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since 11/06/2003


GE POWER Pro series X5 14/10/2011

GE or Not GE? That is the question.

GE POWER Pro series X5 GE OR NOT GE = THAT IS THE QUESTION. With the exception of Sony, All the major camera manufacturers have at least one bridge camera in their range. Until the advent of Compact System cameras last year, bridge cameras sat between compact cameras and Dslr models. Whilst the compacts were aimed at the point and shoot market, the DSLR models were aimed solely at the enthusiast. DSLR ‘s however are expensive, and the lenses alone can cost almost as much as the body itself. Whilst they have all the features a dedicated amateur might need, the cost is often prohibitive. The bridge camera is by it’s nature a bridge between compact and DSLR models, with the majority of features a good amateur might need. Usually, it’s styled like a DSLR but with a smaller body and a fixed optical zoom lens. They’re often classed as ‘Superzooms’ having large lenses with high magnifications. It can be easy to spend upwards of £200non a bridge camera. It’s not surprising that the unbranded manufacturers making cheaper cameras don’t have any bridge models, that is, with the Exception of two, Agfa Photo, and America’s General Imaging Corporation. who’s current range includes two bridge cameras, the 14.1 megapixel X5 (also known as the HZ15) and the 16 megapixel X500. It’s the X5 we’re reviewing here. Many cheaper manufacturers often use clone cameras. Some cheap models share the same design between several different brands, whilst some are clones of major manufacturers cameras with a few of the cameras ...

Kodak EasyShare C143 26/08/2011

Kodak Moments Made Easy.

Kodak EasyShare C143 Several months ago, your friendly neighbourhood Coolster (TM) was outside my local Curry's Digital with my daughter. She pointed to a poster advertising the 12 megapixel Kodak Easyshare C143 camera for the incredible price of £35. i was tempted, but my nice Pentax Optio S7 had served me well for a couple of years, and it had a rechargeable battery, and it had a few nice features like in camera red eye removal, the ability to crop and resize pictures, in camera red eye processing to remove red eye after you've taken your photograph, and several more interesting but unneccessary features. And it was metal bodied. I decide to leave it, but the next day, went back and bought three, with the intention of putting them on E-bay for £55.00, Something I'd never done before. As you all know, to sell new items on Ebay you need a lot of good feedback, and they didn't sell, despite two attempts. July 2011 was the family holiday to france. I'd been looking for my Pentax for several weeks without success, and decided to pack a C143. Wifey came up trumps the day we were due to leave (it was in the glove box of the car, and I'd searched there two days previously - honest!), but since the Kodak was packed, I took both. I was pleasantly surprised by the camera, so much in fact that I prefer it to my Pentax. The camera’s widely available in several colours, including silver, red, green, blue, orange and pink. Read on for my detailed review. What's in the box? The camera box is quite small, ...

The Professionals (Box Set) (DVD) 02/08/2011

Cops, Capris and Criminals

The Professionals (Box Set) (DVD) Alongside the Sweeney, the Proffessionals was the archetypal 70's British 'Police' drama, although they weren't exactly police officers. Headed by ex Major and intelligence man George Cowley as the head of CI5, the show focused on the organisation's two best operatives Ray Doyle, and William Bodie. The show made stars of ex hairdresser/pop star Lewis Collins (Body), and Martin Shaw (Doyle), Upstairs downstairs and The Great Escape star Gordon Jackson portrayed the stern Major Cowley perfectly. The series was in the Gung ho High Octane style, combining the 'Buddy Cop and fast car chases of Starsky and Hutch, with the brutality of the Sweeny, and shoot outs worthy of a Holywood blockbuster. It was an instant hit with the viewers. Friday nights at 9 in our household were always reserved for the Professionals. HISTORY: Brian Clemens Albert Fennell and Laurie Johnshon First worked together on the Emma Peel episodes of the Avengers. When the American networks refused to renew the series in 1969 after the Tara King series, they went their seperate ways. In 1975, Patrick Macnee and Linda Thorsen made a champagne commericial for French TV, and it's producer, Rudolf Roffi, asked Patrick if he'd consider making more Avengers. Patrick said that the special Avengers quirkiness and uniqueness couldn't be recreated. Roffi then approached the former Avengers producer, Brian Clemens, who said he hadn't the funds to produce a new series. A fortnight later Roffi contacted Clemens with £2 ...

