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John Tierney (Wirral, UK)
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Ravel Boys/Kids Digital LCD Sports Watch - Gift Boxed - Multi Functional- 14-20cm Strap - 3ATM
Ravel Boys/Kids Digital LCD Sports Watch - Gift Boxed - Multi Functional- 14-20cm Strap - 3ATM
Offered by BM ENTERPRISE (UK) LTD
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and accurate, 23 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this for my daughter and it keeps time really well. Wanted a cheap watch for an couple of exams and it was perfect. Has an alarm and an hourly beep and a stopwatch. She's worn it for months and it's deadly accurate.


Kinetic Sand Box Set
Kinetic Sand Box Set
Price: £19.04

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 23 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Kinetic Sand Box Set (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is good stuff. Does what it says - hangs together well and can be used indoors with the shapes that come with it. The three year old really liked this and moved onto to successfully using cakes cutters to make cakes shapes with purple sand. Certainly passes the time on a wet Sunday afternoon. Not massive, but good quality - bit on the pricy side for the amount of sand, but works well.


Ultrasport Basic Nav Run 200 GPS Pulse Computer - Black
Ultrasport Basic Nav Run 200 GPS Pulse Computer - Black
Price: £75.47

3.0 out of 5 stars A bit complicated and currently lacking transfer ability, 1 Jun. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Got this through the Amazon Vine programme and am not totally bowled over by it. I run 6 days a week, averaging 40-50 miles per week and my route tracking is normally done via Google Maps Pedometer. I've thought about a GPS watch for a while so thought I would give this a test drive.
Possibly because it's my first GPS watch, but even with instructions it's complicated to use. I've done 4 runs with it now, and I still can't remember how to get back to normal time. The printed instructions are ok, but search for an online manual for something slightly better. There are only 4 buttons on the watch (nothing on the front) and they are named S1, S5, S7 and S11. It took me a while to realise that the number refers to the position of the hour on a clock face. It got a bit easier after that.
Once you get the hang of it, measuring a run is fairly straightforward. Go into RUN or CHRONO mode (S7) and then hit S5 to search for a GPS signal. This takes about 60-90 seconds normally but once you've got it (you have to do it outdoors so you need to stand around or warm up) it doesn't seem to lose it. Once your timing your dun you can use S5 to switch between various display modes (Distance run, Time Run, Speed, Pace, Calories). It took the online guide to work out how to switch the units from Km to miles.
Once you've finished your run you can save the data. The version I received (which looks like it retails for £80+) doesn't include anything to monitor the heart rate nor to transfer data to a computer - just a weird (to me anyway) USB connector with what look like snake's teeth to align on the contacts on the back of the watch to charge it. A 10k run seems to use about 20-30% of the charge, so it's not something you can wear all day. I've been using it just for runs. One nice feature is that in DISTANCE mode it automatically shows you the pace for the last mile as you complete it.
I do like the fact that it's not too big or heavy - the Garmin watches I've seen look uncomfortable but this is ok and it water resistant to pouring rain, showers and a bath so far. Depending what mode you're in the main number you are displaying (TIME, DISTANCE, etc) is nice and big, but the other number (e.g. distance if you're measuring time or vice versa) are a bit small - I wear contact lenses when I run and the small numbers are a bit difficult to make out.
I'm still struggling to remember how to exit back into normal time mode after a run and as I've said it would be nice to be able to transfer the routes to a computer and view them. At the moment it's all on the watch so just numbers.
All in all it's certainly ok and I'm sure I will learn to use it properly in the end. Not sure about the value compared with the competition though. 3 stars from me.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2014 11:11 AM BST


Prestige 75 Year Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 4-Piece - Silver
Prestige 75 Year Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 4-Piece - Silver

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality, 29 Nov. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A milk pan, two saucepans with lids and a nice, satisfyingly heavy skillet. All do their job perfectly - was using the saucepans for vegetables as soon as I got these and the skillet has been used for French toast mist mornings since. A set of quality pans.


Brabantia 20 Litre Retro Bin - Mineral Mint
Brabantia 20 Litre Retro Bin - Mineral Mint
Price: £88.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Curvaceous, 29 Nov. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Received this through the Vine programme and I have to say it's a lot smaller than I thought. Imagine two bottles of wine standing one on top of the other- that's how tall it is. So although it's sitting in the kitchen it's not quite the 50l beast we had before (the closing mechanism on the old one had gone). On the positive side the open and closing action is something to behold - smooth, quiet, almost mesmerising. The colour is slightly on the blue side of green, so it doesn't stick out like a sore, gangrenous thumb. A pack of bin bags tops this off. I think maybe a smaller bin might not be a bad idea for a kitchen - you're forced to change it more often. And the curves will have all our other bins green with envy.

