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Freddietheone "freddietheone" (York, UK.)

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The Ambassador's Mission: Book 1 of the Traitor Spy (Traitor Spy Trilogy)
The Ambassador's Mission: Book 1 of the Traitor Spy (Traitor Spy Trilogy)
Price: £5.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Unremarkable and dull, 15 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought all three books in this trilogy, in the hope of a satisfying and emotionally good ending.
I did not get that.
All three books could have been condensed down to one slightly longer book. The characters were one-dimensional, the plot was to be honest, quite predictable. At best it was 'ho-hum' and at its worst it was boring. How it got the ratings shown, I can only imagine. It could be that there are lots of readers out there who are so happy to read more into this great magical world, they will praise mediocre stuff like this because it is all there is.

This, and the other two, are not good books. They take a good idea and stretch it to fit a new scenario.
I wasted my money, please don't waste yours.


Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life
Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life
by David Mitchell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.44

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring, 12 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book stands unique in my collection, on my Kindle. I have given it it's own 'Folder'.
Mostly my folders group the books I have read, by authors, or genre.
David Mitchell's book now sits in 'Boring books not finished.'
Not quite bad enough to delete but not engaging enough to carry on.

Once I put it down, I could not pick it up again.


Hitachi Touro Desk 3TB Hard Drive
Hitachi Touro Desk 3TB Hard Drive

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Built like a battleship, 10 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Hitachi 3TB SATA drive is a wonderful device. It works wonderfully well inside an Apple Time Capsule... this is not a TC, so why do I tell you this?

I did not try the power supply, cable or UK plug adapter that came with the drive but I have no doubt looking at their construction they would perform as designed.
Getting into the black plastic case was impossible to do without breaking it. It has been very carefully designed to fit together and never be taken apart. The internal construction is beautifully done, with 4x very good shock-absorbers to hold the drive in place and decent screws to hold the USB to SATA interface in place.

The side panels of the case have an almost interference fit with the central chassis and are clicked into place with plastic catches that will never release their grip. It is good solid construction and truly the best I have ever seen. In its intended form I expect it would last for years and years. Just to find where to prise open the case took me more than 10 minutes, which is 9 minutes more than with any other product I have had to reverse engineer.

Many years ago I worked for a well known battery and electrical company whose advanced projects group was in Abingdon. Finding out how 'the competition' built their stuff was a daily routine as dozen of products were unscrewed and dismantled looking for design weaknesses. Yes, this does go on and is normal practice with most large companies.

The fact I needed the 3TB drive from inside the case; it took me more than 20 minutes to get to it and not the 1 minute I was expecting. This construction is a seriously good one. It is such a pity I had to break it to find out!

Buy this product in the full knowledge that I have tested it mechanically to destruction and found it to be the best. The drive worked as intended in the Apple TC and I now have a happy customer. The drive price is idiotic at present at over £400 each! This unit cost me £125, which is less than the price of the drives before the costs went silly.


Peripheral
Peripheral
Price: £2.04

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreadable, 23 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Peripheral (Kindle Edition)
There are very few books that I have not been able to finish. I am persistent and very patient, I will flog on to the end to extract all the details from what must be a few months, if not years, work for the author. Having done that I will make a considered judgement about the book just read and file it (mentally) as good, 'could be read again' or ho-hum, 'not what I wanted'.

The characters are shallow. The wording hackneyed and cliched and the whole story (at least up to 28%) was just too much 'then we did this, then we did that'. It leaves nothing to the imagination and was a bit like reading a recipe. I was engaged not at all by the characters and could not have cared less about the plot. Precis is not one of Zeth Ward's weapons. Page after page of needless detailed description about mundanity. Awkward dialogue that did not flow. This seems to be a shame as others who have reviewed this kindle edition book, say good things about it.
Perhaps it's just me.

I have erased it from my Kindle.


The Looking Glass Club
The Looking Glass Club
Price: £6.54

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it could have been, 20 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've just finished the book and left with a feeling of "What the hell was all that about?". Mind mangling in places, with sections of over-blown prose and an idiotic ending, satisfying it was not. There are so many flapping loose ends another book would be needed to make a conclusion of some sort.

I'm editing what I wrote yesterday, having had time to think and mull it over.
Why is the story so unsatisfactory?

Having fought my way through a very tangled tale, I was expecting some sort of explanation about why it ended where it did. I was involved, as much as I could be, with Zeke the main protagonist. It simply falls flat at the end leaving no intellectual satisfaction and no emotional conclusion.

There are too many different threads that need further explanation, expansion or simply side stories to flesh out the world created by 'Gruff'.

