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O'Brien "alan12508" (Woking, Surrey)

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Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course
Rosetta Stone Italian Complete Course
Price: £219.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive and not easy to use, 14 Mar. 2016
I have bought the download version of this programme two months ago and so far have got as far as level 2 unit 7. I doubt whether I would have persisted without an evening class to help. Sometimes I am totally perplexed by something in the grammar presented by Rossetta Stone, There are no explanations at all. It took me weeks to work out why the odd word was capitalised. But worst of all are some of the daft pictures which form the basis of the course. It is all very slick and nice to look at, but frequently you are presented with a picture and you are expected to say something. It takes me ages to work out what the picture is showing - and only then do I have to worry about the language. Some pictures are impossible. Get the wrong answer and you lose marks! A woman holding a plate with some sort of chocolate cake on it - call it a cake and you're wrong, call it a pudding and you're right. How daft is that - it's both.


TomTom GO 6100 6 inch Sat Nav with World Maps (Sim Card and Unlimited Data Included) - Black
TomTom GO 6100 6 inch Sat Nav with World Maps (Sim Card and Unlimited Data Included) - Black
Price: £276.52

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There have been memory issues with the predecessor product, ..., 29 Sept. 2015
There have been memory issues with the predecessor product, the Go 6000 which offered lifetime European maps. The 6100 has the same internal memory (8 GB) but offers world maps so the memory problems are likely to be greater still. Both the 6000 and the 6100 have memory card slots but TomTom do not provide a card. I think users will only be able to get part of the world map on the device at any one time.

TomTom told me on 24 September 2015:

"The storage capacity of our new range has been raised in many of our focus groups however given the devices on the market, the situation with the hardware is unlikely to be changed and at this time we don't have plans to include SD cards with our units.

At the moment we offer full European mapping with partial 3D building coverage to ensure our customers are able to continue updating to the latest map without the need for a SD card."

The implication of this is that TomTom has solved the capacity problem by reducing the amount of 3D building coverage. They made a big fuss about the 3D feature in the past but it has now been given much less priority.

Otherwise the device works well.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2015 9:30 AM BST


TomTom GO 6100 Satellite Navigation System
TomTom GO 6100 Satellite Navigation System
Price: £257.57

52 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Memory too small, 2 Jun. 2015
The supplied internal memory of 8GB of the GO 6100 may not be enough to support the "lifetime" world map guarantee for the life of the device. I've had the earlier model, GO 6000, for nearly 3 years and I recently noticed that the spare memory available was almost non existent. The GO 6000 has 8GB of internal memory, which is the same as the 6100. In fact the GO 6100 position may be worse because it offers world maps while the 6000 offers only European maps.
After lengthy exchanges of emails with TomTom Support I established: (1) TomTom agree that the internal memory of the 6000 is too small to store future map updates and (2) TomTom say the solution is to buy an external memory card.
I complained that the advertised offer of maps "for life" necessarily meant that the device should be capable of downloading updates and, at the very least, TomTom should provide users with free memory cards to remedy the deficiency. They offered me a £10 voucher to buy a card from their website (and only their website) which seemed fine until I found they charge £19.99 plus £2.99 post and packing for an 8GB card - a gross over charge when Amazon sell cards for under £5. TomTom rejected my complaint that this did not remedy the problem and refused to accept that their advertising, to put it charitably, over sold the "lifetime" map offer.
There have been various other issues with my GO 6000 (e.g. the traffic service stopped working for several weeks last year) but the device currently works reasonably well. My advice is that you need to be aware of the memory limit and, perhaps, try not to be an early adopter as I was with the 6000. You just serve as an unpaid tester as they iron our the bugs.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2015 10:20 AM BST


TomTom GO 6000 6-inch Sat Nav with European Maps and Lifetime Map and Traffic Updates
TomTom GO 6000 6-inch Sat Nav with European Maps and Lifetime Map and Traffic Updates
Offered by LCD & Plasma Service GmbH
Price: £249.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Memory too small, 4 Aug. 2013
I have found the memory of 8GB is too small to honour the promise of "maps for life", TomTom Support were very unhelpful even after numerous email exchanges. Later I was phoned by the UK Team Leader of TomTom’s Customer Care. She said my complaint had not been well handled by the Care Team and apologised and promised to send me a free memory card as compensation.

