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86erbooks "86erbooks" (London, UK)

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Epson Expression HOME XP 215 Colour Multifunctional Printer
Epson Expression HOME XP 215 Colour Multifunctional Printer

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just doesn't work properly, 11 May 2014
Deeply disappointed, wifi is almost impossible to set up (and you need cables first). Thought we'd be able to print things off from Chromebook or iPad, no joy. Noisy, awful, hard to work. Instructions too basic and unhelpful. Requires PC with disk drive to set up and even read the instructions. Black cartridge lasted for about 20 pages (in the small print it did say that the first set don't last long). Really regret buying this awful printer.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2014 11:04 AM BST


Mattel X2344 Barbie - Dating fun - Ken doll
Mattel X2344 Barbie - Dating fun - Ken doll
Offered by IN THE JUNGLE LTD
Price: £28.09

2.0 out of 5 stars Flimsy, 28 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My daughter loved it, and she's the target market, so that's cool, but very expensive for such flimsy products and a tiny range of accessories.


Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer
Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer
Price: £19.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor design, poor instructions, returned it., 28 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great idea to help children with their sleeping patterns by providing those still learning big hand-little hand stuff with clear visual clues as to when it's time to bounce out of bed, and when it's time to 'go the **** to sleep,' but in fact this did not work as promised by the description/packaging, the instructions were brief and unclear and we were unable to use the product as intended. It's glaring lights were a distraction at night, the settings were unintuitive, and you cannot operate without using the very short power cord, so your choice of where to place the clock is limited (no doubt the manufacturer's assume that everyone has table lamps by their beds and use a power socket there, but the cord was really too short to be any help.


Potatoes Not Prozac: How to Control Depression, Food Cravings and Weight Gain
Potatoes Not Prozac: How to Control Depression, Food Cravings and Weight Gain
by Kathleen Desmaisons
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars You aren't what you eat, 28 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
But it does make a difference. Cynics may scoff that no-one used to have lactose, sugar and wheat allergies, or that we are all just getting fussy with our food and buying into quackery, but when you look at the low nutritional value of a lot of modern food, and how the processes deployed before the food gets onto our table are for the benefit of the marketers, shops, hauliers etc. rather than the customer, it's easy to see there may be a problem. What's less well known is how deeply sugars, chemicals, and other ingredients can affect our minds and our mood. The mind/food link is not confined, in my experience, to kids who get dizzy on orange squash or depressed people seeking comfort in 1cwt of Milk Tray; there are real benefits to the mind and the mood of providing one's body with a balanced mix of the right fuels. There may be times when medicine, meditation and therapy are what you need, but this book points the way towards a healthier mental base that is founded on good diet principles. Clearly written, doesn't make snake-oil claims and is reassuringly free of feel-good anecdotes, it's a sensible, readable and eye-opening book.


Transform Your Writing with Google Chrome
Transform Your Writing with Google Chrome

1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't fulfil the promise of the title, 28 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very odd article, the title promises something that the text fails to deliver. There is no information in here on how Chrome might transform your writing. There is a general introduction to Google docs, cloud computing and chromebooks (briefer and more shallow than any product review) and details on the keyboard shortcuts include some which aren’t available for the Chromebook he recommends using. Apart from a few text editing keyboard shortcuts, many are for general Chrome browser usage and not relevant to writing projects. This is really frustrating, as apart from a mention of how Chromebooks' offline mode and cloud computing can enable you to write on the hoof and keep your work up to date without emailing copies etc., there is nothing that tells you how writing can benefit from these tools. Benefits of the cloud and smart phones/netbooks that have been around for years have been widely discussed elsewhere, and it seems unlikely that this book would be any newbie's first port of call. Here are some points that could have been covered in a more thought-through article:
- Other cloud devices and platforms that work just as well.
- Why Chromebooks are the perfect combination of form and function for writers (web apps that help the creative process, a full size keyboard on a netbook-weight device, tabs rather than smartphone apps allow you to multitask between dictionary, thesaurus, document being edited, research websites etc.)
- Chrome apps for small publishing, mind mapping, story plotting, idea generation etc.
- How to prepare books and articles in Google docs and publish them using Kindle, Kobo etc.
- How cloud devices allow you to capture ideas wherever you are and merge them easily into longer documents.
- How Google Drive's in-built editing features compare to desktop word processing software and online competitors (I think the balance between essential tools like spell checker etc. and a clear space to work, stripped of formatting options that are more suitable for traditional print publishers and office use, is spot on).
Really rather pointless, could have been a good little handbook which would be well worth £1.99 to the aspiring writer, rather than something you pick up because it's free, then resent spending time reading.


TECHGEAR® Microsoft Surface RT / Pro Windows 8 Tablet CLEAR Screen Protector with cleaning cloth
TECHGEAR® Microsoft Surface RT / Pro Windows 8 Tablet CLEAR Screen Protector with cleaning cloth
Offered by TECHGEAR Solutions
Price: £1.95

1.0 out of 5 stars Bubbles and dire customer service., 9 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Attempted for a long time to apply the screen protector, without success. Oh well, I thought, I've done my best, but I'll have to return it. I expected either a) a quick refund or b) some kind of customer care response. Instead, I had an email via Amazon saying "TECHGEAR Solutions has closed your return request. The reason for the closure of your request is: Buyer has not taken reasonable care." I found the product impossible to use and therefore substandard and over-priced, so I'm not just writing a bad review based on the customer service.


Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01UK 11.6-inch Laptop (2GB RAM, 16GB HDD)
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01UK 11.6-inch Laptop (2GB RAM, 16GB HDD)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for my use case, 16 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Tried one in PC World and the keys weren't great, but they were fine on the one I received. For such a cheap computer, the frame feels surprisingly durable, much more like an ultrabook than the netbooks of old (I have an Asus EEEPC to compare it to). The trackpad took me some practice, but only because it's different to Windows, apparently double finger gestures etc. are also on Macs. Only flaw I have come across is that the power cord doesn't slot into the socket at the back of the computer very easily - it goes in at a slightly weird angle and is quite thin/delicate. The screen is much better than expected, although it is slightly 'sandy' in appearance as other reviewers have noted, I'm a long-time Flux user, so that is fine for me. The sharpness of the image was much better than expected. So, for £190 (what I paid for it), the hardware is spot-on.

Software/OS
I've been a Chrome browser user on and off since it was launched. For most tasks, there's not much difference in speed/compatability etc. between the major browsers, despite what a lot of users claim. There are some IE-only sites I use for work that would require a plug-in to emulate IE if this was my work computer. What's really good about switching to Chrome OS rather than, say, between Windows and Mac or Linux, is that you can thoroughly test drive the experience on another device before plumping for the Google ecosystem. Having spent years carrying (and losing/forgetting) flash sticks and needing to jump from one computer to another, I've always rather enjoyed the cloud concept. Google docs isn't perfect, but nor is Microsoft's cloud offering - to get the full functionality you have to use their desktop programs alongside Skydrive. I looked at my use case; do I regularly work on massive documents or complicated spreadsheets requiring advanced function? No. Do I often have an idea, need to look something up, or send an email, and want to do this in as few clicks/seconds as possible? Yes. Do I care that Google can/may read my documents to point advertising my way? Not especially, and for free software I'm happy to view adverts in Gmail and have bought items on the strength of them. Have I lost data using Google docs? Not yet. It's unnerving having everything in the cloud; I have lost a Google account before because I forgot the password and other details, so periodically I download a copy of everything to the hard drive of my work laptop. That way, if disaster strikes I'm only losing a few days' work. The frequency with which I do this is balanced based on time lost in fretting and making lots of copies of things, and losing files, vs. having everything a couple of clicks away. I was concerned because Chrome browser often sticks or slows down on my Windows laptop - imagine that happening to the whole OS! But then I realised that it does also happen to Windows OS, and Chrome is less difficult to restart. Not only that, but the autosave on Google Docs means that I'm likely to lose less work. So far, no crashes on the Chromebook anyway.

TLDR:
If you don't have a reliable internet connection where you're going to use the laptop, don't get a Chromebook.
If you need advanced features in Photoshop, Excel etc., don't get a Chromebook.
If you find you can be productive all day in the browser, and have a reliable internet connection at home, go for it.


How To Stay Together Forever: How To Make Your Relationship Work and Keep It Working!
How To Stay Together Forever: How To Make Your Relationship Work and Keep It Working!
by Julia Cole
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should you use this book?, 24 May 2013
"One in ten divorced men and women wish they had stayed together." So for 90% of people who separate, it was the right thing to do? Sounds as though the majority of people wouldn't benefit from staying together forever then.


Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Burton, Harris, O'Toole and Reed
Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Burton, Harris, O'Toole and Reed
Price: £3.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Loaded wouldn't touch it, 11 Feb. 2013
Not because of the subject matter - this could have been a British version of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls or Dino. But the writing is awful. The trick of Loaded, Jack, FHM etc. is that although the subject matter is unironically low-brow, the writing is sharp and witty. This unedited piffle is just too tiring to read, and feels like the work of an enamoured sixth-former who would love to be cool.


The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Their Friends
The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Their Friends
by Humphrey Carpenter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing story of literary friendship, 4 Jan. 2013
A very atmospheric book, great writing about Oxford, literary criticism and literature of ideas. The Inklings themselves come across as surprisingly odd and unlikeable to this modern reader, although their friendships were admirable and fun, war and women appear as trifling inconveniences that might get in the way of discussing poetry and God. With strong ale and cider before lunch and an awful lot of smoking and wandering about, the donnish life is portrayed as like being a student for your whole working life, which does sound rather appealing. There are some insights into the interests which prompted the great, familiar works of Narnia and Middle Earth to be written, and the book left me keen to get stuck into Charles Williams' novels, which may have a welcome whiff of Dennis Wheatley or Aleister Crowley while being more serious-minded than both. I came a bit unstuck with the chapter featuring a fictitious Inklings meeting, which seemed rather indulgent and out of kilter with the rest of the book, which is all about unearthing and assessing interesting facts about these great writers.


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