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Sony Alpha a6000 24.3 MP Interchangeable Lens Camera - Body only
Sony Alpha a6000 24.3 MP Interchangeable Lens Camera - Body only
Offered by Precision Camera, L.P.
Price: $648.00
11 used & new from $596.61

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Details not mentioned in other reviews... (& vs. NEX-6), June 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've owned the NEX-6 for about six months now and have been fairly happy. Of course, when the "upgrade" came out, I had to have it (after I did my research, of course!). So, now I have both (and intend to keep both, as I always like to have a 'back-up' camera handy).

For those of you looking for a review on image quality and other points of usability, well, I can tell you that there are dozens (or more) excellent reviews out there that already cover that (generally they give pretty high marks for IQ, DR, etc). I read and viewed many of them before making the decision to buy and here are a few things that those reviews omitted:

THE GRIP:

- the grip on the a6000 is not as nice (for me) as the NEX-6. Like a good woman, the NEX-6 was "curvy" in all the right places, offering superb grip when dancing or running around (as I often do, camera-in-hand; yes, I always use a wrist strap, just in case). The a6000, despite what I've seen in my research, seems to have a shallower grip (due to a thicker body/mid-section). If you have even moderately long nails, you will find the need to trim them so that you can get the same grip you may be used to on the NEX6.

- the bottom (where the hands' "moon" spot, in palmistry, sits) seems a bit "edgier/sharper" and doesn't nestle into that part of the hand as easily.

- the rear thumbgrip on the a6000 is more vertical than the more organic "diagonal" of the NEX6. Ergo, the thumb has to be in a tighter, more upright angle to the rest of the hand, in order to have a more fully supported shot. I prefer the more "C" shaped gripping style of the NEX6, again.

- the top rear edge of the a6000 is at a 90-degree angle, with two levels. On the NEX-6, this is a smooth, beveled edge (more like a 45-degree angle). Sometimes, I have to put my thumb in non-optimal places on the camera, to get just the right angle. On the NEX-6, there were quite a few places where this was comfortable. On the a6000, there's really only one (the default) and it's still not as comfortable as the NEX6. :(

BUTTONRY/DO-HICKEYS:

- my main pet peeve in this category is the On-Off switch. I didn't like it on the NEX6 and what's worse, they switched the order of On and Off on the a6000, but used the same "push/pull in the opposite direction as what you read on the dial" format! Maybe my brain is odd, but if On is left and Off is written to the right of that, my brain would be happiest with a switch that MOVED left for On and right for off (or vice-versa, as long as it's logical.) The good news is that the text is now white on black, versus white on champagne/silver on the NEX6, so it's a little easier to read.

- I also really liked the smoothness and shininess of the NEX6 power switch/shutter release. It left no indent on my finger during extended shooting sessions and, gave me a soft spot for my index finger to make contact when not "pressing" buttons. And, when letting someone else take your photo, like when at a party or when travelling, it's easier for new/temporary users to see the shiny, champagne-colored button than the black, matchy-matchy button. Especially when you have to answer questions like "what do I push?" and it can be confused with other 'black buttons' in that area. Also, the a6000 power/shutter button flat surface is smaller and there's a "groove" around it which I fear will collect grime, over time (despite my very particular care-taking of my 'stuff')

- speaking of smooth and shiny colors, the MI (multi-interface) shoe and lens mount were both finished in a 'dull' silver on my otherwise black NEX-6. These are both black on my black a6000. The teeny ridges on the lens mount are also less pronounced on the a6000. I generally don't see it, though, as my elastic strap lens cap keeper sits there and covers some of it. I kinda liked having the silver accents, though, as some of my lenses are silver and it integrates them a bit better.

