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Rob (London)

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The Best Of
The Best Of
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £1.28

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the original recordings, 30 April 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Best Of (Audio CD)
The CD arrived quickly but as soon as I put it on my heart sunk ... these are not the original recordings. Never Can Say Goodbye is a slowed down version, and I Will Survive has a markedly weaker vocal performance, and possibly some dfferent lyrics, to the original. The vocals on I Know What I Am sound the similar to the original but the backing music is again different. If you want alternative versions this might be a good purchase, but I wanted the originals.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2008 4:44 PM BST

Apple iPod classic 80GB silver
Apple iPod classic 80GB silver

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value great capacity great battery life MP3, 19 Mar. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When my beloved Creative Zen Touch gave up the ghost this new ipod seemed to be the only promising alternative on the market at that time. Its smart, slim and light and fits easily in any pocket, including my shirt pocket. The screen is excellent with great colours, I was amazed at the video quality. The sound is sharp and clear, with more volume than i require. I also didnt require coverflow but I quite enjoy seeing the album covers pop up when choosing a song, but many songs do not have album covers and some are incorrectly assigned, which is annoying. I don't want to delete coverflow though, as it doesnt make my ipod slow and just enhances the product with an extra facility. I'm sure apple will manage to improve the software over time.

What really is weak on this product, compared to the Creative software, is itunes. Its ridiculous that you have to keep all the songs on your PC as well as on the ipod, and also that you can't use another PC for downloading songs to the ipod without deleting all the songs you already have on your ipod.

The 80GB capacity is fantastic. I have all my CD collection and even a few movies, and there's still 50GB left, incredible. The battery life is also excellent, it seems to last almost forever. I have the intempo mp3 speakers at home, and you just have to dock the ipod on this and it charges whilst it plays, so I hardly notice having to charge it.

Overall, the ipod classic silver has some great features, looks wonderful, isn't perfect but is arguably the best mp3 on the market just now.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 26, 2008 10:38 PM GMT

TomTom One v3 3.5" Sat Nav with UK Maps (discountinued by manufacturer)
TomTom One v3 3.5" Sat Nav with UK Maps (discountinued by manufacturer)

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Godsend when you're on your own, 13 Mar. 2008
Being recently separated, I found it difficult driving to unfamiliar places using a road map with no-one else to give me the directions. This gadget was a real eye-opener, just key in the postcode or address of the place you want to go to, hit the done key and it plots out the best route for you to drive to, and gives you voice instructions with a clear, viewable map to guide where to go. And it works! Whats more it indicates speed cameras, alerting you if you go over the speed limit in speed camera areas, places to park, hospitals, you name it. Plug it into your computer with the supplied USB cable and it will update your maps and software. I run the updates as often as i can and this also works fine.
The screen is quite small but very clear. I've had it since xmas and it hasn't sent me the wrong way once. If I take a wrong turning, it quickly alters the route and guides you safely on a revised route. The range of voices offered is good. I mostly use the "Jane" voice. I like the way she gives the instruction before roundabouts, and then just when you enter the roundabout to make sure you haven't forgotten. Bless her. Much better at giving me directions than my ex!

Easy Touch - 19" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV - With Integrated Multi-Region DVD Player and Freeview
Easy Touch - 19" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV - With Integrated Multi-Region DVD Player and Freeview

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Value TV, recommended, 4 Mar. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this on Thursday and it arrived on Monday morning, very good service. The box was slightly damaged, but the TV was in perfect order, a good looking product in shiny black! I was a bit worried at first because i couldn't find any connections at the back, then found them under the bar along the rear of the TV.

After switching on I tuned the analogue channels, and then the digital ones using the instructions on here and the not particularly user friendly book provided. This was not the easiest process, certainly compared to a Sony, but then this is a considerably cheaper product! I don't think this was so difficult though that I should not have bought the set. I suppose it took me about half an hour to get all the channels tuned in, and the TV fully up and ready.

The picture is very sharp, great colours, particularly once I had toned down the saturation - the default maked the screen look too red. The built in DVD worked great, and we watched Ratatouille with no glitches. Analogue channels are markedly less good than their digital counterparts, as would be expected, but the teletext worked really well. The sound is a bit disappointing. Whilst it is certainly loud enough, and its not tinny, there is a flatness to it.

