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Alex Hawke

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The World of Karl Pilkington
The World of Karl Pilkington
by Karl Pilkington
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.00

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Podcast - Average Book, 23 Sept. 2006
Having listened to all of the Ricky Gervais podcasts and watched the video podcasts. I find myself a little disappointed with the book. I opened it up and almost straight away found myself reading one of the scripts from one of the podcasts. I had heard that some of the book was going to be podcast scripts, but most of this book seems to be podcast scripts. This is somewhat annoying as reading this sort of comedy isn't quite as funny as hearing it, especially when you have already heard it.

This said the book has its good moments, with some hilarious drawings and brilliant diary extracts. Although I would have a look in the book before you actually buy it, so you can decide if it is worth your five pound note or not.

Creative ZEN Vision:M 30GB MP3 / Multi-Media Player - Black††
Creative ZEN Vision:M 30GB MP3 / Multi-Media Player - Black††

6 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Functional Product - But not an iPod Killer, 16 Sept. 2006
Having had an iPod 5th Gen and Zen Vision M, I would have to declare that I am still an avid Apple fan. Although Creative has released a clearly functional MP3 player, I still can't see why you would buy this rather than an iPod.

They both have 2.5 inch screens, they both have similar menu systems, they both have a similar battery life and they are both 30GB. So what is different, well firstly iPod beats Zen hands down on the looks front, when I look at the Zen, it just doesn't look attractive, it's bulky and the controls just don't look right. Though Zen has a voice recorder, and FM transmitter; which could be useful (I have never used it). But the thing that annoys me about it is its chunkiness, compared to the iPod which you can barely notice in your jean pocket, the Zen is a constant irritation.

iTunes is a brilliant piece of software, with the release of iTunes 7 it beats the Creative by a long way. I honestly want a new MP3 player release that is just simply better than the iPod, but at the moment this hasn't happened. I am looking forward to the release of the Microsoft Zune this Christmas, but am unsure of its looks at this time.

Microsoft Digital Image Suite 10.0
Microsoft Digital Image Suite 10.0

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect home image suite - but not a Photoshop replacement, 2 Sept. 2006
This software does its job brilliantly; you can't compare it to Adobe Photoshop as Photoshop is a professional graphic designer enabling you to seriously edit your photos. Whereas Microsoft DIS will allow you to make your photo look clearer, newer, resized to 6x4 and then printed off in about a minute.

Here are some of the features that I think are really useful to the home desktop PC and families.

The Auto Fixes: Colour Auto Fix, Exposure Auto Fix, Contrast Auto Fix and Levels Auto Fix. Once you have applied all of these you should notice a big difference in freshness, especially if the photo is not of the best quality.

The Arty Effects: Antique, Black and White, Negative, Chalk, Charcoal, Chrome, Colour Pencil, Dry Brush, Emboss, Film Grain, Glowing Edges, Mosaic, Sepia, Stained Glass, Water Colour. These are actually quite good and could be used to create the perfect wallpaper.

It's also got the other usual stuff like redeye fix, rotate, crop, flip, sharpness, resize etc.

All in all it is a brilliant tool, and is amazing for certain tasks. So I would say buy it, because at the moment it is under ten pounds. However if you are looking for something more I would recommend the GIMP, it's free and extremely similar to Photoshop which costs hundreds.

No Title Available

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Stabiliser makes for Super Snaps, 28 Aug. 2006
This camera is a work of art; it is perfect in almost everyway. Huge colourful screen, loads of mega pixels for those big prints, more optical zoom than most. But the thing I love about it the most is its portability. With my last camera the bulk of it meant that I didn't want to carry it around unless I had a bag. But now I can take something with huge quality and just put it in my pocket. It's amazing in dark conditions with hardly any shutter lag and a brilliant image stabiliser.

Also it's audio and video quality for a camera of this sort range is pretty good. Although the flash is a little bit weaker than you would want. The thing that makes this camera special is the image stabilising properties. So for anyone who tends to find that there pictures are often blurry this camera should be just the thing for you.

Datawrite Voyager 1GB USB Pen Drive
Datawrite Voyager 1GB USB Pen Drive

123 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review for the new, 28 Aug. 2006
Anyone who has had a pen drive before will know how easy they are to use, this pen drive is no different. But if you are new to the world of USB then you will want to identify how much 1GB is.

So this storage device is roughly the same amount as 670 floppy disks, if you are used to that sort of thing. Or about 50,000 average sized documents with no pictures. If you are looking to store music then you can store about 250 average length mp3s at 128kbps. Also if you are looking to take pictures straight off of your 3 or 4 mega pixel camera and place the pictures on the pen drive, then you will be able to fill it with about 750 photos.

So I hope for any new comers to USB Pen Drives this has sorted out some issues of space. This is a great buy and extremely cheap.

The Matrix Reloaded (Widescreen edition) [DVD] [2003]
The Matrix Reloaded (Widescreen edition) [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Keanu Reeves
Price: £1.02

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fighting, bad film, 27 Aug. 2006
Yeah ok, this film is definitely not brilliant and the philosophy sounds like the ramblings of a mad man. But the fight scenes are the best in the entire series of the Matrix. The fight scenes in the first Matrix were good, but Neo didn't have the sheer style and control that he has in the second film, which personally I find truly entertaining.

