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Glenn R. Howes' Profile

Customer Reviews: 426
Top Reviewer Ranking: 341
Helpful Votes: 7538

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Glenn R. Howes RSS Feed (Nashua, NH)

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Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Pedicure Foot File and Callus Remover
Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Pedicure Foot File and Callus Remover
Price: $49.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Well Designed Foot Sander, July 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm not quite the target market for this product, but if you are the type to want your foot sanded, this does a fine job.

As a first test, I spent ten minutes using this device to sand the bottom of one of my feet. Then I had both my children feel both my feet and tell me which one was smoother; and they immediately chose the sanded one. So it does what it claims.

Operation is safe and the device is setup not to pinch or tear skin. It sort of tickles the more delicate skin of my mid-foot and doesn't feel like much to the tougher pad skin. The release catch is easy to use and makes for quick cleaning of the sanding element. One sort of disturbing thing is that skin-dust accumulates in the Y area under the sanding spinner. Also, easily cleaned. It takes four AA batteries (included) and needs all that energy to keep spinning.

The device is well designed in a utilitarian sort of way with a large easy to grasp handle which makes the need for bulky batteries a positive feature.

So, in general, for those who crave softer feet bottoms, this is a useful product.

Tide Gentle HE Laundry Detergent 77 Count
Tide Gentle HE Laundry Detergent 77 Count
Price: $19.22

4.0 out of 5 stars I Like These Convenient Pods, July 24, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had not tried pod delivered detergent before, and I like this new way. It's convenient just reaching into a jar, grabbing a squishy little pillow thing and tossing it into the washer. Certainly more convenient than dripping liquid detergent into a cup with the potential for spills and drips, not to mention dealing with a collection of years worth of detergent cups. Instead everything dissolves cleanly into the wash.

My washer is one of those newfangled 'he', high efficiency ones and I took care before ordering to check for 'he' in the description.

Out of curiosity, I took one pod and dropped it into 4 cups of tap water (cold) to see how long it would take to dissolve in still water. It was bubbling out air bubbles in under a minute and leaking detergent in 5, but it's hard to say how long every last bit of membrane took to dissolve in water. It's been an hour, and there's still some lumpy structure. Obviously, in actual use, the agitation would cause the membrane to dissolve away much more quickly. I didn't see any residual membrane in my wash.

As for cleaning clothes, it seems to work as well as Tide ever does, and doesn't add much, if any, scent. So nothing to worry about there.

In summary, a nice system for delivering detergent.

Epson B11B207221 Epson Perfection V370 Color Photo Scanner (B11B207221) Scanner
Epson B11B207221 Epson Perfection V370 Color Photo Scanner (B11B207221) Scanner
Price: $109.99
79 used & new from $99.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Negative Scanner--Excess Work For Black and White, July 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like many, I have a collection of 35mm negatives that stopped abruptly when I got my first digital camera around 2001. And apparently procrastination has done me a great favor as I can now afford to buy a quality negative scanner.

In general, I'm impressed by the quality. It isn't particularly fast, and the negative holder is fragile looking, but the output can be beautiful. One major problem is that the Mac software does not anticipate black and white negatives--there is no greyscale option for Transparency-Negatives, so I have to go to the trouble of scanning them in color and then using Photoshop Elements to adjust the levels and convert them to greyscale.

This is too manual and slow to be a professional rig, but for a one time project of taking my time and converting a few hundred photos before handing the device off to someone else in the family, it's appropriate.

Thankfully, my negatives are in good shape, but I did purchase a blower to get rid of my nemesis dust and its cousin lint as well as some pairs of lint free cotton gloves.

Eating Ooo: Recipes and Art inspired by Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time
Eating Ooo: Recipes and Art inspired by Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time
by Eric M. Resnick
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.54
4 used & new from $11.55

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharing the Fun Activity of Making Indifferent Food, July 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've a hard time finding activities to perk up my 9 year old son, and this cookbook has been a great source of enjoyable things we can do together. He's been happily looking through the pages and finding what next to make, or scavenger hunting the grocery store for ingredients. It does't hurt that he's a big Adventure Time fan.

