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The Wheel of Time
The Wheel of Time
31 used & new from $2.47

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty true to the books, October 17, 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Wheel of Time (CD-ROM)
I was surprised to see that no reviews had been written for this game. When I played it - seven or eight years ago now? - I had hours of fun with it, especially when I found the cheat codes online. (I'm not a skilled gamesman by any definition, and need all the help I can get!) It was true enough to the *world* that Jordan created, although it didn't contain any of the main characters. Which was fine with me.

The graphics were terrific, if a bit slow (I wonder how they'd run on the PC I have now, a few generations removed?), and the sounds were great. Shadar Logoth (sp? - it's been years) was just as spooky in the game as it was in the books, and I'll give Jordan credit; it was extremely eerie.

The guys that wrote this game put a lot of thought into it. Jordan utilized weaving Air, Fire, Earth, and Spirit in his system of magic, and so did the game. It even had balefire, and let me tell you - using balefire ROCKED. I felt like a kid when I was using that.

The end of the game gets rough, and even with all of the cheats, I was never able to get there. I did get past one male Forsaken, although I was just pressing buttons and holding my breath and couldn't tell you how I did it, but that's as good as it got for me.

I've never played the Atari game, and didn't realize it existed until this evening, when I looked for this game, so can't compare them.

With Jordan having passed away last September, people may want more than the books to keep them close to the world he created. This is as good as anything.

Gods Behaving Badly: A Novel
Gods Behaving Badly: A Novel
by Marie Phillips
Edition: Hardcover
118 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Um, 1-900-Aphrodite?, October 14, 2007
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is absolutely hysterical. The depictions of the gods and goddesses are brilliantly done, as well as their interaction with mortals, and their relationship or understanding regarding Christianity. Phillips did her research well, and she was able to play on character traits of the various Olympians which made the story stronger, more believable, and tangible. For example, Artemis, goddess of the hunt, is a dog walker in the 21st century. Aphrodite is a phone sex operator, and her observation from this activity is hysterical: "Mortals today, they've got no staying power. You barely have enough time to get their credit card details and they've already finished. I said all along that we should have put the pigs in charge."

It was comments like that - although humorous - that helped me believed that I was reading a story about Greek Gods living in a run-down London town house.

Their interactions with "mortals" make for some of the best reading. It's a solid book, front to cover. A very brave first attempt, and one done very well.

The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition
by Christopher E. Vogler
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.74
102 used & new from $10.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well organized and very accessible, October 14, 2007
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Vogler does a fine job of laying out his own system of the Hero's journey, as first discovered by him in the works of Joseph Campbell. For clarity's sake, he includes a side-by-side list of the different aspects of the Hero's journey. On one side is his terminology/definitions, and on the other, there are Campbell's. This is more than fairly suggestive that he has borrowed heavily from Campbell, but given it his own "twist".

Vogler, like Campbell, breaks the story arc into three acts.

Act One
Ordinary World
Call to Adventure
Refusal of the Call
Meeting with the Mentor
Crossing the First Threshold

Act Two
Tests, Allies, Enemies
Approach to the Inmost Cave

Act Three
The Road Back
Return with the Elixir

Anyone familiar with Star Wars, or The Lord of the Rings, should be able to look at Vogler's outline and know exactly where to place parts of the those respective stories.

This text is very accessible. I've read other books that talk about the writer's journey, or the hero's journey, that are, well, quite "out there", yet still come back to the same three acts, the same archetypes, and, essentially, the same outline and terminology.

I'm uncomfortable recommending this book to writer's, because I feel that using this as a template with which to construct your story (*especially* if it's a fantasy/quest story), you'll substitute your own imagination with what Vogler outlines in his book. But it does serve a good purpose. If anyone wants to understand character archetypes better, Vogler explains them as well as anyone here, and better than most. You can also use this book as a how-not-to-write-my-fantasy guide. Campbell made the argument that it's OK that every conceivable story has been told, and that it's the writer's responsibility to present a new story in such a fashion that it will excite readers. It's a good argument, and several authors I admire write in a way that exemplifies (consciously or subconsciously) this somewhat rigid "archetype" of writing a story.

