Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Now
Profile for Glasnost > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Glasnost
Top Reviewer Ranking: 13,696
Helpful Votes: 480

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Heinemann Modular Maths For Edexcel AS & A Level Statistics 3 (S3): Bk. 3 (Heinemann Modular Mathematics for Edexcel AS and A Level)
Heinemann Modular Maths For Edexcel AS & A Level Statistics 3 (S3): Bk. 3 (Heinemann Modular Mathematics for Edexcel AS and A Level)
by Greg Attwood
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute winner., 12 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An excellent book for the module it's dedicated to. Concise explanations; useful summaries and plenty of exercise questions for each chapter without going overboard like the latest edition does! So if you can make do without colour illustrations (useful mainly to dimbats) buy this one instead and save pounds. An absolute winner!

The Phantom Express (DVD-R) (1932) (All Regions) (NTSC) (US Import)
The Phantom Express (DVD-R) (1932) (All Regions) (NTSC) (US Import)
Price: £4.55

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to imagine anything worse in terms of technical qualify, 15 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Dating back to 1932, those wanting the technical quality and special effects associated with modern-day films (or even those of the 70s) will be very disappointed. All in black and white, noticeably soft and lacking in detail, it's hard to imagine anything worse in terms of technical quality. Also, the opening scenes of the phantom train approaching, show poor filming technique. The camera needs to be much closer to the action, to impart any sense of fear.

I also get the impression that the sound track was dubbed rather than live (the speech doesn't seem right some how)! There is also plenty of over-acting by the character "Smokey" when he looses his job (yes, he's sad; I do get it, really I do, please don't labour the point any more)!

You might now be thinking why 4 stars instead of 1? There are some lovely shed scenes that are bound to appeal to the enthusiasts and the last ten minutes when "Smokey" takes an engine down the line at speed, with weather about as bad as it gets, is breathtaking. Also, the plot reaches a sensible conclusion and (without giving anything away) the explanation of how the phantom train materialises, takes you by surprise (you realise your theory was way out).

Please note, that the 4-star rating takes cost into consideration; I paid £3.25. Anything more than this and the rating would be lower! At £20, I'd have given it only 1 star.

Nikon D610 Digital SLR Camera (24.3MP) 3.2 inch LCD
Nikon D610 Digital SLR Camera (24.3MP) 3.2 inch LCD
Price: £1,249.00

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minimal noise even at ISO 3200, 29 Aug. 2014
To a lot of us, the most important factor when choosing a DSLR, as a replacement, must surely be IQ. As a Canon fan (my last camera was a 550D) the obvious choice would've been yet another Canon but I resisted the temptation and opted for Nikon, having been very impressed by results I'd seen with a D3200.

Ever heard the expression `Bayer green', as a derogatory term used by film users and wondered what it meant? You wouldn't, as a 550D owner, if my example was anything to go by! Rendition of greens on the D3200 is far better and the sensor also captures significantly more detail but not at the expense of noise (the 550D sensor is actually noisier). Of course there are many other factors which some would argue makes the position less clear over which is better overall, but all I'm interested in, is which takes better pictures and it sure aint the Canon!

I do photography of trains in landscape and for this, you need a fast shutter speed (typically 500th of a second ) and standard to long-focus, prime or zoom lenses. A reasonably quick motor-drive (e.g. 5 fps ) often helps. Logically, it made more sense going for the D7100 and saving several hundred pounds over the D610. The modal score rating, by far, on Amazon is five out of five stars, out of 139 reviews, providing almost overwhelming evidence that this was the one to go for. My heart, however, wasn't in it; I wanted to try FX before committing myself to yet another DX-sensor camera though I was fully prepared that it might turn out to be utter profligacy and that effectively I could be throwing away hundreds of pounds, which would be far better spent on more up-to-date glass. Fortunately this proved not to be the case and far from wasting money, I've actually saved it.

