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S. Hogg (Lisburn, Northern Ireland)

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Knirps FiberT1 AC 874 Folding Umbrella Navy Blue
Knirps FiberT1 AC 874 Folding Umbrella Navy Blue
Price: 32.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good brolly, 27 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have used one of these umbrellas for a number of years and found it pretty good. It is lightweight, reasonably wind resistant and much longer lasting than cheaper umbrellas. Due to an error on my part, I managed to break three of the joints on the umbrella.

When seeking a replacement for my broken umbrella, I looked at some of the other decent models from both Knirps and other makers. I decided another Knirps FiberT1 was the most suitable option for me and bought this one. I haven't had to use it much since receiving it, but it has worked well when called upon.

Perhaps it is just my memory playing tricks on me, but I do not think my original umbrella had a coated fabric covering, which the new one does. It sheds rain very well indeed, making it unnecessary to shake water off it when coming in from the rain.

Seagate 750GB Momentus XT Serial 2.5 inch 7200 RPM 32MB 6GB/S SATA Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive
Seagate 750GB Momentus XT Serial 2.5 inch 7200 RPM 32MB 6GB/S SATA Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive
Offered by SideQuest GmbH
Price: 134.18

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Pleased, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this disk to fit to a late 2009 MacBook Pro computer, which was just becoming slower and slower to boot up. Applications were also now a tad slow when loading. The computer had originally been delivered with OS X 10.6 installed (Snow Leopard) but I had upgraded to Lion (OS X 10.7) and Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8).

To prepare the disk for installation, I installed it in a BIPRA USB 2.0 caddy formatted the disk with two partitions, the larger for OS X and the smaller for BootCamp holding MS Windows 7. I then used Carbon Copy to clone my Mac system to the new Mac partition on the new disk. After a few hours this was complete and I successfully booted from the new disc attached via USB. The computer certainly seemed to perform more quickly with the new disk.

I then ran Winclone under OS X 10.6 and made a copy of the BootCamp partition. When finished, I used WInclone to clone that copy to the BootCamp partition on the new disk.

I then replaced the original disk fitted to the computer with the new disk. The computer booted up without any difficulty. It is hard to say if it does this more quickly than before, as I did not bother to take timings. There is an initial period when the computer seems to perform various checks and tests before loading the OS and inviting the user to login, but from that point on the system is definitely faster: applications load more quickly and response seems more snappy.

For those interested in BootCamp, the system initially claimed the file system was dirty and ran ChkDsk to clean it. After that, Windows 7 ran without any difficulty. However, when using a VM under Parallels, where the VM was made from BootCamp, the VM would not load because the physical disk had changed. It may be possible to amend the VM to point at the new physical disk but I just created a new VM, as I use Windows to run a very small number of applications which were easy and quick to re-install.

Overall, I think the system has speeded up and that is very noticeable in the way applications load. The disk is at least as quiet as the original disk. The only thing to bear in mind, at least with a MacBook Pro, is to make sure you have access to a decent Philips 000 or 00 screw driver and a Torx T6 screwdriver. All screws are held in place with threadlock and the Torx screws holding the small bosses that hold the disk in place in the computer are initially difficult enough to remove from the two long sides of the original disk.

GBR2851T Freeview HD Digital Receiver with BBC iPlayer
GBR2851T Freeview HD Digital Receiver with BBC iPlayer

5.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I received this item very promptly from the supplier (Hughes), so that was very good.

I knew there was a firmware update available, but I did not apply it immediately. I installed the box and let it find all available channels. When I knew it was working, I then applied the firmware update.

I bought this box to add Freeview HD to a 3 year old Sony LCD TV, and used the supplied HDMI cable to attach it to the TV. I have just replaced this cable with a 0.5 meter cable, just to keep the rear of the TV neat and tidy. The supplied cable worked perfectly well but was just too long for my installation.

So far I have been delighted with the performance of the box, both with standard definition and high definition broadcasts. In SD mode it seems to be at least as good as the inbuilt TV tuner. I think the HD performance is very good and picture quality is most definitely better than SD, especially where text, lines and sharp edges are concerned. Colour intensity also seems to be better, as proponents of HD claim.

If the box keeps performing as it is, I shall be very delighted with my purchase and would recommend this set-top Freeview HD tuner.

Hayter 616 Spirit 41 Push 4-Wheel 41cm Petrol Mower
Hayter 616 Spirit 41 Push 4-Wheel 41cm Petrol Mower
Offered by GM Suppliers
Price: 299.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mower, 24 Aug 2010
I ordered the mower about 4:30pm on a Thursday and it was delivered by 10:45am on the Friday - very impressive. I read the instructions and set the mower up accordingly. There was nothing difficult about this.

When starting the engine for the first time, it is recommended that the primer pump is depressed 5 times, and not 3 times, as usual. I simply pressed the primer pump until I felt it pump petrol, not air, and then gave it 3 presses. The mower started first time and it always starts first time using 3 presses when it is cold. The engine also seems less noisy than my old mower, which is 15 years old.

