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Fred Bear "Music Lover" (UK)

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Wansview NCM625W H.264 Mega Pixel 720P Indoor Wireless WIFI IP Camera 3.6mm Support SD Card Build In MIC 10 IR LED 6 Meter Night Vision Black Alarm In/Out
Wansview NCM625W H.264 Mega Pixel 720P Indoor Wireless WIFI IP Camera 3.6mm Support SD Card Build In MIC 10 IR LED 6 Meter Night Vision Black Alarm In/Out
Offered by BesTGoal's
Price: £57.99

1.0 out of 5 stars 4 & 5 Star Reviews? Am I Missing Something?, 11 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Okay, I will get the positives out of the way first, the hardware in this camera for the money seems quite reasonable - the still picture quality is good, they probably do record in HD and the wireless connectivity seems fine.
I am a Linux and network geek, I got the basic setup of the camera without too much trouble, although it does seem that you are best rebooting the camera every time you change the configuration because it doesn't seem to just take new settings without a reboot. That's even after a firmware upgrade.
However, what ***REALLY*** lets this camera down is the atrocious software - three words, "total hack job". In the year 2014, there is no excuse for not using open standards compliant hardware that works in any operating system, especially when the way you access and configure that hardware is through a web browser. But here is what I found out after playing about with this camera for a while:

---DESKTOP AND LAPTOP PCs---
1. You appear to have three options if you want to view the video from this camera remotely through a web browser on a desktop or laptop computer:
a. You use Internet Explorer with an ActiveX plugin. That immediately discounts non-Windows platforms and Chrome or Firefox on Windows. I don't have a Windows PC, I do have a Windows XP virtual machine but I couldn't get the ActiveX to show the video in Internet Explorer. The plugin ran, it made some nice buttons for still image and video grabs in the browser window, it also told me that it was connecting and had connected to the camera, but I got a black screen only. So it never worked for me full stop.
b. You use Apple Quicktime which gives Firefox a chance but still discounts Chrome because I am not aware of a Quicktime plugin for Chrome. So I tried it in Firefox on Windows with the plugin, I couldn't get video to work in the browser. I also tried Firefox in Linux with a third-party plugin that should supposedly handle Quicktime, but that didn't work either.
c. The missus tried her Macbook Pro and Safari (that *DEFINITELY* had Quicktime) and even that didn't work.
In all cases, there is an option in the browser to show a smaller "Mobile Video" image and that worked in all cases - yes, I asked myself the same question, why didn't they just use that format for everything?
I have since read another review that suggested the ActiveX plugin only works in a 32-bit environment (utterly ridiculous in 2014!) but I believe my XP virtual machine is 32-bit and it didn't work in that. But there may be some truth to it.

---ANDROID PHONES AND TABLETS---
I cannot comment on iPhones or iPads as I own neither. But for Android you can download the iSmartView app from the Android Store to access the camera from an Android phone. From the outset the app throws pigeon English at you, you know that it's not going to be very good and, indeed, it does not let you down. The app "kind of" works once you realise it is entirely unintuitive - you have to enter the camera IP address or hostname, the port you are connecting to, your account name and password, you then try to connect to the camera. You need to wait about two minutes some times before it connects, other times it just sits there going "Please Wait", at which point it's best to go back and check your settings, especially your password as the software doesn't tell you anything about why it cannot connect.
When you do finally connect, the video might well freeze after a couple of minutes, or it might freeze when you use one of the on-screen buttons to move the camera. Sometimes the video is fine but the on-screen buttons don't work, other times they respond incredibly slowly. The app is buggy and behaves entirely randomly.
If the camera was of average build with great open software, I would probably have kept it. Unfortunately, the software is a total "hack job", it's non-standard, ancient and I couldn't get it to work anyway in Linux, Windows or on a Mac. So, having bought two of these things, one is unwrapped, the other is now back in its box and they are both being returned.
They are totally unusable.


