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Profile for Michael A. Nowak > Reviews


Michael A. Nowak's Profile

Customer Reviews: 9
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Helpful Votes: 280

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Michael A. Nowak RSS Feed (Methuen, MA United States)

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VIGO Bathroom Faucet Vessel Vanity Sink Pop Up Drain Stopper without Overflow and Mounting Ring, Matte Black
VIGO Bathroom Faucet Vessel Vanity Sink Pop Up Drain Stopper without Overflow and Mounting Ring, Matte Black
Price: Click here to see our price
14 used & new from $25.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very sleek, and seems well made. Much nicer ..., February 21, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very sleek, and seems well made. Much nicer than the old style drains with plunger handles. I just wished it didn't have "Vigo" emblazened in gold on the top. I would have preferred a solid black.

Foscam FI9821W Indoor Pan/Tilt H.264 720p Wireless IP Camera, 1/5" Color CMOS Sensor, F: 3.6mm F:2.4 (IR Lens), IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless Connectivity, White
Foscam FI9821W Indoor Pan/Tilt H.264 720p Wireless IP Camera, 1/5" Color CMOS Sensor, F: 3.6mm F:2.4 (IR Lens), IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wireless Connectivity, White
3 used & new from $53.02

3.0 out of 5 stars The best of an underwhelming lot?, November 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These things are frustrating beasts. On the one hand, they aren't horrendously expensive, and it seems almost impossible to find a universally loved camera that doesn't cost a lot of money. And when they work, they work well. But, the reliability is very suspect, and the technical support very iffy. This is my 3rd camera from them. The first one was an MJPEG model (the 8910), and that ran into the problem of a bright/complex picture would crash the camera. (Reading through the FOSCAM forums, that problem seems to have been solved by some enterprising contributors after about 6 months of work. Although FOSCAM technical help is spotty, there are some very good people on their forums, so go dig through there for useful info on any of the camera models). Luckily that happened quickly enough for me to return the camera for a refund.

The second one was a FI9821 V1, which worked great for 3.5 months in a semi-outdoor setting (inside a duck coop, hanging upside down from the ceiling). The other day when moving it, unplugging it and plugging it back in, it went into an endless cycle of rebooting. This seems to be a known issue (hopefully fixed in the latest firmware, which sadly I hadn't installed). The unit is basically bricked. That seems to be the consensus of the forum, and from Foscam technical support. And sadly, it wasn't purchased from one of their providers, so it doesn't fall under warranty and the money is a write off.

So, I have replaced it with this one, which although not being listed as V2 actually did come that way. (I assume that they have run through the V1 stock at this point). This time I have immediately updated the firmware, and purchased from Amazon which allegedly should get me the full year warranty, which I suspect I might need. Again, it's working great now, but I don't have a strong feeling that it will be that way for the long haul.

But, the thing is, even having eaten the cost of the first one, I don't see anything else out there that, reading the reviews, makes me think would work any better or more reliably for anywhere near this price. And I need to keep an eye on my ducks, so there you go. This still seems like the best of a mediocre market, and there's probably an opening out there for a company that can make a reasonably priced, reliable camera.

Whirlpool W10135090 Defrost Control for Refrigerator
Whirlpool W10135090 Defrost Control for Refrigerator

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yup, it works., May 13, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Reading up a bit on the internet, it seems the Whirlpool Side by Side refrigerators have a tendency for the fridge side light and temperature control panel to go out, with this unit being the culprit. (You'll find it in a small white plastic box, near the compressor, in the back of the fridge on the lower left side). Our fridge was a 2005 model, and the equivalent unit was on a white circuit board, with a slightly different arrangement of the capacitors and resistors compared to the picture here. But, this replacement does indeed work and fit in the white box. It is a fairly quick and simple fix, so well-worth just buying the unit and trying it yourself. Here's hoping with the redesign it lasts a little longer than 7 years.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 16, 2012 5:21 PM PDT

Oxford English Dictionary: Single User Version
Oxford English Dictionary: Single User Version
by J. A. Simpson
Edition: CD-ROM
6 used & new from $100.00

