Category Archives: Review

Review: Sonnet Allegro Firewire PCI Card

I purchased this card to pamper a Firewire audio interface, which it does well, leaving my native Firewire ports for other things like hard drives, iPods, etc.

Installation was zero effort. Just open up the computer and pop it into an empty PCI slot. Mac OS X 10.4.1 requires no drivers. The ports simply show up as standard Firewire, not even some stepchild class sub-set, just Firewire. Can’t ask for more.

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Love, Angel, Music, Baby

(aka LAMB)

Wow! I haven’t liked a pop album all year, and I was tired of being negative on new releases. But Gwen Stefani’s new album is great from many perspectives. Of course, if you don’t like Gwen, this won’t magically seduce you, so feel free to skip it. Yay freedom!

The songs have great melodies and interesting vocals. The production is different from anything out there right now, and a lot of it distills the best elements from the 80’s. New Order and Freestyle fans will find a few interesting tracks near the end of the album, including guest appearances by Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook. This is not just another No Doubt CD, it’s a very cool electronic project with great songs and a kick-ass vocalist.

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TaxCut 2002

Review: Taxcut 2002 Platinum (Mac)

TaxCut 2002

The Good: TaxCut is less expensive than TurboTax and was first to OS X last year. Now it imports last year’s TurboTax data!

The Bad: Now I know why it’s cheaper. TaxCut is a mere advertisement for H&R Block. The program does its best to confuse the user into giving up and driving to the local office for human filing help. TaxCut’s web-based “Help” system will run you around in aimless circles. The so-called automatic update asks for permission to connect to the Internet, even though that’s how the Help works the entire time. If it finds an update, the program claims that it will handle everything. Not true, it simply dumps you on their web site where it doesn’t even show you which files you should download and manually install. Skipped an interview question accidentally? Don’t try the Back button, because half the time it will skip back an entire section instead of that last page. You get to start over! What about that one year head-start in OS X? I guess it wasn’t long enough to pop the lid on Cocoa so we could use a mouse with a scroll wheel.

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I purchased a cordless phone from in October 2001. My purchase arrived with scratches and smudges, and worse, no manuals or warranty info. I managed to clean it up, as I would any refurb, since it was a really good refurb price (about 55% of original MSRP). Their prices on other items seem just average.

When I finally reached them the first time, they claimed that they don’t sell refurbished products. I took them at their word. All I really wanted was the user manual and warranty. Easy!

Dear Mr. Gutierrez:

Thank you for your e-mail correspondence. We apologize for the condition in which you received your merchandise. We do not sell used or refurbished merchandise, so I’m not sure why there would be scratches on the unit. In any case, we will be sending the manual and any other paperwork right away per your request, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Customer Service
(800) 541-1490

Everything was cool, they were going to send it right away. Weeks pass. Nothing.

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Review: Sony SPP-ID975 900 MHz Phone

After reading some reviews here and there, I was hesitant. My old Sony ID910 was having its own problems, with the LCD losing entire rows of pixels. But I loved it otherwise, and still wanted a 900 MHz phone which wouldn’t interfere with my 2.4 GHz 802.11b computer network. The ID910 always had great range, the digital 900 MHz quality was great, I wanted a speakerphone, and I needed Caller ID. The ID975 was one of few choices.

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