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since 06/06/2003


Microsoft Fingerprint Reader 20/10/2005

Too many passwords? You need this!

Microsoft Fingerprint Reader Introduction Having a few extra vouchers available I decided to buy another gadget for my ever growing collection of useless gadgets! This time, as the review would suggest, a Microsoft Fingerprint Reader, at £23 a great deal from Amazon! Packaging and Appearance The MS Fingerprint reader comes nicely heat sealed easy to open container. Inside is the bare minimum with simply the reader, an instruction manual and an installation CD. Its all very neatly packages and because of this fits through the letterbox nicely, meaning you don't have to worry about sitting up waiting for your delivery! Websites can be very deceiving and the actual reader is about the same size in length as your pointing finger. The actual "reading" part is a comfortable oval shape, and will be the right size for 99% of people whether you hands are big or small. When you plug it into your USB port it gives off a wonderful red glow, which gets brighter when you place you finger on it. Installation Installation is really simple, and thanks to a bit of thought by Microsoft there is relatively little instructions you have to read from the instruction manual. On the USB connector there is a very clear green label telling you to NOT put to plug in the reader before you have installed the software. The software is really nice, and one of the things I love about it, is the fact it is completely integrated into Windows XP - I hate when things look different! The software is ...

Hitman: Contracts (PC) 07/05/2005

Contracts of an Evil Mind

Hitman: Contracts (PC) Introduction to the World of Hitman Contracts Hitman Contracts is the 3rd instalment on the highly successful Hitman series, staring No. 47 as everyone's favourite bad guy. Yes, in Hitman Contracts you are actually playing a bad guy, but the good news is he is a bad guy who really only kills other bad guys! Unlike many other games Hitman: Contracts is unique, there are multiple pathways to complete your objective, as well as the gun-hoe, silent assassin approaches, you can also take different routes through buildings, pick up different disguises and roles within a mission, and do the objectives in basically any order you want. This multi-pathway, makes Hitman Contracts extremely addictive and means it has hours of replay value. It also allows the player to use his or her imagination to find a route, as it is not at all obvious. Usually you are dumped just outside a location, you have to get in, do multiple missions (some of which are optional) and get out. Unlike other games which may dump you inside your objective and simply require you to kill your target before "Mission Complete" jumps onto the screen. Usually in Hitman Contracts you have to be quite a bit away from your target, or escape via some mode of transport before you will see the mission complete message. Another of the fantastic gems in Hitman Contracts is its scoring system; it will take everything you do into account, from kills of innocent civilians and enemies, to times spotted. It will then ...

Imation Corp. DVD+R 4.7 GB 16x 23/04/2005

Quality does not always have to be expensive

Imation Corp. DVD+R 4.7 GB 16x Introduction This is my first review in quite a few months now, so apologise if it's a bit on the rusty side! Anyway, I decided to re-start with something simple - DVDs! Over the past few weeks I have been trying to put as much of the rubbish on my computer onto storage devices. The only problem is that an external hard drive is far to expensive, and a USB drive is frankly to small as were CDs as each file was approximately 200MB resulting in only two or three per CD. DVDs were my only option. I decided to go with Imation as they are cheap, and because of past experience with their CDs being good. The Verdict Storage/Packaging: The DVDs come in a fantastic spindle device, which enable you to quickly grab a DVD burn something onto it and but it back, without faffing around with cases and stuff. It also has a nice cover to go over the top to prevent any dust ruining your DVDs. It's not flimsy either, its very strong and durable plastic. The cover is also designed so that instead of falling off and allowing all your DVDs to fall out and get damaged it "locks" in place, allowing you to store your DVDs without worrying about them get carpet dust on if they accidentally fall off the desk onto the floor. Burning: Well depending on the speed of your writer these DVDs are pretty much like normal DVDs and write at a maximum speed of DVD-R x4, which is pretty fast in my opinion. Usually a full 4.7GB data disc will take about 1 hour to put on perhaps more or less ... 25/06/2004

DVDs ReLoaded 247 Brief Note *********** My review contains a couple of technical terms in it which some might not be familiar with... Region: this is the coding of a DVD, which makes it play only in a certain area of the world Region 1 is USA and Canada, Region 2 is Europe and Japan. Introduction ************* My experience with Loaded has been great and before you ask, it is not an American site it sells region one DVDs in pound sterling with no extra import charges etc. About a year ago I decided that I couldn't be bothered to wait for the region 2 release of a DVD, as the manufacture said it would take at least a year to come, and as yet has not been released. So I decided to search the internet for a region one UK retailer, not hard to find as there were hundreds, but I decided to go for Loaded247 because of its fantastic prices, free delivery and the layout was of a certain quality that I felt I could trust them. Layout ******** Layout is fantastic at Loaded247 it is really very well though out and user friendly. DVDs have been clearly put into broad categories so you do not get confused between Region 1 and Region 2. They have also separated off Adult DVDs, for obvious reasons, and soundtracks, as it can be confusing when looking through an online store to where or not this is an actual movie or just a soundtrack. The general page layout is good, although I am not fond of the way every thing seems to stop at the bottom of the page except for a list ... 22/06/2004

