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G. E. Hearn "grahamh1965" (UK)
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Veho VFS-008 Smartfix Scan to SD Stand Alone Slide and Negative Scanner
Veho VFS-008 Smartfix Scan to SD Stand Alone Slide and Negative Scanner
Price: 55.44

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - But not for colour., 18 Feb 2011
I bought this scanner hoping that I could digitize the huge assortment of old negatives that I've accumulated over the years.
I'd always had my doubts about scanners, but after reading all the favourable reviews I plumped for this Veho unit.

All I can say is that the other reviewers must have received a different product to the one that I got! It is indeed simple and quick to use and very neat, tidy and well designed. Pop in a strip of Black & White negatives and they come out really well. In many cases the scan is better than the one you'll get along with your processing at a High St Chemists (Not Shoes, the other one!)
The downer comes when you try and scan colour negatives. They all come out with a light blue-ish colour cast which has proved impossible to eradicate without spending ages on each frame in editing software. It can't be corrected quickly in Picasa because there is no "Neutral" colour to select as a guide. The resulting scans are sharp and tidy. Just blue!

I investigated, and in my opinion the problem is caused by insufficient illumination from the built-in "white" LED light table. Whether my example was a dodgy one or not I don't know, but Veho just refunded me without troubling themselves to suggest an alternative course of action.

So, in short: If I were scanning only black and white negs then I'd heartily recommend this little unit. Trouble is, most people are going to be scanning C41 processed 35mm colour print negatives, and if all the example machines are like this one then you'd really do better to save your money.

Disappointing.

UPDATE: December 2011:
The answer is the Epson V330. Not much more costly than this, but works unbelieveably well! Check it out and see what you think. I LOVE my one!

Epson Perfection V330 LED Photo Scanner (4800dpi)
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2012 11:28 AM GMT


George Foreman 10032 4-Portion Family Grill with Bun Warmer in Silver
George Foreman 10032 4-Portion Family Grill with Bun Warmer in Silver

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turned out nice again!, 7 Dec 2010
Now when I were cookin' burgers
I'd always use the hob,
But this little gadget does a far superior job.
Just switch it on and wait a while,
Then chuck a slab of meat inside
People use this far and wide
Just for cookin' burgers.

Now there's a bit on top
designed to warm your buns
But it's far too plasticky to really sit upon
I once managed to climb atop
With the aid of a sturdy box
But found the grease ran in me socks
When I'm cookin' burgers.

Now it's not just for burgers
It's very versatile
Chicken, hot dogs and the like just take a little while
But Blackpool Rock melts to a blob
To clean it up were such a job!
Ee, I felt a proper...Idiot.
When I'm cookin' burgers.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2012 12:00 AM BST


Days Of Thunder [1990] [DVD]
Days Of Thunder [1990] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise
Offered by Discs4all
Price: 2.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular noisy fun - just leave your brain at home first., 1 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Days Of Thunder [1990] [DVD] (DVD)
As many have said, this film is simply Top Gun on the track. There's some good footage of real-life NASCAR races and characters and Robert Duvall makes a good job of his role as the old and wise Crew Chief tasked with taming Tom Cruise's wilder moments.

The plot is laughable to be honest. How can someone like the Cole Trickle character win championships without understanding even the basics of car setup and oval racing? I know that here in the UK we all think that NASCAR is basically a case of keeping your boot down and turning left, and to an extent that's true, but there is a lot of skill required in setting up the cars. I personally think that Robert Duvall's character is there mainly to explain to the uninitiated viewer the basics of NASCAR in an entertaining fashion.

My favourite comedy moment is the final duel between Cruise and the "Bad Guy" on the track. It's neck-and-neck stuff until... Tom Cruise magically remembers that he has another gear to go! He upshifts and blasts over the line to victory! Woo! Yay! etc.

But who cares? It's a fun film, with lots of spectacle and is very much a product of its time. I liked it. If you've got a rainy afternoon to spare and a decent surround sound system there are far worse ways of wasting an hour or two.


No Title Available

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good compromise of features and size., 1 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've owned one of these for almost twenty years now, and it's an incredibly useful piece of kit.

