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since 05/11/2000


various - blank, recordable CD's 23/09/2001

CD 'Ah

various - blank, recordable CD's I'm sure just about everyone has heard of the name Memorex, though most likely due to the never ending need for good quality hi-fi or video cassettes. Well, there's now also a variety of CD media available from the same makers. Ever since I brought my first CD Writer, I have been plagued with an array of problems, the first being, "Please insert a disk with more space", or something very similar dependent upon the software I use at any given time. The second problem, and this one is a real pain, "BUFFER UNDERRUN ERROR". At one point I was wasting blank media like there's no tomorrow, but as time and experience showed, it all came down to inadequate quality of the media itself. Having always been a fan of Memorex quality in the past, I decided to try out the blank CDR's in their range. My first choice was the 1x - 16x high capacity 700mb. Yes I did say 700mb (80 minutes music time). I have also found that overburning is simplicity. Anyway, back to why I chose this one in particular. For the tiny miniscule price of only £19.99 I got 50 of these discs, and included with the well packaged CD's in a resealable twist apart container, came a full version of dance e-jay. If you don't know what that is, but you like to make music, I highly recommend a visit to their web site, or alternatively you could purchase some of the CDR's in question. Incidentally, if you brought the e-jay software it would most likely be more expensive than the blank media, in fact a relative of mine ...

Supant 15/08/2001


Supant If you are concerned at the amount of trash on the net, yet at the same time you understand the benefits for your kids and their educational needs, what can you do? Firstly you need an internet service provider that can give some kind of filtration, preferably one that you can be in control of. The next thing you'll want is privacy with good all round educational assets. Look no further? Supanet probably has all that you need. they have their own NET NANNY, so once set up you can rest assured that your kid's are not surfing the danger zones, they even have a simple but supervised chat area. For worried parents and/or slippery kid's, Supanet is a must. The general layout and site design is easy to navigate and is loaded full with educational links and a good help system, add to that the standard bits and bobs like email, web space, tech support and so on, and you've got a great ISP. + It's FREE and well worth a look, You even get opportunities to give points to schools for computers, Way Cool. Go To ( ) for more info... A quick addition 15th August 2001: Although Supanet is a great server, the new supahighway deal priced at £12,99 per month. At present is very poor. "IF" you can get a connection it is usually stable and gives you good value for your money, but the word here is "IF". I'll let you know more as and when they sort out my connection. ...

Micromark MM9078 12/08/2001

Cooler or Warmer

Micromark MM9078 When the British weather allows some sunshine, it tends to be a bit over warm, and at home it's often hard to stay cool. In particular on those sticky summer nights, a Micromark ceiling fan could be the answer. Micromark are better known for their range of small table type fans, which I might add are quite good, but the ceiling fan range is by far superior both in quality and style. The range available that I have seen start at around £20.00, and head up to about £80.00, though the price difference is really only to do with the physical look and artistic design. Obviously the more plain looking, the cheaper the price. When all's said and done, they all look very good and it's really a matter of where it will be located, and what furnishings it would need to blend in with. The one I purchased is a mixture of wood/cane type blades with 3 candelabra type light fittings all with brass coverings. Very elegant, but as said, there are quite a few designs to choose from. In fact I shall soon be getting another one, but this time it's a chrome design with movable spotlights. With all the ceiling fan range, the blade size and the running gear (motor) is pretty much the same, and they also have a reverse switch making them useful during winter for circulating the air and warmth without the draught, they also only use 50watts to run and can run with or without the light on. Being so low a wattage, it's as cheap as a standard light bulb, and thats based on the highest speed of ...

Campino Strawberries and Cream [TV Advertisement] 28/05/2001


Campino Strawberries and Cream [TV Advertisement] They're all the rage, every ones talking about them. So real, so sweet, unbelievable. Even the TV advertisements portray this new taste sensation as incredibly like the real thing. So what's all the fuss. Campino is the new sweet from "Storck", in Germany. As far as I'm aware, there are at present only 2 varieties, Orange & Cream and Strawberry & Cream, the later are the one's I've tasted, and i must say they are very nice to say the least. They really do taste like real strawberry, but the cream in my opinion, is more like ice-cream. The flavour is truly outstanding. As I have said, I have only tried the strawberry one's, but my daughter (worlds greatest sweet addict), has also tried the orange flavoured one's and rates them much more highly than the strawb's. To me, that means they are at least equally as good, as we share similar taste where any food or sweets are concerned. I'm actually looking forward to trying them, but for now I'll munch my way through the bag I have, and that's a big 140g bag packed with loads of em', and at only 99pence, it's a steal. As for the advert on the TV, I think it's a bit over done, but at least it's an honest review of a good product. If you like boiled sweets that hold a full flavour throughout, You'll love these. Great sweet, Very fair price!

