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Dr. Paul Layzell (UK)

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Plumbing    R.D. Treloar   3rd edition: Heating and Gas Installations
Plumbing R.D. Treloar 3rd edition: Heating and Gas Installations
by R. D. Treloar
Edition: Paperback

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well laid out, concise and comprehensive., 13 July 2007
This book is great. I bought it to help with redesigning an old central heating and drainage system in a large, dilapidated house and needed more detail than one finds in the otherwise excellent Collins DIY series. One of this book's best achievements is its layout - every aspect of plumbing has been skillfully divided into concise, separate sections, saving the need to wade through a load of extraneous detail to get to the bit you're interested in. Each section describes and lists clearly any applicable building regs, and outlines the various advantages, disadvantages and pitfalls associated with different strategies and systems. There's a great section on noise transmission in pipework, as well as on working with lead, steel and other materials. The book is aimed at NVQ/SVQ, but is a great reference work for any competent DIYer

Varnam 10.4 inch High Resolution Digital Photo Frame
Varnam 10.4 inch High Resolution Digital Photo Frame

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtless design, poor quality, 21 Jun. 2007
This is a prime example of a product being rushed out to market without proper consideration to its design or end-user. The features are so poorly implemented and the picture quality so bad that we thought the unit was faulty and tried to return it.

The VM 1040 photo frame can display photos singly or as a slideshow of up to 512 images. However the slideshow function is so badly designed it is virtually useless. We had hoped to put it on the mantelpiece, set to display a new photo every hour or so. However, the maximum duration allowed is just ten seconds, meaning your entire collection flashes past in just over an hour. The slideshow can be set to manual, but the unit has no memory of the last photo displayed, so if you turn it to `standby' or `off' it starts again from the beginning with the same sequence of photos. You quickly get sick of the first few images and rarely see the later ones. A simple shuffle function would have solved this but the designers decided instead to devote their time to 13 different transition effects. A basic file system allows you to select individual photos but each thumbnail takes several seconds to display so finding the one you want takes ages.

The LCD display's viewing angle is set so that photos can only be viewed from above. This is fine if the frame is on a desk, but if you put it on the wall or mantelpiece, the pictures will be too dark to see from the sofa. A potential solution to this would be to turn the frame upside down and set the default display rotation to 180 degrees, but this function hasn't been implemented correctly - the photo just gets flipped horizontally to give a mirror image. Electronically, there are a number of other serious flaws. The designers have committed the cardinal sin of using the same frequency for both the backlight and the screen refresh. This causes interference patterns to be clearly visible on the display as moving diagonal lines - very irritating! Also the standby function leaves the LCD screen fully powered and the backlight on. The supplier acknowledges these issues but is unrepentant and refused give us a refund. There appears to be no way the user can update the firmware should it be improved at a later date.

There are some redeeming features to this frame, such as SD card support and the ability to select groups of photos for slideshow. It is also capable of playing mp3 audio and mpeg video clips. But the flaws are too serious for anyone who wants to see good quality photos with minimal interaction. It has clearly been designed by/for someone who wants a remote controlled gadget to fiddle with. If you want to enjoy your photos, look elsewhere.

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