Profile for Steve at Barton > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Steve at Barton
Top Reviewer Ranking: 472
Helpful Votes: 1802

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Steve at Barton (Hampshire)

Page: 1 | 2
The Uke of Wallington
The Uke of Wallington
Price: 4.19

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Wallington at his best, 15 Jan 2014
I have read all of Mark Wallington's books since discovering "The Missing Postman" and this is up there with the best of them - I just wish there were more of them! As with his other travel books this is an easy to read light hearted account of one of his journeys, this time making his way from the South Coast to the north of Scotland, on public transport and on foot, playing his ukulele at various "open mic" venues along the way with debatable talent and mixed audience appreciation. But don't be put off if you are not musically inclined, you soon find yourself getting hooked. And whether or not you are familiar with some of the places he passes through, he makes every one interesting and different, and he manages to bring them, and the people he meets, to life in his own unique style. If you have never read any Mark Wallington books before, don't leave it any longer, give this one a go.

Toolzone 9 LED Aluminium Stubby Torch With Batteries
Toolzone 9 LED Aluminium Stubby Torch With Batteries
Offered by K Direct
Price: 0.83

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very bright light, best I have seen in this size, 10 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Turned up quickly, cost me the princely sum of 1.57 including delivery. I was a bit disappointed that the torch was black as the picture showed a silver one, but having read some of the other reviews I was half expecting a black one.
The casing of the torch does seem quite thin, and mine had a bit of a gouge missing from the rim of the business end, but it was not worth sending it back, and a couple of minutes with a small round file soon sorted out the sharp edges. The actual light is extremely bright, at least 50% brighter than two other similar size/spec ones I already have, and the batteries supplied seem to be lasting OK despite being an unknown cheapo brand. I am also pleased that the switch on the end is very positive, the switch on one of my other (more expensive) ones is forever working itself loose. So, overall, not a bad buy, but I have only gone to 3 stars because of the damaged rim.

No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very functional case with useful belt clip feature, 16 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The case itself is pretty much the standard flip style, with the hinge section at the top, which means when on a call you either have the flap sticking up in the air or you have to fold it over through 180 degrees - not really a problem, after all the flap has to go somewhere.

The phone is a good fit, it slips in nicely and is held fairly securely so that it would be unlikely to come out accidentally but can be easily removed if you wish. All of the cutouts seem to be in the right place.

What makes the difference for me is the belt clip option. When received the case has a small grub screw fitted into the middle of the back. Remove this, and replace it with the stud screw that comes as part of the belt clip assembly, then when you want to put the phone on your belt just slide the clip assembly onto the stud until it clicks into place, and that is it. The belt clip can then be put onto your belt, it has a small projecting lip at the bottom of the clip that fits over the bottom edge of the belt to help keep it in place. When you need to take the case off your belt there is a press button on top of the belt clip that unlocks it, so you can take the case off leaving the clip in place, or alternatively you can remove the whole lot in one go - case and clip.

There is a downside though if you want to use the case on its own without the belt clip, as the stud sticks out about 3mm and would be likely to catch on things. It could be removed but you do need a screwdriver to do this and you would then have to try not to mislay the stud. The alternative is to do what I do and just take the phone out and stick it in another case - lets face it, this case cost me under 3 including delivery, so you could even just get another one the same and use it without the belt clip option.

Triton 3 Position Showerhead - Chrome
Triton 3 Position Showerhead - Chrome
Price: 11.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks good and works well, 28 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, lets be quite clear that this is plastic with a chrome finish, so don't expect a metal body. Having said that the chrome finish does appear to be good quality so will hopefully keep its looks. The shower head is obviously very quick and easy to fit, just unscrew the old and on with the new - should take no more than a couple of minutes, excluding any tea breaks.

