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LG BH14NS40 14X SATA Blu-ray BDXL Internal Rewriter with Software - Retail Box
LG BH14NS40 14X SATA Blu-ray BDXL Internal Rewriter with Software - Retail Box
5 used & new from $74.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great hardware, but software/firmware needs work...good buy, April 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What put me on to this drive was that it was a very economical product, costing less than $100 for a drive that could read from and write to a wide variety of media. I actually upgraded from a lite-on drive (another very good purchase, I'm planning on selling it used so it finds a good home) which could only read. It has thus far allowed me to condense a lot of bulky backups including imaging files and software installers (which saves me the trouble of re-downloading them from the sites I bought them from). The drive works well with the Nero SmartStart essentials which came with my computer (and which works extremely well for data backups on optical media).

However, I did ding it one star because there are some issues with the software. There are times when my system does glitch up, the screen goes weird and I end up with the blue screen of death.

I take this with a grain of salt, though, because for a long time, Windows 7 always blue screened when I told it to reboot. The only reason I think the drive or software may be involved is that this problem occurred right after I installed it. However, with the drive idle and still connected, or with a disc in the drive and still connected, it rarely occurs. I think maybe one software update is glitching out.

3/3 discs have thus far been burned and verified. I hope I don't have to write a second review owing to a catastrophe. But, having once upon a time worked in the industry, sometimes failed products slip through even the best quality control. That's why they issue warranties.

Sony MDRNC7/BLK Noise Canceling On-Ear headphones (Black)
Sony MDRNC7/BLK Noise Canceling On-Ear headphones (Black)
Offered by BluPS, Inc
Price: $80.00
30 used & new from $19.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It ain't Bose, but for the price, a great value., March 19, 2012
I got these from one of those electronics vending machines in JFK. Let me tell you, on an airplane, these things cut the engine noise dramatically. Just make sure you don't leave the power on all the time and run the battery down. Fortunately you can replace the battery with a single AAA battery.

Now bearing in mind...this isn't a Bose Acoustics headset. I've played around with those. And Bose is WAY expensive. Sometimes worth the price tag but it's that price tag that people can't afford. These come very close. I hear good frequency response from the drivers (the headphone speakers) and when I kick in the noise cancellation, I can turn the volume down and hear the full spectrum.

Sony still delivers a reliable product when it comes to AV. This is one of those.

No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A concept that works, and for an early model, it delivers., March 19, 2012
When I got this module, I needed a fan controller and the ability to replicate a memory card reader that was in my old case. I got what I wanted with this thing.

This device gives both a fan controller/thermostat and a memory reader in one 5.25" bay package. Personally, I think Aerocool can use this design to produce a more elaborate and feature-packed system, but this is something nobody's yet done with a fan controller, and as a first step, it's a good one.

I gave full stars for this one because for me, it performs to my full expectations. I have temperature monitors set up on my CPU, HDD, and one to monitor case ambient temperature so I have a standard to compare. All fan controller lines have mainboard plugins so that the BIOS can send and receive RPM information on the fans. If something overheats or a fan starts to fail, the controller will sound an alarm. If something is going VERY wrong, the controller is still connected to the mainboard so the fail-safe systems can kick in and shut the system down before catastrophic system failure occurs.

The only problem I've had with it is that one of my cooling fans has had an under-RPM error alarm. This has worked itself out. It works well with my liquid cooler (Antec Kuhler 620). (If you use a DIY liquid cooler, you might need to put in a flowmeter with a frequency converter to make sure the mainboard will boot...some mainboards may prevent startup without this mod, as it is part of a fail-safe...shut down the system if the CPU cooling fan fails.) This problem worked itself out.

This controller has a manual mode, but I run it in automatic. I have the thermistor tucked under the edge of the heatsink near the CPU to monitor the core temperature (NEVER try to sandwich it between the heatsink and the CPU, you'll crush and destroy the thermistor and compromise cooling...this placement is as close as I can get).

Note: My graphics card is now an ATI Radeon 6850, which has its own onboard thermostat and fan controller, which I can access with the Afterburner utility, so it's already cooled and monitored.

I'm happy with the 3-channel standard rig, and when I use my blu-ray drive, I can put the screen away to access the tray. I hope this design inspires more advanced models.

