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PC world is good at what it does best: Serving Jo Bloggs an overpriced computer related product. Now there is nothing wrong with this, as long at the long line of punters keep turning up to the stores and willing to pay over the odds for average products then fair play to them. PC world has many stores nationwide and they sell everything computer related, games, printers, scanners, pre-made systems, dvd's etc.. The stores are normally huge and stock a great variety of the well known brands. The price of these products is rather high. Compared to internet shopping or lesser known local computer dealers I say on average they charge 33% more than most places. But I guess PC world is open alot longer hours than most and you can pay in a variety of ways of many years. The staff at these places are what you would expect. Simple people who have read a book or two on computers. Dont bother asking about clock speed or latency lagg for certain modems becasue they will not understand you! Normally each store has one clued up techy who can be called upon to answer those ever so deep questions. My experiance of PC World is mixed. I needed a modem fast, went to the Leeds branch and found a hayes internal one for 69.00 pounds. I didnt have time to shop around so I bought it. When i did have time to look around the following week I easily found the same modem for 50% less at numerous places. But then again I needed the thing sharpish so I cannot moan. As long at punters know theres other places cheaper, then everyone is happy.
This site looks great, its hip and trendy, nice flash graphics, great funky sounds. But didn't someone really miss the boat here? aint is supposed to be a competition site? Well thats what it sells itself on. You would be a fool to miss out of making lots of "lolly", "stuff" and "gear" in their great online competitions. But if you look a little deeper you are let down... First you enter any of the competitions you have to be a member. Not much hassle but the emails are a bit annoying. Dont they realise you dont go to their site for a reason? The site pushes the advertisments right in yer face. There is normally about 10 on each page. But its good that they are not pop-ups! The competitions are placed into 5 different sections, get away (hols), get rich (£), get connected, get with it, and finally get stuff. You would think the amount of advertising this site does and the hype that surrounds it there would be alot of competitions. Well there's 8 all together. Thats right 8. Most of which run for months at a time. Not the weekly ones that are more appealing. The competitions normally involve 3 party online companies where you have to browse their site to answer an ez question. No need to ponder how they make their money. So not enough competitions, the prizes are average and the comps last way too long. I would give this site a miss for sure..
At last a decent baseball game on the handheld console! Only released 3 weeks ago its hot in more ways than one. The game is basically BASEBALL, if you dont like or understand baseball then dont run away in panic. This game will introduce you to all things to do with the game. Its similar to cricket but more exciting and faster paced. I will not bore you about the different rules involved in baseball but heres an outline of the games features.. Play a season, with ANY MLB team. Yes you can play and manage your team through a full season and try and reach the playoffs and world series. This takes lots of games and most prob weeks to achieve, but the game has 5 slots on it.. Single game, can be played at any of the MLB (Mjor league baseball) grounds. This is a fun mode where u play for fun. Practice, both batting and pitching. Here you can learn the 12 different types of pitches and the many forms of hitting a ball around the park. (Good for learning the game). Homer mode, here you compete against the worlds best batting players and try and get more home runs than them. The game has many great features that enable the begginer to pick it up and start playing. For example having auto fielding on helps! auto running for the batting team, different modes of difficulty, the list goes on and on.. The sound effects are great, real voices of the players and umpires add to the atmosphere. The graphics are crisp and very detailed, no suprising for the GBA. It is also very smooth, when u hit the ball its glides across the screen and not jerky like some other GB games from the past. If you want a sports game that involves alot of skill and long learning curve go for this game. Dont be put off by the mear fact its an american sport, we wont hold that against you.
Having had my GBA for a few months I have been looking for a sports game that would last a while and be great value for money. Having looked around at the GBA and GBC market i decided to go for Mario Golf. If anyone remembers the original gameboy golf, then this is not too far away from that version, apart from its been supped up to make it a modern classic. Lets look what the game has: 5 Courses, each getting progressivly more difficult and harder to play. The new courses only open up once you have won certain tournements and matchup's. You can play single player mode, practice mode, challange mode (the pro's), tourney mode, help mode, and finally clubhouse tips. Each section of the game is completly different and challanging in its own right. The graphics are really good, nice and bright colours and very ez to make out the greens and contors on them. So we have the standard golf game but the thing that makes this game special is that you build your character's experiance points up to imporve its skills (length, accuracy, fade, hieght etc..) the idea being after you win the ez tourney's and matchups you will be able to take on the harder courses with your all new powerful charcter. The game saves your players stats, records for that player and also the all time best shots and chipins from anyone who has played on that game. I have played around 40 rounds of golf in 4 days since buying this game and i am still addicted. Getting experiance points for birdies, eagles and hole in ones makes it so exciting and challanging, I can't wait to see the last 2 courses and pro's to beat in matchplay. The sound is realistic and the music is rather annoying, but I have the music off! There is a 2 player option to play head to head, but you need to versions of the game, which is a bit silly but nevertheless.... I would recommend this game to people of all ages, as its startsoff rather ez to get into , but you soon realise its hard to master.
Another get paid for surfing scheme. This one started over 18 months ago and is run by some USA company. When you first go to the site its very difficult to find the actual payment levels, but after much navigating its hidden away in the corner in some language not english! If i can figure it correctly you get paid 25% of the companies advertising revenue each month. So looking at the last 6 months payment levels it averages 1/1000 of a pence per min online displaying the advertising bar. The bar is 2.5 meg to download and is auto placed in your startup, which is annoying esp. when it crashes alot becasue of a ddl error! You also recieve around 4-5 spam emails per week once you have signed up. The level of payment for using the bar also changes depending on what "type of user" you are. If you sign up for most of the affiliated company offers each month they double your bar payment level. I used this bar for about 2 months at university, an avergage of 40 hrs for each month. I earned 1 dollar....You need 50 dollars min to recieve payment i dont think its worth it. The referall scheme is also very poor, you recieve 1% of each of the people you refered... So in conclusion...........Dont bother...There is no way you can earn 50 dollars in a year, even if you have the bar running 24/7.
Well its kinda that same thing, you know missing the boat by about 6 months! Ringtones and logo's the latest craze at the turn of the year. You knew there was money to be made from this when at every carboot sale across the country you could buy them. In every national newspaper pages were filled with lists and lists of chart ringtones and the latest logo's to have on your mobile. Ofcourse theres a price to all this. Normally 1.50 / Min for the pleasure. But recently one or two excellent websites provide FREE ringtones (and composers) and FREE logo's. Genie etc....have sprung up. Go to goole and search for them...trust me. So I must admit it came as a surpise to me that dooyoo added the latest thing to their site! (Like who the hell thought of this get rich scheme?) A simple limited range of mobile tones/logo's at a similar price to all the other companies out there. Why should we use this service over anyone else? it's not becasue of the massive range dooyoo offer.. or the price thats alot cheaper....... or even the speed of the service, trust me its so slow your browser times out..... So we have a average product out of place on a Opinion based website. I will take a guess here and guess dooyoo have not taken more than 100 orders for this "NEW RINGTONE AND LOGO" service. Much more time and resources would have been spent designing the pages and way it could fit into dooyoo than could posiblly made from the profits of it. Maybe if it had come out when it was like just getting popular and not after the horse had bolted........
