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Profile for William Sommerwerck > Reviews

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William Sommerwe...'s Profile

Customer Reviews: 544
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William Sommerwerck "grizzled geezer" RSS Feed (Renton, WA USA)
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NOCO Squeaky E800 16 Oz. All-Purpose Glass Cleaner
NOCO Squeaky E800 16 Oz. All-Purpose Glass Cleaner
Offered by Baxter Auto Parts
Price: $7.79

3.0 out of 5 stars No better than Windex., February 6, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Squeaky" was no better or worse than Windex. Both cleaned my bathroom mirror equally well, and left nothing behind. Squeaky had a slight advantage, as its foam doesn't drip or run.

Bathroom fixtures were a different matter. Squeaky did a much better job than Windex of lifting soap scum and leaving a shiny surface. But so does Dow and similar foaming products.

Given the high price and shipping charges, it's difficult to recommend Squeaky. (The 12-pack price of $3.08 per can would be reasonable, if the shipping charges weren't so high.)


DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Everyday Kitchen Basic, Stripe Commercial Grade, Restaurant Quality Chef Oven Mitt and Potholder Gift Set, Red
DII 100% Cotton, Machine Washable, Everyday Kitchen Basic, Stripe Commercial Grade, Restaurant Quality Chef Oven Mitt and Potholder Gift Set, Red
Price: $10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but missing magnets..., February 6, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
These are pretty good. I especially like the mitten's long sleeve, which is needed when reaching into the back of the oven for something that's fallen off the rack. I assume the square one is supposed to be folded over, which provides additional insulation when picking up a hot cast-iron skillet.

I gave these mitts four stars (rather than five) because they're missing an important feature. Is it too much to ask they contain magnets to hold them to the oven door?


Roget's International Thesaurus, 7e, Thumb indexed (Roget's International Thesaurus Indexed)
Roget's International Thesaurus, 7e, Thumb indexed (Roget's International Thesaurus Indexed)
by Barbara Ann Kipfer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.78
54 used & new from $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars If I could have only one thesaurus, it would be this one., January 26, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I don't know why some people object to the organization. If the cross-referenced index doesn't lead you to what you want, the overall topical layout provides another approach.

This isn't to say that the older style of listing major words, followed by synonyms, doesn't have its place. That's how the "Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus" is laid out, but I like //that// thesaurus for its tables (Word Banks) and scales (Word Spectrums), which are not in Roget's.


South Main Hardware 848101 4 Inch Cable Ties, Black 1,000-Pack, 18-Lb Test, Small
South Main Hardware 848101 4 Inch Cable Ties, Black 1,000-Pack, 18-Lb Test, Small
Price: $13.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They take a licking and keep on ticking -- uh, not breaking., January 24, 2016
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm an audiophile and electronics hobbyist, so I often have need of cable ties. Short ones seem to have the most uses.

I tested these by forming the loop, then trying to break it with my hands. I wasn't surprised that I couldn't. I then tried pushing the loop down the handle of a tapered screwdriver. It held up to this abuse, as well.

They seem to be strong enough for most common uses. So they get my recommendation.


Monopoly Empire Game
Monopoly Empire Game
Price: $19.99
2 used & new from $19.99

2.0 out of 5 stars "not much fun", January 22, 2016
This review is from: Monopoly Empire Game (Toy)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I asked my downstairs neighbor and her boyfriend to play "Empire". None of us liked it -- mostly because it didn't seem to have any point.

It's virtually identical to conventional Monopoly, except that trademarks replace real estate. Each player's stick-shaped tray holds trademarks as they acquire them. The first to fill their tray wins.

There are small differences, such as swapping your top trademark for someone else's. The major difference is that the amount of money received when passing Go increases as your tray fills. Not a bad idea. (A similar system could be easily implemented for regular Monopoly.)

The fundamental problem, the thing that keeps "Empire" from being much fun, is that it doesn't model something we're familiar with or care about. Real estate we know -- but who goes around buying "mass quantities" of trademarks? Indeed, the game's point seems to be to promote the products of major corporations. * "Rush right out in a buying frenzy!" One wonders how much money Hasbro extorted from the trademark holders.

"Empire" is //not// significantly less complex than regular Monopoly, so there is no advantage for younger players.

We had to force ourselves to finish the first game, and no one wanted a second. It is impossible to recommend, unless you enjoy paying to be the target of advertising.

* Why Polaroid was included has no obvious answer. You young'uns out there probably aren't aware that Polaroid was once one of the world's major corporations, right up there with IBM and Kodak. It held the position that Apple currently holds, regularly turning out "magic" products that make Apple's attempts to amaze us look feeble. The Polaroid trademark has been attached to dozens of crappy products, a truly shabby "tribute" to Dr Land's scientific -- and business -- genius.


