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robotfish "robotfish" (London)
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Not For Parents London: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (Lonely Planet Not for Parents Travel Book)
Not For Parents London: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (Lonely Planet Not for Parents Travel Book)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slight - Poor Content - Kids Liked it, 27 Feb. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well, it is specifically not targetted at me, but I can comment. I found the presentation of facts a bit "in your face", I found the subjects a bit too obvious (but then we are Londoners - maybe we are all the wrong market) and I found the language did not match the presentation.

Very frequently the presentation looks like it is for 9 -10 year olds but the text is aimed squarely at older kids.

This is a schizophrenic, badly designed book with a limited shelf life and a limited appeal.

The kids loved it though, so what do I know.


Golden Records (PC & Mac)
Golden Records (PC & Mac)

4.0 out of 5 stars Laborious But Will Uncover Gems, 27 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Golden Records (PC & Mac) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have over a 1200 CDs. I have over 900 vinyl albums. About 40% crossover, so there is an AWFUL lot of my music collection that will rarely get played as LPs are simply not as user friendly as CDs, never mind mp3.

This software can help. The transfer quality will depend greatly on the source material (scratched vinyl? Dull needle?) as they say "rubbish in, rubbish out", but in some cases it will be worth it to hear an album or single that hasn't quite made it over to CD.

The extremes of the process could be: "I'm going to take a week off work and digitise my collection" or you could just do it when you feel like listening to, say, Kingmaker after all these years. However the process is extremely tedious. I have used this on 3 albums, and to be frank I'm looking at the rest and wondering if it is worth it.

If you are committed, and have time on your hands, this does seem an excellent solution to the vinyl problem though.


The Comic Cafe
The Comic Cafe
by Roger Stevens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Son Devoured It, 27 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Comic Cafe (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'd rate this as a challenging read for an 8 year old, probably better for 10+. However the book is well written, funny & suspenseful, so will engage younger readers too if they are patient.

I skimmed the book to make sure that the language was suitable and found nothing to scare me so I threw it at my son and he read it in 2 days. I shall leave the review to him, directly from his school book report after day 1:

"Really good, really funny and I can't wait to find out what happens next."


200 Veggie Feasts: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Ideas
200 Veggie Feasts: Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes and Ideas
by Louise Pickford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the least inspiring cookbooks ever, 27 Feb. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
How often do you look through a cookbook and not see one disk you want to make? It hardly ever happens does it?
Well it has to me. Once. This book.

The book is compact, which now that I write that seems weird. Apart from when camping why would anyone want a compact cookbook? Surely the point of these things is to lure you in with glossy pages full of sumptuous food photography and enthusiastic interesting insightful writing about the dishes.

This book does not have a redeeming feature. Unless you count a wipe-clean front.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2012 1:40 PM GMT


Ballistic SG Shell Gel Case for iPhone 4 / 4S - Black
Ballistic SG Shell Gel Case for iPhone 4 / 4S - Black
Offered by Wholesome Flyover
Price: £15.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Saved An Iphone After 4 Days!, 27 Feb. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Now, 5 stars for a case may be pushing it a bit, but when it has just saved my wife's iphone 4s from an untimely demise (dropped from 5 foot onto a stone tiled kitchen floor) then I salute it and bring out the stars.

The corners are well protected by rubber, the volume controls are covered but have relief buttons to guide your fingers, the back is ridged to aid grip. It looks good. Rugged but good.

The bad side is that it is a little chunky round the edges and doesn't fit the phone pocket in my wife's handbag. A small price to pay for it's rubberised heroics though.


Hancock's Half Hour: Sid's Mystery Tour / The Poetry Society (Vintage Beeb)
Hancock's Half Hour: Sid's Mystery Tour / The Poetry Society (Vintage Beeb)
by Ray Galton
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £5.12

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, Dated Content, 27 Feb. 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
You have to commend the production values of this CD as it sounds superb, and is very nicely put together.

But as with many classic comedies, the appeal is rather limited. I'm sure in its day this was high quality cutting edge comedy but sadly for me now it seems a little too cosy. All the mannerisms and timing of this type of comedy have been done to death over the years. This is why comedians today have to rely more and more on shock techniques to win laughs, our collective palates are jaded.

This is less comedy and more historical artefact.


Mortal Chaos
Mortal Chaos
by Matt Dickinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Adrenaline Ride, 27 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Mortal Chaos (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a book designed for thrill-loving boys. It is based around a premise that small actions can end up having massive consequences (err...think "A Little Bug Went Kerchoo!"), The stories are diverse yet interconnected, The chapters are short and action-packed. The book flies by - I only read this to vet it for my kids. They're a bit young for it and won't stick at it but I think it will make a good bedtime story book.

