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Jon Bond (UK)

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Android Charging cable [2-Pack 1m/3.3ft] RAMPOW 2.4A High Speed Android Charger Quick Charge - LIFETIME WARRANTY - Nylon Braided Micro USB Cables for Samsung Galaxy, Sony, HTC, Motorola, Kindle, LG and More - Red
Android Charging cable [2-Pack 1m/3.3ft] RAMPOW 2.4A High Speed Android Charger Quick Charge - LIFETIME WARRANTY - Nylon Braided Micro USB Cables for Samsung Galaxy, Sony, HTC, Motorola, Kindle, LG and More - Red


PDF Create 5.0, International English, Retail
PDF Create 5.0, International English, Retail
Offered by Software Direct UK
Price: £39.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately irrelevant, 18 Jun. 2010
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Don't get me wrong, this is a good piece of software with some very nice features. It's very easy to install and use, and adds an icon to MS Office's ribbon, to make it a breeze to save work in pdf format. The batch convert system is also very easy to use, allowing multiple files to be converted to PDF at once.

All this software is a great idea, but Office can already do it. You just "Publish as PDF" instead. Although this does not have a batch feature (A possible addition in 2010, with a better organisation system for documents), you will have to ask yourself whether the investment is worth it. You can open documents and save as PDF or you can purchase this software and do it quicker.

Beyond that, it adds nothing new. A superb software package, a little bit after it's time.


The Piano Teacher
The Piano Teacher
by Janice Y. K. Lee
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre, 18 Jun. 2010
This review is from: The Piano Teacher (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Before release, this book was very heavily hyped. All major book stores ahd numerous posters advertising it, and shelves were chock-full with copies at release. I'm not entirely sure why.

The story, which looks at two relationships around the time of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, is shallow. The actual historical context is limited, instead favouring the very limited plot of an affair between two of the characters. It's a shame, as much of the war based story is actually very interesting, and informative, with a good focus on the character's reactions and struggles. These only make up half the book though, if that. The other half is weak, unimaginative, and not brilliantly characterised. It's a shame, as it would have made a great read had this second storyline been stronger.

By no means a bad book and something I would read on holiday if I found it discounted. Not something I would pick up at full price, nor read again.


Bullguard Gamers Edition (PC)
Bullguard Gamers Edition (PC)
Offered by Click Buy Save
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast and effective., 24 July 2009
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Bullguard Gamer's Edition has some brilliant features, most notably a very simple and effective system of opening and allowing ports for video games, preventing slow-down or crashes when competing online. In gamer mode, the software also doesn't begin scans, meaning minimal impact on gaming.

The menus for the software consists of clear icons, that make finding features simple, although in it's simple mode many advanced users will be underwhelmed. The advanced mode offers a lot more features, though much of the simplicity is lost leaving a complicated but powerful software tool.

Though not as fast as other competition such as Norton, Bullguard is not the slowest, nor the most resource heavy, allowing continuation of general activities whilst the program 'does it's stuff'. It updates regularly, so that you can feel secure.

I had just 1 issue with the software in the form of a very severe bug, which would occasionally make bullguard utilise 100% of my CPU, and cause a full system crash. I have a Q6600 and was unable to test on other models of processor, though the issue was present with a friend who has the same model. Though probably not a widespread cause for concern, it is a definite negative on this package, worth investigating prior to purchase.


The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant text!, 25 Dec. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This book is absolutely brilliant from the outset. The book is an unusually perfect one, as it is reflective of society, highly intellectual and entirely engrossing in one novel of a perfect length. It is neither too long to lose interest, not too short to lack development, and instead strikes the perfect balance between criticism and humour in a strangely engrossing account of the lives of a concierge and a 13 year old girl.

From the very first few pages, the writing style is distinct, and the character of Renée is developed as one who is immensely charged intellectually, and who runs a commentary on society from her seemingly lower class eyes. On the contrary, her 13 year old joint commentator, Paloma is of the higher classes, but also finds herself criticizing the upper classes for their snobbery.