Once I reach my 22500 miles agained for my amazon voucher I am leaving dooyoo..why? read on.. As someone who takes alot of time and effort into writing my Op's on dooyoo I feel really betrayed by the latest dooyoo payment structure. I was at the meeting with the MD last week where he went on about meeting targets and cutting staff to make dooyoo profitiable. When asked about payement cuts he told everyone this would not happen. Cool, they cut some staff and leave the site as it is..Now today they say you get 3p per read!?!? so I guess in a matter of days they changed their minds. Why not just make it so 90% of the complete bullshit op's people posted on here are deleted as they dont meet a certain standard. Thus saving themselves alot of money and promoting only good op's. No! this would make sense.......they want alot of users, pumping out 10 line ops that are crap. Why? becasue they can sell advertising space based on the number of hits/users.. to me they have sold their soul. The little tempter of 1.50 for a crowned op is nothing more than a little teaser. The crowned op's go to about 1% of the users and its merly a way to keep those hardcore users happy. It really pisses me off writing an op like this. I took pride in my ops till now and really hoped others would like and find them useful. But I wanna get my miles up before they backstab us on the 24th Oct when the new payment structure comes in....... ching ching....
Well I know that might not be true but it can’t be far wrong. Alan Smith is one of those rare talented players that manage to ignite a passion in supporters around the country. Love or hate him Alan Smith is here to stay. Lets first find out where “Smithy” comes from: History - Born 20-10-1980 in a small suburb of Leeds called Rothwell (About 6 miles east of the centre). Unlike most pro footballers Alan didn’t start playing football till a relatively late age of 10. His first love was BMX biking. He soon developed a high skill level for the sport and became national champion at the age of 8. One that really made people believe his future lay in the pro BMX circuit. But as the costs of travelling and equipment took its toll, Alan and his brother decided kicking a football about was a cheaper alternative. He soon joined a local boys team called Oulton Owls, but soon moved on to the much bigger and higher-grade team Rothwell juniors. He enjoyed great success in those three years, the club winning the league and Alan scoring lots of goals (92 in one season alone, which is a club record). Around this time Leeds United had just won the title and were developing one of the best youth development schemes around. Alan soon got noticed and was asked to train with Leeds three times a week at a local sports centre. At the age of 14 his talents took him to FA school of excellence at Lilleshall (along with 20 of the best young footballers in England). A broken ankle and homesickness contributed to this only being a short stay, Alan had had enough and decided to move back to Leeds and continue to train with Leeds United. Age 15 he signed YTS forms with Leeds United and moved into the soccer academy at Thorp Arch (2 miles from his family home), his young friends here included Matthew Jones (3.5M Lei), Jonathan Woodgate but to name a few. At the end of his YTS he signed Pro for Leeds and went back to live with his family in Rothwell. Now the real hard work had begun. Youth games were mainly what Alan played in and he really excelled at this level. After months of banging in the goals Alan was awarded his first reserve game V Man Utd. Alan had a quiet game and couldn’t wait for his second chance. This came later that month against Derby. A typical match for Alan scored one, two assists and a sending off. A sign of things to come? A further year passed until his full debut. Anfield (Liverpool Saturday the 14th November 1998) as a sub. Aged just 18, he entered the game with the score tied 1-1. He scored the winner with his first touch. The fans cheered his name and the boy was already a legend. Alan that year went on to establish himself as Jimmy Hasselbaink's first choice striking partner and scored nine goals in just sixteen starts. He continued to improve and last season scored 18 goals in total, including the winner away at Lazio in the champion’s league. Injury – Unfortunately Alan has always had problems with his ankles. They seem to be his weak point. He has broken his ankle three times and is currently out injured with ankle ligament damage. Apart from this Alan seems to be lucky when it comes to injuries and plays a lot more games than he misses. Style – Alan is an old fashioned striker. Good in the air for someone only 5ft 9in, 33% of his goals have been headers, so not bad. He has a good first touch and a very high skill level for a striker (The goal V Southampton this season that won goal of the month proves it!). He is pretty fast in the first few yards dash and puts defenders under pressure from this and his never say die attitude. He partnership with Viduka last year blossomed into a great double act and they managed to get over 40 goals between them in all competitions. Character – This is where there may be a problem. Like Batt y, Alan can go a “little” over the top sometimes, fierce tackles, fiery temper and an ability to show no respect for older pro’s (Arsenal defenders are you listening?) means Alan can get himself in a spot of bother. Many a time he loses his temper when he feels an injustice has been done to him or the team. Most his sending off’s are for poor challenges and bad language, something Eddie Gray (A Leeds Coach) will work out of him. He is only 21 after all. Yet it is this lack of temper management and aggressive playing style that makes his a Leeds fans favourite. Like Keane, Wise, Ince they are all hated by opposing fans, but secretly everyone admires their passion and talent. Hes great for the team, England – Alan was picked to play for England U16’s by Howard Wilkinson and quickly moved into the U18 & U21 squads within one or two years of his Leeds debut. He was then picked for the full England squad and has picked up two full caps. The latest being a sub appearance V Holland. Personal Stats - Position: Striker Height: 5ft 9 Weight: 11st 11lbs Awards: Carling Premiership Player-of-the-Month for August 2000 Personal Website - http://www.icons.com/alansmith/home.html Conclusion – I really believe Alan will become an England regular with Owen very soon. He has the talent and commitment that will take him to the very top. Only his poor discipline can hold him back. I hope he stays with Leeds for a few more years yet, because he’s such a local hero and epitomises everything good, the Leeds fans love him. Oh and yeah, I should say he’s my cousin so I might be slightly biased.
