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since 27/03/2001


Lake Garda (Italy) 17/04/2014

Interesting lake, fit for all ages at different parts

Lake Garda (Italy) Introduction: Back in early 2013, I was planning my summer holiday. My family was very keen for a lake and mountain holiday. So we chose Lake Garda. To spare the hassle of arranging our own transport and hotel and the transport between the airport and the hotel + better holiday protection etc, we booked a package holiday with Crystal Holidays. We settled for a week at Sirmione, a peninsula at the South of the lake. For the choice of hotels, we opted for Hotel Du Parc because of its facilities and also free shuttle bus to and from Sirmione town centre. The free shuttle bus has been proven to be a life saver later. Package deal It includes flight, hotel + transport from/to airport to/from hotel + a choice of excursions tours (at extra costs) such as Florence City Tour, Grand Dolomites Tour, Lake Garda Tour, Venice City Tour, Verona City Tour and Wine tour. The Lake in general Huge! 11 miles maximum width and 38 miles long with a maximum depth that is 3x the English channel. The terrain along the lake is very different from North to South. The North part is more rugged and hilly i.e good for mountain biking and the South is just – flat, good for leisurely road cycling. The North is a lot more windy i.e. good for wind surfing and the South is quite calm i.e. sun-bathing. This implies that the lake is for all ages with more active people visiting the North and more relax people visiting the South, very interesting place. This also makes the ‘Lake Garda Ferry Tour’ worthwhile ...

TP-LINK TL-WN822N 17/04/2014

Cute big white rabbit like dongle

King Of Shaves Azor 5 Sensitive System Razor 18/02/2014

Touchy-feely razor with good performance and price

Your Resolutions for 2014 03/01/2014

Revolutionary resolution and the pleasure that comes with it

Your Resolutions for 2014 The beginning – making resolutions For most of us, the obvious resolutions will be lose bad habits and some weight; eat healthy; learn more new things and help the others etc. To sums it up, enjoy life better! Do you really expect that you can achieve all these in 2014? Yes, honey, you can ….. with determination and persistence! Most importantly, do a small chunk at a time and enjoy it along the way. Let it build up gradually over the year. You can do it and you can achieve your goal my dear. Then you can indulge yourself again next Christmas – smoke and/or drink and/or party and/or eat and everything else that follows…. Ha Ha! I am qualified for life coaching now………… Honestly everything starts in full swing and momentum in January and then tails off extremely quickly near the end of Jan 2014. In Feb, virtually nothing is happening. The achievement? I have executed my plan but I forgot to tell you that I have not finished it. This new year I am not going into this cycle again (yet). I am going to do something different and revolutionary (sounds familiar?) – a combine resolution i.e. a single task that has multiple benefits. The Plan and Execution The resolution is ‘to declutter my house’. It will be the whole house from top (loft) to bottom (cellar if you have it but I don’t which is ground floor i.e. much easier and not involving drinking myself to oblivion in order to clear out my vintage collection of alcoholic drinks in the cellar), and inside (living space) out ...

Tesco Hudl 7” Soft-touch Folding Case & Stand 02/01/2014

Good and soft protection for my cuddly Hudl

Tesco Hudl 7” Soft-touch Folding Case & Stand Intro: When I purchased my Tesco Hudl, I have also considered a protective case and a screen protector as well. Using Tesco’s Clubcard boost offer (double the voucher value) for both the Hudl and this soft case. The grand total of Hudl + case came to £134 (Hudl £119 + Case £15). With Clubcard boost offer, this came to £67 in Clubcard voucher. Thus the case was bought with £7.5 of Tesco voucher. Why did I not also go for Tesco’s Hudl screen protector (2 for £4 listed price)? It was out of stock (back in stock today) and also had bad reviews from customers. So I went to Poundland and bought one instead. Appearance This is a soft to the touch and I bought the turquoise one to give the tablet a modern feel. There are other colours such as grey, black, blue, red and purple available. If I go for a leather case for a tablet as this price range, it is a mis-match and make the tablet looked a bit ‘old’ and conservative. Usage It is just a case. What more can you do? In fact there is. This case is designed for the Hudl i.e. holes and gaps at the right places for the camera, speakers, micro-USB port, off-centre micro-HDMI port, the power and volume control buttons and also the micro-SD card slot. Without removing the case, I can do all sorts with the Hudl. This is a folding case to offer all round protection for the Hudl from back to front. The panels are reasonably rigid for protection with a magnetic clasp to keep it folded. Also, it can act as a stand for the Hudl ...

