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since 24/08/2000

128

Fender Dimension IV Bass Guitar 23/05/2006

Fender Dimension IV Bass - A new Dimension?

Fender Dimension IV Bass Guitar Fender are trying to create a new look and feel for themselves with this Bass. The active electronics and built in EQ are a radical change from older Fender basses. So what do you get for your money. The bass is well built and the action is low and reliable (little or no buzz). The pickups are one precision bass type and one jazz bass type. This results in very little unwanted noise. These can be mixed via a control that allows you to have all one pickup or all of the other or anywhere in between. A nice touch on all of the eq controls and the mix control (they call it a pan control) is that the centre point has a click point so you know exactly where it is. The sound through an amp is awesome and very controlable. You can go from a nice mellow sound right through to a heavy rock sound just by messing with the pan and eq pots. The look of the bass is also impressive (The pictures do not do it justice). The finish is very good (As you can expect from Fender). This is indeed a new look for Fender and I for one really like it. This is a professional instrument and feels like it from the first time you see it. Fender have pulled it off again with a well built, versatile Bass that will be the envy of many others. Just go and try one - you won't regret it

Behringer V-Amp 12/04/2006

V-Amp2 - A rack of amps and effects at a low cost

Behringer V-Amp I am actually reviewing the V-Amp 2 as that is what I have and is the newer version. The vamp is a similar unit to the POD in tat it is an amp modelling unit with multiple effects but costs about half as much. I have tried both and cannot see any real difference in quality. There are a number of Amps accessable and also speaker emulations. Also the usual effects (Echo, Phaser, Compressor etc). You can only use one effect at a time and that is a little limiting however with the amps you get a very good variety. From clean through blues amps to out and out hard rock you can get the sound you want. It is easy to access the presets but you will soon find yourself modifying them and saving your own. This is fairly easy to do but you will need to read the manual (This can be confusing but if you take one thing at a time you will get there). The sound quality is excellent and that is what really matters. Not quite the same as having the amp but a marshall stack costs a hell of a lot more. This unit comes into it's own when you use it for recording. I have used it extensively for this purpose and it is excellent I have not gone into the technical stuff as if you go to the behringer web site you can get all that. IMHO just go ourt and buy one. (The pro version is rack mount but costs a bit more - Worth it to keep the studio clear and tidy)

LIteOn LVD-2010 16/06/2005

Divx wirelessly to your TV...wow!!

LIteOn LVD-2010 I bought my Liteon LVD-2010 for www.blankdiskshop.co.uk for £99 nad it is some box for the money. It came complete with a wireless network adaptor so the idea was to set ip up on my wireless home network to allow me to have divx straight oto my TV. It does a bit more than that but more later. I installled the unit but could not get it to talk to my Wireless router. I e-mailed the people I bought it off and they were very helpful. Basically you are meant to be able to use a web browser to set it up but to do this it says you need a crossover cable and connect it to a rj45 port on your router. This I found worked by using the supplied adaptor for connection to the dvd player. I eventually found I could telnet to the wireless adaptor and that gave more info so I could see that the ip address of the adaptor was wrong for my subnet so changed that and the subnet mask and off it went. All in all not the easiest thing to setup even though I am an IT professional. I then installed the software and it worked and I could connect to my pc from the DVD. However the supplied software to setup your libraries for things to play did not work. I eventually found out that it was a problem with Java. You need version 1.4.2 and I had 1.5.0. I unistalled Jave and re-installed and all works fine now. (Thanks to the people at www.blankdiscshop.co.uk who are very helpful indeed). So at last it all works. You then put you movies etc into the default directories and can access them from ...

Epson Stylus Photo R300 16/06/2005

R300 - best printer I used so far fr the price

Epson Stylus Photo R300 I bought this to replace my ageing old Xerox m750. The criteria was that I wanted a printer that could print photos as well as being a good all round printer. I looked at a few models but this was by far the best looking for the price. The included ability to print CD's was a real selling point for me It prints photos (Including stand alone if needed), Prints as a normal colour inkjet, and also will print directly to printable cdr and dvd's I found a supplier for the ink cartridges (www.blankdiskshop.co.uk) that supplies these at about £10 for a full set with 2 black cartridges (The printer has 6 individual cartridges so finding a cheap supplier of them was essentail). The print quality is absolutly superb. Photo's look like they have been developed at a shop not printed at home. I think you need to use a PC connection to do too much to the photos prior to printing but most people would use this with a PC anyway The lcd screen for stand alone printing of photos allows you to print a set of index photos that then allow you to select the photos you actually want. This is useful but to be honest if you have it attached to a PC it is far easier to print from there. Therefore I would say the R200 probably would be fine if that is all your planning to do. There is also a built in card reader for printing but actually it can be used as you memory card reader for the PC. All in All I would recommend this printer and I have been an IT professional for 20 years ...

