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Reviews Written by
Richard Oliver "RickOliver" (Sheffield, UK)

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Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo
Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo
Price: £6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Mission Control" takes one giant leap in documentary perspectives and delivers a fine story of teamwork, 3 Jun. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There have been many documentaries about real space travel and the moon landings - "For All Mankind" and "In The Shadow of The Moon" are great examples. They're truly fascinating stories, although focussed on telling the personal experiences of the astronauts from several missions at key points in elapsed time. The result is a mash-up format, captivating but a little fuzzy to understand what happened and when. I found that "Mission Control" takes one giant leap in documentary perspectives to tell the story of the teamwork driving these expeditions through failure and success. It certainly makes a point that ambitious goals create huge projects, served by multiple contributors, wholly orchestrated as a team, not just the famous people in the rocket. You can appreciate what it truly took for safe return of the crew. I found it quite sad to see how few of these men are still alive now, when we see their vivid youth captured on the original footage of the mid 60's and early 70's. Makes the story more remarkable.

Xpelair GXC6 Kitchen Window, Panel or Wall Extractor Fan with Pull Cord Operation
Xpelair GXC6 Kitchen Window, Panel or Wall Extractor Fan with Pull Cord Operation
Price: £49.29

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An extractor fan that really sucks... but then it's supposed to!, 5 July 2011
When these extractor fans need replacing after failure, the problem is that the fixings cannot be directly reused because the manufacturer changed the design. It means that screw holes and clamps don't align up, and a trivial job becomes a task of inconvenience.

I am glad to say that this new version of the GXC6 will replace the same model installed 20+ years ago with the brown painted metal baseplate, made by GEC. The main differences are:

1. The fixing holes are different, so you will need to re-drill two new holes.
2. The pull chord exits from the bottom left hand side of the front cover.
3. The outside grille has two screw fixings for rawlplugs and has no baseplate.
4. The wire entry is located top-right of the front cover.
5. The design is made more of injection moulded plastic - two snap-lock tabs
now retain the front cover.

If your installation used the worm-screw retaining straps (like an uncoiled jubilee clip), then you can reuse these. However, they are positioned differently. The kit includes the short straps intended for installation in a glass window.

The fan seems to operate to about the same noise level and performance. There are accessory options for timers and humidity switches.

No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the cheapest suppliers of this legacy media, 2 April 2010
Genuine Iomega Zip 250MB disks in cardboard sleeves, and supplied in original packaging. Great price.

GreyMobiles White GEL Skin Case For Nokia 6303 Classic WITH SCREEN PROTECTOR
GreyMobiles White GEL Skin Case For Nokia 6303 Classic WITH SCREEN PROTECTOR

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unobtrusive practical design, 2 April 2010
A flexible plastic "bumper trim" to protect your Nokia 6303. It isn't cosmetically unattractive or bulky. It just protects, to a limited extent, the edges and corners of the phone should you drop it. With the screen sticker, you can prevent scratches. Note that the only thing left at risk is the camera lens in that respect.

C2G 1 m Economy DB25M C36M Parallel Printer Cable
C2G 1 m Economy DB25M C36M Parallel Printer Cable
Price: £4.96

5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality and low price, 2 April 2010
A rare thing to buy in these days of USB connectivity. But printers, particularly laser ones, have a very long service life. I connected this up to my HP LaserJet 6L without any problem. You may like a little more cable in terms of length, but for desktop/workstation use, 1 metre is just enough without needing to bundle the cable.

Practical Arduino: Cool Projects for Open Source Hardware (Technology in Action)
Practical Arduino: Cool Projects for Open Source Hardware (Technology in Action)
by Jonathan Oxer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.50

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Answers the much asked question "What can you do with Arduino?", 2 April 2010
Before I talk about the book - here's a primer.

What's Arduino?

Arduino is an example of embedded computing, done cheaply and without the severe complexity. Trust me, it's great because it appeals to engineers and non-engineers too. Arduino technology is made understandable without a Himalayan-sized technical challenge. Engineers use it. Computer programmers use it. Creative people can use it.

Arduino is available in several different forms of circuit board, each offering a range of capacities and physical sizes. At the heart of each board is a single-chip computer, which is capable of "lightweight" processing tasks that you design.

What can you do with it?

As an evangelist of Arduino, most of my efforts are consumed in trying to get my audience to think about physical applications of this technology. Of the people that have heard of Arduino, many of them just don't know what's possible or how to use it. Well, if you're not from an engineering or computing background, you can be forgiven - we're a strange breed of imaginative thinkers!

I call Arduino "the next Meccano or Lego set" because that's the way you should think about it - a kit of electronic parts without a specification of the thing you want to build. You decide what to build and how to build it using the parts.