I do have to say - can't writer's find different movies and books to talk about? In everything I've seen, The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars are trumped out over and over again. If we keep seeing the same examples, we're going to get bored. While it may be true that virtually everyone knows the storyline of both movies, and therefore makes sense to use them as examples, using them doesn't encourage someone who's already well versed in "hero mythology" to read your book. We've already heard all about Dorothy and Luke - more than we ever wanted to, perhaps!

Still, issues such as those mentioned above are minor, and truly, for someone looking for a well-written book that chronicles the Hero's Journey and everything that he/she is expected to confront during that journey, this is a great place to start.

There's some interesting text about cultures that are "herophobic". That encouraged me to look at my story somewhat differently, and it gave me some good ideas. The point being, you can (almost) never read too much because you're likely to learn something new each time.

Motorola Cigarette Lighter Adapter for Motorola Phones with a Mini-USB Connector (Not compatible with newer phones with a Micro-USB connector)
Motorola Cigarette Lighter Adapter for Motorola Phones with a Mini-USB Connector (Not compatible with newer phones with a Micro-USB connector)
Price: $8.65
9 used & new from $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars It's sturdy and it works. That's about what one should expect., October 10, 2007
Some who gave this product one star wondered if they received a genuine Motorola product. After seeing those reviews, I was concerned, as I had returned the charger Verizon gave me when I bought my Motorola Q because it broke upon my first use of it. I needn't have worried. The product did not have the feel of a knockoff - instead, it felt appropriately heavy, it fit snugly into the cigarette lighter (now being called a power source more and more), and worked beautifully. The M logo lit up with a pleasant glow, it looks cool, and my phone was recharged.

So - it does exactly what it's supposed to. Perhaps those who received what they thought was a knockoff bought a used product?

Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset [Retail Packaging]
Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset [Retail Packaging]
4 used & new from $26.99

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome device - not only good volume, but superb clarity, October 10, 2007
This is my second Bluetooth device. The first was also a Plantronics, from Verizon, and while I was happy with the volume, with increased volume did not come increased clarity. I'm hearing impaired, so clarity is something that I'm very concerned about with any hearing device, be it phone, hearing aid, stereo headphones, and especially TV EARS!

Anyway, turning up the volume means I'll hear the sounds, but it doesn't always mean that I'll be able to discern them. "Hi, this is J.K. Rowling calling, and I'd like to invite you to tea," could turn into, "Your bowling league called, and said they want some bees." If I'm lucky. I returned the unit I received with my phone (as a matter of fact, I returned all of the accessories Verizon packaged with my Motorola Q - they were all junk) and bought this headset based on the strength of all the positive reviews. After testing it out, I couldn't be happier, and have to add my voice to the chorus of approval. Not only is this headset capable of great volume, it also is extremely clear.

To put this in perspective, I have less than 50% hearing in my left ear, and none in my right. I *need* these devices to work, and work well. Using the headset in my left ear (of course), I called my roommate, who is very soft spoken. He came in loud and clear. I not only heard what he said, I understood what he said.

I tested this again when I had to call Dell for technical support. The person had a very heavy accent, and while talking to him on my Motorola Q, I had a very, very difficult time understanding him. When I switched from the phone to the headset, I was able to (mostly) understand him. To me, that was the real litmus test, because for people like me with nerve damage, clarity is key, and accents are h - e - double toothpicks.

Buy this with confidence.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 21, 2009 9:23 PM PDT

Fatal Revenant (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 2)
Fatal Revenant (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Book 2)
by Stephen R. Donaldson
Edition: Hardcover
207 used & new from $0.01

142 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The choices of Linden Avery, The Chosen, October 8, 2007
EDIT: Initially, I was slightly critical of Donaldson's word choices. We all know that he picks and chooses words carefully, and nowhere do we see his wordsmithing at play more than in the Covenant series. In Fatal Revenant, it seemed to me that he had gone overboard with his use of so-called $10 words, even by his standards, and I voiced a concern that some readers might find that the book required too much work to get through. While I can't disagree with that concern - I know that his use of language turns people off - I have a different take on it now.

