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Jerry Saperstein RSS Feed (Evanston, IL USA)
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A Truck Full of Money
A Truck Full of Money
by Tracy Kidder
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Does great wealth corrupt? Or does it set you free?, July 30, 2016
This review is from: A Truck Full of Money (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
During the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, it became a chronic affliction of American intellectuals and, more often, those who thought they were intellectuals to castigate the financially successful as exploiters of society, as “robber-barons”. Many of those so victimized, such as Andrew Carnegie, were also great benefactors as well.

In our modern era, more millionaires and billionaires have been created in a shorter time than ever before.

For the most part, technology and its mastery has created this wealth.

Relative youngsters in their 20s and 30s are immensely rich.

What to do?

Well, Bill Gates is well known for devoting his entire fortune to philanthropy.

Paul English, the founder of web travel service Kayak has confronted this issue in his own way, but he also has the special advantage of Tracy Kidder as his biographer.

Kidder gained fame as the writer of “The Soul Of New Machine”, which stands tall as one of the finest technology books for non-technologists of our time.

From childhood through development of his skills and business to the moment when he becomes a near-billionaire and decides to help others with his wealth.

English has issues that he manages, if not overcomes.

This is a fascinating tale and it is, admittedly, incomplete. Some who are not familiar with internet technology may find that it introduces many concepts that are new to them and require study they won’t engage in, which may reduce the appeal of this book.

But if you are interested in technology and how people become wealthy because of it and what they do with their money, this is a fascinating book.

Jerry


Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy
Inner Engineering: A Yogi's Guide to Joy
by Sadhguru
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.22

3.0 out of 5 stars Left me at the starting gate of enlightenment, July 29, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I thought this would be a guide for novices hoping for a smooth introduction.

Wrong.

Perhaps this book will have value to experienced practitioners, but it has no value to me.

I frankly cannot relate to what the author is talking about.

I apparently am not ready for enlightenment. But you might be.

Jerry


The Value of the Moon: How to Explore, Live, and Prosper in Space Using the Moon's Resources
The Value of the Moon: How to Explore, Live, and Prosper in Space Using the Moon's Resources
by Paul D. Spudis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.98
56 used & new from $14.05

5.0 out of 5 stars A Moon landing program is a fine use for taxpayer dollars., July 28, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As one who believes the federal government wastes or misspends nearly all the taxpayer dollars it takes in, I am unstinting in my belief that tax dollars should be used for responsible scientific research.

That would include an aggressive, well-managed space exploration program – and tha program should begin with a return of humans to the Moon, before we attempt manned missions to Mars and elsewhere.

Spudis makes that argument (over and over) in his “The Value Of The Moon”.

He recounts the origins of the original Moon landing program -political one-upsmanship -, covers the interval between then and now and projects into the future.

Spudis is not the most concise writer and he served a more a skillful editor.

But he gets his point across if you’re willing to hear the same arguments rehashed over and over again.

As it is, I don’t need any convincing: we should resume our Moon landing program as a first step toward further exploration.

Jerry


Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder - 2016 Version
Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder - 2016 Version
Price: $219.99
19 used & new from $219.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A recording studio that fits in the palm of your hand, July 28, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
One of my first tape – yes, I said tape – recorders was a gargantuan Magnasync reel-to-reel. In terms of current dollars, it cost about three thousand. Analog, one mic, one track.

Today for a couple of hundred dollars, I can get the Zoom H4N Pro which has an enormous feature set, can store many hours of audio on a 32GB SD card, supports up to four inputs, delivers superb sound – and fits in the palm of my hand. Weighing substantially less than a pound.

The Zoom H4 has proven to be one of the most popular audio recorders for budding cinematographers, podcasters, quite a few journalists and many others.

A wide range of accessories is available which really extends the capabilities of this device. In fact, you can spend more on accessories than you pay for the recorder.

I could go on at considerable length describing features, nearly all of which are described on the Amazon page and in the hundreds of reviews to be found on the web.

The easiest way to acquaint yourself with the H4NPro?

Download he PDF manual.

It’s 156 pages and fascinating reading.

This is one heck of a device.

Jerry


Seagate BarraCuda 3TB 3.5-Inch SATA 6.0Gb/s 64 GB Cache Internal Bare Drive (ST3000DM008)
Seagate BarraCuda 3TB 3.5-Inch SATA 6.0Gb/s 64 GB Cache Internal Bare Drive (ST3000DM008)
Price: $99.99
17 used & new from $99.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully as dependable as its predecessors., July 27, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been using this line of hard drives since the ST3000DM001 series launched in 2012.

Making it more interesting is the fact that I have been running the Seagates 24/7 in my NAS.

Even though the units are not rated for NAS use, they have performed admirably well. Of the dozen or so units of this line I have purchased since 2012, only two have failed. That’s not bad, in my opinion.

The Amazon specs for this unit appear to be in error: this drive is spec’ed by Seagate with a 64MB cache, not 16MB. Rotational speed no longer seems to be important, but it is 7200RPM.

Since this drive went in a NAS, replacing a 2TB Seagate, I’m not going to run CrystalMark or any other performance measurement program. I know from experience that it will be more than adequate for use in a my NAS which is not heavily used.

Seagate provides a 2 year warranty.

