Content by J.
Top Reviewer Ranking: 36,705
Helpful Votes: 91
Learn more about Your Profile.
Reviews Written by
J. "Jay" (Worcestershire. UK)
5.0 out of 5 stars
Nepenthes X Ventrata, 26 May 2015
Very pleased with My nice, healthy pitcher plant, all the way from Exotenherz in Germany.
I contacted the seller after purchasing, to find out what species of Nepenthes this plant was.
(As some are 'Lowland' species, requiring warm temperatures, and others are cool condition-loving 'Highland' plants)
I received a very nice email back, which I found to be very helpful.
The seller went out of his way to sort out any problems that may happen, or if I wasn't satisfied with My plant.
The plant itself arrived in a pretty beaten-up state.
But this is purely due to the courier service, and not the seller.
It was covered in soil, and had one or two distorted pitchers, and a broken leaf.
But after a good clean-up with a soft mini brush, it looked as great as the display picture.
I received two plants in the same hanging basket-style pot.
They are about 60cm in height, and have many pitchers on them.
The new shoots are small, but I assume this is due to a lack of light during transit.
Inside the box, the plant was very carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and plastic wrapping.
There was also a very informative booklet, explaining about this plant and other species out there.
I'm sure that once this plant has settled in after a few weeks, it will start to pitcher for Me.
Overall, I am very pleased with this plant, and the seller's communication.
I certainly plan on buying more plants from Exotenherz again soon. :)
5.0 out of 5 stars
Pumpkin Goodness!, 20 May 2015
"A very peculiar and funny story about a pumpkin physician, named Dr.Pompo.,
Who, whilst on his morning 'roll', comes across a disembodied 'nose'. (Stalk)
From that very moment, he, along with his friends, all try and fathom out WHO the 'Nose' belongs to.
Very strange and funny short story, with plenty of hilariously-carved facial expressions in several pumpkins of assorted shapes and sizes.
Think Dr.Seuss, but with Pumpkins, and you will have a very good idea of what this book is like, and about.
I highly recommend it to anyone with a warped sense of humor, and open mind to all things different.
My Niece loved it, as did I and My brother!
Come on.. give it a try and dare to be different!" :D
5.0 out of 5 stars
Cute Air Plant., 21 April 2015
Very nice, healthy, little Air Plant received.
Admittedly, I ordered the thin-leaved 'T. Argentea' species, but ended up getting the commonly-available 'T. Ionantha' species instead.
But I don't mind, as I was planning on getting different Air Plants at some date, anyway.
Came in a small, rectangular box, which was sealed well all over.
Care instructions and brief history of plants origins, were included.
Plant itself had a few dry tips, but was very healthy overall.
It was carefully wrapped in tissue-like paper, surrounded by a single layer of bubble wrap.
Came with lots of long roots, which I have trimmed off. (See photo I've uploaded)
Pleasure doing business with the seller.
Would highly recommend to anyone who has a keen interest in these cute, little plants.
1.0 out of 5 stars
Avoid, 18 April 2015
Received half alive plant in very poor state of health.
Small, unusable and limp leaves.
No growing instructions.
No tag stating species of plant.
A LOT smaller than the plant you will receive.
Poor value for money.
5.0 out of 5 stars
'Jay's 'No Nonsense' Review of the Compaq CQ58', 31 Mar. 2015
This Laptop is great, I have to say.
It does everything I need it to.
Admittedly, I bought this from a local Pawnbroker's for a lot less than Amazon is charging.
My model is the 4gb RAM, 500gb Hard Drive, Intel Pentium 2.2ghz, Windows 8/8.1 version.
The 15.6 inch screen is well-lit, and seems absolutely massive in comparison to My old Acer, which had an 11.6 inch screen.
The screen itself is not touchscreen, unfortunately.
A shame, seeing as it's running the latest version of Windows. (To date)
The Keyboard is a pleasure to type on.
There is no central 'bounce' like on some cheaper laptop/netbook keyboards.
The keys give good feedback, and are springy.
There is a tiny, brightly-lit white LED light that glows on the Wifi (F12) and Caps Lock buttons.
