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M. Green (London, England)
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Eco Flap Letterplate - Draught Proof Your Letterbox (white)
Eco Flap Letterplate - Draught Proof Your Letterbox (white)
Offered by Lake Home and Leisure
Price: 25.78

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it is supposed to do, 22 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This really simple device for my letterbox excludes the draft while letting all the mail through. It was simple to fit and has been no trouble in the several months it has now been working. I suspect it is better value than some of the cheaper alternatives


Logitech Wireless Combo MK520
Logitech Wireless Combo MK520
Price: 35.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Works fine as HP replacement in W8, 22 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I needed a new keyboard and mouse because the basic keyboard that came with my new HP (Windows 8) all-in-one PC was really annoying me - especially when I kept hitting the caps lock instead of a. If you touch type this kind of error can be extremely irritating. And then an accident befell the mouse, which wasn't its fault.

This new Logitech combo is doing the job. The keyboard errors are gone. It is surprisingly compact (only just bigger than the HP - which is small) - which is useful on a crowded desk. The keys are quite firm to touch, which may not be to everybody's taste. The mouse works at least as well as the old one, though it is just a little small for my large hand. Altogether feels a bit classier than the cheap HP stuff.

I have not tried reprogramming the function keys - though I have looked at the software; the range of options is rather limited. I am using Windows 8; while the keyboard and function keys work fine, it would be nice to have some W8 designed functions available for the F keys - like quick access to the shut down menu which MS has hidden away (though you can put the computer to sleep readily - which is the most important thing for me). Maybe an update will take care of that.


TFA Quadro Weather Station with Wireless Transmitter
TFA Quadro Weather Station with Wireless Transmitter
Price: 19.13

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Outside transmitter vulnerable, 15 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this in July 2012, and found it very easy to set up - though there was a small discrepency between the readings of the base station and the transmitter. The monitor was outdoors protected by a bit of plastic, about 10m from the base. The only problems in the early months were that the weather readings are a bit small, and since I bought it more for these than the clock - which is very prominent - it was a bit frustrating. The weather forecast readings were not particulalry useful, but I didn't expect them to be. There was quite a bit of rain, but it still seemed to work OK. You needed to be a bit careful that there was nothing major blocking the line between the transmitter the base.

Alas in November problems started. The transmitter repeatedly stopped functioning. The weather got both very wet and quite cold (often around freezing). It seemed as if the batteries in the transmitter weren't working. It would work fine if they were changed...but for shorter and shorter intervals. And then the discrepency between the base started to get worse - to over 3C. I sent it back to Amazon who gave me a refund. My theory is that the outside transmitter isn't tough enough for prolonged exposure to the elements. I am now using a more expensive Oregon product - which looks more robust, but only time will tell.


Family Tree Maker 2012 Platinum Edition (PC)
Family Tree Maker 2012 Platinum Edition (PC)
Offered by hixxysoft
Price: 29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful adjunct to Ancestry.com, 29 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been using this product to document my family tree history and found that it does the job well. To get the most out of it you need to operate with Ancestry.com web service. It comes with a 6 month subscription, though I found this a little tricky to activate (requiring a call to the helpdesk in the end). Ancestry.com has a wealth of resources online to research, though its search engine is not up to Google standards. The desktop software syncs easily with the online one - which is good, because I find it easiest to update on the web version when researching online - though otherwise input is easier on the desktop.


The Truth About Markets: Their Genius, Their Limits, Their Follies
The Truth About Markets: Their Genius, Their Limits, Their Follies
by John Kay
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ages well, 13 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There aren't that many books about economics written in 2003 that still read fine after the financial crisis - but this is certainly one. The only place where I think this book is a bit dated is in its references to China, which looms larger in our world view now that it does in this book.

This is the book on economics I wish I had read before taking my degree. It is a wonderful explanation of economics, and its successes and failures. It's very well written. It uses the device of trying to make sense of economics by comparing the lives of various (fictional?) characters from across the world - which is a very powerful.

I think he is a bit too harsh on the shareholder value revolution of the 1990s - which in at least part was the result of technoogical change and intense competition - and not just wanton destruction.

An immensely enjoyable and enlightening book, even 9 years after it was written.


Beurer PM25 Award Winning Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Beurer PM25 Award Winning Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Price: 29.64

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good basic heart monitor, 31 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to replace an old basic Polar monitor after its battery went - since I didn't think I could replace it myself (following the reviews when I bought it). An attraction of the Beurer monitor was that reviewers said that they could replace the batteries themselves. This indeed looks straightforward for the chest strap (battery inaccessible on the Polar), though a little tricky for the monitor: you'd have to take the back off.

