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Roger Irrelevant - he's completely hatstand (London, England)

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MINIX NEO X8-H TV BOX Amlogic S802-H Android KitKat 4.4 2G/16G 2.4G/5.8G WIFI Bluetoorh 4.0 Dolby DTS UK Plug (MINIX NEO X8H) + Free MINIX NEO M1 2.4G Wireless Air Mouse
MINIX NEO X8-H TV BOX Amlogic S802-H Android KitKat 4.4 2G/16G 2.4G/5.8G WIFI Bluetoorh 4.0 Dolby DTS UK Plug (MINIX NEO X8H) + Free MINIX NEO M1 2.4G Wireless Air Mouse

5.0 out of 5 stars Televisual Nirvana, 23 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This little box is magic. If you've got fibre broadband, this is your gateway to all the films & telly you'll ever want.

Slightly disappointing that it's only spec'd with USB 2 & 100Mb Ethernet, but these are purely academic niggles and don't affect the end-user experience one bit. The box is a breeze to set up. Hook it in to your network / telly / home cinema gear and it's ready to rock. Here are my suggestions to get the most from it.
- Spend an hour on the forums & root the box with SuperSU (you'll need a USB stick)
- Install the full XBMC (or Kodi as it's now known) rather than the cut-down one which ships on the box (it's configurable where the version which ships on the box isn't)
- Install Genesis video addon into XBMC
- Search for any telly programme or film you can think of, sit back, relax and enjoy.

I've had several of these types of box from various different manufacturers over the years, but his is the first one that's been anywhere close to a true "user" style interface (that is to say it's easily usable from your sofa with a remote) and also stable, reliable, and (with decent broadband) fast enough to stream content at decent watchable quality.

With decent hardware, root, and the user/support base of Android, finally something approaching the promise of streamed telly & audio content is realised with this box.

Buy it. At the price it's an absolute no-brainer given what's on offer with this box.
You do need an airmouse though. The basic remote would make using this box a nightmare - so you might as well buy this deal & get a Minix M1 airmouse thrown in for free. It's fine, does the job perfectly well, and USB charging is a nice touch (no batteries to buy/replace).

Masterplug SRPTU82PB USB Charging Surge Protected 2m Extension Lead Power Centre with 8 Sockets
Masterplug SRPTU82PB USB Charging Surge Protected 2m Extension Lead Power Centre with 8 Sockets
Price: £25.35

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's totally a lifestyle choice., 23 Oct 2014
Bought this product purely because of the last 2 advertising pictures on the page.
Young sexy hip modern couple (probably only recently moved in together and still at it like knives every spare minute) pulling completely natural looking poses for the camera in their young sexy hip modern living room.

"Well hi there everyone! We're cool, stylish, aspirational, and totally just chilling out in our retina-burning white living room, in a perfectly natural, authentic and totally non-contrived way (honest). We're so totally post-modern hip and aspirational, we deliberately stuck an 8 way mains extension cable to the living room wall, right where everyone can see it! Totally amazing, right? At first we had it freestanding on the floor by the TV stand for easy socket access, but we decided it just wasn't visible enough so we made it a permanent feature instead! We love it this way. It totally ties the room together."

Good grief.

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD On-Ear Headphones - Black
Beats by Dr. Dre Solo HD On-Ear Headphones - Black

75 of 98 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe The Hype, 31 Oct 2012
I am on a 25 year (so far) quest for the perfect phones.
I listen to music on the go a lot, several hours a day every day, from the earliest cassette walkman days, through CD & minidisc to the current crop of portable music players. Over that time I have run the gamut of media, players & phones, from cheap & cheerful through the multiplicity of faddy designs attempted over the years, to the high-end pro-quality ridiculously expensive end of the market.

I listen to a vast spectrum of music from many different genres & eras. I value high quality sound & good reproduction, but I do not subscribe to the myth that more expensive = better where equipment is concerned. Consequently, I feel adequately qualified to make a meaningful & impartial judgement on these phones.