Ages 11 and up will love it.


Socks Are Not Enough
Socks Are Not Enough
by Mark Lowery
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Story - For Older Children, 27 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Socks Are Not Enough (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I sometimes pick up books that I think my children will like, and hope that the book challenges & tests their reading skills. This was one such book. The themes are probably more generally to be appreciated by early teens. However my 8-year-old son has read it twice in two days, which surprised me until I realised why. There is a fair amount of smuttiness and naughty language in the book, and my better half has now banned it!

Still, it probably widened his world-view, and he definitely does not want naturist parents.


Lowepro Nova 160 AW All Weather Shoulder Bag for Digital SLR - Chestnut Brown
Lowepro Nova 160 AW All Weather Shoulder Bag for Digital SLR - Chestnut Brown
Offered by CameraKing (Shipping from UK)
Price: £22.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Bag, 11 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have just returned from a 3 week break to Kerala with an Olympus e620, a 14-45 lens and an 80-300. The latter is fairly beefy, and you wouldn't want any more kit in the bag unless it was a small flash gun. I also had 3 XD cards and a handful of filters with me. In addition, on the flights this bag held 4 passports, jewellery and a Nintendo DSi XL!! So...quite versatile and very useful.

The bag is well made and strong. Absolutely no complaints.


Cowon X7 160GB Portable Media Player - Black
Cowon X7 160GB Portable Media Player - Black

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Manly MP3 Player!, 11 Jan. 2012
It's hard to know where to start with this device, other than to say it isn't for everyone. A certain amount of patience and time is required to get this to be the player you want it to be.

First impressions are that it is not as brick like as everyone says. Until you pop it into the official case and it's like a pocket bible! The UI is also not as unresponsive as reported. I've owned an ipod touch, an iphone, a Samsung Galaxy S2 and whilst not in their league the screen is fit for purpose.

The screen resolution also is fine for this size. Why people obsess about HD video on a screen 4 inches big is beyond me. You'd need a viewing distance of about 1 mm to discern HD quality. I've watched an episode of The Simpsons, an episode of The West Wing, and a few Talking Heads videos on this - it is absolutely great. (The video formats I was using: avi & mp4).

Yes, I've seen some of the "cons" mentioned elsewhere: the USB lead does not lock or clip into place. The slightest motion seems to disconnect the device, not great when doing a bulk transfer. The album art is erratic & zoomed in to ridiculous amounts. I fixed the latter by using the "Sense" UI widely available. The former - rename folder art to cover.jpg. I thought my tags were impeccable, but this is unforgiving. A number have had to be redone with mp3tag. Listening to "The Hazards of Love" on mp3 showed that gapless playback (on firmware 2.07) isn't implemented. I believe it is with flac format though, so I'll try & re-rip the ones that need it on flac - things like Dark Side of The Moon, Diamond Dogs etc etc

The trick on set-up is to choose non-EU. The volume is loud, very loud. On my London commute I set it to 30 (out of 40) and it is fine through a pair of Sennheiser CX400 IIs.

Sound quality is absolutely brilliant - so transparent. Higher bitrate mp3 files are the way to go - lower bitrate files tend to sound a bit rubbish (the experience is s little like being at a concert with slightly out of phase speakers). The pre-set equaliser settings are really beneficial. The overall SQ is so much better than any other player I've had before.

Disk size: what can you say. It has swallowed my 74GB music collection and then every episode of The West Wing with acres to spare. Commuter bliss! Transfer rates from my NAS to the device were relatively slow however - about 2.5 MB per second.

There are a number of User Interfaces around, the ones I've tried are Leaf (a replacement device browser) and Sense (a replacement music player). Both are drag & drop installs and just work. There is very little documentation around so the trick is to just keep prodding away to see what happens!

The device has impressed through CX400 II buds, also through Sennheiser HD 212 Pro headphones. However they sound best in my ears through my Shure SRH440 headphones - the depth of sound is a lot more noticeable with these on.

A note for the wary: you will be much more hands on with this (over say an ipod classic) - and you will have many more frustrations and things not going as planned. But when you actually let it do its thing (music playback or video) then it is an absolute joy.

This unit was supplied by advancedmp3players.co.uk - I have previous experience with them, a fantastic company.

EDIT 25/1/2012

The USB cable does lock into place! It just needed me to be alittle less of a wimp.

Also I've purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD 25 1 II 70ohm headphones for music on the move. Those Shures sure are heavy, and i wanted to move on from the buds. The HD25s sound fantastic - no worries about needing a headphone amp at all, the X7 copes very well.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2012 11:27 AM GMT


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