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Lykewake "Lykewake" (Reading, UK)

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Garmin Replacement Band/Strap for Forerunner 405 - Black
Garmin Replacement Band/Strap for Forerunner 405 - Black
Price: £16.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Be warned - these straps are not designed to be replaced, 8 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can't fault this product but I do think Garmin got the fixing design wrong.

The buckle of my strap started to tear free so I got this to replace it. As you get both halves of the strap I thought I'd replace them both. Big mistake. The buckle part of the strap has two guide lugs that fit into holes on the watch and help keep it secured (you can see them in the photo). Changing that is easy. The tongue part, however, is the other way around - the lugs are on the watch and fit into holes in the strap. And that's where the problem lies. When you remove the old strap the lugs (worn thin by usage and rotted with sweat and grime) come away with the strap leaving you nothing to secure the new piece in place with.

Long story cut short, I have had to superglue the one part of the strap to the watch. It works fine but it's not how it should be. My recommendation would be don't change the tongue end unless you have to and, if you do, make sure you've got some superglue to hand just in case.

One final comment - my strap didn't come with any instructions on changing it but it was easy to find a Youtube video showing you how to do it.

NIKON VNA871E1 NIK2107 - (Cameras > Digital Cameras)
NIKON VNA871E1 NIK2107 - (Cameras > Digital Cameras)
Offered by GSM PRO
Price: £63.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it if you already have a decent smart phone., 8 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've held off writing a review of this camera for a few months in the hope of finding something positive to say about it but the best I can manage is "it's OK for the money". I bought this camera to replace my 10 year old Coolpix 3200, which has just 3.2 MP resolution and 3x optical zoom. I wanted something small that I could take when walking in the forests around where I live that would take better pictures than my (also virtually stone age) iPhone 4. Unfortunately the L31 doesn't quite fit the brief.

My biggest criticism of the L31 is that it is slow. Slow in every respect. Slow to activate the shutter, slow to capture the image and slow to save it which means it's pretty useless for action shots. Most action shots I've tried come out blurred and with the subject matter already moving out of shot. Once you've taken a shot it takes a noticeable amount of time before you can take another one. I would say that if I just keep hitting the shutter button on my iPhone I can take 3-4 shots in the time the L31 can take one - and they will usually all be in focus.

Another (possibly related) problem is that it doesn't like low light levels. Trying to use it in the forest is difficult as shots taken in even moderately good light come out blurred (slow image capture again). So it's best to use it in bright light - however that also presents a problem because there is no view finder and in well lit environments it can be hard to frame shots using the LCD screen.

I think the underlying problem is that the 16.1 MP resolution is just too much for the speed of the CCD and related hardware. I suspect an 8 MP camera would be much faster and work better in low light levels without giving appreciably poorer quality shots.

On the plus side, on paper at least, it offers better resolution and optical zoom than the 3200 but the wide screen format negates that to some extent as everything looks further away before you zoom in on it.

In summary it's probably fine if you're looking to take photos indoors or in well lit areas of relatively static objects (people for example) but not good for action shots and poor light. That said I continue to carry it because it's compact and light weight and, every so often, I get a good picture with it.

Based on my experiences I'd say it's no better than the cameras you find built into the latest smart phone so it you have a phone already use that. If not this is still a pretty good camera for the money.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 19, 2015 3:00 PM GMT

Plays Guitar And Fiddle, Sings A Bit
Plays Guitar And Fiddle, Sings A Bit
Price: £9.58

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, he does - and a few other instruments as well., 8 Dec. 2014
An aptly titled live CD from one of Britain's finest multi-instrumentalists, recorded at various solo shows over the past 3 years. Some of the tracks here will be familiar to Show of Hands fans (versions of at least four feature on SoH albums I have) while others are classics of one kind or another given the Phil Beer treatment.

For me the stand out tracks are Ian Anderson's "Weathercock", Steve Ashley's "Fire and Wine" and Jackson Browne's "Rebel Jesus" but "Life Goes On", "Willin" and "Birmingham Hotel" (Paul Downes, Lowell George and Reg Meuross respectively) are all great interpretations.

If you liked "Rhythm Methodist" you'll love this one.

Kindle E-reader, 6" Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi (Black) - Includes Special Offers (Previous generation - 7th)
Kindle E-reader, 6" Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi (Black) - Includes Special Offers (Previous generation - 7th)
Price: £49.99

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for the money but you might want to consider a tablet., 17 Nov. 2014
I bought this after the display on my 3rd generation Kindle failed. I was a bit concerned about the "special offers" bit but they're not nearly as annoying as I expected and it's certainly not worth paying £10 more to have them turned off. I also have to report that the first one I bought was faulty and had to be returned to the local supermarket where I bought it. The problem was that it wouldn't "wake up" from sleep mode without a full reboot. The replacement unit has worked fine. That aside I'd have to conclude that it's not a bad device.

It's shorter than the 3rd gen kindle I'm used to but a bit thicker. I'd also be tempted to say the battery life is noticeable shorter, probably due to the touch screen. The touch screen itself is easy to use and not overly sensitive meaning that you can use the device one handed, although not quite as easily as with the paddle switches of the older model.

Being able to view what books you have in cloud storage as well as on the device is useful but, with 4GB of on device storage, probably not essential. I used to keep all my books on my old device and wasn't close to running out of space.

I often put private documents on my old Kindle so I was a bit concerned by the Amazon documentation that seems to imply two way synchronization between device and cloud. So far that doesn't seem to be a problem and my private documents haven't been sucked up into the cloud. However I haven't used the "Sync and Check for Items" option on the menu yet.

