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Paul (UK)
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Trixie Snacky Snack Ball, Natural Rubber/Plastic 11cm
Trixie Snacky Snack Ball, Natural Rubber/Plastic 11cm
Price: £9.18

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Design issues, 18 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good in theory but let down by show stopping design flaws.

The first issue is the ball has a tendency to split open when the dog is playing with it. This lets all the treats spill out on the floor - to the dogs delight but not mine!

The second is the mechanism which varies the hole size - so you can set it to match your size of treats and not let small treats out too quickly.
The mechanism has a habit of changing size while the ball is being used. Sometimes it goes smaller leading to a frustrated dog. Other times it widens and lets the treats out rapidly - leading to a delighted dog but disappointed owner!

The issues happen frequently and so I've thrown away the ball and bought a different type.


No Title Available

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight large screen tablet, 12 Jun. 2013
I was once an avid iPad user. But the iPad has been getting heavier and heavier and for me personally I found it too heavy for long term holding.

I switched to the Nexus 7 a year ago and was happy with it but miss the larger screen of an iPad.

When I saw the weight ( 481 grams on my scales ) and the screen size of the Xperia Z tablet I rushed to buy it!

My initial impressions were ok but not over the moon due to two reasons.

First the screen is on the warm side in terms of colours - so white are a warmish yellow white rather than a pure white.

To be honest you don't notice this too much until putting it next to another tablet like an iPad or Nexus 7.

Colour differences seem to be poor in some situations. For example I have ViewRanger map program on my tablets with Ordinance Survey maps installed.

Open access land is shown in a sort of off white brown colour and normal areas in white. This is clear on paper maps and on the iPad and Nexus 7.

But with the Sony Xperia Z tablet both the off white brown and normal white areas of the map looked virtually the same!

The other more serious issue was usability. Scrolling down a web page with one finger ( or any vertical scrolling in an App ) often caused the zoom to kick in - which should only occur with 2 fingers in a pinch motion.

This has never been an issue on any other tablet or phone but occurred frequently enough on the Xperia Z to put me off using it.

The good news is a new software update for the Xperia Z downloaded 2 days ago has fixed this! Since then I've not had the issue at all.

Given my moaning above you may wonder why the 5 star rating?

Well the scroll/zoom issue has been fixed and to be honest the "warmth" of the screen colours has not caused me any major issues and in fact makes it easier on the eye than a brighter than bright white.

And the screen is actually quite nice - and I love its 10 inch size compared to the 7 inch Nexus 7.

Its so much lighter than an iPad which makes it much more comfortable to hold for longer periods. Not as comfortable as the Nexus 7 but much better than an iPad.

Speed wise I have had no issues - no stutter or slowness - at least no worse than any other tablet I have used.

I really just use it for web surfing, some email checking and the odd app or two. I still personally prefer the iPad Apps - while there are many, many Android apps available some of the really top quality apps I use on the iPad just are not available on Android.


Montane Ultra Tour 22 Backpack - Black, 50 x 30 x 25 cm
Montane Ultra Tour 22 Backpack - Black, 50 x 30 x 25 cm

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and plenty of space for a day hike or maybe even an ultralite 1 night, 9 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I first got this rucksack I was a bit disappointed - the back padding looked stiffer than it actually is. In fact when I did a test and loaded it up at home the back sort of crumples a bit and even folds in on itself.

I just tried it on my first proper 10 mile hike with it on Dartmoor and my fears were unfounded - at least with the bag lightly loaded.

It was very comfortable - even with the lack of rigid frame or back.

I'm not one for carrying more than I have to on a day hike so not sure what it would be like heavily laden. I weighted the bag and contents before I left and with water, food, waterproofs and various other stuff it weighted 3.5kg - and I hardly noticed it on my back the whole 4 hours on a rare hot day on Dartmoor.

It has lots of useful mesh pockets on the hip belt, on the back of the pack and even on the shoulder straps!

The bag is too short for my back - the hip belt rests on my lower belly - and I'm only 178cm tall. Someone much taller might want to try the bag out first before buying.

The shortness hasn't caused comfort problems though.