Overall I think this is a great value product, and a good digital TV. I would have preferred an easier set up, and better sound, but thats it. Neither complaint is sufficient to annoy me. I have read comments about a noisy DVD player and dead pixels etc but this doesnt appear to be the case with my Easy Touch. Possibly they have improved the model after the complaints. I noticed there are some additions to the booklet pasted in, and it gives the right instructions for inserting a DVD which others have said was wrong in their copies. I have the TV in a bedroom, not as the main TV (that is a Sony circa 1994, which although pretty ancient has better sound than the Easy Touch, though not a better picture).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2008 12:04 PM GMT

Hitchcock Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Hitchcock Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £10.97

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of early Hitchcock films, 28 Feb. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this via Marketplace for about £4, it came from a dealer in Miami USA. It's a PAL version of the disks, so will work fine with UK DVD drives. Arrived within a week, brand new, shrink wrapped, and I'm absolutely delighted with it. If you love Hitchcock films as I do, and want a really well chosen selection of his early British films, you can't go much wrong with this set. The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps, The Man Who Knew Too Much (original version), Blackmail, his first talkie (and the first British talkie too) and The Lodger, the only silent here and the first in his classic suspense mode. Hithcock originally shot Blackmail as a silent feature, but added sound effects later when talkies were introduced. This does show very clearly when watching the film, and all the more fascinating for it!

Coot Club (Swallows And Amazons)
Coot Club (Swallows And Amazons)
by Arthur Ransom
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious themes underlying a wonderful adventure, 18 Jun. 2007
Probably the best of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series of children's books, along with "We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea" and "Great Northern".

Set on the Norfolk Broads, the story follows Dick and Dorothea Callum who, keen to learn how to sail and to study wildlife, go to stay with their mother's friend, Mrs Barrable, on the yacht Teasel. They meet another child, Tom Dudgeon, a serious birdlife conservationist who gets into trouble by setting adrift a motor-cruiser of loud and tactless townies when they refuse to move when their boat which is moored threatening the live nest of a rare family of coots.

We follow Tom, Dick, Dorothea and their friends on an exciting adventure from the northern to the southern broads, very vividly described by the author with a real sense of place and life, purused by the police and the townies and climaxing in boat wrecks. What makes this novel unusual in the series is the conservationist theme and the argument that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in, and take risks, despite conventional thinking of right and wrong. Highly recommended.

For those who wish to continue the story begun in Coot Club, there is one more chapter in the Swallows and Amazons series called The Big Six, almost as good.

Vivitar Vivicam V6320 Digital Camera - Silver (6.0MP, 3x Optical) 2.4 inchTFT
Vivitar Vivicam V6320 Digital Camera - Silver (6.0MP, 3x Optical) 2.4 inchTFT

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value digital camera, 25 April 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as my first digital camera recently, and am very pleased with it. At first there were a few problems with photos taken indoors, the light was too bright, and the batteries that came with it emptied alarmingly quickly. I bought a re-charger with high density batteries included and these are lasting much better. The photographs are sharp and the video mode also works very well. You will definitely need to buy a SD card. The memory on the phone only lasted for 2 pictures! I haven't found it particularly easy to use, and have to refer to the manual now and then. I get the impression though that this is part of the course with digital cameras.

Brokeback Mountain [DVD] [2005]
Brokeback Mountain [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Jake Gyllenhaal
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.74

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film that has increased tolerance, 24 April 2006
It would be difficult for any film to live up to the hype of brilliance surrounding it, especially so for a quiet, unspectacular film such as "Brokeback Mountain". Based on a powerful short story by Annie Proulx, the Director Ang Lee has stretched the short story into a long film with lengthy periods of inaction, some additional material, some miscasting, some good performances, diluting some of the raw emotional power of the original but in essence remaining faithful to the spirit and message of the story.

The timing of the release of this movie was spot on, following the UK's legalisation of civil partnerships and so many other recent legislative changes to improve the lives of our LGBT community, long needed. At its best, this film is a plea for understanding and acceptance of love between men, both emotional and sexual. It portrays the danger of both living the closet, emotional emptiness; and the danger of coming out as gay, violence and death, very luridly indeed. This is the central problem for all gay and bisexual men.