When you do the extra work required, you're more often than not rewarded. Sometimes you'll find hidden humor, sometimes added depth. In my experience, it's rare to find a word that he absolutely shouldn't have used, or that he should have replaced with a simpler synonym, because the word he chose is precise. Not all synonyms mean the same thing. To use a very simple example, "black" is a synonym of "dark". So is "gloomy". All three words have very specific definitions.

A sentence that I picked out as initially frustrating became beautiful when I went one step beyond looking the words up and thought about how they were used, where they were used, and then, of course, why. Some fine folks at Kevin's Watch were most helpful in this, and went a long way toward helping me see my error. That sentence appears on page 229 of the American hardcover (this version), and is as follows: "'You can hear me,' she pronounced, speaking now in lambent chrysoprase and jacinth rather than saffron blots."

I won't say a word about this sentence, because doing so would be giving away a REAL gem in the book, but I'm pointing it out to make sure that YOU do the work I was initially too lazy to do. It will help you appreciate the scene. I promise.


**NO Fatal Revenant (FR) spoilers in this review.**

There were some (not me) who thought The Runes of the Earth (ROTE) was not all it could be, and by extension thought The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant were a disappointment. I want to address those Doubting Thomas's first.

Donaldson raises the stakes so high in Fatal Revenant (FR) that it was difficult, at times, to wonder how he was going to pull it off. I'll be honest: I doubted that he could do it, and I'm a true, dedicated (not obsessive, thank you) fan. However, after turning the final page of FR and sadly setting the book aside, I'm more than a little embarrassed to admit that my ability to express my emotions and thoughts had been significantly diminished. Rational cogitation evaded me entirely, and I felt like the teenager I was when I first stumbled on Donaldson in the early 1980s (gulp). All that ran through my mind, in a continuous loop, and for about five minutes was, "Dude! This is awesome!" And it was. It is. I hold Donaldson to a higher standard than most writers, because he's earned it. Not only did he meet meet my already inflated expectations, he by far exceeded them. To say that I'm anxiously awaiting the third book is like saying that as a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, I really want them to win a World Series. (The third book will likely arrive first...*sigh*)

So, to those disappointed by ROTE, to those unsure as to whether you want to continue reading, I say: READ! THIS! BOOK!

***If you haven't read ROTE, please skip the next paragraph. (You really shouldn't need this warning anyway, should you? You know better. <grin> )***

At the end of ROTE, Linden Avery discerned six figures riding to Revelstone. "One was Jeremiah; her son beyond question... The other stranger was unmistakably Thomas Covenant." If you're a fan, you've been waiting three years to find out how or why Jeremiah seemingly regained control of his mind, and why Covenant is corporeal (he's supposed to be dead, after all).

Donaldson will answer your questions, and the answers will stagger and satisfy you, and leave you gasping for more. In typical Donaldson fashion - and something he's been getting better and better at over the years - the answers, or solutions to the problems, aren't what they seem. Nothing is. Hellfire <wink> - Covenant, alive? Jeremiah, talkative and energetic? Surely this is impossible.

The book opens with Linden facing a corporeal Covenant, and a responsive Jeremiah. Please: Read the first few chapters carefully. Don't speed through them in a mad desperate dash to start the marathon run to the finish, because if you do, several events leading up to the ending, and the ending itself (Donaldson has become, I daresay, the master of the cliffhanger) might not make a bit of sense to you. For that matter, the entire book should be read carefully. After finishing this book I see more and more why Donaldson thought that he needed to take time away and work on other projects before coming back to this. Most fantasies - his First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant included - are fairly straightforward in their presentation. That's why The First Chronicles had such a broad appeal. They most certainly were not simple - when you scratched the surface, there was surprising depth - but you could, at thirteen years of age, read the books and fully enjoy them without looking into the vast abyss of nuance Donaldson wrote with. While I don't want to say that young readers should be wary of these books, they have layers and layers of subtlety and subtext. I expected Donaldson to write a book that made me think, but I wasn't expecting to be addled and befuddled, and I just want to say THANK YOU to SRD for writing a book that that caused so much cerebration.