TeckNet® 5M/10M Slide, Negative and Black/White Film Scanner to SD Card, With 32MB Build-in Memory - Full Black
TeckNet® 5M/10M Slide, Negative and Black/White Film Scanner to SD Card, With 32MB Build-in Memory - Full Black
Offered by BlueByte Ltd
Price: £39.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap & Cheerful But Not Great Results, 14 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As other reviewers have said here, it does a job and I guess for £50 or so one should not expect something that works at a professional quality level.

The results are too contrasty and a lot of detail seems to be lost such that messing about with the results in a graphics/photo package doesn't seem to help much.

I suspect a cheap device like this does have its uses - for example, if you want to go through a large collection of negatives/slides and choose a few to get turned into good quality images by a professional image conversion company, then it might be worth buying.

But I've returned mine to Amazon for a refund as I found the results disappointing, and that was with negatives taken from a good SLR camera some 15 years ago.


Lulu
Lulu
Offered by davehopetrading
Price: £2.57

1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who Won?, 4 Feb 2012
This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
Not heard this album yet and doubt if it's going to be one I consider wasting an hour of my life over.

So can someone just give me a synopsis and just tell me which of the them got to the end of the album first on this one?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 14, 2012 12:43 AM GMT


Taker
Taker
Price: £8.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably Good Music But Marred By Crackling, 16 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Taker (Audio CD)
I'm glad to see this album has finally made an appearance on CD as it's one I remember a friend having on vinyl back around 1980 and the heady days of NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal).

The album includes the track "Chevy", which was also on Metal For Muthas Volume II, and the opening track "The Taker" was, I seem to recall, a single at the time.

The Amazon summary sums the content quite well - a British band doing something that sounds a little Wishbone Ash mixed with a bit of Southern Rock and if you were putting the album neatly on a shelf of NWOBHM albums, it would be at the same "melodic" end as Praying Mantis & White Spirit, not at the "heavy end" with Iron Maiden and Saxon.

The only downside is the transfer to CD which is clearly done from a vinyl album due to the amount of crackling in the background - it's bearable but definitely noticeable and I wish the manufacturers would state this somewhere clearly beforehand so you at least know what you're getting.

I was going to mark this down to three stars because of the crackling but that wouldn't be fair on the content which is actually very proficient musicianship and some great songs, even if it's really "The Taker" and "Chevy" that have riffiness that sits in your head a bit after the album's finished.

Let's hope someone finds the original master tapes at some point and puts out a cleaner version, I also think Amazon has the description wrong because there's 9 tracks only with none of them indicated as being bonus tracks.


Guitar Heaven: Santana Performs The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time
Guitar Heaven: Santana Performs The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time
Price: £13.40

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Never The Twain Should Meet, 28 Sep 2010
I'm a big fan of Santana, Cream, The Doors, Van Halen, AC/DC, The Beatles, Hendrix, Zeppelin - in fact pretty much all of the artists who have tracks covered on this album - and music is my number one hobby.

The great thing about my music collection, which is very rock- & blues-centric, is that no matter what kind of mood I'm in, I can always pick out a CD that I really feel like listening to & thoroughly sit there & enjoy it. That could be anything from Santana's classic "Abraxas" album to "Ace Of Spades" by Motorhead because rock has the variety to cater to all ages, all tastes and all moods.

Maybe I'm a bit of a music snob but there are many, many classic rock songs out there that were performed optimally at the time they were released & can therefore never be improved upon.

Take for example AC/DC's "Back In Black" which came from the album of the same name and was the first AC/DC album to feature Brian Johnson on vocals after the tragic death of Bon Scott. The entire concept behind that album was the band showing the rest of the world that it could emerge even greater after Bon's death, they put everything into it and became the biggest rock band ever (yes, the last AC/DC "Black Ice" tour knocked U2 and Metallica into second & third places) on the strength of the roots put down by that album.

Therefore, part of the thrill of listening to "Back In Black", or indeed countless other classic rock albums out there, is that you need to understand the times & context around the creation of that piece of music as part of enjoying it to the full.

As you can guess, I'm not a great fan of cover versions. There are exceptions - Stevie Ray Vaughan's treatment of Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" and others, even The Hamsters endless touring of the UK doing Hendrix and ZZ Top numbers (as well as their own stuff) are just wonderful to see live... but what those all have in common is they acknowledge the original creators & don't try to change them too much or improve on them.

