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WD 1 TB 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive - Black
WD 1 TB 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive - Black
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £64.32

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High performance at a competitive price point, 21 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very good drive indeed, and is the best performing of the regular WD drive line.

The 'Blue' series drives are the standard good drives for everyday use. (These are the only ones that come in both SATA 6 Gb/s and the older PATA 100 MB/s connection styles; all others are only SATA). The max. capacity for these is 1 TB.
The 'Green' drives are focused on low energy consumption and therefore have lowest spin ratings (making them slower) but keep very cool & quiet. These go all the way up to 6 TB.
The 'Purple' are designed for low spin use with ATA streaming & AllFrame technology designed with surveillance video footage recording in mind. These go up to 4 TB.
The 'Red' series drives are designed for RAID array systems. These go all the way up to 6 TB.
The 'Black' series are designed for the best performance for gamers and graphic artists with fast spin-rates, Vibration Control Technology (VCT) and Corruption Protection Technology (CPT) to prevent data loss in the case of power failure to the unit. These go up to 4 TB.

The only drive that WD make faster and better than the Black series is the VelociRapter series with the fastest spin cycles and it's own custom vibration and cooling bracket. These are more triple the price on a GB-by-GB cost ratio. See Western Digital Velociraptor - 1TB Desktop SATA Hard Drive - OEM

These "Black" drives are really the best of the regular series for high performance computing. I have mine installed as a bootable Windows OS main HDD, and it outperforms the previous drive, even though it was only a 200 GB drive. You'd think for so little space, verses a 1 TB drive, that the 200 GB drive would be faster as there's so much less space to have to scan. But the WD Black is as good with five times the capacity.

It's very quiet and performs quickly with no read/write errors upon diagnostic scan tests.

The packaging was satisfactory (not an original fancy box). It was in an anti-static bag, with plastic spacers on each end, that was in turn in a cardboard box that was then placed in another cardboard box with filler.

One little tip: If your are replacing an old HDD that was MBR format, and intend to clone it to this drive, then format this new drive to MBR as well, not GPT (even though the latter is a better system) to prevent problems in the cloning.

The 5 year warranty is a real bonus as well. Just go to the WD web site and register the drive. Such a long warranty (the longest WD offer for a product; others being 2 or 3 years only) shows that they've really put a lot into making these unity in a high quality manner giving peace-of-mind for your data.

I would recommend these drives to anyone looking for the best drive, that's affordable, for high performance computing.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 4, 2015 9:07 PM GMT


Homefront Pro-Series Digital Display Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier With 4 Mist Settings
Homefront Pro-Series Digital Display Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier With 4 Mist Settings

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant humidifier, 9 Jan. 2014
This Homefront humidifier is a really brilliant piece of kit. I have had it for quite a while now and have thoroughly tested it against other humidifiers I have owned. This is the best humidifier I have owned yet.

This is a very efficient and accurate unit that has many very useful features. It has a built in Ioniser that you can turn on & off and well.

My previous Prem-I-Air humidifier only had light-up buttons to use the unit. I really like the information panel on this unit as it means you can do more with the unit than you could with buttons alone. For example: -

1) The built in hydrometer displays what the relative humidity is in the room/environment it's in. You can then scroll through the display to pick a 'target' level of relative humidity and tell the unit to keep humidifying the area until the desired relative humidity is achieved.
2) The unit can work on a 24 hour timer for how long you want the unit active
3) The unit also has a delay function, up to 24 hours, so you can set it to come on in several hours to suit needs.

The capacity is good and on the lower steam/vapour output levels lasts around a week/fortnight getting a room from 38% RH to 55-60% RH on a daily basis. You can set 4 levels of vapour output (low, medium, high & premium output). But, in all honesty, I can't tell the difference between them except for levels 1 and 4, which I think of as low & high.

The unit is quite easy to clean and the water tank has a built in ceramic-bead water softener cartridge to soften hard water which in all humidifiers is not recommended. So there's no need to only put distilled water in the unit. That's also a great plus.

I have a wall mounted hydrometer in the room which I use this unit. I have found the Homefront's built-in hydrometer to be within 1 or 2% of the wall mounted unit's readings, so that's a good correlation that the unit is accurate.

All in all, I would recommend this as a great unit for home/office/studio applications.


Brother Max One Touch 3-in-1 Digital Thermometer
Brother Max One Touch 3-in-1 Digital Thermometer
Price: £30.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Brother Max One Touch Thermometer, 31 Dec. 2013
I have had this thermometer for over a year, so am familiar with all the functions and it's use over time.

I bought this in the hope it was the 'best on the market' and seemed to do a lot for the cash. However, I have found this unit to be over-engineered and not consistent.

