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david (Devon)

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Uni Clipturn 3 in 1 Pen
Uni Clipturn 3 in 1 Pen
Price: £7.91

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed at all, 18 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had only had this pen for about a month before it broke, but to be honest it wasn't that great in the first place. As previous reviewers have said the nib is quite fine, too fine for me as it happens, but more importantly it didn't write particularly nicely anyway. Also, the mechanism allowing you to change between nibs is very vague, and requires care to make sure that the nib is properly retracted, and I was always worried to was going to "un-retract", or whatever the proper term is, in my pocket. Finally, what is with that crazy bulbous shape? I thought it might turn out to be ergonomical and that it would grow on me, but no, it's just stupid.

As I said it broke quite quickly as well. The mechanism jammed with one nib half out, so I was happy to have a reason to return it.


Rotring Tikky Trio Multi Function Pen Black Barrel (Black/Red Ball Point & 0.5mm Auto Pencil)
Rotring Tikky Trio Multi Function Pen Black Barrel (Black/Red Ball Point & 0.5mm Auto Pencil)

2.0 out of 5 stars Not great really, 26 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I used to love Rotring stuff when I was at school, and thought this would be of a similar high quality. However, the black ball point pen is a real pain to use. It never writes first time, needing a little scribble to get going virtually every time, and even when it does get going feels pretty "heavy". The nib is also a little loose, giving it an annoying wobble. Bizarrely though, the red pen writes beautifully. Unfortunately though I'm not mad or a teacher, so can't write in red ink all the time.

It's also worth mentioning that each nib is deployed in the normal way by pressing the button on the end, but are retracted by pressing a little button on the side. This is not at all obvious and also isn't mentioned on the packaging anywhere. It seems like an odd system, but works OK, although you do have to press the little button pretty hard.

UPDATE

I've had this pen for a few months now, and have discovered a few more little niggles. Firstly the top of the pencil has unscrewed itself a few times and become lodged in the pen, meaning I have to take the pen apart and re-assemble it before I can use it again. Secondly, the little marks on the barrel that let you know which pen/pencil you're about to deploy have rubbed off, meaning you have guess which nib you're about to get.

For these reasons I've deducted a star. In fact I've just accidentally left the pen somewhere at work, and I'm not going to bother looking for it....


Olympus Mju series Sports Neoprene Case for TG-310
Olympus Mju series Sports Neoprene Case for TG-310
Price: £7.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected, 13 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wanted a case for my Olympus tough camera that I could wear in the water, particularly whilst surfing, and this was the only one I could find that seemed suitable. I was initially very dubious about it; I didn't think the magnet closure would be strong enough to stay closed, I was worried that it didn't have any drainage holes, and I thought the neoprene would just keep everything wet. However, now that I've had the case for a while I think it's absolutely brilliant, and in fact I've bought a second one after I lost the first one. The magnet closure actually works really well- it allows you to open the case easily quickly drop the camera into it without any fuss, and then closes itself instantly and pretty securely, which is brilliant when doing something active that means you need to get the camera away quickly. So far the camera hasn't come out despite me being bounced along the sea bed many times. Also, it doesn't seem to collect water, and manages to drain pretty quickly. It comes with a wrist strap, an arm strap and bungee thing which gives you a variety of options for attaching it to yourself, which seems to cover most situations. If I had to complain though I'd say that the arm strap is too long, but then I do have quite puny arms...


World Press Photo 10
World Press Photo 10
by Kari Lundelin
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only for those with a strong stomach, 23 Aug 2010
This review is from: World Press Photo 10 (Paperback)
I have been collecting these excellent books on and off for a few years now, and like previous years have been utterly captivated by the stunningly powerful images. Like previous editions it is an excellent summary of the years events, with the stark images often managing to add a fresh perspective to familiar events. However I agree with one of the other reviewers that this year's edition seems significantly gorier and just plain bleaker than previously (this is why I've deducted a star). Maybe this just reflects the state of the world today, or maybe the strongest submissions just happened to be the most blood thirsty- who knows. In any case, the portfolios are all excellent, and never feel sensational or exploitative, but just portray the sometimes horrific events of the modern world, albeit in a pretty unblinking sort of a way. However this doesn't detract from what is a very powerful collection of photos, although probably won't be appreciated by those of a sensitive disposition.


Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
by Guy Delisle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.74

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars required reading for everyone, 27 May 2010
I can't remember how I came across this book, but like the previous reviewers I'm very glad I did. The sparce cartoon style suits the subject matter perfectly. The author is able to convey the sense of an eerie, oppressive atmosphere brilliantly in just a few frames, where I'm sure a whole page of text would not be nearly as effective. Delisle apparently tried to record each day's events in cartoon form (no doubt as a way to kill the boredom), and it's details of the dull minutiae and insane bureaucracy of everyday life as a foreigner in North Korea, unable to travel freely, or do anything really, that makes this book so engaging. I started off dipping into it at random, and then read it cover to cover in one sitting, and it worked perfectly both ways. I would recommend this book to anyone, whether or not you like "graphic novels" or have any interest in North Korea. Brilliant.