She agreed that the memory of the GO 6000 would soon be too small for the full European maps. She added that there were various things Support could have suggested to ease the memory shortage including:

1. Removing voices that were not needed eg the French voice.
2. Splitting the map database so that only the part needed was loaded. I said I had suggested this Support who told me I was not entitled to do that!

She added that Support should have explained how to make these changes.

I accepted that all this was helpful but it did not get over the fundamental issue that the GO 6000 was sold with too little memory to honour the promise of “maps for life”.

The Team Leader said she would take back my comments to focus meetings. She did not know whether internal memory was as cheap as I suggested and mentioned that she had a phone for which memory was expensive. I said this was presumably an Apple phone; Apple were notorious for overcharging for everything including memory. She said she would take the issue up with those responsible.

My view is that a quick search of Amazon shows external 8GB cards cost under £5—not £20 as on the TomTom website. Amazon even offers 32GB cards for under £10—half the price of TomTom’s 8GB card. It seems possible that the prices of internal memory won’t be much different from the above Amazon prices.

In order to make good on the maps “for life” promise TomTom ought give every GO 6000 purchaser a free card large enough to cope with future map size increases.

I have now received a response from Tomtom dated 24 September 2015 and this says:

"The storage capacity of our new range has been raised in many of our focus groups however given the devices on the market, the situation with the hardware is unlikely to be changed and at this time we don't have plans to include SD cards with our units.

At the moment we offer full European mapping with partial 3D building coverage to ensure our customers are able to continue updating to the latest map without the need for a SD card."

The implication of this is that TomTom has solved the capacity problem by reducing the amount of 3D building coverage. They made a big fuss about the 3D feature in the past but it is now being given much less priority.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2014 12:05 PM GMT


No Title Available

1.0 out of 5 stars "Unlimited" service is limited!, 7 Jun. 2013
I've had MyPC Backup's "Unlimited" service for 15 months and mostly it has worked well. There have been glitches but tech support was helpful and solved them.

I sample check from time to time that new files on my home computer's C drive have appeared in the online back up. Recently I found that files were not appearing in the cloud folder. I ran MyPC Backup several times to no avail. I contacted support who at first were helpful in making suggestions about the cause of the problem. After a couple of exchanges I said their solutions had not worked.

The next response on 25 May 2013 wasn't from the tech guy but from 2 people who had this email address: <founders@mypcbackup.com>. They said:
"Hi Alan,

Regrettably our fair usage policy does apply here and we require you to upgrade to a business account to continue backing up. (www.mypcbackup.com/business)

14. Termination and Fair Use Policy
If you have purchased a MPCB Product or Service that is inappropriate for your actual usage, MPCB may require you to switch to an appropriate MPCB Product or Service which may result in your having to pay MPCB additional fees for use of the appropriate product or to terminate your purchased MPCB Products or Services and refund, on a prorated basis, any fees paid you may have paid on the unused portion of your MPCB subscription.

(www.mypcbackup.com/terms)

In this case we can provide you with a pro-rata refund due to the inconvenience caused if you do not wish to upgrade to a business account.

Kind Regards,

--
George Scott
Product & Development team
MyPC Backup
www.mypcbackup.com
--
Matt Curd
Product & Development team
MyPC Backup
www.mypcbackup.com"

There are number of points here.

1. I had joined the "Unlimited" back up service. If you Google this you will find it just says "Unlimited Storage". There is no qualification eg an asterisk pointing you to conditions or limitations. If you click on the "Unlimited Storage" link on the main page you get another page which says:

"Store as much as you want, when you want!

"No need for external drives."

"No limit on file type."

"Truly unlimited storage."

Innocently I took "truly unlimited storage" to mean what it said.

2. At no time had I received any warning that I was about to breach or, indeed, had breached any conditions. If I had not checked I might have assumed my data was still being backed up. There was no sign that anything was wrong. So I could have had a crash and lost data which had not been backed up.

3. I am a home user. I am retired and don't have a business. I do have a lot of data - photos, music etc - because I have had a computer for 30 odd years and have kept everything. MyPC Back up say I have 2 terabytes backed up. But after the initial back up I am not backing up huge amounts.

