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Zarrafak "finvin" (Scotland)

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Zefal 45 Half Toe-Clips - Black, Large/X-Large
Zefal 45 Half Toe-Clips - Black, Large/X-Large
Price: 3.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well designed, 2 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Zefal 45 Half Toe-Clips (Sports)
Great design. This is the perfect toeclip if you wear MTB shoes - or even walking boots. They are very strong and rigid, with enough depth and width for even larger sizes - I take a size 12. You might have to jiggle around with, or modify, the fittings to suit your pedals. But thoroughly recommended.

MPR-A1 HAME MPR-A1 WiFi 802.11b/g/n Wireless 3G Router - White + Green
MPR-A1 HAME MPR-A1 WiFi 802.11b/g/n Wireless 3G Router - White + Green

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take Your Tablet / Ipad WiFi Internet Anywhere for a Bargain Price!, 2 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this from Touch Global. It arrived in the UK 7 days after shipping from Singapore and 9 days in total after ordering, and very well packed. Overall I'd say excellent service.
(Note for Touch Global: The value of under 14UK can be confidently noted on the CN22 declaration, without any liklihood of delays or additional tax and duty payments incurred by customer - I believe this is also true for most of Europe.)

At this price I decided to buy this to use with tablets "on the go" and to test it out for my daughter who has no home wifi.
- I took into account that there may be a few problems buying the basic unit for the Chinese home market.

The unit itself is extremely neat and compact, but be aware the one I received had a blue finish rather than green as advertised; not a problem for me as I would have bought the blue unit in preference anyway. I suspect the colour sent may be randomly selected - blue, green or amber I believe.

I unboxed it. Included were a white 500mm long USB2 to micro USB cable and a manual - in Chinese only, as I had anticipated.
I had already checked online and found the following basic English version of the manual which I downloaded.
- You can Google "Sanoxy WR-M3GU12" to find this download.
This is for the US/EU/AUS etc version which is branded "Sanoxy", which sells on Amazon for about 4x the delivered price of this unit.
***Please note also that the default codes/passwords are different from the Hame unit under this listing(see below).

I charged it on a USB mains charger for 3 hours (basic 1A "phone" type), plugged in my Huawei dongle/modem with T-mobile data sim and connected it to my laptop (running Windows 7) and waited...
About 2 mins later after a series of lights which flashed red, blue and then steady blue I was asked for the WiFi SSID code.
I tried a few things (including "admin", "password") and eventually by chance tried and found this to be on a sticker on both the box and back of the router itself. Its the bottom code on either label - on my unit the last eight alphanumeric characters, after "WIFI, 2 Chinese characters and a comma.
I suppose this type of problem is part of the price you pay for buying the Chinese version. - Buy hey I've now solved it for you!
Looking at the downloaded manual for the Sanoxy European version this default security appears to be disabled, as no mention of it is made.
Another minute went by, then the router appeared as an available network on my Windows7 "Open Network and Sharing Center" menu. I clicked on the banner and it began to access the internet, "kicking off" my Virgin cable access.
I live right on the edge of an urban area and I already knew that T-Mobile, like the other phone networks are very weak here, especially indoors. I tried some basic Google surfing and all seemed OK, albeit very slow compared to my usual 20Mb cable access.

I decided to access the "web-based" set up and configuration to see if I could change the default access code, maybe change the default language to English, and maybe even somehow improve the speed of the unit.

From the downloaded "Sanoxy" manual this is achieved by entering the address supplied in the Chinese or downloaded manual in your web browser.
The home page appeared, in Chinese as anticipated. I clicked on the large central icon and entered the password "admin" as suggested in the downloaded manual. This was bounced of course! I suspected the worst - I would have to enter a set of Chinese characters from somewhere?

