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Richard W. Girdwood "b25atron" (Inverness, UK)

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GMYLE(TM) ExpressCard 34/54 to USB3.0 Express Card Adapter Dual Ports Windows 7/XP/Vista
GMYLE(TM) ExpressCard 34/54 to USB3.0 Express Card Adapter Dual Ports Windows 7/XP/Vista
Offered by Clever Gadgets
Price: £10.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect on my Lenovo, 15 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Got this for my recently purchased Lenovo Thinkpad. Was a bit worried with some of the negative reviews but decided it was worth a pop for the price. Fitted flush, blending into the laptop and is secure in use. Windows installed the drivers from the disc and it worked right away. Transfer rate is about 5x my USB2.0 slots. Haven't noticed any issues yet so have to give it five stars.

TeckNet® 2.5 inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk HDD External Enclosure / Case for 9.5mm 7mm 2.5" SATA HDD and SSD, Tool-free HDD Installation
TeckNet® 2.5 inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk HDD External Enclosure / Case for 9.5mm 7mm 2.5" SATA HDD and SSD, Tool-free HDD Installation
Offered by BlueByte Ltd
Price: £10.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A decent purchase, 15 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Had an old 620GB laptop drive going unused so bought this so I could hook it up to my Xbox One as some extra storage. Came quickly. Easy to use and transfer rate is quick. Seems secure, if perhaps tight when putting the lid back on the enclosure. Ideal buy if your looking to use an old laptop drive as extra external storage and for £10 it does nothing wrong.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinkpad T410, 6 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My 3 year old Toshiba broke and I needed a new laptop. After a bit of research I came across this, and saw how highly it is regarded, and comparing it to similarly priced laptops in shops it was clear it was good value. I'd used Thinkpads in work and found them functional if conservative in style. For once I popped for function over form.

My model was the i5 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 160GB HD model with Intel HD Graphics. It has a SDHC card reader, Wi-Fi, Windows 7 and enough USB2.0 slots for the average user. It also has a eSATA connection for super-fast transfers to external hard-drives. On first booting I was on the desktop in under 45 seconds. Without the bloat that is commonplace in new laptops, Windows 7 boots and shuts-down faster than I've ever seen. The screen while not spectacular is fine and 720p streams from Netflix display nicely with no slowdown. The battery life isn't great but is sufficient. I have bought a new 9-cell battery for travelling. I also swapped out one of the 2GB RAM chips for one from my Toshiba at 4GB, giving a total of 6GB RAM, although this didn't make a discernible difference to performance.

The condition is near immaculate, some slight scuffing on the lid the only signs of previous use. The keys, trackpad and buttons all look as new. The build quality of the T410 is superb, solid, if perhaps heavy, with cast metal joints for the screen lid and hard plastic throughout with hardly a bit of flex. It seems it could take a hammering! The keyboard is fantastic and the first laptop keyboard I've used that matches a good desktop one.

Overall I am pleased. I have had it for ten days and do not regret it one bit. Time will tell, but my first impressions are far ahead of the disappointment I've felt with previous laptops. The Toshiba, slow and wrecked by awful keyboard; the Sony VAIO, fast, powerful and gorgeous to look at, but dead after 12 months; and a Samsung that was unusable and sold for scrap after less than a year.

Update: A month on it is still fine. Have also added a USB3.0 card which works perfectly.

Official Xbox One Stereo Headset (Xbox One)
Official Xbox One Stereo Headset (Xbox One)
Price: £42.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value, in a manner, 27 Mar 2014
Bought these to save the trail of leads that accompany me anytime I want a late night Xbox session. I used to use Sennhiesers plugged into my AV amp (cheap Sennhiesers, expensive Onkyo amp) and they worked great, albeit without the chat support.

These though are much better. The build quality is good for the price. They feel solid, chunky, sturdy and look good if not too stylish. The non-tangle lead is a plus and the boom mic tucks away so neat you cannot tell it is there. Sound quality is good, solid bass and fine treble, not as detailed as the AV through speakers but better than the Sennhiesers. If I had a complaint it would be the bass is slightly too high, but I have always preferred a flatter response in my music and AV. The boom mic works fine, and although I don't game online too much, I have been told I am clear and easy to hear. They are comfortable, tight and block out external sound well. They also have a standard 3.5 jack so can be used on any audio gear, so that is a nice bonus.

