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since 21/07/2000


Motorola RAZR V3 Special Edition Hot Pink 17/01/2006

Pink V3: Very disappointed :o(

Motorola RAZR V3 Special Edition Hot Pink Normally, I'm a bit of a one for getting the phone with all the features but for the looks of the pink V3 I was willing to trade some features. 5MB of internal memory and no card capacity is rather mean for a camera phone but I can deal with that now I have a lovely new digital camera. I no longer have a use for a phone as an mp3 player, so I wasn't too bothered about that either as there is adequate storage for a few trimmed down mp3s to use as ringtones and a couple of small pictures to add to people in the phonebook. Otherwise, it does pack a lot in for the size. I will not cover most of the functionality here as I never got to try it out. It's pointless to list everything without having seen it do it's thing. For a day I was very happy with my new phone. I've had a Motorola with the same operating system before, which might take a little getting used to if you've not used it before, but it does the job. The phone itself is light and slim though a little wider than the average flip phone, measuring 98 x 53 x 13.9 millimetres. I found it sat very nicely in the hand when open and was a good size and weight for texting one handed, by a small handed person. The external display did a quite satisfactory job of showing the same sort of things an external display usually shows - time, date, who's calling, new text message, signal, battery etc... The pink casing is bright and beautiful. (I'm a girl. I like pink things. I understand it may not be quite to your taste, ...

Workout With Wayne Sleep (DVD) 06/01/2006

Working out with Wayne

Workout With Wayne Sleep (DVD) Four years after The Child, I've run out of excuses as to why some bits are still about as firm as a jelly, so I decided to buy myself three (apparently) different workout DVDs to tone myself up a bit. So, far, I have only received Wayne's Workout and Rosemary Conley's Ultimate Workout, to which I will draw a few comparisons during this review. ---------- The main menu of the DVD gives the following options... Play All: Fairly self explanatory, though you may prefer not to use this option after the first run as the introduction is a little drawn out. Workouts: Take your pick from Warm Up, Isolation of the Body, The Plié, Boogie, Tums, Bums, Legs, Arms, Backs, Dance Routine. Starting from one will continue to play the rest after it, and not return you to the menu. Interview with Wayne: I have not yet viewed this to comment. ---------- I'm a complete novice to this workout video lark, so had no idea what to expect when I rushed in from work to meet Wayne. He gave me a nice little warm up, including a small routine to finish (Boogie) which I found quite enjoyable. We then went on to work individual areas. Wayne reminded me on occasion if I wasn't comfortable with the excercise not to strain myself. The idea in this workout is you can do any sections you like as and when, according to what you want to tone. Choosing 'Workouts' from the main menu will allow you do so, as well as missing out the introduction piece. Each body part gets two or ... 02/09/2005

The Goth Ebay This site has been running since 1998. I used to use it a bit but haven't been there for a long time - I thought I'd go back and see what it's up to these days and rewrite the rather poor review I first put up here! Still popular and slightly improved, it's actually not much like eBay apart from being an auction site, but has a lot going for it. Mostly the fact it is free to use - free to register, free to sell. The only charge is 5 cents if you want to become authenticated (explained later) which is recommended, but since current stats state that there are 34647 accounts, 5526 of which are authenticated it doesn't appear too many take notice of that. Registration is one simple form (name, user name, address, email, optional phone - must either select a US state OR enter a county/state for other counties), with instant access as an unauthenticated user. An email comes straight out to you with a password which you can change to suit you. Once registered, there is the option to become authenticated. This is an effort to deter dishonest people but let's be honest, 5 cents isn't going to stop the determined fraudster. This can be paid via PayPal - or alternatively you can fill in and send a form to the owner. The main advantage of this I can see is that some sellers will ban unauthenticated users from bidding on their items. Categories are fairly broad: »Adult »Auction Lots »Books »Clothing & Accessories »Computers & Electronics »Cosmetics & Personal ... 01/09/2005

TV Heaven...... TV Heaven is a UK based message board based, funnily enough, around TV talk. There are general chat sections and a games room, along with separate TV sections for Soaps and Serials, Drama, All Other TV and Entertainment and Spoilers. Now, many of us who like our soaps like to know what's going to happen in advance. TV Heaven updates every weekend with the spoilers as far ahead as they are available, usually a couple of weeks or so and covers: * EastEnders * Emmerdale * Coronation Street * The Bill * Holby and Casualty You must be a registered member in order to read spoilers. Membership doesn't cost anything and is a standard message board type sign up, over in a couple of minutes. The Games Room is quite entertaining, mostly made up of word games though the amount that are active at a time are few, though regularly visited. This board isn't the busiest (have you ever tried to keep up with Digital Spy??) but it's used every day and usually makes a daily visit worthwhile. There's a decent core of members (membership currently stands at 861) who post regularly and keep the conversations going as well as keeping up to date on the latest TV news. One of the best things about TV Heaven is the lack of txt-speaking jabbering teens. Conversation remains in plain English at all times and a sensible conversation can be had by all. Appearance wise, the board is a SOOP Portal. If your'e not familiar with these....appearance wise, the board is like many ...