The trackpad is very responsive, and the default speed is very accurate to your finger movement on it.
The two individual trackpad buttons respond well, give a satisfying 'click', and they feel well-constructed.
The Laptop on a whole feels well built and solid, with no weak or flexible areas.
The frame is matte black, except for the palm rests, trackpad buttons, and laptop lid.
The internal fan is VERY quiet, even when doing demanding tasks.
The Laptop VERY rarely gets hot. Just slightly warm.
On the left side of the system, are a number of connector ports.
There is an Ethernet port, a HDMi port, a single USB 2.0 port, a microphone and earphone socket, and then a Media card reader slot.
Near the Media Card slot are two micro, circular white LED's lights for the Media card and Hard Drive activity.
On the right side of the system, you have the Kensington Lock hole, the charging port, two USB 2.0 ports, and the multi-layer Dvd drive.
The charging port has an indicator LED light that flashes white when the system needs charging, and solid orange when charging.
Battery life is really dependant on what you use the Laptop for.
I, personally, like to keep the screen well-lit, and play a few light games on it.
I get roughly 4 hours use out of it, before it needs a recharge.
But performance really does dependant on your power settings and usage.
This laptop has Bluetooth built-in, so sending files/pictures/mp3's etc to and from it is simple.
Please note: There is no on/off switch for Bluetooth.
It must be switched off via Windows 8/8.1 settings, via the 'Charms' menu.
Undernreath the Laptop are two removal (Unscrewable) panels.
The panel closest the front of the laptop, contains the Memory slot/s and Wifi card.
Whereas the panel further back near the battery, contains the hard drive.
The battery is removable by sliding a rectangular button, which holds the battery in place with a plastic clip.
I have put an additional 4gb RAM module in My system, which has REALLY made a BIG difference.
I HIGHLY reccomend you have your system running with 8gb's of memory, as it only takes 1 second for My laptop to load webpages, and a good 7 seconds to boot into Windows 8.1
I have only done light gaming on this machine, so cannot really tell you if it will play more demanding games.
By 'light gaming', I refer to: Angry Birds / Plants VS Zombies / Lumines and The Sims 1&2.
Performance for these games is great, with no drop in frame rate. No lag.
This system surprisingly doesn't come with the usual 'bloatware' and crap, that most other laptops do. *cough* Acer *cough* (To name one brand that I once had)
You get Norton Internet Security, as standard. (At least, I did!)
But everyone I know uses Avast! because it's just great.
There is a webcam built into the Laptop's screen bezel.
I cannot give you much, if any, information on this, as I haven't used it for Skype, Selfies, or anything.
But according to other reviews, it is very good.
I hope My review has been some help to those of you considering buying this system.
Honestly, get additional memory for it, and you WON'T regret getting this system.
(It performs well with just 4gb's of RAM. But 8gb's makes a HUGE difference)
Thanks for reading. Jay.
Happy Compaq CQ58 user/owner.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
My 'No Nonsense' review of the Seagate 500gb USB 3.0 HDD., 22 May 2014
I am very impressed with this portable hard drive.
It has MORE than enough storage for ALL of My family movies and pictures.
(I have over 128gb's of family movies, pictures, and other media)
These slim drives can come in two storage sizes that I know of.
500gb and 1TB sizes, depending on your needs and preferences.
It is very quiet/silent whilst in use, with no clicking or whirring sounds.
The read and write speeds are very fast and efficient, which comes down to it's fast USB 3.0 connector cable, which is supplied in the box, with the hard drive and instruction manual/s.
It is backwards-compatible with older computers and Mac's with USB 2.0 ports.
This hard drive comes with pre-loaded software, to enable you to back up files on your PC, via Seagate's own 'dashboard' software.
I didn't have to use this, as I've always been one to simply 'drag and drop' or 'highlight and move' files to the hard drive itself.
The product is well packaged, so it doesn't suffer any bumps, knocks or shocks.
It's well-built, solid, and has a brushed, smooth metal surface, with a smooth, plastic underside in black.
