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I was looking to get a new laptop but didn't want to spend a huge amount of money. Then I started seeing netbooks around and decided that I could either by an expensive netbook, as this is or a cheap laptop. I decided to go with the this netbook for a number of reasons.
Firstly, It has a huge 160gb hard drive - not smaller solid state Drive (SSD) that many of the other models run (typically 8-16gb)
Secondly, it runs Windows XP out-of-the-box which is great. Most of the current netbooks seem to run different flavours of Linux instead of Windows. There is nothing wrong with Linux as I have installed Ubuntu 8.10 Netbook Remix on here with not many problems.
Thirdly, the battery life is just amazing. At around 6-7 hours per charge whilst running Windows in "Silent Mode" with low brightness, it is very useful for taking on the plane, even for long flights.
There is no CD or DVD drive on this machine, and everything needs to be loaded with a USB stick, over the network or using a USB hard drive.
This machine comes with a built in VGA port so that you can plug it in to a monitor, as well as Bluetooth which is useful for syncing contacts etc with a mobile phone. The built in Wi-Fi seems particually good also. I have never had a dropped connection with it yet which I seem to have with my desktop and my last laptop.
The keys are very big for a netbook and are not much smaller than a normal laptop which makes it a lot easier to type on. I am actually writing this review on it currently.
This netbook comes bundled with hardly any software apart from some Samsung aps which control battery life etc. You do get a free "case" to put it in though. This case is just a material slip case but it still quite handy to stop it getting scratched.
The built in web cam is of very good quality. I have conducted a couple of international Skype calls through it and not had any problems.
I really like the ability to be able to switch between battery life/power modes easily. You can choose "Silent" which only uses half of the processor speed available (1.6ghz total so only .8ghz in this mode), the normal mode which automatically shifts between .8 and 1.6ghz when the machine thinks it is required. Also there is the "speed mode" which is automatically set at high power.
The performance of the different modes is good, with the "silent mode" being powerful enough to use most programs. However, when running video - even youtube, the power isn't enough and needs to be set to one of the other modes. The automatic and speed modes don't seem to be different (proving that the switching on auto is good). The main obvious difference being the brightness)
The only small drawback for this machine (apart form the price) is the built in mouse track pad. It is very small and highly sensitive and the right hand side of it is used as an up/down feature in browsers, but without keeping you eye on it there is no way to stop yourself pressing it accidently. The good news, however, is that the sensitivity can be changed and you can also turn off the right hand side of it.
I use this netbook mostly in silent mode and with the brightness turned right down. This is still bright enough and powerful enough for most applications. When I even move the brightness up one notch it seems too bright.
It comes with 1gb of memory but can be cheaply and easily upgraded to 2gb, but there is only one slot, so the 1gn in the machine will have to come out.
All in all, I would highly recommend this machine to anybody who surfs the internet, checks email, uses ITunes, Office work and don't need to play high-end games.
Probably the best classic - no - best ever Doctor Who story.
The original release of this DVD have several missing special effects from episodes 1 & 2. However, these were sorted out for the Special Edition release as part of the Davros box set.
The Daleks are the most well known of all of the Doctor Who baddies, and will therefore not need much of an introduction here. They have appeared in many different stories since the first Doctor, and every Doctor met them at some point, and this time it is the turn of the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy.
Joined by his assistant at the time, Ace (Sophie Aldred), the Doctor returns to 1963 to the same place as the first ever episode of the classic series, actually broadcast in 1963 (referenced in one episode where the camera stays on a TV just long enough to almost hear them announcing the arrival of a new TV series, Doc....)
Full of references to the past of the programme, of the Doctor and of the Daleks, one would feel that it would be almost impossible for a new viewer to watch. However, I would argue that it is a very good introduction to the series for anybody.
The Daleks are trying to seek out some technology that the first Doctor left on Earth at this time, a very powerful weapon. There are two opposing Dalek factions, of which the humans just happen to be in the way of.
I'm always wary of delving too much in to the stories of Doctor Who for fear of giving too much away, and this is definitely not one to give away the last few scenes of.
There are several interesting deleted scenes, including an extended Café scene, where the Doctor has a conversation with the man behind the counter . (you may recognise him as Jeffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air)
Other than that, the features are very standard. This was one for the first classic series DVDs released, and therefore isn't packed with extras. It is definitely worth keeping a look-out for the Special Edition DVD from the Davros box set as it includes an exclusive 5.1 surround sound remix, as well as two new documentaries, "Back to School" which is a making-of featurette including most of the main actors involved in the story, and "Remembrances" which is a talk about the continuity references in this story.
