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Bob Cross (Scotland, UK)

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[Support apt-X] iClever Himbox HB01 Plus Bluetooth 4.0 Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars with 3.5mm Aux Input Jack, Multi-Point Access, Convenient Siri/Voice Activation, 3-Port USB Charger - Black
[Support apt-X] iClever Himbox HB01 Plus Bluetooth 4.0 Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars with 3.5mm Aux Input Jack, Multi-Point Access, Convenient Siri/Voice Activation, 3-Port USB Charger - Black
Offered by Elecsmart
Price: £21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I don't think about this - it just works., 31 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I originally bought this to replace a "TuneLink Auto" - which turned out to be an expensive white elephant. On the other hand I've been using the HB01+ on my daily commute (2 hours+ in total) for more than six months without much in the way of complaint. It's one of those wonderful products that "just works" day-in, day-out. I've even been thinking about buying a second one for my wifes car! It worked well with my old LG G3 phone and is now working just as well with the S7 Edge that replaced it. Signal quality is excellent, and I have had none of those annoying/dangerous disconnections that the TuneLink was prone to.
The only criticism I have is that the supplied USB charger suffered from the most awful (and intermittent) interference - but this was easily (and cheaply) replaced - it's just a normal car USB charger, albeit the supplied one has a useful three outputs - one for the HB01+ and two for other devices. The replacement I'm using is an Anker one and while it's only two outputs, at least there's no teeth-grinding interference.
Secondly, if they do an improved model - HB01++ or HB02 - then it'd be nice to have a small amplifier built in - some cars, (like my Chevrolet Cruze), require a very strong signal on their line input jacks and it'd be more convenient to be able to boost the signal and leave the radio volume at it's default settings.
I'd happily recommend this to potential users.

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
Price: £4.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Homework - but fun., 31 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got "recommended" to read this when I switched from sysadmin to DevOps role, and I'd endorse that advice after reading this book. While being a "novel" there's enough DevOps "meat" in there for you to go "Ah, NOW I get it" at various points, and marks off if you spot your employer doing some of the dumb things that are pointed at. I ended up reading by the pool on holiday and actually preferred it to a Dan Brown.
Just wish they'd done a sequel - would have love to have found out how they are doing five years later... (grin)

Galaxy S7 Edge Case, Caseology [Envoy Series] Classic Rich Texture Leather [Leather Cherry Oak] [Luxury Slim] for Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (2016)
Galaxy S7 Edge Case, Caseology [Envoy Series] Classic Rich Texture Leather [Leather Cherry Oak] [Luxury Slim] for Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (2016)
Offered by Caseology® UK
Price: £49.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings, but cautious thumbs up, 31 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a stylish looking, relatively inexpensive case for the challenging shape that is the S7 Edge. Upsides are that: the leather back not only looks good, but makes it easier to hold; it's not bulky; it's a very secure fit and the material is thin enough that there is no observable signal hit - and I can quite happily charge my S7 Edge in the case on my LG Qi charger.
Downsides (and hence loss of one star): the rigid material in the case unclipped itself on one side from the softer padding (but this was easily pushed back); the tightness of the case can also make it hard to fit (and doesn't work well with screen protectors); I've had some minor difficulty getting the USB charging cable used (but that could be my fault). Another minor downside is that I personally find the cream rubber/TPU protective material used to be unattractive - I'd have much preferred that a black material was used which would have blended nicely with the S7 Edge's screen.
Would I buy it again? Possibly, but if they did a version with the white padding replaced with black then definitely.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 7, 2016 7:25 PM BST

Tinksky Women Leather Backpack Leisure Travel Vintage Outdoor Backpack for Teenage Girls
Tinksky Women Leather Backpack Leisure Travel Vintage Outdoor Backpack for Teenage Girls
Offered by Yesken
Price: £24.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and one my wife liked very much, 31 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this for my wife on an impulse because it was offered in one of Amazon's special deals. What was delivered was a very stylish looking bag, and one my wife liked very much. So much so, that she took it as her carry on luggage and "poolside bag" during an 11 day trip to the Dominican Republic. Despite being used to hold suntan lotions, Kindles, camera, etc it came back from holiday looking remarkably unfazed. So much so that my mother-in-law has now asked for one for herself.

