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8 X XE-CREE GU10 3*3 9W LED Spotlight Bulb Warm White
8 X XE-CREE GU10 3*3 9W LED Spotlight Bulb Warm White
Offered by The Warm Light Company Ltd
Price: £52.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Not good, 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thought I'd struck gold with these, but after a year or so three of them have already failed.

What happens is they start to flicker, then a few days later the front falls away from the GU10 plug housing. Seems to be heat related. We're using ours in a ceiling rose which is well ventilated and has minimal shrouds so there isn't even really excessive heat buildup.

The seller has been very good throughout. They replaced the first two with no questions asked, and I was hoping that those failures were just random, but now that a third has gone I decided to write this review as the bulbs themselves are clearly not up to scratch.


Anker 2nd Gen Astro3 12800mAh 3-Port (4A Output) Portable Charger  External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Nexus and More (Black)
Anker 2nd Gen Astro3 12800mAh 3-Port (4A Output) Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Nexus and More (Black)
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £79.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great bit of kit; needs a high quality mains charger, 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Get just over 3 full charges of my HTC One X out of this. Doesn't seem quite right given it's way more than three times bigger and heavier than the battery in the phone itself but hey, I'm not a physicist! I'm just glad it works and it works well. Top tip: get yourself a proper fast mains charger (e.g. from PortaPow) to fill this thing up in anything like a respectable time frame. I've never been able to accurately measure the charge speed as my OH keeps nicking it half way through a charge(!) but it seems to be about 9 hours with a good charger. On a basic 1A charger you'll be waiting for more than a day.


Anker® Dual-Driver Portable Bluetooth Speaker, 10 Hours of Playtime and Rechargeable Battery
Anker® Dual-Driver Portable Bluetooth Speaker, 10 Hours of Playtime and Rechargeable Battery

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice sound for the size, power switch could be better, 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good sound (much better when on-axis or at least at ear level though) reliable connection, nice and compact for travel purposes.

Loses one star for the following minor niggles:
1) Power switch too easy to move - sometimes switches itself on in my bag
2) No battery level indication
3) Max volume using 3.5mm jack wired connection is quite low (much lower than with Bluetooth - I have verified with several devices)

Apart from the power switch, the unit seems very well put together and sturdy. No carry case supplied, but fits in an old sock perfectly!

Oh, and I am a paying customer not a freebie reviewer ;o)


PortaPow Fast Charger for Apple iPhone, Blackberry, Galaxy Note, Xperia, HTC One, Google Nexus
PortaPow Fast Charger for Apple iPhone, Blackberry, Galaxy Note, Xperia, HTC One, Google Nexus

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, well executed, 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought mainly to get round my work's draconian USB device rules (i.e. even though the systems themselves are set up not to mount any external USB device, the network security guys still pounce on you if they spot you trying to just get a charge) I was pleasantly surprised at the boost in charging rate these little dongles provide.

Without the fast charger, the front USB sockets on this typical HP office drone desk box could barely keep my HTC One X's battery level throughout the day ( and that's just on idle, without the screen ever being active) but with the fast charger it will charge from half empty to 100% in 2-3 hours. Not quite as good as a mains charger, but a significant improvement.

Build quality is solid.

Been using it for several months now there's been no overcurrent damage to the PC or anything like that.


Wonderbag Portable Slow Cooker with Recipe Book Purple/Denim
Wonderbag Portable Slow Cooker with Recipe Book Purple/Denim

5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Does exactly what they say it will. Have successfully done pot roasts by cutting up the joint into smaller chunks. Meat comes out extremely tender. Quite weird that, because of the lack of applied heat/agitation, meat chunks keep their shape perfectly in casseroles etc. whilst also being melt-in-the-mouth tender but it's hardly a problem! Great for rice (especially rice pudding), chillies, curry. Even got some respectable stovies out of it! The only thing you have to bear in mind is that liquids don't reduce, so there are certain things you can't do (or have to do slightly differently) but all-in-all this thing is a brilliant wee invention!


DeWalt D26410 230v Random Orbital Sander 150mm
DeWalt D26410 230v Random Orbital Sander 150mm
Offered by Toolstop_Ltd
Price: £198.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Usual DW quality, 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great piece of kit. Smooth, powerful motor. Extremely fast material removal on high speed/6mm orbit with 40 grit. Good dust extraction even without suction.


Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 - UK layout
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 - UK layout

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice piece of kit with some annoying issues, 31 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pros:
Compact
Lightweight
Good wireless connection (3m, direct line of sight, no dropped keypresses etc.)
Good battery life
Helpful addition of extra left-click button at top left corner of keyboard

Cons:
Tap-to-click WAY too sensitive (randomly selecting text/files/desktop shortcuts, dragging and dropping files, following links etc.)
Tap-to-click on/off setting in SetPoint software does not work properly (keeps switching tap-to-click back on, this is a documented problem and Logitech seemingly uninterested in sorting it)
Tap-to-click setting ignored completely in Firefox. Nothing you can do to prevent the hypersensitive tap function screwing things up when you're trying to browse.

