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suddenend

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since 11/09/2004

25

Pioneer DVR 212 17/07/2008

Pioneering price for an antique DVD

Pioneer DVR 212 Make: PIONEER Model: DVR-212D Specification: DVD±RW (±R DL) drive - Internal - Serial ATA - Read speed: 40x (CD) / 16x (DVD)/ 5x (DVD-RAM) - Write speed: 40x (CD) / 18x (DVD±R) / 10x (DVD±R DL) - Rewrite speed: 32x (CD) / 6x (DVD-RW) / 8x (DVD+RW) REVIEW I bought my Pioneer DVR-212D, a few days ago for just £11 inc. VAT, BRAND NEW, from eBuyer.com. I hope you agree that's an incredible price for a S-ATA DVD rewriter. I only really needed the Pioneer drive to aid in testing the functionality of another more current P-ATA DVD-RW drive that was exhibiting some very odd behaviour that I wasn't absolutely certain was the drive's fault, so I wasn't too fussy about it being highly specified. Having said that the pioneer handles all manner of read/write formats with the exception of writing to DVD-RAM and writing Lightscribe data. Obviously HD/BlueRay formats are way out of it's league To say I am pleased with this drive is an understatement, there isn't much I can find fault with. The drive was an OEM purchase, so no box or bits and bobs, but it still came with a proper installation manual, a first in my experience. It's not the quietest unit I have encountered, but it isn't the noisiest either. According to Nero's toolkit the disc recognition and read/write speeds are as quoted and the SATA 1.5 implementation is first class with a marked data transfer rate improvement over the P-ATA drive which is of a similar specification. The drive is nothing to look at, ...

Young's Wine Buddy 5-gallon 7-day Wine Kits 11/03/2008

Hee'sh My Best Buddy He ish! I Love You. Hic!

Young's Wine Buddy 5-gallon 7-day Wine Kits PRODUCT: Young's Wine Buddy 5-Gallon 7-day Wine Kit VARIANT: Merlot (others: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel Blush) DESCRIPTION: 5 Gallon (30 Bottle) Wine Making Kit VENDOR: Wilkinson (most Home Brew suppliers) PRICE: £19.99 + (one off cost of £40 - £65 for equipment) REVIEW Every now and again I love to quaff the odd drop of vino. Unfortunately that old meanie the Chancellor of the Exchequer knows this and is consequently trying to tax me into sobriety. I have often considered making my own wine, no duty to pay and a ready-to-hand supply being the main motivations. I even went to the extent of buying a wine makers book containing many intriguing recipes that suggest a very good time will be had by all when the corks are finally pulled. The problem with this approach is the amount of work involved in making the wine and the time factor. I will be at least another year older before I get to use said corkscrew. I'm not that patient. Of course wine kits have been around for a very long time and many can produce a drinkable wine in about a month or so, but this is still far too long for me. I need something that will be almost as convenient as hitting the local supermarket for my usual Franco/Italian brain scrambler. In January I took a walk into town to do a bit of window shopping. Wandering around the Wilkinson store, which is one of those places that carries all the odd stuff you never get anywhere else, I found a beer and ...

Mitchum Anti-Perspirant Deodorant 05/03/2008

The 'Missing' Smell of Success

Mitchum Anti-Perspirant Deodorant I have always suffered from excessive perspiration and odour, due to an imbalance in my body temperature regulation system and have searched long and hard for an antiperspirant that simultaneously keeps me dry, doesn't smell like a bordello and lasts more than a few hours. Mitchum produce a brilliant unscented version of this product that puts every other antiperspirant in the shade. I get at least 48 hours cover, if I need it, with none of the irritation I get from all those awful scented roll-ons. Admittedly it is a bit pricey, but that's because the ingredients are effective and not just ad man's hype. I would happily recommend this antiperspirant to anyone, as indeed I have, several times, for anyone who wants real dryness and an odour free life. Really great for men who don't want to smell like their wives and girlfriends. My advice is to shop around for the best deal and look out for the BOGOF deals that vendors such as Superdrug often do with this product. The larger pack is the best value and its well worth buying in bulk.

