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Reviews Written by
T. J. Stickland "tomstickland" (UK)

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Belkin 2x1 USB Peripheral Switch - USB peripheral sharing switch - 2 ports - USB
Belkin 2x1 USB Peripheral Switch - USB peripheral sharing switch - 2 ports - USB

4.0 out of 5 stars Works fine for me., 25 April 2010
Once I managed to get the packaging open I had it all up and running within 15 minutes.

The software installation was simple.
It took a bit of fiddling around to get all the devices settled and communicating.

I had assumed that the switching was automatic. It's not, it is necessary to click on an icon in the system tray and select "switch" from a drop down list. This is simple enough and it worked fine. This was a set up with a desktop running windows xp and a laptop running vista.

Overall it seems a pretty good bit of kit.

Inside Out: My story of betrayal and cowardice at the heart of New Labour
Inside Out: My story of betrayal and cowardice at the heart of New Labour
by Peter Watt
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read., 18 Feb. 2010
In the introduction the ghost writer cheerfully admits that the book was rushed together so it could be out before the 2010 election.

The only real evidence of this a few proof-reading errors and a time-line that seems to go backwards and forwards. Sometimes events are mentioned in one chapter as if they've never been talked about before, but they were covered in the previous chapter.

Having said that, this is a really enjoyable book to read. The author is commendably honest about why he did things, even if it makes him look vain or stupid. Enough information about the various players is revealed to make it worth it. It's not an endless list of inside information, but I felt that enough things were covered to make it interesting.

For example, both Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and a lot of MP's were very unhappy when Harriet Harman won the deputy leadership election. He describes their reactions in some detail.

The author took on the worst job possible - trying to sort the massive party debts out. The party, ministers, the national executive and colleagues weren't really interested in it, and the donors were increasingly upset as various cash-for-honours scandals occured.

The chapter about his father was alright. Another reviewer said it was all a bit too personal, but it contains information about his job and how it affected him and I thought he got away with it.

The warring between Brown and Blair is covered. The election that never was in 2007 involved a massive amount of planning and hard work and then it was binned at the last minute.

He describes some of the socially inept incidents with Gordon Brown too, including a dinner party that went horribly wrong.

Overall a good book.

Miami: Mixed By Danny Howells
Miami: Mixed By Danny Howells
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £13.95

3.0 out of 5 stars CD1 plods, CD2 better., 30 Jan. 2010
Unlike a lot of other reviewers I really don't like CD1. The tracks tread the same ground musically and some of them are outright weak in my opinion. I suppose it's nice enough, but I struggle to want to listen to it again.

CD2 has a bit more going on, it's a bit harder and interesting. The same sort of idea, just less of the artifically smooth tracks and a bit more gristle.

I think I might be suffering from over exposure to GU prog house. Maybe prog house has just run it's logical course and has nowhere new to go.


5.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a gem in my opinion, 30 Jan. 2010
This review is from: PARIS (Audio CD)
After the rather disappointing Lima mix, I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. I've got most of the big GU releases up to GU20 and have found some of the newer releases a bit dull. I've also got all of the Nick Warren mixes, liking some a lot more than others.

I rate both the mixes here as really decent, tuneful proggy dance with a bit of an ambient tinge. There are several really beautfiul, trippy tracks that make it worth if for me. Tripswitch - Roll your own, Blue Foundation - Sweep (Mikkel Metal Vox Reshape) for example. They're all on youtube for a preview.

C'est Com... Com... Complique
C'est Com... Com... Complique
Price: £12.91

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, 2 Nov. 2009
I only discovered Faust a few weeks ago when I saw them on a bbc documentary talking about their cement mixer. I was immediately interested to see what these guys were up to, what with being a fan of musicians who are prepared to move outside the rock-pop straight jacket. I have to say, I've been a very quick convert to their way of thinking. I love this album. It's very inventive, but never sounds like they were just trying to be weird for the hell of it.

These tracks are very artistically created too.