Office Jerk Free HD
Office Jerk Free HD
Price: £0.00

27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Limited interest, 18 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Office Jerk Free HD (App)
Game consists of flicking stuff at a coworker. Some skill involved because desk fans blow your "missile" off course, and it looks pretty. Downsides are VERY intrusive ads for other products of the company and, to me at least, a very limited lifespan. It lasted less than 15 minutes on my tablet before being uninstalled and purged from my Amazon app cloud. I wouldn't be prepared to post for this because of the drawbacks of ads and lifespan.

DisGuard Screen Protector for Samsung Galaxy S3
DisGuard Screen Protector for Samsung Galaxy S3
Offered by disGuard

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like these, 1 Aug. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a bit of a klutz, so screen protectors and a good case are mandatory for any new phone for me - so when I saw these (having had experience with mirrored screen protectors on my previous phone) I jumped at the chance to get a "quality" product.

These are definitely a quality product - very thick indeed - and I think you'd have to either be vicious or very unlucky to scratch through this to your screen. The usual "brushing against keys in a pocket" won't do it as far as I'm concerned. The mirror quality is also first rate - good enough for my daughter to use to touch up her make up in without any issues. Screen display indoors is also enhanced - with the S3's already good contrast deepened further. Delivery was also fast, and installation was, unquestionably, the easiest to get bubble free I've ever seen - a child could do it! But there are downsides...

First of the quality of the mirror is so good that it renders the (already so-so) Galaxy S3's screen unreadable in bright sunlight - note not "difficult to read" - when I say "unreadable" I mean it! Even with the screen brightness maxed out, you're still having to remember where on-screen buttons are. 1/2 star off for that because mirrored protectors are well known to have issues in bright sun. They're also a finger grease magnet (good quality glasses cleaner and a soft cloth bring 'em back to "as new" state though).

Secondly - and enough for me to cut out another two stars - is that the "cut to fit the display perfectly" claim is not true. They've started the top curves too early, with the result that there's two roughly triangular sections of screen left completely bare - although these are very small "naked" patches. I'm also going to deduct another half star because the fit at the side IS "exact" - i.e. with millimetric precision matching the width of the screen - no protection for the bezel at the side. Although, the tight (display only) fit does mean that these will fit pretty much every case out there. Also, the current fit means that the capacitative buttons at the bottom are only half covered - which does spoil the lines a bit.

Thirdly, these are comparatively expensive at £6+ for two. That said, I'll argue that the quality of material and ease of fit are probably worth that if you don't regard these as to be discarded after 3-4 weeks use.

If the manufacturer's were to extend the width by 1-2 mm, re-profile those top curves and extend the bottom bit by 1-2 mm then this'd be a dead cert for a 4 star rating, maybe even a 5. In short, if redesigned this would be the RollsRoyce of MSP's for the S3, as it stands though it's flawed - and I'll be replacing mine (with other products from the same manufacturer - hoping that my current ones were just a bad batch).

Samsung Galaxy S3 Desktop Dock (Compatible With Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Notell)
Samsung Galaxy S3 Desktop Dock (Compatible With Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Notell)
Offered by Elektronik-Versand
Price: £10.10

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Samsung designed this in a lunchbreak, 25 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this thinking that it'd be something broadly similar to my old (and much liked) official Apple dock (the one with the remote control), but in this case for my new SIII phone - especially as the latter is supposed to have some very high quality sound hardware.

First off, the colour - described as "chrome blue", the one I received is DEFINITELY black - which the product picture kind of shows also. This is fine, since I think a black dock would possibly work equally well for the white and the (dark-)blue SIII variants. My white SIII is currently in a black gel case and this blends in perfectly with the dock.

The design is visually very appealing - reminding me of a high-class jewellery box - the dock port is usually hidden until you flip up the portion at the front-top - the lid then becoming a back rest for the phone. At the back are two ports - one for power (standard microUSB - not usable for data transfers) and the other a standard 3.5mm audio jack. My phone - even in it's gel case - fits easily into this - and doing so switches the phone to desktop/dock mode automatically. Very neat and tidy, and folding the lid down when not in use keeps out dust and makes for a neat looking unit on your desk.

