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A Smile and a Wave (UK)
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PCs For Dummies
PCs For Dummies
by Dan Gookin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.58

4.0 out of 5 stars With this book and a lot of time and patience you’ll be better off than most, 11 April 2016
This review is from: PCs For Dummies (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
PCs for Dummies might look like it is only aimed at those folk who know nothing at all about computers, but it’s not. Yes, it does cover all of the basics from choosing a computer, setting it up and tells you how to do basic tasks. However, it also covers a whole lot more such as cloud storage and even setting up a network. It has a much broader spectrum than I had expected and as such offers an excellent reference for computer newbies, but is also a very handy reference for the rest of us. There aren’t many pictures but it is laid out quite well and does explain everything clearly. If you are new to computers then I would say that you shouldn’t expect it to be easy, but with this book and a lot of time and patience you’ll be better off than most.


Pretty Fly For a Mai Tai (Cocktails)
Pretty Fly For a Mai Tai (Cocktails)
by Mitchell Beazley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of fun for cocktail-loving music fans, 10 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Ideally suited to cocktail-loving fans of rock ‘n’ roll this book offers 75 different cocktails with a musical twist. Whether each cocktail is genuinely designed for each of the suggested songs is a matter of opinion, but this little book does a pretty good job of giving an entertaining tour through some musical spirits. I like that it explains the basics of cocktail making since this book is likely to end up in the hands of many music fans who have never ventured near a cocktail shaker but were given the book as a gift based on their musical interests. It’s a little book (it’s about the size of a thick DVD case) which has lots of illustrations to make it more inviting and even goes into the basics of cocktails such as types of cocktail glass, equipment and techniques. Even if you never make any of the drinks listed then it’s an amusing way to spend some time with the many musical puns in the titles of the cocktails.


Rapesco Supaclip 60 Kit with Dispenser and 100 Stainless Steel Refill Clips
Rapesco Supaclip 60 Kit with Dispenser and 100 Stainless Steel Refill Clips
Price: £11.46

4.0 out of 5 stars I really like them, 7 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had spotted this type of clip in the stationery cupboard at work and wondered what they were for, but never actually used them until now. Surprise, surprise - they are a useful, practical way of holding together bundles of paper or card. I’ve tended to avoid the traditional paperclips in the past as they aren't secure enough, and I have suffered when my carefully arranged papers suddenly came loose from their paperclip and ended up in a mess. These Supaclips are in a different league when it comes to that sort of reliability as they are more secure, and so long as you use the recommended 10 – 60 pages they really do hold the papers together well. They will work with fewer pages (even just a couple) but have a firmer grip when the bundle is thicker.

I’ve only found a couple of points which I’m not keen on; firstly the clips are around 6mm thick at their end and if you are gathering several bundles they can make the overall depth more noticeable. Secondly, I’ve had a few occasions where the clip has jammed in the dispenser but then I have successfully managed to remove it each time. Neither of these points is a big problem for me, but are worth mentioning. I really like them and now that I have discovered Supaclips I’ll be using them quite a lot.


Philip's Children's Atlas (World Atlas)
Philip's Children's Atlas (World Atlas)
by David Wright
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Modern and attractively presented, 4 April 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Only recently I was looking through an atlas that had been published in 1993 and was surprised when I realised how much has changed on a world map in that time. The style of book has also changed and thanks to modern printing and design we now have atlases which can be a lot more colourful such as this one. Although it doesn’t feature pages and pages of ‘pure’ mapping as I had expected it does have an attractively presented set of maps covering the world along with lots of photographs and facts to illustrate them. Personally, I’d have liked more maps to be included especially more showing the UK and Europe in further detail. For example the UK and Ireland has only a single page with a map plus another page with pictures and information. Overall this is a very nice, colourful atlas which will certainly appeal to the intended age group and if it increases their awareness of the world then it can only be a good thing.