Unfortunately, what Carlos has done here is tried to update those songs, probably as a cheap money-making exercise because covering other artists' songs is quicker than having to sit down & write your own. You'd expect this kind of thing from Simon Cowell's part of the music business, but *NOT* from a genius & truly great guitar player like Santana.

If people like & enjoy rap music (or any other genre) then good luck to them & I hope they get the same buzz from their music as I do from mine. Bands like The Beastie Boys (not an artist I particularly like) proved there can be a demand for creating original songs that mixed rap with rock but it just *DOESN'T WORK* when songs that were written to be sung are rapped - especially those songs that are true classics.

When Santana releases an original album, or even a live one of his own material, I will definitely look to hear it with the intention of buying it - but this is an abomination that serves only to cheapen the passion the original artists put into these songs.


Jamie's Ministry of Food: Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours
Jamie's Ministry of Food: Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours
by Jamie Oliver
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.42

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book For Beginner Or Expert Cooks, 26 May 2010
As someone who has worked in IT for 25 years, I've always enjoyed cooking at home as I think it provides an "organic" counterpoint to my daily job. Plus I like quick, unfussy cooking where I can just take handfuls of stuff and throw it into a wok or a saucepan without having to get out scales and measure things - so I enjoy Jamie's cooking anyway because that's the way he does it normally!

So despite having a reasonably good cooking knowledge, this book showed me how to make my stuff taste even better, as well as giving me some new ideas in the process.

The highlights of this book are *DEFINITELY* the Asian Chicken Noodle Broth which you can rustle up in 20 minutes but tastes easily as good as anything you would buy in places like Wagamama's, the Chicken Breasts In Crispy Posh Ham are fantastic with Jamie's additions of lemon rind and lemon thyme, and my roast dinners have never been so quick and easy to prepare because now I just throw chopped veggies in with the joint and a few herbs and it's pretty much done.

The only problem with this book is that I don't think anyone will ever get through trying each and every recipe - because by the time you've made your pick of about ten of them, they're so delicious that you'd rather stick to those than trying something new! But I'm getting there slowly...


Wolfmother
Wolfmother
Price: £5.33

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back To The Roots Of Rock, 9 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wolfmother (Audio CD)
As a middle-aged fan of Led Zep, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Hawkwind & many other rock bands that originated in the late 60s/early 70s, it's great to hear some youngsters paying homage to those great bands and coming up with an album which, if I didn't know any better, was some re-released obscure album from that same era.

This is a good album but not quite a classic album. As other reviewers have said, it's a bit repetitive in places (but then again, so were some of the great heavy psych/prog albums of the 70s) and the fusion of Robert Plant-type vocals with heavy & bassy early Sabbath type instrumentation doesn't "quite" gel with an old duffer like me. But then again, I paid less than a fiver for it on Amazon Marketplace and it's definitely worth that.

If you're a "hip young thing" reading this review, then definitely give it a spin and, if you like it, go and check out some early Sabbath and Zeppelin as well so you can understand the music your dad was listening to (and hopefully still is).

In a time when it's cool once again to listen to rock music, there's a wealth of new bands playing classic rock music and lots of good music to listen to - and alongside Black Stone Cherry, Wolfmother stand out from the rest of the crowd as two new bands who understand how to make good, loud and not taking itself too seriously rock music.


Fearless
Fearless
Price: £5.99

26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but not for the middle-agers, 10 Mar 2009
This review is from: Fearless (Audio CD)
As a middle-aged fan of mainly British rock music from the 60s onwards, I'm not averse to buying the occasional album by a talented female singer-song writer and was very impressed with Amy Macdonald's "This Is The Life" album, which I bought after hearing the title track on the radio one morning.

There's no denying Taylor Swift is a very talented young lady with a great voice and it's impossible to put her music into a specific category other than it's light rock music with some modern country influence.

