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Rob Ward (UK)

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Kt Tunstall's Acoustic Extravaganza [CD + DVD]
Kt Tunstall's Acoustic Extravaganza [CD + DVD]
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £19.51

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album I've heard for ages - KT does it again!, 10 Nov. 2006
Having been very impressed with KT Tunstall's debut album, Eye to the Telescope, I had high hopes for Acoustic Extravaganza - which were well easily surpassed.

You'll notice that "Miniature Disasters" and "Universe & U" also feature on this album, despite being on the first. The reason for this, according to the included DVD, is that it was originally only meant to be a recording session (as a filler between Eye to the Telescope and her next album - due Q2 2007) for some early before-she-was-famous songs and acoustic re-recordings, which was only to be available from the website. However, it quickly became an album due to the popularity and online demand. The only true new song is Ashes, with all others being B-sides and older songs, all re-done with an acoustic feel.

I've given a quick run-down of the 10 tracks:

01 - Ashes: My favourite track of the album with a fantastic melody and a relaxed but up-beat feel.

02 - Girl and the Ghost: Similar feel to Ashes and One Day. It's quite repetitive but very catchy.

03 - One Day: A moody and powerful track with strong double bass and vocals.

04 - Golden Age - Quite a slow and relaxed piece, which is a nice contrast to the first few more up-beat tracks.

05 - Boo Hoo: Get it free from the KT Tunstall official website and see what you think.

06 - Gone to the Dogs: Another slow track, quite similar to Heal Over from ETTT

07 - Change: A nice melody and typically acoustic track - very relaxing.

08 - Miniature Disasters: Although this was on her first album, the acoustic version is so much better with more percussion and a stronger beat.

09 - Universe & U: Virtually identical to the original `Eye to the Telescope' recording, just with less backing and stronger vocals.

10 - Throw me a Rope: A bit more Katie Melua than KT Tunstall unfortunately. A nice tune, but a bit bland for the final track.

It's unfortunate that Ashes includes 2 instances of swearing, which doesn't really add anything to the song, and also leads to the album being branded with "explicit lyrics."

Altogether, it's a fantastic album with plenty for everyone. It has a unique style and is definitely one of the best CDs I've heard for a long time!


ZoneAlarm Security Suite
ZoneAlarm Security Suite

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Security Suite Available!!, 3 May 2005
This review is from: ZoneAlarm Security Suite (CD-ROM)
I previously used Norton Anti-Virus to protect my computer but this used up too many resources and really annoyed me. I decided to try Zone Alarm Security Suite to manage all my security requirements (firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, fraud protection etc.) in one package. The interface of ZoneAlarm is extremely easy to use - it can be customised and has enough features to satisfy computer experts, yet it is still easy to use for beginners. All components of the firewall are organised in tabs, so you can easily navigate to the one you want.
The firewall is excellent and since installing the suite, I have not had one security breach. Another feature of this software suite that I find particularly useful is the 'programme control' panel in which you can allow and restrict certain programmes on your computer access to the internet. However, unlike other security suites, you can also limit their access, rather than completely restrict it (e.g. only allow them access to trusted networks, and say which can and can't become a server.) The anti-virus functions as it should but I cannot comment on its detection ability as I have only ever had two viruses (phew) which it detected. Anti-virus definitions are downloaded automatically (or manually if you prefer) virtually everyday, and when upgrades to the whole suite (e.g. new features and new versions) are available, ZoneAlarm notifies you so you can download them for free.
When I set up a home wireless network, ZoneAlarm instantly detected this and a wizard guided me through configuring the firewall to maximum security without limiting the network's features. The Zone Alarm Security Suite not only protects you from hackers and viruses, it also includes advanced spam management tools (that have worked well protecting my inbox), a security tool for Instant Messaging that can encrypt conservations, privacy protection (e.g. cookie blocking, ad blocking etc.), web filtering, and an ID lock which protects any data you do not want to leave your computer (e.g. if you enter your address into ZoneAlarm, it will prevent that address being entered in online forms which is useful if sharing a computer and reduces fraud.) For professionals, ZoneAlarm creates detailed logs for all firewall, anti-virus and programme activity so you can track hacker's IP addresses and see which programmes have accessed your internet connection.
Overall, ZoneAlarm is the most comprehensive security package available. It's easy to set up, easy to use, and protects you computer while running silently in the background. I would recommend it to professionals and beginners alike.


