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BD "bigdave2020" (UK)
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Nero Back It Up & Burn (PC CD)
Nero Back It Up & Burn (PC CD)
Offered by Gameline GmbH.
Price: £19.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Bug ridden and poor value, 20 Jan. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have a lot of experience using and configuring applications, both professionally and for personal use, and Nero products have I think an overall good reputation for software of this type, and I would have previously happily recommended them.

Shame then that this incarnation of Nero which in reality for such a large program is a fairly limited piece of software (that has no multimedia editing or label designing software for example), proved to be so bug ridden and crash prone when I installed it for use with Vista Home Premium.

I did all the right things by removing other backup programs from my machine (including a previous version of Nero) but I got frustrated with the continual crashing out and error reporting requests when halfway through a task. I lost more CDR disks then I considered worthwhile, and eventually gave up on the software and un-installed it completely.

If you want just a basic back up or burn program, I would recommend purchasing or installing Roxio instead which is not only cheaper to buy, it is smaller in disk space used and also more reliable in operation.


Damn The Torpedoes - Classic Albums [Blu-ray] [2010] [Blu-ray] [2010]
Damn The Torpedoes - Classic Albums [Blu-ray] [2010] [Blu-ray] [2010]
Dvd ~ Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Offered by Hardliner-music
Price: £10.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant insight in a classic album.., 8 Jan. 2011
A Rockumentary about a land mark album made by one of the finest rock bands of our time, featuring input and comment by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers band, guest musicians, record label owners, band supporters and media commentators, and the records seminal producer Jimmy Iovine, cannot fail to be entertaining.

The Classic Album shows have one notable difference from the average programme of this genre. The Classic album series is not just a collection of cheap thrown away programmes dominated by a cheesy commentary over a string of fuzzy repeated images with bad quality sound bites and quotes. The series has excellent production values featuring original footage, which centres around getting the old multi track tapes out, and separating out the parts (and in some cases playing along to them or performing the demo version) to demonstrate how the finished product was arrived at. It is this is invaluable part of the show that demonstrates Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song writing ability and imagination, and their ability for building the performances from recorded live performance tapes or sketched ideas to the final polished product. The show also shows rarely seen footage from studio recording sessions and the many many takes and tweaks that were made to achieve the superior production sonics and dynamics that were present on this album.

My appreciation of Damn the Torpedoes has grown a great deal since watching this DVD. This DVD is a reflection by those involved in the creation of the album, and a fascinating insight into the making and production of the end product, and contains valuable interviews with all who contributed. The record label legal disputes going on at the time of the making of the album are discussed, including the paranoia of the various master tape locations to avoid them being 'stolen' by their soon to be ex record company. We learn that the guitar parts for 'Only the losers' were born from a guitar chord structure exercise. We also learn that 'Here goes my girl' is regarded by Petty as possibly the finest song he has written for the band. We also hear 'Don't do it like that' (the bands first USA top 10 hit) was almost left off the album were it not for the words of a production assistant who spoke up towards the end of assembling the running order, and said the they liked the track, the tapes were re-loaded, the track re-evaluated and there it is, track 6 on the finished album!

There are these and many more revelatory moments in the show which a true fan is guaranteed to enjoy. I am a huge fan of the classic album series over the years, and sometimes find myself watching an episode even if I am unfamiliar with the band or album previously, as the shows are that good and interesting to watch. If you are a fan of Tom Petty, I would probably say this is essential and most definitely enjoyable viewing. I loved watching it, and I am sure you will too.


Moon Safari
Moon Safari
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un classique Chill Out album que vous devez acheter ce pour votre collection, 7 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Moon Safari (Audio CD)
Liberally laced with vintage Moog synths, vocoders and phaser effects (a hint of Oxygene perhaps?) Moon Safari is undeniably retro in feel but modern in take. This album truly transcends genre and time. Retro and futuristic, chill out in genre yet still sounding relevant and influencing others to the present day. Moon Safari almost stands alone as a beacon of brilliance from that period in music and genre. At the time of its original release only Moby and Zero 7 were able to compete on equal terms, an impressive achievement by anyone's standards.