This monitor does all I need of it at least as well as the old Polar one did. It doesn't give me weekly summaries, but these weren't much use. It doesn't have algorithms for suggesting what my safe limits should be - but I didn't like these at all. It does give me a reliable heart rate (though with a bit more fluctuation, perhaps), and average heart rate, time at high, low and between rates, estimated calories and fat burn at the end of the exercise. It isn't as clever as the old Polar, but that makes it easier to use. I wear it at the gym and when running. The chest strap works fine with the gym machines, allowing me to use the cardio programmes.

There is probably not much to choose between this and the base model Polar (which has moved on since my old one). The Beurer is a bit simpler, and so probably better if you only want basic functionality. And you can replace the batteries more easily.


LG MH6589UR Microwave with grill - stainless steel
LG MH6589UR Microwave with grill - stainless steel

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lives up to expectations, 17 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this microwave & grill because it was the top recommended in a consumer magazine - plus the stainless steel finish suits our kitchen. It is very easy to use, and the results for both microwave and grill have been good. We use it mainly for reheating and vegetables - plus grilling hot cross buns. The grill is so much easier and cleaner than trying to use the main oven - though of course much smaller.

On the other hand I haven't found the automatic calculation of times for different types of food all that useful. Quicker and easier to do this intuitively.

The cooker also has a function for keeping food warm, which we haven't tried yet, but which could be useful.


Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi (Helm Field Guides)
Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi (Helm Field Guides)
by Terry Stevenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 24.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive but heavy, 9 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book for a safari holiday in Tanzania. At first I wasn't sure I had made the right choice. There were a daunting number of species included, and it was a bit big and heavy. I couldn't fit it into a jacket/waistcoat pocket like my usual European guides. But as the holiday developed it became a friend - something to flick through as you sat back after a drive, as well an occasional reference during the drive. Anyway since most of the time we were in a vehicle, the weight didn't matter that much. It had exactly the right balance of detail, and its comprehensiveness was a real asset. The identification notes are brief but very to the point and helpful. One of our drivers - and the keenest on bird identification - used a copy as his main reference..and the book became a resource for our whole group (well those interested in the birds!).

Apart from the size (too many species from rainforest, etc, cluttering things up), I had only minor niggles. Sometimes names don't match other usage (it has no "masked weaver" mentioned anywhere, though this bird turns up on bird lists - I think this is an alternative to "lesser masked weaver" in the book). Maps sometimes give too broad a distribution, (eg marking all of Tanzania red, when clearly this could not be the case because of habitat restrictions). Overall very pleased with the purchase.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 11, 2011 10:10 PM GMT


The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals
The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals
by Jonathan Kingdon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wide scope at expense of depth, 9 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book for a safari holiday in Tanzania. It did the job asked of it, providing helpful identity data on a range of mammals, while being physically nice and light. It was also comprehensive, covering smaller mammals properly, and not just the usual larger/more common ones. However its scope is all Africa, so it contained a lot of data on species and sub-species that we weren't going to see - while details on the ones we did see was just a bit too sketchy. The maps helped a lot, but there were just too many. Some of the variants we came across (Roosevelt sable, Nyasa wildebeest) weren't mentioned at all. In the case of mammals I think photos are also very helpful - I would like to have seen some of these for the larger animals at least.


The Battle: A New History of the Battle of Waterloo
The Battle: A New History of the Battle of Waterloo
by Alessandro Barbero
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.39

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh new look, 12 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been reading books about Waterloo for longer than I care to remember; it's one of my favourite subjects, and I sometimes shock myself with how much information I've picked up on the battle. And I think this is quite the best narrative of the day that has been produced to date.

It's very much a flowing narrative; there are few footnotes and there is no detailed attribution to sources, which makes some of his claims difficult to substantiate, though there's a good appendix on sources. But even academic, analytical types will find much of value here, as he challenges so many conventional views. He has taken a fresh look at the evidence, without any previous baggage. Sometimes I feel his knowledge of warfare and armies of the era is lacking a bit, and there are bound to be a few mistakes. But, unlike so many modern authors on the Napoleonic wars, he really understands how to interpret historical evidence and he has the capacity to make some kind of sense of it all. I will want to check some of his ideas up to other sources, but they are always plausible. Myth after myth is challenged. D'Erlon's attack was not a rerun of British infantry victories in the Peninsular as the French were winning until the cavalry saved the day; the Prussian attack on Plancenoit was remarkbly ineffective given their numerical superiority; the main French mistakes can't be blamed on Napoleon's subordinates. And so on. This book will appeal to many different readers on many levels. If you want the fine details of forces, commanders and ground, this isn't the book for you - but you can go to Mark Adkin's book. If you want a vivid picture of the battle, or to understand what happened and why, or simply enjoy a good argument over conflicting evidence, this book is a joy. This is modern historical writing as it should be.


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