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@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational and all my circuits are functioning perfectly." (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.)

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Philips Master GU10 4-35 Watt LED 3000 K 25D MV Spot Light, Neutral White
Philips Master GU10 4-35 Watt LED 3000 K 25D MV Spot Light, Neutral White
Offered by The Lightbulb Company
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A bright move..., 16 Sep 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
These Philips lightbulbs are much sturdier than the cheapo Halogen bulbs I've been buying. I've been getting cheapo ones because they keep blowing - that's the problem with halogen bulbs in a kitchen where they can easily get droplets on them which aren't good for the bulb. LED bulbs don't get hot so they aren't prone to self destructing because of a smear across the glass. I've used many halogen bulbs were the actual glass has a sharp rim which makes them tricky/dangerous to remove and install. These however are well made and are easily installed (press and twist).

My light has the bulbs exposed as only the base of the bulb sits in a recess, and these are actually quite attractive as the plastic outer casing looks far more attractive than the metallic "cone" of halogen bulbs. And once switched on these are instantly bright - much brighter than I expected. I'm using a single review to cover several of these as they are are all essentially the same apart from the `warmth' of the light. The ones described as "white" give a very bright but sterile light. Perfect if you have a white kitchen you want showing at its gleaming best after daylight hours, but personally I prefer the none White/Cool White which give a warmer tone and make my palid skin look less alienlike.

Until I've used these for years it's impossible to say how long they'll last, but these have already outlived some of my halogen bulbs and they feel much sturdier than budget LED bulbs (and brighter). Also, some LED bulbs seem wider than their Halogen equivalents and don't fit into light fittings very well, these however fit perfectly.

In a nutshell: I'm impressed with these. Halogen bulbs used to burn my neck when I washed up (I'm tall and they were only about 30cm away from my neck) but these don't waste energy by superheating and they actually look nice - which is something I'd never even considered about a lightbulb before, though I guess they are often 'on display'!

MOGA Mobile Android Gaming System
MOGA Mobile Android Gaming System
Price: £15.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Control freak!, 12 Aug 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not a massive gamer, though my wonderful other half is changing that (she's hooked me on Ni No Kuni for PS3). But this is the kind of gadget that wins me over, the idea of converting my Android phone into a serious portable gaming device with dedicated controls sounded cool. But don't go expecting a pocket arcade...

...The device itself feel solidly built, it feels like a decent games controller and is instantly familiar to anyone who's ever controlled bits of code on screen by a control-pad, be it making an Italian plumber jump on baddies or forcing a hedgehog to run like a mentalist. It has a retro charm to it, and I like that. My phone slots into the 'arm' which in-turn holds the phone securely while I get on with my gaming. Don't expect 'plug and play' functionality here though, first you must download the Moga Pivot app to enable your phone to connect with the device, and then you can only use this with certain games. If you're expecting to be able to control all your apps with this then you may be disappointed, and you may find you're removing and re-inserting your phone quite regularly.

Having said that though, you don't have to have your phone held in the Moga device, once paired via Bluetooth there's no actual physical connection required at all, users of tablets or unfeasibly large phones (I'm knocking them because I'm jealous) can have their prized tech held in a stand while they use the controller for gaming. That may be a better way of doing it to be honest because I find that I have to hold the controller at a slightly awkward angle in order to see my phone (a Samsung Galaxy Ace II) optimally. Those who suffer from discomfort or pain when using small devices could find that this opens up new possibilities.

In a nutshell: Not perfect, not hardcore, but still fun. It's no wonder this comes bundled with Sonic and Pac-Man; this is better suited for retro games as most modern games for mobile devices are developed with touchpad and tilt controls in mind.

SUPER MINI DSP Ultra Portable Travel Speaker with Built-in Battery Compatible with ANY 3.5mm Audio Line-in Device Laptops Netbooks Mobile Phones MP3 players iPhone 3GS 4 4S iPad iPod Nano Touch Classic 3G G3 G4 G5 (1x Ricco P11 Black)
SUPER MINI DSP Ultra Portable Travel Speaker with Built-in Battery Compatible with ANY 3.5mm Audio Line-in Device Laptops Netbooks Mobile Phones MP3 players iPhone 3GS 4 4S iPad iPod Nano Touch Classic 3G G3 G4 G5 (1x Ricco P11 Black)
Offered by Gadget Express
Price: £8.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but flawed., 12 Aug 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a lovely looking speaker with a metallic finish and minimalist design - it even comes with a nice little pouch to keep it scuff free when you chuck in your bag with the rest of your stuff! But looks can deceive...