There are no sharp edges or screw holes that I have seen.
This is a super-portable drive, that fits snuggly and comfortably into a breast pocket, jacket pocket, or trouser pocket, without causing discomfort.
The hard drive that I bought, came with 2 years manufacturer's warranty, which I am very pleased about.
Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this to you all.
You won't be disappointed.
Thanks for reading!
5.0 out of 5 stars
"My 'No-Nonsense' 6-inch Steel Letter Opener. review.", 8 May 2014
"This is a well-made 6-inch, non-magnetic, steel Letter Opener.
It's very well-crafted with no faults.
the blade is long, sharp-tipped, stainless, ad has a good solid and weighty feel to it.
the handle is also well-crafted and feels good in the hand.
Excellent at opening letters, as you would expect.
Arrived in a long, black rectangular cardboard box, and was wrapped up tightly in a plastic bag inside.
Came complete with a three-piece, easy-to-construct plastic stand, too.
I am VERY pleased with this item, and it now sits proudly on My bedroom desk.
Many thanks to the seller for this fine item."
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
My 'No Nonsense' Acer Aspire V5 122p review, 4 April 2014
This laptop was bought primarily as a secondary system for Myself, seeing as My brother has taken to always using My first laptop. (Which I now rarely see!)
Overall, the build quality and design are both very good.
This machine doesn't feel cheap or poorly-made in any way, when holding and touching it.
It is very light to hold in one hand.
The keyboard is very nice, and extremely easy to type on, with good feedback.
(Certainly not a cheap-feeling keyboard with that annoying low-quality 'bounce'.)
The fan inside the system is extremely quiet, even when going full blast, with some more demanding tasks that I've thrown at it.
The Graphics card isn't great.
In fact, it's FAR from great.
If you're planning on wanting a laptop/netbook to run the latest games, I suggest you look elsewhere.
You can't even play a basic game like The Sims 2 on this, without serious drops in frame rate, and general performance.
You can play more simple games like phone apps just fine, though.
(Angry Birds, Plants VS Zombies, Fruit Ninja, etc.. all obtainable through the Windows Store)
The mouse pad is the MOST annoying thing with the netbook, I have to say.
Windows 8.1 naturally works best with a highly-responsive touchscreen, which this netbook comes with, luckily.
But the mouse pad has been pre-programmed to work with Windows 8.1, by using finger gestures.
So.. if you swipe from the right of the mousepad, to the center, your Windows 8.1 'Charms' (In-Built options) will pop up on a side bar.
Same as if you swipe from the left of the mousepad to the center, the screen will swap from open program/app to others that may be open.
Sounds simple enough, but when ALL you want to do is slide your mouse over to a folder to open it with a double click, MANY mistakes can be made.
(Honestly. The mousepad on this netbook is just... AWFUL! So buy a usb mouse!)
Also, the mousepad doesn't have a single bar to work as the two usual mouse buttons.
Same as it doesn't have two individual mouse buttons.
Instead, you get a completely ineffective mousepad, where the buttons are incorporated into the bottom of the pad, itself!
So when it comes to holding a bottom corner (button) and sliding your finger on the pad, to move a folder onscreen, it will be completely retarded on this device.
(It really DOESN'T handle 'multi-touch' very well at all. You have been warned!)
The Windows 8.1 Operating System itself, is very nice, though.
It only takes My machine about 15-20 seconds to boot up to the main login screen.
So everything from the Operating System side of things, runs smoothly and quickly.
The Netbook has another crap feature, unfrtunately..
The battery on this particular model, is utter crap.
You get approximately 2.5 to 3 hours-worth of playtime, even if you set the screen brightness lower than normal, and only type and do light web surfing.
The battery is just terrible for the price I paid for it.
But there is a rubber cover underneath the bottom of the netbook, with connectors for an external battery accessory.
So no doubt Acer will release this soon, if they haven't already.
This model comes with 4-Gigabytes of low-voltage DDR3 memory.
Not bad, really.
But bunging an extra 2gb stick in the remaining RAM slot under the bottom cover, gives it a much-needed performance boost.
