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since 11/07/2000


Epson Stylus C82 27/05/2003

Great machine at a good price

Epson Stylus C82 I recently replaced my trusty Epson C60 with a new C82. I had been very pleased with the C60 (see my previous review) but needed a printer with a bit more capacity as a main printer when our business expanded. The only fault I found with the C60 was the noise it made, and because of this I also looked at other brands, particularly HP. However, having priced up similar models, and compared the specs, there didn't seem to be any competition and I ordered the C82. At the time (April 2003), Comet were the cheapest around if you factored in delivery costs and I think it cost me just under £95 in total. It is always well worth shopping around as they can vary considerably in price, with some places charging up to £120. If you're looking for an all round printer, the specification is, I feel, better than anything else you will see at this price. It has.... --------------- --------------- --------------- ----Maximum resolution 5760 x 1440 dpi (The greater the Dots Per Inch (DPI) the more detailed the image.) Pages per minute - mono 22.0 ppm Pages per minute -colour 11.0 ppm USB / Parallel connection Sheet feed capacity 150 sheet Sound level 45 dB Win 98/2000/XP/ME compatible "Micropiezo" print technology Droplet size of ink on paper = 4 picalitre (the smaller the droplets the better the image) --------------- --------------- --------------- ---- I was very pleasantly surprised by the lack of noise this machine produced and the only thing I would ...

Epson Stylus C60 20/02/2002

Nice at the price

Epson Stylus C60 I bought an Epson Stylus C60 printer for work when our beloved HP Deskjet gave up the ghost and had to be replaced then and there. The only place locally we could get a printer at a reasonable price within the hour was Argos, so we were limited by their range. I also only had a budget of £100, which for a business printer at retail prices is tight... The Epson C60 came in at £89 with spare cartridges. This sounds like quite a good deal as, by Argos prices, cartridges are £27.99 (black) and £21.99 (colour) but when you charge the ink for the first time, it uses a lot of the cartridge up so you would feel very hard done by if you'd had to buy the cartridges on top. The basic spec.: Printer resolution 2880 x 720 dpi. Compatible with Windows 98/2000/ME, Mac OS 8.6/9.0/X. USB and parallel interface. Print speed up to 12ppm mono, up to 12ppm colour. The print quality is excellent and the speed is good in comparison with other similar machines. Design-wise, the printer is fairly compact, with a paper out tray that folds in when not in use. The plastic is sturdy, seeming a lot less brittle and flimsy than our old HP Deskjet 850C (in fact, it was a brittle cog that couldn't be relaced that meant we had to buy the Epson in the first place!). Replacing cartridges, clearing paper jams (rare) and general maintenance is very easy. Paper just slots into a gravity fed tray (like a fax feed) at the top. My favourite feature is that when you press the power button ... 15/02/2002

Only if you're housebound... I recently tried Sainsbury's to You, their online shopping facility because we had received some vouchers for free delivery (normally £5). The website is attractive and quick to load, although navigation is a little convoluted. When you register, entering your postcode will tell you whether the service is available in your area and they ask for your reward card no. so that points are credited to your account. If you don't have a reward card, you can also register online. Once registered, it's time to shop. They recommend booking your delivery slot first as this shows up the special offers. There are 2 hours delivery slots 7 days a week between 9am and 9pm, so there's something to suit most people. Although in theory, shopping on the web is quicker, I didn't find it that simple. Whereas in your home supermarket, you know where to find the products you buy regularly, here you have to work out where they are 'shelved' all over again. They have a number of ways of finding products as follows: 1. Shopping List - type in your shopping list, each item separated with a comma and enter - it will bring up search results for each individual item. 2. Search - standard search function, although it doesn't allow for spelling mistakes and is pretty basic (no advanced options). 3. Browse shelves. 4.Bestsellers - each section has a bestsellers list. Once you have placed your first order, the process is slightly easier as you can look at 'Your Usuals' which lists ... 15/02/2002

Great list and still growing UPDATE Pennies from Heaven is a new website listing of Paid to Surf, Paid to Read E-mail, Paid to Shop, Paid Opinions etc. etc. I know there are hundreds of the things, but this is really good because all the programmes listed are available in the UK, and most are international. Rather than just listing everything available, Pennies from Heaven promises to have tried all the programmes mentionned and, where they are a new member, they tell you this. As I write, some sections are still empty, but every time I look (three times in the last three days) there has been something new, so I think this is one to watch. I also e-mailed to suggest a programme which I felt should be added and got a quick reply saying that they were aware of the programme and would be adding it ASAP, but they wanted to make sure that each programme had a proper review before they added it, hence a number of the more well known sites being missing. N.B. Ciao is already here! Each review has a quick description and ratings based on the amount of time needed to take part, the regularity of work, the amount of junk e-mail you get as a result of joining (less stars is better here!) and the amount of money you can earn. I joined a couple of the survey sites and have already been sent my first survey from one. Check back regularly! UPDATE: 15/02/02 Having written this op, it seemed to stop updating for a while... sods law. However, I checked in a couple of times over the last week and there were lots of ...

