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Customer Reviews: 188
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Paul Christensen "gadget geek" RSS Feed (West Chester, PA United States)
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Tanors Wine Decanter Aerator
Tanors Wine Decanter Aerator
Price: $12.36
6 used & new from $12.36

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good Aerator, but not up to the quality and simplicity of the Vinturi aerator - small several parts, August 2, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First of all, let me say that the Tanors Aerator performs just as well, if not just a slight bit better, than the "gold standard" Vinturi aerator, which I also own. Its design has multiple aeration points and cascades the wine.

But I can't give it 5 stars because its design is overly complex - and has multiple small parts including a small plastic "header" that easily detach and can get lost during cleaning.

The Vinturi on the other hand is made of a higher quality composite material, and is very simple to clean.


Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, Apple Devices, Black
Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, Apple Devices, Black
Price: $299.00
8 used & new from $220.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPER-COMFORTABLE, all-around excellent in-hear headphones, if you don't mind the Bose "sound signature" sound, August 2, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Let met start by saying that the Bose QuietComfort 20 in-hear noise canceling headphones are without a doubt the most COMFORTABLE pair of in-ear headphones I have ever owned. Bose includes 3 different ear sizes, and you should try all 3 for BOTH ears for best fit and sound isolation. My ears actually needed two different sizes.

Given their overall performance at this price, I highly recommend them - assuming you don't mind the Bose "signature sound" profile, which is pleasing, but not necessarily accurate (aka flat).

I am an audiophile - although not to the extreme of an "audio fool". My daily in-ear headphones are $500 Sure e535's which are in a class of their own - three drivers, super accurate (flat) sound profile, replaceable cables. Unlike the Bose, the Shure does not offer active noise cancellation, but with the right tip their noise isolation is excellent. And there is no comparison in sound quality - at more than twice the price of the Bose.

Bose is popular for a reason. Just like the RCA "Golden Throat" design of the 1960's, Bose knows that most people prefer a sound profile that is clear, accentuated on the bass, and forward in the mid-range. And these headphones are no exception in that sound profile, although not quite as inaccurate as other Bose offerings. Treble is balanced but not necessarily "bright". On the other hand, there is very little distortion even at maximum listening levels (although you should note that maximum sound volume is lower on these earphones than some others).

It's only when you compare in a-to-b tests against a true "reference" earphone like the Shure e535 that you will notice "missing" instruments that are drowned out by the Bose sound curve. Listen to vocals with orchestration such as Lana Del Ray's "Born to Die" or even The Dixie Chicks "The Long Way Around" and you'll discover just how dramatic the sound difference is. On Rene Fleming's "You'll Never Walk Alone" you'll notice the drum rolls are cloudy, bass is "muddy", and instruments like cymbals fade into the background.

On the other hand, synthesized pop and electronic music sounds great and although not as clear as the reference headphones, this is a definite "sweet spot" for these Bose earphones.

I've also found that battery life is much better than Bose's advertised 12 hours. This is good because the even though you can use them with the active noise isolation turned off, the sound quality is DRAMATICALLY worse, so you will want to have it on at all times. If you need to be aware of outside sounds, there is an "Aware" mode that lets more ambient noise through.

In summary:
>> Pros
- super comfortable, no need to wrap earphone cable around ear
- multiple ear size choices - try for both ears (mine differed)
- surprisingly good sound, despite "Bose signature" sound profile
remarkably clear mid-range, if not a bit too "forward"
crisp and controlled, but slightly over-emphasized bass
de-emphasized treble
- outstanding battery life, way beyond the claimed 12-hours

Cons
- maximum volume level isn't as loud as other earphones
should only be an issue for those already hard of hearing
- dramatically worse sound quality when active noise circuit is off
- white noise when noise circuit is turned on
not noticeable in louder environments (eg. Airplanes)
- lack of upper-end (treble)
frequency response specs are not trustworthy (they don't indicate cutoff)
- noise module is permanently connected near headphone plug
- headphone cable is permanently attached (cannot be easily replaced)
- Bass can be a bit muddy

