Lilian Garcia - Quiero Vivir! Audio CD Review

Image

This review was originally written on April 11, 2008
Good Music, But Beware Of The Restrictive Disclaimer - Can't Resell Or Give Away The CD You Bought

I bought the Lilian Garcia - Quiero Vivir! audio CD from Amazon in March 2008. Although I don't understand Spanish, I found it to be very enjoyable. Lilian has a great voice, and I wish that she had made a completely English version of this album. Thankfully two of the songs are English translations. Track 10 "Under In Love" is the English version of track 4 "Desenamorada", and track 11 "Where Did Love Go?" is the English version of track 3 "Adonde" (that's the duet with Jon Secada).

The one thing I dislike about the CD is one thing that I have *NEVER* seen on any CD that I've ever purchased. On the outer rim of the CD is this disclaimer: "This CD is the property of the record company and is licensed to the intended recipient for personal use only. Acceptance of this CD shall constitute an agreement to comply with the terms of the license. Resale or transfer of possession is not allowed and may be punishable under federal and state laws. This CD may be watermarked to identify the intended recipient."

It appears that Amazon is selling promo CDs, as this disclaimer pops up in articles about the current case of Universal Music Group (UMG) vs. Troy Augusto (do a Google search for "this CD is the property of the record company" to find more information about the case). Interestingly, Universal Music Latino is the distributor of the CD, though WWE owns the content. However, nothing on the packaging states that the copy Amazon sold me is a promo CD, so I have no idea why it appears on the disc.

Below is an image of the CD so you can see the disclaimer for yourself, and see that the disclaimer isn't presented to the customer until after the purchase has been made and the product has been opened - thus nullifying the "agreement to comply with the terms of the license" because you can't agree beforehand.

Image

I sincerely hope that this is an error and that Universal Music isn't serious with this disclaimer or they certainly will have killed their CD sales for good.

Alvin And The Chipmunks - Here's Looking at Me! Audio CD Review

Image

This review was originally written on October 10, 2004
Too Bad Some Of These Are Not The Original Recordings

First, here's the track listing for the Alvin And The Chipmunks - Here's Looking at Me! audio CD.

1. 1:02 We're The Chipmunks ("Alvin & The Chipmunks" Theme)
2. 2:22 Witch Doctor
3. 3:16 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun -- with The Chipettes
4. 3:31 Let's Go
5. 3:11 Uptown Girl
6. 3:22 Beat It
7. 2:21 Wooly Bully
8. 3:08 Leader Of The Pack
9. 2:21 The Chipmunk Song
10. 3:20 Express Yourself -- with The Chipettes
11. 2:34 On The Road Again
12. 2:16 Achy Breaky Heart
(total time - 32:44)

This is a great collection of songs. It's just too bad that it's ruined because, although not stated on the album, some of these songs were re-recorded. They just don't sound as good as the original recordings.

Trash or Treasure Guide To Buyers Book Review

Image

This review was originally written on October 13, 2000
Got Stuff Made Before 1970? Buy The Book. Otherwise, Forget It

I bought "Trash or Treasure - Guide To Buyers" by Tony Hyman because I have a lot of 1980s and 1990s action figures, comic books, magazines, trading cards, and the such. I was hoping to finally find someone to sell them to. Well, I contacted some people listed in the book, and ... I've still got the stuff. If you have something made before 1970, this book may be of use to you. But if your stuff was made after 1970, don't waste your money on this UNCOMPREHENSIVE book. Hey, Tony Hyman, how about writing/compiling a separate volume covering items made after 1970?

Signatures of the Stars Book Review

Image

This review was originally written on March 10, 2001
I See Dead People ... Too Many Of Them!

I bought "Signatures of the Stars: A Guide for Autograph Collectors, Dealers and Enthusiasts" by Kevin Martin to learn about the stars signing habits and see example of their signatures, so I'd know which stars would be my best bet to write to. Unfortunately, most of the stars listed in this book are DEAD! It does me no good to know the signing habits of dead celebs, since I obviously can't write to them. I bought the book in conjunction with the same author's "The Autograph Collector Celebrity Autograph Authentication Guide." While there are some signature examples in this book that aren't in the authentication guide (such as John Candy and Kathy Ireland), finding them is quite a pain because this book lacks an index. The authentication guide has an index, and practically doesn't need it because it's much better laid out than this book. The back cover of this book says that inside "you'll find the actual signatures of the stars reproduced". While that's true for most of the stars, there are very few reproductions to none at all when you get to the back of the book, in the "cast" and "Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame" sections. There should be authentic examples for *everyone* that is listed. To sum up this book, I think that it's trying to be too many things to too many people - price guide, authentication guide, and more ... it should stick to just one subject.

