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Norberto Amaral (Aveiro, Portugal)
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Canon PowerShot A80 Digital Camera [4MP 3xOptical]
Canon PowerShot A80 Digital Camera [4MP 3xOptical]

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grrrrreat camera!, 26 April 2004
Let me start making something completely clear. I'm a very demanding guywhen it comes to photography. I'm such a control freak that I need to beable to control aperture, shutter, exposure (in 1/3 stop increments), usefill-in flash night *and* day, night pictures and all. Yes, that's me onan average day. That's why I have a professional level SLR camera. Itgives me the control I want, it takes excellent pictures, that's me sortedout.
No wonder then, that when I decided to buy a digital camera, although thistime I didn't want to spend £2000 or £3000 on a new body, I still wantedquality and control. And for this price you can't beat the A70/A75 andA80.
Here are the positive aspects of the A80:
1. Image quality is excellent, razor-sharp, in almost all conditions.
2. Menus are very intuitive and extremely easy to use - no need at all toread the manual.
3. It has many programs for all kinds of situations, including portrait,landscape, macro, etc.
4. You can stitch up several pics in one - for example to build a panoramapicture.
5. Like SLRs it's got manual, aperture-priority andshutter-priority programs, giving you plenty of choice and control.
6. At its widest the lens is equivalent to a 38mm in 35 mm cameras andmakes this one of the digital cameras with the widest lenses on themarket, at least for this price. This will matter a lot to you if, likeme, you like taking pictures of landscapes, buildings, etc.
7. 4 Megapixels is much more than enough for most of you out there. Infact, 3 MB is quite enough.
8. You can take video clips with sound -and, despite what other people may tell you, it's not limited to 3minutes.
9. You can customize the camera to give it your personal touch - meaningthat you can change the startup image, system sounds, etc.
10. The included software is extremely good.
11. The flash is very powerful; in fact I suspect the range is a lotlonger than the manual says.
12. Its TV output means you can show your pics on your TV, making thiscamera a lot more user friendly than most digital cameras, at least whenyou don't print the pictures. The cable is of course supplied.
13.After you take a picture you can inspect it by zooming into it. That wayyou can check the quality of the image and decide if another one isnecessary.
14. The memory support used by this camera is Compact Flash and is, byfar, the cheapest memory support on the market. And there is a lot tochoose from, unlike other - arhem - types that are proprietary.
15.Best value for money here doesn't mean it's a cheap camera and that youget what you pay for: here you pay little and get a lot of cameraback!
16. This has a bonus compared to A70 and A80 cameras: the LCD displaycomes out and can be rotated so you can take self portraits and reachthose hard angles without breaking your neck.
Of course there are a few nags too. Since if you're reading this it'slikely that you're interested in buying the camera I might as well tellyou the bad things too:
1. It's much heavier than most digital cameras,meaning that although it's good for avoiding camera shake it is a bituncomfortable on your hand. (Mind you, my other "real" camera is an SLRthat typically weighs more than 2Kgs and I still wear it around myneck!!!)
2. It is by far the ugliest digital camera on the market. Check out thepictures, you will see what I mean.
3. This camera uses 4 AA size batteries, making it even heavier andbulkier. You might as well order one and rechargeable AA batteries whenyou buy this camera. On the plus side because the batteries are standardso when they've given their last drop you can get them anywhere from theGreat Wall of China to Iraklion.
4. You only get a warning that thebarrery must be replaced at the very last moment.
5. It is a bit slow when taking pictures - from when you depress theshutter button for the first time, to when the picture is actually taken.Somehow this delay doesn't seem to happen all the time; I'm not sure, butI think it may have something to do with light levels.
This camera is a little wonder and I definitely recommend it. The onlyreason why I only don't give it five stars is because, as I said above,I'm a very demanding guy...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2010 2:58 PM BST


Canon Powershot A75 Digital Camera [3.2MP , 3 x Optical]
Canon Powershot A75 Digital Camera [3.2MP , 3 x Optical]

