Share this page on

green Status green (Level 2/10)

Niburu

Niburu

No member profile available. The person you are looking for is no longer a Ciao member.

Reviews written

since 01/07/2003

15

Ford Fiesta ST 12/05/2010

Fiesta STeps up to the mark where the XR left off

Ford Fiesta ST You can take the ST out of Essex ........ As an ex-Essex boy myself, I completely understand the need to drift off into the bygone days of `go faster stripes` and `giant oversized spoilers` so it was no surprise really that when Ford released their greatest hot hatch since the XR2i, I would immediately be on the phone to my bank manager asking for an extended overdraft facility on my exhausted bank account (enjoying the motoring puns yet?) No need however, as I was able to quite deftly haggle my early 2006 Fiesta ST down to a pretty reasonable price from Ford and although it’s fairly high insurance group (Group 13 to be exact), over 25’s shouldn’t have too much of a problem (No claims discount permitting!) I have now owned my Fiesta ST for over 3 years and perfectly positioned to review this little hot hatch. Although they don’t make them anymore (no concrete plans for an ST in the new shape yet) there are plenty to be picked up on the second hand market. If you are looking for a Fiesta ST then make yourself a nice cup of tea (or your equivalent beverage of choice), take a seat and read on. This should be all you need to know ....... Handling the beaST – The Drive Some reviews start and end on this note and I am making no exception here. The driving experience in the Fiesta ST is second to none which can almost directly be attributed to the sports suspension, shocks and rigid chassis that put the ordinary Fiesta a cut above the rest. Although slightly harsh, the ...

Philips 32PW9308 27/10/2004

A good TV that won't 100 htz your pocket!

Philips 32PW9308 I always imagined walking through the front door, hanging the coat on the rack, kicking off the shoes, pouring a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and then heading into my own cinema room. I also imagined that I would have to win the lottery before this would ever happen but I recently came a step closer to my dream. I have had the Philips 32PW9308 for a month now and thought it about time I told you all about it, in true Ciao style….. Looks They say looks are everything and I must say, that is particularly true when it comes to televisions, as you spend most of your time looking directly at it. The Philips is not the most stunning of TV’s in appearance. The grey/silver plastic looks like … well, it looks like grey/silver plastic and the perforated style surround makes it look like a giant silver sponge but despite this, the Philips looks comfortable in the corner of my living room and is impressive due to its sheer size. This TV boasts a 32” screen, which is pretty big by anyone’s standards and this also means you must have plenty of room in your house for this one. It comes with a moderately attractive stand with 2 glass shelves, which is designed to blend in with the casing of the television. The remote is simplistic in design and will not embarrass your coffee table. Picture The proof of the pudding is in the watching and one flick of the power button and we are away. This particular TV displays its picture in 100htz, which theoretically is supposed ...

Philips CDR-950 05/02/2004

Do it yourself ditty's!

Philips CDR-950 Well, here I am back in the world of review writing. It is a hard life but one that delivers much satisfaction, very much like the product I am about to review. So sit back and allow the wow’s of the CD creation world to wash over you. CD Recorder? Yep, its not complicated at all. It takes CD’s and records on ‘em, meaning no more tapes, with it’s hissing sounds like a gas leak and more warping than Tupperware left in the baking sun. To anybody who owns hi-fi separates, it’s a great way of compiling your own CD’s for home or car, depending on the age of your CD player. Away with the tape deck and a big smiling hello for the CD recorder. Philips CDR-950 Before I launch into song about the features and quality, let me give you a lowdown on the market. The Philips CDR-950 was the top of the range CD recorder from Philips about 3 years ago and by today’s standard, it still cuts the mustard. Although you won’t find this baby brand new, equivalent recorders are available (such as the CDR796) The CD recorder market has been around for a while and most computers have this ability, so you are investing in well grounded technology with plenty of support. The discs are cheap (50p each) and hold 80 minutes, which is about 15 decent length songs. CONNECTING AND RECORDING The pre-requisite of this machine is that you must already own an amplifier and CD player, as this is a single deck only. You can play back on this unit but you must already have a CD player to ...

