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since 12/04/2004


Sony Vaio VGN-UX180P Micro PC 02/09/2006


Sony Vaio VGN-UX180P Micro PC I just recieved my UX180P in the post yesterday and have been playing with it ever since, it's a fantastic little beastie! First off, I got it from the US as this device is not available in the UK yet, but is priced on Expansys for £1,599. So I bought it from, who were very helpful and considerably cheaper at £1034 excluding customs, which I haven't had to pay yet (I might get billed). It's a 1.2ghz intel core solo processor with 30GB HDD. It comes with Windows XP professional. The looks of this thing are amazing, it's got a bright 4.5 inch screen that slides up to reveal a very nice keyboard with little blue LEDS. The screen is very bright, although the desktop can look kind of small which is why there's a magnification button which also acts as a zoom in when you've got the camera function on. It's a touch screen, which means you've got a stylus which is stored on the back of the UX. It's also a very nice stylus, metal and extends to make it longer. There's a small rough square on the top right of the console, which you can use as a touch-pad/mouse kind of thing, which is very useful. Another thing which I have to mention before anything else, is that it's got a FINGERPRINT SCANNER which is a whole lot of fun to use! I spent about half an hour scanning my fingers, it took quite a while to learn how to use it properly but you can use this when logging onto the UX so that it's ultra-secure. It might not always recognise your finger ...

Everything that starts with T ... 27/08/2006

Things to do before you turn...

Everything that starts with T ... I'll turn 21 tomorrow, so this got me thinking. What can I do before I turn 21? What have I done? * warning, self-serving crap alert! Well, here's a list of things I could call achievements in my life. ***I've travelled*** Japan (Tokyo) Holland (Amsterdam) USA (New York) England (I'm Scottish) Germany Belgium Spain Cyprus Lanzarote Tenerife ***I've worked*** (I've had 4 jobs in different financial roles after I left school) *** I've studied (Currently studying, have a HNC in journalism) *** I've been published *** I've took driving lessons (am yet to pass test) *** I've been in a 4 and a half year relationship *** I've loved and I've lost *** I've got engaged. *** I've been on tv (only in an audience) *** I've been naked in public (more than once!) *** I've made lots of good friends *** I've bought some ridiculously expensive computer equipment So, that's all the things I've done in my life (I'll add to it if I remember anymore). So what can I fit in before I turn 21 tomorrow? I could borrow my dad's car when he's not looking, sunbathe naked, eat a lot of... something. Any suggestions?? Quick!!!! Thank you for reading, Laura (personal homepage,

Everything that starts with A ... 27/08/2006

Amos Deserves Better!!

Everything that starts with A ... The Growing Pains of Amos Phileas Klein Aged 33 and a third. I saw this show at the free fringe, on one of the first days of the Edinburgh festival. The venue was Jekyll and Hyde, on Hanover Street. This show was completely free but despite being completely free, it was one of the shows I laughed most at. And I saw quite a few paid-for shows. The actual show based on a book by Neil Strauss, The Game, which is actually quite clever and Amos has obviously put some effort into the idea. It was really quite funny, despite the fact there was only an audience of ten people and he started off by telling us he was hungover! He really made us laugh, apart from a young Bosnian chap who looked really quite pissed off. This isn't one of those shows where the comedian attacks the audience, not at all, but he was asking people where they were from and it stemmed from there. Then he said something else and then there was a sneeze, which Amos thought was a "Bosnian sneeze" and the Bosnian chap quickly said "It wasn't me" in quite an angry voice. Later on when he needed to pick someone from the audience, my friend quickly shouted "pick the Bosnian kid!" as you can imagine, he was thrilled. Amos had us both laughing loads during his one hour set, he was quite interactive with the audience too and 'worked with' the audience, not many comedians can do that and still manage to be funny. He brought some chat-up lines in that he'd found from the internet, which was ...