Thumbs Up for QED Introduction ************* I have heard and seen very split opinions on but I decided to risk buying with them anyway and I must stress that this review is based on my opinion of the site and on the service I received while buying the "Humax PVR 8000t" from them. Prices & Money *************** ** This has to be the best part of QED, the prices are really very cheap and good value for money, they state that they are up to 40% off street price, my box was only 30% but that is still a mega saving of £60. These prices are really very good and if you do a Price runner search then the site is cheapest almost every time. Personally I am really thankful for the cheap prices because being a teenager I really have no money and I will do almost anything to get something for cheaper. They are not very good on the card side only accepting the standard VISA/MASTERCARD etc. sadly no SOLO, a big disappointment to me, as I am not allowed a VISA/MASTERCARD until I am 18. But this did not deter me; I can rarely buy my own stuff on the internet, so I used my mums card! Layout ******** Layout is not amazing, it looks a bit amateurish to be a bit honest, it does not look as professionally designed as or other website, generally it is difficult to navigate and the information on items is good but limited, the review item system is also not to good having to click on a separate button to see other peoples opinions instead of like Amazon, or even Ciao! ...

AOL Broadband 17/06/2004

AOL Broadband: Hot or Not?

AOL Broadband Introduction ************* Deciding whether to join up to a broadband company like AOL is a big decision for a person to make, and really it is not worth paying the extra money for something you are not going to use. But for me upgrading from AOL dialup to AOL broadband was brilliant, I got faster connection for uploading and downloading large files and Broadband makes pages load, as if you were just opening them from your PC. AOL is not just about the connection, it is about all the other things that come with it as well. Installation ************* Lets start at the beginning, AOL is really user friendly and installation is really very quick and easy, it tells you what is happening at every step so you can understand without the use of technical jargon what is going on! NOTE: AOL have to get your line configured for Broadband with BT, the customer service with AOL is great and they are very efficient in getting you phone line ready for Broadband Speed ************* My connection speed is 576k which is fantastic at nearly ten times faster then broadband, it allows me to do so much more while online and unlike a dialup connection I can be doing three or four things at the same time and it will not slow down. The connection speed for uploading is much slow at only 288k, while still fast I can't see why AOL could not have given its customers the same download speed as upload speed, the upload speed is only 5 times faster than dialup. As a web designer ...

Hitman: Codename 47 (PC) 17/06/2004

The return of a Hitman

Hitman: Codename 47 (PC) ------------Introduction------------ Hitman: Contracts is a very large and well thought out games. You play the character 47 otherwise known and Tobias Rieper and clone, who happens to have a bar code on the back of his head. Your weapon of choice is stealth and disguise. You kill for money, even if you do not see the justice in killing a person, innocent or not - it is what you are paid to do -- this is the world of Hitman, this is the world of No. 47 ------------Graphics------------ The graphics in Hitman: Contracts are fantastic, although not a great improvement on the previous game they are truly outstanding and are greatly detailed. You can see intricate patterns on wallpaper, wooden furniture and many other items. The lighting is also a great improvement from the previous game and, although not comparable to Splinter Cell: PD, they really do increase the fun factor of the game, you can now hide in the shadows and use stealth more in the dark, rather than hide in a closet or simply "dispose" or an innocent or enemy that got in your way. As far as I am aware there are no silly little glitches like in the previous game where people could magically fly through walls, although I have seen the odd pair of legs or some ones head suddenly appear in a wall -- which can be quite disturbing at times! ------------The Controls------------ The controls, are the same as the previous games, and are really very easy to understand. Like most games you can use the ...

No One Lives Forever 2 (PC) 16/06/2004

The Female Austin Powers [[Updated 16 June 2004]]

No One Lives Forever 2 (PC) ----------Introduction---------- The only reason I chose this game was because it got a fantastic review on a website. I am glad I did because this happens to be one of the funniest games I have ever played. Before this game I have never heard a comedy computer game. ----------Basic Game Concept---------- This game is basically like Austin Powers, it is based in the 1960s and you carry out many missions in fantastically large settings. The game is massive and each mission consists of many objectives, including smaller bonus objectives which you can carry out for more points. ----------Who you are---------- You play Cate Archer a British Secret Agent and armed with a crossbow you start the game in gorgeous graphics in Japan, the first mission is superb and it is hilarious when you find out that after you've spent an hour and a half completing it - it was only the introduction mission - the game storyline hasn't actually started. ----------Graphics---------- The graphics in this game are amazingly detailed, they are extremely well made and really do like real things, especially Miss Archers AK47 and the water looks really very stunning ----------Soundtrack---------- There is also a very funky soundtrack which really does sound like it was from an Austin Powers movie. It is very jazzy, not intrustive on game play and almost acts as a comical warning when you are spotted by an enemy ----------Gadgets & Weapons---------- The gadgets you can use ...