Car Safety 12/08/2003

Get smashed and grabbed!

Car Safety In a almost panic like state I fumbled for my mobile phone, not really thinking about who I was going to call. Well, the police would have been a good start! If you have ever had to call the police out at eleven o’clock at night for a car break in, you will appreciate just how long it can take for the chaps to turn up, just to take a statement and yep, there I was, standing out in the cold with the night manager of Sainsburys, waiting for the old bill to scream round the corner in their nice, shiny, not smashed up police car. I waited a while, smoked a cigarette and then waited some more, whilst the manager of that most helpful supermarket chain told stories of old about car thefts, break ins and joy riders. I can’t say I felt better after all that but it was only a few days later that I began to take in the finer points of what that nice young chap had told me. You see, to the un-trained eye I had just parked my car for a few hours to watch a movie. To others, I had given my car keys to a rather shifty looking gang of teenagers and basically told them to do their worst. Slightly off the car safety subject here but I am possibly going to save your little car from total destruction at the hands of petty thieves, with my guide of do’s and DO NOT do’s when leaving your car. Charity starts at home - Hey the thieves know this, so they are more than likely going to break into your car outside your house, so all the goodies you would normally leave at home for a day trip to ...

London Dungeon, London 07/08/2003

Dark Dingy Dungeons

London Dungeon, London A little bit of time on my hands and I feel compelled to write something about my weekend. Luckily, I did something remotely interesting, so I won’t harp on about lazing in front of the telly with a couple of beers and a large bag of caramel popcorn. After visiting the London Dungeon, I felt drawn to Ciao to write an opinion and as the ever changing dungeons have not been reviewed recently, I thought I would fill you all in on the latest thrills, spills, screams and dreams. Book me please! As a cynical Londoner, I took the liberty of pre-booking my ticket over the net to avoid the massive queues outside, which I have endured in the past. Safe in the knowledge that my place was secured and that the small group I was with would experience this attraction without slowly roasting in the sun, I was horrified to find the queue for pre-booked as long (if not longer) than the pay as you go. Now, I’m not one to moan (much) but I really didn’t feel privileged to pre-book my tickets and organise myself in advance, just to join the `large school group` party line to get in. The outside of the building is dull to say the least and the occasional visit from the fancy dress queue staff was not nearly as amusing as it could have been. Fire jugglers or fancy swordsman would have done the trick. However, after an hour we were in and not wanting to linger on the bad things, I smiled and prepared for a good time. Stage One - The Streets of London (I can’t see a thing!) Once inside, ...

Marantz CD-4000 31/07/2003

MaRANTZ and RAVES about this one!

Marantz CD-4000 It’s a crazy old world really. While most of us settle for compact Hi-Fi units, the rest spend countless time, effort and money buying separate components, believing that ultimately, it provides a superior listening experience. I am one of these fools, who at sometime in the past, found himself with a few extra pounds (in the bank) and decided to buy a home cinema amplifier (see Yamaha review) You must understand that once you have purchased one unit, a compulsive retail madness overcomes your body and you find yourself getting DAB tuners, double cassette decks and a whole multitude of speakers and then not forgetting 16 miles of industrial sized audio cable, which is about as inconspicuous as placing a giraffe in the corner of your living room. However, once I have got my amp and experienced this `wonderful` sound, I needed a CD player and I couldn’t have got better than the Marantz CD4000. SOUND Marantz are well known for quality products, so I really didn’t need much convincing to get this one. The important thing about separates is balancing your components to create an overall lively but controlled sound, which can be tricky. Your speakers reproduce the sound, the Amp decodes it but your CD player creates it, making it an important starting point in the audio process. The Marantz is sharp and clear, with a very distinct vivid, vibrant sound that would clean up even the most bass orientated systems. It lacks depth however, which would disappoint the bass lovers out ...

