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Mr. Bruce MACDONALD (UK)

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Belkin Wireless N300 Modem ADSL Router (BT Line) - Black
Belkin Wireless N300 Modem ADSL Router (BT Line) - Black
Offered by Mixvale Collections
Price: £24.00

1.0 out of 5 stars How can Belkin make such a flakey product?, 24 July 2013
I'm really surprised. Belkin is a good brand ... or at least, a well known brand.
From about the second day of having it (2 months ago now) it showed signs of instability. I'm using it at home, but I have a web server so I have set up port forwarding. The problem is that sometimes it just ... stops working and needs to be restarted. Sometimes it is impossible to connect with wi-fi. Sometimes some other problem. Today it failed in a new way - the port forwarding failed somehow. Connecting externally, my web server was visible, but from the LAN it was not. Restarting the router once again fixed it.

Evidently Belkin knows that the firmware is rubbish as they have developed a "solution" called "self-healing". This is simply a way for you to set a time of day/day of week for the router to restart automatically. Pathetic really.

I certainly wouldn't buy another one, and if I was confident a replacement would be better I'd probably throw this one out now.


Case In Your Face Black Hard Case Cover Skin And Free Screen Protector For LG Nexus 4 E960
Case In Your Face Black Hard Case Cover Skin And Free Screen Protector For LG Nexus 4 E960

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent compromise, 27 Mar. 2013
Any protective case is a compromise. If it's as thin as cling film it won't do much protecting; if it's 5mm of solid rubber your phone might be safe but has just put on a lot of weight.
This is a hard plastic shell. Protective but thin.
The only improvement I'd make would be to NOT have an access hole to get at the sim card.


Sennheiser EZX 60 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headset with Ear Hook
Sennheiser EZX 60 Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headset with Ear Hook

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough, 23 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Have you ever had the experience of not realising how good something was until you try something else? I bought this as a replacement for a Plantronics M50 headset (reviewed) which was diabolical. That (the M50) was easy to connect to etc, and worked fine for the user, but the claimed noise cancellation just didn't work. So I returned it and paid roughly double for this. What a disaster! This has stupid design faults: the Connected signal is a flashing light. This is great for the people beside you because they can see if you're connected. You, however, cannot. The signals were (something like) 1 flash/5 seconds = searching, 1 flash/4 seconds = connected, etc. So you need to get a stop-watch out to interpret the signals.
Oh, and the sound was only a little better (maybe) than the M50.
So the Sennheiser got sent back.
I've now just bought a Plantronics M1100. This one will just _have_ to be good enough: I'm sick of returning things. I just want a headset that works.


Plantronics M50 Bluetooth Headset
Plantronics M50 Bluetooth Headset

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much noise, 24 Oct. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Plenty of people have commented about the cheap behind-the-ear clip on this device. While I agree that it doesn't offer any flexibility for different shaped ears, for me - or rather my wife - this hasn't been a problem.
What has been a problem though has been the total failure of this device to have useful noise cancellation. It seems to have, if anything, noise multiplication! If my wife is in even a slightly noisy environment, e.g. walking along a city street, this is all but unusable. Today I was trying to speak to her and while I could hear a lot of noise, I couldn't hear her at all. She switched off the headset and used the phone normally and it was like she had walked from a building site into an oasis of peace!
In fact, now that I think about it, this is still less than a month old. Maybe it's time to return it.


