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R. G. Kirby "in the ama-zone" (UK)

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Observer's Aircraft 1992-93 (Observer's Pocket)
Observer's Aircraft 1992-93 (Observer's Pocket)
by William Green
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Edition/Latest Addition, 20 Feb. 2012
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For the past 23 years, I've had most of the Observer's Aircraft series stored in my bookcase. The 'latest' edition until now had been the 91\92 edition, and despite access to Wikipedia and other sites, was my most reached for reference book on the subject.

Having gaps to fill both before and after this book piqued my interest in finding its predecessor, and in this case, its successor. The format is consistent in its information and entertainment for facts and figures along with interesting and possibly rare photographs and of course the famous profile, plan and frontal views of the aircraft (excluding helicopters which just pictures and are referenced at the back.) After 20 years and not having this edition, I was both pleased with its familiar format and delighted with seeing the odd plane I had never even heard of among the well known favorites: F15 Strike Eagle and F16 Fighting Falcon for example are still titled under their orignal manufacturers of McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics respectively before Boeing effectively swallowed up both makes.

The early nineties editions in general are accurate in reflecting the changing political and military situation after the Cold War: The Soviet Union now gets referred to as Commonwealth Of Independent States (Russia,) and Germany is now recorded as unified. Early models of competing Typhoon and Rafale are followed up on and regional variants of the same plane are sometimes shown if a model is made in sufficient numbers for another country, under licence; eg Embraer Tucano (Brazil) is also listed as Shorts Tucano (UK) with details of differences in specification. Experimental aircraft appear as well as short lived ventures like the Beechcraft Starship pusher-prop executive transport.

William Green had been adept at bringing this informative pocket encyclopedia to us for forty editions at the time of this book, with the black illustrations by Dennis Punnett that I've come to appreciate now, more than ever in this era of non critical user comment/opinion on web forums.

Amazon has been the best place for building (and hopefully completing) my collection at very good prices for used books in very good condition. The Amazon seller who supplied this edition also supplied the 89/90 book; both are superbly well preserved reading books that complement my eighties collection.

Pilotwings 64 (N64)
Pilotwings 64 (N64)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On A Pilotwing And A Prayer, 12 Jun. 2006
This review is from: Pilotwings 64 (N64) (Video Game)
One of three games purchased with my then new U64 back in late 1997, Pilotwings has become an integral part of my gaming enjoyment on this platform.

Pilotwings has an encouraging playability and freedom to move and explore almost anywhere on the following islands: Holiday, Crescent, Everfrost and Little States (only about 3 virtual Km from Seattle to Florida!)

A choice of 6 characters helps to negotiate different tasks and courses: Kiwi and Lark are the two little guys (girl and boy anyway); Goose and Ibis are the tall guy and gal respectively with their long slender frames, while Hawk and Robin are the sturdy Dude and Lady pair. Each physically matched pair has different qualities to the others: eg Lark/Kiwi are light for time to altitude tasks, while Hawk/Robin can descend quickly in a dive more controllably. This leaves the long legged pair able to touchdown on relay pads with the minimum of time loss.

The flying contraptions they use include jetpacks, gyrocopters and hangliders. Each character has their own colours/insignia on whatever they fly.

Extra games unfurl as progression through the Academy is maintained. These include human canonball, aiming characters at a distant target; jumblehopping, using spring boots to leap huge distances to a finish zone; parachuting from 3000m with the team, and a freeflight with characters just free to fly and land indefinitely using wings unless you crash them! Stars

can be found in some of the main games whereby touching them allows a freeflight break from the task.

In all: graphics are beautiful; gameplay is enchanting and the music is sublime, ranging from funky keyboard to wistful woodwind.

An emotionally nourishing adventure game from a trusted gaming brand.

Samsung D600 - Orange -Pay As You Go Mobile Phone
Samsung D600 - Orange -Pay As You Go Mobile Phone

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Phone For Contract, 20 May 2006
For a non 3G phone, this is possibly the zenith of sensible design, top end features, performance and value.

I orignally intented to go back on contract with a Motorolla SLVR, but baulked at the tarriff I had to go on to get it free. However, when I looked at the D600 in the Vodafone store, I became enamoured with its 2 megapixel camera, sliding key pad, bluetooth and mp3 player amoungst other features. At £30 a month for 200 mins anytime with 250 texts included, I feel this was the phone to make use of them.

At little over 100g, it's not much heavier than my old Siemens S55, which in itself was quite a performer with Bluetooth and infrared (it was one of the first true colour mobiles back at the end of 2002.) The screen is sharp and clear in its display and reveals an easy to navigate menu, making full use of the central cursor pad. The pop up menus and status pages are clear and helpful in making my way round the phone.

Since I'm new to mp3s, I wasn't sure what to expect: however, I soon found the menu self explanatory and even found hooking up the phone to my laptop with the usb cable a simple process. Once connected, I enjoyed using the Samung PC Studio 3 software to manage my phone and move music tracks and photos to and from phone and laptop. I even enjoyed typing text messages on the laptop and sending them off through to the phone. It turns out that I have to close the messages window and open it again only when my phone receives a new mesage in order to update the list, but that's a minor niggle.

In all, this is the most sophisticated phone I've owned to date, beating a Motorolla 3G flip phone (980, I think,) although I still have that S55 as a Bluetooth buddy for the Samsung. I'm sure this phone will keep me occupied with its entertaining features for the next 18 months!

Mario Kart: Double Dash! (GameCube)
Mario Kart: Double Dash! (GameCube)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopes Dashed, 9 Oct. 2004
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As an owner of the SNES, 64 and GameCube, I have over the last 10 years enjoyed the playablity of Mario Kart in 3 of its formats. Double Dash is a world of brilliant colours and delightful racing environments but has become easier to play for the casual game player. For the veteran however, it does not demand the skill required by the SNES version, which still holds up for visuals and challengeable playability. That said, the gameplay is enhanced by the built-in rumble packs on the controllers and is now playable for all skill levels. Time trials on Yoshi's Island are thoroughly demanding and absorbing.

A Devil's Chaplain: Selected Writings
A Devil's Chaplain: Selected Writings
by Prof Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Afraid Of The Truth, 9 Oct. 2004
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The Slayer of woolly thinking and irrational belief systems, shows us that despite the apparrent acutuality of life and its process of derivation, humanity need not sink into despair when faced with uncomfortable truths, that, though subject to rigourous analysis and logical argument, stand up to attack by those not comfortable with their implications. An inspiring book for the interested lay reader of science and biology in particular.

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