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Ian Grace

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4Gamers HDMI Cable V1.3 (PS3)
4Gamers HDMI Cable V1.3 (PS3)

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FYI - 1080p not gauranteed on your display!!!, 22 April 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Just a word of warning, I got tripped up so maybe this will help others. I have a 1080p Plasma (Pioneer 436XDE) and have used a very high quality HDMI cable to watch 1080p blu-ray DVD's on the PS3. To my surprise, 1080p was not supported, so I called Pioneer. The reason (apparantly) is this - the PS3 currently does not support all plasmas at 1080p resolution - the PS3 boosts the resolution but does not offer the standard industry refresh rate of 24 fps. The PS3 outputs 30 fps at 1080p which most plasmas cannot handle so therefore I had to watch in 720p which was still excellent (I just wanted to compare and see if there was any discernible difference). I feel a patch is on its' way, but check with your display manufacturer first if you want 1080p out-of-the-box so-to-speak.

Nintendo Wii Console (Includes Wii Sports)
Nintendo Wii Console (Includes Wii Sports)
Offered by DOOGLE
Price: 219.99

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun for everyone., 11 Dec 2006
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thanks to Amazon, we had a console on 9th December. Resisted the temptation to sell it on EBAY like everybody else seems to be doing so here are my reflections.

Beautifully compact and unobtrusive - was very surprised to find no digital output for sound (to play over a surround sound setup)but here is the rub - graphics are very good and more than adequate, stereo/prologic sound is again more than adequate. We don't have the RGB scart lead and even over the standard composite video lead when displayed on a B&O Avant RF, images are crisp and colours vibrant. Set-up is 5 minutes out-of-the box.

By far the most impressive thing about the Wii is that everyone - of all ages - wants to play it. No console in our house has ever been used by my wife of her own will, and there she was playing tennis and ignoring the pleas of the wailing kids to have a go. It really attracts 'non-gamers' with the use of simple movements. Give it two to three minutes to get the basic idea of the handheld control and you'll be away.

I bought the Console and also ordered 'Play' which comes with an extra controller - I think we'll need all four controllers working over the Christmas period to be honest!!!!

I deal in premium audio visual goods for a living and it is strikingly obvious that Ninetendo have struck a good balance with the Wii console - sometimes High Res images and Dolby Digital/7.1 outputs are simply not necessary. My initial impressions are that the console will widen the appeal of gaming and make people prance around like fools enjoying themselves with other 'non-gamers' amongst friends or extended family.

We are using the Sports games bundled with the Console and those we are buying effectively for free in 'Play' (for the price of an extra controller which comes with the game)to get used to the console and the new controller which is highly impressive.

I can only think that as developers get to grips with the potentials of the new hand-held controllers the games will get more and more impressive and enjopyable. Well done, I think the Wii will take a sizeable chunk of the market share based on my first experiences with the family.

Call Off the Search
Call Off the Search
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 8 Dec 2006
This review is from: Call Off the Search (Audio CD)
All I can add is that Katie has warbled to me driving the length and breadth of Britain, with the sun gently rising in the very early morning and when the country is asleep very late at night. I love this album, I love singing along and ruining the beautifully sung songs. Listening to this album has brought me real pleasure as has the later release.

Beautiful songs beautifully sung by a beauttiful young woman. So what if you're 41 (previous reviewer) and you want to tell us like it is or how you see it, I find something quite appealing about the bravery of Melua in tackling these songs at such a tender age and doing such a damn fine job.

Obviously criticism is part and parcel of life but I can not help feeling that many of the comments in previous reviews are unfair and are levied at Melua personally - if you like it great, if not then move on. In my opinion, it is fabulous album, it obviously doesn't appeal to everyone but one great sage in history said that 'life is like a box of chocolates.' This album for me is a Strawberry Surprise from Milk Tray, a toffee barrel from Roses, or a purple thingy with a nut in from Quality Street.

