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downsider "downsider" (UK)

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Bach: Christmas Oratorio
Bach: Christmas Oratorio
Price: £17.28

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant celebration of Christmas Joy, 23 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This has to be one of the best recordings in my collection. Performance is peerless, interpretation is dynamic and tasteful, and the recording is such high quality every single part in the contrapuntal style can be picked out with ease. I have to say I enjoy it so much it always gets played quite loudly!

The sheer joy Bach had celebrating the birth of Jesus shines through every note of this wonderful music.

If this is the only Bach recording you every buy, don't hesitate. If it isn't, don't hesitate. Buy it, and play it at top volume and you will emerge an hour or two later completely uplifted by the experience.


NDAS Enclosure - Ethernet & USB 2.0 Combination Single Drive Enclosure
NDAS Enclosure - Ethernet & USB 2.0 Combination Single Drive Enclosure

2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a diva with some nice features, 23 Dec. 2011
I bought one of these when visiting the US quite a few years ago, when they were not available in the UK. At the time they were the only extendable small NAS RAID available I think - and I bought just one to try it out. Installation was OK, but look out for the updates since they make massive difference to stability.
Sadly I could not use it with my work PC because the corporate security lockdown applied to windows caused the whole thing to blue screen, but it works fine with vanilla home installations.
I liked it so much I bought another to make a proper RAID, and it's been trouble free for years as a "fit and forget" backup device.
I did like the ability to progressively buy more units and configure them any way I wanted - not many products in this area allow that.
Having said that, these days there may well be simpler, and maybe cheaper alternatives if you want to spend a lump of cash in one go.


Lollipops
Lollipops
Price: £7.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good to the very end!, 23 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lollipops (MP3 Download)
This famous recording by the world renowned Philip Jones Brass Ensemble ticks all my boxes. It has unusual music from many countries, brilliantly arranged and performed to perfection. A spirit of enormous fun runs through the whole album and it's a joy to listen to thanks to the great sound quality.

I have been a fan of PJBE for a very long time for many reasons - superb musicianship, good musical taste, excellent recording quality, and thoughtful programming being just a few of the reasons. You won't be disappointed by this CD.


Trumpet - Handcrafted Wooden Puzzle
Trumpet - Handcrafted Wooden Puzzle
Offered by BuySend Limited
Price: £7.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough Little Trumpet, 23 Dec. 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for a trumpet playing friend and it's in his workshop. It's got a lot of pieces, and is a bit of a challenge to assemble. The fit is quite loose which means it's easy to put together and pull apart again. And best of all it's in a nice wood, which looks fab and will last for ages.


Ancestorial farms surrounding Laingsburg
Ancestorial farms surrounding Laingsburg
by Marilyn Parker Baumgras
Edition: Unknown Binding

5.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of American history, 23 Dec. 2011
This book written by a long time resident of Laingsburg is well researched and captures fascinating glimpses into the traditional agricultural ways and families, some dating back a hundred years or more. In a fast changing world it's good to see that some things last.


D-Link D-Link 2 Bay Network Storage Enclosure
D-Link D-Link 2 Bay Network Storage Enclosure
Price: £50.74

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hardware terrific, beware the third party bundled software!, 10 Oct. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this in October 2009 after doing extensive research on various domestic scale NAS RAID solutions. At the same time I bought a pair of Seagate 1.5TB green eco drives, since I had been advised that matched pairs are a good thing for RAID. Usual Amazon prompt delivery and quality - nice!

Putting the disks into the enclosure was easy - no tools required. This was a nice surprise and it only took seconds. I learned that it's important to make sure disks are properly seated in the connectors at the back. After that, switch on, formatting, and configuration using the D-Link supplied utility was straightforward. The D-Link utility sorted out all the network addressing and the NAS appeared as a resource, and it was possible to map the drive and configure folders etc. in the ususal way. It all seemed solid. So far so good.

Then came the bit where I decided to load the FarStone Drive Clone Pro (bundled on the install disk) onto my XP laptop. The install started and ran OK but failed at the end, recommending a change to an anti-virus parameter in the BIOS before re-install. Pretty obscure, and no instructions provided on how to do that. Not what I'd expect out of a product that should install out of the box.

Worse still, the failed install corrupted my Word and Outlook applications which are fundamental to my business, with alterations to their parameters that threw up error messages "Word could not create the work file. Check the Environmental Variable." and also "Insufficient memory or Ram".

A reboot to clear the registry after the failed install did not reset things, so I'm stuck with a business system I can't use and a backup that does not work.