G.G.Martinsen Black 16 G Mini Usb Port Slim Small Multi-lingual Selection 1.78 LCD Portable MP3/MP4, MP3Player , MP4 Player , Video Player , Music Player , Media Player , Audio Player
G.G.Martinsen Black 16 G Mini Usb Port Slim Small Multi-lingual Selection 1.78 LCD Portable MP3/MP4, MP3Player , MP4 Player , Video Player , Music Player , Media Player , Audio Player
Offered by G.G.Martinsen
Price: $18.79
3 used & new from $18.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, but a few more features would be nice., January 12, 2016
This product was supplied free, in exchange for an honest review. (I should add that it took Martinsen three or four tries before I was supplied with the correct product link and redemption code.)

Here's a quick summary before the details: Nicely made, a bargain at the price, good sound, easy to use. But I'm giving it only four stars because there are a few things missing I'd really like to have.
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At $20, this ought to be a piece of junk -- but doesn't appear to be (on the outside, anyway). Despite reviews claiming otherwise, it's easy to operate. Even without the manual, you should be able to figure out most of it (but not all) by browsing the menus.

The sound is excellent. I used Sentey COR3 earphones (reviewed elsewhere), and was pleased with the immediacy and "heft", on both classical and pop music. (There are multiple EQ settings, but I haven't checked them yet, as Normal was fine.)

The player takes an agonizing //30 seconds// to boot from a cold start. It supports only a few file formats: MP3; MP4 (one flavor); FLAC; text files; JPG images. Several games are built in, and you can record voice. (Heaven knows where the mic is hidden.) Radio, too. When you select an operating mode (Music, Videos, Photo, etc), the player scans the root directory and displays a virtual directory with all the files having supported formats of that mode.

When connected to a computer, the player looks like a disk drive that can be managed as you would any other drive. You can create directories with any name, and put any files you like in them, whether or not they have a supported format. When you access these folders using the Local Folder command, only files with recognized formats for the current mode are listed on the player's screen.

Now some gripes. WAV files aren't directly supported (but there are free FLAC to WAV converters). * The FM radio sounds fine, but it's only mono. There's no carrying case, and no strap for the lanyard hole on the bottom. Lanyard or not, this is an itsy-bitsy device needing TLC.

This player is so modestly priced -- and so gosh-darned cute -- that it gets an easy (though cautious) recommendation. I recommend getting a color other than black, as black items are easily mislaid.

* Ironically, voice messages are stored as WAV files in the VOICE sub-directories created when you record. Other WAV files placed in these directories will not play. You receive an error message.


DBPOWER Bluetooth Speaker, Portable Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speaker with 2 X 3.5W Speaker Enhanced Bass Resonator, FM Radio, Built-in Mic,3.5 mm Audio Jack, support TF card/Micro SD card and USB input, up to 35ft Bluetooth Range, up to 8 Hours Playtime, support MP3, WAV, WMA, APE, FLAC format audio file(Solid Black)
DBPOWER Bluetooth Speaker, Portable Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speaker with 2 X 3.5W Speaker Enhanced Bass Resonator, FM Radio, Built-in Mic,3.5 mm Audio Jack, support TF card/Micro SD card and USB input, up to 35ft Bluetooth Range, up to 8 Hours Playtime, support MP3, WAV, WMA, APE, FLAC format audio file(Solid Black)

4.0 out of 5 stars behold -- the Peltzer "Bluetooth Buddy", December 26, 2015
This item was given to me as an outright gift, without any requirement for a review.

The B1 isn't just a Bluetooth speaker -- it's also a superior table radio, well-worth the asking price. More about that later.

As a Bluetooth speaker, the B1 works as expected. Set it to BT mode, then have your phone search. When it finds the B1, enter the default 0000 passkey, and they link pronto. Once the passkey has been learned, the B1 automatically locates and links to your phone, without having to repeat the setup.

Once you initiate a call, the B1 switches to speakerphone. You can hang up using the B1's "do-everything" button, or the "end call" button on your phone. (But unlike having a headset attached, closing the phone hangs up, too.) The B1 had no trouble connecting at 10m in my cluttered condo. (Why anyone would downrate the B1 for getting "only" to 5m is hard to understand, as you would normally be sitting near it.)

