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Michael Davey (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
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Spyderco Resilience Black G-10 PlainEdge Knife
Spyderco Resilience Black G-10 PlainEdge Knife
Price: CDN$ 57.29
6 used & new from CDN$ 57.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice knife but it's not high end, July 1 2014
The shipping was very fast, even though I chose the free normal shipping. The box was thin and deformed but the knife was fine, there were no marks or any damage from shipping.
I'm not a nut for knives, I have a few but stopped carrying most because they would fall out of my pocket when I sat down. So the any knife I bought needed a pocket clip. The pocket clip is strong and holds the knife well. My last knife was an inexpensive one and the clip was not sufficient to keep it in my pocket. I don't know where I lost it. I also broke the tip, I had to regrind the end and sharpen it. It wound up looking like a small carpet knife. The Spyderco Resilience's clip is strong and has no problem keeping the knife in my pocket, where it belongs.

The exterior covering, a glass filled nylon has a good grip but is a little harder then I like. It has a fine woven fabric like surface. I prefer the ones that are a little spongier and has more give. They tend to feel more comfortable. This one feels like sandpaper under my fingers. Good for gripping but the nylon collects dirt and such easily. After painting one wall of my house the nylon had small dabs of paint on it. I tried cleaning it with an old toothbrush, but small amounts remained. It's just that kind of surface. Easy to hold onto. That includes paint. I wound up using Simple Green cleaner and a toothbrush, and it cleaned off the water acrylic based exterior paint.

There are three different sizes of this knife, this is the largest. After using the knife for some time I think the medium sized one (Spyderco Tenacious) would have been a better fit for my smallish hands.

The blade is not mirror finished, I find mirror finish blades clean easier. Some people have mirror finished their Spyderco's Resilience blade, their work is on Youtube. I tried to tighten the fastenings on the clip and the knife body but they were all tight. I've had knives fall apart after the fastenings came loose. The blade is centred, sharp and the hole in the blade is just the perfect size and placement for my hand, although a little hard edged. It could have been a bit rounded for comfort, but I guess not for the price I paid. The blade opens easily, but doesn't fall open. It stays closed when it should, it opens easily when it should. The fit is good, the blade swings easily when the catch/release is pressed. Which leads to the problem I've seen read in another review and I also noticed, and was prepared for when closing the knife the blade can close on your thumb. The blade is sharp all the way to the inside end and if your not careful you can cut your thumb when the blade closes. Some people have cut their thumb.

This is not a high end knife, but it is a decent knife at a great price. I tried ultra cheap knives since I was losing them all the time, but they fell apart or didn't hold a edge at all. I won't buy a high end knife for someone else to find after I lose it. Nor would I be comfortable digging in the ground or doing the various jobs that I ask my knives to do. I think this is a good compromise between price, reliability and performance. You could certainly do a lot worse.

If not for the hardness of the handle, the sharpish edge on the hole in the blade, lack of mirror finish and the cutting the thumb problem the knife would get a 5 star rating. As it is, I'd place it slightly over 4. Perhaps 4.5, considering the price. A similarly sized good quality knife would cost almost four times the amount I paid. I think it's an great tool for a great price.

Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Medium Tablet (CTH680)
Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Medium Tablet (CTH680)
Price: CDN$ 169.99
11 used & new from CDN$ 150.70

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessity if your going to draw or paint using your computer., May 18 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Trying to use a mouse or even a marble mouse while using paint programs is almost impossible to get decent lines or circles. This is where a graphics tablet comes in.

Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch medium tablet model CTH680 review.

The Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch tablet was ordered on December 30th from Amazon.ca, arrived on January 3rd. Shipping was free.

The Intuos was in a box about 50 percent larger stuffed with a bit of brown paper. Neither boxes had any obvious damage, both were spotlessly clean. Opening the Wacom Intuos box I found:
A tablet wrapped in two protective papers, one a thin black fabric of the type used for gardening that prevents weed growth, the other a white material similar to some flooring underlay, except much thinner and is often used for wrapping electronic goods.
A USB cord that had caps and a twist tie.
A pen held in place by two black foam discs.
A small black paper box similar to the style of a CD case. It contained numerous papers having offers of dubious quality and or worth, a CD or DVD of drivers. A small plastic bag with a small black nylon fabric the size of an unfolded clothing tag. It has several holes along two edges, and a small black rubber ring that appears to be a replacement for a small blue rubber ring on the pen. A quick start guide.
A thin pressed paper holder that is used to protect and hold all the items.

Absent from the package is any real documentation that informs how to change pen nibs, what the fabric with holes is for.
Absent too is the software disc. Instead you are given a code on the driver disc and this is used to download the software. When registering you are given a choice of which software of the four offered for this model. The Wacom website says you only have one chance to get this right, if you don't select all the ones you need, you won't have an opportunity to fix the mistake.

As soon as I plugged in the tablet Windows 7 downloaded the latest Wacom drivers and installed them. This occurred without any surprises or problems. I was told I should restart the system, but also if I wanted to download the software I needed to register the tablet. I chose to register before restarting.

