Profile for Phil_the_beat > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Phil_the_beat
Top Reviewer Ranking: 423,831
Helpful Votes: 19

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by

Page: 1
August VGB200 USB 2.0 Video and Audio Capture Card for MAC and PC - S Video / RGB to USB Transfer Cable - External Grabber Lead for Window 7 / XP / Vista / Mac OS X v10.5 or above
August VGB200 USB 2.0 Video and Audio Capture Card for MAC and PC - S Video / RGB to USB Transfer Cable - External Grabber Lead for Window 7 / XP / Vista / Mac OS X v10.5 or above
Offered by Daffodil UK
Price: £29.75

1.0 out of 5 stars Useless Garbage from a Company with Non-existent Customer Service, 20 Sept. 2014
This is a complete waste of money. I am amazed that anyone has gotten it to work at all. I have wasted tons of time and so have a bunch of my friends, and their friends, trying to get this to work on a wide variety of MACs and PCs. The instruction manual does not cover the processes adequately, and if you are downloading the software rather than using the disc, then there are basically no instructions. The downloaded file has numerous subfolders, none of which appear to install the driver. The company is completely irresponsible about this because they do not reply to emails, nor do they answer their phone, nor does their phone take messages. I do not know how I will be able to organize the return of this crappy product so basically, August International just ripped me off by selling me something useless. And meanwhile, I still do not have my tapes transferred.

Rebo Universal Green Trampoline Weather Cover - 8FT, 10FT, 12FT and 14FT (14FT)
Rebo Universal Green Trampoline Weather Cover - 8FT, 10FT, 12FT and 14FT (14FT)
Offered by Playtimes
Price: £20.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars At Least It's Not Square..., 1 Jan. 2014
As the title suggests, about the only thing the manufacturers of this item got right was that it is round. I went seriously out of my way to order this and have it delivered to a friend in the UK who then had to post it to me in Europe. Why? Well because according to the description it had extra ties so the thing won't fly up, since the main reason one wants a trampoline cover is so that it will in fact cover the trampoline. And also the specific size (for a 10ft trampoline) was not available over here.

But this cover actually only has three straps with which to fasten it to the frame. I'm curious as to what competitors offer if three equals "extra". Do other company's make 'em with just one strap or something? Anyway, as anybody with even a weak grasp of geometry will be able to work out, it is simply not possibly to securely affix a fabric covering to a circular shape with less than four ties. The supposed drawstring device is completely useless and some kind of attempt to cover up the problem as far as I can tell. And to make matters worse, not one of the three straps was in any way coordinated to the shape of the trampoline frame.

As these are standard units, would it have been so hard to attach 4 straps to points that would easily correspond to each of the 4 legs? As it is this cover does not do the sole thing for which it was designed: cover the trampoline. The unsecured edges are constantly flying up and then leaves and twigs actually collect underneath the cover, which is even worse than having no cover at all.

Another incredibly stupid oversight in the design is the lack of any kind of drainage perforations. So unless you're trying to collect rainwater or snow, then you now have a new problem; clearing off the massive puddles of liquid that accumulate on top of the cover. I just poked a few holes in mine and presto, problem solved. Couldn't the manufacturer have done this? All in all, this product was a complete waste of money and they LIED about the extra ties. I am not even bothering to use it anymore. Do NOT buy.

How to Get Rich
How to Get Rich
by Felix Dennis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How He Got Rich...without ethics, 5 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: How to Get Rich (Paperback)
The problems with this book begin before it is even opened, with the title: the sub-heading "the distilled wisdom of one of Britain's wealthiest self-made entrepreneurs" makes no sense. I have never before heard the phrase "self-made entrepreneur" which can only mean "self-made person who runs their own business", an essentially repetitive and yet meaningless expression.

The sub-heading should just be removed and the book simply called "How I Got Rich"; and not how "to" get rich. That is because this is the true subject of the book: it is by and about Felix Dennis who tries to turn his personal journey into a guidebook. But if you are the sort of person who thinks that it matters a little bit what sorts of products to sell and business practices to follow while pursuing riches, then this book will not be your guide.

