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Pal Joey
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HDMI Switch, EAKAI 3D 1080P High Speed HDMI Splitter with Pigtail Cable (Three Inputs One Output)
HDMI Switch, EAKAI 3D 1080P High Speed HDMI Splitter with Pigtail Cable (Three Inputs One Output)
Offered by EAKAI-EUDirect
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job, but there's a mild warning, 22 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this without realising it auto-switched input when a source was turned on. That's not actually a huge negative for me, but other users may like or dislike this feature.

The switching is simple (one button, only cycling between active inputs) and quiet (no blips or cracks through the speakers), and I reckon that the captive output lead is of a reasonable length for most users.

However, it does rely on the source components for power, and that tiny extra electricity demand made my Amazon Fire TV Stick overheat and start misbehaving. This may not happen for all Fire Stick users; I really don't know, but I have reverted to my old noisy mechanical switchbox for now.

I will keep the EAKAI, though, as I can foresee a future use for it. So, not 100% ideal for my specific needs, but a very decent and useful product.


Hunters of Dune (The Dune Sequence Book 7)
Hunters of Dune (The Dune Sequence Book 7)
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Well, for good or ill, they had a go..., 12 April 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Are Brian Herbert & Kevin Anderson half as good at writing 'Dune' books as Papa Frank? No.

Are there far too many Deus ex Machina moments in the plot, for the rest of the writing to survive unscathed? Yes.

Finishing off the storyline, no matter how much original draft material they had discovered, was always going to be a thankless task. They tried. They really tried. I think they truly loved and respected the original books. But this is merely okay, nothing more.

But too much ammo was fired at the target. Some of it was due to the regurgitated characters from the original book, who mainly performed one significant plot function before becoming background noise again. Of the rest, there were protagonists and situations inspired, possibly, by Gregory Benford's 'Galactic Centre' books and/or the Matrix films (the disappointing sequels, mainly).

I'm actually glad someone had a crack at the job of finishing this long long saga, but the very existence of this particular Vol.7 & Vol.8 does make it unlikely that another (and quite possibly better) attempt will ever be written.


The Memoirs and Sporting Life of Tom Mitchell
The Memoirs and Sporting Life of Tom Mitchell
by Tom Mitchell
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable life, 5 Feb. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Tom Mitchell was a name I'd heard and read about many times over the years, involved in Rugby for years in many capacities. I finally decided to find out more detail by reading the story in his own words.

From fairly unremarkable origins, Tom grew up to be the kind of person who got things done, and done in his own way. His playing days were spent in Rugby Union, but the majority of his life runs through the sport of Rugby League like "Blackpool" through a stick of rock. He was involved in so many capacities in both the professional and amateur game, there are few areas untouched by his influence. Everything from managing the Great Britain team on tour, to outwitting rival clubs' talent scouts, to affectionate portraits of notable players, to his thoughts on management have their place in this book.

Having said that, this collection of reminiscences and thoughts touches on many other subjects too. Friendship with Pablo Picasso, getting on the wrong side of King Farouk of Egypt, a Mafia-assisted escape from a tricky situation in the Med, chatting with Orson Welles, tree and riverbank conservation, government work, the honours system, standing for parliament... it was quite a busy 99 years.

All is told with good humour and affection. The book is also packed with photographs, reproductions of newspaper articles and a fold-out chart of the 1958 tour to Australia and New Zealand.


Rummershof Manual Coffee Grinder With Ceramic Grinder
Rummershof Manual Coffee Grinder With Ceramic Grinder
Offered by Naturhaus Hildegard
Price: £12.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Initially impressive, but..., 20 Jan. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this six months ago, and it gave fine service right up 'til the following January. The grind was even and the grinder's compact size was ideal for a small kitchen. I was initially considering a 4 or 5 star review for it, but decided to wait, as reliability seems to be a common failing with coffee grinders.

And now the handle just revolves with turning the grinder, as the interface between the removable handle and the grinder itself has been deformed by the wear of only a few months' light use.

A shame, as it was otherwise ideal for my needs.


Rama: The Omnibus: The Complete Rama Omnibus
Rama: The Omnibus: The Complete Rama Omnibus
Price: £12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Vol.1 excellent, Vol.2 okay-ish, the rest... oh dear!, 10 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I remember reading the original volume years ago and loving it. When I found out there was not just one but several sequels, I had to have this omnibus.

But it turns out that the majority of this collection isn't Arthur C.Clarke's work at all and, unfortunately, it shows.

