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Kurt Adler 20-Light Gold Rattan Star
Kurt Adler 20-Light Gold Rattan Star
Offered by Brian's Toys
Price: $14.88
11 used & new from $10.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great star, worthless mounting cone, December 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I give this product five stars for the star itself. Nice natural construction, lights woven in with light cord color matched to the painted rattan so that it looks unobtrusive.

As others have pointed out the little mounting cone is utterly worthless. If one actually needed to mount the star that way this would be a one star review.

I mounted on a 7 foot natural Frasier Fir by instead using natural colored twine to tie it in two points to the very tip of the trunk - that is that awkward looking top most branch that sticks up from the tree that you are tempted to cut off. Actually it makes the perfect sturdy point for attaching this star with twine or string. However, that's not going to be a good approach if you have a tree viewed from 360 degrees - the branch will cover part of the star from one side. But in our application, and probably in many other people's use, this is the most sturdy and functional method of mounting for a tree in a corner or against a wall. Probably just fine for a tree in a window as well since from the window side the viewing distance is typically far enough that the central branch and twine would not be particularly visible.

One problem with tying it to the top though. I'm a bit over six feet at it is hard to get any sort of balance on any sort of ladder reaching the top of the tree to tie a knot! So ideally you'd attach before putting the tree up.

This particular model also has pointless glitter on it that falls off instantly. It really adds nothing but mess to the situation. The gold color is just fine on its own.

This model is also not small, it is a great sizable topper for our 7 ft tree. Anything smaller than that and I'd recommend going with one of the smaller versions of this star.

Note that the cord is not particularly long, but this isn't an issue typically as you can plug it into the end of the top most string of lights on the tree. Otherwise expect to need an extension cord.

That's the bad points, otherwise it is a beautiful looking star with a natural look. No garish colors or acrylic plastic and color changing or blinking lights. Looks great on a natural tree, especially if your ornaments are more to the low key fabric and wood construction.

Docking one star for useless mounting cone, otherwise just what I was looking for. Honestly, I'm not sure how you would balance something this size on the very tip of the tree though. I think it does need two attachment points to remain stable and so directly tying to the tree the best option.


GO-KOT Regular Portable Folding Camping Cot - Forest Green - 6ft. 2" Long
GO-KOT Regular Portable Folding Camping Cot - Forest Green - 6ft. 2" Long

5.0 out of 5 stars Can I give six stars???, December 3, 2014
This cot is US made and while hard to find from retailers online it can always be ordered directly from the manufacturer. When I ordered directly from them all colors were in stock and shipped same day. So give a search for the manufacturer site if you can't find anyone else stocking it. Worth going out of your way to get.

I love this cot in every way imaginable. The design is simple, durable and supremely functional. This thing packs up small (look for videos online showing assembly and packing). So much so I've read many motorcycle campers use them. It is not light enough to take backpacking (as far as I'm concerned) but at around nine pounds and its small packed size it is great for small vehicle camping.

This sits quite low to the ground, one of the reasons it packs so small and is of modest weight despite very high durability. But if you don't like getting up off the ground in the morning or are scared of squirrels jumping over you in the night be advised. On the other hand it means it will work in lower ceiling tents just find. For tent use be advised you may want to add padding (small sections of rubber hose recommended) to the legs where they contact the tent floor.

The design has no cross bars at all, the legs/feet are the cross bars and the clever design keeps it tensioned when you lay on it. The lack of cross bars means the sleeping surface is completely uniform from toes to head and this means even a tall sleeper can use the standard cot. I'm 6' 1" and I'm using the standard size which is only 6' 2". For most cots that wouldn't work at all, but for this cot it works great and you can even comfortably let your feet hang a bit over the edge if you choose.

I've got the moss green which is a nice muted green color. There are a wide variety of colors available.

There is also a slightly less expensive and lighter version called the E-Kot which uses four instead of six leg sections and uses 600 rather than 1000 denier fabric.