Everything that starts with M ... 01/09/2005

Member Names

Everything that starts with M ... Time for my first rant on here, so I hope I've put it in a suitable place! Can anybody tell me why it is impossible to change a username on Ciao? I asked to do it a couple of years back and couldn't then - I thought by now that might just have moved on with the times, but apparently it's still impossible "due to technical restrictions". Even a manual change by some nice person who has access to the database should be possible if you ask nicely enough, surely? How come so many other sites can do it and Ciao can't? I understand the reasoning of things like getting a member reputation under a name and so on, but I WANT to change mine and I've not got much of a reputation to worry about. The name's made up of my initials from when I was married. We've been split up now for two years and I don't want it. I know I've not had a lot of activity in my account really, but I don't want to open another one and lose what I have now that I'm interested in using it again. Oh well, maybe one day it'll be possible. (Please?)

Bisto Parsley Sauce mix 28/08/2005

Ahh...Bisto Parsley Sauce

Bisto Parsley Sauce mix I've only just come across this even though I find it has been around for a while. I love parsley sauce and was a little dubious of how good it would it would be in granule form from a tub, but I was pleasantly surprised once I'd sussed it out. The recommended mixes are, for me, a bit too runny so I tend to add an extra spoon or three of granules, depending on how much I'm making. Sometimes it still needs a quick blast in the microwave after mixing to thicken it that little bit more. But this is my personal preference for a thick sauce, particularly when I want to dip my chhips in it! Bisto suggest 4 heaped desert spoons of granules with 250ml of fluid serves 4-6. I guess that depends on how you like it....I'll use 200ml with 4 or 5 spoons for myself, depending on how indulgent I am feeling. There are two options - mix the granules with either boiling water or milk. With water, as I first tried it thinking that's easiest, it did taste slightly bland. Made with milk, however, it tasted much creamier and I do much prefer it made this way. The actual parsley flavour could be a little bit stronger, but you can add a little chopped fresh parsley to it - it's still far easier and quicker than making the whole sauce from scratch. I've used it to pour over fish and chips, chicken and various snacks, all to good effect (yes, I will eat it with everything). It also works very nicely sprinkled over baked dishes to add a bit of a crispy top, or as a sauce within a dish ...

Mozilla Firefox 28/08/2005

Firefox: tabbed browsing and extensions

Mozilla Firefox I've been using Mozilla Firefox for a long time now, and am very fond of it. I started with it whilst using a Mac while IE was still a version or two behind the Windows version and have never looked back. Of course, I like the added security/auto pop up blocking/select a download location and all those things that are often bandied around as the selling points. But my particular favourite is tabbed browsing. If you've never heard of this, it means you don't need to have a selection of different windows open if you're a multi-page surfer. They're all in the same window and easily accessible from a tab strip along the top of the window. Nice and neat. And using my scroll wheel button to click a link opens it in a new tab which is very quick and convenient. There's a built in toolbar search - a little box on the right which doesn't take up an extra row of space as those pesky IE download toolbar searches do. It has a drop down menu to select a search engine, eBay, Amazon or Dictionary, and is customisable to add other searches if you wish. Firefox is an open source project - people who know how can get the programme code, modify it, discuss it and so develop the software far quicker than 'standard issue' software. As a result, the programme is regularly updated. They have a website full of news and help, along with an online community forum for any questions you might have, either from a new user on general use or for development discussion. However, this can ...

Torso (DVD) 28/08/2005

Was Evelyn Dick a coldhearted killer?

Torso (DVD) Will it spoil it too much if I try and answer that question? If you are not familiar with the case, then I think so! 'Torso' is based on the true story of Evelyn Dick who was tried for the murder of her husband, John in 1940s Canada. Kathleen Robertson (I Am Sam, Scary Movie 2) is superb as Evelyn, perfect for that '40s look and she is a natural in the role. The film starts with a Dick Tracey-esque detective movie feel when we see two young boys find the torso of a man in the woods. His wife is questioned. We find they were only married a short time and she has had many affairs with wealthy businessmen. All the evidence points to Evelyn as an evil killer and she is convicted of murder. She hires a lawyer who managed to get her an aqcuittal but further investigation means she is tried and convicted for the murder of her baby son. After she was released from prison, Evelyn disappeared and noone was ever convicted of the murder of John Dick. Full of twists and turns and continuing revelations about Evelyn's life and family, you start to see a different side to the story and really wonder whether it was the way it seemed. I was rather worried at the end about whether Evelyn's daughter, Heather, would live a happy life with her grandparents and what Evelyn thought as she saw her mother take her away. This is a visually excellent film supported by good music, well written and played by a great cast, including Callum Keith Rennie (Memento, Blade: Trinity, ...

