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P. Brown

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Peavey PV6USB
Peavey PV6USB
Offered by Stargoat Guitars
Price: £105.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great - a literally and figuratively solid little mixer this, 18 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Peavey PV6USB (Electronics)
Great - a literally and figuratively solid little mixer this.

Great construction, with a good heft, and everything feeling tight with no wobbles - albeit very slightly variable (physical) resistence from the pots.

With just enough ins and outs - the EFX return can act as a third stereo-in - this fits the bill neatly for me.

Caveat - I don't use the USB connection for my PC - instead I go in via a (now discontinued) Edirol UA-25EX. If you have problems with Asio drivers, try asio4all... it's got me out of a few holes in my time...

MSI H97 PC Mate Intel LGA1150 H97 ATX Motherboard (4x DDR3, 4x USB3.0, 8x USB2.0, GBE, LAN, HDMI, DVI, VGA)
MSI H97 PC Mate Intel LGA1150 H97 ATX Motherboard (4x DDR3, 4x USB3.0, 8x USB2.0, GBE, LAN, HDMI, DVI, VGA)
Price: £65.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whelmed, 18 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this to upgrade my rather dated Intel 775/Q6600 based system.

I've fitted an Intel i5 4690K with 4Gb RAM, and windows (8.1), Elite: Dangerous, and Arma 3, all fly along very nicely now.

Bad stuff first.
1. It doesn't come supplied with header blocks for all the fiddly pins you need to connect from your case to the mobo (motherboard) - which means attaching all the tiny fly-leads inside the case (e.g. hdd indicator, power button, power-light, etc) is a royal (albeit one-time) pain.
2. The mobo has only sata connectors for optical drives, so your older drives are now fully defunct and will need replacing. (Sata to IDE converters do exist, at about £10 - I've no experience if/how well they work, nor how congested they make your installation.)
3. The big'ish blue heatsink sitting very close to the CPU socket can easily foul your cooler - it certainly prevents the Gelid Siberian Pro from fitting. (The Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev2 fits very easily.)
4. It doesn't come with any on-board headers-to-backplate expansions for (e.g.) USB connectors.
5. The on-board audio is only stereo.
6. The maximum memory speed is 1600.

All of which mean you need to add on extra spend to make up for all these that effect you. I added a SoundBlaster Z (the same cost as the board), which actually sounds fantastic, and is well worth the money. But just be aware that this 'budget' board can end up as a false economy - so check what other 'more expensive' boards come with before you buy.

Plus points:
1. It's a slightly smaller form of the ATX board, which means fitting it into an ATX case is a breeze. NB it is afixed by only 6 screws, leaving the sata-ports a little unsupported, so be gentle!
2. It has automatic (and manual) overclocking options available from the BIOS.
3. It works well, with a reasonably clean BIOS interface - not that I've had to change much.
4. Windows boots up very quickly, even without using MSI's Fast-Boot tech.

You may be wondering why 4-stars at this point. Well 3 would be too low, whereas 3.5 feels about right.

I find it tough to get excited about a mobo. This one does the job just fine.

The End Of Mr. Y
The End Of Mr. Y
by Scarlett Thomas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Three and a half stars would be about right..., 14 April 2015
This review is from: The End Of Mr. Y (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book, despite the end being unforgivably weak, and then went on to read PopCo... and then stopped reading her works...

It's full of neat ideas and it jogs along quite nicely, until the last quarter, where is seems to lose its way - which is such a shame as it promised so much, and in the end it is a story from the shaggy dog.

If you enjoyed this I strongly suggest you try Paulo Coelho (I'm guessing most here know him) and not just 'The Alchemist', try the 'Devil and Miss Prym' too - or even more betterer, Milan Kundera and 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' - which is a great book on almost too many levels.

Back To Land
Back To Land
Price: £11.23

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best so far., 23 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Back To Land (Audio CD)
By a long long way this is the Shjips' best album so far.

More musical and with more distinct 'songs' than their previous outings, without loosing their very distinctive vibe.

As others have said it's 'cleaner' and 'crisper' and, if you like your rock on the psychedelic side, well worth a listen if you're not already a fan.

Fans of Danielle Dax, Laurie Anderson, and maybe even Pink Floyd, should dip a toe on land.


Fosmon Anti-Glare (Matte) Screen Protector Shield for Barnes & Noble NOOK HD 7" inch Tablet - 3 Pieces
Fosmon Anti-Glare (Matte) Screen Protector Shield for Barnes & Noble NOOK HD 7" inch Tablet - 3 Pieces
Offered by theWireless USA
Price: £4.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Very tough to get applied without dust and bubbles., 23 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It took all three protectors to get an 'okay' finish, with a few remaining bubbles at the edge.

The screen protector fits the screen by less than a millimetre along all edges - which sounds great until you apply it even remotely inaccurately - necessitating removing, re-seating, retrying... etc...

Removing the first film generates a nice static charge, attracting any minute dust particles. These adhere to the slightly sticky surface, and form permanent bubbles. Each time you remove to reapply, you get more minute particles attached..... in my experience if it's not on at the second attempt, it's too late.

This is my second screen protector for the Nook (the first one did its job) - the first one went on like a dream, wasn't a custom protector, so had good edge clearances, and no dust/bubbles issues when fitting - so it's back to WHS for me for the next one.

I'd strongly suggest looking elsewhere too.

Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC DVD)
Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC DVD)
Offered by LTLE Order by 20 Dec for guaranteed delivery by XMas
Price: £26.69

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back to Wolfenstein, 21 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In summary it's a decent-to-good game. It is pretty linear, with alternate routes being a little limited - do not expect open-world, sandbox game-play. It immediately took me back to playing Doom & Wolfenstein - with almost non-stop scoot-and-shoot action interspersed with some sneaking around and back-stabbing.