TomTom Go 510 GPS Satellite Navigation With European Mapping
TomTom Go 510 GPS Satellite Navigation With European Mapping

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little gem, flawed by baffling design faults, 30 May 2006
this item is potentially superb. I agree, it is let down by a very poor power connector on the windscreen mount - when you think it has been charging because you haven't been able to make out the green LED in sunlight, suddenly the batteries are low because it is not seated properly. It can take up to 10 minutes to sort this problem out temporarily.
Secondly, take a paper clip or toothpick with you wherever you go - I have a paper clip wrapped around the power lead - the reset button is placed in the most awkward of places - mine locked up on the road when I first had it.
But here's the rub, 4 stars out of 5 because when it works it is brilliant and you wouldn't want to be without it. Handsfree calling, the works.

Sharp Sharp Aquos LC26GD7E 26" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV with Freeview
Sharp Sharp Aquos LC26GD7E 26" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV with Freeview

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To correct above mistake!, 22 Feb 2006
Just to confirm, the max resolution is 1366 x 768. I am pretty disappointed with the speakers too, but since most people will listen through an AV amp maybe this is a redundant point. As PC Monitor speakers they are acceptable, and even running an XBOX over the unit, the speakers perform adequately enough. Maybe I just expected a little more..........

Women by Women: Female Erotic Photography
Women by Women: Female Erotic Photography
by Christine Kessler
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensual and Sensitive, 4 Feb 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is so much more advanced than top-shelf erotica, and mostly contains quite stunning images of women in a sensitive and sensual manner. In my view this is a celebration of the female form, has some beautiful quotes and extracts from the photographers to consider - at the rear of the book are websites of the various photographers and a little bit of text concerning themselves and their careers to date. The photographers are professionals, dealing with a subject that is often bound the bounds of serious adult conversation.
I fully recommend this book, it is neither "dirty" (whatever that means) or crude, and in my view it is not pornographic or obscenely erotic. I appreciate it merely for what it is, a collection of stunning photographs capturing both the vulnerability and power of the female form in various guises.
This book shows that images of naked/semi-naked women can be shot in such a light to leave more to the imagination, the subject baring all but revealing less.
Well worth it (purchased from an Amazon Recommended Seller) and I would be interested to see what other readers think, especially women - this is far from pornogrpahy yet deals with the subject of female sexuality from a female perspective.

Piece By Piece
Piece By Piece
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful, the voice of an Angel, 11 Jan 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Piece By Piece (Audio CD)
I can't stop listening to this album. The clarity of Melua's voice, the depth and passion of her singing is simply wondrous. It is like an Angel has come to this earth and is singing to all of us.
And........I can't tell you how much this album moves me, it makes everything in the world seem that much better to know there is such beauty and creativity out there. For me, Katie Melua ranks alongside Eva Casssidy, Carly Simon and Barbra Streisand at the age of 19. Keep it real Ms Melua, don't lose what makes you so special.
I enjoy listening to this album and would highly recommend it. My kids go to sleep to it too so double thumbs up!

June 2007 - For anybody with the slightest doubt about the talents of Katie Melua, or her partnership with Mike Batt, please beg, borrow or steal a copy of the DVD entitled 'On the Road Again' - experience the Melua magic (with a live rendition of Spiders Web) and then see if you want to hear more!

What I saw there was a beautiful, talented and humble artist bringing joy and entertainment to an audience. Personally I don't see the link to record companies trying to cater to a demographic, or other fairly appalling remarks about Mike Batt writing the signature tune to the Wombles.

My musical tastes are varied, from Julian Cope to Barbra Streisand, from John Denver to The Manic Street Preachers and The Jam - what I hear on this album is just stunning - I have never looked forward to the release of an album more than I have Katie's third (due this September apparantly). She is a young woman whose song-writing abilities are developing alongside Mike Batt, please don't kill her off because of unfair criticism about niaive lyrics and so forth.