Motorola V980 28/08/2005

Motorola V980

Motorola V980 I had this phone for about 3 months. I chose it because I wanted a 3G phone and it was free on a new contract. I wasn't expecting too much from it but was pleasantly surprised. I've since swapped it for a Nokia 7610 when I found I never used 3G and I wanted something sexier and am still in two minds as to whether I should have! The V980 is a very simple to use phone, the keypad is nice - very smooth and with good sized, well spaced buttons. Size wise, it's not too bad for a 3G phone, but a little bulky compared to other flip phones. And of course, there is that large aerial. I bought a button aerial to replace it but the signal quality was reduced enormously and so had to put the other one back on. Saying that, I'm not one who carries the phone in a pocket on my person, I have a pocket in my bag to keep a phone in, so it wasn't really that big a deal for me. I also didn't have too much of a problem with battery life as some people seem to, but I'm not that heavy a user. I would have it on all day to text, play MP3s and maybe play the odd game and talk for a couple of hours in the evening and then either charge it overnight or for an hour before going out in the morning. An important criteria when I bought this phone was it was an MP3 player. It has fairly decent sound for playback as a personal player with the supplied headphones and is nice and loud. The only issue was directly putting MP3 files on from the PC, sometimes they refused to play. I had to resort ...

Nokia 7610 28/08/2005

In two minds...but I think I like it

Nokia 7610 There are a fair few reviews on this phone already, and I daresay you've already an idea about the specs if you're reading this, so I won't go into detail on those but talk about what I like and dislike about the Nokia 7610. What I like.... It's pretty. Very pretty. In white it's quite girly and in black it's quite masculine. I have the white one and I love the styling. It's just different enough to be quirky while still being like a phone (I had the 7600 previously, which I loved for a while but soon tired of). I'm also lucky enough to have quite small fingers and don't suffer as some people seem to with the small and close buttons. The 1MP camera does a fine job, it's easy to connect to the PC (the Nokia PC suite supplied on the CD in the box goes out of date so quickly, but it's easy to find the latest version at and grab the pictures which I've on the whole been very pleased with the quality of. The video recording is not bad either. I've not used it much and for nothing special, but for fooling around it's good fun! I have 128MB memory card - again, easy to move things such as MP3s on and off the PC to fill up the card. However, what use they are will be discussed in what I don't like about the phone. I use the supplied USB datacable to connect since I lost my Bluetooth dongle, but the speed of transfer is fast enough and the cable does hold firmly, unlike the 7600 which kept disconnecting quite frequently. It's also easy to switch between ...

Avast!4 30/11/2004

Avast! 4 Home - highly recommended

Avast!4 I've been using Avast for a good few months now on WinXP Home (through SP1 and 2) and have never yet had a problem - either with the software or from the effects of being infected with anything nasty. I use the Home edition of Avast - provided free of charge, though you do need to request a serial key which lasts for 14 months. This is then renewable at no charge. There is also a charged for, pro version for commercial users. Avast is very simple to download and to run. Once installed you can pretty much leave it to it's own devices and forget about it until it shouts you - you have the option of always updating your virus definitions automatically, or to choose manually. As a matter of ease, I always update automatically. Each time I connect to the internet the little Avast ball in the System Tray whirls around as it checks against the central database for updates. If it has any, a box pops up and it downloads quickly and quietly in the background until it tells you it has finished - usually only a matter of seconds. These updates occur regularly, sometimes daily, so you can be sure of being kept right up to date. It will also update in the same manner if the application itself has a new version available, which saves you needing to check then go and find it. Within the application, you have a number of customisable options relating to mail, messenger services, P2P... You may leave the settings as it finds them or customise each one. For example, you can choose ...

Nokia 7600 30/11/2004

Nokia 7600...still worth it's novelty factor.

