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Plymyphil

Plymyphil
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Member since: 03.11.2003

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      08.03.2006 17:58
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      Good price and great service. Rather buy here than anywhere else.

      Buying Flash memory can leave one sat in a ravine of terrifying proportions. On one side is the towering cliff of temptation offering cheap memory from an unknown brand in the Far East. Ebay of course offers the best and cheapest source of this incredibly good value memory. But what of this route … ? Often those that take this route are surprised at the expenses occurred in the purchase. For example, did you know items purchased from Ebay from Hong Kong and China can be subject to 'on the spot' duty as they are delivered. This can add substantially to the overall cost and eradicate the advantage of importing from abroad. Indeed the price itself can be misleading. Cheap memory imported is often sold for as little as one penny but once the postage and packaging and the compulsory postal insurance have been added the price is not far different from a UK supplier. And then of course … the unknown, unbranded memory may well go wrong … it's a long way back to the far east for a return!

      And what of the other side of this ravine? Well, there stands the impressive and towering cliff of standard UK shop prices. Take a look at any high street store and weep when you see those inflated prices making the smaller flash memory cards look more attractive than ever you thought possible.

      Now, enter the boat to freedom - riding down the ravine towards you is the safety crew of Kingston Memory and their well priced and reliable brand of memory.

      Kingston have been supplying components and specialising in memory for many years. They are a brand name within the United Kingdom and have UK support numbers and addresses providing a life raft if the memory boat seems to go under.

      I purchased my 512Mb SD card from Kingston in November 2004. Consequently when that became full I had no qualms about returning to Kingston for a larger card. In August 2005 I purchased this 1Gb flash card. The card is still functioning with no errors and providing reliable storage space for my digital images. It is fast memory and every bit the equal of the overpriced SD Cards available in high street stores. Price wise, it sat exactly mid way between the prices of imported unbranded memory and the price of high street memory. I made the purchase online and the order was processed quickly and efficiently with the card arriving securely packaged.

      I recommend Kingston for memory due to their price, reliability and service. Personally I also score them bonus points as a supplier for being UK based and still managing to heavily undercut high street memory prices.

      I hope this review has been useful for you and look forward to reading your comments.

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        22.11.2005 11:28
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        If your tour operator charges for transfers, save your money and walk.

        Skanes is the resort destination of Monastir in Tunisia. If you visit Monastir, chances are you will stay in Skanes. With a selection of hotels, the two most dominant are the triple blocks of the ‘Sahara Beach Hotel’ and the slightly more elegant sister hotel next door, the ‘Skanes El Hana’.
        We chose a week of Saharan sun and wanted comfort so we visited the Skanes El Hana hotel. The hotel was elaborate, majestic and beautiful – a hotel experience described by most visitors to Tunisia. However, this report is not about the hotel – it is not even officially about Monastir. Instead it is a report on Skanes – and disappointingly there is almost nothing to say.

        Monastir is on the southern edge of the Gulf of Hammamet. As a resort, Skanes is the only area serving Monastir. It is a collection of about half a dozen large hotels and a similar number of smaller hotels. They stand guard over a short stretch of pleasant beach. For those who enjoy the calm of the Mediterranean seas around Greece and Turkey, this is a slightly different experience. Around North Africa the water does move – it is in my experience not as clear as elsewhere in the Mediterranean and not nearly as inviting.

        Anyway – back to Skanes. When you book your hotel to Monastir (or Skanes – as this is where you will be staying) you will no doubt be delighted at the relatively short transfer times. Indeed – some of these are listed as no more than 30 minutes. Please – allow the alarm bells to ring at this point. Bearing in mind this thirty minutes allows for the twenty minutes it will take the Tunisian baggage handlers to send your luggage around the carousel and also allows you time to stroll out to the airport car park and find your coach. Your coach will then pull out and literally – cross the road. Next to the Monastir airport (Skanes) there is a road parallel with the runway. About 300 yards from the road is the sea. Between the road and the sea are the hotels.

