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Swan Man (Cheltenham)

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Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels)
Snuff: (Discworld Novel 39) (Discworld Novels)
Price: 4.49

3.0 out of 5 stars good, but..., 2 July 2014
The plot of this latest Pratchett is as complex and layered as ever, and as so often in the Discworld series manages to say a lot of perceptive things about human nature. Regarding characters, there's a welcome large role for the excellent Willikins. And it's a page-turner.

But for me, it's not vintage Pratchett. The style is more wordy, the dialogue heavy-handed at times. It reads in some odd way like an Alistair MacLean in places, prosaic and vaguely reminiscent of a police statement. It doesn't have the exuberant lightness of touch of the best Discworld stuff. And it's less funny too.

Nevertheless, even Terry Pratchett off top form is better than many. I downloaded and read it on holiday, where it did its job well. If I had bought the paperback, however, I suspect it wouldn't be put in the case to come home with.

The Room (Kindle Tablet Edition)
The Room (Kindle Tablet Edition)
Price: 0.69

5.0 out of 5 stars stunning, 23 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Beautiful smoothly rendered graphics, atmospheric sound & highly challenging puzzles. An absorbing and brilliant game. Be warned, it's very addictive too.


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for work & general use, 25 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very pleased with this purchase. I had a 620 at work so imagined this would be similar but slightly better, and if anything it exceeded my expectations. Runs smoothly and fast, connects to Wi-Fi easily and has a good, positive keyboard and pad. If you're going to be really picky a slightly larger HDD would have been nice, but that's easily replaced or augmented with an external drive and it keeps the costs down.

I bought mine through Essex Laptops via Amazon for 140 inc p&p, especially as it comes with Windows (mine was XP which I assume is standard, and suits me perfectly) and Office (2007), which I think is an absolute steal!


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The proper thing, 31 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having lost my original stylus for my Nokia 5530, I bought some spares which turned out to be slightly poor-made - i.e. they didn't quite fit snugly and in due course, fell out and were lost. So I was very slightly nervous about buying this set - but no need. They slot into the phone perfectly and the only way they will get lost is by, er, user error.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars this month's favourite, 31 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like most stylish gentlemen about town (cough) I own a fat stack of t-shirts. This one is a great colour with a super design which helps to remind me of recent sporting glories (not mine, obviously). It's a good fit with a flattering cut. Definitely recommended.

Nokia 5530 XpressMusic Black/Red - Sim Free Mobile Phone
Nokia 5530 XpressMusic Black/Red - Sim Free Mobile Phone

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars first impressions: excellent, 2 Nov 2009
There are a number of mid-range touchscreen phones around now and this Nokia is presumably their shot at the Tocco Lite and LG Cookie. It seemed to score more highly in various reviews though, so I took the plunge and have had it now for a few days. Here are my first impressions.

Looks & feel: about standard candy-bar size but maybe slightly smaller if anything. There's a reassuring solidity to it and it fits wonderfully in the hand, with the unlock key on the side just right to be slid down by your thumb. As the phone is almost entirely touch-screen, the screen is large and is topped and tailed by a pair of speakers. The back cover clips off very easily and could give rise to complaints of flimsiness, but I like it - it comes off and clips on without any hassle, unlike every other mobile I've ever had. There's a stylus under the back cover which I suspect could be a very handy thing, though I haven't got round to trying it yet.

In use the telephone part works with no concerns. Because it's a touchscreen, you have to manually bring up the keypad to dial and then once in a call, do it again if you need to press option keys (if you're phoning a bank, say). It's slightly counter-intuitive to have to remember that, but you get the hang of it pretty fast. Otherwise, using the phone is easy and sound quality is great. Reception is better than my old phone by some way. Similarly texting and setting up e-mail are both very straightforward and work well.

The thing about the keypad shows up in other ways in the OS (to be fair this is my first touchscreen, though I've had Nokias before) and here and there they've changed how you access things, which takes a bit of retraining but again once you've got it it works fine. Some things are buried in nested menus and not quite where you thought they would be - to be fair again, though, that was me just trying it straight out of the box withoutlooking at the manual! Once I knew where things were it was fine.

One of the main reasons for getting this phone is the music player, which is superb. The OS and sound quality are first class and there are lots of options, and with the memory expandable to 16Gb you can get tons of music on there. It has a standard headphone connector so you can use your own, which is a plus. In fact I'm planning to use it as my main portable music device as well as my mobile - the music player is good enough to use on its own (and I'm fussy about these things). Elsewhere, there's a camera (only so-so but that's not really why you'd buy this phone anyway) and video recorder/player, which I haven't tried yet.

