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K. S. Bowen's Profile

Customer Reviews: 21
Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,260
Helpful Votes: 2299

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Reviews Written by
K. S. Bowen "KS Bowen" RSS Feed (California)

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Anker® 2nd Gen Astro2 9000mAh External Battery Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 Plus, 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, iPad Air, mini, Galaxy S5, S4, S3, Note 3, 4, Galaxy Tab 3, 2, Nexus, HTC One, One 2 (M8), MOTO, LG Optimus, PS Vita and other Smartphones and Tablets
Anker® 2nd Gen Astro2 9000mAh External Battery Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 Plus, 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, iPad Air, mini, Galaxy S5, S4, S3, Note 3, 4, Galaxy Tab 3, 2, Nexus, HTC One, One 2 (M8), MOTO, LG Optimus, PS Vita and other Smartphones and Tablets
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: $79.99
3 used & new from $36.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra convenient -- takes the hassle out of charging while on the go, January 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There are so many times I could've used this in the past that I wish I'd gotten it long ago. It's so convenient to have everywhere--even at home, rather than trying to find an awkward outlet. It's very sleek and it can charge my iPhone 4-5 times or my iPad 2-3 times. I use it nearly every day. Great product.

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Essential Messenger Bag, Black, One Size
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Essential Messenger Bag, Black, One Size

5.0 out of 5 stars Great travel bag, January 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this for my girlfriend who needed a secure travel purse for our trip to Paris. She loves it. And she loves the features. It looks great on her, too. She was surprised at how much it can hold.

Travelon Backpack,Black,One Size
Travelon Backpack,Black,One Size
Price: $47.43
10 used & new from $6.59

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Travel Bag, January 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Travelon Backpack (Apparel)
I prefer a backpack slung over one shoulder when traveling. This bag checks most boxes in my requirements: not too big, not too small, lightweight, carry handle, sturdy, slash proof, convenient side pockets for water bottle/umbrella, organizing pockets and locking zippers. I am six-feet-one-inch tall and the bag's straps are barely long enough for me so I think Travelon ought to consider lengthening them in future models. Other than that, I think it's a bag that can satisfy most people's travel needs.

Davis Instruments WeatherLink USB Software
Davis Instruments WeatherLink USB Software
Offered by stores123
Price: $127.89
73 used & new from $115.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Recommended, November 7, 2013
[Update: Davis' recommendation to unplug the AC and run the console on batteries worked. The data now flows smoothly from console to Mac software and my Wunderground site is updated at regular intervals of my choice. I installed ferrite cores on cabling and ran with AC plugged in but it made no difference--data stopped flowing from the console after a while. Too bad Davis won't fix this problem. But a company that sells woefully outdated software that any high school uber-geek could redesign in a week seems interested only in making money. On the other hand, Davis might still be in a pre-home computer mindset, where reading a console is all farmers need. I can't fathom why they are still messing with serial connectors, baud rates, clunky add-on units, and ugly software. They seem to be ignoring the weather hobbyist, which might very well be their biggest customer base. I still think the outdoor unit is a good one but I'm not changing my recommendation as it was such a hassle to get to the bottom of the connection problems. Plus, it diminishes the value of the console by being forced to run it on batteries only.]

(Original Review)
I bought a Davis Vantage Vue weather station and I think it is a great product. But if you want to connect it to a computer, this is where Davis stumbles badly. The Vantage Vue package consists of the outdoor weather station and an indoor wireless console that will record up to 8 months of data. But if you want to move that data or see it on a computer, then you have to buy the unit pictured here, the DataLogger, and plug it into the bottom of the console. It's a serial to USB unit. An included 8' USB cable extension runs to your computer. Along with the hardware, you get Davis' WeatherLink software on a CD. Install this software and you'll think you just took a time machine to 1990. It's hideous looking. And, the Mac version has limited capability.

So I began looking around the web for better software. I came up with 3 good choices. In no particular order, they are:
1) WeatherTracker
2) WeatherCat
3) WeatherSnoop
Each has a trial version you can download. A couple of them have Windows and Mac versions and they are all about US$50-60. Depending upon your taste and what data you want displayed, you can't go wrong with any of these choices.

After trying out each of these, I noticed that data would simply stop uploading after a few hours. Unplugging, replugging the USB cable would remedy the problem, but who wants to hang around and do THAT all the time? One reviewer here said Davis claims the fault is "line interference" if one uses the included AC unit. I don't mind paying for batteries every 8 months so I will try to see if this claim is true. However, the developer of WeatherTracker has an excellent support page about connecting the Vantage Vue to a Mac: [...]
He believes it is a hardware problem and suggests some different serial to USB hardware solutions. Davis ported WeatherLink to the Mac but didn't include dependable USB drivers. The site above has a link to the latest driver available (from 2008 if you can believe that). I am not geek enough to try his suggestions, but you might be.

I am running Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks and the software runs fine and except for the occasional stoppages, the Davis stuff is OK. But having to pay an exorbitant price for the logger unit and 1990 software is unacceptable. I will update this review if I find a solution to the dropouts.

