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since 23/11/2003


Oriental Healthcare, London 06/06/2015

A proper TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Shop in London

Oriental Healthcare, London As I was feeling stressed out from work (and I had a 'Living Social' special offer in my email *cough cough*), I decided to get myself a massage and try out acupuncture to clear my stress and tension. I phoned up and booked myself in for the combo treatment. Never heard of the place before and wouldn't normally travel to Putney (it's quite nice) but didn't want to miss out on the offer. I needed it anyway. LOCATION & PREMISES Situated at 199 Richmond Road, it's a few minutes walk from Putney station. I couldn't find it initially so had to phone up to ask for directions. My phone battery was dying so couldn't rely on Google Maps like I normally do (although I'm sure it sent me in the wrong direction when I got out of the station). On the phone, got clear instructions and was told place was right next to the Post Office, which enabled me to ask someone to point me in the right direction. THE CLINIC AND TREATMENT There's a water dispenser and magazine in the waiting area. Toilet available round back. Place looked clean and has hygiene notices so very promising for a clinic. I was early by about 20 minutes but only had to wait 10 minutes before I was seen to. First came the form filling providing my details and ailments I suffer from then another short wait before being shown to the room. You're left to undress before they come back to the room, which is typical for massage places (kept on my pants on). Mine was a massage followed by acupuncture so it was a very friendly ...

PayPal 22/01/2014

PayPal, a Necessary Evil

PayPal PayPal is an online payment processor most commonly used for sending and receiving money for online auction purchases, but many websites now accept PayPal as a payment option due to its popularity. PayPal was bought by eBay, so now it is heavily integrated with the eBay sites. PayPal lets people send money from a credit or debit card into another PayPal account as payment for goods or services. Money in a PayPal account can also be sent to another account as payment. You can use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Switch, Maestro, Delta and Visa Electron cards with your PayPal account as well as add money from your bank account. REGISTERING --------------- --------------- ---------- Registering is easy. You are asked for the usual details such as your email address (you can add 5+ emails to your account later), password to use, name, address, telephone number and country, as well as the type of account you require. I had no problems with this but I guess it's all standard procedure nowadays. There are three account types that you can have and they are Personal, Premier and Business. Personal accounts do not incur fees but you cannot receive card payments. The Premier account is the most common and allows for all types of payments but a 3.4% + 20p charge is deducted from whatever amount you receive. Business accounts are for businesses and fees can be lower if you seller enough to qualify for lower fees. They also have a send to 'Friends and Family' option which waives ...

Apple iPhone 4S 64GB 09/04/2012

Cheap and Cheerful at just £699

Apple iPhone 4S 64GB @Title - Just kidding.INTROAfter using my iPhone 3GS for 2 years and getting hooked to the Apps that the iTunes App store has to offer, I naturally wanted my next mobile phone to be an iPhone! (No wonder Apple is so successful) I held out and did not buy an iPhone 4, eagerly awaiting the release of the rumoured iPhone 5. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and they came out with the iPhone 4S instead, in Novemeber 2011. I couldn't wait any longer as my aging 3GS felt slow after several software updates and new Apps being installed over the years. The camera also wasn't great in terms of quality and there was no flash light, so I went and bought an iPhone 4S (64GB) direct from the Apple website for £699 (plus £59 for Apple Care). You can also get the phone on phone contracts at varying prices. The phone also comes in 16GB (£499) and 32GB (£599) versions.PERFORMANCE & FEATURESThe phone is much faster than the iPhone 3GS. Once you've transitioned from a 3GS, you definitely feel it. Not so much if you had an iPhone 4 but the 4S is supposedly a bit faster than the iPhone 4 as well. The phone is generally very zippy, however every so often, I find that some Apps do lag for a moment when I'm opening or running it so it's not perfect. May be to do with the App itself being a bit resource hungry but in general, the phone's performance is marvellous. It's easy to use as all you have to do to operate it is to swipe left, right, pinch and press the button and icons on screen, give or ... 09/04/2012