I've been camping with cots for almost two decades now. I wish I had discovered this cot when I first started (it did in fact exist back then). I've had larger, heavier, bulkier and harder to setup things tumbling around in my truck for a long time now. Finally bliss!

As to durability I have only had mine long enough to examine design and workmanship and a few uses. It sure appears durable. However, in researching it I found not a single person ever complain of durability. In fact many people still had theirs from the 1980's. One person had their cot fly off their vehicle in an accident and get run over by an oncoming truck. When they called to get a few replacement parts the manufacturer instead on free replacement as it was still within the five year guarantee period! Built to last, manufacturer stands behind product.

Wish this thing was more widely distributed and better advertised! I've missed out on a number of years of using one.

Yes the price is higher than most similar designs from other manufacturers but this appears worth it in every way. If you love elegant, simple but durable design this is it. Many designs just make things heavy to give the appearance of durability or to patch over poor design choices. This thing is just designed properly and thoughtfully and uses excellent materials to give a remarkably compact, modest weight cot with great durability.


Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp, Titanium
Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp, Titanium
Price: $47.01
19 used & new from $46.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent light, some details on various modes, December 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I won't repeat Voiceover Guy's review which covers all the bases well, I'll just add some more details and thoughts.

I agree this is a great light with useful features and good implementation. I personally like the USB recharging because it means I can recharge the light with a 5V solar panel when out in the wild. And you can charge at the start of your trip instead of tossing probably half full alkalines to put in fresh ones every time you go on a trip.

As to replacement rechargeables read reviews on the older versions of the Revolt for specific guidance. In order to protect consumers from themselves BD uses slightly different battery terminals on their rechargeables to prevent the light from attempting to charge non-rechargeable batteries. You can use generic rechargeables (i.e. don't have to buy from BD) if you just modify the tops of the batteries a little.

Be aware in the spot mode that the central region of the spot has an odd yellow color to it. This seems to be true of all the similarly designed BD headlamps. I haven't used the light enough for this to annoy me yet, but the color non-uniformity is definitely there and according to BD is a limitation of the higher power nature of the LED used. I suspect for hiking uses it is a non issue, but if using the dimmed spot mode to look at things like maps or books this could be annoying. For me a week of typical use on a trip and I really didn't notice the yellow spot unless I went out of my way to look for it, but on a uniform white page it is more easily noticeable.

Also check the battery life for flood mode. This is not particularly efficient in run time in flood mode. This is to be expected to a degree - the flood mode is very much a FLOOD mode. The beam width is extremely wide. The spot mode has a lens that focuses the light to a much tighter beam and is thus more efficient. One benefit of the very wide flood mode is it seems like this would work great as a top of the tent lantern. Also provides uniform illumination when looking at close objects like reading a book. So, great wide uniform flood mode but just be aware the flood mode uses up a lot more battery life than the spot for a given illumination level.

The red mode is not nearly as nice as the white modes. First be aware that it is a spot, not a flood. The beam width is quite narrow. Second be aware that the beam pattern and uniformity is quite poor. You essentially get bright rings at the periphery of the beam and a dimmer center. As noted in other reviews it has a very useful feature in which you don't have to cycle through white to get into the red mode. And once in the red mode you also can't accidentally end up in white mode unless you hold down the button for three seconds. This makes the red mode much more useful than on many lights where you are forced to blind yourself or those around you cycling through white to get to red. All in all using the red mode in a dark environment for a number of nights I found it very useful and the non-uniform beam pattern was not an issue in practical use.

Now to my one disappointment, which is probably nitpicking and not going to be an issue for the vast majority of users. You can not dim the red light mode, despite the fact that the manual is written implying you can. I went back and forth with Black Diamond customer service on this and after some checking on their end they determined that manual is not correct and the Revolt does not dim on red mode. Note that the Spot and Storm head lamps do have a dimming red mode so if this is important to you then give those lamps a look.