Woolworths Mini Coola 12/09/2007

Keep Your Drinks Coola

Woolworths Mini Coola Product: Mini Coola (Portable Drinks Cooler/Warmer) Supplier: Woolworths List Price: £40 Purchase Price: £20 (in Sale) Like many of you out there I own a cool box. You know, one of those huge plastic, thermally insulated things you use to keep your picnic cold on those occasional hot summer days we get here in the UK. A major drawback to using a cool box is its inability to stay cool for more than a few hours, especially when its loaded with warm bottles of water or cans of pop. I do have some of those liquid freezer packs that you freeze overnight and put in the bottom of the box to keep the temperature low, but they still provide only a small improvement to the amount of time the box stays adequately cold. A few times I have considered buying a portable fridge, but to be honest the prices they sell at have always put me off. The small amount of use it would get hardly justifies the expenditure. Anyway, the other day I was wandering around my local Woolworths. I wasn't really looking for anything specific, but keeping my eye out for an unexpected bargain. Walking along one aisle I spotted a large blue box on the top shelf labelled Mini Coola. It had a picture of what looked like a child size fridge on the side and a sticker indicating it was now half price. I pulled the box off the shelf to take a closer look. The Mini Coola claimed to be a portable refrigerator/warmer capable of holding up to a maximum of nine (9) 330ml drinks cans or anything else that ...

Ridisc R1037 Inkjet Cartridge 04/09/2007

Epson Colour Pinting Without The Cost...

Ridisc R1037 Inkjet Cartridge A few years ago I bought a new USB printer cable from PC World. I didn't have a USB printer at the time, but PC World's deal was 'Buy the cable for £11.99 and get a FREE Epson Stylus C44UX printer to connect to it and a couple of spare cartridges'. I had no idea how much the printer was worth at the time, but I'm sure it was more than £12, besides my old Canon BJ 300 was on its last legs and I was in the market for a replacement. Four years on and I'm still merrily printing away with the Epson, but not so merry about the cost of Epson's replacement cartridges. When the original Epson cartridges ran out on me I naturally felt it would be best to replace them with the manufacturer's own product. This ideal soon evaporated when I discovered that one new ink cartridge would cost more than the printer did in the first place. I didn't expect value for money, but likewise I didn't expect to have my pockets rifled just so I could print a few pretty pictures. Disheartened I started looking around for an alternative. I quickly found that Ebay was packed with sellers of compatible ink and cartridges, mostly from the Far East. I tried one UK seller, who provided me with 6 cartridges for roughly the same price as one of Epson's own. They worked, but the colours weren't quite right and they tended to block fairly easily, requiring the printer to clean the heads more regularly than I would have liked. Eventually they ran out and coincidentally the printer decided it too was done ...

Techwood TWD FV2A 25/07/2007

Free view? well almost....

Techwood TWD FV2A Product: Digital Terrestrial Receiver Manufacturer: Techwood Model: TWD FV2A Supplier: Curry's Price: £19.99 Features: Remote Control, Single SCART connector, TV IN/OUT, Now & Next EPG, 5 Event Timer, Teletext, Favourites List. Dimensions: 231(9.1) x 156(6.1) x 44(1.7) mm(in) - 840(1.9) g(lbs) Review: If like me you have a second TV or a Video/Hard Disk Recorder in the house that doesn't support Freeview, you may be interested in this cheap and cheerful DVBT receiver from Techwood. As befits it's price the Techwood TWD VV2A is not a bells and whistles piece of equipment, rather it is functional to the extreme. Packaged with only a TV aerial lead and a couple of slim instruction manuals, this rather chunky receiver is definitely aimed at the "price is paramount marketplace". Even the box the unit comes in is a really snug fit, thus avoiding the cost of the usual foam packaging that protects most electronic goods from shock damage. The design of the Techwood is a just a functional slab of gunmetal grey plastic with a few air holes in the top and bottom. The are no buttons or switches on the box and there is no display panel on the front, only a dual colour ON/STANDBY LED and a IR sensor for the remote. I would have liked a channel number display, but that's life in the cheap lane for you. Like all current DVBT receivers, the Techwood outputs it's TV signal via a SCART connection. Unfortunately you are not supplied with the necessary cable, so expect to ...

Intel Celeron D 331 / 2.66 GHz processor 24/04/2007

Got no Cache, so cheap you don't need much.

