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Roger Heathcote

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WD Red 1TB for NAS 3.5-inch Desktop Hard Drive - OEM
WD Red 1TB for NAS 3.5-inch Desktop Hard Drive - OEM
Price: 47.41

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of region!, 9 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I just checked the warranty status for this drive at wdc.com and it is "Out of Region". This means it was bought cheap abroad and imported which means its warrant isn't valid. Luckily my client only needs one drive and western digital are usually kind enough to transfer the warranty on an out of region drive if you, as an end user, contact their customer support and provide them with proof of purchase from your country. They don't like to do this more than once though so if you buy several drives you effectively have NO WARRANTY on hardware that is supposed to come with a THREE YEAR WARRANTY. The proper UK versions of these drives are available from ebuyer for a couple of quid more - I shall be buying from them in future.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2014 2:25 PM BST


StarTech Hard Disk Drive Duplicator Dock SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to SATA HDD Duplicator
StarTech Hard Disk Drive Duplicator Dock SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to SATA HDD Duplicator

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic, 20 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this to replace my previous USB 3.0 dock (30 from ebay 2 years ago) and thought I'd get a more expensive one as I use it a lot and having 2 bays could be useful and the Amazon reviews are pretty good BUT...

It doesn't work. Using known good, VERY thoroughly tested and verified drives it craps out within a minute every time, whether reading or writing. While it may work OK for people with a light workload under Windows I use mine daily under linux for imaging whole drives and it simply can't handle that. See below...

So, I may have got a duff one that can't read and write data reliably BUT the problems with it go deeper than that...

Even if reading and writing did work reliably it's still no use to me as whenever the machine encounters a bad sector on a drive it completely disconnects the interface and needs restarting. This makes it completely useless for data recovery (the other thing I use a dock for) and when that happens it doesn't just disconnect one drive - BOTH are disconnected meaning a single sector error on one drive can screw up 2 recovery or imaging operations (which can sometimes take days). Also the standalone cloning function requires that the USB cable is disconnected which is a pain in the arse and even though it has 2 bays, they are not hot pluggable which limits their usefulness. Also the cable uses the flimsy miniature USB 3 connector at the dock end, rather than the larger and more rugged full size connector that even my cheap old no-name dock used. Also, unlike my older cheaper dock it has no hinged dust flaps and no eject buttons - you just have to yank the drives out when you're done. All in all this is a badly designed, cheaply made, flaky device that doesn't even work as well as several older cheaper products. I would avoid it like the plague - I shall be returning mine forthwith and I have already hedged and ordered 2 cheaper single drive docks from ebay.

On a 320GB drive verified with 4 passes of badblocks full write test I get this just trying to read it...

r0g@steppa:~$ sudo dd if=/dev/sdf of=/dev/null
dd: reading `/dev/sdf': Input/output error
878048+0 records in
878048+0 records out
449560576 bytes (450 MB) copied, 6.21869 s, 72.3 MB/s

r0g@steppa:~$ sudo dd if=/dev/sdf of=/dev/null
dd: opening `/dev/sdf': No such file or directory

Lame :/
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2013 6:05 PM GMT


WD TV Play Media Player
WD TV Play Media Player

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow, Flaky, 14 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I first got it it wouldn't show any kind of picture so not the most auspicious start. After several un and re pluggings it finally kicked in. So it plays internet (shuotcast) radio OK and most of the videos on my network also play OK (no DIV-X but who uses DIV-X anymore anyway!) BUT, it won't connect to a Samba or Afp file share, only a DLNA media server. That's not the end of the world but I had expected that it would as I took this machine to be the successor of the previous WD TV which IIRC did offer this functionality. The prime bummer however is the downright flaky i-Player client, it's slow, it freezes up, it loses sound sync, it simply won't play some shows and you can't exit out of the app without powering off the box, sometimes it crashes so badly you need to hard reboot it. All of this with the latest firmware. My net connection is great, the box is connected by ethernet and all the other computers in the house do i-Player flawlessly, even my 10 year old linux laptop so it's definitely this box at fault. I can live without 4-OD and ITV streaming but i-Player is a deal breaker in the living room. I asked when the next firmware is due on the WD website forums last week and haven't heard anything back. There are a number of other small annoyances, for example the youtube app also craps out badly from time to time, but I could forgive them all in such a cheap device if i-Player worked passably - sadly it just doesn't and there's no sign when and even if a new firmware will be along to fix it.


Pukka Herbs Organic Morning Time Tea - Pack of 20 Sachets
Pukka Herbs Organic Morning Time Tea - Pack of 20 Sachets
Offered by Suntechgadget Direct
Price: 3.75

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not so good, 14 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Obviously it's a matter of personal taste but I don't feel this stacks up at all well to standard Tick Tock Rooibos or even Tetley's Redbush - it's missing body to my tastes and it's not significantly sweeter despite the added honeybush. Taste aside the packaging is covered in pretentious twaddle and individually wrapped bags are both annoying and wasteful.


Gorilla Tape 1-inch Handy Roll
Gorilla Tape 1-inch Handy Roll
Price: 1.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 20 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is good strong stuff - just be careful if you're after "normal" gaffer tape... the "1-inch" refers to the width of the tape, not the thickness of it on the roll, you only get 30ft of tape here as it's designed to be portable (it fit's in a pocket nicely) so if that's what you're after it's very good.


1 Roll Gaffer tape Silver 48mm x 50m gaffa duct duck packing cloth book binding
1 Roll Gaffer tape Silver 48mm x 50m gaffa duct duck packing cloth book binding
Offered by FiveBoys Stationery Ltd
Price: 1.71

3.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as some cheap tapes I've used..., 20 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
...but still fairly lousy compared to any brand name Gaffa like Gorilla. That's not to say it's not both useful and cheap - you get a lot per roll and for things that don't need to last more than an day or two it's OK. For things you'd like to last a bit longer I've yet to find anything that can beats the brand names.


Pegasus the Early Seminal Computer
Pegasus the Early Seminal Computer
by Hugh McGregor Ross
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what it says on the tin., 20 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The fuss free front cover says it all, this is no pop-sci book. Nothing is over dramatized or guessed at and the author, while meticulously mentioning and crediting everyone involved, doesn't explore anyone's personal lives or motivations in any great depth. For the computer history buff this is a good thing, it's very fact dense and the provenance of the material is unbeatable. Instead of painting a picture this book is a very matter of fact affair It is well written and understated with excellent appendices containing facsimiles of original reports and design documents contributed by members of the original team. The chances are if you're even looking at it here you're the sort of person who would really enjoy it but be warned: if you're anything less than fascinated by the detailed workings of 1/2" tape drives and nickle delay lines you may find it unbearably dry. If what you are after is a more of a flavour of what British computing was like in the pioneer days of the 40s and 50s you would be better off with "A Computer Called LEO", but personally I love this kind of thing and so I enjoyed every page.


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