- the MI shoe on the NEX-6 came with a protective insert, which I thought was a very smart idea (protection & better-looking). In fact, I put them on all my "shoe'ed" cameras. The a6000 does NOT come with this. The NEX-6 one works in either camera. If you don't have one, I recommend it, as there are some sensitive contacts in that MI shoe. Options can be found for a few dollars on ebay (surely, they'd be cheap enough - especially in bulk - for Sony to include one with a ~$700 camera, but who knows...?) {NOTE: if this point is important to you, please see my 6/9 comment to this review for links and clarification.}

- the screen - ok, Sony, you only give us image capture ratios of 3:2 or 16:9 to choose from and the screen is 16:9 (altho, it'd be great to have the otherwise fairly standard 4:3 and 1:1, as well, just for fun). I get it, there's the black bars alongside the photo for settings icons (in that one display mode). Whatever. But, why do you not center the display part of the screen in the non-display part of the screen?? And, why move it to the opposite side in the a6000? Oh, so you have to make (and we have to buy) new screen protectors (if we're loyal enough to buy them from you in the first place, that is). Um, ok. I happen to have an extra one here and it looks like I'll be putting it on upside-down, to save the $10-15 from buying a new one (if I could even find one in stock, at this point, anywhere). {UPDATE: yep, I put it on, upside-down, and sharpie'd the logo so it wouldn't drive me nuts - it isn't super-pretty, but satisfies me good enough. Doesn't work great in 'portrait' when wearing polarized sunglasses. This is pretty typical, and the result is just barely passable, so just fyi.}. SONY: please center it next time. It's nice to have a centered point-of-reference when composing via the LCD screen.

CONNECTIVITY:

- I currently have no use for NFC (still using my trusty old E72 nokia {RIP Symbian s60} & an ipod that won't upgrade to iOS7). I know that NFC isn't 'activated' until another NFC-enabled device 'bumps' it, but I'd like to turn it off completely. I've searched the in-camera menu and the manual and have not found a way to "deactivate" it. Selecting NFC in the the menu just keeps returning me back to the menu page, to select it again. I'd rather not have it using battery power (however minimal) while it's waiting to be bumped with another NFC device (nor, do I want yet more "waves" pulsating through my hand as I carry my camera all day.) If it serves a purpose in my life, I'm fine with that, but this currently does not.

- they've swapped the HDMI port/jack from a mini (NEX-6), to a mirco (a6000). Just fyi, in case you need to buy a new cable (like I do). This may confuse some users, as the ports now look very similar. USB still at the top, near the Charge light. And, I'm one of the people who love the in-camera USB charging. (I also bought an external wall/car charger, as I always carry a second battery - LOVE that I can charge two batteries at the same time OR, carry a 'stick charge box' thingie in my bag and recharge it during down time at an event, regardless of access to an outlet. So cool, sony!)

- the Wi-Fi has the WPS option, but I could not get it to work (I have, on other devices, tho; yet, I do have a somewhat old router, c.2011). YMMV. Entering the SSID & PWD isn't a huge problem, and you only need to do it once. Navigating the 'keyboard' isn't super-easy, but it works. Same as the NEX-6. It does ask two questions that aren't addressed in the manual (or via the internet, as far as I've found): IP setting and Priority.

MENU:

- yes, the menu on the a6000 is much improved! It's not perfect, but it's got a better (or, existent!) hierarchy, so if you want, you can remember X > Y > Z > 1,2,3... vs. X > scroll, scroll, scroll, loop, scroll, scroll, scroll back > Z > 1,2,3... of course, smart planning of your several customizable buttons, as mentioned in other reviews, can significantly reduce 'searching', as well.

- if you liked the old "tiled" style - you can turn that option on (and it's better-looking now). But, once you choose one of 6 main categories, you're right back into the default a6000 menu. I do kinda like this option (it's pretty); however, with the other option, it seems to remember what setting you were on and returns to it, after you leave the menu. I did not see an option to customize this behavior, as I've seen in other cameras. I'm ok with it returning to last point, as navigating the tabs in order to change other settings is fairly easy.

