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A. K. Sheikh
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Undertow
Undertow
Price: 14.22

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sober and that's about it, 24 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Undertow (Audio CD)
I heard Sober the other day and remembered what a brilliant song it was. Upon getting this album, however, I found that the dry, paranoid, funk-inflected hard rock contained on this disc now sounds terribly dated. At the time of its release, though, I remember them as being one of the few bands doing proper hard rock whilst everyone else was pretending to be an indie-punk grunge band. I'd like to try their other albums, so this hasn't put me off them and Sober is still a monster of a song!


32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR3 1066MHz PC3-8500 240-PIN ECC REGISTERED DIMM (RDIMM) MEMORY RAM KIT FOR APPLE MAC PRO (EARLY 2009 - MID 2010 - MID 2012)
32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR3 1066MHz PC3-8500 240-PIN ECC REGISTERED DIMM (RDIMM) MEMORY RAM KIT FOR APPLE MAC PRO (EARLY 2009 - MID 2010 - MID 2012)
Offered by GLOBAL MEMORY
Price: 290.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Early 2009 Mac Pro Upgrade, 24 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My 2009 Mac Pro came with 6Gb RAM installed and it was struggling when managing video files, so I thought I'd jump in and get hold of these huge 16Gb sticks. The memory was really easy to install and the Mac's memory assistant also detected which slots I should use (1 and 5, not slots 1 and 2 as the Mac Pro documentation stated). Opening audio workstation software, which scans for plugins was breathtakingly fast, and general usage for video is very much improved. Adding more memory and moving to SSDs (my next step) is like breathing life into your existing, possibly ageing, machine.


Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-2B 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch SATA HDD/SSD Converter - Black
Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-2B 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch SATA HDD/SSD Converter - Black
Offered by AVIDES
Price: 18.11

2.0 out of 5 stars Just About Works, 24 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The product works and was delivered quickly. That accounts for the two stars.

I don't like it because it is one of the more expensive SSD housings available and is vastly overpriced for what it is. The plastic has many sharp edges and the top doesn't really click in place or get removed with any reassuring solidity.

Upon fitting it to my spare early 2009 Mac Pro drive sled and connecting a 256Gb Samsung 840 Pro SSD as described in the pictorial instruction sheet, the dock and drive didn't connect initially without some working of the dock so that it lined up with the connections on the Mac Pro's main board.

After power-up, the drive wasn't recognised. Perhaps the mating wasn't complete, so I took everything apart again to check and, sure enough, the connector on the drive needed to be worked onto the dock. This wasn't a horrendous problem in the grand scheme of things, but again goes back to there being no reassurance regarding the solidity of the unit, this time its connection.

The fun didn't stop there, though, as when I went to close the top, one of the screw receptacles on the Icy Dock's house fell straight out! I decided to press on and slide the sled in place with three of its screws still attached and hope for the best.

This attempt was more successful and I was able to format the disk. However, if there was another way of using this in the Mac's 3.5" internal bays, I would definitely choose the alternative! I bought a second one of these at the same time as the first, as I'm planning to go to a full SSD setup over time, but now I'm dreading to use it and considering returning it.


Zoom G3X Guitar Multi Effects FX Amplifier Modelling Looping Wah Floor Pedal
Zoom G3X Guitar Multi Effects FX Amplifier Modelling Looping Wah Floor Pedal
Offered by Music Gear
Price: 135.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Great, Almost Perfect, 12 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had my eye on this unit for a while before pulling the trigger on it, and I'm glad I did. I now use this for rehearsals and have no trouble gigging with it. The sounds are really useable, especially in front of an amp. Going through a PA via the XLR output doesn't have the some kind of punch and power for some reason. I've used some setups with a cab sim and DI box that have sounded great through a PA, but this one lacked a bit of presence, so half a star off for that, Zoom!

Programming is hardly worth a manual, because it's so easy and intuitive: you have six stomp blocks and can control three at a time from the controls on the front panel. There's a button to go through a couple of pages of additional options for things like the amp sims, where there will be gain, volume, EQ controls, cab size, etc., and another couple of buttons to scroll through the stomps that are "off screen". A patch can then be saved to any location in the unit's memory. One point to note is that on-the-fly settings will persist. This may not be to everyone's preference, but personally, I like the fact that I can tweak a patch and move on without having to explicitly save it. There is also a downloadable editor/librarian available for Windows and Mac OS X, which makes editing patches even easier and setting up the unit for a particular gig just ridiculous as you can flash a whole set of previously-archived patches to the G3X and then be on your way. I was really pleased with this simple but powerful application.