HTC Sensation Sim Free Mobile Phone
HTC Sensation Sim Free Mobile Phone

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An amazing step backwards, 30 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this phone for my wife almost a year ago. For most of that time it has been pretty good, then recently HTC updated to Android 4.0 and Skype updated to [something].
Now Skype simply doesn't function on the phone. It will take 5 minutes to open then immediately crash. It doesn't work. Everyone uses their phone in different ways. For my wife, Skype is hugely important (friends and family in other countries), and she has been forced to revert back to her previous phone - a Nokia 5800! Skype works fine on it.
Sure, the Sensation has got a better email experience, better web browsing, etc. But at least Skype works on the Nokia. So right now we have a 350 pound phone sitting at home without a sim card in it.
What other applications have been destroyed by this update?
Unbelievable!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 6, 2012 12:51 AM BST


Brother MFC6710DW A3 Colour Inkjet Multifunction Printer
Brother MFC6710DW A3 Colour Inkjet Multifunction Printer

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, but many good features, 18 Sept. 2011
Having had a Brother laser printer in the past that served me very well, I really wanted to like this machine, but I'm afraid I can't.
There are many good features about this machine, but overall it is disappointing.
Good points:
Really just the things in the spec: duplex printing, A3 scanner, etc (I bought this as a printer/scanner - haven't even plugged in a the fax cord).
It also has some cool features to make it easy to scan documents - you can Scan To File then select the destination computer from your network and it will send the image straight there. Very neat.
However, I did notice that one of the bits of software that came with it - can't remember what now, a PDF manager or something - was severely hogging resources. My dual-core machine was running at 100% all the time. I had to stop that Windows service. Googling the issue showed I wasn't the only one with the problem. This is, in my opinion, a disastrous problem already. Any apps loaded onto a PC to manage a printer should be very light-weight.

Major problems:
Colour reproduction is terrible! In default mode it is severely washed out. We did some playing around, and by turning up the vibrancy we could turn the terracotta roof tiles into lurid fluorescent shades of orange, but struggled to find anything natural. Doubtless it is possible, but it will take more fiddling, and we shouldn't have to do it. It's probably OK for office type printing, but for photos ... not really, I'm afraid.

Duplex printing is only useful for A4. This is, supposedly, an A3 printer. But we bought this primarily for a large-ish (100 sheet) A3 full colour job. You can imagine the frustration when, at 10pm when we start printing we find out that for A3 sheets it can only do duplex if there is a 25mm (1 inch) margin at top and bottom of the page. In our case there wasn't that sort of margin, so essentially we had a non-duplex machine that printed terrible colours.

Both these issues are design issues, i.e. all machines would have the same problem. The final problem was a fault: a wheel somewhere in the machine is/was skidding on the paper as it went through and marking every 2nd or 3rd sheet.

I have just sent an email to my supplier (not Amazon) asking to return it.

One last point: this is an office printer; not a home printer. Finding ink in shops in town is a severe challenge. I spent 5 hours traipsing through London on a Sunday trying to find the ink (eventually did at a large PC World that had a Business section). Easy enough to get online, but don't plan on nipping down to the local Curry's and grabbing some off the shelf.


Pro Office 2007 Development with VSTO (Books for Professionals by Professionals)
Pro Office 2007 Development with VSTO (Books for Professionals by Professionals)
by Ty Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £39.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Step 1: Decide on your audience..., 23 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Whenever I've had to do any writing, I've always been taught to have a clear idea of who my audience is.
The author says on the back cover that he assumes the reader is pretty experienced with Office and with .Net development, so the following quote from Chapter 2 (page 35) is a little difficult to explain:
"The worksheet is the area in which users do most of their work on a spreadsheet. Each intersection of a column and a row forms a cell that can be identified by its address using the column letter and row number."
Personally, I think that anyone who isn't already comfortable with that sort of technical detail is probably not ready for VSTO.

However, further into the book he seems to be missing out essential steps or contradicting himself or something. Making a form with a TreeView in it as an Excel add-in, he says that the TreeView should be docked to the top of the form, then says that the location of it should be 3,53 (53 pixels from the top). Naturally, it doesn't work. He doesn't say what the size of the host Form should be or what it should be called or any of its properties, then later a little later he mentions that we'll need 3 class-level objects (a, b, and c), but doesn't actually say that they should be added, or where they should be added.

Now, it's very possible that if I spend the rest of the evening trying to figure out this little exercise I will manage, and it's even possible that it'll turn out the author has been accurate and I've been the one making mistakes. But if I have made the mistakes, it's because the author has not been clear.