The text is initially daunting. In the first chapter alone (which is a sort of prologue) I had to look up the words "exhortations", "dissonance"and "eructation". The linguistics are very apt for the content of the book, which follows two highly intellectual beings, but a bit off putting at the start. The detachment is only short-lived though, as the engrossing characters use of words, although perpetually complex, is far less confusing once in context. Although I sometimes stumble on words, I no longer have to look them up as the meaning is often inferred by the character's current rantings/ramblings or the brilliant satirical nature.

I think part of the reason behind the books success is the way in which it is written: The chapters are short, and each almost a self contained thought; highly comparable to today's blog culture. Consequently the novel will appeal to many people who do not like to feel pressured into continuous reading. The storyline is carefully intertwined into the short commentaries on life, making each "profound thought" or observation easy to pick up and continue.

There really is not much more I can say about this text, without the addition of "You'll have to read it...", so here is where I will stop. If you are up for an intellectual and amusing read, then this is almost definitely worth giving a go!


WebPlus X2 Website Maker (PC)
WebPlus X2 Website Maker (PC)

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes life so easy!, 25 Dec. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've attempted to build websites from the ground up many times over the past few years. I began attempting HTML, but due to my laziness resorted to alternatives such as Microsoft Publisher (urgh!), dreamweaver and fireworks. Sadly, none of these were simple to use, other than Publisher, which just wasn't suitable.

Serif's web plus X2 is completely different however. It will look familiar to anyone who is used to older versions of Microsoft office, and the menu system is very simple to navigate. Tool bars are easily movable, and relocatable and the software is brimming with features to make your website stand up to modern standards.

Of course, just because menus are easy to use, doesn't mean that the software makes it necessarily very easy to create something magnificent first go. I found myself getting completely lost; dragging elements around, losing things in my pages, warping objects. It all looked a horrific mess. The only real flaw with software is that it contains too many features. A lot are wasted on the typical person, and makes the entire software daunting and immensely unfriendly to those who are starting from scratch. Sometimes what you require has a funny name, a confusing image, or is just hidden in drop down menus haunted my unnecessary objects.
It appears that Serif are aware of this, however, and try their hardest to remedy it. This isn't done by restrictive "beginner" or "advanced" mode selection at startup, as I have seen in other products, but instead comes with several fantastic tutorials in PDF format. These tutorials teach you step by step how to build a (very rigidly designed) site which will give you something decent in no time. One of the few flaws with them however is the lack of creative freedom. They give you specific instructions ("enlarge to 663 pixels") rather than general methods to get things done but the tutorials, as I have since tested, can be easily generalized.

The only other flaw with these tutorials is minor, but an annoyance nonetheless. Rather than maybe being inbuilt, the fact that they are PDF means having a different window open. Switching between windows is disorientating, and when told to hit the "site tab" it can leave the user confused; often having to switch back and forth between PDF and X2, just to make head and tails of the instructions given. It's a minor inconvenience though. If you are trying to make a website, you'll get over this pretty quickly as you learn the ropes.

The tutorials are so useful because they do cover every aspect of website creation you could hope for. There are plenty of template sites that it will teach you how to build which cover all types and purposes, meaning that, even if your content is unique the style you desire will never be too far from a tutorial. To get the features you need just open the tutorial and it will give you locations in the software, how to best utilise it and away you go!

All in all, and excellent piece of kit. It comes with some nice resources, and interactive drop down boxes/navigation bars are very simple and quick to include in the site. It may not have the most concise of mark-up practices, but what the software produces appears clean and speedy on my PC.

I definitely recommend it.


Movies on iPod 2 (PC)
Movies on iPod 2 (PC)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good features, annoying flaws., 20 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Movies on iPod 2 (PC) (CD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I recently bought an iPod touch, choosing it over contemporaries and competitors because of its big screen suitable for watching movies. I downloaded trial software to rip my DVDs to my PC in order to allow me to watch films. Whilst this worked, the words "TRIAL VERSION" stamped across my screen became aggravating, and I quickly obtained Movies on iPod 2. The software is full of features, such as ripping films from DVD, file conversion, audio file extraction and streaming downloads- some features of which weren't available in any other software packages.