        Skanes is a resort in nowhere. A selection of hotels, a busy road and an airport. Apart from that almost nothing at all. Behind the hotels there are a very small number of services. A taxi rank (essential for getting to Monastir) and one of the hotels even has a bowling alley – but that is it. If you want bistros, restaurants, even a drink in an evening bar, then not only are you in the wrong resort you may very well be in the wrong country.

        If you take a taxi (for a couple of pounds) into Monastir you will find a charming Tunisian town. Monastir and its surroundings are the backdrop to many big movies. Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ was filmed in and around the town. ‘Star Wars’ was filmed just to the south of Monastir and indeed the impressive backdrop of the town and the nearby countryside will leave you slightly in awe. However – this will soon wear off when the town begins to close down at four or five in the afternoon and you realise that the rest of your evening involves sitting in the hotel bar watching the planes land about 300 yards away.

        The planes in and out of the airport run from around 9AM until about 9PM. So, you will have a reasonable sleep but you will also find that any relaxing by the pool is disturbed every few minutes by the roar of a jet plane arriving or departing.

        Whether or not you can enjoy Skanes as a destination depends entirely on what you wish to get from a holiday.
        If you want sun, a sun bed, don't mind planes all day and have no desire to leave the hotel, then Skanes is a great place for a week. If you want to experience the country you visit, spend quiet evenings in the bars overlooking the sea and have peaceful days by the pool then Skanes could well be your Nemesis. Me - I guess I want a little of both and the fact that you couldn't ever get away from the noise of the planes and the fact that there was nothing in the resort except the dozen or so hotels really put a downer on the experience for me.

        Monastir would be so much more pleasant as a holiday destination if the hotels were the other side if the town and involved a short transfer from the airport. Unfortunately, Arab wisdom built the hotels at the airport and left the town a taxi ride away – shame really.

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        • ETrust InoculateIT / Utility / 22 Readings / 21 Ratings
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          22.11.2005 10:46
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          Cheap and reliable virus protection that takes the sting out of sharing your computer with family.

          The biggest challenge of Personal Computing is the shared ownership aspect of the home computer. Back in my days of being a student my computer hardly ever showed a fault. All that changes when you gamble and let the most infectious of computer viruses connect to your personal computer. No, I’m not talking about some sort of strange self-replicating virus downloaded from the Internet – the one thing most likely to infect your computer is setting up multiple users on your home computer. Of course the children need access for homework … it’s a perfectly logical and reasonable request and consequently you fall for it … suckered in to letting your personal computer become part of the family furniture.

          At this point – all sensible adults look at every possible way to lock the computer down. Anti-virus, parental monitoring software – anything that leaves you with half a semblance of a feeling of being in control. The reality of course is that control has long since evaporated into the ether. The moment you set up those additional users in Windows XP it is a matter of days before your machine crashes down around you and you spend a long and tedious phone call to customer support asking for a second copy of the ‘recovery’ disk to be sent through the post.

          You see – it doesn’t matter how well meaning they are or how sensibly they take precautions, it will be hours before they readily accept any file sent through by a friend on MSN. Worse still … the cries of Dad look at this e-mail. It said to open this Word file and I’d win a million pounds !!!

          So, not bitter. Not resenting in any way the hours spent of two or three weekends trying to get everything back from back-up, I reached the decision that my current anti-virus solution was inadequate and needed updating.
          After a little discussion with colleagues and friends I was soon tapping my credit card number into the Etrust anti-virus website and receiving the code that unlocked my trial version into a full version of software.

          The good news is that since that painless installation my computer has been ‘major problem’ free. Sure, it has picked up viruses from the Internet and yes, I still blame the children. However now it is definitely safe. Etrust kicks in and within moments has moved the virus to quarantine. The updates come through regularly and seem to keep all real dangers at bay. One of the useful features of this InoculateIT software is the facility to check incoming files. With this option checked in the setup any file coming in from the Internet is automatically scanned and if necessary moved to safe quarantine before it ever has the chance to damage the system files. The setup option also allows you to specify how often and where the system scans for viruses. I have it set-up to run in the background once each day. The system cleverly waits for a period of inactivity and then begins scanning. The only way of knowing the scan has been done is to click the item in the system tray and check up on the notes from the last scan.

