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Profile for Mr. R. Van Elst > Reviews

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Mr. R. Van Elst (Thornbury, South Gloucestershire United Kingdom)

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Canon PIXMA iP7250 Colour Inkjet Printer
Canon PIXMA iP7250 Colour Inkjet Printer
Price: £49.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Good photo printer at a very good price, 15 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This printer is to replace my Canon Pixma Ip4500 with similar spec and features that unfortunately started to develop electronic issues with the head or board according to Canon support, after long service. Compared to the 4500, the 7250's build quality seems slightly flimsy, and mechanical noises and "self-maintenance" initiatives are even more outspoken, Still, it's overall quite amazing what £50 (including delivery) can buy, and as someone who prints irregularly (sometimes loads, then months of nothing at all), those maintenance checks mean that prints are of consistent quality from the start, once they start being served up, that is. Most printers I owned over the years before the Pixmas always died from irreversible clogged up printer heads and dried up cartridges due to my type of usage, so I don't mind the delays and noises too much.The photo print quality is good too, just remember to pick the correct paper type (plain paper or glossy) when using Image Garden; you may want to pick "high" print quality too if you want nice photos. Both settings make a remarkable difference, the default setting (plain paper, standard quality) did initially disappoint with "stripy" patterns, low contrast and washed out colours when printing on glossy photo paper:
I was a little concerned if / how the Wi-Fi connection would work but it was easy to set up and works brilliantly. Very useful when you have a number of machines and devices in the house that want to print from. No more walking around with laptops and swapping USB cables around when printing is needed, just load the drivers on all these devices and you're off.

Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour Wired Tyre
Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour Wired Tyre
Price: £21.40 - £38.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Hard wearing puncture free tyres - tad heavy and harsh, 19 Mar. 2015
These tyres replaced the Conti Race King (foldable) on my MTB last December - I kept getting punctures with those on my daily 40 km roundtrip commute (Birmingham city + towpaths), and returning little grip on wet tarmac.
I haven't had a single puncture with the Schwalbes over the past 4 months, and they seem to wear very slowly. Wet grip is better than the Contis too, although not quite as good as I had hoped. Compared to the Contis, they are really heavy and stiff, giving a rather harsh and not overly agile / inspiringly fun ride. I guess that is the price you pay for a seemingly indestructible tyre. Horses for courses and all that.

Pinhead Front and Rear Cycle Wheel and Seatpost Locking Security Skewers + Headset Lock. 4 Pack Lock Set.
Pinhead Front and Rear Cycle Wheel and Seatpost Locking Security Skewers + Headset Lock. 4 Pack Lock Set.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly simple but dangerously under-engineered product, 24 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a brilliantly simple but unfortunately dangerously under-engineered product. I carefully installed the wheel-dropouts according to the manual when after a couple of rides (mountain-bike, tow-path with rough patches) I realised the front wheel was coming loose(!). Luckily the forks on my bike have a little recess, preventing the wheel falling out immediately. I assumed I hadn't tightened the screw of the drop-out sufficiently so re-did it a bit tighter. Only a week later the wheel came off again. When looking more closely at the thread, I realised the nut had actually jumped across the thread rather than having vibrated loose. Compared to the screw on the original Shimano skewer, the nut is very shallow and the metal is very light as well - it simply isn't strong enough to cope with the lateral forces on the front wheel.
Having bits stolen from your bike is bad enough but still better than being killed by it - the bits for the seat and stem may be OK though.
Again, it's a shame because the concept of the product is really clever.

Garmin Edge Touring Plus GPS Bike Computer with Preloaded Cycle Maps and Points of Interest
Garmin Edge Touring Plus GPS Bike Computer with Preloaded Cycle Maps and Points of Interest
Price: £170.47