Linksys Wireless-G ADSL Modem Router w/4-Port Switch
Linksys Wireless-G ADSL Modem Router w/4-Port Switch

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ***** The Best Wireless Gateway On the Market!!!! *****, 2 May 2005
I previously used ICS (Internet Connection sharing) to share my ADSL internet connection wirelessly to a laptop. This method was flawed and I very rarely got wireless speeds of over 1Mbps. I bought this gateway to try and solve the problem and it is perfect.
The gateway was extremely easy to set up and the accompanying documentation was very comprehensive. The whole package is excellent; the router sits anywhere and works as it should. I have had no problems with noise or over-heating and I always get at least 48Mbps wireless connections and 100MBps wired connection. There are also many features such as port forwarding, for online gaming, a strong firewall, Wireless 128 bit WEP encryption and much more (all accessible through an easy-to-use admin console). The built-in modem allows me to connect to my high-speed ADSL connection (Tiscali) at full speed. It is connected all day, every day and if the connection is lost, it will automatically re-dial. However, if you prefer to only log on to the internet when you want to access it, the router can dial-on command too. The gateway can also only allow specific MAC addresses which is a useful feature for creating an extremely secure network. Wireless print and file sharing all work well too, as well as LAN gaming.
Overall, this is an excellent product - far superior to the Netgear gateway, which my friend purchased, because his overheats requiring the whole gateway to be left inactive for an hour and then reset. With the Linksys WAG54G, you get fantastic speeds (both wired and wireless), plenty of features and a very reliable gateway for an excellent price.
NOTE: When I bought this gateway, I received the WAG54G V2 which is basically the improved version of this product that supports ASDL 2 and includes bug fixes. I imagine that all buyers will get this and not the original version, so I can also recommend the gateway for those on ADSL 2.


Mortal Kombat: Deception (Xbox)
Mortal Kombat: Deception (Xbox)

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mortal Kombat Deception - The Ultimate Fighting Game, 22 Jan. 2005
I have been a fan of Mortal Kombat since MKI on the SNES. MKI was a huge success and this continued throughout the series. Mortal Kombat Deception uses the same award-winning fighting formula combined with excellent new features to make a superb game. Many old Mortal Kombat favourites are back (Mileena, Sindel, Nightwolf, Ermac to name a few) as well as many brand new warriors (Darrius, Hotaru, Havik to name a few)
The main thing that separates this MK game from all others is the new ways to play. Not only can you fight against friends and the computer in traditional Kombat, but you can also engage in Chess Kombat and Puzzle Kombat.
** Basic Kombat ** - The same game engine is used to provide players with 2 fighting styles and 1 weapon is back from MK Deadly Alliance. Moves can be strung together to develop your own combos and the best part of MK is still there - the fatalities. Each character has two fatalities as well as one Hara Kiri (Suicide move).
** Chess Kombat ** - A brilliant version of chess where you choose MK characters as pieces. When you go to 'take a piece', you must fight to decide the winner. Spells and bonus squares add an extra level of strategy to the game!
** Puzzle Kombat ** - Puzzle Kombat is extremely addictive to play and is similar to Tetris. You have to match coloured blocks before breaking them with special coloured dragon medallions. The loser is finished off in true Mortal Kombat style.......
** Konquest ** - This new Mortal Kombat Single player feature is excellent. You start off as young Shujinko running around in Earth realm when you meet Damashi and agree to go on a conquest to recover special objects for the Elder Gods. As Shujinko, you can roam anywhere throughout 6 realms and meet characters from previous MK games. By the end of your mission, you are an old man and Shujinko is unlocked as a playable character. The Konquest mode is the portal to many Krpyt unlockables such as Alt costumes, art etc. The Krpyt is similar to that in MK:DA.
A new feature to Mortal Kombat is online play, where you can battle other players online in traditional kombat, puzzle kombat and chess kombat. This tops off an already excellent game. If you are a fan of the MK series or you simply enjoy fighting games, then this is essential. I can honestly say that it is the best fighting game I have ever seen!


Canon Powershot A95 Digital Camera [5Mp, 3x Optical]
Canon Powershot A95 Digital Camera [5Mp, 3x Optical]

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Family Camera, 30 Dec. 2004
I had previously used a Canon Powershot G3 for digital photography which gave me excellent results. However, it was quite a bulky and heavy camera which made it difficult to carry around. I was then advised by a friend to try the A-series of Powershot cameras. (The G series is generally for professional photographers while the A## series are better for more general uses) The Canon Powershot A95 succeeds the A80 model.
When I ordered this camera, I also ordered an extra Fuji Compact Flash 512MB card because the supplied 32MB CF card is not large enough to store a reasonable amount of photos. This combination is excellent. The lens is slower than that of the G3 but this does not generally affect the overall quality of photographs. The camera has a good-sized LCD screen that can be turned and moved to suit the user. This is a new addition to the A## range and is very welcome. The quality of results from the camera is always excellent. All images have come out superbly from the 5 Mega Pixel camera.
The software provided on a CD with the camera works well to provide you with many possibilities. Software includes:
Photo Stitch and other image editing software.
Video Impression - which is a decent video editing package similar to windows movie maker 2.
Photo Record - a virtual photo album with many tools for customising photo frames and adding captions.
ZoomBrowser EX - the software used to download images which works well and also organises your photos into libraries.
Altogether, the Canon Powershot A95 is a tremendous digital camera with enough features to satisfy even a professional photographer.


