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The Vauxhall Corsa is a very popular car that is currently on its 5th or 6th generation and continues to please it owners. In this review, I'm going to describe the third generation (also known as Corsa "C"), Vauxhall Corsa 1.0i 12v from 2001.
First of all, let me inform you of the history of the Vauxhall (Or Opel if you're not in the UK) Corsa before the Corsa "C" arrived.
The first generation of the Corsa appeared in 1982 throughout Europe and only appeared in the UK a little bit latter and was known as the Vauxhall Nova.
These cars where known as the Corsa "A" and were built in General Motors's factory in Zaragoza, Spain and exported to the U.K.
The Corsa "A" (Nova), was designed to replace the Vauxhall Kadett which was a very popular model due to its durability but was starting to see its sales falling because the Kadett models were too outdated compared to the likes of the Renault 5 or the Ford Fiesta.
The Corsa "A", as its antecessors, touted fantastic durability, good mechanical construction and cheap price. Several motor versions were made available which ranged from an economical three cylinder, 1 liter engine to a powerful 1.6L engine with 99hp (100ps) which could reach 120 mph.
All Corsa's are front wheel drive cars even the Corsa "A". This allowed these cars to curve better which is essential for small cars meant for driving in cities, such as the Corsa.
The Corsa "A" received a small update in 1990 but only in 1993 it was replaced by the Corsa "B".
The Corsa B was introduced in 1993 and was completely different from the Corsa "A". The Corsa "B"'s design was filled with curves and the car increased a few centimeters in height and length. The new Corsa had optional power steering and airbags, new engines and completely different materials. The UK version of the Corsa "B" was also built in Zaragoza and reached the British market in 1994.
The Corsa "B" was also known for its durability and for its economical engines but some poor mechanical designing led to ineffective engines and gearboxes which, in turn, led to weak dynamic behavior.
Finally, the Corsa "C".
The Corsa "C" was introduced in 2000 and was also constructed in Zaragoza, Spain or in Argentina; however, the first models right hand drive cars reached the UK in mid 2002.
In this version, Vauxhall was not willing to commit the mistakes of the Corsa "B". New engines were introduced which more horsepower, higher binaries and lower consumption. These new engines were labeled Ecotec engines, due to their very low consumption and good performance.
The engine in the 1.0 version presented above, is a 1 liter engine with 58 hp and goes from 0-62 mph in 18 seconds. The car has very good acceleration due to the very short initial gears which maintains the engine's revs up until third or fourth gear is placed. The Corsa "C" also received new suspensions which are substantially harder than those of the Corsa "B". This means that the car curves a lot better but everybody in the car will feel every hole or bump in the road.
The maximum speed of the Corsa "C" 1.0 is 105 mph (approximately 170 kph) which is more than enough for a car of this size.
The interior of the car is of good quality and most of the controls are quite simple to find and to use. The rounded design of the car permits that the spacing between front and back seats are generous and the boot is quite large and the space is well organized.
The extra's are also quite attractive since the Corsa "C" comes with EPS (Electronic power steering), ABS, airbags for the driver and front seat passenger, electric front windows, etc. Optional extra's include a sun roof, a radio with CD player and alarm.
The other good aspect of this car is fuel economy since, even in cities, the Corsa "C" will use up between 5 and 6.5 liters per 100Kms.
On a more negative side, I believe the gas tank is quite small (With about £35 it is possible to fill up a Vauxhall Corsa "C") and the plastic used for the dashboard seems very cheap.
Overall, a very inexpensive car which is still a great purchase (considering that second hand cars are considerably cheaper than brand new cars and that the Corsa's do tend to live many years). I'm very satisfied with my Corsa and I believe that I'll replace it with another Corsa (Of probably another generation).
The pentax Optio M10 is a very simple lightweight digital camera with some interesting features but also some limitations. It weighs a lot less than many standard cameras and has a 6.0 Megapixel resolution, 3x optical zoom, a SD card insert and a decent flash option.
The menu is also quite good and very intuitive to use. Many different modes are present which automatically ajust the camera's settings so that the picture turns out quite good. In my year of experience with this camera (although I do not use it too often), I've used several of these options with mixed results. The "kids" mode for instance, I did not ind too good because it increases the time of exposure too much and if the children are not perfectly still, the pictures end up blured. Other options are quite good though. I've enjoyed so far the landscape mode which does brighten out the colors and makes out door pictures look stunning.