Intel Celeron D 331 / 2.66 GHz processor Reviewing a CPU is always going to be an uphill struggle for anyone outside the technology review business. Essentially the only way to create a meaningful offering is to use bench mark comparison data with a more or less powerful device. This requires the reviewer to have at least two comparable systems to hand before any tests can be carried out. For mere mortals this prerequisite is why you see so few user reviews of CPU products and is also the reason why there is so little data on the long term value of the product. I'm going to have a stab at giving you an impression of my experience of this processor without the benefit of statistics, just my observations while using it. To begin with I would like to explain my reasons for purchasing this particular processor. It all started when my trusty old home network/internet server and backup PC started wheezing badly when I asked it to accept the latest offering from the Ubuntu Linux stable. It wasn't the old Athlon XP 2000 CPU that was complaining, it was quite happy to be beaten over the head with all that new software. I wasn't really short of memory, although the PC only sported 288MB of SD-RAM. I wasn't even bothered that the motherboard was so old it had a beard. No, the real issue was with the hard drives. One of them, a 10GB model, was getting very noisy when it was accessing and the other, a 4.5GB, was still very quiet but was barely capable of holding the new OS. This left me with three choices: 1. Stuff ...

The Portable Door - Tom Holt 19/03/2007

A Door Not To Go Through

The Portable Door - Tom Holt Title: The Portable Door Author: Tom Holt Genre: Comic Fantasy Cover: Hardback Pages: 404 Publisher: Orbit (Time Warner) RRP: £16.99 ISBN: 1-84149-158-6 The Author: (From the cover) Tom Holt was born in London in 1961. At Oxford he studied bar billiards, ancient Greek agriculture and the care and feeding of small, temperamental Japanese motorcycle engines; interests which led him, perhaps inevitably, to qualify as a solicitor and emigrate to Somerset, where he specialised in death and taxes for seven years before going straight in 1995. Now a full time writer, he lives in Chard, Somerset, with his wife, one daughter and the unmistakable scent of blood, wafting in on the breeze from the local meat packing plant. The Novel: Paul Carpenter, a self confessed nobody, attends an interview for a clerks position at the premises of J.W. Wells & Co. Having surveyed his competition he concludes he stands very little chance of getting the job, but sits through the decidedly odd interview anyway. While he's waiting to be interviewed he attempts to strike up a conversation with the skinny, less than attractive, hence least threatening, girl in the room, without much success. She doesn't think she'll get the job either. As it transpires they both get the job, but neither of them actually have a clue what J.W. Wells & Co do and are pretty much disappointed by the largely mundane tasks they are given to do by their employers. Paul however is not ungrateful, he has ...

Philips DVDR3300H 19/05/2006

VHS is finally dead and good riddance...

Philips DVDR3300H SPECIFICATIONS: PRODUCT: Philips DVD-R 3300H/05 TYPE: Digital Video recorder with Hard Disc and DVD-RW TUNER: Terrestrial Analogue PAL/SECAM STORAGE: HDD: 80Gb Maxtor ViewMaster PATA (Upgradeable) DVD: 4x DVD-Rewriter Supports DVD±RW, DVD±R, (S)VCD CD-RW, CD-R (Region 2, ALL only) CONNECTIONS: FRONT: 1 x S-Video, 1 x CBVS, 2 x Audio L+R, 1 x Digital Video REAR: 1 x RF In, 1 x RF Out, 2 x SCART i-link comp, 1 x S-Video, 1 x CVBS, 2 x Audio L+R, 1 x Optical Digital Audio, 1 x Coaxial Digital Audio. RECORDING MODES (HDD/DVD Hrs): HQ (16/1) SP (32/2) SPP (40/2.5) LP (48/3) EP (64/4) SLP (96/6) SEP (130/8) DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 435 x 65 x 340mm Weight: 4 kg PRICE: £230 - £320 available from most high street electrical retailers. REVIEW INTRODUCTION. I have now owned my Philips DVDR3300H Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for six months and I have found it to be an excellent all-round alternative to the more expensive units from Sony, Panasonic etc. Unusually this DVDR3300H was manufactured in Hungary and not the Far East, as is the norm these days for electronics goods. The quality of construction appears to be of a very high standard, with an all-metal casing, proper ventilation and a well-organised interior. The styling of the thing is a little off-the-wall, Philips' designers were obviously having an off day when they put pen to paper and sketched out this model's facia, but this is of little ...

Olympus CAMEDIA C-180 16/04/2006

Small but Perfectly Formed...