In practical use the red is about as dim as you would want already for walking and distant work. And most people probably want it at the brightness it is for close work. But for some niche applications like looking at star charts or detailed maps when working with fully dark adapted eyes the one setting for red is a bit too bright when viewing close up charts and maps.

Otherwise dimming in the white mode is quite good because it does dim down to quite low light levels. Many other dimming lights don't seem to get very dim. If you are trying to work in moonlight and maintain some dark adaption having really dim settings is very useful. I found that for distant work like walking with the dimmed spot mode or scanning an area for items left behind with the dimmed flood mode that the minimum white brightness was a good level to see clearly without compromising dark adapted eyes too much.

I've discovered one great feature of the dimming mode as well. It blinks the light at the dimmest setting. With dark adapted eyes this means you can reliably set to dimmest level without having to directly view the bright level. With your eyes closed you can still perceive when the light blinks at its dimmest setting. So, close your eyes and turn on light (comes on at 75%) then hold down button with eyes still closed and it will go to 100% and then slowly dim. At the dimmest it will pause and blink and even with my eyes closed in a dark environment I can perceive the blink and release the button. Then open my eyes to a nice dim light without ever having viewed to bright setting. As for anyone around you, well too bad for them unless they close their eyes while you adjust your lamp.

Also there is the question of price. These things are quite expensive compared to a more basic three battery head lamp. It is a very feature rich lamp, but if you just want basic light there are less expensive options. Fortunately they go on sale pretty frequently. I feel that the collection of features, especially the recharging and dimming, it is definitely worth the on sale prices. At something like two Andrew Jackson's or so this is a great feature set for the price. But honestly, if you want all these features and the excellent recharging feature then this is the light for you and most any price.

If you don't need the recharging feature then get the BD Spot instead. Same feature set (and red dimming actually works to boot) but for a lower price. The Spot also has a cute feature where tapping the light sets it to full brightness and tapping again sets it back to your dimmed level. The Revolt doesn't have this feature and instead has the USB charging port where the tap sensor is in the Spot.

UPDATE 12/11/14 - I've edited the review to reflect information from Black Diamond customer support regarding the manual for the Revolt incorrectly indicating that dimming works in the red mode. It does not in fact dim in red mode. BD customer support was extremely helpful in sorting that out for me and went out of their way to make sure I ended up with a BD light I was happy with. Seems like a great company making excellent products.


Universal Battery Charger, Lithium Ion, 3.7V-7.4V By Lenmar
Universal Battery Charger, Lithium Ion, 3.7V-7.4V By Lenmar
Offered by Battery World
Price: $24.99
28 used & new from $13.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for what it is - nothing else like it?, December 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
To be honest I'm giving this product a full five stars merely for its existence. I searched high and low for something like this. It is probably a 4 to 4.5 star product, but it has no competition in what for me is a really useful niche.

What is special about this charger is that it runs off of commonly available 5V USB power but can charge 7.4V camera batteries. Most USB powered chargers only do the little 3.7V cell phone batteries, but this charger can do both 3.7V and 7.4V making it useful for photographers.

There are a variety of "universal" lithium battery chargers that can charge to 7.4V and run off of either AC or 12V power, but if you are going out into the wilds with a 5V solar panel or one of the many USB battery packs in the 10000 to 16000mA range what you really need is something that runs off of 5V power, not 12V or AC.

So that is the key unique feature of this thing - it charges 7.4V lithium camera batteries used in most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras and only requires a 5V USB input.

The other benefit to this thing is that it is very small. So many OEM provided chargers are gigantic, and many come with even larger AC plug adapters or cords. Ridiculous to have a super compact mirrorless camera with a charger and cord larger than the camera itself! This charger is very small and lightweight and presuming you already are bringing a USB power source for your other electronics you won't need anything else.

The design itself is lightweight, it doesn't feel super sturdy but then I don't particularly want it to be sturdy or heavy.

