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since 11/10/2004


Mustek ScanExpress 1200 UB Plus 30/12/2005

Fed up with losing photo's?

Mustek ScanExpress 1200 UB Plus Well here we have it, can't say I was impressed when I first got this scanner! My reason for that is that I didn't actually know what it was or how to work it, having seen one before. It was 2nd May 2000 (back in the days of WIndows 98SE) when I decided to get my first ever internet going PC in my house, with it I got the Mustek 1200 UB Plus scanner. Borrowed the PC repair man from the local IT shop who came round and set it all up for me and showed me how to use it all. (All went well and we married this year, I know it's off topic but sorry). Anyhow, so I have this scanner. Great! Soon I was borrowing photo's from all my family to scan and have copies of them backed up onto floppy disc's. (Sigh... they were the days! Now using CD's and DVD's - great for family get togethers). 5 and a half years later the scanner is still going strong, and producing great quality photo's. I have also used the scanner to photo copy pictures for the boy's to colour ( they would often over the same picture... you know what kid's are like). I now very rarely use it, but is handy to have when needed. (i.e neighbours who don't have one and want their photo's copied). I only ever used the software that came with it for the first few months, as my PC repair man/husband showed me an equally good and easier to use program called IP Photo 4. These days I use Paint Shop Pro for more detailed editing, which is good for hiding small blemishes that are not usually seen on the photo itself. ...

Las Vegas - Series 1 - Complete (DVD) 05/11/2005

Remember... what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

Las Vegas - Series 1 - Complete (DVD) Ahh, Las Vegas, Sin City, where dreams can be made or shattered with the roll of the dice. Las Vegas explores the inside of the Montecito hotel and casino, a huge resort located on the Las Vegas strip. At the heart of the casino is Big Ed Deline (James Caan), the chief of operations, and the man in charge. He's former CIA, and knows a thing or two about keeping things running smoothly, or how to correct them if they go astray. His protege is hunky Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel), a former marine that's a favorite with the ladies on the floor, and in bed. He would have been wise to stay away from Delinda (Molly Sims), but how was he supposed to know she was Ed's daughter? Delinda bores of things easily, so Ed is surprised when she becomes the hostess at the casino's restaurant, and then turns it into one of Vegas' hottest nightclubs. Casino's need whales (big spenders), and there's no one better than Sam Marquez (Vanessa Marcil) to lure them to the Montecito, and take care of their every whim. There's also Mary Connell (Nikki Cox), the special events coordinator; Nessa Holt (Marsha Thomason), the pit boss; and Mike Cannon (James Lesure), an MIT engineering graduate that makes more money as the head valet. Under Ed's watchful eye they tackle cheats, mobsters, lover's spats, and a whole lot more. I have to say that when I first started watching the show when it was aired on Sky One, I didn't think that I could get into it. But now it's a different kettle of fish. I enjoyed ...

The children of today 03/11/2005

Run for your lives!!! It's the kid's!!!

The children of today When I was young (wow seems like such a long time ago), my parent's let me out til 9pm when I was 12yrs old, and this got later the older I grew. Back then there were danger's as there was when all our parent's were our age and now I am older I see myself doing the same as my parent's. Overprotective or just plan simply an old nag. Now I have children of my own. I have taught them to walk, talk, read, to have manners and respect for all living things. Their younger years are over, it's now time for them to take their first steps into what they think is school, for us parent's the beginning of the end for most of us. You had this special child who was (enthasis on "was") perfect in every way. They would never talk back, always say please and thank you... etc etc. School... Learning? Oh yes they learn alright... all the things we have tried to protect them from since the day they were born. Fighting, bullying, inadquacy... then we get to the serious stuff... racism, discrimination... the list goes on. And this is what is achieved in primary school. Now i'm sure i'm not the only parent to experience such goings on, but doesn't it seem that sending your kid's to school to be either subjected to abuse or for them to inflict abuse on another, is basically promoting terrorism in another way. My 12 yr old son thinks I am wrong to send him to bed at 7.30pm with he's 2 brother's who are 11yrs and 8yrs. You may also think I am wrong in doing so, but what can my ...