All in all, this DVD is a good buy, an entertaining story, but if you have the original episode of Doctor Who, "An Unearthly Child" on DVD or video already, the continuity isn't all it could be. For example, the classroom that Ace picks up a book apparently left by Susan in "An Unearthly Child" is clearly a different one, as well as the book being totally different. This is not enough to take anything away from the story, however.
Originally broadcast throughout October 1988, this four-part story runs to approximately 93 minutes.
I have only given four starts because of the availability of the special edition. If there was no SE, it would get 5 stars!
I was really looking forward to seeing his movie at the cinema, but unfortunately(?), never had the chance. I finally got the DVD of the film for £6 after the blu-ray hasn't come down in price since it came out.
The X-Files was a TV series which ran between 1993-2002, with a movie in between in 1998 called "Fight the Future". The series generally consisted either of a monster-of-week or a story-arc episode.
The story arc involved an alien/government conspiracy but (thankfully) is not dealt with, or even mentioned in this movie.
Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is an ex-FBI agent, who investigated unexplained phenomena, and oversaw the files of these phenomena, "the x-files".
Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) was introduced to Mulder in the first episode of the series as his partner, generally a sceptic, she was a good muse to Mulder's belief in all things supernatural.
Apparently set six years after the end of the series, the two protagonists, mentioned above are living together as a couple.
Their relationship is believable, but I have to ask why, as they are a couple, they still call each other by their surnames. This film feels like a continuation of the series as an extended monster-of-the-week episode. It is not one of the best stories that the franchise has told, either.
The film starts with an FBI agent visiting Scully and telling her of a colleague of the agent) that is in danger and telling her that they (the FBI) need the help of Mulder, and asks Scully to convince him to help.
Once Mulder agrees to help them, he is introduced to an ex-priest, Father Joe (played convincingly by Billy Connoly) who appears to be psychic and is trying to find the missing agent, but finds an arm in the snow.
There is a lot of tension in the film between many of the characters, especially when Scully discovers that Father Joe is a paedophile. She no longer wants anything to do with the case and Mulder now wants to get involved even more. The tension is good between the characters as Scully originally convinced Mulder to help, but then wants him to step away.
There is another plot also happening in the film involving Scully, whom is now a Doctor in a catholic hospital and trying to help a terminally ill child, who she wants try an experimental procedure on.
The main problem I have with this film is that what happens to the child is left in the air, whether he lives or dies. It would have enhanced my enjoyment of the movie if this was at least resolved, even if it was only with on-screen text.
There is a guest appearence by Mitch Pileggi, playing Walter Skinner from the TV series.
The DVD is very lacklustre. The only specials are a commentary (by director and co-writer Chris Carter (also creator of the franchise), and other writer Frank Spotnitz). and three short deleted scenes.
The deleted scenes don't bring very much to the film, and you can see why they were deleted. The commentary offers a lot of insight into the various filming techniques used in the making of the film. However, it will not necessarily be interesting for those interested in the X-Files, but mostly those interested in direction and production.
Although this film isn't fantastic, I hope they make another instalment because it is really good seeing these characters again.
Film length: 103 minutes approx.
Ubuntu (pronounced oo-boon-too) Linux is a free, open-source alternative operating system (OS) to Microsoft Windows.
Free means free as in "free beer" (no cost) and "free speech" (can be modified by anyone who can program). The software can be downloaded from the Ubuntu website free of charge or ordered from them for free (CD & P&P included)
8.04 is a Long Term Support release, which means that is gets updates through to April 2011. The first digit (ie 8) is the year of the release, and the second two digits are the month of release.
I have installed this operating system on my desktop PC and also my Samsung NC10 netbook.
When I first thought about installing them, I used a so-called "live-CD" (on usb for the netbook). Using the live-CD, you can experience the operating system with no risk to your current operating system. That is, it doesn't install unless you ask it to, but you can run straight off of the CD (or USB). 8.04 can also be run from within Windows.
Most of the software available for Linux is free of charge, including a host of programs which are installed at time of installation. With 8.04, you get the following as default:
FIREFOX WEB BROWSER
I am sure most people who are reading this will be aware of Firefox, an excellent alternative to Internet Explorer on Windows and the best browser on Ubuntu.
