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B. Leith (Bristol, England)

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MY-Link Notebook Anti-theft Security 4 Digits Combination LOCK
MY-Link Notebook Anti-theft Security 4 Digits Combination LOCK

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright, given the price, 2 Oct 2007
This kensington-style lock is a cheap way of protecting your laptop (or other electronic device) from opportunist thieves. You get what you pay for though.

The mechanism is not ideal - it is quite hard to remove and I'm worried about it scratching my laptop, if not worse. There is a small rubber buffer but it is quite thin and not as good as others I've seen on similar locks. Re-programing the code isn't that easy (you have to stick a pen in a small hole - bit fiddly) but that doesn't really matter.

One clever addition is a small hole on the other end of the cable so it can lock into itself and therefore be used like a standard bike lock - to secure items that don't have the kensington-style hole. This does mean there is a large block o the ed of the cable though which is unfortunate.

The aesthetics are the biggest let-down but that is probably not a problem for the majority of users. The lock is chunky and quite large. Its a fairly bright chrome colour, as is the cable (the picture doesn't really show this).

The cable is protected from scratching things by a plastic sheaf. It appears to be fairly strong but I haven't tested it! There's no velcro bit to keep it compact in transport, as many alternative products have but that's not expected for the price.

Buy this lock if you want one of the cheapest kensington-style locks around but if you don't mind spending a bit more on a better quality alternative, it is probably worth it.

Kensington Slim MicroSaver - Security cable lock
Kensington Slim MicroSaver - Security cable lock
Price: £29.20

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, 2 Oct 2007
This lock does what you expect it to - it keeps your laptop (or other electronic device) safe. Its not the best kensington-style lock on the market, but its good for the price.

Its fairly easy to lock and unlock and the mechanism is much better than others I've seen (the twisting type rather than the "squeezing" type). The rubber washer is wide and soft so there's no worry about it damaging your device. Unlike some models of this type of lock - there is no kensington-style hole in the other end of the cable to let one also use it as a standard "bike lock" but that's not a big deal. Its not that long but I haven't found that to be much of a problem yet and it means its more compact for carrying around.

I don't know how strong the cable is - it doesn't feel very sturdy at all but it would definitely deter the average opportunist thief.

The main down-point for me is the aesthetics of the thing, though that is unlikely to be a problem for most people. The metallic lock bit contrasts with the black cable and rubber buffer and is a bit knobbly and chunky (though it is quite compact and much smaller than others I've seen).

This isn't the cheapest or best kensington-type lock on the market but it does the job and is a good compromise.

Crumpler TBXL-001 Laptop Bag (Dull Black/Charcoal) 15"-17"
Crumpler TBXL-001 Laptop Bag (Dull Black/Charcoal) 15"-17"

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent laptop bag, but not perfect., 22 Sep 2007
I bought this bag for my 17" Macbook Pro (which, for the record, fits perfectly). I'm pleased with it but had hoped for slightly better.

The protection it offers the laptop seems good for a soft bag, though I'm yet to drop it. The handle on the back makes it easy to carry in-hand without worrying about the flap opening and the shoulder-strap is adequately long.

There are basically two compartments (with a mesh pouch in one). This isn't ideal as if you have extra delicate electronics (such as portable hard-drive or mp3 player) they would be easily scratched up by the plugs on the cables you are carrying. It would also be nice to have a compartment accessible without going through two layers of velcro.

Lastly, the "dull black/charcoal" is a much darker black than I had expected from the picture shown - doesn't matter I suppose but I was a bit surprised.

Sony MDR-EX71SLW Stereo Earphones - White
Sony MDR-EX71SLW Stereo Earphones - White

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound but crazy cord length, 22 Sep 2007
I previously owned some black Sony fontopia headphones very similar to these and could not have been more pleased with them. They lasted around 4 years before I lost one of the earbuds and decided to get a new pair.

