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Mr. K. P. Rogers "rogers_kp" (London, UK)
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Tacwise A54 Heavy Duty Hammer Tacker
Tacwise A54 Heavy Duty Hammer Tacker
Price: £33.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful to have around the house, 21 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As others have said, I didn't realise I needed one of these until I got hold of it. Now I can barely put it down. It really is easy to use and swing into action with it.

I've used it to secure my shed's roof's covering, fix carpet down, and taken it to friends' houses to show them. It's a very well-made (sturdy, strong, clearly built to last) piec of kit.

The packaging was minimal, which is absolutely fair enough (I'm all for that sort of thing).

Tackwise is clearly tying to bridge the market between professional and amateur DIY-er, and this device goes a long way to do that; it feels like something a pro. would use. Well done!


Nicky Clarke Diamond Shine Pro Salon Dryer
Nicky Clarke Diamond Shine Pro Salon Dryer
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Delighted with the results, 12 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This dryer has been somewhat of a revelation, and goes to prove that things with named stars attached, and items that are perhaps a bit more expensive than others, really are worth it. This is a substantial dryer, which has a good length cord. Its weight lends credence to the idea that this is a solidly, well-built item, a serious dryer.

The results are excellent. It's not too loud (it is noisy, obviously) and it dries hair very well indeed. My mother has had reason to use this a lot as well, and she is delighted by the results, saying it's the best dryer that she has used in a long time. The attachments allow for excellent styling options, too.

This is an excellent piece of bedroom kit, much better than cheaper competitors' similar products.


AEG KM4000 UltraMix Kitchen Machine, Watermelon Red
AEG KM4000 UltraMix Kitchen Machine, Watermelon Red
Price: £289.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect kitched addition, 19 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a serious, and seriously good-looking, piece of kit.

Firstly, the build quality is superb: it is sturdy, clearly hard-wearing -- designed for use in a kitchen where the chef is not afraid to experiment and let the thing get bashed about a bit, exactly as it should be. Its retro-look makes it very stylish.

The motor on this is terrific. I have used it to knead some seriously thick dough (rye and the like) without any hint of the motor not liking it! (Some machines really do struggle with this sort of thing). Of course, it has a dough hook included. I have also managed to whisk-up very successfully meringue.

These things are designed to make life easier. The ingredients can just be thrown in and it does the work. It doesn't go bouncing around the work surface, either. The ten-speed settings are ideal for all sorts of the stages that go with preparation. The two bowls provided are different sizes, so that allows for preparations on different scales.

I can't really comment on the price because I don't know how useful cheaper models (whether AEG's or competitors' versions), but if you reckon that with price comes quality, then this is definitely true of this. Oh, and the Machine is beautiful. It has already become a talking point in my kitchen. I cannot fault it.


White Magic: The Age of Paper
White Magic: The Age of Paper
by Lothar Müller
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More academic than entertaining or generally informative, 17 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was at first intrigued by the title and subject of this book -- paper -- and then as I read it I began to marvel at the processes and time involved in making this most universal and ubiquitous form of communication.

The book is essentially a history of paper, and is divided into three parts:
1. the spread of paper from Arabia to Europe, and techniques used in paper manufacture;
2. typography, and uses of paper in novels and its effect on communication pre-twentieth century;
3. newspapers, twentieth-century print, letters.
An epilogue looks at the future role of paper in the 'digital era'.

The book is black-and-white printed, with many in-text pictures and illustrations.

Lothar Müller's book was published in German in 2012, and is here translated by Jessica Spengler, published for the first time in English by 'polity'.

This book isn't really aimed at the general audience who might be interested in history. It is quite academic in its tone, aimed more at the history or anthropology student. I found it quite tough reading in places, although a lot of it is very interesting. The opening line sets the tone: "Paper is a protean substance". Simpler language could be used. [Protean means that it can frequently change easily.]

For the academic, this is a great source. The book is littered with references that the academic can follow-up -- useful indeed.


Epson Runsense SF-510F GPS Sports Monitor Smart Watch with Stride Sensor function
Epson Runsense SF-510F GPS Sports Monitor Smart Watch with Stride Sensor function
Offered by Box Limited
Price: £175.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious, useful Sports Watch, if slightly dated in use and appearance, 17 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a rather serious piece of kit, and is also very confusing to use, rather non-intuitive. That is a product of the fact that it has a lot of terrific functionality, so there is a trade-off with ease-of-use and packing-in a lot of tools.

In the pack is the watch, a basic instruction guide, and the charging cradle. I downloaded and printed the 300-plus pages of the complete instruction manual (one for the watch, another for the smart-phone app) so as try and understand as much as possible.

First set-up required you to input height, weight, age, and then it attempts to set the time. Do this out doors as it gets the time etc from GPS. I neglected to do this first time, and spent AGES trying to work out how to re-do the time setting. This watch is not easy to use. In fact, I still cannot find a way to correct the time manually, but I did manage to correct it using the method as per the start-up.