Everything that starts with L ... 23/08/2006

LifeStraw can save 6000 lives a day *must read*

Everything that starts with L ... The deaths of 6,000 children every day can be prevented, all because of the introduction of a straw. *** let me first write a brief introduction. This is not from my own experience, but instead my knowledge which stems from first hand experience with the company LifeStraw. Being a journalist I believe that more people should know about this product and more should be done in terms of distributing it to those who need it. This is partly an article that I've written on the subject, and partly my experience of finding out more about it. I may change part of this later as I fear it might look too much like an advert for the company*** A device which will save millions of lives in third world countries has been developed in the form of a filtered straw - that costs practically nothing. LifeStraw can purify contaminated surface water simply from in-built filters in the straw, eliminating waterborne bacteria and viruses including shigela, salmonella and enterococcus. The Swiss-based company, Vestergaard Frandsen knew they needed to produce this product at a price easily affordable by third world consumers, which is why the LifeStraw seems unbelievably cheap as well as potentially the biggest lifesaver of the century. Over 6,000 people - mainly children - die each day from diseases such as cholera, salmonella, e-coli and typhoid, caused by drinking dirty, contaminated water. LifeStraw offers a safeguard against these diseases and has the amazing potential to ...

Dialogue Flybook A33iG-tri-b 23/08/2006


Dialogue Flybook A33iG-tri-b Every so often something unusual but brilliant comes along, from a company you've never previously heard of, but you want to know more about. The Dialogue Flybook is a prime example, I fell in love with it from the beginning. I bought my Flybook (in blue) about a year ago and have been very happy with it. To be honest, I was actually helping my friend buy a laptop, but saw this and had to get one for myself too. It's small, it comes in many different colours, it's highly functional with lots of connectivity options such as wifi, bluetooth, and a gprs SIM slot so you can even make calls on it or surf the internet using your SIM! It also has 3G. This is a light (1.2kg), ultraportable little device. It's got a small, bright tablet screen that also comes with a stylus so you can tap the screen instead of using the touchpad. The stylus itself is slightly more bulky or thicker, than you see on most PDAs but it's also very light because it's plastic. It's not the best really. The touchpad is a small, felt like button that you can use to navigate, only problem is that it can get dirty or sometimes stuck so I normally use a mouse or my stylus. It comes with 40GB and it's also quite fast - 1ghz - and I use the wifi regularly. The battery life is also quite good, lasting around 3 hours. It's not amazing but it gets me through. The screen is a good size. The SIM slot is a very interesting function, you can make calls with it just like a mobile phone and if you have ...

BSM 23/08/2006

BSM *or* My Driving Encounter *updated*

BSM This is a review on the driving school, BSM. I'll give you a completely honest (any slightly amusing) description of my experiences so far and you can decide for yourself, if you want to start learning (or your child to start learning) with this company. The car I've been learning in has been a Vauxhall Corsa, this didn't change throughout the whole ordeal...erm experience. When I first started I got 2 books, one being a pack and another being the book that the instructor marks off. They give you marks out of 5 for each thing such as manouvres, roundabouts, one way traffic etc. until you reach level 5. You also get to do more awkward manouvres, like left reverse up a hill. I started off my lessons with a nice middle-aged chap called Jim, who seemed nice enough, patient and eager to teach the basics first. Push and pull etc. *but* I needed Friday lessons so after 3 I was promtly moved onto Kevin. Who was a moron. All in all, I had 20 lessons with Kevin. I was driving a Corsa throughout those 20 lessons and I hardly learned a thing, he was vague and unhelpful, found it hard to express exactly what he wanted me to do and constantly contradicted himself. Being the strong spirit that I am, I kept on challenging him and asking what he meant, which made him even more... flickity. Eventually we decided someone else, perhaps more mature was in order. So I took one lesson with Ron, and learned more in that lesson than I had done in 20 with Kevin. I learned that Kevin ... 23/08/2006

