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Reviews Written by
Rendition (Brighton, UK)
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Play With Pictures (Mac/PC CD)
Play With Pictures (Mac/PC CD)

2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 5 Jan. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very disappointing. If you want to paste clipart all over your holiday snaps this one is for you. An extra star goes to its usefulness should your photos be rubbish. You could always brighten them up with this piece of software. Otherwise, don't waste your money.


Michael Foreman's Treasure Island
Michael Foreman's Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book, orginal text, but slightly strange pictures, 5 Jan. 2010
I was eagerly awaiting this to read to my 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. As it happened, the teens joined in as well, drawn to the timeless tale of Jim Hawkins in search of the treasure. The reason for acquiring this book was 1. to allow my kids to hear the real story (not some muppet-infested DVD), and I was looking forward to some really great illustrations. While they are not bad, they are definitely not to my taste. The book itself is a lovely hardback edition, with heavy pages, and who knows, you may even like the illustrations which will always be a personal thing.


Media Centre for Wii XE (PC)
Media Centre for Wii XE (PC)

1.0 out of 5 stars After a long trial period, this is not for me., 2 Dec. 2009
First of all, the WII is a game console, and although it would've been interesting to stream my media from a central PC, I have regretfully come to the conclusion that despite being a good idea, this just doesn't really work.

For a start, the WII menu is not conducive to quickly firing up a media centre and running a media file. Secondly, it is not easy to set up and it took me a while to get it working. When it did finally work, it was disappointing. You first install software onto your PC which then catalogues your media on a web server. Then, using the web channel on your Wii, you can access this catalogue which allows you to play media.

If this sounds complicated, it's because it is. The software has to jump through hoops precisely because the Wii is not meant to be a media player... which is where I started this review.


PagePlus X3 Publisher Professional (PC)
PagePlus X3 Publisher Professional (PC)

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use - impressive result, 2 Dec. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Unlike some other publishing packages, this one comes with a huge number of templates which you can mix and match to create exactly the right publication for you.

The large number of effects that you can apply to the graphical elements, is also impressive and can turn a plain-looking page into a professional result.

Of course, there are other more powerful packages out there which will please a more professional crowd, but if you just want to create a newsletter, invitation, certificate or a number of other publications, this is the package for you.

It is also quite intuitive. The first time I used this, I managed to create a create gift certificate in 20 minutes without reading the manual once! Perfect!


Whose Side are They On? How Britain's Bonkers Government Is Coming After You
Whose Side are They On? How Britain's Bonkers Government Is Coming After You
by Alan Pearce
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.90

4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vital reading in advance of the election, 2 Dec. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We all know that we are being targeted by our government. We all know that the police, obsessed with Labour targets, are cynically going after the soft targets that are upright and law-abiding citizens. However, when the extent of the crazy government law-making machinery is put into one book (and there is more since this was published) the full impact cannot but have a negative effect on your blood pressure.

This is simply required reading as we are having an election in May. Not only this shows you how the current government has completely lost the plot, but it will provide you with ammunition when prospective MPs come knocking at your door. Will they be any different? Will they be winding back the decade of Labour power abuse.

Buy it. Use it. Do something about it. Democracy is not a right, it's a privilege!


Magix Rescue Your Videotapes 2.0 (PC CD)
Magix Rescue Your Videotapes 2.0 (PC CD)

109 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Done & dusted. Worked Perfectly First Time, 27 Nov. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This time, I thought I'd write the review as proceed through the various steps. After all, saving sometimes invaluable video tapes is an important moment. In my case, I'm trying to rescue my wedding video. This tape is now 17 years old, and I haven't a clue in what shape it is. So here goes...

All the testing is being done on Windows 7, just to make it a little harder :)

The first thing is to plug in a decent video player. I still have the one I initially used, but it hasn't been plugged in for a while. I even find the remote that goes with it (wonders never cease)!

On opening the "Rescue Your Videotapes" box, you get the following:

- A USB Video dongle (looks like a USB Data stick)
- A USB Extension lead
- A Scart to USB cable
- A Scart to Video "Cinch" conversion cable (1.5m).
- Software DVD
- A short manual.

Unlike most times, I take time to read the manual to make sure I'm doing things in order. It's important to install the software BEFORE you connect anything so that the appropriate drivers can install first.