Scrolling through pictures previously taken is quite intuitive and the screen does allow me to see in decent detail how they will look like when printed out. In this mode, deleting pictures is also easy by just pressing the trash bin button at the bottom right of the camera.
The pictures in general seem ok. It actually depends a lot on the options chosen but there are many camera's out there which take more realistic photos (even 6 Mega pixel cameras).
Connecting to the computer is something I haven't tried out. I generally take the SD card out, which is located near the batteries, and insert it into my laptop's SD card port. Nonetheless, removing and inserting the SD card is quite straightforward.
Overall, the camera is OK but not fantastic. You'll find better on the market for the same price, but you will also find worse. overall a standard 6MP camera.
Google scholar is a web site available online which can be used to discover technical articles regarding scientific subjects.
Generally used by researchers, Google scholar can find most of the articles, conference papers, journals and transactions available in major scientific institutions such as IEEE, Elsevier or theses available from major colleges such as MIT or Imperial college.
Google scholar, as would be expected, is powered by Google's award winning search engine which generally returns results with very high relevance.
Google scholar also includes some features not available in Google.com such as the number of citations of each article and the bibtex reference for each article (extremely useful for those who use Tex editors). Search by author, date or publication is also available for those people who want to research a specific author instead of a topic.
Finally, positive emphasis should also be put on the fact that Google displays under each title, the authors, year and publication of each search result.
On a more negative side, Google scholar returns many good results but many of those are not accessible to us normal humans unless we are inside a university campus.
Overall, Google Scholar is pretty useless to 99% of the population but is one of the most essential web sites for investigators and is an extremely information rich website which is in part responsible for the continuous development and inventions constantly being presented.
I can remember when Skype was first released. Nobody knew exactly what it would be for. The only thing that was known was that it was from the same guys that had previously developed Kazaa.
It turned out that Skype was an application to speak to other people online. So what is so special about that many people said? The answer was that Skype allowed people to speak for free, to other computers and home phones (although you do have to pay a small fee, in many cases, to phone mobiles or land lines) and it allowed conference calls and other nice features.
This was enough to revolutionize communication as we knew it. Many people quickly started to use Skype as their main form of communication. From this revolution, a new term appeared. VoIP (Voice over IP). This term is used to categorize applications such as Skype which allow people to communicate (vocally) over the internet.
Now into Skype in more detail. Skype has all the features one person needs in such an application. It allows the user to add contacts to his own personal address book, to communicate through text (MSN messenger style), to phone landline numbers or even text them, or use a standard web cam to video conference with some friends.
In addition to all of the above, Skype has a very clean interface which quite easily appeals to most users and a very nice community base online which help a lot when necessary.
In terms of prices, many competitors charge less per call than Skype but few can achieve the same popularity as Skype.
Opera is a very popular web browser available which is available for several platforms including Windows PC, Linux or even mobile phones.
In this review, I will discuss mainly the windows PC version of opera (although I've used the Linux version and it is not substantially different).
Opera is an all in one web browser which boasts incredible web surfing speeds, low amounts of security flaws (lower than IE or Firefox for instance), and high flexibility and integration.
Currently, Opera is in version 9.62 and releases updates frequently and approximately one major release per year.
In the most recent version of Opera, Opera software have included in their product, multiple tab surfing (available since opera 6.0 I think), an integrated E-mail client, an integrated Chat client, widgets (which can be downloaded from opera's website), a torrent client, and several other bonuses which can make this software almost a universal Swiss army knife of web browsing. Most of these sub applications are quite complete and can substitute well known applications such as outlook, bittorent or Mirc.
The aforementioned E-mail client, for instance, is compatible with most third party e-mail clients such as Thunderbird and Outlook express, allowing users to automatically import contacts and settings from other clients and is compatible with both POP3 and IMAP E-mail accounts. The E-mail client's user interface is very intuitive and is not much different from what most users are used to with other clients.
The IRC client is simple and configuring the several options is very easy. The other chatters in the IRC channel are presented on the right hand side of the screen and the conversation is center screen (similar to Mirc for instance). Nonetheless, Opera's IRC client is not as powerful as some alternatives since it is not possible to change text colors or other parameters.
The widgets are very nice and useful. Many can be found even from inside Opera's own widget search option. Nonetheless, an easier way to hide the widgets when they are not in use would provide an added value to the application.