In use it is very easy, slide the two metal tabs to line up with the plus/minus terminals on your battery. Most camera batteries have more than two contacts, the other contacts for communicating battery status to the camera when in use. You just need to connect the two terminals labeled +/- to the charger and ignore the extra terminals. Polarity doesn't matter, the charger auto-detects, and this is important since for most batteries you will only be able to orient the battery in one direction and still make contact with the charger pins.

Not obvious in the picture is that the right side of the charger is spring loaded and expands quite wide. At maximum opening it is 52mm (2 inches) wide. The two charging terminals can span the entire width. The spring loading of the right side will help hold the battery in place while charging. It is a little fiddly to setup compared to a charger designed for a specific battery. However, if you have more than one camera with you it gives you the flexibility to charge multiple battery types from a single charger.

Lastly, be aware some cameras are using slightly different lithium technologies now that get extra capacity from a slightly higher charging voltage (the Olympus E-M5 is one example). To the best of my knowledge this charger will charge those batteries, but not to full capacity.

In summary, as far as product execution goes this is a solid 4 to 4.5 star product. However, it is the only product I can find designed to fill a useful niche of a 5V powered charger than handles 7.4V camera batteries. And it is reasonably priced as well. So I give it a full 5 stars for fulfilling a need no other product does.


Toner Refill StoreTM 6PK Compatible PGI-250XL CLI-251XL w/ Grey Ink Cartridges for ink cartridges compatible with Canon Pixma MG6320 MG7120
Toner Refill StoreTM 6PK Compatible PGI-250XL CLI-251XL w/ Grey Ink Cartridges for ink cartridges compatible with Canon Pixma MG6320 MG7120
Offered by Northland Wholesale
Price: $22.99
2 used & new from $22.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Leaks horribly, random collection of cartridge designs, July 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've used a lot of ink jet cartridges. I've refilled my own with special inks for B&W and even mixed my own dilutions. I've occasionally gotten a bit of ink on my hands. With these I was warned by the reviews they might leak during opening or installation. So I proceeded with some care.

Well, giant ink drops went everywhere. Ruined about $20 worth of clothes in the process. These will likely work in the printer just fine, but I don't expect to need to dress up like Walter White and Jesse about to do a cook to keep from getting ink on myself. Knock off two stars for that experience.

Next was a lack of confidence in the visual department. The product picture is of a reasonable matched set of cartridges. What I got was a random assortment of cartridges not with just different labeling but completely different plastic designs, shapes and covers. I think perhaps two of the cartridges had the same design and labeling, everything else looked like they had collected cartridges from every ebay seller that ever existed, shook them up in a barrel and randomly picked from them to complete my order.

Anyway, they work so far. I'd suggest rubber gloves and a full chemical suit for installation.


Panasonic Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA OIS H-FS12032 Silver
Panasonic Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA OIS H-FS12032 Silver
Offered by D-Solution
Price: $250.49
23 used & new from $245.00

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new best "kit lens", especially for the GM1, March 7, 2014
One of the things m43, and Panasonic specifically, got right was introducing the original G1 with the 14-45 "kit lens". There really weren't any other lenses to chose at that time and so the first impressions of the whole format would rest on that lens. It was, and still is, an excellent slow zoom that was widely regarded as one of the best kit lenses in any format (though by no means the best slow zoom in general, best with regards to reasonably priced and included with a camera). I've used that lens a lot and stopped down a bit stands up to the much higher priced 12-35/2.8 and 12-40/2.8.

Fuji repeated this in their X series with the 18-55/2.8-4 which was also optically better than most expected and was faster than most as well. A bit more dollar intensive though. Same concept though, introduce your new camera system with a really compelling "kit lens".

And so now the GM1 has come along, a camera so ridiculously small that every single review site and blog that has wrote about it includes a phrase like "I knew it was small but I didn't understand how small until I held it in my hand". It is a camera targeted to be used by enthusiasts not just an accessory for Japanese purses. Since it is all about size, but also about performance, it doesn't seem any of the existing kit lenses in the m43 stable were a good fit.