Sports.Com is sporting Website, one that I used to visit quite often. I fear my exodus is not a isolated one; maybe someone in charge there would like to read my views on the site, ultimately the site will die and fade away unless they act now. BACKGROUND The website was developed 2 ½ years ago and it is part of the European Sports Agency network. This means they have access to all the worlds sporting stats and receive the fastest results from the majority of sporting occasions that take place. They also have more money than is imaginable, backed by people like Tiger Woods and ESPN; you know its not going to collapse tomorrow through lack of funding. The sites owners also develop and maintain www.manutd.com, www.opengolf.com, www.wimbledon.org So they seem to know what there doing. Website in GENERAL The site loads incredibly fast. Not once have I encountered a slow or down server. The layout is a simple single frame page. The navigation is a single menu on the left-hand side of the page with a main banner at the top, along with sub-sections to the different sports. The page works well in various screen resolutions and it works in the different standard browsers (As you would expect). The font for the links could be bigger but that’s niggling. The site really looks good and the plain white background makes the content stand out. Remember content is king, flash bit and bobs come a long second. CONTENT The first think you encounter when entering the site is the option to enter various different versions of sports.com, they have around 20 different portals for most countries in Europe and Asia. This allows each countries site to concentrate more on their national sports, not everyone like football like England! Sports - I will not go into each and every sport that the site covers but it does cover just about any sport out there. Each sport has a differen t colour theme in front of the white background and this just adds to the slick navigation feel. An example of this would be the football section, which is red. It covers everything possible about the game globally and domestically. It is also the fastest site for providing results on the game. This is backed up by the fact they provide all the latest scores for telextext and many of the daily newspapers. Today they had a Leeds United report about 5 mins after the final whistle blew. Not bad. Tips – This section deals with Sporting tips! This section in itself could justify being a separate site. It has full time journalists providing tips on the Lottery, golf, sports, casinos, greyhounds, weather reports and just about anything else that can be bet on. It offers advice and help for a broad spectrum of people from the beginner to the pro. I personally like the section explaining how to bet on various sports or events. Betting – So now you have visited the tips section and your money burning a whole in your pocket. Here those great people at sports.com offer you the chance to throw it all away without having to surf anywhere else. Here you can open an account and bet on just about any sport going. Not only fixed odds betting but spread betting and Asian handicap betting! (Yes that might not mean anything to most people but its good for the punter, honest governor). Where this section excels from others is its World sports betting coverage. Because of it’s close links to ESPN it covers all the spread betting on the NFL, NHL, MLB and also the standard football, racing and greyhound betting more popular over here. My own view is the odds are a bit skimpy but its still not bad compared to the other major players. Team – Here is where the really fun part of the site is placed. This may include playing fantasy football over the season of golf, football, F1GP or debating your teams performances on the c lubs dedicated forums, entering the many different competitions the site has running or even participating in one of their weekly celebrity sports chat. There’s stuff to download here, a SMS results service, freebie goods corner, the list goes on and on. So even if you’re not interested in the current events of any given sport I am sure this section will interest you. Shop – This is basically a portal to the sites MANY partners and affiliates, so it can make more money out of us. I really don’t want to go into the various things it does sell, all the standard stuff really. ADVERTISING Now for the reason I don’t use this site. On each and every page are at least 7 banners, advertising anything from razors to sports goods. Now advertising is something any commercial website needs for revenue stream but there is a limit to the number of banners a user wants to see before it backfires. When the banners makeup around 30% of each page I personally believe it’s a little too much. Yet this is not the end to the bizarre advertising on the site. Most weeks they also run a advertising campaign where some stupid thing (from a car to a persons belly) follows your mouse pointer around the screen until you have pressed on it or moved onto a page where they didn’t pay for it to appear! HerbVoid was most distressed at this and it took weeks for him to have the courage to surf again. But yet more torture was to come his way. If you join the site you also receive Spam emails often and from third party companies. Whilst writing this opinion I decided to check the site to make sure they had not changed everything making me look a right chump. I pressed on the football section and it went into a Advertising section page, where you had to press on PROCCEED to actually go to the football bit. So now if you want to get to some actual content on the site you pass thro ugh these advert portals. Once again they have sold their souls to cream more money from advertising. OVERALL This site has great content and it is as good as any of its main sporting website rivals. That is not in question. It also has some excellent sections with the most up-to-date results you could wish to see. The very active members community is also a credit to the people who develop and maintain the site. Yet it is all spoilt (In my opinion and it is just mine) by the level and variety of advertisements that the site displays. Did I mention the pop-ups to? Hehe
RacingPost.co.uk – I am very surprised this Internet site did not have its own place on dooyoo. Why? Well read on. This is a relatively unknown website, but a ‘must’ for pro betters around the country. It used to be a pay site but dropped the 5 pounds / month charge around January this year. The racing post is England’s only national betting paper so no surprises that the same company runs this website. The advantage this site holds over its rivals is that it has the papers pool of content to use on a daily basis. Ok so now a little about the site and what it contains: GENERAL RacingPost.co.uk is really just for horse racing. It does not try to include all the other sporting events that can be bet upon these days. It sticks to what it knows best, with the exception of a very small section on greyhound racing. The site opens up very fast. This is always an advantage for the impatient people like me. It also works perfectly well in all the standard browsers I tested it on (IE5, IE4, Netscape, Linux default). It looks very slick and clean. A white background with red headers and black font. The page is a single frame with a main table in the middle holding the bulk of the content. The navigation is a simple menu down the left hand side. At the top is the sites banner along with a search facility. This is very important as the site holds a vast amount of information past and present about racing and horses. For betting on horses using information on a horses past races (Form) is key in any decision. This search engine works very accurately. I entered the name of a horse that has cost me a few pounds and it found it right away, came up with the horse and all about it, with links to each of its 39 races! The advertising on this site is all based around gambling and the banners are blended into the sites look and feel, mainly red font with white background so you d on’t feel overwhelmed by them. CONTENT Home – Basically the News and headlines page in the horseracing world, mainly from Britain but it does have the odd headline from abroad if it’s a big meeting (Kentucky derby). You can also see the latest additions the site has added to its content, today for example you can now bet through the site to most of the online betting sites (Blue square, Ladbrokes, Coral, WH). Smart Bet – This is a new function that allows you to bet through the site into any of the main online betting sites. So here I could stay on racing post and bet on my Ladbrokes account without having to open up a new window and be juggling two pages. You can bet on any sport through this feature. It also gives you the days headlines and one or two bets to look out for, mainly racing and football. Yesterdays Racing – Pretty straightforward here, gives you the results and detailed breakdown of how the racing results went the previous day (actually you can view the last few days), top-racing journalist offer analysis on the racing and how each horse performed. This is great if you missed watching a particular race and want to find out what happened and