A word of warning with plugging USB flash drives/hard drives etc.. in..
MAKE SURE you go into Power Settings, and change pressing the Power Button to shut the computer down completely.
if you leave a USB flash drive/hard drive in, and the system hibernates or sleeps, when it comes back on, ALL of your date on the USB media device's, WILL be corrupted!
(Same as the flash drives, etc.. will be written in the RAW state, and hard to repair!)
WHY Windows 8.1 does that, I have NO freakin' idea!
The Webcam is very good, I have to say.
The camera/webcam app launches straight away, and is sharp and bright.
no real in-built options to adjust the brightness, contrast etc.. (At least, I haven't found the options yet)
but overall, excellent for Skype/Tango/OovoO/Viber calls.
The model comes with one USB 3.0 port.
And one standard USB 2.0 port.
So, you're losing an additional USB 2.0 port, but gaining a more modern, and faster USB 3.0 one.
Oh yeah.. and it comes with a mini HDMi port, too.
but this is pretty pointless, in My opinion.
There is no Ethernet or FireWire ports, or a cd drive.
There is a single headphone socket on the right side of the netbook, but no microphone port.
This is a very nice, cheap netbook, designed to do basic things like web browsing, typing, and viewing photos and watching movies.
In My weird description.. it is basic and dry.. like Ryvita!
(But it gets the job done)
14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
My 'No Nonsense' review of the Nokia Lumia 1520, 25 Mar. 2014
I bought this huge smartphone right here, on Amazon.
This is a great phone, with many great features and functions.
But, like anything out there, it has SOME flaws, which I will now cover.
It has an amazingly sharp, bright, and well-coloured screen.
The 1080p screen is absolutely flawless in every possible way.
It's super-sensitive to the lightest touch. (It responded to my earphone cable brushing against it!)
And the colours are full, deep and rich, on the well-lit 6-inch massive screen.
Looking at the screen side-on, and at other angles, shows NO dark areas at all.
The phone comes with 32gb's of it's own internal flash storage, which is used mainly for Apps, System/OS updates, movies, music and pictures.
Though, seeing as the phone uses the phone storage pimarily for apps and updates, I HIGHLY recommend you buy a large-capacity Micro-SD card (32gb or 64gb Max) for your pictures, movies and music files.
(You can set the phone to save photos and movies captured, to the installed Memory card)
NOTE: When the 'WP 8.1' update comes out, you will have the ability to save all of your apps and things previously ONLY storable on the phone storage, to your Micro-SD card!
The camera on this phone, is 20 Megapixels, which captures some truly amazing shots.
Nowhere near as good as the 41MP camera on the Lumia 1020, you understand.
But the pictures I have taken, have been chock-a-block full of detail, with no noise or grain, when zoomed into.
A slide of the finger on the Camera icon whilst in the 'Nokia Camera' app, brings up a selection of filters, to adjust the light, contrast, etc.. levels to your liking.
all so you can capture the perfect picture. (Honestly. it's really good!)
The Lumia 1520 comes with the usual Windows/Lumia apps you would find on most other Lumia's out there, for a lot less money.
You get the mobile version of Microsoft office, to do spreadsheets, Word documents, and Powerpoint presentations.
All three incorporated programs run as good as the pc versions.
You get a pre-installed app called One-Note, to make basic notes and teminders.
As well as other standard apps, like an Alarm Clock, Media Players, Bing News, Help+Tips, Nokia Care, Internet Explorer, Nokia: Beamer/Cinemagraph/Creative Studio/Glam Me/Panorama/Storyteller Beta.
(Cinemagraph onwards, are all different photo-editing apps and camera lenses)
As well as two media players.
The one being 'Nokia Mix Radio' which lets you play your installed MP3's on your phone or MicroSD card, as well as download offline mixes of artists/bands.
(You have the option to download different genres, decades, and moods, for free offline playing)
And the other media player is 'XBox Music + Videos' which lets you play videos you add to the phone or Micro-SD card, or phone memory.
You can play captured videos, and view your photos, in your Camera Roll, via the 'Photos' app, which is pre-installed.