Hold Tight
Hold Tight
by Harlan Coben
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars like crack cocaine...., 2 April 2010
This review is from: Hold Tight (Paperback)
I bought this book after I heard somebody on the radio describe it as "like crack cocaine...". Having read it, I realise that this is actually more accurate than I first thought . It certainly is quite addictive, but also like cocaine it certainly isn't going to expand your mind. (DOI I have never taken crack cocaine.) Coben starts off with a note explaining that the technology he describes in the book is all real, and it is obvious he has spent some time researching all the different types of spyware available. However, he comes across like someone who does really doesn't "get" modern technology, and his descriptions of it in the story are pretty clunky. He reminds me of a lecturer I had years ago at uni who asked the class if we were "in-line with the internet". I wouldn't be surprised if early drafts of this book had words like "e-mail" in inverted commas. He also seems determined to include all the different technologies that he discovered, regardless of whether the plot calls for it. For example, the Lewistons watching their child via the camera on the laptop, for no apparent reason other than that they are able to.
Another reviewer has mentioned that the characters are 2 dimensional, but frankly I have been unable to identify a second dimension in any of them. The baddies are so bad they just about cackle and rub their hands together, whilst the goodies would never so much as break the speed limit. The main character, Mike Baye (who I picture looking like Mr Incredible out of The Incredibles), is a surgeon who also plays All American hockey (whatever that is), and not just a surgeon, but a transplant surgeon....and not just a transplant surgeon, but the best transplant surgeon in America. And his partner is the best cardiologist in America or something. And the Chief Investigator is the first female Chief Investigater ever, because she's so damn good. And so on and so on.
All that said though, the story is pretty gripping and rattles along at a fair old pace (although falls apart a bit at the end). So if you're looking a book to read on the beach that isn't going to tax you too much after a night on the tequila, then this will fit the bill. But if you prefer old fashioned things like complex characters and plot development then I'd keep looking.


Carter Beats the Devil
Carter Beats the Devil
by Glen David Gold
Edition: Paperback

1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My goodness this is a long book, 13 Aug 2009
This review is from: Carter Beats the Devil (Paperback)
A while ago my mother told me that she doesn't read long books, because if the author can't tell their story in a few hundred pages, then it's not worth reading. She's not often right, but in the case of this book she was spot on the money. (Although having said this she has recently told me she doesn't like short books because they aren't good value for money). It starts off with the suposed murder of the president and is thoroughly gripping, but after that seriously looses it's way. Several irrelevent chapters about Carters childhood could quite easily be cut out, and considerably improve the book. By the time you return to the crime in hand (several months after starting the book in my case) you've forgotten all the salient points, and frankly, have stopped caring. I also find books that blend fact and fiction quite irritating, as you never know what is interesting historical fact and what the author has made just made up; I strongly suspect that there was lots of the latter going on here. In particular, the book spans the late 1800s to 1920 ish, and I think I remember something from GCSE history about a global confict involving the slaughter of millions- well you won't know it from reading this book, where it is at best just glossed over. And Carter's gay brother also seems to have a remarkably easy time of it considering that homosexuality was a crime at the time...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 22, 2010 9:09 PM GMT


Tricks Of The Mind
Tricks Of The Mind
by Derren Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining and informative, 13 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tricks Of The Mind (Paperback)
I bought this book to take on holiday, expecting it to be a mix of autobiography, celebrity anecdotes, some simple memory tricks and some rants about psychics and the like, with a sprinkling of some "self-help" type advice. As it turned out, I was quite suprised to be exactly right, although the book is no less entertaining for that. As previous reviewers have pointed out Derren Brown (unsuprisingly) gives little of his stage techniques away, but he is very generous in explaining the theory behind what he does. His thoughts about what hypnotism actually is I found particularly interesting, coming as it does from someone who is especially well placed to have more knowledge than most about it. The book does veer into some quite clunky american-style "self help" in places, with several anecdotes about "a friend of mine", and often offers advice about "winning business deals". Having said that though, after reading the chapter on memory I managed to truly freak out my wife by remembering the names of everyone we met on our holiday, when I normaly have trouble remembering my own name on a bad day. Overall it's a very interesting and entertaining read, with a comprehensive bibliography for those wishing to do any further reading on what is a fascinating subject.


Sony SRF-M95 Portable Radio
Sony SRF-M95 Portable Radio

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what a rip-off, 2 Oct 2006
I was very disappointed with this radio, and frankly can't believe I paid nearly 50 quid for it. It feels cheap and nasty, which considering some of the beautiful products Sony makes I found quite suprising. It's difficult to really comment on reception without comparing it to other radios in similar situations, which given its portability is difficult to do, but I certainly haven't been blown away- I think "servicable" is the best word to use. The radio is also plagued by plenty of other irritating niggles, the most frustrating of which is the fact that pushing the tuning toggle up makes the frequency scroll down and vice a versa, which has often led to me completely losing the radio station I was listening to, and which I find so frustrating I've nearly stamped on the damn thing several times.
But by far the most glaring omission is the lack of any automatic tuning, which considering how much the radio costs is completely unforgivable. So in summary, if I'd paid about a tenner for this I'd be quite satisfied and could put with its (many) faults, but at nearly £50 I feel like I've been mugged.


Making Bride Groom's Speech: Etiquette;Jokes;Sample Speeches;One-liners (Things That Really Matter)
Making Bride Groom's Speech: Etiquette;Jokes;Sample Speeches;One-liners (Things That Really Matter)
by John Bowden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars appallingly bad, 12 Aug 2006
This book is dedicated to "Paula, 'bride' of my life", and this gives you an idea of the standard of the humour on offer here. The example speeches are cringe-makingly awful, and the example jokes range from outrageously inappropiate to bafflingly unfunny, through just plain corny. Many of them I would feel uncomfortable repeating in mixed company, let alone at my wedding (and I'm no prude). The one star I've given this book is because it motivated me to just get on and write my speech, because my efforts could never be worse than the examples in this book. If you're writing a speech I would advise you to do the same and just get on with it, but if you really want to get a book I'd suggest getting the "Confetti" book on wedding speeches- it's slightly less cheesy, and also has some quotes that might be useful. And good luck.


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