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G. Reed "gazzathegaz" (UK)

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VonShef Electric Compact Portable Camping Caravan Single Hot Plate Hob Stove Cooker 1500W
VonShef Electric Compact Portable Camping Caravan Single Hot Plate Hob Stove Cooker 1500W

1.0 out of 5 stars Fine when it did work, 19 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It didn't last so long at all.... about 2 weeks. Fine when it did work.

Epson Expression Premium XP 810 Colour Multifunctional Printer
Epson Expression Premium XP 810 Colour Multifunctional Printer
Price: £155.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Print your proof of purchase on the printer that that won't print to get the printer repaired"..... Really?, 19 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This printer is actually really pretty good... when it works. I bought it six months ago, installed it and it was all lovely.
I had another printer running in tandem which had a load of ink I wanted to use up. The old one didn't scan well at all, so it ultimatly needed to go. Eventually after 3 months, it did. I did the odd scan on the Epson in that time and it was fine. The wi-fi set up was fairly easy too.

Then I went on holiday and when I came back, the Epson printer couldn't find my computer. I re-installed everything and it was fine again. I blitzed through a lot of scanning I needed to do. A stack of paper vanished. All now sat on my computer. Wonderful. I printed out some large documents. All wonderful.

This morning I printed out some more docs and that was fine too. Then I had lunch.... and I tried to do some more. The Epson didn't like the paper. paper jams were happening over and over. Then I had to change the cartridge. It didn't recognise the brand new Epson ink cartridge. Errors and shut downs. Then the printer couldn't find my computer. It was making some terrible noises. Contact Epson, I thought, and did. The chatty man said it was a hard drive failure. Repair shop. And that's where I took it this afternoon. I find out what happens tomorrow. He also said I'd be charged unless I took a copy of my proof of purchase. I bought it from Amazon. The proof is online.... print it out, he said. Sublime. He didn't get the humour of what he was saying.

But really, just over 3 months use and it's already in the repair shop? It's done a few hundred pages of scanning and printing but broken already? I can't fault much about this machine except it's longevity. Not good Epson. Not good at all. And just when I really needed your printer to work for me. Grrrrrrrr!

HooToo® Portable USB Tape Cassette To PC/MP3 Converter Capture Adapter Digital Audio Music Player
HooToo® Portable USB Tape Cassette To PC/MP3 Converter Capture Adapter Digital Audio Music Player
Price: £14.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All good so far, 27 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Audacity I've used before. It's a good piece of software especially considering it is free. So, you can't really complain when it falls over too much, which it does from time to time. The cassette player itself does the job very well. I'd recorded in side one of a cassette, then was close to finishing side 2. Audacity stopped and crashed while the cassette player kept going. A bit annoying as the tapes were the old 90 minuite versions. It may be worth saving your project with a name before you start recording. That appears to have helped, and it's good practice anyway. Now I've got various tapes recorded in,on the computer. I just need to clean them up a bit more. For the price, highly recommended. :)

Dougal and the Blue Cat (Special Edition) [DVD] [1970]
Dougal and the Blue Cat (Special Edition) [DVD] [1970]
Dvd ~ Eric Thompson
Price: £8.26

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Swings and Roundabouts, 29 Jan 2013
I enjoyed the film hugely when originally released for the cinema, so I was pleased to see this on DVD (but where are the TV eps? Surprised they have yet to appear on DVD). Having watched the film again, it still retains its charm, though the remastering leaves a huge amount to be desired. The colour levels jump all over the place, and little grading appears to have been done to level out the change in film stock used when the film was put together. Added to this some sections of the films have spots of dirt and dust visible throughout, while others look like they have been cleaned up. Mr Thompson's wonderful narration is also noticeably sibilant. Whether the original was like that I have no recollection, but I suspect not. It was a little annoying in places. The story still hangs together well, and the animation remains pleasing to the eye.

The extras are short but good value. Mark Kermode's enthusiasm is infectious, while Emma Thomson, Phyllida Law and the wonderfully bonkers Fenella Fielding fill in some of the plot. Again, there has been no attempt to grade and balance out the interview footage, so we jump from a glowing Ms Law, to a dark and poorly lit Emma Thompson, to a starkly lit Fenella. Not great.