Noise becomes apparent on the D3200 (and presumably the D7100) at ISO800 in my experience; whereas on the D610 it is quite minimal even at ISO3200. In fact ISO3200 gives no more noise than my 550D at ISO400. Even ISO 6400 is fully usable; the level of noise being acceptable and far less than what we used to have on ISO 400, 35mm, colour film. This is an enormous advantage.

The D610 (as with the D7100) gives full-aperture metering and focus confirmation with non-CPU lenses in Nikon AI fitting. `Set-up' allows you to enter the details for each lens, in terms of maximum aperture and focal length. This means you even get the correct aperture displayed in the viewfinder and the exposure metering works correctly in aperture priority or manual and the viewfinder doesn't go dim when you select a small aperture. If what you really want is shutter priority, however, then you can achieve this by using the variable ISO facility. This lets you select the minimum shutter speed you need and the ISO then varies to achieve correct exposure. It's like having both shutter and aperture priority at the same time and it works brilliantly.

As an example, my e-series, 100mm, f2.8 lens suffers horribly from CA at f2.8 but is a stellar performer by f5.6, so I just set 5.6 on the lens and the minimum shutter speed to 500th and let the ISO take care of itself. ISO is also displayed in the viewfinder, so if it starts going over 3200, I'll probably select f4 or f4.5. For my type of photography, however, this seldom need happens.

Overall, the low noise means that I can almost always use a lens at its optimum aperture (typically f5.6-f8) and choose a fast shutter speed. I don't need AF, so can make do with a multitude of cheap lenses, many of which perform brilliantly when used in this way. Had I got the D7100 instead, there would have been much greater need to restrict the upper-ISO to 800 and that extra two stops makes all the difference. Decent results at f4 rather than f8 at, for example, may demand much more expensive lenses. My Tamron, SP 70-210, F3.5, gives fantastic results at f8 but not at f4!

There is of course, a lot more I could say about the camera: the accuracy of the viewfinder, the way it handles, the build quality, the `Active D Lighting' ( all brilliant). If there is a downside, for me it's the collar surrounding the exposure mode selector wheel on the top-plate. This can be very fiddly to operate at times. Also, the shutter vibrations are far greater than with a DX-sensor, due to the larger mirror-box assembly and size of the shutter. You're aware of it every time you trip the shutter and I'm not entirely convinced that it doesn't have a detrimental effect of the level of fine detail recorded.

Overall, for me, this is a brilliant camera and excellent value-for-money, because of the way in which I use it. In the days of film, some used to say: "A good big 'un, always beats a good little `un." These days, the maxim would probably be: `detail = mega-pixels; quality = sensor-size.' Let me say this, however, that quite recently I took photographs with the D610, tripod mounted, of a scene identical to that taken by someone else, using a D3200, also tripod mounted, under excellent lighting conditions (strong sunshine with excellent visibility). Both were taken at fairly low ISO (400) and at roughly optimum aperture (f8). The level of detail in both is almost identical and you really would find it difficult to tell them apart, even on an A2-sized poster.

So you really do need to think carefully about how you use your camera, before committing your hard-earned money to the D610 rather than something much cheaper! Failure to do this, means you could end up very disappointed. Pixels may equal detail but area of sensor may not have so obvious a bearing on quality as you might think, if you seldom go above ISO 400 !

Finally, do be careful over where you buy. Some of the internet prices are unbelievably cheap but you could end up with a carton delivered to your door containing something second-hand rather than new, with a damaged box, incomplete packaging and no instruction manual. You might then face a restocking fee of £50 or 10% when you return it and have to endure a long battle before your money is finally refunded.

Of course you could take the attitude that you're paying so little, who cares if it's not new and in a sealed box; its obviously had very little use and has a two-year warranty. Beware, that warranty will be by the people who sold you the goods and Nikon UK just won't want to know. Are you willing to take such a risk? Wiser not to, I think, as you might otherwise face a massive repair bill, thereby wiping out any cost advantage.

