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South Main Hardware 888103 50-Pack 5 inch Stainless Steel Cable Ties, 200-lb Test
South Main Hardware 888103 50-Pack 5 inch Stainless Steel Cable Ties, 200-lb Test
Price: $12.94

4.0 out of 5 stars A cut above plastic cable ties, July 16, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are a big step up from the usual plastic cable ties and will work both well and for a long time, particularly in applications where the ties might be exposed to sunlight and heat. Make sure you have wire snips available for any mistakes. The maximum diameter of the ties is 1.54 inches. One tie can, for example, comfortably wrap around the base of my ring and pinky fingers when they are pressed together.


Samsung CF391 Series LC32F391FWNXZA 32" Screen LED-Lit Monitor
Samsung CF391 Series LC32F391FWNXZA 32" Screen LED-Lit Monitor
Price: $379.37
11 used & new from $355.73

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can a monitor be TOO big? (No, but a desk can be too short . . .), July 2, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This monitor is in my home office and it's bigger than the HDTV I have in there. The breadth of this monitor nearly spans the width of my desk. Although I was using a 15-inch laptop on the desk for quite a while, the availability of this item induced me to take the plunge on an Alienware Alpha Steam Machine and the two work great together. There was a two-star reviewer (review date June 29, 2016) who said that Vine reviews are junk and then went on to say that 1080 pixels was too pixelated, etc. But Vine reviewer JustMelissa wrote a solid review and nullified whatever the two-star reviewer was saying. Seriously, resolution is fine on this as long as you're two feet or more away from the screen. My one and only complaint regarding the monitor is that you can't raise or lower it. As it happens, however, it is an ergonomically good height for me in my office setup, but having the option would have been a bonus. I played a regular (non-Blu Ray) DVD of "The Prestige" on the monitor using Cyberlink Power DVD and it looked great. Quite happy with this monitor.


Archway Gluten Free Cookie Chips, Chocolate, 6 Ounce
Archway Gluten Free Cookie Chips, Chocolate, 6 Ounce
Offered by DealsByDouglas
Price: $9.99
3 used & new from $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Small, crunchy and good, June 16, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are quite tasty, with a buttery flavor to go along with the chocolate chips. The cookies are crispy and quite small, somewhere between the diameter of a quarter and a half-dollar. My only gripe is that half the cookies were smashed into smaller pieces, likely due to all the handlingthat occurred in shipping.


Hercules DJControl AIR S series, USB DJ Controller with 8 Progressive Pads and "AIR" control with Audio Outputs for use with your headphones and your speakers (4780771)
Hercules DJControl AIR S series, USB DJ Controller with 8 Progressive Pads and "AIR" control with Audio Outputs for use with your headphones and your speakers (4780771)
Price: $129.99
19 used & new from $78.05

4.0 out of 5 stars An economical device for those learning how to mix, June 12, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Although this is a neat product, exploiting its full functionality isn't entirely intuitive, especially if you haven't used a device like this before. Basically, you load the software, follow the instructions, plug the device in and boom, it's ready to use. For its first mission, I had Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" on the A (left) side and Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson's "Relator" on the B (right) side. I then fiddled with knobs and levers and figured out, mostly, what was what and even how to record my atrocious mix. Although some have complained that the product is on the cheap-quality side, I found the construction to be generally sound. My only small gripe regards the slider bar on the bottom, which seemed looser (i.e. too easy to slide) than I wanted it to be from a tactile standpoint. If you're new to this kind of thing, don't expect to crank out Avicii or Moby-like mixes in the span of two hours. Although there is a Hercules website for reference and assistance, the one sheet supplied with the box could have provided more information regarding product use. It was, essentially, a picture describing what buttons were what on the device. All in all, though, I like the product and learned a thing or two using it.