However, whilst Amy Macdonald and Taylor Swift are of a similar age and sing about love, romance and angst, Amy manages to do it in a much more mature way so that a 46-year-old bloke can thoroughly enjoy her music also, whereas I felt genuinely uncomfortable listening to some of Taylor's songs about college graduates and cheerleaders.

I don't want to detract from Taylor's songwriting, she's certainly capable of putting some clever lyrics together and belting out a good tune to the point where I really do look forward to seeing what material she puts out in the future, especially after the hype around her has died down and she's matured with 3 or 4 albums under her belt.

But her album is definitely intelligently written music aimed at the teenagers and 20-somethings, and it's good to see quality music being aimed at them considering the years of plastic dross in the charts.

However, if you're older than that than by all means give it a spin without paying too much attention to the lyrics as they don't concern we people with mortgages, kids & expanding waistlines!
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2013 5:03 PM GMT


Chinese Democracy
Chinese Democracy
Price: £4.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Guns n Roses, 15 Jan 2009
This review is from: Chinese Democracy (Audio CD)
Okay, let me say from the outset that I have never been a huge Guns n Roses fan. I try to separate how musicians behave from the music they create but, let's face it, Axl Rose comes from the "Lars Ulrich Gob-on-a-stick" school of musicians & I've never found him to be particularly likeable. (Mind you, whereas I'd just tell Axl to go away and stop bothering me, I'd probably want to do actual harm to "Lars the Mouth" like poke him in the eye or something.)

With that said, "Appetite For Destruction" was a truly stunning debut album from a group of raw but talented hard rock musicians that, whilst it has not dated well in the intervening two decades, was definitely a 5-star classic album at the time. It's such a shame that it was all downhill from that point - particularly for the very talented Slash who started off so promisingly but has since becoming a middle-aged sellout starring in Guitar Hero video games. But I digress...

As for this album, it does have it moments, particularly the opening title track and, to be fair, as a fan more of classic hard rock like Black Sabbath & Led Zeppelin & less of modern-style metal, Axl has tried very hard to bring in modern touches like heavier stunted guitars & synthesizer bits.

But that's the ***WHOLE POINT*** - Guns n Roses came from the same "stable" as Aerosmith (as they were in the 70s not the sellouts of the 90s) and the young Rolling Stones - namely, angry guitar-based rock with angry vocals & nothing else thrown into the mix. So to call this a "Guns n Roses" rather than an "Axl Rose" album is absolutely disgusting & total misrepresentation of what lies within it.

Yes, Axl maybe nutty as fruitcake & would prefer his sound to appeal more to today's "hip young things" rather than "grew up in the 70s" hard rock fans like me but I feel totally cheated as a result. It said "Guns n Roses" on the cover & therefore I was expecting "Guns n Roses" on the CD as well but got something very different.

So please be careful when reading 4* and 5* reviews on here & make sure those people are reviewing the album on it's own merits. If you're into more modern-sounding metal then it probably merits that many stars - but as a Guns n Roses album that is bound to be compared to "Appetite", then it just isn't very good.


Master Of Puppets
Master Of Puppets
Price: £7.69

7 of 85 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Imagine, if you will..., 15 Jan 2009
This review is from: Master Of Puppets (Audio CD)
...that you are standing at the bottom of a rolling, grass-covered hill holding a microphone connected to a recording device.

Leading up the side of that hill is a long gravel path & at the other end of the path, right at the top of the hill, is your best friend who is stood next to an empty metal dustbin.

With a pre-arranged wave, you signal to your friend to let the dustbin roll down that gravel path while you record the sounds that the dustbin makes.

Then, with maybe a recording that is 30 seconds long, you take it home and loop it, over-and-over again until it turns into a recording that is about 40 minutes long.

Congratulations, as you have now made, completely legally, a 100% authentic copy of "Master Of Puppets" and with the money you have saved, you can now treat yourself to a proper hard rock album made by musicians who aren't so eager to reach the end of the song before the other members of the band.

At which point I strongly recommend "Strangers In The Night" by UFO whereupon your ears will truly love you.

Yes, they wore spandex but boy could they write songs - rather than leaving it just to the random positioning of stones and pebbles on a hillside.
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2014 10:33 AM GMT


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