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since 23/04/2002


Motorola A835 12/06/2004

Hello Moto!

Motorola A835 The Motorola A835 is one of the current phones available on the mobile network called ‘3’. I work for the mobile phone retailer The Link, and in January we offered customers 100 pounds cashback if they signed up to a contract on 3 with this A835. As I was due a new contract myself, this offer was too good to refuse, and hence I am now an A835 owner! - ABOUT 3 - For those of you who are not mobile phone experts (and let’s face it, not many people are!), ‘3’ is the newest of the mobile phone networks in the UK, at only a year or so old. Owned by Hutchison 3G, this network is the only one at present to offer 3G services in the UK. 3G services include video calling (one of the main selling points of the network) which allows users to see each other while on a call. In addition, other 3G services include video downloads and quick access to information. With 3’s services (accessible on this phone using a dedicated white triangle key) you can view short movie trailers, football highlights, sports and entertainments news, comedy clips and other news and weather. These services are the next step from the usual WAP and GPRS internet services that are found on most phones, making this network very unique and different. - FIRST IMPRESSIONS - The first impression I am sure you would get when viewing the A835 in all its glory is related to the size. The phone’s dimensions are 135x53x24mm, making it considerably larger than other mobile phones. This, I would say, is the main ...

Top Ten Films Of All Time 30/05/2004

Steven the Film Buff

Top Ten Films Of All Time Being a student of Media Studies, I have had to study so many films in the last few years. This has introduced me to so many different films, and to an amazingly high number of genres I didn’t even know about! In this list I have many classic films as well as some newish ones too! How can anyone choose just ten films of all time?! In my mind I have quite a lot, but here is a top 10: -- 10: THE CABINET OF DR CALIGARI – Year: 1919 Directed by: Robert Wiene Starring: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt This film is one of the strangest you will ever see – I can guarantee that! But what makes it so strange? Well the characters are very strange looking, the scenery is unusual and the camera takes shots from strange angles! This is seen as the first ever film of the “German Expressionism” movement of film-making which became popular all over the world in the early 1920s. The film is obviously silent as well as black and white, due to the time it was made, and this means that the acting is very over-the-top. This had to be done in silent movies to emphasise emotion which would otherwise have come across in the character’s voices. So what is the film about? Well, surprisingly it’s about someone called Caligari – he is a showman that travels around fairgrounds with his act – a somnambulist. Caligari uses his sleepwalking act to perform murders – basically the somnambulist can be instructed to perform murders when he is asleep. I have chosen this due to its pioneering ...

Walkers Doritos Tangy Cheese 06/09/2002

Delicious Doritos

Walkers Doritos Tangy Cheese Many of you who regularly go clubbing or used to go clubbing will know that after a night on the town, you really need something to fill your tummy! But what do you do? Last night I was out clubbing with a mate, and we stopped by one of the late night take-away places locally, trying to decide what we wanted. Looking at the queue, we opted to just go home and get something there! When I got in, I didn’t know what I wanted. I fancied something hot, but couldn’t be bothered cooking anything. Then I remembered that the other day I had bought a multipack of my favourite crisps – Doritos! Crisps are a great post-clubbing snack for me, and they really work when you can’t be bothered cooking anything! Also, crisps are great when you fancy a little afternoon snack, or with lunches. Sometimes when I’m peckish I will go for some chocolate or an apple or something, but crisps have the uniqueness of being an easy savoury snack. Anyway, Doritos are my favourites, particularly the Tangy Cheese variety. Firstly, I should probably say that these are not exactly real crisps, and more nachos or “Corn Chips” as the packet describes them! There are a variety of different flavours of Doritos including: - Cool Original - Pizza - Lightly Salted But my favourite has to be the Tangy Cheese variety. -- PACKAGING – The first thing you will probably notice about Doritos is that a packet is slightly bigger than the average crisp packet. A bag of Doritos is slightly wider ...

Fox's Rocky Bar 03/09/2002

A rectangle of chocolatey goodness

Fox's Rocky Bar Welcome everyone to my first ever food op on Ciao – I have avoided the food and beverage ops until now because I was slightly unsure how to go about it! Anyway here goes…. I am something of a chocoholic, absolutely addicted to the stuff. So much so in fact that I could probably write an opinion on every variety of chocolate bar that exists in my local corner shop! I go into the shop and usually spend ages deciding which bar to go for. Will it be a Diary Milk? How about a Whispa? No, this time I am going to go for one of my other favourites – a caramel Rocky! Rocky bars are made my Fox’s, and generally come in packs of 6 or 10. Price-wise, I’ve found these packs to retail at around 55p for the 6-pack, and 99p for the 10-pack. Of course, these are the prices locally here where I live, and will no doubt vary slightly across the country. -- TYPES OF ROCKY – Rocky bars come in four delicious flavours, all of which I find very enjoyable! - Original - Caramel - Jam - Honeycomb -- PACKAGING – As already stated, Rocky bars are available in multi-packs of 6 and 10 bars. These packs are very brightly coloured, which draws your attention to them in the supermarket, and has “Rocky” in very large, bold lettering across the centre of the packet. The colour of the packaging is dependent on the variety of Rocky, but all colours are very bright and vibrant, from the bright red of the chocolate variety, to the yellow of the caramel flavour! Upon opening the ... 01/09/2002

