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Wattsenhausen "Wattsenhausen" (Swansea, Wales)

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Netgear WNCE4004 N900 Video/Gaming 4 Port Wi-Fi Adapter
Netgear WNCE4004 N900 Video/Gaming 4 Port Wi-Fi Adapter
Offered by Kikatek
Price: 77.37

1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't even get past setting it up., 13 April 2014
I recently bought a Samsung Smart TV, which I tried to connect to my Virgin (Netgear) Wifi through a Samsung LAN Adaptor. That was painfully slow as to be useless (that's another story), so I made a few enquiries and was told that this was common with smart TV's and that this Netgear Wi-Fi Adapter was so much more powerful and would solve all my problems. At 40 it was a bit steep, but I thought it was worth the investment.

If you have WPS on your router, apparently it's a simple question of plugging this into the TV and waiting. Unfortunately, my router does not have WPS. Never mind, easy to set up on the laptop. Plug in the adapter through the ethernet port, make sure the computer gets the IP address (though I've no idea how to go about that if it doesn't) and the software on the adapter will take over your browser front page, allowing you to do whatever you need to do to get it set up with your router. Well that didn't happen. Never mind, just enter a specified website address into the browser and do it that way; it'll take you to where you need to go to set up the connection. Well the browser didn't recognise the URL. So I couldn't do it that way either.

So I disconnected (and reconnected) my wireless connection on my laptop, checked my network, ensured that my computer was in DCHP mode, all these magical things that really shouldn't be incumbent on someone who has no particular expertise in technical issues but just wants to watch youtube on a big telly, all to no avail. Every so often I'd get the Netgear set-up wizard screen. Woohoo! Just click on 'next', and you're on your way to configuration! Or rather, click on 'next' and a connection cannot be established. Enough already. Seven days of trying and my adaptor can't establish a link with a router in another room. My computer can, my phone can, but a Netgear adaptor, the sole purpose of which is to establish a link with the Netgear router, cannot.

In summary, this product doesn't even get past the first hurdle, which is to connect to a router. I've no idea what the performance would be if I could, and I've wasted enough time trying to find out. Back to Currys PC World for me.

There's a Golden Sky: How twenty years of the Premier League has changed football forever (Wisden Sports Writing)
There's a Golden Sky: How twenty years of the Premier League has changed football forever (Wisden Sports Writing)
Price: 1.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read, 10 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There have been many books looking back over the last twenty years in different ways, in terms of the change in tactics, the fan's experience, the finances, the cultural effects, hey sometimes even the football... Ian Ridley's book doesn't really have that kind of focus but instead puts out 20+ essays on different aspects, with some excellent interviews that illustrate how the game has changed at all levels over the Premier League period (and loosely makes the case that it all very much stems from the influence of the Premier League). It's a very enjoyable read with no little insight. My own high spots are the chapter on Aldershot's decline with an excellent interview with Spencer Trethewy, the experiences of Wembley FC, and the contrasting fortunes of a Premier League Blackpool and a declining Portsmouth. It ends with a very upbeat interview with Paul Gascoigne, which then reminds me that football continues to change even after the covers of this book are closed. Well worth buying.

Down The Dustpipe: The 70s Pye Collection
Down The Dustpipe: The 70s Pye Collection
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 8.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth buying., 10 Mar 2014
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This is one of my favourite eras of the Quo. It's a band that never sold out - okay, Come On You Reds perhaps - but I honestly think that the band always did what they wanted to do, it just became more commercial as time passed. This album is gloriously uncommercial though. It covers the post-psychedielia pre-Piledriver period, when the band spent a lot of time in Germany taking the time out to groove with the cross-legged audiences. The songs as a result do tend more than once to move into jamming territory, and safely ensconsed in the 2010's some may find this a little self-indulgent - but there's an innocence, an authenticity about what they were doing that really shines through on this record. There's also a courage that possibly drifted away in subsequent years - for example, although it doesn't work particularly, Lakky Lady has a slightly Mexican feel; the excellent Gerdundula is based very strongly in folk, and Umleitung's driving groove has a hint of the Doors about it (actually a couple of songs do, and of course the Doors were a seminal influence of theirs at this time). It's also very easy to forget how young they were at this time - in Rossi and Parfitt's case, just 22 years old by the end of this compilation. As a result, their voices are quite different from later years.