Linden needs answers. The Demondim are at Revelstone's gate. The Mahdoubt is nowhere to be found. Covenant and Jeremiah are too foreign for her to trust completely, and so Esmer is her only resource. His duality often prohibits him from speaking clearly, and his aid often creates more problems than it solves. The book starts out with a simple (yeah, right) quest, and her companions are two who should bring more delight to her than any: Covenant and Jeremiah. But they do not, because she cannot physically touch them, something she longs to do, for reasons I'll let Donaldson dramatize. But imagine Linden's grief. After ten years in the "real world", and several audacious days in the Land (ROTE), Covenant and Jeremiah stand before her, restored. The only man she ever loved, and her son.

Essentially, this book is about the choices she makes. Perhaps she was dubbed "The Chosen" for more reasons than we know.


I feel the need to address some reviewers concerns regarding ROTE, if only because I wouldn't want those reviews to dissuade someone from reading it and, thus, this book. Addressing those here is germane to the topic at hand, I believe, for reasons that should become obvious. Some reviews have said that The Last Chronicles suffer from original, inventive characters like Pitchwife or Saltheart Foamfollower, and they have said that this is a detriment to the series. I would argue with that. First, we know that this is a time travel story. To think that we won't go back in time and meet some folks we've been aching to meet for the past seven books wouldn't be logical. I'm not saying that we will, mind you, I'm just saying that the likelihood (and I thought the same before reading ROTE) is pretty darn good. Second, remember that Donaldson's mind is fertile (the Amnion, anyone?). Do we really think that the only characters that we will encounter are the ones we've met in ROTE? After satisfying first books in his first and second Covenant series, Lord Foul's Bane and The Wounded Land, respectively, he introduced us to people, races and creatures that left us in awe of his creative muscle. In the Illearth War, he gave us Hile Troy, Elena, and Amok. In The One Tree we had the Elohim, Kasreyn, and the Sandgorgons. Think back to how brilliantly Donaldson's world opened up to us.

Have faith. You will be well rewarded.

The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant began with Donaldson setting the pieces on the board with great care. Since the First Chronicles, Donaldson's writing has at times reminded me of a chess master. While he is not plodding, as one reviewer here wrote of ROTE, he is meticulous in the placement of his pieces. When I finished reading The Real Story: The Gap Into Conflict, the first book of his five-book space opera, The Gap Series, I couldn't see how he was going to get five books out of it and frankly really didn't care about reading the next book, Forbidden Knowledge: The Gap Into Vision. Yet he did get five books out of that, and the universe that he unveiled to his grateful readers was breathtaking in its conceptual amplitude. It was like being inside the tiniest Russian doll, and escaping, to find that there's a larger doll, then a larger doll, etc., and finally you escape and you're in, well, Russia. Maybe not as exciting as warm and inviting as Hawaii, but you get the idea.

Regarding the "sameness" of everything. Why are the Haruchai still the Haruchai? Why is Foul still around? The Ramen? The Ranyhyn? Shouldn't things have changed in the Land? Why hasn't technology replaced "magic"? After all, it's been about seven (?) thousand years since Thomas Covenant first appeared. And what about this Linden character? Isn't she annoying?

Foul is still around because he can't be killed. We know this. The power required to kill him - even were it possible - would break the Arch of Time, and that would fulfill Foul's plans nicely. As to the races - well, realize that the Land itself is a very small area, and it's fairly well secluded. It shouldn't be terribly surprising that things are still so similar. I'd agree with someone if they argued that things don't need to be so exact. For example, Mithil Stonedown is still Mithil Stonedown. In seven thousand years (granted, different world, different rules) what's Chicago going to look like? What did Chicago, for that matter, look like seven thousand years ago.

With regard to technology, that's really the easiest issue to deal with. Necessity breeds invention. If you have magic, and it provides everything you need, then hasn't necessity been taken out of the picture? Without need, there is no desire to explore any further than with what you have already. How many thousands of years did people live on this, our Earth, with the only answers available to them, and the only answers required by them, provided by their religion/mythology?