90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful though not perfect camera, 26 April 2004
I've been a photography enthusiast for nearly ten years, own an APS cameraand a top of the range (professional level) SLR camera. Now that I waslooking for a digital camera although I didn't want to spend a lot ofmoney it definitely couldn't be any piece of garbage today's manufacturersthrow out at us...
A few months ago, and after a long search I settled on the predecessor ofthis camera, the A70. However, I recently saw that Canon had launched amore recent A75 and noticed there is only one real difference between theA70 and A75: the latter has got a "Direct to Printer" button that allowsyou to... well, to print directly from the camera to the printer via theUSB cable provided. Neat but not exactly, in in mu humble opinion, worthlaunching a new model for.
Here are some of the reasons for why I bought the A70:
1. Image quality is excellent, razor-sharp, in almost all conditions.
2. Menus are very intuitive and extremely easy to use - no need at all toread the manual.
3. It has many programs for all kinds of situations,including portrait, landscape, macro, etc.
4. You can stitch up several pics in one - for example to build a panoramapicture.
5. Like SLRs it's got manual, aperture-priority and shutter-priorityprograms, giving you plenty of choice and control
6. At its widest the lens is equivalent to a 38mm in 35 mm cameras andmakes this one of the digital cameras with the widest lenses on themarket, at least for this price. This will matter a lot to you if, likeme, you like taking pictures of landscapes, buildings, etc.
7. 3Megapixels is enough for 99% of you out there (if you're looking for a 5MPcamera then you're either a pro or nuts :-)
8. You can take video clips with sound - and, despite what other peopletell you, it's not limited to 3 minutes. I guess those who say that havenever tried it themselves.
9. You can customize the camera to give it your personal touch - meaningthat you can change the startup image, system sounds, etc.
10. Thesoftware is extremely good.
11. The flash is very powerful; in fact I suspect the range is a lotlonger than the manual says.
12. Its TV output means you can show your pics on your TV, making thiscamera a lot more user friendly than most digital cameras, at least whenyou don't print the pictures. The cable is of course supplied.
13. After you take a picture you can inspect it by zooming into it. Thatway you can check the quality of the image and decide if another one isnecessary.
14. The mery support used by this camera is Compact Flashand is, by far, the cheapest memory support on the market. And there is alot to choose from, unlike other - arhem - types that are proprietary.
15. Best value for money here doesn't mean it's a cheap camera and thatyou get what you pay for: here you pay little and get a lot of cameraback!
On the downside there are a few nags too. Since if you're reading thisit's likely that you're interested in buying the camera I might as welltell you the bad things too:
1. It's heavier than most digital cameras,meaning that although it's good for avoiding camera shake it is a bituncomfortable on your hand. (Mind you, my other "real" camera is an SLRthat typically weighs more than 2Kgs and I still wear it around myneck!!!)
2. It is by far the ugliest digital camera on the market. Check out thepictures, you will see what I mean.
3. This camera uses 4 AA size batteries, making it even heavier andbulkier. You might as well order one and rechargeable AA batteries whenyou buy this camera. On the plus side because the batteries are standardso when they've given their last drop you can get them anywhere from theGreat Wall of China to Iraklion.
4. You only get a warning that thebarrery must be replaced at the last moment.
5. As someone says below, this camera is indeed a bit slow when takingpictures. But somehow it doesn't seem to happen all the time. I'm notsure, but I think it may have something to do with light levels.
All in all, I'm quite happy with this camera and would happily recommendit. The only reason why I only don't give it five stars is because I'm avery demanding guy, especially when it comes to photography...