Drawbacks? Firstly, there are no cables supplied - just the dock and a manual. I can understand why this has been done, but it's a bit annoying to then have to find appropriate cables elsewhere, especially for audio (the charging lead supplied with the phone could be used for power/data). Secondly - and this is a MAJOR drawback - the backrest/lid provides very little/NO support for the phone (it needs to be LONGER), so operating an on-screen button high up the screen causes the phone to flex unless you use a very light touch, putting strain on that microUSB dock connector - this is very bad design on Samsung's part! Thirdly, for the price I also would have liked to see a remote (like the Apple dock) that would have allowed basic control of the media player (volume, play/pause, next/previous track). Lastly - do not buy this thinking it's a data dock too, that doesn't work - and in fact when I tried powering the dock from a PC I kept getting audible feedback through the PC speakers every time I operated an SIII button/menu - so I switched back to a power adaptor.

So if you still want a desk stand (the sound from the SIII IS very good through speakers) and are willing to get your own cables and exercise some care in operating it, then I'd cautiously recommend this dock.

Samsung Galaxy S3 SIII Clear S-Line Gel Silicone Case + Screen Protector & Sock
Samsung Galaxy S3 SIII Clear S-Line Gel Silicone Case + Screen Protector & Sock

101 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good value!, 25 Jun. 2012
I ordered this for my SIII, and it actually arrived before the SIII did. Pack contents were the two-tone "sock", the gel case, a screen protector - and a matching mini-stylus on a string that can clip into the headphone socket (so you can't lose it!). The free stylus was a nice surprise! Anyway, in increasing rating order:

The sock - I found - was a complete waste of time. The dimensions and shininess of the SIII means that not only doesn't it fit properly, (top of phone not fitting in), but the slightest movement causes the phone to shoot out. Treat this as a free gift. 1/5

The screen protector is not bad - going on with the minimal amount of bubbles forming. Downside is that the gel case seems to flex and try and push it off - so 2-3mm of protector is now no longer stuck down at the top and bottom of the phone. Seems to protect well though, and arguably worth the price of the whole bundle by itself. 3/5

The free stylus is good - a god send when I was trying to use the SIII for some photo-retouch and diagramming (laying out a new path in the garden). It's a little short for my sausage fingers - but given it was free I'm going to be really harsh and say 4/5.

The gel case is undoubtedly the star of the show - excellent, and I probably would have been quite happy to pay £2-3 for this alone. It turns the eel-slippery SIII into something you can hold, whilst not obscuring any ports. In fact my SIII has seldom been out of this case - and is currently sitting in it while charging in the official Samsung desk-stand/audio-dock. 5/5

So in summary - sock=worthless, screen protector=good; stylus=excellent; case=a must have. If you've newly got an SIII then you'd be foolish not to consider this - especially at the "pound store" price it's being offered at - it's the bargain of the year for new phone owners. (Bought mine from iDelta)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2013 4:31 PM BST

Hama Alpenpod Walking Stick with Monopod for DSLR Cameras
Hama Alpenpod Walking Stick with Monopod for DSLR Cameras
Offered by TapeCity
Price: £11.38

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great walking stick, 22 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought two of these recently - one for my wife (who has a largish "bridge" digicam) and one for me (much smaller Canon Powershot S1), intending to use them mainly as hiking poles, but also to allow steadier landscape shots when we came across them while out. Given that the pricing was less than "ordinary" hiking poles and about the same, (or less), as the "no-brand" Chinese ones on eBay, I really wasn't hoping for much. At this price they're probably "disposable" after a single hiking/walking season.

Some trepidation about these, given the complaints about the compass here, which proved to be true when one of the two had it's compass leaking machine oil - so unusable. Emailed Hama UK looking to buy a replacement, and got a very polite reply and a free replacement compass in the post the following day. 10/10 for customer service Hama-UK! I also am quite impressed with the way that MyMemory dealt with an omission in the order - again, polite and resolved quickly.

The pole itself appears good quality - obviously well sprung, with a hard plastic, but grippy handle that you can hold in a variety of ways - as the mood takes you. Unfortunately, there's no padding on the handle (but there are foam disks on the pole itself), nor "quick release" for the camera, but at this price you really can't complain about that. I probably wouldn't recommend it for a very heavy/expensive DSLR - but if you have one of those then you probably have the £300 equivalents. The camera mount (protected by that compass) is the short vertical projection in the picture - this can be locked (using a threaded collar) in either vertical or horizontal orientation, but the friction on the mechanism is such that a compact camera would probably stay in an intermediate position if desired.

