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Comical Engineer "comicaleng" (UK)
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Canon Powershot SX160 IS ( 16.6 MP,16 x Optical Zoom,3 -inch LCD ) (discontinued by manufacturer)
Canon Powershot SX160 IS ( 16.6 MP,16 x Optical Zoom,3 -inch LCD ) (discontinued by manufacturer)

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good compact super zoom, 15 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought as a replacement for an earlier Canon that has reached the end of its' life. I spend a lot of time doing site surveys, often taking 50 - 100 shots per day in a variety of weather and lighting conditions. My main requirement was for a camer small enought to fit in a jacket pocket that took 2xAA batteries. You can't stop half way round a site to charge the battery up but you can get AA batteries almost anywhere and I always carry a spare set with me.

Size wise, this is a bit bulky for a trouser pocket (unless you have cargo pants) but is easily small enough to fit in my jacket pocket. That is actually good for me as it is not too fiddly and I have less chance of dropping it. I tend not to use the full resolution so have dropped it down to 8MP for normal use. The super zoom is useful but, like all compact super zooms, you pay for it with some noise and edge effects when using the full 16x.

Plus points:
* Quick to start up
* Takes AA batteries including rechargeables
* Battery life ok
* Easy to use buttons & menus
* Picture quality in good lighting
* Size
* Feels fairly solid
* Manual modes if you want to get more into your photography

Minus points:
* Flash slow to charge
* Have to raise the flash manually
* Noise above ISO 800

I would have liked an optical viewfinder but these are becoming increasingly rare, however, the screen is adequate and you can set up a guide grid to make sure your horizon is level. The Canon operating system is easy to navigate, but the manual is on CD not paper.

Results so far are pretty good and picture quality is adequate for my requirements. If I wish to take "proper" pictures then I use a DSLR. However, for a daily use point and shoot camera this is really very good and does 95% of everything. At the price point of less than a hundred pounds it makes good sense.


Lost Empire: FARGO Adventures #2
Lost Empire: FARGO Adventures #2
by Clive Cussler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thankfully accepted back by the local charity shop, 3 Nov 2014
Dreadful, cliched, with a totally unbelievable plot.Basically, these two just happen to conveniently find useful "artefacts" during their madcap adventures and dive into situations without any plan or preparation, yet there just happens to be the exact item they need to get out of their predicament nearby, and it still works perfectly after several centuries in seawater. Yeah.

I can't believe that Cussler wrote this himself. as for the two central characters ... I am almost at a loss for words. These two are the most politically correct, sickly excuses for humanity ever in a Cussler book. I hated them within the first 100 pages.

To be honest, I can't give you a plot spoiler because I actually didn't finish the book, it was just so horribly bad that it was returned to the charity shop that it came from. Thankfully they accepted it back.


WMA Blue LCD Digital DC 4.5V~30V Panel Detector Volt Meter Voltmeter Tester Monitor
WMA Blue LCD Digital DC 4.5V~30V Panel Detector Volt Meter Voltmeter Tester Monitor
Offered by domire-light
Price: £1.88

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheap but not suitable for all applications, 1 Nov 2014
Really need to be connected to a stabilised power supply. Tried to install them on a model railway transformer but they end up being unreadable as they hunt up and down too much. Also used in a car to give voltage readout where they are ok.


ORIGINAL Logitech Unifying Receiver Replacement Wireless Dongle
ORIGINAL Logitech Unifying Receiver Replacement Wireless Dongle
Offered by JZK Express Network
Price: £7.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Logitech dongle, 1 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It works. It's expensive for what it is. Needed to allow a wireless desk set to work with two PCs. Note that it also works with Linux (Ubuntu derivatives) too. Small and can be easily lost of you're not careful. Range appear to be about 10m. Compatible will all current Logitech products.


Mi-Pac All Stars Rucksack - Blue
Mi-Pac All Stars Rucksack - Blue
Price: £19.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fashion rucksack, 1 Nov 2014
Bought as a school bay for my daughter. Nicely presented with reasonable thickness fabric. Quality seems ok, better than some cheaper bags but nothing special. More or less what you would expect from a fashion rucksack at this price. Note that it is not waterproof so you may need to put a plastic bag inside if it rains.


Images of Industrial and Narrow Gauge Railways - Cornwall
Images of Industrial and Narrow Gauge Railways - Cornwall
by Maurice Dart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.42

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but photo reproduction not the best, 1 Nov 2014
Lots of photos of locomotives and some very interesting locations but little detail about the railways themselves. Could really do with some maps of the various lines to put the photos into better context. As you would expect, quality of the photos is variable but, to be honest, the quality of the printing leaves something to be desired as virtually all of the photos turn out in shades of sludgy grey. Given the price of the book I had expected better quality and more contrast in the pictures.


Fred's Letters: Letters to and from a FEPOW
Fred's Letters: Letters to and from a FEPOW
by Irene Chisnall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.45

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart rending true story of one man's war, 14 Oct 2014
A truly moving book. This details the war as experienced by Fred Ellison, a member of the RAF who was captured in the far East and kept as a POW. The story is told in the form of the letters that were sent between Fred and his family. The author, Irene Chisnall, who transcribed many of the letters, has largely let the text of the letters tell the story and has used a very light touch on the narrative. This is all to the better.