Amazingly Amazon I’m sure most people know of Amazon as an online retailer that is available in many countries around the world. However Amazon offers many more services than simply that of a typical retailer! I first came across Amazon a few years ago when my Dad ordered some videos from the American version of the site. This allowed him access to many titles that are unavailable in this country, and since he had just purchased a new VCR that plays NTSC (American format) tapes, he was able to play all these titles here. From this, I discovered an Amazon UK site and it is one of my favourite shopping sites! -- WHAT IS AMAZON? -- Well, as explained above, Amazon appears to be a typical online retailer, and the company specialises in selling entertainment products such as books, videos and DVDs, computer software, electronics and music. Many items are at reduced prices meaning you can order them for a lot cheaper than you would get them on the High Street, and you get them delivered to your door for a small delivery charge. -- THE HOME PAGE AND NAVIGATION -- On opening your browser and pointing it to, you are presented with a fairly straight-forward page. At the top, you will see a large bar that is half blue and half yellow, containing quick links to some sections of the site, and a search facility allowing you to search for a specific item. The search can be done in two ways – you can search the whole site, or you can search a specific department ...

Jokes 30/08/2002

The DJ's guide to humour

Jokes Ok it’s my attempt at the Jokes section. I am not normally a very funny person in terms of jokes and one-liners, but these are a few of my favourites! Hopefully you all like them and find them funny! The second and third jokes may not be suitable for younger readers or those easily offended due to the implied language. Anyway, that’s me done my little warning, everyone else read on! --------------- --------------- --------------- --------------- - There are two nuns. One of them is known as Sister Mathematical (SM) and the other one is known as Sister Logical (SL). It is getting dark and they are still far away from the convent: SM: Have you noticed that a man has been following us for the past thirty-eight and a half minutes? I wonder what he wants. SL: It's logical. He wants to rape us. SM: Oh, no! At this rate he will reach us in 15 minutes at the most. What can we do? SL: The only logical thing to do of course is to walk faster. SM: It's not working. SL: Of course it's not working. The man did the only logical thing. He started to walk faster too. SM: So, what shall we do? At this rate he will reach us in one minute. SL: The only logical thing we can do is split. You go that way and I’ll go this way. He cannot follow us both. So the man decided to follow Sister Logical. Sister Mathematical arrives at the convent and is worried what has happened to Sister Logical. Then Sister Logical arrives. SM: Sister Logical! Thank God you are ...

10 Things I Hate About The World Today 20/08/2002

Things that get Steven annoyed

10 Things I Hate About The World Today I’ve seen lots of opinions on this category and I feel it’s time for me to add myself to it. I thought that by writing down all the things I hate and explaining why I hated them it would make me feel good, but it’s angered me because it’s reminded me how much I dislike these things! Here we go then with my list of hates/dislikes and reasons for them. They are in no particular order apart from the first which is my ultimate hate! --------------- ------------ ** 1 – ARROGANCE Arrogance is, without a doubt the worst thing in the world in my opinion. Some arrogant people will say that they are just confident and believe in themselves, but I can tell you, there is a difference. Arrogant people believe they are better than the rest of us and they believe that they are good at everything, and perfect in every way. Sorry Mr Arrogant, but you are not! We are all the same in my book, and no one is better than anyone else! ** 2 – THE ROYAL FAMILY Ok this is a very controversial subject and I’m going to have a lot of people disagreeing with me on this one, but what use is the Royal Family? The UK monarchy is something that many countries claim they would love to have, and many people in the UK and commonwealth are proud of them. In my opinion however, the royals really contribute very little to this country or the world, and they get a large amount of money for doing nothing. I realise that in recent years the government has cut back on the money the royals ...