Enter the 12-32.

It is an excellent zoom, every bit the match for the original 14-45 and it goes wider and is vanishingly small and light. It includes OIS, a prerequisite for the GM1 and most Panasonic cameras. It uses a collapsing design that is manually extended. It is stupid small, just like the GM1. It uses a metal lens mount, the outer body is a thin lightweight metal and the inner extending barrels are plastic. It seems to have solid construction even if a featherweight.

Focus is very fast, OIS seems typically effective.

The lens has no MF ring on it, on the GM1 you'll have to use a fiddly touch screen interface to focus but I suspect few will ever be interested in MF on such a lens. You can of course lock focus using AF a variety of ways with different cameras including the GM1.

I've tested my copy against the Olympus 12/2 and the Panasonic 20/1.7. Indeed, as any sane person would expect the primes have sharper corners at equivalent apertures. That said, even at F/3.5 the 12-32 at 12mm has surprisingly good corners that until you look at the 100% do not detract at all from the image. At the center the primes are just a bit sharper if viewed side by side at 200%. There was nothing to complain about IQ wise at 12, 20 or 32 where I tested the lens at infinity focus.

I tested on a GM1 where lateral CA would be automatically corrected. There was no apparent residual lateral CA.

As far as longitudinal CA this was exhibited in a minor way in purple fringing at the edges of the frame when shooting dark tree branches against a white cloudy sky. I only tested this at 12mm and while preset it was not excessive. For comparison though the 12/2 didn't show any purple fringe at all in this test while the 12-32 showed a little that was visible at 100% and if you looked for it detectable at 50%. Again this was on the GM1 body, be forewarned that it is known some Olympus bodies (like the E-M5) have more UV response and it is quite possible they will show more of this fringe than when the lens is shot on the GM1. I did not take the time to test that.

In short the 12-32 is an excellent companion to the GM1 which makes few compromises for its very small size and reasonable cost. I'll be happy to use it as the default lens on my GM1 and since I prefer a slightly wider perspective for landscapes it may find more frequent use than my 14-45 as well.

I'm giving it five stars not because it is the very best in optical quality of any lens or even zoom lens, but because it is of exceptional quality for its size, weight and price. It also performs its primary function of being small and light for the GM1 while having the optical quality an enthusiast would want with such a camera as the GM1.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2014 7:12 PM PST


Panasonic Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA OIS H-FS12032 Black
Panasonic Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA OIS H-FS12032 Black
Offered by Sunset Electronics
Price: $329.95
36 used & new from $289.16

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new best "kit lens" for m43, and especially the GM1, March 7, 2014
One of the things m43, and Panasonic specifically, got right was introducing the original G1 with the 14-45 "kit lens". There really weren't any other lenses to chose at that time and so the first impressions of the whole format would rest on that lens. It was, and still is, an excellent slow zoom that was widely regarded as one of the best kit lenses in any format (though by no means the best slow zoom in general, best with regards to reasonably priced and included with a camera). I've used that lens a lot and stopped down a bit stands up to the much higher priced 12-35/2.8 and 12-40/2.8.

Fuji repeated this in their X series with the 18-55/2.8-4 which was also optically better than most expected and was faster than most as well. A bit more dollar intensive though. Same concept though, introduce your new camera system with a really compelling "kit lens".

And so now the GM1 has come along, a camera so ridiculously small that every single review site and blog that has wrote about it includes a phrase like "I knew it was small but I didn't understand how small until I held it in my hand". It is a camera targeted to be used by enthusiasts not just an accessory for Japanese purses. Since it is all about size, but also about performance, it doesn't seem any of the existing kit lenses in the m43 stable were a good fit.

Enter the 12-32.