Philips SatinShave BRL170/00 Wet and Dry Prestige Electric Ladyshave
Philips SatinShave BRL170/00 Wet and Dry Prestige Electric Ladyshave
Price: £46.66

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I’m very happy with it, 30 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Philips Ladyshave is very good. I was interested to compare it with a decent ladies’ razor so decided to use the Ladyshave on one side of my body, and a wet razor on the other side. To be honest I expected the traditional wet shave to be better but was pleasantly surprised; touch tests on my legs were initially surprising as the shave felt smoother with the electric shaver. Afterwards my legs have shown approximately the same rates of smoothness and then regrowth, but underarm results are much better than using a razor. Although it comes with a separate detail trimmer for the bikini area I found that it could feel a bit too vicious, and I’m more comfortable using another dedicated tool that I have…Philips BRT381/15 BikiniGenie Trimmer

The SatinShave BRL170/00 is easy to use all over the body, but I find it noticeably easier under my arms than with a razor. I like that it feels comfortable to hold, and that it recharges quickly but lasts well between charges. I’ve been impressed to see that I suffer no irritation of the skin from using it and I’ve even been able to use deodorant immediately after using the shaver which has been uncomfortable to do with other electric shavers that I have used. I’m very happy with this product and can readily recommend it.


Student Finance For Dummies
Student Finance For Dummies
by Phil Davis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.52

4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a book which is worth having if you’re considering student life, 29 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One of the biggest worries for most students is how to pay for everything, even those lucky enough to have savings or financial support from their family. From experience I know that at least some potential students are put off further education purely because of the financial burden they could incur, and this book should go some way to clarifying things. This is the UK edition so everything is tailored towards the British system even though this series of books is American. It is also in the ‘portable’ format which basically means that it has been slightly shrunken so that it takes up less space, but still contains all of the information you’d expect and has over 360 pages. It’s only recently been published which means that it is probably as up to date as you’ll find in any book, and is perfectly timed for those students planning on a new course this year.
I like that the book covers the various UK domains as funding does vary between them, and it is important to see that the author has recognised that the devolved governments have some differences from Westminster. I also like that this Dummies guide follows the traditional design layout and can be read from front to back, or by dipping into topics as necessary. There are plenty of common-sense recommendations in the book but there’s also plenty of things which won’t occur to most people, which is the beauty of the having the book written by the Head of Student Advice & Learning. I think that it’s particularly worth looking through the back of the book where there’s a handy index, and even more importantly there is a good section on some of the myths associated with student finance. Overall this is definitely a book which is worth having if you’re considering student life.


Huggies Everyday Baby Wipes - Pack of 12
Huggies Everyday Baby Wipes - Pack of 12
Price: £10.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 27 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This bumper pack of baby wipes has twelve packs in a handy cardboard box. Each of the individual packs is re-sealable which works quite well for keeping the remaining wipes moist but it does have the annoying habit of releasing more than one tissue at a time which is a little wasteful. I find that they clean well and have plenty of moisture, and I like that they do not lose fibres. They smell pleasant but are not heavily perfumed and overpowering which is also good, and although the wipes do tear they stretch quite impressively before doing so. I’ve been using these ones Johnson's Gentle Cleansing Baby Wipes, 12 x 56 (672 Wipes) which I find to be less likely to rip than the Huggies wipes, but to be fair the Huggies product is more pleasant to use in some ways. It’s not clear from the pack what is actually used as a cleaning agent but they are marked as being safe for use on the hands and face as well as for babies of course. I find them to be a very good product and the only things which stop me giving them five stars is the wasteful packaging.


Talk Spanish 1: The Ideal Spanish Course for Absolute Beginners
Talk Spanish 1: The Ideal Spanish Course for Absolute Beginners
by Almudena Sanchez
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.14

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly far from being the best language package I’ve used., 26 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used BBC language products in the past, and have found them to be pretty good especially in conjunction with their excellent Learning Zone programmes and website. However, Learning Zone was discontinued as part of the BBC’s 2015 cost cutting measures and whilst there is still a functioning (archived) website which can be used with this course it isn’t such a full package as it once might have been. This particular set is purely an introduction to the Spanish language and is really aimed at those looking for just a basic knowledge of the language, although there are further levels which continue in more depth. This nicely boxed set includes a 144 page full-colour course book and two 60 minute audio CDs. Unfortunately, I have not really enjoyed using it as I have found it hard to follow and have found myself struggling to understand what is said. It moves along quite quickly and I haven’t been able to keep up with it, and the book didn't help me much. This is disappointingly far from being the best language package I’ve used.


