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Steve Craftman (Neath)
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Inconstant Moon
Inconstant Moon
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware!, 25 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Inconstant Moon (Kindle Edition)
This is not the anthology as was published in the seventies, simply the title story of the book (and even then not the best story in the original anthology). It is NOT 208 pages long as Amazon suggest. Until Amazon alter the description to match what actually gets delivered, stay away.


SanDisk Clip Sport 4 GB MP3 Player - Black
SanDisk Clip Sport 4 GB MP3 Player - Black
Offered by MyMemory
Price: £24.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just one disappointment - otherwise damn good, 9 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My 30Gb iPod is starting to wheeze a bit when the disk starts up (yes, it's that old - bought ten years ago) so time for a replacement I thought. Firstly, I had to return two other mp3 players because my PC simply refused to admit that they existed and this was the third. I decided to play it safe and go for a make I'd had before as a spare so that the aging iPod was spared being carried around.

I noted from reviews for this model that it accepted cards up to 128Gb and I had a spare 64Gb card in search of a purpose. I prepared the files I wanted and had around 9,000 songs ranging in length to thirty or forty seconds (some of Bach's canons) to a eighty minutes (experimental electronic stuff). The player was easy to set up, and remembering my experience with a previous model, I'd copied all the files I wanted to the card, intending leaving the on-board storage empty as the previous model didn't allow you to use both on-board storage and a micro SD card. The correct address for the device's homepage, by the way, is [...] not as given in the quick-start booklet.

The sound was excellent to my ears, which admittedly suffered some damage when I used to spend most evenings in a bar. Given that I expect to be using the player on trains and other noisy environments, the quietness of my living room is a good testing area for sound quality. To be honest I don't hear any problems with 128kbs mp3 files, so that's what I use to encode my music at. The controls are improved from the last Sandisk player I had and the colour screen showing the artwork associated with/embedded in the mp3 file is a delight, but the loss of the sort-by-genre feature is a shame. While the iPod has a nice heavy feel to it so you can tell it's in your shirt pocket, the Clip stubbornly hangs in there quite securely without damaging clothes. No chance of losing it even though it only weighs a few grams. And this model, unlike the previous model, has a stardard small USB socket rather than the inconvenience of a non-standard one.

The disappointment comes in the directory limitation, not mentioned in Sandisk's advertising at all and on perhaps page 3 or 4 of Amazon's questions about the player, and who looks through every page of the questions about an item? It can only hold 2,000 entries in memory at a time, the sort of limitation which, to my mind, should be mentioned in the specs. I'm a great fan of the shuffle control and like to leap from, for example, a Beethoven string quartet to The Velvet Underground to something electronic. And there I was with 9,000+ files on a 64Gb card: when I looked at the display and saw that only 2,000 were available my first thought was that there was something wrong with the card. After all, the card from my previous Sandisk player has over 4,000 files on it. Even my Amazon-bought mp3s come to over 6,000 (I switched from shiny round things to files a while back for space reasons) is only a gigabyte or two over the capacity of the card.

The workaround (which also seems to work for the lack of sorting on the genre field) is to be careful about your directory tree structure; it's probably best to have half a dozen or more top level folders, so that none of them contain more than the 2,000 limit. You can use either the internal storage OR the SD card, and there's no option, other than making sure that all the files fall into the same upper folder, of selecting several artists for random play.

So while it's streets ahead of players that cost half the price, it is worth paying the extra for, but at the same time the corners cut, presumably to keep the price down, are irritating. I just wish I'd waited a few days before buying: the price has just dropped by a fiver!


A Crown of Dark Swansdown
A Crown of Dark Swansdown
Price: £12.87

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tyrannosaurus Rex evolving..., 20 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've only listened through the album once, but naturally expect to listen to it again and again. The song selection is pretty much what you'd expect of Marc and Mickey at this point, but with a couple of surprises: although Elemental Child isn't here, it's guitar-hero coda emerges from By the Light of the Magical Moon. One Inch Rock has its delightful scat introduction as on the first T Rex album, and Organ Blues is taken at a somewhat faster pace than other performances I've heard, with a more definite accent on the first beat of each bar. Marc has discovered a new trick (a power chord accompanied by a yelp then a momentary silence) which creeps into both Jewel and Summertime Blues. Altogether it's a very together performance, and the best ever live recording I've heard of Tyrannosaurus Rex (discounting the BBC recording of course on the grounds that they were recorded by BBC techies).