The first problem is the power button - the sparse instruction tell you to press it but it's not actually obvious where it is - it turned out then pressing the middle of the device from above seemed to turn it on and off. In my quest for a power button I inadvertently pulled the speaker apart, the lower half seemed to twist round, but it's not meant to - it pushed back on but is now a little loose. These are easily overcome however and once you know how to power the thing on, you can then really see how it performs.

It's actually sounds okay, much better than the built in speaker on my works laptop, but not as good as the speaker on my home laptop (which is newer and designed for media playback). The volume is quiet, but that's what I expected, the sound won't fill a room but it's perfect for sitting at the desk and listening to a few tunes. The depth of sound is impressive and better than battery operated travel speakers I've had. Your device plugs into the speaker via a mini-USB lead (provided) which is on a retractable cable, the other end of the cable splitting into a USB and an aux port. This means you can plug it directly into the earphone socket of any device (iPod, phone, PC, etc) and also plug it into a powered USB port to keep it charging. This is handy, especially as the battery only seems to last half an hour - I've seen others have more success with the battery so perhaps I just have a defective unit. This limits its use as I don't bother plugging it into my iPod because it seems pointless for just half an hour, and the latest generation iPod touch has external speakers which are actually better than this anyway. I plug this into my laptop at work and listen to music through it, it's ideal for that as I plug the aux cable into my earphone socket, and the USB cable into a USB port so that the speaker is constantly on charge.

In a nutshell: With a better battery I'd give this 4 stars as to would be ideal to take on picnics or use to provide music when away (I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms and portable speakers are great then) - but the short battery life really restricts how can use this. The sound quality doesn't blow you away but is more than adequate.

Firefly - The Complete Series [Blu-ray] [2002]
Firefly - The Complete Series [Blu-ray] [2002]
Dvd ~ Nathan Fillion
Price: £11.20

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "That sounds like something out of science fiction" ..."We live in a spaceship, dear", 23 Jun 2013
I'll get lynched for saying this - but I was never a Buffy or Angel fan, I'm not knocking them, I just never really watched them. I ignored Firefly because I assumed it was some sort of teenage vampire series, yeah - I was spectacularly wrong, but we all make mistakes. A Firefly super-fan (I believe they are called "Browncoats") friend of mine introduced me to the series over a curry and I went on to watch the rest of the episodes.

Being a fan of Cowboy Bebop I realised that Science Fiction and Western imagery can work well together. Firefly seems to be unfairly panned by people desperate to box this into a specific genre and struggle with the western/Sci-Fi look, that's a shame as the two genres complement each other naturally when placed in a cyberpunk future where folk have to live in barren and often hostile environments. You have to let go of the idea that spaceships are gleaming white collections of magical technology and see them simply as vessels to get around, they can be clunky and temperamental but still retain an element of majesty. Joss Whedon has created a world which is more comic-book than reality but still retains enough realism to feel grounded and not far-fetched.

A small ensemble rather than a huge crew helps to build a more intimate atmosphere, initially it seems a bit forced with characters existing to bring a specific element to the series (the grumpy one, the aggressive one, the comedy one, etc) but as they start to develop over the episodes they become increasingly multi-faceted with tensions and histories beginning to test the way the team work together. Infact, they aren't a team at all to start with but they slowly integrate into a unit as a sense of camaraderie grows as a result of their exploits. This is very episodic, you could jumble the order of the episodes and in most cases it wouldn't matter too much, there are story arcs but these aren't as significant as the little reveals into the personal relationships between certain crew members. This emotional element is most obvious at the end of the series and it feels as though it would have developed further if it weren't for the whole thing ending somewhat prematurely. That's the main flaw of Firefly and sadly it's not the fault of the series, this was always meant to slowly unfold into a fully-fledged universe and seeds which were sown early on were not allowed to come to fruition. A formulaic series becomes pretty compulsive viewing and is then cut short just as it finds its feet. The cast didn't blow me away to start with, but like everything else in the Firefly universe, I grew to love them and I even laughed out loud at some of the fantastic dialogue (this has some of the best one-liners of *any* series), a series which doesn't contain aliens relies on the human aspects, and Joss Whedon ensures that this is a very human series.