So 4+ from me for the film, and 4 for the extras, but only 2 for the remastering.... Overall, I'd have given the DVD 3+1/2 if Amazon would let me, but they don't so I only give it 3 as the remastering really lets this dvd down.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2014 4:43 PM GMT

The Comic Strip Companion: the Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who in Comics: 1964 - 1979
The Comic Strip Companion: the Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who in Comics: 1964 - 1979
by Paul Scoones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.46

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Illustrated Doctor Who, but without (many) illustrations., 11 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I must admit to being a bit disappointed with this book. It is published by Telos, a fan publisher, who are usually very heavy on written content, and very low on (like non existent) visuals, and good design content. Their attention to detail is usually top notch and crammed into most of their books - till it bursts, generally. I've often forgiven the lack of illustrative material in their books due to the amount of facts and figures and new information.

This time around we get a book about the Dr Who comics strips. I'd anticipated no pictures again, so was pleasantly surprised by the 8 pages of colour reproductions of various comic and annual covers. Nice as they were to see, the covers didn't help expand on the stories at all. I understand that finance might be the problem for Telos, but I can't help feeling that the lack of illustration diminishes the book from what it could have been.... it's a bit like reviewing a painting exhibition on the radio - you may want to see the pictures talked about, but it isn't going to be possible.

It is the written detail that, up to now (I haven't finished the book as yet... but not far off), has proved disappointing. The page count is many, the type size is very big, the information is thin. I say thin, as much of the material is already available in magazines and on the internet if you do a quick Google search. I'd hoped for more from writers and artists as well as publishers, not just the ones who created and put the comic out, but maybe newer artists and writers reflecting on what went before, for example. I know we are talking about events from 50 years ago nearly, but apart from including fragments of incomplete documentation held in the BBC archive related to the comics which was interesting, there is little more than a list of comic strips titles and plots. This has been done before, and as I said is freely available on the internet if you have access to it. Volume 2, and maybe volume 3, which is/are surely coming holds less interest to me. I imagine Vol 2 would cover the Marvel/Panini years, and there is less mystery about this run of stories, Panini having published their own graphic novels of material with 'commentaries' from artists, writers etc already. Vol 3 may cover the American comics, some of which are out there as Graphic novels too. Who knows?

Looking positively, at least much of the material is gathered together in one place now and is easy to access. Being less generous, the large page count and low word count feels a little bit mercenary, possibly taking the opportunity to 'fleece' Dr Who fans at least twice. A smaller page count and smaller type face size, and therefore (hopefully) a lower price would have been preferred.

Titles and plots, named artists and writers - it's all in there. If this is what your looking for then you'd be looking in the right place. I'm still hoping for a better illustrated overview of the Dr Who comics than this, though I realise I could be waiting a very long time. As such, this volume will have to do for now. It's not a bad book, there's just not really a lot to it.

Patrick Troughton: The Biography of the Second Doctor Who
Patrick Troughton: The Biography of the Second Doctor Who
by Michael Troughton
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pat Troughton Book, 15 May 2012
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This is the first book I am aware of about a much loved actor, and a great Doctor Who. Little is known about Patrick Troughton the man, and having read this book, that is as he wanted it. A secretive and distant man, who at times seemed incredibly cruel to family, he was incredibly well liked within the acting profession. A man of contrasts and contradictions then.

But what do we know about Mr Troughton's long history after reading this book? Disappointingly little. For really, in some ways, this is less about Patrick Troughton the actor, and more about a man's relationship as a father, with his young child; a child who was understandably sad and hurt to have been abandoned for the 'love' of a woman who wasn't his mother, and the children she and PT were to have together. This book while acknowledging the 'other' family, the 'other' partners, and wives, only superficially deals with them. For example, we know little about Pat's second wife other than they married and that fact was discovered by Michael from a newspaper. Michael met and had a bad meal with her and his father once and got sick and maybe didn't go round to his father's new place after that. Maybe he and his step-mum just didn't get on. Who knows? It's never really said one way or the other. No clues as to whether she was spoken to in researching the book, or even if she is still alive. And "Bunny' his long standing partner, and their children. There was very little about them, or how they saw things, at the time things happened, or reflecting on events now.