why? Trust me when I say it gives you everything you might possibly need to know about the racing, going, track details, jockey problem, horses playing up, starting problems, weather report. Today’s Racing – Very much similar to the previous section but without the after race analysis. If you fancied going to the racing it would also give you details of how to get to the races (rail, road), the costs involved, record and standard times, betting pointers and all the standard race information. Future Racing – Again similar to the last two sections but for the next days racing. Statistics – This is the life and blood of betting and where the racing post has NO equal. A database for the last 5 years on every possible statistic you might possibly want to know. The stats cover both jump and flat horse racing for jockeys, trainers and owners. A real treat! Past Results – Here you will find a database of past horse racing results and the analysis on each one. It’s a simple search form you fill out and it displays the relevant details. Very fast and easy to use for the novice. A nice little feature is that you can also search for abandoned races. Tipsters – This is again a feature that NO other website holds. It contains all the papers tips for that day. Yes, that’s right all the newspapers tips and naps are listed for each and every race. They also have a newspaper tipping league and fantasy betting for users. The tips are for the coming week and any big meetings that are soon to be upon us. News headlines of big punts or steamers are here also. (The tips for each race can also be found in the today’s racing section). Horses to look out for, trainers who are in form are all outlined here. Bloodstock – This section is again a very important part for big punters. With top horses in racing it’s all about breeding and the bloodline, this place gives you every possible detail about the breeding of them. Major dates for horse sales (Tattersalls), a major sales database for the last 8 years outlining the horses sold in this country, lists of the top sires, dam’s and the major vendors around the world. For the non racing people I will just say its very important who the horses parents are, if your parents both won major races worth lots of money the foal will probably costs millions in the hope it will reproduce a fraction of that form. Millions are paid to buy these ex-star horses and put to stud. This years Derby winner will sell for over 100 million after its finished racing. Greyhound – A smaller section but nevertheless still very useful. It outlines the days gr eyhound racing and gives you the details of the meetings and the dogs involved. The tips are not as in-depth as the horses but its still not bad. I have no experience of betting on dogs, but the information looks the type of stuff that would be of use. Sports Betting – Outlines the current sporting events. Gives you market moves, tips of the day and live results for those events not involved in racing. Pint Outs – A very good idea. This allows you to print out racing cards for the racing. You can print out all the information that a race program will have in it. So say I am going to York races and want a detailed easy to read card I could just print it out here. It is in colour so you can follow the jockey’s colours. Cuttings Library – Basically a search engine that looks through all the horse racing headlines for the past 10 years the paper has covered. You can be very specific within this search. A typical example would be entering “False start on the Grand National”. It will then show the headlines that contained that famous event. News Flashes – This opens a small pop-up window with the very latest events of the day. Going changes, delays in racing, non-runners, market moves. Here you can also receive LIVE results. Now this is again the ONLY place on the net I have found where it gives you instant horse racing results from around the country. I had to use telextext before; Sportinglife only shows the results 30 mins after they happen. But the racing post has a live feed to SIS system so it has the ability to have this very useful service. Racing Calendar – Displays the years racing calendar, as simple as that. About Us – This section basically has all the rest of the stuff. FAQ, help details, feedback reports, racing post history, contact details. OVERALL This site is unique. It has many features that other betting / sporting w ebsites simply don’t (Cannot) provide. Not only does it have the biggest horse racing archive, but also it has a massive news archive. If you’re a serious punter then this site is the only one you need to visit. The coverage of the racing is that of an award-winning standard. The content is provided by the biggest and best betting daily in the country. It’s free and I have never had any problems with the site. If you use this site you don’t need any newspaper because all the tips from each one are placed here. My personal favourite tipping guru is in the mail, a paper I prefer not to buy so it works well for me. If you bet on horse racing, bookmark it now.
Ladbrokes has a lot to answer for. It has generated high and low points for me personally over the last 6 months. Here I will outline what Ladbrokes.co.uk is all about and how I have used the site for online gambling over the recent months. BACKGROUND Ladbrokes is one of the ‘Big three’ betting chains in England, Coral and William Hills being the others. It went Online a few years back, but only this year has the site been fully functional and a serious alternative to the serious gambler. The site works fine on all the main browsers and loads very fast at off-peak hours. The main problem I have encountered is the mass lag on the site whenever a major betting event or race meeting is taking place. This is a REAL problem to any serious punter who’s watching the racing and wants to get the best price from the site. It can often take 10 attempts to get the race details up on screen and place your bet. So you often have to bet earlier than is best. The slow down on the site is so bad I stopped betting on the races with Ladbrokes. But as I will outline, the site is much more than a horse racing betting medium. The layout is very plain, simple and fast loading (when no racing taking place). A simple colour scheme indicates the different sections of the site from each other. Very few adverts are placed on the site. Timeform (Horse racing firm) being the only one I noticed today. Which is great, I am just about done with pop-up after pop-up. The site is of course tax-free and takes all the major cards you may have. Placing money into your account can be done with the minimum fuss! Upon joining the site you are offered a free bet. This free bet is the value of your first bet placed (maximum of £20). So if you are clever, hehe you will join and bet £20 on your first bet, to claim £20 back. Everyone’s a winner especially if you bet on a winner like I did (Galileo 7/2 Derby). <br> CONTENT The site has a table down the left site giving details of the latest sporting events you may wish to bet on. On the right side are current betting opportunities that are taking place NOW (Its midnight and I can bet on some tennis match and a few golf tournaments starting in a few hours). The top of the page is the navigation bar and account links. Your account – Here you can log on, get help on your account or finally open an account. This should be your first port of call, log on. Here you can also view outstanding bets, history of transactions, deposit, withdraw, cancel account, change account details. This link opens in a pop-up window. Football (Green section) – Basically a section dedicated to football betting. Gives you the Saturday coupons that you might find in a betting shop and a range of specials. Who will win the league? Top GoalScorer etc. You can bet on almost every European league and every world cup game. The left hand side is now football only and indexed rather well into the various European leagues you may with to bet on. The problem I found with this was that there are no editorial comments here. No advice, no news, just a plain betting section. This may be exactly what some people look for, just I prefer a little additional content / background to what I am betting on. Racing (Light Green) – Again like the football section this really is only a betting section. It lists the races and the prices for each horse. You may list specific races for that day or for the future. Specials (Orange) – Here is places any topical bets of the time. Last month some big brother novelty betting odds were placed here. I cant say I have ever used this section, but I guess someone must have bet on the next person the get married in Eastenders? Sports (Red) – Again very simple, basic listings of sporting events that are taking place. This will cover a whole range of sports outside football and racing. For example tennis, boxing, motor racing, rugby, snooker, basketball, snookers, rallying etc. The good thing is that you can bet on a number of sporting events not taking place in this country. Whatever sport you bet on the same layout is shown, a simple table listing the selections with the price next to them and a BET button after it. Pools (Blue) – Pools might