Hey Nostradamus!
Hey Nostradamus!
by Douglas Coupland
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, Dramatic, Tragic, 31 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Hey Nostradamus! (Hardcover)
When I bought this book I didn't quite know what to expect. I admit I haven't read any of Coupland's previous books, most people I know haven't even heard of him before (that's what you get when you live in a small town in Portugal) and the title itself wasn't very revealing.
The story revolves around a shooting in a North Vancouver high-school in 1988 and a number of people affected directly and indirectly by that event. Now this I knew before I bought this book. Somehow I had the idea that this was some kind of "Bowling for Columbine" spin off. After all, there have been a few documentaries, movies and books lately about high school shootings especially in the US so maybe this one was *just another one*?
Not at all. This book is wonderful precisely because it stays away from politics, from the media circus, from the "social" causes of whatever happened and focuses solely on the actual people, individuals who were the victims. Not all victims, mind you: just one direct victim and her family.
So this is the story of Cheryl Anway. She finds out that she's pregnant in the morning before she left for school. Cheryl belongs to a Christian youth group where petty recrimination runs high with the sole ambition of meeting a guy, Jason. They end up together and when he wants to go further she is adamant: no sex before marriage. So fine, he says, let's get married. They end up in Las Vegas, have a cabbie as a witness, spend a night of lust at the Ceaser's before jetting off back to Vancouver at 6am. And they decide that they won't tell anyone.
We hear this story from Cheryl's mouth. At the same time she also talks about the shooting and how she died. (She's somewhere between earth and "heaven" so obviously she's in a state of enough peace of mind to tell the story. Except she has vengeance feelings against the people who killed her).
Jason also tells his story, ten years after the shooting. He lives alone and is a very bitter guy. He reflects on his relationship with Cheryl, how they had a petty fight in the morning before she was killed. He also describes what he saw of the shooting and his role: he ends up hitting one of the attackers with a well aimed stone. Unfortunately they had already hit Cheryl. He is later found by the Police holding her in a puddle of blood.
After the shooting he is thought of as being an accomplice and his feelings of shock at what happened, rejection from society and his father, a Christian weirdo, telling him he had "murder in his mind" when he held that stone are too much. And so he and his mother move away to New Brunswick, on the other coast of Canada.
I won't go further except to say that Heather, his girlfriend also tells her story two years later, and so does his father, a lone man, full of doubts about his religion.
This is a truly wonderful book. It is passionate, deals with very complex emotions and avoids all linearity that today's media throw at us when broadcasting events like a shooting. It deals only with human nature by showing how prone we are to depression, to disgust and revolt but also to forgiveness and understanding and recovery.
I will tell just one more thing: read this, you will absolutely love it.


Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq
Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq
by Sheldon Rampton
Edition: Paperback

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this!, 19 Jan. 2004
I was a bit disappointed when I first saw the cover of the book. Most books on the subject of war in Iraq are very serious, inside and out. This one though has a small comic strip featuring Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush. The first two are constantly bickering at one another, while Bush is screaming saying "Guys, if you can't do better than THAT, the audience will is NEVER going to believe this script! From the top and remember, you'r supposed to be BUDDIES".
Yes I smiled, it's funny. And I could show it to some friends who were a bit bemused by it. But in a way I was worried. With a cover like this I was scared that this wouldn't be a "serious" (read "believable") book. After all I had bought this hoping I would get rid of Michael Moore style rants and... I was getting something like it? God no!
My fears were totally unfounded. Inside I found one of the most readable, most well researched and most serious books I have read on this subject.
So, on to content. It's scary. Very scary. The level of spin doctoring, propaganda and was marketing is so frightening and overwelming that nowadays it is all but impossible to get a correct news piece from the main media sources. The quantity of news pieces broadcast in the US, be it TV or newspapers, is also flagging, leading to a huge gap between Americans' and Europeans' and Muslims' perceptions of the so called war on terrorism.
The funny thing is that much of the book could have been written by someone who is politically neutral or even right-wing: while facts are indisputable, especially when the sources are official, only some of the interpretations and a full chapter at most ("Doublespeak", after George Orwell's 1984) could have been written by the left wingers that I suppose the authors are.
So this book has many different edges, depending on your context. If you're a Bush supporter buy this and you'll think again; if you're against Bush's war on terrorism then this book will also have a lot of new things for you; f you're undecided, look no further: this book will tell all that there seems to be worth knowing about the lies and deceiving behind "Bush's war".
The funny thing is that, as a fellow Amazon client says about this book, you'd better read it in chunks otherwise you'll feel so disgusted with so many inconvenient truths. I myself read this in 6 days and am so "full" of information I just had to go and read something lighter. So it's fiction this time.


