Profile for Jeffrey Pittman > Reviews


Jeffrey Pittman's Profile

Customer Reviews: 356
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,254
Helpful Votes: 3250

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Reviews Written by
Jeffrey Pittman "Jeff" RSS Feed (Durham, NC USA)

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TP-LINK TL-PA4026KIT AV500 2-port Powerline Starter Kit, Up to 500Mbps
TP-LINK TL-PA4026KIT AV500 2-port Powerline Starter Kit, Up to 500Mbps
Price: Click here to see our price

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Several versions available; the bundle I'm reviewing works great (one TL-PA4010 and one TL-PA4020), July 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a review for a two-product bundle: one TL-PA4010 adapter (a.k.a. AV500 1 port) and one TL-PA4020 adapter (AV500 2 port). I think Amazon is mixing reviews for this two-item bundle with reviews of the individual adapters. Here are the items and bundles I've become aware of:

TL-PA4010 = 1 port adapter available singly or in bundles

TL-PA4020 = 2 port adapter available only in bundles as near as I can tell

TL-PA4010KIT = a pair of TL-PA4010s

TL-PA4020KIT = a pair of TL-PA4020s

TL-PA4026KIT = one TL-PA4010 and one TL-PA4020 (this review)

Background: I've been using a similar Netgear product for years. It consists of two devices: one that you plug into the wall and then connect your router to. It pipes your Internet signal into your household wiring. I came to call this the transmitter. The second device plugs into the wall where you want the Internet signal to be available, far from the transmitter. I call it the receiver and I plug stuff into a computer or TV or DVD player or streaming device (Roku, FireTV).

So I thought in terms of a single-purpose transmitter and a single-purpose receiver when I got this TP-Link bundle, and that's how I was thinking when I set these devices up.

I plugged the AV500 1-port into wall power near my router and connected a cable from my router's output to the single port on the AV500, thus creating what I call my new transmitter.

I plugged the AV500 2-port into wall power in a distant bedroom, thus creating what I call my new receiver. Then I ran a cable from one of the 2 ports to the input of my FireTV box (substitute Roku or DVD player or TV, whatever you have). Bingo, I have faster-than-wireless Internet in my distant bedroom connected to my FireTV. Because this AV500 2-port has another connection available, I can connect a cable from it to another device like, say, a desktop computer as well. No configuration, no muss, no fuss, it really is as simple as plugging stuff in.

As an experiment, I swapped the devices so that the AV500 2-port became the transmitter and the AV500 1-port became the receiver. Everything still worked, showing that either the single or dual port flavors can perform either function, unlike my older Netgear setup. That's good to know since it adds flexibility. Since I have no need for the second port on the transmitting end, I swapped the devices back.

Then I decided to take it a bit further and add another receiver in a guest room, and I couldn't figure out what to buy. Long story short, I bought another TL-PA4010 1 port. I used it as a receiver in the guest room, connected to another FireTV box, and still using the original TL-PA4010 1-port as the transmitter. I can now stream from the origihnal TL-PA4010 transmitter to the second TL-PA4010 1-port in my guest room, and to the TL-PA4020 2-port that I'd previously installed in another room. I streamed Netflix in one room and Prime Video in the other at the same time and the results were great.

So a TL-PA4010 can be a transmitter or a receiver. So why not buy a pair of TL-PA4010s in a cheaper starter kit, instead of the pricier bundle I'm reviewing here? Here's why you might want a TL-PA4020 with its second port on the receiving end, using my guest room as an example. That room has a FireTV box connected to my TV's HDMI1 port, and the TL-PA4010 1-port is connected to the FireTV box. But that room also has a Blu-ray player connected to the TV's HDMI2 port. When I play a recent vintage Blu-ray DVD, it complained that I'm missing out on additional content because the Blu-ray player isn't connected to the 'net. And that's a fact. I have no available port to connect the Blu-ray player to. That doesn't bother me, but I can see why the convenience of another port could come in handy. So I would recommend the bundle I'm reviewing. The small additional cost for that second port on the receiving end is minimal and will be soon forgotten.

Now comes the frustrating part. Suppose you buy this 1-port (as transmitter) + 2-port (as receiver) bundle and want to expand by adding another receiver. Want just a single port for your new receiver? Do what I did and buy a single TL-PA4010 (cheap and easily available) and you're done. Prefer two ports on your receiving end? Obviously, buy another TL-PA4020 instead of a 4010...but not so fast. I can only find the TL-PA4020 2-port as part of this bundle or as a two-pack (a pair of 4020s). Maybe I haven't looked hard enough, but it bugs me to be forced to buy two when I just want one and that looks like the marketing-via-packaging strategy here.

Other than that annoyance, these things work great and the fact that either the 1-port or the 2-port can serve as transmitter or receiver is commendably flexible. Setup is beyond painless. Performance using cnet's internet speed test is virtually identical to the very satisfactory performance of the Netgear boxes I've been using for some time. The price is very reasonable. The power-saving features may save you as much as $0.08 over a hundred years on utility costs (hey, "green" BS moves product nowadays even if it is just BS).