I downloaded all the software, which included:
Painter Lite
Photoshop Elements 11
SketchBook Express v6.2 (Autodesk)
Color Effects Pro 3.0 Wacom Edition

The software didn't factor into my buying decision. I already have Photoshop although it's an elderly edition it suites almost all my needs and my wallet. Even so I installed Photoshop Elements 11with the hope that it will have the ability to import my Olympus E-PM1 raw files. It does.

If, during this process I was offered to download the Intuos product manual, I didn't notice it. Nor can I find it on my system so it doesn't appear to have been installed during the automatic driver installation, and it doesn't come with a printed manual. Eventually I went looking and found it here:

[...]

I believe the statement of models covered is in error, as it does not mention this model, but as far as I can see there is no other manual that covers the model, and it mentions the model number numerous times throughout. Except where it states what models the manual covers.

It is an oversight on Wacom's part to not download the manual when the drivers are downloaded and create an icon somewhere. Perhaps on the desktop. It's one thing to not include a printed manual, it's quite another to make customers search for them on their website. Especially when some customers have broken their pens trying to replace the nib.

The main reason I purchased Wacom was because the other tablets were an unknown. This was a hard choice since I already have a Wacom tablet, but there are no drivers for Windows 7. There is nothing wrong with the old tablet or pen. Which is annoying, to say the least.

My purchase price point gave me two choices, the Intuos Pen and Touch medium or the Intuos Pro medium. The pro gives higher resolution, reading speed and includes pen tilt. The tablet also has more switches including some that are configurable to specific applications. My model has 4 and they are currently set to act as CTRL, SHIFT, ALT and the Windows key.

The USB cord is 3.3 feet long and not really long enough for me. I used my Kindle cord instead which is longer and fits snugly into the socket in the tablet. According to some reviews the included cord does not fit snugly into the socket and can be a problem.

A wireless module is available but I don't currently see the need, except that it would make it easier to put away without needing to unplug the USB cord. I don't like plugging or unplugging cords all the time. Sooner or later there will be a failure, either with the cord or the socket. Usually the socket and I did read a review that complained of the flimsiness of the USB socket and it's failure.

Changing the replaceable pen nib is done via the back of the tablet, there is a small hole under a removable panel. It is used to capture the nib and withdraw it from the pen. The replacement can be slid in. The Intuos Pen and Touch does not come with replacement nibs or a desktop pen holder. The pen is held in a loop of nylon fabric on the top of the tablet. There is an additional replacement nylon fabric and a small black rubber ring for the pen. Since they are black rather then blue, I assume the intent is for minor customization. Very minor.

If I had to do this again I'd probably purchase the next version up, the Intuos Pro PTH-651. While it costs 50% more, it comes with many more customizable buttons and a four position touch ring, so I wouldn't have to take my hands off the tablet and pen as much, which can really break the work flow. The Pro comes with a desktop holder and replacement nibs. The table has over twice the resolution, the throughput is higher and the pen has tilt sensing plus or minus 60 levels. I don't think I would necessarily notice the higher resolution, 2000 lpi is already pretty high resolution, nor do I know if the tilt sensing would be useful to me.
The Intuos Pro is wireless, so you have one less annoying USB cord. I'm always horrified at the snakes nest of cords under my computer table. I'm certain they're reproducing, whispering "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated".

The Intuos Pro is black and over all larger than the Intuos Pen and Touch although the active area is only a bit larger. In my humble opinion, the Pro is better looking, for what it's worth. While I could send back my Intuos and get the Pro, I think I'll save the money and perhaps put it towards a copy of Corel Painter.

Is a tablet really necessary? For some graphic work, I think so, yes. There are some things which are extremely difficult to do with either a mouse or trackball type mouse. Drawing. Try drawing decent circles with a mouse or trackball. While I may not do some of these a lot, I stopped trying because using a trackball mouse was simply too difficult and I was not getting any better with practice. A graphics tablet can be used in Vue for the editing of terrains and painting of ecosystems and the pressure tip allows more control with less work. If I use the pen switch in Vue the pen seems to get grabby and moves the object you are painting. This is going to require more practice and I need to play with the pressure and painting ecosystems more.

I'm also happy to have another input method. On some days I can't stand the thought of touching my mouse, my hand and arm ache terribly. This allows me to switch back and forth. Although a graphics pen tablet isn't as handy as a keyboard and the trackball I glued to it, it does come with an onscreen keyboard that I can use to enter in text. It also comes with a handwriting to text tool, which appears to work well, even on my scribbling although I don't see myself using it a lot, perhaps not at all.

In the end, I purchased the tablet for graphics work, and in that it should work well, but like anything, it will take some time to master.

I wrote this review shortly after receiving the tablet. At this point I am sure I should have purchased the Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Large Tablet (PTH851 or medium PTH651) instead, or at the very least the wireless accessory kit. The USB cord is getting tangled in other USB cords. It's really annoying. The reason for now wanting the PTH850 is the larger area but more importantly more switches that can be used as keyboard shortcuts without having to take my hands off the tablet. But still, that's a lot more money for not a whole lot more functionality.