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Alpha-testing Garmin’s prototype?, 29 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having just moved from the Cotswolds to Birmingham I was desperate for a device showing me scenic cycling routes for my 15 mile commute.
I already have a rather good car TomTom and excellent Garmin motorcycle GPS was hoping the Edge Plus would be a waterproof, energy-conserving and cycle-route aware version of those with the added benefit of programming roundtrips. Well, it isn’t quite that. Not at all, in fact.
I had hoped to fit it straight to my bike and go for a spin after receiving it but you need to go through a lengthy process of loading the maps. So long in fact that I had to adjust my standard power settings of my laptop preventing it from shutting down. Why not preload maps and offer incremental updates? What if you have no computer available to do this?
The initial setup is easy. However, since being indoors and having no satellite reception it ended up showing me a US map, assuming I was there by default. I managed to tap map that which made it save a new location on the device. After that it kept telling me I had a location that was not compatible with the installed maps. It didn’t suggest any solution to fix that, so ended up doing a factory reset and repeating the setup. No drama, but annoying.
Then I carried on adding a few routes. I used Garmin Connect which kind of worked in the end, but is rather primitive, sluggish and unhelpful for those used to Google or Bing maps. You need to constantly zoom in and out for example to see where you are and what is happening. Anyway, it is usable. However, the Edge did not sync well: Every time I tried adding a 3rd route from Connect it replaced it with the second one on the Edge instead of adding it, despite having loads of storage available.
Then I went for a ride. The mount is stable and the half-turn click fitting is very secure. Luckily I knew the first 2 miles of the route because it took that long for the unit to connect to satellites and jump into life.
The screen is small but well laid out and has good directional instructions. It dims the screen in between turns to preserve the battery. It beeps when a turn is ahead, all good and sensible. I did not have any issues as others reported like repeatedly telling me I had gone off the route or anything like that.
I was slowly warming up to the Edge now. However, soon after that delicate sense of glory, on 2 occasions (on long straights) the unit switched off completely (despite showing 90% battery power left). The first time I powered it back on it restored well back to where it had left, the second time it had completely forgotten about the route I was in and I couldn’t make it going back to it. In the end I tried to simply enter the address of where I was going. Now this is where things really turned awkward. The search options include address but that starts off asking you what state (!) or province you would like to visit: I mean, the unit knows where you are now, it knows you are on a bicycle: What does it think you are about to do? Travel the world? In tried entering “Birmingham”, “West Midlands” and “Help me!” but all it gave me was a blank canvas with a back-button only. After trying a few options I managed to get to a screen where I could enter something. Unlike my TomTom it doesn’t suggest locations it knows about during typing. Instead, it lets you type anything, then goes away for a minute or so (why so long?) and then (in case of entering a postcode which it doesn’t seem to know about?) comes back telling you it cannot find that.
It was able to find the fine city of Birmingham in the end but I was already IN Birmingham and just needed to go to a specific Birmingham location. What is the use of having a brilliantly metre-precise GPS if the precision of the destination can be as large as the whole of Birmingham? It seems you best preload your routes upfront using Garmin Connect – that wouldn’t be the end of the world but not if you cannot add more than 2 routes at a time onto it.
There is also a “Cities” menu which cleverly listed a number of lovely nearby villages including very precise distances to them. Unfortunately I had no intention of visiting any of those, compelling as these places may be for paying a visit.
Sometimes during my fruitless efforts the Edge occasionally popped up saying “GPS fix acquired” – I don’t know if that was good or bad news but did not seem to make any difference.
I ended up digging up my dirt-cheap Moto-G Android phone, opened Google maps app for cycling routes, entered the postcode and 3 seconds later presented me with a perfectly fine route. If only I had a bracket, water-proof casing and long-lasting battery for the Moto-G I would be a happy chappy.
The PDF manual is of little use: the main flaw is that it doesn’t explain the philosophy of how to get the best use out of this product. That would be helpful because most people are used to car GPSs and Google-maps navigation on phones while this obviously is a different beast altogether; the manual mainly focusses on listing the options and telling you to follow the instructions on the screen for each of those.
Luckily I ordered my Edge with the rubber protection sleeve: these are no doubt intended to protect the unit against frustrated owners throwing the thing around in sheer frustration.
Come on Garmin – you guys having all that experience with making famously great sports computers and car/motorcycle GPS systems surely can do better than this?
I don’t know if my Garmin fell out of a box of early prototypes and ended up being for sale by mistake? I really want this thing to work but with so many things already having gone wrong I see no other option than to return it - I will have to make do with my Garmin 305 and Moto-G as things look now.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Bought this for my old- but still loved BlackBerry 8900, 25 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this for my old- but still loved BlackBerry 8900, replacing the thinner standard (plastic?) cover that had worn out.
This one is a little bulkier but it makes no real difference in sliding it in/out your pocket. It's very well made and stitching looks neat. It was a little stiff initially, making it a little difficult getting the phone out quickly but now the leather has "broken in" a bit it's perfect and it looks (even) better too. Well recommended, esp. at this very low price.

I Find You Very Attractive
I Find You Very Attractive
Offered by playanywhere
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, 5 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If this CD doesn't make you cheerful and smile then nothing will. Plenty of variation, the album ends with an interesting mix of elements of the earlier tracks but without getting too repetitive. Recommended!

Sony MDRNC7B Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sony MDRNC7B Noise Cancelling Headphones

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks better than it sounds, interfers with mobile phone, 5 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These headphones are well made and fold up rather cleverly. The noise cancelling is reasonable, maybe not quite the claimed 86% but usuable and without the feel of your ears being locked in as with other noise-cancelling head-phones. The sound quality is a bit disappointing, even at this price-level. It is all a bit flat and tinny. Oddly it's a lot worse with the noise-cancellation feature switched off, which makes it sound like an old AM transistor radio. I hope the battery that powers the noise cancellation will last reasonably long. However, with the noise cancellation on, it intermittently interfers with my Blackberry phone which I use as my MP3 player(!). I suppose the headphones are designed for when you travel on a plane with the phone's network switched off, I can live with that.
All in all it's good enough to keep, worth its money but it's not fantastic.

RSP Pioneer Urban Alloy Rear Carrier - Black, 10 Kg
RSP Pioneer Urban Alloy Rear Carrier - Black, 10 Kg
Offered by Y Frame Discounts Ltd
Price: £17.24

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, 10 Sept. 2010
I have been using this for my 22 miles commute for several weeks now, in combination with the Avenir triple bags luggage which fits really well and a Basta Zoom rear light and reflector screwed onto the rear-mount. I don't like carrying a backpack so always used my old heavy hybrid with fixed carrier. Now I can turn my racing bike into a fast commuter within seconds. It works on my mountain-bike too, I am ready for shopping through the snow now.
It's surprisingly stable although you have to remember that the weight sits relatively high: It will easily carry the weight of a laptop computer but you will feel some unbalance when you are standing on the pedals to climb a hill. Not a problem though, just a reminder that your bike is carrying something. The clamp on the post is very well made although it's a little wide and I can sometimes feel the inside of my legs slightly touching it. It's subtle though and there are no sharp edges; it probably depends on your height (I am 6"5) and bike's geometry whether that will be a problem or not. Very good value, my bikes are much more all-round usable thanks to this product.

By the Way
By the Way
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £3.94

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chili's gone British?, 15 July 2002
This review is from: By the Way (Audio CD)
Ten pounds well spent, but not exactly what I expected. Good start with the title-song, then turns mellow and surprisingly "British". 68 minutes is good value, but nothing exciting happens during the last 20 minutes. The usual Chili energy and magic is missing in most tracks. Still not bad, but if you buy this because you liked the previous albums so much, listen to a few tracks first to see if you really like this.

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