I want to close this review with words that I came to appreciate from reading the website of Justin Sandeiros, who offers the only free guitar tuition available on the web (asks for donations if you can afford it, [...]) and who taught Katie to play the guitar - He termed Katie as 'fresh, creative and deep' (if my memory is correct) and I would thoroughly recommend taking note of his words, if not mine.

It's Brilliant (IMHO). I bought in addition the US version with an extra two tracks just to hear more from her, but I feel that the UK compilation is more appealing. Melua's rendition of 'Just Like Heaven' is just magical, one of my favourite songs ever. Go Katie!!!!

I'm your number one fan, just like the millions of others who claim to be the same!

Sharp Sharp Aquos LC26GD7E 26" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV with Freeview
Sharp Sharp Aquos LC26GD7E 26" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV with Freeview

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really it should be 4.5 out of on, 7 Jan 2006
If you are considering buying this LCD TV, you may have found the information someewhat lacking from Sharp - no .pdf's of specifications and so forth. I took the plunge and ordered one - I was wrong on my assumptions about what the unit would and could do, but overall I am pleased.
My principal wish was to work on the PC in dual page view in Word, with let's say a TV programme or DVD up in the corner; hence I could listen in on a documentary, news item or the football whilst doing some work.
I cannot receive free-to-air Digital Broadcasts in my area at the moment, and that essentially puts paid to any plans I had of using PIP, which is reliant on receiving a digital signal and combining with an external source. The max resolution (PC) is XGA (1024 x 768.)
The major gripes asides, the picture quality is excellent (QED Sqarts, RGB) on DVD and pretty impressive on standard analogue TV. I was stunned at the clarity of the picture, the definition, the depth of the blacks. The unit is well made and has that 'polished edge' which one might expect with a top of the range product. Sound is decent for a unit of its size and overall you are paying for what you get. Teletext appears in split screen/full screen mode. I am disappointed with the PIP failings and the PC resolution, but if you get over that it is a seriously good product.
Have order a DVI to HDMI cable to have a play around to see exactly what the unit can do, but I do not expect to appreciate the real qualities of the display until I run an XBOX 360 through the inputs or an HDMI DVD on an HDMI player.

Offered by Books2anywhereUS
Price: 12.44

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically Honest., 20 Aug 2005
This review is from: Anthology (Audio CD)
I ca't really remember why I ordered this album, but I am so pleased that I did. Carly Simon's songs are so intimate and personal that I really enjoy listening repeatedly to the songs. A great mix of superb songs. Turn the lights down and relive all those youhtful relationship difficulties, affairs, guilty thoughts and so on. Simon not only seems to wear her heart on her sleeve, she sings from it.
I highly recommend this album, I have grown to respect the song-writing abilities of Ms Simon having only really heard a few tracks in the past.

One World
One World

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Denver to the Core, 20 Aug 2005
This review is from: One World (Audio CD)
Denver was an idealist, a spiritually aware man of depth. A man of such contradictions seemingly beset by personal difficulties.
This album is a slightly strange mix of country-pop, and some more thought provoking tracks. 'Flying for me' is a personal favourite which dredges up images of the Shuttle exploding shortly after launch. 'What are we Making Weapons For?' has as much relevance today as it did when it was first recorded.
Although a real fan of Denver, as mentioned above this album has some lighter tracks that do not really stand out (tracks 3,4,7 and 8 in my opinion are forgettable) but there are the same gems that you will find in most of Denvers' albums. Everything for me was given much more meaning when I learnt about Denver, the man, his life, his failnigs, his work, his integrity - 'A Mountain in the Wind' (Christine Smith) is as good a place to start as any.
Here's to all the joy that John Denvers songs continue to have in my life and are given meaning through my experiences of people in my life. A good album, but Earth Songs, The Wildlife Concert and The Flower That Shattered the Stone possibly better starting points for new fans or the simply curious.

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