Nokia 7600 There are a few reviews on this phone already, so I won't go into massive detail on what every litte function does. Suffice to say, it has a pretty standard Nokia operating system, which shouldn't be too difficult to work out, along with your everday personalisations such as use what you like for the wallpaper or what colour scheme to use for the menus. Of course, it does the now standard text and picture messaging - as well as video or voice MMS, concatenated (extra long) text messaging, email and WAP. The keypad, as most people say, takes a little getting used to and is quite fine with the keys set directly next to each other so chunky fingered people may have a little trouble with it. I have small hands and find one handed use can be very awkward, trying to reach over to the keys on the 'opposite' side. The two buttons either side of the navigation pad are your menu selection buttons when browsing the phone. From the main screen the left one is the Gallery - your selection of pictures, music and so on, while the right is programmable as a list of shortcuts or any one you choose. The screensaver is not customisable - after a set period of time, the (65k) colour screen changes to a simple grey screen showing the time, which moves up and down the screen every now and then. You can also see from here at a glance whether the keypad is locked or whether you have any messages waiting. With the backlight off too, this can be very dark and I often have to hit a key to get ...

Virgin Mobile Pay As You Go 29/11/2004

Not a Virgin virgin

Virgin Mobile Pay As You Go I went back to Virgin after a spell with the other provider beginning with 'V'. The only reason I left in the first place (around about a year ago) was that Virgin didn't do picture messaging and I wanted a nice new phone to play pictures with my mates. However, this has now changed, Virgin have caught up and picture messaging is available at a very competitive price to other PAYT tariffs. Tariff is one of the most important things you look for in a new phone - Virgin have one set rate for all and no contracts, you can either pay as you go or pay monthly (subject to the usual checks) without line rental and just pay for what you use . The tariff, very reasonable against other PAYTs I think, is currently... - Calls to landlines/other Virgin mobiles: 15p first 5 mins every day, 5p thereafter. - Calls to other mobiles: 35p per minute. - Text to other Virgin: 3p - Text to other network: 10p - MMS/Pic messaging: 30p - Voicemail: Free - WAP (GPRS): 0.5p per Kb - 789 (Customer Services): 10p to talk to someone, free for recorded info or top ups - See the website for things like International rates! *EDIT: Added 29/11/04* You are now able to buy Bundles. Basically, that's a package of cheaper minutes, texts or pictures or a combination of the above, depending on which option you choose, for between £7.50 and £24.00 per month. Once it is set up, it will recur every month unless you specify otherwise (you can easily change which one you have if you wish) and, unused ...

Florence (Italy) 13/08/2002

Firenze - A Beautiful City

Florence (Italy) I love Florence. I was there for a week with my husband and we absolutely fell in love with it. We have also been to Rome, Verona and Venice, but by far preferred Florence. It is a small place - easily walkable from one side to the other, but there is plenty to see and do. Perhaps the experienced Italian visitor would not be so keen to say so, but I would recommend it as a place to start your visits to Italy. The people of Florence are extremely kind and friendly, if a little pushy when they want to sell you a leather belt! They will insist on speaking English, even when you speak in Italian to them! The food is outstanding wherever you go - and very cheap to us British! I especially liked the steaks available in this region. Very tender and beautiful rarer than I would normally take them. Of course, there is also the pizza - nothing beats a real Italian pizza. So, what to do. Climb the steps of Brunelleschi's Dome for a fantastic view both indoors and out. This dome tops the cathedral which dominates the city and contains some great mural painting. Outside of here is the huge belltower, another view of the same if you climb it. Visit the Uffizi to see some more fantastic works of art, or L'Accademia for Michaelangelo's David - which is worth the trip even though there is not much else there. There are also 2 copies of David around the city, the on on the hill being a great place to view over Florence. We stayed in a beautiful hotel just on the river, il ...

IQ Builders Spring & Sort Crazy Bug 12/08/2002

He's a Crazy bug

IQ Builders Spring & Sort Crazy Bug I bought this toy for my 8 month old daughter, even though the packaging said for 12 months+, and it was an immediate success. However, the IQ Builders website says it suits kids 6-36 months. The 'Spring & Sort Crazy Bug' is a delightful turtle shaped creature, made from sturdy purple plastic with a wobbly yellow head. He has wheels which are offset so he wobbles as he is pulled along and the beads in a bubble on his back roll around. He has various features, ranging from texture to speech and music to flashy lights. There are two modes to the Bugs sounds - speech or music, selected by a switch on his bottom. Around the Bug's body are 6 brightly coloured shapes attached to coils. These shapes slot into corresponding holes on the body, rewarded with a tune or by speaking the shape name and colour. Also on the back of the Bug are 4 buttons, each with a picture of another bug - a caterpillar, ladybird, dragonfly and bee. Pressing these in speech mode announces the name of the bug and makes a noise. These are quite comical, for example the ladybird sounds like a sweeping brush! Pressing them in music mode plays a tune, but repeated pressing will make the animal sound. The Bug's head, with the speaker for all the noises in his mouth, plays a tune when it is wiggled. His chunky antennae are bobbly textured and provide a good handle we found! Under his chin is a string to pull him along - however this can be coiled away into a small, secure compartment - i.e you ...
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