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Andrew McP (Kent, UK)

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TP-LINK TL-SG108 8-Port Metal Gigabit Ethernet Switch
TP-LINK TL-SG108 8-Port Metal Gigabit Ethernet Switch
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £24.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Worked painlessly, 27 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought while on sale and it worked without any hassle; totally plug and play. Transfer speeds between my two PCs with gigabit lan capability improved by a factor of ten for 'small' files, and by six for huge backups (where the weak link is the sustained write speed to traditional spinning disks).

The only downside was finding yet another plug socket. If the fire brigade could see the back of my desk they'd shake their heads!

No Title Available

128 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbeatable performance per pound, 15 Sept. 2013
I have several torches. Some are more elegant (these cheap Chinese makers do like a chunky bit of industrial metal for some reason!) Some are brighter... and heavier, and take more batteries. But none offer such a convenient and powerful package, overall. Torches are a bit like cameras... the best one is the one you have with you when you need it, and at this price you can afford to have a torch anywhere you might need it.

Being able to focus the beam makes this very useful. The wide angle is bright enough to provide good illumination over a small work area, or dimly light up a room, and the tight beam -- while square and LED-shaped -- is very bright over a very small area, and offers good throw over a distance.

Clearly it's not going to replace the various super-powered torches you can buy for very reasonable prices these days, but this pocketable beast is now my go-to torch. In an ideal world I'd trim some of the weight off the chunky case, but it'd be rude to complain for this money!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2014 5:49 AM GMT

Logitech Wireless Touchpad
Logitech Wireless Touchpad

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As useful as I hoped., 15 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let's get the bad bit out of the way quickly... the limited tracking area *is* a really annoying problem. It's a bit of a mystery how Logitech managed to put this out with such an issue, because I associate them with a quality user experience, and have several Logitech devices already.

The good news is that I read about this problem (thanks earlier reviewers!) before buying at this great price, so had a plan of action. Five minutes and four narrow strips of duct tape later and my tracking area is clearly marked out to my fingertips, and I can get on with using a very functional trackpad.

I love the WIMP interface, but since I first got my hands on a touchscreen phone I knew that a touch interface was very powerful. So I've been on the lookout for something for the desktop, and I'm delighted to find that this is as useful and easy to use as I hoped.

One thing worth mentioning though is that when I first connected this to my PC, it interfered somehow with my USB keyboard, which stopped working properly. This issue went away as soon as I installed the Logitech drivers, and I've had no problems since.

Neoprene Double Pull Lumbar Back Support Brace
Neoprene Double Pull Lumbar Back Support Brace
Price: £7.75 - £31.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far better than I expected, 27 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I avoided using something like this for a very long time, because there's a danger that the extra support encourages laziness in the muscles we need to minimise long term aches and pains. However three months into an agonising back and sciatic condition, which makes standing and walking extremely painful, I caved in and bought one of these.

I wish I'd done it sooner! The ability to customise the tension and fit using the secondary velcro fastenings makes this a very flexible and reassuring belt to wear. It doesn't help my underlying condition, but it certainly helps me minimise the secondary problems I have due to holding myself awkwardly while working, to try and avoid the pain.

Hopefully one day my condition will be successfully diagnosed and a solution found, but in the mean time this belt is helping keep me sane at work. (Well, that and the codeine!) In future I won't hesitate to use this belt at the slightest hint of back discomfort. I may even wear it permanently for work, because although the ribbing can lead to some discomfort at times, overall it's comfortable enough to wear routinely. Though obviously I have to bear in mind the comment I made in the first paragraph, about potentially losing strength in important muscle groups.

Anyway, I don't write many reviews, but I'm extremely grateful to those who designed, made, and supplied this belt. It has genuinely, and very affordably, helped me at a very frustrating and uncomfortable time.

Gadget Giant Huawei Ascend Y300 Black S Line Gel Grip Silicone Case Cover Protector
Gadget Giant Huawei Ascend Y300 Black S Line Gel Grip Silicone Case Cover Protector

4.0 out of 5 stars Great value, 23 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's hard to argue with the value this case offers. It does a great job of adding an extra layer of protection and the plastic is reassuringly firm, but not stiff. I was worried it might be a bit too gel-like and rubbery, which often isn't as protective as you might expect.

The only flaw in this design is not really the case's fault. The Y300's on/off switch at the top left is used to wake up the screen, and reaching up there while holding the phone one-handed is a bit of a chore. Add the extra thickness of a case and you have to reach up, then find the button in the recess. It's inconvenient when you need to do this kind of thing lots of times every day. So I have /very/ carefully trimmed a little bit of the case, at the back, so my finger can more easily hook round and hit the switch. If you have a narrow nail file and some patience it's a safer operation than using a knife, because you don't want to weaken the corner protection.

