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Mr Smith (England)

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Behringer UCA222 U-Control Ultra-Low Latency 2 In/2 Out USB Audio Interface
Behringer UCA222 U-Control Ultra-Low Latency 2 In/2 Out USB Audio Interface
Offered by DJWAREHOUSE
Price: £28.50

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Audio Interface, 3 Dec. 2011
Don't be put off by the relatively low price tag of this product; this is a fantastic piece of kit.

I was up and running in under 60 seconds, the simplicity is outstanding. The interface gives crystal clear audio results in both recording and playback. I've run my Korg synths and drum machine through this and the audio capture is fantastic, and (so far) I haven't noticed any latency, even with multiple tracks playing and recording at the same time.

The bundled software is brilliant. I would happily pay the same again (if not more) for the energyXT2.5 DAW that's included. I love it (it's not quite up there with Cubase - but it's pretty damn close!)

Also the virtual instruments and plug-ins included on the second disk are pretty useable, with some reasonably good analogue synth emulators (they won't replace a Mopho or a Slim Phatty anytime soon, but they are good for sketching up ideas)

A word of note that if you need to record guitar or vocals you'll need to use some form of pre-amp (personally I've got an old Zoom MRS 802 studio which I plug my mic/guitar into first, and run it into the interface via the studios aux output, it sounds awesome!) - A small mixer with phantom power for a mic would do just as well though.

A well-deserved 5 stars


SanDisk Sansa Fuze 4GB MP3 Player with Radio and MicroSD/SDHC Slot - Black
SanDisk Sansa Fuze 4GB MP3 Player with Radio and MicroSD/SDHC Slot - Black

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressed!, 1 Feb. 2009
Looks/Feel:
First things first, straight out of the box this little mp3 player looks stunning, the photo here fails to give it justice. It' a good weight in the hand, and the 'wheel' feels very solid

Basic controls:
The controls and menu browsing are beautiful in their simplicity, even people with a very limited knowledge of these gadgets (me, for example) need not even read the enclosed instructions.

Connectivity:
The interface with widows is excellent, with Vista recognising the Fuze straight away. The "drag & drop" method of storing your song information couldn't be easier, and it is very fast - it transferred around 2 gig of music files very very rapidly.

Sound:
The best part of this player (and of course the most important!) is the sound. I'll admit that on first listen I wasn't very impressed with the factory pre-sets, but there is an option to fully customize the sound using the custom equalizer setting. This proved excellent and I was able to attain (for me personally) the perfect sound.- FANTASTIC

Screen:
The screen is just the right size, it's very clear and the display is aesthetically pleasing. The photos supplied seem very sharp and well defined, but I am yet to try my own pictures in the device.

Extras.
The addition of FM radio is a very welcome feature. The signal is clear and tuning the radio is relativity simplistic. The supplied earphones are also good quality.

Overall:
Brilliant. I struggle to find fault with this lovely looking, affordable, good quality device. Well worth the money.


Sansa Fuze 8gb MP3 Player Black
Sansa Fuze 8gb MP3 Player Black

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!, 17 Jan. 2009
Looks/Feel:
First things first, straight out of the box this little mp3 player looks stunning, the photo here fails to give it justice. It' a good weight in the hand, and the 'wheel' feels very solid

Basic controls:
The controls and menu browsing are beautiful in their simplicity, even people with a very limited knowledge of these gadgets (me, for example) need not even read the enclosed instructions.

Connectivity:
The interface with widows is excellent, with Vista recognising the Fuze straight away. The "drag & drop" method of storing your song information couldn't be easier, and it is very fast - it transferred around 2 gig of music files very very rapidly.

Sound:
The best part of this player (and of course the most important!) is the sound. I'll admit that on first listen I wasn't very impressed with the factory pre-sets, but there is an option to fully customize the sound using the custom equalizer setting. This proved excellent and I was able to attain (for me personally) the perfect sound.- FANTASTIC

Screen:
The screen is just the right size, it's very clear and the display is aesthetically pleasing. The photos supplied seem very sharp and well defined, but I am yet to try my own pictures in the device.

Extras.
The addition of FM radio is a very welcome feature. The signal is clear and tuning the radio is relativity simplistic.
The option to expand the Fuze's memory with a micro-SD card is also a wonderful, and highly practical, addition

Overall:
Brilliant. I struggle to find fault with this lovely looking, affordable, good quality device. Well worth the money.


Letter To A Christian Nation
Letter To A Christian Nation
by Sam Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short. Sharp. Powerful. Brilliant., 14 May 2008
The real power in this book comes from the arguments put forward. Sam Harris seems to work on a level of pure reason. His words are not the ranting of a fanatic, or zealot - but rather a thoughtful and concerned (and highly moral) point of view from a person who clearly loves his country and is very concerned (and rightly so!) in the direction it seems to be heading.

The book is unequivocally brilliant! I find it hard to imagine a truly open minded believer (if there is such a thing) not feeling truly doubtful of their misguided beliefs after reading this book.
If, however, you don't feel the slightest shaking of your beliefs then congratulations - you are a fundamentalist.