They look good, there's no doubt about that. The packaging is impressive, and they seem very robust and well made. They are also very light & comfortable to wear. Not so large & obtrusive that you feel you're walking around with a diving helmet on, but large enough to feel substantial, and cover the ear as they are designed to.
Without owning/using them for a longer period than I'm prepared to do, I can't comment meaningfully on reliability.
If appearances are anything to go by (they aren't) these look very solid, like they would last a long time, and take reasonable punishment in use. As far as appearances go, these are difficult to fault.

Phones are primarily about sound quality though. And I'm afraid on that most important of criteria, these are a big disappointment. I've read lots of reviews on various sites rhapsodizing about how great these phones sound, and I'm afraid I can only assume that these reviewers would not know good sound if it jumped up and bit them. These things are awful. My worst fears were realised. They are massive overblown head-shaking distortion-ridden bass, and nothing else.
Now, I love a fair bit of bass heavy music, and it's not that these things generate too much bass (that I could at least understand, if not live with) . The problem is that there's just nothing else here. Mids are virtually non-existent, and what mids there are are so muddied & muffled it sounds like the musicians are playing in another room, on a different floor elsewhere in the building, with all the intervening doors closed.
Balancing EQ neutral mids in phones is always a crapshoot though. Almost always impossible to predict, so I'll park that one for now. What I cannot understand (or forgive) however is the almost total lack of any top end whatsoever from these phones. Believe me I've tried every different recording & genre I can think of, and have been completely underwhelmed by all of them. Normally, bad or cheap phones will produce too much, or poor quality treble, so to hear none whatsoever in these phones was a big (unwelcome) surprise.

In conclusion, I can only agree with the previous reviewer who took his phones apart to find toy electronics of poor quality. I'm not about to take mine to bits, but that view is certainly borne out by my experience of the sound of these things. It's horrible. They look & feel great, no doubt are worth big cred points on the street with the style over substance brigade, but the sound they produce is laughably poor. There are any number of headphones out there costing a third of the price of these things that simply blow them out of the water sonically.

I have "burned them in" adequately too. Used them daily for a month or so. They loosened up a bit, but it was barely noticeable & they still sounded nothing like as clear, transparent or open as they unquestionably should do at this price point.

It basically boils down to a question of priorities. You can either buy these, or spend 35-40 quid elsewhere & look less cool but enjoy vastly superior sound.

I gave mine away to my teenage nephew & will stick to my £50 Sonys.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 4, 2012 12:52 PM GMT

Western Digital My Book World Edition 1TB Home Network Storage
Western Digital My Book World Edition 1TB Home Network Storage

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly poor product. Caveat emptor., 4 April 2011
If you are looking for a cheap basic NAS (which I was) I would suggest you look elsewhere and avoid this product.
I bought it based on WDs reputation for good hard disks (why do I continually trust their reputation over the wisdom of my own experiences*) and, even when it worked "properly" this device has been one big disappointment.

Sure, it has all of the features the spec says it has, but believe me there are much much better alternatives out there.
I bought this device back in September, installed it all OK, and since then it has remained untouched connected to my network and little used. Where to begin.