MSI Radeon HD 6850 1 GB DDR5 2DVI/ HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card, R6850 CYCLONE PE/OC
MSI Radeon HD 6850 1 GB DDR5 2DVI/ HDMI/DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card, R6850 CYCLONE PE/OC

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daaaaaaaammmn..., March 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this card for 2 reasons...1, I was sick of dying in Skyrim due to frame drops, and 2, I do video work on a machinima ("Kane's Mind"). It is kind of a steep price tag, but...what you get is a lot of bang for your buck.

It is NOT ATI's top-of-the-line top-of-the-line...that would run a WAY higher price tag for what THAT delivers. However, for what you pay, you get:

-A solid piece of hardware. AMD makes some good hardware, and the ATI Radeon graphics cards are on par with NVidia.
-Great cooling assembly. GPU's are running hot, and the Cyclone arrangement puts the hot parts in contact with the heatsink.
-Utility. Graphic designers will like this because you can two displays from the same source.
-Expandability. Just pair it up with another graphics card using the ATI crossfire technology. This card even comes with the ribbon cable to make it happen.

You'll get your money's worth, and even when the warranty expires and the tech trend goes up, you'll be able to:

-overclock. ATI Afterburner software comes with the card. I leave it at default settings, but if I need to give the card a kick, I can do so...and make sure I don't overheat or overwork the hardware. The software shows it in realtime.
-liquid cool. Koolance makes a waterblock that fits this hardware arrangement perfectly, and liquid coolers will draw off WAY more heat than the onboard air cooler.

NZXT M59 Classic Series ATX Mid Tower interior chassis M59-001BK (Black)
NZXT M59 Classic Series ATX Mid Tower interior chassis M59-001BK (Black)

4.0 out of 5 stars Has some quirks...but a decent case for the price., March 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you want functionality and style, this is a great way to go for a case. For a low cost, you get 3-4 large (5.25") bays, plenty of hard drive bays, and enough room to get into trouble. Plus, you have two cooling fans and plenty of room for adequate airflow, and you get a window to inspect the parts...if you never light the case, you'll at least be able to see whether dust is building up.

The one complaint I have is that the top 5.25" bay is blocked by a pre-fab optical drive bezel which is integral to the case. You can't mount an off-the-shelf optical drive. You have to find one that both doesn't have a bezel and fits the dimensions of the existing bezel. I like to mount the primary media drive in the top slot. However, I could repurpose it for a switch bay or something. The other 3 5.25" bays are set up for my main DVD-RAM/LS drive, my Blu-ray drive, and my fan controller (an Aerocool FP-01, which allows me to put the screen away if I need the Blu-ray drive).

Mostly, you can do all the maintenance you need with a philips-head screwdriver. This case provides thumbscrews on both sides so you can access the main compartment and run longer cables through cutouts in the housing. This not only makes it look neater through the window...but it also puts less obstructions inside the case, which means more airflow and better cooling.

If you want to tinker and aren't going for the die-hard uber case, this is a great way to go, and the cable management cutouts will help you keep the hardware cool and extend its service life.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 25, 2012 11:45 AM PDT

Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid CPU Cooler System
Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid CPU Cooler System

4.0 out of 5 stars Getting started with liquid cooling...a quiet and cost-effective start, March 18, 2012
I just got this one from a Fry's Electronics store. Mostly, I was looking to reduce noise while making sure I have adequate cooling on my CPU. i would have been happy with an air cooler. However, this sucker delivers as a liquid CPU cooler.

In getting started with liquid cooling, the hottest part of your system is going to be the CPU. That said, there will be two reasons to get this cooler:

1) You're planning to overclock.
2) Your CPU cooling fan is making too much noise and driving you nuts.

I was holding out for a more elaborate liquid cooling kit, but #2 forced my hand.

With an adequate cooling system, liquid cooling works better than straight up air cooling because of chemistry and physics...water has a far greater heat capacity, that is, it takes more thermal energy to heat water than air. A liquid cooler sequesters all that heat in the liquid, and dumps the extra heat through a radiator, which is not only built to have high surface area to transfer heat to the air, but relocates that heat away from the components that can be damaged by it.

I cannot attest to reliability thus far, as I have recently installed it. However, performance-wise, it works better than my stock heatsink, and it's quiet. So quiet I don't even know my computer's on until I look at the case to see if the power's on.