FastTrack - Nullsoft WinAmp 13/08/2002

A music player with a whole lot more to offer

FastTrack - Nullsoft WinAmp Anyone who knows a thing or two about computers and the internet will know that there are literally thousands of pieces of software out there for playing music. When you buy a brand new computer or install an operating system such as Windows, you actually get given loads of music software with it too. This op is going to look at a piece of music software that you don’t get handed to you but have to download – Winamp. Unlike software that comes bundled with your computer like Windows Media Player and Realplayer, you have to first go online and download this. To do this, head to (easy enough to remember!). --------------- --------------- -------------- The first thing to notice is that Winamp has three main versions: WINAMP LITE (A 532KB download) – This version of Winamp includes only the basic features. In short this basically means it plays and broadcasts mp3s, and has support for the many available skins and plug-ins for Winamp. WINAMP STANDARD (A 1.24MB download) – As the name suggests, this includes the main features offered by Winamp. This includes the above basic features plus the addition of the Winamp Visualization studio. WINAMP FULL (A 1.97MB download) – Featuring all the features offered by Winamp. This is basically the standard edition plus support for Windows Media Audio files (.wma). Personally I would advise going for the last option and just installing the full product. For all the difference in size, it’s worth ...

Everything that starts with S ... 03/08/2002

Student funding in the UK

Everything that starts with S ... Students reading this will probably agree with my very strongly held views of student funding and student debt. I'm in my third year as a student, and have at least two more years to go. Throughout my time so far as a student, I have experienced a farcical system of determining how much money students should receive. Firstly, a look at tuition fees. Scottish politicians recently came to their senses and actually scrapped these crazy payments students had to make in order to get an education. However, due to my position as a student who had to change courses, i'm being forced to pay tuition fees for 2 years. The other factor of course is that students in the rest of the UK still have to fork out money for fees. The government will tell you that these fee payments are means tested so students only pay what they can afford. However, in my first year at university, tuition fees had not been abolished and so I was "means tested" to see whether I should be paying or not. I had to pay the full £1024. The totally weird thing about this was that my family are not totally rich. My dad has a good job and earns a reasonable wage. My mum works part-time and all her wages go on the essentials. Thefore you would think that when looking at the wages of my parents the awards agency would think to give me some money, however I am yet to recieve any means tested assistance with my studies. Secondly there is the abolition of grants and the introduction of loans. When Britain was under ... 02/08/2002

the good all-round information site As many of you know I work as a DJ, and as part of this work I do some weekly radio shows presenting music and chat to my listeners. Not wanting to sound like an amateur, I do my homework before I go to the radio studio and make sure I have with me the latest news headlines, sports news, entertainment and music news, cinema release news, TV schedules, quirky and funny news items, and facts and trivia items. Now I could easily sit for hours online and browse through numerous sites to find all the information I require, but as this op is going to show you, I don’t have to. Thanks to the beauty of Ananova, all this information I mention above is at my fingertips in a few clicks of my trusty mouse! Since the radio stations I work with are charities, I am able to use information I find on Ananova to entertain my listeners for ages, but generally the site provides quality well-written material for personal use. --------------- --------------- ---------- - THE HOME PAGE - When you start your browser and type in, you are led to an impressively structured page. The very top of this page provides a simple, no-nonsense menu with links as simple as News, Entertainment, Sport, Business, Video Reports, Search, Weather, Going Out, TV Guide, Site Directory, and About Ananova. Each of these areas of the site will be looked at shortly. The start page of the site provides a brief summary of the top news story of the day, with a picture, headline and a brief ...

Channel 4 - Frasier 31/07/2002

I'm listening

Channel 4 - Frasier What is the secret to making a comedy series that will last? One way to find out for sure is to look at “Frasier” – Paramount TV’s spin-off show to the popular 80s series “Cheers”. Frasier Crane started his life on out TV screens as a regular customer of Cheers bar in Boston. He was a psychiatrist who was left at the alter by Cheers barmaid Diane and went on to find happiness in wife Dr Lilith Sternin, a fellow psychiatrist. Together Lilith and Frasier had son Fredrick Crane, and had a happy life in Boston. However this happiness didn’t last very long and Frasier found himself getting a divorce from Lilith and moving to the city he grew up in – Seattle. This is where we rejoin him in the spin off show called “Frasier”. --------------- --------------- --------- The Frasier executive production team are David Angelle, David Lee and Peter Casey. The trio worked together on Cheers as writers and producers, and obviously encountered the character of Frasier Crane during this time. This work led them to realise the true potential for this character and the spin-off show emerged! --------------- --------------- --------- In this op I am going to concentrate on the main characters in the show as they are essentially the essence of what makes the show: Frasier Crane (played by Kelsey Grammer) – Upon moving to Seattle, we join Frasier with a new job – a radio psychiatrist. Frasier works for KACL talk radio, hosting a call-in show with his producer Roz, and takes ...