I am surprised that so many people have complained about the quality of these headphones - the cord looks exactly the same as the one on my previous pair which lasted so long, despite feeling fragile. I've been using these for about 3 months and no sign of wear yet.

I can't criticize the in-ear design and sound quality - I find regular earphones painful after sustained use and I have trouble keeping them in my ears, even when sitting still. These stay in my ears, even when jogging, and I can use them for long periods - I'm sure it depends on the shape of your ears but expect that they'll work for almost everyone if pushed in far enough, with appropriate choice of earbud size. The sound you get is much richer and with more depth, particularly with lower tones - than regular outer-ear headphones.

If you like to talk or eat whilst listening to music these may not be ideal - they block out exterior sound and exaggerate sounds in your head (such as chewing). This does have obvious benefits though - you hear the music better, and needn't turn it up loud to block out unwanted noise. Useful and better for your ears.

The main criticism I have is the bizarre length of the cord - without the extension it is only long enough to reach a shirt or inside-suit pocket and with it, it hangs down well below an average waist - perhaps so that they can be used when connected to the back of a computer? That's the only reason I can think of to have it that long.

Overall, very pleased and well worth the extra money over regular headphones (I can't comment on whether the cheaper but similar-looking Sennheiser headphones are as good or better - the rumours of so many fakes around put me off).

The State We're in: Why Britain is in Crisis and How to Overcome it
The State We're in: Why Britain is in Crisis and How to Overcome it
by Will Hutton
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting despite being astonishingly biased, 22 Sep 2007
It is clear that Hutton has a strong socialist/leftward bias and he fails to be persuasive by not sufficiently supporting his views. This does not totally discredit the book though, and taken in context, there are some interesting points.

At the time this was written, the condition of the economy would have justified such criticism of the government of the previous decade. It is only with hindsight that we can see the long-term benefit of Thatcher's reforms. He does pick up on genuine weaknesses in the financial system of the UK; for example the failure to promote investment because of a priority for dividends - our failure to improve UK productivity since this was written is inexcusable.

His writing is sometimes quite rambling and, certainly towards the end, very preaching. Despite this, and its age, it is still readable and not at all technical, for those with limited economic knowledge.

I would only recommend reading this if you have an interest in the condition of, and events in, the UK economy towards the end of the last century. It is too old and opinionated to be of popular interest now.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 5, 2010 12:31 PM BST

Logitech Soundman S20
Logitech Soundman S20

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound, looks and value !!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 14 Dec 2001
I had just bought a new computer but it didn't come with any speakers so I ended up listening to music and playing games with my headphones! This was allright to start with but after a while it really started to annoy me. I decided to come to because they had a large range and i couldn't be bothered to go to the shops. To start with I was overwhelmed by the huge variety but i soon found my kind of pricerange. In the end I bought these soundman S20's because of the complementary reviews but I was still anxious to see if they were as good as people had said.
I opened the box and was slightly dissapointed at the size - they seemed a little small but when I lifted them up I was reassured at their weight - I find heavy speakers are generally better. Another of my worries had been that they, like other logitech hardware, were wireless which in my view would reduce quality but i was soon reassured that they weren't. When linking them up to my computer i realised that some of the wires were a bit short but they were OK for my layout (the satellites are a good distance from the subwoofer). As soon as I heard even the desktop sounds coming from them I was satisfied. They can go up to high volumes without losing quality and the base is very powerful (but also adjustable if you are not a fan of basey music). I was even more impressed when I played music and games with them - the quality is excellent (almost as good as my expensive cambridge audio hi-fi seperates system) and it really fills the room with its powerful base.
I would reccommend these speakers to anyone who, like me, wants a great set of computer speakers for a very small price. They are small, they sound great, look good, cost little, have a very usefull volume controller to place on your desk (it also has a power switch and handy headphone jack), and they even work with my portable minidisc player allthough they aren't so portable because they need mains power. I hope everybody else is as pleased as I am if they have bought these speakers.

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