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[Sintron] Master Starter Kit + UNO R3 Board + For Arduino AVR learner
[Sintron] Master Starter Kit + UNO R3 Board + For Arduino AVR learner
Offered by Sintron technology
Price: £29.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Arduino starter kit, 24 Oct. 2013
This is an excellent Arduino starter kit with more than enough components to learn the basics.

Sintron's basic starter kit probably has enough components really but I managed to get this master kit for the same price as the basic kit from another site (sorry Amazon but this kit was out of stock when I was looking so I looked elsewhere and found it cheaper).

+ points:

+ I was expecting the Uno board with this kit to be a 3rd party board, but it actually came with an original Arduino board.

+The "documentation" that you can get from Sintron to go with their kits is actually a collection of PDF versions of some excellent Arduino books (e.g. "Getting Started with Arduino" and "Arduino cookbook" etc.). There are no details with the kit about how to get the documentation, but if you go to their website [...] you can get details there. Basically you have to email Sintron to get access to the PDF files, but they replied to me within a day so didn't have to wait long. So if you order this kit don't bother buying any Arduino books (unless you want a physical book rather than PDFs) as you'll get a load of them with this kit.

+ Comes in a small storage box so you can keep everything together

+Fantastic price (even at the slightly more expensive Amazon price) considering all the components you get plus the fact that you get all the Arduino books

- points

-Some of the components do seem a bit cheap, for example the breadboard and the jumper wires (I had a few problems with loose connections). Also the small pcb that the RGB LED was soldered onto had the labels for the pins for the R and B anodes the wrong way round.

- No data sheets for the components. Would be handy to have data sheets or just basic details of some of the components like the LCD display and the stepper motor driver board to make it easier to use them.

- LCD display board doesn't have any connection pins, just solder pads so you have to do some soldering if you want to use it.

Despite the - points I'd definitely recommend this starter kit (or any of the other Sintron kits as I'm sure they're all good value and presumably all come with access to the same books)

Veho VFS-002 Slide & Negative Scanner for 35mm & 110 Instamatic Negatives
Veho VFS-002 Slide & Negative Scanner for 35mm & 110 Instamatic Negatives
Price: £33.00

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but could be better, 14 Jan. 2010
This review is based only on using the scanner for negatives as I haven't tried it with slides yet.

The scanner does a reasonable job and is pretty easy and quick to use, but it's not particularly well built and can be a bit frustrating to use.

The cartridge that holds the negatives is not great - the negatives aren't held completely flat so when you do the scan you can sometimes see obvious distortion in the photo where the negative is slightly bent. It's also not always easy to get each negative in the right place, the negative cartridge can be stiff to push through the scanner so you sometimes have to move the cartridge a couple of times to get the picture in the right place - luckily the software shows a live preview of the picture before you capture it so its easy to make sure its lined up before capturing. There are small notches on the cartridge that are supposed to line up on a catch inside the scanner but that doesn't always work.

The image quality is obviously very dependent on the original picture and how well the negatives have aged, but overall I'd say that the scanned images aren't as good as the original printed photos.

When I first installed the software and tried out the scanner I found that I had the same problem as another reviewer - the live preview correctly showed the positive version of the image, but then when you click capture it was saved as a negative. I was obviously a bit annoyed about this as I thought I'd have to open every picture in photo editing software and change them back to positives, which would have taken forever. Luckily I've managed to find a solution to this problem - the version of Arcsoft software that is bundled with some of the scanners is the wrong version, but by going to the veho website you can find a link to download the right version that fixes this. So if you do buy this (or have already bought it) and have the same problem, go to [...] click on the support link at the top of the page, then in the FAQ section select the scanner model (VFS-002M Colourbright) in the drop-down list. The third question has a web address (it's not a proper link so just copy the address to your browser) that takes you to a site where you can download the correct version of the arcsoft software. It's a bit of a hefty download (98 Mb) just to be able to scan negatives, but it's worth doing.