- the 'descriptions' of the mode-dial modes all now have a background image, depicting an example of what each might be used for (waterfalls for shutter priority, fireworks for manual, etc). This makes it a bit easier to remember, and maybe even use, for beginning enthusiasts, but can also make the text a bit harder to read.

- the SCN modes are all the same, but the animated on-screen 'dial' is on the left now, (rather than on the right, as with the NEX-6). There are also navigation choices on the bottom, which the NEX-6 didn't have (self-explanatory, but still helpful to have). In addition, the selection of SCN modes rolls in the opposite direction as what you may be used to on the NEX6 ('right' now goes down the list, instead of selecting up the list). I somewhat prefer the new way, as, for the first 5 modes, the highlight is what moves and not the menu choices, (which got dizzying after a while on the NEX-6). They will eventually scroll on the a6000 as well, however, as you move further down/up the list. They are also in a slightly different order, now. And, while the font size is larger, it seems still hard to read. The background images are mostly the same, but have been "punched up" and cropped a bit. My old panasonic was great in this aspect, as it showed a chart of icons that could be quickly navigated via up/down/left/right. If I needed more info/description on a less-used mode, there was a button for that. Otherwise, I had a handy, easy chart that allowed me to find what I needed quickly (icons always in the same place), and i could discover new ones, along the way. Sony needs an update here, as there are many fewer icons and much more confusion. I'd welcome a fix to this in a Firmware update (with the option to keep it the old way, for those who've gotten used to it).

So, despite the nits I've picked above, I plan to keep this camera as the "important" specs far outweigh these little issues listed. If they'd kept some of the ergonomics from the NEX-6 (not all, but some) and thought out a few things a little better, it'd be a 5-star camera. But, if it takes excellent pics and checks all your boxes, then maybe it WILL be a 5-star camera for you!

I rely on reviews to help me make buying decisions. I hope this review helped you, too. :)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 9, 2014 12:39 PM PDT


Kora Bath Tissue 12 Rolls, 430 2-Ply Sheets, 100% Bamboo, Non-recycled Materials
Kora Bath Tissue 12 Rolls, 430 2-Ply Sheets, 100% Bamboo, Non-recycled Materials
Offered by Kora Brand
Price: $6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Convert, after 30+ years of 1-ply (details), June 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought this after learning about BPA in recycled TP (toilet paper). Took a leap of faith and I'm glad I did.

This TP is soft, fairly strong, doesn't fall apart (too much) when wet (we sometimes use it with a bidet), and the cores seem significantly stronger than other TPs I've tried (great for preventing floppy rolls and, when empty, for crafts; personally, I donate my cores to a friend's gerbils; feedback pending). Kora claims it to be elemental chlorine free, which is also important to me (note: as answered via Amazon Questions, but this is NOT listed on their packaging). I also like that it's not individually wrapped (the outer wrapper is a thicker plastic, which has a plain recycling symbol on it). And, they seem to be customer-service oriented. That's good, and certainly unusual for a TP company! They've sent me correspondence via email and post and I've read their answers to other Amazon users' questions on this TP.

This is not quite 5-star TP, just yet. Nits:

- the perforation isn't great, so if you're not focusing on what you're doing, you often get a shredded sheet or two in your hand and also left on the roll after you tug. I think the problem is that the blade-space-blade-space setting allows for a touch too much TP to be left in the non-cut areas, and, due to its strength, this prevents a clean tear. I think I'd prefer a dot-dot-dot... style of perforation for this strength of paper. Regardless, if you focus (or have a "grippy" or euro-flap holder, this might not be an issue for you).

- the roll is a tad longer (wider?) than other TP I've tried. And, most of my Kora rolls have been a bit too wide to fit in my preferred dispenser (so they sit kind of cock-eyed, and the sheets get a bit crinkled near the center). No other TP I've used in the 5 years I've had the holder has been too wide (even, bulk-packs/commercial-style papers),

- add those two together (imperfect perforation + too-wide roll) and you get a lot of fumbling with the roll and a lot of it falling off the holder. This happens 70-80% of the time, i.e. much more often than not. (I despise the spring-loaded holders, so I use a double-prong "open" style holder, which has never been a problem in all my other years of use). Making sure it doesn't do that requires too much thinking on my part, when I'm busy thinking about other, more important things (like checking AMZ GBD).