Olympus CAMEDIA C-180 *** PLEASE NOTE: This review is a reproduction of my review to be found under the heading 'Olympus Camedia C-180', which is the correct title for this product. If you have read that review you can ignore this one. *** Type: Compact Digital Camera Manufacturer: Olympus Model: Camedia C-180 Resolution: True 5.1 mega pixels Image sizes: Hi 2592 x 1944 2-Modes; Med 1600 x 1200; Low 640 x 480 Memory: 14MB Flash in-built; XD memory card compatible Lens: 6.1mm f2.8 Auto focus Zoom: Variable up to 4 x Digital Only Flash: Fully Automatic; Red Eye Reduction, Exposure Compensation, OFF Viewfinder: 1.5" Colour LCD Connectors: USB 1.1; 3V DC IN Price Range: £ 120 - £170 from reputable sources REVIEW I recently decided I needed a small digital camera for use in my work. I didn't want to pay a lot, so when I saw this little number advertised by one of my suppliers, I made the call and ordered one. The Olympus C-180 is one of a new range of low cost Hi-Res digital cameras now appearing on the market, that are aimed at photographers with a need to take quality pictures without all the complexities of a semi-pro device. The C-180 arrived packaged in a neat blue box that contained the camera, a USB data lead, 2 x Panasonic Alkaline AA batteries, A Quick Guide booklet, two CDs containing the required software and the warranty information. Not a lot there I thought to myself. In truth, the only extra item that Olympus could have included, that would have been useful ...

Judas Unchained - Peter F. Hamilton 02/02/2006

A Novel to Test Your Endurance...

Judas Unchained - Peter F. Hamilton Title: Judas Unchained Author: Peter F. Hamilton Genre: Science Fiction Pages: 949 Format: Hardback Publisher: Macmillan 1st Edition: 2005 Price: £ 18.99 ISBN: 1-4050-0036-8 INTRODUCTION This is the second and concluding novel of the Commonwealth Saga that began with the novel Pandora's Star. If you haven't read Pandora's Star yet, then I would suggest you do not start reading this book. Unlike most multi-book series, the two books of the Commonwealth Saga cannot be read in isolation, Judas Unchained is actually a simple continuation of Pandora's Star. The story so far. In Pandora's Star the Human Race discover wormhole technology and as a result begin to spread out across space, colonising hundreds of planets. Over several hundred years, powerful Dynasties and Grand Families are created by the vast wealth these colonies generate. These planets form themselves into a Commonwealth, headed by the Big15, the home worlds of the Dynasties. On one of the most distant colonies, a planet called Far Away, a crashed alien spacecraft is discovered. As a result a strange cult known as the 'Guardians of Selfhood' emerges claiming the spacecraft's occupant, a malevolent alien referred to as the 'Starflyer', has infiltrated the Commonwealth and is plotting its downfall. After a number of atrocities are attributed to the Guardians they are declared terrorists and become the focus of an intense investigation. Meanwhile an unknown astronomer discovers that a mysterious ...

Bush IDPVR801B 23/11/2005

Get Hard And Don't Tape It Any More..

Bush IDPVR801B DETAILS: Product: Bush iDPVR801B Digital Personal Video Recorder Manufacturer: Bush (Alba) Model: iDPVR801B Type: Hard Disk Recording Device Disk Capacity: 80Gb (approx 55.5 hours recording time) DVD Drive: No Tuner: Single FTA (Free to Air) Digital with loop-through. DVD Functions: None TV Modes: 4:3,16:9 & Letterbox - Auto Switching Teletext: Yes (Digital Interactive) VideoPlus+: No Connectors: 2 SCART (TV Out & Auto switching VHS\DVD In/Out), Stereo Audio In/Out Jacks, SPDIF Digital Audio Jack. Remote Control: Yes (Full Function) Suppliers: Argos, Great Universal Online, Kays Online, B&Q, Dixons etc. Price Range: £90 - £170 (Prices sourced include special offers) REVIEW: In the past couple of years a new breed of device known as the Personal Video Recorder (PVR) has appeared on the home entertainment market. A PVR is designed for use as a replacement for your old VHS video tape recorder and as an alternative to a more expensive Multimedia PC. Unlike DVD recorders PVRs are based around a hard disc storage system. The capacity of even a relatively small hard disc allows for considerably greater volumes of recordings to be made without having to replace the recording media at regular intervals. At the top end of the range PVRs are manufactured with multiple tuners (both analogue and digital), very large hard discs and quite often a DVD recorder unit as well. At the bottom of the range they are little better than a basic DVD recorder. In the mid ...

