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Steve Longden (Shropshire)

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Acer Liquid E2 UK Single Sim Free Android Smartphone - Black
Acer Liquid E2 UK Single Sim Free Android Smartphone - Black
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £212.14

1.0 out of 5 stars The "4GB" mobile phone that leaves you with 0.4GB for your apps, 25 July 2014
This phone is nearly brilliant. Good size and weight, useful battery life, powerful processor, nice screen. But it is fatally flawed. Type something like “acer liquid e2 phone storage problem” into your search engine to find the tragic stories of people (me included) bewailing this.

The problem boils down to this. The Acer Liquid E2 has 4GB of storage space. About 1.9GB of that is used by the Android operating system. On most phones that would leave you with 2GB of space for your apps - not overly generous, but enough for many users. The Moto E (which we have in this household as well as an E2) for example works exactly like this - 4GB of space, 1.9GB taken for the operating system, leaving 2GB or so for your apps.

But not the Acer Liquid E2. For some reason that no one can fully explain, it has a 1.65GB partition called "phone storage", that is unavailable to you and cannot be deleted (or at least not without rooting your phone and writing your own operating system image, of which I have heard rumours but no verifiable stories of success). So as supplied and fresh out of the box, your "4GB" phone has a whole 0.4GB of app space. By the time you've had it for 6 months and put maybe a dozen or 20 apps on it, you'll start getting out-of-memory errors and messages, and rue the day you ever bought this fatally flawed phone.

It is an extraordinarily stupid oversight by the manufacturer, and amazingly they have not offered any fix for it. I'd steer well clear of this, and I'll be wary of this brand for a long time to come.


PARKER REFLEX FOUNTAIN PEN BLACK + INK CARTRIDGE
PARKER REFLEX FOUNTAIN PEN BLACK + INK CARTRIDGE
Offered by Pen-Sale
Price: £6.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't look great, cap breaks easily, but great writer, 12 Jun 2014
This is my day-to-day keep-it-on-the-desk pen. It a nice pen to write with - ideal shape, length, and weight, and the nib is just right. The rubbery textured bit where you grip it is good too.

No one would say it is a nice looking pen though - it's a black plastic barrel with a black plastic cap and a cheap pressed metal clip. And the plastic cap is fragile. Push it onto the pen too hard and it cracks around the rim.

So, great for writing if you treat it gently. But if you want a pen to produce with a flourish for signing an international peace treaty or something, try something else.


Panasonic SD-2500 WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Gluten Free Program
Panasonic SD-2500 WXC Automatic Breadmaker with Gluten Free Program
Offered by Thinkprice
Price: £116.96

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for salt-free bread, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A health report in 2013 said that the main culprits for salt in our diet are breakfast cereals and bread. So why do supermarkets keep putting salt in their bread? 'Because people like it like that,' they say. Well I like my bread fresh and salt-free, which is why I love my Panasonic SD-2500.

There's a lot of nonsense said about bread needing salt for it to rise. It doesn't. If you use a good strong bread-making flour, just leave out the salt and the sugar and it will work just fine.

For flour, I find the Allinson strong white flour gives good results every time. Some of the supermarket brands are good too, and a lot cheaper, but you have to experiment a bit as to which are good and which are not. The yeast is important too. I like the Allinson Easy Bake dried yeast that comes loose in a green 100g pot - use a rounded teaspoon per loaf.

Here's my recipe for the perfect salt-free loaf - works for me every time. This is for a medium loaf - don't do more than you'll eat in a day or two - you can easily make another fresh loaf when you need it. Put the ingredients in the breadmaker in this order: a sploosh of olive oil (about one tablespoon - all this does is make the dough workable and easy to tip the loaf out at the end), 280ml of tepid water (30 seconds in the microwave to make it tepid will do - don't make it too hot or you'll kill the yeast), 400g of strong bread flour with 1 teaspoon of dried bread-making yeast stirred into it. Your yeasty flour is now sitting on top of your oily water. Put the breadmaker on menu #2 (rapid loaf), set it for medium size, and click on Start. 1 h 55 mins later it'll beep when ready. Tip it out, let it cool for 20 mins, and enjoy fresh warm bread. Super-easy, and works for me every time. You don't even have to clean the pan - the non-stick means just a quick wipe-round with a bit of kitchen roll to pick up any crumbs, and you're done.

To adjust the above for a large loaf, use 500g flour, 350ml water, and do it on the 'L' setting instead of 'M'.