I'm pleased to say so far I've not tested out its waterproofness.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2014 11:08 PM GMT


No Title Available

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very comfortable and practical bag, 9 Jun. 2013
To be honest I don't use the bladder hydration part much - I bought it because my last Camelbak rucksack started to look a bit tired after 10 years of regular use.

Just like that original bag this one is really comfortable for light loads - I use it regularly on Dartmoor when I've not too much to carry.

The hip belt has useful pockets and it actually fits - admittedly quite high - on my hips.

I really can't think of anything to complain about!

Hopefully it'll last as long as my last Camelbak rucksack.


Suunto Ambit 2 S Heart Rate Watch - Silver/Black
Suunto Ambit 2 S Heart Rate Watch - Silver/Black

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good but a few minor bugs and battery life a bit short, 3 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
**** Update Sept 2014 ****

I've been using this and my SUUNTO Ambit2 for over a year now and Suunto have released regular firmware updates that fixed all the bugs I came across and added some useful improvements - such as 5 second interval tracking. I think also the track back feature - which is certainly on the SUUNTO Ambit2 - was added later.

Overall the SUUNTO Ambit2 and SUUNTO Ambit2 S are great watches and I'm really pleased with mine. Gets very regular use and not let me down yet.

No plans to upgrade to the SUUNTO Ambit3 - it drops ANT+ support in favour of bluetooth. But the machines at my gym use ANT+ and not bluetooth and I have a couple of ANT+ HRM straps so the Ambit3 would be a downgrade for me.

**** Update 17 June 2013 ****

I've decided to give this watch to my partner and bought a Suunto Ambit 2.

The main reason is battery life. The Ambit 2S is limited to 8 hours - which could be a little tight in some situations.

I didn't think that would be too much of an issue if I set the GPS recording to less than continuous. But the only options are either 1 second recording or 60 seconds. There's nothing in between.

1 second is more than I need for the sports I use it for. 60 seconds is a little too infrequent and also I've found subject to some minor bugs.

One bug I've found with a 60 second rate is altitude stops being correctly displayed after about 10 or 20 minutes in to an exercise. Because I hike in hills and mountains I like to know altitude and also gradient of the current hill. With the 60 second option this doesn't seem to work. You can force the GPS to get the current location/altitude but it requires pressing and holding a button for a few seconds, then scrolling to a menu, then pressing a few more buttons. I just want to be able to look at the watch without that hassle!

This means I can't use the 60 second update option so I have to use the 1 second option with 8 hour battery life and if I am going a whole day hike - maybe 10 or 12 hours - the watch will run out of juice before I finish.

It was mostly this issue that moved me to buy an Ambit 2 with its 16 hour life 1 second recording battery life.

I wish they'd had say a 15 second option for recording as to be honest 1 second is too long and creates too many points on my recorded track!

I did spot one other bug and that's in some circumstances the GPS can enter an endless loop of searching for satellites but never actually getting a lock - even in open countryside with a good view of the sky. Its only happened once in a few weeks of use and Suunto support recommended resetting the GPS via the service menu - which I'll try next time it happens.

Other than those bugs I've had no other problems.

I was thinking about buying a Garmin Fenix instead as its more hiking based but even with software updates I read a lot of bugs still exist in the watch and the last thing I need 10 miles from anywhere is to be trying to fix software bugs! I want to enjoy the outdoors not spend it troubleshooting a buggy watch!

So I stuck with Suunto. Also Suunto is very configurable and flexible. Also feels well built - and its made in Finland instead of China which makes it a rare item!

I'm less keen on MovesCount - the online software used for uploading your data and controlling your watch.

First its slow to upload - painfully slow! I uploaded data from the watch to SportsTracks - "proper" installed software on the computer and it took seconds. The same data with MovesCount took 2 minutes and there wasn't that much data.

The other issue I have with MovesCount is privacy. I'd realised that if I wanted to make full use of MovesCount, such as designing and making available apps, I'd need to set privacy to public.

