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John Denver - Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits
John Denver - Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits
Price: $9.00
64 used & new from $2.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Sounds so much better than MP3, September 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For $9 you can't miss on this one. MP3 sounds good enough in your iPod etc. but if you want to truly hear the great music buy this CD and listen to it on a real Hi-Fi system. You will notice the difference and if you copy it or use it as music background say for a slide show make sure you use the .wav copy. That is the original sound. This guy was genius. Listen to it as it was meant to sound.

Pioneer BDR-209DBK-KIT 16X Blu-ray Writer Drive + Nero 12 Essentials Burning Software + Sata Cable Kit
Pioneer BDR-209DBK-KIT 16X Blu-ray Writer Drive + Nero 12 Essentials Burning Software + Sata Cable Kit
Offered by Amamax (USA Seller)
Price: $68.99
2 used & new from $59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This Blu-Ray writer is tops!!!, September 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Absolutely works!!! Replaced a BD writer that had never worked well and you could count on some wasted Blu-Ray discs.
This one has yet to make a coaster!!!
Because this works so perfectly I find myself using it much more.
Not a fan of the NERO software and it turned out I didn't need the electrical connections.
For making your own slide shows or Blu-Ray movies I would bet you will end up buying some software like the Sony Movie Studio like I did.

Sony Movie Studio Platinum Suite 12
Sony Movie Studio Platinum Suite 12
Offered by Tax Software Store, Inc.
Price: $39.99
20 used & new from $39.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For the Price it is Okay, Finished projects look great, plan to spend a lot of time on a project, September 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For $30 it is an okay piece of software. Slightly buggy. An example would be that in making a slide show using about 350 photos everything went great and then adding the music was easy from audio CD's in the wav format for good sound. Then for some unknown reason about 6 photos toward the front of the project showed up as doubles. For me personally there are way to many options for effects but that's simply because I tend not to use them. Here is another example: when making the slide show I was producing it in Blu-Ray but you must make sure you select the duration of the slide and the transition before you push that CREATE button. Otherwise you end up wasting a lot of time doing the project over because I never found a way to change the duration for the entire set of photos once the CREATE button had been pushed. The default was for a 3 second duration and a random transition. That didn't work for me. As long as you set your duration (for me 6 seconds) and transition (which in my case was for no transition or a cut) before you push the Create button then things work okay except for those double slides which I never did understand.

My first project was a 90 minute Blu-Ray movie using AVCHD clips. It went well enough but it becomes really important what your choice is for the finished project. The one that came up as a default took a long time to format and the finished product had lots of stuttering when panning. I went back and redid the project using a 1920x1080 60i format and it processed it faster and the finished product had none of the stuttering when panning.

It is a fairly complex piece of software and for the most part you can get your projects done and they look great but be prepared to spend more time than you estimate it will take. I am an amateur at this stuff but this is not my first software for making movies. The 'show me how' is useful when you first use the software to get started but I found that printing out the instruction manual was helpful later on for quick reference.

Breville BJE510XL Juice Fountain Multi-Speed 900-Watt Juicer
Breville BJE510XL Juice Fountain Multi-Speed 900-Watt Juicer
Price: $199.95
51 used & new from $125.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, January 11, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In fairness we have only had this Breville BJES10XL one day and it replaces an older Omega 1000. Obviously I can't address the longevity of the Breville. The Omega would never break but we essentially had stopped using it because of the vibration and slowness to juice.
The Breville is just an awesome product. The parts are perfectly fitted. It is made in China but I could find no flaw whatsoever and in fact it just looks overbuilt. We really enjoy the multiple speeds and one surprise for me was that it doesn't just have speeds 1 to 5 but there are micro clicks between. I think the key to proper juicing is to have the right speed for the vegetable you are juicing. What a difference over the Omega which simply had an on/off switch. I think I would prefer this Breville to the ones with two speeds. The speed on this model is essentially infinitely controllable. The noise level to me was very acceptable but in full disclosure I flew jets so my hearing isn't all that great.

We made apple juice as fast as I have ever seen it made. The feed opening must be twice of the Omega. We had large red delicious apples and found it necessary to quarter them. Awesome. Can't wait to try other varieties of apples.
We made carrot juice. Fast and in my opinion the pulp was dry enough that there was no juice left in it.
We made a vegetable drink with: carrots, tomato, celery, and non-peeled cucumber. Reading the directions and setting the speeds at the recommended speeds for the type of vegetable worked perfectly. The quality of the drink was superb and makes me never want to ever drink a processed juice again.