The User interface of the phone is very simple and easy to pick up, from the get-go.
The first lumia I had, was the more-basic, budget 520.
And this Lumia 1520, like My old 520, was JUST as simple to set up.
I switched it on, set the language, and a few other basic settings, and I was ready to go in a handful of minutes.
Once done and set up, you have two different types of screens to use.
the MAIN screen with all of the colourful 'live tiles' of things you would use every day.
(Phone, Text messages, email inbox, notes, and other things)
And if you swipe your finger left, on the main screen, another screen appears.
This screen shows ALL of the apps installed on the phone, as a long list.
You can scroll up and down this list, and simply tap on the app you wish to start.
And to add it to the main phone screen, you tap and hold your finger over the app in the list, until you get the option come up, to 'Pin To Start'.
And once there, you can press and hold the tile, until the tile fades out and wobbles slowly.
In this mode, you get the option to 'unpin' (Remove) it from the main screen, or resize it, by tapping the small bottom right arrow, to resize it in three different sizes.
The tiles all updates, move, and change regularly, if you are connected to Wifi, or your 3G or 4G service.
FUN AND GAMES...
Playing games on this phone is amazing.
I play all the classics, such as Fruit Ninja, GTA San Andreas, Cut The Rope, JetPack JoyRide, Plants VS Zombies, and many more.
The graphics are super sharp and run smooth, with NO lag at all.
The large 6-inchscreen is perfect for watching tv or YouTube videos.
I ALWAYS have them in full HD, and the phone never struggles or buffers anything.
I'd HAVE to say that the ONLY flaw this phone has, are the three buttons on the right side of the device, a few bugs with the OS, and the 'Nokia Camera' App.
My old Lumia 520 had very firm buttons, that weren't easily touched or pushed.
Whereas on this Lumia 1520, I've found that the buttons are certainly NOT that firm, and seem 'weaker' and more 'sunk-in' into the side of the phone.
So much so, that the lightest touch, or slightest amount of pressure (Particularly on the camera button) will launch something.
Indeed, I had this phone in My pocket, and after trying to get it out, I ended up deafening Myself with My music, from lightly touching one of the volume buttons.
So, be warned with the buttons.
They are flawed, and seem quite delicate.
And CAN BE prone to sink into the case, and get stuck with regular use! (No, I am not heavy handed)
The equalizer, which can be accessed via 'Audio' in 'Settings', isn't great, either.
Whatever pre-programmed or 'custom-made' eqalizer setting you use, is not very different to the last one.
Hardly any bass, or anything.
NOWHERE near as good as the equalizer on an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, which offers MUCH better audio quality, in My opinion. (No, I don't work for Apple, either)
MORE MINOR BUGS...
Now, it MIGHT just be the crap model I got from here, but the 'Nokia Camera' app just doesn't work for Me, when trying to make movies, whilost with My family.
I've reset the phone, changed the Micro-SD, scanned the SD card for errors, and done so many tests.
But whenever I press the Video recorder button onscreen, it changes colour when pressed, but NEVER EVER records.
This MAY just be a fault with the app, as the default 'Camera' app works fiine with video recording.
But BE WARNED!! This phone is FULL TO THE BRIM with software faults and bugs, and CAN and WILL crash and refuse to work from time to time.
I personally think it's a very nice phone.
But it certainly doesn't live up to the price I paid for it.
I have contacted Nokia, giving them My HONEST opinion.
I told them that if the WP 8.1 software update doesn't sort all the bugs out, I will sell the phone, and go back to My Blackberry.
(And that's saying something, because Blackberry's are boring and crap, in My opinion)
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
My review of My Awesome Nokia Lumia 520!, 28 Jan. 2014
This is an excellent value smartphone for those of us on a budget.
It has many great (and a few NOT-so great) features which I will tell you all about now.
It comes with 8gb's of internal phone storage.
This is used predominantly for the Windows Phone 8 Operating System, which, unfortunately.. DOES eat up a good 5gb's of the internal storage..
The remaining 2+ gb's of phone storage is ONLY used for storing apps from the App Store, too.
