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The usual suspect (2nd aisle on the right, top shelf)

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BitDefender Anti-Virus 2011, 3 Users, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
BitDefender Anti-Virus 2011, 3 Users, 1 Year Subscription (PC)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hogger, 22 Jun 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I used it on a fresh install on a medium spec'd laptop, running Vista Home Ed with 2G of memory. After the install and all it's updates were complete, I was left with a nicely operating machine. At this stage, I had to install the loathsome but unfortunately essential anti-virus pack. It was Bitdefender's turn this time. The installation went smoothly - I didn't bother with all the fancy new video's that they've included as a help file it seems and chose to simple rely on good old gut instinct. A quick bit of whipping through the setting under the advanced mode and we're ready to go. I must point out that it does set itself up a bit too securely in my opinion with the scan setup being too frequent.
The way I judge the effect of an AV is it's effect on start-up time. I refer to the amount of time it takes for the PC to bootup and the HD light to stop flickering. Before Bitdefender, the machine was reasonable fully booting up in 2 minutes (nothing fantastic but this is Vista on 2Gb). Post Bitdefender, this went up to 8 minutes+! The machine becomes available to work after a few minutes but since it's so busy with Bitdefender, don't even bother trying.
It is true that you could say that I'm not comparing it to another AV on that machine, but 8 minutes is a bit extreme. A bit of investigation showed that VSSERV.exe with choking the machine. It all seemed to be tied in with updating itself. It also seems to be an issue that is inherent thoughout the Bitdefender series. In my case, I disabled the automatic update and told the user how to do it manually periodically. Give it 12 months and then it's coming out.

Into The Wild [Blu-ray] [2007]
Into The Wild [Blu-ray] [2007]
Dvd ~ Emile Hirsch
Price: 8.10

4.0 out of 5 stars !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BLU-RAY REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 5 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Here's a movie that passed me by somehow. Like many I expect, I discovered it through the magic of Eddie Vedder. Initially, I thought it may get a boring 2 hours if it's just going to be about a guy who's trying to survive in Alaska but then it becomes clear that the movie is more about building up how he got there instead. The drop-in stories that litter the entire journey are all well told and acted out (even Vince Vaughn). As the story rolls out, I'm sure most of us end up saying to ourselves 'I wish I could just up sticks and do that', and that's how it hooks in your attention throughout as you realise he did what you you've dreamt about...

The cinamatography is pretty awesome thoughout and we are given a blu-ray transfer worthy of purchase. Crisp images throughout, a little bit of grain in certain scenes but nothing to panic over. On the audio front, there isn't much call for anything spectacular on the surround front but because of the heavy reliance music to bond the movie, the TrueHD track delivers the goods.

From the disc:
Audio: English TrueHD 5.1; English 5.1 DD; French 5.1 DD; Spanish 5.1 DD;

Subs: English; English SDH; French; Portuguese; Spanish (doesn't say which)


Portal 2 (PC/Mac DVD)
Portal 2 (PC/Mac DVD)
Price: 15.06

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Put down your guns for a mo!, 1 May 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Portal 2 (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
It's great that every now and then a game comes along that is just pure quality without an 18 cert. The last game that I played and had so much fun with was Big Little Planet.

Portal is a FPP (First Person Portal shooter) that manages to be my game of the year so far. I did play the first one but got bored, I admit but this time they've enlist some celebrities to grease the rails a little. The humour is fantastically sarcastic as always from Steven Merchant and then we have an appearance from the editor in the Spiderman movies - J.K Simmons. The faact that these guys are in it doesn't mean they are covering for a weak game though. Without them Portal 2 would still be fantastic.

It's a pretty simple puzzle game with a little mouse speed and accuracy required later on. I had a couple of sticking points all the way through but nothing that caused me to be frustrated to the point of throwing the mouse out the window (at a cat). I'd say it suits all ages on that point.