The distortion sounds are useable without being "OMG WOW!" and that's fine for probably everything apart from the larger stages (where no doubt you'll already have a roadie to lug your boutique pedalboard about) and the modulation, delay and reverb sounds are very good. If you are completely sold on individual stompboxes then this won't change your mind: You'll probably say "Can't I have a more authentic Marshall overdrive / Small Stone phaser / Strymon reverb sound" but this unit is all about acceptable compromises. It's light, portable, sounds good, is easy to work with and it even runs off batteries!

It also responds to MIDI, though it seems that this is limited to program change and so could be better implemented. I've tried using a MIDI port watcher to identify events like switching stomps on and off but it's a real hassle using sysex and it'd be great if Zoom released a document explaining the MIDI implementation. Another half-star off there because it would be really useful to run the unit off a sequencer track and have the host control the patch and stomp changes without the need to even use your feet.

All in all though this is a great little all-in-one unit for getting the job done.


USB 2.0 to SATA Serial Cable Adapter (MCB835)
USB 2.0 to SATA Serial Cable Adapter (MCB835)
Offered by BYTE-MEGASTORE
Price: 3.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and effective, 12 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I didn't really have high hopes for this product due to a number of negative reviews, but I had no trouble with this cable at all. I wanted to recover a hard drive from a dead Win7 laptop and was able to hook it up to a W8 machine and recover the necessary data before completely re-formatting the disk. The cable was even delivered in the expected window. No worries, no hassle, so top rating!


What Price Liberty?: How Freedom Was Won and Is Being Lost
What Price Liberty?: How Freedom Was Won and Is Being Lost
by Ben Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.33

4.0 out of 5 stars A Great But Heavy-Going Book, 20 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
From its title, it's clear that this book is not light reading. I found it extremely heavy going, but it is worth it as all the points made here, the history and context form part of a detailed look at how our liberties have been eroded but also the extremely delicate balance between liberty and security. I loved the writer's bold style. I didn't get a sense of cynicism from the writer, which a lot of these kind of books exhibit. I think that might be what gets you through the book rather than getting bogged down in the heavy subject matter. It's a broad-ranging title that demonstrates how we are affected not just here in the UK but globally. Some might not like way this book comes across like a political manifesto, but I didn't have a problem with it. It is a good book, but was certainly heavy-going for me, someone who isn't a deep reader of history or politics.


How to Stop Living and Start Worrying: Conversations with Carl Cederstrom
How to Stop Living and Start Worrying: Conversations with Carl Cederstrom
by Simon Critchley
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.77

2.0 out of 5 stars Not Self-Help, Just Self-Indulgent, 20 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If you were to look at the title and then read the synopsis on the back, you might be forgiven for thinking this would a useful parody or alternative view of the self-help genre. Whilst there was the odd phrase that made sense, a lot of it just read like a bit of a moan about how life can be rotten and then you have to die. All executed with the po-faced self-importance of a modern day philospher. I wasn't expecting this book to be fun, but I was hoping it was going to be more interesting than a brief biography (that was the interesting part) and vague musings on authenticity in death. All in all, it read like a contractual obligation had to be met. Not a very good book!


Everything You Know About Business is Wrong: How to unstick your thinking and upgrade your rules of thumb
Everything You Know About Business is Wrong: How to unstick your thinking and upgrade your rules of thumb
by Alastair Dryburgh
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.40

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Alternative Look at Getting Things Done, 20 April 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this book because it had a somewhat quirky title, and the one of these "alt.biz" kind of books ("How to be a Complete and Utter Failure") was brilliant. Whilst "Everything... Wrong" is not in the same league as the other book, it's still makes for a good read. Being packed full of the writer's direct experiences, it anchors his text and ideas with real-world scenarios and this, coupled with the energetic writing, stops the book becoming dry and aloof. On the downside, it makes the content seem a little lightweight. This is in reality a book that asks you to swap one set of accepted practices and processes for another, less accepted set. I'm also sure that anyone analysing business policy and processes with a mandate to increasing effectiveness (productivity, sales, profits, or whatever else their objective is) will come to similar conclusions as those covered in the book and implement similar process changes. I liked it overall, but it isn't essential reading.


