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Matt12591

Matt12591
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Member since: 16.02.2011

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    • TomTom Rider Pro / GPS Sat Nav / 6 Readings / 4 Ratings
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      17.02.2011 17:32
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      An excellent navigation tool.

      Back in January I went out for a ride on the motorbike, got lost in the middle of no where in Wales at which point it started raining. Now there is nothing worse than riding a motorbike whilst raining and lost. You can get cold, frustrated which can take the enjoyment away from riding and potentially lead to accidents. At this point I turned on the TomTom Rider Pro and using the intuitive touch menu system I told it to take me to the nearest petrol station. Whilst there I brought a pasty and by the time I had finished that the rain had stopped and the sun was out leading to a rather enjoyable ride.

      On the front of the TomTom Rider is the touch screen, the right hand side of the unit is where the on/off button is located (cant be used with a gloved hand) and on the back is where the mounting unit is attached.
      On the bottom is a sealed port when covered. This cover also cant be used with a gloved hand so make sure it is shut before riding. The port is where you can connect your TomTom Rider to a PC to receive updates, backup the unit or just download different colours/start up pictures.

      The TomTom Rider cant just be connected to any computer to receive updates, the computer must have at least one USB port for the TomTom, and have the correct software installed. Out of the box the TomTom comes with a mounting kit, the actual unit, an instruction manual in various languages, a charger, different plug pins for different country's and a CD. It is this CD that contains the TomTom Rider software. Simply play the CD as you would an ordinary CD or DVD, a box will pop up saying are you sure you want to run TomTom Rider Pro Home software or words to that effect. You then simply follow the on screen instructions, the software very much like the unit is easy to use.

      The TomTom Rider has a length of about 8cm with a width of about 9cm. Depth is 4cm. My first impressions of the unit were bomb proof. Being designed for use on a motorbike this thing is built like a tank, I have read reports of people coming off there motorbikes and seeing there TomTom Rider sliding down the road, only to pick it up and have it still working. The only slight damage being to the rubber strip that runs all the way around the unit to aid in gripping with a gloved hand.

      The image of the TomTom Rider sliding down the road may make you believe the mounting system is not secure. I can assure you now that it is more than secure enough for everyday riding but I would advise against leaving it attached to motorbike, if leaving the motorbike unattended. The mounting unit itself consists of two ball attachments and one double ended socket attachment. One of the ball attachments goes on the back of the TomTom Rider, the other connects somewhere either on the handlebars or mirrors. The double ended socket links the two ball attachments together. Being ball and socket joints you have a lot of freedom in where you want to place the unit.

      Once turned on the TomTom Rider Pro is very easy to use. The first thing that must be done is to set up the unit (Time, date etc). After this is done you will be presented with a Welcome screen and then the main screen, which consists of a Plan Route button, Browse Map button and an Options button which is where you can configure the TomTom Rider to your liking. The display its self is crystal clear and even switches to a night mode when low levels of ambient light are detected.

      I cannot comment on headsets for use with the unit as I do not have one, I am aware however that a number of headsets are compatible with the unit (for full list see TomTom website). These headsets enable you to receive spoken instructions from the unit as well as send and receive phone calls provided you have connected to your phone via blue tooth.

      Whilst there are probably better units on the market unless you really need to know everything about the environment you are travelling through, height, temperature and gradient of the hills you really cant go wrong with the TomTom Rider Pro for everyday road riding.

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    • Lava Lamps / Homeware / 5 Readings / 4 Ratings
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      16.02.2011 15:40

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      Wax + Bottle + Heat = Winning Combination

      A novelty item used for decoration more than anything, they have been about in various shapes, sizes and colours since the sixties, nineteen sixty three to be exact. The idea could not be simpler, a 25 - 40 watt contained in some sort of plastic base heats a bottle directly above it containing wax and water. The wax expands, rises to the top of the bottle, cools, sinks back down and the process is started over. It can take anything up to 2 hours for the wax to fully start to flow but that does not detract from the enjoyment of watching a lava lamp during this period. During this period of time the wax can and will form quite intricate structures and it can be quite mesmerising to see these built up and then melted. The bottom and top of the lava lamps are encased in plastic both as a safety feature to block some heat ( don't let children touch, can get very hot) and to add form to the bottle usually in the shape of a rocket.

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    • More +
      16.02.2011 12:40

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      One of if not the best antivirus programs available.

      My search for an anti virus program started with my first computer. At first I just used the basic anti virus programs until I discovered others that were more thorough. I first tried the free version of AVG and ended up getting a virus, it was then that I found Avast and have been using it ever since. Using a total of 7 different shields and 4 different ways to scan your system Avast has yet to fail me.