The stand you see pictured (to monitor ambient room temperature) works, but frankly it's better to keep it in it's custom hard case as this unit is VERY fragile. One hard tap or knock and we detected some rattling components knocking about in the housing of the main unit. Often this unit would need to be used at night on a crying child and it can get dropped on a carpeted floor in the hassle of the moment. It needs to be hardy enough to deal with such use, and this unit simply isn't.

It's important to know that this unit does not use probe caps/covers like other thermometers. I originally thought that this was a great plus. But, over time it has turned out that this is a problem. You actually want the caps. The probe in this unit is hard to clean properly and over time has shown very disparate readings.

When young children are ill a degree Celsius here or there makes a big difference. This unit measures both in-ear & on forehead and we have found issues with both methods to such an extent that we have decided to dispose if this unit! We're actually concerned it's now giving out wrong information. A child has fever and you can feel it, and this unit reports that the child is cold. Using other thermometers to hand we confirmed that this unit simply is not reliable.

It *is* beautiful and trendy. But, functionality and reliability for this kind of unit has to be the first and foremost consideration. Even though I feel for the smooth blurb, feature set and looks on this unit I have to say that 1 feature (let's say in-ear use only) and rugged build with capped probes has to the way if not using a proper Mercury thermometer. The old Mercury units are said to be the best and most accurate. However, for the quick simplicity, safety, hygiene and overall ease of use I'd recommend a hardy Braun unit that is now ubiquitous in most GP surgeries and hospitals in the UK.

You live and learn!


TP-LINK TL-WN722NC 150Mbps High Gain Wireless USB Adapter
TP-LINK TL-WN722NC 150Mbps High Gain Wireless USB Adapter

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TP-Link Wireless Adapter - Easy Peasy, 22 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this product to experiment plugging my router directly into the "mater socket" in my accommodation rather than
an extension socket, which is impossible for me to do with a wired connection due to the placement of my PC away from the master socket.

They say you get better speeds & less interference if plugged directly into the "master socket" and there's only 1 per dwelling in the UK. So, just put your router where you want it, in my case into the master socket, and set it to 'wireless mode'.

If you run Windows 8 just plug the unit into a free USB port as the CD with all the software WILL NOT run on Windows 8. It'll just set itself up automatically.

[If it doesn't, pop over to: [...] and get the Windows 8 driver. Install it manually via Device Manager | Wireless Network Adapter | Update Driver Software | browse to the file you downloaded from the link above. ;-) ]

Once that's done that really is it!

I was impressed with how little there was to do to get running. The green LED shines through the white plastic case and you're connected. There's no more to it - and the connection is strong & fast.

I like it because it's portable, very easy to install and as fast as a wired connection! Just brilliant. I also really like the USB cradle in this model so it can stand up on a desktop tower PC, or a table, out the way of feet kicking the USB out of its port or anything.

I would recommend this product for any one looking to add powerful wireless connectivity easily. I've never done that before on a desktop PC, and I was up & running in 15 minutes.


Wild Republic Plush Giant Squid 20"
Wild Republic Plush Giant Squid 20"
Offered by GIFTEASY
Price: £21.78

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really great cuddly squid, 13 Feb. 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
It is very rare to find such a good stuffed Architeuthis! Just look around and you won't find many soft-toy squids, or indeed Cephalopoda, anywhere! This one is beautifully made. It's very detailed with an articulated mantle, syphon and beak(!), which you can't see in the pictures. He's very cute and really fun. A beautiful colour and very cuddly. I'd say he's very educational, and we've used him to teach children about the anatomy and movement of squid in general. There's a little booklet with the toy that details a bit about what he eats and what eats him as well!

I was concerned this would be too small, as there is a bigger 30" version on offer as well. However he's really nice and a good size for a child. In fact, for scale, if you get him to grasp and eat Lego people, plucked from a Lego brick boat; he's huge! Terrifying!

A word of warning: The tentacles are not stuffed. The main product picture looks like a very healthy, nourished Squid with fully cuddly, stuffed tentacles all the way to the tip. However, on this purchased item the stuffing is missing in all 8 tentacles. I can only assume they don't make them stuffed any more to cut costs, as all the tentacles are like this. Due to this, the tentacles are a bit 'thin' to the touch and in a tug-of-war between children will not last as that are fragile. So, I dropped a star on durability.

All in all, it's a great purchase and is lots of fun. Just be aware that the tentacles are thin, sheath material only as per the real pictures posted by another reviewer on the Amazon USA site.


Echoes
Echoes
Price: £14.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 28 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Echoes (Audio CD)
This album is simply amazing! Nothing like it in the genre at all! Every track's sonically interesting and fun to listen to. It's produced very well with guitars and bass are very well handled throughout.