On the downside, the recipes are not particularly healthy with a lot of pre-processed primary ingredients while still lacking in taste. We've made several items. For example, the first morning I made the Bacon Pancakes and while we all had fun singing out 'Makin Bacon Pancakes' my normal pancake recipe, straight out of the 'Joy of Cooking', is much better than the recipe which is very similar to an apple muffin with small chunks of bacon. Fun, but not something that's going to make my regular rotation. Similarly, the Everything Burrito is quite the novelty but doesn't really add to the frozen lasagna or cheesecake or whatever else being randomly stuffed in concentric tortillas. My kids and I thought the Jake Instant Ice Cream needed more sugar, but my wife loved it; go figure.

In summary, a fun book that gets kids excited about cooking, just not a good cookbook.

Pro Art 2-ounce 6 Color Tempera Paint Set, Fluorescent Colors
Pro Art 2-ounce 6 Color Tempera Paint Set, Fluorescent Colors
Price: $13.59
2 used & new from $13.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Brightly Colored and Appropriate Size for Single Projects, July 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this set of tempera paint as I came across a series of clips on the PBS app on my Apple TV called 'Crafts for Kids' and one of the clips was on making homemade Play Dough. The recipe is basically: add tempera to corn starch until it has enough to become the right consistency. I thought my crafty daughter would love to do that so, on an impulse, I ordered this tempera from Amazon.

And she did have a great time making handfuls of play dough substitute and putting them into individual baggies. Each bottle will make at most a half a cup or so of dough all beautifully brightly colored and with a pleasant velvety texture. I'm not claiming this is cost effective over just buying regular play dough, but it is fun and you end up with colors you like and can mix.

2 oz. per color is not a lot of paint. It was a good size for doing this one little project, but if I were dealing with a large number of kids or had ideas for multiple projects, I'd buy larger bottles. Also, I think that there was a comparatively large fraction of wasted paint sticking to the walls that wouldn't squeeze out; a larger bottle would tend to have a larger fraction of squeezable fluid.

Epson WorkForce WF-7610 Wireless and WiFi Direct, All-in-One Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, 2-Sided Auto Duplex, ADF, Fax. Prints from Tablet/Smartphone. AirPrint Compatible. (C11CC98201)
Epson WorkForce WF-7610 Wireless and WiFi Direct, All-in-One Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, 2-Sided Auto Duplex, ADF, Fax. Prints from Tablet/Smartphone. AirPrint Compatible. (C11CC98201)
Price: $179.99
10 used & new from $179.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Big Prints and AirPrint, July 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
13×19 paper is huge. It amazes me I can print out photos this big, and at good image quality, but at that size it gets a bit complicated to use. I have to have the printer on before I put the paper in the rear hopper--otherwise the printer will complain about a paper jam.

I'm upgrading from the similar looking WF-7010 and this has several differences. The WF-7610 supports iOS AirPrint, so I can now print directly from my iPhone or iPad. Convenient. Because of the integrated touchpad, this can act as a stand-alone printing/scanning station; for example I can take a stack of photos and scan them automatically onto an SD card. While this is good in theory, and is much faster than doing it one at a time, photos scanned in this way end up with white lines (as if they were scratched) which ruins the feature. The scanning tray does not anticipate scanning smaller snapshot sizes, like 4×6 although they will sort of work even if you can't close the tray guides narrow enough to keep them aligned. Also, you can't auto crop when using auto scanning, so the resulting images all have to be cropped manually. My old printer had two trays, which I kept filled with both letter paper and photo paper. With this one, I'll have to switch in the required paper. If you go up to a higher model number, you can get two trays which might be worth the added cost for most people.