If you are a Mac user and you want to upload records to your computer as a hobby, or you simply want to monitor the day's or weeks's weather data, go ahead and get this as it will serve your needs. But if you want to upload to Weather Underground or another such site, or view your date over time, or build your own site, you'll need to buy 3rd party software and deal with the data dropout headache.

1 star -- not recommended
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2013 11:39 AM PST

Neato Pet & Allergy Upgrade Kit
Neato Pet & Allergy Upgrade Kit
Price: $40.66
7 used & new from $38.63

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New lease on life, October 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I own an older model Neato xv-11 that I purchased about 2 years ago. I use it about every other day, and I use a high suction upright vacuum about once a month. The Neato is not a substitute for a 'regular' vacuum but it does a good job in my opinion keeping floors relatively clean so that dirt is not ground in. My original review here noted that the Neato firmware upgrades were not Mac compatible. To my delight, I revisited the Neato site and discovered they now have a Mac App for free download. I accomplished the upgrade and noted that the unit not only cleans more logically but hugs walls and corners much, much better.

At the same time, I discovered the beater bar and filter upgrades on this site. Although I think they're a bit overpriced, they have given my vacuum a new lease on life. The filter is so much better it's not funny. And the beater bar now has brushes built in and picks up dirt, lint and hair far better than the old bar. If you are concerned that the unit is compatible with the xv-11 or other units, be assured that it is. That said, when replacing the bar I had a little trouble. The new bushings on the beater bar ends are a different shape and didn't want to spin very freely. Probably a little breaking in would do the trick but I simply replaced the new bushings with the ones from the old bar, which were perfectly usable. Then, things got back to normal. It was a simple procedure as the orange bushings simply pull off and push on. As others have noticed, the machine is quieter with the new bar -- there's no longer a 'buzzing/humming' sound -- just the suction and wheel noise.

I couldn't be happier with the new firmware and parts upgrade. I'm hoping my xv-11 lasts for a few more years.

Weber 46110001 Spirit E210 Liquid Propane Gas Grill, Black
Weber 46110001 Spirit E210 Liquid Propane Gas Grill, Black
Price: $399.00
10 used & new from $399.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the perfect gas grill, September 5, 2013
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. This is positively the best gas grill I've ever owned. Weber's reputation is well-earned. Although I found this unit at Amazon, I didn't buy it here because I didn't want the hassle of assembling it. So I bought it from a home improvement store and assembly was free. It easily fit in my SUV.

Now for the 'likes' of this unit.
1) well constructed steel firebox and base
2) sturdy fold down side shelves
3) cast iron grates
4) warming grate
5) electronic ignition -- the best I've seen (battery powered)
6) builtin propane bottle scale to gauge tank volume
7) temperature gauge in lid
8) rotisserie holes
9) heats quickly and evenly
10) plenty of grill space to cook for 1-4 people (if you cook for more, look at the E310)
11) nicely designed, large, smooth turning knobs
12) lockable wheels
13) grease channel with foil catch tray

I can't think of a single thing I dislike about this unit. My meals have really stepped up a couple of notches since I began cooking on the Weber.

Indirect cooking also works well. I was able to smoke ribs fairly easily. I have a low profile stainless smoker box and it fits perfectly under the grate on the fire side, sitting on top of the flavorizer bars. I put a Weber foil water pan under the right (non fire) grate and again, it fit perfectly on top of the flavorizer bars. After cranking up the heat on the left side, the wood chips began smoking after 10-15 minutes. Then I placed the rib rack on the right side, loaded the ribs and closed the lid. On my unit, with the knob at the 'low' position, the temp maintained 285-290F degrees. If you like more smoke flavor, you can add more chips after an hour. At the 2 hour mark, I added more water to the pan. At the 3.5 hour mark, I mopped the ribs with sauce. They were done at 4 hours and I removed them and covered with foil.

I realize that this higher temp goes against the grain of 'true' smoking at 200-225 degrees, but the ribs finish in 4 hours instead of 6, and I honestly cannot say there is a difference in the taste or texture.

If you grill steaks or chicken, you will get evenly cooked meat and you can use the warming rack to defend against flareups. Better yet, get a set of 'Grill Grates' (search for them here at Amazon). These grates can be placed directly on the grill's standard grates. You'll get wonderful grill marks on your food and with them, flareups are virtually non-existent.

I personally don't think spending the extra 50 bucks for a couple of stainless panels is worth it, so I got the black. I'm happy with it. If I could give ten stars to the Weber E210, I would. Highly recommended.

Additional Hard Anodized GrillGrate Panel
Additional Hard Anodized GrillGrate Panel
Offered by GrillGrate- An Award Winning New Product
Price: $22.99
2 used & new from $22.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Work!, August 27, 2013
'Passinthru' described them perfectly. They simply work. Great grill marks. Perfectly cooked and flavored meat. I love them.
Buy these. You won't be disappointed!