Thoughts track-by-track: -

Kol Haolam is a familiar melody totally revamped! It's really moving. I love the spacey guitars!
Lev Tahor & Tov Lehodot - one word: Smooth! Great for driving and if you're into Jazz you'll love it. Nice organ stuff too.
Veshomru is a modern take on a famous song. It has a great back-beat. Gets me dancing around that one.
Od Yavo is the best, most upbeat, positive song I've heard in ages. The whole band's alight on this track. I think the bass is amazing too!
I love Awakening, it's a guitar duet that really moves you. The more I listen the more bits I hear that are new.
Im Eshkochaich is a really sweet tune and the Spanish guitar is amazing!
Pardes is a rhythmically complex guitar based song. Great bit in the middle if you listen with earphones! Some amazing bass on this, I think. One for the musos.
Acheinu is a star song where the vocals & guitar just sing together.
Adon Olam - What a track! Seems like it's too big to fit on the CD! Awesome!
Eitz Chaim's OK, but cantor-like on the vocals. If you're into that, that's fine. Unusually, there's a cool thunderstorm used as drums in that one. Nice harmony in the intro too.
Elecha is this really cool song. I think it's the best on the album. The way it peaks and troughs keeps you hooked till the end.

All in all, it's a really well put together album. If you're new to this genre, there's nowhere better to start than this album. The musicianship is top class and really slickly recorded.

If you're already into this music you owe it to yourself to check out this album. You'll find it's a breath of fresh air. I hope they put even more original stuff in the next one! Highly recommended.


Big Sky
Big Sky
Price: £42.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding in it's genre, 11 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Big Sky (Audio CD)
Brett Garsed has a long CV of great collaborative work which has spanned the gamut of Nelson's pop-rock to the progressive metal of Plante X's intense techno art-metal.

Yet, he himself is a pioneer of rock-fusion playing par excellence. His 2 albums with T.J. Helmerich prove his musical pedigree alone, most notably "Quid Pro Quo" which may well be the most underrated album of the guitar genre in the 90s.

Here, he for the first time branches out on his own to a new and truly breath-taking adventure to melodic rock-fusion in a way that balances the intense "taking-it-out" of Scott Henderson with the smooth melodic phraseology of Allan Holdsworth and the listener accessibility of Joe Satriani. You simply couldn't ask for more.

He gently takes you from melody to dissonance and back again in a beautifully structured way that is not readily found in any other fusion based instrumental rock album.

These aren't rock songs per se, these are works of guitar art played on a guitar with a rock tone; rich and saturated, but mature and clear.

It would be difficult to overestimate the artistic level of this album and really needs to be listened to carefully - not that you have to be in the mood for it like Steve Vai's "Where The Wild Things Are", it's eminently listenable and even works as background music to a dinner party! Yet upon close inspection there is stellar technique, outstanding slide guitar (Got The Horn) that any player such as Ry Cooder and Sonny Landreth would be envious of and great phraseology throughout.

In short if you're a listener of guitar based instrumental rock this is one of the 'must have' albums of the genre.


Big Sky
Big Sky
Price: £7.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply one of the best recordings of it's type, 31 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Big Sky (MP3 Download)
Brett Garsed has a long CV of great collaborative work which has spanned the gamut of Nelson's pop-rock to the progressive metal of Plante X's intense techno art-metal.

Yet, he himself is a pioneer of rock-fusion playing par excellence. His 2 albums with T.J. Helmerich prove his musical pedigree alone, most notably "Quid Pro Quo" which may well be the most underrated album of the guitar genre in the 90s.

Here, he for the first time branches out on his own to a new and truly breath-taking adventure to melodic rock-fusion in a way that balances the intense "taking-it-out" of Scott Henderson with the smooth melodic phraseology of Allan Holdsworth and the listener accessibility of Joe Satriani. You simply couldn't ask for more.

He gently takes you from melody to dissonance and back again in a beautifully structured way that is not readily found in any other fusion based instrumental rock album.

These aren't rock songs per se, these are works of guitar art played on a guitar with a rock tone; rich and saturated, but mature and clear.

It would be difficult to overestimate the artistic level of this album and really needs to be listened to carefully - not that you have to be in the mood for it like Steve Vai's "Where The Wild Things Are", it's eminently listenable and even works as background music to a dinner party! Yet upon close inspection there is stellar technique, outstanding slide guitar (Got The Horn) that any player such as Ry Cooder and Sonny Landreth would be envious of and great phraseology throughout.

In short if you're a listener of guitar based instrumental rock this is one of the 'must have' albums of the genre.


When Gravity Fails-The Backing Tracks
When Gravity Fails-The Backing Tracks
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A standout album in this populated genre, 31 Oct. 2010
Neil Zaza has come a long way. He is a gifted American guitarist that has produced many good melodic instrumental albums to date and enjoyed success in Japan and a niche market.

