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I waited for my H10 to be imported with what I think was one of the first batches into the UK. It was worth the wait!
I spent several months wrestling with all the options, sizes, makes, models, specs etc and finally shortlisted 3 or 4 players. The Iriver H10, the Creative Zen Micro, the Apple iPod Mini and the Mpio HD300. I finally settled on the Iriver - why? Read on and find out.
- Sound quality
- It's small and lightweight
- It has all the features I needed
- The photo viewer
- Reasonably priced
- Regular firmware updates
- It's not an Apple!
- It's not an Apple! (oops said it twice - must mean it)
- The colour screen, although novel at the time, is rather small. Reasonable quality though.
- The in-built text viewer can only show text in one font size so is almost useless for any serious 'reading'. I use it for lists of things that are useful to have on you. (I don't have a PDA or feature rich mobile phone - yet)
- Limited accessories included
- The supplied headphones. Suppose to be good quality but I found they di not stay in my ears. I bought 'in ear' replacements.
- The music management software (Iriver Plus) - not good but you can always wait for upgrades to improve it or use that other one - you know the one that 'comes' with MS-Windows - MS Windows Media Player.
I'm not going to list the whole spec' here but the important things are:
- 4GB hard disk (not filled mine yet)
- FM radio (it works well)
- Colour screen (ok but could have been bigger)
- Text viewer (ok but could have been better)
- Photo Viewer (ok but the screen is rather small)
- Pre-set equaliser settings (some good pre-sets)
- 1 customer equaliser setting (would be better with more)
- Acts like USB hard disk (no special software needed)
- Line-in recording (I've recorded some tracks off old tapes [not likely to play anything not digital anyway] - the recordings are amazing [I used a fairly good Hi-Fi tape deck to play the tapes though]
Accessories (I've bought):
- Docking cradle (you'll need this if you want to charge a spare battery and connect a line-in [looks after your player on your desk as well of course])
- Spare battery
- In-line remote control (still waiting for this though)
- A leather carry pouch (don't want the beautiful things getting damaged now do we)
I have had a number of Fujitsu Siemens laptops. This is by far the best I have had and I can safely say that compared to many other makes and models it is outstanding.
Ok so what do I like about it?
Firstly, I specifically wanted one that I could use on the train without bothering other travellers. It is small enough to sit happily on my knees without encroaching on other people's space.
Secondly, the build quality is amazing. Although it feels light it is not at all 'flimsy' and has a solid feel to it. The screen is of a good quality aswell, something not all laptops can claim.
Thirdly, it runs for ages on a single full battery charge something that some of my previous machines could not accomplish.
Fourthly, it came with a port extender / docking station so all I have to do when I get home is drop it into the interface flick the switch on my KVM and I can sit there with a proper keyboard, mouse and 17 inch TFT flat screen monitor - wonderful if you get frustrated untangling metres of cables everytime you want to connect it up at home.
Any downside or dislikes?
No not really. In fact I can't think of anything personally. I do know however that some people do find the mouse pad a bit awkward for long periods of use - but I don't really count that as it is easy to go and get a USB mouse. (Although it is difficult to use that 'on the move')
Where do you use it?
On the train
In the office
It has everything (I think).
I haven't used most of these - Bluetooth and Wireless - as I haven't had the need. Must be getting old.
Mine has a built in CD writer - very useful for backing up those important files.
I have had a Demon account for a long time (must be nearly 10 years now) starting with a dialup account and now an ADSL account. In between I also had an ISDN line installed which I used for work purposes for a year or so but was generally pretty disappointed with the unreliable connection and low speed. I made the move to ADSL because I was spending more and more time working from home and spending more and more time using internet services. I am glad I made the move because I am now studying an MBA and I would be absolutely lost without the speed and reliability I get from the service. I have a home ADSL router (an AlliedData CJ8MO E-U) and a separate 4 port hub (Netgear EN104) with two machines plugged in (My work laptop and my personal home machine.) Although the Demon service offers only one IP address associated with the connection to their Wide Area Network, through the miracles of technologyit is possible to get both my machines connected at the same time. One uses Demon internet access directly while the other (my work laptop) uses a VPN connection over the Demon infrastructure to connect to my employers network. (if I understand things correctly) The connection speed and service quality have been very good although setup did take a couple of calls to a friend who knows a bit more than me about these things. The main problem was loading the right settings into the ADSL router. Although the instructions provided by Demon were actually pretty good there was a bit of an assumption that you new a bit about what you were doing in order to get things working (since I opted for the self install option I guess I can't really complain!) I had one minor problem for a few days in which for some reason my account was reverted back to a dial-up service because of some administrative mess up- but it was corrected quickly and the technical support people were very go
od. Overall I wouldn't change my ISP unless someone paid me (or if there was a very much cheaper service available - which there isn't)