In use it delivers a reasonable flow rate with a standard bore hose fed from a combi boiler. Nothing exceptional but fairly effective. Two of the three spray patterns (rain and drench) are very similar, just a few extra jets from the centre of one of them, but not much to choose between them. Very easy to change the settings, but will probably end up just using the same one all the time anyway. I would mention though that the spray pattern on both the rain and the drench settings is quite concentrated, with not a lot of spread, so unless you are very skinny or you have the shower head very high up, you will probably need to move about a bit to properly rinse off all of your bits and pieces!

Blue Spot 20012 3 Piece SDS Drill Set
Blue Spot 20012 3 Piece SDS Drill Set
Price: 4.39

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't fault, especially at this price, 22 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
OK, I don't know how these would stand up to regular tradesman use, but for my DIY purposes they are perfectly adequate, and the two different size chisels plus the point make them quite versatile. Hopefully they will outlast me!

BRITWEAR 70cm Long Radiator Heater Cleaner Cleaning Brush Dust Duster
BRITWEAR 70cm Long Radiator Heater Cleaner Cleaning Brush Dust Duster
Offered by Britwear
Price: 8.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well, shame the handle is not better fixed, 13 Sep 2013
When we moved house recently we found that the insides of the double radiators were in a pretty disgusting state, with a thick layer of dust and an accumulation of cobwebs due to years of neglect. So, we decided to invest in a proper cleaning brush and chose this one because the handle looked to be a bit more comfortable than the others we saw.

When the brush arrived it looked and felt fairly substantial, in fact we did wonder if it was too wide to go down the slots between the fins in the radiator. However, once I had removed the end plates and the top grill of the first radiator to get the treatment, it went in fairly easily but with just the right amount of resistance to ensure that most of the gunge was dislodged on the first push through (a tip - put an old towel or something under the radiator before you start, to help catch some of the debris). A couple more passes, and the insides of the fins were looking much better, all of the accumulated dust and cobwebs had gone, most of it was now on the bristles of the radiator brush. Not a problem, just took it outside and attacked it with a stiff nailbrush. Having already removed the end plates and top grill of the radiator, the other inside surfaces were easy to clean with a cloth and some household cleaner, and once it was all put back together it looked almost as good as new. Job done.

I have however only given this a four star rating because the outer casing of the handle came unstuck as we were finishing the first radiator - a bit of a shame as the handle was what had made us decide to get this one. However, the inside part of the handle, the bit that holds the twisted wires of the brush, was still quite easy to grip, and it didn't really stop the brush doing its job. I have now re-glued the outer part of the handle back on, and so far it seems to be holding, but a pity it wasn't fixed properly in the first place.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2014 4:46 PM GMT

Bosch AHS52 LI Cordless Hedgetrimmer
Bosch AHS52 LI Cordless Hedgetrimmer
Offered by GM Suppliers
Price: 109.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very efficient and easy to use - recommended, 7 Sep 2013
I had been looking around for a new mains hedge trimmer to replace my aging B&D relic, but had never really considered going cordless. However, once I came across the Bosch 52Li and did a bit of research I realised I might be missing out on a good thing.

What I found out is that this model is available either as a complete package (trimmer + battery + charger) or as a "bare" version (just the trimmer) for those that already have the compatible battery and charger for use with other Bosch cordless products - and fortunately for me, I do. That meant that I was able to buy the "bare" version for 72 odd compared to around 118 for the "full package" version, based on the prices at the time, although they have moved around a bit since then.

Once the trimmer arrived from Amazon, my first impression was how well balanced it feels, it does genuinely appear to have been designed for user comfort. And it is lighter than my old (smaller) mains powered B&D, thanks to the Li-Ion battery. In use, it did not sound particularly powerful when I first switched it on but that is misleading, it coped easily with my conifer hedge and mixed hedge, both with about 10 months growth since last cut, and I was seriously impressed both with the ease of use and the results. However, I am not sure how well it would work on something that had been neglected for a while, bearing in mind that the blade spacing is only designed to cut branches up to 15mm in diameter. I was able to get a good hours worth of work out of it without any loss of power, although obviously it was not actually cutting for all of that time, after allowing for time spent clearing debris, moving ladders, etc.