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (PC) 15/06/2004

Pandora Tomorrow, Ciao Today!

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (PC) ~~~~~~~~~~~Introduction~~~~~~~~~~~ You start of Tom Clancy's sequel to the fantastic Pandora Tomorrow deep in the action, there is no time for training this time you are on a pier on your way to infiltrate the Indonesian US Embassy. In total their are eight fantastic and extensive missions all over the world with gorgeous settings and each mission allows you to use all your gadgets and all your stealth tactics moves include the impressive swat turn. ~~~~~~~~~~~The Graphics~~~~~~~~~~~ I have an ATI 9200 an the graphics were stunning, they were crisp and the lighting effects worked amazingly well to create an almost realistic simulation of the outside world, putting the original Splinter Cell to shame. Alone the game would be an average game but the graphics really do give it stunning qualities and shadow effects which you rarely see in other games. One problem with the graphics is that it is apparently in compatible with some cards, especially some of the Geforce cards, but do not fear, the NVIDIA website has all the drivers you need to play the game without worries! Sadly you don't get to see the amazing quality of the settings all the time due to the fact that in many missions you have to wear night vision as you shot out all the lights ~~~~~~~~~~~The sound~~~~~~~~~~~ The sound is spectacular, you can hear everything from your own groans and foot steps to the bird and the wind through the roof tops, you can also hear everything all the guards are ...

BBC2: Malcolm In The Middle 15/06/2004

Life is Unfair [[Updated 15 June 2004]]

BBC2: Malcolm In The Middle -------Introduction------- Since I started watching Malcolm in the Middle I have been hooked, when of the most striking things when you watch the programme is that you notice that their is no laughter track - this, in my opinion, is fantastic because you can laugh when you want to laugh and not where everyone else chooses to laugh... -------Basic Idea of Show------- The show is based around Malcolm and his dysfunctional family who get into all kinds of crazy situations from, getting lost in the sewers, to running off the join the army - or getting lost in a carnival! Another part of this original sitcom is the fact that it is not filmed on a stage like other sitcoms such as Friends but in a studio, where there is the ability for story lines outside and inside, using different camera angles and different rooms etc. Which the show’s producers have taken full advantage of. ------- The Actors/Actresses and Characters ------- -->The main actor in Malcolm in the Middle, Frankie Muniz, plays the paranoid, genius teenager Malcolm who with an IQ of 165 is put into the Krelboyne class. Originally the show was based mainly around Malcolm, but over the last few years it has expanded and we now have stories based on all the characters, even Hal and Lois, Malcolm's mother and father. For example a few weeks ago we had a story on how Hal had bunked off Fridays for 15 years, absolutely hilarious storyline and totally unexpected, which is another thing that keeps the show ...

Swish v2 15/06/2004

Swish vs Flash?

Swish v2 I first starting using Flash many years ago when attempting to design a website and, to be honest, I had absolutely no idea how to use it, that is until my uncle recommended using something called Swish. At the time I had never heard of the programme, and it sounded like some kind of cheap imitation, but boy was I totally wrong, Swish, although not offering more than Flash, is much easier to use and the effects it can create or outstanding. Flash is good if you are a full time web designer and under stand the ins and outs of the Flash programming designer, but if you are untrained and short of time like myself, and just want to make a website then this is for you. There are over 50 separate effects you can make Swish do with not just text but also to a degree pictures, these include a "typewriter" effect which has about five different speeds, there is also many other effects and Swish has carefully put them in to certain categories so you can find them easily. There are simply things like a "Fade In" or "Fade Out" but also more interesting and eye catching things like "Explode In" and "Vortex Out" which are really very cool and would take a year to create in Flash. One major advantage of Swish is its timeline at the top of the page which allows you to accurately allow things to come in at certain times, and have effects, music and other object coming in or going out. You can also combine different effects such as have something "Explode In" then "Mexican Wave" then ...

Panasonic CD / MP3 player 14/06/2004

Can't afford an iPod? Try this...