Ok so it took me about 2 years of deliberation to take the plunge and replace my ageing 17" CRT monitor (the one I bought with my first ever proper PC after an Amstrad PC1640 - remember those?). My 17" monitor was still going strong although 'strong' was what you had to be to move the thing. I had also become rather frustrated by the fact that a good proportion of my usable desk space had been unavailable for so long and since I was about to start studying an MBA I thought desk space would need to be optimised. How Much Did It Cost Me? ================== I bought my f1703 from John Lewis for about £350 (a bit more than I had planned to pay but nevertheless affordable). I bought it about 6 months ago (December 2003) so prices may have changed a bit since then. What Did It Come With? ================== Amazingly the screen came with a pair of fairly stylish PC speakers (powered by a plugin power supply) which I was unaware of and doubtful of the quality I could expect from something bundled with the screen. I'll come back to the speakers later - for now I'll just say I wasn't disappointed. The screen came with its own adjutsable stand, cables, a user manual (as you would expect) and a CD containing driver software. (Oh and a pair of speakers - did I mention those?) Setup - Do I Need A Masters Science Degree to Get It Working? ========================================= No. The screen came with its own adjutsable stand and was easy to set up - only 2 cables required - 1 for the video signal and one connected to a plugin power supply. Easy! The software installed with no problems (on my Windows 98 machine) and has not needed re-installing at any time. The Stand ======= The adjustable stand is fantastic - it moves effortlessly - with tilt and height adjustment all in one simple hinged mechanism. The base of the stand doesn't take too much room either which leaves my desk space for important things like a cup of coffee, a text book or my laptop computer. Operation ======= The screen has worked perfectly from day one. Setup was easy, the inbuilt on-screen menu is simple to use and the only other control is the power button (which has a nice blue LED back light). I have played with the on-screen menu to try and optimise the setup - I found that on the default setting the screen was just a bit too bright and I had to adjust the brightness and contrast to get it just right. No problem though because the menu is so easy to use. I have found that the higest resolution is clearest but I think that will depend on the capabilities of your graphics card and the screen resolution you feel most comfortable working with. What About Those PC Speakers You Mentioned? ============================== Well - they are tiny in comparison with my previous speakers but sound a whole lot better. I have turned the volume right up and they don't seem to mind one bit. Clear, crisp sound and not bad to look at either - a real bonus! Overall What Do You Think? ================== Brilliant - glad I decided to get rid of the CRT and what a bonus getting those speakers. Go buy one!
This is by far the best phone I have used. It is provided as part of my corporate mobile contract and is the standard phone supplied. Everything about the phone is of supreme quality, the layout and size of the keypad is perfect, it's physically quite small, weighs virtually nothing and easily fits in an inside jacket pocket without looking like you are carrying a pistol. The battery always seems to go on and on I have left it several days with quite heavy usage and still not had to re-charge it - quite incredible! The menus - like most other Nokias - are easy to follow although it is sometimes a bit of work to find a feature you don't use very often. For example the alarm clock is found under the settings menu rather than a clock menu on other phones. I don't currently use the bluetooth capabilities but have colleagues who do and are very happy with functionality. The only annoyance is that the decent earpiece kit I bought for my prevous Nokia doesn't have the same plug as that required for the 6310 so I have had to buy a rather fragile alternative as I couldn't find an equivalent replacement.
Well, I have now been driving my Alfa 156 for over 3 years and can hosetly say it still remains a pleasure to drive. What I will say though is that it is not without a few niggles. The first is that since owning this car I have picked up my first ever 3pts for speeding. I guess it is understadable given the immense power and ease with which it can be delivered to the wheels and therefore your forward velocity. The second is the odd occasion when I still get caught out by the football field like turning circle. Believe me it can be quite annoying when other drivers laugh at you or indicate their distress while you reverse back to negotiate an innocent looking mini roundabout. The third is an Air con annoyance - although now sorted - an AC pipe was damaged and the AC gas escaped. The damage - in my opinion - was due to a design fault as the pipe had been rubbing against part of the engine compartment. Interesting that the replacement part was a slightly different shape so that it no longer rubbed. The fourth is the mortgage size dent that running the car leaves in your finances - it really is very thirsty. Anyway even with the negatives above the car remains my pride and joy and every time I start it up and hear the wonderful engine I remember why I bought it and that combined with the fantastic looks it remains one of the greatest creations ever produced by Alfa.
I currently use the tube everyday to get to my office near Paddington station. Yes, it's easy to gripe about how overcrowded the tube can be and how unreliable the service can be at times however I for one see a good part of the service that is very efficient, comfortable and reasonable value. The Jubilee and Bakerloo lines notably fall into this category for me. Other lines are not too bad, bearing in mind that they link major tourist attractions to mainline railway stations - I am thinking of Nothern, Picadilly, Victoria and Central lines in particular.
Check out the Rock Garden website @ www.rockgarden.co.uk! You can download the menu, book on-line, view the music venue web-cam etc etc. The food is not extraordinary but there is a fairly extensive choice and the quality and portions are good. Food is mainly of an American theme, service is reasonable and atmosphere good. Look out for the photos of all the bands who have played at the Rock Garden, you'll be surprised! Free entry to the music venue (not Fri/Sat) for all diners offers reasonable after dinner entertainment (fairly small venue though)