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Simon Weston

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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Re-fills / Re-manufactures aren't worth it., 13 Feb. 2006
I've sort of 'researched' this. I've tried 3 or 4 different re-manufactured cartridges in this printer. They lasted a month on average (with one that died). Using HP originals they almost make 2 months (none have died).
I've had the printer for 2 years now. As I've not found re-manufactures for much less than £8, that means in this case genuine HP cartridges are the way to go. Although I still object to the price.
I've had success with re-manufactures elsewhere, and didn't notice any loss of quality.
Finally, as another reviewer said, when the cartridge says it's run out of ink, there are still at least 50-100 pages left. You'll know it's run out when there are pale patches of text.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2010 11:24 PM BST

The Secret State: Whitehall and the Cold War
The Secret State: Whitehall and the Cold War
by Peter Hennessy
Edition: Paperback

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not much wizz-bang - but a lot of bang for your buck., 8 Mar. 2005
If you'll pardon the poor punning, I'm trying to say that if you expect to read about secret bases in extinct volcanoes, you'll be disappointed. However if you want to read some brilliant forensic history in an accessible and sometimes amusing style, you're in for a treat.
On a personal note it's also nice to see that High Wycombe, where I grew up, was number 3 on the Soviet target list. Perhaps the KGB hated the place as much as I do.
The UK government won't release documents. Even on weapons and plans out of date for over 20 years. So a historian has to derive a lot of information from few sources. There is often more information available from Soviet sources, and always more from the US. This has to be skillfully combined with non-classified information.
There's also a fine UK tradition of finding papers in the Public Records Office that appear to have got stuck in the wrong file at some point. Otherwise this book might not have happened.
Hennessey uses the little he can find to produce a brilliant history of the early Cold War, it's a pleasure to read as well as being very informative. A great book to read if you're at all interested in British or Cold War history.
Finally, on a topical (ish) note, he shows how the UK Government were guessing in the dark about Soviet intentions, and had laughably little intelligence to work with. All they really had was observation of Soviet forces. The rest had to be inferred. Compare this with the famous dossier on Iraq. I read 'The Secret State' just after I'd read the dossier and it was pretty clear that the UK and US governments were in exactly the same position. It's instructive to see the limits of intelligence gathering when dealing with a closed, highly repressive society, and how that affects policy.

Downbelow Station (Daw Book Collectors)
Downbelow Station (Daw Book Collectors)
by C. J. Cherryh
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, with some nice ideas., 28 Dec. 2003
I think this is the first of Cherryh's 'Alliance-Union Universe' books that I read. I liked it so much, I went out and bought a whole load more of them, and have now read, and own, most of them.
So I'm a bit biased, as I'd probably read a shopping list if Cherryh wrote it. And who knows, I might even end up paying for it, so please don't tell her...
As with some of Cherryh's best books, things do get a little depressing for the main characters, and the reader. Which shows that you actually do care what happens to them.
Not all the concepts are defined as they appear in later books, and this book has a limited viewpoint. But that's the advantage of creating your own Universe, and writing several books in it. Otherwise, every SF book would be as long as 'Lord of the Rings', and we'd have no trees left.
It's got some nice ideas, and some good characters in it. As well as several plot twists that seem natural, and keep you interested. Cherryh does have a tendency to just dump you in a situation and expect you to understand it, so a bit of science, and some SF basics helps, but the story keeps on moving, and I don't think this is too crucial.
The best thing about the book (and Cherry's work in general), is that it doesn't simply boil down to good versus evil, but is a bit more real than that. The characters face unfolding events, and make the choices they have to, as they come up. The book is internally consistent, and if you like it, there's a whole universe of books to explore afterwards.

The Diary Of Alicia Keys
The Diary Of Alicia Keys
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.90

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little Disappointed but still happy..., 28 Dec. 2003
Firstly, go to track 6: 'If I Ain't Got You'. Now listen to it again. And again...
Lovely. Now on to the rest of the album. It's not as good as 'Songs In A Minor', but it's a good solid album, and it does have 'If I Ain't Got You' on it, so it's worth a tenner of anybody's money.
I get the feeling Alicia's gone native, after all this time in the recording industry. There's a bit too much that looks like composition by the numbers on this album. I notice that the songs seem to get worse, as the number of writers credited goes up. I feel there's some connection here.
Still it's always tough writing an album, while you tour the last one, and get used to a whole new lifestyle. I expect great things in the future. To agree with another reviewer, this will look bad in comparison to Alicia's later work, but is still a very good album.
Don't bother with the DVD though, I didn't even feel it was worth the extra 50p I paid for it. It describes itself as having footage of Alicia playing live, which means about a minute of clips, spread amongst a load of interviews. I was hoping for at least one complete song. Oh well...

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