About the book.

This book helps to bridge the "application gap" and I believe it is one of the best on the market right now. It provides worked examples of electronic circuits (hardware) and code (software) that together make an application of Arduino. It is a great source of technical inspiration, and more importantly, explanation, which you don't always get from looking at examples on the web.

The first chapter provides the basics of electronics theory, terminology and hardware - enough to get started and understand what's going on.

The next fourteen chapters are each dedicated to a new idea that is developed into something useful involving an Arduino board. These include a virtual USB keyboard, time-lapse camera controller, touch control panel, online (web enabled) thermometer, weather station receiver, speech synthesis, various projects with sensors and RFID, plus an interesting use of data from an engine management unit.

The final chapter talks about techniques for driving the interface electronics - the nuts and bolts that bridge between the application circuitry and the Arduino board itself. Some very useful, practical advice is presented here.

Your next challenge is to see how portions of these applications could be re-used in your own ideas.

Why just 4 stars? Once interested in Arduino, you'd want more than 14 examples. But, I see there is another volume on its way soon.

Happy reading.

Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK
Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK
by Dave Mark
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.50

5.0 out of 5 stars A proper programming book!, 3 Jan. 2010
The majority of reviewers seem to favour this book and I can see why. This is a distinguished book for programmers who are new to the iPhone 3 platform; there's no "Janet and John chapters" dealing with the concept of an SDK, good programming style to avoid bad code and the like. No, it's more pragmatic and useful than that! The features of the iPhone are explored one by one; the format is logical and progressive, with code examples that show the nuts and bolts of what to do. As it is an introduction, don't expect it to include details about Cocoa and Objective C - don't panic as you can find free documentation about that on the iPhone developer's resource, or buy other books as some reviewers have decided to do.

Offered by fortunemart-uk
Price: £1.48

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cheap way to reuse your PS/2 keyboard and mouse, 8 Dec. 2009
The device is truly plug and play - it works transparently to the user and it didn't cost much at all. The adapter occupies one USB slot, and shares it between mouse and keyboard. I've used it with my Mac Mini rather than buy an expensive mouse and keyboard to replace what I already own.

The Apollo Missions [DVD]
The Apollo Missions [DVD]
Offered by Not2day Media
Price: £4.95

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting primer on the Apollo programme, 27 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Apollo Missions [DVD] (DVD)
With the title of this product and the timing of its release, you might expect quite a lot from this DVD. In my humble opinion, it is not one of the best documentaries on the subject, certainly not up to the quality of "In the Shadow Of the Moon" or "For All Mankind". This DVD, "The Apollo Missions", is a collection of old documentaries that serve as a reasonable summary of the Apollo programme. The content is quite thin in several places - the viewer is skimmed through the lesser important missions. However, it does reveal some great footage of the lunar rover explorations which happened from Apollo 14 onwards.

No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars The best ski carrier you'll ever use, but there's room for improvement, 20 Feb. 2008
I like innovation of new products. It's part of my job. I'll give credit where it's due, and constructive criticism as a guide to show areas for improvement. With that said, I'm always a bit doubtful of products that rate themselves in title as "The Best <gadget> Ever!", so how did this product actually perform?


The product won awards for innovation at a recent trade show in Geneva.

Small, compact fold-up design, which will fit into your pocket - no other product I've seen does that.

When correctly assembled to carry your skis, the load is surprisingly comfortable on your shoulder.

Velcro strapping is quick to wrap and adjust around the skis, but...


The instructions are over simplified and do not make it absolutely clear how to wrap the velcro straps so that they don't detach under load. I needed to add one of my own ski ties to the upper securing to prevent its detachment and protect my skis from being dropped. Study and applied practice is required, which may be enough to discourage some people for buying it.

It takes a while to attach to your skis, therefore it is only worth using if you intend to carry skis for medium to long distances. In reality, that's going to be to and from the hire shop, or between the piste and your roadside accommodation. The rest of the time, you will be carrying it in your already crowded pockets.

Folding it back up can be an amusing test of memory!

Quite expensive for a bit of nylon strap, and the velcro will eventually wear out meaning it will no longer hold down.

The hook-side of the velcro can be abrasive and therefore damaging to your expensive ski clothing - be warned!

In Summary

It DOES make carrying skis more comfortable, once the velcro straps are correctly applied and optionally reinforced by your own ski tie.

I can see this product being appreciated by parents who need to carry their adult skis and those of their children, in one go.

A snap-fit reinforcement buckle on the upper securing would improve things a treat, if the designers at Skiweb are listening.

Overall, a good idea reasonably implemented, but could be improved.

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