was on channel 6. I did a quick scan to pick the next best channel--in my case channel 1*--and changed it. It would seem that this monitor, which is 2.4Ghz just like wifi, is either fixed on channel 6, or does a poor job of auto-choosing the channel, choosing one that conflicted with my wifi.

After fixing that, it has been reliable, and the range is quite decent. The VOX feature seems to work well, and the video quality is pretty good, day and night. I am decently pleased with it, and think it was a good purchase.

I'll probably update this review as I get more experience, but I wanted to post the part about the channel in case it is helpful to someone else. If I hadn't changed it, it would be being returned, since a monitor with a 10ft range is useless.

Tip to the company, I know you want to keep it simple, but either make a 900MHz monitor or else give users more control over the wireless radio settings, maybe in an "advanced" menu. With so many 2.4GHz devices everywhere, the odds of someone--or a neighbor--having devices that will cause signal interference are basically 100%.

* If you have to change your wifi to another channel, try 1 or 11, as neither overlaps with 6 when using 20MHz bandwidth, while channels 2-10 will, to varying degrees. If you are using 40MHz, you are pretty much out of luck, as you'll need 2/3s of the entire spectrum and channel 6 is smack dab in the middle, so no matter what channel you pick you'll interfere with it. If that is the case, you might switch to 5GHz wifi, if your devices support it, or change your access point to use only 20MHz.


Ernest Hemingway Set
Ernest Hemingway Set
by Ernest Hemingway
Edition: Hardcover

35 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The books as published by Scribner run a good deal less than half this price, November 5, 2015
This review is from: Ernest Hemingway Set (Hardcover)
The books as published by Scribner run a good deal less than half this price.

Since the product description clearly and honestly discloses that these are the Scribner volumes, that means one is spending ~2.25x the original price to obtain the special dustcovers.

I love fine books, and that includes fine dustcovers, but a dustcover that is more expensive than the book it wraps has pushed a boundary.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2015 11:51 PM PST


Omix-Ada 12020.03 Rear View Mirror
Omix-Ada 12020.03 Rear View Mirror
Price: $21.85
41 used & new from $16.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks as good as the factory mirror., July 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Replaced an auto-dimming mirror that had failed and leaked with this on a '96 Discovery. No auto-dimming feature of course, but it otherwise looks just as good as the factory mirror and seems very solidly made.

Couldn't be more pleased. I used the "Omix-Ada 11021.02 Rear View Mirror Mounting Kit", as the existing mount was not compatible.


Synology DiskStation 4-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS412+ (Black)
Synology DiskStation 4-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS412+ (Black)
6 used & new from $299.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The web UI is fantastic. I am using this purely with iSCSI and multipath I/O (MPIO) for Hyper-V support (ie, more like a tiny SAN than a NAS). Speed, ease of setup, and features all met or exceeded my expectations.

I had one harddrive drive report errors the day after install (easy visible in the Synology logs). Replacing it was a nice opportunity to test the array rebuilding capability. It went flawlessly and I/O was surprisingly good even while rebuilding.

The only thing I might change is USB3 connectivity. It supports /attached/ USB3 devices--which I have done and works well--but not attaching itself over USB3. That would be convenient, but it is a minor quibble.

Expensive gear for a home office, but definitely worth it.

*UPDATE*

The latest versions of DSM5 seem to have introduced some badness in MPIO. It is no longer stable for me except in fallback/redundancy mode, and performance is actually slightly lower with it enabled. I have also had performance issues with reads on iSCSI being consistently much slower than writes. This has been reported on the Synology forums. I have tried various RAID styles and file- vs block-level configurations and NICs on the host without much improvement. It has been a reliable NAS, and the performance is adequate even with these limitations, but for those reasons I am dropping a star.


Gordon Ramsay Chef Knives Maze 6 Piece Knife Set
Gordon Ramsay Chef Knives Maze 6 Piece Knife Set

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not stunning., August 25, 2011
I wanted to add a bit of info, since the description is pretty sparse.

The blades are all "European" (I am guessing German) X50CrMoV15 stainless steel, which is a good quality steel, a little softer than the Japanese steels but easier to maintain. It is used on other quality knives like Messermeister. The handles are either a polymer or a resin. I haven't had a chance to use all the blades yet, but so far they all seem to be sharp, decently balanced, and well put together. On mine, the polymer-to-metal fit is seamless on all the knives. While the steel used may be European, the knives themselves are made in China. I don't think that is too uncommon for high-value knives, as I have one J.A. Henckels International knife that is the same, but it is worth noting, especially if comparing to premium brands made in Germany (Wusthof, Messermeister, etc.) or Japan (Shun, Global, MAC, etc.).

The knives have a full bolster, which can help with balance, but requires a bit more maintenance than a partial bolster, since the bolster itself will need filed down over time to maintain balance. The knives have a flat, steel pommel, which is nice for crushing a bulb of garlic or the like.