- they use a sticker on the beginning of the roll (and a bit of a fold/crimp), in place of the "typical" glue line on the first sheet. (I believe older rolls may have had both the sticker AND the glue). The sticker is cute, but leads to more shredded sheets. Not sure if the sticker is considered flushable, etc. I'd rather they use a paper/flushable/tearable/perforated sticker, that might have less of a destructive effect on the surrounding sheet. Not a huge problem, but an annoyance with each new roll, none-the-less. As an aside, I've gotten some rolls that do NOT have the glue on the last sheet, either. The paper is just kind of folded over itself and the core. I MUCH prefer this as it always bothered me to have shredded sheets at the end (and my donated cores are now also cleaner, for the gerbils). So, THANK YOU, Kora!

- the bunny is both cute and a little creepy (and, I generally like bunnies). Not sure what the purpose is, I guess to convey softness?

- this is personal preference, but i do prefer a "core-less" TP where the sheets just roll into their own small roll where the core would be. I'm glad I can make my friend's gerbils happy with the cardboard cores; however, I think it might be more eco-friendly for manufacturers to eschew the core altogether (at least, offering core-less or small-core as an alternative would be nice).

Despite these "nits", this is still our household's preferred TP (as of this review). Thanks, Kora, for making a "much better than average" tree-free TP! (and, if you're reading this, take note!)

Disclaimer: a few months ago, the company did send me an envelope with a nominal *$'s GC, and a letter welcoming a review. While I write reviews for my own personal pleasure, and to help "give back" to the review community, I thought it was a nice gesture that they'd sent me a letter and a thank you gift. I was planning on writing a review, anyway, and I don't go to *$'s. Plus, I lost the card (it's been a crazy few months). If I find it, I'll give it to a friend in need of a latte, along with a roll of this pretty great TP (I hear that coffee makes you poo).


Opteka .35x HD² Super Wide Angle Panoramic Macro Fisheye Lens for Canon EOS / EF
Opteka .35x HD² Super Wide Angle Panoramic Macro Fisheye Lens for Canon EOS / EF
Offered by 47th Street Photo
Price: $24.95
7 used & new from $21.99

3.0 out of 5 stars One-trick pony? (details & images), June 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Thinking of using this and switching from fish-eye effect to zoomed-in "straight" horizons? Learn from my mistake...

Ok, so I probably should have known better. Cheap equipment = cheap tricks. I was trying to take a shortcut and I'd read that if you zoom in a bit with this "converter", then the distortion (curve) decreases. Lots of reviews said it was sharp and clean, so I thought it would be perfect for my needs.

I went to New Zealand, yes, THE gorgeous New Zealand and had this converter on most of the time (fish-eye style). I figured big landscapes = fisheye, and I zoomed in when I needed a straighter horizon. I was in a rush before the trip and didn't test images on my hi-res monitor, nor did I do thorough testing during the trip. BIG MISTAKE!

This thing is fun; however, the images are often washed out, soft at best and more-often-than not... blurry (especially around the edges), and I usually got a halo effect, chromatic aberrations (very noticeable red and blue fringing on certain outlines in the image), and lots of lens flare (which was pretty cool, sometimes). I was using a size adapter for my Sony NEX-6 w/kit lens - yes, I know the kit lens is carp. ;) Sidenote: I originally purchased this for my Panasonic FZ-150 (& FZ-200, which I later returned). I then wanted an increase in image quality, so I bought a NEX6, instead and decided to keep the fisheye for fun and buy an adapter for the NEX6 kit lens.