OPEN OFFICE .ORG
Is fully compatible with any Microsoft Office documents that you may have, and include the following (with the Microsoft Office equivalents in brackets). Writer (Word), Calc (Excel), Impress (PowerPoint), Base (Access) & Draw (a drawing program).
Many other programs (including games) are installed by default, with a seemingly unending list of others that you can install. More programs are easy to install, simply go to the equivalent of the start menu then -> add/remove software - programs will install for free and quickly.
I dual boot with Ubuntu/Windows, which means that when I start my computer, I can choose which OS to run.
You do need a small amount of technical knowledge, but a lot of the decisions can be made for you on installation. I would recommend that people that are not very technical avoid installation to begin with and run the live CD.
Exactly the same problem as everyone else - my wife, who is a registered childminder, ordered at beginning of Feb was promised order (£150 car seat) within 3-4 days, 1 month later finally got an email saying they are expecting stock in 10-14 days. Just not good enough. The never reply to emails, and are extremely rude on the telephone, will just keep repeating the "company line" that you have to email in to after sales, they cannot speak on the telephone.
Do NOT use this company, I have never dealt with any company like this before. I have written to cancel the order as per advice from Trading Standards and am awaiting their reply (ha ha).
To top it all, the MD of the company was on Watchdog today - they had over 500 complaints - and Two Left Feet have have set up a special email address - firstname.lastname@example.org. They have promised that emails sent here will be answered, but if they do or not remains to be seen. We are seriously thinking about also writing to Watchdog.
If we ever hear back from them, I shall update this review.
Having first played the NES Mario Bros. games, and then whyen it came out playing Super Mario Bros. on my friends SNES, I was looking forward to playing this game after I bought it for my four-year-old Son for Christmas. (he asked for it!)
A rather annoying feature of the game is that you progress can only be saved once every 4-5 levels are completed and if you get to just before the save point and then lose, it is highly frustrating to keep going back and starting again.
We have worked our way through 5 of the eight worlds, but the levels don;t seem to get much harder as the game progresses so far. The bosses on each level have so far been incredibly easy to beat, and their repertoire of attacks is non-existent, relying on jumping and spinning in a highly repetitive fashion.
The music is very repetitive, it seems as if every other level plays the same music and this can get boring after a while, especially if you have to keep replaying levels because of the save feature mentioned above.
After reading this far, I realise it might seem as if I don't like this game, but I enjoy playing this when I get the chance as it reminds me a lot of the Super NES version and offers some unique parts which are also fun. But with obviously vastly superior graphics, and of course the extra screen. The bottom touch-sensitive screen is used to store an extra power-up that can be used as and when required.
I was so excited when I bought this DVD. I sat through the whole first season in a few days.
Quantum Leap is a secret government project. When the funding is about to be cut (in the future - not the present when the programme was made), the leading scientist decides to test the machine. When Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) awakes back in 1956, he discovers that he is a test pilot and has to test a fighter jet - but he has no idea how to fly. Sam discovers that he has actually "leaped" in to the body of another person. Everybody around Sam can see and hear the person he has "leapt" in to.
Al Calavici (Dean Stockwell) appears to Sam in the form of a hologram. Nobody can see or hear Al except Sam. Al attempts to help Sam "right a wrong" and when this is done, Sam leaps in to the body of another person with another wrong to right.
Presented across 3 DVDs, these nine episodes are in different packaging to subsequent seasons which is a bit annoying. However, it is not so different to look completely out of place. The extras in this box set are quite lacklustre. We only have a documentary with Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell remembering the program, and a piece of trivia for each episode from Scott Bakula.
~What I thought of it~
I love this programme. I originally started watching it when it came on TV in 1987, and I relished each new episode. Having not seen most of them for a long time, I really enjoyed watching them again.
I particularity enjoyed the pilot episode (both parts) as you can see how much thought went in to this program and both leads work very well with each other from the first scene. The Color (sic) of truth is also another strong episode, with the theme of racism set in 1955 America, where it is the norm for black people to be subservient to the whites.
The episodes in the first season are:
Genesis, Parts 1&2
The Right Hand of God
How the Tess Was Won
The Color of Truth
Play Again Seymour.
If you ever think about buying a Quantum Leap box set, the first season is definitely the first to buy as it skilfully introduces all the elements that make the programme so good. This is especially true if you have never seen it before.