Bottom line:
Great if you're only using it for XBMC etc., but if you want to also use it for web browsing, typing the occasional email or whatever then you are going to have a very frustrating time. The tap-to-click problem is a showstopper for me. There is a workaround to permanently switch it off (make config.xml read only) but this seemingly is ignored when in Firefox anyway, plus it would be nice to actually have a working, non-hypersensitive tap-to-click functionality. Not holding my breath for Logitech to do anything about it any time soon. It's always the same story with Logitech: decent hardware let down by persistent software hassles.

Would I recommend it? No.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2015 7:23 AM GMT


Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap
Sureflap Microchip Cat Flap
Offered by Online Pet Doors
Price: £64.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally the tom stink is gone!, 8 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having read a fair few of the numerous 5-star reviews here on Amazon, I was starting to wonder whether Sureflap were perhaps indulging themselves in a bit of astroturfing -- especially since reports elsewhere on the general effectiveness and reliability of microchip cat flaps are often not very good. Combined with the fact that our vet regularly has problems reading our two cats' chips (it always takes her a good minute or two to get a reading) made me doubly wary. However... our problems with un-neutered toms stinking out the house put us in a situation where we desperately needed a solution, so we finally went for it and bought one of these. We've had it in for about a fortnight now with no problems whatsoever and, frankly, wish we'd just paid the extra first time round. Currently I would recommend without reservation and will edit this review should anything crop up.

The following is a list of observations you might find useful:

- Fits the hole left by our previous Cat Mate Elite. The Sureflap is actually quite a bit smaller, but with careful positioning and a couple of new screw holes the Sureflap covered the previous mounting hole fine.

- You can't trim the "tunnel" portion as it contains the RF antenna, meaning if you have this cat flap mounted on a thinner substrate than a main door (e.g. glass, UPVC panel) then the tunnel will protrude somewhat. I thought this would be a deal breaker but it actually doesn't look too bad, and it looks much better than other microchip cat flaps I've seen with large protruding scanner modules.

- There is no weather sealing gasket on the outer flange. For the sake of a few pence this is probably a silly omission on Sureflap's part. Our flap is mounted on a UPVC window panel "blank" in a fairly exposed location, and a decent horizontal downpour would easily get in via the flap's edges to rot the MDF inside the panel. I had to seal it with window frame sealant to ensure this won't happen.

- As others have said this is a very small cat flap. I'm assuming it's to do with the range of the RFID antenna. Ours are both small cats, but the larger of the two had a bit of (admittedly hilarious) trouble squeezing through at first. Definitely do a size check before installing.

- There's no problem with the lock's speed of operation. One of ours doesn't venture far, and frequently comes rocketing back in the moment she sees a dog or anything else slightly scary and the Sureflap doesn't impede her progress at all.


Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance: The World's Bestselling Bicycle Repair and Maintenance Guide
Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance: The World's Bestselling Bicycle Repair and Maintenance Guide
by Lennard Zinn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.29

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 18 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this after being thoroughly disappointed with Haynes' so-called "complete" bike maintenance book. Okay, so this is road bike specific (although Zinn does MTB books too AFAIK) but I can safely say that all the useful information contained in the Haynes book could easily fit in ten pages of this one. Everything's clearly set out and the hand-drawn illustrations are a joy. In comparison the gratuitous (and not very good) photo overload of the Haynes just looks like a half-job because, compared to this, that's exactly what it is.


The Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintenance (Haynes)
The Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintenance (Haynes)
by Mark Storey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sketchy, not enough detail, 8 April 2013
I have to agree with the other reviewer stating this is a pretty superficial book.

I'm a fairly experienced - but 100% amateur - bike mechanic and bought this in the hope that I could fill in some gaps in my knowledge, especially for comparatively recent developments such as hydraulic brake systems.

The procedures are fairly well illustrated, but there are too many where they just dive in, talking about assemblies without actually describing or naming their component parts in any detail, or pointing them out in any illustration. There is a heavy reliance on photos with very little labelling/callouts and only the occasional exploded diagram. Simple procedures are sometimes given pages of detail whereas the quite advanced stuff later on is not really given an adequate amount of attention for a book which calls itself "complete".

For the most part the techniques described are fine. A few are not the way I learned to do things (they recommend the use of hammers far too often for my liking!) but you can see the logic in their thinking and there is nothing intrinsically bad about them. There is however scant attention paid to many of the common problems one may encounter along the way, meaning the book is actually less use for beginners than it is for those with any experience. Some of the job time estimates are way off, e.g. they reckon just one hour for your first attempt at servicing a pair of suspension forks. Likewise some of the difficulty ratings are a bit arbitrary, e.g. they seem to think that adjusting cantilever brakes is easier than dual pivots. Perhaps on a good day, or with a dream pair of cantis and a shoddy set of dual pivots, it is (then again it might just be me) but this is something I have never found to be true in twenty years of looking after bikes.

I had high hopes for this book and, having been disappointed with other bike maintenance books in the past, bought it on the strength of the Haynes name. I've never owned a "real" Haynes manual before, but I get the strong impression that this is a pale imitation of the books that went to building the brand's reputation.

EDIT: Two weeks later I got myself a copy of "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" - the difference compared to this nonsense is like night and day. (Zinn has also written MTB books AFAIK.)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2013 8:12 AM BST


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