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J. Page "J Page" (UK)

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Apple iPod - 30GB - Black [video playback] MA146B/A (discontinued by manufacturer)
Apple iPod - 30GB - Black [video playback] MA146B/A (discontinued by manufacturer)

127 of 132 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good device but not perfect!, 23 Feb 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had been putting off buying an ipod for many years for two main reasons: the battery was reputedly poor compared with Creative products and the ipod is so ubiquitous that I wanted something a little different. With the release of the 5G 30Gb Video ipod I could no longer continue to ignore the fact that my Creative Zen Touch was looking more and more brick-like. Also, all of Creative's recent offerings have compromised on battery life in favour of form factor so they are losing their competitive advantage in terms of battery performance. After much research and deliberation I succumbed and bought the ipod.

First impressions? The box that it came in was much smaller than I expected but given that no AC adaptor is included it should be small (a tenner extra for a generic charger by the way). The ipod looks truly stunning when taken out of the box but with minimal handling it starts to get really smudgy which is very obvious on the black surface. For that reason alone I would go for the white version instead. Is the back surface as prone to scratching as reported? Definitely! Even in the supplied case mine was getting marked. Speaking of which, the "case" that Apple supply is a complete joke so you will have to fork out and get something better (I got an iSkin evo3 - another 20 quid). I have a set of Sony Fontopias so didn't even open the supplied earbuds so can't comment on those.
My main concern about the ipod was the battery life so I decided to stress test the battery. Some people are reporting less than 4 hours playback on a full charge in reviews and forums. With the backlight off I was getting in excess of 12 hours easily. Beware though, the backlight really eats up the battery so for maximum battery life set the backlight either to "off"or 2 seconds. In normal daylight the screen is still totally readable with the backlight off. The ipod sounds great through the Fontopias but I found that most EQ settings tended to distort some part of the audio spectrum so decided to leave it turned off completely for the best sound quality. Video playback looks great but with such limited battery life it is gimmicky and does not make this a proper multimedia machine. The click wheel definitely lives up to the hype though. It is easy to use and very intuitive. Similarly, the iTunes software is way ahead of anything that I have used from any of Apple's rivals. Its brilliance is in its simplicity and ease of use. I now use playlists (thanks to the smart playlist functionality) and subscribe to podcasts which was always a bit of a nuisance with other devices that I have used. Importing tracks and burning are also very straightforward. 10/10 for both the software and hardware interfaces (I now understand why these things are so popular).
I am pleased that I made this purchase. It is a great sounding device with plenty of storage, a superb interface and excellent software. The battery life is OK and nowhere near as bad as some of the forums suggest. The black surface attracts smudges and scratches as does the polished metal back so in order to keep it looking beautiful you have to permanently hide it from view in a well fitting case so if you are buying this for looks alone think again. Lack of AC adaptor is a pain because for me it is a must have for such a device. I would love to have given this 5 stars but the poor case, no charger and its susceptibility to scratching and smudging loses it a star.

Keep the Aspidistra Flying (Penguin Modern Classics)
Keep the Aspidistra Flying (Penguin Modern Classics)
by George Orwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, bleak book, 19 Feb 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nobody does “bleak” better than Orwell! This sounds strikingly like one of the many advertising slogans that continually grate our main character Gordon Comstock. The slogans represent to Comstock all that is wrong in the “money-god” driven society that is his constant preoccupation. Ironically, his only potential escape from his life of poverty is to go back to work as a copywriter producing the ads that have become so symbolic of all society’s ills. Gordon is a struggling poet who puts money, or lack of it, at the heart of every single problem in his life. All of his anger and frustration is directed outwards onto the few people who care for his welfare both as a writer and a human being. This is a classic Orwellian journey that contains all of the foreboding of “1984” along with the poverty and bleakness of “Down and Out in Paris and London”.
Some reviewers have mentioned that Orwell disowned this novel but the reason for this was that the publishers demanded re-writes of the advertising slogans, among other things, in fear of litigation. Given that the novel had already been typeset it meant that the text had to be replaced with text containing exactly the same number of letters. Consequently, the first chapter became something of a mess and because this sets the scene for the entire novel Orwell was obviously outraged at the changes. Luckily the details of many of the changes were recorded and where possible this publication has restored the original text.
One can’t read “Aspidistra” without reflecting that it was written in a Europe that was on the brink of war. This despair comes across beautifully in Gordon’s character and in Orwell’s descriptions of London during the period. This is a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely urge you to read it.

Bob's Big Story Collection (Bob the Builder)
Bob's Big Story Collection (Bob the Builder)
by Bob's Big Story Collection Edition: First
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, 6 Feb 2006
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This is a really good collection of Bob stories and is perfect for bedtime. The index lists stories as being either short or long and there are lots of them. My 3 year old loves this book and there are enough stories in here to keep his insatiable appetite satisfied. This book is very good value for money.

Professional "S" 8 Piece Knife Set in Knife Block
Professional "S" 8 Piece Knife Set in Knife Block
Offered by yukkoo
Price: £236.95

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharp and well balanced., 6 Feb 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Although not cheap for a set of household kitchen knives I would still recommend these because if looked after properly they will last you for years. The knives feel comfortably solid and well balanced in the hand and really are sharp. Furthermore, they maintain their sharpness really well. I’m happy with this purchase and wouldn’t hesitate recommending them. One minor gripe is that after only a few weeks the Henckels sticker is coming off one of the knives but this is too minor to even cost it a star.

Viking 512MB USB 2.0 Flash Drive
Viking 512MB USB 2.0 Flash Drive

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well built and well priced, 27 Oct 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the PNY 512Mb version of this drive about 5 months ago but it subsequently stopped working. With Amazon's excellent customer service I returned it and bought one of these instead.It is good value and I'm happy with the build quality which is all that really separates different brands.

