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Saitek Cyborg V.7 Keyboard 09/11/2011

Colourful, Useful and Brilliant!

Saitek Cyborg V.7 Keyboard Being a stupid person, I sit in the dark most nights. Seeing as most of the time I am just surfing the internet, this isn’t a problem, as using a mouse in the dark is as easy as pie. Using a keyboard in the dark however, can verge on the impossible. Night in, night out, I would reply to threads on facebook, comment on newsgroups or stupidly try to write reviews, clear in the knowledge that I couldn’t see my keys, and unsurprised when the resulting output resembled something similar to Russian. Of course, I could just be sensible and turn the lights on, but for one thing that costs money, and for the second thing, I am a very depressed kind of person and much prefer sitting in the dark, even drawing the curtains during the day at times. I needed a different solution… Enter the Cyborg v7. Searching online for a backlit keyboard, most seemed poor quality, and some almost medieval. That was until I came across the Cyborg range. At the time I purchased the keyboard, Cyborg v8 was also available, but I much preferred the look of v7. At a cost of £60, it isn’t cheap, but oh boy do I love it! The Cyborg v7 is a gaming keyboard, I’m not a gamer, but still find the keyboard and many of its functions useful. In buying a keyboard that would light up in the dark, I also got a whole lot more useful functions. The stand out feature for me is the backlights, and not like most, if not all, other backlit keyboards. On the Cyborg v7, you can programme different sections of the keyboard to ...

Member Advice on Choosing a Laptop 07/10/2011

Advice on choosing a laptop

Member Advice on Choosing a Laptop These days it appears that much of the world is going portable, and as part of that, manufacturers are constantly developing their technologies and releasing more and more powerful and advanced laptop computers onto the market. With such a wide ranging diversity of laptops available to buy it is important to make certain considerations to ensure your portable life meets up to your expectations. Ultimately everything you consider comes down to ensuring that the laptop is fit for purpose. There is not much point spending thousands on an all-singing, all-dancing laptop, upon which you will only use half of its functions and never utilize its full power. In the same way, for example if you were a graphic designer, it is pointless buying the cheapest laptop in the shop if it clearly isn’t up to handling massive image files or detailed image manipulations. Firstly you should consider exactly what you will be using the laptop for. If you will be editing large video clips, you will clearly need a higher specification than if you only want a laptop for checking email or surfing the internet. Second consideration should be aimed at determining where it is to be used. If the laptop is to be used whilst travelling frequently, you may decide that you want to look at purchasing something a little lighter than average, bearing in mind that a reduction in weight may carry an increase in cost. If it is to remain stationary on a desk, then weight doesn’t become such an issue. Thirdly, take ...

Member Advice on Dating 28/09/2011

Meeting someone you have met online. Safely.

Member Advice on Dating Meeting somebody you have met on the internet for the first time can be a very daunting experience. There are a number of things to consider, even before you agree to meet somebody that you don’t know. Obviously before you meet somebody for the first time, you have to be absolutely certain in your mind that you trust this person, based on what you already know (or have been told) about them. Bear in mind that the internet can be a great cover for those who wish to hide behind a web of deceit and with this in mind, be very careful that you can trust the information that somebody has given you about themselves. Once you have taken the big step of deciding to meet somebody that you have met online, you need to take a few steps to ensure your personal safety, and that doesn’t just go for women. Firstly agree a neutral venue between yourselves that is mutually agreeable. Always meet in a public place where there are other people around and never meet at his/her house. Along the same lines never give the person your address, either by telephone or email – at least not until much further into a relationship. It would be wise to arrange to call the person first so that you can hear their voice. This can tell you a lot about somebody, and although the person you have been chatting to online might seem serious and genuine, upon hearing their voice it could set alarm bells ringing depending on how they talk to you. Once you have arranged a suitable venue and time make sure somebody ...

