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Customer Reviews: 406
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Jeffrey N. Fritz "Nikon Jeff" RSS Feed (Morgantown, West Virginia)
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Tide Pods HE Laundry Detergent, Free & Gentle, 72 Count
Tide Pods HE Laundry Detergent, Free & Gentle, 72 Count

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Cleaning and Free of Fragrance and Additives, August 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When it comes to doing our laundry, we much prefer using the pod products to the old-fashioned liquid detergent. We also prefer a detergent that is free of fragrances and unnecessarily harsh chemicals. Tide Pod claims to be free of all of these additives and promises to give our clothes a good washing.

We were concerned at first because there are numerous reports of blue staining of white garments when using this product. However we did not experience any of that problem with it. My white jeans came out white with no stain. In fact, nothing was stained in our wash and the clothes came out looking fresh and clean. In addition we appreciated a bottle that was easy to hold with convenient finger grips on the side.

So until we find some issue that prevents us from is it going to continue to use it, Tide Pods HE is the laundry detergent that we will use regularly because it is free of those additives that we would prefer not to have in our laundry or our environment.


Another Side of Bob Dylan: A Personal History on the Road and off the Tracks
Another Side of Bob Dylan: A Personal History on the Road and off the Tracks
by Victor Maymudes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.88

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Book Not About Bob Dylan, August 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Another Side of Bob Dylan: A Personal History on the Road and off the Tracks" by Victor Maymudes and Jacob Maymudes is not quite a personal story of Bob Dylan, but it is a fine tribute by a son to his father.

Victor Maymudes was Dylan's tour manager and close friend. Maymudes had recorded over 24 hours of material for this book's manuscript when he unexpectedly died. His son, Jacob, subsequently took up the task and finishing and publishing the book. What came out of this unintended collaboration is an account of the friendship between two people with one of the friends being an iconic musician.

The 30 year relationship between Dylan and his tour manager reflected the changes in the world that happened between 1950s in the 1990s. The stories in the book are reflective of sex, drugs, hippy and politics that were so pervasive of that era.

In actuality the book is not really about Dylan. I found this to be disappointing as I expected to learn more about a musician who remains clouded in mystery to this day. The book really should have been entitled "Victor and his Famous Friends" or "Who I Did Drugs with in the 70s-90s." A title such as that would have been more reflective of the material and less misleading than "Another Side of Bob Dylan."

Still there is value in the book and it does manage to hold the reader's interest.


Acme Made Skinny Cover for iPad Air, Matte Black (AM36719-PWW)
Acme Made Skinny Cover for iPad Air, Matte Black (AM36719-PWW)
Price: $37.33

3.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another iPad Air Cover, August 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are a plethora of iPad Air covers to choose from these days. They come in different shapes, sizes and colors. They offer different degree of protection to your expensive iDevice.

The Acme Made Skinny Cover for iPad Air is, as advertised, skinny. There are installation directions of a sort (pictures, actually,) but they really aren't needed. The iPad Air snaps nicely into the case without much assistance needed. And the Apple-like magnetic cover gets the job done turning the iPad Air on upon opening and turning it off when closed.

Concerns--there are a few. Protection is nil. The cover and super thin back can't possible absorb a great deal of impact protection. The entire case feels flimsy in and of itself.

When the cover is open there is no screen protection. However, to be honest, I don't find screen protectors all that helpful. They are often more work to apply than the protection that they offer--at least in my experience. So it might be just as well that the Acme Made Skinny Cover for iPad Air omitted them.

My big concern is really what does the Acme Made Skinny Cover for iPad Air offer for my iPad Air that a myriad of other protective covers do not? I am at a loss to come up with an answer to yet another of the same type product.


Mille Bornes Card Game
Mille Bornes Card Game
Offered by Art's Game Store
Price: $14.39
21 used & new from $10.74

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Card Game with a Classy Tin Box but with Flimsy Plastic Card Holder, August 9, 2014
This review is from: Mille Bornes Card Game (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Mille Bournes--our favorite card game--by miles! (Pun intended.) And here we have this classic, engaging card game enclosed in a classy tin box. (Yes, it appears to be real tin!) The cards are true to the original and made from reasonably heavy stock. What more could be asked? Well just one thing...