80% (or more) of my images shot with this converter are unusable (as in, already deleted). 10% are passable. 10% are quite cool. (I'm even being generous with that last figure). I mostly used it with the fish-eye setup and not just the macro (which always seemed to be blurry, no matter what I did).

Upon my return home, I excitedly began to review my 2,000 "kept" photos. So many were terrible that I initially thought my camera had broken, or that I'd suddenly become an awful photographer (I'm no expert, but I've gotten some pretty good images before!), or that I was hallucinating all the beauteous grandeur that is NZ. Fortunately, I did take a few "with & without" shots (just in case) and whoa! the "without" shots are FAR superior. Examples posted in image gallery (click the link for "Most Recent" if you don't see them right away - four NZ landscapes showing difference with/without, and two showing better use of fisheye, its intended purpose). For some reason, not all are showing, despite my attempt to upload them a few times; but, there are enough for you to get the idea. And, yes, I kept the converter clean throughout the trip (other than just after the waterfall).

If I had it to do all over again: 1. I'd test my equipment before I leave - duh! and, 2. I'd rely on the "without" setup 90% of the time and only use the "with" setup for a few select shots where the full benefit of a fisheye is needed. (and, sharpness is not as high of a priority).

New shooters, learn from my mistake. This thing can be pretty cool, but despite the "HD2" branding and claims of sharpness, you will risk the integrity of your images if you rely on this too much. Have fun with it, but take it off for anything really needing sharp edges, or a clean and balanced profile. I realize the responsibility for many of my unusable NZ pics mostly lies in my lack of pre-trip testing, and that this is not "pro" glass, but, my images with it were so awfully soft/blurry, fringed, etc, that I do believe it's a 3-star item, regardless.


Kroo Compact System Camera - Green
Kroo Compact System Camera - Green
Price: $29.17
2 used & new from $24.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fits my Sony APS-C ILCEs, with room to spare, April 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've got a Sony Nex-6 (and, now an a6000) and they both fit great in this case, with the kit zoom lens (or the sony 50mm/SEL50F18). With the Kit lens attached, I can also tuck an extra battery in the front, (wrapped in a plastic baggie, sitting in front of the lens); and there's room to spare in the back, if I wanna put my driv lic or credit cards or some cash behind the flap that covers the LCD screen. The sonys will NOT fit in this Kroo case if you have the Opteka HD2 fisheye attachment on the front of the kit lens - the one I have is bit too wide to fit in the "lens section". (see my review of that accessory, as well as my a6000 review, on their respective product pages).

- The inside flap is especially soft on the side that sits against your camera. It is also padded and features slots for cards.
- The inside of the case is also velvety-soft and seems to be pretty lint-free.
- The "shell" is hard enough to withstand most bumps and potential low-to-medium-impact crushes.
- I use it both alone, as well as stored, lens down, in my bags (Pacsafe Metrosafe 200 & 250), where I sometimes leave it unzipped for quick access.
- The zipper works great: smooth action along the trail, and the grippie pulls are a nice touch.
- I like the green strip (kind of a deep jade-color?) The blue's also very nice. Both are pretty true to my computer screen.
- Although it had two D-rings for a strap, I don't have a strap on it, because I just let my camera wrist strap (polaroid cushioned strap), peek out in-between the two zippers for easy access. The zipper holds tight against it, but I don't go swinging it around, either.
- There's a tightly-attached, thick belt loop thingie on the back, so you can somewhat secure it to various items, if you'd like. My Nokia e72 and also iPod Touch and Samsung Galaxy MP3 device fit in there, snugly (not all at the same time, of course), if I need a quick spot to stash them.
- There's a loop-fabric-covered foam 'block' that can be affixed in a few places, via velcro/hook & loop, to stabilize the camera in the case. I have it on the side of the camera, opposite the hand grip, to balance the structure on that side. Works great with the NEX-6 or a6000.