I used mine as a walking pole yesterday for two 1-hour fast urban strolls and the pole performed faultlessly, even on some long, steep hills with distinctly dodgy paving. The springing was noticable, (and welcome), and the light-weight/low-bulk was also nice, and using it on the side where I have a strained shoulder tendon caused no discomfort. Of particular note is the two-part height adjustment - unlike the two other poles we own (normal "value" hiking poles that were £10 each), the Hama doesn't need a lot of force to lock or unlock the height adjustment - good for those with keyboard-afflicted wrists like me. It's also relatively simple and straight-forward to change the heights on the move. The last part of the pole is a wrist strap, which can be tightened onto your wrist but has no other adjustment, and loosens easily if desired.

It's also probably a subjective thing, but I also think that the design - black with understated graphics - add a certain "class". So I'm certainly happy with the purchase - and if Hama did an updated version (e.g. with a padded handle) then I'd probably buy it.

Nokia 770 Internet Tablet with Navigation Kit
Nokia 770 Internet Tablet with Navigation Kit

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get 'em before they're all gone, 13 Aug. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Originally I tried to buy the Nokia 770 on it's own from another supplier because, following a price cut to less than £80 I figured it was good value for a networkable Linux PDA. Unfortunately they let me down, so next stop was Amazon to see if I could source one from them. They only had the "Navikit" pack available for nearly double what I was going to pay but, since I don't have sat-nav already, I figured I could justify the extra expense to get a large memory card and the GPS receiver. So I'm using it in two modes: as a PDA/wireless-tablet and as a sat-nav device.

As a PDA it's not that good - a Palm or Windows PDA would be better. But it it very expandable and the media players are usable. The downside is that this uses RSMMC or MMCmobile cards rather than larger/cheaper/easier-to-get SD or variants thereof. Plays a mean game of chess too.

As a wireless tablet, it's pretty usable (with restrictions). The screen is quite clear, and it starts quicker than most PC's - ideal for those "I just need to check the news/weather/road-report" moments. I've also found that the wireless hardware in it is very good - better than the Netgear and US Robotics cards in my desktop PC. The webbrowser is limited by the lack of screen size and keyboard, plus (currently) the lack of support for "essential" web technologies such as Java and Flash.

The GPS receiver is a Nokia branded one, which is small (about the size of a cigarette lighter) and appears to use the same rechargable battery and charger as the '770 itself. The sat-nav software is supplied by NavicoreTech and is pre-installed on the 1GB RS-MMC card supplied in the pack, (so technically it's plug-in and go). Also in the pack are a windscreen mount for the '770 and a cigarette lighter power lead for the '770.

I'd strongly recommend visiting NavicoreTech's site and upgrading the software (using a Windows PC usually) as the later version is noticably better than the default version supplied. You can also then add extra content such as other voice models (the "Afrikaans" ones are my favourites at the moment) and extra points-of-interest such as speed camera locations.

In use the sat-nav, (which has distinct drive, walk and cycle modes - and I've tested the first two in that list), is quite usable and takes about 30-120 seconds to obtain the location when first switched on. Instructions and screen display are clear, although a little more volume from the '770 would be nice, (time to use an FM Radio sender?), and the software handles dynamic rerouting (when you change your mind) reasonably most of the time. Downsides are that the software sometimes needs more than one attempt to start and occasionally it also can get very fixed in it's thinking, preferring to send you back on yourself rather than generate a simpler route ahead. The GPS receiver doesn't seem to work at all in most multi-storey car parks, which can be a problem.

In conclusion I'm quite happy with my choice. I figure that a dedicated sat-nav costs £120-190 and can't really be used for anything else, (although I know some have MP3 players now), most of them being car-only devices. On the other hand, my Nokia kit will browse the internet, play MP3's, play videos as well as being usable as a sat-nav/mapper for when I'm either in the car or trying to get to an urban location I'm unsure about on foot.

At Nokia's original price (£250+) I wouldn't recommend this, however at the current £100 discount this is very good value for money indeed, even allowing that the '770 itself has been replaced by a newer model, (and the NavicoreTech software and GPS also works with the newer model - Nokia 800 - so there's an upgrade path if that newer device becomes cheaper).

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