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Profile for Dr. Peter D. Wilson > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Dr. Peter D. Wilson (Seascale, Cumbria, UK)
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Dreamland 6993 Ready for Bed In 5 Minutes Heated Double Underblanket
Dreamland 6993 Ready for Bed In 5 Minutes Heated Double Underblanket
Offered by M H TECHNOLOGIES
Price: £59.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not that good., 27 Jan. 2015
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"Ready in 5 minutes" is optimistic; any worthwhile heating takes considerably longer. However, the provision for all-night use at a low setting is useful. Failure of the pilot light after 15 minutes gave a poor impression of reliablility.


Puzzle Mates Portapuzzle Standard 1500 Pieces (Jigsaw Puzzle Accessory)
Puzzle Mates Portapuzzle Standard 1500 Pieces (Jigsaw Puzzle Accessory)
Price: £23.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good purchase, 27 Jan. 2015
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A very effective piece of kit, with non-slip surfaces on the assembly area and both sides of the two sorting panels which help to retain the work in progress on closure. Being slightly flexible (rigidity would make for excessive weight) it holds pieces tightly only round the edges and I should not trust it to hold a configuration if treated too roughly or too near a vertical position.
My specimen needed rather tricky minor surgery to remove a lump of waste material under the assembly surface, leaving a trivial blemish of no practical significance.


Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 & 41
Mozart: Symphonies Nos. 39, 40 & 41
Price: £12.62

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Performance and recording are fine, but I couldn't get at the second disc ..., 27 Jan. 2015
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Performance and recording are fine, but I couldn't get at the second disc without serious damage to the case which seemed to have been wrongly assembled - possibly a one-off fault, of course.


Battle of the River Plate: A Grand Delusion
Battle of the River Plate: A Grand Delusion
by Richard Woodman
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping account, 15 Jun. 2014
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This is a detailed and fascinating account not only of the battle itself, in which the German commerce raider Admiral Graf Spee was critically damaged by a squadron of British cruisers at the start of WW2, but of the events leading up to it. The text is clearly presented and embellished very pleasingly with line drawings of the various ships involved. Less pleasing, to my taste, is the intrusion of heavily emphasised biographic panels that might have been better placed in an appendix. There is a small but interesting collection of photographs, and helpful maps of the raider's cruise. It is perhaps pedantic to complain of sloppy syntax and the odd conspicuous misprint.
The "grand delusion" of the subtitle is apparently the notion that modern warfare could continue to be waged in the chivalrous manner displayed by the German Captain Langsdorff in his dealings with the crews of ships he was required by circumstances to sink. This is exemplified in particular by the extraordinary empathy developed between him and one of his captive merchant captains, although it was only an extreme example of the high regard in which he was generally held by his prisoners. A minor delusion may have been of the special threat to shipping posed by pocket-battleship raiders: as his own supply ship's commander noted, Langsdorff's overall tally, with his magnificent ship and thousand-plus crew, could have been matched by forty men in a submarine.
Despite minor faults, this book is heartily recommended.


Western Digital WD1600AAJB 160GB 3.5 inch IDE Hard Drive
Western Digital WD1600AAJB 160GB 3.5 inch IDE Hard Drive
Offered by Bipra Limited Number 1 Hard Drive Specialist
Price: £19.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new memory for an old computer, 30 April 2014
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The IDE standard for computer hard drives has long been obsolete, and this was purchased as a replacement for an old master drive showing signs of possible failure. Supplied in "slave" configuration it was easily cloned with the original, and a note on the other possible jumper connections would have been helpful in setting it up as "master"; fortunately a guess (simply removing the jumper) served the purpose.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2015 1:46 PM BST


San Demetrio, London [DVD]
San Demetrio, London [DVD]
Dvd ~ Arthur Young
Price: £10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable survival, 30 April 2014
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This review is from: San Demetrio, London [DVD] (DVD)
A tanker in a war-time supply convoy, badly damaged by gunfire, is abandoned by its crew but later re-boarded when they come across it still afloat though with burning vapours escaping from its tanks. Without charts, compass or the main steering system, they nevertheless manage to get the ship home.

The film, made with the acknowledged help and advice of participants in the actual events, might have been better with a few minutes less of repetitiously savage Atlantic weather, but is still strongly recommended.


Sink the Bismarck / The Enemy Below (2-Disc Double Pack) [DVD] (1960/1957)
Sink the Bismarck / The Enemy Below (2-Disc Double Pack) [DVD] (1960/1957)
Dvd ~ Robert Mitchum
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £5.93

5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant coupling, 30 April 2014
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The package combines two "naval hunt" films in a WW2 setting, one essentially historical, the other fictional. The first recounts the near-desperate British campaign to prevent the German super-battleship Bismarck from wreaking havoc among the crucial Atlantic supply convoys after it has already destroyed its most powerful opponent, with luck as an important contributor to eventual success. The fictional sub-plots involving the widowed Director of Operations, one concerning his only son briefly thought to have been lost in action, the other his increasing attraction to a WRNS assistant who has lost a fiance, are handled very discreetly and permit an up-beat conclusion where there might have been only a sombre contemplation of so much death and destruction on both sides, or worse, jubilation over a defeated but worthy enemy.

"The Enemy Below" is of course a German submarine hunted by a US destroyer in a cat-and-mouse duel in which both commanders come to respect each other's tactical skill. The hunt ends in mutual destruction of both vessels, nevertheless with a plausibly "feel-good" conclusion to the film.


Caesar And Cleopatra [DVD] [1946]
Caesar And Cleopatra [DVD] [1946]
Dvd ~ Claude Rains
Price: £4.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterly adaptation, 30 April 2014
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The film is a remarkably faithful and effective presentation of George Bernard Shaw's impossible-to-stage play. In contrast with Shakespeare's (or Kenneth Williams's!) portrayal, it shows Caesar as a philosophical but charismatic leader who has learned wisdom through his earlier mistakes, and imparts it readily to others. We know his eventual fate, of course, but on departing from Egypt he makes clear his preference for an assassin's knife rather than a natural death.


Oh! What a Lovely War: The Special Collector's Edition [DVD] [1969]
Oh! What a Lovely War: The Special Collector's Edition [DVD] [1969]
Dvd ~ Wendy Allnutt
Price: £4.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How not to fight a war, 4 Nov. 2013
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This blast of ridicule against the conduct of the First World War has sometimes been recruited to the pacifist cause, but that is an over-simplification. It is in no sense a documentary, although the horrors of trench warfare are presented in what appears a realistic if probably understated way; whether the policy of attrition - mutual mass slaughter as though of pawns on a chess board for little if any material gain - was quite as cynical as here represented is a question for historians. The film aims to entertain rather than lecture, and in this it succeeds brilliantly while leaving behind much food for sombre thought.


Mozart: Clarinet Concerto / Clarinet Quintet
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto / Clarinet Quintet
Price: £9.36

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent rendering, 4 Nov. 2013
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These performances of Mozart's most familiar works for clarinet were of the superb standard to be expected of the performers. Jack Brymer's reverence for them was evident, his expression and tone were gorgeous throughout, and the contribution - it would be insulting to call it accompaniment - respectively by the London Symphony Orchestra and the Allegri String Quartet was sympathetic throughout without undue subservience. The recording quality was at least of the highest that my modest sound equipment could reproduce. Recommended without reservation.


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