You pick up weapons, armour and health as you go, and the map helpfully suggests areas of the map best explored carefully. There is plenty of blood and gore splattering, and the subject matter is actually quite heavy. The cut-scenes are well done and so is the voice acting, and overall it's pretty immersive.

What is a bit disappointing is that the graphics aren't anything special. With many games now feeling almost hyper-real (E.g. Arma3) this looks dated, particularly with the graphical glitches and occasional lagging. Think of the graphics in Fallout and you get the idea.

I also endured 4-5 hours of loading agony - subsequently I've seen advice to stay off-line when loading the four discs - then go on-line to download the considerable patch on Steam. (Yes, it seems you must have a Steam account) The next 'chore' was finding the recommended drivers for my graphics card, as without them the game crashes.

The game plays generally fine on my PC - Quad core Q6600 at 2.4Ghz, 6Gb RAM, Radion HD 7700 - excepting the texturing issues, where when you turn your head quickly the textures take a second to be applied to some surfaces. I've also had some horrible lagging at cut-scenes, and just after. ALT-TAB to desktop and back sorted this out for me, but it may have been a fluke.

However many better looking games with much larger 'maps' (or levels) play much smoother than Wolfenstein, so I remain a bit disappointed.

I've not played all the way through - in fact nothing near - so there seems many hours of game-play here, however it's already starting to feel a little 'samey'. The notes you get to read, dotted here and there, cleverly paint the backdrop of this alternate history, and the dystopian feel this generates is very similar to Half-Life 2 - in fact the game so far feels very much out of that mould, which is not a bad thing.

The gameplay is fine, the control pretty normal, and for those who like to peak round corners - use the iron sights, crouch, and you will automagically lean round corners.

Overall, a good few hours in, perhaps 4 stars is a bit much, but 3 would be too few. It's a good game, with some fun elements, and it is deliberately old-school FPS in its style - so good for a blast, but perhaps not so good for replay-ability.

EDIT: 9 July 14

Having played this for a while I'm now of the opinion that re-playability is actually pretty good for such a linear shoot-em-up. Having the Fergus and Wyatt timelines gives a mildly amusing parallel run-through - my preference being Fergus as his very 'fruity' language and running commentary is pretty funny. Add in the various other modes that become available once you've found and decrypted the enigma codes, and the ability to dip in and replay any of your favourite chapters whenever you fancy a 'blast', all combine to give a fun and rewarding game. Well worth 4 stars... and it may even nudge 5 now and again!

Hope this helps - enjoy!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2014 8:44 PM BST

The Life of Brian / Monty Python and the Holy Grail Double Pack [DVD] [1974]
The Life of Brian / Monty Python and the Holy Grail Double Pack [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Graham Chapman
Price: £5.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Life of Brian like watching an old VHS tape, 22 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The DVD quality of The Holy Grail is fine given the film's age, and the it was funnier than I remembered.

However, the DVD of Life of Brian was dreadful quality. Very very grainy with on screen discolouration at one point, and the film seemed (to my memory) to have been cut - just as if a low budget copy taken from a cheap VHS edition.

It may be that it simply wasn't happy being played on a PS3, but I've never had this before with any DVD.

Discs returned.

AA Solar-Powered Car Battery Charger
AA Solar-Powered Car Battery Charger
Price: £23.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny, 25 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great, simple, and (as best I can tell) effective - just plonk it on your dashboard and plug it into your EOBD port (most cars have them - google is your friend) - and... well that's it.

The blue LED flashes when the pad receives enough daylight to provide power - note that the LED flashes whether the unit is (or is NOT) connected or charging - so don't expect the LED to do anything but flash.

My diesel (that I rarely drive these days) is now much happier to start, and noticeably less sluggish to fire up.

For the money, it's a 'no brainer'. So if you're not driving/using your car/camper-van much then I can't think of a single reason not to get one.

Rocksmith 2014 Edition - Includes Real Tone Cable (PS3)
Rocksmith 2014 Edition - Includes Real Tone Cable (PS3)
Price: £50.73

4.0 out of 5 stars A massive improvement, but..., 27 Dec. 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This 2014 version is a massive step forward in terms of interface from the original - clean, no more endless zooming shots, easy to navigate, and you do not have to check the tuning of your guitar every minute - hurrah!!!! The ability to drop into and out of phrase repeater mid-song is also very helpful.

One significant irritant for me is it is sold on the basis that you can import the songs from the original game. True, except they charge you £7.95 (or similar) for the privilege - and even then you don't get all of them. Given the high cost of both games this is very poor.

Also note that that whilst Ubisoft is well stocked with other songs/bands to download to add to the game, none are cheap.

I'd doubt that on its own this will turn you into a guitar legend, but it does make practice a lot more fun, and its rewards and variety keep you coming back.

Worth noting is that cover bass guitars, and six-string guitars - either lead or rhythm.

Konig USB 2.0 PCI-Card 4+1 Ports
Konig USB 2.0 PCI-Card 4+1 Ports
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works well with Windows 8 64bit, 4 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is as cheap as chips and highly effective, easy to install, and so far, 100% reliable.

Worth noting is that mine came with 5 external ports, not the 4 shown. The 5 are reduced to 4 if you use either of the two internal ports - one is a USB socket, one is a pin-header.

I had a minor problem with an error 43 being reported in the 'Device Manager' drivers tab, and at the same time none of the ports on the card were working. It was easy to fix: go to the Device Manager page, right-click on the card, and take the 'Uninstall' option. Then 'Scan for hardware changes' from the top 'Action' menu. This sorted me out nicely.

For the money, it seems to be a bit of a no-brainer if you're getting short on USB-2 ports.

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