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The Scarlet And The Black [DVD]
The Scarlet And The Black [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gregory Peck
Price: £3.70

5.0 out of 5 stars "To Serve And Protect", 3 Jun 2014
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The role of the Vatican during WWII remains even today somewhat controversial - despite all that has been said and the inevitable confusion caused by none of us actually having been present there during the events portrayed, this film is thankfully sure of foot and has deftly stepped between opposing factions to portry a true story in a credible light.

Gregory Peck plays an individual that obeys his conscience over the orders of his Church superiors and the occupying Germans, which at times exposes him to great personal dangers. Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty is shown as a man of great integrity, courage and intelligence. You might not like the Vatican or it's members, the Third Reich, or even Gregory Peck, yet to observe a man of dignity conducting himself so calmly and even-handedly is to my mind precisely where religion was meant to lead us.

The ending is emotional and (dare I say it) an example of real love ? It brought to my mind the ending of the battle of Malta and the subsequent position of the Italian Navy. American Police cars used to have 'To Serve And Protect' emblazoned upon the bodywork, I couldn't put it better.

Black Cat, White Cat [1998] [DVD]
Black Cat, White Cat [1998] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Bajram Sevredzan
Price: £6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not Great, 3 Jun 2014
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I guess that for myself the definition of a successful 'alternative' film is that some characters or events stick in my mind afterwards, be it due to incongruity, irritation, parody or any other reason that causes certain events to simply refuse to lie down and be forgotten.

However in this case I cannot remember anything of any consequence. Yes it was a relief not to be exposed to Hollywood's rigid defintion of what a film has to be like, yes the music was different, yes the landscape and portrayal of the characters was different, but sadly it all added up to rather less than the sum of the parts.

Amusing in places, yet I had tentatively hoped for more, so I will be disposing of this one.

St. Trinian's DVD collection
St. Trinian's DVD collection
Dvd ~ Terry-Thomas Alastair Sim
Offered by alentertainment
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun and also Good Value, 3 Jun 2014
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This review is from: St. Trinian's DVD collection (DVD)
This DVD set contains four discs, each with a film but no extras. However the box set is nicely presented, so one is not left with the cheap-as-chips feeling that other re-issues often give.

It's a bit of a shock to discover how old these films are, but as people have never changed one bit throughout human history (instead we have only different modes of expression and surroundings giving the illusion of progress), the laughs are still as relevant as ever. Indeed I found myself wondering if most children wouldn't have been better served by the 'real world' education given out at this school instead of, for example, the tripe that I had to endure myself, but that's probably best left for personal introspection !

Delighted to see Terry Thomas in one of these films, as over the years I had forgotten he took part. Yes it's type-casting once again, however here this simply adds to the amusement, the viewer feeling that he or she already doubtless knows more about Mr Thomas' likely intentions than the surrounding characters.

All four films are funny, well produced and don't insult the intelligence. Buy this collection whilst you can...

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes, now we're rockin'..., 3 Jun 2014
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I work in the Telco/IT industry and wished to improve the WiFi capabilities of my trusty small netbook using 802.11n technology.
Naturally with only a single antenna there is no MIMO going on here, hoiwever some of the PHY updates are being utilised.

In any event using the smaller 5db gain antenna immediately changed my in house reception from -72db to -63 and resulted in a noticeable throughput improvement. If like myself you sometimes struggle to get a decent connection in cafes and hotels then this should be of considerable help, given that the antennas fitted to most laptops are cheap cheap cheap and poorly positioned you are always going to need something better. However fitting a larger antenna simply cannot overcome some conditions, such as a rival wireless access point from the company/building next door using the same channel and thus interfering with your own transmissions. If you are at all techy-minded I recommend downloading the free version of 'Inssider' which will then show you see the environment from the perspective of the radio itself - it's a jungle out there !

The (much) larger 9db gain antenna allows me -58db - better than I have ever seen anywhere, but a little overkill for indoor use. However if you want to sit in the garden during summer and it's not convenient to be right next to the house this larger fellow could be just what you need.

The adaptor can be used free-standing or hooked onto the back of your laptop screen using suction pads. I prefer free-standing myself as I can then move the netbook about and tilt the screen back and forth, which for some reason or another I inevitable end up doing. But nice to have the option.

It took a couple of tries to get the driver to load on my older Windows XP software, but eventually all worked without needing to trawl the Web.


Genuine SEBO Vacuum Cleaner 1 Series Primary DRIVE BELT 5379
Genuine SEBO Vacuum Cleaner 1 Series Primary DRIVE BELT 5379
Offered by Thomco Online
Price: £9.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 3 Jun 2014
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Genuine Part, thus fits and works correctly.
15 year old Sebo upright cleaner is now back in action and my house no longer resembles a cat's blanket.
Which is good.

Gurdjieff's Early Talks 1914-1931
Gurdjieff's Early Talks 1914-1931
by Joseph Azize
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rarity - A Genuine Book On The Teachings Of Mr Gurdjieff, 3 Jun 2014
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'In Search Of The Miraculous' is in itself a remarkable work which can be read many times, yet it is most refreshing after many years to be able to 'hear' some of the teaching presented, as it reached the ears of others present at the same as Mr Ouspensky.