Npower 11/08/2005

N stands for NO WAY and Power mad is what the are

Npower It's been a while since this mob have had a mention so I thought I would bring you all up to date on their progress or lack of. Many years ago, in another life, I was an nPower customer. I hated every second I had to spend arguing with their self important under-trained accounts staff about messed up and missing bills, overcharging my Direct Debit and never reading my meter. Then I moved to Wales and all my troubles ceased. Unfortunately for me I had to move to North Yorkshire a few years ago, and I became a victim all over again. Now this is not the fault of North Yorkshire or the lovely North Yorkshire people, they are wholly blameless for my suffering. No it is the faceless, egomaniacal, moronic proprietors of what has to be the worst energy supplier in the country, nPower. For the past eighteen months I have been supplied electricity by this company and every three months, when the bill arrives (no way I'm using DD this time), I swear I will switch my supplier to someone else. I have never actually got to the point where this has happened, but that's only because I keep forgetting to do it. My first complaint may be petty, but I feel it shows just how unfocused they are on their customers. When I moved into my current home I contacted nPower to switch the billing over to my name. They happily claimed it would be done immediately. I have recently received my latest bill and, as with every previous one, my name is apparently 'The Occupier'. I am not The ...

Akura ADV147 10/08/2005

DVD On A Budget...

Akura ADV147 SPECIFICATION Manufacturer: Akura Model: ADV147AS Type: DVD Player Standards: DVD, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, CD, CD-R, CD-RW,CD-Video, MP3, Kodak Picture CD. Region: 2 Decoder: MPEG-II - Progressive Scan TV Standard: PAL/NTSC Audio: DTS Digital, Linear PCM, Coaxial output Audio DAC: 18bit/48KHz Video DAC: 10bit/27MHz, 500 Lines Horizontal, 720 x 576 HD output Remote Control: Included. PRICE: £29.98 SUPPLIER: Somerfield REVIEW I have a TV with a built-in DVD player that frankly is pants. It has an annoying tendency to forget that humans like to hear their movies as well as look at them. Some months ago, after a particularly irritating night getting the TV/DVD to play a movie I particularly wanted to watch, (having just rented it at great expense from blockbusters), I made the decision to go out the following day and find a replacement DVD player. Having spent a considerable sum on the TV/DVD combo and knowing that shortly the next generation of DVD (or whatever it will be called) is just around the corner, I wasn't in my customary mood to buy the latest whiz-bang gadget on the shelf of my local hi-fi shop. Wandering around shops in winter invariably makes me hungry and finding sustenance always takes precedence over gadget hunting, so I headed for the nearest store for a snack. The nearest cathedral of nourishment was Somerfield, not my favourite supermarket but okay for snack hunting. Having found a huge Ginsters Cornish Pasty I headed for the ...

Olympus CAMEDIA C-180 08/08/2005

Small but Perfectly Formed...

Olympus CAMEDIA C-180 Type: Compact Digital Camera Manufacturer: Olympus Model: Camedia C-180 Resolution: True 5.1 mega pixels Image sizes: Hi 2592 x 1944 2-Modes; Med 1600 x 1200; Low 640 x 480 Memory: 14MB Flash in-built; XD memory card compatible Lens: 6.1mm f2.8 Auto focus Zoom: Variable up to 4 x Digital Only Flash: Fully Automatic; Red Eye Reduction, Exposure Compensation, OFF Viewfinder: 1.5" Colour LCD Connectors: USB 1.1; 3V DC IN Price Range: £ 120 - £170 from reputable sources REVIEW I recently decided I needed a small digital camera for use in my work. I didn't want to pay a lot, so when I saw this little number advertised by one of my suppliers, I made the call and ordered one. The Olympus C-180 is one of a new range of low cost Hi-Res digital cameras now appearing on the market, that are aimed at photographers with a need to take quality pictures without all the complexities of a semi-pro device. The C-180 arrived packaged in a neat blue box that contained the camera, a USB data lead, 2 x Panasonic Alkaline AA batteries, A Quick Guide booklet, two CDs containing the required software and the warranty information. Not a lot there I thought to myself. In truth, the only extra item that Olympus could have included that would have been useful to me would have been a mini tripod for taking Macro shots. More of that later. I'm a bloke, so the first thing I did was throw the instruction manual in a corner. I like to find out for myself how my toys work. I ...
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