Hefty Ultra Strong Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags (Scent Free, 80-Count Bags)
Hefty Ultra Strong Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags (Scent Free, 80-Count Bags)
Price: $14.99
3 used & new from $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Noticeably stronger than the ordinary kitchen garbage bag, June 12, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"ULTRA STRONG" is right, especially when compared with regular kitchen garbage bags. The difference in appearance and feel is readily apparent when the two are set side by side. The Hefty Ultra Strong bags have a fibrous texture and a web-like structure, but the bags are no thicker than, say, the Target up & up tall kitchen variety. They are, however, much more tear resistant. My wife sometimes takes dead flowers out of a vase and shoves them into the trash and, because I'm afraid they'll poke through the bag, I take them out and toss them in the outside garbage bin. With these Hefty bags, I won't be so concerned about that any more.


Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra
Cyberlink PowerDVD 16 Ultra
Price: $70.91
9 used & new from $67.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD software substantially improves look and sound from old, standard-definition DVDs, June 6, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was quite impressed with what this software can do, especially with older movies. For example, I put "A Bridge Too Far" into my computer. The movie is standard definition and certainly appeared so without using any of the PowerDVD features. While I was watching the movie, I experimented with the audio and video enhancements. There's a definite sound difference when the audio is toggled on and off. When on, the movie was more vibrant. What was really impressive, though, was the video. In a scene with subtitles, the text was normally and noticeable pixelated around the letters. With video enhancement on, the blockiness of the letters went away and the font looked much smoother. What was really cool was that I could split the screen down the middle, with standard video on the left and enhanced video on the right. Color and lighting popped noticeably more on the enhanced side, so the result was a marked improvement. I also tested "The Seven Ups" and "Star Trek: Nemesis." Video enhancement in the latter of these, being a more recent DVD release, was not as obviously detectable as it was with the older movies, but there was certainly a difference if you looked closely enough.
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Programming Arduino: Getting Started with Sketches, Second Edition (Tab)
Programming Arduino: Getting Started with Sketches, Second Edition (Tab)
by Simon Monk
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.78
56 used & new from $7.55

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavy on software, light on hardware . . . sort of, May 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the second Simon Monk book I’ve read and reviewed, the other being “Programming the Raspberry PI: Getting Started with Python,” which I recommend along with this book. What I like about Simon Monk’s books are the generally clear explanations they provide. In this one, he focuses on writing programs—a.k.a. sketches—for the Arduino. The first half of the book is covers the Arduino (what it is, where to get it, how to load the software onto your computer) and the C programming language, which is what is used to write Arduino sketches. Included in this is an explanation of what every sketch requires at a minimum, namely a “void setup()” and a “void loop().” Along with this are discussions on defining constants, functions, arrays, loops, et cetera, as well as how to output (i.e. print text) to the Serial Monitor, which is basically a window in the Arduino software you run when working with the Arduino board. Monk ends with a Morse code program which, when run, translates whatever you type into Morse code symbols.

The second half of the book, starting with Chapter 6, delves a little more into use of the Arduino board itself. Although touted as a sketch-centric book, this latter portion requires a multimeter, a switch, an LCD shield display and a few other things in order to really understand and interact with an Arduino. (I actually got the TENMA multimeter shown in the book to follow along with Monk’s related examples. Definitely helped.) Some chapters in this section might seem a bit too short and overwhelming, but I think the author is merely using a broad brush to show his readers what sort of capabilities can be exploited and/or unlocked using sketches. In fact, he indicates that his “Hacking Electronics” book is more electronics oriented if readers wish to learn more.

All in all, an informative read on developing Arduino sketches. You should, however, not expect this to be a complete text on getting full use of your Arduino.


Lifeproof Nüüd Series Waterproof Case for iPhone 6s Plus - Retail Packaging - Undertow (Aqua Sail Blue/Clear/Tail Side Teal)
Lifeproof Nüüd Series Waterproof Case for iPhone 6s Plus - Retail Packaging - Undertow (Aqua Sail Blue/Clear/Tail Side Teal)
Price: $75.44
17 used & new from $58.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Far exceeded my sceptical expectations, May 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My skepticism faded rapidly after testing out this case. “Waterproof?” I thought. “Maybe, but I bet the touch screen won’t work well through the shield face . . . and my fingerprint won’t be able to be read through the film over the button . . . and I won’t be able to hear or be heard clearly through the speaker and microphone covers.” I was wrong on all counts. Not only is this waterproof (I tested it by running it under the faucet with my phone inside), but there’s little loss in functionality over my Otterbox case. While I’m not going to employ this for everyday use, it’s definitely a go-to product for a weekend at the beach or by the pool and spa. If, however, I worked around water a lot, I would definitely use this all the time to protect my phone.