First, the GUI. It's horrendous. Fairly straightforward to use, but nightmarishly slow.
Navigating from screen to screen in the GUI to set up shares & permissions etc. Was so slow it was like trying to wade through treacle. Iknow enough about networks to know there is no reason for this other than a shoddy OS implementation on the device.
OK.... fair enough... the shares & permissions config is not something that I'll ever touch again once it's set up (no excuse mind you) so I ploughed through it & eventually got it done. Simple basic setup with a public area & 2 or 3 password controlled private areas for different people to use. Hardly rocket science but it took forever waiting for the damn screen to update (before anyone comments, my network is fine although only 100Mb, the NAS was on a wired connection as was the machine i was running the browser from, which was a fast pretty new laptop).
So, shares finally set up, let's copy some files to the box over the network. Tried with various files of different sizes, and shockingly poor performance. The only way this was even usable was to log into the device via ftp & transfer files that way (less than ideal).
One aspect did work successfully (hence the one star) I was able to plug in a USB drive & see it across the network. Whoopee-doo. I/O performance was still shocking though.
Fast forward to March 2011 and the device has barely been used since first installed. I've bought more USB drives & used those in preference because the NAS is so slow it's useless as anything other than an archive device. I wanted to backup some files from my local HD to the NAS, so looked for the shares... eggtimer as soon as I clicked on the NAS. Odd. Ping it's IP which responded fine, so, OK *sigh* fire up the "lightning quick" GUI for a poke about. No errors, everything seems OK from the GUI, but still no access to network shares (incidentally, I know what I'm doing setting up networks, this is NOT a networking issue, other shared devices all work fine). Out of desperation, I thought well, I've had this thing 6 months now, it probably just needs a reboot, but before I do that, I'll upgrade the firmware. Big mistake. Took forever (although worked successfully according to the GUI), device restarts and... DOES NOT COME BACK UP. It's bricked. By a perfectly legitimate and seemingly error-free firmware upgrade. The device powers on, disk spins up, "partial" white light on the device, but zero network connectivity or access to data. Nice.
Read the manual & WD support forums, tried all of the various reset modes, (holding in the power button for 23.79 seconds while reciting Motorhead lyrics backwards and standing on one leg etc.) all to no avail.

Checked the WD support forum which read like a litany of similar problems.
Posted a support thread to ask for assistance. Just something, anything, to help me get some data back off this thing. Last time I checked some 3 days later, over 100 views and not one single response. Hmm.

Still thinking of this drive? With hindsight I would ask myself the following.
1) NAS drives are intended to be high availability devices. Might it be unwise to buy one which has NO FAN COOLING whatsoever?
2) Might it be unwise to invest a not-insubstantial sum of money in a device with half the number of 1 star reviews as 5 star reviews?
3) Is there likely to be a good reason why WD offer friendly automated process instructions on their website for removal of the HDs from these devices for replacement - so long as you don't mind blowing out your warranty. They also offer a data recovery service (wonder why).
4) Is there a reason the web is awash with bloggers & techie users who have hacked these devices apart, mainly with the aim of junking the stock linux build & rebuilding the device with a better one?

If the answer to any of the above is "yes", do not buy this device. It's low price is surpassed only by it's low quality.

Thankfully, mine is still under warranty, and will be returned to Amazon. I will be doing my best to obtain a refund so that I can purchase an alternative device (a multi-drive enclosure with fans and dockable hard drives... lesson learned). If i am forced into a replacement, then the first thing I'll do is blow the warranty and hack the thing to use Debian for better performance, more features, better power efficiency & improved cooling. There are instructions online. It doesn't look that hard. Better that than losing data all over again.

P.S. Like England managers, everyone has an opinion on the best/worst hard drive manufacturers. Even before this debacle, and going back many years I have always had problems with WD drives. Repeatedly people tell me they are good, repeatedly I listen to them, and repeatedly the drives just fail. I have yet to have a Seagate drive fail on me in over 20 years. Even supposedly "bad" drives like Maxtor I've had very few problems with. For the life of me I don't know what WD's reputation is based on, I have had nothing but trouble with them, even before this NAS.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 20, 2011 9:11 AM BST

Box Canvas Print of Paul Ross
Box Canvas Print of Paul Ross

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Ross Saved My Marriage, 27 Nov 2009
This review is from: Box Canvas Print of Paul Ross
I'm sure many people reading this will be able to sympathise with my recent plight. If you are one of them read on, help is at hand! My wife and I have been married for almost 25 years now. The youngest of our 3 kids left home for university recently which, understandably i suppose, left a huge gaping void in both of our lives. Nothing to live/work for any more, no purpose in life except to watch helpless as the hands of father time tick incessantly onward. Each new morning heralding only the continued slowing-down and gradual loss of mental & physical faculties. Each new day mocking us, as the inevitability of frail decreptitude and eventual death loom larger and larger in the viewfinder of our futile existence.

Nothing to look forward to any more, except the blessed relief (hopefully) of mental infirmity to spare us the cognisance of our physical bodies decline. The humiliation of incapacitation & reliance on nursing care, as we waste away, before ultimately coughing our last in a wing-backed chair in some god forsaken old folks home, with Des O'Connor's greatest hits the soundtrack to our last few agonising breaths.