Now then Valve - now that you've had your fun, can we please please please have the next, best game ever, again? It's been long enough now surely?

TELL ME MORE Webpass 12 Months Online Access (Mac/PC/Linux)
TELL ME MORE Webpass 12 Months Online Access (Mac/PC/Linux)
Price: 319.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'll join the frustrated gang of reviewers, 23 April 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been an on/off user of Rosetta Stone for a few years. I've always a simple and fairly effective means of learning the basics. When I saw Tell Me More come up on Vine I saw it as a great opportunity to finally have a good bash at learning a language more deeply than I've managed before.
I found registration ok and put my webpass in to unlock my choice of language. I've gone for Latin Spanish.
I've been using TLM for around a month now and whilst I find it functional and fairly simple to use I'm equally frustrated at the use of the website. It just isn't slick. The audio uses Java and way it uses your computers audi isn't good. Sometime it'll ask you to say something and no matter how well you can here yourself saying it, the website doesn't collect it correctly. Sure, there's loads of settings to play around with to try and correct this but I just gave up and skipped and test that requires a word it can't understand me saying.
I have also come across a few lessons where we are required to enter text but it just won't let me! Arghhhh!
Because of the bugs, I also find that the lessons become too long.
Unfortunately, the main positive for me is that it's web based therefore very lightweight. No installation required, just logon from anywhere and you're off so long as you have a mic.

For the asking price, for 12 months access I would definetly seek an alternative that you would own rather than rent. Rosetta Stone is far superior and can be brought for less than the price of this product. It's much slicker, although not as mobile.

Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Top Gear - The Great Adventures 4 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Clarkson
Price: 8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet. Blu-ray, 10 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great adventures 3 was a bit of a let down for me. The content was great but the quality was dire. Adventures 4 turns things around though, the 1080i picture quality is much better. The audio is a bit poor being DTS HD Stereo only but thankfully my equipment takes care of this issue for me using upmixing to surround sound (PL2).

Content wise, 3 brilliant episodes. I missed the US one that was aired at xmas and catching it now I find it utterly brilliant. I really have to admire them having the guts to take on the streets of Manhattan in the first place, let alone actually trying to get to a destination. It's my favourite of the 3 episodes taking us through a small section of the US through NASCAR country. The usual comedy ensues and isn't re-used stuff this time.
The Albania episode is based around the fact that Bentley pulled out of lending them their new model for some reason. Had this not have happened the episode wouldn't be half as funny as it is. Replacing it with a Yugo is an epic move.
The Middle east main feature is actually the weakest of the 3 for me. It's still a great watch but a little bit too fake (and that is saying something).

English only language and English subs only.

It's from 2 Entertain so almost certainly region free.

Fellowes Professional Series Ultimate Back Support
Fellowes Professional Series Ultimate Back Support
Price: 34.99

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb product, 31 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lumber support offered by most of the chairs I use just isn't quite up to the task and I often end up knowing about it at the end of the day.

I've used this support for 4 days now and I have nothing but praise for it - I feel so much healthier. It's very adaptable, I've used it on my office chair and in the car (5 hour drive). I'm now feeling fine at the end of the day.

Basically, there's no other way I can put this, it looks like a codpiece! The strap that comes from the point that goes over the top of the back of the chair is adjustable with the plastic buckles that are commonly found on backpacks. The strap has a maximum length of 700mm (27") and the cushion itself is 380mm high. Using these measurments, hopefully you can work out if it will suit your needs. The side straps are attached to elastic before the cushion so it's harder to give dimensions. The back of my office chair is 550mm and it's got plenty to spare. It did struggle a bit in the car but that's expected with that fat seat back. They aren't strictly necessary in the car anyhow.

The cushions are memory foam and feel like a gel being moulded into your spine when you take your seat so you end up with full support where it's required. Memory foam supposidely won't lose it's ability to recover to its original shape for a few years so each time I return to my chair I get to squidge again!