Great gadget, and at about 40p a loaf it'll even pay its way. Also good for salt-free pizza bases, tear-and-share bread, challah bread, etc etc.


Durable 8211 Click Fold Badge with Combination Clip 40 x 75 mm (Pack of 25)
Durable 8211 Click Fold Badge with Combination Clip 40 x 75 mm (Pack of 25)
Price: £14.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good indeed, 10 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are a really nice-looking quality item. I have previously used the cheap standard conference flexible plastic ones, and they look - well - cheap. And have had custom-made heavy plastic ones, but they tend to flop over under their own weight when clipped to a blouse or shirt pocket. These ones by contrast are the perfect size, and lightweight so they do not flop down under their own weight.

The badge hinges open to put your card in, and then clicks shut. If you put a bit of effort into designing your name insert card and print it out in colour on nice glossy photo paper, then you can have a really smart and professional-looking name badge.


Gadgeo Black Gel Silicone TPU Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini i8190 with Screen Protector and Cleaning Cloth
Gadgeo Black Gel Silicone TPU Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini i8190 with Screen Protector and Cleaning Cloth
Offered by One 2 Three online
Price: £2.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fixes the one bad thing about the S3 Mini, 10 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love pretty much everything about my S3 Mini, except ... who at Samsung had the idea of modelling it on a slippery bar of soap? The handling of the bare S3 Mini just doesn't feel right. But with this case, it is perfect. You can hold the thing without being in constant fear of it slipping out of your hand. The fit is great, and as well as making the phone better to hold, it looks like it would give the phone a bit of extra protection too.

It looks really smart, too. It makes the phone look handsome rather than pretty - a better look, in my opinion.

Two slight downsides:
1) Using the excellent INSSIDER app to measure wifi signal strength, yes it does seem that it takes 2dB off the strength of your wifi signal. Won't make any practical difference unless your signal is already really marginal. I guess it must reduce your 3G mobile phone signal strength by the same sort of amount.
2) It does of course that it makes your phone slightly bigger and slightly heavier.

I bought this and the clear one ( B00DMYCJAK ) at the same time. They are identical apart from the colour, but whereas the black one looks oh-so-smart, the clear one looks a bit tacky.


Natex Reduced Salt 225 g (Pack of 4)
Natex Reduced Salt 225 g (Pack of 4)
Price: £10.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Now with added salt!, 25 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I used to be a big fan of Natex. For someone who has to be on a very low sodium diet, it was great to have something savoury and low-salt to go on my home-made no-salt bread. Only problem I had was finding somewhere that stocked the stuff. So this time when my pot ran out, I ordered online.

Packaging (green) is different to the yellow-and-red packaging I was used to. And it turns out, the ingredients are different too. It seems that some bright spark at Jardox Health (manufacturers of Natex) decided that what their 'reduced salt savoury spread' really needed was - yes - added salt. How is it even possible to have added salt in a 'reduced salt' product?

For the old yellow tubs of Natex, there is no salt listed in the ingredients and the sodium content is quoted on the label as 0.4g/100g. Now for the green tubs of Natex, second item on the ingredients list is 'salt', and the sodium content is listed as 1.3g per 100g (equivalent to 3.2g salt per 100g). That's three times as salty as previously, and twice as salty as Walkers ready salted crisps for example.

Fair play to Amazon - they were very helpful about it and have now added an image of the nutrition label. Epic fail for Jardox Health though.

If someone knows if it is still possible to get 0.4g/100g old-style Natex, I'd love to know.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 1, 2013 9:25 PM GMT


Pass Your Practical Driving Test: Discover what your examiner is looking for and save the expense and heartache of failing (Essentials)
Pass Your Practical Driving Test: Discover what your examiner is looking for and save the expense and heartache of failing (Essentials)
by David C Barker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fun but not a lot to it, 26 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First thing you need to know is that this is a slim volume. 72 content pages, 20 of which are printed on the top half of the page only. The text is double-spaced and with wide margins. I read it in about half an hour. The other surprise is the quality of the layout and printing - it all looks a bit home made (which in a way does add to the authenticity of the book), and the shaded 'tips' boxes look like they were done on a photocopier.

The book has 24 two- or three-page chapters - one per topic of the test. Each starts with the DSA description of what you'll be tested on. Then a few short paragraphs from the author about what you have to do and what the examiner will be looking for. Then there is a 'test tip' box, with points intended to help you in your test. No great surprises in the tips - e.g. from the tips box for chapter 16, Road Positioning: "Use common sense when deciding where to position." Right, thanks for that.

