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niels RSS Feed (Santa Monica, CA USA)

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ZTC Thunder Enclosure NGFF M.2 SSD to USB 3.0. Aluminum Shell, 5 Sizes Board and High Speed 6GB/s. Model ZTC-EN004
ZTC Thunder Enclosure NGFF M.2 SSD to USB 3.0. Aluminum Shell, 5 Sizes Board and High Speed 6GB/s. Model ZTC-EN004
Offered by Hot Deals 4 Less
Price: $18.99
3 used & new from $18.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aluminum, M.2, USB 3.0. Just what you need when you upgrade your laptop to a larger SSD to use the old SSD as an external drive, September 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not that much to say about it, it'll fit an M.2 drive you may have removed from your laptop for an upgrade, enabling you to use it as an additional and very small external drive.

Supports USB 3.0, so you don't loose all the speed of your old(er) SSD.

Aluminum is nice to have for this, as it will dissipate heat from your SSD much better than a plastic case would, aside from the fact its more durable.


Osprey Packs Beta Port Courier Bag, Grey Herringbone
Osprey Packs Beta Port Courier Bag, Grey Herringbone
Price: $99.95
8 used & new from $99.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bag. I ordered a load of bags on Amazon, this was the one I kept (2 of them), September 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Fantastic Bag for computers from 11"-14"

Osprey's main idea for this bag was tablets, but I just wanted a nicer looking laptop bag than the usual fare, and this has a great cut, stays in shape, regardless if its full or empty and the materials are of high quality and pretty resistant to dirt.

I have both the Herringbone and the brown version.

As for improvements, I'd like to see a dedicated laptop version of this with the see-through plastic pocket replaced with something else more useful for people who just use a laptop and a phone.


LotFancy New Backlit Black keyboard with Silver-Gray Frame For IBM Lenovo IdeaPad Z400; fit part numbers 9Z.N7GBC.U01 NSK-BCUBC 01 T3F1B-US 25-206089 PK130SW1B00 Laptop / Notebook US Layout
LotFancy New Backlit Black keyboard with Silver-Gray Frame For IBM Lenovo IdeaPad Z400; fit part numbers 9Z.N7GBC.U01 NSK-BCUBC 01 T3F1B-US 25-206089 PK130SW1B00 Laptop / Notebook US Layout
Offered by Lotfancy
Price: $45.15
2 used & new from $45.15

3.0 out of 5 stars Almost as described, does its job., September 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It had scratches in the places where you pry it out (apparently someone slightly clumsy used a screw driver instead of a guitar pick) and so, it seems that it wasn't really new.

On the other hand, it did the job and wasn't outrageously priced, so still 3 stars.

On a side note unrelated to the review rating: If you buy one of these back-lit keyboards just because your Lenovo's keyboard lacks that function, you're out of luck - the connector inside your laptop lacks the pin to actually hook up the back light in this keyboard


Crucial M550 512GB SATA M.2 Type 2280 Internal Solid State Drive CT512M550SSD4
Crucial M550 512GB SATA M.2 Type 2280 Internal Solid State Drive CT512M550SSD4
Offered by MEMORY n MORE
Price: $309.00
6 used & new from $309.00

5.0 out of 5 stars SSD's are hard to review until you had them for a bunch of years..., September 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
SSDs are usually splendid until they die.

Even slow ones are plenty fast for most users, so the only real issues are DOA, incompatibility and early death.

So, if you get one that is compatible with your system, not DOA and the Manufacturer looks like its going to still be around in a few years, it should be an automatic 5 star rating.

While Crucial (Micron) SSD's are usually among the top performing drives, where differences aren't really that large, there are some caveats to look out for, when buying SSD's: there are some laggards among SSDs you want to avoid, there are some risky chip designs that might break down / loose data sooner than others, and there are certain drives that perform particularly well in some metric or other, which you should choose if you have very specific applications that can benefit from that particular metric. I presume those people know what to pick and don't really need details or advice.

I use mine in a higher-end laptop, which I use for DAW recording/editing, CAD and the occasional game.

I have no complaints. Its fast and it hasn't lost anything yet.

If it does keel over before 500GB becomes so obsolete that I end up replacing it before 5 years are up, I'll update this review and drop some stars, depending on how long it went...

So, 5 stars for lack of reason to deduct any ;-)


Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 280 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI/HDMI/2Mini Display Port PCI-Express Video Card GV-R928WF3OC-3GD
Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 280 OC 3GB GDDR5 DVI/HDMI/2Mini Display Port PCI-Express Video Card GV-R928WF3OC-3GD
Price: $219.99
19 used & new from $219.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very stable card, its triple fan setup the least noisy (air)cooling solution I've tried, September 12, 2014
For the price, it has great performance, though the R9-285 for a handful of dollars more maybe worth considering, depending on what resolution you play at.

In the main, I'm not rating the specific performance at the price though, since that can change within weeks and you can get this card with a variety of GPUs from low to high.

I like the card because of Gigabyte's engineering and quality voltage control, requiring less use of Nvidia's recovery function - in addition to the fact that the installed triple fan cooling solution doesn't annoy me, like some other cards have.

The noise from the fans is a low woosh, without any of the whining high-frequencies that make many cards much more audible than the pure dBA measurements would have you think.

And I'm using it in a tiny case (Silverstone SG08) which is basically completely perforated for cooling and hence has no noise insulation whatsoever. For a card to be pretty quiet under load in this case is an achievement. One that happens to matter to me.