Everything that starts with I ... 31/07/2011

I'm on the Throne with callan cool

Everything that starts with I ... On The Throne With Callan Cool! In case you're wondering if this is gonna be another one of those boring Q & A's well I hope not, but my reviews have a habit of not turning out like they should. So the end result hopefully will be different, but will probably end up being dolly the sheep's version of 20 questions. (Why aren't you laughing it's supposed to be funny! Come on - just a titter - now a little giggle, now a chuckle, and now a great big guffaw followed by an unstoppable wobbling belly)! Why is it on the throne?, as opposed to Thrown as in out of the door? How dare you! No, how dare me for being so rude to myself. Well Actually, the 'Throne' is where we get rid of all the junk from our bodies, and wouldn't it be great if we could all get rid of the junk from our lives. The drinking addictions, the snide comments, the abusive boy friends, in fact anything that stops us from getting on in life (no they're not my junk I haven't got a boy friend cheeky! Oh I can't call myself can I?) . If everyone was able to do it, then how much nicer the world would be. Are you a Goodie or a baddie? Ooh, I just love Bill Graeme and Tim (which ones the short fat one with hairy legs always chasing the birds? (Really, he's an ornithologist?). But seriously, It's definitely a goodie. If everyone was good towards each other instead of back stabbing and being selfish then there'd be a lot less depression. 'Ang about, you 'ain't one of them bible bashers are you? Hey! Don't knock it until ...

Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li 2727 23/08/2010

Miraculous Amilo Laptop

Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li 2727 A miracle has happened in the Cool Household. A genuine miracle. Nothing else but the power of God and prayer can explain it. As you are no doubt aware Mr & Mrs Coolster are Born Again Christians, and if you like, you could say we're part of the God squad, though our denomination isn't like the Jw's or the Mormons, we don't go door knocking to convert people, though I do do it in my day job as an Insulation Grant Advisor. In fact, this review isn't about religion or insulation, it's about my first laptop. I'll have to take you back to early November 2008. I hadn't married my wife then, though my wedding had been set for the following May (it was a glorious summer day by the way). Mrs Cool to be had been nagging me to spend some money on the business (I'm self employed), and suggested a laptop would be offset against my income tax. I wasn't against the Idea, I wanted to get a decent pre owned model, and was waiting to get the chance to go to a computer fair. Mrs Cool had other ideas and suggested I'd get more use from a new machine as well as being able to offset more against tax. At that time laptops were at an all time low, and a good starter machine could be had for as little as £275-300. The turning point had been a trip to Warrington. The first Mrs Cool had promised my daughter I'd take her to the synthetic ice rink (nice of her to do that and tell me after telling my daughter..... What if I'd made other arrangements?). So there I was in Warrington town centre. Before ...

Thunderbirds (Box Set) (DVD) 30/06/2010

FABulous, Milady, Habsolutely Fabulous!

Thunderbirds (Box Set) (DVD) Thunderbirds quite rightly stands head and shoulders above all other British television programmes, and, apart from the soaps and Only Fools And Horses, is probably the best remembered TV show in the country. Worldwide, as a Sci Fi Show, only Star Trek (vastly inferior in my opinion, the yanks could never match Derek Meddings' Special effects so they poached him for Holywood) is better known, and as a childrens T.V. Series only Sesame Stree t(per-lease!!!) is arguably better known. And when it comes to TV intro's, Peter Dyneley's 5-4-3-2-1 Thunderbirds are go! intro unequivecally the world's most famous TV introduction. Many people have commented on Amazon about the show and this DVD set. I'll comment about the DVD's themselves a little later, but first I'll give you a little history behind the show. It was produced by Gerry Anderson's APF (Anderson Povis Films Arthur Povis was Gerry's original partner but sold out to Gerry) Television productions which, by 1964 when the cameras first rolled on the series, was wholly owned by Lew Grades ITC. It was the third British series to be filmed in colour. The first was the second half of 1958's the adventures of Lancelot series (another Lew Grade production), filmed at a time when Colour TV was taking off in the states and the BBC was heavilly trialling experimental colour broadcasts). The second was Stingray (in colour for sale to the USA), another landmark Anderson production. Originally a 30 minute show, Grade saw the pilot ...

Advent 6552 02/05/2010

Advent 6552 - Good Bad & downright ugly (UPDATED).

