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Peter H (UK)

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New External USB 2.0 Blu-ray drive BD ROM DVD CD RW Drive  (Read Blu-ray, Burn DVD and CD) for Laptops, Desktop PCs and MAC - Victorian Systems®
New External USB 2.0 Blu-ray drive BD ROM DVD CD RW Drive (Read Blu-ray, Burn DVD and CD) for Laptops, Desktop PCs and MAC - Victorian Systems®
Offered by Victorian Systems
Price: £33.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Treat carefully and enjoy, 27 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just bought this item, to replace a (nominally) identical one, about a year old, which I dropped through 18" onto a hard surface. Moral: they mean it when they state "don't drop"! This one is very similar, apart from the 'Victorian Systems' logo on the top, but opens and shuts slightly more easily and smoothly than its predecessor. The internals flag up as Panasonic (reports as 'Matshita') and the unit is performing very well, as you might expect. As others here have stated, if you want to watch BluRays you'll need additional software. I was lucky enough to get DVDFab Media Player Pro for free (!) during a promotion, but there are still some serviceable inexpensive options out there.

My unit needs both leads connected to work properly, even when using a USB3 cable - the data connector on the back is a standard USB2 type B female. I'm investing in a USB hub, to avoid the cabling arrangement which led to my previous unit falling on the floor. Be gentle - you have been warned!


French T55 5x1.5Kg
French T55 5x1.5Kg
Offered by Groceries R US
Price: £15.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Rises above the others!, 15 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: French T55 5x1.5Kg (Grocery)
I've been baking breads for nearly two decades now, across a range of flours, both wheat and non-wheat. Years ago, I realised that 'French bread' is tricky to make well: also, without T55 flour, it just doesn't come out quite 'right'. This is a good example of T55 flour - well priced, long dated, consistently enables me to make some excellent breads, both simple and levain-based.

The 'improvers', in this particular case, are unavoidable. They are part of what makes 'French bread' look, taste and smell like French bread! Normally I use organic, stone-milled, additive-free flour: but never for French bread!

Highly recommended.


Roku Streaming Stick
Roku Streaming Stick
Price: £39.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - Does Amazon and Netflix properly now!, 4 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Roku Streaming Stick (Electronics)
Just a note to report that the latest firmware update on the streaming stick version includes Amazon streaming video. It also does user profiles on Netflix and is not slow to load. Initial stick start-up and connection to your WiFi takes maybe a minute or so, but subsequent selections are pretty slick.

You have to add ITV Hub and All4 to your Homepage yourself (both are free), but there is a wide range of (free) channels - even Christmas Karaoke! I skipped giving any payment details when registering with Roku - not a problem, although it means that I can't manage channels via the Roku site, only via the stick.

The supplied remote and the phone app both work brilliantly and it even mirrors stuff from my android phone on-screen. Overall, the streaming gives good to very good picture quality, although it may test the stability and output of your WiFi hub. Ideally, it needs a 'good' (or better) signal, although I've found that usually the top end of 'fair' still manages to do the job. It's a shame there's no RJ45 socket, but it's only a stick after all - if you really need wired you have to get a more expensive, bigger model. This one runs flawlessly self-powered on my Sony KDL-40EX503 telly (Sony's disgraceful streaming non-support is actually my reason for buying this stick). The supplied USB wall-wart is really handy as a travel adapter, as it puts out 1A and has all the major international plug fittings - swappable!

Highly recommended if you have a TV from a manufacturer who has simply abandoned you.


BENETECH GM550 Non-Contact Infrared Digital Thermometer
BENETECH GM550 Non-Contact Infrared Digital Thermometer
Offered by Fasun
Price: £7.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Hits the Spot, 4 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent purchase - fast, accurate, reliable (reproducible), cheap. Really useful for thermally profiling your house, setting up your central heating, confirming 'cold spots' in the garden...

Not so long ago, this item was a specialist instrument, expensive and only found in labs or on sites running major industrial processes. Now it's yours for just over a tenner!

Note: To get the absolute best out of this gun, it helps if you know a little bit about black-body radiation. As it happens, I'm a physicist, so it's not an issue for me.


Antec TriCool 120mm Cooling Fan with 3-Speed Switch
Antec TriCool 120mm Cooling Fan with 3-Speed Switch
Price: £7.53

4.0 out of 5 stars Continuous improvement? No thanks!, 28 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My Antec P182 originally came with two of these pre-installed: they were matt black, to match the case, in those days (2008?) They have given excellent service - very quiet and unobtrusive but always doing their job. One failed recently, so my CPU fan started picking up the slack and I noticed the noise, although the temperature never became dangerous!

