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the antiquary (England)

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Crucial CT120M500SSD1 120GB M500 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive
Crucial CT120M500SSD1 120GB M500 SATA 6Gb/s 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive
Price: 50.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, reliable, decent price, 26 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you have enough RAM then the best thing to speed up your laptop is to buy a solid state drive. Ok, you have to reinstall Windows (which is a complete DIY job, if you've not done it before you need help, not provided in the box... an eSata cable would have been nice for cloning). A fresh reinstall kick-starts the boot-up speed anyway, but the doubled transfer rates prove that much of the improvement is down to this SSD.

My 3 year old laptop is much fitter now, only it is a bit too trim. I don't have my own network and with only 120Gb I have to give up my slovenly computer habits. Only a few games installed at a time and most of my data transferred back and forth with old desktop drives as needed. Personally I'm only interested in real clouds that you er, can't touch either. If you feel the same and money is an issue then at the current price I recommend the 240Gb version.

It has a 3 year guarantee. Have used Crucial products for a long time, never had a problem with them.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2013 6:06 PM GMT


JAY-BE Liberty Single Folding Bed with Airflow Mattress, Auto Legs and Castors
JAY-BE Liberty Single Folding Bed with Airflow Mattress, Auto Legs and Castors
Offered by Capital Stores
Price: 99.95

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality bed for those 6ft and under, 26 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A fine, strong and comfortable collapsible bed.

The frame is very sturdy and opens simply and easily, the legs moving into place at the same time. No fiddling about.

At 85kg/13.3 stone and 6ft, the mattress feels just right for me. Not too soft, not too firm. It's foam; with irregular use it should last a very long time. It's 4 inches thick.

Be warned though - I measured the mattress at 5'9 1/2" long - it's enough for me because generally people don't rest their head at the tip, usually about 4-5 inches from the top. So lying flat it fits, without discomfort or any overhang which is noticeable. But I don't sleep like I'm stretched-out on a rack; if you're 6ft and under and don't lie with your arms over your head, rigidly thinking of England, this bed is long enough.

As the box proclaims the bed is 80cm wide, luxurious for a fold-up bed. If you're capable of sleeping in a single bed then you'll have no problems here.

When folded and upright this is 88hx80wx34d - you'd need 35cm clear space to push it under a bed - but it's designed to stand upright. JAY-BE sell other beds designed to slip under another better.

It's a shame that storage covers are sold separately, I guess that it does keep the price down for those who don't want or need them.

Just in case you were wondering - the pillow and blanket shown in one of the pictures is not included.

(Oh and I don't mean that this is a perfect bed for the dead - just reread the title slightly differently)


Philips QG3342/23 9-in-1 Waterproof Facial/ Hair Trimming and Styling Multigroom Set
Philips QG3342/23 9-in-1 Waterproof Facial/ Hair Trimming and Styling Multigroom Set
Price: 25.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too fiddly, 20 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first thing that hit me was the grey container/stand thing. Why would you prop-up your beard trimmer like it was something to be proud of in a flimsy piece of plastic that is little better than food packaging?

The thing as a whole looks and feels decent. However, as with previous Philips models over the years, the trimmer part itself isn't of great quality, you take longer and have to repeat going over the same areas more often than with other brands. Philips do shavers so well, yet can't get it right with beard trimmers.

Why anyone would want to look like that Rylan feller off the tv is anybody's guess, if you must have a 'beard' like his, or the chap's on the box of this trimmer, then you will also need a razor and possibly some very fine scissors. The 'detail' trimmer ain't going to cut it. The standard trimmer is small enough, instead of an even smaller one I would have preferred a larger.

Controlling the settings is too fiddly - it's good that there are so many grades but you will fly forwards and backwards until you finally hit the one you're after.

And even then the 'combs' don't cover the trimmer at all angles (except for the beard one) - it's too easy to slip or go absent-minded and get an unintended 'grade 0' with stubble or hair. It's not for the fastidious.

The battery in this thing has to be charged all day to last about 30 minutes.

The nose trimmer is good, there's a nice actual comb, it does come with a fair charge out of the box... but Philips also need to be told that you can't comb stubble - neither can you adequately manage it with this thing until your stubble assumes more beard-like proportions.

Should be sold as a nose trimmer - as for beard trimming, do 1 thing well, not 8 gimmicky things badly.


Medusa's Gaze: The Extraordinary Journey of the Tazza Farnese (Emblems of Antiquity)
Medusa's Gaze: The Extraordinary Journey of the Tazza Farnese (Emblems of Antiquity)
by Marina Belozerskaya
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.68

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Faded potpourri history, 20 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
So much conjecture taints this history. Even when on more solid ground Belozerskaya seems more authoress than historian. Emotions and feelings are asserted as strongly as facts (but backed-up with less evidence), which made me question both. Questioning too much leads to a lack of trust, which, unless you're in the mood to check every fact, turns a history book into a chore.

Caesar, Rome, Anthony, Cleopatra, Renaissance, Holy Roman Empire, Timur the Lame, forgotten Italian names... enticing figures and subjects still need sparkle and humour in a popular history, as Belozerskaya proves, you can't rely on them to write the book for you.

It is a shame, but the written style, half history teacher/half casual gossip, will suit some.


Omron BF214 Body Composition Monitor
Omron BF214 Body Composition Monitor
Price: 32.95

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your health in the balance, 16 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These body measurement scales are excellent and much more motivating (or demotivating if you succumb to despair) than standard weight only scales.