Tussauds - Alton Towers, United Kingdom 29/07/2003

Oh those wonderful Towers of Alton

Tussauds - Alton Towers, United Kingdom So there I was at work, trying to find a place to go on the weekend with a few friends that didn’t involve getting completely drunk and passing out in a shop doorway. After a few fleeting thoughts I jumped off my chair and cried `eureka`, much to the surprise of my work colleagues. Of course, a theme park and I had no doubts in my mind which one it was to be, Alton Towers! Ever head of the Towers of Alton? Just to fill you in, Alton Towers is a theme park built around the old towers of Alton, a historical building with a castle like appearance with gardens and lakes. The building still stands and is beautifully blended in with the theme park experience, contrasting old with new. The Tussauds group decided to throw a few rides around the towers some 25 years ago and have continued to build on that ever since. Alton Towers is now the UK’s largest theme park and in my opinion, on par with some of the worlds best theme parks and attractions. The Tussauds group own many other leisure parks, including Chessington and Madam Tussauds but have used Alton Towers as their prized jewel in the entertainment crown of Great Britain. Where the park is (get me there!) I have been to Alton Towers many times in the past and have no troubling in coming to terms with the fact that its almost 200 miles away from London. However, given the fact that I’ve been to almost every theme park in the UK, I knew that making the journey would have its rewards. Alton Towers is located in ...

Amiga A1200 18/07/2003

My little Amigo!

Amiga A1200 Cast your mind back through the Pentiums, on to the 486 machines and suddenly you discover there was life before the PC, no there really was. This was a time when viruses only used to pass through the air and an illegal operation was planning to do over your local Nationwide Anglia. The Amiga was a household name in these days and hey, I’m only talking about 10 years ago. So, for a trip down computer lane, read on my friends. Amiga - A long but meaningful history : Cut to the chase, just tell me what you think about the Amiga, you say. Well in a moment. I would first like to share the extent of the legacy that was breakthrough sound and graphics. The mid to late 80’s saw the introduction of probably the worlds smallest and finest home computer. Although the lesser 1000 and 1500 models were out first, the Amiga 500 was a machine plonked on everyone’s table (or floor) next to the TV. It has pretty much been proved that the A500 was the biggest selling single unit computer to date (one model, one manufacturer) and the later models really built on that foundation. The Amiga (like the Atari ST) had its own sound chip and several other custom chips, meaning that it could produce music without external peripherals and had a 16 bit graphics capability never seen before. The great part was it had a mouse and you could draw silly pictures and create animations on its many art packages that emerged. Many hours I spent putting together silly animations with my friends will ...

The biggest secret - David Icke 11/07/2003

Biggest Secret - Is Icke maniac or magician?

The biggest secret - David Icke Mad or Magician? DAVID ICKE ? For those who know him, David Icke can induce two different responses. 1. Madman. Said he was the son of God and went through a very long and sad shell-suit phase (I know many others) 2. Is currently uncovering the biggest global conspiracy known to man and has new and radical ideas of human freedom. I know these two responses well, as I have asked many people about him prior to my opinion and have managed to induce conversation, anger and occasionally, ridicule. I have taken an interest in his work, as many of my friends have started reading his books and attending is seminars and wanted to find out whether he is attempting to mass manipulate the public, whilst convincing us our governments are being mass manipulating us. David Icke went from footballer, to Grandstand presenter, to Green peace activist to freethinker and philosopher. These days he writes and speaks, in as many places as possible to as many people as possible. One thing is true, he is setting tongues wagging. HIS BOOK - The Biggest Secret : I am not here to tell you I believe he is correct or mad or just plain greedy, hey, I am reviewing a book which was given to me as a gift and set my mind on a very different way of thinking. THE PLOT : Well, more of the basis of the book really. The idea behind the book is to allow us to see the world in a different light, to question the injustices of famine, disease and poverty and ask why the select few countries ...