Dennis gleefully promotes the distasteful and boring mythology that to succeed in business one must necessarily be an immoral, deceitful, egotist. While I agree that most people who achieve super-wealth fit that description aptly, I do not feel it is a prerequisite nor is it admirable to goad others into the types of sleazy money-grubbing practices that made Dennis rich and which he seems to find hilarious to recount.

One story from his early career that really stood out for me was the one regarding his decision to print cheap and crappy (his words) versions of a top selling poster (of Frank Zappa) when the regular printer was unable to keep up with demand. Dennis describes the resulting outrage of staff at the poster company who were under the delusion (poor dears) that they were making a product to a particular standard; with the point of the story being that he made the correct business decision while the staffers were hopelessly old-fashioned to regard such a thing as a rip-off. Dennis justifies his bait-and-switch antics by claiming, omnisciently, that the people buying the poster didn't care about the quality of the paper or ink, they just liked the image. He presents zero evidence to support this arrogant assumption which of course is totally un-proveable! What, because people couldn't be bothered to complain when their two dollar item arrived in the post, this means nobody noticed? I think it is reprehensible to sell a cheap knock off version of a product, at the same price and without informing customers, just because you've run out of the real one; and then to turn around and essentially call your customers idiots who can't tell the difference anyway is not smart, it's creepy and deplorable. So that's how to get ahead in business?

This superior attitude is the "voice" of Felix Dennis as a writer; he even makes his tales of failure self-aggrandizing somehow. 'Cause when he screws up, it means a few mill down the loo, so even his lapses of judgment are far more impressive than your or my pathetic errors.

You know when you're on a job interview and the interviewer asks you to be honest about some shortcomings, how you're meant to turn it into an opportunity to sell your talents? Well, this is the same manner in which Dennis tells his "failure" stories - he always manages to big himself up as well.

The most unforgivable thing in the book though is how Dennis cheats big time when trying to come up with examples of people to emulate in the quest for untold wealth (probably because it's hard to get misty-eyed about the likes of Warren Buffet or Bill Gates). Felix gets around the inconvenience of the boring-ness of most business billionaires pretty much the same way he got around his Zappa poster shortage: the old switcheroo. Can't think of an interesting and romantic business figure to make an example of? That's OK, just substitute a doomed artist whose work everyone loves - even if they have nothing to do with your thesis!

This self-serving pretzel logic results in Dennis bizarrely bestowing his highest praise, as an example of stick-to-it-ivness, upon Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent Van Gogh the hamburger franchise king? Uh no, that would be the renegade oil painter who was so far ahead of his time and hopeless at business that he died completely destitute.

So a person who dedicated his life to his artistic vision, even when it meant going without food;
who couldn't sell any paintings during his own lifetime and was clearly not motivated by cash rewards beyond his basic needs has been nominated by Felix Dennis as the greatest example of not giving up in your obsessive quest to become a multi-millionaire. Eh?

Sorry Felix but Vincent demonstrates the exact opposite of your ideology! You do not get to claim him as one of yours. He is one of ours: the artists. You wanna make examples of people who illustrate your business ideas? Well then, I'm afraid that you are limited to discussing people who actually made loads of money in their lifetime. You may not present for discussion artistic geniuses who were mistreated and misunderstood until their poverty-stricken deaths! I think it's a shameful statement about humanity that Van Gogh's canvasses sell for $50 million today and not a cause for celebration or that he was vindicated in the end. What rot!

Dennis is also dishonest in his own claims of how positively he responds when employees want to leave and strike out on their own. While going to great lengths to claim that he is always the biggest champion of such risk-taking visionaries, if you read the book closely you will find examples that do not fit with this at all. E.G. he goes into detail about how hard he tried to prevent a pre-Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant from quitting the magazine business for music, but then without a trace of irony goes on to use this story as an example of how happy he is when others succeed. So he's not even consistent within his own self-mythologizing.

Finally, Dennis makes many points about the "fear" that stops most people from taking a risk and pursuing a bigger vision and how this is what holds them back. While patting himself on the back for not having this fear, I found that actually Dennis suffered from a much bigger fear: that of pursuing the avocation of poetry prior to having stockpiled kajillions. It wasn't until he had more money than an African dictator and a house on Mustique that Dennis evidently felt that conditions were sufficiently right to put pen to paper. The guy devoted his days to poetry only when there was zero attendant risk in so doing.

