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since 28/03/2003


Canon i 550 04/06/2007


Canon i 550 We have two printers that we use a work. One is a monochrome printer that is used for the majority of the printing, the other is a Canon i550 which is used on the rare occasions that we need to colour print. As this printer was bought by the company I work for, I do not know how much we paid, however after having a quick look on the internet, the average price for this printer is around £110. I've been using this printer at work for about 2 years now and decided it was about time that I wrote a review about it. **What is it** The Canon i550 is a colour bubble jet printer. This is a type of inkjet printer that has tiny resistors in the printer which create heat, and this heat vaporizes ink to create a bubble. The expansion that creates the bubble causes a droplet to form and eject from the print head. A typical bubble jet print head has 64 or 128 tiny nozzles, and all of them can fire a droplet simultaneously. **Appearance** The printer is quite small in size measuring 418 x 274 x 159 mm and weighing just 4.7kg, however the outlet paper tray at the front does pull out an extra 190mm. The top of the printer is cream in colour with a dark grey base. There is a dark grey paper inlet at the back, and an adjustable paper outlet at the front. There are two smallish round shaped buttons on the top, one for Power and the other is a Cancel / Resume button. There is also a status LED which isn’t particularly useful as you need the manual handy to know what the ...

Lockets 02/05/2007


Lockets Well it’s the start of May, the sun is shining, and I woke up with a sore throat and blocked nose – typical. By lunchtime, I’m still suffering with a sore throat, so decide to pop out to find a remedy. Unfortunately where I work, there is no chemist in walking distance, just a newsagent. My choice is either Lockets or Halls Soothers. I have tried Soothers in the past and didn’t like the taste, so I bought a packet of Honey and Lemon Lockets. The only thing that does concern me about lockets is that they can be brought from practically anywhere and are always placed with the sweets. Whats to stop a young child from buying these? **What is it** Lockets are a medicated sweets for the symptomatic relief of blocked nose and sore throat. **Packaging** These come in a bright yellow tube like packet. Each packet contains 10 individually wrapped sweets. The packet is bright yellow in colour, with ‘Lockets’ in large black letters across the front. There is also an animated picture of two heads on the front. One head has a bright yellow ‘blob’ on his throat and one on his nose indicating that Lockets are for your nose and throat. The back of the box has the usual dosage instructions and ingredients. These cost me 59p for a packet. **Appearance and taste** Inside each wrapper is a small yellow oval sweet. The sweets are quite hard and a little bit sticky. The initial taste is of lemon, but more synthetic than natural. There is a hint of bitterness but I ...

Walkers Baked Crisps 19/04/2007


Walkers Baked Crisps I'm don’t like diets cause I think they’re a waste of time, instead I try to reduce my intake of fat, by replacing some of my food with the lower fat versions. Some of the low fat versions I like and stick to, some I don’t. Crisps for example, I don’t eat crisps that often, but started to replace normal crisps with Walkers Lites. After a while I got fed up of them and went back to the full fat versions. This time I thought I would try Walkers Baked Crisps to see if I found these any better. This is a review on the Ready Salted flavour. **Background** Walkers Baked Crisps are slowly baked to give you all the great taste and healthier qualities of baking. All Walkers Baked crisps contain 70% less fat than ordinary crisps and 99 calories per pack They are available in the following flavours: Ready Salted Salt & Vinegar flavour Cheese & Onion flavour **Packaging** The packaging is similar to the regular packets. There is a large Walkers logo at the top, with ‘Baked’ written underneath, across the middle of the packet. At the bottom of the packet is a picture of the crisps and '70% less fat' and some of the nutritional values. As usual each flavour is colour coded - red for Ready Salted, blue for Cheese and Onion, and green for Salt and Vinegar. The back of the packet has all the normal nutritional values and information. **Cost** These are sold on their own for 33p or in a multipack of 6 for £1.21 and 12 for £1.98. **Nutritional ...