Have you shopped at Amazon? Started off as a small American company selling books, but now it's the world's biggest online mail order company. They've expanded from selling books, to music, videos and DVD's, to electronics, toys, to software and computer bits, as well as offering DVD rental services and much more. Needless to say, their selection of products is huge for each category! THE WEBSITEThe website looks very professional but it can be a bit 'busy' for some people who don't use the Internet much. Items are sorted into a range of categories, which can be accessed via the category titled tabs at the top. There's a lot of information and graphics on each page but the navigation links are easy to find. After you've created an account and logged in for the first time, they greet you with your first name and it'll remember you name the next time you visit. This is a nice touch as it makes the site feel more personal. Down the middle, they usually tell you about promotions or special deals. Further down, they give you recommendations based on your past purchases. Their prices are very competitive but not always the cheapest. When searching for a particular item, I sometimes get more than one result for an item identical item but with varying prices. This is because of the Amazon Marketplace, which is the other side of Amazon, which allows individuals and companies to list items for sale on Amazon. This is good as you have more choice on the prices but Marketplace items do not qualify for free delivery ...

HTC Wildfire 05/04/2012

Nice Entry Level Android Phone

HTC Wildfire I needed a new phone to use as a second phone alongside my iPhone but didn't want to spend too much. I kept hearing rave reviews about Android so thought I'd try it out, as it would give me more functionality than a normal mobile. I chose the Wildfire, an entry level Android phone from HTC, costing me £170. I got the pure white version, which has a bit of silver and looks really nice! The usual brown version was too common for my liking.SETTING UPAfter popping in the SIM under the battery, MicroSD card in the slot and the initial eight-hour or so charge, powered on the phone and off I went. As it's a smart phone, there are endless things I can do but what I quite like is how it lets you choose customise the Home screen with different "Scenes" to determine what options are there. i.e. 'Work', which puts Stocks and Shares, Calendar, News, Mail, 2 clocks, etc as opposed to 'Social' which customises the screen with Friend Stream, Email, Favourite Contacts, Email, Texts, etc. There's also Play, Travel, Clean State and a HTC 'Scene'. Each one can be customised by pressing and holding an item or an empty area to add new widgets. All of them have a screen where you can conveniently enable and disable Wireless and Bluetooth whereby it's very longwinded on the iPhone.Transferring contacts from phone to phone can be a pain in the backside, especially if the other phones is from a different manufacturer. However, I found it very easy to transfer contacts from my iPhone to the Wildfire ...

ASUS Bamboo U33JC RX068V 08/03/2012

A Laptop made out of Wood?

ASUS Bamboo U33JC RX068V The Asus Bamboo is a laptop computer from Asus that's supposedly made from bamboo wood. Looking at the machine, the top of the lid and the palm rest has a dark "smoky brown" wood finish. It has a very smooth finish so doesn't feel like wood (luckily) but it does looks very classy and does get many people commenting. Many of whom doubt that it's really made of bamboo but I will take Asus's word for it! It comes in 13", 14" and 15" sizes but only the 14 and 15" model come with an optical drive (DVD RW drive). I have the 13" version because I wanted something smaller and lighter as I carry mine around for work. At the time of purchase, only the 13" and 15" were available. ==SPECIFICATIONS AND DESIGN==I've been using this machine for the past 8 months or so, and bought it online for £760. One odd thing is that I find I have t press the power button twice before the machine turns on (very strange). I find the design to be quite attractive with its smoky wood effect and chrome rim. When I first took it out of the box and peeled off the protective stickers, the manufacturer stickers (i.e. Intel, NVidia) on the palm rest came off as well, which I thought was weird but this was to keep the palm rest smooth. (Not sure why they even bothered with them.) The touchpad and button is also in the wood effect so it's like they're not even there, which is quite unique but takes a bit of getting used to. The keyboard is the Chiclet sort, which have keys with gaps between them. I tend to prefer ...

