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Lawrence H. Bulk "Lawrence H. Bulk" RSS Feed

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Acer Aspire One Cloudbook, 14-Inch HD, 64GB, Windows 10, Gray (AO1-431-C7F9) includes Office 365 Personal - 1 year
Acer Aspire One Cloudbook, 14-Inch HD, 64GB, Windows 10, Gray (AO1-431-C7F9) includes Office 365 Personal - 1 year
Offered by Fulton Tech
Price: $227.49
29 used & new from $227.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Low-Cost Low-Capability Computer Which Can Be Very Useful in Certain Circumstances, January 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This Acer Aspire One Cloudbook, 14-Inch HD, 64GB, Windows 10, Gray (AO1-431-C7F9) includes Office 365 Personal - 1 year is a fine computer for certain special non-intensive uses.

In other words, it is, in my opinion, excellent as a second (subsidiary) computer for limited uses. With only 2 GB of RAM and a Celeron processor, you can expect no more - and you shouldn't, considering its low price.

It would be fine for 'web surfing' and e-mail if you chose to use it for that purpose. And, as I'll explain below, it is also fine for certain other limited uses. One example of such is the use to which we put it.

To explain: my wife and I use computers with GNU/Linux operating systems both at home and when traveling.

In our own particular situation however, we need a Microsoft Windows operating system computer for use in updating Garmin GPS units. We own four (4) of them and we do not travel without them.

Garmin does not (and will not) support Linux.

While some expert people have been able to configure their Linux computers to update Garmins, this capability is beyond me, at least at the present time.

That is why we must have a Windows computer.

The reason we bought this one is because Amazon offered it, just after Thanksgiving 2015, for only $199.99, a very reasonable price. At the time, it was the least costly computer with generally good reviews that was being sold here.

When I received it, prior to connecting it to the web, I disabled each and every Windows tracking setting on it, including Cortana. I also uninstalled each and every pre-installed program for which I would have no use, including all the 'cloud' programs. (If you are interested, you can find out just how to do this by doing a search on the web.) I even registered it with a fake name and e-mail address.

Once connected to the Internet and updated (manually), I installed just two (2) programs: the CCleaner and Garmin Express.

I use Windows' own firewall and its own antivirus program as I have no intention of ever using this computer to 'surf the web' or any other such use. (When updating the CCleaner, I must use the Microsoft Edge browser but that is the only time this browser is employed.) For that kind of very limited use, Microsoft's protection programs are fine.

The Garmin Express program, the use for which is the reason I bought this computer, works perfectly. I am completely pleased with this computer for this particular (and limited) use.

The CCleaner program too functions as expected.

Considering all of the above, I am happy with the computer.

Some day, when Microsoft no longer supports Windows 10, I'll convert this unit to a GNU/Linux operating system. (If, at that time, I'm still using and updating Garmins, I'll buy another inexpensive computer with whatever Windows version is available.) Once converted to a Linux OS, it will become a far more capable computer due to the fact that, even though they work better and are much faster than Windows OSes, Linux distributions require much less processing power than Windows in order to function.

It would be excellent at that point in the future for use as a travel computer with a nice GNU/Linux OS. It is very thin and very light in weight. It is also well-balanced. It produces an acceptable image on its 14" screen. Its keyboard is very well-designed and works well. Ditto for the trackpad. Though it has no Blu-ray/DVD/CD drive, for a mere $30.00-40.00 you can buy one right here on Amazon should you desire to have one. You can also buy an inexpensive USB 3.0 hub if you need more USB 3.0 inputs than the one USB 3.0 input supplied on this unit (it also has two USB 2.0 inputs).

It has only a limited amount of storage space on its SSD, but external hard drives are inexpensive and easy to attach and use.

I cannot comment on the amount of time one can run this computer on battery power. I use it only on AC power.

And here is the reason I use it only on AC power and the reason I have subtracted one star from my review: I turn on this computer just once a week in order to check for and install any relevant updates. When I do so, I see that the battery level, 100% when I put it away, has fallen to only 40%, and that is without any use, the computer just sitting in its case for a week.

I do not understand the high drain; I may, if I can overcome inertia, contact Acer to find out if this is normal. Though I can 'live' with this situation, it seems odd to me. The charging system is certainly functional as, when the computer is connected to AC, the battery charges all the way to 100% in a reasonable amount of time. Another problem is battery replacement; I do not know if it is user replaceable. Certainly there is no easy access to the battery. (This seems to be the case with many computers nowadays - and I do not like it!)

Other than that, however, I can recommend this computer if a prospective purchaser is aware of its shortcomings and is willing to accept it for just what it is - a simple, low-cost low-capability 'second' computer.