I'm a Quo fan of many years standing, but even for a non-Quo fan, I think this is probably a very interesting record at the very least. It covers a period where the band was developing, taking chances and pushing boundaries. The record itself covers all the songs that need to be covered from that period, and for that reason it's a steal. Yes, I'll probably play Piledriver and Quo more, but this is an excellent record.

'orrible [DVD] [2001]
'orrible [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Johnny Vaughan
Offered by rileys dvds
Price: 44.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly underrated, by everyone., 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: 'orrible [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Check out the Amazon synopsis; they don't rate it one bit. Look at the BBC comedy page verdict; scathing. What about the words of the star and co-writer, Johnny Vaughan? "Basically it was shit". I don't get it one bit. I thought it was very well observed, some very subtle performances, and extremely funny. I think the main issue was that everyone expected Johnny Vaughan to pull out a cheeky chappy comedy full of larks and japes, and instead came up with something much darker, a comedy where you wouldn't want to drink with a single character. The much maligned lead character, Paul Clarke - a deluded loser on the edge of the law, but Del Boy he ain't. A tracksuited urban gangster wannabe, but Ali G he ain't. What he is is realistic; 13 years on, every inner city still has its share of Paul Clarkes, complete with baseball cap and stupid violent mate with muscle. The supporting cast of antagonists - Noel the gangster rival, Shiv the lazy sister, right down to William Boyde's excellent performance as the pub landlord with a hint of the kind of menace that only comes from real courage and experience of danger. I thought this was brilliant, and recommend you get it.

Like Clockwork
Like Clockwork
Price: 8.57

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of an anti-climax, 20 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Like Clockwork (Audio CD)
I'm a bit of a fan of the Queens, so it's a shame that this record has so little to get excited about. First of all, it's short by modern standards - 10 songs and 45 minutes, which was fine in the days of a record every two years, but not when it's six years since Era Vulgaris, and even four years since Them Crooked Vultures. The other argument is that it's far better to have 45 minutes of pure gold, but unfortunately half the album is filler. And I know that apparently Josh Homme was in a dark mood when he wrote much of this, and maybe that's reflected in the album - that doesn't really work for me. Try 'Spark' by Alain Johannes for an example of a short, dark album that really works.

More detail - it starts quite promisingly; Keep Your Eyes Peeled a challenging dirty riff with those light melodic vocals, and I Sat By The Ocean, a sweet melodic number, albeit one that you imagine Josh Homme could probably knock off without too much effort in ten minutes. And then... well, the fifth song, My God Is The Sun, is the heaviest song on the album, a surging and pounding affair, but it's cloaked on either side by two songs that move from ordinary ballad (Vampyre) to faux-Talking Heads (If I Had A Tail)... then some lounge soul (Kalopsia) and a really awful and twee ballad (Fairweather Friends). The songs get more memorable the more you listen to them, but it's down far more to familiarity than any real depth or quality.

So, you're 70% through an album that hasn't got going at all. Strangely, it finishes quite strongly. Smooth Sailing, a delicious funky riff and feel, adorned with falsetto vocals that just about stay on the right side of the Scissor Sisters, and to glorious effect. I Appear Missing is the stand-out song on the album, melancholic but with furious drive and melody, a song that could stand out on any Queens of the Stone Age album. It winds down with Like Clockwork, which is mostly falsettto vocal and piano. Not a bad song, and one that would usually be a fitting end to any album, but unfortunately given the number of ballads on this record, finishing with yet another one makes me feel a little bit cheated.