For a start...
JR the talking dog. A whole league of its own there!
Reality becoming what we think it should be and group reinforcement of that perception.
'Needles' extensive life enhancements and techno knowledge. Again, a whole league of possibilities there.
Fabbing of seemingly anything... too good to mention in passing.
Splitting personalities...
Time travel (in effect)...
Possible romantic involvements - Kate Andrews? Emily? Skyler? These simply fell flat. Neither one thing or another.
Why identical twins? It made for a rather contrived piece of story and then nothing else? What was the reason?
Why the puzzles at the beginning of each section? I'm reading by Kindle for iPhone and Mac and it makes for a difficult if not impossible time. So much so I have not bothered to decrypt any of them. If there was/is a connection, it is mentioned only feetingly about a person who is dead, has very little back story and therefore almost no connection to the narrative.

So conclusion? Not a bad first effort (if it is?). A follow-on book is needed to chase down lines of enquiry, expand use of technology, flesh out the characters, etc. Simplify the story to acceptable chunks; don't tell three (or four?) tales at once.

This book seemed to be more about explaining the world it is set in and not about a satisfactory story. I was comparatively new to this world and I could tell Zeke was in trouble at the docks. Why was he suddenly behaving like a different character?

More Mr Davies, much more of the 'story' and far far less of the flowery prose. Let the story carry the book, not frilly bits.


Western Digital Caviar 2TB SATAII 64MB Cache 3.5-inch Green Internal Hard Drive OEM
Western Digital Caviar 2TB SATAII 64MB Cache 3.5-inch Green Internal Hard Drive OEM
Offered by Extreme_Supplies
Price: £79.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shhhh... too quiet to hear..., 2 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Apple Time Capsule is a wonderful back-up device that integrates without joins into the Snow-Leopard operating system. The section of the OS that uses it is 'Time Machine'. There is nothing quite like it in the Windows/PC environment - totally invisible to the user and backs-up the computer every hour, wirelessly. Great to get files from when recovery is needed... blah blah.

All very well, but what has this to do with a Western Digital 2TB 'Green' hard drive? Plenty... read on.

The Time Capsule (TC) overheats, this is a simple design flaw that as an engineer I can get around and modify the device to 'run cool'. I provide this as a service to Apple users and have modified about 50x devices now. I was asked by a friend if I could 'expand' the memory of the TC, whilst it was opened up and being modified for a cool-as-a-cucumber new lifestyle.

Traditionally the early TC internal drives were 500GB and 1TB, with 2TB being offered only comparatively recently, with a high premium price to get such a size. Fitting the drive is simplicity, as I had already dismantled the device to its major component parts. Using Apple 'Airport Utility' I was able to format the drive and erase anything that may have been on it. It works PERFECTLY and is a much more reasonable cost than buying new!

The TC modification is under the 'Eutechnics' name and makes an internal fan, which normally does nothing meaningful, run at half-speed. This creates a slight susurrus that is probably more noticeable than the disc drive sound, which is inaudible - truly. The added advantage that the drive speed is variable and only runs at the rate needed for the task demanded of it will ensure it has a very long and productive life.

The TC will be quite demanding for disc space initially and make take several hours copying a disc image for the first time. Thereafter however, it merely records the changes every hour, which does not stress the drive and is usually complete in a few minutes.

I cannot praise the drive enough. It has made a good product excellent and with the Eutechnics modification will almost guarantee a very long back-up life.


Apple Magic Mouse
Apple Magic Mouse
Offered by Lizard Tech
Price: £48.99

70 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth & intuitive, 9 Dec. 2009
I ordered my Magic Mouse direct from Apple and it took quite a while to be delivered; over 1 week. However, it comes complete with 2x AA batteries, stored in a very slick plastic box where it is held in place with clear sticky tabs. Pairing was done in about 10 seconds after which searching for an Apple software update took about another 5 minutes.

I run the last of the G5 PPC iMacs, so I can only go as far as Leopard on the operating system. Some of the scrolling options are slightly limited compared with the Intel processor iMacs and Snow Leopard, in that the vertical scrolling has no 'weight' behind it, allowing the list or image to freewheel for a moment or two. I flick my finger and the image moves with my finger, just like a scroll wheel.

It is low and smooth and has seemingly caused some to comment that their hands become cramped, especially since they have to hold the mouse with thumb and finger to stop it scooting around the table top. To avoid this I placed my mouse on a mouse pad with a fabric weave top layer and all is well. I have had no hand cramp luckily but you do need to remember this is now a finger-tip controlled mouse, not a grab and shove. It is not somewhere to park your right hand (or left) with it tucked away moulded to your every hand crease and wrinkle. This needs a newer light touch and it works very well.

The top plastic layer is hinged internally at about where the Apple symbol is. Thus when you click the mouse the whole top surface moves a fraction of a millimetre with a positive 'click' sound and feel. In this respect it is like an 'ordinary' mouse. It feels quite weighty, which was a pleasant surprise, and all the better for it. Once the software has updated itself, the 'surface' can be enabled for scrolling and swiping. It is very intuitive, rather like the earlier mighty mouse with its miniature scroll-ball but this has the added feature of two finger swiping for backwards and forwards movements through pictures or web pages.