Always remember that if the company's business is registered in China rather than the UK, even Trading Standards won't be able to help you very much. Trust Pilot may help you assess other people's experiences but do read the small print and find out in advance, exactly what the conditions of sale are and in particular the restocking fee charged if you decide to send it back.

Update - 4th April, 2015
The camera's shutter/sensor packed unexpectedly, when out photographing trains in February and had to be returned. Though dealing with the UK division, the firm I purchased it from had it's head office in Hong Kong and insisted that it was returned to their service centre out there. Just getting an RMA proved an uphill task and the ccost of sending it Hong Kong was £30 with it insured to only half its value.

The fact that it packed up, despite only light, amateur use, comes as no surprise, when you consider how it arrived after purchasing. It came in almost nothing other than the original box supplied by Nikon. Having been roughly handled on planes and vans, during its journey to the UK, what else can you expect? Ending on a positive note, they did repair and return it under warranty but yet again, took no care over packaging it appropriately.

CarGo CAR1008 323g Liquid Glass Metallic Seal-Up
CarGo CAR1008 323g Liquid Glass Metallic Seal-Up
Price: £8.56

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars though not perfect, the problem was no longer of major concern, 14 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The headgasket on my AX1.5D needed seeing to last year, when exhaust gasses started pressurising the coolant, leading to the need for constant topping up, and water all over the ground after a long run.

K-Seal brought things under control (didn't cure the problem but made it a lot better) until almost exactly a year later. Impressed by the fact that this product (Seal-Up) has been arround for a very long time and acts in a way which makes sense, I decided to give it a try.

Following the instruction, almost to the letter, I was initially very impressed when on a hot day roughly two weeks ago, within ten minutes of it being added, you could almost see the drop in pressure in the expansion tank, i.e. that it was working.

I went on to drive to Bolton and back (a journey of roughly 260 miles) and the car ran smoothly and without any sign of overheating. There was no cooland on the ground when I arrived. Since then, I've used the car regularly and, as with K-seal, though not perfect, the problem was no longer of major concern, i.e. the car could be driven without fear of breaking down, or the need for carrying arround at least two litres of water.

Problem was that it didn't last; I'm now back to square one and will need to buy something else. A three-star rating because this product worked very well while it lasted and with the engine running smoother, the fuel economy was better; so effectively this product paid for itself.

Ideal if you car's mot is due to expire in a couple of weeks and you intend scapping it or if you're caught out on holiday and want to get home (note, however,that you will need to flush and drain the cooling system and let the car rest for a minimum of four houre before you refill with coolant).

Timeslip: The Complete Series [DVD] [1970] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Timeslip: The Complete Series [DVD] [1970] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £46.83

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat overrated!, 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Whilst other sci-fi was more concerned about aliens and machines taking over our world, Timeslip suggests in a simple but effective way, the horrors of how society might change, as a result of new technology and ideology. We, ourselves (no alien influence!) would make terrible mistakes and end losing our humanity towards others, regarding them as little more than objects needed to perform specific tasks. Society (as we know it) would break down and as a result the world would be on the brink of an apocalypse.

What really sets it apart is that the lead characters, Liz Skinner (Cheryl Burfield) and Simon Randall (Spencer Banks), are very much children even though they're supposed to be 15 and 16 respectively. Liz Skinner talks more like a 10-year-old, despite her age being 15 in the script (thirteen in reality). Were it not for some of the escapades, likely to frighten very young children, one might think it was aimed at the under- thirteen age-group, rather than teenagers.

The idea of a time bubble is a good one. It conjures up tales about the Bermuda Triangle and the explanation given over why time travel in this way might be possible, helps to convince us of its plausibility.

Disappearing through, what seems to the rest of us, just a hole in the fence and emerging at the same point in a different time, does away with the need for man-made time machines or the need for anyone else to share the leading role. Only they as children are sensitive to it when calm; the rest of us are not. Can you honestly think of a better idea for a sci-fi drama aimed at kids?

The idea of being able to meet your future self and argue about the person you've become does, however, seem ridiculous if we take it literally rather than metaphorically, i.e. as a means for showing us what the future might be, if we let it.