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk

===== Update: February 3, 2016

As I mentioned in the original review, I use this computer only once a week and I find the battery drained inordinately (generally down to 40% or so) but, when plugged in, it always charged up to 100%.

That is until this past Monday, February 1.

On that date, the battery showed only 31% charge left (after one week) and, when I plugged it in, the battery would only charge to 47% and then the charging stopped.

I used the computer on its battery for a short time and then attempted to recharge it. But the battery would only charge to an indicated 47% and then, though the computer still functioned on AC power, the charging stopped.

I contacted Acer Support yesterday and the representative determined that this probably was a warranty issue. He issued an RMA to me along with a FedEx mailing label. He indicated that I should send the power cable along with the computer so that their technician could make sure that the cable is not at fault (I do not believe that it is as it the 'brick' [the transformer] does not get hot, but it's best to check).

I am not going to take the computer to the FedEx depot today - it is raining very hard here - but I shall do so tomorrow.

The repair station is in Texas.

I shall report back here when the computer is returned to me.

Thank you for reading this. I hope that the computer is returned to me in A-1 shape. If it is, I shall certainly revise my star rating as, other than that power business, this is a fine computer for limited uses.


===== Update: February 4, 2016

I took the computer to a FedEx station today. The shipping label that Acer sent to me meant that I did not have to pay for shipping.

===== Update: February 9, 2016

I received an e-mail acknowledgement that Acer has received my computer and that a technician will diagnose it shortly.

Gute Mature Tourbillion Mechanical Watch White Dial Rose-gold Case Week Month PU Band
Gute Mature Tourbillion Mechanical Watch White Dial Rose-gold Case Week Month PU Band
Offered by Gute Trade
Price: $30.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Elegant Mechanical Mens' Wristwatch, January 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I like Swiss watches. I would very much like to own a Patek Philippe wristwatch. I would also like to own mechanical watches made by Breitling, Tissot, Omega, Rolex, Tag Heuer, IWC, Movado, etc., etc. etc.

Unfortunately, while I have "champagne tastes," I also have the proverbial "beer pocketbook."

A few years ago I found a Chinese dealer's web site (which shall remain nameless here but its initials are D.X.). This site had quite a large number of mens' mechanical watches which were styled as nicely as those expensive brands, so I ordered several of them.

Unfortunately NOT ONE lasted more than one month before it broke down. (A few lasted only a couple of weeks.)

It would have been far more expensive to mail them back to China for warranty repairs than the watches actually cost.

Thinking that this was telling me something, I abandoned hope of finding a "rich looking" mechanical watch at an affordable price, one which would hold up.

Amazon to the rescue!

One day, strictly by accident while looking at Amazon's site, I saw quite a large number of the kind of mechanical watches I like; as beautifully styled as those "high-priced" watches, many of them were Amazon Prime eligible (I am a Prime member).

In addition Amazon was offering a 2-year warranty provided by Asurion.

I figured that if Amazon were selling it and offering that kind of warranty, it must be good.

I also knew that, if I had a problem before 30 days of ownership had passed, I could return the watch to Amazon at no cost to me.

So I bought a few of them.

I am completely pleased with all of them. Most are straight wind-up watches but a couple are automatic-winding ones.

It is this particular one, the Gute Mature Tourbillion Mechanical Watch White Dial Rose-gold Case Week Month PU Band, an auto-winder, which is my favorite of all. (I see that as of this writing it is not "Prime eligible;" I feel sure that it will revert back to being Prime Eligible in the near future.)

As you can see, it is styled as nicely as any watch selling for hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars (and is, at least in my opinion, styled more elegantly than most of those very expensive watches!).

I wear it almost every day. Its automatic function works just fine (though I do manually wind it a few turns every morning and evening "just in case")

Though the face is white and the hands are gold, I have absolutely no trouble reading the time, even at night in a dimly lit room. The indicators are raised, a true "luxury" touch. In addition, as you can see from the photo, 24-hour conversion numbers are printed just below the hour indicators.

The day and date dials, though small, are easy to read and function perfectly. Once set, as long as the watch is continually running, the day should need to be set only once. Obviously, in months which have fewer than 31 days, the date will have to be changed manually but this is very easy to do. The watch comes with no instructions but one minute of using the buttons and observing what they do will tell you all you need to know about changing the day and/or date.

My particular sample keeps excellent time, especially considering that this is a mechanical watch. It runs a bit fast (which I prefer; I'll never be late for an appointment!), gaining perhaps, believe it or not, just 3 or 4 seconds per day. (Even quartz watches are generally not that accurate!) After it gains a total of a minute, I merely set the hand back one minute and we're back to correct time.