This is a niggle though, and definitely not a deal breaker. The phone is ridiculously good value (at least it was when I bought mine elsewhere), and so is this case. My only regret was forgetting to buy the slightly more expensive version with screen protector. :-)

The Last of Us (Video Game Soundtrack)
The Last of Us (Video Game Soundtrack)
Price: £7.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Games can inspire art., 12 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In a world of mainly mediocre and uninspiring games, Last of Us is a truly amazing piece of interactive entertainment. And part of the reason it's so amazing is this soundtrack.

I buy very few albums these days, because I generally listen to speech radio and podcasts rather than music. But this experience made such a deep impression on me that I had to reward the creator by purchasing. It would be impossible to imagine this superb gaming experience without this music.

Congratulations Mr. Santaolalla, you helped create a very special experience for millions of us.

PS Apologies to anyone who noticed I previously reviewed the game, and not the music!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 13, 2013 6:52 AM BST

Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker
Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker
Price: £22.86

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected!, 12 July 2013
I don't really want to repeat what's been said a hundred times before, but I was worried this might be a bit of a fiddle, and not as rewarding as claimed. So when my coffee maker decided to die of old age I was a bit sceptical about buying what appears to be "just a few bits of plastic".

I was -- thankfully! -- wrong. Once I'd used it a couple of times I felt confident enough to use it without thinking twice. In fact it's so simple to use it's a genuine alternative to instant except when you're in a real rush.

Ok, my credibility may have been blown by mentioning instant, but I'm no coffee snob, I just like coffee in all its forms! :-)

The only tweaks to normal operation I've made so far are using a couple of (the very thin) filters instead of just one. That way less water flows through in the stirring phase before you put the plunger in and the vacuum stops that. I've also taken to using the same coffee/filter twice in the same session; the second brew seems perfectly acceptable to me. But then we've already established that I like some instant, so I may have no taste whatsoever. It might also mean I'm simply using too much coffee. However as I'm in total control of the whole process I'll soon work out what's best.

It's also worth noting that cleaning is indeed as effortless as described. The only weak link in the whole thing may be that rubber 'bung', but it looks like you ought to be able to replace it if/when it starts to lose its seal. With care it ought to last a long time though.

The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chonicle: Book 1 (Kingkiller Chonicles)
The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chonicle: Book 1 (Kingkiller Chonicles)
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter for grown ups., 21 Feb. 2013
These days I struggle to finish books and series. The older you get, the less time you have to waste waiting for plots to gain momentum. Book five of The Wheel of Time, I'm looking at you!

Although I wasn't totally convinced by the early chapters, Kvothe's tale soon captured my interest, and I finished this easily. I will definitely read the next volume.

Hurtigrute ("minutt for minutt"-versjon)
Hurtigrute ("minutt for minutt"-versjon)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 21 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In 2011 I got unexpectedly transfixed by the [...] broadcasts. I'll never forget that virtual cruise. Nor will I ever forget this track being played as the camera looked ahead of the ship towards a rainbow in the distance across a stunningly serene seascape.

Even without those memories this is an amazingly haunting, atmospheric track, and it put Kari Bremnes on my radar alongside Stacey Kent singing 'Hushabye Mountain' and Kate Rusby singing 'Who Will Sing Me Lullabies'.

ASICS Men's Gel 1170 Trainer
ASICS Men's Gel 1170 Trainer

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tempted to buy another pair., 25 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My experience of trainers is very limited, and I'm not a runner, more of a jogger-on-the-spot-while-watching-TV. But I did need to replace the shoes I use for a daily workout, and modern sports shops are a bit intimidating as you head towards 50. So it took me a while to decide on these.

My choice was based on (i) if I'm going to risk shoes over the net it might as well be from someone with a good returns policy (ii) Asics have a good reputation (iii) this pair looked a bit less visually offensive than most modern trainers, and (iv) I was sick of trying to make a decision! :-)

In the end I needn't have worried. These are very comfortable indeed, making a necessary evil (exercise!) much more tolerable. They instantly relegated my old trainers to the "wear when decorating" corner of the closet. And while I'm not a big fan of the way they look, if I ever do go out in them that'll just encourage me to move fast enough that people can't see my feet properly. ;-)

As for fitting, I take a size ten and have pretty wide feet, so normally stick to the wider Clarks type styles. These Asics are not quite so generous in width, but they fit like a glove and are immediately comfortable.

I hope this all helps someone as indecisive as me. I'm pleased enough to be considering a second pair so I'm spared this process in another few years.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 22, 2012 4:18 PM BST

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