About Linden. There's a "group" who call themselves THOOLAH, The Holy Order of Linden Avery Haters. It's a bit extreme for me. I understand that Donaldson's characters aren't always likeable (Covenant's first act in the land in Lord Foul's Bane was to rape a girl), but that's kind of the point. Would you rather be reading about morally altruistic characters like Richard and Kahlan from Goodkind's universe? If so, that's great, no harm done. But I prefer my characters to not only have grey spots on their morality gauge, I like them to be *real*. Whine all you want about *Linden's* whining (regarding her son), but find me a mother that wouldn't be doing and thinking and struggling *exactly* as she is. Good luck. (I mean no offense to THOOLAH members, or anyone who simply doesn't like Linden, and while I don't care for Goodkind's work at all, I mean no offense to his fans either.)

If you'll indulge me in a final burst of verbosity:

When I saw the cover art for Fatal Revenant - the main image, a figure of a wizardly-looking chap bearded and robed in snowy white - I cringed. It was bad enough that Del Rey tried to cash in on the success of The Lord of the Rings movies by releasing mass market paperback editions of The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant with pastel covers displaying a *yellow* gold wedding ring. (They hoped that the new readers of fantasy that the LOTR movies gave birth to would see a gold ring while perusing the shelves at their local bookstore, and think, Hey! I need to read this Tolkien knock-off - which it most certainly is not.) The problem there is that our buddy Tom wore a *white* gold wedding ring, and it is the nature of the alloy of white gold that formed the paradox of "white wild magic gold" in the Land. Now we are treated to what looks to me, and probably every fan of fantasy extant, Gandalf the White or, as depicted in the films, perhaps the figure more closely resembles Saruman. Let me reassure you that neither Gandalf nor Saruman appear in this or any other Covenant book. Who is it then? I'm not saying, but even a casual reader of the Covenant series should be able to make a good guess.

Happy Reading. Donaldson himself said that we would be going on a ride. I am more anxious, now, given how high he has raised the stakes, to see the third book than I was this one. The next three years will go very slowly.
Comment Comments (25) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2014 9:29 AM PDT

Degree Clinical Protection, Men's Anti-perspirant and Deodorant, Clean, 1.7-Ounce Stick (Pack of 2)
Degree Clinical Protection, Men's Anti-perspirant and Deodorant, Clean, 1.7-Ounce Stick (Pack of 2)

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly head and shoulders above the rest, September 24, 2007
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I chose this "Vine" item to review because my roommate has a problem with underarm wetness, and as a consequence needs to replace most of his summer wardrobe every summer. He tried this for several days, and for the very first time in his life had no problem with underarm wetness whatsoever. Today, the fourth day that he's using the product, it was a hot and humid day in Chicago. He took public transportation to and from the university, and spent a good amount of time walking from place to place exposed to the "elements". He was completely dry.

Needless to say, this is a product that will be in his bathroom for a long time to come.

***Make sure to read the instructions for use. You need to put it on at night to allow for the "medicine" to absorb into the skin.***
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 26, 2007 8:11 PM PDT

Superman: Doomsday
Superman: Doomsday
DVD ~ Adam Baldwin
Offered by Phase 3, LLC
Price: $8.61
152 used & new from $0.01

9 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The day a blockhead died, September 24, 2007
This review is from: Superman: Doomsday (DVD)
This film was a colossal disappointment. I found the animation uncomfortable and difficult to watch, although this is my own personal preference - I don't care for the way this particular Superman, and all the people, are drawn. They appear to be an amalgamation of building, or cinder blocks. It's just not attractive. Louis is so angular she barely possesses any humanity. There isn't any spark or interest between her and Superman; and in a Superman film, be it animation or live action, there absolutely has to be a spark between Lois and Clark/Superman. Superman is already at a disadvantage as a character, because he's so darn powerful, and his morals and integrity are unquestionable. He's the perfect guy. That's why it's difficult to tell stories about him, as opposed to Batman, for whom telling stories isn't as difficult. He's fallible - physically and morally. Superman has two essential weaknesses: Kryptonite and Lois. How many does Batman have? Ask any writer who they'd rather write stories for, and 9 times out of ten you're going to hear "Batman".

Why this particular Superman "realization" was chosen for this film is anyone's guess. If it was in the special features, I missed it. The special features weren't subtitled, and as I'm hearing impaired, I don't bother with special features that aren't subtitled. (Really - how much money are we talking about to add subtitles or captions to special features?)

