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R. F. Stevens "richard23491" (Ickenham UK)
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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1-inch Tablet (White) - (Quad Core 1.9GHz Processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB Storage, WLAN, BT, 2x Camera, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean) (New Edition for 2014)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1-inch Tablet (White) - (Quad Core 1.9GHz Processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB Storage, WLAN, BT, 2x Camera, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean) (New Edition for 2014)
Offered by Luzern
Price: £432.99

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super tablet, fantastic screen resolution, good processor, easy to use,, 30 Dec 2013
A slim, fast, touch tablet with a very hi-res 10.1" display, and two quad-core processors, the big fast one to crunch the data and the smaller one for the multi-pane screen display. It sits well in the hand, and the very welcome real hardware buttons have just the right amount of resistance to not be falsely operated by after-market covers. There is a storage slot for the stylus, a handy little tool which works brilliantly - much better than I expected.

Battery life is reasonable, and 16GB of internal HD is a bit tight, but having a slot for Micro SDHC chips up to 64GB makes life easy if one is prepared to swap out different data sets, and backing up data to or from a well-managed set of spare chips is always a good idea. It recognised a borrowed Blue-tooth keyboard, but I've had to give that back so cannot say how well they might work together in long term daily use.

This was bought as a family Christmas present for SWMBO. She was not expecting it at all, and was speechless with delight when it was unwrapped. Charging the battery did not take too long, but trying to connect to the wi-fi was another matter, and I had to look up on the Internet how to find its MAC number and then give it a Static IP number because its Auto DHCP did not try for any number higher than the normal first slot - which was already bound to another MAC number. This was not covered in the FAQs or the 225 page pdf manual on the Samsung website. Fortunately it turned out to be dead easy once we knew how, and the DHCP should not be a problem for most users elsewhere. The more I see of Android, the more I like it.

The voice-activated web browser is amazing; first place she asked it to search for was 'John Lewis', and it found it, blink, quick as winking. JL just happened to be where I bought it from because of the excellent price (at the time) and also the extra year of warranty. BBC iPlayer works a treat after allowing it to install.

Don't throw away that little plastic bag with some tiny white plastic 'nails' and a strange bent-metal clip. Those are the spare tips for the stylus, and the special tool for extracting and replacing them. Apparently they work better while sharp and can wear down, just like a propelling-pencil lead.

The only negative points I have found so far are that none of the folio-type click-on covers fit it, the new frame size (243.1mm x 171.4mm x 7.9mm) is different from everything. This afternoon we were back in JL, and tried all the folio covers they had; none was a correct fit, not even those listed for Galaxy Note 10.1 (but 2013!) or Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 or iPad, all were just a few mm wrong. So, when ordering a cover, double check to make sure it will fit this 2014 model. The cover we are using for the moment is a general purpose clamshell zip-bag, which is OK, but not brilliant.

More to come as we get to grips with this delightful device.

Addendum. 4th January 2014

The Skype face-to-face 'phone' via the web is brilliant, as is the rest of the internet access. Maybe a saving on mobile bills is possible here.


Cablesson Prime High Speed 1.5m HDMI TO HDMI CABLE with Ethernet (1.4a Version, 15.2Gbps) Supports 1.4 1.3 1.3b 1.3c 1080P 2160p FULL HD for LCD PLASMA & LED Sony PS3 XBOX 360 PC SKYHD Virgin Box Nintendo Wii U AND ALSO SUPPORTS 3D TVS
Cablesson Prime High Speed 1.5m HDMI TO HDMI CABLE with Ethernet (1.4a Version, 15.2Gbps) Supports 1.4 1.3 1.3b 1.3c 1080P 2160p FULL HD for LCD PLASMA & LED Sony PS3 XBOX 360 PC SKYHD Virgin Box Nintendo Wii U AND ALSO SUPPORTS 3D TVS
Offered by HDCentral
Price: £10.49

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well made, durable, flexible, what more do you need from HDMI?, 30 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A simple strong HDMI cable with well made connectors bonded to the round cable with good strain relief at both ends and adequate flexibility. The cable itself is quite thick (7.25mm) with this legend printed on it;

'High Speed HDMI(tm) Cable with Ethernet E-119932-T UR AWM Style 20276 80˚C 30V VW-1 Cablesson® Serial # 20JLU'

If you are worried about feeding it through small holes, the cross section of the plugs measures at 21mm by 11.5mm, and the protective end-covers 17mm by 8mm. Being rounded it will fit through a 21mm diameter hole.