Yamaha RX-396RDS 08/07/2003

An Odeon in your living room

Yamaha RX-396RDS When the police come knocking at your door saying `we have reports of gun shots coming from this house`, you know you have a top notch home cinema system (or a rough neighbourhood) But belting out True Lies or Terminator 2 at full volume is not going to prove anything if you don’t have the correct sound system. All DVD players on the market are equipped with Dolby Digital (the theatre standard digital sound) and the likelihood is your VCR will attain Dolby Surround (the theatre standard of the Eighties and early Nineties) The only way to reproduce this sound in its entirety, is with a Home Cinema amplifier or decoder and the Yamaha RX-396RDS is just one of those amplifiers waiting to be heard. The Yamaha what? Ok, they make bikes and their hi-fi equipment is renowned for being somewhat expensive but anyone into their sound will know they have a reputation for being pretty good. This large, heavy piece of kit is a one stop sound shop, providing a base for Home Cinema, your tape decks and CD player, Radio and anything else you want to plug in to it (within reason please) FEATURES - The whole principle of a home cinema receiver was to provide a unit that could be bought on its own and added to at a later date. As a stand alone unit, all you need is a pair of speakers and your all ready to listen to the radio, simple. Dolby Digital/Dolby Surround : The main feature of this unit is the ability to reproduce cinema style sound in the home. The basic requirement ...

BBC1 - The Mysterious Cities Of Gold 04/07/2003

Wow, an entire city made of Gold!

BBC1 - The Mysterious Cities Of Gold I am now asking myself why a review on a cartoon made in the 80’s, set in the 1500’s and produced by the French and the Japanese would be of any interest to anybody. Surprisingly it is of great interest to a vast number of people, who remember it from the first BBC screening in the mid eighties, which means I can talk about it and write about it without being whacked with the nerd stick. No, I’m not a nerd. The Plot - Set in the 16th century and loosely based around a book called `The Kings Fifth` (never read it) this 39 episode animation follows a small group of Spanish adventurers looking for the lost city of gold in South America. It is quite heavily factual and concentrates on the greed of a certain Governor Pizzaro who, fuelled by rumours of an entire city made of gold, led the Spanish conquerors in South America and pretty much single-handedly wiped out the Incas. The main character is a young boy called Esteban living in Barcelona and being looked after by his step-father, a local priest. Esteban is known to the locals as the child of the sun, as they believe he has the ability to make the sun appear when he is held aloft. When his step-father suddenly dies, he is persuaded to set sail for the new continent by Mendoza, a navigator who had saved Esteban’s life at sea, taking him from his real father as their boat was torn apart by the high seas. This is where the adventure begins, with the young Esteban stowing away on a boat heading for Peru and a young ...

Ford Fiesta 1.3 04/07/2003

The Fiesta legacy lives on...

Ford Fiesta 1.3 The 2001 1.3 Ford Fiesta Fun is the same shape as the Fiesta the year before and the year before that etc. With just a few refinements, it seemed to be Fords way of not changing the winning formula. With the launch of the new shape Fiesta, you can now pick up these babies at very good prices from dealerships or private sales and perhaps not surprisingly, they offer good value for money and the although the Fiesta Fun is the basic model, you will get power steering as standard. Features & Interior - Lacking extras such as central locking and electric windows are made up in raw driving pleasure but if you are of the thrifty variety, the more executive models can be snapped up with all the trappings. The interior of the car is modern but not retro looking, with typical bubble style trim and sensible upholstery design in attractive neutral colours, a safe but slightly plain approach by Ford I suspect. The drivers seat is comfortable and caters for both short and long legged people, with the pedals, gear lever and steering wheel well positioned for both. Good storage space in the glove box and compartments and the boot in the 3 door model is quite roomy, taking a large suitcase with ease with space for a few smaller bags, good news for the heavy grocery shopper. The standard radio is very easily replaced, for those who really enjoy their music and although decent sized rear speakers cannot be housed in the panels, the parcel shelf will withstand the weight of 6” by ...