          I feel that the price of this software ($49) was extremely reasonable and that the year of virus free computing has made the chore of sharing my personal computer with well meaning homework seeking children far more palatable. Of course – they say they are doing homework but the evidence seems to indicate a youth lost to MSN and the joys of sharing virus infected files around the Internet. Now though it doesn’t bother me that much – it just means I have to clear the quarantine every once in a while and clear space for more of their ‘million’ winning e-mails.

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            12.11.2005 15:25
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            Pleasantly mediocre and good value for money.

            Cala Bona sits on the East Coast of Majorca. It is the most northerly of a triumvirate of similar but subtely different resorts. Immediately to the south of Cala Bona is Cala Millor, indeed the two resorts blend seemlessly together with the promenade joined and no gap between the large fairly non-descript hotels that impose themselves on the otherwise pleasane seaside views. (The only way of telling the two resorts apart rests on the presence of a fish motif on the pavement - the saying goes - "fish on the floor ... Cala Millor ... fish a gonna ... Cala Bona"). The most southerly of this triumvirate is Sa Coma - arguably the most suited to British holiday makers as both Cala Bona and Cala Millor are fairly evenly split as destinations between English and German holidaymakers.

            The East Coast of Majorca has plenty to offer, especially for families with smaller children and older holiday makers. Younger adults without children may prefer the activity of Alcudia to the North or the notoriously party centred South West tip of the island around resorts such as Palma Nova and Magaluf.

            The East Coast by contrast is quite quiet. Cala Bon and Cala Millor share a large and busy beach but they are the only resorts on the east coast developed to this extent. Nearby Porto Christo - home to the famous Cuevas de Drach (possibly the most stunning set of underground caves you would ever see) is a smaller resort but far prettier and well worth a visit.

            So back to Cala Bona - what should the visitor expect?

            Fairly large hotels clutter the seafront - they present a fairly impersonal concrete facade to what is an otherwise very welcoming resort. In an effort at keeping the seaside slightly less tacky most tourist shops and restaurants are located on block inland. This approach continues on into neighbouring resort, Cala Millor. Cala Bona itself has a pleasant bistro atmosphere around the jetty where boat trips around the coast to Porto Christo can be booked. The alternative way into Porto Christo is to takea bus (about 5 euros should see you there and back).

            The resort itself is reasonably clean but disappointingly non-descript. It offers hotels - supporting services including a range of Bistros and a pleasant but not outstanding beach. The resort runs for about a mile along the coast and is about four or five blocks of hotels deep. That's it. Nothing more - nothing special. If you want a week of relaxation in the sun that's only a couple of hours flying time away then this makes for an ideal base. If you are prepared to hire a car and explore the island then again this resort may well be ideal. (Car hire should cost around 30 euros a day plus fuel.) However, if you like the entertainment to be in resort then you may be disappointed as most of the entertainment on Majorca is well away from this coastline.

            Overall:
            Sufficiently mediocre. Would I return? Yes, I think I would but only for the quick week of sun and happy to sit around the pool or in Bistros drinking cheap Sangria. If I wanted a holiday of experiencing new and vibrant places and a different culture I think I would consider elsewhere as this tourist trap cocoons all visitors from anything more Mallorcan than a plate of Paella. It depends what you want from a holiday - if the sun is the driving force and price is important then this could be your resort. If your quest is for a greater variety of entertainment and a taste of local life then you should look elsewhere.

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              15.10.2005 15:46
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              Superb quality and easy to use makes me recommend this for snap shots.

              The first aspect to attract me to a digital camera is usually the price. WIth this in mind, this Sony fares well - the price I piad of £139.99 is now easy to beat both online and in high street stores.
              Second though for digital cameras I look for a trusted name. Some might argue that this represents an unnecessary brand loyalty that will cost me in the long run ... I argue the opposite. Having been stung frquently by the 'unknowns' I now stick to the knowns. Again, this Sony inspires a trust - Sony produce quality goods in my experience and that helped lead me to the purchase of this camera.

