Profile for Joel W. Barnett > Reviews


Joel W. Barnett's Profile

Customer Reviews: 13
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,101,691
Helpful Votes: 185

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Logitech S120 2.0 Multimedia Speakers
Logitech S120 2.0 Multimedia Speakers
Offered by Robert`s Fojjer
Price: $11.59
68 used & new from $6.49

81 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value for the money, September 13, 2008
These are OK speakers for casual music listeners, and are a great buy for non-music audio stuff, like the latest web ads from Obama or McCain.

These speakers are very small, and have an ordinary 2 prong electric plug, no external transformer. Nice.

As to music, for $11, pretty good, but I'd recommend you spend more like $20 if music is your main deal. I've been listening to some CDs that I'm very familiar with and the bass response with these little guys cuts off at the lower mid-range. Not terrible, but I think for a few bucks more, music reproduction would be better.

My musical test is The Flamin' Groovies, an ordinary rock band, in terms of frequency response. The speakers are light in the bass, and overly responsive on the high end.

BOTTOM LINE: Good value for the money, but for music, a few additional bucks will probably be worth the expense.

Windows Vista Home Basic with SP1 Upgrade
Windows Vista Home Basic with SP1 Upgrade
4 used & new from $136.98

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works fine, August 2, 2008
I got a new pc, 2.2 GHZ processor, 1 GB Ram. Mobo video card is 256 MB, I believe. Got it with Windows XP. Decided to buy the Vista upgrade, as I will probably need to deal with it at work. The XP to Vista upgrade worked flawlessly. I chose the Home Basic version because I don't care about the pretty Aero interface and because the MS update advisor said my graphics card was too light weight.

Works just fine, no complaints. Other than the fact that I will need to support this at work eventually, I see no advantage over a fully patched XP computer. Added security is there, and is not too annoying. Probably good for the less security minded user. Otherwise, not worth the money.

Getting a new pc ? Get Vista. Have a good machine running XP, don't bother. My rating is based on the OS itself, not whether you should upgrade. I give it 4 stars instead of 5 because MS has really dumbed down their file browser. It's as bad as Mac OS X. Probably not a big deal to most users.

I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher (Horror Double Feature)
I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher (Horror Double Feature)
DVD ~ Frances Dee
29 used & new from $2.84

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two good movies, one better than the other, August 2, 2008
This disk includes two feature films, both produced by Val Lewton in the mid 1940's. In that time period Lewton produced a handful of horror movies for RKO Studios, of which these are two. Lewton used several directors and writers for these movies, but they all share a similar literary quality and eschew the shock and scare of other horror movies of the time for a more creepy and atmospheric experience.

"I walked With a Zombie" is not nearly as lurid as the title would suggest, it is a well done melodrama with an exotic locale and voodoo. It is very loosely based on the novel "Jane Eyre".

"The Body Snatcher" is based on a Robt. L. Stevenson story and is the better of the two movies. Like "Zombie", it is not a true horror picture, except in the psychological sense. "Body Snatcher" packs a real wallop, Boris Karloff and Henry Daniell are excellent, and Bela Lugosi is wasted in a minor role.

A fine disk and two good movies. The other Val Lewton pics in this series are also good. "The Cat People", "Curse of the Cat People", and "Isle of the Dead" are the others I remember. I think there are several others.

Bottom line: These movies melded horror and melodrama and are very nicely written, produced and directed. They also have a certain literary quality about them that gives them an appeal outside of the horror genre.

Creative Labs SB0570 PCI Sound Blaster Audigy SE Sound Card
Creative Labs SB0570 PCI Sound Blaster Audigy SE Sound Card
Offered by Titan Direct
Price: $34.89
23 used & new from $7.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good sound card at a good price, April 26, 2008
This is a good upgrade for someone using the onboard sound on their pc. I installed one of these for a user who was having difficulties with stuttering sound as she watched DVD's, (she is in our marketing dept., and does quality assurance).