TomTom GO 820 15/02/2012

TomTom will Lead the Way

TomTom GO 820 As my old TomTom's battery wasn't charging properly, I'd decided to sell it and then replace it with a more up-to-date version with traffic updates to help me navigate the London roads, so I went for a TomTom 820 HD Traffic. Got it for £168 on Amazon, which I think is a pretty good price for one including Western Europe maps (about £10 more than UK only version). I may never use it outside of the UK but figured it would retain for when I decide to re-sell it. I expect it to last a good few years like my old TomTom One Classic (3rd series), which lasted about 5 years and only cost me £88. EASE OF USE Having used a TomTom before, I found getting up and running with this new one a doddle. I've also tried out other Sat Nav's including ones built into cars but still find TomToms to be the most user-friendly (maybe I'm just used to it). One thing that stood out for me upon my first taking the device out of the box was that the suction mount was stuck on the back of the TomTom. My last TomTom had a slot on suction mount (which fell off the windscreen A LOT), which I stopped using and opted for a vent mount instead. This new one has an in-built mount, which sticks to the windscreen when I turn a dial to lock it to the windscreen. I find this suction mount to be excellent and it has only fallen off on me once. Sometimes a little tricky to take off but at least it doesn't fall off, which can be dangerous if I'm trying to pick it back up again from the floor when the car is ...

Speck 13" SeeThru Case for MacBook Pro 14/05/2011

Protect your Precious Macbook Pro from Dents & Scratches

Speck 13" SeeThru Case for MacBook Pro I had accidentally dented my unibody Macbook Pro TWICE, once knocked a tumbler against the side of the screen and then later had a clip board fall off a shelf onto the top of the lid. I had only had the Macbook a few weeks at the time so I thought to myself "enough was enough". I'd decided that I would try to avoid further accidental damage to my precious (and first) Apple computer by investing in a Speck clear shell. The shell comprises of two sections. One piece to protect the underside, and the other for the top. Each piece slots in and latches on to the Macbook so it's like they become part of the Macbook. Not too difficult to remove either should you need to remove the shell if you decide not to use it or if you Macbook needs hardware upgrades, repairs, etc. As for the protection, the Macbook is protected in most places from further dents and scratches with the exception of the inside when the lid is open, the left side where all the ports and and the right side where the optical drive slot is (obviously, covering all of them would be bad design!) Don't know how well it would do against drops but I would rather drop the Mac with the Speck shell on than without it as it's an extra layer of protection. The shell is approximately 2mm thick so it makes the Macbook Pro seem ever so slightly bigger. It also makes it seem a bit shinier because of the acrylic material. It may actually have improved the look of the device to some but all in all, I don't think the ...

Chocolate (Blu-ray) 08/05/2011


Chocolate (Blu-ray) From the makers of Ong Bak, we’re presented with this Thai martial arts movie strangely titled ‘Chocolate’. The movie is an 18 certificate and is anything but sweet, full of martial arts, acrobatics, gun fights, sword fights and painful looking stunts. The story follows Zen (JeeJa Yanin), an autistic child whom turns out to be a bit of a genius when it comes to learning martial arts. Zen is the daughter of a Japanese man and Thai mobster’s mistress, both of whom were involved with a certain Thai gangster. Zen’s mother, Zin eventually gets sick and its is up to Zen and her friend to raise money for her mother’s medication and hospital treatment, which eventually gets Zen mixed up in dangerous situations involving her parent’s past gangster acquaintances. I must admit that this movie is not quite how I had expected as I was expecting something like Kill Bill (swords and blood baths), which is not my cup of tea, however, I saw the Chocolate Blu-Ray in CEX for a bargain £4 so bought it on a whim. Looking at the Blu-Ray cover, it depicts Zen holding a sword sheaf in each hand, which is what gave me the wrong impression but turns out most of the fighting throughout the movie is Tony Jaa style, Muiy Thai (Thai Kicking Boxing) and acrobatics. There are gun fights, knife throwing, pole staff and some swords but it’s mostly kicks, punches and elbows. Being a fan of martial arts movies, I enjoyed it very much. There isn’t much in the way of plot and dialogue. In fact, with Zen ...

Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive NAS server 2 TB 07/05/2011

Low Cost Gigabit Network Drive

Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive NAS server 2 TB The Iomega 1TB or 2TB NAS drive is a neat little Gigabit network drive with built-in print server and many other capabilities such as remote configuration, FTP, and even Torrent client built-in, automatic media upload, etc. The device is easy to configure with the included software. Once installed, it picks up what folders are on the drive and turns them into mapped drives (network drives that show up under ‘My Computer’ in Microsoft Windows, that to folders on your network). It starts off with folders/map drives such as Music, Movies, Backups, ActiveFolders (for FTP and Torrents, etc), etc. When the drive is offline, the mapped drives disappear, as the Iomega software monitors the drive. These separate folders/drives can all be changed, password protected, etc, as required. USING THE NAS The point of getting a Gigabit NAS is usually to take advantages of faster network transfer speeds and thanks to the Gigabit port on the device, speeds are good but obviously, this also depends on your network setup. To take advantage of Gigabit speeds, you would need a PC with a Gigabit port (most modern machines have this anyway), a Gigabit switch (a modern day hub), and CAT5e or CAT6 network cabling (a half a metre CAT5e cable is included). I get about 106Mbit/s write speed (used a LAN Network Test for the speed test) from my PC to the drive, which is pretty good. (Gigabit networks typically give around that speed taking everything into account. Industrial grade cabling and faster ...

SanDisk Cruzer Blade - USB flash drive - 16 GB 01/05/2011

Nice looking but Slow!

SanDisk Cruzer Blade - USB flash drive - 16 GB The SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB USB 2.0 flash drive is an attractive looking memory stick. I've had mine for about 6 months now and it's working fine. Originally bought for £16.99 although price has gradually been dropping. It's something around £12 now. The drive is very attractive with it's red and black casing. Something pretty unique is how the whole thing is plastic and doesn't have usual metallic casing at the USB part where it slots into the USB port. It has a hole at the back to let you thread a keyring or string to attach to your keys or to something to hang around your neck. I wouldn't put it with your keys using a metal ring though, as too much pressure can break the plastic, as I know someone with one whom did this and lets just say the drive has seen better days, even though it still works. 16GB of space is enough for a lot of documents and even software (even if it's only really 14.9GB because of the way MegaBytes are measured and advertised (1024 per MB rather than 1000 per MB)). It can also fit a fair bit of media such as music and movies. Unfortunately, this is when you start realising the downside of buying such a cheap drive. The transfer speed of copying files to the device is very slow. Write speed (copying files TO the drive) is around 19.5 Megabits/s (that's 2.44 MegaBytes). Read speed (copying FROM the drive) is around 262.5 Megabits/s (around 32.81 MegaBytes/s). The read speed is pretty good but writing is very slow and would be quite frustrating if ...

HP C310A 28/03/2011

Stylish and Feature-rich Premium Printer with Touch Screen

HP C310A INTRODUCTION The HP Photosmart Premium is a wireless All-In-One multifunctional printer with scanner and memory card slots. It can be used via a USB connection (USB cable not included) or wirelessly. I use mine wirelessly although I had initially used a USB connection when I first got it out of the box to print a few things. There is no network port though so you must have wireless if you intend to use it over a network. DESIGN My first impression of the printer is that it looks quite compact and extremely sexy with its black glossy body (everyone else in the house agrees). Unfortunately, I can picture it being covered with a blanket of dust in no time so it would need regular wipe downs. That aside, it looks very up-to-date and modern and this is partly due to how it doesn't have any buttons. It has a large touch screen in the middle, which can be tilted as needed. There's also four touch sensitive buttons, which light up when applicable. The printer design fits very well in the home. INSTALLATION After unpacking the printer, there were plenty of clear protective stickers and blue tape to hold moving parts in place for me to rip off. The printer was in a black 'HP ecosolutions' bag and the power adapter was in a zip case rather than see-through throwaway bags. This was probably HP's attempt at being more environmentally friendly. The bag can be used for shopping and the zip case can be used for storing other bits and pieces. I installed the set of included ink ...