I checked the Chinese manual for picture of the home page, maybe indicating the default password. I then saw the word "hame" in the Chinese blurb above the picture. I entered this.
Hey Presto, I was in!
I checked around a few of the set up pages, clcked a few drop down boxes to see if I could find the word "English", but to no avail. I noted though that the router had automatically picked up the APN settings for T-mobile access.
I noted where I could change the WiFi security code - or even turn off wifi security. I decided to leave it for the time being.
... Then a bit of a disaster. clicked out of the web-based configuration and found I had lost the Hame router as an available network. I tried a "short" reset, a "long" reset, switched it off and on, etc etc.
I could not get my laptop to "see" the router.
Finally, I remembered the network connection on the router and connected it via an RJ45 ethernet cable (not supplied) to my laptop. I entered the address supplied on my browser to access the config screens and entered tha password "hame". I then clicked on the "wifi" icon and noticed that there was what looked like a Wifi "On/Off Button" greyed out. I clicked on this and it went bright blue, presumably to "On".
I logged out and after a few seconds, the "Hame" network reappeared. I clicked on the banner on my laptop network menu and seconds later my Hame router had "kicked off" my Virgin cable/home router, indicating Internet access via my Hame router. (home/Hame? -very confusing here in Scotland!)

I then successfully accessed the Hame router and internet with 2 Android tablets and a Blackberry phone using the security code from the back Router box described above.

I'll try the Hame unit/T-Mobile/Modem with a tablet in a better mobile network area soon and maybe update this review on any speed improvements - to full 3G I hope. The Hame Wifi network itself appears to operate at it's full 150Mb though - no problems there!

I haven't checked out the battery charge life yet or tried the "phone emergency charge" facilty yet, but it's not what I bought it for and I'd be fairly sure of no problems.

**** Update - Just found the following: When accessing the "web-based" configuration add the following to the address provided, immediately after the last "/": goform/setSysLang?en
Press enter and Lo and behold! The configuration screen appears in English! You then just enter the default password "hame", all the configuration screens are in English, and you're away!
Any subsequent time you wish to access the configuration just use the the original web address and the options remain in English.****

In summary, with a bit of dedication, and using the modified codes/passwords as described above, I have no hesitation in recommending this router. Be sure to keep a note of the WiFi SSID access code though - or change it as soon as you can if you can to something you'll remember! At the price listed it's a real bargain too!

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 4, 2012 12:37 AM BST

The Trossachs (OS Explorer Map Active)
The Trossachs (OS Explorer Map Active)
by Ordnance Survey
Edition: Map
Price: 9.79

5.0 out of 5 stars The One to Buy, 26 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This must be by far the map section with the highest count of scenic and accessible walks and beginners' offroad bike rides in the whole of the country.
Get this plasticised 'Active' version - you'll wear out the paper one! I've never put it back on the shelf in 4 years.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ronnie Ahead - 25 years overdue for CD release!, 16 Feb 2012
I've had this vinyl LP for 34 years, and in my opinion it represents the the best thing Ronnie Scott ever recorded - by far.
The personnel includes Ronnie on Tenor and Soprano(unusual), Louis Stewart on guitar, accompanied by Scott's regular backing trio of the time: John Taylor on piano, Ron Mathewson on bass and Martin Drew on drums.
It's a bit of it's time, but there are some special moments here.
It's John Taylor who I believe brings the to the session one of the most beautiful moments in Ronnie's, or any other of the band's careers: Eberhard Weber's "Forty Colours". If you haven't heard this piece do yourself a favour and beg borrow or steal a copy - it's stunning. I say brought by John Taylor, as he actually played on what I believe was the only other previous release of this tune on "psychedelic" German guitarist Volker Kriegel's "Lift!" album from about six years before (with violin and sitar!). The composer, Weber, also played bass on that release.
On the present album the tune's beautiful theme is played by Scott's tenor and Stewart's guitar, followed by a mellow solo by the Irish guitarist, surely one of the highlights of HIS career. This is followed by Ronnie's equally mellow solo on tenor, surely also one of the best of his career. The solos are rounded out by John Taylor on Fender Rhodes, very much dating the album, and strangely unsatisfying from such a stellar musician. As far as I know Eberhard Weber never recorded this piece under his own name, so we should be ever grateful to John Taylor for providing this definitive rendition.
If you haven't heard it; think of the sad atmosphere of "In A Silent Way", but with stunningly beautiful solos. I suppose in retrospect it sounds like Weber used "Silent Way" as the basis for development of all his subsequent music. ...Although I for one don't believe he ever improved on "Forty Colours". Why did he never record it under his own name? Maybe I'll ask him!
P.S. The rest of the album is nice too!