So there - half an album of good songs, with the other half so-so. Worth buying for the highlights, but not their finest hour. Well, not their finest three-quarters of an hour.

Comedy and Error: They Really Were Marvellous Times
Comedy and Error: They Really Were Marvellous Times
Price: 5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb., 2 Feb 2013
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One of the best auttobiographies I've ever read. It's an extremely interesting story and one that bursts all the bubbles of how you perceive the world of celebrity. Simon doesn't even start talking about the career that we're all aware of until the book is two-thirds through, but the back-story, outlining his addictive personality, his experiences of homelessness, borstal, inability to hold down any kind of job or have a purpose, is at once both enthralling and tragic. It's told in a manner that doesn't glamourise his more 'colourful' days, nor give any sense of regret or bitterness; and is always funny. Some real laugh-out-loud moments, my favourite being the one about the owner of a cafe in South London whose brother had just died.

And then when it gets to the Tommy Cockles/Fast Show era, it becomes apparent that for a long time the only thing that's changed is the money. The tales of lonely holidays, the inability to kick the drugs, the lack of purpose, the squalor, completely at odds with how I imagined his life to have been at the time. And all the while told in a way that's as engaging as the man's performances. It's a superb book, one that seems to have slipped under the radar slightly. Absolutely recommend you get this.

King Animal
King Animal
Offered by Bee-Entertained
Price: 5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's he talking about New Order for?, 20 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: King Animal (Audio CD)
Well I'll tell you. When Peter Hook formed Monaco after the break-up of New Order in the late 90's he was scared about whether it would work, but when he heard the sound of his bass in the introduction to their first song, he knew it was going to be alright. Well that's how I felt. In particular, Chris Cornell's later stuff has been patchy - brilliant on his acoustic Songbook album, rotten on the Scream album. I was nervous about whether this album would blemish the glorious Soundgarden history. Then I heard the sound of Kim Thayil's guitar riffing on the first track, and I knew it was going to be just fine.

That opening track is not typical of the album - it's immediate, superbly catchy, ballsy, it's good old rock n' roll. The rest of the album is generally slower paced, a grower rather than something that grabs you by the throat. Opinions vary about how it compares to the previous albums, and although it does have elements of them all, I see it as the natural successor to Down on the Upside.

I'm looking then for the glorious stand-out songs, a Jesus Christ Pose, a Fourth of July, a Zero Chance. It takes a couple of listens, but then they stick in your head and send shivers down your spine... and unusually, it's two of the mellower songs: Bones of Birds and Taree. The sheer glory of hearing Cornell sing these beautiful songs from the heart, backed by the magnificently understated performance from the band. An honourable mention also for Black Saturday, drawing from the grand tradition of blues/folk explored by bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith in the past, but making it sound unmistakeably like Soundgarden.

And that's really what I was alluding to at the beginning of this review: this doesn't sound like one of those albums where the various members have thrown outtakes from previous projects into a common pot - this album actually sounds like Soundgarden... okay, perhaps with the exception of Halfway There, which really belongs on a Cornell solo album, and Eyelid's Mouth, which, although the music is credited to Matt Cameron, sounds for all the world like one of the better Audioslave songs. But as I say, those apart, this sounds like a Soundgarden album - and it's fantastic to hear a Soundgarden album again after all this time.

Football's Great Rivalries Manchester United Victories over Liverpool [DVD]
Football's Great Rivalries Manchester United Victories over Liverpool [DVD]
Price: 18.06

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a professional product, 3 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I want to start with the last line of the synopsis: "Matches featured with extended highlights include Manchester Utd 2-1 Liverpool 17/04/85 Manchester Utd 3-1 Liverpool 01/01/89 And many more". How many more? Well, if you look at the menus, it's two more, one from 1981, and one from 1999. On watching the DVD, you'll also see one from March 1980, so it's five. Therefore, the word 'many' apparently equates to three. But that's just the tip of the ice-berg - the whole set-up of this DVD is bizarre, it's a really unprofessional product.