Jetracer (PlayStation) 28/05/2001

Wild and Wet

Jetracer (PlayStation) All the fun of jet ski action is rolled into this excellent game, and it's all done on a virtual terrain with no harm ever coming to the rider. The game apparently is available also on the dreamcast machine, though here I am discussing the playstation version published by Midas. Unlike most good PSone games, Jet Racer is among the cheaper priced end, £7.99 to £9.99 depending where you purchase it, and is a useful game for pretty much all age groups, thus making a good gift for almost anyone who has a playstion. Right from the start you get an offering of good background music much like the beach boys type, sort of a typical surfing sound, but the real fun starts as quickly as you can enter your selections. You get a choice of 3 different jet ski's ranging from a 700cc stand up fun bike to a massive 1200cc sit down bike. Next up is the choice of character for both male and female players, and with this you can opt for as many as 4 players if you have a console multi tap adapter. Once you've selected your jet ski, player and number of players, you then have a choice of "Free Ride", which is like a sort of learning mode, or you can pick "Rider Championship", competitive mode 1, or "Extreme Trick", which gives you a score for the best stunt / trick that you can pull off. The learning side of things is very easy and straight forward, and doesn't really offer anything more. But the rider championship is superb and very competitive as is extreme trick. Obviously the ...

Bedazzled 23/05/2001

Impish Mayhem

Bedazzled The calculations begin, computer data spitting out worldwide details, percentage of sinners, souls, damned. And it stops! Enter Elliot played by Brendan Fraser. Elliot is a sad statistic, living a boring life and from every angle is going nowhere. Everyone ridicules and dislikes him, and worse, he's in love. If you've not yet seen it, the calculations and statistics above are the devil's database, and in this case it's a SHE. not only is the devil a she, but she's found what she's looking for. a soul to steal in the form of poor old Elliot. Out on his travels, Elliot is confronted by the she devil (Elizabeth Hurley), and offered 7 wishes in exchange for his soul. at first he's reluctant, but then after a little teasing about the woman he's in love with he signs the contract and begins wishing. Wishing to be rich and powerful, and obviously with the girl of his dreams, he finds himself suddenly transported to Columbia in the guise of a drugs baron with a whole new vocabulary of Spanish. At first he thinks it's great, that is until he realises that his true love is flirting with others, and finds out just who he is. After a quick scene jump by dialling 666 on his new pager, he's back with the devil. The next wish follows rapidly, throwing him into yet another life, which again ends in trouble. The pattern of failed wishes is the basis for the whole film, with each wish causing mayhem, but the reality that Elliot discovers is that the devil has no intention of ...

Charlie's Angels (DVD) 23/05/2001

My kind Of Angel's

Charlie's Angels (DVD) What can i say! If you like the seventies, and you liked the original angels (Farah Fawcett etc), you're gonna love this. The all new "Charlie's Angels", is great by comparison and boasts a full modern hollywood cast of stars. The whole film hinges around three girls, Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore), and Alex (Lucy Liu) along with the infamous Bill Murray in the guise of Bosley, all of whom play their parts very well. Not only is the acting good, but the action seems to never end. As with the angels of old, the story begins in the "Once upon a time" style revealing who and what the girls were, and on to the new life they now have as an elite team of private investigators headed up by the ever invisible Charlie. Once that's out of the way the story begins with the trio being called in to investigate the theft of some special voice recognition software and the kidnapping of it's creator. Unfortunately, this type of story is hard to re-tell without destroying the entertainment and pleasure of any potential viewer, though I can say that it's a sort of mix, a combination of James Bond, Martial Arts, Matrix and Austin Powers, but with the "really silly" stuff removed. It's a barrel of laughs throughout, and has plenty of twists along with some excellent fight scenes, and as with all the seventies style hip films, comes with a really good sound track, and of course the good guy's save the day. One of the more notable things with this movie is the fact ...