              So, what do you get for your money.
              Surprisingly you get a well equipped point and click machine. There is little need to play with settings or think about anything other than the composition here - just point and click and enjoy the great results in a variety of lighting conditions. The camera is small and lightweight which makes it great for holidays and those occasions when you want to take a camera but don't want to hand over half the suitcase to the latest SLR and attachments.

              The autofocus on this camera is the best I've ever seen in this price range. It clearly identifies on the 1.5" LCD screen the area of primary focus and this allows easy repositioning of the camera if the image is not as you expect.

              Features include:
              Settings for twilight, candle, snow, beach, landscape and a 'soft snap' mode.
              The facility to record short movies with sound. (For this you will need an additional memory card as the supplied 32Mb is not up to video.)
              Multi-burst mode and burst mode - ideal for catching moving objects and getting the great pic every time.
              Creative picture effects including blacnka dn white and sepia.
              Adjustable auto focus.
              White balance adjustment.
              Auto-macro mode for close up shots.
              PictBridge printing.

              Ease of use:
              The camera itself is very easy to use with an intuitive menu system clearly displayed on the 1.5" LCD screen.
              The camera is instantly recognised by Windows XP which makes for quick and easy downloading of images. In addition the supplied software installs onto Windows .9x machines onwards and even Mac OS machines.

              Overall:
              The image quality is superb for a 4MP camera and the ease of use makes this a must have for the quick clicker. If you want stacks of control over your image and a more professional photographers camera then maybe this isn't such a good buy.

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              • HP Deskjet 695c / Inkjet Printer / 3 Readings / 24 Ratings
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                19.05.2005 23:22
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                The other day I was browsing Ebay - thank you to whoever wrote that opinion that had me hooked a couple of weeks back - and saw something amazing! A printer we are still using regularly and have never had a single technician call out for after approximately five years was selling for it's opening bid of just £1.00. With less than an hour to go nobody was bidding up for this great printer. I didn't hang around to see if £1.00 was the final price but if so it was a bargain because even though old and slightly long in the tooth compared to today's technology this printer is a joy. I guess these printers would sell easily at £1.00 and there must have been thousands - no, millions sold in the world wide market as I see these around in all places. I think my doctor's surgery has one - I guess many schools still do and before you cry 'foul' check your own attic - you might surprise yourself.

                So, before I come to the details of this great printer, let me answer the question posed in my title:
                'How to make a million pounds on the Internet'
                Answer:
                Check your attic, pester local residents and round up the million or so HP DeskJet 695C printers that are gathering dust and no doubt working perfectly. Place your adds on Ebay and reap the rewards - go on ... do it.

                Apologies for the pull and I promise the review will be worth reading.

                ======================================
                POSITIVES
                ======================================

                Price
                ====
                This printer came to us for the then princely sum of just under £200.00.
                As explained though, careful observation on Ebay may well deliver a true bargain with this printer being tremendously reliable and certain to prove a second hand bargain.

                Reliability
                ========
                I support dozens of printers and over the course of the last ten years that number multiplies by factors of ten. This is one of the rare printers that never seems to require technician time. I have changed cartridges and rarely, and I do mean rarely, had to remove a paper jam.
                This printer is used three or four times a week now but in the past it was used daily. The printheads have never needed replacing and amazingly nothing has chipped or broken on the body of the printer. The whole thing is a miracle - it shouldn't just be bought as a bargain on Ebay, it should be cannonized.

                Lifespan
                =======
                Printers talk about lifetime of parts in terms of thousands of pages. I can gurantee this printer has far exceeded any guarantees left by the manufacturer. If you hope a printer at home might last five or so years and in the workplace might last 2-3 years, in education you can even half this figure. However, here we are five years on and the printer functions so well that nobody is talking about replacing or binning. (Good job because going on Ebay prices we wouldn't get much for it now!)