So there's 5 stars for the card's design and my recommendation to pick it with a GPU that suits your personal ratio of need-for-power vs drain-on-wallet.


The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, abridged
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, abridged
by Janet Mills
Edition: Audio Cassette
Price: $16.69
58 used & new from $1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best book and one of my all time favorites in regards to direct usefulness. Your mileage may vary ;-), June 30, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The opening explanations may not make sense to everybody, but when it comes to the agreements, his points and advice are pretty much flawless.

If you can follow what he says, your life will be transformed.

Unlike many spiritual books or books that otherwise try to tell you how to help yourself, this one is exceedingly practical. 4 main directives you can actually follow in real life immediately.

No magical visions, belief in higher spheres or belief in any other new age favorites necessary.

Unlike this, his second book "mastery of love" failed to grab me by comparison, I prefer Kalil Gibran's writings in regards to love.
Not to put that book down, any book or path has to pick you up where you are, so there must be many different books and paths for all the different people in different places.


[ Magnector X ] High Performance Sony Xperia Z1 / Z2 Z1S Charging Cable - Enhanced Magnetic Connection and Charging Speed
[ Magnector X ] High Performance Sony Xperia Z1 / Z2 Z1S Charging Cable - Enhanced Magnetic Connection and Charging Speed
Offered by Town Communication
Price: $17.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a snap to connect and it holds well., June 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I can't understand why Sony seems unable to keep stores supplied with accessories for their phones. Especially those that really give an advantage to owning one of their phones.

Only thanks to Amazon's long tail was I finally able to get a proper, convenient charge cable for my Z2.

I tried in a multitude of phone stores across Hong Kong, Manila, Hamburg, Barcelona, Santiago (Chile) and Los Angeles. Not one shop stocked it or was even willing to order it :P

Well, this cable is good, I bought two, lets see how long it lasts ^^
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 7, 2014 12:03 AM PDT


Dell Venue 8 Pro 64 GB Tablet (Windows 8.1)
Dell Venue 8 Pro 64 GB Tablet (Windows 8.1)
Price: $319.00
69 used & new from $216.99

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Windows 8.1 UI brings this thing down. Otherwise, the hardware isn't bad, if a little slow still., March 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The tablet is really pretty decent (enough reviews with the general details are around)

Baytrail is still slow running windows on 2GB of RAM

But the main cause for my 'just ok' rating is how Windows 8.1 operates on a touch screen display: POORLY!

On Android tablets, the keyboard always pops up without delay when there is a text input of any kind.
On Windoze, the keyboard may show up after some time, or it may simply not show up at all, forcing you to manually click around to get it up. Finger click recognition even on perfectly large enough targets is often either not recognized or recognized wrongly with some annoying UI surprise you didn't aim for.

This alone resulted in nobody in the family ever picking it up to use it for anything. I specifically bought it to run a language program on it,, but that software gets errors on this machine and won't run. I'm not blaming this on Dell, the hardware seems good enough, the only thing that might trace back to a fault with Dell's hardware is the touchscreen accuracy. The rest is all WIndows.

I can't recommend this thing, unless you got a very specific purpose in mind that requires full windows on a tablet.
Or if you want to use it as a tiny computer hooking up bluetooth keyboard and mouse, it should work fine for that.

If the issues weren't mostly Microsoft's fault, this would get 2 stars from me for annoyance.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2014 5:51 PM PDT


JBL Flip Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (White)
JBL Flip Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (White)
Offered by Huppins
Price: $99.95
33 used & new from $52.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overtweaked frequency curve gives it very loud but extremely imbalanced sound., March 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
- Can't be charged over USB (do we really need to carry extra power supply and cables for a 'portable' speaker?)
- Sound curve is tweaked to be good for rap / hip hop etc, everything else suffers
- if you like classical music, run, don't walk away from this speaker.
- even some popular music I'd normally consider uncritical can sound rather off on this speaker (Sony's competing speaker is less loud, but frequencies are far more balanced, allowing all kinds of music to sound good on it)

+ goes louder than other speakers for rap, hip hop etc lovers
+ looks sturdy (but the grating will suffer denting)
+ has a nice pouch with it (which Sony's competing speaker lacks)

PS: I don't mean to boost Sony sales with this review, their product also requires a bulky, proprietary charger + cable, which I promptly forgot at home. It lacks a pouch and there are a LOAD of other speakers at this size that may out-do it.

I only tried a limited range of speakers, which included Bose, JBL, Sony and one other Brand I forget now.

A message to JBL: If you decide to tweak the frequency response of a speaker so heavily toward one style of music, you really need to offer a few presets for different music styles.


Professional Rechargeable Oral Irrigator with High Capacity Water Tank by ToiletTree Products. 2nd Generation Version.
Professional Rechargeable Oral Irrigator with High Capacity Water Tank by ToiletTree Products. 2nd Generation Version.
Offered by ToiletTree Products
Price: $65.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Very effective, decent design, no complaints other than wishing for a USB compatible charger cable., March 31, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
- a USB charger would be a LOT BETTER for traveling with this thing.
- the design could stand to be somewhat more compact, though I admit there isn't too much room for improvement with the need for a water tank.

+ does an excellent job of flossing.
+ way more pleasant to use than dental floss (once the bleeding stops after the first few days of use)
+ especially good to prevent the teeth with crowns from rotting underneath
+ hasn't broken yet (we'll see how it goes)
+ charges fast enough


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