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Mr. N. Morgan "Green Knight" (High Wycombe, UK)
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Belkin ADSL Modem with Built-in 125g Wireless Router
Belkin ADSL Modem with Built-in 125g Wireless Router

4.0 out of 5 stars Good router, but not a logical setup procedure, 30 Sep 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought & used this router since March 2007 and it has performed very well so far - much faster internet download speeds than my original USB broadband modem, but due to a rather confusing "Internet WAN Conection Type" page I wasted a lot of time trying to configure the router for use with my ISP that uses static IP addressing rather than a dynamically issued one (DHCP).

For those using an ISP that issues you with a static IP address the setup screen infers by default that you need to tick the "Use static IP address" box and then enter the said static IP address into the box allocated for it. You don't!! For the vast majority of UK broadband users you choose either PPPoA or PPPoE depending on the instructions given by your ISP and simply enter your ISP login name & password and leave the "Use Static IP address" option unticked. The ISP hardware should automatically issue the static IP address to the router when it logs in. This is not made at all clear in the instructions.

Once I sorted that one out, the router has performed very well. The wireless range whilst good is not fantastic - around average for this type of router. I do agree with previous reviews about the wireless security and UPnP being off by default, but numerous other manufacturers do the same, so Belkin aren't unique here by any means. Caveat Emptor on this point I think!

Another point: check AND DOUBLE CHECK that you have keyed in your ISP login name & password correctly... I wasted an hour trying to figure out why my user name/password was being rejected - until I discovered I had put a dot in my login name where a dash should have been. GRRR!!!

I bought a second of these routers for my father in early August and so far that one has performed well too! Needless to say, I didn't fall into the same traps again setting his up!!


Invaders
Invaders
Dvd ~ Roy Thinnes
Price: £10.00

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ..."A Quinn Martin Production!", 10 July 2007
This review is from: Invaders (DVD)
"The Invaders... alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination, the Earth: their purpose, to make it THEIR world. David Vincent has seen them: for him it began one lost night on a lonely country road looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began at a closed deserted diner, with a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now, David Vincent knows that The Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun."

Way back in 1967, aided by the spooky music written by Dominic Frontiere, those words spoken by that sombre voice introduced each episode of a TV series that soon attracted a cult following. The Invaders was born into the end of and was a product of that era of Cold War paranoia that Senator Joseph McCarthy's "reds under the bed" perception of the Soviet empire had engendered with his partisan politics in the U.S.A.. This attitude along with the relatively recent arrival of atomic weapons & nuclear physics spawned a plethora of sci-fi & horror films & TV series based on the hidden and dangerous presence not of Soviet spies & subversives but of extra-terrestrial beings - all of which were intent on destroying or dominating their enemy - not the freedom of the American way of life - but the entire human race!

In many ways, The Invaders was also the 1960s version of the X-Files. The aliens assumed human form and were by and large indistinguishable from normal human beings - apart from a different ribcage bone structure and a misformed little finger on the right hand - oh, and they glowed red & burnt up when they died! Pretty good visual effects for the day too!

But whilst the X-Files relied ever more heavily on conspiracy theories as time went on, The Invaders relied on ever more people becoming aware of the presence and sheer ingenuity of the aliens to infiltrate American society and ultimately dominate it. Perhaps in some ways this proved to be the nemesis of the series: after all, there are only so many ways you can infiltrate and ultimately destroy the human race! But at least The Invaders bowed out before it got past its sell-by date - something the X-Files didn't do!

Roy Thinnes was excellently cast and played his role well as the architect David Vincent who stumbled onto the arrival of the aliens one night whilst taking a break from a long car journey. Thus began a TV series that ran to 43 episodes - most of which were of an excellent standard and featured many top-drawer guest stars. And whilst nearly every episode relies on the "I'm the only one who knows about this hidden deadly danger and how can I get people to believe me" premise, each episode entertains well and is equally well scripted.