This machine is attractive for an appliance. Virtually no vibration whereas the older Omega always wanted to jump around and you would end up shutting down and cleaning it so you could juice more since the pulp was maintained within the machine instead of being thrown out like the Breville. We did stick a produce bag in the pulp holding receptacle which made clean up of that part non existent. Cleaning of the other parts was very easy although there is time consumed. The wire screen is extremely fine so there is no way you are getting anything but juice into your glass or container. The supplied container is just very cool and holds about 40 ounces. When I put a regular tall glass under the little rubber discharge chute that worked great until the glass was 3/4 full and then you get some splash over simply because the juice is coming out fast and with force. The supplied container with the lid is probably going to be our first choice and has the added advantage that if you make a lot you can simply put the container in the refrigerator until you drink it. Most of the juice experts seem to think you should drink fresh juice within a couple of hours.

Bottom line: best juicer I have ever personally seen. You will spend more time preparing the vegetables for juicing and cleaning up than you will juicing. Juicing is actually fun and there is no need to rush the plunger down. It is effortless.

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R7000)
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R7000)
Price: $179.99
84 used & new from $135.00

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NETGEAR Fan Now, November 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This replaces a Linksys M20 Valet Plus which had one band 2.4Ghz. My hope was to increase our wireless speeds which were running at about half of our wired speeds. Our ISP is Comcast and we generally get 25 down and 5 up for our wired devices. With the M20 we typically would get half of those speeds. Also newer devices such as smartphones and tablets are now often dual band and we wanted to take advantage of that. Additionally our guest access on the M20 had somehow become corrupted and with the Grandkids always wanting to connect to the internet we thought it was probably time to upgrade. Just based on the reviews I could read I chose this Netgear R7000 over the Linksys EA6900.

I am not any type of expert on technology but more of a general user of technology with a smartphone and tablet, using computers in the home for everything from investing to email. We do subscribe to both Amazon Prime and Netflix in addition to Dish so having a good video streaming ability is important. We have two large screen Sony HDTVs and one is wired and one we operate wireless.

So my basic experience with this new Netgear Nighthawk router was just excellent. The instructions are simple and plain. Screw in the antennae and follow the exact process for turning off your cable modem (including removing the battery) etc. Every step was simple and worked flawlessly. I did decide to use a wired desktop to complete the process and upgrade firmware etc. Downloaded the Netgear Genie etc. After the installation process was complete then I added the smartphone, tablet, laptop, wireless printer to the network. Absolutely simple and worked flawlessly. Set up the guest network easily and made it secure choosing the same security as the home network.

Checking speeds at the end of this entire process did justify the expense of upgrading to the newer router to me. Our wireless speeds were clocking in at 28 down and 6 up which was as fast as we had ever seen our wired speeds. Since my account with Comcast is for 25/5 and my wireless speeds are now equal to my wired speeds I did a little happy dance. My smartphone and tablet now enjoy the 5Ghz while the old laptop surfs the 2.4Ghz. The router simultaneously runs both speeds and older devices don't have the option to try the 5Ghz. Range has been excellent and of course with the three external antennae compared to no external antennae on the older M20 that makes sense. In fact my experience is that the range on this router is very impressive. I had read reviews on how limited the range was on the 5Ghz but that doesn't seem to be a limiting factor in our home or even the garage etc. Another small happy dance for range.

Both HDTVs perform well with video streaming and I see no difference between the wired TV and the one we run wirelessly. I have the option to run both wired but don't see a reason to. Since we feed an older Netgear switch near each TV to be able to provide internet to the Blu-Ray players, Dish Receiver, and TV and those switches are the Fast Ethernet 10/100 I had considered upgrading them to the newer Netgear gigabit switches but since the limiting factor is the speed of my internet provider Comcast at 25/5 there seems to be no reason to upgrade the switches at this time. Interestingly the new router was able to detect that two of the 10/100 switches were being used and so instead of giving me a green light for those two connections there is an amber light which indicates that it knows 10/100 switches are used instead of gigabit switches. I use all four of the wired ports on the router and so two of those four ports go directly to the device, such as my desktop, without going through the switch. Those lights are green on the router. If we had some need for massive storage transfer within our network then a gigabit switch would be necessary. If I was just starting out I would probably just put in the Netgear gigabit switches but since I already had the older Fast Ethernet switches working I couldn't justify the expense. With every device that you buy anymore seeming to need it's own internet connection those switches are important. Even our two stereo receivers by Sony need to have internet to update their systems. It's become an internet world for machines as well as humans.