It is an excellent zoom, every bit the match for the original 14-45 and it goes wider and is vanishingly small and light. It includes OIS, a prerequisite for the GM1 and most Panasonic cameras. It uses a collapsing design that is manually extended. It is stupid small, just like the GM1. It uses a metal lens mount, the outer body is a thin lightweight metal and the inner extending barrels are plastic. It seems to have solid construction even if a featherweight.

Focus is very fast, OIS seems typically effective.

The lens has no MF ring on it, on the GM1 you'll have to use a fiddly touch screen interface to focus but I suspect few will ever be interested in MF on such a lens. You can of course lock focus using AF a variety of ways with different cameras including the GM1.

I've tested my copy against the Olympus 12/2 and the Panasonic 20/1.7. Indeed, as any sane person would expect the primes have sharper corners at equivalent apertures. That said, even at F/3.5 the 12-32 at 12mm has surprisingly good corners that until you look at the 100% do not detract at all from the image. At the center the primes are just a bit sharper if viewed side by side at 200%. There was nothing to complain about IQ wise at 12, 20 or 32 where I tested the lens at infinity focus.

I tested on a GM1 where lateral CA would be automatically corrected. There was no apparent residual lateral CA.

As far as longitudinal CA this was exhibited in a minor way in purple fringing at the edges of the frame when shooting dark tree branches against a white cloudy sky. I only tested this at 12mm and while preset it was not excessive. For comparison though the 12/2 didn't show any purple fringe at all in this test while the 12-32 showed a little that was visible at 100% and if you looked for it detectable at 50%. Again this was on the GM1 body, be forewarned that it is known some Olympus bodies (like the E-M5) have more UV response and it is quite possible they will show more of this fringe than when the lens is shot on the GM1. I did not take the time to test that.

In short the 12-32 is an excellent companion to the GM1 which makes few compromises for its very small size and reasonable cost. I'll be happy to use it as the default lens on my GM1 and since I prefer a slightly wider perspective for landscapes it may find more frequent use than my 14-45 as well.

I'm giving it five stars not because it is the very best in optical quality of any lens or even zoom lens, but because it is of exceptional quality for its size, weight and price. It also performs its primary function of being small and light for the GM1 while having the optical quality an enthusiast would want with such a camera as the GM1.


CaseCrown Neoprene Sleeve Case (Black) for 13 Inch Macbook Air / Macbook Pro with Retina Display + Pocket for iPad 4 / iPad 3
CaseCrown Neoprene Sleeve Case (Black) for 13 Inch Macbook Air / Macbook Pro with Retina Display + Pocket for iPad 4 / iPad 3
Offered by Senyx

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect fit for rMBP 13" (Late 2013), January 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This sleeve is a perfect fit for the 13" Late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina. Please note Amazon combines the reviews for all sizes of this sleeve, I am writing for the 13 inch sleeve. Also mine is black with lime green interior.

By "perfect fit" I mean the laptop slides in and out easily, does not have any room to move side to side in the sleeve and has just the slightest bit of play top to bottom so that you can easily bring the top over the end of the laptop (less than 1/4 inch or 0.5cm).

Also note - those reviews saying this leaves the top corners unprotected aren't using the sleeve properly. If you slip the laptop in quickly and just flip down the velcro flap then indeed the top corners are slightly exposed. However, if you want to protect the corners you need to pull the top of the pouch/sleeve itself back over the top edge (not just the flap). The opening is not at the very top of the sleeve, it is about an inch below the top and you need to pull that top inch over the top of the laptop to protect the upper corners and then close the velcro flap. Difficult to describe, but examine photos of the sleeve empty with the flap open or watch a review video and it will be clear.

As to the iPad pocket I have an iPad 3 with the Apple magnet cover on it. It fits snugly in the pocket with the rMBP already in the main compartment. With the magnet case on the edge of the magnet attachment just slightly catches the pocket opening when removing the iPad. With the magnet cover on the iPad will fit in the pocket screen out or screen in. It comes out a bit easier if you put it in screen in (i.e. iPad screen facing the laptop). I also prefer to store the iPad screen in to offer more protection to the screen while in transport.