Sorry if this is more of a sorting-it-out diary than a review; it took me a while to sort it out and I decided to inflict all that on you, dear reader. I'd recommend this but advise thinking through the config you want to create before buying.

Sera Snail Collect (Snail Trap)
Sera Snail Collect (Snail Trap)
Offered by MarineAndReef
Price: $12.79
2 used & new from $12.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me, may work for you. 5 gal nano tank, male guppies + Amano shrimp + MTS pests, July 26, 2015
I've been invaded by Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS), apparently piggybacking onto a fancy male guppy from a chain pet store (just a guess). From reading on the web I came to understand that these guys can be introduced to your tank by new animals or plants you add, and they can survive anything and then reproduce like mad once they get into a hospitable environment. Apparently all you need is one egg and BANG, you have a colony of MTS. This trap is clever, but in my tiny tank all it trapped was a guppy or two, even with all the prison bars in place that should have kept them out. Maybe the trapped guppies chased any MTS visitors away from the bait (the guppies certainly ate it all). When I removed the trap there was a cluster of MTS underneath as if they had gathered looking longingly at the bait within, and I was able to siphon several dozen of them out of that gathering. So I guess it worked to that extent, but I don't think that's what the designers had in mind. I won't flatly say this doesn't work - the design is intelligent and the concept *should* work - but unfortunately it didn't work as hoped for me. Your experience may be better and I do think it's worth a try in a different situation.

Walkers Shortbread Fingers, 2-Count Cookies Packages (Count of 24)
Walkers Shortbread Fingers, 2-Count Cookies Packages (Count of 24)
Price: $19.11
26 used & new from $18.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Top shelf product in excessive but useful packaging, July 19, 2015
I won't hype the Walkers product because you probably know they make good stuff. My elderly aunt loves shortbread but eats like a bird and if I send her a big package, much of it would likely go stale before she got around to finishing it. Here is the solution! I love shortbread too, but have the opposite problem: if I order myself a big package, I'll consider it a single serving and feel compelled to eat it all before it has a chance to go stale...I mean, I can't just waste those wonderful cookies, can I? Here's the solution to that extreme too. This is a great idea.

Blank License Plate (Flat Aluminum WHITE) (2pk)
Blank License Plate (Flat Aluminum WHITE) (2pk)
Offered by BC Novelties
Price: $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars It's a license plate! It's white! It screws right onto the car like a license plate!, July 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this to mount a bumper sticker on because I didn't want to actually put the sticker on the car's bumper. If I find another bumper sticker I like better I can put it over the old one, or just toss this plate and use the spare that came with it. It has been through numerous car washes with no problems. If you're looking for a sturdy surface to mount a sticker or other decoration, this is the item. This vendor also offers a black version.

Genuine Mercedes Benz Artic White Touch Up Paint Code 147
Genuine Mercedes Benz Artic White Touch Up Paint Code 147
Offered by Mercedes-Benz Parts Center
Price: $13.94
7 used & new from $12.50

5.0 out of 5 stars It's the real deal, July 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Printing on the package is in German so you just know it must be the genuine article. I recently bought a used (gasp! I mean "pre-owned") Mercedes in Arctic White and found a tiny ding. This fixed it up and is an exact match for my 2011 E class. I had been to an auto supply store and it seems like every manufacturer has a color called Artic White, and they're all a little different. If you have an Artic White Mercedes, this is what you want.

Sagaform Wine Carafe with Oak Stopper
Sagaform Wine Carafe with Oak Stopper
Price: $27.99
13 used & new from $23.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Looks better on the counter than the cardboard box the wine came in :-), July 14, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This works well, looks okay (I'd prefer a more contemporary look but that's just me), and presents a whole lot better than a wine box sitting on the kitchen counter. Easy to fill, easy to handle, easy to pour from. Not that I drink a lot of wine or anything (moi?), but it holds enough that it doesn't require frequent refills. Another reviewer thought the glass was too thick; I found it to be appropriately sturdy especially for use on, say, a glass table or granite/stone counter. Thin glass chips or breaks easier than thicker glass and this doesn't feel prone to that as opposed to, e.g., a crystal glass. I do not drain it after each use and have noticed no unpleasantness from the wood stopper as another reviewer observed, even after leaving wine in it for a couple of days. If I do there is a glass stopper available on Amazon that I'll try but I'd recommend seeing how you like it as-is before you consider adding that. Nice little piece of dress-up for the low-rent oenophile.