Which brings us to the mono FM radio. The sound quality is -- forgive me -- amazing. You'd expect the B1 to sound like a nasty little box. It doesn't. It's difficult to describe just how good it is, without going overboard. There are no obvious colorations, and the sound is transparent and detailed. The bass is more a simulacrum of bass, but when a heavy bass passage comes along, you know it. The sound is not quite room-filling, but the B1 has punch and guts, and can play quite loudly without distortion. *

The B1 is, in short, an audiophile-quality Bluetooth speaker, about the volume of two Roach Motels. (Other reviewers who listen to classical music are similarly enthusiastic about its sound.) Overall, I prefer its to the Tivoli (the Tivoli having more-but-muddier bass, and less transparency/detail). The only significant problem (other than it not having a stereo FM decoder) is that there's no provision for an outboard antenna.

A 3.5mm stereo jack on the back allows connection of any line-level source. The two speakers really are separate. A mouse would hear stereo from a stereo source. Humans will not.

* As good as it is, the B1 is no match for my Monsoon MM-2000 planar-magnetic desktop speakers.


Organ Toccatas
Organ Toccatas
Price: $22.03
31 used & new from $12.26

2.0 out of 5 stars excessively reverberant sound; uninvolving performance, December 25, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Organ Toccatas (Audio CD)
The classic E Power Biggs performance of the Bach organ toccatas on the four Freiburg organs, on multi-ch SACD, is out of print, and horrendously expensive. To paraphrase Victor Borge: "You were hoping this recording would be a good replacement? <beat> Too bad."

The sound is excessively reverberant, sometimes giving the impression the music has been sprayed with flocking. Schoener's performance (particularly of the D minor) is no better than acceptable.

If it's of any interest, Sony did not originally issue hybrid SACDs, citing fears of delamination. (I don't know if the policy has changed.) Had the Biggs' been a hybrid disk, it would have sold better and still be in print. If you're fortunate enough to own it, don't let go. If my condo ever bursts into flames, it will be the third thing I grab. (The first two are stuffed bears.)


Mead RFID Blocking Sleeves 10 Credit Card, 2 Passport Holders, Identity Theft Wallet Protection Set(76003)
Mead RFID Blocking Sleeves 10 Credit Card, 2 Passport Holders, Identity Theft Wallet Protection Set(76003)
Price: $11.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I tested them. They work., December 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Let's cut to the chase. (The stuff below the line is optional.) IT WORKS.

My cordless keyboard runs at 2.4GHz. Its antenna is at the upper-right corner. When I laid one sleeve over the antenna, then stood another vertically behind the keyboard, the keyboard fell silent.

That's all you need to know. Those who enjoy my inane chatter may feel free to read on.
----------------------------------------------------
Manufacturers like to get the public worked up over some threat (real or perceived), then sell a solution (whether useful/needed or not). You've probably seen ads for various credit- and debit-card protectors, designed to shield against "skimming" the card's data.

Only "smart" cards with an embedded RFID chip can be read this way. (Ordinary credit cards are immune.) This sort of theft is uncommon -- but those who've been skimmed might wish they'd taken precautions.

When I got a new debit card with this chip, I placed a dollar-sized piece of aluminum foil in my wallet's zippered bill pouch. I'd have preferred a sleeve (such as the Meade), but they were much too expensive. (The Meades aren't cheap, but at a buck a pop, not horribly expensive.)

Now I don't have to keep an eye out for strange people carrying backpacks.


Mead 2-Inch D-Ring View Binder, Pack of 4, Black (W465-44BPP)
Mead 2-Inch D-Ring View Binder, Pack of 4, Black (W465-44BPP)
Price: $36.08

3.0 out of 5 stars a decent, if pricey, binder, December 24, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are folks who need binders to store papers -- instruction books, data sheets, etc -- of which I am one, I prefer D rings, so when the chance to review such products arrives, I take advantage of it. My D-ring preference comes from the tendency of papers (even when in plastic sleeves) to get caught under O rings, and damaged. This is less-likely to occur with D rings. And papers are easier to lift.

This binder is of the cardboard-covered-in-plastic sort. The plastic "bridges" the gaps in the covers to form hinges. Despite the high $14 list price, the overall design appears to be as inexpensive as Mead can get away with. That isn't a problem if these binders spend most of their time on the shelf, and aren't exposed to abusive treatment (eg, being tossed around by salespeople).

I have several gripes. The first is petty -- Meade was supposed to supply four, but sent only one. The second is the decided stiffness -- and noisiness -- of the binder mechanism. The last concerns the polypropylene covering material. Meade says it's "neutral" and won’t rip or tear, or crack in the cold. I can’t confirm the polypropylene’s sturdiness without trying to destroy the binder. If I'd been sent four...

I have to ask whether the polypropylene will “lift” the printing (especially toner) from sheets inserted under the covers (as PVC covers do). As I have never seen this happen with polypropylene sheet holders, I have to assume it won’t.

Meade used to make a heavy-duty, all-plastic binder that has (of course) been discontinued.


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