The sound delivered via this card, watching DVDs, was excellent.

This is the card that I would buy for myself, (and might have to for my Vista upgrade).

Bottom Line: Much better sound than your onboard audio delivers, good price, and easy to install. NOTE: The software install takes a while and doesn't tell you what's going on. Avoid the urge to think it's done, and reboot. Other than that, a great product and I've installed these on Windows 2000 and XP systems without trouble. Vista, don't know.

Live: Studio & Stage
Live: Studio & Stage
Price: $20.05
21 used & new from $13.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for Easybeats fans, April 4, 2008
This review is from: Live: Studio & Stage (Audio CD)
If you are not familiar with the group, or are curious because "Friday on My Mind" is such a great song, then I recommend you get the CD of the same name, about $10 from Amazon. It is first rate and you will not be disappointed, a prime slice of mid 1960's rock.

This CD is for the true fan, not because the sound quality is poor, or any such thing. Here's the deal:

Tracks 1-12 are from UK radio broadcasts 1967-1968. These recordings are fine, but don't have the verve of the studio versions. These recordings would have most likely been recorded live in the radio studio for later broadcast. This is how the BBC did it anyway, (check out "The Yardbirds Live at the BBC" for a great example).

These tracks on this CD are lackluster, get the "Friday on My Mind" CD instead

The CD does get more interesting with tracks 13-15, a live recording from Melbourne, Australia in 1967. This is very good, and the best reason to buy the CD. You can hear why the Easybeats were so popular, they really do the job on these three songs.

The remaining tracks are from a reunion show in 1986. The Easybeats sound good here, with the caveat's one would expect: The singer's voice is deeper and a bit raspy, but still good, given that he was not 20 years old anymore. Guitar playing has a bit of a more modern heavier sound. The band is tight and do a good job.

Andrzej Wajda: Three War Films (A Generation / Kanal / Ashes & Diamonds) (The Criterion Collection)
Andrzej Wajda: Three War Films (A Generation / Kanal / Ashes & Diamonds) (The Criterion Collection)
DVD ~ Zbigniew Cybulski
Offered by MightySilver
Price: $48.76
17 used & new from $39.98

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see, these are truly great films, November 4, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Rather than review each of the three films included here, let me say something about them as a whole, and they are packaged together for a reason.

The three movies, "A Generation", "Kanal, and "Ashes and Diamonds" focus on young people involved in the Polish resistance, in the first two movies to the Germans, in the last to the Soviets. In all of them our heroes and heroines fail. They are dealing with events far bigger than them, but they must do something.

The Poles did their best, but were overwhelmed, militarily. The resistance faced enormous odds. These movies are very powerful accounts of the resistance, including heroines as well as heroes, esp. in the first two. The first two movies deal with the uprsising in Warsaw, from diffent perspectives.

I like "Ashes and Diamonds" the best of the three. It's the last day of the war, 1945, a commisar of the USSR is coming to town to take over. Our young hero's job: Kill him. While our hero waits, he falls in love with a local girl. She wants him to abandon the job and go away with her and be happy. He agrees with the going away part, but feels the need to carry out his job first. As good movie goers, we know how that is likely to end.

"Ashes and Diamonds" is an interesting take on the traditional American rural gangster movie, e.g., "High Sierra", "You Only Live Once", "They Live by Night", etc. Wajda's approach is more overtly intellectual, and also more passionate, as he is filming a story of his countrie's history which he lived, a history which included his fathers murder by the Germans at Katyn.

Wajda is, in my opinion, the greatest living movie director, not perfect by any means, but at his best, he can't be beat. These three films are worthy of your attention.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2012 9:09 AM PST

Forty Four
Forty Four
Offered by Fulfillment Express US
Price: $14.73
25 used & new from $7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please understand the purpose of this disk, August 26, 2007
This review is from: Forty Four (Audio CD)
The Chococlate Watchband were a very good Rolling Stones/Yardbirds style band from San Jose, CA USA. They had the the look, the sound, the swagger, and the musicianship, including lead singer Dave Aguilar's vocals.