I bought a video in 1991 called Manchester United's greatest victories over Liverpool, which contained highlights of games from '68, '69, '77, '80, '81, '83, '85, '89 and 1990. It had muzak, graphics and was narrated by the late great Brian Moore. It was a professional piece. I expected this to take the best of those and add some crackers from the next 20 years. It is, after all, build as a collector's set. Instead, the absolute bare minimum here. Little more than half the games for a start, just five, and arguably only two of these have any historical significance at all. They're not even in chronological order, starting with an FA Cup game in 1985, then going back to 1981.

The whole thing has a feel of an ESPN Classic package that you catch when you're bored. There's nothing wrong with that for TV, but when I buy a DVD, especially one bearing the names of 'Manchester United' and 'ITV Sport' - both of which have a pedigree in producing DVD's - I have a different expectation. I expect someone to come up with a fully-rounded product. This really is nothing like that. It's amateur. It's worse than your average YouTube compilation. It's as poor as Gary Bailey's goalkeeping.

My advice is to see if you can get another look at the original video from 1991. For all the advances in media over the last 20 years, the old video is miles ahead of this.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 7, 2011 9:15 PM BST

Manchester United Season Review 2010/11 [DVD]
Manchester United Season Review 2010/11 [DVD]
Offered by The Canny Store
Price: 11.85

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I agree with every other one star review, 30 Jun 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?) why bother making it? Well, because I'm hoping that if United see their end-of-season DVD getting hammered from enough annoyed fans, they'll remake it. So here's one star for their intrusive music, crappy camera angles, rubbish in-house commentary, the works. I've got every end-of-season video from 1989-90, and this is the worst. It's a simple formula - present a DVD showing the games as they were watched at the time, so that fans can relive the moment. I'm not reliving the moment here, I'm watching the experiences of an idiot who could only see half the screen and hear a rubbish commentator. REALLY BAD.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2011 12:48 AM BST

Wasting Light
Wasting Light
Offered by Amazin Deals *****
Price: 4.84

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same old, I'm afraid, 23 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wasting Light (Audio CD)
It's to my regret, but if you click on my name, you'll see my review of the last Foo Fighters album, and if you wanted to save time, just read that. What I said then goes for this one too. Every couple of years they knock out records that aren't necessarily bad but are uninspiring. But let's try and be a bit more helpful.

Firstly, the album gets off to a rip-roaring first minute, but then the song just veers into familiar territory - it goes nowhere exciting, it's all a bit predictable. You wonder what the first minute was about. And then, the highlights of the album, tracks 2,3 and 4, they appear to try something different and it comes off. White Limo in particular, it's a belter, a reminder of their former glories. I started to believe the hype about how they've tried something different in their approach to this album. And then...there comes a formula - stabbed guitar with heavy snare backing, predictable vocals, and nothing exciting to really grab you. I have to say too, "One of these Days" is truly awful and contrived. And as with most Foos albums, stretching right back to Colour and the Shape, the latter songs provide little of interest.

Why? I'm trying to work out a reason, but ultimately it comes down to this - and it's pretty stark, so apologies if you disagree - the Foos' sound is not particularly distinctive. The vocals and guitar work have never been that interesting in themselves - Grohl can carry a tune in his vocal, but he's got a limited range, he can't do what his mate Josh Homme can do and use a pretty vocal to carry along a repetitive backing, and similarly, the guitarwork is fine, but it's not outstanding - and this has always been the case. But the Foos have got along in the past through the strength of their songwriting - that's been the secret. The difference now is that they don't seem to be able to sustain their previous high standard of songwriting throughout an entire album. And certainly with this album, there isn't the variety either.

This review gives me no pleasure by the way. I'd love the band to deliver another 'One By One'. I suspect that their songwriting hearts are no longer in this band, but in their other projects. But this band gives the members their pensions, so they keep churning the albums out. See you for more of the same in three years time.

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