Rosemary Conley's Low Fat Cookbook - Rosemary Conley 15/02/2002

Luscious low-fat

Rosemary Conley's Low Fat Cookbook - Rosemary Conley My Mum has been following Rosemary Conley's Red Wine Diet for the last year or so. She wanted to lose weight gradually and keep it off, by permanently changing her eating habits. She also hoped to cook lower fat meals for my Dad and help him to lose some weight as they both needed to for health reasons. Having already lost 1 1/2 stone, she now has the confidence to go to a gym. The basic idea of all the Rosemary Conley diet plans is that you choose foods that are low in fat (preferably less than 4%). She adapts this for different lifestyles, suggesting ready meals as well as delicious recipes. I bought the Low Fat Cookbook so we had some new recipes to supplement the original plan. It is full of ideas, not only for whole recipes, but for adapting existing recipes to make them lower in fat. She uses Quark (low fat soft cheese) instead of butter or margarine in cakes and Total 0% Fat Greek yoghurt instead of cream, which gives a lovely, slightly sharp taste - gorgeous in puddings (it can also be sweetened!) She gives recipes for starters, main courses, party foods and puddings, so it is possible to cook the same meal for everybody without them feeling you are giving them 'diet food'. She also makes sure that all her recipes are actually low fat not just lower fat. I have found recipes in other low fat cookbooks where the fat content in one meal is 3/4 of the recommended daily limit! Portions are substantial and there are a good variety of types of cooking (spicy, ... 15/02/2002

I will never go anywhere else... I recently upgraded all our IT at work. Having never had to choose PCs for anyone but myself before, I did my research carefully. I work for a charity and our budget is miniscule but we desperately needed two new computers. I contacted Dell, Dan and Novatech among others with a short spec, asking for their recommendations. Dell never replied - guess they didn't see the point for customer service (see my op on Dell!!), Dan didn't really have the range, and Novatech rang me the next day to discuss my requirements. As Novatech also seemed cheapest on price, I made my decision. I bought one of their standard packages with a 17" Novatech monitor, and a 'Blueprint PC' with a 19" Iiyama monitor as well as an Epson scanner. The Blueprint facility is a dream. You can cost your dream PC and specify everything from the sound card to the monitor, to the case, economising on those things that don't matter to you, and upgrading the optins that do. You also have the option to customise all their standard systems. All this can be done online and saved for a later date. The specs are clear - no hidden extras, and ordering online reduces any delivery charges. They're based in Portsmouth, so if you live close enough, you can also order online and pick up yourself. I really wanted a partitionned hard drive on the main PC (40Gb) so I rang up and asked. It wasn't a usual thing for them to do, but they were perfectly happy to do it as a one-off, and made no charge. The computers ... 15/02/2002

Wonderful until something goes wrong. I bought my laptop (Dell Inspiron 5000e) a year ago. It is a wonderful computer... At the time of purchase, customer service was excellent. I was looking for a laptop to use as my primary machine so wanted a large screen and full sized keys but was happy to accept a slightly heavier model. Dell listened to my requirements and made recommendations based on them. For the first 11 months, I had no problems whatsoever. There was a minor blip when the battery was recalled, but they sent out a replacement first and then, exceeding my expectations, sent a second one when they had receipt of the original. I was impressed. At the end of December, it all went wrong. There was a fault with the screen. The computer was still within the standard one-year collect and repair guarantee period, and I had purchased an upgrade guarantee promising three-year next day onsite service so I wasn't overly concerned. Everything started promisingly. I rang up the helpline, they agreed it was a hardware fault and offered to send an engineer out the next day between 9am and 6pm. From that point on it was a disaster. The engineer never turned up, and it wasn't until I rang at 4pm to find out that I was informed that the engineer couldn't come out because he didn't have a part number or, for that matter, a part. Surely they must have known this in the morning? They had the details of my machine - couldn't they look the part number up? At first I was prepared to believe I had been unlucky but ...