Pricey perhaps - was £92 when I looked. But it's elegant and reeks of quality, long life and Branbantia are renowned for their post sales support. If the colour and size and price are ok for you, you certainly won't be disappointed.


Compact Oxford Russian Dictionary
Compact Oxford Russian Dictionary
by Oxford Dictionaries
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, portable and good value, 10 Oct. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a great dictionary - comprehensive Russian to English and back again it feels like it should be a heavy book, but it's light enough to easily carry. There is a useful section in the middle covering culture, employment letters and even texting and the internet in Russian. The final section adds details of conjugations and declensions. I got this through Amazon Vine, but at the time of writing it costs less than a tenner and represents excellent value. Recommended.


MaddAddam
MaddAddam
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying conclusion, 10 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: MaddAddam (Hardcover)
This third part of Atwood's Oryx and Crake series is a satisfying conclusion to this body of work. I say conclusion, but I have to admit that I neither expected nor was desperate for another book, but just like the second book (The Flood), MaddAddam is a satisfying, intelligent addition.

This part of the story is told (mostly) from Toby's perspective, but draws mostly on the back story of Zeb and his brother Adam and the genesis of the God's Gardeners group from the MaddAddamite bio-terrorists. Just like the Flood, we mostly, but not totally, revisit the events and times of the original Oryx and Crake book, but from yet another perspective. And it works - it doesn't feel like we are hearing the same story again (for the third time in fact) and this is tribute to Atwood's skill as a writer. She still manages to conjure up great names for futuristic bio developments (pigoons, Painballers, etc) and her message is the same as before -don't mess with nature!

The is a lot of gender politics exposition which feels well balanced and the Crakers are given their own distinctive voice. I couldn't quite give it the full 5 stars as I felt it did take a bit of time to get into its stride, but it's vivid, intelligent and very readable. I liked the ending because it made me go back and read the start again and experience a paradigm shift.

A worthy conclusion. Assuming she stops here of course.


Dark Eden
Dark Eden
by Chris Beckett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good idea but unconvincingly developed, 28 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dark Eden (Paperback)
I had high hopes for this book after a glowing review in the Grauniad Review section one Saturday, but unfortunately it didn't deliver what I was hoping for. The tale of the descendants of a couple stranded on an alien, starless planet, the concept is good - a world where there is no sunlight and plants and animals have (somehow) evolved to produce their own. Thrown into this a couple of hundred years earlier are Angela and Tommy, left stranded by the Three Companions who have returned to Earth for help, but never returned. The backstory is that Angela and one of the others were police chasing Tommy and his friends when both groups were stranded. Left alone Angela and Tommy are literally in an Adam and Eve scenario and the five hundred odd people on this "Dark Eden" have evolved from the incestuous breeding programme that ensued, giving rise to some interesting group morals and birth defects.

The author tries to generate a slang English typical of such a group of people a couple of hundred years after the original crash. A few of these are reasonably successful e.g. Landing Veekle and Any Visry, "slip" to sleep with someone, but a lot just don't work at all (Starry Swirl is - I think - The Milky Way and there is a lot of adjective repetition which seems to be a way of speaking they've evolved e.g. "It was bad, bad." This didn't work at all for me and made me yearn for Riddley Walker.

The story follows 15-year-old John Redlantern and his attempts to rebel against the status quo and strike out for pastures new in the dark world that he lives in. I did find the idea of the dark world quite appealing, but the tale is told in very basic language and feels (as other reviewers have mentioned) like a YA novel. I did also read that the novel was developed from a short story and it does have the feel of a good idea stretched way too far. There is no explanation of where the planet it or how it maintains an atmosphere (I was hoping for a twist where they're really all on the dark side of the moon but this doesn't happen). But the ideas flounder in the story and although chapters are told by various characters (mostly John and his on-off girlfriend Tina), their voices are not differentiated and if it wasn't for the name of each narrator at the start of each chapter it would take a while to know who is talking.

There are some good points - it's easy to read for a start and there is a twist of sorts - but overall it is not the deeply literate SF classic I had been led to expect. The ending does allow for more, but I would definitely not read any sequel as this was more than enough.


Behringer XM8500 Ultravoice Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone
Behringer XM8500 Ultravoice Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone
Offered by Simply Sound Ltd
Price: £29.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 3 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lost my good Shure microphone and needed something quickly - this looked good value and is. Only used it at home for low key stuff but perfectly serviceable.


Football Results
Football Results
Price: £0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, 31 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Football Results (MP3 Download)
I heard this recently on R4 and realised I had enough free downloads on Amazon to get it for free. I had to explain to my children about the pools and score draws, but apart from that it's pretty timeless. Treat yourself.


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