-Simple liquid cooling assembly. It's all put together, there's plenty of slack in the connections between the pump/waterblock and radiator. As long as your case has a 120mm fan vent, you should be able to fix this sucker in place.
-All in one kit, built and ready. If you're not a gearhead or techie geek, this is a one piece system. No liquid to measure or pour. All connections are made. The system is pre-filled. All you need is a philips-head screwdriver and enough adventure to unscrew the heatsink mount from your mainboard to put the new mounting brackets in place, and the kit includes brackets for all compatible CPU configurations.
-No special stuff, just simple physics. The contact surface (where the cooler meets the CPU) is copper. (Even comes pre-greased...unless you want to slap on your own thermal grease), it transfers heat to the water coolant. The coolant is sealed and contained in the cooling circuit.

The instructions leave out key drawings. Namely, those which tell you which way to orient the retaining bracket (the gear-toothed hoop which holds the pump/waterblock to the CPU) to fit. I ended up putting in the mounting hardware the wrong way. Fortunately, all you need is some patience and a butter knife to ease the mounts out and fit them in the other way. This is the only reason why I dinged this product one star...this is supposed to be an easy kit, and not everyone has had the experience of assembling forty or fifty PC's over the course of decades.

Fear not, if you messed up, you can pry the screw mounts out, just push the tension clips in and nudge the other side out with a knife blade. It should pop free.

The mounting hardware consists of a retention ring (that's what holds the business end on the CPU) and the backplate (big square one for Intel, rectangular one for AMD). If you're using Intel, just line up the square backplate and see which holes center on the screws consistently.

Make sure the radiator fan follows case airflow. Usually, this means the radiator pulls dual duty, drawing air through the case and over the radiator. Fortunately Antec made this easy for newbies and amateurs. The fan has two arrows on along the circumference to show the rotation of the fan...and the other shows the direction of airflow. Note which way the arrow's pointing, mount it so that the fan draws air out of the case through the radiator.

Final fitting is a little tricky, but here's some tips I found. When you thread the screws in that secure the retention ring to the mounting plate (these parts sandwich the mainboard, that's what holds it in place), only thread them on enough for them to grab. Then center the waterblock, turn it in place until it kinda feels right (you shouldn't have to squeeze in or force the coolant lines, this thing can mount at multiple angles), line up the teeth, then tighten it down.

Currently, I do hear a slight buzzing from the pump, but the system does perform, and it's WAY quieter than the older CPU air cooler. Additionally, the contact surface has some extra area that extends past the CPU, which I used to mount the thermistor for my fan controller so that it reads closer to the actual CPU temperature. At idle, it holds steady at 30C plus or minus 1 degree. The alarm is set below the high tolerance of 60C. The fan controller has the radiator fan running at 1020RPM, vs. the 2100-2400RPM of the stock fan.

This sucker should be built to last, and even if I have to sell it secondhand if I upgrade, I want to be able to say I'm selling a quality product with a long service life. I hope Antec makes my list of dependable products along with Intel, AMD, HP, Logitech, Thrustmaster, Apple, Asus, and MSI...products which I have had a positive track record over the years.

Halo Reach - Limited Edition -Xbox 360
Halo Reach - Limited Edition -Xbox 360
Offered by Top Notch iDeals
Price: $36.35
60 used & new from $16.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Bungie's Blessing...and what a blessing it is!, January 18, 2012
I've been a Bungie fan since Marathon back in the early 90's, and their design and creativity persisted into Halo. I outsold my supervisor for XBox systems on that game alone back in 2001. With the exception of a few inconsistencies in story (Bungie took great pains to maintain consistency with novels and games, and the SPARTAN III's were supposed to be the dark of the dark in "Ghosts of Onyx," but hey, things happen, and the book "Fall of Reach" did hint at additional SPARTAN classes), this is a primo game. They revamped the engine.

I met some of the Bungie people at the Reach launch party in Times Square. 343 Industries is "Bungie..." but split off in order to make sure the spirit lives on while keeping to contractual agreements with that corporate crime ring, Microsoft. They did an awesome job. I canceled my pre-order with Best Buy in order to re-order with Best get this edition.

Unlike with Halo 3 (where you had to get the bust of Master Chief to get the additional content), this edition gives you all the content. If you want to go Legendary edition, you're a more die-hard collector than I...but this gives you all the same software, plus the Halsey journal, which gives you more informational depth into the series.

Be prepared for a long haul to upgrade your in-game first investment was mostly into engine-specific components...I saved up credits (basically, experience points you get through singleplayer campaign missions and multiplayer encounters, as well as challenges) to get the John-117 voice first. If you really want the appearance upgrades, you'll have to play it out.

