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Bush War Operator. Memoirs Of The Rhodesian Light Infantry, Selous Scouts And Beyond
Bush War Operator. Memoirs Of The Rhodesian Light Infantry, Selous Scouts And Beyond
by Andrew Balaam
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.86

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An honest but very limited account of the hygienic horrors of fighting a bush war, 21 Nov. 2014
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Author's recollection of the events is honest but otherwise unimpressive patchwork of individual observations that do not tie together into a coherent narrative unfortunately. This is exacerbated by the fact that every episode begins with the author reporting himself as being unable to fully comprehend the events due to tiredness or lack of sleep or hangover or whatever else. The book is a very subjective account of author's bad memories and gnawing conscience. Read this book if you want to know what it feels like to fight in the jungle, but do not expect to get much insight into the broader conflict, social history or politics of Rhodesia.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2015 5:36 PM GMT

1939: The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War II
1939: The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War II
by Michael Jabara Carley
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent study but leaves a key piece of the puzzle unaccounted for, 9 Sept. 2014
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Excellent book, presenting a very thorough and critical study, bringing much needed objectivity to a highly mythologised period in history. Very well researched and a superb read. An absolute must have.
The one shortfall of this study is the deliberate exclusion of all but the British, French German and Soviet interactions from this study, which although mostly justified by the need to keep to a manageable size, does on a single occasion leave a large gap in logic, which the author is forced to leave largely exposed and partly mis-attribute to personalities(again, kudos to the author for not going down that route too far). The said gap being the Soviet-Japanese relations that climaxed too in the hot summer of 1939 and played a major part in the unfolding of the 1939 european drama, so while briefly criticising British and French governments of the time for failing to have appreciated the events on the Manchurian border the author himself falls prey to this same mistake, failing to weave this thread in, to complete the picture.

My recommendation to anyone interested in the subject to read this book in conjunction with Stuart D Goldman's "Nomonhan, 1939" also a great book that beautifully completes the picture.

Anker® 40W 5-Port High Speed Desktop USB Charger with PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad Air 2, Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge, Nexus, HTC M9, Nokia and More (Black)
Anker® 40W 5-Port High Speed Desktop USB Charger with PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad Air 2, Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge, Nexus, HTC M9, Nokia and More (Black)
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 26 Aug. 2014
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Does what it says, and that is more than I can say for any other multy-port charger I have ever owned.

Use it at home and took on a motorcycle tour where it was tested to the max, keeping 4 phones and a huge pile cameras and intercoms up on the juice daily

Stylish look and nice, rubbery finish make it a welcome table-top addition too.

Sennheiser G4ME ONE PC Gaming Over-Ear Headset - White
Sennheiser G4ME ONE PC Gaming Over-Ear Headset - White
Price: £183.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 26 Aug. 2014
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Bought as a replacement for 7.1 Razer Tiamat which frustrated me with poor ergonomics and flimsy microphone.

This headset offers great sound quality, very solid, pleasant build and awesome look.

The only shortfall is that the cable is attached on the same side as the microphone, so when the cable rubs on shirt collar producing loud scratching sounds. Much less so than the Tiamat however, so I can live with that

No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Good hardware, poor ergonomics, 20 Aug. 2014
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Delivers good quality of sound and strong mic performance but suffers miserably from poor design.

The mic mount is flimsy and badly placed, so that it moves around noisily in its mount (cannot be completely fixed in place except with glue). But worst of all is the thick cable - it oozes class and quality when you first open the box, but as soon as you put the headset on it becomes a nightmare - the cable rubs on your clothes with every movement creating lound noise in your headset and in the mic.

Its a pity that such a small thing completely defeats the utility of this otherwise great product in its primary application of gaming voice-comm.

Kuchenprofi 8-Tray Premium German Engineered Raclette Hot Stone
Kuchenprofi 8-Tray Premium German Engineered Raclette Hot Stone
Price: £117.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 2 July 2014
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A very nice raclette grill, also good for general "on-the-table" cooking.

The whole set is very well built with good quality non-stick coating on the raclette trays, light but well built base and a very handsome and quality looking stone top.

A genuinely nice thing to put on a dinner table for a bit of fun with friends.

Operation is very simple - controlled by a single thermostat that operates a single heating element. I found that at full power it heats up the stone enough to cook meat while still adequate for raclette (was having raclette with steak:))

Contrary to some of the reviews on other Kuchenprofi goods here on Amazon, mine came fitted with a UK plug adaptor fitted (i had already set up the European plug for it having read earlier reviews). Good touch Amazon! Length of cable is good (just enough to reach the extension cable under the table), not too long.

The one possible drawback of the package is that the spatulas included with the set are plastic. I have not had a chance to test their heat resistance to extreme and they seemed to keep up with the heat of the raclette, but i would have felt better with wooden pieces.