Though, there is a MicroSD card slot accessible from behind the phone's back cover.
And next to this is the MicroSim card slot.
Therefore, storage for movies, pictures and music files can be increased up to 64gb's maximum.
You cannot store/save apps and games on the expandable MicroSD card.
The phone comes with many great apps preinstalled.
Such as Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive, for when you are out and about, and need offline directions.
These apps allow you to download the entire map of your country, and give you spoken audio directions to and from destinations.
The phone only has one 5mp camera on the back, with no LED flash.
There is no front-facing camera.
So, although Skype, Tango, and other video app functions ARE possible, you will have to rely solely on the back camera.
This means you will not be able to see who you are talking to. (So.. kinda pointless having Videochat apps, really)
This Windows phone supports Social Networks, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and a few others.
Music files can be played through either of the two apps pre-installed. (Nokia Mix Radio, and XBox Music+Videos)
Nokia Mix Radio also allows you to download 'Offline Mixes' (Collections) of bands/songs from different genres/decades..etc for free!
Many different formats can be played.
Though I usually stick with Avi, WMV, and MP3.
The phone doesn't come with audio settings/ an Equalizer, unfortunately.
But sound quality is very clear and good.
There are many free entertainment apps for Windows Phone.
On My Lumia 520, I have LastFM, 4OD, Tv Catchup, YouTube, and many more.
Tiles on the home screen can be customized by size and colour.
Changing the colour of the tiles to any of the 20 bright, pastel colours can easily be done through the phones settings.
Rearranging the size of the tiles is done by pressing and holding your finger or thumb down on a tile, until the small, pinboard pin icon appears in the corner of each tile.
By pressing the pin each time, the tile will change from very small, to medium, to a large tile.
Whilst the tile is still faded out and customizable, you can move it to a different area on the home screen, by dragging/sliding it on the screen.
Once the size and location are chosen, tap the tile to save it.
There are free versions of Microsoft Office's Excel, Word and PowerPoint with this particular handset.
All work very well, and are simple enough to use.
Setting up your Live/Hotmail email account is simple enough through the phone's settings.
THOUGH.. make sure you register an email address you're not likely to change too often or soon.
Reason I say this, is because you WILL HAVE TO reset your phone to remove your old Microsoft email account for the new one.
If you don't, you CAN simply add your new Microsoft email account to the phone, but you'll be stuck with the phone telling you that there's a problem with your old account.
Gaming performance is very good with this phone.
Though I haven't really tested it as yet, with really graphic-hungry games.
But you can get all the good classics, like.. Plants VS Zombies, Fruit Ninja, Cut The Rope, etc..
The App Market doesn't have as many games as iOS or Android at the moment.
But the games and apps are still high quality, useful, and fun.
(Unlike BlackBerry, which is just plain boring! having owned a Torch 9800)
Video Recording is pretty good for HD 720p.
Not at all grainy or low quality.
The sound recorded is sharp and clear.
Only gripe with taking photos and recording videos is that the colour seems a little 'diluted' and/or weak.
But in the phone's settings, you CAN adjust the colour scheme.
Auto-focus can be changed to 'on' - 'off' - and 'auto' for the camera, and video recorder.
The video recorder records a standard 30FPS.
The Nokia Lumia 520 supports 3G networks, but NOT 4G.
It has Bluetooth 4.0 + LE.
The screen size is a generous 4 inches, and the resolution is 480 x 800 pixels.
It is a Capacitive Touchscreen, and the sensitivity can be changed from normal to a high level of sensitivity.
And yes, folks.. the rumours ARE true about this phone being usable with gloves and/or long nails.
The phone supports: EDGE Class B - GPRS Class B - HSDPA Cat14 21 Mbps - HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps - WCDMA - WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
The charging port is a micro USB 2.0 at the bottom of the phone.
This can also be used to transfer media between the phone and a PC, using the supplied short, MicroUSB-USB 2.0 data cable.
In the box, you get the Nokia Lumia 520, the battery, some cheap 'in-ear headphones with a built-in Microphone, an user booklet, and the charging adapter.