Overall, I have found this product line to be dependable, even in 24/7NAS operation.

Good value.

Jerry


Belkin Road Rockstar with 4 USB Ports for Front and Backseat Charging, 2 Front Seat USB Ports with Shared 2.4 Amp and 1 Backseat Dual-Port Hub with 2.4 Amp / Port
Belkin Road Rockstar with 4 USB Ports for Front and Backseat Charging, 2 Front Seat USB Ports with Shared 2.4 Amp and 1 Backseat Dual-Port Hub with 2.4 Amp / Port
Price: $39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for parents, carpoolers and real road warriors., July 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Essentially this is a four port car charger.

Total output capacity is 7.2-amps. There are two USB ports on the plug that goes into the vehicles lighter socket and two more on a block connected to the lighter plug body by a non-removable cord. The two lighter plug USB ports output 1-amp each, which is generally suitable for smartphones. The extension block’s two outlets provide 2.4-amp output each, intended for tablets.

The extension block is connected to the lighter plug by a six-foot cord and has a clip on its case to secure it to the back of the driver or passenger seats.

Typical of a Belkin product, construction quality is high.

Parents with children who have devices will appreciate having a convenient power source so the kids can keep their phones, tablets or other devices charged. The same applies to carpoolers.

Road warriors will love having four outputs, particularly the two 2.4-amp ports, available.

Overall, a very handy gadget.

Jerry


Franklin Sports Equipment Bag
Franklin Sports Equipment Bag
Price: $9.95
7 used & new from $6.00

5.0 out of 5 stars It does what it is supposed to do: holds stuff, July 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This bag does what it is supposed to do: holds stuff. Lots of stuff.

It is reasonably well made and should last a while.

Entirely utilitarian with no frills or thrills.

It's a bag. and not a bad one.

Jerry


LucidBrake Bicycle Brake Light
LucidBrake Bicycle Brake Light
Price: $74.99
2 used & new from $74.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A boon for those using walkers and mobility scooters., July 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A few years, I developed a disability that made walking and moving about outdoors difficult – and dangerous.

In my prosperous Chicago suburb where all the children are above average and a great uproar arises when a diseased Dutch Elm is cut down, the sidewalks are just plain miserable. Ironically tree roots are the cause of much of the problem as they force sidewalk slabs out of alignment.

So I use a walker and have to keep a close eye out for obstacles that can result in an accident. In my environmentally friendly town, bicycles are encouraged.

Even on sidewalks.

Duh.

Since I still walk in the evening and sometimes at night, I am nervous about zooming vehicles of all kinds.

And, when I travel, I often rent a mobility scooter and will probably acquire one for home use soon.

The LucidBrake is a wonderfully brilliant idea.

It serves to let others know that I exist and therefore am not to be run into or over.

It attaches to anything. It is multi-modaL It flashes, it glows steady if you want and, most importantly (and brilliantly) if you are on a moving device, whether it be a bicycle or mobility scooter, it senses the deceleration and flashes on like a brake light should! Absolutely brilliant.

LucidBrake is far superior to using one of those simple strap-on strobes, though it is considerably more expensive.

The rightfully cautious bicyclist should seriously consider buying a LuicidBrake. I shudder every time I pass a cyclist at night on a busy road riding without lights or poor lighting. They are the original market for LucidBrake.

I don’t know if they considered the needs of people with disabilities (their advertising does mention them), but I think it should be a targeted secondary market for them.

Jerry


K'NEX K-FORCE K-25X Rotoshot Blaster Building Set
K'NEX K-FORCE K-25X Rotoshot Blaster Building Set

5.0 out of 5 stars What a cool way to grow out of this stage, July 26, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What a cool way to grow out of this stage

My grandson has an arsenal of dart weapons. But he is getting older and I suspect dart guns will soon be set aside as his interests change.

But since a build-it-yourself multi-shot dart launcher is pretty unique, I figured this might hold his interest long enough to build it. It might be the last dart blaster he plays with.

Anyway, there aren’t as many parts as you would expect to find in a K’NEX set, but the instructions are – you can build five variants – and the instructions are clear. (Four of the plans must be downloadable.)

He will be visiting this weekend and I will post an update of his building experience. That is, if I can resist the urge to do a trial build.

Jerry


K'NEX Classic Ferris Wheel Building Set
K'NEX Classic Ferris Wheel Building Set

5.0 out of 5 stars First with my son – and now with my grandchildren., July 25, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wow! A blast from the past! I remember building this – or attempting to build this – with my son. Now it’s with m grandchildren, who are just about to leave the age where things like K’NEX are exciting.

K’NEX sets are interesting in strange ways. They are to as straight-forward as the old Gilbert Erector sets or Kenner’s Girders and Panels. Nor are they as elegant and suitable to endless manipulation as Legos.

They are distinctive and challenging. The young person with mind geared toward spatial relationships and possessed of manual dexterity may love them. The impatient child may very well hate them.

This set can build three models per the instructions. All will be a bit finicky to put together. All will difficult to keep together for any length of time.

But for the patient and the careful, building them is a fun, if slightly demanding experience, and when you behold that gigantic almost three feet tall wheel turning, it’s “Wow! I did that!”

Great fun.

Jerry


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