The redeeming feature of the book is the examiner's witty anecdotes from tests they have done. Learners who skid to a halt sideways after the emergency stop, can't see out of the window because they don't know how to turn the blower on, beckon pedestrians into the road, etc. All quite amusing, and often with a useful point to make.

So as a lightweight and light-hearted stocking filler for someone who is learning to drive, this book is good fun and makes some useful points. But for a book about learning to drive and getting to a standard whereby you can pass your test, look elsewhere. I read through a few books in the cause of finding the right ones for helping my kids learn to drive, and I thought that the Practical Test for Car Drivers (Bsm) book was excellent.


TeckNet® C016 USB HD 720P Webcam, 5 MegaPixel, 5G Lens, USB Microphone & 6 LED
TeckNet® C016 USB HD 720P Webcam, 5 MegaPixel, 5G Lens, USB Microphone & 6 LED
Offered by BlueByte Ltd
Price: £10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for showing someone your fillings., 16 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Superb little camera, especially for the price. Here are the headlines:
* Can do 4:3 and 16:9 HD
* No drivers needed for Win XP or Win 7 - just plug it in and it works
* Works straight away with Skype. If you want some other Windows application for viewing the pictures, try the free 'bustatech WebcamViewer' (search for it just like that)
* Adjustable focus (turn the lens ring) so you can get sharp pictures for any distance - right down to 5cm if you want to show someone your fillings (don't ask)
* Thumb-wheel on lead turns on the LED lights around the lens - not brilliant but will do for illuminating dark places (like the back of your mouth)
* Camera is gimbal mounted so you can turn it left and right and up and down, to any angle
* Base opens up into two parts to form handy bracket whereby you can hang it from the top edge of your monitor, etc

Really cannot think of how it could be improved. All-round perfect.


Practical Test for Car Drivers (Bsm)
Practical Test for Car Drivers (Bsm)
by BSM
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for the learner and for the mums and dads helping practice, 26 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very useful little book. The book starts off (after a very brief plug for BSM) by talking about a 'three-way partnership' between the learner, the driving instructor, and the 'accompanying driver' - that's you if you are the mum or dad of someone learning to drive and you are helping by taking them out for some practice between lessons.

So for each topic covered in the book (stopping normally, emerging left, reverse parking, etc) there's a double-page spread with notes for the learner, a panel headed 'your instructor' telling you how your instructor will teach this, a panel headed 'accompanying driver' (that's for you, mum or dad) with notes on how to help your protégé practise what they have been taught, a panel headed 'advanced exercises' with ideas for more to practice, and a panel headed 'your examiner' with notes about how your examiner will test your skill in this area.

Clear language and good diagrams combine to provide excellent explanations. It doesn't have everything you need to know about driving (you need instruction for that, plus the DSA 'Official Guide' books are good if you want a more detailed book - but at the price of being more wordy and less clear). As a good, clear, concise supporting book, this BSM book is very good indeed. Recommended.


Culinario Frying Pan EcoLon Ceramic Coating for Induction Yellow 20 cm
Culinario Frying Pan EcoLon Ceramic Coating for Induction Yellow 20 cm
Price: £13.88

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good while it lasted, 28 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
GOOD:
* Looks nice
* Works on my induction hob
* Is cast rather than pressed, which seems to give it a better shape
* Exterior enamel coating cleans up well
* Initially it was very non-stick

BAD:
* 5 months later on and it has lost so much of its non-stick quality that we don't use it any more. Has been used at least once a day, but even so, you'd hope for better than just 5 months before the non-stick gives out. Has only ever been used for gentle frying, using wooden or plastic implements only, and only ever hand-washed. The coating is intact and unmarked, it's just that it isn't very non-stick any more, to the point that you can't lift a fried egg out of it without leaving part of it behind on the bottom of the pan. Very poor.
* The pan itself is aluminium, but it has some sort of steel insert on the bottom so it works on an induction hob. But there seems not to be much steel in it, because you need to have the hob on a higher setting than for other pans, and if the pan isn't exactly centred on the ring then the hob doesn't sense that it is there.

So, I have replaced it, and not with another one of these. I suppose it is not for nothing that nearly all non-stick pans use PTFE (Teflon) for their coating.


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