There was a much inferior 1995 remake which was a poor shadow of this the original series.

This DVD set contains all 17 episodes from Season 1 that was first aired on American TV screens in 1967 and is an absolute "must-buy" for all sci-fi fans. And if the sound & video quality is up to that of the last TV repeat of the series in the UK a couple of years ago, then it looks like they will be of a high standard for the age of the material.

Highly Recommended for any serious sci-fi fan - or for anyone who's never grown up!!


Forbidden Planet (50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition) [1956] [DVD] [1957]
Forbidden Planet (50th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition) [1956] [DVD] [1957]
Dvd ~ Walter Pidgeon

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And about time too!, 31 Mar 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Of all the 1950s sci-fi films that were made (and there were many of them!) in my opinion just four stand head and shoulders above the rest: "This Island Earth", "The Day The Earth Stood Still", "Them" and this one - "The Forbidden Planet." This is one film that has been crying out for a DVD release ever since the DVD was invented! Now at long last it looks like it's going to happen - well maybe - its release has been postponed three times already!

Whilst not wanting to give too much away about the film's storyline, it is loosely based on William Shakespeare's "The Tempest", and the film shows clearly what can happen when "mind over matter" (or should I say over energy) is allowed to get out of hand.

Containing some of the best sets and visual effects around in its time, these still cut the mustard even in today's CGI world. In fact, one set (the Krell power plant) still fills me - a fifty-something - with wonder every time I see it!

Louis & Bebe Barron's haunting and disturbing electronic music score really adds to the film (for which they got paid very little apparently) and enhances the atmosphere and suspense.

There is also a considerable amount of humorous parody in the film as well - e.g. Robbie's response to Altaira's request for yet another dress!

This film is a definite "must have" for any sci-fi film buff worthy of their salt - and I can't wait to get my copy! Let's hope the release date isn't postponed AGAIN!!

Highly recommended!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 15, 2013 12:29 PM GMT


Sandisk Sansa e280 - 8Gb MP3 & Video Player
Sandisk Sansa e280 - 8Gb MP3 & Video Player

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No complaints from me!, 28 Mar 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Finally, I took the plunge and decided to buy an MP3 player: and after a lot of deliberation and reading reviews of various makes and models, I bought the E280 and so far I've not been disappointed. I wanted to steer clear of the higher capacity players that use miniature hard drives because in my experience hard drives and physical shocks don't mix!! So the E280, being a flash memory player, took my eye.

The unit is sturdy, small and compact and fairly easy to use. I do agree up to a point with other reviewers regarding the menu system not being the easiest to navigate, but hey! if a fifty-something duffer like me can master it, then I reckon anyone can!

The sound quality is really good - even with the "bud" earphones supplied. I've read conflicting reviews regarding the sound being either too loud or too soft with this player and I think I've worked out why this could be happening! I think it all depends on the shape of the ear canal which to an extent will determine how well the "buds" fit into your ears. If they fit well, the sound can be on the loud side, but if they're a poor fit then the sound can be quiet. I've not had any problems with the sound being either too loud or soft so I guess I'm lucky! I'm going to buy a set of noise-cancelling headphones to use with this unit, and I guess it's the only accurate way to measure the sound level.

Having said that, there are two independent means of adjusting the sound levels: 1) with the thumbwheel while the song is playing, and 2) further increase/decrease can be obtained by selecting the "custom" equaliser option and increasing or decreasing all 5 sliders by equal amounts.

The E280 has played everything I've thrown at it so far - including speech MP3 files encoded at 24kbit/16kHz (the manual says the E280 will only go down to 32kbit). The lithium-ion battery is supposed to be easily replaced if necessary, and it looks like you have to simply unscrew 4 small screws on the back and remove it to get at the battery. The battery life when fully charged is supposed to be around 20 hours, but I haven't used it that much yet, but reviews reckon the average is around 18-19 hours from a full charge.