Adding to the above, Opera also includes a handy pop up blocker which works very well (at least I do not tend to get many pop ups), mouse gestures (by simply clicking the right mouse button while in opera and dragging the mouse to the left, the back page option is activated for instance) and a speed dial option which presents your favorite 9 web sites when the application starts or when a new tab is opened.
Opera also allows the user to change the skin (for those of you who like to customize your applications), the location of the several panels and even to simulate Internet Explorer or Firefox when visiting certain web pages. This allows Opera to display correctly some pages that otherwise couldn't be displayed correctly.
Overall, it is definitely my favorite browser. The only negative aspect I can point out is the memory usage of opera. Nonetheless, if we consider that I am running at once a web browser, torrent client, E-mail client and Mirc application, the memory usage is not that high (currently 128MBs of ram are being used by Opera).
To be honest, I was really excited when I received the package from the mail man with Spore inside. I had read on the internet so many great things about the game that I thought it would be worth wasting some pounds on. From what I had read, spore would be a new type of game. A life simulator but very different from the Sims. I was excited. It was from Maxis which to me, generally means quality games.
I was very disappointed with the game though. Yes it is a life simulator. Actually it is more like an evolution simulator. What you do, in fact, is make your specie more intelligent, stronger, faster and gradually evolve, from a unicelular being, into an intelligent being and later on, into a space era in which, the objective is to conquer the milky way.
The evolution however, can happen in different ways. You can chose from being an omnivorous, carnivorous ou herbivous creature as well as chose its physical trades (skin color, dimensions, shape, weapons, etc) which will affect the creature's strategy.
The game starts in the primordial soup. You must make your creature grow and adapt to its surroundings by killing other creature's and growing. after that, the creature gains legs and enters the (very boring) creature mode. In this mode, the creature has to continue growing. This part of the game happens on dry land and each specie has its nest.
There are two options here. Either kill and eat other species, or make friends with them. Either way, the creature must evolve until reaching the tribe mode.
Here, the concept of civilization appears. there are, however, other civilizations which will rivalize with yours. By conquering them, you will gain power and reach the modern era.
In the modern era, advanced weaponry becomes available (you can design the weapons and buildings at this stage) and a war breaks out against other countries (in this era, your specie already rules the world and therefore, the war is between different countries).
Finally, the last part of the game takes place in space. Other extraterrestrial civilizations appear and interact with yours. You can become friends or enemies of these civilizations and slowly increase your influence in the galaxy.
Overall the game has good graphics and the options to change the look of your specie are really nice. Nonetheless, the game is incredibly repetitive and the game becomes boring way to quickly.
Very bad spending of money on this game.
I must admit I'm surprised at seeing Autodesk inventor at dooyoo but not solidedge or solidworks. Nonetheless, an application such as this deserves a review.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with inventor, this is a 3d CAD application which lets users model components and piece those components together in assemblies. It is an application used mainly by engineers (Mechanical engineers generally) who design each component of (for instance, a car) and then, in the application, join these components. This allows engineers to see if the components fit perfectly together, if they can be easily assembled, and study the stress on each individual component. Applications such as Inventor, solidedge and solidworks, has allowed new products to go into the market quicker, at lower costs and with less faults.
after studying the components, autodesk inventor allows 2D "blueprints" of each component and each assembly to be created so that the manufacturers can build the prototypes.
Now that you all have an idea of inventor, let me explain the differences between the three aforementioned applications. Solidworks is probably the most well known and powerful application of the three. With the aid of toolboxes such as cosmos works and cosmos motion, structural analysis of the components can be performed (very important for an engineer). Solidworks is also the most intuitive of the three (It is probably one of the few engineering applications that almost anybody could learn without a lessons)
Inventor is better with lofts and aerodynamics than its counterparts. Some of its clients include well known airplane manufacturers.
Solidedge I'm not as familiar with (during my engineering studies, I used mainly solidworks and Inventor), but there are several home electronics companies who prefer it over the rest.
Overall, I'm not imagining many people running to buy this application after reading this review, since it is an application targeted towards a niche. And those who belong to that niche are aware of these applications and generally will not be looking at reviews on dooyoo. Nonetheless, I highly recommend all people who read this review to google a bit about these applications (for general knowledge) since they are really great.
I must admit that I generally like Google's products. I use Google search, desktop, maps, etc on a daily basis and was looking forward to chrome.
