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About Me

Chicago's North Shore. Psychologist - love my work, Gym-rat, beach-rat,, dominant chord in my nature...just factual, really good food and fine film.

How I Can Help

Passion? Common-sense & honesty. I have gift of savvy intuition.


Tennis, gym, music, and film...and on...

138 Reviews by Ron

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90 days to have the computer in your home with absolute right to return it (before 90 days) without any questions if displeased.

After settled in w/ your computer, Costco offers a "concierge service". If something goes wrong, you contact the Costco concierge service, and an assigned agent will contact the manufacturer for, and with you, to assist in speedy and complete closure. You simply can't beat that!


Fiverr features semi and full experts in field's from Writing SEO for your website, or drawing an outstanding characterization from your phone. Everything in between. One will edit your paper, another will create a cover for your E-book. Another, will write it for you. A stunning diversity of talent!

The deal is, and agreed upon $5. Five bucks. Well it starts there. Add an extra (gig as they're called) bit of work: extra pages, additional copies, colour vs b&w, etc., the cost goes up - but only in $5 to $10 increments. Want it in 24 hours...add $10 bucks.

But what you're getting for a terribly reasonable price I have found a treasure trove of possibilities. For $5, plud an extra "gig" fee of $15, an A Capella instance of my singing a tune (which I thought sounded great), was sent to a professional sound engineer on Fiverr, and he added the musical track (and had to alter tempo here and there as I was off), and it was amazing. For $20? That's insane!

Check Fiverr out, it's a playground of opportunities, and, of course, you can sign-up to sell YOUR gig there as well.

CAVEAT! You have the opportunity to message with the pro, prior to agreeing on price and go-ahead. Ask ALL your questions at THAT POINT. Make sure you've all bases covered with expectation. You can ask for samples of seller's work. In the end, If what you receive is BELOW YOUR EXPECTATIONS, you can 1. request the work be improved before you accept, or 2. cancel the gig because it was just that bad. You can't lose.

Enjoy, and hope everyone is well and prospering.


Ever had one of those "oh f*#k" moments when the web-form content you've been writing so carefully, crafting the words, and was sounding so right, just disappears? Then, within seconds it dawns on you there IS NO WAY to get it back - and you'll have to start all-over-again...if you haven't become too depressed to continue.

If you've gone cold as some errant mistake (Firefox crashes, or you hit "cancel" rather than "submit" - OUCH!), then you need Lazarus. If not, install it anyway, before disaster strikes!

Lazarus securely saves forms as you type, allowing you to safely recover your lost work after server timeouts, network issues, browser crashes, power failures, and all the other things that can go wrong while you're entering forms, editing content, writing web-mail, etc, etc, etc...

Lazarus works on ordinary web forms, WYSIWYG editors, and even AJAXified comment boxes, and will save you from pretty much any given server, browser, or connection problems that might otherwise cause you to lose your work, or that really pithy blog comment you struggled on for over an hour.

Lazarus now comes with 2048-bit RSA and 256-bit AES hybrid encryption, so your form history is more private and secure than ever! Lazarus also includes search functionality so you can recover text even if you can no longer find the original form you entered it into.

Never lose anything you type into a web form again! Lazarus securely auto-saves all forms as you type, so after a crash, server timeout, or whatever, you can go back to the form, right click, "recover form", and breathe a sigh of relief.

I think this Add-On is a real life-saver!


Review is NOT "Bitly", my apologies..***.rather a superb collection of FREE-WARE rounded-up by Gizmo***. (In shortening the URL, bitly came-up. I'm looking into how to test a URL prior to publishing, what to do with extraordinarily long urls, and how to edit/addendum after publication. Anyone has some answers/insights, let me know
Ron: ***** Thanks!) ACTUAL LINK.

This is all great stuff, and in one place. Do consider taking a long look at offerings via Gizmo's Newsletter. See if you can't grab some "Bread&Butter" software absolutely free. Don't forget basic tools like TinEye and Free-OCR while you're shopping.

"Online applications (also known as web applications or web-ware) are getting more popular, particularly when broadband Internet access has become more common and readily available to more users. With online applications and services, you do not need to download and install them into your computer for using themyou just need to open up a browser and access them online.

Not only that you can save hard-disk space as they do not need to be installed, but also you can work with files that are saved online from any computer anywhere, without the need to carry a storage device even a USB stick around with you.

Besides, you don't have to worry about different operating systems as these applications and services are cross-platform, running in your browser as a client. Neither do you need to keep updating your software versions, as you will get any new software updates and bug fixes automatically whenever you access them.