V-LIGHT Full Spectrum Natural Daylight Effect Magnifier Task Lamp with 3-Diopter Glass Lens and Desktop Base (VS40203B)
V-LIGHT Full Spectrum Natural Daylight Effect Magnifier Task Lamp with 3-Diopter Glass Lens and Desktop Base (VS40203B)
Price: $34.99
2 used & new from $26.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little on the flimsy side but functional, July 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is worth considering if you have a fixed workstation where you routinely need this capability. The base is commendably heavy and the lamp generally stays put as you manipulate the lens. If you don't use the weighted base you can use the included clamp instead but my experience with that was frustrating - it had a hard time staying attached to the worktable I had clamped it to.

Out of the box I found that the lens & bulb portion sagged limply even with the little tightening knob twisted as tight as I could with my hand. Not "seemed loose," not "tended to droop," it sagged like a dead fish. I broke out some pretty heavy-duty pliers and gingerly tightened the knob a bit, then a bit more, than a bit more, afraid each time that I was going to break off the plastic knob. I finally got it to stay in place but a not-too-vigorous nudge still makes it sag (although now it's more at the "tends to droop" level).

I found the L-shaped articulated arm to offer a fairly limited range of motion and found myself spending as much time getting myself and my subject in position as I did examining my subject under the glass. Because it has a lid, though, it can serve as a perfectly fine desk lamp with the magnifying capability reserved for occasional use, and that's how I'm using it. My main solution for my weakened eyes is to scatter cheap reading glasses around the house so that any lamp - not just a specially equipped one like this - works for me. This lamp is workable but I'd look at others before making a decision.

Luggage Tags Business Card Holder TUFFTAAG Red Travel ID Bag Tag
Luggage Tags Business Card Holder TUFFTAAG Red Travel ID Bag Tag
Offered by Proudguy
Price: $9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Pricier than plastic ones but has a classy & substantial look/feel, June 30, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If I had to find a fault it would be that the cable is a bit too long for my use (currently a laptop sleeve), but I may swap this onto a suitcase or something and then I'd complain that the cable's too short :-) This is a sturdy piece of work that would stand out nicely on the baggage carousel.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2015 9:24 AM PDT

Hookless Litchfield 71-by-74-Inch Fabric Shower Curtain, White
Hookless Litchfield 71-by-74-Inch Fabric Shower Curtain, White

5.0 out of 5 stars Bought mine in Nov. 2009, still going strong, probably will outlive me :-), June 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had a curved shower curtain rod installed as part of a bathroom remodel in 2009 and bought one of these, which I use inside the tub without a liner. The tub/shower it's installed in is used nearly every day and this curtain still looks like new. Every now and then some mold starts to grow along the bottom of it and I just spray some bleach and water solution on it and it vanishes. Maybe once or twice a year (really, no more than that) I take it down and run it through the washer on warm with a little bleach and then hang it back up - any wrinkles disappear within a day. It's decorative but still very neutral, unobtrusive and quietly elegant looking. I lean toward contemporary but can't imagine a style it would clash with.

I keep this in my Wish List in case I ever need another one; stumbled across it today and thought I should mention what a great product this has been and still is for me.

Grillight 1300813 Stainless Steel LED Grilling Tongs
Grillight 1300813 Stainless Steel LED Grilling Tongs
Offered by Etailz
Price: $11.82
17 used & new from $11.82

5.0 out of 5 stars This review is for the tongs, not either of the spatulas (spatulae?), June 23, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Looks like there are three flavors of this device: a regular spatula, a wider spatula (presumably for fish, but you never saw the size of one of my burgers) and a set of tongs. It also looks like Amazon is showing all reviews for this family of utensils for each of them, so pay attention to what you’re reading about.

I’m more of a spatula guy (all about the burgers) but I loves me some sausages as well so I forced myself to grill up some spicy Italian sausages with peppers and onions to check these out. Also threw a couple of ears of corn on the grill since they’re tong-friendly so had a good excuse. Others have mentioned that these have a kind of plain-vanilla, bulky (rustic?) finish to them and that’s fair. I think a lot of that has to do with their length (about 18”) which serves to keep the heat away from your hand and the embedded flashlight. Cleanup was nothing - basically a brushdown with warm water.

They’re easy to handle with a simple gravity-based lock that you operate by squeezing the tongs. If you’re pointing them down at the grill and squeeze, they unlock, spread open and stay open. Point them up at the sky and squeeze again and they lock closed so you can set them aside. Clever - I have another set that I have to use both hands to lock or unlock.

They open plenty wide to grab a huge chunk of meat. When I do pot roast in a slow cooker, my first step is to blacken the outside over high heat on the grill and get a good char all over. These are big and sturdy enough for that.

The flashlight is more useful than I expected. It’s not a pinpoint like a lot of LED flashlights; it has a wide beam and it’s bright enough to illuminate a good-sized area. It uses standard AA batteries and doesn’t care if they’re rechargeables or not. It’s easy to mount/dismount from the tongs and far enough back from the business end that you’d have to work to damage it from heat. It’s also far enough back that I cleaned the tongs after use without bothering to remove it. It would also make for a pretty decent standalone flashlight.

Overall a nice piece of work, better than expected.

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