not be well known to many people these days. But it used to be the only way to win 1 million pounds in this country. You have to pick out the games from the football that you believe will be a 1-1 draw. If you pick out 8 of them you will win the jackpot. You can perm 8 from 10 or 8 from 11, whichever you want really. This section allows you to place the bet on in association with Vernon’s pools company. You can pick the numbers out in a lottery type way and keep the same numbers for however many weeks takes your fancy. Lotteries (Orange & Green) – In association with Vernons again this section allows you to play Irish National lottery. This takes place twice per week and is similar to the English one. You can pick from 1 to 5 balls, randomly or whatever and it will enter you into the draw. The GREAT thing about this lottery is that the odds are fixed. For 3 numbers matched you win 400 pounds. Enough said! Casino (Light blue & Dark blue) – This is where Ladbrokes really comes forward. You can play the casino in flash form or by downloading a separate client (20megs). The flash version is slightly slower to play, but you can play it on any computer without having to download the casino interface and games. The chips can be easily transferred too and from your main account and its currently 1 chip for 1 pound, nice and simple. The casino has around 50 games, but the main ones are, blackjack, Caribbean poker, multi-hand blackjack, roulette etc. Min bet on most of the games is a pound. A great feature for the casin o is that it will remember your current state of play if you lose connection or don’t have time to finish the hand. I have dropped connection loads of times and come back later and finished the hand off. All the games are played versus the computer and not other players. Fantasy (Light blue) – Here you can join and play in some fantasy football / cricket leagues. It costs 5 pounds to enter and there are lots of prizes to be won. I am not a fan of these pay fantasy leagues, but I guess it adds to the site. (Try cyki.com for free fantasy football, see my op on it). Balls (Grey & Light blue) – This is a new section to the Ladbrokes site. One I believe is designed to feed the gamblers addiction for each and every minute of the day. Its basically a flash lottery machine that takes place every 60 seconds. You can place an unfeasible amount of bets on each draw and the payout is supposed to be 98.8%. Again I have not used this, personally but my friends say it’s a bit of fun between races. Min bet starts at 10 pence. So that covers the different sections in the site. BETTING This is the most important thing you will do on any Internet betting site. You can place any type of bet, singles, E.W, Yankee, patent, the list goes on and on. The min bet for a sporting event is normally 50 pence Win or 50 pence E.W. Depending on how you configure your account you can view the prices as decimals or fractions. I prefer the old fashioned fractions (7/4, 2/1 etc). When placing a bet a separate pop-up window opens. The layout of the betting slip is again very simple and easy to understand. Once you press on placing a bet, there is a ‘confirm this bet’ button along with the amount you will bet. THIS IS VERY USEFUL, trust me, when you see how much stake you are placing, sometimes you change your mind. OVERALL This site is for the hardcore gamblers. I f you want help and advice on what to bet on look elsewhere (Sportinglife.com). This is where you place your bets. The site covers just about everything you would wish to bet on. Ladbrokes also move with the times, the new features (Balls, Lottery, Pools) have all recently been added and it all makes the site a much better betting medium. I have used their technical support help line and the enquiry was dealt with within hours. But there is a major negative point that surrounds this site. The speed or lack of it at peak betting times. It cripples the sites usability during the big betting events. For this reason I don’t use Ladbrokes to bet on the horses. MY HISTORY I first opened an account with Ladbrokes at this years Derby. Placed a 20 pounds on the winner at 7/2 (Three and a half times my stake). Now I had 90 pounds to play with so I drifted to the casino and played some Caribbean poker. The odds for the poker are a lot better than my local casino so I decided to play here most of the time. Over the last four months I am around 400 pounds up, I have bet around 6000 pounds in total, played around 1000 hands of poker and placed around 100 sporting bets. My biggest win has been 400 pounds on a hand of poker and my largest loss to date (Gulp) was 20 pounds on a hand of blackjack. It’s a fun site and very easy to place a bet. I would warn people not to get carried away with Internet betting thing, often it can feel like paper money and not real. Believe me its real. Have fun.
There is nothing more annoying then finding yourself looking at someone’s personal website. You know the ones? Hosted typically on geocities / homesite with millions of banners, annoying popups and slow loading times. We have all seen them; there must be millions of them out there. I browse the net on average 5 hours a day and each and every day I find another example of these sites that makes my blood boil. I went to a random geocities site today and uncovered this typical beast: http://www.geocities.com/grandma_lyn/Christmas_Home.html Ohh its a lovely personal website dedicated to all things festive. Here are my observations about it: Banner – A massive banner is at the top of the site. There are many hosts FREE out there where you don’t have to use half the screen up with the hosts adverts! I personally do not browse any sites with pop-ups and host advertising. It looks amateur and nasty. Text – its in around 5 different bright colours. Yes, this is a sad reflection of the website editors of today. It makes it too easy for people to tinker with the text colour. I will say this only once, go to any decent site out there and the test is Black OR White anything else looks pap. Background - The Background is from some free web design site made around 1996. You know the type of site, “FREE WEBSITE BACKGROUNDS AND ICONS” Guess what? There free for a reason. Why have a multi coloured background that makes it impossible to read the content? Keep the background ONE colour, plain and simple. Graphics - The websites graphics are again taken from some free web design site. I must have seen some of those email icons and work in progress graphics millions of times. They’re nasty, cheap looking and outdated. Learn Adobe, PSP and you can knock up your own web graphics in less than 30 minutes. Different Sections - The different sections of this festive sit e are all in different colours and fonts. There is no continuity here and it makes the site look totally disjointed. Make the look and feel all the same, whichever part of the site someone may browse. Content - The content is minimal. Why the hell should I browse this site for more than 1 second? I don’t want to read about Xmass or what gifts you bought someone 4 years ago. It also portrays a bad impression when you have a last updated java script that displays the site has not been touched for 3 years. Only have this on if its updated often. Remember if content is king, personal websites are normally jokers. Name – Let me remember this URL geocites.com/somelongname/anotherlongname! Forget it. You can either get a re-direction service or a short URL name host. If you really want a website people will visit pay 4 pounds a year for a. co.uk or around 15 pounds a year for a .com, its that simple. Ok enough ranting about this website. Lets me try and get the basic points out on starting a website people will want to visit over and over again. Content – Be dynamic or die. If you don’t update the website often people will not come to the site. It’s that simple. The BBC’s website is a prime example of how content makes a great site. Peoples own websites tend to be updated once a year. Design – Keep the site very simple. Single frames are now standard. (Loads of frames are a no no). Continuity of design is what you’re looking for, different sections may differ in colours but the basic design should remain the same globally. Speed – Keep the loading times as low as possible. Don’t put full size pictures on every page, not everyone is using ASDL! Also make sure your host is a reasonable speed. Move around and find which one loads up the fastest, you will be surprised the variety of choice out there. URL – This is key, have a short URL, something preferably relative to what your site contains. The most hit websites in the world are easy to remember and you don’t need to bookmark to remember. BBC, SOCCERNET etc. I have designed loads of websites, most of them condemned to net hell. Never to be updated or viewed again. I was a newbie who thought making a geocities website about me was INTERESTING to other people. I like many used to think adding counters, guest books, search engines, pointless java scripts, web rings adverts, link exchange banners would make the site good. How wrong I was. So to sum up this pointless rant. Keep it simple and keep it updated. None of which I do on my website www.acidmouse.com But hey, that’s life.