My 100th Review 17/09/2011

100th Review

My 100th Review It’s Friday afternoon and I am celebrating. Why I hear you ask? Because after 5 and a half years, or to be more precise 2044 days living the life as a Ciao member, I have finally reached the milestone of 100 reviews. Yes! This is my hundredth review. For this review I let it be known among my fellow Ciao’ers that following in what seems to be a bit of a tradition, I would be taking on the challenge of a question and answer review. Within minutes my guestbook was reeling under the surge of eager member questions. So without further ado, I will do my best to put your little minds at ease with the answers to your ‘orrible nosy questions. By the way, I hope someone told the Queen. I’m expecting a telegram. Anyway, let’s get the party started with some alcohol. Aken said she was very impressed with my plethora of boozy reviews and posed the following question to me. “If you planned a dinner party with a shellfish course, lamb course, zabaglione dessert, cheese & biscuits, then which wines and port would you recommend for each course regardless of price?” Well what a fine opening question Aken, nothing like talk of food and wine to get the taste buds tingling. Firstly if I ate all those courses I would be sick, and secondly I am glad that price is not a problem because I would frankly be skint after shelling out for all that wine! Not to mention sozzled. Let’s start with the shellfish course. Shellfish is a delicate dish and as such an appropriate wine would be something that ... 13/09/2011

Your opinion can be valuable! Valued Opinions In this age of the online world, making money from the internet is becoming increasingly more popular. Let’s face it, many of us spend a considerable time online, whether it be for business purposes, social media activity or just for a general potter about. So when you have some spare time, why not put it to use making a little extra cash? Remember the days when you would walk into town only to be confronted by clipboard holders demanding your opinion on various subjects? Now I don’t mind giving my opinions about things, but there is a time and a place. When I’ve just spent the last hour and a half shopping and my arms are laden with carrier bags, that is not the right time, or the right place. These days, these consumer research panels have moved online. I can do my shopping and then come home and answer their questions from the comfort of my front room. And what more, I can get paid for it! Although there are many paid survey websites out there, in my opinion Valued Opinions is definitely one of the best. If not the best. Signing up Signing up is easy, simply visit their website, and click the “sign up TODAY” button. You have to provide certain details such as name, address, email etc and once you are signed up, you are ready to go. Once you have completed your basic account details you then need to go through and complete all the advanced sections of your profile. It is not essential to complete these, although certainly ...

How do you fight stress and anxiety? 17/08/2011

How do you fight Stress and Anxiety?

How do you fight stress and anxiety? How do you fight Stress and Anxiety? With people living increasingly busy lives, the downturn of the economy and worries over the future, it is hardly surprising that stress levels in the general population are at an all time high. I myself am going through a considerable period of stress and anxiety at the moment, as I’m sure many people reading this article are. Stress and anxiety is basically a signal that our bodies are trying to tell us that danger is near. This danger can come from all around us, both externally and within our own bodies. When it comes to handling stress, each person is different. Everyone gets stressed, that’s only natural, it’s the bodies own fight or flight response. For some, however stress can build up until a person is over-burdened with stress and anxiety. Whilst low to medium stress levels are normal, and even healthy, excessive stress and anxiety can lead to all sorts of health problem, these in themselves further increasing stress levels. Stress and Anxiety are important in our lives. It would be foolish (and also impossible) to banish stress completely. Without stress, we may not act in our own best interests. From failing an exam to a family feud to losing ones job, stress can help us to make changes in our lives and to improve situations for the better. Stress and anxiety become too much when they stop pushing us to act. This can either be because we are worried about things that are not under our control or that have not happened yet, ...

