Review Archive

Mumble gripe grumble

Posted December 31, 2013 By Ruth

So, it turns out that the camera only records if a computer has the IE browser window open to the camera’s IP address…..

This makes no sense.  All that is part of the firmware, the access is JUST to modify the settings, nothing is loaded onto the computer, but if that window isn’t open the camera doesn’t record.  How annoying is that??

So, if I have to leave a computer running something for the camera then I’m going to look at the some of the 3rd party software’s that are supposed to work (and add extra options) to the camera.  I’ve downloaded 4 different trial versions to try, and I’ll update with my final choice once I make that decision.


Edit: I never did update this.  We settled on the Blue Iris software.  Though the most expensive of the ones I tried it was also by far the most versatile of the bunch.  Not the easiest to use, it took some fiddling, but once I figured it out I’ve been quite happy with it since!

Foscam Camera review–Update

Posted December 27, 2013 By Ruth

Original post here..

As stated in my update of my original post I called Foscam and received instructions on how to send it in for repair or replacement.  I received the new replacement camera on Monday 12/23/13, and set it up immedietly.


This one definetly fuctions better.  Its not rebooting or anything of the like.  And with fairly minor tweaking of the settings we managed to capture a video of exactly what we wanted to capture:



you don’t see her till towards the end.  Based on the the tracks in the driveway she came in very close to the right hand fence, and must of triggered the camera as she did so, but since it takes a good second or two to “wake up” it missed her entrance, only showing her when she came back across.  I’ll take it.  Now if I can tweak the settings so that we’re not ALSO getting video triggered by the majority of the cars going by……

(For those of you saying “wtf?  Its a dog??”, yes it is, and she belongs to the folks who’s house is just visible across the street.  They swear she’s trained to stay in their yard…..)

I will however say, I never did get a response to the email I sent them via the tech support contact page on their website.  And I ALSO, since sending them that email, have received a sales email from them EVERY SINGLE DAY except for Christmas.  So although I’m reasonably happy with their product, and their support via PHONE was great, their basic customer service sucks.

Initial Review: Foscam FI8910W Wireless Camera

Posted December 3, 2013 By Ruth

So, my mom sent me an Amazon gift card for my birthday.  Love those things, and she knows it.  So, I’ve been wanting a wireless “webcam” for a while.  Partially to watch the bird feeders when I couldn’t be there, and partially to catch the neighbor’s dog(s) in the act (on my property) so I can hand more proof to Animal Control.  I’d poked around and settled on the Foscam FI8910W camera as an inexpensive model that would likely do what I wanted.

It arrived Wednesday, and I spent several hours setting it up.  It shouldn’t have taken that long.  The biggest issue is that although the packaging says it’ll connect via Wireless B/G/N and my router supports all of those AND (supposedly) features a “mixed” setting so as to support all of those at once, the camera refused to connect.  None of my other wireless devices had that problem, but the camera did.  I had to set it to one of the options in order to get the camera to connect.  But it took me a while to figure out why the router could see the camera but the camera said it wasn’t connecting.

It also kept rebooting itself, which was annoying as heck.  But updating the firmware seemed to fix that.  

I set it up at first without any recording, just to see how it would work to view from.  Quickly decided that with the bird feeders placed where they were it wasn’t going to work to watch the birds, but it would work fine to keep an eye out for the neighbor’s dog.  I debated moving the bird feeders.

Thursday it started rebooting itself constantly again.  A factory reset fixed that problem this time.  I was starting to get a bit peeved.

Sunday morning, it had worked fine Friday and Saturday after the reset, so I decided to go ahead and set up the motion detection and recording options.  Discovered that it only detected motion in the center of its viewing window.  Thats a bit annoying, but its hardly an expensive camera, so I guess I get what I pay for.  Adjusted the viewing angle to cover the driveway better so as to catch what we wanted to catch.  Debated moving the bird feeders.

Sunday afternoon it started rebooting itself constantly.

I unplugged it and sent an email off to Foscam’s tech support.  As of now (Tuesday morning) they’ve not responded, but I’m willing to give them a little time at least to catch up from the holiday weekend.  If I haven’t heard from them by tomorrow though I’ll just call them (since I’ll have time tomorrow during business hours).  

Current review: less than impressed.  At least some of the problem IS that I was looking for an in-expensive camera, if I was willing to drop more cash on the problem I’m sure some of the issues wouldn’t be issues.  On the other hand the whole thing has turned into an exercise in frustration.  We’ll see what tech support says……

(disclaimer, I bought the above mentioned camera with my own money/gift certificate, I was not asked to do a review and am receiving nothing for doing so.  The above link to Amazon IS via my Amazon Associates link, and if you buy something via that link I’ll earn a few cents.)


UPDATE 12/5/13 I called tech support yesterday, and after explaining the problem, and what I’d done to fix it, was informed it definetly has a mechanical issue and they will replace it.  I received the RMA info along with return instructions in my email today.  So hopefully we’re good to go!  I will however say that it is QUITE frustrating to give a company my email as part of a tech support request, and to then get a sales email for every single day since, and still not get a response to the tech support email.

