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Camp Chef OS132 Super Outdoor/Indoor Movie Screen
Camp Chef OS132 Super Outdoor/Indoor Movie Screen
Price: $234.95
8 used & new from $205.00

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well made, with just a few small complaints, April 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Mostly happy with this outdoor screen. The quality of construction is excellent, and the storage containers for the frame and screen are very well made. You definitely get what you pay for. These guys make a really good product, and we're confident it will last a long time.

Two (minor) complaints:

1) The screen itself comes folded, so it has some pretty heavy creases in it. It's made of a urethane-coated nylon material, making it difficult to flatten out. The creases were a distraction during our first use, and attempts to smooth them out using company recommended techniques were a bust. For what we paid, that screen should be perfect. Note: company says DO NOT iron it. Well, having tried and failed using other remedies, I'm getting ready to just iron it anyway.

2) Rear projection through the back side of the screen--one of this model's frequently mentioned features--gives a very muted, washed-out look in the front. The screen material is just too dense for light to pass through effectively. We tried it with a very high lumen projector and hated it. Front projection, by comparison, looked crisp and bright.

Other than those two comments, we really like this product and are pleased that it was so well made. The 13 ft size is perfect for our backyard setup and the movies look awesome. If it weren't for the creases, it'd easily be a five-star product.

Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder
Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder
Offered by Concept Kitchen
Price: $199.95
34 used & new from $179.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding grinder at a reasonable price, May 20, 2012
I researched or test drove half a dozen highly rated grinders--including the Mazzer Mini and Rancilio Rocky--before learning about the BCG800XL on a coffee enthusiast site. It was brand new at the time, so little was known about it, but their review was enthusiastic--and that was saying a lot because the folks at that web site are coffee shop owners and really know their stuff. I'll be honest...I wanted the Mazzer but just didn't have the money to spend on a pricey imported grinder. So it came down to cost, and I hoped this one would be "good enough" for my needs. Never expected it to be so darn good.

Needless to say, the BCG800XL has been a phenomenal grinder, and at $200 it's a steal. Can't say enough good things about it. Grind is consistent, never needs adjusting (but fine adjustments are a breeze if you want to tinker). Super quiet compared to other grinders, simple touch controls, compact size, and superb design. I know Breville is a company that makes so-so kitchen gadgets, but the team that designed this grinder went way beyond average. It's a home run.

Bottom line: for $200 you'll not find a better grinder anywhere. Period.

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote (Silver) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Logitech Harmony 650 Remote (Silver) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Offered by HALF TIME
Price: $61.99
28 used & new from $40.00

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly great functionality at a decent price, May 4, 2010
When it comes to universal remotes I'm usually a skeptic; my house is littered with ones I've tried and discarded over the years. Most were in the $20-30 range, but a few were pricey. The one thing they all had in common was they didn't work. Of course, I'd heard of Logitech's Harmony remotes, but their roughly $175 price tag was always too spendy for my taste..

This week I finally saw a Harmony remote priced under a hundred bucks--the 650--so I figured I'd give it a try. In short, I've had a terrific user experience so far. In fairness to all those non-techno people out there, I'm a proficient computer user and this remote must be programmed via an included USB cable and an internet-enabled computer, but the process is surprisingly simple and the software provides you lots of help.

Setup was unbelievably easy--all I had to do was enter the model number of each device (TV, DVD player, etc), and the Logitech software did the rest, automatically programming the functions of my original remote to equivalent keys on the Harmony 650. For the few function keys that might not map the way you intended, you can manually learn them using the original remote.

Of all my devices, none has been more finicky with regard to remotes than my Dish Network high-def DVR receiver. The Harmony 650 is the first universal remote I've had that actually works with Dish receivers. Note: if you have a Dish receiver that is UHF-capable (in other words, the Dish remote can transmit commands through walls using UHF frequencies), you'll need to ensure its remote address code is set to 1. This enables your Dish receiver to receive infrared (IR) commands from the Harmony 650.

Other reviewers will take you further into the technical details of programming, but I just want to say that this remote has finally freed us from the prison that used to be our three living room remotes. Harmony 650 truly is a one-stop, complete solution for all your remote control needs. Add in the superior ergonomic feel and handsome backlit buttons and you've got no reason to look anywhere else. A terrific product that's priced just right and is a pleasure to use!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 11, 2010 7:01 AM PST

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding GPS Receiver, January 9, 2007
This is my first portable GPS purchase, and I've been extremely pleased with its performance so far. Design couldn't be nicer, with a generous screen size, superb color and clarity, and a thin profile that makes it easy to stow out of sight.

Out of the box, it was up and running in seconds. The receiver electronics are amazing, considering I got a strong satellite lock from INSIDE my house. This should be a sign that the 660 will perform very well in city environments where tall buildings attenuate the GPS signal strength. Menus are also intuitive and easy to access using the touch screen controls.

Finding a point of interest is a piece of cake, thanks to the huge database built into the 660. I like that it will complete a search from a partial entry, saving keystrokes, and it knows to look for matches closest to your present position. You can search by category, or simply enter a street address and it'll find it. Saving custom points of interest to your Favorites is yet another feature of the 660. I do it by memorizing my position once I arrive, then assigning a custom name using the on-screen keypad. You'll need to refer to the instructions the first time, but after that it's a breeze. The 660 also allows convenient point of interest searches for other cities besides the one you're presently in. My wife is taking the kids to Disney World in a few weeks, and she's already pre-loaded a half dozen stores and resort facilities into her Favorites.