The included control/adapter works well and fits nicely and only took a minute for a basic update that is prompted as soon as the adapter is clicked on. This is done for each controller. The buttons work fine and it is nice to have the balance controls. You can also plug any headphones into the 3.5 jack for listening.

If I had to mark it down it would simply be because the adapter should have been included in the Xbox One box! PS4 had this capability out of the box, and although the Xbox's method allows for greater control, it is still an additional cost, which when included with the remote, batteries and headset, makes the One expensive. I have paid over £600 in total now for console, games and accessories.

Despite that, I would recommend this as it is well built, has good quality sound and for the price is a decent set of headphones for everyday use.

Zeitgeist: The Movie [PAL]
Zeitgeist: The Movie [PAL]
Offered by Merlin Bookshop
Price: £8.95

3.0 out of 5 stars The ideas have evolved, but it is worth a watch, 9 Jan 2014
This review is from: Zeitgeist: The Movie [PAL] (DVD)
I saw this a couple of years ago and at the time was highly sceptical about its claims. I still am, but that doesn't mean the film isn't worth watching and isn't interesting.

Part One deals with religion, specifically (for a Western produced movie) Christianity. It is interesting, and probably broadly correct in the overall assertion that Christianity is essentially a mix of ancient myths coupled to a messianic figure that lived 2000 years ago. It was preaching to the converted with me in this section, and although I cannot verify every fact stated, my understanding of the early evolution of Christianity would lead me to think it contains a general truth.

Part Two is different. The US was aware of an impending attack on its soil, but I personally doubt 9/11 was orchestrated or allowed to happen. There are sufficient questions to be asked, and one cannot doubt that in some ways, some people benefited from the attack, especially in the military-industrial complex, but my personal opinion is this is correlation, not causality. I have heard Peter Joseph has moved slightly from the viewpoint expressed in this section.

Part Three is very curious. Although I don't believe in the chipped sheeple theory, I certainly do believe that certain events in history have been manufactured to create favourable conditions for the exploitation of new markets by Western financial and corporate institutions. For a well referenced work on this look at Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine. As for the legality of Federal Reserve etc, I cannot comment, I am not well enough informed.

Overall a though provoking movie. I feel it is probably not as accurate as it first appears, but it made me think and that is part of the job of any documentary. Peter Joseph has gone on to create a fun, cynical and thought provoking web series called "Culture in Decline", more enjoyable and interesting than this film. I would recommend people look that out.

In the Velociraptor's Nest (Dinosaur Erotica)
In the Velociraptor's Nest (Dinosaur Erotica)
Price: £1.91

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book of prehistoric erotica I've read this week, 10 Oct 2013
After reading Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park I was left feeling scientifically fulfilled but emotionally distraught. Now I know why.

I have to recommend this most heartily. I was transfixed by the subtle arrangement of words into a tale of lust, so much so I struggled to read for more than say, 2-3 minutes at a time, often having to take short breaks between reads to recompose, arrange short expeditions to find edible berries, spear neighbour's dogs and clean up the Kindle.

Needless to say those 2-3 minutes were spent deep in the mindset of a caveperson, wondering what dinosaurian magic might come next. After reading this literary wet dream I wouldn't mind a Velociraptor opening my door handle at night!

I would love to see her branch into other forms of prehistoric erotica, such as ammonites and giant sloths, or fantasy creatures. Cthulhu with his many tentacles comes to mind. Bravo!

A Song of Ice and Fire, 7 Volumes
A Song of Ice and Fire, 7 Volumes
by George R. R. Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £42.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Ice and Fire, with a side of Blood and Boob, 8 May 2013
I came to this series before seeing the excellent HBO adaptation, but my interest was raised by the many comparisons between the world of A Song of Ice and Fire displayed in the book and the TV show and Skyrim, a game I was ravenously devouring at that time.

The seven volumes (five books) taken together are a great read, full of all the sex, intrigue, violence, humour and walking of the HBO show. Individually there are good and bad points. They are page-turners, generally very well written and they flow well. The plots, although labyrinthine at first glance, are quite simple and easy to digest. The settings are fantastical and well described and the characters are fleshed out with depth, especially the POV characters. Like many, I was particularly fond of Tyrion and Jon, and also found Jamie and Brienne very interesting. Some slow conclusions to plot points can irritate and gaps in narrative that make falling back into the characters difficult, the best examples being after the split narrative of books 4 and 5. None of this would be enough for a mark down.