I'm using it to connect a Samsung Monitor to a PC, and all the communications etc work as expected allowing the monitor to be in dialogue with the Catalyst program for the graphics card. As one might expect with a full digital interface, the 1080p pictures are crystal clear and perfectly centred.

A small bonus with the 'Cablesson Prime' variety is that it comes in a nice tough zip-loc bag, useful for storing other leads in.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch - (White, Wi-Fi)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch - (White, Wi-Fi)
Offered by mobohub
Price: £179.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, super display, fast processor, good wi-fi, 30 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An excellent machine; the extra memory, improved dual-page screen display and faster dual-core processor make it much nicer to use than the 7" version. So far it has done everything that we have asked of it; the OS is friendly and all the Apps we have chosen seem to work.

The Az blurb is accurate and everything works as expected, including the updates to the latest Android. The only bit of fiddling required was when it was necessary to dive deeper into the preferences to tell it to use a Static IP number, because our LAN had already assigned the usual first few slots to specific MAC numbers and the Tab's Auto DHCP did not try to look any higher. This should not be a problem for most users elsewhere.

The extra 16GB Micro SDHC card that came with it is so tiny we almost lost it in the Xmas wrappings; but this is more than useful, it is almost essential and even 16GB is a bit on the small side.

It has been mated with a Case Logic folio holder, which is a nice fit but can be a bit uncomfortable to hold and can let dust and grit pass through onto the rear camera lens.

The Tab was an Xmas present from the family to my Son-in-Law, and after a couple of days here playing with it he has gone home a happy man. Having seen how good it is I am almost tempted into buying one for myself.

Addendum. 4th January 2014

The Skype face-to-face 'phone' via web is brilliant, as is the rest of the internet access.

Among its many applications now in use is it being the single multi-remote control for TV, STB, DVD, radio, DVR, and CH, all of which have different types of controls - often lost, or in the case of the TV struggling with worn out buttons. The touch screen buttons on the Tab 3 cannot wear out! Result.

Their CH is interesting as this can now be controlled from any place where there is internet, so the house can be warmed up ready for them when they get back home, or they can even change the settings without stirring from the bed.


Case Logic Case for 10 inch Tablet/iPad - Black
Case Logic Case for 10 inch Tablet/iPad - Black
Price: £29.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful protection for a 10" tablet, but the little bungees do not inspire confdence, 30 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Used with a Galaxy Note 10.1" tablet (or even one slightly larger) the bungees at each of the corners serve to hold the display in place, but I don't feel entirely confident they will do so all the time, and if the tablet was any smaller I would not consider even trying to use this size of case. Fortunately there is a zip around the three open sides to give us a completely closed padded pocket for the best possible protection for the tablet when it is not in use.

With the Note 10.1 strapped in, the top left hand corner bungee goes across the Start button, but so far though it does not seem to have operated it... I would have liked the round bungees to be flatter so that they did not put pressure points on the tablet frame.

The inner leaf carrying the tablet has a stiff Velcro tab on the free centre edge, and when folded back this grips the inside of the front cover (now the base as we have it, the other way up from the Az illustration, but either way works) to secure the tablet at any angle you choose. This tab tends to want to fold forward onto the face of the tablet when closing the case and I worry about the Velcro hooks marking the screen if we forget to fold it back behind.

I think this is really intended as a transporting case rather than a working-in case because it is fully sealed when zipped shut, and there are no holes for cameras to peep through or for plugs to charge the tablet, or, more to the point, no holes to allow dirt to gain access. It actually has enough extra room to also accommodate a (closed) slim folio cover clipped on to the tablet.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2014 5:32 PM GMT


Case Logic FSG1103K Polycarbonate / Nylon Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10 Inches Grey
Case Logic FSG1103K Polycarbonate / Nylon Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10 Inches Grey
Price: £29.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fit for the Tab 3 10.1, but can be uncomfortable to hold, 30 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Used with a 2013 Galaxy Tab 3 10.1" it fits nicely, offers good protection, and folds to the most convenient angles, while still allowing easy access to all the controls. It tends to be a bit slippery when adjusting it, and some of the plastic bits (the tabs which engage in the base for the different angles) are obtrusive and can make it uncomfortable to hold.

Beware, it does NOT fit the 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1 which has a slightly different screen shape, being a few mm more in the long dimension and a few mm less in the shorter dimension, ie its surround has a slightly different external aspect ratio.

Only the passage of time will prove how durable it is. I expect the hinge points to be the weak spots, having seen other lesser cases on friends' tablets beginning to split along the folds after a few months.