Superdrug Say Good Bye to Hair Removal Creme 24/08/2001

Smooth and Speedy - creams and gels

Superdrug Say Good Bye to Hair Removal Creme As it’s holiday season, I thought it was time to review some ‘seasonal’ products. For the majority of women, hair removal is a major trauma in summer. T’s not that we don’t do it all year round ( and we certainly wouldn’t admit to it), but it’s more important in the summer – people can see! So I, and most of my female friends, end up buying up whole chemists in our search for the perfect hair-free solution. Waxing hurts, and you have to be hairy to start with. You have to shave too often, and you cut yourself. Laser hair removal requires a second mortgage, and only works in patches, and depilatory cream is messy, smells, costs a fortune, and doesn’t always work – WRONG! This depilatory cream isn’t messy, does work, and doesn’t smell as bad as you’d expect. Firstly, the design. The bottle is designed like a Copydex bottle (you remember the old school glue? It had a brush in the lid to stop you getting your school uniform sticky. Think oversized nail polish bottles). You paint on the cream with a brush and wash it off in the shower or with a flannel – so you don’t even have to touch the stuff. After about 10-15 minutes, you remove the cream, and hey presto, smooth legs. Simple as that! Even the difficult to depilate areas like knees were smooth and hair-free – a miracle! This stuff only cost about £3.50 a bottle, which dose 2-3 full applications on legs and beats Immac ... 25/06/2001

We can dream... and every little helps is a UK based internet lotto site. It is very well-established, and is funded through advertising banners, which you click to validate your entry. I started playing Bananalotto when I was at Uni, as internet access was free, and I was desperate for cash! At the beginning, you were given three entries per day, although this has now been reduced to one. I play about 5 times a week, which takes about 2 minutes out of my day. You can either pick your numbers individually each time, take a random pick, or save your own lucky numbers. Pages load quickly, and the advertising isn’t intrusive. You can win prizes for the following: · 3 numbers 50p · 4 numbers £5 · 5 numbers £50 · 6 numbers £100,000 · 7 numbers £1 million My get rich quick plan hasn’t paid off yet, but I’ve won lots of 50p prizes (which are fun, just for the individual 50p cheques you get in the post!) and a few £5 prizes – all in all, probably about £20 in the last 6 months, and more before that. It’s not a lot, but every ittle helps. I no longer play the National Lottery and , as this is free, I reckon I’m saving £2 per week anyway. Over a year, that’s the equivalent of £144 – which is better than a kick in the teeth! All the Ciao members out there know how quickly small amounts add up, and this gives you the chance of winning a £million as well!

Stila Lip Glaze 25/06/2001

Shiny, Happy Lips - Just like an Angel's

Stila Lip Glaze Stila are a fairly expensive but quirky range of cosmetics and have a much younger image than most of the established good quality ranges. Their lip glazes were brought into the spotlight by Cameron Diaz in Charlie’s Angels, when she couldn’t find a lip gloss she liked for her character. Stila designed a range of Seventies-inspired, fruit-flavoured lip glosses specially for Ms. Diaz which are now on sale to ordinary mortals. These are packaged as clear plastic pens for easy, no-mess application and are an ideal size for carrying around in your jeans pocket or handbag. They can taste a little sickly but aren’t as sticky as some lip glosses and are surprisingly long-lasting. Despite their sweetness the flavours grow on you, even if you weren’t originally sold on them, and you may find yourself having to reapply the gloss more often just to service your habit! The glaze come in a choice of 5 colours. These are subtle, just giving a wash of colour, so don’t be alarmed by their brightness in the container. Due to this, people of most skin tones can pick and choose between them. They are the ideal way to glam up a light, summer make-up routine.

Stila Lip Gloss 25/06/2001

Shiny, Sticky Lips

Stila Lip Gloss Stila are a fairly expensive but quirky range of cosmetics and have a much younger image than most of the established good quality ranges. The alternative to the ‘Diazesque’ pen lip gloss (see my op – ‘Shiny, Happy Lips’), is Stila’s lip gloss in a tube. This comes in more traditional Stila packaging – a shiny metal tube with a simple description. Whie, again, this is small enough to be carried in your handbag or jeans pocket, I wouldn’t recommend it. If he tube gets damaged, you’ll end up with a sticky mess all over your jeans. There is a wide range of colours available in these glosses in all conceivable shades of nude, re, brown, pink and purple, so you can really find your own ‘signature colour’. My preference is ‘Blush’, a pinky-red, which makes my lips look just ‘better than natural’. 13/06/2001