Notes
- be careful changing ear plugs; twist the entire base don't grab the end


FileMaker Pro 14: The Missing Manual
FileMaker Pro 14: The Missing Manual
by Susan Prosser
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.75
39 used & new from $22.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Bridges the gap, but does not replace the FileMaker built-in Tutorials and documentation, August 2, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although touted as "the missing manual" series aka "the book that should have been in the box", I would not consider FileMaker Pro 14 The Missing Manual a replacement for the built-in Getting Started Tutorials or Reference documentation. Rather, it falls nicely in the middle, bridging the gap between the excellent and interactive but fairly basic Apple tutorials and the complete reference documentation. As such, this targets an intermediate (not beginner, not advanced) audience, even though there is a lot to learn even for seasoned long-time FileMaker developers like myself.

Two tips you won't regret:
1) Register your book at O'Reilly, and for $4.99 you can order the PDF / eBook version. This book is 946 pages so it's not easy to carry with you.
2) Make sure you download the "Missing CD" tutorial files to follow along with the chapters


AmazonBasics Packing Cubes - 2 Medium and 2 Large (4-Piece Set)
AmazonBasics Packing Cubes - 2 Medium and 2 Large (4-Piece Set)
Price: $22.99
2 used & new from $21.84

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, basic packing cubes, but not sure where the "Amazon Basics" value is compared to name-brands, July 28, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a frequent traveler and have become VERY efficient packing, but packing cubes really make a difference to help organize and to keep clothes from shifting / getting further wrinkled. That being said, the packing cube is only as efficient as it matches the size of your suitcase.

These Amazon Basics Packing Cubes are lightweight and appear to be durable, although only time will tell. Double-zippered design, open mesh for breathability, if you find the right size combination you will be pleased.

That being said, Amazon Basics are known for their quality and value (aka lower price). And yet, there are known "name brands" such as eBags that are equivalent quality, come in many more sizes and colors, for about the same price.


Linea Luxury Shower Squeegee, Brushed Nickel with Stainless Steel
Linea Luxury Shower Squeegee, Brushed Nickel with Stainless Steel
Price: $46.97
2 used & new from $39.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well, it looks pretty until it breaks (after the suction cup fails), July 9, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There is no question the Linea Luxury Shower Squeegee is beautiful. But that is the only good thing I can say about this over-priced, brittle squeegee.

The fundamental design flaw is that the clear handle is VERY brittle. One drop and it breaks. INSTANTLY. And guess what? Like most shower squeegees, no matter how much you try to get the suction cup holder to stay, it will fail, the squeegee falls, and BAM! the handle breaks.

To make matters even more aggravating, the packaging forces you get a scissors to remove the suction holder - it apparently was put together around the packaging.

Save your money and avoid this!


Belkin MIXIT 6-Inch Metallic Lightning to USB Cable for iPhone 6 / 6 Plus, iPhone 5 / 5S / 5c and iPod touch 5th Gen (Silver)
Belkin MIXIT 6-Inch Metallic Lightning to USB Cable for iPhone 6 / 6 Plus, iPhone 5 / 5S / 5c and iPod touch 5th Gen (Silver)
Price: $23.29
6 used & new from $19.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful metal / braided Apple-certified Lightning cable, but is it worth the extra $$?, July 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Based on past experience, Belkin has had some bumps in the road releasing Apple-certified Lightning cables. Early on, I experienced failures to recognize, but in all cases Belkin customer service replaced the cables, and the new ones have worked without issues since.

While the Lightning connectors on early Belkin cables were larger than Apple's compact connector, the newest versions including this MIXIT cable are just as compact as Apple's offering, letting you use your protective cases.

I've been using Belkin's 6" black Lightning USB cable to connect to my compact Jackery backup battery without issue. It is one of the few truly Apple-certified cables available in this short length.