Soft Machine: Legacy - The 40th Year Jubilee [DVD]
Soft Machine: Legacy - The 40th Year Jubilee [DVD]
Dvd ~ Soft Machine Legacy
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: 17.32

4.0 out of 5 stars A First ...and the Last, 24 Oct 2011
I bought Abracadabra, I believe the first CD by this basic line up, with Allan Holdsworth in place of John Etheridge on guitar (also then called 'Soft Works'), about 9 years ago as an expensive Japanese import. I'd have to say it didn't make a great immpression on me. After getting hold of a couple of excellent DVDs, one of a 1970 Paris concert Soft Machine - Alive In Paris 1970 (NEW DVD), and of a German one from 1973 Ndr Jazz Workshop: Germany May 17. 1973, I thought I'd give them another go and get this DVD to complete an overview of their career, as it were.
It's good; but not earth shattering. This may not be the first Soft Machine-derived line up to feature Dean, Hopper and Marshall, but I believe it is the first since their early 'prog/pop' incarnations to feature a saxophone/woodwind and guitar front line, without a powerful organ and/or electric piano player. Excellent though Etheridge is, I personally miss the powerful riff based composing and playing of a Mike Ratledge, or Karl Jenkins.
Etheridge and Elton Dean don't really work together as a unit; each treats the band almost as a trio. Although Elton Dean provides some electric piano fills for Etheridge, he just seems to lay out when Elton plays; there's virtually no communication between them. This is in total contrast to the interaction and trading off between Dean and Ratledge in the early seventies. Basically there's just less going on with this band.
I'd also have to say that although I've listened to virtually all their 70s recordings, I've always favored 'Third' to 'Seven', along with subsequent releases of live sessions, and radio transcription from that period. With the earlier, and later work I was more selective. I always thought the sound of Allan Holdsworth more tasteful and restrained than John Etheridge. That may be my problem, but it probably shouldn't be yours. Overall though, as possibly the last recording of Elton Dean, and last video footage of Hugh Hopper, it's a worthy epitaph and worth your investment.

Forecast: Tomorrow
Forecast: Tomorrow
Price: 31.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Those New to Weather Report, 18 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Forecast: Tomorrow (Audio CD)
If you haven't heard them before this could be the one to get. Shop around though; you may get it for less at Amazon France, or elsewhere.
Ideally though you should start with the first, eponymous album from 1971, or even 'Zawinul' from earlier the same year. Then you have the first problem: Live in Japan or I Sing The Body Electric ...or both? I'd go with the former, and pick up the latter at a bargain price once I'd checked out the next two releases. The reason for this is that half the album consists of about 1/3 of the live tracks on Live in Japan.
Anyway, continue with Sweetnighter and Mysterious Traveler - my personal favourite along with the first album.
Thereafter, proceed with caution. A lot of the creativity and originality seems to evaporate from their work, in favour of unmemorable, if high quality, funk, along with a large measure of 'grandstanding' from newer members. Virtually all of the subtle melodic and harmonic invention, as supplied in the first few albums mainly by Zawinul and Shorter, is missing, or appears on rarer and rarer occasions. Indeed often Shorter himself may as well not be there, as has been cited (facetiously) as the sub-text for Mr Gone. The live album, "8:30" is an exception, as Weather Report lost little of their impact on live gigs over the years.
This is when the present offering comes in useful; most if the second and third CDs consists of key post 1974 tracks, and could be all that is required from this period. The DVD is also provides good coverage of the era, and as indicated above, Weather Report were still a force to be reckoned with as a live act. Although, for a balanced view, I'd also recommend the Live in Germany 1971 DVD for a glimpse of Weather Report near their peak.
There's also, if you can find it, a separate excellent two hour set of radio transcriptions fron NDR Berlin, September 1971, which really should be made available. This not only would provide the opportunity hear more the band at their early creative peak, but is also interesting for the inclusion of Eje Thelin on trombone, John Surman on baritone and Alan Skidmore on tenor, who apparently turned down an offer to join the band.

Offered by Music-Shop
Price: 11.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Something for those long Summers' Days, 4 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brazil (Audio CD)
No international stars of Brazilian music here - but a great collection nonetheless, and definitely worth an airing on those long summers days.
CD6 in particular has superb versions of some well-known songs by a great sounding local group. I doubt if some of them have ever sounded better. Check out Baden-Powell's Berimbau!

