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Stokie Dave

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The Original Electro-Pop Box Set
The Original Electro-Pop Box Set
Price: £11.90

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much chart synth material, too little electropop, 26 July 2009
The subtitle says it all - "fantastic synth and electro classics". So if it was in the charts and it had a synth in it, it was fair game to be added to this compilation. There's a decent 12-track album in here, but a lot of chart dross from "manufactured bands" and jokey me-too 1980s synth clowns. If you want real electropop, then track down John Foxx-era Ultravox, Numan, Thomas Leer, Kraftwerk, etc.


FSP BLUE STORM II 500 - Power supply ( internal ) - ATX12V
FSP BLUE STORM II 500 - Power supply ( internal ) - ATX12V

5.0 out of 5 stars Quality robust power for your average 2008/9 gaming PC, 25 July 2009
Most new shop-bought PCs come with a puny 300w power supply. This is adequate for light use - but put in a new graphics card to play some decent games at decent FPS and screen resolutions, and you'll quickly realise you need to fit a new 500w+ power supply. Or risk your PC being reduced to a smoking lump of dead metal. This PSU is a good choice for an upgrade, and it has been working fine for me for the last 15 months. Before buying you should first ensure that it can fit in your PC case properly, with regard to space and screw connectors. If it arrives and it can't fit in, then either: i) try another 500w+ model (but it'd be a hassle to send it back); ii) jam it in anyhow (not ideal, especially for airflow through the PC); or iii) buy or beg a different case (many cases are not that expensive new, and your friends may have old ones knocking around in the shed) and then rebuild the PC. This last option might be the better one, in the long run - but you'd also need to check your current motherboard could fit precisely in the new case. Let's hope this PSU just fits for you - that's quite possible, but it's not certain. Anyway, the technical details - this 500w Blue Storm II PSU has a sturdy build-quality and robust cabling, it's consistently quiet, and it offers two 12v rails each pumping out 18w - that's ample to power a newer graphics card, and everything else in a standard PC that's used for PC gaming. It runs my Inno 3D nVidia GeForce 9600GT 512MB PCI Express card fine. The PSU has the 6-pin extra power cables/connector that newer graphics cards need. There are actually two of these connectors, but if you plan to run a 2 x graphics-card SLI setup, then it's quite possible you need a power supply that can give you _more_ than 500w.


Out at the Wedding [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Out at the Wedding [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by RAREWAVES USA
Price: £16.34

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dismal, 24 July 2009
Dismal. I rarely abandon watching a movie half way through, but I did with this one.


Seagate Expansions 1TB External Desktop USB 2.0 Hard Drive for PC
Seagate Expansions 1TB External Desktop USB 2.0 Hard Drive for PC
Offered by AOT (UK VAT registered)

210 of 219 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Certainly looks good on your desk, 6 July 2009
Hard-drives are hard-drives. All we want them to do is not to fail. I can't give advice on possible failure-rates for this, but all hard-drives seem to have a small proportion of them (especially if they fall off the desk!). Just remember that multiple back-ups are good, so I suggest any really _vital_ backup files also get burned to a DVD-R or two, as well as going onto the Seagate. The 1TB Seagate External certainly look reliable and sleek, though - with a hard mirror-polished surface that sits very attractively on the desk. Perhaps _too_ attractively, and if you have small children around it might be better off in a drawer, where it'll be safer (no chance it'll be used a mirror by a toddler, no cables to yank it off the desk with) and you won't have to dust it either. My new drive was instantly recognised by Windows 7, which swiftly installed generic drivers. The Seagate External showed up in Windows Explorer with about 980Gb of free space on it, plus a folder with registration information. It didn't need to be formatted, being already formatted as a standard NTFS drive. Transfer rates seem fairly standard - a test 40Gb took about 45 minutes to be transferred directly from an older external drive to this one, via my monitor's built-in USB 2.0 hub. Everything went smoothly. I'm always a little suspicious of cheap power blocks on anything made in the Far East, and this one looked a little odd (it has dual fittings for the UK three-prong and European two-prong electricity sockets) but it didn't get noticeably hot during the transfer. Overall - it looks great, works quietly, the power-block seems efficient, the transfer rates are standard, and at the moment the price is certainly right.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2010 2:11 PM GMT