Advent 6552 ADVENT 6552 LAPTOP. It had been a long time since the Coolster™ had written a Caio! Review. He'd several topics for consideration: his camera, (yes he'd bought ANOTHER one) His MP3 player (yes he was on his 5th), Cavity wall insulation (not as boring as you might think, and Callan's job for 2 and a half years), or his Laptop (on his 2nd). As you're no doubt aware, he's a bit of a bargain hunter, even a haggler – in 2009 he got £30 off two laptops and a free case thrown in, from a major UK High Street office supplies retailer because he haggled. So what was the product to be? …... After a lot of careful consideration, (well it was no contest really) the result of the viewers phone in was ready to be announced. In the 'Write Off' Zone were the Camera and MP3 player. Dermot O'Dreary was supposed to be announcing the winner, but as his boss Wyman Powell wouldn't let him do it unless the result was fixed and the review was about Susan Doyle's new C.D. (it was Cal's wife who bought the SuBo CD, honest), we have to make do with that chirpy Snotty Mash Comedian Den Codd and his Kiddyman sidekick Mickie Skint doing the honours (well they are local and were only charging Callan a years subscription to the 'Liverpool Echo'). Den enthusiastically announced “How Pickled I am...” (Well Den does like a good single malt whisky or seven as does the real Ken) “To announce that the winner is......” There was the usual pregnant pause before Mickie Skint quipped “Callan's Advent 6552 ...

Prolectrix SB527740 16/07/2007

Must Purchase This Player?

Prolectrix SB527740 A CHRISTmas story. CHRISTmas 05 saw the Coolster (TM) getting an unusually good prezzie from his usually tightwad brother Ulf. In fact it was the best prezzie he'd ever got ol' Callan. Normally it wouldn't be socks and undies (that was what the wily old Coolster (TM) bought Ulf at his bequest - how sad actually asking for them, well saying they'd do as a prezzie), or smelly stuff, but to put it in Ulf's on words 'A Classic Timepiece' (which was exactly what Cal got this year arrgghh!- with some smelly stuff thrown in to boot double arrgghh! Actually both were welcome as Cal had been using his moby as his watch). Mind you, the reason Ulf always got the Coolster a timepiece, was not because Ulf liked them (mind you he was a bit of a watch nut who happened to have a friend who visited the big cash'n'carry's in Manchester so he claims) but because the watches were so cheap they didn't last long. Last year he actually gave Callan a freebie of a watch from Quidworld at the same time he was giving cal the birthday prezzie for his daughter (there's no prizing for guessing what it was, but it did contain fingers and wasn't made of fish). A few months earlier he'd told Cal about these cheap watches and one had been bought for the Coolster (TM)'s mate Jim* (*this name has been changed - see my HP camera review to learn about Jim) which despite looking worth 5 or 10 notes (£'s to the uninitiated) only lasted a few days (and Jim had been told where it came from). Having said that, it's ...

Matsui MAT120MR 2GB 15/06/2007

Is this the Perfect Budget MP3 Player?

Matsui MAT120MR 2GB The Mp3 player phenomenon has gripped the world. Wherever you go, you can't fail to spot people wearing those 'Inner Ear' headphones, (or ear buds as they're now called). However, where you used to see a large Walkman or personal CD player slotted over someone's belt, Mp3 players are so tiny and discreet, that you can't tell which model it is unless the listener is holding it in his hands. Consequently, you're left wondering if their player has a larger memory than yours, or if it's an expensive I Pod, or a budget Alba model from Argos. Unless you ask them, you'll never know. Apple I-Pod's, as you no doubt are aware, are ridiculously expensive, whilst the bottom of the range players may only come with 256 or 512 MB memory. Indeed, supermarket giant Tesco are currently selling it's own brand Technika 256 MB players for a mere £4.97, though they have no screen. Currently, prices vary from Tesco's £5.00 bargain, to 100's of pounds for multi gigabyte sized models. You can pick up one Gig players for between £20 and £40, whilst a good branded 2 gig player will mean you have to stump up at least 40 notes. And as for 4 gig models, well think £60 plus for a basic unbranded model. However shopping around, you can pick up 2 Gigs for £25 - £30, and one high street chain were even doing a 4 gig player for an amazing £30. But back in December, when 2 Gig players were costing £60, one player was causing a stir in more ways than one. Curry's, Dixons and PC World (All owned by DSG ...