In a nutshell: There's a reason this has such a cult following, it's a great series. And although I wasn't totally convinced to start with - by the end of it I was completely immersed and put off watching the final episode because I didn't want it to end. I felt cheated that it did. Firefly worked hard to slowly develop a fine central group of characters and had this been allowed to continue it would have rivalled the biggest of Sci-Fi series in popularity and influence, I suppose I'll have to watch Serenity now and hope the film is able to satisfy all those unanswered questions. I am sure this would have been a 5 star series, but because it is limited by the retarded decision to end it early, I've given it 4.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2014 4:07 PM BST

Brabantia Ironing Board with PerfectFlow Cover, 124 x 45 cm Size C Metallic Grey Frame, 101229
Brabantia Ironing Board with PerfectFlow Cover, 124 x 45 cm Size C Metallic Grey Frame, 101229
Price: £89.30

5.0 out of 5 stars The pressing matter of size..., 22 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had what I considered to be an amazing ironing board - it folded so that it stored in the smallest of places. It was more than just an ironing board - it was a gadget, but unfortunately it had a habit of collapsing whilst in use and that's pretty dangerous. I was keen to compare it to this, this doesn't collapse. That's an instant 'win' over my fold-up model.

The first thing you notice about this board is the size of the ironing surface, it's huge, much bigger than it looks in the picture because the iron rest itself is over-sized to safely house a steam unit. I don't have a steam unit, so my iron has plenty of room to rest. The ultra-wide surface area means that ironing is considerably quicker, you spend less time adjusting your garments and it's perfect for lazy ironers like me - I can just place my t-shirt along the ironing board and press it (I don't bother doing both sides - it preserves my funky t-shirt prints).

The height of the board is fully adjustable, I'm 6'2" (nearly) with a bad back (from stooping) and I can use this comfortably. More Hobbit-sized individuals will find that this can also be used at fairly low-heights too. It's easy to adjust and feels very steady indeed, this is a rugged feeling contraption and I have no doubts that this will give years of loyal surface.

In a nutshell: Sometimes an ironing board isn't just an ironing board - this really does make ironing much more efficient. It's so impressively large I know any visitors will get ironing board envy.

Centrum Multivitamins for Men - Pack of 30
Centrum Multivitamins for Men - Pack of 30
Price: £6.25

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man tablets!, 22 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having ended a marriage*, I find myself living out of bags and occasionally snoozing in a sleeping bag. Needless to say I no longer have the facilities or time to make meals from scratch and yesterday I ate crisps, biscuits and chocolate for lunch. Until my situation changes, these multi-vitamins are plugging a few gaps in my diet which I probably need considering that I've been suffering from a few spots recently.

The pills are disconcertingly large but thankfully they are lined with a coating which turns 'slimy' once wet so they don't get stuck on the way down. They happen to look like oversized Viagra which leads to some mirth and amusement when I take one in the office. I've been taking these for a few weeks, I can't say I've noticed a massive difference but my skin is definitely less 'teenage' now, though I don't know which particular vitamin I was lacking to cause that. I won't go into the percentages of the various nutrients here as they are in the product description.

In a nutshell: I've always been a critic of vitamin pills - I would always say that a balanced diet should mean you never need them. Now my lifestyle has changed I'm glad that these exist so that I can ensure I am getting the nutrients I am sadly lacking from my diet of crisps and the occasional fish finger sandwich.

* For the best of reasons, and in the rare event that anyone reading this cares - I am now with the most fabulously, amazing, gorgeous Welsh wonder and incredibly happy.