Daewoo DSC3210E 03/11/2005

The BIG picture!

Daewoo DSC3210E I purchased this TV around 10 months ago from our local Powerhouse outlet for £300, for that price that even threw in a free 5 year extended warranty. The TV itself is pretty good. Picture quailty is crystal clear, but I'm not too sure on the sound quality. I have bare floor in my living room and I have to either turn the TV up to half volume, or to 1/4 and put the spatial sound on. I think I might have to hook my surround speakers up again. It has plenty of input sockets, 2 scarts on the back and the jack plug type on the side of the screen. Key features Width 890mm Teletext Yes TV Size 32" Picture Frequency 50Hz Colour Silver Sound Nicam Stereo Remote Control Yes Weight 56.0kg Tuner Type Analogue Specification Teletext Yes Connectivity 2 Scart sockets Sound Nicam Stereo Visible Screen 30" Width 890mm Sleep Timer Yes Height 572mm Depth 561mm Remote Control Yes Weight 56.0kg Fastext Yes Child Lock Yes Tuner Type Analogue Other Features S-Video socket TV Size 32" Picture Frequency 50Hz Colour Silver Auto Setup Yes The remote is of adequate size, and the buttons aren't too fiddly. You can switch the picture format with the press of the zoom button, which what I have to do as I for some strange reason, it will extend itself to 16:9 when programs are broadcast in widescreen, but if not then you will have to press the zoom button a few times to get to the full screen setting. You get the following screen ... 02/11/2005

Oh my god yes, no more hourly cut offs. Ok, techinally I am writing a review on VoipBuster, but what I actually writing this reveiw on it VoipCheap. The UK alternative. They both use the same network, so you can have one username for voipbuster, and one for voipcheap... but you cannot log into them with one another's usernames and passwords. Shame really, that's the only downside I 'spose. Mainly my reason for this is I don't see why I have to fork out 2 lot's of inital credit of £5. But I can call any UK landline anytime of the day for free! Bonus!! Voipcheap gives free calls to UK, Portugal, Ireland and the Netherlands. Voipbuster gives free calls to Austria, denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the US. So in a nutshell, voipbuster is the way to go. Voipcheap has just added the inbound number to it's service, so I don't think voipbuster will be far behind. According to a friend who has already got he's number it begins 05... I haven't applied for mine, as I use Skype for this feature. (see my other reviews for Skype). I'm not sure what the calling in rates are as yet. But no doubt they will be listed on the site at some point. I have been using voip software for about 1 week, and I can honestly say I have made my money last longer just by using 2 different programs for my telephone service. I use this one for outbound only calls, and so far have not spent a single penny on a outbound call. I don't have to scream at my ... 02/11/2005

A kick in the nuts for BT!!! A friend of mine suggested this voip thingy. I have never heard of it before, so I decided to give it a try only after I got fed up with him keep referring me. (An easier way of shutting him up). Anyhow, I downloaded the software and installed it on my pc and thought this is great, I can now voice chat with my friend's instead of typing the whole time. Like I don't do enough with all the survey's and reviews I write. Was browsing through the site whilst installing and saw that they did a SkypeIn number, bascially this is a telephone number that you can actually receive calls from non PC users. Fantastic! You can choose from a variety of countries of where you have contacts, but being as I was looking for a way out of the BT claws I decided to get a UK number. Decisions, decisions... London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow... all the major cities, but nothing local to me, so I opted for the Birmingham number. This at a cost of approx £27 (34 euros) for the year! WOW... let me think about this for a sec... £27 for a year's worth of line rental... or BT which are charging £10 a month approx... well that won me! And it would win you too. Free voicemail with the number too, also the voice mail can used with your online contacts should they wish to leave you a message without you being available/on another call/ or if your PC is shut down for the night. No more charges to BT for line rental, although the 1571 option is free with BT... caller display isn't unless your ...