Belkin's new MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB cables are a new offering. It offers metal USB / Lightning connectors, with a clear braided cable in colors to match your iPhone. Like other Belkin cables, it works well with no compatibility issues.

My only concerns that keep from a 5-star rating are:
1) the metal connectors while beautiful can scratch other items that may be in your pocket, purse, or backpack
2) this cable is $7-$10 more than the same Belkin plastic cables that are just as compatible and offered in multiple colors

So the question is whether the extra price is worth it for purely aesthetic reasons.


Orbit Sugarfree Gum, Mint Variety Box (12 Count)
Orbit Sugarfree Gum, Mint Variety Box (12 Count)
Price: $8.99
2 used & new from $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Best packaging of my favorite mint varieties of Orbit sugarless gum, June 6, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Let's face it, there's no better way to get that fresh-breath feeling than Orbit gum!

Unlike previous multi-flavor packaging, this 12-pack variety pack includes 4 different mint flavors - all of them excellent in taste. Each pack has 14 pieces of gum.

Note that the Amazon product listing is incorrect. You receive:
4 Spearmint
4 Peppermint
2 Wintermint
2 Sweet mint


Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Spearmint Chews, 0.8 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Spearmint Chews, 0.8 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Price: $11.96
14 used & new from $11.96

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars definitely a blast, but NOT a pleasant flavor, May 5, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Not sure what Hershey's was thinking (yes, they are the maker of Ice Breakers), but they need to go back to the drawing board. Yes, these small squares deliver a cool, intense blast but the flavor is only a hint of spearmint, and far from pleasant. The consistency of the squares is a bit like clay, and they dissolve quickly in your mouth preventing any chance of lessening the effect.

Packaging leaves a lot to be desired too - the squares are housed inside a pull-out tray, but you have to unzip the surrounding plastic to open in the first time, and there is no pull-tab to be found. And the package is fairly large - definitely larger than you would like to hold comfortably in a pocket.

For me, I'm going to stick to my trusty, thin, super-portable, effective Listerine pocket strips if I need a quick breath relief.


Devek Vinyl Cloth Book Binding Tape Black 1.5 Inch
Devek Vinyl Cloth Book Binding Tape Black 1.5 Inch

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT value, strong quality book binding tape, May 4, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Absolutely outstanding value for book binding tape! If you can deal with the black color (and most of the time it's fine), you won't find a better-quality tape at this price.


Perky-Pet 400 All-in-One Finch Bird Feeder
Perky-Pet 400 All-in-One Finch Bird Feeder
Price: $10.81
4 used & new from $10.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive, but the birds in my neighborhood don't care for it!, May 4, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First of all, let me say that the gold finches and cardinals in my neighborhood may just be lazy. They have come to expect being fed throughout the year with a good supply of fresh seed from my Stokes feeder. It's not easy to clean, and pretty-much impossible to take apart, but the birds LOVE it, and often all 4 perches are filled with feeding finches.

Enter the Perky-Pet All-in-One Finch Feeder. Certainly a value, but you get what you pay for. The gauge of the plastic is VERY thin and flimsy. And while the bottom does come out (with a bit of effort) for cleaning, I'm not sure how long it would last in the weather elements. There are 6 perches but only 1 feeding hole per perch. You can choose upward (all birds) or downward (finches only) by moving the individual plastic covers at each perch.

In practice, the birds in my neighborhood didn't like this feeder at all! After 3 days out, when I would normally have gone through half a feeder of seed, barely a touch had been consumed. In "finch only" setup, the finches would try just a bit of seed but never linger. Despite being able to eat upside down, they don't appear to like to do that. At least in my neighborhood. But again, I may have lazy birds. Moving to the "all birds" setup, I had no better results. Every once in a while I bird would visit, generally one at a time, and never linger. I'm thinking that the single-port feed setup has something to do with this. My Stokes feeder only has 4 perches, but each perch has 3 openings for feed.

Hence the 2-star rating. What good is an inexpensive feeder if the birds don't like it?


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