UPDATE - JUNE 2001 You don't need referrals Since I wrote this review, alladvantage has stopped paying. I'm very sad about this, as I had earned more from this programme than any other. Despite the problems, as noted in the comment on this opinion, with the viewbar crashing etc., the programme continued to pay well until the end and I recieved a cheque for £25 when the programe stopped paying, without having to hassle the company at all. If it had to come to an end, they did it the right way! --------------- --------------- --------------- --------------- -------------- Alladvantage is a pay as you surf programme which is available to net users world wide. In order to get paid, you need to download a Viewbar which records when you are actively surfing. The Viewbar is fairly unobtrusive and has a very useful search function which you soon get used to. Unlike a lot of the copy cat programmes, it is still worth running the viewbar, even if you don’t intend to refer friends. The pay rates are substantial enough, through high advertising revenue to make it worthwhile. Several countries, including the UK now have localised viewbar options so that all advertising is targeted to users in that country so you don’t end up following completely irrelevant links and wasting your time. BONUS!!! Alladvantage pays you in your own currency so you don’t have to pay bank charges when you cash in their cheques.

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly 07/06/2001

Multi-purpose wonder stuff

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Vaseline is the cheapest, most undervalued cosmetic that I know. Most people have used at one time or another but, once we're past puberty, it is usually relegated to use as a lip balm (unless you're into using it as lubricant... it rots condoms - enough said!). It does, in fact have hundreds of uses, some of which I've listed below: 1. Moisturiser - Best watered down a little if you're in a hurry (preventing the oil slick look), this is one of the best face and body moisturisers there are. It protects the skin and keeps in existing moisture. It's also an excellent hand and foot cream - apply liberally to clean skin, cover with socks or gloves and leave for between 1/2 hr and overnight. Your hands and socks will be 'Fairy-soft'! 2. Make-up remover - Forget all those two-in-one and three-in-one products that you pay a fortune for - this was the original. Put a bit of vaseline on your face and it'll take off evn the most stubborn waterproof mascara without irritating your skin. 3. Lash Conditioner - Apply a small amount to your eyelashes before going to bed. Many models swear by this for thicker, glossier eyelashes. 4. Lip Balm - Always great on raw, chapped lips. Unperfumed and not too greasy. None of the sickly flavours that stop my man snogging me! 5. Anti-blister treatment - Long distance runners often coat their feet with Vaseline before running to protect against blisters. I do it before a session in the gym and it works! 6. Hair Deep Conditioner - This ...

Woolworths (Shop) 07/06/2001

Generally a cut above

Woolworths (Shop) Woolworths is the cheap and cheerful answer for household goods, kids' clothes, music, stationery, confectionery and other bits and bobs. Recently, the stores have diversified, selling a wider range of electrical goods and toys, but I was unprepared for the range of products sold in the new Woolworths 'General Store' on Edgeware Road in London. The layout is well thought out and every aisle has enough space for an adult to pass a double buggy with ease. It not only stocks everything you would normally expect from 'Woollies', but also sells the full range of Superdrug Health and Beauty products (both stores are owned by the Kingfisher Group - hence the link!) and has its own pharmacy with a useful interactive computer system which you can search by ailment for possible treatments. There is a good range of sandwiches at lunchtime and I could happily spend my entire lunch hour browsing the aisles. Prices are always competitive and staff helpful, making this an entirely enjoyable shopping experience.

Boots (Shop) 07/06/2001

Boots - Still one step ahead

Boots (Shop) Boots is a national institution so I'd be surprised if anyone in the UK hadn't heard of it. Just in case, here's a summary: Boots started off as one small chemist's shop in Nottingham. It is now a massive chain of shops and there is one in virtually very high street in Great Britain. Today, it is far more than a chemists. Boots, as well as selling pharmaceutical products and cosmetics, now takes a more 'holistic' view to its product range, selling everything from baby clothes, to elctrical appliances, to kitchen equipment, to music, and is actually more like a department store. They also have a number of in-store opticians who hold a full range of glasses (designer and budget) and contact lenses. Recent developments for the Boots brand have been holiday insurance, men's storesselling men's grooming products in a more male-orientated environment than other health and beauty retailers. There have also been pilot schemes for beauty salons offering treatments, massages and manicures etc, such as the top floor of Boots on High Street Kensington. (I got a free hand massage when it opened and it was absolute bliss - I nearly fell asleep!) You can collect 'Advantage Points' on nearly all Boots products (except pharmacy goods) and they now offer a very competitive credit card which offers double Boots Points on all purchases. These can be spent on products in store, special offers and days out and I've found that they build up quickly. These developments keep Boots ...
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