Brabantia Portable Laundry Basket and Bag - Yellow
Brabantia Portable Laundry Basket and Bag - Yellow
Price: £24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Pop it up, 22 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This laundry basket does the job well, it is sturdy, the material is tough and easy to clean and it folds away if you so desire. The magnetic handles are great for carrying this up and downstairs, they are made even more handy considering the weight that this can hold.

The capacity of this laundry basket is huge - it can hold a hell of a lot without losing shape and falling over. Yellow fans will be pleased, this is the yellowest of yellows.

It is pricey though and I think I'd be tempted to get something less attractive, more unwieldy, and with less capacity if it meant I could spend a fifth of the amount - I could spend the money I save on clothes to fill the basket with.

Braun CoolTec CT2s Electric Shaver with Active Cooling Technology
Braun CoolTec CT2s Electric Shaver with Active Cooling Technology
Price: £94.36

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes shaving cool, 22 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was never an electric shaver fan until I acquired an Braun unit, so I've been able to compare this to the Braun Series 5 5040 Rechargeable Wet and Dry Male Foil Shaver.

This cuts no closer than the Series 5, but that's no surprise considering how close that model shaves - it really does compare with that of a wet shave with a razor. It's not quite as close but the difference is so marginal that you can't really tell, skin feels very smooth afterwards and there isn't the redness you sometimes get with a razor. I sometimes have sensitive skin and it can become sore after a shave, but since using this I have had no soreness at all. It's also much quicker, simply press the power button and go - within a couple of minutes or so I am all smooth and lovely, then simply empty the collector and give it a quick tap (this takes seconds).

This is quite a heavy unit, but it fits nicely in the hand. Instead of a simple charging cable it has a dock, personally I prefer a simple wire to plug in but the dock does the job and this charges quickly and remains charged for a considerable amount of time. The overall unit feels very robust, I am confident this will give plenty of service. It's so easy to maintain too - emptying is a swift action, charging only takes an hour, and once charged it seems to last for ages so you won't find yourself constantly charging it. Plus it stores away in a handy little bag, perfect! When in use it doesn't vibrate too much, the finish seems rubberised so it is gripped easily, even when stood in the shower. The beard trimmer simply pops up and is easily popped back down, so it doesn't get in the way and doesn't require any fiddly attachments.

As for the cooling technology - well, it's not a gimmick, it works! The cool plate feels lovely on the skin, I don't suffer irritation from the razor so I don't use it (it significantly reduces battery life). I suspect that for most folk it will be used just for novelty value the first few times, but for those who do experience burning sensation it could be enough to warrant paying extra.

In a nutshell: Not only does this deliver in terms of performance, but it is easy to use and feels like a solid gadget. For those concerned that a foil shaver might not compare well to a `normal' wet shave, you needn't have any concerns. Not only does it shave close, but it's quicker and much more gentle on skin. Cooling technology is there for those who feel they need it but overall a more cost efficient purchase would be the slightly older Series 5 which shaves just as close, but lacks the coolplate.

Pentax WG-3 Waterproof Digital Camera - Black (16MP, 4x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD
Pentax WG-3 Waterproof Digital Camera - Black (16MP, 4x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adventure time!, 10 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This camera is designed with a specific type of customer in mind - those wanting a cutting edge camera but not a DSLR/mirrorless model will be looking more at bridge or larger sensor cameras (such as the Canon Powershot G range). This isn't a camera for someone who wants the best image quality available at their fingertips, but as someone wise once said: "The best camera is the one you have with you" - and a rugged camera you don't have to keep hidden away when conditions are challenging is a pretty major benefit. This is a camera for active types who may be splashed, sprayed and jolted - and it does the job pretty well....

...The camera feels reassuringly solid. I gave it the ultimate test, I gave it to my three children (aged 3, 6 and 8) who spent the day taking photos and videos of random madness. They argued over it, they dropped it, they threw it in fits of anger and they got it wet when watering the plants. It remained intact and still works perfectly fine. As you can gather, the basic functions are very easy to use - as a point and shoot camera you simply power it up, and then use the shutter button to focus and snap, same as pretty much any other camera. The power button is small but that makes it difficult to accidentally press and turn the device off when you want to use it. Zooming is easy and accessible with your thumb (again, as you see with almost every other model) with the most silent zoom I've ever (not) heard. The lens doesn't protrude from the camera, and no moving parts means that there is very little to damage. A moving lens is fine in a `normal' environment, but it can suck in dust, grit can jam it, and water can destroy the camera. If you are using this for capturing outdoors action then you really don't want any areas of weakness and this Pentax model is solid.