Individually I like the first and fourth volumes the best (book 1 and book 3 pt2) and found volume 7 the least enjoyable (book 5 pt2). A lot of people found A Feast for Crows slow but I actually really enjoyed the politics of that volume even though there was not a great deal of action.

The best compliment I can give these books though is they have me back into fiction after years of reading books on politics, history and environmentalism. Perhaps there is some link between books on these subjects, with their ridiculous attention to detail, and Ice and Fire novels. I have taken Hunger Games as my next read so to George Martin I say thanks.

The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
by Richard Panek
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I agree, 10 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Being a science and sci-fi geek I bought this, on sale, and was quite looking forward to it. I was aware of dark matter and energy, in as much as I had read bits about them and understood that there were a lot of questions to be answered about what they were. I left this book better informed than when I started and for that I am thankful.


Reading this I felt an unease at what I felt was an abundance of biographical details about the scientists and a lack of information about the science. I wondered if it was just me, but having read other reviews it is clear this is a view shared by other readers. This ultimately will be the opinion I take from this book.

Readable yes, but lacking the detail and information I would have wanted from a popular science book on this subject.

Them: Adventures with Extremists
Them: Adventures with Extremists
Price: £4.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Funny, 16 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"Them" was a book I had been recommended quite a while ago, bought on sale recently and read in a couple of short sittings. It is as others have said a little out of date, but is still very interesting, especially to the relatively uninitiated in New World Order (NOW) theories.

It details the times Jon Ronson spent with a series of interesting, bizarre, deluded, insightful and funny characters, with the overriding theme that they seemed to believe in some sort of centralised controlling NWO. Whether jihadists, survivalists, conspiracy theorists, journalists or seemingly friendly Klu Klux Klansmen they all believe someone (insert prejudice and/or delusion here) are trying to secretly control us from some locality or series of localities. Jon does a good job of humanising the characters while still paying justice to their stories and beliefs, all while maintaining a Louis Theroux like aloof humour which makes the book more readable. Although he does get a little caught in the moment a few times, this only adds to the intrigue, especially in one section dealing with a Bilderberg Group meeting and a phone call to the British Embassy. The funniest section on the "fundamentalist" Omar is like a script for Carry on Jihad and had me laughing several times, as did the possibly overacted ranting of Alex Jones, American radio host and self proclaimed NWO expert.

It certainly provided me with entertainment and was reasonably informative, and in spite of some formatting issues in the Kindle version, although nothing that makes it unreadable, deserves a read and a full 5 stars!

John Pilger: Heroes - The Films Of John Pilger 1970-2007 [DVD]
John Pilger: Heroes - The Films Of John Pilger 1970-2007 [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Pilger
Price: £39.75

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener, to say the least, 1 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I got this DVD I hadn't heard of the Chagossians. I hadn't been aware of the US involvement in Cambodia. I was unaware of the depths of the arms trade and military-industrial complex. I had no idea of the involvement of the US and UK in sanctioning the children of Iraq, or the spin created in support various "wars on terror/communism/insert new fear here". How times have changed.

I was, like many in the UK through no fault of their own, a Sun reading, apolitical type, well educated yes, but ultimately uninterested in what was beyond my next pay cheque. John Pilger, first amongst others, opened my eyes to what had previously been unseen. At first I couldn't quite believe many of the things he said. Google and free time and some good history books showed that he was a right on so many counts.

The box set is extensive, including the majority of his documentaries (minus, oddly, the Murdoch documentary, that is though available online) from the 70s onwards. It runs at about 40 hours so don't expect to get through them quickly but in the large part they are worth watching. I have watched some more than once to share the experience and the only ones I didn't watch are the Australian ones, although I am sure I will at some point. The box set and DVD presentation is not great but the contents are fantastic. Pilger is a great presenter, if perhaps a little solemn on occasion. This works to his advantage though when interviewing people of a different political persuasion, his clear dislike and incredulity is amusing, even if not intentionally. He is an extensive researcher, is easy on the ear and the documentaries are often well directed, letting imagery tell the story too. The strength of his interviewees speaks volumes about his quality and the respect he has and had (I wonder if he left the mainstream or if the mainstream left him, as he is a non-entity on British TV now). All in all, if you are a believer in social liberalism and income equality, if you're anti-war and anti-globalisation and if you have a hatred of racism and state sanctioned murder - John is a man who may well be right up your street. Give it a try and see what you think.

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