I must mention that this is NOT a true tourbillon (whirlwind) watch (nor is is a "Tourbillion" watch, whatever that is). The Chinese have yet to develop a low-cost means for producing a true tourbillon watch (in which the escapement and the balance wheel are placed in a rotating cage to counteract the force of gravity upon the watch's accuracy). So while it LOOKS like a tourbillon movement, it is not.

Some people have complained about the band which is made from PU Leather (the official description, not my opinion of it!). PU Leather is merely a split leather backing covered with polyurethane which is then embossed with a desired pattern.

I find this band to be of excellent quality and, at least for me, it is very comfortable; I have no problem at all wearing the watch all day.

If there is one "quibble" I have concerning the watch, it is the band's clasp. It has the brand's name [MG.Orkina] embossed on it (a nice touch) but it is silver in color. I feel that it should be the same rose gold color as the watch's case.

But that is a very small "quibble."

As I was able to obtain it through Amazon Prime, I received it two days after ordering. The packaging was excellent.

If you are planning to order this watch, you may want to wait a bit and see if it again becomes available via Amazon Prime or, if you are not a member, I recommend that you ensure that it is "fulfilled by Amazon." (However, even if you order it directly from the Chinese seller, it will still be covered by Amazon's [Asurion] warranty as long as that coverage is mentioned on Amazon's Product Page.)

But, in any case, I can HIGHLY recommend this elegant wristwatch.

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk

White Freshwater Cultured Pearl in Sterling Silver Wrap Bracelet, 7.5"
White Freshwater Cultured Pearl in Sterling Silver Wrap Bracelet, 7.5"
Price: $49.06

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Bracelet is Beautiful and Elegant, December 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This White Freshwater Cultured Pearl in Sterling Silver Wrap Bracelet, 7.5" arrived just a few minutes ago.

My wife has a relatively small wrist and, when we saw we were being offered a 7½ inch bracelet from Amazon Vine (just her size), we immediately ordered it. It fit her perfectly. (For others, it could probably be bent a bit to resize it somewhat if necessary.)

I can tell you that she is very pleased with it.

It is well-made and is in fact nicer looking in 'real-life' than in Amazon's picture. The sterling silver band is quite elegant as are the two pearls.

It comes double-boxed; both boxes are black in color and are very attractive in appearance.

Though we did not pay for it, we both feel that it is well-worth Amazon's asking price and, if you saw this in a jewelry or department store, we believe that its price would be much higher.

We both can highly recommend this beautiful piece of jewelry.

Thank you for reading this.

Lawrence H. Bulk

Simple Steps for Fourth Grade
Simple Steps for Fourth Grade
by Thinking Kids
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.99
42 used & new from $8.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Steps for Fourth Grade - an Excellent Adjunct for a Child's Education, December 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In my opinion, this Simple Steps for Fourth Grade is an excellent adjunct for a child's education.

We have an 8-year-old granddaughter. She is "one of those" children whose birth date makes it optional as to whether to start school early or wait one year. In her case, her parents, wisely I think, opted to hold her out for a year. (Because of my birth date, the same thing happened to me many years ago.)

So, instead of being among the youngest in her class, she is one of the oldest.

She has been a "math person" since she was at most two years old. At that age she could actually add and subtract simple numbers (and don't ask me how that happened!).

This particular volume, intended for fourth graders (she is in second grade) is excellent, especially regarding its mathematics section. While she is not yet learning multiplication/division, etc., I think that she will have no trouble absorbing the lessons in this book and this will put her ahead of her class by as much as she desires.

The language skills sections are, at this point in my opinion, frankly too difficult for her. But by the end of this school year (or about half-way through the next one), I believe that she will be able to make good use of that section too.

The first four pages of the book are the title, copyright information, and the contents. The Math section runs from page 5 to page 141. The Language Arts section goes from page 142 to page 275. Starting on page 276 you will find the answers to all of the problems contained within the book. The correct answers are shown in red so that the child will have no difficulty in spotting them.

While the answer section is in relatively small print, the main body of the book is printed in a large, very readable font.

Our granddaughter will be visiting us this weekend and I hope to introduce her to this book. I should mention that she has a great desire to read. Once, a couple of years ago (when she was about 5 or 6), I saw her staring at my books in our library and I could see that she really ached to be able to read them! (I also bought for her this Pocket Oxford American Dictionary & Thesaurus which I think will help her very much.)

I am anxiously awaiting her visit and I hope she finds this Simple Steps book to be valuable to her.