Johnny English [DVD] [2003]
Johnny English [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Rowan Atkinson
Offered by FUNTIME MEDIA
Price: £2.75

11 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the worst movie ever!, 12 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Johnny English [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Class? Sophistication? Unlike other fellow Amazon clients who left their opinions on this page I simply cannot agree.
This is possibly the worst movie ever made. I'm not kidding. I have never seen such rubbish characters, rubbish screenplay (screenplay? how can they even dare to use that word?), rubbish jokes, rubbish editing, it's boring, it's simply a non-movie.
When I saw this I was so frustrated to wanted to shoot my TV. And I don't even own a gun. Maybe I will if I ever happen to watch this again, then I will definitely make my point.
Also, the extras on the DVD are so... feeble (for lack of a better polite word) that is simply shameful...


Dude, Where's My Country?
Dude, Where's My Country?
by Michael Moore
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a whistle-blower but a HORN blower, 12 Dec. 2003
Michael Moore has arguably been the most important contributor for the current overturn of the American public's mind about the War on Terror. He's done this with this book, with his previous book "Stupid White Men and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation" and his Oscar and Cannes Palme D'Or winning documentary, "Bowling for Columbine".
There are therefore huge expectations about this book and, I can happily say, they are all met. Moore continues to raise very important issues about the US's foreign policy. And his wit is sharper than ever even though this time he could even afford to be dumber than Dubya, as all his points are so strong that they don't need to be 'sweetened' to make them more credible.
That is precisely one aspect of this book that is superior to the others: credibility. This is because in previous books Moore was sometimes trying to be funny rather than just accurate. So he skimmed over the least interesting parts and explanations. However, this book is exceedingly well researched and documented in the notes at the end and that lends it much more credibility than ever before. I guess that the only reason his opinions aren't accepted by the right is simply ignorance and refusal to accept the obvious.
In particular, the first two chapters blow the horn on the Bush family's ongoing involvement with the Bin Ladens (who are after all still contributing to Osama's campaign) are quite memmorable. Some of the issues he raises are so unbelievable that require a second read to make sure we are reading what we are reading.
The third chapter is strong in the message but very weak in the form: he chose to base his explanation of why we're so dependent on oil and its derivates on him having a dream of something happening 50 years from now. That's quite naff and he really didn't pull it off.
After that the book gets back into full swing. So hat's off for Michael Moore. And keep them coming!!!


The CIA's Greatest Hits (Real Story)
The CIA's Greatest Hits (Real Story)
by Mark Zepezauer
Edition: Paperback

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Conspirary schmiracy!, 10 Dec. 2003
This little book is incredible: it manages to cram into 89 pages 40 examples of CIA meddling into the affairs of other countries.
Anyone with half an eye would know this but some of the facts are so incredible and off-mainstream that they defy reason and explanation for those who somehow are still unaware of this or are aware but pretend not to know.
For example, for many people it makes little sense that the CIA can operate without the president's knowledge and consent, many times going against the current administration's foreign policy. But that happens and quite frequently. Also, the fact that the book is written in such a small format makes you wonder whether its sources are trustworthy. A quick run through the notes at the end will dispell any fears about the truthness of the book but will make you believe in these "conspiracy theories".
My only problem with this book is that it's small and many times has to give out the straight facts as they are understood by some authors and historians without any explanation. I surely wanted to know more about the CIA involvement in the creation of the Bay of Pigs problem for JFK to deal with, Reagan's people negotiating with Iranians so they kept American prisoners longer so Reagan could have a chance at winning the October elections against Carter and Nixon's and George Bush's multiple meddling into other countries affairs. But there is no room for that. I guess the author's objective was to write a book that will spice up the reader's appetite for reading more of this stuff by buying other books. If that's the case they certainly managed to do it.
Maybe one day people will see the US's foreign policy for what it is and books like this one will be useless. Until then, buy this and start your collection so you know what's been done in *your* name.