The letters themselves are heart rending when you consider that Fred's family did not know if he was alive or dead from March 1942 until 30 December 1943. Yet the family kept the faith and wriote to Fred every week. Almost impossible to believe in todays electronically connected age.

Fred kept the letters secret from his family until the 1980s at which point the he showed the documents to his neice, Irene Chisnall, who then began the labour of love to transcribe Fred's story and record it for posterity. i must admit a personal connection to the author at this point, nonetheless I can recommend this book without bias or reservation as it is one of the most moving books that I have ever read.

There is a short section at the end detailing what happened after the war but I will not spoil the ending.


Microsoft Office 365 Personal - 1 User - 1 Year Subscription (PC/Mac)
Microsoft Office 365 Personal - 1 User - 1 Year Subscription (PC/Mac)
Price: £48.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor effort - this is a 1 year license only, 4 Oct 2014
Beware! You are buying a one year subscription to this software, not a perpetual license. On day 366 after activation it will cease to work unless you buy another subscription! You can buy a copy outright but note that this is prohibitively expensive. MS want you to buy the subscription in order to tie you in to the product.

The software itself is a huge chunk of code. Again, beware if you buy the download it is in the order of 400MB which will (a) take some time unless you have a high speed connection and (b) eat up your monthly allowance if you have a capped contract. You will then have to install, but it will also install the bits you didn't buy, so, if you got home and student which does not include Outlook or Publisher, it will install those anyway even though you won't be able to use them without an additional subscription / upgrade.

Using it: Well, the new ALL CAPS interface is pretty naff. I do so like my software to shout at me -- a bit like grandad has left Caps Lock switched on. Oh dear! That is not the only dodgy part, the interface is now grey on grey with a grey background or blinding white. So eye strain either way. There is no blue or black option any more. Why??? The main option here is that you can have larger icons for touch screens but this is still pretty clunky and there is no option to return to the classic menu interface so you're stuck with the clumsy, space hogging ribbon and the awkward customisation options. Another shot in the foot.

The apps: Excel is pretty much as ever. Forget the joke auto-fill "cool" feature -- it's useless and will fill your column or row with garbage. Otherwise is pretty much same as 2010.

Word has gone backwards. Dragging and dropping a picture into a doc now means that the picture ends up in some random location instead of where you wanted it. Brilliant - not. MS have broken something that previously worked perfectly.

Outlook: Don't go there, don't use it! Unreliable, screwy, and has synchronisation issues. You also can't import some older types of file except as CSV format. Outlook can stop you PC working as it's tentacles extend into Word and Excel and if it can't find what it wants is will bring the machine to a halt! It also hangs, freezes, corrups the PST file etc etc.

Thankfully, Powerpoint hasn't changed much and Onenote is slightly improved.

Another beware, make sure you get the version you need. Home & student versions miss out on outlook and Publisher and only Professional gets Access.

In summary: Bloated, annoying interface, clumsy customisation, too many bugs especially in Outlook -- means that I can no longer recommend MS Office unless you absolutely must have it for collaborative working. As a personal user only, I would strongly recommend avoiding Office and going for one of the free office suites. I currently prefer Libre Office or Open Office,, but Kingsoft office works quite well too. If you want a paid version go for WordPerfect Office or Corel.


Gigabyte GB-XM14 Brix Ultra Compact Bare PC Kit (Intel Celeron 1037U, mSATA, WiFi, HDMI, Mini DP, USB 3.0, Integrated Graphics, VESA Mount Bracket) (NO Memory or Storage)
Gigabyte GB-XM14 Brix Ultra Compact Bare PC Kit (Intel Celeron 1037U, mSATA, WiFi, HDMI, Mini DP, USB 3.0, Integrated Graphics, VESA Mount Bracket) (NO Memory or Storage)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Once you do have it up and running it is fine. Quiet in operation and unobtrusive, 14 Sep 2014
This is a "bare bones" PC and you will have to add memory and storage and an operating system before you can use it. By the time you have added these items you will be up around the price of a PC you can buy ready made off the shelf and with Windows installed. We added 4GB of RAM and a 250GB SSD plus you will need a keyboard & mouse and a monitor.

The Celeron installed is capable of streaming video and using as a media centre if that is what you want. The user I got this for wanted a compact office PC for installation in a small space. It will play simple games but is not a gaming machine by any stretch.

Disappointingly there is no way to attach this to the back of the monitor using VESA fittings so it has to sit flat. Secondly, beware that Win8 drivers have issues with the graphics chip installed. I installed an OEM version of Win7 32 bit which works perfectly and the user preferred Win 7 anyway. USB 2 only installed on the one we received so beware if speed is critical. No wifi, you will need a card or wifi dongle. Again not a problem for us as we have hard wired it to a network.

Once you do have it up and running it is fine. Quiet in operation and unobtrusive. Does all office tasks fine.


iPad Mini Neoprene Case / Sleeve / Pouch / Skin By Shocksock - Red
iPad Mini Neoprene Case / Sleeve / Pouch / Skin By Shocksock - Red
Offered by ClickJunkie
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Padded sock, 10 Sep 2014
Fits my iPad mini plus Logitech keyboard with no bother. Good protection against scratches but it's a floppy case and will not give total protection to an iPad screen if dropped on a hard ridged surface e.g. corner of a table. Does provide good protection against scratching and is attractive. On the down side can get dirty due to the porous neoprene surface.


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