So overall I'd say this scanner will do the job if you're looking for something that's reasonably priced, will let you scan photos reasonably quickly and you aren't too worried about the quality of the captured photos.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 29, 2010 6:34 PM BST

Excel VBA in Easy Steps (In Easy Steps Series)
Excel VBA in Easy Steps (In Easy Steps Series)
by Ed Robinson
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely for Beginners, 7 Feb. 2007
I have done some VBA programming before (years ago) which was self-taught and I bought this book as I need to do some VBA again, but I wanted to make sure I learnt the language properly this time. Unfortunatley I didn't really find this book all that useful as I found it to be far too simplified. The book does give you all of the basic concepts and syntax etc. of the the language, but it doesn't exapnd on any of this to give more details.

The book is very colourful and clear - fairly large print and lots of screenshot graphics. But that for me was the biggest problem. The graphics and large text take up so much room which is why there is so little detail. It also gives the whole book an almost childish feel. I read throught the whole book (including doing most of the examples myself) in a couple of days.

If you're a complete beginner and want to get started quickly and aren't bothered about the details then this book will be good for you. If you're a beginner and you want to know the details then this book may OK to start with, but you'll soon be looking for other books to fill in the missing information. If you're not a beginner then I'd say don't bother with this book at all.

HP ScanJet 3570c
HP ScanJet 3570c

63 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's like driving a sportscar at 10mph., 26 Nov. 2002
This review is from: HP ScanJet 3570c (Electronics)
The Scanjet 3570c looks great (sleek blue cover) and promises good resolutions, however, it only produces quick results at lower resolutions. At higher resolutions it can be too slow to even bother with.
So far I've tried the following:
Scanning a photo in the Millions of Colours setting at resolutions of 200, 600 and 1200. 200 took 25 seconds, 600 took 2 minutes and 1200 took 4 minutes to do the actual scan and then took forever to actually process the image. I had to do an End Task as it was taking so long - but I guess that's just my PC that's at fault. Or is it?
Scanning a negative using the transparency holder that's built into the lid in the Millions of Colours setting at resolutions of 200, 600 and 1200. 200 took 35 seconds, 600 took 1 minute 22 seconds and 1200 took 2 minutes 33 seconds. At 200 the resulting picture was just too blocky to see properly and even at 600 it wasn't great. So if you want a decent scan of a negative, you'll need to use 1200.
One thing that confused me was the fact that you can pick a resolution of 9600. The box says the max resolution is 1200, so where does 9600 come from? I did try it at 9600, but gave up after 2 minutes when the progress bar was only on the first block! I did also try acquiring an image using a paint package to see if it would fair any better and again tried 9600, but I just got an error saying there wasn't enough space on my (80Gb) Hard drive!!??
There are quite a lot of options on the scan window for making adjustments if you don't like the way the preview looks: Resize, Lighten/Darken, Sharpen, Colour Adjustment, Resolution, Mirror and Invert Colours. One handy feature is that if you put something in the scanner wonky, it will automatically straighten it up for you. However, if you don't want it to do this, you can turn this feature off.
The Scanjet can handle text pretty quickly, but then you would expect that anyway. I scanned a page of text (as "text as image") at several resolutions and it took from 17 to 50 seconds.
The optical character recognition software that it comes with works quite well, but the results can be varied. Sometimes it misses whole words, sometimes it just gets the odd letter wrong and sometimes it gets the formatting wrong, so you do have to change a few things, but it's quicker than re-typing a whole document. It takes about a minute to scan and process a whole page of text.
There are a couple of other bits of software that came with mine: a CD label designer (???) and a jigsaw puzzle maker - just the usual kind of useless extras that you think are cool when you first try them, but then you get bored with them and they just clutter up your HD.
There are a couple of things that really annoy me about the Scanjet: The glass seems to be very dirty (covered in fingerprints etc) and I haven't even touched the glass myself, so it obviously wasn't cleaned properly before being packaged. It doesn't seem to make much difference, but it's annoying all the same. The other thing is that the transparency holder shows through as a shadow if you're scanning something on thin paper (even normal printer paper).
So, overall a good scanner if just need low resolution scans (or if you've got time to spare if you want high resolution). My tips for scanning at high resolution are: Turn off your screen saver, close any other applications and go and make a cuppa.
I am a bit disappointed with mine, but having spent so much money on it, I'll persevere!

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