One criticism I would make is that it doesn't render PDFs as well as the older device did. However it does allow you to (crudely) resize them. I'm not sure what other formats you can read on it as, again, the Amazon user guide is unclear - certainly MS Word documents can't be read but mobi documents can.

As far as accessing the cloud and Kindle store are concerned this is a lot easier than it was on the old device. However turning wi-fi off (to extend battery life) is less intuitive, being hidden away under settings as "aeroplane mode".

Finally two more things that I do miss from my old Kindle are the ability to file books in "collections" (useful when you have a lot of books on the device) and the absence of any audio capability.

Which brings me back to my review heading. This is not a bad device for the money but it is just an e-book reader. You can buy a 7" Android tablet for £80 or so and download the Kindle reader app to it. So you might question whether it's worth spending £60 on a dedicated e-book reader when for another £20 you can get something that also lets you listen to music, watch videos, play games, do e-mail and surf the internet.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2014 9:33 PM GMT

A History of Insolence
A History of Insolence
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why haven't you bought it yet?, 15 Sept. 2014
I could repeat all the details the other reviewers have given but you've probably read them already so I'll just say buy it! It's brilliant and you won't be disappointed.

The Best Of Mott The Hoople The Island Years 1969 - 1972
The Best Of Mott The Hoople The Island Years 1969 - 1972
Price: £4.41

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The clue is in the title, 19 July 2014
Several reviewers have commented about the lack of "hits" on this "Best of" compilation. The reason is fairly obvious from the full title. This is the best of Mott's output for Island records when they were primarily and albums band. They didn't have any hit singles until they moved to CBS in 1972, hence the lack of them on this disk.

I was a big Mott fan during both the Island and CBS periods and this is a very good reflection of what the band were capable of during the earlier "pre-pop star" days.

I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys bands like Free (who, incidentally, were Mott's stablemates at Island), Edgar Broughton and other gritty UK blues bands of the period. However if you're looking for the glam-rock sound of the CBS years this is probably not the disk for you.

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden
The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden
Price: £4.99

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as its predecessor but that would be asking a lot, 26 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like many reviewers, I was looking forward to this book after Jonasson's amazing debut with "The hundred year old man..." and, by comparison, I found it slightly disappointing - but only slightly. The style is unmistakably Jonasson - the same easy reading style, the same implausible co-incidences and hilarious adventures - so it's definitely a case of "more of the same". That seems to have upset some reviewers, but not this one. The plot and characters are very different and the story zigs and zags all over the place.

If you have read and enjoyed "The hundred year old man..." ignore the reviews of this book, read it yourself and form your own opinions. If you haven't read "The hundred year old man..." try reading this one first and then read and review "The hundred year old man..." I, for one, would be very interested to see if the reason so many reviewers are disappointed by this book is simply that it's too similar in style to its predecessor.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2015 6:47 AM BST

The 92-Year-Old Lady Who Made Me Steal a Dead Man's Car - A thrilling and seriously funny novel
The 92-Year-Old Lady Who Made Me Steal a Dead Man's Car - A thrilling and seriously funny novel
Price: £2.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story marred by some unnecessary sub-plots, 26 May 2014
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The main plot of this story is a new take on a theme already extensively covered by Jasper Fforde in the Thursday Next series, namely the idea of a parallel "literary universe" in which characters from novels exist in person. Unlike Fforde's stories, in which a physical character moves between the two worlds, Mr. Schaefer has his literary characters turning up in the "real" world with the explicit aim of getting parts of their stories re-written. It's a great story in itself but, for reasons that aren't immediately obvious, we are also treated to a sub-plot around the central (real) character's past time as a vigilante which, in my opinion, adds little more than padding and distraction from the main plot. There is also a lengthy passage of philosophical debate which is perhaps more understandable given some of Mr. Schaefer's other works. All in all an enjoyable, humorous and easy read but just as enjoyable, if not more so, without the sub-plot.

Leg It
Leg It
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't know why but..., 16 April 2014
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This review is from: Leg It (Kindle Edition)
...there's something about this book that just draws you in. Every once in a while a book comes along that just begs you to keep reading and this is one of those books. It may be the way it flips effortlessly from childhood memories to real time events and back again or it may just be the evenhanded way it portrays the (extremely plausible) characters, I'm not sure. Without wishing to be a spoiler I'd say the ending could possibly have been a bit stronger but it's always nice when an author of a story of this caliber leave the option for a sequel.

Stuart Adamson: In a Big Country
Stuart Adamson: In a Big Country
Price: £4.17

3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but a bit of a curate's egg, 7 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let me start with the caveat that, as far as I'm aware, this is currently the only biography of Stuart Adamson available so if you want to know anything about the great man this is the book you need to read. And there's no getting away from the fact that it is a good book. The problem with it (as some other reviewers have noted) is that it's a bit patchy on its coverage. I assume that's because Mr. Glen found better sources for some parts of the Adamson story than others.

Like many other people I would have liked a bit more insight into Adamson the man and less chronology/discography in the main text (keep that for the appendices). The opening chapters tend to hop backwards and forwards in time a bit, which is slightly annoying, and there is nowhere near enough information on the last 10 years of his short life. We're told he moved to Nashville but very little about what he did there. The whole story of the Raphaels is covered off in less than two pages.

Two criticisms of the book in general are: the index is far too extensive, taking up 25% of the book (together with the other appendices over 1/3rd of the book) and, in the Kindle version at least, there are some bad typos ("outside" is repeatedly written as "outwith" for some obscure reason).

As I said at the outset, it is the only book currently available on the Stuart Adamson story and it does cover some parts of that story very well. So until an alternative is available this will be the best book available on the subject. Here's hoping that either someone else will write a book that fills some of the gaps in this one or Mr. Glen will produce a second edition that does so.

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