Presentation is nice with monochrome photos on a matt, slightly textured card. While it's a good photo of Marc on the cover, it's a shame that it wasn't a photo of the two of them as Mickey was important to the sound. And it's so nice to see "Debora" spelled correctly! You can tell the rip-off albums because they always add an extraneous "h" to the end of the name...


Exiles at the Well of Souls
Exiles at the Well of Souls
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, shockingly badly prepared file, 4 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've literally just finished this volume of the Well World series. I first read the original trilogy nearly thirty years ago and have regularly re-read it since. Of all modern science fiction works it's probably my favourite: a series I would add to any of those lists of books to read before you die. The plethora of alien races, their humanity and inhumanity, the whole concept is a work of brilliance. So why have I marked the book so low? Because this edition has so many typos it took me about a third longer than usual to read. Normally if I read slowly it's to enjoy the language, here it was to understand the text. The text looks to be the result of character recognition technology, with punctuation marks masquerading as letters, and vice versa. The publishers should be ashamed of putting their name to the text. I note that there is now another version of the Well World series available on Kindle. Take a gamble and buy that instead of this version. The quality of this version makes me regret the fact that I gave away my original paperbacks when I bought this edition. Finally I'd add that the quality of the text transfer reflects badly on Amazon too: after all, I bought the Kindle to save space and paper, and this book makes me regret the decision!


Deviant Moon Tarot Book
Deviant Moon Tarot Book
by Patrick Valenza
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £21.76

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting a new standard, 25 Mar. 2016
This is the book other Tarot writers need to be afraid of: Patrick has set a near-impossible bar with this book. Physically, it's enormous: a couple of centimetres shorter than a sheet of A4, over an inch thick (not including the covers and weighing in at nearly two kilos. The cover alone shows it means business: heavy embossed boards with the triumphal birth/emergence of the creature from the Six of Wands who appears on the front of the box of the bordered edition (but get the borderless edition: you can see so much more in the borderless deck). It's extensively illustrated throughout with not only the cards, but details, locations used to obtain sample textures used on the cards, and preliminary sketches. The paper is heavy and high quality, so the book "only" runs to 340 pages. As well as an explanation of the card meanings, Patrick gives us an insight into the evolution of the deck from his first sketches for the deck as a teenager.

I'm afraid I couldn't wait and ordered the book direct from Patrick. Also I followed his facebook page, nagging/encouraging him, along with many others, to get the book published. It's been a long wait, but it's been worth it. The detail is stunning, way more than I've seen in any other Tarot book written by the deck's author. Yes, it costs more than either version of the deck, but full page blow-ups of the cards, focus on the minutiae of the deck and Patrick's inimitable writing style... One confession: I bought two copies: one to use, read and refer to and another to sit on the shelf, being beautiful, until such a time comes that the "working" copy has suffered too much wear and tear. And if an electronic version is ever produced, I'll buy that as well.


Loaded: Reloaded 45th Anniversary Edition
Loaded: Reloaded 45th Anniversary Edition
Price: £47.54

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellence flawed by carelessness, 30 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Much as it pains me, I can only give this edition of Loaded four stars. The book is lovely, in line with the books for the other three albums. But instead of having the track listing on the back of the book there's a sheet of paper stuck to it. I immediately removed the paper to protect it, but it's just that little bit too big to go inside the book and will have to be folded. Kinda irritating when this is supposed to be the "last word" definitive edition of Loaded.

There's very little here that most Velvets fans won't have heard: for me the only "new" music is on disc 2: the mono promo version of the album and the two singles (one unreleased), but all four tracks are from Loaded. On the plus side, it does contain Sweet Jane as originally released, the version that Lou hated.

I much preferred the Fully Loaded approach to the album, the second disc reconstructing the album, but using alternate versions and demos. Here we have session out-takes, demos, early versions and alternate mixes presented in groups at the end of disc one and taking up all of disc 3.

Loaded of course belongs with Live at Max's Kansas City, but in squeezing Max's onto one disc, Who Loves the Sun and the second version of Sweet Jane have been dropped along with the little radio promo that was on the two disc version of Max's as an historical curio. What grates here is that the dropped tracks could have filled up some spare space on the first disc which is less than an hour long.

The second best-known bootleg from this period appears here as disc 5, Live at Second Fret. The bootleg has been well circulated and I would imagine anyone willing to pay out for this set will also have got hold of a copy of the bootleg. However, it's been through a studio cleanup, so the sound is improved a little. I have to admit that it's not the most energising recording I've ever heard and I'd imagine its presence here is more to fill the role of providing a bootleg in the package same as the other three albums, forgetting that Max's itself started life as a bootleg recording.