I am confident that she will and, based on my own observation, I can enthusiastically recommend this book for any child of appropriate age.

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk

=====Update: February 12, 2016

I can happily report that this book is everything for which I could have wished. Our granddaughter has come for a visit today and she brought along this book for me to check what she had done so far.

Since getting the book, she has finished the first 41 pages of the math section and, while she made some errors, in general her work was excellent. Remember - this is a fourth grade book and she is only in second grade. Most of what she attempted was far in advance of what her class has been learning, yet she is doing very well indeed.

I have to say that, though I'm obviously prejudiced, she is, in my opinion, an exceptional child. She literally craves knowledge. I have never known a child like her.

This book, so far, has been of great use and great joy to her.

My wife and I have discussed buying more advanced editions of this series as she progresses in school.

I can recommend this book even more enthusiastically than I did in my original review!

Sterling Silver Multi-Gemstone Round Bezel Necklace, 18"
Sterling Silver Multi-Gemstone Round Bezel Necklace, 18"
Price: $45.78

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Nice Necklace, December 10, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Sterling Silver Multi-Gemstone Round Bezel Necklace, 18" is a very nice and well-made piece of jewelry. I obtained it for my wife and she is completely pleased with it.

This is a delicate necklace yet is easy to hook. The excellent thin 'snake-like' chain is sterling silver and is made such that it does not kink. It is an 18" chain which is the perfect size for my wife. The stones themselves are placed in settings which apparently are easily and individually removable from the chain and thus placement may be re-ordered or one or more may be temporarily removed if desired. You probably could even attach one of your own pendants to this chain should you desire to do so.

I should mention that on Amazon's product page, under the section "From the Manufacturer" and "About Multi-Gemstone Jewelry," there are descriptions of six (6) gemstones; this necklace has only five (5) of them, white topaz NOT being included.

I should also mention that the necklace and the stones appear to be much larger in the picture on the product page then they really are.

All that being said, the size of the necklace and the variety of the stones is such that it is truly a nice complement to many outfits and I think that very few purchasers will be disappointed if they desire a beautiful, elegant, and delicate necklace.

We think it is very nice and well-worth Amazon's asking price of around $50.00 or less.


Lawrence H. Bulk

LED Desk Lamp, TaoTronics Table Lamp Eye-caring LED Lamp (12W, Dimmable, Touch Control, 5 Color Modes, USB Charging Port) Silver+White Color
LED Desk Lamp, TaoTronics Table Lamp Eye-caring LED Lamp (12W, Dimmable, Touch Control, 5 Color Modes, USB Charging Port) Silver+White Color
Offered by Sunvalleytek
Price: $79.99
4 used & new from $30.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent LED Lamp - and a Funny Story About It., November 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For many years we have owned a desk lamp which we keep on a shelf in back of our bed for reading, etc.

It's an older lamp and uses an elongated 60 W incandescent bulb.

Our granddaughter likes to have bedtime stories read to her in our bed and recently my wife has been complaining that the lamp gets too hot which makes using it uncomfortable.

She asked me to find another, cooler, lamp.

After much investigation, I chose this LED Desk Lamp, TaoTronics Table Lamp Eye-caring LED Lamp (12W, Dimmable, Touch Control, 5 Color Modes, USB Charging Port) which has gotten very favorable reviews here on Amazon.

It arrived two days ago and is everything for which we could have wished.

Unlike many people who have reviewed this lamp, we did NOT get it as a free sample. I bought and paid for it myself. (I wouldn't turn down a free one however!)

I removed it from its box, removed the plastic protection, and inserted its plug into a socket.

An orange light appeared and it was evident to me that it was the on/off switch (I hadn't yet read the instructions).

I tapped the switch and the light was activated. The orange 'switch' turned blue and all of the blue indicators lit up and then settled down to about half-way. Tapping the level or sliding your finger across these blue indicators adjusts the brightness. Tapping the indicator immediately above the blue indicators changes the color temperature. The lamp can display full 'blue' color (6000 K) all the way down to 'incandescent' simulation (2700 K) thus satisfying almost anyone's preference.

The specifications state that the lamp's light output is 410 lm and I can tell you that that is plenty bright.

To turn off the lamp one merely presses and holds, for two seconds, the power 'switch.'

I do not like to leave 'wall-wart' power supplies plugged in with the transformer constantly drawing power, regardless of how slight ('standby' power also known as 'vampire' power) so I plugged the lamp into one of these GE 52149 Handy Switch Grounded White which allows the power to be turned on and off easily.

Now I have to tell you a funny story.

Our granddaughter was visiting us (the day before Thanksgiving) when the package arrived and I set up the lamp.