The Shrek Collection - The Story So Far (Shrek 1 & 2 Box Set) [2004] [DVD] [2001]
The Shrek Collection - The Story So Far (Shrek 1 & 2 Box Set) [2004] [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Mike Myers
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £20.00

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shrek-tacular!, 24 Dec. 2004
Shrek (1) made its mark in film history as the best animated film for decades. It combined superb animation, an excellent plot and a donkey! Despite its 'U' rating, Shrek was full of laughs and is guaranteed to be enjoyed by adults and children. There are some special features exclusive to this box-set so it's well worth buying if you don't already own Shrek 1.
Many believed that Shrek 2 couldn't compare to the original and that it would be a disappointment. This was certainly not the case! Shrek 2 was filled with humour and topped off by another great storyline. I won't go into detail about the story but it's definitely worth seeing. It's a pity you can't give more than five starts because this film certainly deserves them!
Altogether, I would recommend the box-set to ANYONE! The two Shrek films are worth buying on their own, but when combined with tons of extra features and footage, you get the ULTIMATE SHREK PACKAGE!


What's New Scooby Doo : Vol 2 - Safari So Goodi [DVD]
What's New Scooby Doo : Vol 2 - Safari So Goodi [DVD]
Dvd ~ Joe Sichta
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £2.24

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scooby is Back, 28 Sept. 2004
Safari, So Goodi! follows Space Ape at the Cape as the second compilation of episodes from the hit TV series, What's New Scooby Doo? The collection contains four episodes: Safari, So Goodi!; Roller Ghoster Ride; It's Mean, It's Green, It's the Mystery Machine, and Riva Ras Regas.
The DVD will be watched over and over again by fans of Scooby Doo and children alike.


Donkey Konga (Includes Bongos) (GameCube)
Donkey Konga (Includes Bongos) (GameCube)

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Donkey Konga - He's Back!, 28 Sept. 2004
Donkey Kong has always been an excellent game. From ladder-climbing days to running around with coconut guns in Donkey Kong 64. It looks as if Donkey Konga will be no exception. The game plays like a dance game where users clap and slap bongos in time to music and on screen displays. However, in order to play the game properly in multiplayer, you will need two sets of bongos (which are quit expensive). In terms of gameplay, Donkey Konga looks excellent. As well as the main rhythm game, there are other mini games for both single and multiplayer. I have only given the game 4 stars because I think there is room for improvement in single player mode - after the initial thrill wares off, I think slapping bongos and clapping will soon get repetitive. However, with a bunch of friends and a load of bongos, this would be an excellent party game.
Overall, 4/5 stars!


Burnout 3: Takedown (Xbox)
Burnout 3: Takedown (Xbox)

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burnout 3 speeds into the lead, 13 Sept. 2004
Burnout 3 is the highly anticipated sequel for Xbox. It is fast paced and fun to play.
I don't like the racing game genre in general but 'Burnout 3: Takedown' is different. It's one of the only games that rewards you for crashing! As you play Burnout 3, you earn points, money and skills. These unlocks new cars and other goodies. In single player mode, the following game types are available:
1) Race
2) Takedown - possibly the best mode, in which you have to smash into other cars and knock them off the road.
3) Crash - a short mode in which you have to drive your car and crash into other vehicles causing as much damage as possible. You receive money based on the damage you cause.
The game has brilliant two player modes and also supports Xbox Live.
I would recommend this game to anyone. I'm not a fan of racing games but I enjoyed Burnout 3 because of wacky modes, great graphics and overall superb gameplay.


The Sims 2 (PC CD)
The Sims 2 (PC CD)
Offered by Soprano Entertainment
Price: £34.95

5.0 out of 5 stars The most anticipated sequel this year!, 13 Sept. 2004
This review is from: The Sims 2 (PC CD) (Video Game)
The Sims 2 is the sequel to the award winning people management sim, The Sims. In the new version, the whole life management system has been re-done. Now, there are 6 age groups from toddlers to teens and eventually death! The life of a child will determine their personality when they are older.
Your Sims lifestyle will also affect their body. Like in real life, lack of exercise leads to obesity.
The Sims 2 looks excellent and I advise anyone who likes management sims to pre-order this title!


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