I have alerted Far Stone and hope they fix it, but meanwhile - Beware the Drive Clone Pro software bundled with this product!

UPDATE APRIL 2012

As time has gone on I have become far less impressed with the DNS-323. The unit runs very HOT and so far I have had three disk failures, which I can only put down to overheating. These have occurred despite setting the Auto fan speed and also disk shut down after 5 mins (which I suspect never happens).

I bought this to get peace of mind with a reliable backup and I don't have that now. Thank heavens Seagate have been decent enough to replace the excellent 1.5TB Barracuda drives under warranty or I'd be in for a big bill.

The use interface is not all that easy to use and the administration of users and groups is poor. Undocumented and unexpected things happen if you change users between groups. And I have become frustrated by the difficulty with configuring the ftp backup utility which never seems to work (all I want to do is to ftp to a website to do a scheduled back up). The documentation is superficial when it comes to understanding precisely why things don't work as you expect, and there are no worked examples to illustrate correct operation.

So, reluctantly, I have to reduce my score for the DNS-323 quite a lot. That's a shame, since it is a neat compact unit which promised much.


This Wired Home: The Microsoft Guide to Home Networking
This Wired Home: The Microsoft Guide to Home Networking
by Alan Neibauer
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know - but check the edition you buy, 21 Jun. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I started putting my home network together I didn't have a clue, so bought this book. And it really helped a lot!
The pace is very slow to begin with, it assumes practically no knowledge (I didn't have any!) and covers the subject progressively in a step by step way. It's also not patronising in the way that I find some of the "xyz for dummies" books can be.
As a result of following this book, my home network went live a few years ago so it certainly did the job for me.
There are some irritations - there is not a huge amount of advice about how to diagnose problems when your network stops working, and the index is not very helpful when trying to find a specific thing. Because I did it on the cheap, I think the edition I bought was a bit older than the systems I was using but I still was able to use it. Before buying it, I'd suggest you make sure you get the latest edition and check it covers the version of software you have.


Bouquet - Musik Fur Blaser
Bouquet - Musik Fur Blaser

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic tracks from the master of the brass ensemble, 21 Jun. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Philip Jones practically invented the brass ensemble and I was lucky enough to have a few lessons from him a very long time ago. He tolerated nothing short of perfection and this comes across in this recording.
The PJBE recorded quite a lot of this sort of material, re-issuing it across albums so I'd heard some of the material before.

The Battle Suite is brilliant and ideally suited to the brass ensemble - stirring stuff indeed. However I had to change gear to listen to the measured pace of Gabrieli's music which is so different from anything else, and repays careful listening to the inner parts as well as the tune. It's so majestic and dignified it always creates a sense of inner peace in me. The Purcell and Clarke are classic trumpet tunes which everyone knows - probably thanks to the PJBE to some extent and I like the controlled and quality performance on this recording.

Although I'm clearly a fan, I reckon this CD could be a good introduction to the world of brass ensemble music - there is a really well chosen selection on here which keeps interest high all the way through.


Wake Up Dead
Wake Up Dead

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Schlock C&W from the master, 21 Jun. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wake Up Dead (Audio CD)
More years ago than I care to remember (back in the 80's) Hank Wangford was a regular fixture in the Half Moon at Putney, and I went to see him often because his songs were witty, suggestive but never rude, and often profound without being heavy, and performed by great musicians with a decently irreverent attitude. A great evening's entertainment, guaranteed. Especially when you learned what Hank did for a day job. Perhaps he's gigging still all these years later, I do hope so.

So I bought this CD for the nostalgia, hoping to get his classic "I ain't married but the wife is" on it - which it isn't sadly. In the intervening years it seems Hank and his mates have had a bumpy ride on the road of life and some of that is reflected in the songs which are often a bit more sombre than the set list my rosy memories recall. Having said that, I reckon this is still Wangford at his best, retaining that essential bittersweet-with-a-twist feel. My favourites are the opening and closing track, and also "Wedding Dress" and "In the Palm of your Hand". Sound quality is good too. For me, it recalls the essence of those sweaty pub gigs with the unique Wangford sound, and I'm pleased to have it in the collection.


Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse Red
Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse Red

5.0 out of 5 stars Red Hot Rodent, 21 Jun. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for my Dad several years ago. He loved it.

It works on any surface, it's light, and since it's a little bigger than the average mouse fits into a man size hand better than others I've tried.

The battery lasts for ages. It works a fair distance from the PC too.

We both like the looks - smart without being flashy.

If only Microsoft made software this good we'd be in for a treat :-)


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