I do wish they made a somewhat smaller case that fit the NEX-6 / a6000 more snugly, but then they might have to make it much more expensive, as it would be a specialty item and not a generic "system camera" item, that fits several brands/models. (I'd own two sizes, depending on which bag I had that day). For what it claims to be, it earns 5 stars. It seems to be well-made, with properly aligned seams, and materials and workmanship of reasonably high quality. I thank the person who returned theirs, so I could buy one used.

Cameras are big investments (of money and time to research the best for your needs), protect them as best you can.

This Kroo case works great for my needs!

I rely on reviews to help me make informed buying decisions. I hope this review helped you, too! :)


Dirty Wedding
Dirty Wedding
Offered by Premier_Mixers
Price: $19.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty salt!, April 6, 2014
This review is from: Dirty Wedding (Misc.)
Several months ago, I ordered the 30-piece sample set directly from the SaltopiaSalts company. We also got a jar of the Great Outdoors. First, their customer service is excellent! My order was well-packed and even included a personalized, hand-written note from the owner. You don't see THAT very often these days!

The order included a numbered chart for each of the different salts, and each vial was individually hand-numbered. The glass jar was well-made and sturdy, with excellent function.

This salt, "Dirty Wedding", was one of the 30 and was also one of the first to run out, in our house. It's sooo good! The white truffle really comes through, but not in an overpowering way. Whenever we try to go back to our old standard (Himala brand), it just pales in comparison and tastes overly sharp and well, too salty. And, I used to love that salt!

I'll be heading back to the company's website for more of our favorites from the 30, AND for two jars of the Great Outdoors! I'm usually a "sweets" girl, but now, Saltopia's got me craving their unique blend of flavor-filled salts!


BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N300 Wireless Router - WHR-HP-G300N
BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N300 Wireless Router - WHR-HP-G300N
4 used & new from $37.95

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Router - OUTSTANDING Service! + BONUS feature!, January 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this Buffalo router a few years ago, after having NUMEROUS frustrating, mysterious issues with a Netge@r model, in it's two years of life.

My background: comfortable with a computer, but no education in networking (other than hooking up a few basic home modems/routers and computers/devices over the years). We use the internet ALOT and this router gets actively used an average of 18+ hours a day, (in addition to the 'standby' times, when we are sleeping).

SETUP:
The set-up on this Buffalo whr-hp-G300N was easy. The GUI is uncluttered, but very thorough. And, you can change only those settings which you need to (there's even a helpful explanation of most items on the side, for your reference). There's a ton of settings I don't understand, so it would be useful for advanced users, too. I just use those few settings I know and it works great for me. This can also work as an access point, to extend the wireless signal from another Router. I do not have it set-up for that, but the instructions make it seem easy to do, if you have that need.

DEVICES:
It works with all tried devices (mine and my guests': several dell/acer/hp/samsung laptops {win xp-vista-7-8}, macbooks, ipod/ipad/iphones, nokia phone, samsung/kyocera android handhelds, canon wi-fi printers, wi-fi network cameras, two Kindle Fires, Chromebooks, Roku box, Wii, Pix-Star frames, network HDD, Logitech Revue, Sony NEX camera, etc.) - as a wi-fi router should work with all wi-fi devices.

SIGNAL:
I have a 3-story, 1800-sq' house and the signal is available throughout (although it does weaken a bit at the far end of the house), and it is also available up to about a block away, in either direction. This is with about 20 other visible wi-fi networks in the neighborhood, sharing the same space. The up-time is outstanding, IMO (I might have to 'unplug/replug it in' every few months, but that's usually due to my ISP or cable modem misbehaving. I know this, since the wi-fi network stays on-line, but the modem doesn't let the internet through).

SUPPORT:
So, recently, after Comcast "upgraded" my service, I then needed to "upgrade" my modem (which was working fine, but was DOCSIS 2.0 & slower than the service for which I was paying). Two simple calls to my ISP, my new modem was set-up, old router still hooked up, all worked well. The LEDs on my router looked odd to me, so, I decided to "refresh" my Router, too, to make sure all my settings were how I wanted them (it had been a while since I set it up).