One important thing that isn't listed in the user guide are some of the minor specifications such as the maximum size of Micro SD card that the E280 will work with, but I've found out the unit won't work with the 64mB size or lower as these sizes use the FAT12 filesystem and the E280 will only work with FAT16 or FAT32 file systems. I do know it will work with a 1gB Micro SD (formerly known as Transflash) card though.

I haven't tried using photos or videos yet, but this looks a little less straightforward than simply dragging and dropping the MP3 files into the MUSIC folder on the player using Windows Explorer (with the E280 in MSC mode) as the images & video must be converted with the supplied software to a proprietary format and then downloaded to the E280.

The E280 relies heavily on Windows Media Player to create playlists which is probably why it needs V10 or higher, and it's not a complicated process, but has to be done in MTP mode not MSC mode. And as no mains charger is supplied, a USB port on the PC capable of supplying the full 500mA of power is a must (preferably via a USB hub with its own power unit) in order to charge the battery from the USB port. This also means you need to power up your PC to charge the battery AND you can't listen to any music whilst the E280 is attached to the PC. So a mains charger is strongly recommended. Amazon sell at least one type of charger suitable for the E280.

So to sum up:

The Pros:-

Versatile navigation buttons.

Well-featured menu system.

Excellent sound quality.

Sturdy build quality.

To date the largest solid state memory MP3 player.

Memory expandable with a Micro SD card. (to at least 9gB)

Small size.

Has both MSC and MTP USB modes (selectable via settings menu).

User replaceable Li-ion rechargeable battery.

The Cons:-

Menu system can be somewhat confusing at first.

Proprietary video/photo format.

Somewhat limited range of audio formats supported (i.e. no FLAC,APE,AAC or OGG support) although MP3, WAV, and WMA (incuding the DRM version) are supported.

Limited operating system support (only Windows XP SP1 or higher at present).

Limited processor support (must be Intel Pentium or higher)

Needs Windows Media Player 10 or higher (or some similar software) needed for MTP transfer mode for creating playlists.

No mains charger supplied.

The FM radio is only present in the US version.

Comclusion:-

Whilst there are as many cons as pros, if it's solid-state capacity and sound quality you're looking for in an MP3 player, the E280 is about as good as it gets!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 16, 2011 8:54 AM BST


The Bible... In The Beginning [DVD]
The Bible... In The Beginning [DVD]
Dvd ~ George C. Scott
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: £2.75

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No blockbuster, but pretty accurate!, 26 Mar 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As the other reviewer intimates, this is a fairly low-key Bible-based drama - unlike say Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments". But this film is probably the best Bible-based film I've seen to date for keeping to the Bible narrative. Sure, at times some artistic license is used, but it's difficult to see on some occasions how else the events recorded in Genesis could have been portrayed on film!

After watching the movie, I was very much left with the impression that the prime motive in making this film was to portray as closely as possible the events from Creation to when Abram sacrifices Isaac to how they are recorded in the book of Genesis - rather than making a great movie epic; and in this regard the film does well. This does mean things can get a little erm, well a bit bland at times, but stick with it and you'll be rewarded with probably an accurate as possible record as a film-based narrative can be, of the events recorded in the first 22 chapters of Genesis!

Definitely one for the children to watch or for Sunday School use.


The Monkees - Season 1 [DVD] [2006]
The Monkees - Season 1 [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ The Monkees

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great box set but "caveat emptor"!, 20 Dec 2006
First the "caveat emptor" i.e. "let the buyer beware": both series I have bought (from separate sources) are indeed Region 2 (in fact Region 2,3,4 and 5 to be precise) BUT the transmission standard is NOT the British PAL TV standard as stated in the Product Details section, but the AMERICAN/JAPANESE NTSC TV standard (bizarre or what?) so please ensure your DVD player and TV can cope with NTSC (most TVs & DVD players less than 5-6 years old will almost certainly handle NTSC OK - but check first) before you buy either series 1 or 2 - in case the box set you get is NTSC as well. I'm lucky... my system copes just fine with NTSC!