Seagate Barracuda ST3400832AS 400 GB 23/09/2005

How long will it take to fill this drive?

Seagate Barracuda ST3400832AS 400 GB WOW WOW WOW I orginally had a 200gb Seagate 7200rpm SATA drive, which was faulty within the warranty time. God bless Seagate tho... this is what they replaced it with, and don't I love them for it!!! This drive is now my back up drive where I can store all the stuff I need. No more CD's and DVD's laying around getting scratched, and no more having to hunt through the one's that aren't. The good thing about SATA is you can use them like normal ATA hard drive's, so each drive can be used stand alone. Striped - which means that you can combine 2 SATA drive's to become one big drive, but data is stored over the 2 in sections. Or mirrored, which means if you have one go down on you, the other can be used as a back up. This is all well and good, if they don't both fail at the same given time. These functions can be changed in the mainboard's bios if you have SATA on board and within the SATA bios menu. This can be access using a hot key... on my GA700N-Pro2 this key is F4. As with all Seagate drive's you get a 5 year warranty which you can RMA directly back to Seagate. Unlike the 13gb Fujitsu ATA drive originally in my PC which I purchased in 2000 and died in 2001... I did purchase a 3 yr extended warranty, but TIME wouldn't honour it unless my whole PC was identical to when I bought it... not likely with the way technology is growing these days. For those who have never had a Fujitsu drive, I would recommend not buying one for this factor alone. Seagate have ...

Ford Mondeo 2.5 23/09/2005

Purrs like a kitten

Ford Mondeo 2.5 Bought one of these used from Ebay... and I never thought that it would of been such a nice car. Picked it up from Bournemouth and bought it back home to Cambridge and my back was still in one peice. Here is just a small run down of what the car has to offer. Full leather interior Electric tilt and slide sunroof Heated and electric seats Air Conditioning Electric windows all round Boot and Petrol cap release buttons Traction Control (switchable) Driver and Passenger airbags ABS Cruise Control Alarm and Immobiliser Heated front and rear screen's Electrically controlled wing mirrors Front and rear fog lights Tow bar Even the internal mirrors have their own little lights Available in a manual transmission aswell as an auto. I am reviewing the (N reg - 1996) Auto version, not sure on the comparison difference. From the auto gear box, you get the standard gear's and you also get that extra bonus of a sport button, when pressed this kicks the gearbox into sporty mode and feels like an aeroplane taking off when you slam your foot to the floor. (I can honestly say that I have never put foot completely to the floor) The power you get is just too scary for words to explain. As i have said, it's a powerful and amazing car. I haven't really like Mondeo's in the past, but this has raised my awareness of just how good a car can be. We purchased a (4 birth -905kg) caravan for the family weekend's away, and you couldn't really tell you were towing ...

Sapphire ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 9800 PRO Graphics card 128 MB DDR SDRAM 22/09/2005

TV, DVD, VCD, CD and File player, and a VGA card?

Sapphire ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON 9800 PRO Graphics card 128 MB DDR SDRAM I recently upgraded to this card from a 256mb 9200, a step down in memory (129mb), but I got fed up with turning my head to watch the tv behind me. Problem solved... TV on the PC! What more could you ask for? With the card you get a couple of games. I got Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider. Now i'm not really a game player, but I do enjoy the odd game of Red Alert now and again. Also included is a remote wonder (these can used without the card), I had one previously and used it for surfing the web without having to use the mouse.. quite handy I thought. Also good for winding up the kid's when they won't get off your PC. You can operate the cursor whilst someone else is using the mouse. Great fun! You also get input leads, allowing you to record from any device you happen to plug into the card. You can record in different qualities, including DVD (Mpeg2) all the way down to VCD quality. I was fed up with missing Big Brother and recorded an hour it took around 5gig of my hard drive. I have a cable modem and split the feed so I could use this with the card, but you can use a normal terrestial aerial if you happy with just the bog standard channels. Using cable, you get all the channel's you subscribe to (I think), seeing that I don't subscribe to the TV service, the only extra channels I receive are Sky One, Challenge, Sky News and another region of ITV. You get a 2 year warranty on Sapphire card's.. which I am glad of as mine had started to overheat. I managed to ...