Here are some facts about the premier league clubs for this season and how I believe they will perform. In the order in which they will finish: (I think) --------------------------------------------- CHAMPIONS - Manchester United. Nicknames - United (Like their the only ones?) Scum, Red Devils. Current Odds- Favourites at EVENS – 11/8 (You basically double your money). WWW – www.manutd.com Tickets - £18 - £28 Home Fans £22 - £30 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 67,400 (Sold Out for each league game). Major Transfers – Van Nilsteroy (Forward), Veron (Midfielder). Comments – Unless you’re a major gambler then the value is elsewhere. But Manchester United will win the league that’s for sure. Fergie’s last season in charge and he will want to go out with a bang. The league is the bread and butter and I cannot see Man Utd losing more than 5-8 games the whole season. The negative effect of having such an easy domestic race the last few seasons has been that they have found it very difficult to lift their performances when needed on the European stage. They never really played that well last season yet they won the league by a massive margin. They lost a lot of Champions league games and I still think the Ultimate prize will slip away for Fergie’s swan song. Their squad is the strongest in the league and the midfield for me is the best in the world. My only grumble is that if Bartez gets injured (which he is prone too) there cover is thin. Player of the season – Scholes the big game player and will knock in some very important goals yet again. Bad boy of the season – Dwight Yorke, will go AWOL with Jordan when he gets dropped for the tenth time. Top GoalScorer – Van Nilsteroy with 25. Big games of the season – Leeds, Liverpool. HerbVoid’s heart says – I hope they don’t win the league, or we will never hear the end of it. I just wish Old Trafford would move down to London, so all those fans wouldn’t have to travel so far for home games. -------------------------------------------- 2nd Spot – ARSENAL Nicknames – The Gunners, Arse. Current Odds- Second Favourites 3/1 – 9/2 WWW – www.arsenal.com Tickets - £21 - £50 Home Fans £24 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 38,500 Highbury. Major Transfers – Jeffers (Forward), Van Bronckhorst (Midfielder), Sol Cambell (Defence), Wright (Keeper), Comments – Last season Arsenal found it very hard to win away from home. This ultimately cost them from making a sustained challenge to Man Utd. At the end of last season I did believe they had to buy big to make a real go of it this season and for me they have done just that. Quality signings to tighten up the problematic central defence role has come in the form of controversial Sol from Spurs; he will prove an excellent rock at the back. Van Bronckhorst is one of the only Scottish players I feel can make it down here and he will prove himself this season and score a few goals to boot. But who will be their Number one? I still can’t believe Seaman is number one choice for England. Someone must think hes better than Martyn? Player of the season – Van Bronckhorst will tackle hard and score lots of goals. Bad boy of the season – Wiltord to go back home in shame after missing training one too many times. Top GoalScorer – Henry 18 Just ahead of Jeffers. Big games of the season – Spurs for Sols return. HerbVoid’s heart says – I don’t like Arsene Wenger, hes a whining puff. --------------------------------------------- 3rd Spot – LEEDS UNITED Nicknames – The W hites, Super Leeds. Current Odds- 4th Favourites 6/1 – 8/1 WWW – www.lufc.co.uk Tickets - £24 - £35 Home Fans £24 - £35 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 40,240 Elland Road Major Transfers – Keane (Forward). Comments – The most points accumulated after xmass in the league by any team. They needed it too, finding themselves 14th and 3 points above Man city at the halfway spot they just missed out on 3rd spot after this impressive run. Kewell, Batty, McPhail, Bridges, Radebe, Woodgate, Wilcox all missed the majority of last season and Leeds need a fully fit squad to make any sort of challenge this season. Leeds won the most league games away last season along with Man Utd and need to lose a lot less games at home to the so called lesser teams. Strong now in each position and should be fun to watch. An E.W chance in the league and may just sneak it if the others get bogged down in the champion’s league. Player of the season – Bowyer AGAIN. Why is an innocent man NOT in the England squad? Bad boy of the season – Smith to head butt wise when they lose to Leicester again. Top GoalScorer – Keane 21 (Viduka will be close but as he goes away for 2months with Australia is pick Keane). Big games of the season – Scum & Chelsea (Jimmy FlowPiggyBANK) HerbVoid’s heart says – I want them to win it! --------------------------------------------- 4th Spot - CHELSEA. Nicknames – The Blues Current Odds- 3rd Favourites – 5/1 WWW – www.chelseafc.co.uk Tickets - £31 - £40 Home Fans £43 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 42,000 Stamford Bridge. Major Transfers – Petit (Midfielder), Lampard (Midfielder), Gallas (Defender), Comments – After a poor start last season and the subsequent s acking of Vialli, a non-English speaking Ranieri was brought in. A weak midfield has been strengthened with Lampard, Petit who will provide Jimmy with a much better service he requires. I think things will improve for Chelsea this season but they will still find it hard winning consistently away from home and will just miss out on a champion’s league spot. Expect the manager to get the chop. Player of the season – Jimmy FloydPiggyBank Bad boy of the season – Bosnich to eat too many pies and be transferred to Hull. Top GoalScorer – Jimmy FloyfPiggyBank 25 Big games of the season – Fulham, Man Utd. HerbVoid’s sings – “When I was just a little boy, I asked my mother what should I be? Should I be Chelsea? Should I be Leeds? Here’s what she said to me, wash your mouth out son, and go get your fathers gun, and shoot the Chelsea scum, shoot the Chelsea scum, we hate Chelsea, we hate Chelsea.” To the tune of Que Sera sera. --------------------------------------------- 5th Spot - LIVERPOOL Nicknames – The Reds, Pool. Current Odds- 3rd Favourites - 5/1 WWW – www.liverpoolfc.tv Tickets - £21 - £24 Home Fans £23 - £26 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 45,362 Anfield Major Transfers – some Norwegian I cant remember. Comments – They did the treble last season. Albeit the poor mans treble, UEFA Cup, FA Cup, Worthington’s Cup. Still a massive achievement. This year they’re in the Champions league. I think this will affect their league performance and injuries to key players will also play a part in them finishing a poor 5th. A weak area that Houllier has been trying to fill is the keeper. Westerveld cannot handle crosses and this may cost them in the long run. Player of the season – Heskey to prove his cri tics wrong by scoring a hatful of goals. Bad boy of the season – Fowler slapping Le Saux where it hurts after a major bust up. Top GoalScorer – Owen 21. Big games of the season – Everton, Man Utd. HerbVoid’s heart says – They need to beat the lesser teams in the division to challenge in the league and this will not happen .I don’t mind Liverpool, just dislike Phil Thompson their assistant, if you ever watch him at the games, hes a complete whining Muppet. --------------------------------------------- So there are my top five teams for the season. Trust me, unless something goes really wrong for one of these teams, no one will get a look in. Money is one thing these teams all have in common and it will take along time for the’ BIG FIVE’ to be seriously challenged. My tip is Leeds United Each Way 8/1 at Corals. They will need to finish in the top 3 for you to collect. All the rest of the teams outside these five are for novelty bets only and don’t waste your hard earned money. --------------------------------------------- 6th – 9th Spots In no specific order ASTON VILLA Nicknames – Villa WWW – www.avfc.co.uk Tickets – £15 - £25 Home Fans £20 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 42,790 Villa Park Transfers – Kachloul, Hadji Comment – Average team, loud manager. Will be sacked soon. CHARLTON Nicknames – Reds WWW – www.cafc.co.uk Tickets – £22 - £25 Home Fans £20 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 26,500 The Valley Transfers – Euell, Young Comment – Will entertain this season and not lose many at the Valley. SUNDERLAND Nicknames – WWW – www.safc. com Tickets – £15 - £25 Home Fans £18 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 48 ,000 Stadium of Light Transfers – Medina Comment – Tough and aggressive with very little skill. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR Nicknames – Spurs WWW – www.spurrs.co.uk Tickets – £26 - £46 Home Fans £26 - £46 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 36,263 White Hart Lane Transfers – Sheringham, Poyet, Comment – Their fans expect, their team never deliver. --------------------------------------------- 10th – 16th Spots. The mid table teams, that may get sucked into relegation or push for a top 10 finish if all goes well. BLACKBURN Nicknames – Rovers WWW – www.rovers.co.uk Tickets – £20 - £26 Home Fans £20 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 31,367 Ewood Park Transfers – Grabbi Comment – A solid team that have some excellent young players. Duff, Dunne, Jansen. IPSWICH Nicknames – Town WWW – www.itfc.co.uk Tickets – £19.50 - £28.50 Home Fans £19.50 Away Fans Ground Capacity –30,000 Portman Road Transfers – None Comment – To be put in their place this season with a mixed bag of results. LEICESTER CITY Nicknames – The Foxes, The blues WWW – www.lcfc.com Tickets – £17 - £29 Home Fans £17 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 22,848 Filbert Street Transfers – Sowcroft, Wise. Comment – How many rubbish players will he buy? MIDDLESBROUGH Nicknames – Boro. WWW – www.mfc.co.uk Tickets – £15 - £32 Home Fans £24 - £32 Away Fans Ground Capacity –35,000 Riverside Transfers – Wilson. Southgate. Comment – With fatty upfront they will win some games. But with their leaky defence they will lose a lot more. NEWCASTLE UNITED Nicknames – Toon WWW – www.nufc.co.uk T ickets – SOLD OUT £25 Away Fans Ground Capacity –52,219 St James Park Transfers – Bellermy and that French winger for £9 million, hehe. Comment – Big club, poor team. Not much chance this season. SOUTHAMPTON Nicknames – Saints WWW – www.saintsfc.co.uk Tickets – £22 - £29 Home Fans £12.50 - £14 Away Fans Ground Capacity –32,000 St Mary’s Transfers – None Comment – Le tiss is god. WEST HAM UNITED Nicknames – Hammers WWW – www.whufc.co.uk Tickets – £27 - £45 Home Fans £33 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 26,054 Upton Park Transfers – None Comment – If they can keep their best players they will finish mid table. --------------------------------------------- 17th – 20th Spots – The real battle. These teams I expect to be in the relegation fight from day one. Perm any three from four. BOLTON Nicknames – The Wanderers WWW – www.bwfc.co.uk Tickets – £14 - £19 Home Fans £14 - £17 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 28,000 Reebok Stadium Transfers – Comment – Yo-yo club, up down up down. Struggle all season. DERBY Nicknames – The Rams WWW – www.dcfc.co.uk Tickets – £20 - £30 Home Fans £25 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 33,597 Pride Park Transfers – The White Feather! Ravanelli. Comment – Interesting to see how well Ravanelli goes this season. EVERTON Nicknames – Blues WWW – www.evertonfc.com Tickets – £18 - £26 Home Fans £22 - £24 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 40,200 Goodison Park Transfers – Stubbs & that Canadian forward! Comment – Walter Smith will be sacked or walk before the end of the season. FULHAM Nickname s – WWW – www.flhamfc.co.uk Tickets – £16 - £20 Home Fans £16 - £20 Away Fans Ground Capacity – 19,500 Carven Cottage Transfers – Van Da Sar Comment –I hope they do well, but pretty football and bad players will take its toile. --------------------------------------------- Tip for team to get relegated: Everton 2/1. Have a nice season all and have fun.
Can You Kick It or CYKI to anyone that uses it is the BEST free online fantasy football website around. Yes I know there is not hundreds about but it’s the market leader, trust me. Background CYKI (I am not going to type it out every time!) was created July last year (2000), as part of the Neoto web network. You only way I know this because of a small icon on the front page; this is the only indication of CYKI’s roots. No ABOUT US section maybe they want to stay anonymous webmasters? After I graduated last year I went on a nice long holiday, during my time away I received an email inviting me to join a online fantasy football league. I have done a lot of fantasy football leagues in the past, normally the telegraphs or the Suns. Both of which cost quite a fair bit if you really wanted a good chance at winning anything (Transfers were conducted through snail mail and phone calls). So the idea of a free online league appealed to me. I went to the site and signed up and joined the private league with some fellow graduates. Over the season there were times when the site was not updated, the statistics were incorrect and the email updates were sporadic. Hey it was a new website and give them a season to work all the problems out. At the end of the first season I came 1064 position out of 15043 total teams. When the chance came around to join CYKI again I jumped in with both feet. I went to the website and was really surprised. Here is what I found: Design Very fast, single frame-loading site. The colour scheme is made up of different shades of green (very clear to read the text). The navigation menu is down the left hand side with a standard banner at the top with CYKI logo on the left. CYKI believes in keeping things simple, that’s what I like. The page loaded up in the three browsers I used (IE5.5, Navigator & Linux Default browser) without any problems. During the day the speed see med to be very fast, I am not sure if it will stay as fast when the season starts and the traffic really does increase, we will have to see. Content HOME- default page, which displays the main headlines of the site. Stuff like when the league starts, change of rules, server downtime and finally links to register new team and kick off. (Season starts 18th August for those interested) So if you are new to the site and wish to register a team press on the REGISTER TEAM link on the homepage. You are now greeted with a form to fill out. Not so bad, standard confirm email address, password, First / Last name, Home country, sex, birthday and finally tick box if you wish to receive email updates each week by them. When you press Confirm you are given screen with list of your details entered. All correct option YES /NO? If yes you are greeted with a new screen, here you enter your team name and team colours. Now enter your team selection. You have 70 million to select 15 players (All the standard fantasy football rules apply, nothing silly) you basically press on the player you want and select them for you team. Money is tight and good players cost a lot. After pulling your hair out for 30 minutes and you finally have your team selected (New feature is pick random team! So for those who don’t know anything about football or just want a fast registration this option is for you. I ended up with 12 players wearing red with the random selector; weird and boring fact number one folks). Now what? Enter team and a new screen shows up. This basically gives you the stats on your team, starting 11 selections, captain of your team (double points), my leagues, transfers, team & manager details (The stuff you entered at registration) and finally logout button. Transfers are the bog standard jobby, cost you 2 points per transfer so be careful. My league is an important link here. If you don’t enter a league y ou will be solely based in the public one, along with 