The installation runs fine, slightly marred by the musical accompaniment. Could be worse, I suppose, but why bother? I suggest to launch the thing and then read the rest of the manual, as it took quite a long time to launch. I elect NOT to install the photo manager (as I have Google Picassa) and I really don't need another media player, no matter how clever it is, so that goes too. I figure that if I want these, I can install them separately at a later stage.

Interestingly, although the manual states that you don't need the serial number, you will need it when you first launch the application (which starts automatically after installation), so don't throw it away, and keep it safe afterwards.

So now we need to install the drivers, so I relaunch the setup program and select USB from the main menu. Unlike most devices, and the manual, you need to plug the dongle into a spare USB port first, otherwise the installation fails. You will see that windows initially can't recognize it, but don't worry, after installation, all is well.

The connection to the VHS player is straightforward and colour coded. The manual is also very helpful here is you have problems.

In starting the application I installed earlier, the first screen lets you create a new video project and the next one, lets you import your video from tape. Providing you've used the supplied cables, you choose composite, and you're off. The video image appears immediately. The first time, I had no sound, but choosing the advanced button and choosing the right audio source (Line USB2861, in my case) everything worked like a dream.

There was one more online activation necessary to encode MP2 video format, but after that I just let the video run and it recorded the whole thing for me.

One inconvenience, is that there is no timer to tell the system to stop capturing video, so you have to stick around or be nearby to stop the capture (or fill up your hard disk when the tape runs out) as it does not recognize the end of the tape, but that can easily be fixed by setting an egg timer.

I the output, as I mentioned earlier is MP2 (MPEG) and it was easy to import it into my favourite editing software (although the application does have a range of editing features and effects), as I really didn't want to learn yet another video editing application.

It is rare these days that something just works the first time. It usually takes a lot of tinkering with the PC and video image sources which can be a nightmare for most people, and an irritation for the more technically minded. This product worked first time and I would venture that at this price, even if you only have a single precious video to convert, this is the product for you.

Well done Magix. 5 stars well deserved!
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2010 7:43 PM BST


CyberLink DVD Suite 7 Ultra (PC CD)
CyberLink DVD Suite 7 Ultra (PC CD)

2.0 out of 5 stars Too Expensive and Disappointing, 19 Nov. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have always liked the PowerDVD product and couldn't wait to try out the DVD Suite Ultra. Once installed, though, I was underwhelmed by the limited features and constant requests to upgrade.

In this particular case, the software itself is not at fault as the Pro version is much better value for money, but here it is a case of too few extra features for a whole ton more money. At this price, I would have expected all features to be enabled.


Radiopaq Custom Tuned Rock Earphones
Radiopaq Custom Tuned Rock Earphones
Offered by eHome
Price: £6.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, great sound, great earphones, 29 Aug. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I guess the title says it all. The bass is just right for rock - though it intrudes slightly with other forms of music. You get a strong sense of beat without overwhelming the other instruments.

They are super comfortable for long periods, though they don't successfully block out loud external noises (long distance flights, or as in-helmet motorbike earphones).

The set also comes with 3 sets of earplugs fir different ear sizes and they are really easy to swap.

All in all this is definitely a pair I will be using for a long time.


Radiopaq Custom Tuned Classical Earphones
Radiopaq Custom Tuned Classical Earphones
Offered by eHome
Price: £5.98

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost there, but not enough Bass for my liking, 29 Aug. 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have a feeling the makers of these earphones think that people who listen to classical music don't like to hear the deep rich sounds from the double bass or some of the deeper woodwinds like the bassoon. Although fine in the mid-ranges, these headphones flatten the orchestral sound too much.

On the positive side, I have found them to be very comfortable to wear for extended periods, so if Radiopaq can introduce a little bit more bass, we would have a great pair of headphones.


Power DVD 8 Ultra
Power DVD 8 Ultra

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 28 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Power DVD 8 Ultra (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you like to watch DVDs or DivX on your PC or laptop, this is the package for you. It renders DVDs in beautiful colour with a host of add-ons specifically for you. The Ultra version includes enhanced audio reproduction as wall as a laptop battery savers.

Compared with other packages which pretend they do the same (Media player, iTunes, Real, etc.) the quality is worth the extra cost.

Definitely worth buying.


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