4. When you look at the conditions mentioned in the Founders email you find they are vague in the extreme. You can see for yourself by following the links they mention but the relevant condition is 14 - Termination and Fair Use Policy. The key passages are:

"MPCB SHALL HAVE THE ABSOLUTE AND UNILATERAL RIGHT IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION TO DENY USE OF AND ACCESS TO ALL OR ANY PORTION OF MPCB PRODUCTS OR SERVICES TO USERS WHO ARE DEEMED BY MPCB TO BE USING THE MPCB PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IN A MANNER NOT REASONABLY INTENDED BY MPCB . . .
For example: If MPCB believes that you are using our service for business or commercial use, MPCB has the sole discretion to amend your service to our Business and Enterprise service which may require you paying additional fees or termination of your account. MPCB may, in our sole discretion and from time to time, establish or amend general operating practices to maximize the operation and availability of MPCB Products or Services and to prevent abuses. As part of these practices, we reserve the right to monitor our system to identify excessive consumption of network resources and to take such technical and other remedies as we deem appropriate. Your consumption of MPCB Products or Services may be deemed excessive if, within any month, your usage greatly exceeds the average level of monthly usage of MPCB's customers, generally."

How on earth can a user know whether they exceed the "average level of monthly usage of . . . customers generally"?
Naturally I immediately protested to MyPC Backup. I told them I was not a business user and objected to the complete lack of warning. I also asked them how they justified their "unlimited" back up claims. Despite several reminders I have had no response.

If I was feeling kind I'd say the MyPC Backup advertising was misleading. In fact I think they are dishonest and the lack of notice about exceeding limits is appalling.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 17, 2014 12:13 PM BST


Dualit 75015 Coffee Grinder, Black
Dualit 75015 Coffee Grinder, Black
Price: £74.59

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing performance, 30 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We bought the machine to grind coffee beans for each time we brewed a cup. However, the fit of the ground coffee container is poor and it is impossible to prevent coffee grounds spilling on the work surface. It also then spills ground coffee when filling the coffee machine.
Having put up with the mess for eight months we have now started grinding a batch at a time - at least then we only need to clean up every few days.
A disappointing purchase.


No Title Available

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good concept but software needs work, 27 May 2013
The Anywhere Weather station is good concept but I've had problems with the software which looks like the Mark 1 version.

It is important to realise that there is no indoor base station with a screen to read the data. Instead you get a black box which connects wirelessly to sensors (temperature, pressure etc). The black box plugs into your router and automatically uploads the data to Oregon. Hence you need a PC, Ipod, Ipad or Android device to view the data. So the system is useless for anyone without a router and a device to access the internet. It is also crucial that the software for accessing the data works well.

A big plus for me was that the Anywhere system worked with our existing Oregon sensors. You need to check which sensors are compatible.

There are problems with the software apps for all devices at present but the Apple app works least well. It is actually an Ipod app which will run on Ipads too. The best app was the Android on our Nexus 10.

Software problems:

1. The weather sensors I have are on three Channels but the Ipod/Ipad app can only see Channel 1. If I try to change the Channel the app closes! So I can't view the data from the sensors on Channels 2 and 3. You can change the Channel on the PC and Android apps.

2. You are supposed to be able to access the data history ie the data for the past (period unclear). Again when I attempt to do this on the Ipod/Ipad the app closes down. History works on a PC and Android device.

3. The PC and Android apps have graph icons on the sensor readings which lead to a new screen which graphs temperature etc over time. The Ipad/pod app doesn't have them. If you touch, say, the temperature data the app closes.

4. None of the apps make the maximum use of screen space. This may be understandable for the Ipod but PC or large tablet screens could show much more data at once. Why should you have to change Channels to see all your data? There is room for it all on one screen; there should be options to choose what to view.

5. A good feature is the ability to see other Anyweather stations around the world using the map option. This works on the Ipod/pad except that there is the same Channel changing issue: the app closes if you try to change Channels. Strangely the map feature is missing from the PC app!

6. You can change the units in which data is displayed eg the wind speed can be shown in in kph, mph, m/s or knots, which is good. But when you graph the historical data in the PC app the settings don't stick eg the wind speed is always shown in m/s.

7. A reviewer on the Apple Store has pointed out that there is no option to set the height of your location. This is needed for accurate barometric readings.

8. There isn't much help. I could not even get the FAQs on the Oregon website to open. I could not find out how often data is sampled or how much historical data is kept. The graph functions only show 7 days data. Does that mean older data is lost? If so, it is vital that the export function is easy to use.