There are only three issues as far as I’m concerned, but all of these are to be expected in a waterproof case, I suppose.

One, when my phone receives an alert or ring sound, the case vibrates from the noise and the sound is muffled.

Two, a waterproof auxiliary cable is supplied with the phone such that you can plug earphones into it. (Note that you unscrew a little cap that remains affixed to the phone case in order to screw the cable into the phone, creating a waterproof seal.) This second feature is great if you’re crashing by the pool and listening to music in the spa, et cetera, but if you’re NOT doing that and just want to plug a regular aux cable into the bottom of the phone without screwing in the waterproof version—which can be a hassle if done often enough—the regular aux cable can’t quite connect as it normally would. When I did this with my car’s regular aux cable, I was only able to get monophonic sound out of my speaker system because the regular cable couldn’t be fully plugged in through the case. FYI. Not a big deal, but certainly a consideration. Also, keep tabs on the waterproof aux cable because it could be easy to misplace.

The third issue was the fingerprint reader. Although my phone could readily read my fingerprint through the waterproof film, the top edge of the case aperture for the button ever so slightly clips the top button so that you can’t lazily place your finger over the entire button and unlock your phone. Again, not a big deal, but worthy of mention.

All in all, I was impressed with the product.


Creative Sound BlasterX H3 Portable Analog Gaming Headset
Creative Sound BlasterX H3 Portable Analog Gaming Headset
Price: $49.99
20 used & new from $28.46

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid phones for general use, May 16, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These might not be the best headphones on the market, but they certainly do a serviceable job. They are good for my PS Vita playing Zen Pinball and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Through the Vita, the sound is good but not great, but through my iPhone and iPad, the audio is much more resonant, clear and amplified. The microphone is detachable, so that's great because I rarely use that feature. The audio controls on the wire work well, with a microphone mute button and a volume slider, the latter of which is sufficiently resistant yet easy enough to turn.


Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution
by Nathaniel Philbrick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.00
105 used & new from $12.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely complement to the TURN TV series . . ., May 14, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
***** out of *****
Subj: A timely complement to the TURN TV series

After reading and enjoying Nathaniel Philbrick's "In the Heart of the Sea," I opted to give "Valiant Ambition" a try and am glad that I did. Although I'm fairly well-versed in the political beginnings of the United States--having read books such as "Founding Brothers"--I was never up on the various battles of the American Revolution or, for that matter, the roles of the various generals, especially Benedict Arnold. All I remember learning as a kid was that he was an American general who helped Ethan Allen capture Fort Ticonderoga and who later betrayed America and switched to the British side. I had no recollection of why some fort up in the boonies of New York State was so important or why, exactly, Benedict Arnold was there in the first place.

Philbrick takes care of all that, providing a lot of much-needed remedial coursework on the American Revolution. The book starts out in New York, in 1776, after the Siege of Boston and the Battle of Bunker Hill, with the Continental Army somewhat of a fractured mess of soldiers and militia. Britain’s Howe brothers, one an admiral and one a general, are moving in to quash the revolution once and for all. This is the historic event during which inventor David Bushnell’s Turtle was introduced. The Turtle was, of course, the first military submarine and was supposed to be brought close to the British Eagle and then detonated. This wasn’t quite the success it was intended to be—as you can see on Turn, as well—and soon after comes the evacuation of New York by Washington’s army into New Jersey, the occupation of New York (city) by the British for the winter, the Battle of Trenton (Washington), the Battle of Saratoga (Gates, Arnold) and so on and so forth.

The author does a fabulous job of everything in this, his latest historical effort. He included lots of maps to illustrate troop movements in various regions and where certain military figures are positioned. A great explanation of the American revolutions military campaigns and figures from 1776 on.


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