Mixmag 29/07/2002

For clubbers and DJs everywhere

Mixmag Anyone who’s familiar with my opinions will know about my love of dance music and this is especially evident in my Top 10 Club Anthems op in the Ciao café. Here I want to look at what I believe is truly the best magazine for dance music and in particular, clubbing. The thing about Mixmag, my favourite magazine, is that it’s not just a dance music magazine, or a magazine for DJs, or a clubbing guide. Mixmag is all three of these, and it blends all elements of the dance music industry and club culture together into one monthly publication. Upon receiving your copy of Mixmag that has been purchased from a local newsagent for £3.85, you will see that you get a free CD! Most months these CDs tend to be a reasonable mixture of top dance tunes, and throughout the different issues, the magazine presents us with a different style of dance music each month. I have bought issues in the past with CDs mixed by top DJs such as Judge Jules and Dave Pearce. Inside the magazine itself we have a variety of recurring sections covering different aspects of clubbing/dance music: THE ROGUES GALLERY – This monthly feature travels around different clubs asking clubbers a simple question. In the issue I have in front of me, it asks “What’s the key to clubbing happiness?” The section has pictures of all the interviewed clubbers and their answers are written below each picture. LETTERS – The typical feature of most decent magazines, Mixmag features a letters page where readers can write ...

Top 10 Club Anthems 16/07/2002

More banging than an aggressive builder

Top 10 Club Anthems Yes, the time has come to write about ten anthems that have had an impact on my life. (I liked that opening sentence!) Anyway as a DJ I always intended writing about dance music and what it means to me. What better way than to write about the top ten club anthems in my opinion? Other ops on this subject are dealing with it from a clubber's perspective so hopefully my choices and my op will give a different perspective from the other side of the decks! So let’s go.... --------------- --------------- ----- 10) FATBOY SLIM - STAR 69 I was about to write an op on Fatboy Slim but am doing this one instead! Star 69 is a fast-paced, techno tune that sounds amazing in a club. It has a very deep bassline and this together with the drums and tune running through, make it a tune that will get most people dancing! The thing that I love most about this tune is the vocal though. You know the one - "They know what is what, but they don't know what is what, they just strut - what the *bleep*". I've played this in clubs and totally turned down the song and listened as the crowd shout out that amazing vocal! It truly is such a simple yet effective vocal! --------------- --------------- ----- 9) MAURO PICOTTO – LIKE THIS LIKE THAT Mauro Picotto is a DJ and mainly techno music producer from Torino in Italy. During the 1990s, Picotto has become something of a household name and is a very much I-demand as a DJ and producer. This is my favourite Picotto production mainly due to ...

Nokia 8310 19/06/2002

One of the best mobiles

Nokia 8310 I've been through many mobile phone handsets during my time as a mobile user - from the good old Motorola Montreal on One2One, through various Nokia handsets including the 5110, 3210, 7110, 3330 and 8210! Now I am a 8310 owner, and I must say its one of the best phones I've used! So what makes the 8310 such a good phone? Well lets look at the features: SMS MESSAGING - Nokia have given us the now standard feature of "predictive text" messaging on the 8310 whereby you can simply press each key once for a specific letter - e.g. if you wanted to type "o" you would just press the 6 key once rather than the three times you would be required to press it normally. This feature allows faster messaging, and has been standard on nokia phones for a while now. Messaging is taken further on this phone with the ability to store up to 150 text messages. Not just that, but you can sort messages into different folders such as Inbox, Outbox, Archive, and personal folders. The 8310 also features templates, which means that if you type the same thing quite a lot in messages, you can store it as a template and relieve your fingers from a little bit of typing! Also supported is picture messaging, and you have the ability to store up to 50 picture messages. CALL REGISTER - Again a standard feature, but with this phone you can get the time and date of missed, received and dialled numbers, including multiple calls from the same number (e.g. if someone has called you a few times and you've ...

BBC - TV Licence 10/06/2002

The Licence Fee - an outdated and unfair charge

BBC - TV Licence The BBC's licence fee is something that most people have an opinion on, and whether we like it or not, we have to pay this charge if we have a television. As the title of the opinion suggests, I am not a fan of the licence fee and think it should be abolished. So this opinion is basically going to look at the reasons for my view. Firstly, consider the licence fee itself. Each year we must pay for a tv licence if we use a TV in our home. This money is a compulsory charge that we MUST pay for the priviledge of owning a television. But where does this money go? Does it go to all the TV providers? NO! This £112.00 we pay each year is to fund the BBC, one provider of television. Many other providers such as ITV, don't get a penny and provide quality programming without taking any money from the public. Say what you like about advertising, but it beats paying money to just one provider. It makes you wonder where the "democratic" nature of the country comes in when the BBC takes a compulsory £112.00 from each TV owning household whether or not they watch the BBC or not. And that brings me onto the next point - is it really worth watching the BBC? Well the BBC's variety is somewhat minimal of late, with mainly middle-aged to older audiences being the only ones targeted. However, children are targeted for a few hours daily with CBBC programs, and soaps provide probably the only enjoyment in the schedule for teenage female viewers. Programmes that feature strongly are ...
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