Community Page & Cafe 11/05/2001

Commentary or Community

Community Page & Cafe Which ever way you look at it, it's always going to be the most useful place at ciao. In fact since it's launch i have been a frequent flyer or is that visitor. Ciao community is a great place to start if you are new, and will prove invaluable. If you are new to ciao you will instantly be able to see others that have just joined, and see what they are writing, and the kind of response they get. It will encourage you no end through all the various pointers about writing, reading, commenting and the likes in a non critical way. It also makes for a good pass time with loads of other interesting things a you will see. One of the most interesting things i found was the most wanted area, where all the best writers are shown off. You actually see from this table just what people are reading the most, and by reading a few of the top writers articles it can shed tons of light on the way you write. Obviously some just have a good following of friends etc, but with some you find a couple of hundred reads for only a few writes. This makes it easy to see the right op's and to learn from them. Surprisingly, they are usually very entertaining as well as informative. Other vitally important stuff in the community centre reveals full details about things like abuse & misuse on the system, including the type of action that ciao are likely to take. But more than that, ciao list their own mini tutorials to get you going and even have a few contact places for further help. Everything ... 11/05/2001

I'll Be Back There are literally thousands of search engines on the web, each with different listings, directories, and access to various things. Most of the time a given system will only provide links from it's own server, but when you use the major engines like Yahoo, Google, Excite, & Altavista, they actually search in some of the more remote places. For most things any of the above named engines will do, though at times, and in particular finding a good ftp site can be hard Altavista in my books, is by far more superior to other search engines. Amongst the many reasons I favour it, is the capacity it has for finding actual files and ftp sites, even when the item your looking for is a difficult one. What makes it special in this area is the brother, sister relationship that it has with the Astalavista search system, that is specifically aimed at underground sites & ftps. Being so tightly linked it makes every search easy, no matter what you're looking for. I suppose from what's been said, a few of you may be thinking "dodgy searching", but on the contrary. Underground doesn't have to mean porn or pirate, although using Astalavista alone will provide links to places you won't want to visit, but amongst them is a world of information that you could never search for anywhere else. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, and besides, no one is going to force you onto any site. It's your choice. Another thing I like about Altavista is the simplicity involved when you submit a site ...

Genie Mobile 11/05/2001

Even Aladdin won't rub for this Genie

Genie Mobile So just what is this amazing, low priced, not heard of before, fantastic new mobile service. It's so cheap, and so simple, and the prices are so good that no other mobile server can match it. Well that's what everyones saying! Let's take a closer look at "GENIE MOBILE". First off let me tell you, I nearly didn't write this op, because every time I tried to access the real low down about tariffs etc, almost every page on their site was full of garbled frames and broken links. In fact i went to a few other sites just to be sure it wasn't a system fault my end. Without doubt, if the service is as good as their web site / shop, they'll be out of business before the year's out, and with all billing and correspondence done through the net & their crap site,, Well' need I say more. Little whinge out of the way..... As it turns out, BT Cellnet is Genie's parent company, and subsequently the whole system will most likely fall to BT if problems arise, so if you like Cellnet with regards to quality, reception etc, then maybe it's for you, and they offer quite a few on line things like sport updates, share updates, and even graphics. (WOW)!!!! Anyway, I eventually managed to get a page that although poorly set out, gave me all the tariff details. The first 2 system options are based on you keeping your own phone and purchasing a sim card from them. With both, there is a monthly subscription of £10, and for wap use it cost's 10p per minute. Unfortunately I couldn't find ...

Comet Cursor 10/05/2001

Cuss and Curser more like

Comet Cursor When something is given away for free to millions upon millions of people, and is allowed to be used on a global scale as much as you like, and you have permission to give it away all over again, just to add a bit of glamour to a web site. Something's not quite right? Well that's what i think anyway, perhaps i read too much into things, BUT! An internet experience I had that some may relate to. ~~~~~"Boy, this page is taking age's to load".~~~~~ ~~~~~"Ah, at last, somethings happening".~~~~~ ~~~~~"Ooer', what's this".~~~~~~ Staring you in the face is a pop up box. "Would you like to download and use Comet Cursor" :: YES ~ NO ~ MORE INFO:: Pretty self explanatory really, and in my case I clicked NO. The reason being, there was no certificate to verify it as a safe program, and my personal dislike for online gadgets and such accessing my system for setup purposes. Generally not a clever thing to do. Has the story finished? NO, and No again. The site I was visiting was not Comet Cursor's site, but a normal everyday surf in, so the option to download and run the cursor gadget was given no more consideration, after all, I'd already said no. Anyway I continued browsing around with what I thought was a Java script cursor, specific to the site, as I had experienced similar things elsewhere, and have even used little scripts myself to make my site look and feel better. Soon the problem came to light, but not until I continued to other sites. The cursor went with ...