Disk 6 is an audio only DVD offering four mixes of the album, with dreadful graphics based on the cover of Loaded. The graphics have a nasty grainy look to them and are not improved by the clashing magenta of the selection bar. Apparently at one point I Found a Reason and Head Held High were going to be segued together, so on a couple of mixes these tracks are reversed in the running order to account for the segue, which really just amounts to a lack of silence between the two tracks. To me, the DVD is a waste: despite the remastering and the surround sound mix I can hear the "dust" of a 45 year old recording that bit more clearly. I'm afraid the audiophile content is wasted on me, and I suspect is only there to push up the price.

I love Loaded as I love pretty much every VU recording I've heard (and I've probably heard more than my fair share of bootlegs). This is a beautiful package let down by the record company over-extending themselves with the DVD, and missing tracks out from Max's even though there's still room for them on another disc. Finally, don't be fooled by the autorip: unlike the other albums where the entire set is presented as mp3 files, what you get here is "the American version", which is just the ten tracks of the original album, I would presume from the Fully Loaded version of the album. I'm afraid both the record company and Amazon have let themselves down with this one, which is why I'm regretfully only giving the package 4 stars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 31, 2015 6:25 PM GMT


Dragonsdawn
Dragonsdawn

4.0 out of 5 stars a republication: check your Kindle that you haven't already got this!, 28 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Kindle Edition)
Note that this is simply a new edition of the book (well worth reading for those who "get" Pern), but don't be fooled by the lack of "you bought this on <date>" information: same text, different cover...


Wooden Tarot Card Box With Engraved Pentagram (17x13cm)
Wooden Tarot Card Box With Engraved Pentagram (17x13cm)
Offered by GeoFossils
Price: £12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading sizing..., 19 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A pleasant enough box, spoiled only by the extremely stiff hinges (first time I opened it I had to use a knife blade to twist it open) and the fact that the measurements given are the EXTERNAL measurements. Internally it's 14cm x 10.5cm. I'd bought it for a specific deck (a private printing which didn't have a box) which is just slightly too high at about 14.5cm. So I have a very nice card box, which will probably end up being given away as a present or else used for another purpose than the one I wanted it for...


TeckNet USB 3.0 Hard Drives Docking Station With Highly Durable ABS Plastic for 2.5 Inch & 3.5 Inch SATA HDD (SATA I / II / III) Support 4TB, Including USB 3.0 Cable and External Power Supply, Tool-Free
TeckNet USB 3.0 Hard Drives Docking Station With Highly Durable ABS Plastic for 2.5 Inch & 3.5 Inch SATA HDD (SATA I / II / III) Support 4TB, Including USB 3.0 Cable and External Power Supply, Tool-Free
Offered by Hippidion.Store
Price: £39.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect solution!, 11 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Over the past few years I've lost not one but three external hard drives. A 2005 drive, with a massive 250Gb of storage was long ago sent to the recycling centre, though its twin, lives and works to this day. Two Western Digital 1Tb external drive ceased to work and I've long suspected that at least one of them still held a functioning hard drive, that it was the extra electronics to provide a USB port that might have gone. This little device has allowed me to verify that one of the 1Tb drives is actually dead (I'll beat it up with a hammer and steep it in bleach later in case it contains anything private), but with the other drive, it was the extra electronics that failed. The drive is currently sitting in the dock disgorging its contents onto my main machine prior to having Windows maintenance thrown at it to ensure its health. And those hard drives that have been sitting in the drawer can come out to be tested too: this dock provides an excellent cheap solution to the transport of files between locations - all you need is a spare hard drive. It costs little more than a 64Gb memory stick and can handle "naked" drives up to 4Tb. And if you're like me you can't throw your old machine out without extracting everything that might be useful - now an easier way of using a spare hard drive than balancing it on a few paperbacks while you temporarily attach it to the motherboard. So simple that the most ardent luddite could use it. The only reason I've marked it down a star is because the base unit has a slightly cheap'n'nasty feel to it. I'd gladly have paid another fiver to have a more sold feeling base. Buy with confidence.


byteStor Pro 64GB USB 3.0 High Speed Flash Drive - Red
byteStor Pro 64GB USB 3.0 High Speed Flash Drive - Red
Price: £12.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection..., 24 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It does exactly what you expect it to and damn fast about it too! I bought several and used them to back up a friend's data when I was working to repair his Windows installation. No problem whatsoever (except for the pinch-ability!)...


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