Print quality is good. I'm impressed by the nice quality of photos printed on plain paper; nice colors with accurate saturation and a lack of smearing.

The integrated software is clunky. For instance, it wouldn't tell me why I couldn't use the self-loading scanning with auto-cropping. It just wouldn't let me do that, saying my settings were wrong without saying which one.

You will want to find a sturdy desk to place this on, when the print head gets moving, there's a whole lot of shaking going on.

In summary, a lot of nice features only some of which are well executed.

Samsung RF217AC 20 Cubic Foot French Door Energy Star Refrigerator with Internal Ice Maker, LED, White Pearl
Samsung RF217AC 20 Cubic Foot French Door Energy Star Refrigerator with Internal Ice Maker, LED, White Pearl
Offered by evVive Home
Price: $1,583.49
3 used & new from $1,291.22

4.0 out of 5 stars My Family Likes This Refrigerator, July 15, 2014
I purchased this from Home Depot as it was on sale before the Fourth of July, 2014, In general, I've been happy. My children, who are around 4˝ feet tall, love the easy access to the ice maker. The bottom freezer is the primary reason I went with this design as it makes sense, cold goes down and gives kids easy access. In the past, the kids would have to drag a chair over to the refrigerator, duck under the swinging door and stand on tippy-toe to get to the ice. We are using much more ice now that it is conveniently accessible.

The French door action is smooth and it's nice only opening half a door when I know what I'm getting and not dumping all the cold air out of the refrigerator. My kids love having ice so cold it sticks to the tongue.

And then after it was installed, I saw all the negative reviews here on Amazon. Well, I haven't seen most of the problems enumerated here. I am not building up ice; it isn't particularly noisy; it reliably generates a lot of ice; the handles are firmly attached. Still, I probably wouldn't have bought it given the avalanche of bad reviews. I can only hope that in the years this model has been in production, Samsung has improved its reliability.

One thing I have been struggling with is locking in the temperatures as I like them. I bought a pair of freezer-refrigerator thermometers to compare what the digital readout in the refrigerator was telling me and they vary widely. My separate thermometer says it is -10F° in the freezer, while the digital readout says it is +8F°. Now you might want to keep your ice cream soft, I don't think that's going to happen with this freezer. The refrigerator temperature readout (34°F is more accurate, but still differs from the separate thermometer (39°).

I attached my Kill-A-Watt to this thing and it says I'm using just under 2.5 kWh per day (or about $0.35/day here in New Hampshire). This is not bad.

The height, excluding the hinges, is just a bit over 68⅝", so in my case it just barely fits under the half depth cabinet in my kitchen.

The shelf arrangement is fine, but it would have been better if there was more room for standing beverage containers, in addition to the pockets in the doors. The arrangement is particularly good for my children as they can access what they need easily, and I can put stuff I like on the top shelf. I have not seen any frosting in the vegetable bins, so it's been doing well so far. When I took the tape off, it took a swatch of paint with it near the top of one of the French doors. I've covered it with a magnet, but it's annoying having a new product with such a blemish.

My kids love it, my wife likes it, and while I'm worried about all those negative reviews, it's been fine so far after using separate thermometers to get the temperature dialed in.

New Balance Women's WX711 Cross-Training Shoe,Dark Grey/Purple,7 B US
New Balance Women's WX711 Cross-Training Shoe,Dark Grey/Purple,7 B US
Offered by Direct To Customer
Price: $65.65
5 used & new from $40.46

4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable but Unfashionable, July 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My wife's been happy with the comfort level of these shoes, but she feels they are somewhat old fashioned in their design. For some reason, she thinks they are old people's shoes. However, the women's size 7 fits her size 7 feet quite well, so they did nail the size.

They are exceedingly light and seem well put together; no bad seams, a nice selection of materials. I like the color choices of dark grey and purple, and disagree with her on whether they are too old looking, but maybe I'm getting old too.