Tesco Hudl 16GB 31/12/2013

Cuddle, fuddle, huddle, muddle or puddle?

Tesco Hudl 16GB Background: 2013 is the year of the tablets. Why? It is because there are much more choices available this year to suit everyone’s need whether you want to spend a little or a lot. Of course, everyone wants an iPad Air if money is no object. For me, I just want a good entry level tablet [below £200 and don’t mind 7 inches] to play with and really find out what I can get out of it before committing to better ones. The contenders were originally Tesco Hudl, Nexus 7, iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Kindle Fire HD. However the iPad mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 were above £200 at that time and therefore they were out. Now I can buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (7 inches, 8GB storage) for £120 from Argos. Eventually I have chosen Tesco Hudl not only for its decent spec but also for Tesco’ good offer before Christmas. You can tell that I am a Clubcard holder because I have used Tesco’s Clubcard boost offer (double the voucher value) to buy the Hudl. This offer is also available to accessories like the soft-touch folding case and stand as well. The grand total of Hudl + case came to £134. With Clubcard boost offer, this came to £67 in Clubcard voucher. Offer too good to miss. I did purchase a screen protector from Poundland too. What is in the box? One Tesco Hudl Tablet; one AC adaptor/charger plug with a USB slot to connect to the micro-USB cable for charging; one micro-USB data cable and also act as the charging cable for the AC plug; a Quick Start Guide; a Safety and legal ...

What Was The Best Christmas Present You Ever Got? 30/12/2013

A truly unexpected surprise present for me

Seagate Expansion Desktop Drive 2 TB 27/12/2013

High speed, high capacity desktop external hard drive

Seagate Expansion Desktop Drive 2 TB Introduction: A year ago I would never consider buying a high (TB) capacity external hard disk to backup data from my computers. I have two 500MB external hard drives (Seagate Expansion Portable Drive 500 GB USB3 and Verbatim Store 'n' Go Portable 500 GB USB3, see my reviews for details) in place, as a pair, for backing up the same set of data. Don’t use hard drives from the same manufacturer and get yourself into an ‘all eggs in one basket’ situation. Choose HD from renowned manufacturer too – Seagate and Verbatim are global names, not like Platinum or Sonnics etc. You may have noticed that all my external HD are USB3. For large HD, USB 3 connection is desirable (see data transfer rate section below). Early this year I discovered that 70% of these drives are used. This implies that I need to have another backup drive sooner than later. Instead of buying the next one up i.e. 1 TB I could have a 2TB and split it into two partitions of 1 TB each. When the usage approaches 70 %, I will shop for a companion or perhaps a bigger (capacity, not size) one. I bought this from Amazon back at Feb for £69.99 (sale price, £10 > listed price of the 1TB one, also I have good experience from the Seagate 500MB HD). Now you can buy the 3 TB one for £78 (currently on sales at Amazon). What is in the box? Seagate Expansion drive 2 TB, USB 3.0 connection 120cm USB 3.0 cable (typical blue plastics instead of white plastic inside the connector end, white plastic one are for USB 1.0/2.0 ...

TP-LINK TL-WN722N 26/12/2013

Strong and sturdy dongle with good price and 3 yr warranty

TP-LINK TL-WN722N Introduction: This purchase was initiated by a very sad event - the death of my 10-year-old Belkin dongle (equivalent to a 100 years old human) which was used by another PC (see my review of TP-Link TL-WN727N dongle for that side of the story). As far as the saga of two old dongles goes, one is now completely useless and out of juice and the other one, an 8-year old D-link DWL-G122 dongle is heading there as well (see also my review TP-Link TL-WN727N dongle for more details). Since Amazon has changed its free delivery policy i.e. free SuperSaver delivery for purchase over £10 in total, the purchase of the TP-Link TL-WN727N dongle at £5.95 is not enough to qualify. So it makes more sense to replace the D-link dongle at the same time by buying a TP-Link TL-WN722N high gain adaptor at £8.11. I could have bought two TL-WN727N dongles at £11.9 in total instead of spending £14.06 under the current economic climate. But this PC is tens of meters further away from the router than the other PC. It is desirable to buy a stronger high gain dongle for a longer distance relationship. What is in the box? A USB adapter with a 4dBi detachable antenna to strengthen the reception of the USB adapter and a cap; one USB cable, one CD-ROM (driver, utility software, user manual), one warranty leaflet. Setup and install Tighten the detachable antenna first. If you plug it straight into the USB port of the PC, adjust the detachable antenna preferably at an upright position, perpendicular to ...