Everything that starts with L ... 16/04/2007

Love The Music, Free Your Soul

Everything that starts with L ... Mention the name Coldplay, and you'll instantly think of the song 'Yellow' which annoyed millions of brains several years back, or a myriad of rocky pop crossover hits, and let's not forget that song from the Boots Opticians adverts. Indeed, lots of other bands gained fame on the back of Chris Martin's group, so much so that we now have a myriad of 'Indie' style bands populating the charts. In fact, there were many other band's putting out stuff in the same musical vein long before Coldplay, but it's fair to say that Chris and co. were the ones that popularised Indie the most. Likewise, for other genres of music, be they rap, hip-hop, rock, pop, dance or ballads, there's dozens of famous artistes who's records dominate the airwaves. But for a Christian like myself, the lifestyles, and often the beliefs (and I'm not just talking about religious beliefs here, but morals and spirituality's - albeit alternative ones - of these celebrities are not in line with biblical viewpoints. That doesn't necessarily prohibit Christians from listening to these bands/singers, but it does have an influence on the music the majority of Charismatic (or proactive) believers CHOOSE to listen to. In fact, many people - whether they believe in God or not- are under the impression that Christian music is all 'Amazing Grace' (must get to see the film), How Great Thou Art, or the Old Rugged Cross. 'Bore-ing!' they might think. However, step into a modern Evangelical Church, and listen to the live ...

Everything that starts with Y ... 01/03/2007

Y'edscratters. Entertainment questions.

Everything that starts with Y ... Y'edscratter is a Lancashire term applied to mysteries, puzzles and questions that leave you scratching your head for the answer or solution. So these Questions are y'edscratters. Tee Hee. Only there's no answers. They're on all aspects of entertainment so here goes. T.V. 1) John Logie baird inveted Tv (B+W) in 1926. In what year was Colour Colour TV (sorry yanks if you're reading it's Color)TV invented, and by whom? Clue (not what you might think) (See my Rainbow Broadcasting Opinion) 2) Which famous actress demonstrated colour TV as a child by wearing different coloured hats? 3) In what year did colour TV broadcasts start in the USA? 4) What was the first British Programme to be made in colour and in what year? 5)Which TV series returned to BBC screens in colour in 1970 after a gap of 4 years? (though only B+W episodes of the 1970 series remain in the BBC vaults) 5)Which actress originally played 'Mum' in 'On the buses'? (Didn't I do an op on the Programme?) 6) Which two cast members of 'On the buses' wrote several episodes of the programmes final series? 7) Who originally wrote the Liver birds in 1968? 8) Not as easy as you might think this one, Who were the two original actresses who played 'The liver Birds'? 9) Which long running TV programme was originally broadcast from an old church in Manchester in 1963? 10) Which TV series was spawned from a Comedy playhouse play called 'The Offer'? 11) Who was Agatha Christies personal choice ...

Cool Pool (PC) 19/02/2007

Easily The Best Pool Game On The Market

Cool Pool (PC) Ah, Methinks its time the Coolster did another one of his reviews. And the subject? Only the coolest Cue ball game around,. Cool Pool. 'Cool Pool?' I hear you say. 'Never Heard of it!' It's a shame really because it's a darn fine pool Game. In fact it's so easy and fun to play you'll be potting 'em left right and centre in minutes, pulling off some spectacular long shots. Trouble is, it's so easy to play your opponent will be as well. The fun games are all brilliant, and the cool tables will take your breath away. 'How on Earth can I play pool on that table you'll ask? And getting a game online is a breeze. There's no web sites to log onto, the game automatically logs you into your ISP and launches a list of rooms you can join in to play. It's just like going through the menu of any game. It must be said though that it's not a simulation, and you can't play multi game matches like you can in virtually every other pool game. So why is it called Cool pool, and why haven't I heard of it? Well the reason it's 'Cool pool' is twofold, Firstly because as well as standard 8 ball pool, there's some really cool variations featuring exploding balls, colour changing balls, supersonic speeding balls, and cash jumping out of pockets (admittedly it's in Cents not pence but you get the idea). Secondly, it's a really cool came in it's own right. It's so absurdly easy to pick up and play it's unbelievable. And if it's such a fantastic game why hasn't anyone heard of it? Well the simple fact ...