Daktacort Hydrocortisone Cream 16/07/2011

Relieves my sweaty balls

Daktacort Hydrocortisone Cream Daktacort Hydrocortisone Cream Daktacort cream can be used to treat a variety of conditions. The cream itself is basically an antifungal which can be used to treat conditions such as athlete’s foot and inflamed sweat rash. Other conditions which may successfully be treated with Daktacort are inflamed eczema and dermatitis, particularly as these conditions can be caused by infection with certain fungi or bacteria. The two active ingredients in this cream are Miconazole nitrate and Hydrocortisone. Miconazole nitrate is an antifungal which works by destroying both the fungus that causes the infection and some of the associated bacteria which may also be present. Hydrocortisone is a mild topical steroid which reduces inflammation, swelling, redness and itching of the skin. I use this cream because I tend to get very sweaty in my gonad region. Being already prone to psoriasis and dermatitis, this ultimately causes a nasty sweat rash between my legs and on my scrotum. I tried every cream imaginable to try to relieve the terrible itching and redness associated with my condition with no success. I didn’t really want to go to the doctor and have to flop my member out for him/her, so I sought advice from the local chemist. They recommended Daktacort cream, which has proved very successful. The cream cost me £5 for a 30g tube and this lasts me months and months, so its exceptionally good value, certainly cheaper than anything the doctor could prescribe. Obviously if this cream had ...

Spiders 14/07/2011

Incy Wincy

Spiders Spiders You know how it is, you’re settling down for a night in front of the TV watching repeats of Strike it Rich on Challenge, glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in hand, when all of a sudden out of the corner of your eye, a small dark shadow passes along the skirting board. Slowly at first, in dribs and drabs, then suddenly the shadow speeds up and disappears form sight. What erupts next is pandemonium. Wine on the cushions, broken glass on the floor, the girlfriend who was laying half on top of you now sprawled out at a peculiar angle on the chaise longue…. There is a spider in the room. So why are these awful creatures walking our planet? What purpose do they serve? As far as I’m concerned they are only useful at catching flies, but to be perfectly honest, I would rather be in a room with a hundred flies in than one with just one spider. We all know spiders are ugly, scary, disgustingly crawly creatures, and the make up of their body does nothing to detract from their repulsive reputation. Spiders are arthropods, meaning that their skeleton is on the outside of their body (an exoskeleton). They have segmented bodies and ghastly, spindly legs that are enough to send a shiver down the spines of even the hardiest of people. The spider is though, not a true arthropod. The bodies of true arthropods are split into three distinct sections, the head, the thorax and the abdomen. Spiders however have to be different. Their bodies are fused into two sections, the cephalothorax and ...

Rspb Handbook Of British Birds - Peter Holden 20/05/2011

A Useful Reference Guide

Rspb Handbook Of British Birds - Peter Holden RSPB Handbook of British Birds My partner and I have been members of the RSPB for some time. I have always had a fond interest in birds and somehow managed to drag her into it with the offer of joint membership. When we became members, we took advantage of their new member offer. This gave us a free bird box, and a free copy of the RSPB Handbook of British Birds. When we first got it, I expected it to just sit there gathering dust. I wasn’t sure if it was something that I would really use, after all, its not exactly cover to cover reading material. However I have used it quite a lot. The RSPB The RSPB was originally founded way back in 1889, originally to fight the trade in birds’ feathers. Since then, the RSPB has rapidly become one of the most well known and influential conservation charities. More than a million people in the UK are members, including 160,000 children and the RSPB has now become one of the world’s largest charities looking after the welfare of wild birds. The Book If you see a bird in your garden and wonder what it is, it will be in this book. However, it is not so easy to find birds in here unless of course you already know the name. The Handbook of British Birds is designed more as a reference book, to encourage people to learn more about the different habitats and populations of Britain’s wild birds. Every UK wild bird is listed, and each one is page is colour coded depending on the nature of that particular birds conservation ...

Campo Viejo Crianza Spain 28/04/2011

Rioja bye baby on the tree top....