The touchscreen interface on the whole works very well. I was a bit worried about finger marks but the screen seems pretty resistant to grubby paws, I'm pleased to say. It also buffs up nicely with a soft, dry cloth (or the end of a tie for us office types!). You have to learn when to single-tap and when to double, and when to scroll the page up & down with the side-bar and when you can drag it around (it works like moving a map page around on Multimap). Thus if you're used to computers you'll probably get the hang of this phone much more quickly.

Finally there's mobile internet and a WiFi connection too, and viewing pages on that screen should be a pleasure.

Pros - superb quality, excellent phone/SMS/MMS/music player/web browser
- large memory capacity with micro SD card
- mostly brilliant touchscreen display, pin-sharp definition and largely intuitive to use
- can be used as a mass sorage device via USB connection

Cons (hardly major in terms of impact compared to the pros but I'll list them anyway)
- camera not brilliant
- some might find the back cover flimsy
- some of the interface can be confusing at first

There. I'll update this in a month or so when I've been round the block a bit more.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2013 1:12 AM BST

Acer X193Wb 19-inch Widescreen LCD TFT Monitor, 5ms, VGA, 2000:1
Acer X193Wb 19-inch Widescreen LCD TFT Monitor, 5ms, VGA, 2000:1

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, simple value for money, 2 Feb 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Because this is pretty much a no-frills monitor it gets 4 stars, but everything it does it does well: colours are vivid, blacks are black and response time, to my untutored eye, is hard to fault - for instance Call of Duty looks fantastic on it. It's perhaps not the most handsome-looking thing and is slightly let down by the huge blue/orange power indicator (so big and bright you could find your way across the room with the light off), but the bezel is very slim and the stand is unobtrusive and stable, if basic. Having had a 15" TFT before, the screen area seems massive in comparison and makes viewing documents or web pages as well as playing games a real pleasure. The widescreen aspect means it sits just as easily under my bookshelf as the old 4:3 15" did.

In short if you like stuff for how well it works and what it costs over how cool it looks, you ought to get one of these.

Offered by Side Two
Price: 14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's a grower, 21 Sep 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Funeral (Audio CD)
Have to agree with two other reviews, one of which said the music was good but the vocals terrible, and the other, perhaps paradoxically, which said it gets better the more you listen. I've come to Arcade fire only recently and my experience is that both those guys were right: on the first listen I thought, interesting music, sounds promising and then the vocals kicked in and I thought Yikes, who strangled the cat? But I persevered and it grows on you, it really does. And someone else who said you need to take time to listen properly, I agree there too. It's not wallpaper music and maybe that's why the vocals take some adjusting to - they're too strident to have in the background. But, having listened a few times, each time it sounds better - surely a good sign.

Electric Sufi
Electric Sufi
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: 21.45

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a different direction for your CD collection, 3 Nov 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Electric Sufi (Audio CD)
If you like trying out new musical flavours you might just treat yourself to something like this. The combination of Marcus Stockhausen (son of...) on trumpet and Youssef on oud and vocals creates an aromatic and atmospheric brew, which the rest of the band compliments very well. Youssef is an excellent musician and vocalist with a stunning range and plenty of dynamic oomph, and if (particularly with his singing) he is inclined to showboat occasonally, who's complaining? Stockhausen has a gorgeous tone and knows when to hold back and when to welly.

There are dreamy, smoky numbers on here and some more upbeat stuff, some more recognisably jazz-influenced than others, but all shot through with plenty of middle eastern flavour. This was one of my first forays into more 'world'-type music, and I found it a great album to get started on in that sense; it's accessible enough to grow on you very quickly, whilst still providing plenty for those with more developed palates to get their teeth into.

Sao Paulo Confessions
Sao Paulo Confessions
Price: 14.97

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I think I've missed the point, 30 Oct 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sao Paulo Confessions (Audio CD)
Having read the rave reviews I was looking forward to hearing this. I love music which melds different traditions and sounds into a convincing fusion, but I'm sorry to say this didn't do it for me. I found it a bit muddy and there was just too much going on for my taste. I also found some of the repetitive trance-inducing stuff, rather than creating an ambience or transporting me into a different place or whatever, just a little irritating.

That could just be me, of course. If this were a little more up at the world-fusion end of the pool, and a bit less at the techno-dance end, I'd probably like it more. But there's no doubting the cleverness of the layering that goes on.

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