I don't know what I did, but after the paperclip reset, it seemed like I broke it. Lights worked, but my computers were not recognizing the network, nor were they able to get to the GUI site. Aggghhh! I checked the well-written manual and tried for an hour or two to fix it, but gave up and went to bed. The next day, I tried again, but remembered that Buffalo had a support line, so I contacted them and spoke with one of their techs. I explained the situation and he worked with me, patiently answering my questions and having me click this and unplug that, etc until I was all set. EXCELLENT Support experience!!

BONUS:
Plus, I learned about a BONUS feature! I asked the tech if there was any way to have a 'GUEST network' with this model and he told me about the Virtual Interface and that I could set up additional SSID's (broadcasted or not and with or without security). It will use the same 'network' as my main SSID, but this way, I can keep my main SSID private and only give guests my 'guest user' SSID & password, and change that as often as I like, without having to reset all MY devices! Yay!! I could even set up additional virtual interfaces/SSID's for certain devices, if I want to! Now, my router's even BETTER than it was before!!!!

SUMMARY:
In all my research and experience with networking and networking devices, I have learned that, no matter how much experience you have, something will go awry and will need to be fixed. Even the experts hit bumps in the road, and sometimes, equipment just fritzes for no apparent reason. The best way to work with these networking issues (other than buying good equipment to begin with), is buying from a company that will STAND BEHIND their product, either with good support or a good warranty, (or both!). From what I've read, and from my own experience, Buffalo is one of those companies. My experience: buy a good Buffalo router, do your best to set it up properly for your needs, and if you hit an inevitable networking bump in the road, know that they will do their best get you back "on-line", with as little frustration as possible. THANK YOU, BUFFALO!

If you are in need of a router, I highly recommend this one. Unless you have a real need for the new AC models, this 300n works great and provides excellent service for a data-hungry, moderately-sized home. Whichever model you choose, I'd also highly recommend a Buffalo.

I rely on reviews to help me make informed buying decisions, I hope this review helped you! :)


Radius Vegan Xylitol Natural Mint, Sponge Floss, 55 Yard
Radius Vegan Xylitol Natural Mint, Sponge Floss, 55 Yard
Price: $3.49
21 used & new from $3.49

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great floss for healthy gums, healthy teeth, healthy body!, November 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Works great - I have tightly-spaced teeth and used to hate flossing. I love it, now!

Choosing the right floss is a very "personal" choice, so YMMV from my experience. I can tell you that for me, this is an EXCELLENT floss! Here's why:

- the spongy string is both thin and wide and very malleable, depending on the surface you are against and how you pull it. This allows it to get in-between tight spaces, without "cutting" into the gum, while also being able to cover a larger surface with flossing action.
- the flavor is nice, but not overwhelming
- good fingertip grip, even when wet (I wash my hands bewteen sections)
- works as it should, never breaks shreds (I can't believe i even have to say that as an attribute)
- Radius is a brand I trust and support

Oddly enough, when I first started to use this floss, I found that more "gunk" came out when I used this, over other flosses (even right AFTER using them!). Nothing else had changed. Now, after using it consistently, the gunk is reduced, so it's my educated assumption that this is a more effective floss for me, than other flosses. I hope it is, anyway...

Note: I go through floss quickly. I don't like to reuse the same section (or touch a dirty section), so I floss and then move on to another section for another tooth. I never liked the idea of wrapping it around either finger and thought it was gross to reuse a section, even if it seemed clean. I hated flossing until I tried it "my" way - previously, I thought that you "had" to do it the other way. Also, I floss side to side, pulling the "debris" away from the gum, and not moving up and down (like they do at my old dentist's office. Ew.)

Floss is one of those things that's so personal and so inexpensive (and varies so much), that it's reasonable to just buy one of every kind from companies you wish to support, until you find the one that works best for you. I've tried several, gave a few half-containers away to others to try, and have settled on this one. Amazon, thanks for the S&S! Saves money and time (and motivates me to floss more, knowing that another one is on its way!!)