Live at Atp 2008
Live at Atp 2008
Price: 9.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sonic Blast of Brilliance, 28 Jan 2012
This review is from: Live at Atp 2008 (Audio CD)
For any Bob Mould fan, just looking down the set list on the back cover makes you think this is going to be something a bit special. Popping the CD in and pressing "Play", you're greeted with a few drum hits and guitar noises that let you know it's been well recorded and that this *is* going to be an awesome listen.

Starting off with the opening tracks from Sugar's classic Copper Blue, "The Act We Act" and "A Good Idea", the intensity rarely lets up throughout the entire CD. When this was recorded in 2008, Bob Mould was almost 50 and he still had more energy and vitality than any modern-day watered-down punk upstarts. After delving into the the "hubcap" solo album ("I Hate Alternative Rock", one of the better tracks from that patchy record) and representing the brilliant "Workbook" album with "See a Little Light", it's back to "Copper Blue" for "Hoover Dam", before playing the more recent "Circles" and "Paralyzed", both of which offer a slight change of pace (but are also the weakest tracks here). The final four songs are classics taken from the Hüskers back catalogue with "I Apologise", "Chartered Trips", the untouchable "Celebrated Summer" (worth buying for this track alone!), "Makes No Sense At All" and closing with the rousing thrash of "New Day Rising". It's understandable that after nearly 25 years, there's a lack of desperation in the delivery of the closing track, but with the drums and guitar as fierce as ever, it still seems to blow everything away that has come since! Having seen Bob Mould solo and with an electric band, his vocals were always really strong and close to perfection. On here, however, he's having a rare off-day and his voice cracks and several points during the set. It doesn't detract massively though and this is a great live recording of an artist of great power. If you have even a passing interest in the man's music, you'll love this CD!


Flight of Dragons [DVD] [1986] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Flight of Dragons [DVD] [1986] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Victor Buono
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: 8.92

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing (if a bit cheesy) Animated Film, 28 Jan 2012
I'm not sure why this film isn't more famous, because it is a great animated tale about man's move from a world of magic to one of logic.

Opening with a scene where "green wizard" Carolinus tries to warn men to take care with their machines when a swan is killed in a water wheel, his fading powers fail to magic away the wheel and he is ridiculed by the mill owners. Sensing man's shift away from magic, he calls on his three other brothers, each responsible for a different realm: sea and stars (blue wizard), air and contemplation (yellow) and all that is bad is embodied in the red wizard, Omadon, voiced by James Earl Jones. Whilst the former three wish to create a protected realm for their waning powers, Omadon senses his powers getting stronger and wants to infect the spirit of man with greed and avarice, setting man against himself until he destroys himself in a nuclear armageddon. Pretty stern stuff for a children's film released in the cold war hysteria of the mid-80s!

Having come out with a vision of man's future at odds with the other wizards, a quest is mounted to steal Omadon's crown, the source of his power. Unable to wage war against each other, a quest is undertaken: a neat trick to allow the main character to enter the story. The leader of this quest is the 777th descendant of a legendary dragon master, a bookish (well, nerdy!) man, Peter Dickinson, from late-20th century Boston with an obsession with dragons who has created a dragon board game. Crucially, though, he is the first man of science. Carolinus magics himself into the 20th century to recruit the foppish, unlikely hero to lead the quest.

And so starts an adventure where the forces of magic, superstition and illusion are balanced with those of logic, science and the truth. Peter's discovery of all that is magic, coupled with his background in science, allows him to grow into his new-found role, culminating in a brilliant set-piece at the end of the film that more than makes up for some really cheesy dialogue elsewhere in the film. The old-school animation might not be to everyone's tastes (I think it fits perfectly) but all of the voices are perfectly cast and the overall themes are beautifuly presented without being preachy.

This is a brilliant film that I enjoyed as a kid and with this DVD my children have also enjoyed it. It has lost little of its power, poignancy or charm over the years. In fact, in an increasingly paranoid, polarised, suspicious and superstitious world, this is a great tool with which to show kids how important it is to appreciate the "magic" of belief, inspiration and dreams, but not to be a slave to them.


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