As I'm sure you can imagine, all this had a slightly negative on the libido. Not mine, obviously, but the wife was quite badly affected. I would even go so far as to suggest, unbelievable as it may sound, she no longer viewed me as a sexual being. Over time this became a big barrier between us. Petty squabbles would escalate through sheer frustration and the need for attention to the point where on one occasion divorce was threatened. I did manage to calm myself down eventually, it took 2 jigsaws, and I realised then something had to be done.

By way of apology, and out of sheer helplessness and desperation, I ordered my wife this print of Paul Ross as a surprise present and it has been nothing short of a revelation. As soon as she unwrapped it I gazed into her eyes, and as the tears fell I saw the years fall away from her face until she was once again the sweet nubile innocent young girl I had won over to my heart with devious guile all those years ago. I could tell we both knew from that moment we were reborn.

The print of Paul now hangs above our marital bed of 25 years. A constant reminder of how low we had sunk, and how despite everything we had found our redemption. Inexplicably Paul's mere presence in our bedroom has re-awakened and intensified my wife's carnal desires to previously unimagined levels. For some reason she now insists upon placing a pillow over my face during our moments of passion, but that seems a small price to pay to be honest.

Thank you Paul Ross and Amazon!

Still Game : Complete BBC Series 1-5 (6 Disc Box Set) [2006] [DVD]
Still Game : Complete BBC Series 1-5 (6 Disc Box Set) [2006] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ford Kiernan
Offered by tastymate
Price: £39.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahm no peyin fer that CurlyWurly..., 10 Aug 2007
Still Game is the funniest show on British television by some distance. That the boys have bantered their way through 6 series, each of an equally high standard tells it's own story.
Sure the show has changed in later series' with more of a role for supporting characters Isa, Tam, Boabby (fae the Clansman) & Shug. But it is still (and will always be) just the backdrop for Jack, Victor, Winston & Navid to set the entire world to rights with their unique brand of wit, social commentary and perennial-schoolboy humour. Winston and Navid in particular are comedy gold, and either one would win my vote for Prime Minister every day of the week.
After years of extolling the virtues of this show to anyone who will listen I've given up, and these days just quietly look forward to 30 minutes of non-stop, laugh-out-loud TV comedy from the top drawer.
Those who remain ignorant of this show are missing an absolute gem. If you like to laugh, you must buy this. Git it UP ye!

Tales From Turnpike House/Up The Wooden Hills EP
Tales From Turnpike House/Up The Wooden Hills EP
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure distilled sunshine..., 22 Feb 2007
Like most reviewers of this band's work, on it's release Fox Base Alpha utterly blew me away. So Tough & Tiger Bay (which is breathtaking by the way, an absolute must-have) confirmed this was no fluke, and that the Saints were truly a force in contemporary British music. A dip in form was inevitable, and for me it came with "Good Humour" in 1998. Since then I retreated into the dreamy, comforting childlike mental-state consistently evoked by Tiger Bay and it's forerunners, and as a fresh creative force the Saints drifted off my radar somewhat.

I bought this on the strength of the previous reviews, and nagging curiosity and wonder at the thought of Saint Etienne making a children's record. What a fresh, original (not to mention enchanting) idea! If I could transmit an attitude, an outlook, a vibe and a vision of the world directly into the mind of a small child it would be that of Saint Etienne at their finest, so to find that they'd thought of this already, and done the hard work for me was astounding...

I won't dissect this piece of work as others have, except to say that my own favourites are Milk Bottle Symphony, A Good Thing (Sarah's delicious velvety vocals oozing over a track as crunchy and crisp as fresh lettuce), Stars Above Us, and the (typical) complete curveball that is "Relocate". Magnificent to hear from David Essex who has the perfect voice for this song. Yet again Stanley & Wiggs read my mind without me knowing it...

This is quite simply a beautiful joyous gem of a record.

Please forgive us for ever doubting you, Saints.

I'd like to extend an open invitation to everyone in the world...

Let's build a zoo! and fill it with animals!

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