Volume two runs the gamut of characters from "inscrutable oriental" to "paranoid Russian" to "Shakespeare-quoting Brit" to the Sabatini character who is so openly sociopathic on so many occasions that she just isn't believable at all. The main protagonist is a supermodel-pretty genius, medical hotshot and former Olympic athlete who has a child secretly fathered by (spoiler). In other words, this is some fantasy woman who contrasts jarringly with the troubled but sensible everyman captain of the first book. There is a religious element which adds an interesting aspect to this sequel, even though it, like the many flashbacks, is belaboured into the reader a bit.

From volume three onwards, it is basically "Yummy Mummy in Space", as Gentry Lee's protagonist again and again proves herself to be more right, more clever, more empathetic, more visionary, more generally wonderful and totally awesome than everyone else in a deadeningly repetitive manner. Everyone else, obviously, being stupid and self-interested, in order to make Yummy Mummy look even more radiantly messianic.

This is a series that started with a genuinely thought-provoking classic, followed it with an interesting but rather McGuffin-riddled sequel and ended up floundering around in an attempt to tie up the loose ends.


CNV150 HDMI to HDMI with separate Toslink+Coaxial+3.5mm audio breakout. Supports all resolutions up to 4Kx2K Ultra HD and is 3D compatible.
CNV150 HDMI to HDMI with separate Toslink+Coaxial+3.5mm audio breakout. Supports all resolutions up to 4Kx2K Ultra HD and is 3D compatible.

4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was looking for, 29 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for use in computer audio, and it does the job without fuss. Everything works as advertised.

Now, using the optical connection, I can play music from my laptop without any possibility of unwanted electrical noise reaching my DAC. The small size of the unit means it can be hidden away out of sight, as there are no controls on the unit that you need to reach.

One tiny, tiny gripe is that the cable from the mains supply is a little short for my domestic setup, but I swapped around a few things to free up a mains socket within reach. But this is a minor thing that will not be a problem for most users.


BBC Sport
BBC Sport
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful for big sporting occasions, 5 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: BBC Sport (App)
This is a review of the app, as installed on a Fire TV Stick with standard remote.

The app comes into its own during events like Wimbledon or the Olympics, when the BBC's normal TV channels simply can't show everything that's going on, and you just want live action instead of presenters waffling on and on. Wimbledon is in its second week as I type this, and I can choose matches from most of the courts, instead of what the broadcasters choose to put on BBC1 or BBC2.

It has the same very minor downside as the iPlayer app, though. I am currently watching a tennis match and, to get back to the app's main page, I have to hit the 'back' button on the remote at least 5 times, assuming the app responds to every press (which it doesn't always do). A 'home' option on the menu button would be useful in speeding up navigation.


BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine but sometimes fiddly and sluggish navigation, 5 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: BBC iPlayer (App)
This is a review of the app, as installed on a Fire TV Stick with standard remote. It has worked with few problems since I downloaded it, and the 'favourites' option is useful if you want to keep track of a series without searching on-screen, which is a slow process with the standard remote.

However, you can find yourself pressing the 'back' button a lot of times, just to return to the launch page. Pressing the 'home' button on the remote takes you right out of the iPlayer to the Fire TV's home page. You often have to go back through several screens to get to where you want to be.


All 4
All 4
Price: £0.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An essential app for the Fire TV Stick, 5 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: All 4 (App)
One of the things to do when you've got your Fire TV Stick up and running is to get all the apps for FreeView channels. All4 is one of the best, with a simple interface and easy navigation/search. Also, unlike the more complex BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport apps, you don't find yourself having to wear out the 'back' button on your remote.

You get access, not only to the usual catch-up services, but also much older series in the 'Box Set' archives. I have been revisiting a couple of old favourites in 'Absolutely' and 'The Adam & Joe Show'.

Downsides:
Programmes can sometimes take a while to appear after they are broadcast.
Sometimes a programme will get to a commercial break, then restart the show all over again, so you have to fast forward to where you think you'd got to.
Certain shows aren't available, for licensing reasons. These include most, if not all, the American sitcoms. You can watch these on catch-up via the Channel 4 website, but not via the All4 app on a device like the Fire Stick.


TuneIn Radio
TuneIn Radio
Price: £0.00

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful., 5 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: TuneIn Radio (App)
A very useful app. I can access broadcasts from all sorts of places.

Used 'as is', it is fine. However, signing up (or logging in with an existing Google or FaceBook account) means you can store, sort end edit your collection of favourites, which you can then access on a logged-in computer, Kindle Fire, Fire TV Stick, smartphone or whatever.

This means you can do the searching, sorting and editing on a computer with the keyboard and mouse, instead of fiddling about on a smaller gadget.


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