Travelon Luggage Deluxe Packable Shelves With Zippered Compartment, Black, One Size
Travelon Luggage Deluxe Packable Shelves With Zippered Compartment, Black, One Size
Price: $36.25
4 used & new from $32.97

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does the Job, December 20, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For the past few years, I've used packing cubes for travel. But this unit is an improvement on the concept. It's simply amazing that one can lift out shelves and hang them.

1) Shelves are well-balanced and hang well when packed.
2) Super easy to pack and unpack.
3) Zipped compartment keeps small items from spilling.

1) Small version is a tight fit for some carry-on bags.
2) Packing cubes ultimately give more space if space is important.

I would recommend the smallest size even for a larger bag. The extra space can be utilized for all the odds and ends that travelers pack, as well as a soiled clothes bag.

Ionic 4 SLIM FLEX Cases with Screen Protector for "The New iPhone" New Apple iPhone 5 Apple iPhone 5S (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon) (Black/Blue/Purple/White) [Doesn't fit iPhone 4/ iPhone 4S]
Ionic 4 SLIM FLEX Cases with Screen Protector for "The New iPhone" New Apple iPhone 5 Apple iPhone 5S (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon) (Black/Blue/Purple/White) [Doesn't fit iPhone 4/ iPhone 4S]
Offered by CrazyOnDigital Corp.
Price: $6.85
2 used & new from $1.85

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Available for My Needs, October 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had 4 iPhones (every other year) and a lot of different cases for them. This has to be the best deal out there on cases. A good case typically costs about $30 -- even for a piece of plastic. This company gives you 4 cases in different colors for less than $25 delivered. The quality of the case is very good--not too flimsy and not too stiff--just right for slipping on and off the phone. It wraps around the top edge of the phone for good protection and has cutouts for all functions (I dislike cases that have no cutouts for top and side buttons). Although the plastic has a shiny finish, it's still grippy but not so grippy that it's trouble to get in and out of a pocket. In other words, they got it just right. Although one cannot pick the colors, I like the variety. I have a white phone and all the colors look great on it. Oh, and it comes with a clear screen protector, too, though I never use one.

Highly recommended. 5 stars.

Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex
Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex
Offered by Easy Tech Trend
Price: $118.99
118 used & new from $79.99

349 of 362 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good printer -- a hassle to set up for Mac users, September 13, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After going through another $56 set of inks on my inkjet printer, I decided enough is enough. I don't need to print documents in color and I no longer print photos at home because Costco and Walmart are cheap and easy (and better). This Brother laser printer was my solution.

I give the printer high marks: the print quality can be set at three different levels and the two highest levels are superb. Also it duplex prints (both sides) and does a good job at that. Printing envelopes via the 'straight-through' path is easy and has made my label machine less useful.

As with so many tech units, it's the setup that is the hassle. I am a Mac person. Sure, I've used PCs at work and when I have to but I much prefer the Mac OS. The first indication that there was trouble was when the included setup disk refused to install the printer drivers because they were outdated. There was no link to update, no advice, nothing. So I went to the Brother site and after digging around through their horrible UI, I found the necessary updated drivers, downloaded and installed them. But that was only the start of the hassle.

The user manual is horribly confusing, to say the least, when it comes to setting up the wireless networking (at least to me). I suggest you ignore everything in the manual regarding networking. Let me give you Mac users some hints so you can avoid the wasted time and frustration I experienced:

1. After you've unpacked the printer, installed the toner and paper and printed a test page, go to the Apple web site and search for Brother printer drivers. Apple has all the latest drivers for download free.
2. Download and install the drivers.
3. Insert the CD that came with the printer and open the 'Utilities' folder. Do NOT use the 'Start Here OSX' icon.
4. In the Utilities folder, click on 'Wireless Device Setup Wizard.'
5. In the next window, Setting Up Wireless, click 'NO' then 'Next.'
6. In the next window, click 'checked and confirmed' then 'Next' (you don't need to read the stuff in that box).
7. In the next window, make sure 'Temporarily use USB cable' is selected, then click 'Next.'
8. Connect a USB cable from your computer to the printer.
9. In the next window, you will see the setup software searching for wireless signals in your area. Make sure your network is visible, then select it.
10. In the next window, input your router's wireless access password twice as requested. (Note: if you have an Apple Airport, do not enter the Airport PW, but your wireless access PW. If they are the same, no worries.)
11. Unplug the USB cable to the printer.
12. Click through to 'finish' and you are done!
[Update Aug 2014}
Many have commented that to make their printer work, they took an additional step. Here it is:
13. Be certain the printer is ON. Go to System Prefs>Printers & Scanners. If you see a Brother printer in the pane, it is likely the wired version setup placed there automatically during the setup process. Delete it. Then hit the '+' button and add the wireless version setup your computer will find. Should you ever want to revert to a wired setup, you must go through this step again with the printer connected via USB cable.

Your Brother is now set up to print wirelessly and you can put it anywhere you like.

If Brother would make the setup 'Apple' easy I would give this printer 5 stars. It's a 5-star printer, but a zero-star setup experience.
Comment Comments (60) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 13, 2014 11:29 PM PDT

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