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since 05/03/2005


Hewlett-Packard HP Photosmart 364 Ink Cartridges 03/08/2010


Hewlett-Packard HP Photosmart 364 Ink Cartridges If there’s one thing that bugs me about ink cartridges it’s that when one of the colours runs out you have to replace the whole cartridge. No matter if you still have plenty of red and blue ink, if you’ve been printing plenty of yellow rich pictures then there is no way around it, and you have to waste the lot. This is a pricey and wasteful approach to printer cartridge management, especially in this day of recycling and frugal awareness where we are all trying to make the pennies stretch just that little bit further. Thankfully HP 364 ink cartridges offer a solution to this, thanks to the clever idea of having different cartridges for each colour – that way when you use all of the blue ink before the red or yellow you simple replace it individually, eliminating ink waste at a stroke. I cannot believe I have only just started using a printer and cartridges like this, and dread to think how much perfectly good ink I have had to dispose of while using the old style cartridges. Installing the Cartridges Usually I only have to think about changing ink cartridges and I end up covered in the stuff. It’s not that I’m particularly clumsy, and I know my way around printers and computing hardware, I just for some reason get it on my fingers, hand and face no matter how careful I am. Thankfully this hard to clean up messiness seems to be in the past now, thanks to some simple click and press installation. For my HP Photosmart printer there are five cartridges to install – the ...

Tesco Magnetic Exercise Bike with Handpulse 19/04/2010


Tesco Magnetic Exercise Bike with Handpulse It happens to the best of us; as old age tightens its grip it becomes ever more difficult for me to hang on to my slim, muscled and tidy physique. In years gone by I was happy to get out and exercise at every opportunity, nowadays the thought of a nice sit down with a cup of tea or an early night is far more appealing. Don’t get me wrong, I still exercise, but when winter comes around the thought of getting caked in mud or knocked into a ditch by an unobservant lorry driver while cycling has very limited appeal. I also find exercise to be a very solitary, boring pursuit; and while listening to your iPod while on a brisk walk alleviates the tedium, it is asking for trouble while on a bike. Joining a gym is an option, but a job with constantly changing hours and an inherent laziness means I’d likely find any excuse to avoid going. Besides, I’ve read somewhere that sixty percent of gym members give up before the six month mark, not good odds and certainly not odds I was willing to risk, especially given the high costs involved. Only one possible answer to this seemingly eternal problem then, purchase an exercise bike and enjoy the health benefits of a good pedal session in the comfort and warmth of my own home, heck I can even do it while watching a film should the need arise! A quick web browse threw up all manner of options, but I didn’t want to pay close to £200 for a well known all singing all dancing model, so the £69 I decided on spending on the Tesco version represented ...

Thorntons Classic Collection 09/04/2010


Thorntons Classic Collection It’s become something of a tradition hereabouts that towards the end of March my Mum goes into her yearly rant about the cost verses quantity of chocolate in Easter eggs as well as the amount of packaging. Strangely, she always seems more than happy when I buy her an egg; it just seems that when it comes to spending her money she refuses to be sucked into the Easterly marketing madness spewed forth by Cadbury, Mars et al. This belligerent anti Easter egg stance is not without its benefits though, as her loving children invariably receive chocolate of far superior quality and quantity to that which an egg can deliver. This year each of us was lucky enough to receive a box of Thornton’s Classic Collection chocolates to savour, and devour; a hefty 621g of individual chocolates of the dark, milk and white variety with a plethora of fillings, stuffing’s and sprinklings all finished to a high standard. You can keep your eggs when chocolate is this good, and boy did the fifty chocolates in the box look good. The Milk Chocolates Roughly half of the fourteen types of chocolate are of the milk variety, which suits me as this is my favourite. First up we have the Country Caramel – a chewy little morsel which is best left to warm and melt in the mouth a little to preserve your teeth and let things soften - once warm the caramel is sweet and smooth and compliments the chocolate perfectly. The Chocolate Truffle is extremely rich but delicious as the soft, fluffy texture of the ...

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (Xbox 360) 18/08/2009


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (Xbox 360) Thank the lord for video games; only in a virtual world can this thirty something with limited sporting skills pit his wits against the great and the good in various sports. In football games I can cross like Beckham and score like Rooney; in racing games I can go head to head with the likes of Button or Hamilton; and in golfing terms I can swing like a demon as I try to outplay Tiger Woods. For someone who thoroughly agrees with the Mark Twain quote declaring golf to be “a good walk spoilt”, Tiger Woods PGA tour 10 for the Xbox 360 is as close to playing the actual game I wish to get. Swapping a five iron or putter for a joypad means I can indulge my fantasies of being a top class sportsman, without being laughed off the course after one errant shot too many slices the ball every which way but towards the hole. So, how does playing golf on a console work then? Actually it works surprisingly well. You use the left hand stick on the joypad to swing your club and assorted buttons to aim, choose clubs and generally prepare your shot. There is a great deal of science and planning behind the button use, so those wanting to grab a joypad and hit hard will inevitably come up short. Finesse is very much the name of the game as you have to draw the left stick back and then push forward fast without deviating from a straight action, any wobble or slew will be magnified tenfold on screen and send your ball into the sand, bush or any other lateral hazard. Hang on, there’s a new ...