Originally I bought a Swiss Champ, which I still have, but I found that I was only using certain features of it, and the size of the Champ made it prohibitive to slip into a pocket in most trousers or jeans.
The Climber has the most useful features of the Champ, but in a slimmer casing which is very easy to carry.

The stainless steel used by Victorinox holds an edge well, and the hinge mechanism is very robust providing it's not abused by applying side pressure to any of the blades. It's a legal size to carry in the UK and is also non-locking, which keeps the Police happy, but does mean that a certain amount of care must be exercised so that it doesn't slip and fold up into your fingers!

It's worth picking up a spare set of tweezers and toothpick when you see them, as they can and do fall out and get lost from time to time, but they're cheap and readily available. When the plastic body gets scuffed it's easily restored to its new shiny condition with some Brasso or T-Cut.

The scissors can sometimes work loose because of the screw in the pivot. They've never yet threatened to fall apart, but I applied a little Loctite thread locking compound to mine and they've been fine now for ages. I also bought the small spectacles screwdriver that stores inside the coils of the corkscrew and it's incredibly useful. This will also serve to tighten the pivot screw on the scissors if needed.

UPDATE: In fact, the above gripe can now be regarded as historical, because I've just bought another Climber to keep permanently in my travel bag, and I see that on the new models the scissors joint is riveted rather than held by a screw. Great! That as the only weak point on the old model.

For serious outdoor use I still take my excellent Opinel knife as it's much more heavy-duty than this for cutting purposes and cheaper to break or lose, but the Victorinox is still an extremely useful tool to have with you every day. Especially for travelling. The Opinel range are also locking, which means you can't carry them without good reason. Fine for camping, but not good for every day, unlike the Victorinox.

Treat it well, look after it and will last you pretty much for ever. I don't know of any bloke who wouldn't be delighted to receive one of these as a gift.

Recommended.


Wenger WA-7426-02F00 Impulse 15.4-inch Laptop Case (Black)
Wenger WA-7426-02F00 Impulse 15.4-inch Laptop Case (Black)

5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for laptops..., 27 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not just for laptops - This makes a great briefcase too!

I have no requirement to carry a laptop at work as I use desktop machines, but I still love this bag.

The main compartment carries my manuals, documents etc. The zip-up "power lead" pencil case type internal bag carries my favourite mouse, cables for charging MP3 player, etc. and hands-free headset for my phone.
The front compartment neatly holds all my pens/pencils/refils/highlighters etc as well as my MP3 player. And the "key holder" stitched inside holds my USB memory stick with documents etc. on it.

There's a great little pocket designed to hold a small Swiss Army knife (Mine holds a Victorinox "Executive") to keep stowed in there for those little emergencies that crop up throughout the day.
In the top of the front panel is a small zipper which opens into yet another small pocket. Mine holds my Canon digital compact camera (being a keen photographer I feel naked without a camera, and working in the Aviation industry you sometimes get the chance for some good snaps!) But it could just as easily hold your pass, some change, fags etc. It's a good and useful size.

I've used this bag every working day now for two years and it still looks like new.

Highly recommended.


Pentel P205 automatic Pencil 0.5mm - single pack
Pentel P205 automatic Pencil 0.5mm - single pack
Price: 3.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't really be improved upon., 27 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Been around forever, and a great design. Simple, durable and comfortable to use.

One of these is either in my hand or by my phone for 12 hours of every working day and it's superb for what I use it for (making small annotations / changes on printed documents, etc). When I lose one I immediately log on here and order a couple more. Other ones just don't feel "right" - especially the expensive Cross one that I have whose chrome case makes my fingers constantly slide down the barrel!

Pentel P205 all the way for me.


The Trailer Manual
The Trailer Manual
by Brian Bate
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ladybird Big Book Of Trailers, 27 Nov 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Trailer Manual (Hardcover)
Finding myself with the requirement to tow a boat, and knowing absolutely nothing about trailers, I thought this would be a good place to start.

I mean, everyone knows Haynes, don't they? Useful info, lots of pictures, etc. Well, whilst this does have lots of pictures and a little bit of info on pretty much every type of trailer known to the automotive world, it's a bit short on useful advice.
I wanted to know about servicing and setting up/testing the braking mechanism for example, as my trailer was quite old. I could find almost no practical advice on this subject whatsoever as well as several other topics for which I searched. Really, the advice in this book is so general as to be almost worthless.