But my disappointment goes far beyond the animation, and is more solidly found in the story itself. The death of Superman, and his return, as told in the actual comic books, were incredible stories by themselves. The only editing required would have been to cut scenes. It wasn't necessary to bring Lex Luthor in and rewrite 90% of the story, especially when the story they came up with was so insipid. My best guess for the inclusion of Luthor was mass appeal. More people know who Luthor is than Doomsday, so perhaps they were banking on Luthor's involvement raising the stakes for those who might not have read the initial series. Again, though, why do *anything* if what your doing detracts from the story? The story is about Superman, Doomsday, and Superman's return. They should have stuck to their original story. They didn't need Supergirl or the Justice League (part of the story 14 years ago). Those scenes could have been cut, and still given them plenty to work with.

The actual fight between Superman and Doomsday was remarkably dull, and mostly because they cut Superman's thoughts out. In the comic strip, Superman was shown thinking about how devastating Doomsday was, and how much he, Superman, was hurting. To show how badly Superman is being hurt, especially through his own thoughts (it's more specific that way than a simple "OOMF", or a facial expression of pain) would have added very necessary drama to the scene in the film.

I followed this series week-by-week as it was released in the early 90s. The creators had to find a creature capable of killing Superman (without resorting to a tired Kryptonite-based plot), and they brilliantly invented the character of Doomsday, who was fleshed out even more in a later graphic novel (Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey). It still ranks as one of the more exciting reads that I can recall, and I'm not necessarily a comic book fan.

When I first read the comic book that killed Superman, I admit to being choked up when he died. The writers did such a terrific job at building the scene and setting the necessary emotions, I doubt I could have done anything but be choked up. When Superman died in this animated film, I felt like yawning. And it was pretty much the same for when he came back.
About coming back: he came back to fight a genetically engineered Superman (being controlled, partially at least, by Luthor), and came back in a black suit with solar panels to increase his absorption of the yellow sun. Did anyone else notice that the fight between Superman and his clone occurred at night? The least they could have done is waited until the sun rose.

Bottom line: if you read the comic and enjoyed it, you should watch this. If you didn't read the comic, but want to see the character that killed Superman, I would recommend buying this The Death of Superman and avoiding the film altogether. The comics tell the story far better.

No Title Available

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite wireless keyboard and mouse, September 12, 2007
I've been using Microsoft's ergonomic keyboards for at least a decade now. After getting used to the layout of the keys, I can't imagine using a regular keyboard again. The amount of strain that's reduced from my wrists and fingers is immeasurable.

I decided to upgrade to a wireless keyboard and mouse, which seems to be the thing to do these days. I couldn't be happier.

On the top row above the function keys are buttons for:

- My Documents
- My Pictures
- My Music
- Mail
- Media (for me, it opens iTunes, and did so without me having to do anything)
- Web/Home
- Messenger (MSM)

Also above the Function Keys, directly in the middle, are buttons to control sound or visual media. There's a:

- Mute button
- Pause/Play
- Stop
- Increase volume
- Decrease volume
- Skip forward
- Skip backward

Above the Numeric keypad are buttons for:

- Calculator
- Log Off
- Sleep

The function keys themselves have their numeric designator on the front side of the key, and has the actual function of the key on top (like the letter "I" is on "top" of the key for that letter). In order, they are:

- Help
- Undo
- Redo
- New
- Open
- Close
- Reply
- Forward
- Send
- Spell
- Save
- Print

There's also a key for "F Lock".

One major difference between this wireless keyboard and other "wired" keyboards is that there are no indicator lights for Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock. Instead, when you press one of those keys, a visual appears in the lower right hand corner of the screen that tells you if that particular function is off or on. The volume works the same way. A visual bar appear on the lower right hand corner of the screen that goes up and down (left and right, really) depending on your adjustments.