I enabled the 'secondary key' function, which is Windows speak for the right mouse button and then loaded a simply wonderful free add-on called On My Command (OMC), which lists a whole spread of scripts that, in effect, make the right-click feature the same as Windows. Copy and Paste are now simple mouse functions only; no more faffing about with Command-C and Command-V. With this and the new finger scroll movements I have found a simply beautiful elegant computer interface.

I recommend it. Get used to it, it's worth it, believe me.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2011 2:27 PM GMT


The Extremes (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
The Extremes (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Christopher Priest
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly falls flat, 19 Aug. 2009
This book has all the delightful English detail that is so Christopher Priest. It is very detailed, tied into the emotions of the main characters and well paced. It builds nicely towards a climax of some sort with a potentially sinister high-powered company... and... then falls dramatically flat. Two of the main characters, well detailed and full of potential, disappear within one or two paragraphs. It leaves the heroine of the book feeling like it was a personal affront; well I felt the same.

Virtual reality within this book is via implanted nanochips that can be programmed (erased and reprogrammed) with the scenario that you wish to visit, and it is again and again that the widow-heroine of the story keeps returning, ultimately to see her lost husband killed in a gun-fight. The virtual reality she 'lives' in allows her to see the experiences as if actually there. The slightly idiotic part of the story gets her trapped inside a VR environment that seemingly cannot be exited. She realises she has not finished her 'visit' to participate inside a scenario of her choice, but is trapped one level up from it but still within the machine that controls the images she is seeing. Apparently this induces some sore of 'I'm trapped!' panic as she tries to work out how to exit the machine into the real world. The really basic flaw in this story line is, why not simply wait until the time-booked on the machine runs out and they wake you up and disconnect you? You cannot be trapped within an infinite loop on a machine, because the machine will ultimately be turned off!

The first 75% of the book build up really nicely towards a conclusion that never arrives. Teresa (the heroine) ends up with a VR scene with her dead husband from which she may not wish to emerge but we know she will. There is no real 'story' but there is lots of slightly constipated imagination.

Seemingly lots of people have enjoyed this book and have rated it very highly, 5-stars and all. I wish I could have been so easily fooled and pleased.

It makes you think, which is good, but the whole book leaves you coming to a conclusion that it was at best 'alright' and not worth reading at all at its worst, to be brutally honest.

No where near what CP can do, really truly and honestly. He has written much better books.


TomTom XL IQ Routes Edition Satellite Navigation Unit Europe (discountinued by manufacturer)
TomTom XL IQ Routes Edition Satellite Navigation Unit Europe (discountinued by manufacturer)

214 of 220 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect - 4.5 stars, 1 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is my second TomTom navigation unit. My first was the original TomTom GO, which I gave to my father just over 2 years ago as the new company car I was given had a navigation unit in it. How I missed the TomTom! You miss the 3D-style intuitive display, the easy tap screen entry. Well, the new XL iq Routes European Edition is just great! It has a really clear display with a non-reflective surface, which is much better that the old TomTom GO shiny-screen.

The display is bigger and the unit is far quicker and more responsive to the satellite signals. I have noted some small map errors when I was in Edinburgh recently. The TomTom was trying to make me turn right into a road that was not there, it was 50 feet above me (North Bridge). I tagged the point on my unit (it says you can do this) with the intention of advising when I upgrade the maps on my computer. I have no idea where the 'tag' point went to? I browsed the map and manually advised but this feature is very cumbersome and probably not as intended, it certainly was not as I had inferred the feature. I will ask TomTom about this but the question is so obscure it may not be understood. But for this small quirk I would give it 5 stars.
I never use the voice for navigation or have need of a bluetooth link to my mobile 'phone (I use a Jabra earpiece), so those features are not needed from the product portfolio. This unit has no Bluetooth and if it had no sound it would be cheaper and for me better too.

The speed travelling and road limit on the bottom of the screen is an excellent addition.
I am yet to use it in Europe but all being well it will be as good there as here. The screen mount is wonderful, being both very solid and quick to attach and detatch.

I wholeheartedly recommend the unit. It is quick, simple, intuitive and accurate.


Ring  RIL2500 Compact LED Inspection Lamp
Ring RIL2500 Compact LED Inspection Lamp
Price: £26.95

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Light Fantastic!, 28 Dec. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I received this as a present but I will use it for work in electrical switchrooms and on my car. I have tried to see how long the light would last but after 3.5 hours it was still going strong. This is quite amazing. I would think the tungsten bulb equivalent would be about 50W, but in a well focused beam. It will light up a very large room quite easily and yet runs cold.
I can clip it to the front of my jacket and have more light than expected when working on panels. Under cars there is more than enough light to work on even fine-detail jobs.
It recharges in 6 hours and comes complete with a charger. When charging a red LED shows on the front and the battery pack gets warm.
Would I recommend it? Oh yes.
It fits in a pocket and has the hard blue-white LED lights that we are used to seeing. It will become an indispensable part of my tool-kit.


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