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Customer Reviews: 11
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Helpful Votes: 444




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Mark Alexander RSS Feed (Central Vermont)
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Handel: Messiah
Handel: Messiah
Price: $28.58
63 used & new from $7.64

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, December 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Handel: Messiah (Audio CD)
Many years ago I owned the three-disc version of this recording of the "Messiah", and lost it in a divorce. Now I have it again at last (but in this more economical two-disc set), and wonder why it took me so long to buy the replacement. It sounds as fresh and exciting as it did twenty years ago. I'm an agnostic with strong atheistic leanings, but I still love good sacred or liturgical music, and this "Messiah" tops my list of such music. Unlike the usual fluffy recordings with huge orchestras, huge choirs, and huge vibrato, this one is lean and clean, with a laser-like clarity. But in spite of this reduced pomp, or perhaps because of it, it's thrilling. When the full chorus first comes in after several more subdued solo pieces, the effect is hair-raising. And a little later, when the chorus sings "Wonderful!", even this cynical agnostic can't help but agree.


Wilson Electronics 460106 Sleek - Vehicle Cellular Signal Booster for Single User - Retail Packaging - Black
Wilson Electronics 460106 Sleek - Vehicle Cellular Signal Booster for Single User - Retail Packaging - Black
Price: $94.51
59 used & new from $89.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works great in rural Vermont for internet service, February 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I spend a fair amount of time at a home in rural Vermont where there's no broadband service, and cell service is mostly useless due to surrounding hills. I was looking for some way to get better internet service than dial-up, and something without the horrible latency of satellite. It seemed pretty hopeless, since the telephone and cable companies have no interest in bringing their service in an extra three miles from the nearest major road. So I started looking for a way to use my Nexus One (AT&T) as a wifi hotspot. It works great for this in towns where there's cell service, but there wasn't enough of a signal out in the sticks to do the job. The phone kept trying to switch between Edge and 3G without being happy with either.

The Sleek booster solved the problem. I was expecting to be disappointed, but it worked beautifully in providing enough of a signal to my Nexus One that I can get very respectable download speeds (up to 1 MB/sec, according to speedtest.net). Upload speeds were much more limited (anywhere from 30 to 200 KB/s) but that's to be expected on cell service many miles from the nearest tower. Ping times were around 130 ms, which enormously better than satellite, and adequate for the occasional ssh connections to my Linux servers in California.

To put the signal improvement into numbers, the N1 was showing a signal strength of -101 dBm or worse before using the Sleek. After connecting the Sleek, with the antenna mounted on a window using the Wilson Electronics Home/Office Accessory Kit for Wilson Sleek, C-Boost, the signal strength went up to around -91 dBm. In terms of semi-useless "bars", this was an improvement from zero or no service to about 3 or 4 bars.

I was able to improve the signal strength even more by replacing the stubby little antenna that comes with the Sleek with the bigger Wilson Electronics 301103 Dual Band (800/1900 MHz) Magnet Mount Antenna with FME Female Connector and 10-Foot RG174 Coax Cable. I mounted the antenna on a cookie sheet because it needs a ground plane (normally provided by the roof of a car). That brought the signal strength up another 4 dBm or so. (This wasn't really the correct antenna for the Sleek, due to a cable connector mismatch. I should have ordered the Wilson Electronics Dual Band - 800-1900 MHz Magnet Mount Antenna with SMA Male Connector and 10-Foot RG174 Coax Cable. But I was able to get the "wrong" antenna to work with an adapter, Wilson FME-Male / SMA-Male Connector 971119.)

In short, the Sleek works amazingly well if you have a cell signal that's marginal and just needs a little boost.


The Fountain Overflows: Saga of the Century (Book One) (New York Review Books Classics)
The Fountain Overflows: Saga of the Century (Book One) (New York Review Books Classics)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and egrossing, January 23, 2012
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As an amateur pianist who was pressured to take piano lessons for several years as a child, I found this book particularly interesting, since it chronicles the lives of children growing up in a musical household and who are expected to become musicians. But the novel is much more than that. It is a beautifully written, insightful, and deeply sympathetic look into the lives of children, who, as the author writes, are adults trapped in a humiliating disguise. Each sentence seems perfectly crafted, too, so that there is pleasure in both the small detail and the large picture.

The novel is also very funny at times. As I neared the end, I realized that this combination of seriousness and wit reminded me of Jane Austen -- if Austen had lived 120 years later.

Finally, the novel is a fascinating study of life in early 20th century England, when feminism was about the make profound changes in the lives of women. But the author's commentary is subtle, not polemical.

A brief note for Kindle users: this is one of those rare books whose conversion to ebook format was done with care. There are very few of the typos, missing words, unnecessary hyphenation, or bad formatting that plague so many books brought over from their print formats (I'm thinking of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell here).


Nesco LM-2-6 Clean-A-Screen Tray for FD-28JX/FD-37/FD-60/FD-61/FD-61WHC/FD-75A and FD-75PR, Set of 2
Nesco LM-2-6 Clean-A-Screen Tray for FD-28JX/FD-37/FD-60/FD-61/FD-61WHC/FD-75A and FD-75PR, Set of 2
Price: $5.99
20 used & new from $4.29

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works well in an FD-60, August 16, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought these screens for an FD-60 dehydrator, and they worked great. We dried hundreds of bananas with them and they saved a tremendous amount of time. Without the screens, it's a very tedious operation to peel dried fruit off the trays. With the screens, the fruit chunks pop right off, without any prying or cursing. I'm buying some more so all 12 of our trays will be covered.