We don't currently own any devices that would be capable of the AC portion of the router so I can't comment on that but I do feel like we stepped up and are covered by whatever the next generation of technology will throw at this new router. Haven't yet set up the parental controls.

Time will tell about the longevity of this product but so far there isn't anything that would prevent five stars. If I had a concern going into this it was the typical concern I always have about setting up a new technology product. You know the fear that you will end spending some quality time with a tech support person trying to figure out how to make it work. Well those fears were unnecessary in this case. It just worked. No calls to tech support. The time involved was really very small. In my case the only problem I had was I had simply forgotten that the one TV had been set up wirelessly and so when it wouldn't stream Netflix or Prime then I naturally thought oh boy now we have a problem. So diving into the owners manual on the TV and spending needless time trying to fix a problem that didn't exist. Once the light went on in my head then it took less than a minute to connect the TV wirelessly to the new router.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2013 6:01 PM PST

MegaGear ''Ultra Light'' Camera Case Bag for Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, DMC-LZ20K, DMC-FZ60, DMC-GF6.
MegaGear ''Ultra Light'' Camera Case Bag for Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7, DMC-LZ20K, DMC-FZ60, DMC-GF6.
Price: $24.72
2 used & new from $17.46

11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for the Panasonic DMC-FZ70, September 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Took delivery of my FZ70 on Sept. 4 (thanks Amazon!) and needed a decent camera case. Had already bought the Case Logic Camera Holster and that was so large that the FZ70 was much to loose in it. When I saw this MegaGear product online at Amazon advertising that it was for the FZ70 it was a no brainer to order it. Amazon got here it in the two days my prime membership enjoys. Wow this is a small case. How small is it? Well you probably want to take off the camera's shoulder straps and then you can actually get the camera to be inside the case and get the zipper closed with some work. I would estimate that takes probably 30 seconds. Then to get the camera out is like another 30 seconds. Beyond the time which makes it ridiculous you stand the chance of actually hurting your camera. Absolutely an unworkable case for the FZ70.

I had bought the AGFA 55mm Heavy Duty Rubber Lens Hood from Amazon and you must take that off along with the shoulder straps to even have a chance to jam the camera into this case.

This is just simply not a case for the FZ70. Shipping back to Amazon.

Rare for me to give a 'don't buy' rating but I have no choice here. This case is not designed for the Panasonic DMC-FZ70 regardless of their advertising.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 24, 2013 10:48 AM PDT

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 60x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black)
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 16.1 MP Digital Camera with 60x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black)
Offered by RitzCamera
Price: $297.99
48 used & new from $190.00

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hoping it will be great, September 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Just received my new Panasonic DMC-FZ70 from Amazon. First thing is that I had preordered it and the price changed by the time I had delivery. Called Amazon and explained the problem and the very polite lady credited my account with the difference. It turns out that if you preorder you must call them if the price changes. They do not automatically credit your account. Hope this little bit of information will save money for anyone else who preordered.

Now as to the camera itself. So far I am absolutely thrilled and hopeful. It replaces an old FZ-7 which still works but the new features and the wide angle on the FZ70 made me want it.

One odd thing is that when the camera is turned on there is a very soft continuous sound coming from the camera when you are doing nothing with it. So I called the Panasonic support folks and they were essentially worthless and suggested sending the camera back. I called a local camera store and by luck they had one sitting right there. The very polite lady listened to my question and said well it shouldn't be making any noise. Then she turned their FZ70 on and she held it up to her ear and said "oh my golly there is a continuous noise". Bingo! With two cameras doing it perhaps then this is normal. The sound as near as I can describe it is very soft and makes me think of an old coffee percolator that would be in the other room.

So far every feature on the camera seems to work just fine. I was surprised to see that it was built in China because my FZ-7 was built in Osaka Japan and somehow I had been led to believe that this series was built in Japan. That is not a deal killer for me.

The weight and feel of this is impressive compared to my older FZ-7. Fits a man's hand better.

The software that comes with it is impressive. I bought a Hoya Alfa MC UV and lens protector from Amazon in the 55mm size and it should protect the lens and not degrade the photos. Bought the Transcend 32GB SDHC. Bought the AGFA Photo Heavy Duty Rubber lens hood in 55mm and that is a bit problematic. I believe I will keep it for outdoor shots but for flash it is in the way of the distance finder which apparently determines the amount of flash. Also in full wide angle there is a very slight interference but a slight zoom out from full wide angle and that fixes that. At any rate I will keep the lens hood and just screw it in as needed and not tighten it so it can be removed quickly. To many times in sunlight I find a lens hood to be a necessity.

Can't wait to get some pictures and video to see the quality and update this review.