If you are concerned about dirt ingress through the various holes then a transporting case is worth considering; we are using this one which is big enough to accommodate the tablet and its folio cover.


Raising Steam: (Discworld novel 40) (Discworld Novels)
Raising Steam: (Discworld novel 40) (Discworld Novels)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Back on Track, Sir Terry raises the lid on the railways, 29 Dec 2013
The introduction of the Steam Age to the Discworld was long overdue, and held back by vested interests there quenching the sparks of invention. At long last the pressure became too great and the railway was begun, but only as it could have been in this strangely different and yet familiar universe offering its warped reflection of the goings-on in our own.

The writing has become more thoughtful, the satire sharper, and the jokes are still there but somewhat deeper and the more rapid readers might well miss them. But then even in the earliest books it often took a page or several for the humour to fully ripen into the full flower of our laughter. Some readers might think the plot lacks substance, maybe it does, but no less than many of his other enjoyable books, and I think this one offers us a more mature way of considering the impact of technology and its powerful effect on our lives, and how it might be used for good - maybe a message for those of us (like me) living under the dark threats of the years of disruption and loss of quality of life that will fall out from HS2.

This book was a most welcome Christmas present for me, and after a five hour sitting reading it yesterday, I am back at the beginning so as to be able to savour it better at a less breakneck pace. Some of his recent novels have disappointed me - a long time fan from the very beginning - but this one is a good 'un.


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Extended Edition [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Extended Edition [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] [2012] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Martin Freeman
Price: £17.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent beginning to the Hobbit, let down by poor "3D", 29 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Most of us are familiar with the story of the Hobbit, and we are all aware that there are to be three films from Peter Jackson to fill out the story. This first part only takes us up to the awakening of Smaug, but gives graphic detail into the history of the dwarves and the background to their feud with the elves. As with the book the story begins in bright happy colour in the Shire with amazing detail, but the further from the Shire our adventurers travel the greyer and more bleak the landscape and the darker the deeds.

The Az blurb is mostly accurate on what is included in the package. There are two discs for the "3D" (Parts 1 and 2), the third has the 2D version, and the fourth and fifth have all the extras (Appendices Parts 7 and 8). (The Az blurb mentions a leaflet and a DVD, but there was no evidence of these in my Extended Edition Bluray package.)

Part of the reason I bought this extended version with the "3D" Bluray was because I knew Santa was going to give me a Samsung BD-F5500 player to go with our Samsung "3D" "400Hz" TV. All the other "3D" discs we have played so far have all been superb (notably including Avatar and Star Trek). Unfortunately after half an hour of fiddling about trying to improve the settings on TV and player to make the Hobbit at least watch-able we gave up, and told the system to carry on and play the "3D" discs in "2D" instead, and this "2D" was superb with fantastic minute detail.

In essence, the edges of the "3D" screen look unreal and out of register, and any foreground "3D" motion is blurred out, and since there is a lot going on in the film this becomes very distracting; switch the same "3D" disc to "2D" and the blurring problem vanishes and the whole picture looks real.

I have been told that the problem with Peter Jackson's "3D" is that it is designed for HFR (High Frame Rate of 48fps) and no way could I get my player and TV to do this, as a pair they insisted on 24fps for the "3D", which just didn't work properly. Several people I respect 'in the know' have suggested that most players and TVs, and many ordinary theatres for that matter, cannot make the HFR playback, and so lots of viewers have been disappointed.

Don't let the poor "3D" here put you off this excellent film, or discourage you from trying the excellent "3D" in other films. I docked the star on this film purely because its "3D" is an unexpected let down.


Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations
Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations
by Gyles Brandreth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to use seriously; contains too many distractions, 29 Dec 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A collection of humorous quotations that has a strange effect: if anybody picks it up intending to find a particular quote by a particular someone, the chances are that half an hour later they will have forgotten the original intention and still be reading it, smiling and chuckling, and raising curious glances from uninformed onlookers.

Giles Brandreth introduces us to the dictionary and the underlying rules for how the contents were selected, and also explains how his lifetime passion with collecting the 'strange and entertaining things people have said' qualified him to be chosen to edit this fifth edition.

There is a lot in here, and like all good things it is best taken in small doses, maybe ten minutes at a time for the best effect. This might be difficult, but some stern self-discipline in exercising abstinence will prove beneficial in ensuring it remains fresher for longer.

In addition to the 338 pages of quotations there is a `How to Use the Dictionary', a `List of Themes', a 33 page `Author Index', and a 91 page `Keyword Index'.