The menus aren't the best I've seen, they use a lot of bright graphics and I suppose that makes it easy to identify what you want if you're canoeing or rock climbing. The screen is adequate but not as beautiful as the ones I've seen on other cameras - it does the job though and again, there's less to be damaged than if it were a 4 inch super-OLED display. When pressing the green button to put it on a quick shoot automatic mode, the screen seems to show the graphics and icons in a lower resolution which is odd, but they are still perfectly readable.

Image quality - the ultimate decider for a camera. I am very happy with the images from this camera, if I compare them to my (5 year old) Canon Powershot G10 then they show more purple fringing, more digital noise, more smearing and more blown highlights - but that's only noticeable when zooming right in and this Pentax provides good quality photos which can be cropped heavily while still retaining enough quality to print/upload. ISO starts at 125 rather than 80, but a bright lens means that the camera rarely strays above ISO 200 unless you're in fairly dark conditions. The various shooting modes are fun but this is the type of camera you'll probably just leave in auto, if you want to shoot video then this is more than capable with the video looking smooth at 30fps at 1080p (or 30fps/60fps at 720p). The video suffers from some heavy noise reduction which smears away detail and once you've taken the video you have to wait for it to write to the card (which takes a few seconds), but to document your adventures and upload onto social media sites this does a great job and you can zoom whilst filming (many cameras don't allow this). Image stability is impressive too as you'd expect with a camera designed for outdoorsy type stuff.

In a nutshell: Compared to similarly priced cameras this probably seems underwhelming in terms of image performance, but compared to some heavy duty, rugged models this is a fantastic purchase which can attach to a bag or belt and be ready for action. It might not have the performance of other models, but if I were mountain biking/abseiling /white water rafting - this is the camera I would chose. Also - this is a fantastic camera for families, I've known three different folk have excellent cameras ruined by taking them on the beach (sand is a camera's worse nightmare) and I can take this anywhere with the confidence it'll come back still working!

Sci-Fi Sound Effects (Vintage Beeb)
Sci-Fi Sound Effects (Vintage Beeb)
by BBC
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £9.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Click, click, whir. Bang!, 10 Jun 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This CD is squarely aimed at folk like me where "geek" is a label to be proud of rather than any kind of insult. The BBC know that, and making the CD look like a mini vinyl record is a nice touch which made me smile when I opened the CD case. The artwork on the cover looks quite low-grade, almost like a pirated CD but I'd like to think that this is purposefully done to reflect the fact that a lot of the BBC Sci-Fi TV shows were low budget and relied on great storytelling rather than cutting-edge visuals (bubble-wrap monsters in Doctor Who being a prime example).

The CD consists of 81 tracks, at first I thought these would be a wide range of sound effects but the effects are split into four distinct sections:

-Hitchchiker's Guide To The Galaxy
-Doctor Who (1980s)
-Blake's Seven
-Earthsearch (a BBC Radio series)

If you're an audiophile who likes to mess about with audio files (I'm so proud of that line!) then these are nice little sounds to add into your audio creations, and of course many of them can be ripped and used as alerts for your PC/Mobile phone, etc. The very first sound effect is The Guide from H2G2 and is my favourite one, it's mono as are many of the effects on here. The Hitchhiker's Guide effect along with Doctor Who will be the most recognisable with Earthsearch stirring some distant memory of a series long-since gone and only slightly remembered. This is definitely a CD with a narrow target market and would have more appeal if it had a wider range of sound effects including some more iconic sounds (more Doctor's TARDIS sounds and popular alien enemies would be great - though other CDs contain these).

In a nutshell: Three stars from me because this is an interesting CD but it could be awesome if more comprehensive. A near-definitive collection would be a must-have for fans of British Sci-Fi, whereas this CD contains a range of sounds from a pretty narrow field of interest.

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