Uploading data about your runs and walks is easy: download the software, run it, insert the watch into the cradle, and then see the data appear on the screen, and analyse it there.

The display is rather basic, in that it is low resolution, and rather blocky. I suspect that this kind of watch will be obsolete come the new Apple Watch, and similar devices.


Zyliss Acid Etched Rotary Fine and Coarse Drum Grater
Zyliss Acid Etched Rotary Fine and Coarse Drum Grater
Price: £21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A great grater!, 17 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have used Rotary Graters before, and they can be quite difficult. The one I used to have had just one 'setting', and getting purchase on it so as to grate cheese satisfactorily was a strain on one's hands.

Not so this one! It is very comfortable to use, and the two drums, which allow for Fine or Coarse cheese, are exactly what are needed. They clip into place securely without any hint of coming loose.

I suppose this is nothing new in terms of what it seeks to do, but it does it very well, and it looks quite nice, too. A great grater!


NOCO Genius Boost UltraSafe GB30 Jump Starter 12 V Lithium
NOCO Genius Boost UltraSafe GB30 Jump Starter 12 V Lithium
Price: £93.95

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, superb, essential, 14 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is unbelievably excellent. I use an 30-year-old 3-series BMW whose battery is rather old. This morning, I went to start it and the battery was completely dead. I connected this jump-starter, and got it going immediately. I then needed it again later in the day as the car decided against starting, and then again. So that was three starts, and the indicator said it still had more than 75 per cent charge.

It delivers an amazing 12V at 400 amps! And, it can be used to charge smartphones and iPads via a standard USB output.

Charging is easy: it uses a USB input, and in the box was a USB adapter for a car's cigar lighter.

All in all, this is fantastic. It's so light and compact. I am amazed. It really works very well.

UPDATE:
I am very disappointed to read that others have not found this as successful as I have. I can only reiterate that this worked for me really well on a full charge on three occasions on the same day to jumpstart my 30-year-old, and much loved!, 3 series BMW, which has, I'm sure, it's original battery. It worked for me. Clearly something is wrong if it's not working for other people.


Wahoo Fitness TICKR Run Running Motion and Heart Rate Sensor for iPhone and Android
Wahoo Fitness TICKR Run Running Motion and Heart Rate Sensor for iPhone and Android
Price: £54.39

4.0 out of 5 stars A useful piece of kit for a fitness and running enthusiast, 6 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I use this more as a curiosity, to see what sort of exercise I do, and that I was curious about what my average week is like in terms of exercise and keeping generally fit. The products description here gives a fairly comprehensive view of what this does, so it's sufficient to say that it meets these descriptions of its functions.

The connexion to the phone is a bit temperamental, and can be a bit draining on the battery, but that is a problem in general (I use an iPhone 6). Also, it tracks the route that you have taken, which is a neat way to see where you've been running, especially if you go off the beaten track.

But, the main point is that it's fairly intelligent. It tells me the most optimum way to run depending on the route, using the location to select the best routes, and what the route might well do for me.

For the fitness enthusiast I think this is really useful piece of kit. A nice present for the Xmas stocking.


The Chemistry of Beer: The Science in the Suds
The Chemistry of Beer: The Science in the Suds
by Roger Barth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for Chemistry students from A-level and beyond, 3 Dec. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I write this as a beer lover and as someone who holds a degree in chemistry.

Roger Barth is a chemistry lecturer who teaches a course on Chemistry of Beer at his university. I think it's a great way to teach a subject: pick a topic and then try and explain as much as you can about it. So for beer we have things like foaming, colour, taste, conversion of sugar into ethanol, solubility, isomerism... Some of this sounds basic, but the book goes into areas that would be familiar in an undergraduate courses. Also, this is good for A-level, too. The end-of-chapter questions are very accessible to A-level students of chemistry (I teach Chemistry at a UK school).

I think it's a great book. True, this is most definitely not for your passing enthusiast, who won't understand the vast majority of the book that is advanced chemistry.

It is a great book, eminently readable. I love it. And I recommend it to any students of chemistry. Chemistry is cool.


Hoover Blaze Upright Vacuum Cleaner, 3 Litre, 700 Watt - Black and Blue
Hoover Blaze Upright Vacuum Cleaner, 3 Litre, 700 Watt - Black and Blue
Price: £85.76

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good Hoover, 24 Nov. 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am delighted with this vacuum cleaner. It is smaller than I expected, but that is fine, and so it is ideal for a small home. The suction is excellent, and it certainly out performed what was my previous – higher wattage – cleaner.

In terms of assembly all one has to do is attach the handle and then fix the other attachments onto their respective slots – a very easy thing to accomplish.

The vacuum machine is light and not as noisy as some, so I think it is great.


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