One of the features I like most is that you can zoom out to a much larger map scale (non-3D), but when you reach a turn point the Nuvi will automatically zoom in for a detailed view of your turn. Once you negotiate the turn, it will return to the original view. Awesome.

The traffic advisory feature works surprisingly well, and it's a nice touch that Garmin includes a free 90-day trial subscription. Most major metro areas are supported. Not sure yet if I'll sign up for a full subscription, but the annual fees are very reasonable and it works exactly as advertised.

The FM transmitter--a user-selectable feature which allows the unit to pass turn by turn instructions through your car's stereo--is implemented fairly well. Setup was quick and easy, thanks to on-screen instructions which tell you what to do. Audio quality was more than adequate, with only a hint of white noise in the background. The only drawback is that you have to pair the unit with an unused frequency, so you can't listen to your favorite radio station and the GPS at the same time. Overall, I'd describe this feature as cool but unnecessary--the volume from the 660's own internal speaker is loud enough to be heard just fine over your car's interior noise.

Bluetooth works reasonably well, though the setup with my Treo phone didn't seem to go well initially. It does sync, but the Nuvi doesn't tell you that so clearly. In my case, I got all kinds of handshake error messages, and actually gave up. But much later, when I just happened to make a call with the phone in rare Bluetooth mode, the Nuvi suddenly picked it up and all worked as advertised. So, in the end it was probably my own operator error, but the process wasn't that intuitive.

Power options are another strong point of the 660. It's got an excellent internal battery, so if you don't want to plug it into the cigarette lighter--with the cord dangling all over your dash--you'll get several hours of use from a single charge. That's a nice design touch for those shorter trips. One caveat though: the traffic receiver is part of the cigarette adapter, so if you need that feature, you'll have to plug it in.

The compact windshield mount's design is outstanding. The suction base is easy to attach, holds a firm grip (wet it a bit first), has great range of motion, and connects to the 660 in a snap.

I did get a good deal by pre-ordering, but at retail prices I might have thought twice. This is a major purchase, but hey, compared to in-dash units from the car makers, this one is worth every penny. Honda's is about the only factory GPS that compares to the 660 for functionality and ease of use, but remember, it's also 3x the price.

Visibility in bright sunlight has been fantastic, and it's remarkably easy to read. The built in symbols for your auto (generic only, no particular makes are available) are a tad too large for my taste, but it's a minor complaint. Lots of flexibility in your display options more than compensate for this. Color and sharpness are amazing.

Bottom line: Best of breed product! Garmin definitely did their homework for the 660, and it shows. The gushing reviews from various tech magazines and blogs speak for themselves. I couldn't be happier.

UPDATE: Just drove cross country with the family over Christmas and the Nuvi 660 performed like a champ! The driving routes it selected for us were spot-on, finding meeting places with relatives was a breeze, and everyone commented on how cool it looked. Really glad we bought this GPS!

Control Room
Control Room
DVD ~ Samir Khader
Price: $9.99
60 used & new from $0.01

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revealing documentary, but not without bias, January 1, 2005
This review is from: Control Room (DVD)
I liked seeing the human faces and life stories behind the personalities at Al-Jazeera, but I saw a such a homogenous Arab interpretation of world events in that studio that it's unlikely they'll ever report a story the same way we would in the West. They believe passionately in the news business, and they've done some compelling reports on several topics--including corruption within Arab regimes-- but their disproportionate coverage of Israeli "massacres" and America's "zionist-inspired occupation of the region" gets old after a while. I don't agree that they're a mouthpiece for Al-Qaida, but they have an unwavering point of view which colors their reporting of the news. You could say the same about Fox News, too, but understand there are a dozen networks and cable news channels in the United States, providing a healthy diversity of opinion and reporting. In the mideast, Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya are pretty much it, and Al-Jazeera dominates. Therefore, to the majority of Arab viewers, what they see on Al-Jazeera must be true.

Kudos to Jehane Noujaim for not narrating--and thus editorializing--the film. She took a careful neutral stance, gave sufficient air time to the US military press officer, and let Al-Jazeera's people speak for themselves. In the end, though, I was left wanting more. I won't comment on the right or wrong of the US invasion of Iraq, but I've seen enough of Al-Jazeera in this documentary to know that they'll look the other way when Arab citizens commit atrocities. CBS didn't when it broke the story of America's abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

Bottom line, Al-Jazeera is an ambitious, hard-working news outlet, but they fail to provide that news with any meaningful context or opposing viewpoints. This documentary only reinforces that opinion.

DLO Jam Jacket Case for iPod mini (Clear)
DLO Jam Jacket Case for iPod mini (Clear)
Offered by Beach Dreaming
Price: $6.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Silicone nightmare, December 28, 2004
After less than 2 months on my wife's iPod Mini, the silicon screen protector bonded to the glass and won't come off. No cleaners or solvents will remove it. The rest of the Jam Jacket does a decent job of protecting the iPod, but the design of that screen cover is very poor. If you have to get this, you'd better use a scissors and remove the screen cover first. Totally unacceptable.

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