9. The function to export data seems crude. You apparently have to export the data for each sensor separately. I want to be able to export it all in one go eg to Excel.

I have emailed Support about items 1 and 2 but got a daft response. This told me how to do something which I'd already explained closed the app down. I have replied pointing this out but got no response to date.

The Anyweather system is in principle a good idea but the software needs rapid improvement, especially on Apple devices.


Oregon Scientific LW302 Anywhere Weather Station
Oregon Scientific LW302 Anywhere Weather Station

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promising but software needs work, 27 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Anywhere Weather station is good concept but I've had problems with the software which looks like the Mark 1 version.

It is important to realise that there is no indoor base station with a screen to read the data. Instead you get a black box which connects wirelessly to sensors (temperature, pressure etc). The black box plugs into your router and automatically uploads the data to Oregon. Hence you need a PC, Ipod, Ipad or Android device to view the data. So the system is useless for anyone without a router and a device to access the internet. It is also crucial that the software for accessing the data works well.

A big plus for me was that the Anywhere system worked with our existing Oregon sensors. You need to check which sensors are compatible.

There are problems with the software apps for all devices at present but the Apple app works least well. It is actually an Ipod app which will run on Ipads too. The best app was the Android on our Nexus 10.

Software problems:

1. The weather sensors I have are on three Channels but the Ipod/Ipad app can only see Channel 1. If I try to change the Channel the app closes! So I can't view the data from the sensors on Channels 2 and 3. You can change the Channel on the PC and Android apps.

2. You are supposed to be able to access the data history ie the data for the past (period unclear). Again when I attempt to do this on the Ipod/Ipad the app closes down. History works on a PC and Android device.

3. The PC and Android apps have graph icons on the sensor readings which lead to a new screen which graphs temperature etc over time. The Ipad/pod app doesn't have them. If you touch, say, the temperature data the app closes.

4. None of the apps make the maximum use of screen space. This may be understandable for the Ipod but PC or large tablet screens could show much more data at once. Why should you have to change Channels to see all your data? There is room for it all on one screen; there should be options to choose what to view.

5. A good feature is the ability to see other Anyweather stations around the world using the map option. This works on the Ipod/pad except that there is the same Channel changing issue: the app closes if you try to change Channels. Strangely the map feature is missing from the PC app!

6. You can change the units in which data is displayed eg the wind speed can be shown in in kph, mph, m/s or knots, which is good. But when you graph the historical data in the PC app the settings don't stick eg the wind speed is always shown in m/s.

7. A reviewer on the Apple Store has pointed out that there is no option to set the height of your location. This is needed for accurate barometric readings.

8. There isn't much help. I could not even get the FAQs on the Oregon website to open. I could not find out how often data is sampled or how much historical data is kept. The graph functions only show 7 days data. Does that mean older data is lost? If so, it is vital that the export function is easy to use.

9. The function to export data seems crude. You apparently have to export the data for each sensor separately. I want to be able to export it all in one go eg to Excel.

I have emailed Support about items 1 and 2 but got a daft response. This told me how to do something which I'd already explained closed the app down. I have replied pointing this out but got no response to date.

The Anyweather system is in principle a good idea but the software needs rapid improvement, especially on Apple devices.


Norton Internet Security 2013 - 3 Computers, 1 Year Subscription (PC)
Norton Internet Security 2013 - 3 Computers, 1 Year Subscription (PC)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review by PC PRO January 2013, 8 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
PC PRO magazine has reviewed Windows security programmes (Issue 221, March 2013 - I know the date looks silly for early January!). The winner was Bitdefender amongst the paid for programmes. AVG's free programme was 'recommended'. Norton did fairly well but not as good as the best. In the past Norton has been amongst the best and I suspect the leader constantly changes as their teams of boffins tackle new threats.

A particularly worrying finding was that the Windows free Security Essentials was not very good at all, particularly where Windows 8 is installed over earlier Windows versions. I had hoped to rely on Security Essentials but I feel driven back to a specialist provider.


The Herefordshire Musters of 1539 and 1542
The Herefordshire Musters of 1539 and 1542
by M A Faraday
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Database of military age men in Herefordshire in 1539 & 1542, 17 Dec. 2012
The lists compiled of men potentially available for military service in Herefordshire in 1539 and 1542 provide a valuable database of names in the mid sixteenth century. Family historians have few resources this far back in time and this work offers one way to find connections.


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