AmazonBasics Packing Cubes - 2 Medium and 2 Large (4-Piece Set), Black
AmazonBasics Packing Cubes - 2 Medium and 2 Large (4-Piece Set), Black
Price: £18.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packing made easy, 21 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This time last year I hadn't even heard of packing cubes, but then spotted some made by Craghoppers in an offer and bought a couple for a trip away. It was easy to see the advantage of using them so I bought some more in mixed sizes from other manufacturers. Again they proved to be very good on other trips away, particularly when using a suitcase and won the admiration of my wife who had been very sceptical about them initially. The idea is that you can pack items in their own cubes which makes the task easier, and certainly helps when you arrive as they can either be unpacked or simply left in the cubes to be used as required. For example, if you are not travelling to a single destination but are moving on to other places then this style of cube can save on a lot of packing and unpacking. Even when staying in one place I find it useful to keep certain things in their packing cubes such as those which are only ever taken ‘just in case we need them’.

This set from Amazon Basics compares very well with the other brands that I have tried. They are lightweight but strong with attention to detail such as a carrying handle, double-zippers, and strong stitching. I can certainly vouch for Amazon Basics as a brand and have tried many of their products with no issues at all, and in fact they are often better than their alternatives but sometimes at a lower cost. There are single sized packs available that are a good choice but having used various sizes I can recommend having a selection of sizes for different types of clothing - for example underwear is better in a smaller pack whilst bulkier clothing such as jeans or a pile of folded shirts is better placed in a larger size. Smaller sizes are sometimes better when using rucksacks but this larger size is great in a suitcase.

I like that the fabric in this set is easily cleaned and that there is a mesh window on the front which both helps to see the contents and air them. They have also proven useful at home and make ideal storage for clothes when storing seasonal clothes away until they are next wanted. Anyone who has used packing cubes before will recognise their value, and I'm sure that anyone who hasn't will be forever converted when they do use them.


Maxtor M3 1 TB USB 3.0 Slimline Portable Hard Drive - Black
Maxtor M3 1 TB USB 3.0 Slimline Portable Hard Drive - Black
Price: £44.42

79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fast and quiet portable USB drive, 20 Mar. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Maxtor was previously one of the big brand names making hard drives but was bought by Seagate around ten years ago, and the Maxtor name was used less. Later on Seagate also bought Samsung’s hard drive business meaning that now many of the same products are sold with different branding, and that is the case with this particular drive. It was originally (and still is) sold as a Samsung M3 drive and I know from experience that it is a decent product because I bought one when they were first released, and it still works faultlessly today. As the technology has aged the prices have fallen meaning that this Maxtor drive offers excellent value for money as an easily portable, fast storage facility. I have the 1TB model which stores an awful lot of music, pictures, videos and other documents and because it has a USB 3.0 connector it can transfer data very quickly if you connect it to a USB port on your computer (they often have a blue piece in the port rather than black to signify the difference).

This drive from Maxtor is simple to use and does not require an external power source as all of the necessary power is supplied from the computer it is connected to. It runs quietly and comes complete with a 3 year limited warranty for peace of mind, although from personal experience I don’t expect to need it. It is worth remembering that these drives only come supplied with a cable and not a cover or case, despite being fairly delicate items. It is definitely worth investing in a cover to help shield them from knocks – I’ve found that this one fits it perfectly and also has room for the supplied cable Case Logic EVA Foam Case for 2.5 inch Portable Hard Drives - Red
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 16, 2016 8:44 PM BST


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