In most of the above areas, this software functions beautifully. I can now download from YouTube and gametrailers and other video streaming sites seamlessly, conversion is easy and the video editing functions are great. Its all easy to use, fast and reliable.

The problem comes when ripping films. I have a large DVD collection, some of which I would greatly appreciate being able to make portable. It is essentially my sole reason for getting a product such as this. Unfortunately though, there is a flaw. The product refuses to rip any DVD with a security protection function: that is any DVD you buy from a store. The manual- whilst comprehensibly English, suffers from occasionally wording errors.

"If you have inserted a DVD with copy-protection, you may not be able to read out the video from this DVD... In this case a message box opens.

Alternatively, click the button next to Source drive to manually select the drive."

The alternative solution is actually referring to a previous paragraph, and not the one mentioning copy protection.

Its a fully functioning piece of kit- provided that ripping commercial DVDs is not your intention. I appreciate the anti-piracy motives behind this action, but it makes the software feel slightly useless; particularly when the function is available from other software companies.

The file conversion software is, however, extremely good.


Riding Icarus
Riding Icarus
by Lily Hyde
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and surreal, but shallow considering the length., 25 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Riding Icarus (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whilst this is a book definitely aimed at children, I found it relatively shallow. The characters are likable enough, but some lack depth to an extent that they seem irrelevant.

The story is about a girl, who from the outset has obviously been betrayed by her family. It is quite subtle, and doesn't dwell on this fact- presumably a decision made because of the audience. It does however present many unanswered questions, which may have been dealt with had the book been written for older children. It is almost as if the ideas had to be dumbed down, which makes the overall meaning seem lost.

The fact that the entirety of the story is based on a strike of lightning hitting a tram, which sends it shooting off at the speed of light, just goes to show the oddity behind the story. It sounds very surreal, and I suppose it is, but such imagination allows for a close inspection of cultural diversity (a message I feel that is being correctly enforced by Lily Hyde) without ever being boring to the children.

Although the novel feels like it has been too heavily edited to fit the age group, the story line is very full of meaning. The characters are shallow, and for younger children the book is perhaps long. It would make a fantastic school reading group text, with a lot of meaning behind it. It would fit snugly into much of the primary curriculum, and I think such traits make this book a valuable purchase to both parents and teachers.


Driving Test Success ALL Tests 2009/2010 Edition (PC)
Driving Test Success ALL Tests 2009/2010 Edition (PC)
Offered by Clearance Game Deals
Price: £1.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you were looking for., 17 Sept. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is not something you are going to impulse buy, but something you pretty much will only buy if you have been looking for it, or a very similar item. I therefore reccomend the product to absolutely anyone learning to drive.

This disc is exactly what it says it is. It is designed to help learner drivers develop skill sin theory, hazard perception and even allows them to get tips on the practical test, as well as watch on in progress.

It is a difficult product to review because of the fact that it is exactly as it says on the box. It is a cheap product and essential for any learner driver. It contains every theory test question, is updated for the new format and includes the entirety of the highway code.

The user interface is easy to use and understand and brimming with features there is absolutely nothing wrong. I'd recommend it to any learner driver.


The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
by David Wroblewski
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read., 14 Aug. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I am a slow reader. Phenomenally slow in fact, so I never really bother to read much as it just takes too long. I am glad, however, that I took the time to try 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle'.

The story itself is very different to anything I have encountered. Admittedly I tend to stick with classics that are tried and tested, so my variance of storyline is limited, but very few other books I know of attempt, let alone succeed in creating a book about dog training.

A boy, Edgar, born dumb grows up training dogs as part of his family business. Tragedy strikes and distraught Edgar, fueled by the ghost of his father, commits a terrible deed, forcing him into hiding. The entire tale is interwoven with happiness, superstition, dogs and dark tones that make it a truly gripping book. I read it in 3 days, a record for me, and enjoyed [almost] every moment. The characters are shockingly realistic, particularly Edgar who seems like a perfect example of a young teenager. The events that occur within the book are occasionally touching, but many also harrowing.

Some aspects of the storyline seem disconnected, but on further reading this may not be the case. One thing is for sure though, and that is that it will not be long before I decide to thoroughly enjoy this story again.

A definite 5 stars!


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