The mouse has some great features too. There are two buttons on the left side of the mouse. Clicking the top button (Microsoft calls it the "small button") magnifies a portion of the screen. I use it if I have a lot to read (say, a long encyclopedia article). I lean back comfortably in my chair, click the button, and have no trouble seeing. Because the mouse is wireless, I can bring it back with me and control the movement on a mousepad on my lap. However, if this function seems worthless to you, the software that accompanies the keyboard and mouse can set that button to do a couple of dozen other tasks. The lower button (or the "large button") takes you "back" if you're on the web. That, too, can be customized to do any number of things. In fact - not only can you change default settings for these extra buttons, you can also change default settings for the left and right click buttons, and choose what happens when you press on the wheel button.

The keyboard itself can also have default settings changed.

This is a terrific keyboard and mouse. One thing that will look a bit strange coming out of the box is that while all the keys (not function keys and those above them, but letter keys, number keys, Tab, etc.) are black, they're also clear. It gives the impression of the keyboard being shiny. I'd rather it not look that way, but that's the one default setting you can't change.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 16, 2007 4:21 AM PDT

Seinfeld: Season 7
Seinfeld: Season 7
DVD ~ Andy Ackerman
Offered by Big_Box_Bargains
Price: $10.70
68 used & new from $3.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably Seinfeld's very best season, September 8, 2007
This review is from: Seinfeld: Season 7 (DVD)
Season 7 was arguably Seinfeld's best season. I recently finished watching it straight through, episode-by-episode, and found myself still, a decade and several hundred syndication views later, laughing my head off. The Soup Nazi was just as funny today as he was when the episode aired on November 2, 1995

The season started strong, with Jerry and George realizing that "we're not men", that their lives were pathetic, and that they were doomed to live for eternity alone, single, and making silly, meaningless conversation at the coffee shop. George took this to heart, and to everyone's great surprise, asked his ex-girlfriend Susan ("I thought she was a lesbian?" "It didn't take") to marry him. To our greater surprise, she said yes, and when George called his parents to tell them of his engagement, Susan told Estelle that she was very much in love with her son, to which Estelle replied, "May I ask why?" It was a clear bell announcing to Seinfeld's fans that their comic timing was still spot on.

And it was. While already having displayed brilliance in past seasons, they seemed to reach their apex here, where the requisite multiple story-lines all tied in together, built off of each other, *made sense*, the end result being a near perfect show. This was a quality the show would lose the very next season.

Jerry didn't begin and end every show with his stand-up, and that was welcome for me. I have never cared for his stand up. I don't think he's funny outside of the TV show. The 4.5 star rating of his final Broadway show demonstrate that others think differently. To each their own.

Looking back, it's hard to imagine that Julia Louise-Dreyfus only walked away with one Emmy win (seven nominations) in nine years. But when you consider just some of her competition over the years: Christine Baranski from Cybill, Lisa Kudrow from Friends, Kristen Johnsen from Third Rock from the Sun, and Lauire Metcalf from Roseanne, it becomes easier to appreciate the difficulty of winning that award when these actresses were portraying such memorable characters.

The extras on this DVD set really make it stand out. The inside looks offer fascinating insight, although the extras weren't captioned or subtitled. Some deleted scenes were better left deleted, while others were stronger and if time wasn't a factor (as it isn't on HBO and Showtime, for example) might have made a stronger show. You'll have to be the judge of that. I didn't listen to the Notes About Nothing. You *really* have to be an in-too-deep Seinfeld fan to watch an episode just to hear actor/writer/director commentary (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Allow me to digress for a moment and step outside the purview of this review. The only thing that hangs over the DVD release (and all Seinfeld DVD releases) and that which mars its perfection is knowing that Jerry Seinfeld's three co-stars had to push and shove to negotiate for residuals for doing the extra material on the DVDs. It's bad enough that they receive only standard Screen Actors Guild residuals for the reruns in syndication, which have netted the three co-stars each roughly $[...] (according to Jason Alexander in 2004). Compare that to the hundreds of millions that their brethren receive for similar work in lesser sitcoms, the five hundred million that Larry David made off the series, and Seinfeld's net worth of $[...] billion dollars. Not that Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld don't deserve the lions share - they created the show, and Larry's contributions to the show were immeasurable. However, without the talents of each individual actor, the fans of Seinfeld wouldn't have had such a marvelous treasure. The show wouldn't have been the same without their unique chemistry. There should have been some parity.

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