I'm an Ebuyer So, I've purchased 2 laptops from ebuyer now, and one digital camera, plus recommended them to many people. The reason for this being, whenever I think of cheap electrical products I think of ebuyer. The site is good and easy to use, they always manage to have the best prices or the same as the lowest price I can find, and the delivery is usually quite fast. I find the user reviews next to each product on the website very helpful in regards to making decisions on whether to buy things, it's not all biased stuff promoting the site, there are some real and fair reviews there, which is commendable. I was able to trust ebuyer with 2 fairly important/expensive purchases, and it turned out all right, with no bad experiences of customer service. I do know that a friend did have this problem, when his product needed to be returned. It wasn't really the service, as much as the lack of. The camera I purchased only cost me around £3, and was an old logitech. It came within a couple of days but through no fault of ebuyer's the damn thing wouldn't work on my computer. About 3 months later I got it to work with someone else's, who is now the proud owner of said logitech camera. I was able to track my orders every step of the way which was also a nice detail, I think more websites should offer this servicee. I've found that ebuyer really is the price king in the world of electronics, especially with computer components as there's a wide variety of choice and prices as ...

Everything that starts with S ... 22/08/2006


Everything that starts with S ... Today I will be complaining about shoes! I'm writing this after going to Edinburgh yesterday and arriving back in agony after my long walk in my 'corset vamp court shoes'. I love shoes, the are great, I have over 20 pairs and I can't have enough of them. I'm a typical woman in that respect. It drives me mad when I *innocently* spot a gorgeous pair of shoes, an expensive pair of shoes, while say, walking past a shop window, browsing through a catalogue, am shopping with a friend or *ahem* searching on ebay. And I can't afford to buy them! I nearly always end up buying them anyway. Modern shoes are expensive, well, the ones you really WANT are at any rate. And what really kills me is, that they LOOK comfortable(well some of them). When trying them on in the shop, they ARE comfortable. But after the first 10 minutes of walking, you end up in agony. Well, I'm like that anyway. I have the worst possible feet for buying shoes. I always try and find gorgeous but wearable (or just plain gorgeous) shoes and I always try them on. They seem fine, but my feet must be really sensitive or something because with almost all shoes, sooner or later, one part of my foot nearly always ends up sore. It could be my little toes, My big toes, my heels, or maybe there's just a very slight rough bit on one of the shoes, innocent enough that I hardly even notice at first. **It starts off as nothing really, then I can feel a small sensation, then a small red patch on the offended part of the ...

All About Me 22/08/2006

This is Me.

All About Me I thought I'd follow Paul's example, and write a review on myself. I will be asking similiar questions and some new ones, do not feel compelled to read this as it's a load of self serving writing that describes a lot of my life. How I came into this world: I was born in Dunfermline Maternity Hospital, on the 28th August 1985. I've lived in Dunfermline ever since. I was born at 04:20 and weighing 5 pounds 2 ounces. I was a light baby. First Memory: My first memory I think, is sitting on some rocks at the edge of the sea, whilst abroad. I have a sense of my father behind me, possibly making sure I didn't fall. I am dangling my feet over the sea and looking at the small fish below. The water is clear. Education: I was educated at Queen Anne High School, and I don't want to go into much that happened there but it wasn't the best of schools and I had a very bad experience there. I left mostly because of that. Not before getting my qualifications though. Throughout my growing up I've always been a complicated personality, to myself and to others. I've always noticed how at school, people huddle together in little groups, like penguins. Well, I had a main group of friends, but evetually, I wandered off, going from group to group, not knowing where I fitted in. I think in late primary school I was very slightly overweight and I was conscious of it. I became anorexic, and lost a lot of weight. I have been recovered for a while now, although I still get odd feelings ...