Everything that starts with H ... 02/02/2007

How safe is your Frozen Food? (An Expose).

Everything that starts with H ... 'It's illegal, it's immoral, and it makes you fat!' Sang the Beverly Sisters back in the 1950's. But what could there be matches all three parts of that songs title? Something that's illegal is certainly immoral, and whilst something that makes you fat might be classed as immoral, surely it's not illegal? The subject of this article is frozen foods, and you will learn that the re-dating of 'Out of date' foods (whether frozen or not) could very well be illegal and immoral, and as well as making you fat could make you seriously ill. You will learn about a well kept secret of the food industry, one that certain companies would rather be kept quiet. In the course of researching this article, I have been advised by the press office of the Food Standards Agency, who have checked this article for Legal accuracy before it's posting on Ciao, though they informed me they cannot comment on the nature of the article, or whether or not they agree/disagree with my stance on the matter. Very few people in this country do not buy frozen foods. The majority of frozen food sold in United Kingdom is what it says it is. Whilst several scams in which meat only deemed fit for animal foods has been sold as fresh meat, by and large frozen foodstuffs have been seen as safe. We all know what the packaging says: Do not re-freeze after thawing. As you will be aware this is to stop us freezing food into which bacteria may have entered. Whilst freezing will keep bacteria from entering frozen foods as ...

Caribbean Kola 10/11/2006

Kola - Caribbean Style, yah man!

Caribbean Kola You know the Coolster (Tm), I love my soft drinks. And Yes, I know they're bad for me. Yes I know I shouldn't drink 'em. And yes I drink too much of them. More so, you should all be aware that as I'm permanently on a VFM (value for money) kick, I only buy bottles of supermarket own brand cola (as most are very good), never pay full price for the branded stuff and won't touch the diet or caffeine free stuff with a barge pole. I usually buy bottles of Asda, Lidl's Freeway, Morrisons, Kwikies or Tesco's own brand cola (average price of 44p for 2 litres), or cheap cans of Pepsi (22p) and Coca Cola or Dr. Pepper (25-27p) from either Home Bargains, B&M, or Farmies (I'll leave you all to guess who the last one is). That's the trivial bit out of the way, so it's on with the review proper. You'll all be surprised to learn that the Coolster (TM) 's finally flipped. Not only am I paying a whopping 39p a can for a new (well new-ish) cola from my local shop, it's actually caffeine free. "What's that?" I hear you all gasping, "It can't be the same Coolster (TM) we all know and love, he'd never pay that much, or even dare let a decaffeinated cola pass his lips to defame his precious taste buds." (28 Oct 06: Not anymore, they sold out the other week, drat!) Well let me assure you that I have, and I haven't flipped. The product in question is KA Caribbean Kola, and it's made by Barr's of Scotland, they of Tizer and Irn Bru fame. You'll be wondering that if I'm paying 39p a can, it must be ...

Everything that starts with F ... 05/10/2006

Don't Ignore the best friend you'll ever have.

Everything that starts with F ... Hmm, methinks it's time to for the coolster to go all religious again. 'Oh no!' I can hear you all saying. 'Tell me your joking!' Unfortunately, this is no joke. I feel the presence of God's Holy Spirit, directing me to write a Godly review. And the subject is....... (Drum roll, wait for it) Dar Dar....... 'The friendliness of God.' (Stunned silence from ciaoers as they think the coolster's flipped) 'Whadd'ya mean? The friendliness of God? He's done nothing for me!'. OK, so you might not think God does anything for you, but I can assure you he does However, quite often we can't see that it's God that's done it. 'What are you prattling on about Callan?' How many of you have been in a car bad accident and walked away alive and OK and looked up to heaven and said 'Thank you God.' Or thanked him at the birth of your children? Or when something good happens to you. It's all to often depicted that way in films. Something good happens and the central character praises God. Well although movies may be fiction, they are often drawn on real life experiences. Yet think about it this way. As a nation we Brits don't go to church or read the bible much, yet God in his mercy still allows good things to happen to us. Looking through THAT book (The Bible) there's a whole host of times when God has swept down on sin with a vengeance. The best known examples are of Sodom and Gomorra. Then there's God's vengeance against the Egyptians, and even his own people with by Roman Empire. ...
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