Campo Viejo Crianza Spain Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza 2007 Well, here I am, your resident wine expert back again. The last two days I have been waiting for plumbers to fix a leaking toilet. Not worrying for me, but worrying for the kind folks downstairs whose bathroom ceiling has gone blue (I use bloo blocks). A couple of days off work, a royal wedding coming up, and no choice but to stay home and watch the walls. What do I do? Drink wine! I have had three bottles of this wine now, the first two I purchased from my local off licence (I call it the blue shop because its blue) for £8.99 each. Earlier today I had to pop out quickly to get some pea sticks for the garden and whilst I was out I popped into my local One Stop shop. I managed to pick up a bottle of the same wine for only £7.65. That might sound expensive to some, but Rioja’s are rarely cheap, in fact quite the opposite. £7-£9 is an absolute bargain, especially for a wine of this quality. For all you snobs out there this wine does not come with a screw top, it comes with a cork, so best start digging your corkscrew out. Problem is, so many cheap and nasty wines these days come with a screw to. Now, I have nothing against screw top wines, in fact a lot of them are excellent quality and it makes it easier to get into. However, I don’t feel that a wine like this would be the same with a screw top. After you have fathomed out your cork screw remover thing and got the cork out, you are left with a very boring looking bottle to be honest. A ...

Everything that starts with M ... 20/04/2011

More about me...

Everything that starts with M ... Ah well, its one of those days when I am feeling particularly, bored, particularly morose, and particularly like telling you a bit more about me. I apologise for the poor english in the questions. I didnt write them, and I struggled to understand a few of them! 1) First Names - Robin 2) Pseudo(s) - Bubblecakes (Only my fiancee is allowed to call em that!) 3) Girl or Boy - Boy 4) Towns - Born in Enfield, Now living in Southgate, London but spent most of my life in Clacton-on-Sea 5) Size - Depends if you mean height or weight. I am 5 ft 10in tall and weigh 11st 8lbs. 6) Age - 27 7) Hair colour - Brown 8) Eye colour - Blue 9) Employment/ current occupation - IT Support Analyst 10) Astrological sign - Virgo 11) I like/love - My amazing fiancee Sarah, my family, friends & my job (sometimes). 12) I don't like - People who spend more time trying to run other peoples lives than living their own, rude people, liars 13) If you could meet one person of your choice, dead or alive, known or not, who would this be - Jeremy Clarkson or David Bowie 14) What do you like to do, generally during the weekend - Spend lots of time drinking, get out in the garden, go for walks, am quite fond of shopping too. 15) The town/country that you want to visit or even live in - Want to live in Devon 16) The first thing you do when you come back from school or work - Crack open a bottle of wine or a hard earned beer. I like to consider it my good deed for the day to rescue a beer thats got ...

Weight Watchers Classic Beef Lasagne 04/04/2011

I would rather eat the contents of a pigeon loft!

Weight Watchers Classic Beef Lasagne Weight Watchers Classic Beef Lasagne You know how it is, you've had a hard day at the office, a two hour trek on a hot tube train home, packed in like a sardine with your nose up someone else's sweaty armpit and when you get home, what you would really like is a lovely home cooked meal. Sadly yesterday, that isn't what I got. After arriving home tired and hungry to find out my other half had cooked her own dinner I was resigned to the fact that I then had to spend time slaving away again over a hot cooker. Looking through the cupboards and the freezer, to my dismay there was nothing of any interest. A few frozen vegetables, yes, a tin of beans, yes, one egg, yes. Not much else. Dammit. I was ravenous as well. "Darling, what am I supposed to eat for dinner?" (She does the food shopping) Reply, "There's a lasagne in the fridge if you want it." Great. Lasagne. My Favourite. Wrong. On opening the fridge, I discovered it was a weightwatchers lasagne. Typical woman, thinking of her figure before thinking about my vast calorie intake requirements. Still, never min I thought, it might just be alright, after all, lasagne is my most favourite meal. My first problem came when trying to pierce the film on top of it so I could put it in the microwave (I was too hungry to wait for it to cook in the oven). I normally use a fork to pierce this kind of thing with no hassle, this one however wouldn't pierce properly, it just ripped great chunks out of the film. Anyway, I popped it in ...