Sony Network Walkman NW-HD3 20 GB 22/08/2006

The "Ipod Killer"

Sony Network Walkman NW-HD3 20 GB First of all I'd like to state that this device deserves its nickname, The Ipod Killer. I've had the NW-HD3 for over a year now and haven't been let down once by it, it's a fantastic little device. The sound quality is excellent with no hesitation between tracks it plays everything smoothly and the 20GB capacity is brilliant, espeically for the size of the unit. I've managed to fit all of my music onto it, which pleases me no end! Another thing I must mention is the battery life. 30hours of battery life is amazing, it beats the ipod and others by far. Although to get the full 30 hours you'd need to convert all your music to ATTRAC2, you still get an amazingly long playing time when playing normal MP3s. To get music onto the HD3 you need to use Sonic Stage. For those of you familiar with the software, it should be a piece of cake but it can be annoying for first time users. Sometimes it's a bit slow or can stall, but it is still an okay piece of software and once you get used to it, it does its job effectively. There is a volume limiter, which means that it may not be as loud as some other players, but this hasn't really bothered me and you can easily get past that by following instructions online. It's a very sturdy little device, if you're like me and drop things a lot! It never seems to break and although I've had it a long time the battery life is still excellent. 12 out of 12! Thanks for reading, Laura

Sony Ericsson W800i Walkman 22/08/2006

Orangey Goodness

Sony Ericsson W800i Walkman Yes, it's time for a new phone! I've owned the Sony Ericsson w800i for a few months now, and overall I'm very pleased with it. Before this, I owned a similar model and so I'm already used to the interface and find it simple and easy to use. I accept for some it can take a little while to get used to. It comes with an mp3 player, 2.0 megapixel camera, FM radio, games, WAP, Bluetooth, Infra red port, memory stick duo - 512MB with a memory stick pro adapter, the usual phonebook, file manager, alarm, calculator and many more useful functions. The MP3 player function is probably the most important thing to mention, as it is a 'walkman' phone and bears the walkman logo on the front. It does everything you'd expect from a normal MP3 player, and when I use it, it doesn't disappoint. The screen isn't huge but it's nice and bright and just what you'd expect from a mobile phone. Camera is an impressive 2.0 megapixels, but what's even better is that it has loads of options with it such as night mode, and a light incase the room's not bright enough. You can also record movies but only for around 22 seconds. I'm not sure if you can adjust this time. Like a lot of mobiles nowsdays you can use memory sticks/cards and this one uses the sony memory stick duo. You can buy one larger than 512MB if you think you need it, i.e for MP3s but I'm perfectly happy with the 512MB. A slight downside is that you have to plug in the earphones if you want to listen to the radio, but ...

Samsung SGH M300 14/04/2004

I like my phones to have a bit of brain!

Samsung SGH M300 I've owned the Samsung S300M since Christmas, as an upgrade to my contract, so I got this phone for free really. The first thing I noticed was it's small light design. Compared to my old Samsung (I've always liked Samsung, although their phones are very popular now anyway, and have become a kind of "fashion phone"), this phone felt tiny in my hand. It's a flip phone, with a small front screen which you can also use as a mirror. This is the first time I've heard of a phone having a mirror function, it seemed a little odd at first. It has a 65000 colour display, and although it is a good enough coloured screen I didn't think the images were quite so clear and sharp as on my last phone, the T100. Oh well, I didn't really mind that much as it's not the colour screen that matters to me. I like to have my phones with a bit of "brain" as it were, not just for showing off. As I've already got a digital camera with my palmtop computer, I decided I wasn't going to bother with one for my phone, I wanted no video messaging or any other gimmick as most of the people I know don't own these phones either. I just wanted a phone to serve as a normal phone, something small and stylish I can use for writing simple txts and of course, phoning people on. The Samsung S300M has those functions, as well as a lot more I was quite impressed by at the time: **Tri-band technology **WAP 1.2 (Internet) **Downloadable java games **Infra red **Capacity to store up to 500 numbers ...

Toshiba Pocket PC E740 13/04/2004

Toshiba E740 - Good in Theory?