And I understood public meant my "moves" i.e. my training results would be public. What I'd not realised is my GPS tracks would be public as well - enabling people to look at where I live and track what days and times of days I go out running or hiking.
Given my days often follow a pattern that was a bit too much info to be making public. But I'm over 40 and not in to Facebook and letting the whole world know when and where I am at any point during the day. With Strava they hide your exact home location and so I'm happy about sharing on the Strava website.

The biggest thing I miss about the Ambit2S vs Ambit2 is the size - even though its only 10g lighter and 1.5mm thinner - the Ambit2S feels a lot more comfortable on the wrist - in fact I hardly notice it. Whereas I do notice the Ambit2

****** Original Review ****
I use this mostly for hiking and as a heart rate monitor for the gym.

I choose this rather than the Ambit 2 because its thinner and lighter weight.

The Ambit 2 has double the battery life and includes a thermometer and barometer.

Watch thermometers I never find do much more than measure your arm temperature!

Barometer is ok and helps with altitude precision but even GPS alone seems pretty good.

Longer battery life is useful but with my small wrists weight and size were more important.

The GPS works great - very fast to pick up location and tracks well.

The watch is amazingly customisable - more data that you probably really need but its great!

And the APP function - downloading or writing your own APPs is a real bonus. I downloaded and use the incline APP to find out hill gradients and also wrote a small APP of my own.

Size wise - it is big for a watch but not too big and heavy. I've sometimes forgotten to take the watch off after exercise and not realized I wasn't wearing my normal watch.

The main downside is there is a fair bit of learning and time required to fully get used to the watch. Reading the PDF manual is compulsory if you are going to make full use of the watch.

However once set up and used to it, the watch is reasonably intuitive.

In real use the 8 hour battery life when its 1 second GPS updates - is pretty much spot on - I got 8 hours 20 minutes as a maximum while hiking.

In 60 second GPS updates you can get 15 hours. Its a pity there's no 30 second update option.

Feels well made and reasonably sturdy - and as these things go it looks nice enough - though practicality was more my priority.

Movescount - the online software from Suunto for managing your watch and uploading data works well - but its very, very slow uploading new data.

I also use software called SportTracks - it has a module you can download that lets the software read from the Ambit - and it works well. And much quicker than uploading to Movescount.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 10, 2014 4:06 PM BST


Oakley Radar Path 09–670 Men's Sunglasses polished black / grey
Oakley Radar Path 09–670 Men's Sunglasses polished black / grey

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but mist up easily when cycling, 28 May 2013
Good vision and nice design but on my cycle I find these unwearable due to them misting up on the hills.

Wearing in less active circumstances - such as hill walking - they are fine.

Maybe I just sweat a lot on my face!


Samsung S7710 Galaxy Xcover II Sim Free Smartphone - Grey
Samsung S7710 Galaxy Xcover II Sim Free Smartphone - Grey

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for outdoors use but very limited internal memory for apps, 16 May 2013
Warning - this review and rating is based on the phones use for outdoor activities ( hiking etc ) rather than general use of the phone.

I didn't buy this to replace my daily phone - I bought it for one purpose and that's to take with me when I go hiking.

It will replace the aging SatMap 10+ which I used for a few years but its slightly bulky and the screen was dated 10 years ago and now its ancient in computer terms with its 3.5 inch screen with 240 x 320 pixel resolution.

I kept hoping SatMap would launch an updated model but this now seems very unlikely.

I looked at the Garmin alternatives but their screen and resolutions are not much better.

I'd been using my "normal" smartphone for a while but concerned about waterproofing and ruggedness. The last thing I need is to be lost up a mountain in the mist and heavy rain and for the phone to pack up due to water ingress. The SatMap is at least waterproof and pretty drop proof too ( as I have tested by accident! )

Anyway the Samsung XCover 2 with its high ( compared to the SatMap ) resolution screen and waterproofing looks ideal.

I installed the excellent ViewRanger app and various 1:50000 and 1:25000 maps of the UK.

I've only had the phone a week and not yet tested it in any rainy misty situations but I have tried in bowls of water without issue.

It seems rugged - though doesn't feel as rugged as the SatMap - though short of throwing it against a wall I can't be sure.

The only downside will be battery life. The SatMap could easily last 12 hours on 1 charge and have some juice to spare.

