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Beacon Dave "beacon dave" (Lancaster, UK)

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Project Management (Essential Managers)
Project Management (Essential Managers)
by Peter Hobbs
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Pocket-sized introduction to Project Management, 18 May 2009
A rather nicely presented, low cost, concise introduction to Project Management.

Should be useful to anyone wanting to take their first steps into Project Management and to give them a general overview of what it is all about before they move onto the weightier APM-IC or PRINCE2 certification texts.


Starting Out in Project Management, 2nd edition
Starting Out in Project Management, 2nd edition
by Ruth Murray-Webster
Edition: Paperback

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but something's missing, 18 Mar 2009
As a newcomer to project management, I purchased this book as an entry point to supplement the ILX APM Introductory Certificate e-Learning course. The AMP IC was recommended as a sensible precursor to the PRINCE2 foundation and this book recommended as both a study guide as well as a stand-alone text.

The Starting Out in Project Management book is an easy to read text and avoids the 'jargon overload' that you may expect from such a subject. Plenty of illustrations are included which help to lighten things up and a Red Nose Day fund raiser project is referred to as an example throughout the book, which helps illustrate the various aspects being discussed.

After each chapter, there is a pause for reflection on project(s) you know well, however some people may find this part difficult, especially if like myself, they work in environments which appear to be devoid of any formal project management procedures!

For newcomers working in such environments, what I think this book perhaps lacks is an appendix which shows an example paper trail of the Red Nose Day project from start to finish. This, in my opinion, would be useful as a reference as how all the fragments discussed in detail in each chapter, might be combined together into a more formal document, and could be used as an initial template for those real-world projects.


Polycell GR250 250ml Grout Reviver
Polycell GR250 250ml Grout Reviver
Price: 5.69

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced, 12 Nov 2007
I guess a lot will depend on the surface of the existing grout as to how well this product will or won't work.

Goes on easily enough, however it can take quite a bit of effort to sponge off the excess once dry.

First attempt after three hours drying, and the whitening wiped off the grout making no difference whatsoever. Second attempt, left to dry overnight, and the excess becomes harder to remove of the glazed tile but the whitener adheres to the grout better. Still scratches off quite easilly with a finger nail though, so I don't really have much hopes for the first time it gets a good scrubbing.

I was hoping that the product would bleach the existing grout, however it appears to be more of a masonary type paint (snowcem) that simply covers it.

May be more suited to those wanting to quickly freshen up a discoloured area prior to selling the property, however for those wanting a longer lasting finish, then I suspect that raking out the grout and regrouting followed by a coat of grout sealer may be a better option.


Sex Smart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About it
Sex Smart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About it
by Aline P. Zoldbrod
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A health check for your sexuality, 29 Dec 2006
The synopsis and author's own review pretty much sum this book up - it's an accessible guide to sexuality, illustrating how childhood events can influence sexuality in later life, and more importantly highlighting what you can do to change things if you want to.

For those that feel things may not be quite right in their life, then they may be able to relate with one of the many individuals who are quoted throughout the book, and thus gain a better understanding of the situation and the reasons behind it.

For those who are prepared to make the change, then there are various exercises included throughout the book, which can possibly help the reader finally to get to grips with their sexuality.

Cited in Tracey Cox's 'Superflirt' and republished in 2005 (available from Amazon.Com at the time of writing).


Philips TT2020 Cordless BodyGroom
Philips TT2020 Cordless BodyGroom

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably ok for going smooth, not so good for trimming, 6 Aug 2006
The bodygroom is sort of a 'halfway house' between an electric razor and a set of hairclippers.

I picked up one for general body hair trimming rather than for an all smooth athletic 'streamlined for wind resistance' finish, and have found it rather disappointing.

The blue plastic guard appears to be a bit of an afterthought and it doesn't seem to work at all with hair that doesn't lie in a uniform direction (like most body hair). I can plough it through my chest hair and it will barely remove any hair at all.

Removing the guard and you then have the double sideburn type trimmer and foil working together and so you end up with an uneven result, unless you keep working it and go fo the completely smooth finish. If that was your intention anyway, then I have found a set of hair clippers set to cut close gets the job done much quicker, and results in less nicks too.

It could also do with some sort of telescopic extension handle to assist with grooming those hard to reach back areas.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 1, 2008 6:09 PM GMT


Black & Decker LZR3 Laserone Manual Leveling
Black & Decker LZR3 Laserone Manual Leveling

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars questionable accuracy, 29 July 2006
Compact laser line generator complete with belt-mountable pouch.

Unfortunately the manual levelling vials don't appear to be very accurate, so although you may get a straight line, it probably isn't plumb. (turn each vial through 180degrees and they give a different reading, so check your line with a reliable spirit level if you need accuracy.)

The magnetic wall mount system is a bit dubious, one is based on a tack which is driven into the surface you are marking, which holds the base to which the level is magnetically held to. It's somewhat of a loose fit, thus questioning overall accuracy. The other base requires a 4-8mm diameter hole into which a set of three splayed pins engage. This base is a better fit. Both will mark the wall though if the intention is to use it for lining up pictures etc. The holding magnet is a little on the weak side and the device can detatch itself a bit too easily if being used on a wall, which is not what you really want to happen when working with laser light.


Sony RDR-HXD710 DVD Recorder with 160 GB Hard Drive and Freeview (discontinued by manufacturer)
Sony RDR-HXD710 DVD Recorder with 160 GB Hard Drive and Freeview (discontinued by manufacturer)

54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be great, 29 July 2006
I got hold of the RDR-HXD710 about a month ago to replace a basic DVD-Recorder, and so far it's been a huge improvement.