After I had tried the lamp and had turned it off, my wife and granddaughter came into our bedroom. I showed the lamp to my wife and she expressed great pleasure with its appearance and how well it blended in with our furniture (which is white).

I suggested that she turn it on.

She stared at it but she had absolutely no idea what to do. She tried touching several points on the lamp but not the right one.

At that point she asked in frustration, "What do I do?"

So I said to our granddaughter, "Would you please show your grandmother how to operate this lamp?"

Now she had never, ever, seen any such lamp.

She looked at it for perhaps five seconds and turned it on. Then she adjusted the brightness and she even adjusted the color temperature without batting an eyelash!

She is eight years old.

She then turned to my wife and said, in all innocence, "Grandma, you HAVE to get 'with' the new technology!"

We're still laughing at that one!

By the way, this is the same eight year old for whom we recently bought a FUJIFILM Digital Camera XF1 x4 Optical zoom Black F FX-XF1B and she has had no trouble with that either (and you ought to see the pictures she has been taking with it!).

Anyway, it should be obvious that we are very pleased with this lamp and I can highly recommend it.

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk

GENERAC Base Fascia Bisque B
GENERAC Base Fascia Bisque B
4 used & new from $5.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Generac's Own 5839 Bisque Fascia Base Wrap Kit is too Costly - Buy These Four Plastic Plugs from The Family Jewels Instead!, November 17, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What a bargain!

We just had a Generac 6462 Guardian Home Standby Generator, Steel Enclosure, Packaged with 200-Amp Service Entrance Rated Automatic Smart Transfer Switch installed, purchased from a local contractor but that contractor was unable to obtain the Generac 5839 Bisque Fascia Base Wrap Kit for Air-Cooled Generators as he was told that it was on "back-order."

I decided to check on Amazon and I quickly discovered these extremely low-priced replacement plugs from a company called The Family Jewels.

Their offer reads:

"PLEASE READ before purchase. This product is not the Fascia kit. It is a set of 4 durable commercial-grade black plugs that will fit the four lifting holes on any air-cooled Generac generator case that matches the models for the listed Fascia kit. You can message me through Amazon for more information. The price is for 4 plugs and is set low because Amazon's listed shipping cost is high. Money back if plugs are returned within 7 days, if not satisfied. Plugs are Low-Density Polyethylene and provide rodent and pest protection. Check out the "customer images" on this page for photos of these plugs. Most, if not all, of the reviews on this page are for these plugs. Please note that the lifting holes may be oval, but the plugs are round. THEY STILL FIT. FYI - Artsy190 changed its name to The Family Jewels."

Not only are these priced CONSIDERABLY less than Generac's fascia base kit, they can be installed IN LESS THAN 30 SECONDS! And that's no kidding - that's about how long it took me to plug these things in!

And contrary to at least one other review, they DO fit perfectly.

It is easy to find the section from which to order. On Amazon's Product Page for the fascia base kit (link shown above) you should see a line which states: "Note: This item is only available from third-party sellers (see all offers)." Just click on the "(see all offers)" and you'll see The Family Jewels' offer. (You can also click on the line below that which reads: "Available from these sellers.")

Just make sure that you are actually buying these four plastic plugs from The Family Jewels for a few dollars rather than the $80.00+ for Generac's own kit.

If you do own one of these Generac generators, or are considering buying one, you really should consider blocking the entrance to the unit via the lifting holes at the bottom of the generator. Otherwise you are likely to be providing a home for unwanted animals or insects.

While Generac's own fascia base kit product will offer that protection, these little inexpensive plastic plugs will do the same job and for FAR less money.

And they are much easier to install.

I highly, highly recommend them.

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk

Sperry Instruments NEW Patent Pending DualCheck 2-in-1 Tester, 50-1000V AC Non-Contact Voltage Detector, GFCI Outlet Circuit Analyzer, 1/Ea
Sperry Instruments NEW Patent Pending DualCheck 2-in-1 Tester, 50-1000V AC Non-Contact Voltage Detector, GFCI Outlet Circuit Analyzer, 1/Ea
Price: $24.99
3 used & new from $24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Sperry Instruments Dual-Check 2-in-1 Tester Model VD7504GFI: An Excellent and Very Useful Device, November 17, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Sperry Instruments NEW Patent Pending DualCheck 2-in-1 Tester, 50-1000V AC Non-Contact Voltage Detector, GFCI Outlet Circuit Analyzer, 1/Ea is an excellent device which is very useful for periodically checking your electrical circuits.

While the GFI portion, on one end, must be plugged into the outlet, the voltage detection portion, on the other end, needs only to be placed in close proximity to the outlet.

