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apeman (England)

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Nyko Intercooler TS - Black (Xbox 360)
Nyko Intercooler TS - Black (Xbox 360)
Offered by gadgetsville
Price: £18.45

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great... but needs a bit of work., 20 Feb. 2011
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I got this because my Xbox was going a bit rubbish - due to overheating I guessed... and it worked!

But, as always it wasn't quite that simple.

The Intercooler TS relies on two temperature sensors - one inside measuring the hot air coming out of the console, and one outside, measuring the temperature of the cool air outside. When there's a difference (hot vs. cool) the fans turn on - simples.

The design flaw is that the exterior sensor is actually inside the Intercooler unit, so when the whole thing warms up, the difference in temperature is reduced (hot vs. hot) and the fans cut out, leaving you with a lump of plastic stuck over your vents. What I did was...

-Open the Intercooler up (just use a small screwdriver, and note that the middle screws are slightly longer).
-Find the "exterior" sensor. It looks like a blob of solder on the end of two bare copper wires - it should be taped to the inside casing at the bottom - near the small fan and circuit board. (*NOT the obvious interior one!)
-Release the small fan and post the sensor out through the channel that takes the wires to the centre of the small fan. Then re-screw the small fan.
-Post the sensor out through casing. (the bottom of the small fan vent)
-Sticky it to the outside of the case (using the original sticky) in the dip next to the power supply.
-Replace the screws (remember, longer ones in the middle).

After 5 minutes of simple tinkering this becomes a class product - my Xbox has never been cooler or more stable. The Intercooler is on when I want it on and off soon after the 'box is shut down.

If the Intercooler TS had been sold this way to begin with, it would be 5/5. But as it is, it is a flawed product. Which is a shame. But seeing as the operation is dead simple and any monkey should manage as long as they're careful (remember this will void your warranty, own risk etc), I'll give it 4/5.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2012 3:27 PM BST

Sony MDR-XD200 Stereo Headphones - Silver
Sony MDR-XD200 Stereo Headphones - Silver

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly poor., 20 Feb. 2011
I bought these to replace some similarly reasonably priced Sennheisers, and even I was surprised at just how rubbish they are - especially given the glowing reviews posted here. Don't get me wrong - they're ok, but the sound is just muddy, and lacks anything approaching clarity. The cheap in-ear phones I use at work (Classed as disposable, due to the abuse they get) are probably better.

It doesn't help that the over-head section is actually quite uncomfortable - The hard plastic upper sits beneath the level of the rubber bit, which is uncomfortable, and if you try to line to them up, the rubber presses on the hard plastic and turns and digs into your cranium even more uncomfortably. An obvious, easy to fix (make the rubber bit a few millimetres shorter!), design flaw that they somehow neglected.

The settings switch on the side is either broken or useless - there is no appreciable difference between "Music" and "Movie" which makes you wonder why they bothered in the first place. Oh, and the cord is ridiculously long... not really a problem in itself - it could be useful, but in reality it is probably more annoying than anything - a cord winder/tidy would have been welcome (Sennheiser seem to manage).

Take it as a given that audiophiles won't waste their time on these, enthusiastic amateurs shouldn't either.

[**---] 2/5

Ok, but not recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2011 7:19 PM GMT

Paul of Dune (Legends of Dune)
Paul of Dune (Legends of Dune)
by Brian Herbert
Edition: Paperback

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "She takes grains of truth and builds them into deserts", 11 Oct. 2008
Paul of Dune... where to start? At the beginning.

This book has a strong start. I enjoyed revisiting Dune after too long, getting re-acquainted with favourite characters and seeing first hand the battles of the Jihad that I had secretly wished to see in Dune Messiah. I can't fault the writing style in this first section, and any inconsistencies with FH's original master works are pretty minimal. I've read other reviews that have picked on them, but, although they were a little distracting, I didn't really take issue with them.

However it was not to last - near the end of the first section there is a big spiel about Irulan's role. I love Dune - it was THE formative book that I read all those years ago, and Dune is Science Fiction - a genre that uniquely relies on consistency. So imagine my thoughts when the authors of this book, plainly breaking the fourth wall through Irulan's character, declare FH's original masterpiece nul and void. They effectively de-canonise it and re-class the defining work of the series alongside the Dune Encyclopedia as an in-universe document with all the inherent flaws that go along with that.

Needless to say I never saw it this way.

This conveniently allows the authors to ignore what was previously laid down by FH and trample the original subtleties of Dune into the ground. And to make matters worse the writing style takes a nose dive.

Of course the writing style is "different" and I don't have a problem with the fact that the authors did not attempt to copy FH's style. Fair enough - some of my favourite books are not by FH... but to remind the reader that (for example) Alia is a Reverend Mother and not a child repeatedly again and again and again in a short chapter cannot be considered a positive stylistic quirk. Unfortunately this needless repetition is rife throughout the remainder of the book. It continually feels like the majority of this book has slipped through the editorial net. Given enough time and effort this story could have been passable, but the barely developed concepts simply don't add up. To make matters worse it is deathly predictable - you don't need Paul's decidedly rubbish prescience to work out EXACTLY where the latest throwaway plotline is headed.

Ultimately this book ineptly adds nothing to the Dune saga. It is true that FH hinted at things he did not write about, but while Paul of Dune may superficially "fill in the gaps" it does little more than to re-hash what FH has already told us with added stock scenery and cardboard characters who die as quickly as they are introduced.

I read this book because I believed, and I still believe, that there is a place for a good Jihad story. Unfortunately this is not it. The authors take one of the most pivotal moments in Dune history, where millennia old structures fall and a new order bloodily carves out a powerbase in an changed empire - and turn it into something utterly bland and un-interesting. Given that this is so close to FH's original setting there are some cool and interesting moments when I was swept up by the Dune universe once more - and for that reason I won't angrily try and give this ZERO stars... It definitely gets ONE star - firmly and fairly. The fact is that Paul of Dune owes EVERYTHING of any worth to Dune and Dune Messiah, and they contain pretty much everything in this volume and more, so much more.

[*----] 1/5

This book is poor - not recommended. (Read some real DUNE instead!)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2010 9:50 AM GMT

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