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous content, lousy software, December 26, 2007
Do some web searches on the ins and outs of installing this on your machine, and take the words of advice to heart: the validation software is a nightmare. Allegedly, there is a very, very recent addition, v.3.1.1 (dated 2007) that *doesn't* run validation software. Only consider those. My version, unfortunately, is somewhat older, and does require the validation. In transferring this from an old, dying Windows XP laptop to a new Mac, running Windows XP on a separate partition, it will not validate under any circumstances. The response from Tech Support: "The OED is only designed to run in a true Windows environment, on PC hardware. We can only recommend that you continue to use the OED on your PC laptop, or other PC hardware." Excuse me? I'm running a fully licensed Windows XP system. If your software can't run under the operating system, when every other Windows program I've installed does, then you've written some pretty bad, hardware specific software. How do we know if any future computer we buy will still run it? I'm not staying on a 5 year old, dying laptop just so I can have a dictionary, no matter how nice a dictionary it is. Unless you know that you're getting a very, very recent version of the software that doesn't require the validation, and thus has at least some chance of being "future proof", then stay away...

Tourist Season: Stories
Tourist Season: Stories
by Enid Shomer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.33
55 used & new from $0.01

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, quirky, fascinating portraits - sophisticated "Chic Lit" indeed, April 8, 2007
In tight, concise prose with vivid imagery that almost reads like poetry, Shomer paints entrancing pictures of women at various stages of their lives. She takes situations that range from the mundane to the quirky to elucidate women we might know - our sisters, our daughters, our wives, our mothers. Stories even a guy can appreciate.

One For All URC 9910 Premium Learning Line 8-Device IR/RF Upgradeable Universal Remote Control (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
One For All URC 9910 Premium Learning Line 8-Device IR/RF Upgradeable Universal Remote Control (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
2 used & new from $52.99

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One remote to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them., December 23, 2003
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Now having 5 media devices (TV, Cable box, VCR, Xbox/DVD, Home Theater receiver), each coming with "quasi-universal" remotes that got ~80% of the keys right, but not enough that I could dump them all, it was time to get a remote that really would do the trick. This is it. It's got a huge built in database of codes, such that 90% of the other remote functions ended up in very sensible places on the new remote. (This is the first universal remote I've had that does a really good job with the cable box.) What about the next 10% you ask? IR learning! Just hold up one remote next to the OFA, push a button on each, and it's learned the command, and mapped it where you want it! Other useful features: volume lock, because everything is going through the receiver, the volume control buttons are set to always operate the receiver, no matter what mode. Macros: programmed to one button push to switch the TV input & audio receiver to the proper modes for DVD, VCR, or Cable.

Cons of the remote: The keypad arrows (up/down/side) are a little small, and not as "comfortable" as other remotes I've had. (I would have preferred separate keys for each, not the pad.) Also, you can fill up the memory for learning. This is mostly the fault of my receiver, which has a separate button on its remote for every possible audio option (e.g., stereo, surround, direct, ...) I ran out of memory room to map them all, so went with just the important subset (e.g., the audio option toggle button).

Pros: For the black belts out there, the second con can be gotten around by getting a JP1 cable, and hooking this thing up to your computer and programming it any way you want. Yes, this has the 6 pin connector in the back, and you can dig around the web for free, legitimate software that will then allow you to program this thing into one all powerful super remote. But so far, I've found that the existing codes + IR learning + macro buttons gets me 98% of what I want, so I haven't felt the need to go through the effort to get that last 2%

July 2006 Update: After just referring this to a friend (who would definitely be using the JP1 programming), I gotta say that I'm still happy. The TV is now a 50" Panasonic Plasma, and the codes were there to work it (including PIP functions). The DVD is now and Xbox 360. OK, the codes weren't there for that. But, I called the company (yes, a toll call, during weekday business hours), placed the remote on the speaker phone speaker, and they downloaded the new codes. Voila! It now controls the Xbox 360. I've been a little bit more clever about using "key mapping" to move properly coded, but oddly placed, functions to more familiar places (and thus save IR learning room). For prices as low as $30, this is still a great remote.