Long after the Late 90's Chill out period had passed on, and its band wagon jumped upon and flogged to death with literally hundreds of so called `chill out' compilations, many of variable quality and authenticity to the genre, Moon Safari survives with credibility and musical credentials fully intact. Subtly beautiful with `All I need' and `Ce Matin La', retro pop with `Sexy Boy' and `Kelly watch the stars' and moody with `New Star in the sky' and `La Voyage de Penelope', it is an album of varied mood and pace and easily washes over you with every listen, with tight clean and yet honest production values.

In short a treat for the ears, the soul and your life. At the time of writing this classic album (a phrase so often over used and under valued) is available brand new for less than a fiver. You owe it to yourself to own this album, put it on, and just let it play.

Enjoy.


Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera (10 Megapixel, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS Digital Camera (10 Megapixel, 10x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good build, great pics... but battery life questionable..., 6 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am an experienced photographer who has owned and handled all levels and manner of photographic hardware (mainly Nikon and Canon) since my teens until the present day, with extensive experience of wildlife, portraiture, weddings and sports genres, and I agree with the comments made regarding battery life (although a one star review is a bit harsh!) In short the battery life is terrible and way below the standard I would expect. With a pair of brand new alkaline high power batteries with the picture quality levels set at what I like to use (and should be able to as this is what the camera is designed to do) and the occasional bit of fill in flash or zoom, and its 50-60 shots (at best) and your done! I got approx 40 more shots if using the recommended rechargables with similar levels of use, but again that was it. I would expect more from Canon and the battery life issue in my view let's the camera down. I want to be able to take a camera out with me and feel confident that I will be able to capture all of the shots I need, the SX120IS did not give me that confidence. My better half has an IXUS 130 and the battery life from the manufacturers rechargeable cell is fantastic so this proves it can be done.

On the other hand on the positive side, the picture quality I was very impressed with for the price, even when using the zoom fully extended. Canon's trademark IS technology working well, even with panning sports shots on full zoom. Build quality was excellent and the menus are up to the usual clear and intuitive standard. The only time I found the camera struggled was in half light conditions where the camera seem confused with contrast and whether to initiate the flash or not but the SX120IS is not unique in this regard.

The SX120IS has now been replaced with the SX130IS so a 120 can be picked for a small amount of money and now represents such a lot of camera for the outlay, but it would seem reading through the reviews published so far for the SX130IS, the battery life situation has not been addressed by Canon. After a few weeks of trying to persevere with the SX120IS, I sold it on (the first camera I have ever done this with) and now my better half's IXUS is the default non SLR that is taken out with us on walks and to family events.

In my view unless you really need a compact camera with an optical zoom beyond 4x or 5x or a 3" LCD viewing screen, go for an IXUS model instead.


New Urban Farmer
New Urban Farmer
by Celia Brooks Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aspiration not information..., 4 Jan. 2011
This review is from: New Urban Farmer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What this book provides is one person's experiences and anecdotes and tales of growing their own, which whilst entertaining and enjoyable and something to discuss whilst sharing coffee's with your friends, if you are after a more thorough guide to growing your own I would look elsewhere.

I would describe this book as a `lifestyle' advice book which in this case presents itself in an idealistic and pretty world of red brick terrace middle classness complete with Cath Kidston bunting, shaker cabinets, Le Creuset pots and Aga ovens which from a style point of view may seem lovely but ultimately leaves the reader wanting more.

I ordered this book for my better half who enjoys this type and style of publication and the proof of this books success (or lack of) is `The New urban Farmer' rather being a serious guide to refer to, has now become an ornament gathering dust on the shelf, alongside the Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay cookbooks.