I very much doubt the XCover 2 will last that long while using GPS but when I get to test it for real on a long hike I'll update the review.

The other thing I've not been able to properly test is how good it is in bright sunlight. Living in the UK it may be some time before I can test that! Strangely its lacking an auto brightness option - which I find quite useful on other phones.

Of course the other advantage of the XCover vs a Garmin or SatMap GPS is its a phone! I'll still be carrying my main phone as back up and its good to have 2 GPS devices which are also phones - just in case one packs up in the middle of nowhere.

One issue that does concern me is the phone does feel slightly slippy - despite the dimpled back plate. Its hard plastic and not rubber - I'd have preferred a more grippy rubber exterior.

Another issue is it does seem fairly easy to switch the phone on. I don't know if this will happen in practice but its a concern.

Size wise its not too bad. Much smaller and lighter than a SatMap but still a little chunkier than many phones these days.

The phone interface is nice and fast - no lag or other issues. Jellybean is a joy to use compared to the old versions of Android which personally I never liked.

One big con is the lack of memory on the phone for apps. Though it says 4GB in the specs - over 3gbs is already used by the Samsumg apps which you can't remove and to be honest I never use.

Which leaves something less than a GB of memory for all your apps and I couldn't find a "Move to SD Card" option for apps as there is for my other phone. I would imagine you can get an APP to do it but not looked.

--- Update 24 May 2013 ---

I had change to do a couple of hikes with the phone to test it out.

Battery life is pretty good. I left on an 8 mile hike and it was at 99%. With the GPS permanently on and tracking my location and occasional use of the screen it was down to 83% when I got back just over 2 hours later.

I'd guess this phone will give 5 - 8 hours of use as a GPS depending on how much you look at the screen as opposed to it being in your bag.

The screen is not that bright outdoors and needs to be on maximum even on a dull summer day. It gave me no problems reading the screen.

The reason I've given the phone 3 stars rather than the original 4 stars is down to the GPS.

It starts off well - with the phone pointing at the sky it was using 18 satellites and giving an accurate location and even height.

When things went downhill was when the GPS was in an outer pocket of my waterproof coat I was wearing. Every so often I checked the track it was creating and was shocked how out it was sometimes! It did a surprisingly poor job of recording exactly where I'd been. Also when I took it out my pocket at a known place it was often a good 30m or 40m out.

My existing phone - a Motorola Razr Maxx was in comparison was spot on with tracking and also my location when I took it out my pocket.

I found accuracy improved if I put the Samsung phone in an outside mesh pocket high up on my rucksack and is very accurate if held in the hand pointing at the sky.

The surprising thing is the Motorola phone often only used 6 satellites but got a much better signal to noise ratio. The Samsung can easily pick up 15 - 18 satellites but with a poorer average signal.

As the Samsung is just a back up emergency phone for me this is not an issue. But I'd be disappointed if I had to use it instead of my Motorola Razr Maxx as my normal phone.


Philips HD4671/20 Energy Efficient Kettle, 3000 W , 1.7 L - Brushed Metal
Philips HD4671/20 Energy Efficient Kettle, 3000 W , 1.7 L - Brushed Metal
Price: £32.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Failed after 18 months, 17 Mar. 2013
Kettle had a funny taste for the first few weeks but that did go eventually.

But the problem was after about 14 months the switch became a bit erratic - not always switching on or off correctly.

Finally after approx 18 months the switch failed completely and I could no longer boil water.

I look back to the good old days when things lasted for years. Unfortunately it seems today's stuff has built in obsolescence


Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Edition - Upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (PC)
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Edition - Upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (PC)
Offered by Logic Works
Price: £92.95

370 of 413 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A shock to the system at first - less productive and natural to use than Windows 7, 26 Oct. 2012
Update 07 Nov 2012:

After 10 days of on and off use of Windows 8 final version I'm afraid I still can't say I like it. Windows 7 just works well for me and Windows 8 too often gets in the way. I can work round Windows 8's less than desktop friendly design but I don't upgrade just so I can "work round issues". I upgrade for increased features, performance or productivity. When I upgraded a few years ago from the awful Windows Vista to Windows 7 I was over the moon with how much better Windows 7 was. Windows 8 feels the opposite - like a downgrade from something that works to something that "challenges" you to get on with your work and keeps getting in the way. Yes you can work round its interface issues but why spend money and time doing this when Windows 7 works well on the desktop.