Mustek MDC 3000 18/09/2002

Nice camera for the money but eats batteries

Mustek MDC 3000 I have had the Mustek camera now for a few weeks. I picked it up on an auction site for a good deal less than £150. It boasts a 3.1 megapixel resolution and I must say that on the high quality setting it is indeed impressive. It has an LCD screen and a menu system that is fairly easy to use. Built in flash is not that great but OK for most needs. It comes with a 16Mb flash memory card and this stores a lot of pictures on low resolution but not many on high. The cost of additional cards is low now so that is not a great problem. The thing eats batteries so I would suggest you use rechargables. Again this is not a major problem as long as you do that. Connection to the PC is by USB and the software that comes along is Ok but not the greatest. Installation is a breeze though. I have to say that if you are looking for a low cost camera with good resolution and an LCD this is hard if not impossible to better. I have been very pleased with my buy and dispite the battery problem I recommend it to you all.

Creative SB Extigy External Soundcard 28/08/2002

Extigy takes the sound out of the PC

Creative SB Extigy External Soundcard Soundblaster makers Creative have come up with a new concept for this sound card. Instead of having to open up your PC (often invalidating the warranty) you simply plug this card into the USB port and off you go. This is also useful if your PC cannot be expanded any more either because the slots are all full or it has no expansion (Such as a laptop). The unit looks like a small amplifier and has a large number of inputs/outputs including optical so you can attach another device such as a DVD player and use the Extigy to play the sound. It has full 5.1 capability and also an emulation mode for those with fewer speakers. There is also a remote control although it's funtions are limited unless you use the software included in the package to play your MP3's etc. Overall the sound is impressive and has good bass and tonal quality. In games it utilises EAX if available and adds a major sound improvement on my old soundcard. I would recommend this even though the documentation was awful. The install was easy (USB does it for you really), and the fact I can just unplug and re-plug if I get a new PC is well cool. (If you unplug the old soundcard just takes over again) If you want an easy upgrade to your system and listen to music, play DVD's, or play games this is a good alternative at the price. A few problems have been reported on newsgroups so may be worth checking these out first to check you are not effected. Must go, have to enter my soundscape again!!!

Opera 5.0 16/02/2001

Opera comes of age

Opera 5.0 Overview: Opera 5 (I have 5.02) is a browser that also has an optional Java add-in from Sun. The Sun version of Java differs slightly from the Microsoft version so some pages do not display as you might expect. This is a limitation of the browser but is normally not a problem. Items included: The package include e-mail and news support as well as the normal browser window. Installation: The install process is fairly easy and gives you the option of either installing the Java element or not. The setup process was painless and caused no problem on my PC In use: The main advantages of Opera are that is is very small and very quick. Indeed you can get pages much faster than with either Netscape or Internet Explorer. You can also have multiple windows open and easily flick between then. The mail client is easy to use and setup and is again accessable from the main window. I have not used the news client much but it appears to function well and allows for multiple news systems to be accessed. Registration: Opera has two modes of operation. If you use the unregistered version you get adverts appearing in a small window in the browser. Apart from that it appears to fully function. Once you register the adverts go. The cost of registration is 39 USD or 15 USD for an upgrade. Conclusion: This is a useful addition to your browser suite but I think I will keep IE 5 as well for now. The speed is great for general browsing but the Java limitations can be a bit annoying at ...

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien 24/01/2001

Lord of the prequels

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien I read this book first when at school. I had a very "modern" teacher called Robin and he introduced me to the world of Bilbo Baggins and the shire. I am now 40 and this is still sitting on my bookshelf. I went on to read and love greatly Lord of the Rings but this book is needed reading before you attempt that epic journey. The story is classic fantasy material and also covers the fact that a small individual with no natural talent can be important in the scheme of things. Tolkein has a way of bringing both the characters and the environment to life in a way no other writer I know can. The characters are given many different traits and grow during the telling. I would recommend this as a way of getting yound children (not too young though), into the world of the ring. may be that the world tolkein discibes is not that far from the real world today and the battle of good and evil is going on now. lets hope Bilbo is on hand to help us all.