Hope you like.


This is a very serious consumer advocacy web site:

"Helping you, the consumer...
Search the Ripoff Report before you do business with retail stores with bad return policies, checking & credit theft, rebate fraud or other unscrupulous business policies such as phony auto repairs, auto dealer bait-and-switch tactics, restaurants with bad service or food, corrupt government employees & politicians, police corruption, home builders, contractors, unethical doctors & lawyers, online stores that sell non-existent products, dead beat dads & moms, landlords & tenants, fraudulent employment & business opportunities, and individual con artists who scam consumers".

The site makes clear that filed reports CANNOT be removed, even by an attorney's appeal, which means your claim is forever.

If you've been burned and need to voice your ire, this is unquestionably the place to do it. Highly recommended as SAFE & EFFECTIVE. Free web site.


This is very much down to taste. When lost in concentration, a soft whispering of 'white noise' cuts static from my mind, and helps me focus. Also great for creating just enough "noise" to make it difficult for strollers to attempt a conversation with you. I enjoy this gadget/tool and keep the site minimized and whispering when I need to really be focused. Very


Call reQall on your mobile and be asked, "Add, Share, or Recall?" This is the coolest gadget/personal organizer I've found lately. Savvy hi-tech method of controlling your days & weeks by calling your mobile and leaving verbal messages, WITH TIMES AND DATES, only to have these notes TEXTED back to you - and get a copy in your Gmail to boot. Send one message and "add" names you've listed, and have that text sent to everyone you named. So much more I can't recall. CHECK THIS OUT!


If you want to setup your computer system again you need to have the licenses and serial numbers at hand for all the software programs that you have purchased and registered. This does include the Windows product key but also other serial numbers for applications like Nero, Office, VMWare and pretty much every other application.

Instead of searching for the keys in your emails, manuals and recipes you could use another approach. License Crawler is a sweet little application that scans the Windows Registry for Windows product keys and other serial numbers and licenses.

The License Crawler can discover application product keys and other serial numbers or licenses very quickly and supports all versions of Windows operating system from Windows 95 to Windows Vista.

It is a portable application that can be run from any location and would be a perfect fit for an USB stick. Asking clients to find serial and license keys is often very frustrating. Instead, tech support can simply run License Crawler without having to interact with the client at all.
Documentary Heaven

Documentary Heaven

Documentary Heaven was set up early July 2009 to provide the public with a vast collection of documentaries spanning across every genre out there. They intend to continuously update the site, on a daily basis, to bring you nothing but the very best views into, music, history, animation, computers, wars, and whatever else might spark your interest.

This is far more fascinating than you might first consider. There is no hidden agenda here, no politics, just free entertainment and learning something along the way.


Deal and job hunting - out of the box. Best "DEAL" and "JOB hunt" search in a long time.

Tink-O-Matic utilizes Craigslist, eBay, and several other search engines to help you find the classified ad that's been eluding you. Whatever you might imagine you'd care to search for, Tink-O-Matic will give you our best shot.

You can select which search engines you want to use, and with time will learn which combinations provide best results for what you seek.

Simple and intuitive, you'll be amazed, as was/am I how well this site will work for you.


OKCupid is notorious for blocking accounts out of the blue. It's typically males, and likely because several women singled your profile out with red flag. Note: This does not happen often. Of 3-4M users, it happens to perhaps a hundred a month. Be cool and you've likely not much to worry about.

Yes, I have been blocked. My profile is fairly blunt, and even rather salacious. My best guess my "bouncing" was for being overly blunt with my "no thanks remarks". Better to not answer mail from someone you've no interest in. In case you get caught up in this, here's a bit of info which might help? I did some research. OK Cupid, like, is own by parent company IAC *******300). I called, was connected to a friendly voice (who had nothing to do with consumers or Cupid), and explained my situation briefly and with concern. Turns out Cupid is under umbrella of, Contact is: *******824 or *******352) and look for help there. Don't expect much.

After those negatives, and all the BS aside, what makes Cupid "work", is the search mechanism of premium package: In premium one can take individual questions Cupid throws at every user, and select about five (which REALLY matter), and key them and those who answer in that fashion. For instance: I may feel strongly about a girl who likes her hair pulled during sex (not joking). I select the question "Do you like your hair pulled during sex?", and select the answer I'm hoping a woman will respond with: options to question: A."Not At All', B."Yes But Lightly', or C. "Grab a fistful and pull with all you've got". Well I select C. Now as I click search...those girls who've answered this question with "C", will be singled out and shown to me. Make sense? You get about five of these in premium, and of Cupid's 1k questions, you can truly begin to address what matters to you in every aspect of a relationship.