In Brokeback Mountain, Jack and Ennis both decide to stay in the closet, get married and have children. Men are still doing this everywhere, in fear of reprisal, homophobia, and the perceived loneliess of leading a gay lifestyle. That it all ends tragically is all the sadder when they have made such a sacrifice in their lives already.

As a film of the story, I felt it had lost some of the rawness of the original. Handsome Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal are clearly miscast in their roles as the beer-bellied men, uneducated guys of Annie Proulx's story. Heath Ledger looks particularly uncomfortable in the role to my eyes. That said, they do their best. The most impressive performance for me was Michelle Williams as Heath Ledger's wife, suppressing her horror and shock at discovering her husband's homosexuality, only managing to admit her feelings after they had divorced, in an emotional, gut-wrenching scene dong the washing up with Heath Ledger after a family dinner.

However, an essential film, and one that will always make an emotional impact on its audience throughout its history. I feel a better film could still be made of this story; shorter, rawer, less pretty actors, but I doubt Hollywood would make it.

Intempo IDS-01 Speakers and Docking Station for iPod and Other MP3 Players - White
Intempo IDS-01 Speakers and Docking Station for iPod and Other MP3 Players - White

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for Creative Zen Touch, 2 Feb. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for my Creative Zen Touch mp3 player, so I cant speak for how effective it is for an ipod. It was very easy to set up; the only problem I had initially was that it seemed to be very quiet, though the quality of the music played was surprisingly good for such small speakers. I realised then that the sound level of my mp3 player affected the amount of output from the intempo speakers, and once I increased the volume on my mp3 the sound literally blew out of the intempo, really loud!!!
I would say the sound quality is sharp and clear; played at a reasonable volume all instruments are heard with great clarity - more so in fact than with my Sony hifi. The appearance of the unit, likewise, very clean and neat. For using my Zen Touch I placed one of the alternative inserts over the ipod connector, and put the Zen on that, which is fine. It looks like it was made for the Zen as all in white too. I'm aware though it would look even neater with an ipod, because I have to use the provided cable to hook my player up to the intempo unit.
All in all, I'm really pleased with this purchase, and so relieved I didn't fork out £40+ on one of the alternatives. It sits by my bed at home for occasional use, and its certainly small and sturdy enough to take on holiday. Everyone's been surprised by the sheer volume you can obtain from the speakers, and the lack of distortion - even when playing bands like Nirvana. I suppose its not really full hi-fi quality of course, but does a terrific job of playing music from my mp3 out loud with all the versatility the mp3 allows, eg random order, playlists, etc. Highly recommended.

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Essential Penguin)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Essential Penguin)
by Gabriel García Márquez
Edition: Paperback

30 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A certain cure for insomnia, 21 Dec. 2005
Clearly this curious novel has its supporters: with enormous blocks of unparagraphed pages unrelieved by dialogue, this would have to be the most riveting story to hold me. But the story of one family through a hundred years in a fictitious town somewhere in the world, through an unspecified period of time (which century?), with many of the characters having similar names, none of whom you are allowed to get to know well before the author diverts to yet another thread within a sentence, is utterly hopeless to follow.
I kept refering back to the family tree at the front of the book, to no avail as I became hopelessly lost remembering which generation was being referred to. Perhaps to read it you need to make notes to make sense of what's happening ... and yet the story doesn't seem worth that kind of effort ... after all, its a novel and is there to be enjoyed.
It's certainly unique, I give it that, surprising perhaps that it was ever published, let alone granted all its accolades. In short, I found this novel the most extreme bore. Even when I was at my freshest in the morning it unfailingly sent me to sleep, which at first meant I had to re-read parts. When i did this, i could see very clearly why it had sent me to sleep because it just didn't follow or make any sense. So I gave up re-reading parts, hoping to forge on and for the narrative to kick in and grab me. Sadly, it didn't. It is a very long, densely worded, verbose book. After the first 100 pages or so its really just repetition through to the end, so if you're determined to tackle this novel, read the first 100 or so pages, then skip the rest and read the last chapter - as one other reviewer has mentioned, you can just read what happens at the end without reading the rest of the book and it wouldn't make any difference.
If you feel tempted to give it a go, I would recommend borrowing it from the library rather than spending money on it, as I unfortunately did.

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