Samsung SGH-F480 18/08/2009


Samsung SGH-D600 18/08/2009


Hozelock 2000 18/08/2009


Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) 18/08/2009


Toshiba 17WL 46 18/08/2009


Nokia 7600 18/08/2009


Nokia 7600 There are currently an estimated fifty million mobile phones in use in the UK (source, and with the recent sales of new handsets levelling out the phone manufacturers are looking at multi function mobiles designed to tempt us to trade in our older models and thus give them more money. While ten years ago a mobile phone made phone calls and little else these days the handset has to be all singing, all dancing with hot and cold running gizmos to make us realise that our lives will not be complete until we have one. Unfortunately I am a marketing mans dream when it comes to gadgets and mobile phones, if they tell me I need a certain new function on my phone I make pretty sure I have it quick! I also have a low boredom threshold with mobile phones with the result that the average life span of a mobile phone in my hands is around six months. So it was that I found myself on ebay a few weekends ago looking for a state of the art mobile phone at a price not likely to panic the bank manager, I had done a little research on the internet and narrowed down my choice to two models - the Samsung D500 and the Nokia 7600. I had a checklist of the features I required; Bluetooth, camera, "real" ringtones and a good sized crisp display essential in making my mobile experience the best possible, so after a lot of comparison work the unique and novel "teardrop" shape of the Nokia 7600 won out. An unlocked model was essential so that I could insert my 0² Sim card and not have to ...

Orchard Toys Crazy Chefs 24/07/2009


Colchester Zoo, United Kingdom 20/07/2009


Dentyl pH Mouthwash 14/07/2009


Dentyl pH Mouthwash It’s been said I am something of an advertisers dream, there only has to be a new item for consumption with a slight gimmick attached or some originality about it and that product will inevitably end up in my shopping trolley. Imagine my joy then, when I noticed Dentyl PH Mouthwash on special offer on a recent trip to ASDA. Here was a product that used a subtle blend of witchcraft and wizardry to deliver a bottle of mouthwash, somehow divided into two separate coloured potions, one floating atop the other! As someone who has worked in bars in the past, and tried to mix many a cocktail, I can tell you that this mesmerizing layering of liquids is a skill second only to teleportation for wow factor. I stealthy deposited a couple of bottles of this intriguing looking concoction into my trolley for closer examination at home. At the time of writing there are five varieties of Dentyl PH mouthwash available, but for some reason most supermarkets and chemists only carry the three most popular which seem to be Icy-fresh mint, Icy-fresh cherry and mouthrinse clove. As someone who thinks cloves should be a flavour present in apple pies and nothing else, and the fact that the cherry varieties vivid pink hue would clash with my bathroom it was the good old mint flavour that I chose as my ally in matters of oral health. It is also worthy of note that the cherry and mint varieties are about a pound dearer than the other two, or at least they were when I purchased them. I’m not sure why ...

Keane - Roy Keane 07/07/2009


Keane - Roy Keane I have to admit that when my beloved Ipswich Town FC appointed Roy Keane as manger a couple of months ago I was a little sceptical. Most of what I knew about Roy came from the press and news coverage, most of it negative, which seemed to follow him around. Determined to give the latest bastion of the Ipswich hot seat a fair crack of the whip I set about finding out a little more about the man behind the hype and headlines. My Brother recommended his autobiography which he’d penned in 2002 with the help of journalist Eamon Dunphy, so I gave it a read. Roy Maurice Keane was born in Cork, Ireland in the summer of 1971, the fourth of five children. He was a mediocre performer at school, preferring to be out kicking a ball around than in a class studying. A smattering of junior Irish clubs came calling, most notably Rockmount. He actually came late into the professional game, having seemingly missed his chance he was noticed by a Nottingham Forrest Scout while playing for Cobh Ramblers in the Irish league. A couple of seasons with Nottingham Forrest ended with them relegated and Roy moving to Manchester United for the then record fee of £3.75 million. Manchester is where Roy made his name as an uncompromising player, giving no quarter and helping the team pick up virtually every trophy available. The drinking culture, prevalent in many teams in the eighties and nineties is also touched upon with honesty, Roy freely admitting that he did more than his share of socialising in his ...

101 Uses for a Lab - Dale C Spartas 13/06/2009


101 Uses for a Lab - Dale C Spartas Being the proud owner of three Black Labradors – quite possibly the most gorgeous examples of the breed around, definitely the most pampered and loved – I get given all manner of Labrador related items for birthdays/Christmas or any other day for that matter. The festive season wouldn’t feel the same without that pair of socks/gloves/bookmark replete with one or more Labradors smiling back. Last Christmas I delved into my stocking and retrieved a compact little tome bearing the legend “101 uses for a Lab” by Dale C. Spartas. Not being sure if this was some sort of complex manual to train and turn my Labrador into a Guide dog, or a sniffer and retriever of illegal drugs, I turned the pages with trepidation. After all, the only uses I ever stipulate on any canine crossing the threshold into my life is that they show the same amount of love and unquestioned loyalty that I lavish upon them. In truth, my Labradors need not have worried. The book is little more than a whimsical look at Labradors in various positions and in various acts caught for posterity in pictorial form. It turns out Mr Spartas is a photographer of some repute - with four previous dog themed publications to his name - and it is his gloriously coloured and detailed pictures that form the mainstay of the book, with just a few descriptive words beneath should each depiction not be clear enough without them. We get treated to over a hundred black, brown and blonde canines of the Labrador persuasion doing what ...
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