I found that at least ten percent of the quotes made me laugh, and the majority raised a smile. Quite a few of the remainder were simply no longer funny because the context of modern life had passed them by, but I think that their inclusion was still useful as an illustration of past times and mores.

Some random samples.

"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."
- Terry Pratchett

"My misdeeds are accidental happenings and merely the result of having been in the wrong bar or bed at the wrong time, say most days between midday and midnight."
- Jeffery Bernard

"From birth to 18 a girl needs good parents. From 18 to 35, she needs good looks. From 35 to 55, good personality. From 55 on, she needs good cash."
- Sophie Tucker.

"Beneath this slab
John Brown is stowed.
He watched the ads
And not the road."
- Ogden Nash


Classic Dan Dare: Rogue Planet
Classic Dan Dare: Rogue Planet
by Frank Hampson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood memories rekindled as Dan Dare ends an interplanetary war, 27 Dec 2013
`Rogue Planet' is the ninth book in the series of Dan Dare reprints from Titan Books and it follows on directly from the eighth book `The Man from Nowhere'. Dan and his friends are shot down as they approach the peaceful Crypt home world and lose contact with Flamer Spry. The rest of the book is devoted to how they manage to survive numerous alien perils and eventually work out how to defeat the aggressive Phants.

Additional extras include 'Two Passports to Palestine' by Frank Hampson about his experience in the Middle East, `Reflections on the Road of Courage' by Andrew Coffey about Hampson's landmark series, a 'Who's Who in Dan Dare' for those too young to have enjoyed it first time round, and `What has gone before' an essential summary of what happened previously in the `Man from Nowhere'. All the books also include a 'Checklist' of all the main Dan Dare stories, when they were published, who they were written by, and which artists were involved.

The Rogue Planet set was originally published in Eagle from 02/12/1955 (Vol 6, no 48), to 15/02/1957 (Vol 8, no 7). Frank Hampson is the lead artist setting the style with help from Don Harley. The print quality and colour fidelity is generally good although there is occasionally some faint alias patterning clearly visible in the flat colours where the de-screening in the scans of the half-tone originals has not been totally effective. My only remaining wish is that the pages could have been as big as the old 1950s Eagle page was. As it is older eyes need glasses to read the smaller lettering and appreciate all the superb detail of the drawing.

This is a definite trip down memory lane for the sixty-year-olds among us, and I was reminded also of many of the surrounding happenings at the time I first read these particular stories. I missed a crucial seven weeks in the middle of them because of a sea voyage travelling back from Africa (no cheap air travel in those days) and was never able to read them until now. So I found this was a very welcome 2013 Christmas present.


Classic Dan Dare: Safari in Space (Dan Dare (Graphic Novel)) (Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future)
Classic Dan Dare: Safari in Space (Dan Dare (Graphic Novel)) (Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future)
by Frank Hampson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood memories rekindled as Dan Dare explores deep space, 27 Dec 2013
This is the twelfth book in the series of Dan Dare reprints from Titan Books. Dan and his friends are kidnapped from their `Safari in Space' by renegade scientist McHoo who plans to take them to the distant planet Terra Nova in search of his father and Dan's father. But life is not that simple for McHoo because Space Fleet are in hot pursuit to rescue resourceful Dan and friends. The second part of the story continues on `Terra Nova'. And you need to buy the next Titan Book to see the eventual conclusion in `Trip to Trouble'.

Additional extras include an overview of 'Dan Dare Abroad' by Richard Sheaf showing how Dan Dare fared in other publications and languages overseas, and a 'Who's Who in Dan Dare' for those too young to have enjoyed it first time round. All the books also include a 'Checklist' of all the main Dan Dare stories, when they were published, who they were written by, and which artists were involved.

The Safari in Space set was originally published in Eagle from 03/01/1959 (Vol 10, no 1), to 02/05/1959 (Vol 10, no 18). The Terra Nova set was originally published in Eagle from 09/05/1959 (Vol 10, no 19), to 21/11/1959 (Vol 10, no 40). Frank Hampson is the lead artist setting the style with help from Don Harley, and Frank Bellamy takes Hampson's place part-way through the second story. The print quality and colour fidelity is excellent, and my only remaining wish is that the pages could have been as big as the old 1950s Eagle page was. As it is older eyes need glasses to read the smaller lettering and appreciate all the superb detail of the drawing.

This is a definite trip down memory lane for the sixty-year-olds among us, and I was reminded also of many of the surrounding happenings at the time I first read these particular stories. So I found it was a very welcome 2013 Christmas present.


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