Additional update HERE.

Soap and stuff

Posted June 19, 2011 By Ruth

So lets see, I’ve used the samples of the Peppermint Foot Butter, and the Yuzu Body Butter, the Vanilla Solid Lotion, and opened the bar Beer soap. 

Now I’ve never used body butters before, usually stick with lotion, so I was surprised with how greasy they were at first, but it soaked in very quickly, and a little research tells me thats normal for body butters.  LOVED the pepermint one, but the Yuzu was a bit to citrisy for my taste.  It would be fine if you’d don’t mind citrus, but it was a bit much for me, though the scent faded quickly enough that it wasn’t the end of the world.  I will be getting more peppermint though next time I order, my feet are going to love me next winter!

The vanilla solid lotion has a bit of bite to its scent, not bad, just a bit startling at first, but it goes on nicely (for solid lotions, you warm them up for a few seconds in your hands, then rub on the area you want covered).  The puppy thought so too as he was determinedly licking it off my elbows as I was trying to rub it in.  It doesn’t leave much of a residue on the skin afterwards which was nice (I didn’t feel the need to wash my hands afterwards before I touched anything like I do with some lotions).

The beer soap is, as advertised, free of scent.  Which doesn’t mean it doesn’t smell, just that it smells like fresh clean soap (and not those fake “clean fresh” scents that you get in your laundry detergent).  Its not drying out my skin, but is doing a good job and keeping me clean.  Always nice.

As already stated I tried the Vanilla Lip Balm pretty much as soon as I opened the box, and I quite enjoy it, I think the only change I’m going to suggest to her is to add some mild SPF protection to the mix, as I prefer my lip balms contain such after having had sunburned lips as a kid (so not cool, let me tell you!).

The coffee soap, as I mentioned before, isn’t available on her website.  Its one of her original recipes, and easily the best thing I’ve ever run across for removing odor and residue off skin without excessive drying (though the beer soap is doing a good job at that too, so we’ll see).  Its not scented, and is the chocolate brown of lightly creamed coffee.  When I asked if I could get some for this order (since its not on the website) she admitted that she had lots around the house, as her family agrees with me, and she’s not allowed to run out.  She’s trying to reformulate it with a different oil so she can sell it on the website, but the lard appears to be a significant part of what makes this soap work so well and so hasn’t had any luck.

The Pink Sage soap sample has been placed in the 2nd bathroom by the litter boxes.  Its doing a very good job of neutralizing their odor, and the litter box odor is doing a very good job of neutralizing the very strong scent of the soap.  My intention is to let it air out for a few weeks and then see if I can tolerate it enough to give a review on it, as it is its just to strong for me to spend significant time around (but then I’m sensitive to scents, your mileage may vary).

If you decide to place an order and want to try a bar of the coffee soap don’t be afraid to ask her, just tell her Ruth sent you though or she’ll be going nuts trying to figure out how you found out about it!

Got my soap order.

Posted June 15, 2011 By Ruth

I posted a while back about how a friend of mine had finally opened a webstore to sell her soaps and other skin care stuff.  So a few weeks ago I put together some spare cash and placed an order.

I got a couple bars of the Guinness Beer Soap (cause it sounded too cool not to try).  A bar of Dirty Dog Soap. Two tins of the Vanilla Bean Solid Lotions. I also ordered a custom soap log of spearmint & eucalyptus scent.  And two bars of her coffee soap (which is not on the website because it requires lard and shes trying to cater to the vegi/vegan group, she’s trying to reformulate it to use a different oil, but hasn’t had any luck).  She also (by prior agreement) sent me samples of the Sensitive skin Facial Mask, Peppermint Foot Butter, Yuzu Body Butter, Vanilla Cookie Lip Balm, Pink Sage Soap, Chocolate Mint Soap, and the Dead Sea Mud Soap.

Everything arrived today, and it smells awesome.  The only one I’m likely to have an issue with is the Pink Sage because it contains lavender and I’m allergic, but its worth trying.  The custom soaps (which I intend to use both for myself, and for gifts), smell just like I hoped they would, and the lip balm is heavenly.  I’ll try to remember to post my thoughts and reactions on the rest as I use them.

Just a note, though she’s generally more than willing to do custom orders for soaps you’ll need to be prepared to buy the whole log, and remember that it’ll take longer to get since the soap has to set before its hard enough to ship out (ie: 2 to 4 weeks). 

***Disclaimer:  The owner of Beach Baby Bath & Body and I have known each other for a while, and she’s been sending me samples of various stuff for a long time because I have some odd allergies and she figured I was a good way to test things out.  As stated above some of this order I paid for, and some she voluntarily included for me to try.  I get no payment for trying those samples other than the enjoyment of the products themselves.  Any review of these products, those I paid for and those I didn’t, will be as honest and complete as I can make it.