TomTom Rider v5 (Europe Maps, 4.3" Touchscreen)
TomTom Rider v5 (Europe Maps, 4.3" Touchscreen)
Price: £274.99

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of kit, 28 May 2013
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An essential motorcycling accessory. The winding route planner feature is a great addition that completely changes the riding experience.

Last year I went on a 3k mile trour acroos europe on my street triple and bought a then top-of-the line garmin piece which left me entirely frustrated, prompting me to write a wishlist of what I would want to see in a SatNav. The end of my previous SatNav was swift and sad - i failed to properly click it into the badly designed mount, and it died under the wheels of several cars on a motorway near Cote D'Azur, giving me an opportunity to upgrade.

TomTom River V5 is a blast and meets nearly every requirement on the wish list I devised last year. Here is a summary:

Build: Awesome. Small, easy access to port, excellent mounting system that is impossible to mis-mount, built of very nice, leathery plastic that just feels good in your hand.

Screen: Good. Its not like an Iphone in terms of touch ergonomics, but that is not necessarilly a minus. No gestures available, but buttons are there to press and they respond to every glove in my wardrobe with accuracy. Unlike the Garmin piece I owned, this one has very ergonomic map that can be scrolled and used to put down waypoints with ease. A great feature. Menu system is good. Some functions could be more intuitive, but overall - everything is there and accessible during a traffic light stop, so no complaints there. Not sure I've ever seen a gadget with a menu system that left me without complaints.

Winding Route Planner: A Blast!!! This is the feature that makes this SatNav. It does exactly what it says - plans a route through small roads in the countryside. I found it to be an absolute thrill. No need to spend hours on confusing motorcycle route planner websites, just start your bike, choose a town a hundred or so km away and ask TomTom to plan a winding route for you. What you get is a very fun journey. Every time i took me though a stunning route among hills, fields and beautiful scenery I never knew existed around London.

Map: Its still behind googlemaps in terms of map clarity and function.
Voice guidance: Not sure if its my headset or the SatNav, but voice guidance is distorted and hard to understand at speed. Had the same issue with Garmin.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2014 11:13 AM BST

Garmin zumo 660 4.3" Motorbike Sat Nav with UK and Full Europe Maps and Bluetooth (discontinued by manufacturer)
Garmin zumo 660 4.3" Motorbike Sat Nav with UK and Full Europe Maps and Bluetooth (discontinued by manufacturer)
Offered by thurgo - ltd
Price: £309.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Obsolete, 31 Aug. 2012
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I have bought this navigator for my Euro-roadtrip, riding from London to Athens and back. Below you will find my short summary of strengths and weaknesses of this device as well as a short commentary on my experience with it overall. Used it with a Scala Rider G4.
The good:
1. Excellent build quality - solid, waterproof, convenient size
2. Good touch screen sensitivity - really is glove friendly, at least with thin leather gloves
3. Excellent for mobile phone use - great way to control your mobile phone on the move. Easy to answer calls, easy to dial calls without having to take the gloves off.
4. Easy to install on a bike
5. Speed Cam alert is handy and works well
6. Takes you where you need to go

The bad:
1. Extremely difficult to plan route on the move - although there are all sorts of search functions, there is no convenient way to look at the whole route to see what towns, etc you are passing along the way as the map is too schematic.
2. Hardware is slow - as soon as you miss a turn you are lost, as the device seemed unable to both recalculate and display a current map at the same time, which makes it impossible to figure out your own solution to that wrong turn before Zumo comes up with something itself.
3. POI alert only works for cameras... very difficult to plan fuelling stops
4. Click in mounting system is unreliable - there is no distinct click, leaving you open to a risk of not fully securing it on the mount. Which was the end of my zumo 660 as it fell off on a highway near Marseille
5. Music player was disappointing. Somehow, sound quality was much better when streaming music from my blackberry
6. Voice guidance is redundant at all but very low speeds, both due to noise and inaccuracy of positioning. I soon got used to just using the voice as a que to check the screen as see where I am going next.
7. Slooooooow. Impossible to use the device for driving by map rather than by instructons (withouth a pre set route the navigator is simply not fast enough to upload relevant map sections as you drive through a city, so most of the time you see a rider icon on a blank background)

Overall my experience with the 660 was frustrating, mostly due to the fact that being a long time user of old-school paper maps, later replaced by google, I was simply not ready to the lack of detail and the "all you need to know is where to turn" philosophy of this navigator.

To make it work for me, garmin has to do the following
1. Use adequate hardware - I want the map to be always on the screen, not taking 2 minutes to load each time I decide to take a detour or miss a turn
2. Change map design. Google has done it best, but there are a bunch of other electronic maps that achieve the right balance of info vs. usability. I want to be able to see the map with all the roads and street names at my fingertips.
3. Put in some 3G or tethering functionality - the device should be able to load up a local search service
4. Add a few extra features to address the music quality, POI warnings, etc.

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