What the book does do well is to fill in our knowledge of Pat's early days from birth to his road to drama school, early theatre, tv and film. This was all nicely cataloged, with some good picture research, without much obvious attempt to contact actors, directors etc who might still be around for comment. One or two actors, and old friends, are quoted without getting any great perspective on events. And Michael's brother David is THE big glaring omission in the book. Even his sister, Joanna, seems to have little to say. There seems to have been access to Pat's diaries which are quoted a few times in the book, but nothing is really reflected upon in any depth.

There is a better biography to be written about Mr Troughton than this book; more detail on his work by those who worked with him would have been interesting, and more from his family about how they saw him while growing up and looking back. It doesn't need the salacity, but an exploration of events may explain more about the man. But, as a personal memoir about a son's relationship (or lack of) with his father, this book does have insightful, emotional, moments.

Sony RDRGXD500 DVD Recorder with Digital Terrestrial Tuner
Sony RDRGXD500 DVD Recorder with Digital Terrestrial Tuner

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars RDR-GXD500 - went bang. What a clunker. Buy from Sony at your peril., 13 Mar 2012
Having previously owned a Sony for a couple of years which developed a fault, I was given the run around by a Sony service centre after paying £50 to get it repaired, before Sony 'HQ proper' stepped in.

They agreed that service from the Ilford, London Service centre for various reasons had been attrocious. For £80 they would provide a new RDR-GXD500. I agreed to go with this as, beyond developing a fault, my previous dvd recorder had been not bad at all.

Two years ago my RDR-GXD500 arrived and while not as easy to navigate did the job... mostly. That is, until a month ago.

Almost exactly two years on, the RDR-GXD500 was fine one minute and closed down the next and now is a paperweight.
Power goes in, nothing comes out. The freeview doesn't work, the dvd tray won't open, or if it does it doesn't close, so the dvd player won't work; the hard-drive is now inaccessible.

I need to weigh up whether to spend a further few £ to try to repair something less than 2 years old, which I don't think they will be able to do after my previous experience of Sony service centres. I have told Sony, and received a reply that it is now out of warranty. This I knew. Don! I just wanted them to know that a product of theirs that was used a reasonable amount of times, but not heavily, has gone 'bang' and stopped working after just 2 YEARS! Their approach and response felt like "got your money. So, tough." I wasn't expecting a new player/recorderor anything but they neeed to know their products aren't good when they fail in such a way after a short space of time. And now I see they no longer make this product. It is "tough", as Sony are now unlikely to be the recipients of my hard earned cash from now on.

My warning to you all is that Sony products are out of date as soon as you buy them. That is fair enough to a point. What isn't so good is they stop making parts for your item within a few years after they have brought it out. So, even though you think you have bought a brand new item, if you've got it in a sale for example, it will be old from the date it was made not when you bought it - Sony won't make parts and are looking to get more money from you to replace it.

Oddly my very first Toshiba still works a treat. It#'s 10 years old now.

by Dave Thompson
Edition: Paperback

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Is Like Oxygen, 13 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blockbuster! (Paperback)
After waiting for near 40 years for a biography of the Sweet, two come along in close succession. However, after the disaster of a book that was 'The Man Who Sang Blockbuster' (which dealt mostly with the life of Sweet's lead singer, Brian Connolly), comes 'Block Buster!'
Having read some of Dave Thomson's earlier books, I wasn't optimistic about getting a great read, but I was pleasantly suprised to find that the book was hard to put down. It's quite a dry read, but not bad for that, and is packed with well reseached quotes from interviews with the band conducted by the author, and from elsewhere. It's also packed with statistics and detail, with a good number of photos of the band, and of the picture sleeves for the band's vinyl singles. I'd never seen many of them.
There's a comprehensive list of the band's product from around the world, a gig guide, and an acknowledgement of sources, which suggests that a fair bit of research had been done, which wasn't the feeling I got from the earler book 'The Man Who sang...'
I still feel there's a bigger book to be written on the band, especially the members of the band, both before, during and after their heyday, but this one will suffice for now. It presents the group's recording years in a seemingly even handed way, and is very enjoyable.
A minor niggle with the book is that, while it was good to see illustrations, sleeves and photos, the reproduction of them isn't always as sharp as it could be. But, this shouldn't diminish any enjoyment of a long awaited biography of one of the great 70's bands. It's made me look forward to Dave's next book on the Glam rock years, due late 2010.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2012 3:49 PM BST