To any 'follower' of Mr Gurdjieff there will possibly be no new revelations contained within, yet it is valuable anyway to have concepts redefined and different examples of these presented in differing formats. It is always better I feel to hear from close to the horse's mouth than directly from the donkey's tail - I rather suspect that in the future many donkies will be attracted to Mr G's particular well of wisdom and all of them will probably feel duty-bound to educate the rest of us, thus making the efforts of Joseph Azize particularly appreciated.

The book itself is beautifully bound with a soft satin-touch cover and well laid out. It must have been a major task deciding which material should be included, yet the end result deserves full commendation.

802.11n: A Survival Guide
802.11n: A Survival Guide
by Matthew Gast
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Good Techical Background to HT Wireless, 3 Jun 2014
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Given that at the time of writing (May 2014) High Throughput Wireless is experiencing a massive growth in deployment and the technology itself is storming ahead, this is a good in-depth introduction to fast wireless.

I personally find it best to combine several books on the same subject to be able to emerge with a coherent understanding, or at least an understanding that I myself can follow, however on the important subject of IEEE 802.11-2012 there is not so much on the market that is bang up to date. Given that the technologies involved are being refined and re-defined seemingly on a weekly basis it's tricky to find a book that hasn't immediately gone out of date; as this one deals in great detail with the PHY mechanisms it should hoipefully be relevant for some time to come, even if the overall throuput continues to rise.

It is apparent that the author has spent some time trying to avoid fatigue in the reader, not an easy task given the multiplicity of standards and approaches that need to be covered. This book can for the most part be read without requiring the banishment of family, pets and friends to allow for the required concentration effort and of course points that are perhaps a little unclear in one's mind can be further investigated on the Web.

Recommended for anyone involved privately or commercially with 802.11 who wishes to understand the underlying technologies.

Carry On Cabby  That'S Carry On [DVD]
Carry On Cabby That'S Carry On [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kenneth Williams
Price: £11.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This, It's Still A Pretty Good Film, 3 Jun 2014
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I remember seeing this as a child oh so many years ago and being really excited to watch the final action sequence, some of that excitement has now given way to nostalgia, however this still remains a fine film.

In today's Britain, resplendent in our shiny Health and Safety concerns plus with our overload of Bon-Ton politically correct fine words it can appear anachronistic to even admit to enjoying Carry On movies, but so be it. Anyway as this was one of the original Carry On films the script had not yet descended to mere repetition of certain themes that the British used to be so concerned about and has an amusing and involving plot, which lifts it way above the efforts that followed it. I can't help but wish that there were more films of this quality produced, but then that just makes this one that bit more valuable.

It can be a rather painful business revisiting former film favourites, yet Carry On Cabby shouldn't disappoint. If you saw it and enjoyed it previously then who knows, perhaps you will find that it is even better than you remembered - life is strange this way sometimes...

CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Administrator Official Study Guide: Exam PW0-105
CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Administrator Official Study Guide: Exam PW0-105
by David D. Coleman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Be aware - CWNA PW0-105 is replaced by PW0-106 exam in June 2014 !, 3 Jun 2014
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The world has moved on a little since I first started reading dry-as-dust technical study books and commensurate with this change I found that it was no problem to simply pick up this book and read it. I managed to read it cover to cover within a week so don't be put off by the fact that it has approaching 700 pages...

There are no extras and I noted that the tear out exam prep sheet is apparently for the previous exam, PW0-104, yet this appears to merely be a typo. A few items can be downloaded from the Sybex website and indeed there are numerous requests throughout the book asking the reader to do this - the information downloaded could have more simply been included on a CD.

The content can be a little confusing at times due to repetition of information and the explanations were sometimes baffling, but given that it's a techie book this can be forgiven. As with most things in life having a second opinion is helpful and I would recommend Matthew Gast's 802.11n to supplement this one, particularly as HT Wireless (802.11-2012) is really taking off.

Speaking of which there is a newer version of this book available in September, however the new PW-106 exam apparently begins in June.

Calling Inspector Marotta: St Peter's Treasure [DVD]
Calling Inspector Marotta: St Peter's Treasure [DVD]
Dvd ~ Luca Zingaretti
Price: £7.60

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 1 Jun 2014
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Oh dear... I ordered this for my wife's birthday as she is a big fan of Montalbano and she was so excited and looking forward to watching this that we saved it for the right moment. Unfortunately there isn't really a right moment to watch this, we arranged yesterday evening for this purpose and found ourselves unexpectedly with half an evening free, my wife having switched it off herself after an hour's struggle. Her comment was that if you are a fan of the Inspector Montalbano series don't buy this - the only link with Montalbano is Luca's haircut, and of course his type-casted role as a deputy Chief of Police. Instead of the usual fine 'family' of supporting actors which, along with the Sicilian landscape, comprises a great deal of Inspector Montalbano's attraction we are treated to a rambling and disjointed script, punctuated by mostly wooden and patronising acting which never threatens to become believable at any point. Perhaps Disc 2 might have been better, however after the formulaic tediousness of Disc 1 we'll leave that for others to investigate. A great shame as I suspect Luca Zingaretti could easily turn his hand to alternative performances (ie not another identikit policeman role) with the proviso of a decent director firmly in charge. If you simply want to watch Luca then you'll probably be quite happy with this, however if you possess any urge to feel involved and connected as a plot unfolds this will surely leave you frustrated. No mystery there !

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