Migraleve Complete Migraine Treatment 24/01/2001

Saved my sanity this one

Migraleve Complete Migraine Treatment Migraines are the most horrid thing I know. I get little warning but blurred vision is my saviour as I know as soon as that starts I have to get some pills down my throat. My first choice is migraleve as it is most effective in keeping the pain at bay. For those of you who are not sure what a migraine is like it is hard to explain. The pain is very intense and you feel sick too. My vision blurs and any light at all is intensly painfull. The digestive system actually stops too so if you don't get the pills down your throat quickly they will do no good as they will just sit in you stomach doing nothing until the migraine is over. Normal headache pills will not touch it so I tried migraleve. It was brilliant. I take them when I first get the signs and they usually clear the problem after about 20 minutes. That may seem a long time but I have had migraines last many hours before so this is pretty good. Also the pills keep off the full effect so it is just a bit of a headache for a while. if you get migraines then give these a try and I hope they are a sgood for you as they have been for me.

insight.com 24/01/2001

I must be lucky

insight.com I seem to have been the lucky one having read the other opinions on this company. My experience was a good one. I was looking for a new HDD to store all those illegal MP3's that Metallica generously donated to Napster (Napster good) and after a lot of searching Insight came up with the best price for a 30 Gb drive. I ordered the drive online and that was a relatively easy process. I then was given a number to track my order. That is something I find very useful at times when things go astray. However in this case I didn't need to use it. I ordered the drive about 12 O'Clock 1 day and it duely arrived 12 O'clock the next. I didn't even take the extra charged next day delivery option. The drive is fitted and working and I will probably use insight again. The site was easy to navigate and the prices very good. Couldn't fault them on this performance but please read (and rate) the other opinions as they show a different side that you may want to consider.

BBC2: League of Gentlemen 10/01/2001

not just for local people

BBC2: League of Gentlemen The league of gentlemen is basically a sketch show with a difference. The programme has running sketches that build characters and story as they go. The show is performed by 3 very good actors. I say actors because thet act the roles and are not just comedians doing their act like so many programmes these days. The show has a very dark side and the humours is sometimes of the shock variety and probably nbot suitable for all. However the talent of the people concerned is undeniable. The best sketches involve the local shop where a deranged couple and their strange son pray on the "no-tails" and try to stop the building of a new road. Also the gay German is brilliantly crafted and we have all met a German like him. But you can not find many bad sketches and it is in my opinion the funniest (and saddest - job seekers beware) thing on television at the moment. I look forward to the next series and play my DVD of the first series a lot. and the christmas special was superb. Just watch it.....

Brian Lara International Cricket (PC) 15/12/2000

A classic game

Brian Lara International Cricket (PC) Brian Lara cricket is quite simply the best cricket simulation available on the PC or any other platform. It has all the ingredients of the game and you can customise the teams to your hearts content. The playing interface is a little tricky but I find the keyboard by far the best tool for this game. You can use a joystick/joypad but the keyboard is easier. Basically you can play tests, one day and limited "Quick" games. I find batting the best part but once you have mastered it you get more into the bowling as well. I try to get 1 player to a new high score each time i play but it can be a tough game. However you have various levels at which to play so you can progress at your own pace. The graphics are not great but they are not too bad and it needs a fairly low spec PC by todays standards. If you love cricket you can't go wrong with this one. ...

Dreamweaver 3.0 Complete package 11/12/2000

Dreamweaver- easy but powerful

Dreamweaver 3.0 Complete package Dreamweaver is the best html/web page editor I have used. It makes creating a page esasy but gives you the ability to create something a bit special. I have built a number of sites with it. Both for myself and also for my work enviroment and it has suited all. The ability to create a site locally and then to publish it to your ftp or dive mapping is a good tool. A number of utils offer this but this is the easiest I have used up to now. You do need some HTML experience to get the best out of the product but that does not mean that it cannot be used by a relative novice. if you need a tool for your own website this is the one. It allows you to learn as you build and the online help/tutorial is excellent. Download the trial now and you will be hooked. However it is very expensive so bear that in mind.

Asda (Shop) 11/12/2000

low end of the market but ok

Asda (Shop) We have a local Asda superstore and it has been open for a couple of years now. We tried it when it first opened and to be honest we were not impressed. However a visit about 6 months ago was a much better experience as the general appearance and quality had been improved. They do tend to aim at low end of the market customers I feel as the products on offer are somewhat limited compared to say Tesco's. However what they do offer is reasonably priced and of a good quality generally. They also have in-store bars for Indian, Chinese, and Pizzas. All of which are ok but to be honest if you are going to spend the ammount needed for a good meal you might as well get your local takeaway to deliver it already cooked. The clothes on offer are very good value but again the range is limited. However for work clothes it was worth a visit. for general weekly shopping this is a good bet but for more specialised cooking you may be better off elsewhere.

mailround.com 08/12/2000

easy money

mailround.com Mailround are one of the many companies around that claim you can make money from just being on the internet. Most of these are telling fibs as they pay very little and you have to wait for ages because of minimum payout amounts before you actually get any money at all. Mailround do there advertising in a different way. They put "stamps" into your e-mail. A stamp is an advert that is added to incoming and outgoing e-mails. You can choose weather an outgoing e-mail has a stamp so that you can send clean e-mails if you want. I have so far earnt £12 in 2 months and you get paid according to how many stamps you send/view and how many you click on. You can also have referrals. A great idea and I think more likely to be successful than the viewbar type schemes. after all what have you got to lose but a small area in your e-mails.
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