"Melodica" was probably his strongest effort before this release. However, in "When Gravity Fails" he seems to have come into his own more than in any of his previous works. He's more mature, more focused and frankly a better songwriter.

On this album there is a high calibre retune of session players to aid him: Michael Anthony (of Van Halen)/Doug Johns/T.M. Stevens - bass. Timothy M. Bradford/Mark Leach/Roger Manning/David Strieter/Jordan Rudess - keybords. Bill Cioce/Scotty Kormos/Bobby Rock/Steve Smith/Garry Sullivan - drums. Peter Frampton - guest guitar.

Every track is more than listenable and provides a nuance and subtle brilliance all of it's own. There's something for every fan of instrumental rock here from swooning melodies to intense shred and finger pyrotechnics a plenty. Nothing sound flashy or out of place bravado, but all correct in it's musical content.

This genre seems to have taken somewhat of a downturn due to a lack of inspiration lately, and this is a most refreshing find for any listener of quality guitar based music. If you play this kind of guitar music there'll be plenty to inspire and frighten you technically, yet keep you very interested melodically.

From the grinding "Somewhat Anything" & "Heavyoeity", the intense solos on "Purple Plush" & "Ultra" the piano-backed beauty of "Celestine", the soaring nature of "Cinematie" with it's almost jazz-piano solo and the Shakti-stye infused "Danza Della Notta" - it all works very well indeed. Perhaps "Bleed" best sums up the sound of the entire album's rock tracks with it's single string melodic hook and flurries of arpeggios that satisfy the most die-hard of the shredder community.

There may be many of us who hoped that the Joe Satriani et al 'club', would have churned out something this good, listenable and eclectic lately; but they all haven't for a while. This will fill the ticket and keep you coming back for listen after listen for it's songwriting and melodic content which is sadly lacking in many other albums of this saturated genre.

This is not as seminal as Satriani's "The Extremist" or Vai's "Passion & Warfare" nor as avant-garde as Vai's latest offerings, or as breath-taking as Brett Garsed's "Big Sky", but it is a solid guitar based instrumental rock offering with more musicality than many of it's contemporaries. A choice listen for those in the know of this genre. Guitarists should for sure check it out along with Paul Gilbert's "Fuzz Universe" as the top of the bunch lately.


When Gravity Fails
When Gravity Fails
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly stand-out in a genre that is diificult to make a mark in, 30 Oct. 2010
This review is from: When Gravity Fails (MP3 Download)
Neil Zaza has come a long way. He is a gifted American guitarist that has produced many good melodic instrumental albums to date and enjoyed success in Japan and a niche market.

"Melodica" was probably his strongest effort before this release. However, in "When Gravity Fails" he seems to have come into his own more than in any of his previous works. He's more mature, more focused and frankly a better songwriter.

On this album there is a high calibre retune of session players to aid him: Michael Anthony (of Van Halen)/Doug Johns/T.M. Stevens - bass. Timothy M. Bradford/Mark Leach/Roger Manning/David Strieter/Jordan Rudess - keybords. Bill Cioce/Scotty Kormos/Bobby Rock/Steve Smith/Garry Sullivan - drums. Peter Frampton - guest guitar.

Every track is more than listenable and provides a nuance and subtle brilliance all of it's own. There's something for every fan of instrumental rock here from swooning melodies to intense shred and finger pyrotechnics a plenty. Nothing sound flashy or out of place bravado, but all correct in it's musical content.

This genre seems to have taken somewhat of a downturn due to a lack of inspiration lately, and this is a most refreshing find for any listener of quality guitar based music. If you play this kind of guitar music there'll be plenty to inspire and frighten you technically, yet keep you very interested melodically.

From the grinding "Somewhat Anything" & "Heavyoeity", the intense solos on "Purple Plush" & "Ultra" the piano-backed beauty of "Celestine", the soaring nature of "Cinematie" with it's almost jazz-piano solo and the Shakti-stye infused "Danza Della Notta" - it all works very well indeed. Perhaps "Bleed" best sums up the sound of the entire album's rock tracks with it's single string melodic hook and flurries of arpeggios that satisfy the most die-hard of the shredder community.

There may be many of us who hoped that the Joe Satriani et al 'club', would have churned out something this good, listenable and eclectic lately; but they all haven't for a while. This will fill the ticket and keep you coming back for listen after listen for it's songwriting and melodic content which is sadly lacking in many other albums of this saturated genre.

This is not as seminal as Satriani's "The Extremist" or Vai's "Passion & Warfare" nor as avant-garde as Vai's latest offerings, or as breath-taking as Brett Garsed's "Big Sky", but it is a solid guitar based instrumental rock offering with more musicality than many of it's contemporaries. A choice listen for those in the know of this genre. Guitarists should for sure check it out along with Paul Gilbert's "Fuzz Universe" as the top of the bunch lately.


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