The Man Who Sang Blockbuster
The Man Who Sang Blockbuster
by Brian Thomas Manly
Edition: Paperback

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The man who wrote 'The Man Who sang Blockbuster', 8 April 2010
This book is an expensive, though slight, 'turkey' of a book. I was so looking forward to reading it, as I adored the Sweet as a boy, and still do. It's very much a 'fanboy' book, badly written with no great attention to detail (as highlighted in a previous review - Steve 'Preist'? Come on....). Actually, not much detail at all; there was very little in this book that wasn't already in the public domain. That said, while certain contributors get a gratitude name check, there are no notes naming sources of the information contained in the book either.

The book is shallow and superficial, and unfortunately, the writer lets his obvious love of the band and especially the subject matter (Brian) cloud his views, and his writing.

The writer would appear to want to 'big up' Sweet, by roasting Queen, a group I also liked. Comparing the two and trying to make an unconvincing case with little to back up or support the view that Sweet were bigger or better, doesn't cut it. The facts don't support that. For the most part Queen were the bigger and more successful group; they lasted longer than Sweet, sold more product, had more hits, and had more hit albums. 'Bigger in Germany', or Scandinavia, with no disrespect to either country and their Sweet fans, doesn't convince anyone.

Where was the view of Connolly's early life? Is no one from his adopted family available to interview? Were they even contacted? Did he have no friends that he grew up with who could be traced? His whole early life is almost totally ignored. The lack of serious research into areas such as this screams out to the reader 'No info on this and can't be bothered to delve further'.

Discussing the end of Brian Connoly's life, specifically, the documentary 'Don't Leave Me This Way', the writer gets very personal with everyone from the show editor (why was the editing dire? By what measure?), producer and director being name checked and damned. Were they contacted? What was their view of Brian? I saw the doc when it went out, and again recently. It was sad to see Brian still clinging on to his dream, when all around him could see it was unlikely his 'comeback' was ever going to happen. His voice was shattered, his body was ravaged, but Brian agreed to participate; it was his choice. I learned more from the documentary about one of my 'heroes' than from this book. It was hard, but it wasn't badly put together.... unlike 'The Man Who sang Blockbuster'.

There is a good book to be written about Brian Connolly and the Sweet. This book isn't it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2011 10:05 PM GMT

Doctor Who: Complete BBC Series 2 - Limited Edition 'Cyberman Head' Box Set with Lenticular Postcard (Exclusive to [2005] [DVD]
Doctor Who: Complete BBC Series 2 - Limited Edition 'Cyberman Head' Box Set with Lenticular Postcard (Exclusive to [2005] [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Tennant
Offered by jrsteph
Price: £49.00

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype but enjoy it, 11 Sep 2006
Series two was far prom perfect, but was hugely enjoyable. If DT's performance could be quietened down a little without losing his energy he'd be a top three Dr, for me. I was pleased to see grinning Billie go. Great ending for her, but a lousy ep 13, after such a wonderful build up to the end of part in ep 12. The Cybermen were wasted - trashed by the Daleks without much of a battle. They were always going to win, but why diminish your second greatest enemy having taken time to build them up in eps 5 and 6. School Reunion was wonderful, bar the Krillitanes. They were poorly realised, while Tooth and Claw shows that CGI creatures CAN work well. Tooth and Claw was the best RTD script yet. Fear Her wasn't pushed far enough, Love and Monsters was fun without being great DW. The Satan Pit was wonderful while Impossible Planet didn't quite manage to finish a great build up. Idiot's Lantern didn't explain what was going on, but what was going on was an enjoyuable romp. New Earth was a solid story that didn't really push the envelope too far. Girl In The Fireplace looked good but kind of wasted Mickey who'd just joined the crew. He had very little to do given he was the new kid on the block... or in the Tardis. A mixed bag of stories; some good, some poor, some average, but nearly all above average, and stylistically wonderful, with excellent performances throughout. It was better than series 1 for me, so roll on Series 3... and long may the programme continue, with or without RTD at the helm.

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