Why bother manufacturing a metal box, including thick well made cards, and then put in a flimsy, light plastic card holder? Couldn't Asmodee have included a solid, thick plastic card holder? I fear that the cheap one that they used will begin tearing in no time. This is the only thing that keeps this from being a five-star rated product.


OXO Good Grips Interlocking Corn Holders, Yellow/Green
OXO Good Grips Interlocking Corn Holders, Yellow/Green
Price: $9.99
4 used & new from $9.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Building a better mousetrap? Hardly, August 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Building a better mousetrap? Hardly! Many have tried. But building better corn holders, now we have something--especially for corn-on-the-cob lovers. In fact, somebody did.

OXO Good Grips Interlocking Corn Holders are larger than most corn holders. That makes holding the corn cob much easier. However, they are almost too large to fit on the smaller (narrower) side of the corn.

They hold together in pairs when not in use protecting your finders from nasty sharp surprises when you reach into the kitchen accessory drawer. Plus they clip together making it easier not to have one come up missing.

So go build a better mousetrap if you like, but OXO has already figured out how to improve on the corn holder. The OXO Good Grips Interlocking Corn Holders is the best that I've ever found or used.


Fluance ES1S Higher Fidelity Surround Sound Bookshelf Speakers for Home Theater
Fluance ES1S Higher Fidelity Surround Sound Bookshelf Speakers for Home Theater
Offered by Fluance Speakers
Price: $199.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sounding Speakers, A Bargain and A Keeper, August 1, 2014
When my Fluance ES1S speakers arrived, I decided to test them out before committing to keep them. (Fluance kindly has a generous return policy--although I've never had to use it with any of their products.)

I sampled a variety of materials from CDs (Redbook) to SACDs to DSD files to WAV/AIFF and FLAC files played through two high quality DACs. In each case, the ES1S speakers opened up the sound over my previous floor standing speakers and, as result, produced another surprise. I found it difficult to identify the exact location of certain instruments. Sure, if the instrument was panned hard left or hard right I could tell it's location. However, in many cases there was a sense of "it's there on the right somewhere," but it seemed to be coming from a much wider space that the physical placement of the speakers. I can't say that I've ever encountered that previously, but I like the effect. It widens the sound field significantly.

My vintage Yamaha receiver likes the speakers and has plenty of power to drive them. Happily, my Klipsch Sub-10 subwoofer feels the same way--and these speakers definitely need a sub. When I disconnected the Sub-10, the bottom fell out of the sound. So that might be the primary disadvantage of the ES1S speakers. They lack the ability to reproduce extremely low frequencies.

If you can afford the sticker price, owning full range speakers may be the best way to go. Still, I much prefer that the speaker designers think "they'll need to buy a sub to use with this" rather than try to force artificial bass response out of two five-inch speakers stuffed into a 17.3 x 5.7 x 6.2 inch box. The Law of Physics will only allow so much.

Bottom line: I'm pleased with the purchase of the Fluance ES1S Higher Fidelity Surround Sound speakers. Given their sound and price, they are a bargain. And they are a keeper!


Ankuoo NEO Wi-Fi Smart Switch with Home Automation App for iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, Android Smartphones and Tablets
Ankuoo NEO Wi-Fi Smart Switch with Home Automation App for iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, Android Smartphones and Tablets
Price: $39.99
3 used & new from $32.72

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remote Control of Your Devices Via Your Smartphone, July 25, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Ankuoo's Neo switch has just one purpose in life--to remotely turn on and off electrical devices using an app on your smartphone. Basically, it's a simple yet potentially useful function, so I decided to give it a try.

My first question in using the device was as basic as the Neo's function. How do you get the product box out of the outer carton sleeve? Answer: Cut the tape and push really hard--that outer sleeve is a super tight fit around the box.

Once you open the box you will find a well written, understandable set of instructions. The switch looks hefty and well made. But can it switch appliances on and off? The instruction sheet doesn't say, but the switch is rated for 15 amps in so I decided to use it to remotely turn on and off a 12-volt, 10 amp out power supply.