Hope that helps.

Update: 11-2-16
Same thing, perfectly good PAID A-member account mysteriously suit down for "Violation Of Terms". No questions, no options, no place to take concern expect what I mentioned above. CAREFUL. I'm going to twitter about this, and get anywhere I'll let you know.

Tip for consumers: I have no idea exactly what initiates a "bump" from the site. But it seems another frustrated member's ability to fabricate wrong-doing on your part (perhaps being rebuffed when writing to you), is a very likely genesis for blocking. With all the time you might put into a genuine search for a partner on OK Cupid, your efforts are as fragile as a whimsical blocking, and you have ZERO opportunity for reinstatement to site.



Point Your Browser HERE:

_You must be familiar with modern LCD screens, right? If you look carefully, most of them have a button to automatically change the attributes of the screen to adjust for the types of media which is being viewed: one specially tweaked for movies, another for photos, a separate one for text and there's one we're particularly interested about night.

_You see, working in front of a computer screen at night raises a particular concern. The fact that you're staring at a bright screen late at night when your body is supposed to be turning in, disrupts your circadian rhythm.

_A bit of medical jargon coming your way during nighttime, darkness permits the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. Melatonin causes drowsiness and in tandem with the central nervous system, controls the circadian rhythm. In layman's term, all this means is the bright light from the LCD screen screws up your sleep-wake cycle.

_That's why there's a customized "Night" setting on your LCD. Furthermore, there are several apps that will reduce the brightness of your screen while working at night; Shades is one example of a Mac app that will do just that. I don't know if you've noticed the LCD's reflection off a person's face at night it's mostly bluish white. Technically, the specific colour temperature is 6500K; also known as daylight. That's right. If you find it hard to fall asleep after using your computer, this is why.

_F.lux addresses this issue but it does it slightly differently. Instead of reducing brightness per se, it actually warms the colours you see on your screen and imitates the lighting in the room during nighttime. It's quite hard to wrap your head around until you actually use it but I'll do my best to try and explain it:

THE LOW-DOWN: After downloading and launching the app, it will ask you for your location and the type of lighting that's in the room tungsten, halogen, fluorescent or daylight. Based on the information, it calculates exactly when the sun sets in your area and adjusts the colour temperature of your screen to mimic the lighting in the room. Note that the Mac version's interface isn't as refined as its Windows counterpart but it doesn't matter very much because all of the time, the app is absolutely unobtrusive. There are no pop-ups and you won't notice it running.

I have found the "night mode" so much more relaxing on my eyes, and I "think" a calming effect on my body.

Try IT!

(Thanks to for description)


I have followed ConsumerAffairs for several years. They have excellent writers, do intensive research, and in every newsletter I receive, there's some information I have to pass-along to family & friends.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for "serious consumers".

"Who We Are: is a private, non-governmental entity that empowers consumers by providing a forum for their complaints and a means for them to be contacted by lawyers if their complaints have legal merit. Your complaints and comments may be published, shared with the news media and reviewed by attorneys at no cost to you. See the FAQ for more information.

Report Your Experience!
If you've had a bad experience -- or a good one -- with a consumer product or service, we'd like to hear about it. All complaints are reviewed by class action attorneys and are considered for publication on our site. Knowledge is power! Help spread the word. File your consumer report now.
* consumer
* shopping
* reviews
* reference
* consumer_affairs
* news
* business
* complaints
* activism
* information
* recalls

Here's an idea of the basics you'll find in the CA's newsletter:
* Does It Really Pay To Go Shopping On Black Friday?
* New Home Sales Rise As Mortgage Rates Fall
* Toyota Announces Recall to Fix Runaway Acceleration
* Consumers May Soon See Fewer Scam Ads
* Recall of Drop-Side Cribs Continues 2009 Pattern
* Microsoft May Face Class Action Over Xbox Live Ban
* FDA Seeks Permanent Injunction Against Sharkco Seafood
* Nearly One In Four Homeowners Under Water
* Deadline For Chinese Drywall Claims Looms
* More News ...

* Toyota, Lexus Models Recalled to Fix Runaway Acceleration
* Toyota Recalling 110,000 Tundra Pickups
* Electrolux ICON, Kenmore 30 PRO Gas Ranges
* Stork Craft, Fisher-Price Cribs Recalled
* 2010 Volvo XC60
* Evenflo First Choice Car Seats
* Cost Plus World Stainless Steel Cookware
* Bobby Chupete Pacifiers
* Perfect Flame Gas Grills
* Century 21 Hooded Sweats
* Gorilla EXO-Tech Safety Harness
* Three Sisters Baby Hammocks

And so very much more!