IT Support Analyst 16/03/2011

Rewarding and Frustrating... All at once!

IT Support Analyst IT Support Analyst The first eight years of my working life were spent working in various finance related jobs, ranging from accounts assistant up to senior credit controller and credit analyst. The work was OK, but also monotonous and repetitive. It had never been my intention to start work in finance, in fact from a young age; my dream was always to work with computers. Sadly, circumstances at the time meant I needed a job quickly and I had to take the first thing that came up, a stupid accounts assistant position. After working in the sector for eight years, I decided enough was enough. Whilst working for my current employer as a Senior Credit Analyst, I had started to look elsewhere for jobs working in IT, particularly in first and second level support. As luck would have it, a few weeks later, a lady in our IT department at work handed in her notice. Needless to say, as soon as I found out, I immediately expressed my interest in her position. Of course, having worked for my company for five years already this gave me an advantage in that I knew the company, I knew the staff and I knew (most) of the systems. Some weeks later, I was invited for an interview, and a month later I became an IT Support Analyst. My Dream. Or so I thought… Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I love it very much. The problem comes in that working as an IT Support Analyst can be very frustrating indeed… I have now been working as an IT Support Analyst for the past two years. During that time, I ...

Maggots 24/02/2011


Maggots Maggots The maggot, the maggot, small and white Crawling around in the night What mortal piece of food rested, Will next by thou be infested? And in what near dirt or meat, Will I see thou without feet? And what sort of body hath thou got That all thou liveth in is rot? And without shoulders, and without art, Dost thou even have a heart? And if thou hast a heart like most, Why did God make thou so gross? What kind of anger? What kind of pain, Was God in while He made thine brain? And what the sorrow, what the hurt, Made Him put thou in the dirt? When the flies buzzed round our head, Or flew into our nose instead: Did He smile his work to see? Did He who made the bird make thee? The maggot, the maggot, small and white Crawling around in the night What mortal piece of food rested, Will next by thou be infested? (courtesy of Kelsey Hancock, a "parallel" to William Blake's poem "The Tyger" for her english class with The Potter's School.) Maggots, the stuff of young girl’s nightmares, creepy crawly things that take over wheelie bins in summer and feast on rotting flesh. Who would have thought that such stomach churning creatures could make such a popular and successful fishing bait? Well the thing is, maggots are one of the most readily available baits, are cheap to purchase and are successful for most species of fish. All the above combine to make maggots a big favourite among anglers new and old. The point of this review is to explain what maggots are, the different colours ...

Boilies 23/02/2011

Boilie in the bag bait

Boilies Boilies Thirty years ago, carp fishing, or certainly serious carp fishing, was nowhere near as popular as it is nowadays. The fishermen who dedicated their lives to catching carp kept their own secret bait recipes a secret. In those days, commercial carp baits didn’t exist. Because of this, each angler would have come up with their own closely guarded recipe for some special paste using their very own selection of ingredients. Some were obviously more successful than others, but because making your own bait would, these days, be considered a hindrance, it is no surprise that bait suppliers caught on (pardon the pun), and started developing commercially available baits. Although many anglers today still use paste type baits to catch carp, there is a major downfall to using such a mundane type of bait. Paste type baits are soft and allow smaller fish to nibble them off the hook without so much as bobbing the float. This was overcome by using the same paste bait ingredients but finding a way to turn this into a bait form that wouldn’t be so attractive to the smaller fish. With carp fishermen, they target carp specifically and generally have no wish to catch anything else, at the very least it is annoying to be sitting there waiting for a big fat carp to come along, only to realise a while later that your bait has been frittered away by some jumped up little roach. The main idea being turning these paste baits into a more carp friendly bait was to add raw egg to the paste ...
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