The cushions are removeable should you wish to ever get the support washed/dry cleaned.

It's much more expensive than the cheaper alternatives that are on offer but in a different league. Superior comfort, quality and support are what it offers . Great value for what it's given me.

I've uploaded some better images.

Where are they now, comment. After >12 months of use I want to give an update. The support is still tip-top is one thing. But what I'd also like to report is that it has trained me! My posture when I use other chairs is now naturaly much better apparently. So I suppose I must say that the support has actually bent me back into the correct shape.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 9, 2011 9:15 PM BST

No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Bon voyage warranty..., 29 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well, whilst the stock cooling on the 6970 was very efficient it still made too much noise for my OCD attitude towards my PC's silence. Off it comes and on with the XSPC Razor.

So, what do we get for what we fork out? Nothing spectacular really. A simple plain box, some screws, some blocking plugs, some spacers in case they are required, , thermal pads for the memory, thermal paste for the GPU and finally the block itself protected by some thin plastice film. All pretty standard for a full cover waterblock. (this is my third or forth?)

Instructions-wise we get an A4 photocopied sheet giving a diagramatic step-by-step how-to fit the lump of copper/stainless steel. This covers preparation, removal of the existing cooling and fitting of the new. To be honest, I didn't really use the instructions - I'm a bloke but I will say that for the money I would expect more than a photocopied single sheet of paper.

One thing with full cover blocks that isn't only the case for the Razor, is the insistance by the manufacturer to leave out protection for the components. I'm referring to the fact that they give us a lump of CNC machined, highly conductive metal and then ask us to fit it too our cards with zero margin for error. Once the block is fitted, that face of bare metal is within a nats eyelash of the components underneath. Any slight over tightening or warping during the fitting stage can easily result in curtains and your warrantyless card is a goner. The stock block that comes off has a simple thin sandwich layer of insulation in vital areas. Yes, it shouldn't be necessary but for those of us that do poke around in live PC's, it's a nice piece of mind to know that if I catch my hand or whatever, on the card it won't zap it. To get around my issue, I've used that sticky wrapping that the block comes in. See uploaded images.

My reason for going full cover is that I've found that GPU only coolers heat the coolant more - less mass. But at the same time, the GPU option is a safer and simpler option. Off with the stock cooling, on with the little block, fit four screws, stick some dinky coolers on the memory if you think necessary (I actually don't but I could be wrong), job done.

Performance. At stock, the card was reporting around 55C at idle and I didn't actually bother to look at what that was up at on loading. That temperature is now down to 26C idle and 35C after an hour of extreme stress. So, it's very good. My coolant temperature has dropped at idle too since my old setup was GPU only cooling. Oh and silence is bliss again once more, obviously.

XFX ATI Radeon HD6970 Graphics Card PCI-e 2 GB GDDR5 Memory 2x DVI HDMI 2x Mini Display Port
XFX ATI Radeon HD6970 Graphics Card PCI-e 2 GB GDDR5 Memory 2x DVI HDMI 2x Mini Display Port

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise when..., 28 Mar 2011
...I found out that this isn't as loud out of the box as I was expecting. My experience of these big top end graphics cards in the past is one where I would be expecting to wear headphones all the time. No this one, gives the quick blast when the PC is first turned on and then it practically turns the fan off. Play a game and yes the fan gets louder but nothing compared to those that I've owned in the past (I think I had a 8800GTX that was the loudest). I will still be watercooling it since I have that option but anyone else worried about possibly buying a leafblower need not be that concerned.

Performance wise, yep, as expected it's top notch. I've replaced a pair of 4890's and this instantly blows them out of the water. I'm running Crysis 2 @ 2580X1600 on jaw-dropping, extreme settings with no issues. Is there a better testament than that?

It's a big lump @ 97mm high (excluding the blade connector) x 280mm long x 40mm thick, so watch your clearances. I've uploaded an image as an example. I'm flush with the SATA connectors and a cooler on a Gigabyte X58A-UD3R.