I bought an older Omron model some time back, Omron BF508 Body Composition and Body Fat Monitor Bathroom Scale, and while that has 6 contact points for the body fat measurement (rather than the 4 here), lifting the hand unit on the old model can apply negative pressure on the scale, affecting the weight and skewing the results.

I have compared the results of both over 3 weeks and while this newer, simpler, flashier model was initially looked askance at, it gave consistent readings, the older one fluctuated too much, showing weight initially higher and then lower than this BF214. The difference at most was 500g (due in part I think to the hand unit on the old model).

So are digital scales accurate? Pretty much, I haven't tested it against an atomic set of scales at MIT, but I have been weighed-in at a martial arts competition on an old-fashioned thing, the result was almost the same, and the previous Omron scales helped me to keep in the weight group I was aiming for.

Consistent and reflecting my own changes? Yes. Even if you think the scales are a couple of hundred grams or a pound off you will have baseline results against which you can monitor your own progress. Write them down, the memory only keeps the last reading.

Body Fat. The reading will fluctuate depending on your level of hydration. Best to average out a week's results with this, or always weigh immediately as you get out of bed. Until I sprained my ankle badly a few months back I'd got my body fat down from 25% to 13%; prompted to change my diet and exercise more by the old Omron scales - be patient, it takes time (about 6 months and food poisoning for the last 1%).

Unfortunately at each stage of the instructions all of the language translations have been mashed-up together, so that the manual is an exercise in demonstrating the power of focus. Concentrate on the English sentences only and you'll be fine.

But the scales are easy to set and operate, the buttons under the touch glass able to be manipulated handily by your big toe, step on for a moment and you're done, no more scrambling about with hand units and cables. Press the power button for a few seconds to turn off or press briefly to change your settings (like when you realise you're 182cm not 180cm - you can use imperial measurements instead if you want, but you can't have, say, your height in feet and weight in kilograms).

These new scales are lighter, are more stylish, seem more accurate and also give skeletal muscle readings (which also seem to be accurate enough given my injury-induced lack of exercise recently).

Anyone athletic should know not to take too much notice of BMI readings, and the body fat rating is more helpful (and shaming) to everyone in my opinion.

The next model needs a very simple upload of results to file or app, other than that I am very happy with these scales.


Easy Meals
Easy Meals
by Rachel Allen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good modern grub, 18 April 2013
This review is from: Easy Meals (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I didn't want to like this book when it arrived. I'd never heard of this tv cook and on the shelf her name jumps out in a larger font than even Gordon Ramsey dares to preen himself, all against an attention screaming pink spine.

But inside it is beautifully presented, from the feel of the page to recipes simply explained with a full page photo for almost every one. The meals (and side dishes and puddings) are difficult only to get wrong and they are interesting whilst remaining easy. If you've ever read the Observer's food monthly you'll know how difficult it is for English people to be like the French and cook decently without making a pretentious song and dance about it, so it's very nice to discover Rachel Allen.

Most dishes require just a few normal ingredients so you can usually find something to make without having to go out first. Great book.


Speak French with Confidence: Teach Yourself
Speak French with Confidence: Teach Yourself
by Jean-Claude Arragon
Edition: Audio CD

2.0 out of 5 stars Revise holiday French, 18 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you're out of practice it probably will help you reattain a school speaking test pass, but it's hard to recommend this over other products which want to seriously teach you to develop your own sentences in the language.

How people can play this in the car I have no idea, I'm familiar enough with driving on autopilot, but you need to stay aware on the road and this kind of thing is far too distracting, if you listen attentively enough to actually learn anything you're putting yourself and others in danger.


Instant Recall Spanish, 6-Hour MP3 Audio Program
Instant Recall Spanish, 6-Hour MP3 Audio Program
by Michael Gruneberg
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 15.13

3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 18 April 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It helps, it's not the most inspiring thing but as far as it goes it is of good quality. It's one of the glut of products for beginners really. You'll need other resources to learn Spanish properly. If you like to get hold of and actually use lots of different books and audio then go ahead, but don't if you focus better by following just one or two systems. Have a think about whether learning by other peoples' word associations will annoy you.


AVG Internet Security 2012, 4 PC, 2 Year License (PC)
AVG Internet Security 2012, 4 PC, 2 Year License (PC)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, needs tweaking, 15 Dec 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Easy to use, effective, unobtrusive, low on resources, speeds up Youtube, options for further apps, the installation disc is also a great recovery DVD. The extra clean-up utilities are ok too. There's little to fault AVG on.

Not great on privacy though. No IP protection and why give us an option to stop cookies, then make us manually accept or decline every cookie request? Often you have to accept cookies for a website or otherwise you'll be spammed forever with the permission box, so what AVG should be doing, like Norton, is deleting them afterwards, or preferably something cleverer.


Hancock's Half Hour: Series 1 (Golden Age of BBC Radio Comedy)
Hancock's Half Hour: Series 1 (Golden Age of BBC Radio Comedy)
by Ray Galton
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 11.08

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aged like a fine whine, 17 Nov 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Lots of fun with Tony Hancock, Sid James and Kenneth Williams performing good-natured, broad but clever comedy.

Being the first series Hancock's character isn't quite set and it's refreshing him not being an irredeemably lugubrious misanthrope.

Though all episodes are of great quality there are only 4 of them. At full price this is overpriced.

The muffled 50s recording has to be enjoyed in the same room. Makes good listening in the car.

After hearing a few episodes Bill Kerr will start to sound like Milton Jones (or rather the other way around).


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