One thing that I did find was that the wheel bearings felt a bit tight when I first used it, so I applied some oil to them, as per the instructions. This may have been easier had I put the mower on its left side, or even raised it onto its rear wheels. Next time I do this I expect it to be simpler.

Compared to my old mower, grass-cut height adjustment is a breeze. It is just so easy.

So far, the mower has cut the grass evenly and catches the grass clippings without difficulty. When the grass is damp or heavy with water, the clippings tend to stay on the side where they enter the grass-box, but that is not much of an issue. When the grass-box is almost full, some grass starts to appear on the top of the grass-box, so this is a reminder to empty the box.

After finishing mowing, I always brush the debris off the mower with a hand-brush. I find that the grass chute under the mower does not clog up with fine cuttings as my previous mower did, which is good. Also, because of the streamlined decking, there are very few places for the debris to collect and thus cleaning is quick and simple.

One small point to note: an engine brake is applied unless the operator present lever is operated. This brake must be released before the handle can be unfolded for use.

Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase. Perhaps my only regret is that I did not purchase the self-propelled version.

SoundMagic PL50 Professional in Ear Monitor Earphones
SoundMagic PL50 Professional in Ear Monitor Earphones
Price: 50.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Earphones!, 19 Aug 2010
My previous earphones, Audio-Technica CK7, had just lost sound in their right channel, so I looked around for a reasonable replacement pair. I found good reviews for these earphones and also noted that balanced armature earphones were supposedly better than dynamic earphones. As the PL50s are balanced armature, and somewhat cheaper than most of that type, I put these high on my shopping list.

I use earphones mostly, but not exclusively, whilst I do long runs of 20+ miles, using sensible volume settings so that I can hear traffic, so an over-the-ear style of earphone is highly desirable. As the PL50s have this, and are pretty light, I decided to purchase a set.

The earphones were delivered very promptly, and sounded very good, but after a few hours I realised the right channel's volume had reduced. A replacement set was promptly despatched and these sound very good indeed. Without the CK7s to compare against, I cannot say which is the better, but I really like the sound of the PL50s and can listen to them for a few hours at a time. My feeling is that they are more revealing than the CK7s, which were also very good.

As usual, finding the correct earbud to use with earphones is a bit of a problem. I find the silicon buds sound slightly better but are perhaps not just as comfortable. I have not run with the earphones yet, although I have bounced around with them fitted and they stayed put. I hope to run with them shortly.

Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 1TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive
Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 1TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good data backup device, 1 Feb 2010
Like others reviewers, I found the position of the USB interface and power socket a bit displaced in relation to their holes in the case. Inserting the power jack first helped with the insertion of the USB connector.

I reformatted the disk, as I attach it to a MacBook Pro computer. I created an 80GB partition for WIndows 7 usage and used the rest of the space for Mac use.

I use Time Machine to backup the Mac and occasionally use Windows Backup to backup WIndows 7, installed in a Bootcamp partition on the MacBook.

So far, all backups have worked perfectly and I have performed some tests to retrieve data.

The disk is very quiet in operation and, unless a full backup is being made, it doesn't take long for new data to be written to the disk. I cannot say how the disk would compare to other disks if I was using it as an external storage device to write files to and read files from asynchronously. For my purposes, it works a treat. I could have purchased a more expensive version, with Firewire, but this version, with USB 2, is fast enough for my type of usage.

Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
Price: 131.26

61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Product, 1 Feb 2010
Being a Garmin Forerunner 301 user, which was pretty good in its day and is still working reliably, I finally decided to upgrade to the new Garmin Forerunner 310XT. As I discovered on my first run, which was in the evening, the backlight did not function and could not be made to function. Amazon were extremely good and quickly sent a replacement. I have now had the opportunity to compare the performance of the new 310XT against the older 301.

Wearing a watch on each wrist, I did a few runs and loaded the results of both watches into SportTracks software (select the 405 model or the GPS Communicator). I superimposed the paths onto maps of my routes. I could zoom out so that the maps showed a lot of detail. It was quickly evident that the 310XT watch followed the routes more closely and more predictably than the 301 watch. That is not to say that the 310XT followed the routes perfectly, for GPS is not that accurate, but it was much less affected by the influence of buildings and trees. Quite impressive, really.

The 310XT also picks up satellites much more quickly.

The flexibility offered by the user-customisable screens is a great improvement. I am still experimenting with which data to display. And the use of the on/off switch to quickly set the backlight illumination level to 0%/50%/100% is very user friendly and quick to use on the run.

The chest strap for the heart rate monitor is very nice and, comfort-wise, is quite an improvement on that of the 301.

There are still a number of functions I have not yet tried but, overall, I think this is a very nice speed and distance monitor. In my opinion, it is a good improvement to the 301, which I still also like.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2012 4:14 AM BST

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