This replacement item is - in principle - identical. However, the Devil is in the Detail. I don't care that the fan is not black, but I do care that the lead to the tri-switch is shorter than before (although the workaround is not a problem for my particular case). More importantly, the switch itself is slightly smaller than the original, so it doesn't clip securely into the fitting which held the original. The original fitting's plastic clips are weak anyway and I've had to build-up the switch with sticky tape to ensure that it doesn't push back into the case itself.

So - if it ain't broke, PLEASE don't fix it. If you choose to 'improve' it, then don't sell it as identical to the original - it really isn't!


AUKEY 4.8 A 24 W Dual USB Car Charger Adapter with AiPower Adaptive Charging Technology for Smartphones - Black
AUKEY 4.8 A 24 W Dual USB Car Charger Adapter with AiPower Adaptive Charging Technology for Smartphones - Black
Offered by AukeyDirect
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Neat!, 15 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great item - small, powerful and versatile. Fits in the main car charging point very snuggly, allowing the cover to close fully over it when not in use. A couple of retractable USB to micro USB leads (bought separately) allow me to charge two devices quickly and very neatly on-the-go.

Crucially, (and I want to emphasise this) my sample DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH DAB OR FM RADIO AT ALL, EVEN WHEN TWO DEVICES ARE BEING CHARGED. This applies to both Android and Apple (using a standard white lead). Maybe I'm just lucky or maybe my radio is unusually good (not really my impression from the overall sound quality, which is generally clear but hardly hi-fi!)

Anyway, I would highly recommend this item. I'm not planning to remove it before starting the car, as this would cause havoc with my stop-go system when at the lights anyway! It should be adequately surge-protected - if not I'll update things here in due course. My only irritation is that the price has dropped since I bought mine: but you can't have everything...


Sennheiser 541341 Replacement Ear Pads for PX200/PXC150/PXC250/PMX200 Headphones
Sennheiser 541341 Replacement Ear Pads for PX200/PXC150/PXC250/PMX200 Headphones
Price: £5.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth doing, 4 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are well made and, when fitted, look identical to the fixed padding under the top of the headband of my PX-200s. However, they are certainly not identical to the factory-fitted ear pads. This may be because Sennheiser have modified them for the Mk II version, or because they are not actually OEM. If they are not genuine Sennheiser, then they are certainly very good clones, so I won't be losing any sleep over that.

Fitting them was easy (once I realised that turning them inside-out was the way to go) and they have not modified the sound too much. There is a slightly darker colouration but the detail is mostly still there. These changes are unsurprising since they are marginally thicker/heavier than the old pads. So, not a huge change in acoustic character and a bonus for bass fans (which I am not) - but fine overall.

For listening on my phone, they are still more than adequate and confirm the PX-200s as a wise choice all those years ago. For serious over-ear time, I use big power-hungry reference headphones and a dedicated DAC, but that is hardly practical on-the-go. Also, a phone playing only 256Kbps AAC files would not be my source of choice anyway!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 14, 2016 11:59 AM GMT


Tiger Classic Mechanical Metronome - Black
Tiger Classic Mechanical Metronome - Black
Price: £25.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Beats guessing!, 10 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very good value for money. Well made, simple to use, attractive (for a plastic item) and works superbly. Highly recommended.

I'm old enough to remember when only music teachers had these (in hardwood!), but I've finally invested in one and am very pleased. It's one less thing to think about, which is handy when you're learning another instrument and want a really accurate tempo for a particular exercise.


Draper DIY Series 09246 250 mm Tenon Saw
Draper DIY Series 09246 250 mm Tenon Saw
Offered by Langley Steelworks Ltd
Price: £6.45

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the Wood?, 18 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well, as Little Red Riding Hood said "My, what big teeth you've got!"

It is certainly the right size and shape for a tenon saw, but the TPI is rather low, especially compared with, say, the Stanley equivalent. Still perfectly useable, though - and very good value. (Actually, I much prefer using my Japanese pull-saw, but that is too big and flexible to be practical for the sort of jobs this saw is designed for.)


DIGIFLEX USB Midi Cable Lead Adaptor for Musical Keyboard to PC Laptop XP Vista Win 7 Mac
DIGIFLEX USB Midi Cable Lead Adaptor for Musical Keyboard to PC Laptop XP Vista Win 7 Mac
Offered by Digiflex
Price: £3.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing value, 14 Sept. 2014
Arrived promptly, plugged it in; struggled a bit, ran MIDI-OX, quickly realised the connectors were the wrong way around! This was surprising, since the usual rule of IN -> OUT and OUT -> IN does not seem to apply with the labelling given to these particular leads. Anyway, once the connections were reversed, everything worked flawlessly with my elderly digital piano and Win7 x64 computer. All for around a fiver, including shipping! Top item.


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