Blind Faith
Blind Faith
by Ben Elton
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important message and a good read., 20 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Blind Faith (Hardcover)
It is easy to draw the comparison with Orwell's `1984' (which is actually name-checked within the novels narrative), but I think the book also owes a lot (perhaps more than 1984) to Huxley's `Brave New World' - both unarguably un-shabby influences.

The main thing that marks out the divergence in ideas with Elton's novel and 1984 is faith, or rather the dangers of blind faith and religious fundamentalism (It does make you wonder if Elton has ever read the non-fiction book `The end of Faith' by the equally brilliant Sam Harris!?)

While I agree with some of the other reviews here - that this book may not be his best in the sense of storyline (in my opinion that accolade goes to his brilliant `High Society') I feel the importance of the message outweighs the flaws in narrative.

Like many of his other best sellers the book is drenched in satire, but I do admit, lacks the overall wit of some of his better novels (`Dead Famous' is an excellent example of Elton at his satirical hilarious best). With this view in mind however it is worth noting that unlike `Dead Famous' this book deals with a subject that is harder to make light of - the inherent dangers of blind faith over logic and reason.

By discarding the values of reason, freedom of thought and science Elton has (perhaps with an almost depressingly terrifying accuracy) portrayed a world led by faith - it is not a pleasant one


State of Fear
State of Fear
by Michael Crichton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic and important novel, 20 Jan. 2008
This review is from: State of Fear (Paperback)
This is very well researched novel; the story is gripping and contains genuine and compelling evidence against `man-made' global warming. The book is essentially Crichton's attack on `the march of unreason' (as the equally brilliant Dick Taverne would put it).

Along the way the narrative of the book exposes (backed up by scientific research - all fully referenced I might add) many of the `truths' we're fed via the media & eco-fundamentals to be no more than wilful fabrications and woeful manipulation of data.

I do concur with some of the reviews that this may not be a strong a story as we've come to expect from Crichton, but in a world where we are increasing shown only one side of a debate (and the notion of man-made global warming is still very much in the throes of scientific debate as I write this) any semblance of reason, truth and rational argument should be firmly grasped with both hands and celebrated accordingly (hence the 5 stars)

All in all the book makes for an amazingly thought provoking and enjoyable read


The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
by Sam Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant., 20 Jan. 2008
I really can't begin to articulate or do justice to the quality and lucidity of the arguments put forward by Harris within this book, so I'll just say this;

If you have an open, intelligent and enquiring mind - Read it.
If you want a better understanding of why the world is in such a mess - Read it
If you are interested in ethics, moral identity and politics - Read it.
If you are intrigued by the nature of belief - Read it


Tricks Of The Mind
Tricks Of The Mind
by Derren Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was not what I was expecting!, 5 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Tricks Of The Mind (Paperback)
"Ah...erm thanks" was my response to a well meaning relative after opening the wrapping surrounding this book on my birthday.
For a start I'm not really sure if I even like Derren Brown all that much! - However reading is a great passion of mine - so on one dreary afternoon - and for lack of anything better to read - I took the plunge and began!

Firstly I was surprised by the wit and charismatic form the writing took. Derren is truly a gifted writer. This book is both enjoyable and well informed (Derren sights a wide range of references including Dick Taverne & Sam Harris - no less!).
Essentially the book is quite a bizarre mix of insights into how memory can be trained, the power of suggestibility, unconscious communication and other techniques employed by magicians, charlatans and Derren alike.

Part six of the book is, for me, arguably the most compelling section - in which Derren reflects on the current trends of anti and pseudo science. This was not at all what I was expecting from this book, and therein is why I feel it firmly deserves the 5 stars I'm going to award it.

I have no doubt that fans of Derren's shows will find plenty of material within they enjoy (and can impress their mates with) while people such as myself, who until reading this had no real opinion of the man, will be won over by his wit, story telling ability and (in the case of part 6 of the book) cool logic and respect for scientific process.

Right, I'm off to thank my aunt for such an (unexpectedly) brilliant gift.


The March of Unreason: Science, Democracy, and the New Fundamentalism
The March of Unreason: Science, Democracy, and the New Fundamentalism
by Dick Taverne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eco-fundamentalists principal goal seems to be the wanton and total annihilation of rational debate., 5 Jan. 2008
An absolutely fantastic book.
In an ideal world, one not controlled by doomsayers, fear-mongers and sensationalist headline grabbers - this excellent book would be on the school science curriculum throughout Europe.
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth (which makes a refreshing change!).
Just read it!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2009 6:27 PM GMT


The God Delusion
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Open-mindedness required., 27 Nov. 2007
This review is from: The God Delusion (Paperback)
I do not wish to review this book in the traditional sense as, ultimately, personal views can taint the angle and tone of the review - so I will not be discussing the books actual content. I do say this however - whether you are religious or not it is certainly worth A PROPER READ! It would seem that half the negative reviews on here are from people who have (at best) skimmed through a few points then attacked them as though their lives depended on it (which if you believe in the after life may actually be close to the truth!) - I simply can not believe that any open minded individual could walk away from this book only to attack it - it would be interesting to have a TRUTHFUL poll of Christians and religious types to see how many of them have actually read it cover to cover. I do concede however that some of the references contained therein and the general technicality of the text may be enough to "bore" people of a weaker intellectual persuasion.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2007 10:11 PM GMT


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