Cyber Acoustics 3 pc Brushed Aluminum Series Speakers CA-3618
Cyber Acoustics 3 pc Brushed Aluminum Series Speakers CA-3618

3.0 out of 5 stars Only lasted one day, October 19, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this speaker set as a gift, but it's a good thing I kept it at my home for testing first. It worked fine on the first day. I tested it with a classical piano CD (Kissin Plays Brahms) and a rock CD (Robyn Hitchcock, "Black Snake Diamond Role") and it sounded quite decent for such a low-cost speaker set. It wasn't up to the high standard set by my own speaker system, the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1, but the Klipsch costs four times as much. I also liked the convenience of having the power switch and an aux input on one of the satellites.

However, on the second day the speakers never worked at all: the blue power light came on, but there was no sound from the speakers, not even the usual faint amplifier hiss. I tried three different sources and both the main and aux inputs, and nothing worked, so I'm fairly confident that the problem is in the speakers, perhaps a blown fuse. I certainly never drove the speakers to high volume levels, so I'm puzzled about the failure. In the end, I decided to send it back and buy another Klipsch set.


Justine (Alexandria Quartet)
Justine (Alexandria Quartet)
by Lawrence Durrell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.86
240 used & new from $0.01

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sun-tormented afternoons, May 8, 2010
The hawk-nosed Nessim handed this book to me almost casually as he drove us through the hot sands towards his summer home. The car wheeled and spun nauseatingly, as if it were a sailboat on the sun-dappled ocean far below us. "This book, Justine, is the great love of my life," he said with a melancholy passion, "but you will come to love her too." I said nothing, but wondered that he could give away something so precious to him.

In the stifling days to come, I took Justine to my bed, reading her languidly in the cool dark, ever aware of the other books on my bedside table that reproached me silently for having abandoned them. Yet I could not love Justine, in the end. I admired her elevated prose, that sinuous, sensual torrent of words that baffled and teased, reminding me of the fleeting flash floods that danced across the desert rocks towards the Nile after an all-too-rare rainstorm. But she eluded me constantly, leaving me exhausted and sleepy just at the moment where, as in a dream, I had thought she was at last speaking to me in a language I could understand, and I would awake into a new world of memorable love.

During our brief time together, I had been constantly expecting that Justine would abandon me, and that Nessim would retrieve her to the safety of his book-filled desert sanctuary. But like a traitor, I abandoned her before I was finished with her, as I had abandoned those beloved books before her. Now she awaits her fate, to be donated to a library book sale, and she gazes upon me with quiet resignation.

How could such a beautiful disappointment be given only a single Amazon star rating? Five stars would hardly be enough to praise her extravagant craft and seemingly endless similes, but one star would be overly generous in conveying the degree of passion she inspired in me. Would three stars be the average between the abyss of zero and the heights of infinity? Perhaps I was unworthy to love her, and Nessim chose wrongly.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 14, 2014 11:23 AM PDT


Selected Nuclear Materials and Engineering Systems (Landolt-Barnstein: Numerical Data and Functional Relationshi)
Selected Nuclear Materials and Engineering Systems (Landolt-Barnstein: Numerical Data and Functional Relationshi)

370 of 396 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying conclusion to a thrilling series, November 5, 2009
I had to sell my car and take out an equity loan on my house to buy this book, but it was worth every penny. The previous volumes built to almost unbearable tension, leaving many questions unanswered. Would breeder reactors survive competition from newer technology? Would the nuclear waste problem be solved in our lifetime? Would Iran's nuclear program be stopped before it could endanger the free world? Could Diablo Canyon ever be made safe from earthquakes? Would the beautiful but annoying anti-nuclear activist (played by Jane Fonda in the TV miniseries adaptation) come around to seeing the joys and wonders of nuclear power?

These questions and many others are resolved in a denouement that is both ingenious and satisfying. I won't give away the ending, but I can say with assurance that you won't be disappointed. Highly recommended!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2010 8:05 PM PDT


Epson B11B193141 Perfection V30 Photo Scanner
Epson B11B193141 Perfection V30 Photo Scanner
Offered by priceBYTER
Price: $189.99
7 used & new from $55.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works in Ubuntu Linux with downloaded driver, September 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was looking for an inexpensive Linux-compatible flatbed scanner, and after a fair amount of research I picked this one and am quite pleased. It doesn't work out of the box in Linux, but if you do a Google search for "avasys linux scanner driver", you'll find the place where the driver can be downloaded. The driver is accompanied by a scan utility called iscan, which offers basic features, but you can also use the much more powerful xsane, which should be available for any Linux distribution. The results look fine in both color and greyscale. I've been experimenting with scanning a book at 300 dpi, and feeding the output into the tesseract OCR program, and the error rate is surprisingly low. I've only had the scanner a couple of days so can't comment on its longevity, but so far it's good.


No Title Available

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vendor stands behind product, September 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I ordered this power adapter to revive an otherwise perfect but obsolete Dell 2001FP display. The adapter worked fine for about three weeks, then died abruptly. The company quickly shipped me a replacement, which is working fine (knock on wood). So while I'm a little disappointed that the original adapter didn't last long, the company deserves credit for backing the product, which has a generous warranty.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2010 10:52 AM PST


Shure MPA-2B Music Phone Adapter for Treo
Shure MPA-2B Music Phone Adapter for Treo

5.0 out of 5 stars The only product that works in my Treo, March 11, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've tried other, cheaper headphone adapters on my Treo 700p, both the hard elbow kind and the flexible pigtail kind, but the Shure is the only one that actually works, so it's definitely worth the extra cost. The microphone and the answer button are nice extras that the cheaper products don't have.

Note that Shure explicitly says this product is for the Treo, so don't expect it to work on other phones.


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