The Call
The Call
Price: 10.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'Conversion', 21 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Call (Audio CD)
I probably wasn't alone in having written off Charles Lloyd. I wasn't impressed by him on the 60s quartet albums (with Keith Jarrett on piano), some of which I had heard in the early 70s. I found his ideas weak and his tone and phrasing uninspiring - I positively disliked his flute work!
In short - a triumph of style over real substance.
I thought: "Why would anyone listen to this when the classic Coltrane quartet sides were being reissued?"
Also, to my ears at that time Joe Henderson, Clifford Jordan, Wayne Shorter and later Billy Harper, with a few others, were much more interesting.
Keith Jarrett held my attention though, and I've been a fan ever since.
In the 80s I also found myself listening to pianist Michel Petrucciani, in various settings, including some Wayne Shorter sessions. I couldn't understand why Michel would want to bring Lloyd back from his then current 'inactivity' - and promptly didn't even bother to listen!
I've been a fan of Bobo Stenson since the early 70s and have a few of his ECM 'albums'. However, I actually hadn't realised that he'd been a key member of the Lloyd quartet in the early 90s.
A few weeks ago I got hold of Joe Sample's (of 'The Crusaders'!) "Old Faces, Old Places" from 1995, which, originally unknown to me, featured Charles Lloyd on tenor on 3 tracks. In particular I was astounded by his playing on "Clifton's Gold" (dedictated to Zydeco master Clifton Chenier, an old employer of Sample)
- Simply beautiful! Understated attack, but breathtaking ...holding nothing back - None of the old cliches, but with amazing articulation, and a solo laced with glissandos, crescendos in both registers.

...So when I found out his regular quartet of the time featured Bobo Stenson - that was a bonus - I HAD to hear that!
I understand this is some of their best work - and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Stenson, I'd say is the star here - his ideas somehow regularly outstrip Lloyds - but the whole effect is completely satisfying.

- His choice of pianists continues to be flawless.
...He's had at least 2 more since Stenson, including Geri Allen - they have a lot to live up to.

I don't think I'll ever change my opinion of the late 60s albums; but I'm definitely going to investigate the ECM releases.

Buy this CD!Old Places, Old Faces

Don't Start Me to Talkin
Don't Start Me to Talkin
Price: 18.47

3.0 out of 5 stars OK - but derivative, 26 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was recorded shortly after the death of Little Joe Blue (Joe Valery), presumably as a kind of tribute to Joe (and I suppose Sonny Boy Williamson II), a mainstay of Evejim with a pair of decent, if short, albums in the late 80s.
Over half the tracks are taken straight from Joe's repertoire.
Unfortunately, Mr White sounds rather derivative and has almost nothing original to say.
If this was released by Evejim to cash in on Joe's late-found, if moderate, success it's a strange choice as he sounds like any number of other Chicago modern electric blues singer/guitarists - but nothing like Joe!

As Serious As Your Life: John Coltrane and Beyond (Five Star)
As Serious As Your Life: John Coltrane and Beyond (Five Star)
by Valerie Wilmer
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In Need of a New Edition, 4 Mar 2009
This was a useful and informative book at the time of original publication by jazz photographer and sometime critic Val Wilmer.
It's now in serious need of a new edition - not just a reprint. I have the the 1977 pb edition on Quartet - who published just about everything jazz-related in the UK for about 10 years in from the mid-seventies.
She's enthusiatic and knowledgeable about the subject, and has direct experience of most of the musicians in the study.
She does tend to wander off-subject however and often lets her personal bias take over.
She has no time for "commercialism" for example, but fails to address Ornette's move towards "free funk", or "harmolodic" music in around 1974, which predates publcation of the book by a year or 2. Miles (who's late 60s to 70s music she appears to have no time for) and Ornette's from ~1974 on are not a million miles apart.
Pharoah Sanders now and again from the mid-seventies would also confound Ms Wilmer!
She also get distracted, and actually includes a full chapter and constant references elsewhere to the "role of women" in the "new jazz". In bemoaning the lack of opportunities however, she fails to mention pianist Irene Schweitzer, one of the key figures emerging on the European free jazz scene at the time.
A few years later we had pianists Marilyn Crispell burst on the scene, along with Michelle Rosewoman, and the likes of woodwind player Lindsay Cooper and singers Karin Krog, Maggie Nichols.
Having looked at the index and with the same page count, the 1999 edition doesn't appear to have added/revised much form the 1977 original.
- A late 80s NEW edition of the book would have made for interesting reading. As it is, I suspect Val Wilmer is slightly embarrassed about her time-locked work. Her photos are still great though!

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