Nonetheless, I was a bit disappointed. I like their idea of trying to keep stuff simple and creating a truly multi threaded application (as a programmer, I totally agree with this) but something is still missing ... ahh yes. plugins, features, those things that make our life easier.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh on Google, after all this is their first try at a browser (that I know of). But generally they get it right the first time. But not all is lost. Chrome visualizes pages quite well and is very very fast (even though there are some problems visualizing a few web pages). This makes me believe that the engine underneath the application is something really good and quite mature (I haven't seen any bugs at least). But now, us web fanatics need features. stuff that will make our browsing easier and more fun and the top layer of chrome seems incomplete as if it were a work in progress.
I really hope that Google takes into account comments like mine. I believe they can make something really great out of chrome, but they are not quite there yet. Google should take a page out of Opera and Firefox's book to perfect chrome and allow it to be the ultimate web browser.
Microsoft MSN messenger is one of the most popular messenger services available worldwide.
By simply downloading windows messenger live and using a net passport account (if you have a hotmail account, you can automatically use it) you can, with relative ease, talk to friends online.
Messenger allows you to change text properties, send smiley's, photos and documents which adds to the quality of the conversation since it adds variety.
If you have a webcam or a microphone, then your in luck too, since MSN allows you to, in real time, see your friend and allow him/her to see you (videotalk).
Other nice features include the possibility to write your own nickname, phrase, or nickname your contacts. For those of you who have hundreds of contacts, MSN also allows you to organize your contacts into groups. One small feature that I fell msn is missing, is the ability to order groups or contacts. MSN automatically orders your contacts and groups alphabetically, however many people (including myself) would prefer to see the most important people first up top.
For those who like to talk in groups, conferences are also possible in MSN but, on the contrary of, for instance, Mirc, MSn follows a one to many approach since you start by talking to one person and then invite others into the conversation (in IRC applications, you start in a channel with many people, and then move into private chats).
Overall MSN is a very useful application which allows you to keep in touch with your friends and family.
I am always in favor of open source applications. First of all they allow users (programmers) to learn about all types of programming languages, software design, project management, etc.
Secondly, these projects allow users with very low resources to have access to quality software free of charge.
finally, it helps the market since it introduces a low cost product with good capabilities and forces proprietary software makers to exceed themselves.
Now on to a more detailed review on open office. Open office is a office productivity suite which includes a word processing software (writer), a spreadsheet application (calc), a database application (Base), a slideshow application amongst other applications.
Generally, the applications are quite good. writer allows users to create most common day documents without hassle and with good quality. Nonetheless, writer does not include some options that most Microsoft word users take for granted, such as wordart and smartart.
Calc is also quite decent. It is almost a carbon copy of Microsoft excel hence almost all excel users should feel comfortable with calc.
Base uses a HSQL database engine to manage the database. Rumors are that the next version shall contain a MySQL engine instead, which wold be very usefull since it should increase performance.
Overall, all applications are decent replacements of their microsoft office counterparts. More advanced users might notice the absence of one or two features but this should not be the case of most.
One area in which I noticed that openoffice was seriously lacking is the integration between applications. I notices this when trying to interact between base and calc, hence users that require high interactivity between applications should investigate this matter in depth before making the change.
Once again, congrats to the openoffice team for such a great application. Hope to see many new features in the next version
Another example of good open source applications.
Firefox has been around for several years and is completely developed by volunteers who want no more than to learn, give to others and allow for a better user experience.
Firefox is probably the most renown of all open source applications since it is the most flexible web browser available. Firefox has gained the confidence and the heart of all of its users by allowing them to browse the web safely and quickly.
Due to all of this popularity, many surveys present Firefox as the browser with the largest market share. Hopefully, this will help other free software to gain popularity.
Firefox is not however, limited to standard web browsing. Through thousands of plugins available online, functionalities can be added, hence increasing user experience. My personal favorite is the mouse gesture plugin that allows the user to forward, go back, refresh pages and open new tabs by moving his/her mouse.
The engine behind Firefox is also very good and quite mature. Although not as fast as other browsers (Opera and Chrome for instance), Firefox can be quite fast at opening new web pages and normally, all web pages are compatible with Firefox. On the other hand, Firefox's engine has not passed the acid2 test which is the most popular online test for we browsers.
Overall I highly recommend this browser. It really is a notch above most of its competitors.