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Full Version (PC DVD), 1 User
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Full Version (PC DVD), 1 User
Offered by uksoftwareseller
Price: £235.95

57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than Vista, much more stable than XP, 6 July 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've installed Windows 7 and have been running it intensively for a few days now on my main desktop PC. I'm very pleased. Unlike my first encounter with Vista, I don't find myself constantly saying "why did they move/change that!?" and having to wrestle with constant system alerts just to do simple things. If you pre-order W7, just be aware that in Europe we will not be able to get any upgrade versions (due to EU meddling), and so buyers will have to back up all their personal and program data, format the main hard disk, then do a clean install. You'll then also need to download the Windows Live pack if you want to get Windows Mail, Internet Explorer, etc - they won't come pre-installed. What's nice to see: a beefed-up built-in Firewall with per-program control; a new version of ClearType with a built-in tuner; a native XPS reader; NVIDIA graphic-card drivers are already available for W7; everything feels intuitive, runs fast, and all my software and the O/S just works (although clicking on troubleshoot was required once for the SATA drives to be recognised by W7, and I did have to dig out an old CD to install XP drivers for my ML-1200 printer). Power management is said to be more efficient, but I have yet to see rigorous independent tests on that. Streaming-in of files from an external hard-drive does seem to be faster than Vista. What's missing in W7: the old Vista Calendar (now integrated in Live Mail, but seemingly with no import function for the old Calendar data!); the excellent Vista Movie Maker is gone (now we just get just a lesser 'trial' version called "Windows Live Movie Maker"); most third-party ISO mounters don't work yet in W7 (but one does); ZoneAlarm doesn't yet work in W7 (but I don't miss it because I have the native W7 firewall). Thankfully, Vista's intensive disk-indexing is also gone, although you can turn it on in W7 if you want. Overall, this is a highly recommended upgrade.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2009 3:54 PM BST


Captains of the Clouds [DVD] [1942] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Captains of the Clouds [DVD] [1942] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £35.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A richly photographed wartime story, 30 Jun. 2009
A richly photographed portrayal of bush pilots in the Canadian wilderness, filmed in colour and on location. This first half blends more or less seamlessly into the second half, just as richly photographed, which is filmed on location at Canadian Royal Air Force bases in the early years of the war. Given the constraints that everyone must have been under at that time, I think we can forgive the sparing use of a few model planes here and there. The story meanders (it would never get past the plot-twisting writers on contemporary movies), most of the main characters are old (again, it would never get past a modern casting dept.) and the two young leads are rather wooden. The ending is something of a letdown, but inevitable. It's a long film at nearly two hours and in the second half it's certainly not perfect - but you keep watching because the photography is constantly ravishing and as stunning shot after stunning shot flows past your jaw just drops.


The Golden Compass (2-disc Extended edition)[Blu-ray]
The Golden Compass (2-disc Extended edition)[Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Nicole Kidman
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £4.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow to start, but grows into a decent entertainment., 25 May 2009
Not having read the book, I had no preconceptions or inflated expectations. Although I was put off by what I knew of Philip Pullman's reported ideas about life (a militant atheist, apparently - which in my experience is usually just bad as a raving Christian) and a creepy interview I'd once seen with him. Reports of a vaguely steampunk setting finally persuaded me to watch it. I was unsure if it was going to work while watching the first 20 minutes - I was put off by clunky wooden acting, dodgy attempts at accents, and the general stage-school stiltedness of the child actors' voicework. But the consistently-elegant effects and the setting (the former Naval College in London + CGI FX) swept me away. The world, the lighting, and the costumes look consistently stunning on Blu-Ray. The CGI-made animal spirits are made believable, but the camera never dwells on them for more than a fraction of a second. The film finally came alive when Lyra met a drunken polar bear (superb voicework from Ian McKellen) - and from then on the film just about hangs together, even Lyra's acting seems to get better, and the film heads for an exciting and satisfying (but rather violent) ending. The Alethiometer is beautiful, but its human-scale mystery gets washed away by a meaningless golden swirl of special FX each time Lyra uses it. The film's music is forgettable fantasy gruel, but I suppose it could have been worse - I could have been in the hands of whoever made the appalingly bad song that plays over the end credits. To sum up - the main problems are the creaking plot and variable pacing, and some equally-creaky wooden acting. It's still a decent entertainment, but one that probably works best of you're aged 11-14 and have managed to avoid reading the book.