ATI/AMD's Catalyst software is still a pain to install at times (apparently down to their use of the Windows installer). If you get issues, you won't be on your own but there's plenty of help online.

It says it has DisplayPort, but this is infact Mini DisplayPort. If you have a DisplayPort monitor, you will need a convertor or seperate lead. Essential for BD playback unless you wish to use the HDMI.

Sennheiser MM 100 Wireless Bluetooth Neckband Headset
Sennheiser MM 100 Wireless Bluetooth Neckband Headset

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vs the Sony, 21 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've bought the MM 100 to replace my Sony DR-BT21G simply because I find that the Sony model was cutting into my ears a bit and could get uncomfortable sometimes.
Sony DR BT 21 G Bluetooth Headphones Black
Typically, the Sennheiser is excessively packaged on delivery. A big fancy box, multilangauge manual, a submicro usb changing cable and a mains convertor in case someone buys the headphones without actually having regular acces to a USB port.
The only time I use these wireless headsets is in the gym paired with a Walkman. I row and cycle - I don't run, and for this purpose both sets are excellent options. I often wondered why they aren't more popular and have come to the conclusion that it all comes down to price. For what you get, Bluetooth headphones are pricey. I had to pricewatch on Amazon for quite some time before the price dropped to something acceptable - it's back up now though. If you're going to use something often and it's beneficial, I always say why not though.

In use, the MM 100 does seem odd to look at and put on. I can't make out quite where the band is suposed to go. Is it the back of my neck or the top of back of my head? Perhaps this is their way of making it as universal as they can. Either way, after some initial difficulty figuring out which best suited me, I'm now happy to pop them on with relative ease and I do find them more comfortable than the Sony. This is mainly down to the smooth edges on the banding - the Sony's is sharp and I had to put my own cushioning on. The MM 100 weighs in at 54g (compared to the Sony's 63g), so it's a light headset.
Sound quality, close but I'll say the MM 100 is the better.
Controlwise the MM 100 is a bit of a fiddle. The big button on the back of the right speaker, which doubles as power and play/pause, is too hard to operate. I don't use it, I stick to the Walkman controls which still work when paired. The volume control fairs much better but again, it's still a bit of a fiddle, luckily though I don't have to use the feature must. Once it's setup, I don't find the need to adjust the volume all the time.
Battery use. The MM 100 doesn't have a battery indicator so I'm in the dark on how to rate this. The manual says it should last up to 9 hours on a single charge. Perhaps it does? I guess at when I've used it 6 times and then charge. The Sony typically is legendary when it comes to battery use. A single charge probably gives in excess of 30 hours.

Functionally, the Sony is the better of the two. Better buttons, common charger option (but not USB), more compact since they fold and better battery life. The MM 100 wins out on comfort level and build quality for me making it the one I'd choose.

The Social Network (2-Disc Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]
The Social Network (2-Disc Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] [2011] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Jesse Eisenberg
Offered by Not2day Media
Price: 3.75

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, where's the directors cut?, 24 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
David Fincher is my favourite director, end-of. But....if he gets Oscars for this, it's another Oscars tragedy. Simple as, he's made much much better movies worthy of much greater recognition.
There's nothing wrong with the Social Network and it's a good nights entertainment but it's also nothing spectacular. No spectacular performances, I include the Oscar nomination of Eisenberg (what's different to say Zombieland?). My main gripe is the legs chopping off of and the leaving gaping holes in the story. What happens at the end is sacrilige, it's like someone said to David Fincher, 'You've got 120mins, after that the lights go off'. It tells us that Zuckerberg isn't all that interested in money but then Napster guy gets involved and then......the company is worth billions magically (if they can find someone who actually thinks it's worth billions), Napster guy is....somewhere else now. If there isn't a directors cut with around 30mins extra in the next 12 months, I'll eat my 3 day old porridge!



Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2011 3:42 PM GMT

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