Without the iPad in its pocket the case is still snug on just the laptop and the empty front pocket is not floppy in anyway. It is neoprene and stretchy so presumably you could fit a wide variety of relatively flat things in the pocket or even something a bit bulkier but not as tall and wide as an iPad (like say your power adapter). I think even if I didn't have an iPad this sleeve would still be my first choice as the design is perfect, the cost reasonable and the extra pocket is useful for a variety of things.

As others mentioned this is really designed as a sleeve to protect from scratches and minor bumps. It is meant to be used in another bag or backpack but it is perfectly functional for hand carrying short distances (like from your car to the office or coffee shop).

One very nice feature of the design is that the neoprene seams and seam cover run entirely around the edge of the sleeve. This effectively provides more padding along the edges and corners. If you've ever done any product drop testing you know it is edge and corner hits that destroy things. So while this sleeve offers minimal drop protection it offers the most protection where it matters the most.

Zipperless design leaves no opportunity for the sleeve itself to scratch what you set out to protect (though in fairness many zippered sleeves use plastic zippers which won't scratch things anyway).

In short this sleeve has exceeded my expectations in every way. Why such a long review for a silly sleeve? Well, you'd think it'd be easy to get this right but so many other manufacturers don't and it was a complete fluke I even found this sleeve - Amazon product search sort of failed me (or I failed it) and I only found this product through an external link. It is excellent and hopefully this review will help you understand what it is you are getting.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 27, 2014 8:56 AM PDT


WD Red 3TB NAS Hard Drive: 1 to 8-bay RAID Hard Drive: 3.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s, IntelliPower, 64MB Cache WD30EFRX
WD Red 3TB NAS Hard Drive: 1 to 8-bay RAID Hard Drive: 3.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s, IntelliPower, 64MB Cache WD30EFRX
Price: $114.99
80 used & new from $100.00

105 of 115 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jan 2014 - Load Cycle Count issue back (3.0TB), January 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So WD apparently has no ability to perform the most basic configuration management at their factories.

Once again the "load cycle count" issue has returned to their line of drives. If you don't know what this is you can Google, but basically the drive repeatedly parks the drive heads, thousands of times a day, because of an improper firmware setting on the drive. The drives are only rated to 600,000 load cycles and with them ticking of once every few seconds the drive will exceed its rating in less than a year.

This can be corrected by the user but it is a pain and requires you have certain hardware/software to do. Probably beyond most users. Exchanging the drive may or may not help because you have no idea if the next drive will have the same erroneous setting.

This has happened many times in the past few years, check the reviews for this and other WD drives. WD acknowledges this is the incorrect setting as do many NAS vendors that recommend these drives. And yet, WD can't seem to help itself from setting the IDLE3 parameter wrong every few months. This is a sign that they simply are unable to perform basic configuration management in their production facilities. If you can't manage that you don't belong in the HD business.

For reference, Google WDIDLE3 for how to fix this problem - but you better have a machine you can boot to a DOS image in order to use it. Alternatively return your WD drive and buy the equivalent Seagate drive instead. They have a nice NAS ready drive equivalent to the WD Red and they know how to set IDLE3 correctly.
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2015 10:38 PM PST


The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk
The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk
by William J. Bernstein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.96
126 used & new from $9.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this if you have some math background, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Little for me to add to the already glowing reviews.

I will reemphasize that this book is probably best directed at those with a technical or math background. It assumes you know what things like standard deviation and correlation coefficients are. If you are that kind of person this is the book to get.

On the other hand, if you suspect this will be over your head the good news is the author has written other excellent books that are less heavy with the math. Bernstein is an excellent author at all levels and so I heartily recommend consider one of his other investment books if this one seems intimidating.


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