AmazonBasics Universal Camera Case FF Black
AmazonBasics Universal Camera Case FF Black

2.0 out of 5 stars Good until the zip broke, 2 Dec. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was initially impressed with this camera case and thought it represented good value but after only three months light use the zip decided to break rendering it useless. Initially good value but spend a bit more and you will get a product that lasts.


Jabra Halo Bluetooth Stereo Headphones
Jabra Halo Bluetooth Stereo Headphones
Offered by UK Supplies
Price: £38.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good sound quality but poor value and function, 2 Dec. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Received these via the Vine programme and to be honest overall i don't think they deliver. Blue tooth functionality (with my smart phone anyway) seemed to be variable at best with an echo of my own voice coming back at me during conversations, which wasn't impressive. I also found the headphones didn't immediately feel comfortable on my head and the product had a flimsy fiddly feel to it.

Sound quality via the chord was good connected to a variety of sources, but if I wanted a set of good sounding chord headphones I would recommend buying a pair of Sennheisers for the same price or less (HD515's for example) that will blow these headphones away into the middle of next week in terms of build and sound quality.

I have awarded three stars because of the idea behind the device but unfortunately attempting to be a jack of all trades has meant some trade offs, and for me this product is too compromised to be judged successful in delivering its promises.


GA10: From The Vaults 1997-2007
GA10: From The Vaults 1997-2007
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £6.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly put together..., 2 Dec. 2010
If anyone should know how pick the best moments from Groove Armada's back catalogue and mix it together it is the Groove Armada duo themselves and what a great job they have done here with this self produced 10 year tribute. The album is a double disc set with one disk being an uptempo set put together by Tom and the other is a downtempo set put together by Andy. If you are familiar with GA you will probably think you have some idea of the tracks featured here but this is not a commercial stocking filler greatest hits. This album is GA mixing together their own personal favourite tracks from their 5 studio albums and remixes.

We've all been there, a new album in the player and you look at the playlist when a duffer comes up and probably skip it, not so here. One of Groove Armada's strengths has been the variety of their output for over 10 years, never afraid to change mood or direction from one album to the next, and despite this amount of diverse output, the tracks selected by the pair in the two mixes really flow well together taking you on a journey.

You may notice that i haven't disected the setlists and detailed each track, because in my view there is no need to here. Just put the disks in and enjoy the top notch production quality and sound of the Groove Armada taking you on a personal trip from bedroom to dancefloor via a world tour and back again. Superb.


Hotel Costes 14
Hotel Costes 14
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.32

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Has Hotel Costes run out of steam ?, 13 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Hotel Costes 14 (Audio CD)
It would be a real shame if the long running HC series were to come to an end, but based upon the evidence of this instalment in the series, it would appear so. The tracks do not flow well, the song choices curious (but not interesting) and the usual slick appeal has been lost.

I am under no illusions that the marketing behind the Hotel Costes compilations has sold its chilled out 'frenchness' to me very well, and the Hotel Costes series has kept me entertained and chilled for over a decade, but unless the series can return at least to the standard of instalment 11 and earlier, then perhaps it is now time to hang up the 'decks' and perhaps leave us with the Number 2 - Number 12 legacy intact.


Successful Novel Plotting (Secrets to Success)
Successful Novel Plotting (Secrets to Success)
by Jean Saunders
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for the beginner..., 25 Aug. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have never owned a writing guidance book before, so I ordered this with an open mind.

If you detach the advice from the genre featured in the book, then this guide is decent place to start. I would suggest that perhaps the common sense elements of story plotting are mentioned quite often (but I guess they can be missed) but otherwise I found the book easy to follow and appreciate the values of storywriting the author was trying to get across.

However i would say that this book is not of sufficent depth to perhaps begin a professional career or an award winning book, and this book is only a guide and cannot teach you the instincts of a natural writer, but otherwise this little book is not a bad place to start, especially as at the time of writing you can pick up new example for only a couple of pounds.


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