One notable weak point is the honing steel. It is a flattened oval rather than round, and it has an extremely course grit which looks to be diamond coated. The grit is so aggressive, I'd never let a decent knife touch it, since it could easily destroy the edge in a few passes. Even in the best case it would be removing a ton of metal, which is not what you want to do when honing. Last off, on mine, the fit of its "blade" to the grip (unlike the knives, it isn't a single piece of steel) is less than perfect.

All in all, a pretty decent set, as long as you don't pay too much. They are nicer than the J.A. Henckels International knives, but you still don't want to pay too much more than for a similar J.A. Henckels Premio set--after all made in China is still made in China. RD recently had these on sale for 75% off. If you are looking at 65-75% off (~20-25 usd per knife), these seem like a good way to get a versatile set made from quality steel. Save a bit out for a new honing steel though.

*ADDENDUM*

For those just starting out on a collection, you may wish to consider a MAC Original chef's knife and paring knife. The two knives you will be using 95% of the time will be top quality, and only cost around 85 usd together. Really top quality, but not so expensive that you cannot replace them if a mistake happens as you learn to sharpen and care for them. Early on, those knives are where the focus should go. If you already have some nice blades like that, or are planning to get some, this set really shines as a compliment, as it is a decent way to round out the odds and ends like a bread knife, utility knife, etc., made out of good steel, without spending a fortune.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2014 8:38 AM PDT


Frieling  18/10 Stainless Steel Tea Maker with Infuser Basket, 20-Ounce
Frieling 18/10 Stainless Steel Tea Maker with Infuser Basket, 20-Ounce
Price: $70.95
16 used & new from $58.53

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent teapot, January 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is one of the best teapots I've used. It is easy to clean, a great size, great infuser, well manufactured, keeps tea hot a very long time, and rarely drips.

Why only four stars? The infuser, though great for tea, is a little hard to work with. It has to be set into the pot perfectly level with the retaining lip, or it will slide in too far and get stuck. The infuser has a hinged stainless handle used to lift it. One has to be careful to leave the handle up as high as possible before putting on the lid, or it will be hard to get out again, since the top of the infuser will be tight against the walls, and the handle, when down low, is difficult to pry up without tipping the infuser off its ledge (and spilling the leaves) -- and of course it is most likely boiling hot as well. That said, once you know its quirks, they are easy to work around.

At a less premium price, I'd ignore those and still give it five stars. At this price, it knocks off a star, while still getting the nod as one of the best teapots you can buy.


Le Creuset Stoneware 22-Ounce Teapot with Infuser, Cerise (Cherry Red)
Le Creuset Stoneware 22-Ounce Teapot with Infuser, Cerise (Cherry Red)
Price: $39.95
11 used & new from $39.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars for the price, January 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is an excellent teapot for the price. The quality of the fit and finish is excellent, and it is a handy size. The infuser is easy to clean and sturdy. The only downsides are that it will let an occasional drip fall and that the infuser drains a little slowly, so one needs to be careful not to pour hot water over the leaves too quickly. Both are minor, and not of much consideration given the overall quality and the price.


Collector's Edition Lynyrd Skynyrd
Collector's Edition Lynyrd Skynyrd
10 used & new from $21.94

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compilation of Compilations, July 12, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a good set. It might not be instantly clear from the description that the first disc was also released as 'Double Trouble' and the second disc as 'What's Your Name'. The third disc is a brand new compilation.


The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers
The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers
by Will Durant
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $8.36
145 used & new from $2.61

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bias, March 4, 2010
This is a worthy book for what it covers. It is seriously hampered from telling the "story of philosophy" by what it does not cover.

What does it skip? Well, pretty much all pre-Platonic philosophy. This is unfortunate, but forgivable. You can explore a wide range of philosophical thought as long as you start with Plato and Aristotle. You can't explore much of anything without them.

The most glaring, and truly unforgivable, omission is all late Roman and medieval philosophy. You think I jest? I wish I were. All thought between ~332BC and ~AD1560 is boiled into around three pages of generalizations and then roundly dismissed with the line, "The result was subtlety, not wisdom." I am glad Mr. Durant knows, so that he could spare us the bother of reading.

If one didn't know better, you'd think nothing had happened for 90 generations running. What you had in fact was the waxing an waning of whole schools of philosophy, from Stoicism (Aurelius at least rates a passing mention) to the Plato-inspired St. Augustine and the nominalist William of Ockham. St. Augustine doesn't even merit an entry in the index or a single footnote, and yet we have sections dedicated to Herbert Spencer and John Dewey? That alone should tell the reader that something has gone wrong in telling anything like the "story of philosophy."

While that leads me to distrust Mr. Durant as biased, it is still a book worth having. I often find myself reading philosophical works close to my own views. It helps to have a nudge now and again, a quick reminder and distillation of other, different views, so that everything doesn't become self-reinforcing.

That is, it is a book worth having for exactly the same reason that I say Mr. Durant composed it so poorly. It is worth seeing and understanding other viewpoints, rather than dismissing them without even a glance.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 4, 2015 11:15 PM PDT


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