Well now that's dealt with, the series proper! I clearly remember the Monkees from my childhood and although it never realy wowed me then, when I watched the first few episodes on the DVDs I found I was almost rolling round on the floor with laughter! Their brand of quickfire, wacky, slapstick and highly visual humour has in my opinion aged very well! Sadly the all-too-obvious canned laughter hasn't!!

Humour is one of those thngs that is very personal: one man's meat is very much another's poison in this regard; but don't forget there's the music of the Monkees captured here as well, and that too has aged very well and is almost worth buying both series for on its own. "Take The Last Train To Clarkesville" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" are still firm favourites of mine after all these years and still raise the hairs on the back of my neck whenever I hear them!

Restoration quality is pretty good considering the age of the material although there is evidence of some colour fading on the original film prints, but it's "liveable-with".

Both series 1 and 2 are available separately in a box set of slimline cases and come with a slim series booklet containing episode listings and trivia etc., plus a selection of "collectors cards"... and series 1 is almost awash with extras, but again bizarrely, no subtitles have been included!

Each episode has a pretty comprehensive trivia section, and the following "extras" are included in series 1:-

5.1 audio

Separate commentaries for episodes 1,3,10,12,14,15 & 32 by various group members & the series production team.

A transfer from 16mm film of the pilot episode

"Play Songs Only" option

Monkees Discography

Vintage Monkees Kelloggs Commercials

Interview with Monkees songwriter Bobby Hart

Monkees Memorabilia Gallery

All in all, well worth the money in my opinion (as is series 2 as well) if you like the Monkees and their music. The only reason I haven't rated the set with five stars is because of the bizarre NTSC transmission standard... why was this done??
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2012 8:58 AM GMT


Kinvig - The Complete Series [DVD]
Kinvig - The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tony Haygarth
Price: £10.20

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Nigel Kneale's best!, 12 Aug 2006
Having killed off his main character - that of Quatermass in the series aired immediately after the end of the ITV strike in the autumn of 1979 - I guess for a time Nigel Kneale was a left a little like a canoeist without a paddle... i.e. up the creek! And thus in Kinvig he tried his hand at a blend of comedy mixed with sci-fi. Sadly, in my opinion it didn't quite work.

Sure, the series has its funny moments, but the overall humour was weak and wasn't to my taste; and to add insult to injury as it were, canned laughter is used as well - yuck! The storyline was in my opinion pretty weak as well with a totally bizarre ending that left me thinking "well is that it then?" There are some barbs at some of the more way-out UFO/conspiracy theory followers that are funny at times, but these are pretty weak and not that obvious.

However, it's not all bad: Kinvig does have a few redeeming features. The special effects used were for the time very advanced: check out the lasers used when the alien ship external door opens to allow Kinvig to enter - cool even by today's standards! Oh, and of course for the testosterone-charged amongst us, Prunella Gee's costumes (or rather lack of them!) have a certain appeal too!

Network have come in for some stick in the past regarding their minimalist features on their DVDs, but this one comes with a very informative and well-researched booklet which is almost worth the purchase alone.

Overall then, not one of Nigel Kneale's best writings by a long way, but it has some appealing qualities and an excellent booklet bundled with the DVD.


The British Transport Films Collection Volume 3 - Running a Railway [DVD]
The British Transport Films Collection Volume 3 - Running a Railway [DVD]
Dvd ~ A.G. Street
Offered by produXa UK
Price: £7.28

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent issue, 8 Jun 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Volume 3 of the "British Transport Films" series is also a must for any railway buff. I received my set yesterday and only had time to watch "Fully Fitted Freight" last night. This film alone made the purchase worthwhile for me! The way the film captures the "busy-ness" of Britain's railways at the time and the general optimism of life in Britain in the 1950s is just amazing! A refreshing change from life today! And "Terminus" (a day in the life of Waterloo Station) which I have seen before is just wonderful!