UPDATE: September 2, 2013 All the angry (and uninformed) mail I've gotten lately?

mike g.
New Reviewer
Level: 0 (1 review, 0 helpful)
"This is an absolute scumbag company! As stated by other reviewers a business is prohibited from posting a reply to a review unless they allow to extort money from the business. Clearly this is an unethical outfit operating on the edge of being illegal."

Leo G.
New Reviewer
Level: 0 (9 reviews, 1 helpful)
"are you promoting or are you working for them ?
My advise is read the comment from raven g. about his story is the right one. They are charging money to companies and they are living from fake reviews. If your really are interested in consumer affairs you let companies respond throughout there webcare teams on your own website FOR FREE. But is not like that.
Most review website like Consumeraffairs are showing a lot of negative issues just to put pressure on companies to pay them money for a better ranking.
Don't use them, just listen to family and friends to make a decision about a website you want to use or You were using."

Janna C. "Thanks for the review, Ron. Can you tell us about a specific example of excellent information you've passed on to friends and family about something you read in the Consumer Affairs newsletter?"

Yeah, believe I can Jenna, hows this:

"What is a college degree worth in today's job market?"
I think this report is terribly relevant today Jenna, how about you?

Same-sex marriages to get equal federal tax treatment

Taxpayer reminder: Report 2010 Roth conversions this year
You may need to report half of the resulting taxable income on your 2012 return.

Build-A-Bear recalls stuffed animal toy
The stuffed animal's eye can detach, posing a choking hazard.

Fat & fit? Study says it's not impossible
Inflammatory markers may more precisely identify those prone to disease

I personally think these reports/reviews are worthwhile. No, I don't work for CA.Given the plethora of other reviews I've left while active here - thought you guys would have figured out I don't own them all?

As for all the mail (almost ten pieces recently) about Consumer Affairs, why not be good little reporters and go to the source?

Jim Hood
Founder and Editor -
"Most people are way too trusting, way too polite and not nearly inquisitive enough. If everyone spent a little time reading worthwhile history, science and journalism instead of listening to blowhards and con artists, the American middle class wouldn't be imploding quite so quickly."

A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Jim occasionally studied English literature but spent most of his time as a radio reporter and free lance correspondent covering the social meltdowns of the 1960s.

A serial entrepreneur, Jim founded in 1998. A former Associated Press executive, editor and reporter, he has covered just about everything imaginable and a few things that seemed unimaginable until they happened. He is unduly proud of his many enemies.

He lives in the Washington, D.C., area and Sayville, N.Y., with his long-suffering spouse and two dogs, his children having grown up and moved far away.

Email: *****
Phone: *******221

Note Jim offers E-mail address and phone, in case anyone has issue with ANYTHING he publishes. That's rather rare.

Site Jabber was originally about sites to make our lives easier, help avoid scams, and help save money...obviously. I've followed James R. Hood's CA site for a long time. They are some of the first with some very erudite reporting.

I don't review here very much currently. Simply too busy. The climate here has changed as well. Not so much community spirited, rather new reviewers solely (it seems) interested in discrediting anyone else. Try and focus on reporting something worthwhile...rather than tear another reviewer down?

So there's the long on James Hood & Consumer Affairs. Before anyone thinks of writing to me (Jenna, Mike, & Leo) about my owning CA, or how it's in league with the devil, do your homework. Call Jim and ask some questions. If you find something dark, then tell me and I'll retract my original review of some two years ago. Smile.

New reviewers need to grow-up a bit me-thinks.

Hope everyone is well & Happy,
Ron Kolman
After the Deadline

After the Deadline

I'm very sensitive to 'words'. People often get a "gut-hunch" of who we are based on what we say, and how. Business correspondence is an obvious application, but I feel it spills over to how we affect friends, colleagues, and even lovers.

With that in mind, I found "After The Deadline", a great, free, site that can help you correct your grammatical errors, but syntactical issues, and more.

Here's what the site says in "about":
"We use artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to find your writing errors and offer smart suggestions". Even when I think I've created the flawless document, a cut&paste into "After The Deadline", reveals more 'over-talk' than I realised.

A highly recommended tool for finishing/sharpening important writing!


I can't describe this one.
Just go there and play. Watch the controld at bottom for fine tuning (zoom, etc).

CLICKING web site won''t help. PASTE this into browser: The page is HTML.