Everyone should listen to this.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2011 12:38 PM GMT

Renaissance Transitions 4
Renaissance Transitions 4
Offered by nagiry
Price: £10.57

5.0 out of 5 stars Acquired taste, 24 Mar. 2009
When I first listened to this I was really underwhelmed. Dull, drab, lacking in tunes. A perfect mix of tracks that already sound the same achieves very little at first.

It drove me back to Transitions 3, another mix that I hadn't totally warmed to. In comparison with 4 then 3 sounded positively euphoric, active, interesting. As I listened to 3 over and over again I got sucked into it until I realised what an amazing mix it was. Some really, really nice crunchy, squelchy bits, atmospheric moments, gradual blends, tension and release, contrasts etc.

So then I listened to 4 again with my newly acquired tastes. I'm now totally hooked on it. It's a bit harder and menancing compared with 3, but it still has the tension, details and moments of beauty. I've been listening to nothing but transitions 1,2,3 & 4 for a few nights now.

The 2007 Import and Export Market for Electric Instantaneous or Storage Water Heaters and Immersion Heaters in China
The 2007 Import and Export Market for Electric Instantaneous or Storage Water Heaters and Immersion Heaters in China
by Philip M. Parker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £150.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my life., 18 Jan. 2009
I always felt that there was something missing from my life. That was until I read this book.
It has changed the way that I think about everything and I now feel empowered with a special gift. One that has improved all aspects of my life, from interpersonal relationships to how I go about every day tasks like filling bicycle tubes with air.

This is a zeitgest beating tome that sets the agenda for introspective cognitive self improvement in the new millenium.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2009 11:43 AM GMT

Waterfall Cities
Waterfall Cities

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On form., 23 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Waterfall Cities (Audio CD)
I was a big Ozrics fan back in the mid 90s. I bought all the albums from Erpsongs up to Arborescence. I was disappointed with the latter album and parted company at that point.

A few years ago I bought "The Hidden Step" and whilst it was quite pleasant it didn't really show any progress from the albums I already had.

I recently started listening to them again, particularly liking Strageitude. So I bought this one due to the good reviews.

I agree: this is a fine Ozrics album. There's no doubting the quality of the production and playing. The shortes track is 5 minutes, 4 are 7 minutes and 2 are 11 minutes. It's a wonderful floaty album that contains some really intense playing, but never gets too complicated.

The Powers That Beep
The Powers That Beep
Price: £11.10

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine album for those who know what they want., 25 Sept. 2008
This review is from: The Powers That Beep (Audio CD)
I recently bought this after finding Zub Zub on facebook.

The band are made up of 2 ex- Ozric Tentacle members (Zia and Jon) and two new guys. The tracks on here are a bit like a blend of Eat Static and the Ozric Tentacles plus their own take on things.

The tracks generally use a sequenced sounds with live guitar, keyboards flute and percussion on top. The beats included half speed dub, four to the floor and double speed dnb styles, sometimes all at the same time.

I've seen them play out and they really do play live instruments on top of their backing tracks. The sequenced parts are very much in the vein of Eat Static, which I like a lot. The musical topping sounds similar to the Ozrics but with less bombast, which is generally a good thing. Rather like the Ozrics, there are bits of dub in the mix, sound effects and distorted solos. The obvious interest in dub produce moments that are reminiscent of the Orb too.

I haven't given this 5 stars because I think you'd need to appreciate Eat Static, the Ozrics or other alternative dance music to fully understand this. If you have an interest in "intelligent dance music" or just electronic instrumental you'll probably like it too.

If I was to be critical, I'd say that it is a pleasant sound, well executed, with clear musical taste, but doesn't necessarily contain a big new idea. Whether that is a problem or not depends on what you are expecting.

Price: £11.42

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to form, 8 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Phoenix (Audio CD)
As a long time System 7 fan I've tolerated some average tracks amongst the gems.
I think that this album stands out as having top tunes all the way through.

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