Alpen Cereal Bar 17/04/2007


Alpen Cereal Bar For those that have read my other reviews, you will have noticed that I do like Cereal Bars. I've been eating them for a few years now so have become quite an expert. The ones that I tend to buy most often are the Alpen bars, mainly the Fruit & Nut with chocolate. These are currently on sale for around £1.80 for a box of six. **What are they?** Alpen bars are made with crispy rice & wheat flakes and juicy raisins, topped with chopped hazelnuts and almonds, and dipped in smooth milk chocolate. Alpen is a muesli made by Weetabix. The bar versions of the cereal are marketed in a similar way. As they only contain 124 calories per bar, they're a much less calorie filled snack than a chocolate bar alternative **Packaging** These come in a small blue and dark brown cardboard box. There is a picture of the cereal bar, on the front of the box, alongside nuts and raisins. 'Alpen' is written in large letters across the front of the box, and the mountain scene from the Alpen cereal boxes is also included. The back of the box has the usual ingredients and nutrition values. **Appearance** The bars are individually wrapped in a blue foil wrapper. There is a dark brown stripe indicating that you have bought the chocolate version. All the usual details are on the packaging, including the ingredients, nutritional information and a brief description of the product. Compared to other cereal bars they look a decent size, and weigh 29g On opening the ...

Lexmark Z 640 22/01/2007

Minimal use only

Lexmark Z 640 I don't tend to do a lot of printing at home (I always tend to print things at work), but thought it would be a good idea to have a printer at home if ever there was an emergency. All I knew was that I wanted a basic colour printer, and for it to not cost too much. After a lot of searching I found the LEXMARK Z640 which was selling for £25.99 at Comet. I've been using this printer at home for about a year now and decided it was about time that I wrote a review about it. **What is it** The Z640 is a colour thermal inkjet designed for everyday printing needs. **Appearance** The printer is quite small in size measuring 404 x 216 x 135 mm and weighing just 4.5kg. The printer is a very light grey colour, with a dark grey paper inlet at the back, and an adjustable paper outlet at the front. There is one large round shaped button on the top which lights up when the printer is switched on. **Specifications** Print Speed: • Up to 14 ppm - black draft • Up to 8 ppm - colour draft • Up to 10 ppm - black normal • Up to 3 ppm - colour normal Max Resolution ( B&W ): 2400 dpi x 1200 dpi Max Resolution ( Colour ): 4800 dpi x 1200 dpi Total Media Capacity: 100 sheets Media Feeder(s): 1 x auto load - 100 sheets Output Trays Capacity: 25 sheets Connections: 1 x USB **Set up** This was incredibly easy and straightforward to follow. The printer box includes nearly everything you need: a colour cartridge (but no black), a power ...

Harmony Hairspray Aerosol Firm Hold 30/08/2006

Is she or isn't she? NO I AM NOT!!!!!

Harmony Hairspray Aerosol Firm Hold Its Saturday night, and I'm getting ready for a girls' night out. It's been ages since we all got together so I'm really looking forward to it. I'm almost ready to go and I'm applying the final touches - lipstick……check, perfume………check, hairspray………arghhhh, I press the button and all that comes out is air. I've got 15 minutes until the taxi arrives so I send my partner to the nearest 'local' shop to buy me a replacement. He comes come 5 minutes later holding a can of Harmony hairspray Firm Hold **Background** Harmony was launched in 1956 and is probably most famously known for its 'Is she or isn't she?' advert in the seventies **What is it** According to the back of the can 'Harmony hairspray, with its micro fine spray, gives long lasting hold which is easy to brush out. Harmony's unique formulation with protein, sunscreen and conditioner helps to protect your hair from damage, keeping it looking natural and healthy' **Packaging** It comes in a 200ml blue can, which cost me £1.15. There is a pull off lid protecting the spray button (none of this 'button in the lid' that ends up leaving a coating of hairspray on the inside of your bag) Harmony is written in white, vertically up the can, with the 'strength' (in this case Firm Hold) at the bottom, underneath is written with Protective ingredients The back of the can has the ingredients and company details. **Smell** I understand that things have to have perfume added to cover up the smell of ...