I've seen lots of comments by other users saying how Windows 8 is a massive performance boost. But this has not been my experience. Boot time is faster but otherwise it seems the same speed as Windows 7.

Perhaps its me? Others claim amazing boosts of speed - so I had a look on the Internet for reviews and one thing they do agree on is Windows 8 does boot faster.

However in terms of performance its largely the same as Windows 7 overall. Sometimes Windows 8 is faster, sometimes Windows 7 is faster.

Tomshardware website benchmarked games performance and said

"With A Couple Of Exceptions, Gaming on Windows 8 Is A Similar Experience

Aside from those couple of idiosyncrasies, performance under Windows 8 is indistinguishable from Windows 7. Any speed-up or slow-down would be almost impossible to identify during game play, and we expect compatibility issues to get patched quickly by game developers."

Website Bit-tech benchmarked a final release version of Windows 8 and found:

"All in all our benchmarks suggest that performance does take a hit when upgrading to Windows 8. The multi-tasking performance degradation is a particular blow to Windows 8, but one which the faster boot times do soften somewhat"

But you can also find reviews where Windows 8 comes out faster. I suspect the reality is the performance is overall the same.

Also Microsoft removed the pretty Aero interface and replaced with a plainer and less CPU demanding interface - which may well help performance. You can easily disable Areo on Windows 7 if you wish for a very slight performance boost.

I've also looked at lots of reviews to see the "amazing new features" of Windows 8. But to be honest there is nothing I've seen that's made me think - "WOW - that feature alone is worth the hassle of upgrading"

Overall Windows 8 is really Windows 7 but re-designed for tablets and smartphones.

Original Review:

Windows 7 - to copy Apple's marketing "Just works" on the desktop.

I've been using Windows for almost 20 years and Windows 7 is the best Windows for the desktop ever - reliable - easy to use and make your life easy and productive.

I've downloaded and installed Windows 8 on a spare PC and I have to say its the most stressful version of Windows ever!

Forgot everything you have learnt before and prepare to start from scratch and learn a whole new OS.

With each new version of Windows I found my productivity increased. With Windows 8 I found productivity hit rock bottom for a while as I re-learned how to do the things that had become second nature on earlier Windows.

I'm typing this on my Windows 7 PC after a session on Windows 8 and its good to be home - where everything is familiar and easy.

Windows 8 is very much a tablet operating system that can be installed on desktop and laptops but not specifically designed for desktops.

I've not tried Windows 8 on a tablet but I can only assume it works very well there.

Overtime on the desktop you will learn Windows 8's new ways and how to cope with it on a desktop. But it never really feels as natural or easy to use as Windows 7 was on a desktop.
Initially you'll spend a lot of time Googling simple things like "How do I minimise a window", "Where's the control panel", "How do I close a program"

For example when I first ran Internet Explorer and downloaded a PDF file on the Internet. This caused Windows PDF viewer to open. This is an "App" not a program - it uses the Metro interface. So it means no minimise options, no close PDF document options. It runs full screen and cannot be windowed.

So on Windows 7 if I want to open say 3 PDF documents and view them at the same time in separate windows I can do this easily. On Windows 8 this appears to be impossible - the default Metro app is full screen and can open only one document at a time - so no way of reading and comparing multiple documents.

There are ways round this ( install Adobe Reader ) and a quick search on Google will find a solution. But spending time solving these annoyances takes up time and reduces productivity.

Another "issue" that may confuse people is there are two version of Internet Explorer 10 in Windows. There's the Metro version and the desktop version of Internet Explorer 10. They both look and behave slightly differently. As someone who sometimes has to provide computer support I can see this is going to confuse some people!