I have to check digitalspy.co.uk every day. I have it as one of the start up tabs on my browser.
It is the best place that I have found to catch up on all the cult and gaming news, as well as a guilty quick look at the soap section from time to time. The news section on the home page covers all of this and more.
I start by looking through the news feeds before going on to the forums. There are so many topics on the forum covering (almost ;-]) any time of entertainment that you are interested in. From discussions on the latest episode of your favourite program, to hardware and software including an informative broadcast section.
I encourage anybody else to also visit this site. About the only thing that puts me off is the big brother section that gets highlighted on the front page. However, this appears to be the reason that so many other people like this site.
A gay spy section is also included for all that enjoy this lifestyle.
This is amongst my favourite websites. I started looking at it when I was browsing the web for freebies. I wasn't looking particularly hard, but when I came across this site, I was hooked. It is on moneysavingexpert.com that I found out about dooyoo.
I know check in on it at least a few times a week and am now a regular on the forums (using the same user name as here).
I very much enjoy the articles that Martin Lewis has spent a lot of time writing. It contains advise on any way that you are thinking of spending your money, from utility companies to banking charges.
I have signed up to Martin Lewis' (the man behind the site) weekly email list and it is full of warning about interest rate changes (to credit cards etc), when to change utility supplier, etc as well as including a little on the best and latest freebies.
I often find free cinema tickets to all of the latest films on the forums, and I have been to see quite a few of films - ones I wouldn't have otherwise gone to.
Martin Lewis deserves a lit of credit for this site, as he seems to be on the consumers' side and doesn't hide the fact that he makes money from the site, always giving the reader an option to click a different button so that no money is made from the links he supplies. Also, it is a completely ad-free site.
This platinum edition has three discs. 2 BD (Blu-Ray Disc) and one DVD. The high definition film (1080p) is on the Blu-Ray Disc and the standard definition is on the DVD.
~BLU-RAY vs DVD~
The 3-discs allow you to set up both your DVD player and Blu-Ray player and compare both versions of the film. I was amazed at the difference between the versions. On the Blu-Ray version, the picture was far crisper and you could see a lot more of the screen. Although I new BDs were better, I didn't realise the difference was this stark - even for a 50 year old film.
Sleeping Beauty is a Disney Classic. Princess Aurora is cursed at birth by the evil witch Maleficent. The curse is that the princess will die by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. The King, Aurora's father, order all spinning wheel to be banned from the kingdom.
The film is a traditional telling of the classic Sleeping Beauty story, and indeed, as become the de facto telling of the story. It is as magical today as I would imagine in was 50 years ago.
As mentioned earlier, their are two BD and one DVD. The BD features 7.1 surround sound as well as the 1080p HD picture. A game is included, which although not much fun, is worth a look to see the difference between the BD and DVD technology.
The BD also includes:
The DVD also includes:
All-new music video
5.1 surround sound
The film runs for approximately 76 minutes. This is worth buying to start your Disney BD collection. I hope that other Disney BD releases can match this quality.
This DVD contains a story from the last series of classic Doctor Who (series 26), actually being the last story to be filmed.
Starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, the serial is an experiment in a new way of story telling in as much as half the time (especially on first viewing), the viewer will have no idea what is happening. There is no obvious conclusion to the end of the story. Like the rest of the stories in this series, the Tardis interior is unseen.
The Doctor takes his companion, Ace (Sophie Aldred) back to a mansion, "Gabrielle Chase", that she has nightmares about.
He has taken her back to 1883, and we learn why the house gives Ace 'The Creeps", as well as a more personal link.
Although I enjoyed the story, I found it incredibly confusing and need to watch it again to understand it better.
Unlike some classic Doctor Who DVD releases, the disc doesn't have a picture on the surface, but instead just relies on perfectly adequate text.
The story runs over three episodes and is approximately 75 minutes in length. The DVD is rated PG and is complete with a host of extras as is to be expected of a 2|Entertain Doctor Who disc. These include a commentary on the episodes by Sophie Aldred and then script editor, Andrew Cartmel as well as two other people involved in the production. Also included are deleted scenes and a 5.1 remix of the sound.