So, if I had to purchase a tablet again, I would get a Wacom, but probably the Pro version with more programmable keys.
IMHO, the Pro version could use even more programmable keys. Double the number and a shift to get even more.

I made a simple case for my tablet. I used dark blue vinyl seat covering material and sewed it together by hand. It prevents dust and dog hair from settling on the tablet. I also made a simple cover for my keyboard out of left over material.

300 Lumen Cree Q5 LED Zoomable Rechargeable 14500 Flashlight Torch Lamp Charger silver
300 Lumen Cree Q5 LED Zoomable Rechargeable 14500 Flashlight Torch Lamp Charger silver

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fits in my hand, lots of light., May 18 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased two other lights as well as this one. The other two are simple on off. This one has four settings: Bright, low, flash and off. The flashing setting is disconcerting, I find it painful to use. It gives me a headache and I'd be concerned about using it around someone prone to seizures.
It has a lens in the end which is moveable, this allows focusing the beam. You can extend the end and get a focused beam. Past about 5 meters the squarish LED is projected onto walls and such. The lens sticks out just a bit from the end, so if you stand it on that end you run the risk of scratching the lens, and the flashlight is wobbly.

Downside:
The switch appears to be a bit dodgy, sometimes it doesn't work, hence the four stars instead of five. Try not pressing the switch fully. Don't let it click, that seems to work. It's got a number of angular edges and the pocket clip can make it uncomfortable for your pocket.

Otherwise it fits well in my hand, has a small pocket clip and is very bright.

The charger is simple and works, simply insert the batteries minding the marked polarity and plug it in. The red light will eventually shut off. It will take some time before I can say much about the lithium batteries other then they were as described. They came charged or partially charged, useful time in the battery was not that long but a fresh charge could change that. I will compare them with alkaline and nickle metal hydride and hopefully get back to this review.

Overall I think this was relatively good value for the money.

7w 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp
7w 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp
Offered by SupplyQuickCA
Price: CDN$ 2.97
30 used & new from CDN$ 2.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Small extremely bright LED flashlight, April 26 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This flashlight is small, 92.5 mm long (about 3.5 inches) minimum, 98mm long maximum, 26mm in diameter (1 inch).
The flashlight has a lens which can be pulled out to widen the light cone, or to narrow it, narrow it so much that the LED light can be projected onto walls and such.

The flashlight is made of metal and has a very stiff steel clip which you can use to clip to your belt, pocket or what have you. It's a little difficult to clip to my pants pocket because the clip is so stiff and pushing down on the end can accidentally turn on your flashlight. The flashlight uses a single AA battery or a special rechargeable lithium battery. The flashlight is powerful, the description says blinding and that is literally the truth. At least temporarily. So the battery is unlikely to last very long.

So far I like this flashlight, I think it's a great bargain for the price.

C&E CNE11445 SATA Data Cable (2pk.)
C&E CNE11445 SATA Data Cable (2pk.)
Offered by CZ-Sky
Price: CDN$ 1.99
9 used & new from CDN$ 1.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Great price, March 31 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
For the same cost of one Sata cable at my local store I bought 4 sets of 2 from niceEshop.
Shipping time was well within stated time.
They came with velcro cable organizers, which I liked.

Ravel: Bolero, La Valse, Rapsodie Espagnole, Debussy: Images
Ravel: Bolero, La Valse, Rapsodie Espagnole, Debussy: Images
Price: CDN$ 9.49
25 used & new from CDN$ 8.06

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, Jan. 23 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First, right off the bat the first thing I noticed after opening the SACD is that it was already scratched and dusty. It was stated as new, the shrink wrap didn't appear to be regular SACD or CD shrinkwrap. You know, the kind that tends to drive you crazy trying to open... Perhaps it was new. Buy why was the SACD dusty and scratched? The scratch was semicircular, and around the area of the security device. Perhaps a piece of dirt was on it.

It didn't seem to effect the quality of sound.

Content:
I purchased this for Ravel's Bolero. I liked some of the other recordings, but not more then two out of the rest, and they were certainly not a significant portion of the recording. I wasn't able to find a copy to borrow first, otherwise I don't think I would have purchased this one. I like to find a legal copy to borrow, and if I like it, I buy it. Content is generally very subjective, so I didn't base my rating on content, only on recording quality and condition of the SACD.

Sound:
Unfortunately most of the recordings contain low level tape hiss that I found objectionable during several quiet sections. This is most especially objectionable and noticeable during the opening of Bolero. I guess I will have to be more careful to not purchase transfers from tape, and I will have to look for a recent recording of Bolero that didn't use tape.

I don't personally think the quality of the majority of the tracks are any better then an MP3 copy of the recordings. So in my humble opinion, the format is wasted on this recording. Two tracks sounded pretty good, but still not what I was hoping for.

Offsetting the negatives is the cost of the SACD was inexpensive even including shipping. But I only buy one a month, and this used up my months purchase.
My system is simple: Sony BDP-S370, Electric Avenue PA2V2 headphone amplifier and Sennheiser headphones. SACDs I really like: 1 of: "Holst: Orchestral Works Vol. 2", "Serenada Schizophrana".

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