Sony DCR-SX85 Handycam Camcorder (Silver)
Sony DCR-SX85 Handycam Camcorder (Silver)
Offered by MSB Ent.
Price: $334.00
12 used & new from $59.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Casual filming and robust performance, not HD, January 18, 2012
I got this camera for a cruise on the Mexican Riviera with my family...I sold a bunch of stuff on E-bay to buy it. I was not disappointed with overall performance. I have a steady hand, so the 70x optical zoom was no problem to manage. I keep my vacation films to less than two hours, so there was more than enough capacity. The touchscreen allowed me access to other features, and the software allowed me to program the main menus to get at the features I wanted most.

Bear in mind it's not an HD camera. But it does shoot some decent video, and it allows the amateur cinematographer to do detailed close-ups.

The only thing I wish this camera had was a viewfinder rather than a screen. With a viewfinder I have one eye free to see the real world. I'm not distracted or forced to stare at a screen. Too many manufacturers are neglecting this.

On the other hand, if you're a scuba diver and want to eventually move into underwater photography, I have found a waterproof/pressure rated camera housing built for this model of camera.

I would further recommend three things:
-A wide angle lens. This will allow you to make slow pans and frame more of your surroundings for establishing shots.
-A polarizing filter. This cuts reflections. Beware...laminate in windows may make them appear "dirty," so you will have to adjust the filter. (Just rotate the filter housing until the image cleans up).
-Sony Vegas 10 Platinum suite or equivalent. I actually had this software before I bought the camera, and it performs very well. It is intuitive, and only as complicated as you want it to be. The suite also comes with DVD creator, so you can organize and assemble your footage, even add menus. I would recommend spending some time to learn how, though. But as far as high-grade video software goes, offered it for <$80. A good deal.

Hammerhead 16-Inch Straightline Barrel for A5/X7 (Black)
Hammerhead 16-Inch Straightline Barrel for A5/X7 (Black)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience says this works..., January 18, 2012
This barrel helped me make my A-5 into a sharpshooting machine. However, it is not a miracle, it is only bound by physics. However, it helps a lot.

First, you have to remember...ultimately, a paintball has a range limit based on velocity, which is restricted by field regulations. If you are allowed 280fps muzzle velocity, then you have to maximize that.

Second, a "buyer beware" message to paintball players...try before you buy. I wasn't convinced until I tried a straightline barrel on my A-5 and saw an improvement. You may have different experiences.

Third, a better barrel will not make you a better player. I learned to play and saw where my flaws were in tactics versus my gear.

That said, this barrel is worth the hype. It is a true rifled barrel. It only performs like a stock barrel if a ball breaks inside (and that happened when I had problems with a tank regulator, and my A-5 chopped a ball), but that is at the worst of times. With a well-maintained marker, this barrel is LETHAL. What's more, for what you pay, you get a barrel that can switch between markers...all you need are a few fin sizers to mate the barrel to the gun. I got mine used, and it has been my primary barrel ever since.

Make no mistake, the price tag is steep, so it is an investment. This is a barrel for the sharpshooter, one who wants to put a ball on target. It is not for all styles of paintball play. However, with a well-maintained marker, it will deliver.

The only other advice I can give is to put rain-x in any all-metal barrel, swab and buff the inside...this works wonders.

Ninja Paintball Reg Regulator - 4500 psi
Ninja Paintball Reg Regulator - 4500 psi
Offered by BIGFLY
Price: $43.96
6 used & new from $43.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, but you may need to tweak it, January 18, 2012
I got this when I got a used 4500PSI tank, but the regulator it came with was fixed for low pressure. I have an A-5, which is a high-pressure gun. When you get this regulator, be warned, make sure the airsmith (or the user if they know what they're doing) sets the pressure for 800PSI. Mine was set to 850. This was a mixed blessing...I ended up popping an o-ring out from the valve (no damage, but it cost me time to open up the gun and put the o-ring back), but the extra pressure gave me margin for error with an in-line regulator (reccomend the RAP4 regulator, and swap out the thumbscrew adjuster for an allen key bolt, just go to home depot and they'll help you there, it'll make it tournament legal and it'll also make sure you can't bump the adjuster screw), which in the end has improved my gameplay.

Don't get me wrong. This is a solidly built regulator, robust and true. I wouldn't say I swear by Ninja air products, but I have two of their items now, the regulator and a remote line with slide check, and neither one has let me down thus far. I would recommend this item based on experience. Just remember to have the airsmith set the pressure right (800 PSI), or, set it a little higher if you use an inline regulator (850...then crank it back at the inline).

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