Philips AJT3300/37 Bluetooth Clock Radio iPhone/Android Speaker Dock (Black)
Philips AJT3300/37 Bluetooth Clock Radio iPhone/Android Speaker Dock (Black)
Price: $39.99
4 used & new from $35.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Compromises, July 4, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a Vine member, I get to review a fair number of clock radios and this one makes a lot of compromises especially when it comes for use with an iPhone, but just in general it is pretty mediocre.

The first compromise was not licensing the Lightning connector from Apple, I guess this had to be done if they wanted to work with Android as well, as Android users would not want to spend more for a connector they wouldn't use. However it makes the device less than it would be otherwise. First it makes iOS users use an expensive charging cable. Second, it forces the use of an adaptor plate. Third, the charging cable doesn't support audio transfer so the dock cannot play music via the dock connector, instead relying on a more cumbersome use of Bluetooth. Fourth, the dock could not be designed to allow charging iPhones in cases, so this is for bare iPhones only. Fifth, this doesn't appear to support time syncing with the phone which other docks will allow and make setting the time a breeze on those other docks.

The second compromise was in the sound quality. This device has the odd property of giving worse sound than an iPhone 5S's built in speaker, louder yes, but much muddier and worse.

FM reception seems OK. It pulls in my expected stations. Strangely, it doesn't include an AM tuner.

I'm torn between giving this 2 stars which would be in the true junk level or just saying it's a mediocre three and not recommending this.

Samsung 23.6-Inch Wide Viewing Angle LED Monitor (S24D590PL)
Samsung 23.6-Inch Wide Viewing Angle LED Monitor (S24D590PL)
Offered by Price Cellar
Price: Click here to see our price
54 used & new from $156.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Value Monitor. Very Occasionally glitches., June 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've gone through a variety of monitors in the last year. My interest in this one stems from the shallow depth it takes up on a desk. My son has a small hand-me-down desk we purchased years ago when space was at a premium, and it is not deep enough to handle a monitor, and a keyboard and still leave room for anything else. This one jammed up against the back of the desk uses 6˝ inches of the desk's depth which leaves plenty of room for a small keyboard and a trackpad. The lightness of the monitor and stand do make it a bit shaky. It will move with any swaying of the underlying desk.

It is not a perfect monitor. My son reports and I've briefly seen occasional (perhaps once an hour) fraction of a second glitching of the screen. Apparently, this is when the line voltage goes momentarily low due to a large appliance, like the air conditioner on the same circuit, snapping on. Otherwise, it's pleasant enough. This is about as big a screen as I'd recommend with a mere 1080p resolution. I've seen 1080p stretched to 27 inch computer monitors, and the results are not pretty. The display can be set to be a little brighter than comfortable but can be easily adjusted down. Viewing angles are quite good; this is not a monitor that requires straight on viewing.

I've driven the monitor with a 2012 MacBook Air, using a mini-Displayport to HDMI cable, and an AppleTV with a standard HDMI cable taking advantage of the 2 included HDMI ports. The only complaint here is the lack of dedicated input buttons on the display. Instead, I have to switch via the hidden joystick menu control behind the bottom right hand corner.

I tried to calibrate the monitor for the AppleTV using the THX app (available in the App Store) on my iPhone, but while contrast and brightness were easily made right, I could not get the red levels to match the THX helper guide. Still, I'd say in general, the colors look fine.

There is an ⅛ inch audio mini-jack at the center back of the monitor which can provide a line-out audio of any stereo PCM signal that comes up the HDMI cables. I was able to use a male-male mini-jack stereo cable to connect it to the clock radio on the desk and make a quick speaker system. Remember to set your sources to send stereo. If you have a Mac, the output appears as an HDMI type in the Sound settings panel ('S24D590').

I'd say this is a fine example of a moderately sized 1080p value monitor. It takes up little desk space and delivers a competitive picture with only a sporadic glitchiness to keep it from being perfectly nice.

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