Lost 22/09/2005

So addicted to Lost!

Lost For all of those who have been watching the series on terrestial TV, boy are you in for the ride of your life! I had missed the very first episode as my hubby had taken control of the TV that night, now he doesn't get a look in. A plane crashes into an remote island... and somehow over 40 people and a dog survive?? Considering the plane snapped in half whilst in the air, well you know what they say.. only on TV! (and in America) :o) Story line is a little slow, but the build up is immense and you descend into turmoil along with all the survivor's. You try to imagine what you would do if you were in their position? The story is based on "Castaway" the movie featuring Tom Hanks. Co-written by JJ Abrams who's previous credits include "Alias", written in just 5 days. The island has a personality of it's own, not just your regular island retreat where all you have to do is relax. These guys are fighting to stay alive from something lurking deeper inland, aswell as battling their own personal demon's. They only had 3 weeks for casting, personally I think they couldn't of got a better bunch of people. Shannon and Boone are brother/sister. Their relationship runs deeper than the outline we see from the first few episodes. Claire, poor lass. Pregnant and alone.. but not for long. Charlie, Claire's shoulder to cry on later in the series. Resident druggie but good natured. Sawyer, this guy needs therapy. Arrogant, abnoxious... you name it, this guy is it. Sayid, is ...

Servis M3309 17/07/2005

Take extended warranty, or it will cost you.

Servis M3309 Had this machine for 3 years, washed several loads a day having a fairly large family. All was going great, even with the odd overload. The machine still did the job. Guaranteed wash would be finished in 2 hours using program number 3 (40 degree wash). Ample time for using the dryer inbetween load's during the winter months when you wouldn't think of hanging your washing out on the washing line. Can't remember what the manual was like, but the programs and temperatures were on the drawer, what more do you need to know. Cleaning the filter was pretty easy too, collects money easy amongst all the other stuff kid's put in their pockets. The only thing you have to watch is the drawer of the washer. It can become clogged with detergent and softner, so this should be washed regular. All was going well, til we just got back off holiday as you do with loads of dirty washing. The last thing you want is for it to break down. This is what happened to me. The brushes had gone on it, meaning the motor wasn't doing the job it should of spinning out the excess. Contacted Servis, after searching endlessly on the net for part companies that supply spares. Couldn't find anyone that did the brushes, not even Servis!!! But... you can of course purchase a new motor from Servis, which came with new brushes. The cost? £175.. yes that's right. Not really worth it I would say. Found a company in Wolverhampton who was kind enough to help me out in every way he could. Quoted £95 for ...

USRobotics Broadband Router USR8000A - router - desktop 17/02/2005

Great for any small network!

USRobotics Broadband Router USR8000A - router - desktop I bought this so no-one had to suffer everytime I rebooted my PC as I was the server for the whole of our house. We had a small network of 6 PC's whilst I have managed to wittle down to just 3 now. Hubby's, Mine and Kid's (they have to share now). I have to say it was my best buy ever. Purchased it from Ebuyer for little under £30, included on the router is a print server, so you don't have to set the printer up on one PC to share with everyone else. It has 4 NIC port's for PC's and also has a WAN port for your modem to plug into, it also cater's for those on dialup.. heaven know's how, as I have never used that function yet. The installation was easy, just plug and play. The setup if your an avid download freak is a little tricky, but can be overcome with ease and patience. You can block certain port's inbound and outbound for individual IP's on your network. Configurable via router IP webpage. The instuction that come with it are very basic, and the USR website gives you enough information about what port's you need for access on specific server's for game play and such. All in all, a must have if you are fed up with downtime whilst your server is being rebooted.