ProVenture Label Maker v4.0 PC Software Review & Registration Nag Removal

Image

This review was originally written on September 7, 2007
ProVenture Label Maker 4: That's Both The Version Number And How Many Files It Creates PER Label!!!

I will be reviewing ProVenture Label Maker v4.0, which may be the product that some Amazon Marketplace sellers are selling here, here, here, here, and here. It was released in 2006 (according to the copyright date on the blue and white box).

Product Information
* Developed by: ProVenture
* Published by: Avanquest
* UPC: 018059051249
* Serial/SKU/Model: 5124

System Requirements:
* Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
* Pentium III or higher
* 95 MB disk space
* 128 MB RAM
* CD-ROM Drive
* Inkjet or laser printer

I bought this product because I wanted to have a 32-bit replacement for the label making component of the old 16-bit Print Shop Deluxe that I've been using (it came out in 1994 and was designed for Windows 3.1!!!). I saw this on the shelf at MicroCenter, and although I don't buy boxed software anymore (at least not without downloading a trial first), I couldn't resist the ten dollar price tag, so I bought it.

This review will actually be a quick list of notes I wrote up as I was testing out the program. Some are criticisms, and others are notes on using the program. These are somewhat organized in the order in which you'd come across these issues when installing and running the program, though the information on the registration nag is at the end so it is easier to read.

-- Run setup.exe to directly install the program without having to go through the trial screen interface (trial copies of other programs are available on the CD). You still will be nagged to install a payment service (to accept credit card payments for your business) and the NewsFlash program (used to send you company updates). You can easily say NO to both.

It would be nice to not have ANY kind of nags like this.

-- The program doesn't copy the clipart folder from the CD to the hard drive, even though it makes an empty Clipart directory in the program directory.

-- Some program settings are found in mylabels32.ini in the C:\Windows (or C:\WinNT) directory. This file is not deleted if you uninstall the program.

-- The program saves _FOUR FILES_ for every saved label (the files have the extensions .lbl, .bcf, .fsif, .msif). Even if you just have a label with one piece of data on it, and nothing in the databases, it still saves it as four files. For a simple label with just a name and address on it (no database entries), the combined size of the four files is 35 Kb. Other label making programs save only one file, with a size between 1 and 6 Kb.

This is the primarily deal-breaker for me. This is the reason why I'm no longer keeping the program. If I make 10 labels, I will have 40 FILES(!) to deal with. That's just not right.

Unfortunately, MicroCenter won't take the item back because they don't take back opened software (as is the usual policy for most stores). I can't take advantage of the publisher's 30-Day Money Back Guarantee because I didn't get a chance to install the software until a bit more than 30 days after I bought it. Granted, ten dollars isn't a big loss, but it's still a loss.

-- To print an entire sheet of labels containing the same data on each label (just a single name and address - hard-coded to the design, not from a database), you must set the number of copies on the Print dialog box to the number of labels on the sheet (30 for the Avery 5160/8160/8660/6460 layout). This is not very intuitive, as the Copies field normally selects the number of PAGES to be printed (as it is standard in all Print dialogs for ALL Windows programs).

This is the other deal-breaker, especially since the number of "copies" resets to 1 every time you run the program (as that is what Windows normally does in the Print dialog window of ANY program). So every time I open and print one of my labels (as I tend to create labels with singular data, not from databases), I have to remember to change the number of "copies" to 30. The program won't even save that information to any of the four files that it creates for each label.

-- If there are multiple records in your database, and you just want to print one, select the record you want to print by entering the same record number in both From and To fields in the Print Range.

HOW TO REMOVE THE REGISTRATION NAG WITHOUT REGISTERING

This information is for ProVenture Label Maker v4.0, which was released in 2006 (according to the copyright date on the blue and white box). I don't know if it applies to earlier or later versions. This info will tell you how to to remove the registration nag without registering, which is free but shouldn't be necessary (and will be impossible when the registration server goes offline years from now).

1. Open Notepad and type in the text that appears below.
REGEDIT4 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ProVenture\Label Maker\Reg] "Registered"=dword:00000001
2. Save the file as "nolabelnag.reg" (you might have to use the quotation marks in order to get Notepad to save it with a .reg extension). For easy access, save it to your desktop.

3. Now double-click on the file, and a message will pop up asking if you want to add the information to the registry. Click on YES.

4. Another window will pop up telling you that the information has been successfully entered into the registry.

5. Now run the Label Maker program, and notice that there is no registration nag screen when it loads. Enjoy!