Crazy Jack Organic Traditional Dried Apricots 29/08/2006


Crazy Jack Organic Traditional Dried Apricots One of my work colleagues is currently on a bit of a health kick. He is trying to cut out fatty foods, and eat more organic items. To stop himself from raiding the chocolate machine, at work, he has started to bring in 'Crazy Jack Organic Soft Dried Apricots'. I happened to comment that I was feeling a bit peckish, so he let me try a few. *Background** Crazy Jack - The story (taken from the website) When they started spraying the land Jack said it would be dangerous and would lead to problems. "It's progress", they said, "you've got to move with the times". "You can't put chemicals in the soil without suffering the consequences", Jack said. "You're crazy", they told him. "I'd rather be crazy than poison our planet", Jack replied. They didn't listen then, but now more and more people are recognising the benefits of going organic. As the interest and demand has grown, so has the quality and quantity of organic products available. Jack doesn't cut corners in his desire to provide the best possible food at reasonable prices. He chooses his supplier partners carefully, and all appropriate quality control procedures are used to ensure that the highest quality product available reaches the consumer. Jack works with people who have the skill, experience and commitment to ensure that only the best goes into his range. Some people still think that Jack is crazy, but then they called Galileo crazy when he suggested that the earth revolved around the ...

McVities Go Ahead Apple Bakes 22/05/2006


McVities Go Ahead Apple Bakes Unfortunately, I do have quite a sweet tooth, and enjoy nothing more than chomping on a big slab of chocolate. Well it's that time of year again - holiday season, time to stop eating all that chocolate and replace it with sticks of celery and rice cakes. Now that to me sounds like my idea of hell, so rather than cut out sweet things altogether I try to replace things with low fat versions. My last visit to the supermarket, I bought some McVities Go Ahead Apple Bakes *Background** McVities launched Go Ahead - their low fat range in 1996 in response to growing demand for a healthier low-fat diet among their consumers. McVities have recently launched a new marketing campaign, introducing a new pack design across the range and dropping a number of unsuccessful lines in order to make way for a new range of products **Packaging** The bars come in a box of 6. The bars and box look identical. The box / bar is a pink / purple colour with a green 'swish' through the middle. The Go Ahead logo is quite large and underneath is a picture of the apple bake. All the usual company information, ingredients and nutritional values are on the back. **Cost** My local Somerfield sells a box (6 x 210g) for £1.25. **Nutritional Value** For those that are interested, each bar contains the following: Energy 124 kcal per bake Carbohydrate 24.5g per bake (of which sugars) 9.1g per bake Fat 2.5g per bake (of which saturates) 1.2g per bake Fibre 0.5g per ...

Nivea Soft Intensive Moisturising Creme 19/04/2006


Nivea Soft Intensive Moisturising Creme I work in a laboratory and my hands are often covered in chemicals. They're not particularly dangerous but I do tend to wash my hands quite often. This tends to dry out my hands, so I always use a hand cream. I usually use Vaseline hand cream, but unfortunately my local chemist had sold out. I noticed that Nivea Soft Intensive Moisturising Cream was on offer so decided to give it a go. **What is it** Nivea Soft is a moisturising cream for everyday use on the face, hands and body. It contains Jojoba oil and Vitamin E to moisturise and refresh the skin. The tube claims that its for invigorated, smooth skin. **Packaging** It comes in a 75ml white tube, which cost me £1.99. There is a flip top lid, which also doubles up as a base so the tube can be stood up. The packaging is quite simple; it is a plain white tube and lid, with a dark blue box with Nivea Soft written in white. Underneath is written Intensive Moisturising Cream with Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E. The back of the tube has the ingredients and company details. **Ingredients** The main ingredients in this cream are Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E, and for anyone that is interested, the rest of the ingredients are as follows: Aqua (water), Paraffinium Liquidum, Myristyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Myristyl Myristate, Cera Microristallina, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated Coco Glycerides, Dimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate, Sodium ...