I don't love (web sites) easily <smile>. But I have to tell you this tickles me (I'm pretty ticklish). I think it's the concept and the potential, rather than "buying" into the literal results.

Simply, "What-The-Internet-Thinks" is a search engine based on "sentiment", being able to recognize subtleties such as sarcasm. I've hunted around and no one knows how this thing truly works, just that it's popular. is like one of those flash Gallup polls that tap into public opinion. The web tool searches the internet for the global opinion on what the world thinks. It takes your search term and returns results as Positive, Negative or Indifferent. The tool searches the web using Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Twitter - or all combined.

What criteria the engine bases its results on is, as mentioned, unclear, so take the results with a pinch of salt.

I can see results being used to attempt marketing trends/evaluations, perceived 'good' & 'bad'. So I'm not sure what else to tell you other than have fun with it, and if you're doing some research be sure to footnote this review.


Short and sweet. When comparing two versions of ANYTHING (I compared Avira Antivirus and Avast), Find The Best .com will run down specs on each product in a stunning comprehensive fashion.

Consumers: Accurate & updated data on millions of product & service listings
Objective information free from hidden marketing, side-by-side comparison tables save you time & help you make the best decisions, reviews from friends & experts on millions of listings show all comparisons.

This site is a keeper,


There's always a few people who take a bit longer than they should getting back to you when you send out an email. For those people, is the perfect solution that saves you time and effort. There is no signup required, but the first time you use their service, you will be asked to verify your email address.

After that, each time you send out an email that might need a gentle reminder, all if you have to do is add a FollowUpThen email address in the CC field.

The email address format depends on how long you want to wait before sending that second follow-up email. You can specify the length of time to wait using ***** or *****, and so forth, or you can specify the exact date using ***** or ***** Just be sure to use the following format when using an exact calendar date: *****

If you put the follow-up under BCC, ONLY THE SENDER will get the message. And finally, if you put the follow-up in the To: field, the reminder will come to you in the time frame you specified.

Fantastic way to keep track of appointments and anything else you need to be reminded of. This one is hot. Love it.
Hope it simplifies your life calendar.

I reviewed "" here a while ago. I was very impressed with the design simplicity, and speed of setting e-mail-based reminders.

The creator of another program, "" brought his product to my attention, and it's better yet. This is the way EVERYONE should be setting reminders and reminding others. I asked Chris the designer of to explain the basics of creating reminders. Here is his response to me verbatim:

_Ron, my apologies for the radio silence. I was actually in and out of the hospital the past 2 weeks, but all is fine now and thankfully nothing to worry about. So, let's get some info flowing finally :)

_"Here's the comparison you asked for:

- supports a time component on day of the week and date based reminders, such as: ***** and ***** In addition, we also support minutes and military time! So, you could also write ***** or ***** (notice the period to separate minutes).

That's probably the biggest addition and difference between our syntax and theirs.

- also has a lot more utility. Here's the list off the top of my head:

1. You can register and adjust settings (such as Timezone and if you want to store your message bodies etc).

2. There's a calendar view of your reminders, letting you see past ones, future ones, and then even Edit or Delete them.

3. You can have multiple email addresses under the same account which most people do since most people have multiple email addresses

4. There is an RSS and iCal feed of your reminders so you can import them into your calendaring system such as Google Calendar, iCal or Outlook etc.

5. Snooze Links: This is probably the most convenient and best feature people like. The snooze links enable One Click snoozing of reminders which then lets you archive the email and get it out of your in-box.

6. There are a bunch of intelligent logic pieces under the hood such as when a "public reminder is set", meaning in the To or CC field, it will not continue to set a new reminder for each Reply to All by recipients of the email.

7. If you set a reminder on an thread to someone and then set another one, it will update the existing one (assuming the reminder is different). This way you don't multiple reminders set for the same thread (this only works in Gmail or other threaded systems like the new Hotmail).

And there's technically more, but i assume that's good enough for now :) Let me know what you think.

Highly recommend (to those who needs/enjoys a calendar/reminder system that's absolutely brilliant) a visit to "", without the quotes of course.

I don't know how I'd stay on top of things without

Convert Video to Audio

Convert Video to Audio

Converting YouTube videos to other video or audio formats is a service not many online tools provide. Usually you have to visit separate sites for video and audio format conversions. "ConvertVideoToAudio" however provides all the conversion formats under one interface.

Web-based, nothing to download, and this couldn't be easier. Will convert to ALL popular AUDIO formats, and will convert your YouTube FLV video to MP4! User interface is so explanation is necessary. Just go to site and convert.

Love this. Enjoy,

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