I should also add that the book seems to be very sparse on detail. It's about 260 pages to cover VSTO for Excel, Word and Outlook. That's just too small. If you're good enough at DotNet to not need more detail than that, then you probably don't need the book at all.

This is really disappointing! I'm trying to learn C# and VSTO. I've now completed 2 text books so I'm _reasonably_ comfortable with C# and .Net but I'm really struggling to figure out what this author is talking about. I struggle to believe that they got anyone to test these exercises.

I should also mention this book is for VB.Net. If you're looking for a C# one, prepare to be disappointed; I am. Very.


Microsoft® Visual C#® 2010 Step by Step (Step by Step (Microsoft))
Microsoft® Visual C#® 2010 Step by Step (Step by Step (Microsoft))
by John Sharp
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.46

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More reference work than tutorial, 22 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm an experienced VBA programmer who has also spent quite a bit of time working on my C Sharp - prior to reading this book I worked my way through Head First C# (which is great!).
I've got really mixed feelings about this book. The first ~400 pages felt like a waste of time - going into unnecessary details before looking at the big picture. Maybe I've just got a different learning style because I see other people have rated this book very highly but for me Head First C# is a much more useful book.
Having said that, the second half of this goes into some very useful details, and I'm glad I didn't give up before then.
I just feel that it would be better if it was rearranged to do some bigger exercises first.
I've still got another 100 pages to go, but so far Good, but not Great.


AC Ryan Playon!DVRHD [Dual DVB-T] 1TB - Digital Video Recorder & FullHD Network Mediaplayer
AC Ryan Playon!DVRHD [Dual DVB-T] 1TB - Digital Video Recorder & FullHD Network Mediaplayer

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost but not quite, 28 Feb. 2011
This should be a really good product. The specifications are terriffic.
But there are a few problems:
The firmware looks to be still in Beta - or maybe even Alpha. I simply don't think it is production quality. For example looking through the programme guide, I will select Record and it will tell me that it is too far in the future. But it's in the programme guide!
Other problems: If I already have two programs set to record at the same time, and I choose a 3rd (which it can't cope with, only having two tuners) it says that there is a schedule conflict that I need to resolve, but doesn't say what the conflict is or how to resolve it.
Final recording problem: when something is recorded, the record time is set for a few mins before the programme starts and the file that is recorded is given the name of the programme that was playing at start-time rather than the one I want. Net result: it never ever uses the right file name for a recording.

Anyway, I've had to send mine back now. It stopped working completely after a month - wouldn't even power on. On the AC Ryan forum there are several people with the same complaint.

So it is with regret that I cannot recommend this product. I would genuinely like to. It should be good, but so far it has been a complete waste of money. It's a shame really because the specs are very good, and I'm not aware of another product which offers the same functionality.


Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007: VSTO for Excel, Word, and Outlook: VSTO for Excel, Word, Outlook, and InfoPath (Microsoft .Net Development)
Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007: VSTO for Excel, Word, and Outlook: VSTO for Excel, Word, Outlook, and InfoPath (Microsoft .Net Development)
by Eric Carter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £33.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like learning to speak a language using a dictionary, 13 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The title is a little unfair ... but only a little.
This book spends an awful lot of time saying "you can do this, and you can do this, and you can do this" but very little time actually showing the user how they might go about doing that. It also has no major project to follow. I would really have appreciated a project or two that could be built up as I read through each chapter, and would explain ideas as it developed.
My background is VBA. I've got a basic understanding of C# (worked through most of the Headfirst book, which is great) but this book seems to assume a very _strong_ understanding of C#, which is not what it says in the introduction.
It seems to be a bit like a reference book - fine if you have already done some VBA and are very familiar with C# and just want to join the two together, but if you want a book that will guide you through a couple of examples and build things up slowly for you, this isn't really what you're looking for.
Unfortunately, right now, I don't know what to suggest.


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