QuidCo.Com 12/02/2011

£639.41 Total Cashback Earned!

QuidCo.Com INTRO Quidco is a website that lets you earn ‘cashback’ for your purchases. E.g. You buy something, you then get a percentage or a fixed amount given back to you. This is a great way of saving money if you were going to buy an item anyway so rather than spending £100 and getting nothing back, you could get for example, 5% back (£5) and end up having spent £95 instead of the full £100. Buying things you wouldn’t have bought in the first place without the cashback on the other hand, would be a false economy. I have so far, earned £639.41 in cashback (think I’ve been paid around £550 so far) and this is over around a year and half so not bad considering they were all things that I would have bought anyway. EARNING CASHBACK The gist of it is that you log into your Quidco account, browse for or search for the retailer you are expecting to make a purchase from, click on the link in the Quidco account that takes you to the website and then make actual the purchase. This transaction is then tracked in your Quidco account with a tracked status. In time, it is validated and then later “Paid” in your transaction log once the retailer pays the commission. The site is very easy to navigate and use and there's plenty of information in the help sections if needed. The clearance time varies, but expect anything from a month up to 6 months depending on what it is. It’s in case you decide to return your purchase, cancel and account or not fulfilled requirements. There are hundreds of big ...

Microsoft B2M-00008 09/02/2011

Comfy Typing with a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard

Microsoft B2M-00008 As a touch typist (I type by feeling the keyboard keys and not needing to look), it's important that I can type quickly and comfortably. For this, I need a good comfy keyboard and maybe a good wrist rest. I decided on the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, which cost me around £45 at the time (around £30 on Amazon today). It's a USB (wired) keyboard with a very unusual shape, designed to make typing feel comfortable and natural for the touch typist. Good ergonomics is extremely important along with best practices to avoid permanent injuries from sitting at the computer over extended periods of time. Main problem when it comes to using a keyboard is the risk of getting RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), which is caused by repeating actions such as typing and using a mouse. This condition is permanent and can be painful. The keyboard even has a big warning on the bottom (a tag on the cable refers you to the bottom of the keyboard first, in case you don't look underneath), which refers you to a "Healthy Computing Guide" included with the software and on the Microsoft website. This guide shows you how you should sit at your desk, how your screen should be positioned, how your arms should be positioned, taking breaks to avoid eye strain, et cetera, and even to eat healthily! Shows they care! My first impression of the keyboard after setting it up is that it is a massive beast! It has two clip stands to raise the back of the keyboard if need be, much like most keyboards on the ...

Tomtom One 07/02/2011

TomTom, I'd be Lost without You

Tomtom One There are many models of Satellite Navigation / GPS units available and from various brands but I've only ever gotten on with TomTom. I've found Garmin and Navman units a bit fiddly to program. I'm sure if I stuck with them, I'd get used to them but I've always preferred TomTom thanks to the easy-to-use layout. Battery life lasts a couple of hours, which is good but for most, unnecessary as they would plug it into the cigarette lighter in the car anyway. I bought my TomTom ONE a few years back and it's still going strong. This is one of the earlier and more basic models with a fairly small screen (3.5") and no SD Card slot but I find the screen adequate. It came with a window mount, car charger adapter, USB cable and even a subscription for speed camera updates for a year (not usually included). It cost me just under £100 at the time. I NEEDED a TomTom because I am terrible with finding my way around and am the sort of person who would get lost for an hour or two in unfamiliar areas or wouldn't be able to find my way to new destinations. Finding my way around London roads is daunting so with a TomTom to direct me every step of the way is necessary for my trips to places I don't travel to frequently. I admit I rely no it a bit too much but I know a lot of my routes to various places thanks to the TomTom showing me the way the first few (or 10-20) times! EXPERIENCE I find it very easy to use and I'm pretty sure I've not used all the functions over the ...
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