My second question was how to search for the app. Was the name ANKUOO (Ohs) or ANKU00 (zeros.) Turns out that it's the former. You do need to know that because there is no hot link from their web site to the Apple App Store. (The App Store claimed that there is also no iPad app which is a major oversight on Ankuoo's part as it appears that the iPhone app won't run on the iPad.)

It took my two tries to get the Neo to successfully associate itself with my wireless LAN. However, multiple tries with non-computer Wi-Fi devices is not exceptional. After the second try, the Neo could see the network and the iPhone app could see the Neo. It had no trouble remotely turning the power supply on and off.

My final question was whether my firewall running in stealth mode would be an issue for outside access via the Internet? To find out I turned off WiFi on my iPhone 4S forcing the connection through the 4G Cell network, the Internet and through my firewall. The Neo had no trouble being accessed in that manner.

I must say that I am not a fan of the faint green lettering and icons in the app. Ankuoo would do well to pick a more obvious color and make everything larger in the app's display. They certainly have the screen real estate to do so--even on the iPhone.

Still, the device does what it claims to do and does it without much fuss or muss. And these days that's a good thing.


Monster Core Power® 650 6 outlet wall tap with USB charging
Monster Core Power® 650 6 outlet wall tap with USB charging
Price: $29.95
8 used & new from $29.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a Handy Device with a Few Downsides., July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Outlet extenders such as the Monster Core Power 650 USB can be quite handy. In addition to the ability to add extra outlets on your wall, the Core Power 650 contains two USB charging ports. This means that, instead of having to plug in separate device chargers, you have two USB power ports ready for your iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone or tablet and just about anything else that requires USB charging.

There are some downsides, however. The wall outlet extender covers two outlets, so there is only a three-fold increase in outlets. Additionally they are prone to fall out of the wall due to their weight and the lack of a center screw to hold them in place. Still, if you can put up with these downsides, the Monster Core Power 650 can be quite a handy wall jack extender. .


Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers
Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers
by Barry L. Dorr
Edition: Paperback
Price: $43.69
33 used & new from $37.10

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connecting the Theoretical with the Practical for Electrical Engineers, July 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers" by Barry L. Dorr attempts to cover a fair amount of technical material in just its 241 pages. I spent the better part of my 20s in undergrad and graduate college learning what he has placed in his book, so I know that this was an ambitious and difficult task. Most surprisingly Dorr pulls it off. He covers a vast amount of material without over-dwelling on points or skipping through them too quickly.

Let's clear up one thing from the start. "Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers" is not a teaching guide. In other words, you can't sit down and start reading from page one in order to learn Electrical Engineering. Learning the field doesn't work that way and it is certainly not Dorr's intention for the book to be used in this manner. What the book does instead is to offer two very important things:

1. It serves as a bridge between the theory that is learned in college and the practical application of it that is needed in the field. I can personally vouch for how important this is to Electrical Engineers. Far too many of my classmates understood the theory but not the application of electronic circuits. In other words, they could describe a circuit in intimate detail with mathematical equations, but they couldn't tell you the value of a resistor in the circuit by looking at is color code. "Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers" helps in connecting the theoretical with the practical. This is immensely important for both graduate and undergraduate Electrical Engineers

2. It serves as a superior reference book. Keep it on your desk and nearby at all times. The book is extremely valuable for looking up those hazy technology facts.

In fact, this brings me to my one and only gripe with "Ten Essential Skills for Electrical Engineers." I wish that I had a hard cover version of this reference book. I am sure that it won't take long for my paperback edition to become torn and ragged. It will get that much use--and that clearly shows how very valuable this book is to me.


Big Sky Secrets (Hqn)
Big Sky Secrets (Hqn)
by Linda Lael Miller
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
290 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Love Intertwined With Believable Characters, July 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Big Sky Secrets" by Linda Lael Miller doesn't disappoint. I have to admit that I am a fan of Miller's novels. They seldom leave me bored. It is refreshing to see a prolific author like Miller who, story after story, manages to keep things fresh.

"Big Sky Secrets" is the finale of her stories that are set in Parable, Montana. Like all the other novels in the series, we have all the elements for a successful novel. There's love, there's intrigue intwined with fascinating, believable characters. A must read for anyone who enjoys this genre.


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