UPDATE: Still very happy and the quality of the photos is exactly what I hoped for. The low light capability is excellent and beyond what I was expecting. Using it mostly in the AI and Scenery modes. Very impressive. More capability here than I would expect for this price. I had actually considered the Nikon D7100 but thought the weight wasn't something I wanted to be hiking with. More going on inside this little jewel than I have time to understand but wow. Example is in the AI mode I was using the zoom to take a close up and the symbol on the screen changed to the little flower which on my old FZ7 would have been a setting for taking close-ups of things like flowers. I will be using it today at a soccer meet with my Granddaughter playing and can't wait to see how it performs. For this price point you can't beat this camera.

Shot a small video also and used the zoom quite a bit to see how the stabilization worked. Well the video was better than my dedicated Panasonic HD camcorder. So I will just be carrying one camera now.

One small thing that I do wonder about is the lens. Is it a Leica? Doesn't say Leica on the lens like my old FZ7 and frankly for the quality of the pictures I'm getting it doesn't matter but that little L on the camera body ....always thought that was for Leica but maybe it is for Lumix.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2014 5:25 PM PST

Lowa Men's Renegade II Mid Hiking Boot,Espresso,10.5 M US
Lowa Men's Renegade II Mid Hiking Boot,Espresso,10.5 M US
Price: $151.51
3 used & new from $151.51

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect except for the squeak, June 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Typical Lowa quality which is generally perfect and although everything Lowa is expensive they are worth it. I own these Renegade ll (leather lined) and Lowa Trekkers also leather lined. The Renegade need no break in period but the Trekker's are best broken in before a major hike. The Renegades are lighter by far.

My only complaint and what keeps these Renegade ll from being five stars is that they squeak. I have tried a little leather conditioner on the inner top leather since that is where the squeak seems to come from. Didn't help. Keeping the boots and in a week leaving for a six week hiking excursion in Canada. We will be living in a fifth wheel and doing some major day hikes in Waterton Lakes, Banff, Lake Louise area etc.

While my Trekkers (which don't squeak) are made in Germany these Renegades are made in Slovakia. Wish I could think of a way to stop the squeak because it's loud enough to be irritating. My wife has the regular Renegades which are Gor-Tex and they do not squeak. I am a fan of the leather for comfort and enjoy treating the leather to be waterproof just like Lowa suggests.

UPDATE: fixed the squeak to absolutely gone! Tried beeswax on the upper tongue which is little squares to accept the beeswax anyway. Immediate success. Anyway I am now one very camper. Leaving my review at four stars because you shouldn't have to fix a squeak anyway. Also fitted them with SOLE Red inserts from REI and put a Spenco heel pad under the insert. Treated them with Nikwax. Now I have quiet, waterproof boots with some cushion.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 5, 2014 8:16 AM PST

JVC HAFX40B High Quality In-Ear Headphones (Black)
JVC HAFX40B High Quality In-Ear Headphones (Black)
Offered by Best 4 Best
Price: $16.99
75 used & new from $14.95

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great at Lifetime Fitness, November 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Okay I have not burned these in like so many reviews say you must. Hopefully if they are going to get any better they will just have to do it while I am listening to them.
Here is the thing. I work out at Lifetime Fitness and have an IPod I use while working out. Those Apple ear pieces are hard and all kinds of noise comes in around them so you have to have the volume high.
I tried these JVC's at the club and the first thing I noticed was that the volume had to be turned way down. I was on a cardio machine and thinking "wow my music sounds great with these things". After about five minutes it dawned on me that not only was my music sounding very good but I couldn't hear much of anything else. Popped one ear bud out and sure enough there was all the noise I was used to. Wow. It actually made for a more relaxing work out to be isolated from the music that Lifetime is always playing. Trying to get the FM radio was the same experience as with the Apple ear pieces. Works better on some of their TV's than others. That's a Lifetime issue.
I give these things 5 stars. Hopefully they are very durable because I can never go back to the Apple ear pieces after experiencing these. Five Stars! Comfortable for me.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2012 2:01 AM PST