TP-LINK TL-WN727N Wireless Lite N USB Adapter 26/12/2013

Good price wireless N USB adaptor

TP-LINK TL-WN727N Wireless Lite N USB Adapter Introduction: In the past month or so my wireless internet access has been slow. I just think that it may be due to the broadband provider. Then a week ago, one of the PC has lost its wireless internet connection completely while my other PC was fine but still a bit slow from time to time. For the PC that has lost its wireless connection, I linked up with a Ethernet cable and the internet access was fine and well. This implies that my Belkin F5D7050 wireless G USB dongle had died, after 10 years. The wireless G USB dongle of the other PC, an 8-years old D-link DWL-G122, is also heading that way. This might explain the intermittent slowness of the wireless connection. Once I got the wired connection up for that PC, the internet access was significantly faster and more stable. Instead of replacing just one dongle, I should shop for two instead. Since I have two PC at different locations, I bought two slightly different dongles. For the PC closer to the router, I bought the TP-Link TL-WN727N 150Mbps Wireless USB Adapter for £5.95 from Amazon. For the PC further away, I bought the TP-Link TL-WN722N 150Mbps High Gain Wireless USB Adapter for £8.11 from Amazon. TP-Link TL-WN727N 150Mbps Wireless USB Adapter What is in the box? A USB adapter with cap; one USB cable, one CD-ROM, one warranty leaflet. Setup and install First of all, you either plug this straight to one of the USB port of the PC. However it is quite long i.e. it will stick out. I didn’t buy the mini/micro dongle ...

Toshiba 39L4353 26/12/2013

Good price entry level smart LED TV

Toshiba 39L4353 Introduction: Our Sharp LCD TV has been having a few issues after 7 years. To be fair, it has lasted longer than other makes and it is still working (mostly). The first issue was automatic standby. It was not a function of this TV i.e. no sleeping timer function. Every day between 9:00 to 10:00 p.m., the TV will go into standby mode all by itself, disregard of the time of the hour and channel. The second issue was intermittent HDMI connection. I have a Freeview HD box attach to it via HDMI. From time to time it has lost signal for a couple of seconds and then back, very annoying. This has become more frequent. If I connect the box via SCART, no such thing happens but I don’t get the HD channels. It is not the Freeview box. I have borrowed my friend’s spare TV for a while and the HDMI connection to this box has been fine for days. Once I switched it back to my TV, it happened again. It is time to shop for a replacement, a 37-42 inches LED smart TV. I have been keeping an eye for the Smart and 3D TV arena for a while and it is time to dip in. Initially I was thinking about getting a Samsung LED Smart TV, not 3D as there is hardly any 3D channel and most TV does not come with 1-2 pair of 3D glasses. Extra pricey 3D glasses (at least 3-4) do count towards the total cost. Prior to the purchase, I have compared Toshiba 39L4353DB, Sharp LC39LE351K, Philips 39PFL4208T, LG 42LN570S, Panasonic TX-L39EM5B and LG 42LN570V. You may ask where was the Samsung? It was out of the race ...

Toyota Auris 26/12/2013

Good looking car with many useful modern features

Toyota Auris Introduction: Our Toyota Corolla was aging and needed a big repair last year. The dealer for the annual servicing had some contribution to it. They had noticed a leak in one of the CV boot joints and repaired the leak. However they did not warn us in the service report that the joint would need to be replaced in 3 to 4 months, not until next annual service. So the CV boot joint failed after a snowy Winter due to abrasion by grits used on the road. Once this joint failed, the wheel shaft was misaligned and gradually being grinded by the turning wheel. One day we heard some squeaking noise coming from the car and that was it – the damage was done. When they took it apart in the garage for inspection, they could not put them back because the wheel shaft was too badly damaged. So we needed a new wheel shaft and a new wheel bearing etc. Since the car was apart and in the dealer’s garage, we couldn’t even shop around for a better quote. At the end the bill was >£1300, a significantly portion of a 7-years old car. A few months after the repair, some squeaking appeared at the rear of the car and it sounded very familiar. So we decided to replace it. Since we can get a better price from a Toyota dealer for part exchange, we have chosen the Toyota Auris. It is a bigger car and more fuel efficient. Price and perks: We were originally going for the lowest model, the Active at an on-the-road (OTR) listed price of £14,995, discounted to £13,995 with a part exchange of our old car ...

Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium 01/12/2013

Not as good as Mach3 for various reasons

Tesco Broadband 24/11/2013

Good price, but not as fast as O2 10/07/2013

Very unhelpful store staff +1 unhelpful call centre staff

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