Panasonic CD / MP3 player For many years I wanted an MP3 CD player so that I could burn all my MP3s to CD and play them when I go on holiday, but I was thrilled when I found the Panasonic SL SX425S for just £70 which could not only play MP3 but the much smaller WMA - which are roughly half the size but remain the same quality as the MP3 You can cram as many songs as you like onto a CD-R or CD-RW and it will play them, although beware when playing WMA the battery power can go down pretty quickly! The general layout and style is good, and it looks very attractive, there is also a useful "Hold" button so that when it goes into your pocket you don't change the song by mistake. There is also a great little inline remote control which you can use to quickly access you favourite songs. The system is very easy to use and even without reading the instruction manual you can figure things out for yourself - basically just play, stop, next track, last track, pause and so on... Another of the Panasonic SL SX425S useful features is its display screen which shows the song number you are playing and the time remaining, you can also alter some of the features, so that your songs sound better, for example their is a setting for live songs and for those rock songs which you want a bit more of a beat with! The sound quality is excellent, but I really depends on what you put on your CD, if your original is poor then of course the CD version will also be poor. My advice to anyone getting this is the get a good ...

Mafia (PC) 13/06/2004

The City of Lost Heaven

Mafia (PC) The title of my review says it all, this is an amazing computer game, the graphics our outstanding - even today you will not find that many games with this kind of quality graphics. Unlike most PC games the plot in this is amazing and you really can feel for your character. The 20 missions are lengthy and very enjoyable, as many things on the settings you can interactive with. There over of 60 fantastic cars to drive which are all modelled on real late 1920's early 1930's cars and the atmosphere of the game, including AI, city life, sound and graphics are all staggering. You play a character called Tommy, and your first mission is straight into the deep end, you have to drive these two shot up Mafia members back to safety through the streets of Lost Heaven, it is challenging and difficult sometimes, but other times the gangsters chasing you get smashed by a car going the opposite way. The missions are all varied and different, unlike other games where you basically a supposed to shot, there are many different things you have to do here. For example in one mission you have to kill a hotel manager, while in another you have to deliver 12 crates of the finest spirits to your boss, and in one of the most fantastic missions of the game you have to rob a bank! But its not just the AI which is good, nor the cars, settings and varied missions. This is a game you can come back to 6 months later and pick up again, and not get bored as they have a "Free Ride" mode where ...

Philips 14PT2665 13/06/2004

A great bedroom TV

Philips 14PT2665 I'm 16 and like any teenager I want a telly for my bedroom, I haven't got any money really so when I say the £100 price tag on this TV I was delighted. To start with it is a well designed television and delivers great sound and picture quality, even from my indoor aerial. It has NICAM stereo sound on it as well which make it sound fantastic. The TV also has your standard Teletext and Ceefax as well as the fantastic feature of an analogue radio, this is probably one of the main reasons why I chose this product. You can not only watch TV but on the touch of a button you can be listening to Virgin Radio or Capital 95.8! You have one scart lead in the back which I have connected to my freeview decoder (The Humax PVR 8000t) and also on the front it has the usual sockets which are brilliant and easy to connect to a computer so you can watch you DVD's if you can't afford a DVD player! There are loads of features, tuning is easy, but rather annoyingly it finds a ton of channels which are very poor quality as well as the five normal channels. One good thing is that it allows you to order and name your channels the way you want. You can also have child lock to stop people changing channels without the remote and password protect some channels which you don't want people watching. It has many different installation languages and is remarkably easy to use, the one downside is as yet I haven't worked out how to delete channels that I don't want in my channel ...

Canon PowerShot A40 13/06/2004

Amazing First Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot A40 When I wanted to buy a digital camera for myself I decided to take a look round the shops and finally decided to by this Canon camera. It was a great buy, the zoom is fantastic, the picture quality is also great and one of the other cool features is that it can record 30 second video clips with sound as it has a microphone attached to the front. The zoom lens is detachable so you can buy a higher zoom if you are a bird watcher or someone who is into taking pictures of wildlife. The small video display on the back is fantastic, it is really useful while taking pictures and also when deciding whether the picture you have just taken is worth keeping or not. Like most digital cameras you can delete pictures if you don't like them, but this one also allows you to crop pictures, rotate pictures and more simply on the small screen. There are very few disadvantages with this camera but I have noticed that the view finder is not centred, so if you look through only that you will find that your picture is slightly to high. My advice to anyone purchasing this small gem is that you use rechargeable batteries, otherwise your battery bill will shot up - it uses batteries by the ton, on holiday last year I used up 16 batteries in 2 weeks! Another tip is to buy a 128MB CF card for your photos the 8MB on supplies is simply not big enough for those of us who are Snap Happy! The camera is extremely simple to use, although sometimes you have to wait for a little after the ...
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