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Barry Sandell (Guildford, England)

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Wildlife of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (Traveller's Guide)
Wildlife of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (Traveller's Guide)
by David Hosking
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.43

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but a bit of a lightweight, 10 April 2010
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This provides an outline of of wildlife in East Africa, mainly covering birds and mammals (150 pages and 70 pages respectively out of 250 in all), with a few pages each (just a token gesture, really) on trees, reptiles, insects and flowers. Nothing on fishes or marine life (useful if you're visiting Zanzibar). Useful to have a book that covers everything in a single volume, but in addition to the drawbacks noted by other reviewers, I'm not convinced of the photo approach for identification. For instance, most of the species have just one photo, in some (particularly of birds) the light has somewhat washed-out the colours, and there are several photos where it looks like the photographer just gave up: the photo of the African Palm Swift is over-enlarged to the extent that graininess masks all the detail, and the Black Heron is preening, completely hiding its breast, neck and head! For birds, this is not even in the same league as "Birds of East Africa" (Helm Field Guides) by Terry Stevenson, which uses artwork for identification much more effectively (and, it must be said, much more attractively). Nevertheless for a single-volume easily-pocketable guide to what is presumably the most common wildlife you'll encounter on safari, it "does what is says on the tin". If it were comprehensive it would weigh kilos and need a wheel on each corner to move it.


Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi (Helm Field Guides)
Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi (Helm Field Guides)
by Terry Stevenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning artwork, authoritative, heavyweight in every respect, 10 April 2010
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Little to add to the other positive reviews. This is a stunning book, artwork is gorgeous and detailed. Only one criticism - no clear indication of rarity, other than somewhat obliquely via the maps, but even then this doesn't distinguish a bird that may be widespread but uncommon, or locally common. However it is a mighty tome: at 1.1 kg it will make quite a dent in your luggage allowance! Nevertheless it's worth leaving that spare sarong at home so as to make space.


Aten CS62U 2-Port USB KVM Switch
Aten CS62U 2-Port USB KVM Switch
Offered by Fuzion
Price: £25.22

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin - and a bit more - excellently, 14 Oct. 2009
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I have 2 computers on my desk - a PC which is a file server and a laptop which I like to use with an external monitor and a full-size keyboard and mouse. The KVM (keyboard-video-mouse) switch allows me to have 1 monitor, 1 keyboard and 1 mouse attached to whichever of the 2 machines I want (only 1 computer at a time though). The KVM switch has a USB port for connecting keyboard, another for mouse, and a 15-pin blue monitor port, and a monitor lead and a USB lead for connecting to each computer. You have to put keyboard and mouse in the correct USB sockets (they're marked) on the KVM switch or it doesn't work. The switch is powered by USB so doesn't need an external power supply. You can then switch between your two computers via a designated hot-key on your keyboard, which is more convenient that a button on the KVM switch (as some have) because you can hide the KVM switch out of the way. I have configured it to switch on a double press of the Scroll Lock key (which I never otherwise use). The Aten does its job excellently, there's no noticeable slow-down, and it has some extras which aren't obvious from either the manual or the sales blurb. The most useful is that because my external keyboard has a USB port, I can connect the mouse via that, leaving one of the USB ports free on the KVM switch, to which you can attach a USB peripheral. I have the printer attached to it. Overall an excellent product that means I don't need 2 of everything on my desk!


Sony DSCH7B.CEH Digital Camera (8.1MP) 2.5'' LCD
Sony DSCH7B.CEH Digital Camera (8.1MP) 2.5'' LCD

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great camera at a good price, 6 Mar. 2008
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Bought the Sony DSC-H7 recently to replace an ageing DSC-P72 and I'm deeply impressed - it's a huge leap on the old camera, shows how much technology has come on in a few years. Picture quality is excellent; there is some faint fringing with dark outlines against a bright background but you can only see it at huge magnification of the highest zoom level. The x15 zoom is extraordinary but it would be useless without good image stabilisation which the H7 does have - I took a picture at full zoom of a house that was 200yds away and even with the camera *hand-held* it was pin-sharp. Anti-red-eye is really effective, even at point-blank range. Colour balance correction is excellent (eg when taking pictures under lamplight without flash). You get all the usual facilities you'd expect from a camera of this price, including a full manual mode (including manual focus). Shutter speed goes down to 30 seconds, which is plenty slow enough even for things like star shots. It also has an infra-red remote control which is brilliant, and something I haven't found on any another camera at this level. The video is also excellent, and you can zoom while recording which a lot of cameras don't allow. The only drawback is the non-standard 74mm filter thread, but this is not a big problem as you can get 74mm-72mm converters on Ebay for only a few $. The lens hood does cast a shadow if you use it with flash, but why would you need to use it with flash, other than for fill-in, where the shadow doesn't show.
This is an excellent camera, really impressive.


Casio RADIO CONTROLLED Men's Watch WVA-430TDE-1A2VER
Casio RADIO CONTROLLED Men's Watch WVA-430TDE-1A2VER

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great watch - almost perfect but some drawbacks, 11 Oct. 2007
I bought this watch a while ago and had the same requirements as Michael Clarke of Surrey. The watch is excellent in most ways: light, looks good, keeps perfect time (just for a laugh, ring up TIM on the phone every now and then and compare - the watch is *exactly* right). However, I may have had an early model because I found two drawbacks: 1) the watchglass on mine is plastic not glass and 2) there are bits either side of the main case which attach it to the bracelet which are metallised plastic, not solid metal. If Casio fixed these two things (and they may have done on later batches of the watch) this watch would be the perfect timepiece.


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