Yes. It is good and Yes it is free. Yes it does not slow down your computer to a halt and finally, yes it is easy to use.
One of the best open source applications out there. easily as good as outlook at a fraction of the price. Mozilla thunderbird allows us E-mail fanatics to control all of our e-mail accounts quickly and easily.
thunderbird manages to control e-mail accounts through POP and IMAP protocols (POP means that all of the messages are moved to your computer while IMAP copies the mail onto your computer but will leave a copy on the server).
With thunderbird, I can guarantee that outlook won't be missed since all features present in outlook are normally also present in thunderbird (including calander, contact manager and auto redirect and forward options)
In terms of spam or junk filters, thunderbird is as good as outlook which means that, after properly configured, all messages will be sent to the right folders.
overall, nothing bad can be said about this 6MB (yes, only 6Mb) application.
About two years ago, due to some friends from uni, I started to try out Linux. I must admit that I am, by no means, the most knowledgable person when it comes to linux but I did try several linux versions which include Ubuntu, yoper, PClinuxOS, Suse, Mepis and others.
Ubuntu was recomended to me by a friend who pointed out that Ubuntu was one of the most popular linux versions at the time. At that time I thought, since it is Debian based, hence I can use apt get to install software, I'll give it a twirl. (For those of you who do not know Apt get. Apt is short for aptitude (I think), and it is a package management system which allows you to install software on your linux computer with ease(actually, it normally only works on Debian based linux distrobutions).
I initially tried the live CD which is a CD that can run Ubuntu without installing it on your computer. It seemed ok so I installed it.
My first impression was that the desktop seemed nice and clean, but was quickly surprised with the lack of software included with the CD. Although I hoped for more, this is not a problem if you have aptitude. Nonetheless, The first impression was not the best.
I was not that convinced with gnome either (Gnome is a window manager for linux and BSD operating systems). Since I was brought up with windows and had already tried KDE (another window manager), it never seemed natural. These factors deeply affected my ubuntu experience.
On the more positive side, kubuntu (ubuntu's sister) has KDE instead of gnome and the ubuntu comunity is brilliant and helpfull.
I must say that I'm surprised to be the first to review this product.
I started to use visual studio at university a few years back when teachers started to make us mechanical engineers learn the likes of C++, C# and Visual Basic.
At that time, getting a version of Visual studio at a low price (student edition or something like that) was almost impossible here, hence, I spitted out a few thousand euros to get my hands on Visual studio with the belief that it would change the way I looked at programming and indeed it did.
Visual studio provides a great environment which allows people to quickly become comfortable with the programming language. It features a number of programming languages such as C#, visual basic .net, C++, J#, etc. all of these rely on the .net framework 1.0 which can be downloaded onto any windows computer.
The environment provides a forward approach to programming by displaying on the right side, all the objects that can be placed on a form and on the left side, the solution explorer and the properties of the object currently selected (this can be changed though. however, the default layout is the one I explained).
When it comes to coding, the options of any object created are displayed at every instance (as already happened in previous versions of Visual studio) which makes programming a lot simpler since it is possible to know, at any instance, what options you have. The debugger is also quite good and the documentation provided with MSDN is more than sufficient for any newbie to start programming decently.
I just want to say that I currently work in programming and generally in Visual basic and C#. A big part is due to the fact that this software made programming a pleasure and not a pain for me.
The LG L225WS-SF is a 22 inch widescreen TFT flat monitor with standard specs, a decent resolution and contrast nut nothing else that will make it stand out compared to the remaining monitors on the market.
When choosing a monitor I was surprised at seeing the variety of monitors from different brands that are out there. I felt a little overwhelmed since I really did not know what to buy. To be quite frank, although I understand concepts such as resolution, contrast, etc, I really cannot differentiate two different monitors that have similar specs. Hence when the time came for me to chose a monitor, I opted for this monitor since it was in my price range, seemed to be decent and since it was LG which seems to have a decent warranty system.
Owning the monitor for some time, I can say that the monitor has is ups and downs. On the upside, the monitor delivers a decent picture at 1280x800 which is seeable even under medium light.
On the other hand, the monitor worked really badly at higher resolutions. at 1680 x 1050 for instance, the image seemed really distorted. Due to this, i was forced to exchange it for another model. I cannot say however if the problem that affected me is generic or if just got a bad one because I prefered to exchange it for another model.