BT 08/05/2001

Better the devil you know

BT These days, almost everywhere you turn, you see advertisements almost commanding you to become a part of the ongoing, ever growing telecommunications market. Even stock shares are made readily available to entice you, but who is the company that will stand as the strongest and most well known, within or without recession. The logical answer is BT (British Telecom). BT has always been on the ball, (or is that bell ), so to speak, and have always tried to provide the best service known to the country. In many ways they have indeed been a success, though recently the profit margin is decreasing. This is mostly due to all the newcomers and of course the mobile phone sector. Another factor that could be the final nail in BT's coffin is the amount of networks that are using the system offering lower call costs. With the internet becoming increasingly popular, almost every server is now looking at how they can provide the most competitive deal, yet achieve it without any material expense. One might say "Impossible". But that's not true. Most of the other telecom companies around, and the various net server's, are actually leasing a connection from BT at a low rate, and without being restrained, they are fast removing the original service that has been like a best friend. The problem like all others came about, simply because of greed, and now in the wake of privatisation and major share sales, the heart of all of Britain's telecom system is being removed. Suffice it to say, ...

BTCellnet 08/05/2001

BT sell the net

BTCellnet Having recently written about the Virgin mobile network, I was asked by way of a comment " what is the call cost from a land line to the network", and in fact to any network with BT Cellnet suggested as the cheapest. In answer to the question, I have to say I do not know. But having said that, 3 of my household use a Vodafone connection which means that we call each others mobiles quite frequently from the house phone. To date I can't remember seeing a high cost on the itemised billing, and from memory I think it's 10p per minute. I'm probably right, as only calls over 40p are listed in the itemised section, and most of the time there is only a few showing. As an estimate, home to mobile calls are usually 3 - 5 minutes long on average, and if my recollection is correct, it would match the billing very well. Anyway, I hope that helped. Now on to Cellnet itself. Being a BT service, I have to say that Cellnet is likely to be amongst the cheapest to call from home, But a few years ago I was actually on their network, which i subsequently dropped quickly. The reason then, as now, The pricing is far too high, and with all the privatisation and accumulated debt that BT has, it's unlikely to change. At least not soon. After a recent investigation, I found that Cellnet still has a very good following, and an equally good coverage. Though on the coverage side there could be a dip in the not to distant future, as there are currently disputes going on relating to the signal ...

Virgin Mobile 07/05/2001

Noticeable Virginity

Virgin Mobile For the man who has everything (or wants everything ). No I'm not talking about Bill Gates, but the other egotistical numb nut, Mr, or should that be Master Branson. With more money than sense, why muscle in on the mobile phone scene? I shouldn't be so hard, Perhaps he just sits in the play pen and leaves the decision making to someone else, but being Virgin Branson, although quite a clever personality, it's still the greed element that drives him. Young and sweet, Virgin phones hit the market in 1999, and since then ( from all the stories I've heard ), have become the best and the cheapest network about! ( Time for Churchill perhaps? ), Oh, no-no-no-no!!! They're not cheap at all, and as for being best, I don't think so. Quick Tariff Comparison for the average user:~ Virgin : They're quote says "No line rental, No charge for service, No expensive peak call costs". Well, 15 pence per minute for 1st 5 minutes - then 5 pence per minute. Average call = 3 minutes, about 2 calls per day = 80p per day. ( Not Bad ) BUT: 1- Pay as you go has no options, just a standard basic package. 2 - Contract service has loads of optional extras, all expensive and well hidden. Oh' and don't forget the free £5.00 of calls when you first join. Bottom line = 7 days at 80p each = £6.00. Monthly that's £24.00, and that is only if you stick to the basic 40 minutes per week outlined above. A monthly total of 3 hours or 180 minutes. Vodaphone pay as you go: Quite a few options and peak ...

What's On TV Magazine 07/05/2001

So much for so little

What's On TV Magazine When you're watching that film or long awaited episode of your favourite soap, don't you just hate it when someone tells you what's going to happen! Its even worse when you pick up a paper or magazine, and the same thing happens. The answer to the later, is to buy a mag that firstly gives you all the background just in case you missed the last episode, and then whet's your appetite with theory & maybe's, leaving the viewing enjoyment to the consumer. What's On TV, is a great TV magazine that does exactly that, and what's more it's done in a fashion that even a child could understand, clear and concise.( sounds like ciao)? Another benefit of this magazine is the way listings are set out. Every different channel is set out in it's own column with a clear heading that is often in an enclosed space, and unlike many competitors even satellite & cable channels are given full listing, spread over 4 whole pages. Also, the video + code listings are also much clearer, and from numerous past experiences have proven themselves to be the most accurate. Other nice features with this magazine, are the competitions, which are there every week. You get a good mixture of general knowledge stuff combined with an assortment of really straight forward crosswords and anagrams. In fact the puzzles are so simple, you don't need to have a PHD to enter the comp's. The whole idea is made to allow the more down to earth to enjoy it, and often there is an array of freebies on offer, usually ones ...
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