It is quite easy to use.

HOWEVER (and doesn't it seem that there is almost always a "however" in many reviews?) I was quite annoyed to read, in small print on the cardboard sheet within the plastic covering, the line "Please Read Enclosed Instructions Before Use."

That sentence did not actually annoy me; what did annoy me was that, when you cut open the package and found the "Quick Start Guide," the Model Number was shown (VD7504GFI) but what was printed on this "guide" was: "In an effort to go green, the full instructions for this tool can be downloaded from [Sperry's web site]/en/resources. Please be sure to fully read the instructions and warnings prior to using this tool. Damage to the tool or injury to the user may result from failure to follow all instructions or warnings!

Battery Installation
Batteries are NOT included - Batteries required to operate this tool are: [BLANK]"

Now I may be a bit dense, but to me, "Enclosed Instructions" means that the instructions are enclosed in the package.

And, rather than "going green," printing all that gobbledygook (as well as that packaging) is certainly NOT "going green."

And to finally add insult to injury, when I went to the site and located the source for instruction manuals, this model VD7504GFI was not listed among them! So, so far, I have been unable to "fully read the instructions."

As for the battery caution, the LR44 battery IS included. This battery is NOT required for the GFI section to function; it IS required for the voltage-detection section.

Fortunately, using this device does not require an advanced degree.

You merely unscrew the battery cover (using a small Phillips-head screwdriver), remove that cover, insert the battery (polarity shown on the cover), replace the cover, and then replace the screw. (It is best to do this over a padded surface such as your bed so that you will not lose either the cover or the tiny screw.)

To operate the voltage-checking portion, you press AND HOLD the switch near the proximity point (right next to the word Sperry) and, if current is present, the red LED on the end will flash continuously and a beep sound will occur. (When you first press the switch, the LED will flash and the beep will sound once briefly.) If no current is present, nothing will happen.

To use the GFI section, you remove the plug plastic overcover and just plug it into a GFI outlet. The LEDs on the side will show you the state of that outlet, illuminating one of five LEDs which have labels showing what a particular LED indicates (Green is Good). If you press the switch near the three-prong plug (right above the words "Open Neutral") while the device is plugged into the active GFI outlet the unit will shut off the GFI outlet (thus testing its proper protection function).

Not having actually read the "full instructions," I can only hope that what I have written above is accurate. Should I eventually be able to view those instructions, and if I find anything that needs correction, I will add those corrections in an update.

In conclusion, other than being disappointed in Sperry's so-called "full instructions" (or lack thereof), I like this tester. It is straightforward to use, it works well, and it is very convenient. In addition it replaces what was formerly two separate tools (voltage checker and GFI checker).

Presuming that Sperry DOES in fact make the "full instructions" available sometime in the future (they should just include printed instructions in the package!), I can give this device a high recommendation.

I find it to be very useful and I think you will too.

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2015 8:00 AM PST

FUJIFILM Digital Camera XF1 x4 Optical zoom Black F FX-XF1B
FUJIFILM Digital Camera XF1 x4 Optical zoom Black F FX-XF1B
Offered by Traders.
Price: $211.00
137 used & new from $119.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fujifilm XF1 - So Easy, an Eight-year-old Can Use It! So Good, It Produces Superb Pictures!, November 8, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
How can I corroborate the title of this review?

That's easy. I bought this FUJIFILM Digital Camera XF1 x4 Optical zoom Black F FX-XF1B for our eight-year-old granddaughter. (But please see the last couple of paragraphs at the end of this review.)

After a few minutes of instruction, she started taking pictures and they all came out exactly as she wanted. She took to this camera as a duck takes to water.

Now I'll admit that she is unusually intelligent and patient. And I'll also admit that I'm prejudiced. And I'll further admit that this camera is far more sophisticated than the usual plastic run-of-the-mill pocket camera and is certainly not apropos for many children.

But she has always taken good care of all of her possessions (she has never broken anything of which I'm aware) and I wanted to buy a camera for her that she could use now but would never "outgrow."

I investigated cameras from Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. and, after much deliberation, I bought this one.

Now I have to tell you that I am partial to Fujifilm cameras. Though I also own a sophisticated Canon camera (the Canon PowerShot G1 X 14.3 MP CMOS Digital Camera), I also own a Fujifilm X-S1 12MP EXR CMOS Digital Camera with Fujinon F2.8 to F5.6 Telephoto Lens and Ultra-Smooth 26x Manual Zoom (24-624mm) which is my daily "go-to" camera. I like it much better than the Canon.