For me then, this trimmer is pretty near as good as it gets. However, you do need to consider the price if you have to buy the "full package" version. For me, it was an easy decision to make as I had already bought a Bosch combi-drill a few months ago, which came with two batteries and a charger (they need to be the Bosch Li-Ion 18v Power4All batteries). The other big plus for me is that my existing batteries are 1.5aH capacity and my charger does the job in just one hour - the package trimmer comes with a 1.3aH battery and a three hour charger. All of that means that if I really need to I can have one battery in use and one on charge, and just swap them over every hour for continuous use.

If you are interested, I have done a separate Amazon review of the drill. Mine cost me 100 from B&Q (I think it is still at that price) so for a total layout of 172 I have both the drill and the trimmer, with two batteries and the quick charger. Beware though that if you get the same drill from Amazon it only comes with a single battery.

Bosch AHS 52 LI Cordless 18 Volt Li-Ion Hedgecutter (baretool: supplied without battery/without charger)
Bosch AHS 52 LI Cordless 18 Volt Li-Ion Hedgecutter (baretool: supplied without battery/without charger)
Price: 69.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Very efficient and easy to use - recommended, 30 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was looking for a replacement hedge trimmer and had already decided on a Bosch when I came across this cordless option, and realised that the batteries and charger that I got earlier this year with my new Bosch combi-drill were fully interchangeable with this model. That meant that I was able to buy this in the "bare" format (i.e. without battery and charger) at a significant saving (at the time for about 72 instead of 118). Also, the two batteries that came with my drill are 1.5aH and it has a one hour quick charger, compared to the single 1.3aH battery and 3 hour charger that would have come with this trimmer if I had needed to buy the full package.

The hedge trimmer itself feels extremely well balanced and certainly is easier and lighter to handle than the mains equivalent for this size blade. It does not sound particularly powerful when switched on but that is misleading, it copes perfectly well with everything I have tried it on so far, including conifers and a large mixed hedge, all with about 10 months growth since last cut. I am not sure though how well it would cope with something - particularly conifers - that had been neglected for a while.

The 1.5aH battery continues to provide good useable power after over an hour of use (of course for some of that time the trimmer is switched off, whilst clearing debris, moving ladders etc) and then it is simply a matter of switching to the second battery and recharging the first. The only limit is your own stamina!

Grunwerg Double-wall Straight Sided Cafetiere, 6 Cup
Grunwerg Double-wall Straight Sided Cafetiere, 6 Cup
Offered by Emporium Cookshop & Homewares
Price: 19.45

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long term review - and how to get replacement meshes, 23 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this on Amazon two and a half years ago, and we were very impressed with it straight away, it looks good and the double walled construction definitely keeps the coffee piping hot. Since then it has been in almost daily use, it still looks good, and we have absolutely no regrets about buying this instead of another glass one.

The only issue we have had is that the mesh part of the plunger mechanism started to split a little at the edges a few weeks ago - probably a common occurence with all cafetieres eventually, if they haven't already been broken! But after an email to Grunwerg and a very quick response I was able to contact one of their retailers and three days later for about 8 including postage we had three replacment filters. That should keep us going for a good few years!

MacBook For Dummies
MacBook For Dummies
by Mark L. Chambers
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.23

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as other Dummies books, and authors constant attempts at humour spoil it for me!, 19 Aug 2013
This review is from: MacBook For Dummies (Paperback)
This claims to be easy to follow with no jargon, but I have not found it to be anywhere near as reader-friendly as other "Dummies" offerings - I find that I often need to read something through at least 2 or 3 times to get to grips with it.

However my main criticism is that the author seems to think he is funny, and insists on putting in lots of what I imagine are supposed to be "witty" asides which for me totally spoil the whole package. I really can do without meaningless comments like "Now ain't that just sassy!" or "Hot patootie!", they ruin the flow, and after a few minutes I just want to throw the book at the wall. Maybe I am getting old, or perhaps I am just too British!

Page: 1 | 2