Philips DVDR890 04/07/2003

Philips DVD Recordable - Right choice?

Philips DVDR890 Without most of us really noticing a thing, the recordable DVD market has progressed in leaps and bounds. Could it be time to banish your video machine to the fiery depths of the electronic abyss? Read the review and then some important info on DVD Formats. Philips DVDR880/890 Both very similar machines, just varying slightly in price and features and like the new released models by Philips, they have been good sellers in a volatile and suspicious market. Features - Turn the first few pages of the manual and you would forgiven for believing you have purchased a stylish looking VCR. On closer inspection, the large gaping cassette hole has been replaced with a CD draw and all those analogue outputs with digital ones. Like modern VCR’s, the Philips range include the usual VideoPlus, PDC, timer recording, One Touch Recording, on screen display etc. Again, like the newer VCR’s, you plug this one in to your current system (cables provided mind you!) and it sets itself up, tuning the channels, setting the clock and detecting what style television you have for normal/widescreen format. The difference here is that the programmes you record on to DVD are manageable and you can play any track at any point at the touch of a button. It took me about a week to get used to it and now I record programmes when I’m out, confident I will not find the unit on fire upon my return. You must appreciate the fact that you can delete certain parts of a title (erasing the adverts is ...

Cape Town (South Africa) 03/07/2003

Is Cape Town for you? Great holiday!

Cape Town (South Africa) South Africa has had a colourful history that’s for sure. Still, it remains one of the most diverse countries in the world, with 11 official languages and many religions and cultures living under one sky. Politics aside, it has a lot to offer the British tourist and the geological capital, Cape Town, is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. GETTING THERE - Its not easy spending the best part of 14 hours on a flight and for the better deals, you will probably have to change at some European airport but I have done this as a small child and an adult and its pretty hassle free. Flights leave daily from Heathrow and Gatwick and I believe possibly Manchester too. Virgin fly direct and most major airlines will take you to Cape Town via a brief stop at Johannesburg international. WHY GO? - I am not going to harp on too long but I am talking from personal experience, as I lived and worked in Cape Town for 4 years and know it quite well. Currently, Cape Town is cheap (cheap as chips!) A family of four could eat out (steaks, fish etc) for about £5 a head. This includes main course and drinks (2 or 3 each) Beer costs about 80p per bottle in a bar and smokes for £1 a pack, so good news for boozers and smoke-a-holics! The country is modern and although officially classed as third world, has a first world infrastructure. The UK imports many products from there and South Africa is often used as a testing ground for movies, products and services. English is ...

Ford Escort 1.3 03/07/2003

1.3 Escort in mind? Read on....

Ford Escort 1.3 Having been the owner of a 1.3 M reg Ford Escort, I can tell you lots about the car. If you own one, you may be interested to read on, if you are looking at one, defiantly read on! A BRIEF HISTORY - Escorts have progressed nicely over the years and if you want to see proof of this, look out for the mark 1’s, which still drag at the old race tracks. The popular 80’s shape summed it all up, from the sporty XR3i to the 1.6 GLE all in model for the exec on the road (my first car) With my exposure to the Ford Escort, I have discovered one thing. They are cheap to buy and run but can cost a small fortune to sort out. Because I have spend this small fortune and made the mistakes, I can tell you what to look out for. HOW IT DRIVES - The M reg was a big car for me. I am not a small person but hey, I felt important behind the wheel. Steering - No power steering on mine and yes, it took a bit of turning but the car handles the road well, loading the weight where needed and not making three point turns seem like pushing a boulder up a mountain. Comfort and Interior - I put this in the medium class of interior design. The seat material is course but hard wearing enough. Dashboard design on the bulky side but practical. Long distance driving can induce a lose of feeling in your legs, which is not clever when wanting to brake at 70mph on the motorway. Lots of room though for a family car and boot space a plenty which was a welcome change for me. Extras - Obviously depends ...
Back to top