This brings me on to the Start Screen - which has replaced the Start Menu. The Start screen looks a little Fisher Price in design but I thought never the less it might be useful as a way of quick accessing my most popular programs. The first issue - if you use Internet Explorer - is that as far as I can tell you can only add the Metro version of Internet Explorer to the Start Screen. The desktop Internet Explorer - the one most useful on a desktop - is not available via the Start Screen - you need to go to the desktop and then click the Internet Explorer icon. I did Google for a while to find a solution but couldn't. I also found the Start Screen rather limiting in terms of organising tile shortcuts to software. As far as I can tell you can't change the size of the tiles and while you can move them about only within certain "slots". Ideally I'd like 3 large tiles at the top for my most popular software and smaller ones beneath - but so far I've failed to figure out how to do this even after a bit of Googling. I guess I need to spend more time researching this but I've proper work to get on with!

And that's the way it is with Windows 8. Instead of doing boring work you initially spend your time much more fruitfully by Googling solutions to things that were easy and obvious on Windows 7.

An operating system should be invisible - it should let you get on with your work as quickly and easily as possible. It shouldn't keep getting in your way and forcing you to stop to look for ways round operating system issues.

For example in I think Windows 7 Microsoft introduced the ability to Pin large icons to the Start menu. I used this to pin my 5 most used programs. So now I have 3 quick ways of launching a program. Either via a large icon on the start menu. Via an icon on the desktop. Or via a pinned icon on the task bar. I used a combination of all three because I have a lot of software installed and it worked great for me as with a mouse I could quickly open my most used applications. Now with Windows 8 I have no start menu - we still have icons on the desktop and the task bar but lost the Start menu. That's not progress for me - that's a step backwards. Also the Start menu pinned icons let you mouse over them and you'd see your last opened documents ( or pinned documents ). So in a few shakes of a mouse I could mouse over Excel icon and then mouse over one of my most used spreadsheets and open it. All done very quickly and easily. Now in Windows 8 I need to go to a desktop icon and launch Excel. Then once in Excel go to the recent documents menu and then select the document. So what was easy and quick in Windows 7 is now a little more work in Windows 8. Doesn't sound a big deal but all these little things that help speed up your use of the system help and mount up when you do them a lot. If in a fit of madness I was to upgrade my main desktop to Windows 8 I'd lose these little shortcuts and as far as I can see not gain a whole lot in compensation.

Eventually Microsoft will kill off all former versions of Windows and the Windows 8 way will be the only way. My plan is to keep using Windows 7 for as long as possible! The only reason I installed Windows 8 on a spare computer is as well as writing software I also have to provide support for it - and eventually my customers will be using Windows 8 and so I need to know how to use Windows 8.

I really wish Microsoft had released a Windows for tablets and a separate Windows for desktops. They are quite different devices and have quite different interface requirements. By creating one Windows for tablets and desktops its created an operating system that just doesn't quite work as well on desktops - I think Microsoft have prioritised the needs of tablets.

Having said all this while I personally haven't taken to Windows 8 I'm sure some people will absolutely love it. I use Windows at work - I'm a software developer - and therefore need something productive for content creation. But if you use it mostly at home for content consumption - say browsing the internet and sending the odd email - then it may well be you will love the new Windows 8.

One thing I would recommend to make life more bearable on Windows 8 is learning some of its new keyboard shortcuts. There's a lot of things that can either no longer be done on a mouse or for which using a mouse is more challenging.

On the plus I've found Windows 8 installation to be very smooth and trouble free but no better than Windows 7. Windows 8 also seems fairly rock solid - no major crashes or issues. Again no better than Windows 7.

And eventually it does become easier to use and more productive - not as easy to use or productive as Windows 7 but certainly better than the initial shock you get on first running Windows 8.

********************************
Summary
********************************

Apologies if this review is a bit of a long ramble.

To summarise:

1. Going from an earlier version of Windows to Windows 8 is a major shock to the system

2. A fair bit of re-learning is required. Depending on your skills level this might take a few hours or a few weeks.

3. Time spent re-learning Windows would be fine if at the end of the learning you find yourself working more productively. But even with time while Windows 8 becomes easier to use it still feels like someone tried to shoehorn a tablet OS on to a desktop. It just requires a bit more effort on a desktop than Windows 7.

4. So essentially you end up spending time learning something that ends up not being quite as good as what you already had!