They were picked up by Tower records, (the label, not the later record store), and signed their career away to their producer, Ed Cobb. Their initial recordings, two 45's: "Don't Need Your Lovin'" and "Sweet Young Thing" are probably what they really sounded like.

Their debut LP, "No Way Out", from 1967, was heavily worked over by Cobb, even replacing Aguilar's vocals on some tracks, and adding "psychedelic" touchs, such as harpsichord.

For their second LP, 1968's "The Inner Mystique", Cobb went further: The entire first side are studio musicains. The second side is similar to their first LP.

The purpose of this CD, "44", is to put together a disk of the actual band, including the singer, Dave aguilar. This a very good record, of interest to the garage band enthusiast and also to the afficcionado of SF Bay area psychedelia, Mark Loomis's lead work on "No Way Out" and "Are You Gonna Be There" compare favourably to Jorma K. of The Jefferson Airplane.

Worth a listen if you like the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, or The Jefferson Airplane.

Sony ICFC180 AM/FM Clock Radio (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Sony ICFC180 AM/FM Clock Radio (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
10 used & new from $24.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First rate, with one caveat, May 25, 2007
The caveat is that if you place the clock above eyelevel, the display is dim and unreadable, which is why I give it 4 instead of 5 stars. Otherwise this is a great alarm clock, easy to use, with multiple wakeup times, (two pairs of two).

I need a 6:20 wakeup M-F, my wife needs 8:00 AM M-F. Weekends 9:00 AM works for me, but she still needs the 8:00 AM call. This is easily setable with this clock. Sometimes my wife doesn't need the 8:00 AM weekend call, so we just press a button to turn it off.

5 stars if you can place the clock at or below eyelevel, otherwise do not buy it.

This is a truly easy to use and feature rich clock, with my caveat. Highly recommended.

Vampires 2, Clarissa and Other Stories of Paranormal Romance (Vampires 2, Number 1)
Vampires 2, Clarissa and Other Stories of Paranormal Romance (Vampires 2, Number 1)
by Ben Jonjak, Tom Morgan, Beverley Chapman, Darren Franz, David Probert, J.E. Gurley, Michael R. Colangelo An Anthology: Jack Kus
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Good mag for pulp fiction fans, May 5, 2007
This review really applies to Mansstory 2 and Androids 2 as well. Other than the specific genre, all three mags are of similar quality and are from the same publisher.

The mags are about 7"x8.5". The covers are a thick, glossy cardstock. Pages are good quality, heavy paper. A typical issue is about 60 pp. and is amply illustrated with commisioned art, most in full color, some B&W. Stories vary in length and there are typically 6-10 per issue.

The stories are generally along the lines of pulp fiction from the 1930's-'60's, with each mag focusing a particular type of story. Mansstory 2 is action/adventure, the others are obvious from their names.

The quality of the stories vary from pedestrian to good, with most being closer to the good end. Likewise the artwork. It should be noted that some of the stories are a bit "racy", but not dirty or pornographic. The artwork often features female nudity, (these are paintings, not photographs), consider it PG-13/R rated.

Well worth a look for fans of the genre, for both literary and artistic reasons.

No Title Available

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, May 5, 2007
I'd never done any canning until I bought this kit. It's got everything you need, including an excellent book, (large size, 124 pp.), with lots of recipes as well as general do's and don't's.

I used it for the first time two weeks ago and am enjoying the pickled mix of cauliflower, carrots, onions, and bell peppers I made. If a middle aged IT guy can do it, anyone can ! My wife likes them too ;)

One tip - canning salt means plain salt, no Iodine or anticaking ingredients. Shopping around, this probably isn't hard to come by. I was in a hurry, so bought an expensive brand of kosher salt at the local Safeway.

Second tip - there is a lot of info on water bath canning on the web.

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