Picture quality was good considering the age of the source material. There is the occasional bit of fluff/film dirt etc, but it's pretty unobtrusive and the overall sharpness and cleanness of the picture is good - in fact very good. Sound quality does vary a bit, but it's as good as you'll get from the source and isn't really bad at the worst of times; but there is the odd bit of audio distortion which was quite common in films from that era and earlier.

One film I was pleased to see in this collection is "The Third Sam" narrated by Stanley Holloway which I saw for the first time at the 2004 York Railfest.

Having purchased the first two volumes in this series, I can be pretty certain this volume won't disappoint those who are undecided on buying it.

Sadly, this volume (like the other two) doesn't contain my all-time favourite of these railway films namely "Night Mail" but I guess that one will come with (I hope) a future release in the series.

Recommended!


Sony DSC-S600 Digital Camera - Silver (6.0MP, 3 x Optical Zoom) 2.0" LCD
Sony DSC-S600 Digital Camera - Silver (6.0MP, 3 x Optical Zoom) 2.0" LCD

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great images... great value!, 20 Mar 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've just bought one of these to supplement my other digital camera which my wife finds too complicated to use (Fuji Finepix S9500) and we're both delighted with it. The camera is very easy to use, very compact and fits easily into a trouser pocket.
The image quality is superb, sharp and vibrant (although obviously not as detailed as the Fuji which is 9 megapixel), and the ISO 1000 sensitivity is useful in low light, but as another reviewer said, image noise in low light does become noticeable at this speed.
The 3X optical zoom range is very useful... going from 31mm-93mm (35mm equivalent) which gives a good wide angle for scenery with a reasonable amount of telephoto. One useful touch is you can set the optical and digital zoom to be consecutive (Precision Zoom). By this I mean you can press the "zoom in" button and the image zooms up to the 3X optical zoom as the lens extends out. But when the 3X optical zoom is reached, you can keep pressing the "zoom in" button and the digital zoom kicks in and gives you up to 6X overall zoom, and image quality is still good even at 3X digital zoom! Nice!
One of the unique features of this camera is the unusually powerful flash - effective up to 7 metres!
Pros:
VERY low shutter lag
Superb image quality
Powerful flash
Ease of use
Full 640x480 @ 30fps movie mode with sound (You need a Memory Stick Pro Duo fitted to record at this resolution though)
Useful zoom range
Takes two AA batteries (2500mAH NiMH rechargeables STRONGLY recommended)
Compact size
Optical viewfinder with simulated 3X optical zoom as well as viewing screen.
32mB internal memory (can be used without a Memory Stick Duo inserted and images can be transferred to the Memory Stick via the menu)
Cons:
No manual exposure mode
The tripod mounting thread is on one edge instead of being centrally mounted - this could lead to some lop-sided pictures on anything less than a very sturdy tripod.
Some (but not excessive) image noise in low light at high film speeds.
(A bit picky I know, but) No protective case supplied.
No centre-weighted metering (spot & multi only)
Needs Memory Stick Pro Duo for 640x480 @ 30fps video
When buying the AC adaptor for this camera you need the Sony AC-LS5K unit NOT the Sony AC-LS5 which doesn't come with the adaptor that fits into the battery compartment.
Overall: a versatile, compact camera that takes good quality pictures and is easy to use.
Recommended!


Memory Stick Duo adaptor for Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro
Memory Stick Duo adaptor for Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro
Offered by Desire IT
Price: £3.55

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No problems here!, 14 Mar 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Works a treat with my 1gB Mmemory Stick Pro Duo fitted into a Belkin 15-in-1 card reader & 3-port USB hub.
The adaptor looks a bit on the flimsy side, but as long as you're not ham-fisted with it, it should give you good service.


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