Walkers Lites 10/04/2006


Walkers Lites I'm not currently on a diet as such, but I am trying to reduce my intake of fat, by replacing some of my food with the lower fat versions. I usually eat a bag of crisps during my day at work, and as crisps are extremely high in calories and fat, I decided that this was one item that I should replace. Low fat versions are never usually up to the same standard as their full fat relatives, so I thought I would try the current leader in crisp manufacturing - Walkers. If anyone could make a decent low fat crisp then surely Walkers can. **Background** Walkers Lites contain 33% less fat, on average, than standard Walkers Crisps. These products are available in the following flavours: Ready Salted Salt & Vinegar flavour Cheese & Onion flavour Honey Glazed Ham Walkers Lites are cooked in Sunflower oil for a healthier option that is lower in saturates and higher in monounsaturates. **Packaging** The packaging is almost identical to the regular packets. There is a large Walkers logo at the top, with 'Lites'! written underneath I'm not sure what the ! is for, I tend to use this after a sarcastic remark, I hope Walkers aren't doing the same. At the bottom of the packet is a picture of sunflowers with '100% taste 33% less fat' written over the top. As usual each flavour is colour coded - red for Ready Salted, blue for Cheese and Onion, green for Salt and Vinegar, and a browny - orange for Honey Glazed Ham. The back of the packet has all the normal nutritional ...

Twinings Pure Peppermint Teabags 09/03/2006

Polo Flavoured Tea??????

Twinings Pure Peppermint Teabags For those of you that have read my other reviews, you will have seen that I suffer quite badly from heartburn and indigestion. Somebody told me that if you keep taking indigestion remedies, your body starts to become immune to them (I don't know how true this is). I had heard that Peppermint tea is for indigestion so decided to give it a try. **What is it* * Tea made with pure Peppermint leaves. Peppermint is known to aid digestion and helps ease upset stomachs and indigestion. **Packaging** I normally buy a box of 40 teabags. This is a small rectangular green cardboard box. On the front is a picture of Peppermint leaves with 'Twinings Infusions Pure Peppermint Teabags' written above in large print. There is a strip of cardboard around the middle of the box, which must be removed so that the box can be opened; this then leaves the box with a flip up lid. The teabags are your basic square kind (none of this new fangled pyramid shaped rubbish). The bags are in twos, with perforations down the middle so that they can be divided easily. I have found that you need to be quite careful doing this as I have ripped a couple of teabags in the past. **Appearance** The tea (inside the teabag) looks exactly like normal tea, except it is green in colour and not brown. When left to infuse in water, a dirty looking greenish brown liquid is left, it doesn't look particularly appetising, but don't let this put you off **Taste** As you would expect from the name, ...

Anadin Regular 15/02/2006


Anadin Regular I always keep a box of painkillers in my drawer at work, just in case of emergencies. I tend to use Ibuprofen, but I recently ran out and had a stinking headache, so popped to the nearest shop during my lunch break. Unfortunately, as this was only a small newsagent the only choice they had was Anadin. It was either Anadin or nothing so I bought a box. **What is it** Anadin (now called Original and not Regular) are tablets for the relief of mild to moderate pain. **What can it be used for** The box states that they are for the effective relief of mild to moderate pain including headache, migraine, toothache, period pains, sciatica, muscular pain, lumbago, stiffness and tenderness, joint swelling and stiffness, sore throat, feverishness and symptoms of cold and influenza. **Packaging** The box is bright yellow with green writing. Anadin Original is written in large green letters on the front of the box. One of the bottom corners has a picture of two tablets with the number of tablets contained in the box. The back of the box has the usual dosage instructions and ingredients. I bought a box of 16 tablets, which cost me £1.75, but they also come in boxes of 8, 12 and 32. An expiry date and Lot number is stamped on the side of the box. **Appearance** They are small white tablets. They are coated and specially shaped (oval) for easy swallowing. The name Anadin is imprinted on both sides of every tablet. I sometimes struggle to swallow tablets and end ...