Starting off with a journey back in time to 1940, to a defence establishment near to where Simon and Liz live; derelict in 1970 (their time) we glimpse the Nazi war machine. They then return home before visiting a projection of the future, once more as time travellers. The year is 1990 and the portrayal of humanity is indeed bleak: we really haven't learnt much from the past and the future will not bring greater harmony or happiness, despite advancements in science. Yes, science has forged ahead but as with the Germans and Nazi Germany, the ideology is clearly flawed.

For me, highlights included scenes from `The Time of the Ice Box' and `The Year of the Burn Up'. Set in 1990, `The Time of the Ice Box' shows Liz and Simon arriving at a research station near the South Pole. Older people's lives are dominated by a pill to halt the ageing process. Without it, their bodies age instantly, leading to sudden death. (Presumably no-one believed in God and everyone was terrified of dying!) Liz meets her future self as Beth. In undergoing intelligence enhancement, her warm, friendly, caring, empathetic disposition is replaced by someone as cold as ice; regarding people as only necessary to perform specific tasks and to advance the cause of science. Needless to say, Liz hates what she's become and vows never to grow up like her. A powerful message indeed to those in favour of eugenics!

`The Year of the Burn Up' is about global warming. Again, the year is 1990, i.e. it is another projection of the future. Simon meets his future self as `Controller 2957' and learns that he couldn't possible have married Liz (now Beth) because he is an `alpha-plus', whilst she's a `delta-minus'. This sets off a big row between them. As you can imagine, the warm hearted, Liz, feels hurt and indignant whilst her boffin-like companion, Simon, views the matter from an intellectual rather than emotional perspective, accepting that such a decision makes sense. The irony is that Beth is the leader of a group of what the Technocrats refer to as Misfits, namely those who are against the Master Plan, something Simon's future self as Controller 2957 is helping to implement even though unbeknown to him, the real objective of it is not what it seems. In other words though he's an `alpha-plus', he's also remarkably gullible whereas Beth, going by gut instinct, is not and has much greater strength of character. In fairness, Simon as `2957' does come round to Beth's way of seeing things, just in the nick of time, before the real objective of the Master Plan is achieved.

Being aimed at children rather than adults, the programme succeeds by putting things over in simple, easy-to-understand way. In its day, this made for a truly riveting sci-fi drama. The critic might feel that the themes are not fully exploited, but to my mind this is not entirely bad (leaves something to the imagination)! Do let me emphasize, however, that though it deals with concepts ahead of its time, like cloning, global warming, longevity and bionic body parts, it is aimed at children, not adults.

On the downside, they really didn't show much imagination over how computers might be in 1990. Feminists will be up in arms over Simon's attitude towards Liz (the two main characters). He treats her like dirt and always talks down to her, in a way that no-one would stand for these days. In modern-day context, his severely domineering attitude is bound to cause offense to many young females! The ideal of society changing so much in just twenty years, to the extent that world faces extinction due to global warming and that clones of humans is a reality, was very far-fetched and even in its day and can only be seen as paranoid.

The idea of society being ruled Technocrats and those failing to obey being categorised as Misfits with the demagogue, Commander Traynor, out to achieve global annihilation so that he can build a new world from scratch, doesn't seem feasible given that we're talking about something brought about slowly, by scientists the world over, without any suspicion over the true objective of the Master Plan. Would scientists ever be that gullible? I think not!

It is also a great pity the future was set in 1990 rather 2090 and an even greater pity that no-one's considered a remake to put all this right, because the theme is absolutely brilliant! With greater care, it could easily be as thought-provoking as George Orwell's 1984.