PS - flossing is really important. In addition to helping to keep your breath fresh, it keeps your gums healthy and helps prevent tooth decay. From what I understand, bacteria in the mouth can get into your bloodstream and cause systemic inflammation and other problems. Plus, flossing helps your teeth look whiter, as the in-between spaces won't be yellow and icky. Get a good mirror, find your favorite floss, and enjoy!

I rely on reviews to help me make informed buying decisions. I hope this review helped you! :)


Mastrad A82303 Silicone Oven Mitt with Cotton Lining, Blue
Mastrad A82303 Silicone Oven Mitt with Cotton Lining, Blue
Price: $16.00
11 used & new from $13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Protection from hot, cold, wet, icky, and inside funk! (not the good kind), November 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
OMG, I love these things. We have three in our house. Two in the kitchen and one in the laundry room, by the utility sink.

It's so great that:
- they are sturdy
- they are heat tolerant
- they are cold tolerant
- we are able to clean the outside AND inside (yay!)
- the inside doesn't get sweaty
- they have effective "ridges" for gripping slippery stuff.

My fiancee cooks 3 meals a day and he is very happy with these mitts. I use mine for soaking laundry in hot soapy water and it works great!

Previously, I owned a neoprene BuiltNY model. It was good, but smelled funny and didn't really last long. To replace it, I came back to Amazon and I looked at all of the ones Amazon sells, and I chose this style. Then I bought another and another. I would not buy any other style of mitt (unless they made this one with individual finger slots, but then it would be called a "glove").

I rely on reviews to help me make informed buying decisions. I hope this review helped you! :)


Tabletote - Portable Compact Lightweight Laptop Notebook Stand
Tabletote - Portable Compact Lightweight Laptop Notebook Stand
Offered by TABLETOTE
Price: $69.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy - Functional - Portable - Durable - All my favorite things!!, November 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This thing is super-cool! I've had it "up" for almost a month now and just keep stacking stuff on top of it and bumping into it and nary a wobble has come from it!

I mostly use it, in conjunction with a wire shelf+external keyboard set-up, as a secondary laptop stand (I often use two or three laptops at once). I was planning to use it for travel, but it works really well as a sturdy, stationery surface that fits in a really tight spot in my office.

I don't know the weight of what I've put on it, but when it's not holding my big, old laptops/wire shelf/keyboard/etc, it securely holds several paper notebooks, brochures, a quart-sized bag of pens, a stack of magnets, an extra mouse, some worksheets, and whatever else I happen to toss on there throughout the day. In addition to the wire shelf (100% extra surface space), I also keep the tabletote slider pulled out to give me another 50% of "surface space". Good thing it's sturdy!!

Mine was missing the "paper holder" part, so I cannot review that part of it. The rest is GREAT, tho!! Many thanks to the inventors!

I rely on reviews to help me make informed buying decisions. I hope this review helped you! :)


Annie's Homegrown Orchard Strawberry Organic Fruit Bites, 3.15-Ounce (Pack of 4)
Annie's Homegrown Orchard Strawberry Organic Fruit Bites, 3.15-Ounce (Pack of 4)
Offered by Old Castle Fine Foods
Price: $31.99
3 used & new from $31.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Tasty, Healthier, but Sticky!, November 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
They are good, made from good ingredients, but they are VERY sticky. I don't do sticky. The kids liked them at Halloween, though!

Plus, the pieces are somewhat large, which makes the bag "go" faster.

I'm normally a fan of Annie's products, but for Fruit Snacks, I much prefer those made by Plum Organics (Fruit Shredz) - those are also good and healthier, but not sticky and "seem" to last a little longer, because they can be eaten in smaller bites. Yay!

I rely on reviews to help me make informed buying decisions. I hope this review helped you! :)


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