(I also own a Fujifilm FinePix T300 14 MP Digital Camera with Fujinon 10x Wide Angle Optical Zoom Lens (Black).)

I like the X-S1's menu setup, its functionality, and, above all, the quality of the images it produces. (That's the most important attribute after all!)

In most ways of usage this XF1 model is the equal of the X-S1; of course in some ways it is (slightly) inferior, and in a most important way it is better.

Here are the "equivalents:" The capabilities of the XF1 are almost on a par with the X-S1: it can shoot RAW. It offers the same types of "trick" photography. It offers choices of various (and plenty of them) automatic, semi-automatic, and full manual operating options. It offers full manual zoom operation (which I prefer to powered zoom). Its menu setup is almost the same as that of the X-S1.

And the quality of the photos it produces are equivalent to those of the X-S1 (superb!) due to its use of the same-size (2/3") sensor.

And here are the "cons:" Its zoom ratio is much less and it has no eye-level viewfinder. The LCD screen does not tilt. Plus there is no way to mount filters on the lens.

Those are the ONLY "cons" in my opinion. And, in my opinion, for a shirt-pocket-size camera, these "cons" are very minor indeed.

Now here are the "Pros:" Its lens is FAST, Its maximum aperture (f-number or f-stop) is 1.8. That's as fast as almost anything out there, even faster than my X-S1 (which has a maximum aperture of f/2.8). While I could be mistaken of course, I personally know of no other pocket camera in anywhere near its price range (or even WELL above its price range) that offers such a fast lens.

I know that some people have complained that as you zoom in (the zoom ratio is only 4:1) the maximum aperture falls to f/4.9. That's true but that aperture is still better than most other camera's specifications. Look at almost all DSLR's kit lens: they have only a 3:1 zoom ratio and their maximum apertures go from f/3.5 to f/5.6! (Of course the much larger DSLRs have the capability of producing better images in many circumstances.)

However a DSLR is not suitable for a child. Nor is it as easy to carry around.

But that maximum f/1.8 aperture gives her the opportunity to take picture anywhere she likes and even indoors without flash should she choose. (Her very first picture, included here in this review, was taken just that way.)

I told her that indoors she should keep the lens set at 25mm (35mm equivalent). I asked her what she would do if she wanted to get a close view of her subject; she replied that she would "just walk closer to it!"

I told you she's intelligent!

Out of doors, in bright light, the slower maximum apertures at the longer focal lengths do not matter.

I bought a few accessories for her: a small Everest Camera Bag - Multi Pocket, Black, One Size, this Powerextra 2 PCS Repalcement Battery and Charger For Fujifilm NP-50, BC-50, BC-45W and Fuji FinePix XF1, XP100, XP150, XP170, X10, X20, F605EXR, F660EXR, F775EXR, F800EXR, F900EXR(Free Car Charger Available) (which offers two spare batteries as well as a charger which can be used in the car as well as in the home), and of course a SanDisk Ultra 16GB Class 10 SDHC Memory Card Up To 40MB/s- SDSDUN-0016G-G46 [Older Version] (two of them as a matter of fact, "just in case").

One other feature about which many people have complained is the method of turning the camera on and off.

Now I will say that if I had had input into the design of the camera I probably would not have chosen this method of turning the camera on and off (rotating and extracting the lens from the body).

However it is so easy to use and get accustomed to, I see no reason to complain about it. As a matter of fact, my granddaughter turned on the camera herself after I told her what to do (I did NOT actually show her the method).

I changed a few of the settings to my particular taste (similarly to the settings I use on the X-S1) and she was off taking pictures. I told her that, at this point, she should leave the lens at 25mm (as I mentioned above) and use only the P (Programmed), EXR, and Shutter-priority settings. (I set the Shutter setting to 1/500 second as she likes to take pictures out of the side window of a car; she had been doing this with her GameBoy which her parents had purchased for her.)

She understands that, when she's older, if she's interested in photography, she'll be able to use some of the more sophisticated features of this camera.

But, in the meantime, she can use it automatically and I'm sure that 95-99% of her pictures will turn out just fine.

I also showed her how to remove the SD card, insert it into her computer, and transfer the pictures.

I can't think of anything else to write about this camera except for the fact that I liked it so much I wound up keeping this black one for myself and I bought this Fujifilm XF1 12 MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Red) which is the one I actually gave to her. The only differences between the two models is that, on the black one under review, the default language is Japanese (this being the "International" model; it is of course very easy to select English or whatever language you desire) and the default language of the red one is English (which can also be changed if necessary). And, while this "International" version is made in Japan, the red one is made in China. But there are no construction quality differences that I can discern; like all Fujifilm cameras in my experience, this XF1 is made to a very high standard.