Firstly, timer recording to the hard disk is much more reliable than my experiences with recording to DVD recorders, as I used to be plagued with media compatibility issues. Also the capacity of the hard disk compared with the DVD disc allows for much more flexibility.

The issues that I've found with the Sony so far are as follows:

1) there is a bug in the EPG that sometimes shows a programme has been set to be recorded, when it hasn't. Luckily it doesn't actually attempt to record these 'phantom' timer settings, so no timer conflicts appear to occur.

2) it claims to be able to dub widescreen format programme broadcasts to DVD-R media, however, I've not been able to do this, and all recordings end up as 4:3 letterboxed. There appears to be a undocumented issue with the aspect ratio setting for viewing and the aspect ratio setting for recording. I've been in contact with Sony about this but they weren't able to give me an answer. I have the situation whereby the recorder is attached to a 4:3 system for programming/dubbing, but my is viewed on a standalone DVD player attached to a 16:9 system.

3) as there is no PDC on the EPG, and broadcasts often don't run exactly to schedule, if you use the EPG method of timer recording, then you can lose the start and end of recorded programmes. Unfortunately there is no setting to automatically add a couple of mins before and after the programme selected. If you select a manual recording, then the programme title will end up with that from the previous programme, and although there is a title editor, it's a bit slow and tedious to do for every programme.

4) in the EPG if two programmes occur one after the other, and you select both to be recorded, the timer isn't intelligent enough to record it as one, and then divide and title them correctly. Instead you end up with a gap between the two programmes. Once again, if you go for manual record and set it record it to all in one session, then when you come to divide it, you will end up with the wrong titles and have to manually edit them.

[ I am mainly interested in documentaries, so am often recording lots of sequences of 30min programmes and ideally I'd like to keep the titles for ease of playback at a later date, and often acknowledgement information in end credits is usefull to record as well. ]

5) I've had one timer recording so far which resulted in 2hours of a black screen. I had seen the first 10mins or so at the start, so the tuner was working OK. It may have been a Macrovision copy guard signal issue, but I wasn't aware of any programmes broadcast in such a manner. The manual states that it will record a grey screen in such instances and not a black one.

6) the menu pages of the RDR-HXD710 activate some Macrovision detection circuits in some AV equipment (such as the Canopus ADVC-100 DV video bridge which I use to connect such equipment to a computer to allow PIP viewing whilst I'm working).

Lacking features:

- there is no way to dump the raw captured MPEG-2 files onto DVD, so you end up with the Video DVD format every time.

- there is no DV output to transfer them over 1394/firewire to a computer, which would allow for much quicker trimming and titling.

- the hard drive hasn't been designed to be easily swapable.

- there is no way to access the timer record through the front panel display. It would have been very convenient to be able to simply be able to hit a timer button, select a channel, then have the EPG scroll across a one/two line display on the front panel. As it is, you need to always have a video display switched on to be able to program it.

However, the recorder in all other respects is a pretty nice piece of kit, and gives a lot better results than the DVD recorder I had before it. To date I've not had a single media compatibility problem with it, whereas with the old recoder I was generating a DVD 'coaster' in around every four recordings.


Vegas 6 Editing Workshop: DV Expert Series
Vegas 6 Editing Workshop: DV Expert Series
by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Edition: Paperback

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a goldmine of information, 6 Dec 2005
I think this book deserves 6 stars.
Douglas Spotted Eagle has really packed a lot into this book and it is a worthwhile companion for anyone wanting to make the most out of their Sony Vegas 6 editing software.
Gracefully written and clearly presented in an accessible format, richly adorned with real world advice.
If you are something a bit cheaper though, then it's also worth taking a look at Doug Sahlin's 'Vegas 6 Revealed'.


Vegas 6 Revealed: The Official Guide
Vegas 6 Revealed: The Official Guide
by Doug Sahlin
Edition: Paperback
Price: 22.41

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bargain introduction to Sony Vegas 6, 1 Dec 2005
i think this is a must for any newbies who want to get up to speed with Sony's latest version of their Vegas non-linear video editing application.
Note however there is no CD-ROM supplied with this book, and at the time of writing, the web downloads referred to in the book, don't appear to exist. However, for most of the examples in the book you can work with your own clips.
Some of the screen shots in the book are a bit hard to see and there are a few typo's, so one to watch out for if you are a complete beginner, however the high hands-on training style approach should get you up to speed with this great product in no time at all.
It's also worth taking a look at Douglas Spotted Eagle's "Vegas 6 Editing Workshop" which is due to be released shortly.


Slendertone Flex Max Unisex Ab Toning Belt
Slendertone Flex Max Unisex Ab Toning Belt
Price: 67.14

39 of 69 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced, 13 Sep 2005
I bought one of these a couple of years ago out of curiousity.
However, after a year of regular use on its own, it would appear to have not have made any difference whatsoever. Yes, you can feel the muscles tingling as they contract in waves, but it had no other visable effect on the abdomen area. Certainly not the effortless way to a six pack that some adverts would make out.
It may be that results only really show if you are starting off halfway to a 'six pack' already, however, for me it didn't seem to have any effect.
However I suspect that doing just abdominal crunch type exercises, and changing diet on their own would have more of an effect than using the Flex Max belt.
My belt also had a gender identity crises - it was a male belt that decided to show up with the female icon on the display. Unfortunately the manual doesn't tell you how to switch between the two, and at the time the customer support wasn't too helpful on that front either.
I've had more success in a month simply by changing diet and using a cross trainer, without the flex max than what I experienced with the flex max in a year.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2012 11:09 PM BST


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