The Machinist [DVD] [2004]
The Machinist [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Christian Bale
Offered by qualityfilmsfromuk
Price: £9.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark, disturbing, yet amazing film!, 20 Aug 2005
This review is from: The Machinist [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
If you want to feel what it is like to be inside a slowly unravelling mind then you should watch this film. Christian Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a machinist who has not slept for a year. Apparently Bale lost around 60 pounds to get into character and his emaciated figure on screen is truly disturbing. We are unable throughout the film to distinguish reality from the product of Reznik's sleep deprived mind and this gives a sense of disorientation that is genuinely unnerving. Bale's performance is amazing and he really manages to capture the viewer in his world and, to be honest, it's not a very nice place to be, but the fact that he achieves it is testament to his ability as an actor. This film is probably not for everyone but it I would still recommend it because it contains some truly stunning acting and it is superbly directed.

Million Dollar Baby [DVD] [2005]
Million Dollar Baby [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Hilary Swank
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Female Rocky??? NO!! Much better., 10 Aug 2005
OK....I admit it. I expected a movie that had all the action of Rocky but from a female pugilist point of view. That was the way the first quarter of the movie developed and I felt vindicated albeit a tiny bit bored. But!! I couldn't possibly tell you the plot!! You will have to watch it for yourselves. All I can say is that the film deepens with every minute of running time and is simply a really good story beautifully directed by Clint Eastwood. My only criticism is that all the fighter's Irish fans looked like actors who hadn't worked since The Quiet Man, but that's Hollywood for you, and a very minor criticism. What I liked about it is that it bucks the Hollywood plot trend in many different ways and doesn't resolve the narrative in the mind numbing way that most films do. Watch this. It is a moving story that is well directed and well acted. You can't ask for more.

Palm Tungsten E2
Palm Tungsten E2
Offered by pdarepair
Price: £169.00

166 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a winner!!, 7 Aug 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Palm Tungsten E2 (Office Product)
My first PDA was a Palm Vx a few years ago and I loved the simplicity and usability of it. Last year I decided to upgrade it to an iPaq which I subsequently sold because it was rarely used and the battery life was poor, I checked on Amazon a few weeks ago and spotted the E2 and the main thing that I liked about it was that it uses non-volatile memory i.e. if the battery is depleted you don't lose your data. This, though, is one of many great features of the E2 and for the price I decided it was very good value and bought one. It was only when I started using it I realized just how good the Palm OS and software really is. It is really nice to use and I wouldn't hesitate recommending it. You can even view and edit MS Office files on it so it has most, if not all, if the features that it's more expensive counterparts have but at a fraction of the price. Lastly, the battery life is fantastic. Although I am not a heavy user I have only had to charge it twice in the month that I have owned it. This is a winner. You won't be disappointed,

Maxtor Personal Storage Onetouch 250Gb 8Mb 7200Rpm Usb2/Firewire
Maxtor Personal Storage Onetouch 250Gb 8Mb 7200Rpm Usb2/Firewire

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 26 July 2004
Maxtor have produced a winner with this drive. Gb/£ it is one of the most cost effective storage solutions out there. But this is no clunky tape backup. Instead what you get is an attractive, minimalist design with tons of storage space. The brushed aluminium case contains a fast and extremely quiet hard drive that connects to your computer using either USB or Firewire (they supply you with both cables). The set up is a cinch and I really cannot find a single fault with this unit. On top of all that Maxtor provide something that I haven't seen in many years...a printed manual. I would give this device more than 10 stars if I could.

Nikon D70 Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer)
Nikon D70 Digital SLR Camera Body Only (discontinued by manufacturer)

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!, 29 April 2004
I won't harp on about the spec of this camera because you can read aboutit already on this page. In a nutshell though this is a top-notch piece ofkit! This is my first foray into the digital SLR market having used myhumble F601 for the last 10 years. Like many I have been waiting fordigital SLRs to become more affordable and I believe Nikon will crack themarket wide open with the D70. Although one would assume that the D100(using the usual model naming conventions) is a superior camera to theD70, in my opinion the D70 is not only cheaper, but it is also better. Theonly benefit that the D100 seems to have is its metal body. Even so, thebuild quality of the D70 is still very good and it feels perfectly robustin the hand. In fact, there are many features of the D70 that make it amuch better choice than its higher priced relative - particularly USB 2.0and far superior internal buffering of JPG shots when shooting incontinuous mode.
My only complaint about this camera is the field of view cropping thatoccurs. The field of view of any lens used with the D70 is 1.5 times thefocal length, so a 50mm lens has the equivalent FOV of a 75mm lens. Forwide-angle lovers this can be a problem. My 28mm lens no longer gives methat wonderful expanse that it used to which is why I opted for the18-70mm lens kit that comes with this camera (which is excellent,incidentally). This is not a fault of Nikon though as there are very fewfull frame CCD SLR cameras on the market and these are very expensiveitems.
For those 'pixelmaniacs' among you, 6.1MP is more than enough - theresolution is simply amazing. Also, the image processing in this camera(which is much more important than the pixel resolution in my opinion) isoutstanding. The winning feature for me though is the ability to shoot inRAW format i.e. taking the data straight from the CCD completelyuncompressed. This is essentially a digital negative and it opens up awhole new range of possibilities when used with the supplied software,although beware that the file sizes for this format are usually between 5and 6Mb. The battery life is also impressive. I've shot off a couple ofhundred shots and the battery indicator still shows full.
If you can treat yourself to a digital SLR I would recommend this one.Although not cheap I think that it is definitely good value for money andwins hands down when compared with other digital SLRs in the same pricebracket.

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