I found that the choreography in the large hall was astonishing, but I can definitely appreciate that someone who doesn't enjoy these fight scenes would think this film is awful.

So to sum up, if you love matrix style fight scenes then this is worth a buy for that. But if you are looking for a ground-breaking movie with fantastic dialogue and a good story line then you will be extremely disappointed.

Apple iPod - 30GB - Black [video playback] MA146B/A
Apple iPod - 30GB - Black [video playback] MA146B/A

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Style, Great Software, Bad Battery, 27 Aug. 2006
The new iPod has had a lot of criticism in terms of battery life and other problems, but I think that the new iPod is incredible. To me it isn't much of a problem to charge it a little more often than other MP3 players. Although I do find it amazing that Apple still gets away with not giving a free charger and its costs about £20 to buy one.

The screen is a brilliant size, it's clear and colourful. The menu system is the usual iPod menu with a bit more colour. The video quality is really good, yes it drains the battery, but it's just a great option to have. Music quality is great and lets be honest although the Zen Vision M is supposed to be an iPod killer. It just doesn't come close in design and stylishness to the iPod. The 30GB (well 27.5GB really) capacity is also very useful for general storage.

But remember these iPods aren't as strong as previous iPods. So if you don't look after your iPod it will either get scratched or break. I believe this is the perfect item for anyone who wants an MP3 player and iTunes is a truly brilliant piece of software compared to the software that Zen's use.

I would say buy it. But I believe the Microsoft Zune coming out before the end of 2006 will be something special.

The World According to Clarkson: The World According to Clarkson Volume 1
The World According to Clarkson: The World According to Clarkson Volume 1
by Jeremy Clarkson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That funny guy from Top Gear, 27 Aug. 2006
This book contains articles from the Times written by the incredibly insensitive, ironic and distasteful but brilliant Jeremy Clarkson who features in BBC2's Top Gear. I loved this book for the reason that Clarkson portrays everything he talks about in an unreal, yet incredibly addictive way. But I do believe you must at least have watched an episode of Top Gear or seen Clarkson in action, because if you haven't then the way he talks and writes won't come through so clearly.

Also if you have never liked Clarkson then you should probably stay away from this book because it will probably just increase your dislike for him.

He is outspoken in a not very politically correct way, but often true; if not in a very negative and tongue in cheek way. I think that you will enjoy this book and find yourself agreeing with a lot of the things that he writes. It's a good holiday read.

Norton AntiVirus 2006
Norton AntiVirus 2006

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Popular, but definitely not the best, 27 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Norton AntiVirus 2006 (CD-ROM)
Personally I am not a big fan of this software for a few reasons, which I will state. Uses to much RAM compared to other not as commercial antivirus programs like NOD32. The interface isn't very nice to use. They add a so called worm blocker, this is an extremely cut down firewall, so if you want the full firewall you shed out another wad of cash for Norton Internet Security. The antivirus is overpriced and the subscriptions are overpriced. The software is irritably slow. Another thing that annoys me is that it is old code that gets fiddled with and then they change the year on the box. So you want to uninstall it because it is so bad, that's a whole other problem, you have to download a tool off the website to do that.

But on the other side I have not seen any alerts of any viruses, but on the one occasion that I did have a virus I had to manually remove it as the software couldn't for some reason. The only reason I have given it three stars is because it sort of works.

Also I would not believe the majority of good reviews on this site as they are worded far to well to just be of someone who liked the software, Charles Langley for example writes "Whilst regular updates ensure a solid base line of protection, the intelligent algorithms trying to identify as yet unregistered attackers really set this product apart from the competition".

In short I would not buy this software, it is incredibly well targeted at the consumer and very well known in all households, but this definitely doesn't mean it is the best.

Archos AV500 - 30Gb Pocket Video Recorder (discontinued by manufacturer)
Archos AV500 - 30Gb Pocket Video Recorder (discontinued by manufacturer)

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Video, but not an iPod replacement, 27 Aug. 2006
After using the Archos AV500 for some time, I have found its good and bad points. But let's start off with the good points. I was deeply impressed with the screen, its big bright and colourful and has a pretty good viewing angle. Its battery life is very good for something of this nature, but could be improved on. It is brilliant for recording programs off the TV and has brilliant audio and video quality. It's also useful to know that if you like iTunes, there is a plug-in included that lets you use iTunes with your Archos. It also works as a storage device, which means that on holiday, once you have filled all of your cameras memory cards. You can simply move all the photos to the Archos, creating more space for more pictures and allowing you to see the photos on a nice big screen.

But there are a few bad points which should be realised, for starters the size, some think that it can go in your pocket, which it can. But it's chunky, which makes it uncomfortable. It's not the sort of item that allows you to listen to music while you go for a jog. Also the controls are slightly flimsy and you can't multitask. I found that the earphones were a little awkward and not great for everyday use.

To sum up I would say if you are looking for an all in one MP3/MP4 player, then this is not what you are looking for; however if you are looking for a dedicated video player than this is the product for you. If you have a bit of extra cash to splash then I would recommend going for the 100GB version.

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