I thought that she might like a red camera better than a black one (that was my excuse for buying it and keeping this black one for myself) and the red version's price (as of today) is only $9.00 more than this black one.

So yes, I bought two of them, one for me and one for her. And, after seeing some complaints about the camera not holding up, I purchased, for the relatively small price, the Square-Trade extended warranty offered by Amazon.

Frankly though, I expect that the camera will in fact hold up well.

If you look at reviews for almost all other cameras (of all brands and models) you will see complaints about longevity from some people. My X-S1, about two years old and used extensively, still works as it did when new. I bought the SquareTrade warranty for myself just in case Fujifilm were to balk at fixing an "International" version should it break (though I'm certain that there would be no problem at having the warranty honored; Fujifilm's registration site accepted the serial number on the "international" version and I received an e-mail confirming this) and I bought the extended warranty for my granddaughter because, after all, she is an eight-year-old!

Okay, so this camera is easy for a child to use. But it is also very suitable for an adult (me, for instance). In other words, no one will ever "outgrow" this camera.

In my opinion, this camera could easily be someone's "only" camera. It is that good! It is so fast and easy to use that an owner will almost never miss a shot.

And those shots will turn out such that the photographer can be truly proud of them.

Unlike other small pocket cameras, this one is NOT made of plastic; it is made of metal all around and, though not water-resistant, it appears to be quite rugged. And of course that fabulous fast lens is glass.

The price for this camera is all over the place on Amazon, as of the date of this writing, from $190.00 for this version here (which is what I paid), $199.00 for the red version I bought, to $300.00 (depending on the color and the seller). This 'international' version is also available for less and as the gift season advances its price may go even lower but, before ordering, you might want to ensure that the camera shipment will be "fulfilled by Amazon." Ordering it via Amazon fulfillment means you'll receive it in only a few days, two days if you're a member of Amazon Prime.

Am I happy with this camera? You bet I am. And is my granddaughter? You bet she is! Do I recommend it? Do I even need to answer that question?

If you want a small pocket camera (and it does fit in a shirt pocket) which is built very well of quality (metal) materials and offers some "pro" capabilities, this is your camera!

Thank you for reading this and for considering my opinions.

Lawrence H. Bulk

P.S. The day before I gave the camera to our granddaughter, I took four pictures with it (non-flash and flash) to make sure it worked. The picture attached to this review is the little girl's very first picture with it; it is a picture of a bowl in our dining area which she likes very much. She took it indoors, without flash with the automatic lens settings at aperture f/1.8, shutter speed 1/19 second, and focal length 6.4mm (25mm equivalent) and she took it hand-held!
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Twin Sized SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump
Twin Sized SoundAsleep Dream Series Air Mattress with ComfortCoil Technology & Internal High Capacity Pump
Offered by SoundAsleep Products
Price: $149.95
4 used & new from $80.71

5.0 out of 5 stars My Granddaughter POSITIVELY Recommends This Air Mattress (and So Do I !!!), October 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We have a young granddaughter who stays with us for part of every other weekend. She has been doing this since she was born.

At first she slept in a porta-crib, then a playpen, and then a sleeping bag. (For certain reasons she sleeps in our bedroom.)

As the sleeping bag was getting a bit 'ratty' my wife and I thought it was time to upgrade to something better.

I did some research concerning twin-size folding beds, mattresses, and cots and I even tried some of them in stores. They were all disappointments and I wouldn't consider buying any of them.

Then, after doing research on air mattresses, I decided to buy this one.

I'm glad I did!

I also purchased two accessories for it: this Twin Size SafeRest Premium Hypoallergenic Waterproof Mattress Protector - Vinyl Free and this Pinzon Basics Overfilled Ultra Soft Microplush Twin Mattress Pad - both of which I recommend to you. These offer protection and extra comfort.

When I first received the mattress, I inflated it and left it up for three days to see if it would hold its air.

It did.

I then deflated it and put it away. It is easy to fold and place in its carrying bag.

This past weekend our granddaughter came over and slept on it.

She said it is the best mattress she has EVER slept on and is FAR better than what she has at home! She is not one to exaggerate and she always tells the truth so I have no doubt as to the quality of this product.

It was not the least costly air mattress I saw nor was it the most expensive.

But as far as I am concerned it it definitely a superb product and certainly an excellent value. My granddaughter and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in such a product.

Of course, should it not hold up well, I will report such as an addendum to this review. But, having closely examined it and having determined that it appears to be made with a great deal of integrity, I am quite certain that it will hold up.

Thank you for reading this and for your consideration.

Lawrence H. Bulk

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