      What I like most about Avast is it's ease of use whilst still maintaing 100% function. Want to scan your computer? Simply select scan computer and choose what is to be scanned be that the whole system, part of the system or a removable media (DVD, USB stick etc). It really is that simple. If there is one thing that I find bad about Avast is the way an info box will pop up and some audio plays saying virus database has been updated. Its very very minor but it comes up everytime the computer is switched on and can get a bit tedious. The only way I have found to turn it off is to turn on silent gaming mode. This stops all pop up boxes and audio from Avast.

      Overall an excellent antivirus, updated quite regular and I have no real complaints, Will continue to use Avast in the future.

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    • Job Centre / Employment Service / 8 Readings / 5 Ratings
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      16.02.2011 12:02
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      Dont even bother unless your back is to the wall

      I had finished college and was looking to start to stand on my own two feet so I sent a few CV's to local companies and business's. After a couple of weeks of no luck I enrolled at my local job centre and subjected myself to a barrage of forms and proof of identity checks. The first three weeks or so were fine, it was after the first three weeks that I felt I was being looked down upon by these people that had a job because of me not having one. As one of the most public faces of the goverment I was quite disheartened by what was being said to me. So this continued for a few weeks after which I was told to go in every week to sign on instead of the usual two. What a mess that turned out to be. Twice as many people there meant twice as long to be there to see someone. I have nothing good to say about the job centre what so ever, if you can use an online job website such as Monster. There are that many more jobs available and your not looked down upon either, really only go to the job centre if your back is against the wall.

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      • More +
        16.02.2011 11:18
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        A few very minor problem for an otherwise excellent laptop

        After owning the HP Pavilion Dv6-3085ea for just over a week I am thoroughly impressed, a vast improvement over my previous laptop. Weighing in at 2-3kg's with a 15.6" (HP BrightView, LED Backlit, 1366 x 768 HD 16:9 Screen) it is not exactly the most portable of laptops, but being a DTR (Desktop Top Replacement) it doesnt have to be. The AMD PhenomTM II Triple-Core (P820, 1.8 GHz, 1.5MB 2 cache), 4GB (DDR3) and Dedicated (ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470 with 512MB Dedicated DDR3 RAM) enables HD movies to be watched smoothly and even graphic intensive games such as Empire: Total Wars to be played albeit not at maxium settings. However being able to do all this is no good if the speakers are not up to par and I am happy to say that in this case they are. The Intergrated Altec Lansing Stereo Speakers are excellent speakers, very good sound quality and would make a very good substitute for a stereo when combined with internet radio.
        The 500GB hard drive is more than adequate for usual computing needs and spinning at 7200 RPM it is quick to retrieve data as well. The out of the box operating system is Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit. Now, if you have previously used Vista you will find Windows 7 very similar but also much improved and when coupled with an internet browser such as Chrome it makes for a very satisfying computing experiance. The HP Pavilion comes loaded with all the usual features, paint, notepad etc but it also comes with a few features unique to HP as far as I'm aware. One of these features is called Tune Up. What this tool does is check for updates, create a restore point, defragment the hard drive and emptys the recycle bin all with one click. Very handy.

        The HP Pavilion also comes with a number of extras that "sweeten" the deal. A DVD Rewriter (Records DVDs 8x & CDs 24x & Dual Layer Super Multi), built in Wireless (802.11b/g/n Wireless), 10/100/1000 Gigabit Fast Ethernet, Integrated Webcam with Microphone (along with a desktop link to set up a Skype account), 5-in-1 card reader (SD//MS/MS-Pro/MMC/xD-Picture cardTM) and 4x USB 2.0 Ports
        There is also 1 External VGA Port, Kensington lock slot, 1x HDMI Port, 1x eSATA Port, and a Finger Print Reader which I have found to be of great use.

        However, whilst it is a excellent laptop I do have a few nitpicks. I have had this laptop little over a week and already the backspace key feels like it could be starting to stick, whether this is a design fault with the calculator style keys or something caught under the key I have yet to find out. I have found the ports particularly the headphone port to be tight, whilst I belive they will loosen given time it is unnerving to have to push the headphones with such force that you feel you might break them. My last nitpick is with the touchpad, I simply dont like them but this one in particular is difficult. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it wont. When it does work it works great, using gestures to zoom in and out but when it decides to stop working it will annoy no end. In my experiance with it what would happen is thus: In scrolling aross the screen the touch pad would only allow vertical movement even if you are still scrolling horizontal. You would then have to wait for a few seconds before you can begin scrolling again and I cannot figure out why it does this.

        In closing this is a very very good laptop and is certainly worth a look if your in the market for a laptop. My tip to you is shop around, I was able to pick mine up for little over £400, bargain.

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