Nokia 7210 - Turquoise
Nokia 7210 - Turquoise

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More good stuff from Nokia, 10 Dec. 2003
I bought this phone for my wife and she absolutely loved it. Previously she had the 8210 which she had bought a few years back and now that she wanted another Nokia this was the mobile that made most sense to buy.
There are four main reasons to buy this phone: it's very thin and small, it's beautiful, it's very solid and is inexpensive compared to other Nokias.
In terms of thinness, it's just a little thicker than the 8210 she had and as thick as the 8310. That means *very thin*. In terms of length it's 1 cm longer than the 8210 but that really isn't a lot. Sure there are thinner and shorter models out there but keep reading this so I can convince you.
About its beauty, there are very few models as attractive as this one. Like the 8210 and possibly the 8310, I'm pretty sure that once this model stops being fashionable it will immediately jump to the wagon of 'retro but very tasteful' models. And as we all know, it is fashionable to have a retro but tasteful model: in three or four or even more years time you will not feel as though you've got a brick in your pocket, but a beautiful piece that you feel comfortable with and, most of all, the target of other people's envy. That's what it's all about when you buy a mobile these days, right?
Unlike many other Nokia models whose covers become loose very easily and some parts jingle away like they're part of a Christmas tree's decorations this model feels very, very solid. Of course I'm not meaning that you can drop it on the floor. For that you can always change covers and presto, you've got a new phone - provided the LCD screen doesn't start malfunctioning. But the idea is that you won't feel like you've got a trinket from Taiwan but a Scandinavian piece...
Finally, this model was the best value for money Nokia I've seen with colour display. Just to give you an idea, there's another model which is very similar to this that has got a camera but costs more than twice as much.
By way of funcionality, it's got everything top models have got except a built in camera (though you can buy a separate that doubles as a headphone) and Bluetooth. So, it's got a colour LCD, fantastic and easy to use menus (a huge improvement over the previous models), Java games, huge memory for contacts, very long battery power (they say the battery will last 300 hours without calls and 5 hours with calls), GPRS, radio, Infrared connectivy, MMS messaging (no video), ability to send e-mail, polyphonic rings, etc.
If you're looking for an excellent mobile phone look no further, you just found it!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2009 12:56 AM GMT


Kill Bill Vol. 1
Kill Bill Vol. 1
Offered by TwoRedSevens
Price: £4.69

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even more impressing after watching the movie, 25 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (Audio CD)
Tarantino has done it again! He proved he is as good at making music compilations as he is as a director.
Here is another set of unpredictable songs ranging from the 60s to the 90s where the only thing in common is that they are played in a movie. And a very good movie at that.
Initially you may think that some of the songs aren't really that special. Indeed, at first you might be forgiven for thinking that it is just a reshuffle of the Reserver Dogs, Kacky Brown or Pulp Fiction sountracks. However, you will need to have watched the movie before you listen to the soundtrack. That's just so you can remember a particularly part of the movie you liked when you hear Nancy Sinatra for example. And with that association the success of the soundtrack and of the movie is set. In stone.
You go watch the movie and then listen to this. You'll be hooked. Better yet, buy it before going to see the movie, 'cause I'm sure you'll love leaving the cinema theatre and popping that CD on your car CD player on your way home. Trust me, there'll be no sweeter 'going home after leaving the cinema' than this for ages.


Life for Rent
Life for Rent
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.72

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My my my, 25 Oct. 2003
This review is from: Life for Rent (Audio CD)
This album is a total waste of space. Whilst Dido's voice is still hauntingly clear, majestic and melancholy, the songs are absolutely nowhere as good as those in her previous CD.
These songs are bland, boring, empty, wasteful. Do yourself a favour: get the single, save your money and buy something else.


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