This is why despite his knack for a good turn of phrase and rhyme, Felix Dennis will never be more than an accomplished writer of light verse, as a poet. His life is simply too comfortable and soft to generate anything less superficial and he started writing too late. I am sure that he has suffered loss and heartache just as the poor have, but here's another oft-repeated myth that turns out to be true: unless you have really suffered and starved FOR your art, then you are just a dilettante. He never wrote a poem when he actually had the broken heart you see? It makes a difference.

Felix Dennis and his readers would do well to remember that Van Gogh did not paint his incredible canvasses from the vantage point of a luxury penthouse but rather from the window of the asylum.

I think there are as many ways to get rich as there are rich people. While being unethical is certainly one of the quickest, I find it sad that people like Dennis believe it is THE way.

It may seem petty, but I also found it indicative of something icky in his character that when talking about his days of bingeing and boozing, Dennis preferred using the word "whore" for prostitute. I could tell that he really enjoyed using the word. I think it is an ugly, crude and misogynistic choice however. The same way it shows a different attitude for a sex worker to talk about her "trick" rather than her client: one is respectful, the other isn't. Whore is a derogatory word and I think it is hypocritical to want to use sex workers but also disdain them. Many prostitutes are good and honest people who go about it in a mature and open-eyed way. It's definition two of whore that describes people we need to watch out for in life, that is: people who will compromise values in order to make a buck.

By that definition, Felix Dennis could have saved everyone the time of reading this massive ego-wank and have simply said that the way to get rich is to be a whore.

Read as one man's experience and set of biases it is still an interesting book but not one that will make you like its author much if, like me, you were hoping for something a bit more high-minded.


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Exercise AND Bed ever, 24 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this in desperation because I can no longer run for exercise due to a weird injury and as I also needed a new bedframe and there wasn't room for both, I reckoned I'd get this big trampoline and use it for double duty. At night I just flip a thick mattress topper up there, duvet, blankets, and pillows - and it is a sweet sleep experience! Plus, first thing when I wake up, it's great to roll around and stretch on the tramp and have a few bounces. But best of all, it's a low impact fun form of exercise that I can do anytime I feel like it. Just blast some music and jump around on the trampoline for a while and I know I'm getting full body and even cellular exercise. There is always something I can do on there, even if I'm injured and furthermore it is the only exercise I have found that is possible to do simultaneously with smoking a joint, which also makes it even more fun. The fifth star was for that.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2013 9:54 AM BST

Price: £4.19

2.0 out of 5 stars Airport reading only, 28 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Elegance (Kindle Edition)
As I'm not a very girly girl, my dear friend who shall remain nameless must've thought it was a joke to give me this book about a ugly duckling to swan transformation. What a lot of petty nonsense about clothes! The book is basically telling a person how to become phony. Not only that, but it is set in a version of London that is like something out of a tourist board fantasy film. I have a lot of professional friends who live in that fair city and it is hilarious to think of them spending their days the way the heroine of this silly novel spends hers. There were a few witty moments and some lines that indicated the writer was not wholly without ability, but overall this is definitely just a book to pass the time when you literally do not have anything else to do and wish to give the brain a big rest!

Mud Sharks
Mud Sharks

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Keep trying, 28 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Mud Sharks (Kindle Edition)
As a drummer who reads a lot of novels, I thought I'd like this book more than I did. A lot of first-time novelists haven't quite got control of their style and it can veer between over-written with too many adjectives and under-plotted, that being the hardest part (to me). That's how Mudsharks seemed. Sometimes it was hard to understand what was going on because of rough connections between scenes and jumping around to different ages, but not really making it clear. A few times I thought "hey where are we now?" and had to go backtracking. There were some good turns of phrase and a lot of atmosphere and references to culture of the time it was set in that had that ring of truth, but as a story it felt disjointed to me and I lost interest. It seemed more like an abstract memoir than a novel. Like drumming, having a bit of talent for writing isn't enough by itself. Except for very uncommon cases, it requires years of practice and hours and hours by yourself. So reading this was a bit like seeing a high-level amateur musician perform, a not half bad effort but not there yet either. I would maybe check his next book if he wrote another, but can't really recommend this one.

Page: 1