ASRock K7S41 - motherboard - micro ATX - Socket A - SiS741GX 17/02/2005

What was you thinking?

ASRock K7S41 - motherboard - micro ATX - Socket A - SiS741GX Ok, so you want an upgrade but you don't want to shell out loads of money, well as they say you get what you pay for! This motherboard is no exception to the rule!! I have seen these motherboard's get returned too often to give them a good rating. I even trialed one on our test bench, and as I have already stated... it was good for about a month. I personally would wait that little bit longer to get a decent motherboard that is gonna last you a lot longer, unless you actually want more downtime on your PC. The most common fault is no power up, followed by I/O port problem's. Whilst I would like to praise this board, I can't due to the lack of ability in Asrock's product's. I have yet to see a good one. Go for a recommended brand, and not for cheap and cheerful. Asrock are based in Taiwan, and their return's procedure can take upto a month before you get the motherboard returned/replaced. If you can get the shop to replace on the spot, you will do good. My advice is stay away. Good board's consist of the following... Gigabyte QDI Sapphire Intel (yuk not an Intel lover) MSI to name a few, haven't had a problem with an Aopen yet, but i''m sure that won't be long before I come across one. Buy at your own risk.

Corsair Value Select - DDR - 512 MB - SO DIMM 200-pin - 266 MHz 17/02/2005

Should of been named Carlsberg!!!

Corsair Value Select - DDR - 512 MB - SO DIMM 200-pin - 266 MHz Where can you go wrong? You need memory for a PC, so you buy a major brand, or 3rd party and you only get a one year warranty! Well for a few extra pound's you can get a lifetime warranty. That's right lifetime guaranteed. I'm not sure exactly how long a lifetime is, but it sound's good enough to me. I am currently running 2 lot's of this memory, would of had 3 had my motherboard had 3 slots.. shame really. The picture for this memory is wrong, as the product code stated is for the 533mhz stick. (This model is VS512MB400/VS512MB400C3) This one run's at 400mhz and is PC3200, so be sure your motherboard supports. All new motherboard's are DDR only, and as the item describes, it is Value Select (meaning mighty good value). After buying Elixir memory and having it fail on me, I decided Corsair was the way to go. I am currently using a QDI KV7600 motherboard, and AMD XP3000+, whilst my hubby is using the new Gigabyte (GA-7N400 Pro2) motherboard along with AMD 3200+ also with 2 sticks of this memory. Not saying that we are computer fanatic's or anything, but we do pride ourselve's in having the "best kit". Although I spose my QDI is nothing to be shouting about, it's just til I can get the same as he's or better. (Yup, you guessed it... competion time). Anyway, babbled on enough. Great memory at low prices, and exellent warranty. Probably the only thing the American's got right!

Do you believe in life after death? 12/12/2004

Please don't leave!!!

Do you believe in life after death? Not many people speak about the taboo that lies in the qusestion "Is there life after death?" I personally would like to think so. I, like many people lost someone who was very dear to me. In the last 2 years, I have had the not so pleasurable experience of losing not 1... but 6 family members. 2 Aunt's, 3 Grandparent's and a close family friend. I lost my own grandmother 10 yrs ago to the day 16th December. Her husband my grandad died last month and is to be reunited with he's wife on the 15th. Which both sadden's me but also makes me feel glad that they are to be together again, as he longed for her after she passed... even to the day he died. He was a much loved man, and will always be. *Deep breaths... in... and out...* I attending a spiritualist medium last week, and was very shocked and astounded as to what I was told, although none of it will make sense to any of you reading this, but I took my engagement ring off before I left the house, and was told by the medium that I had recently got engaged and to marry within 6 months. She was right, I am getting married in May next year. Was also in contact with both my grandad and my partner's grandad.. but still no sign of my grandmother who I was closer too. But I fought hard to hold back my tears or both sadness and excitemnt of being able to express my love for my grandad again, as I missed the chance to say goodbye and tell him how much I loved him when he died by just 5 mins. I will never forget ...
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