Babes in Toyland (1961)
Babes in Toyland (1961)
DVD ~ Ray Bolger
59 used & new from $2.99

6 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Abomination in the Eyes of God, January 5, 2003
This review is from: Babes in Toyland (1961) (DVD)
As someone who grew up on the classic Laurel & Hardy version, this version is totally unwatchable. (Even if one hasn't seen the L&H version, this is still unwatchable.) The songs are cringe-worthy. The plot a watered down version of the original, with all the creativity sucked from it. The original was a little bit like a Grimm fairy tell, with genuinely scary bits. This has none of that. No bogeyman, no three little pigs, no triumphant march of the wooden soldiers at the end. (In the original, 6 foot soldiers battle the bogeyman and Barnaby, in this, ... little 6 inch soldiers pelt a ... Barnaby wannabe. And the Laurel and Hardy characters start the film as villians! ... Skip this travesty of best forgotten film making, and seek out the orginal Laurel & Hardy version.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 29, 2014 7:10 AM PDT

Netgear MA401 802.11b Wireless PC Card
Netgear MA401 802.11b Wireless PC Card
11 used & new from $21.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Still dubious about both the product and XP., November 4, 2002
You'll notice a pattern to these reviews: they tend to be either 5 stars ("I have no IT background, and even I got it to work in 2 minutes!") or 1 star ("I have years of experience, and not even sacrificing a goat helped!"). I fall into the latter. Which is true? Both, probably. Yes, I fully believe that there are those out there who got this working with XP in under 2 minutes. But trust me when I say that, using the very latest drivers (downloaded from the Netgear site, Nov. 2002), and spending several hours on the phone with Netgear support, on more than one occasion, I have not gotten this thing to work properly. (I have tried exchanging the card in case it was hardware related.) Windows 98 had the problem of being very unhappy about having more than 4 TCP/IP devices (this card, internal ethernet card, internal modem X 3 [1 for the modem, 1 each for the modem with the MSN and AOL #'s pre-loaded, the latter two I had forgotten about], and yes, that is a known "issue" with Windows 98). So, that prompted me to get Windows 98 replaced with XP. Windows XP refused to read the driver off the CD, refused to read the driver from file, and basically had to be force fed the driver, which then didn't work. Deleting the driver to try over from scratch, XP now refuses to believe the card even exists, let alone needs a driver.
After talking to many people with various wireless cards and various machines, I keep hearing the same story over and over again. Depending upon *what specific machine* you have running XP, and what card you use, things either tend to work immediately, or not at all, with it being a crap shoot as to which it is going to be. So, yes, with XP this card *might* work immediately. But it also might not, and Netgear technical support won't be very helpful in making it work for you. So, you'll either end up in the 5 star or 1 star category, and unless you have a friend with an *identical* set-up, good luck guessing which it will be.
Best advice seems to be: go ahead and try it. If it works immediately, enjoy it. If not, return it and try again with another brand, and hope for better luck.
Feb. 2003 Update: True to the above, I downloaded Driver Version 2.6 (Dec. 2003), and it *still* doesn't work, although another person I know (who's card hasn't worked for the past year) did just update the firmware and driver on his MA401, and it worked for him on XP. I gave my MA401 card to a friend with XP, and it worked immediately on his machine. Lest you think somehow it is me or my machine, I just tried a Linksys WMP11 (version 3, I hear <version 2.5 is not as reliable), and that worked immediately! As I said, it seems to be very, very hit or miss on machines running in XP, and I go with my original advice. Try it, and if it doesn't work quickly, move on to the next brand.

Price: $9.12
165 used & new from $4.68

172 of 195 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A dissent from the positive reviews..., July 19, 2001
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Quiddler (Toy)
Reading all the positive reviews, I'm wondering if we all played the same game. In a nutshell, this game is far too easy, far too short, and not very interesting. The winner is more determined by who goes first than anything else, and frankly, the letter distribution is such that it is near impossible not to make a word immediately. My wife and I played this game two or three times before we were utterly bored. This is contrast to "Word Thief", also a Scrabble like word card game. That game, however, is far more challenging, much more involved, and will last more than 5 minutes, and can be played with as little as two players. Buy "Word Thief", and forget "Quiddler".
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2015 10:34 PM PST

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