5. Windows 8 seems very stable and was easy to upgrade. But no more stable than Windows 7.

6. There's no massive new features in Windows 8 that make you think "I really must upgrade just for that new feature"

7. It loses some features. Would you like to play a DVD movie? Not on Windows 8 you won't unless you pay for an upgrade! Start button? Not without buying some new software to bring it back

8. You can simply ignore the new Start Screen - though it will keep popping up when you do certain things every so often whether you like it or not.

9. Ignoring the Start Screen you have the same desktop as Windows 7 - but no Start menu. I actually found the Start menu useful! So for me its removal is not a bonus

10. I've not found a clean Windows 8 to be any faster than a clean Windows 7. But I am running them off a fairy fast computer with SSD drives

A one word summary "New Window 8 - like Windows 7 but with no Start menu and everything in new places".

If you have been using Windows before and often thought to yourself - "When will they get rid of that damn Start menu" then Windows 8 is your dream come true! Personally I found it very useful....

*******************************************

Useful keyboard short cuts which I found off the Cnet website include:

Charms
Win+C: Open charms
Win+Q: Search charm
Win+H: Share charm
Win+K: Devices charm
Win+I: Settings charm

Search
Win+Q: Search apps
(tip: an even easier way to search apps is to just begin typing from the start screen)
Win+W: Search settings
Win+F: Search files
Windows 8 Apps
Win+Z: Get to app options
Win+.: Snap app to the left
Win+Shift+.: Snap app to the right
Ctrl+Tab: Cycle through app history
Alt+F4: Close an app

Desktop
Win+D: Open Desktop
Win+,: Peek at desktop
Win+B: Back to desktop

Other
Win+X: Open system utility settings menu
Win+PrntScrn: Take screenshot and save to Pictures
Win+Tab: Open switch list
Win+T: Preview open windows in taskbar
Win+U: Open Ease of Access Center
Ctrl+ESC: Start screen

Learning some of these keyboard short cuts does make Windows 8 a little easier to use.
Comment Comments (78) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2013 6:11 PM GMT


Ventura Men's V-Tech Delta Maroon Leather Strap Watch W20L3 with Durinox Case
Ventura Men's V-Tech Delta Maroon Leather Strap Watch W20L3 with Durinox Case

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare top quality digital watch, 11 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a child my first watch was a digital watch - I've never owned or wore anything other than digital watches.

I prefer the exactness of a digital display vs analogue hands.

But it is very hard to find a quality digital watch that just tells the time and maybe a stopwatch and alarm.

Suunto make very good watches but they are the size of small plates and include a whole host of functionality I just don't need.

Do I really need to know on a day by day basis the current air pressure? My exact GPS location? Etc

The Ventura Delta is a watch and that's it. It includes a timer, countdown time and alarms but none of the fancy stuff I don't need daily.

Which means its also much more compact than those more fully featured watches. Which suits my smaller ( 6.5 inch ) wrists.

The hardened steal body and the sapphire crystal glass mean this watch will stay looking good when other watches are all scratched and beaten up!

Its waterproof to 30m - essentially its showerproof but don't go swimming in it! 30m depth is static depth and doesn't include the extra pressure of moving water.

I'm very happy with the design and fit. Looks fine and is comfortable on my 6.5 inch wrist.

Easy to use with the wheel - previous watches were devils to work out how to do something as simple as time something. This one is very easy to use.

Its also made in Switzerland rather than China - making it quite a rarity!

I've had it 2 weeks and so far its lost about half a second. So pretty accurate!

The description says "Maroon Leather Strap" but really its more a dark brown - thankfully! I was concerned it might be a bit too red.

The strap is quite stiff at first - took about 10 days to become comfortable. I suspect its because its a quality genuine leather strap.

All in all its very expensive but also very good quality.

In many ways its similar to the Braun Men's Prestige Digital Watch BN0106SLBKG With Rubber Strap

The difference is the design of the Ventura Delta - to me - looks nicer. The Ventura Delta is also slightly smaller and has sapphire crystal glass and a hardened steal case. The Ventura Delta is also Swiss made and I guess more exclusive if that's important to you.


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