In its defence, however, one must bear in mind that life in 1970 was very different to how it is now. We didn't have the ubiquitous microprocessor found in most modern-day electrical devices that we all take for granted. Electronic calculators were roughly a year away. Televisions were expensive and unreliable to the extent that many people would rent rather than buy and most people watched in black and white rather than colour. The modern-day desktop or laptop computer just didn't exist and some people used valve rather than transistor radio sets, needing batteries that supplied 120v in some cases. We used wind-up watches (quartz watches hadn't been invented) and mobile phones didn't exist. That said, microprocessors with the capability to perform the task of millions of transistors were in the pipeline. World War Two had ended only twenty-five years previously and many adults remembered the full horrors of it. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the Cold War convinced a lot of us that World War Three was inevitable. So set in a day with US versus USSR and science forging ahead, you can see why there was a lot paranoia over what the future might hold and Timeslip must surely be seen as testimony to this.

Of the 26 episodes, all originally in colour, all that survive are in black and white, bar one (the last episode from `The Time of the Ice Box') which is a pity because black and white doesn't suit it nearly as well.

My biggest criticism was the price, which in the case of the Region 2, DVD set, aimed at the UK market, was at £75, a total rip-off. Fortunately, this boxed set is much more affordable, hence a four-star rating but if it goes to £50, or over, then only two stars!

In summary, taking all the negatives into account (all but one episode in black and white with poor technical quality, the lack of special effects, ridiculously stupid vision of the future and the male chauvinism which Simon displays to Liz) the verdict has to be: somewhat overrated!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2016 11:32 PM BST

Car Engine Oil Stop Leak Seal Blue Coral 375ml NEW
Car Engine Oil Stop Leak Seal Blue Coral 375ml NEW

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Made no difference, 25 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First thing hat bothered me was that the product had been re-labelled. I think the original destination was somewhere in East Europe. Labels in English had been stuck over the original ones. The second problem was that it madevno difference (didn't work).

Core 3 for Aqa (SMP AS/A2 Mathematics for AQA)
Core 3 for Aqa (SMP AS/A2 Mathematics for AQA)
by School Mathematics Project
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.24

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must have' for anyone taking this module., 28 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Concise explanations, beautifully illustrated and set out, giving a book which is highly readable and as suited to rapid revision as it is to learning a topic, at C3-level, for the first time. If I was to knit-pick, I'd criticise the section on integration by substitution (I have seen much better explanations elsewhere) but this is more than made up for by the chapter covering transformation of functions (the best you're ever likely to get at this level and a credit to the authors). A 'must have' for anyone taking this module and brilliant for anyone studying these topics at 'A'-level, aiming to get a top grade, regardless of the examination board.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 29, 2014 8:02 PM BST

All Creatures Great & Small - Series 4 [1988] [DVD]
All Creatures Great & Small - Series 4 [1988] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Christopher Timothy
Price: £10.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Vulgarity without whit., 22 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having watched series one and two, this one came as a bitter disappointment. Vulgarity without whit and totally lacking in the charm which characterised this popular series and makes the earlier ones well worth watching. Yes, we do realise it is in the nature of a vet’s job to perform some unpleasant tasks at times, but do we really need such graphical illustrations? I think not. All right I suppose if you’re a smutty school boy, completely lacking in refinement but an insult to the rest of us. Definitely for the low i.q.

No Title Available

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does much more than get you home., 13 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My Citroen AX1.5d was consuming vast quantities of water,due to exhaust gasses working their way into the coolant, causing it to come out of the expansion tank. Since using K-Seal., though not cured, the problem is now much better and has been for over six months. So if you want something to keep you car going until the next MOT, then you really couldn't do much better.

Tightrope - The Complete Series [DVD]
Tightrope - The Complete Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Spencer Banks
Offered by A2ZSupplies
Price: £10.76

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly original, 12 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The idea of soviet spies infiltrating a comprehensive school near an RAF airbase, at the height of the cold war, is good one. Each episode is roughly 20 minutes, so it can be irritating to have the cast appear, just as the plot gets interesting. What really spoils it, however, is 'the voice of truth'; something which in reality would serve no purpose at all other than to undermine the whole operation and draw attention to the very people who wish to carry out their mission unnoticed. Allow for the fact that its aimed at kids, however, and you wont be disappointed.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6