In summary: Great for the coffee table if you're a "Trailer spotter" (???) But not so good if you're buying it on the strength of the Haynes name in the hope of getting yourself some setup, repair or technical info.


The Golden Age of Formula 1
The Golden Age of Formula 1
by Rainer W. Schlegelmilch
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like being there - except for the noise!, 15 Nov 2010
I was fortunate enough to view Herr Schlegemilch's exhibition of these photographs at London's Proud Gallery in Camden, and I've never before been so impressed by a single photographer's work.

Every period of the "Golden Era" is covered, from early days when these races still had a "Club meeting" feel right up to the last days of the "real" Formula One (Which in my personal opinion ended with the death of the greatest of them all - Ayrton Senna Da Silva - in 1994) and onwards to the present time.

It's really hard to pick a favourite. There were so many that I just wanted to take home with me. My personal favourite would be a B&W of a pensive looking Graham Hill alone with his thoughts. There are so many great pictures here though that it's a good thing this book is available. I could never afford to buy all the prints that I love, but I can afford this excellent volume.

What really makes this work stand out though is the way that the photographer has not simply concentrated on the cars and the action (although his work here is of course stunning) but also on the life of the drivers and the whole "travelling circus" that was F1 back in the days before money and corporate involvement ruined it.

It also reminded me when browsing through the pictures on the wall, what a dangerous business F1 was back in those days. The study of the crashed car at the side of the circuit in Monaco and the expressions on the faces of some of the drivers really brings home how much of a gamble it was back then to pursue your dream of winning a World title.

Worth every penny. If you know someone with even a passing interest in F1 then you've just found their ideal Christmas present.


A Secret Wish [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
A Secret Wish [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 11.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece., 6 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If my house caught fire and I could save only one CD:

It would be this one.

As I originally wrote when reviewing the "ordinary" non-Anniversary CD:

What can I say about this album that hasn't already been said? If you only ever buy one album of 80's electro-pop, make it this one. Every track shines out like a beacon, and it hasn't dated at all. Not one little bit. I first heard of this band when 'Miami Vice' featured the track 'P-Machinery' as the soundtrack to a fast night driving scene in the episode 'The Fix' and I went straight out and bought the album on the strength of ten seconds or so of the intro to this track.
In the intervening years it has never been far from my CD player (This is actually the second copy I've owned, as I wore the first out!!) If you like this, buy 'Outside world' as well, for the remixes.
As Paul Lester (Uncut) wrote:
'Sheer brutal beauty'


Fuji Superia 400 x36 Exp 35mm Film
Fuji Superia 400 x36 Exp 35mm Film
Offered by AVIDES
Price: 6.92

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great all-round 35mm general purpose film., 4 Aug 2010
I still use my old 35mm SLR cameras despite having a DSLR because I still like them.

This film is a good all-round choice for general purpose snapping away in a variety of conditions. I was considering using Fuji's excellent Velvia slide film, but it's a bit pricey and anyway I can use my D90 if I want fantastic quality.
This Xtra 400 gives good reproduction of colours and a wide dynamic range with just the right amount of grain to give the pictures that "warmth" associated with film images. I was turned onto it by a chat with a wedding photographer who uses this as his default film choice. If he makes his living using it then he knows an awful lot more than I do, so I followed his lead. I'm glad I did too. It works really nicely.

The Xtra 200 is also great, but I find the 400 gives me a bit more latitude in low light conditions.

Good stuff, although look around at different online sellers because the price varies enormously. I usually reckon on 3 rolls of 36 exp. for about 10 or less.Don't buy this stuff in the High Street because they charge well over the odds for it!

For the best value processing service, I'd recommend a search online for "Fuji Digital Imaging". You'll be impressed.

UPDATE:

Over a year on, and I've tried most of Fuji's 35mm colour print films, as well as the "pretty good" Neopan 400 B&W C-41 process stuff, and the execrable Kodak BW400CN.
And? The more I use Xtra 400 the more I realise just how good it is. It's one of Fuji's cheapest films and yet it always looks great. It's very tolerant of over-or-under exposure and it just... Works!

Let's hope that Fuji don't discontinue this one because it's just a good, safe and solid all-around choice.

You can't go wrong with it.


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