Other extras include:-
* LIGHT IN DARK PLACES - The making of Ghost Light
* SHOOTING GHOSTS - A unique look at the studio recording process
* WRITER'S QUESTION TIME - The Author of this story answers questions
* MUSIC ONLY OPTION
* PRODUCTION SUBTITLES
I am writing with particular reference to the ban in England (although I am aware that the whole of the UK has similar laws)
I for one are very happy about the smoking ban. As a non-smoker I like the fact that I can go out with my family without having smoke breathed in to my and my loved ones' faces.
My daughter is asthmatic and we used to have to be very careful where we chose to go, but not any more! The only problem that we now face is when we walk in to places and on the way out, there is almost always a small group of people huddled around smoking.
A smile comes on to my face every time I see a "it is against the law to smoke on these premises" sign. I simply cannot believe that we had the good sense as a country to stop the anti-social behaviour.
When the ban was introduced, I didn't think it was going to be taken very seriously by smokers or by establishments, but I will say a very positive thing about smokers - and that is that they are generally taking the ban seriously and I haven't yet seen anybody taking a cheeky fag inside a banned area yet.
According to the latest figures, the ban doesn't appear to have made a big difference to people smoking - but even if that is true, the proportion of people being subjected to second hand smoke must have decreased greatly.
My personal philosophy is that murder is wrong.
This means that for a person to commit a murder is wrong. For this person to be punished by murdering them is wrong. If we say to society that murder is wrong, then how can we justify murdering a person who has murdered? Once somebody has been subject to Capital Punishment (CP), they are no longer suffering.
Surely a better punishment, and also a better deterrent is to keep somebody in prison - for literally life - with nothing but the basics to stay alive and live with themselves?
I also think that we have to try very hard to make sure that they do not commit suicide because this is exactly what they want - to be "got rid of" so they no longer suffer.
When I've said this before, people have said that when people get a life sentence it isn't actually for the rest of their life in many cases - but this is no reason not to make life mean life not only for a murderer and also rapists too.
People also say that once CP has been used, that murderers are no longer a burden on the state in terms of feeding and housing them - but again - for a punishment to be a punishment this shold be a burden we are prepared to take on.
Is CP actually seen to be a punishment or is it supposed to be a deterrent? I believe that if life imprisonment for a murderer/rapist meant life with no niceties at all, just basic rations and no personal contact with anyone, it would be a far better deterrent than CP.
Probably the best film of all time, in this reviewers humble opinion. I went to the cinema to see this, mainly because it had Bruce Willis, one of my favourite actors in. At the end of the film, the whole audience stood up and clapped. I have never seen this before or sense.
When I left the cinema I was a convert to M. Night Shyamalan. HE is simply one of the best writers/directors that Hollywood has produced.
The film concerns Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), who is a child psychologist. When he helps eight year old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), he learns that the boy is receiving visits from the dead.
The end is, as you, the reader may know, a twist. I shall not give anything away here but if you haven't seen the film, do not read any more reviews and buy it to watch immediately. I wouldn't waste your time renting it as you will want to see it more than once.
I for one didn't see the twist coming ad I don't know if I believe people who say they knew exactly what was going to happen.
The extras included on this disc are good. Better than most standard edition movie DVDs. The are as follows:
* Storyboard to film comparison
* Music and Sound Design
* Meet the Cast
* Reaching the Audience
* Rules and Clues
* Deleted Scenes
* A conversation with M. Night Shyamalan
The film is rated 15. And whilst there is no gore, the psychological element alone is worth this rating, and I suspect that it is why it received this rating.
Willis also starred in the M. Night Shyamalan movie, Unbreakable which you can read about elsewhere on here.
I bought this DVD for my Son and thought that it would be a really good way to spend an evening.
This film is different to most animated movies as it set amongst a mountain backdrop and oozes quality. The CGI is so clear as to almost seem like it's Blu Ray and not DVD.
The story finds Po, a Panda trying to break out of his (adopted?) family's traditional business of running a restraunt and instead wanting to become a Kung-Fu Fighter in a clan called "Dragon Warrior".
As is to be expected with animated films, the characters involved are all animals living in a human-type society.
I have to be completely honest and admit that about half way through the film I got bored. The kid's didn't seem to interested either. It's not that the film is bad, it just spends a lot of time doing nothing. And the end of the film - I have no idea what happened, it just kind of finished.
Also, since watching it my Son seems intent on doing Kung-Fu Panda moves around the house. This takes off a star from the film for me.
The DVD extras are rather lacklustre too. However, I believe I saw a special edition of the movie which must include more.
Running time: 88 minutes