30000 teams. If you have a life and friends you can make private leagues and have your own forum (DooyooElite is one league I entered and has around 30 teams from the Opinionated dooyoo forums) to chat and brag in. If you don’t know anyone else who plays CYKI join one of the many open mini-leagues and make new friends that way. RULES – this basically contains the important rules and regulations. Last season some of the rules sucked. For example you could have had 11 of the same teams players in your fantasy football team, transfers didn’t penalise players enough etc. CYKI listened to people and changed the rules to make it a much tighter ship this season. My favourite change this season is that if one of your starting 11 players does not play in the game, CYKI will auto assign one of your sub players. This saves a lot of time and hassle for the managers and saves you from looking who’s on the injured list 10 times a week. It also outlines the scoring details, how many points you gain if a defender scores, or a player is sent off, etc. Nothing is left to chance or open to debate. STATISTICS – This is the hub of the site. The most viewed pages on the site. Every possible stat concerning the league and the players are placed in a lovely designed page here. Some interesting stats include the Top 10 team valued teams, Top 10 teams of the week, Most supported team, highest scoring defender, most subbed midfielder, highest increase in player value, since the start of the season. Yes folks it’s your football geeks heaven. I managed to get 10th in the list of team of the week last season. MY TEAM – This goes back to your team control centre. Selections, team list, personal stats, private league stats all found here. NEWS – This is a nice little mini-portal of the guardian newspapers online football unlimited. You may or may not be f amiliar with the guardian’s football articles but they are written by some of the countries leading sports journalists. Headline news, injury news, transfer gossip and just about everything else football related is located under this section. Saves you going anywhere else. HELP – Another simple section that contains a FAQ of the most common possible problems you may encounter while playing CYKI. From “How do I join my friend’s league” explained right through to contact details for further assistance. (One good thing I may add is that the creator of any private league has Moderator powers for that league; he can ban teams, invite teams and generally make sure the league is run correctly). So that’s about it for the content. It’s a lot smoother than last season. The stats page has been developed even further and the rules have been tweaked to make it fairer to all. CONCLUSION This site has just about everything; it appeals to any type of manger out there: The football geek that wants to change his players around and have numerous teams in lots of private leagues, right through to the novice football fan who has a randomly picked team and just stays involved in the overall league and never visits the site again. That’s the beauty of CYKI; it can be tailored to your needs. The most important feature for me is the email update that can be sent to you each Friday at your request. It is often a godsend; if I have forgotten to review my team or make a transfer before the game I have a final reminder and chance to do so. I wrote this review because it’s such a good site. There is not longer a need to pay for the privilege of a well-run fantasy league, come here and have fun. There is no prize money on offer just the chance to impress your friends and finish above them at the end of the season. Anyone who wants to join and get involved with a private friendly league email me and I will be more than happy to help you out. Thanks.
There comes a time in everyone's life when you have to just spend a lot of money to get something you don't REALLY need, this was MY TIME. BACKGROUND While I studied at University I was one of the lucky people that got a full grant and my fees paid for. So at the beginning of my final year I had £2000 burning a hole in my pocket begging to the spent. So what do I spend it on? Well I went into town and pondered on a new laptop, or a games console with loads of games. Then I saw IT! It was at the Sony shop in Leeds city centre. As soon as I saw it I knew it was fate, our paths had crossed for a reason and it was going to be mine. What am I an about? Well it's the Sony KP-41DS1U 41 inch TV. A monster! (I currently owned a 14" TV, so it was huge to me anyway). So I went into shop and gathered around the TV looking at its features and generally trying not to look too keen (so I could haggle a bit, with my cash). I called over a geek in a suit and we chatted away about the TV. He gave me the details of the features the TV had: FEATURES 1) Widescreen - (Yup you expect that for a £1,800 asking price). 2) Digital decoder - This means you can tune in to ONdigital's (Now ITV) pay-TV Digital channels (50, including sky sports) without any installation, just a special Ariel for £30. 3) Extra's - Round the back is set of connectors including three Scarts, stereo phono outputs, and an input for a centre speaker. There is also the usual assortment of AV, S-Video and headphones inputs. 4) Look - The main speakers are in a cabinet underneath the screen. Sony has taken no chances and fashioned a set with a contemporary gunmetal-coloured surround. Silver front and dark grey base. 5) Remote - The handset features Sony's mouse-style control with flip-up top that reveals controls for Sony VCRs. You can also access those digital channels from this remote if and when you get it, so no need for more remotes. 6) Programming and Video - The set includes Sony?s electronic programming guide. The KP-41DS1U's major trump card is its ease of use in recording programmes. With the simple press of a button - provided your VCR also features the Smartlink facility found on the TV - you can automatically record without having to touch the VCR. 7) Picture / Screen - There is a facility for adjusting contrast and the colour of the. The picture quality is excellent for rear-projection, which has now shaken away its poor image of the past. SPEC (For those interested) In brief: 41inch screen ¥ CRT-based ¥ Analogue and digital terrestrial decoders ¥ Nicam Stereo ¥ various picture format options ¥ Sleep timer ¥ Fastest ¥ Electronic programming guide ¥ NTSC playback ¥ Smartlink. FRONT AV inputs ¥ S-Video ¥ Headphones REAR 3x Scart ¥ Aerial socket ¥ Phono stereo outputs ¥ Centre speaker input. (Taken from Sony manual). THE PURCHASE After 10 minutes with the Sony chap discussing the TV I decided to purchase the thing. I asked him if I paid with cash what would the price be? The asking price of £1800 was knocked down to £1580. I shook on the deal and arranged for it to be delivered free of charge the following day. AT HOME Seeing as I lived in a terrace house with 4 other students space was at a premium, I cleared my room for the impending arrival! Ok so I had a lot of junk but the TV was going to be the centrepiece of my room (Did they really think I was going to put the TV in the main room!). It arrived and I somehow managed to get it up stairs. It took about 30 minutes to install and set-up with my Sony video, no problems for the novice user. All my mates were so jealous it was unreal. CONCLUSION It's going to be my main TV for life or until it breaks. The TV has everything you need. Great picture quality, massive sc reen size, home cinema surround sound, text and finally the capacity to pickup ITV digital service when I can be bothered. I spend so much time watching my DVDs, video's and playing Dreamcast games using this TV; it's proved to be such good value. When it comes to purchasing a TV I believe you pay for what you get, and you know with Sony it's going to be quality. 2 years down the line I have had no problems still with it. God bless um and all that may watch her. UPDATE - Damm remote broke! got another one ordered should come this week. free!