I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987) [IMPORT]
I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987) [IMPORT]

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films of the 1980s, 15 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A gem of a film, one of the most perfectly pitched small dramas of the 1980s. Polly is an eccentric loner photographer, living alone with a cat and eating out of cans. Her dress and hair sense is odd, she continually looses temping jobs, she avoids social situations like parties, she takes things that are said to her literally, she's bluntly outspoken and direct on the few occasions when not crippled by her shyness, and she has one abiding passion (photography) - from the perspective of 2009, we can now see that Polly is a character with high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome. Anyway, Polly gets a temping job at an art gallery and this fascinating little film begins.... Don't be worried that this is a 1980s movie - the clothes and hairstyles certainly do make this a _very_ mid 1980s movie, but in the best possible way. It's aged very well, and thankfully the music is fairly timeless rather than 1980s rock/pop.


I've Heard the Mermaids Singing [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
I've Heard the Mermaids Singing [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does a film get any better?, 15 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A gem of a film, one of the most perfectly pitched small dramas of the 1980s. Polly is an eccentric loner photographer, living alone with a cat and eating out of cans. Her dress and hair sense is odd, she continually looses temping jobs, she takes things that are said to her literally, she's bluntly outspoken and direct on the few occasions when not crippled by her shyness, and she has one abiding passion (photography) - from the perspective of 2009, we can see that Polly is a borderline high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome person. Polly gets a job at an art gallery, and this fascinating little film begins.... Don't be worried that this is a 1980s movie - the clothes and hairstyles do make this a _very_ mid 1980s movie, but in the best possible way. It's aged very well, and thankfully the music is fairly timeless rather than 1980s rock/pop.


Firefly: Complete Series (3pc) (Ws Dub Sub Ac3) [Blu-ray] [US Import] [2002]
Firefly: Complete Series (3pc) (Ws Dub Sub Ac3) [Blu-ray] [US Import] [2002]

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, witty SF TV series, 30 April 2009
What is there more to say that hasn't been said? After six episodes it immediately entered my list of all-time top SF TV series. The dialogue is sharp as a button and witty with it. The "Wild West" element is cleanly integrated into the SF world, and makes sense within the framework of terraformed fringe planets. The award-winning visuals are excellent (even more-so on BluRay), the characters are always interesting. As with most current SF I'd have liked to have seen a few more bits of information about the hard science involved in this universe - beyond having the Firefly's engineer burble about "discomubolator drive DB20s" and vague throwaway references to "terraforming". I can see why the moral minority in the U.S. may have not liked the show, which may have contributed to its downfall after a single season. It's violent, people get killed easily, and it has some nasty stuff going on with the Rievers and a ship of familes in "Bushwhacked" and some torture in "War Stories". It's generally about criminals who zip around the edge of the galaxy doing independent gung-ho personal-responsibility free-life stuff - with a proud bixexual prostitute in tow. Having a priest as part of the cast probably wasn't enough to placate the moral minority in the U.S., a group which Fox apparently has to think of. But apparently the huge sales of this DVD-set inspired the making of the feature-film sequel, Serenity, so for those who have finished watching the series, there is still a huge treat in store. There's also the _Serenity: Better Days_ and _Serenity: Those Left Behind_ graphic-novels (which sit between the series and the film), and even two books of academic essays on the series!


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