Toshiba Pocket PC E740 Toshiba E740, one of the first pocket pcs to have the power of Intel PXA250 400 MHz, does sound impressive, doesn't it? It has a smooth silver metal design, is compact and supports pocket pc 2002. It has a digital voice recorder, pocket word and excel, all the standard pocket pc programs in the included installation cd. **The E740 comes with a CF (Compact Flash) Slot, and an SD Slot for memory. There are 4 buttons and a small silver directional pad on the very front of the pocket pc, below the screen. The other buttons are along the edges of this device, including the recorder's button, which is unwittingly pressed when the device happens to press against anything (in a bag, in your pocket), turning it on and recording you without you knowing, draining the battery. You also press the buttons by mistake when trying to get the device out of the leather slip supplied by Toshiba. I didn't think this was a very smart design when reading about it, and found out soon for myself, it was true. But what was even worse, when I looked at the bottom edge of this pocket pc, I noticed that the wireless lan switch was right next to the battery supply switch! One could easily press it by mistake, losing valuable data, as I've stupidly managed to do myself a few weeks ago. The wireless lan in itself is great, although the battery runs out after less than an hour when having the wireless lan switch on. This device has been reported by others, and found by me to be extremely buggy, ...

Recipes for Snacks 13/04/2004


Recipes for Snacks Since I found you can put recipes on here, and it is my second day as a member of Ciao! I decided I would share my favourite sandwich with the rest of the world... It's fairly simple to make, so here's a quick list of ingredients that I use, although you can choose to miss out something if you don't like it. 2 pieces of white bread 1 tin of tuna (you don't have to use the whole tin) Cucumber slices (as many as you want) Butter or marg. vinegar and a little salt Plain or salt & vinegar crisps (optional) Well, it's fairly easy to make a sandwich but this is what I do: I get 2 slices of white bread, because that is what I like, but this sandwich is for you, not me so you can choose. I use marg. and spread it onto the bread. Then I open a tin of tuna, get rid of that horrible oil or whatever it is in, and at this point, I put about half a small tin into a bowl. Now, this point is crucial, I do NOT put mayanaise in the tuna! It ruins it and I don't want this sandwich to taste...creamy. I instead put vinegar onto the tuna and then a tiny bit salt (this is actually the only thing I use salt on) and mix it in. Then you can cut up your cucumber into slices and stick them on. The crisps are optional but adds some crunch to the sandwich. Again, this is my favourite sandwich. I wonder, will I have any opposition for a better one? A challenge, if you may. I hope my sandwich recipe has been most helpful. ...

Pantene Pro V Colour Shampoo 13/04/2004

Pantene Pro-V for coloured hair

Pantene Pro V Colour Shampoo I've always used Pantene Pro-V on and off for years, and before now I didn't really think of it as more than average. The last three years or so I've been dying my hair, so I've been trying all sorts of weird and wonderful shampoos and conditioners to help with my colour. My hair is also very long and is fragile, gets damaged more easily so I've also tried shampoos for longer hair. I found this shampoo gave my hair a slightly different feel when I started using it again the other week, this time for coloured hair. It gave me a better shine to my hair and used with the conditioner it worked wonders and my hair feels really healthy. I will continue to use Pantene Pro-V until something else lures me away no doubt, but now I have a much better opinion of them. The kind of colour I use never lasts for long, it always fades very quickly, and I've noticed that my colour still looks very vibrant after using Pantene Pro-V. I've never really thought shampoos helped much by preserving colour but if this continues I will rate it highly in my mind. I've noticed a difference in the shine to my hair, although I am skeptic of Pantene as I've heard things from other people about their chemicals etc. I'm hoping that this shine will keep up and my hair will stay healthy. They are also good value for money and you can of course buy it from a wide variety of stores. I recommend using the shampoo with the matching conditioner, and as I have long hair I obviously get knots and I find ...
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