Tommy Hilfiger Tosara Sudocream 13/12/2005

Miracle cream

Tommy Hilfiger Tosara Sudocream I had always been under the impression that Sudocrem was used for nappy rash only, that was until I had a slight accident at a friends house a couple of years ago. I was helping her to prepare for her daughters birthday party, and caught my arm on the oven as I removed a tray of fairy cakes. My friend immediately applied a thin layer of Sudocrem to my arm, the pain disappeared after about a minute, and there was no scarring or blistering. After this I have been a massive Sudocrem fan and always have a pot in the house. **What is it** Sudocrem is initially a product for treating nappy rash. It helps to soothe, heal and protect skin from further irritation. Sudocrem can also be used for other skin conditions that require a protective antiseptic cream. Due to some of the ingredients it also provides additional healing, antibacterial and antifungal properties. **Packaging** Sudocrem comes in 4 different sizes - 60g, 125g, 250g and 400g. I usually buy the 250g size which normally costs around £4.50 from Boots. Sudocrem comes in a grey plastic pot. The lid is push on, and I do find that this can come off very easily (speaking from experience after it came off in my suitcase). There is a stick on white label with all of the required information, and Sudocrem written in white on a red background on the top edge of the label. **Appearance** Sudocrem is a very thick white cream. It has a very pleasant smell, which according to the ingredients is ...

Rennie Rap-Eze Assorted 03/11/2005

Fruity Relief

Rennie Rap-Eze Assorted Unfortunately, I am a regular sufferer of heartburn and indigestion. I have tried several over the counter remedies, but have found Rennie Rap-eze to be one of the best lower priced products. **What is it** Rennie Rap-eze is a fast-acting, effective remedy for heartburn, indigestion and trapped wind. **Packaging** The box is brightly coloured, and can easily be found on the shelf among the many other indigestion products currently on the market. The box is divided diagonally into 4 colours (pink, orange, yellow and purple), with Rap-eze in large letters written across the front of the box. The back of the box has the usual dosage instructions and ingredients. I usually buy a box of 32 tablets for around £1.80, but they also come in boxes of 8 and 64. **Appearance** They are small fruit flavoured tablets (approximately 1cm square). There are 4 different flavours - blackcurrant, raspberry, orange and lemon. The box contains foil strips, which the tablets can be easily pushed out of. Each foil strip contains 8 tablets (two tablets of each flavour). The colours of the tablets correspond to the flavours (i.e. purple for blackcurrant, pink for raspberry, yellow for lemon and orange for orange) **Taste** To be fair, if these were sweets, I wouldn't choose to eat them, but for a medicine they're not too bad. As they contain calcium carbonate, there is no getting away from the chalky feel and taste, although the fruity flavour does mask the taste quite well. I'm ...

Casio FX 85 MS 31/10/2005

Calculator Chaos

Casio FX 85 MS I have to use a calculator at work, so when my old one finally gave up on me, the company I work for supplied me with another - a Casio fx - 85ms. I've had it for about 6 months now and I still have no idea how to use it. The calculator is approximately 15cm by 9 cm and is only 1.5cm thick. It weighs a mere 138g so feels quite light for quite a large calculator. It is two way powered (solar power or 1.5V battery) and comes in a greyish - black plastic. It has a flat cover that can be slid off and on to protect the calculator front when not in use. There is a two-line display that makes it possible to view both the calculation formula and its result at the same time. The Casio fx - 85ms comes with clearly displayed numbers and signs (such as addition, multiplication etc.). It is divided into three main sections. The bottom section (grey and red buttons) is where the numbers and the more everyday functions are situated. The middle section (black buttons) is for more complicated calculations such as 'sin', 'hyp', 'x²' and 'log' buttons, and the top row (grey buttons again) is for the mode and on buttons. A users guide is provided and this is definitely needed. To be fair most of the buttons and functions are easy to use and fairly self-explanatory if you have used a scientific calculator before. Unfortunately in making way for more complicated functions, they have made it more difficult to use some of the simple, yet more useful functions. For example when using ...
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