Google Nexus 7 Tablet (16 GB)
Google Nexus 7 Tablet (16 GB)
Offered by CyberToyShop
Price: $204.48
31 used & new from $103.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nexus 10---Brand New, November 17, 2012
Okay just received my new Nexus 10 from Google. It came down to this one or the Kindle Fire HD. For now my early impressions are these:
The Good:
1. screen quality is as good as the specs say it should be. It is almost mesmerizing to watch a news article, magazine, or any content including my Amazon books. I have an older Kindle and wow this is very interesting. Putting the Amazon books on using the Kindle app was quite easy and simple.
2. Speed is stunning.
3. Ease of operation is excellent although I have to express amazement that a $500 tablet would come essentially without instructions other than a little diagram of the hardware and telling where the on/off button, volume, HDMI output, etc are located. It is quite intuitive but a few more pages of instructions would have been fine with me.
4. Connection to my home wi-fi has been flawless and using the Dish Remote Access app to watch things off my Hopper DVR or live has been impressive.
5. As soon as I entered my Google information every app that is applicable to the tablet loaded itself so that part was very easy. Some apps however did not transfer because they are not compatible with the tablet as they are also on my Droid 2 Android smartphone.
6. Build quality and feel are excellent. It is a little jewel really. I bought the 32GB and figure I paid something like $25 an ounce so I was expecting it to be good and it is.
7. It came with Ice Age preinstalled either for you to stream live or download. I downloaded it and the picture quality is just fascinating. I have watched that movie many times with my Grandkids and I found myself almost unable to put the silly thing down.
8. Sound quality excellent both with speakers or headphones.
9. Okay how is this for cool. You download a Google Music Manager on your desktop and you then can send your iTunes to the cloud and back to the Nexus 10 in about as easy as I have ever imagined transferring music. Google says you can store 20,000 of your own songs on their cloud. That was impressive. Free is always the right price. To reward Google guess I will have to purchase a movie to download onto the Nexus 10.

The Bad:
1. Biggest complaint so far is that you can not watch Dish Online because of the lack of a flash player. Hopefully Dish will release an app to handle that.
2. Second biggest complaint is much like the first. I am an Amazon Prime member and figured I would be able to watch the instant streaming videos you get with Prime. Nope. Once again you need a flash player. Called Amazon on this in amazement and they explained that while there is an app for IPad customers there is no app for Android customers. Even more amazing to me I was told that I can't buy a movie from Amazon for this tablet. So they are forcing me to go to the Google Play Store to buy a movie? Somebody should really wake up Jeff Bezos and let him digest this. Was the Amazon employee I spoke with correct? Amazon has been my primary source for books, DVD's, and content. Amazon is willing to concede that business to Google? Interesting. Hopefully somebody smarter than me will get a handle on this and soon. My plan is to put several movies on this tablet for those times I am sitting on an airplane and need some entertainment other than reading. I suspect I will not be the only Android tablet owner who will feel frustrated by this.
3. The only feature on the Nexus 10 so far that I disabled was the auto brightness feature. It seemed to be changing the screen brightness much to often to me. Putting it in manual brightness was easy and solved that problem quickly.

In fairness I have owned this Nexus 10 32GB Tablet less than 24 hours and these are simply my initial observations. Many features like the camera that I have not even explored yet. I will update this when I have more time with the Nexus 10. Also when the Kindle Fire 8.9" HD is available I think I will order one for a gift for my married daughter. For what they would use it for that might be the better tablet for them.

UPDATE*****Nov. 20, 2012
HBO GO just released the latest app and it is for Jellybean 4.2 and 10" tablets in HD!!! All I can say is WOW! This Nexus 10 display takes full advantage of that app. Can't believe they updated the app that quickly following the release of the Nexus 10.
Additionally having had more time now to use this tablet both my wife and I are very impressed. This is a keeper. The Android environment will only get better with more and more apps.

UPDATE*****Nov. 26, 2012. Found using a software program called WinX DVD Ripper that I could put any regular DVD on the Nexus 10. Would work for many tablets and it is quite easy. They had it for free for a while. Takes about 30 minutes to convert to MPEG4 and then only two minutes to put on tablet. The movie remains on your desktop in the MPEG4 format so you can watch and delete off your tablet and then always put it back on. Did a comparison between a full HD movie that I bought from Google and the quality of the DVD's I was loading. Yes there is a difference but frankly it is very, very, minor. Tried a few Ultra Violet movies also. Those are fine but apparently when they download to a tablet they download in SD. The only way I have found to have an actual HD movie on the tablet is to buy it from Google. Basically putting my entire collection of regular DVD's on my desktop using WinX DVD Ripper. Very easy to use. Continue to find the Nexus 10 an amazing tablet. The only major flaw involves getting the responsible parties to release some software that would allow the Nexus to view, for example, Amazon's Prime Instant Video's. We are Dish Net subscribers and have a Hopper with Sling Adapter. That works very well with the Nexus 10 and we can watch anything live or on our DVR with the Nexus 10 so kudos to Dish.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2012 3:30 PM PST

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