                ======================================
                NEGATIVES
                ======================================
                There really are no negative aspects to be considered in a printer that has provided such exceptional value for money and reliability.
                However, in the interests of honesty I will list one or two features that if you were buying a printer today may seem sub standard or below the market expectations.
                The resolution of 600dpiX600dpi is low compared to some printers and the older version of resolution enhancing technology instaslled on this printer doesn't seem as hot as that installed on the later Hewlett Packard printers. As a result full colour photographs can look slightly banded and don't have the vibrancy associated with more modern printers specifically targetted at the home imaging market.
                In full colour it runs slowly. Large images or pages with a combination of black and colour seem to take an age to print. The box states 1.7ppm but I say less. Mono text is OK but still far slower than more recent printers.
                The printer connects through the parrallel port so no fast USB printing here. Finally, drivers on the disk supplied only go up to Windows 98 and therefore ME, 2000 and XP are not covered out of the box although there must be drivers around I would expect.

                ======================================
                OVERALL
                ======================================
                Overall this is an outstanding printer.
                I have not made my million from it ... yet but it has in its longevity and reliability saved money that would have been paid out on other printer models.
                I will be keeping my eyes open for these lying around the side of the road though because anybody foolish enough to dispose of this printer deserves to loose its potential capacity to earn a pound on Ebay.

                ======================================
                Thank you for reading this opinion and I hope it is helpful in making purchasing decisions ... me, I'm off to browse the pages of Ebay for another printing bargain - Phil

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                • More +
                  12.05.2005 15:40
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                  Buying Flash memory can leave one sat in a ravine of terrifying proportions. On one side is the towering cliff of temptation offering cheap memory from an unknown brand in the Far East. Ebay of course offers the best and cheapest source of this incredibly good value memory. But what of this route … ? Often those that take this route are surprised at the expenses occurred in the purchase. For example, did you know items purchased from Ebay from Hong Kong and China can be subject to ‘on the spot’ duty as they are delivered. This can add substantially to the overall cost and eradicate the advantage of importing from abroad. Indeed the price itself can be misleading. Cheap memory imported is often sold for as little as one penny but once the postage and packaging and the compulsory postal insurance have been added the price is not far different from a UK supplier. And then of course … the unknown, unbranded memory may well go wrong … it’s a long way back to the far east for a return!

                  And what of the other side of this ravine? Well, there stands the impressive and towering cliff of standard UK shop prices. Take a look at any high street store and weep when you see those inflated prices making the smaller flash memory cards look more attractive than ever you thought possible.

                  Now, enter the boat to freedom – riding down the ravine towards you is the safety crew of Kingston Memory and their well priced and reliable brand of memory.

                  Kingston have been supplying components and specialising in memory for many years. They are a brand name within the United Kingdom and have UK support numbers and addresses providing a life raft if the memory boat seems to go under.

                  I purchased my 512Mb SD card from Kingston in November 2004. The card is still functioning with no errors and providing reliable storage space for my digital images. It is fast memory and every bit the equal of the overpriced SD Cards available in high street stores. Price wise, it sat exactly mid way between the prices of imported unbranded memory and the price of high street memory. I made the purchase online and the order was processed quickly and efficiently with the card arriving securely packaged.

                  I recommend Kingston for memory due to their price, reliability and service. Personally I also score them bonus points as a supplier for being UK based and still managing to heavily undercut high street memory prices.

                  I hope this review has been useful for you and look forward to reading your comments.

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                  • Nokia 9300 / Mobile Phone / 12 Readings / 20 Ratings
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                    08.05.2005 19:34
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                    • "Lack of camera"

                    Before I begin let me acknowledge the fact that apart from an occasional moan usually unrelated to the handset, just about everybody who reviews a mobile handset here does so with satisfaction and often a smugness indicating they really do think they own the world's best mobile phone. Well, excuse me while I reach for the smug hat because this is a review of what is quite possibly the world's most magnificent and fully functioned phone to date!

                    Now, obviously this is going to take some quantifying. Please allow me to submit evidence of the authority with which I write this review:
                    I am an IT professional who has owned at least six different mobile phones, seven different PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants or baby computers to the rest of us) and been a subscriber with at least five of the major UK mobile networks. And, all that in the last five years or so. With this in mind I can confidently assert that the Nokia 9300 is the untouchable champion of the mobile/PDA combination and will spend the rest of this enthusiastic review explaining why the handset you currently own needs crushing into a fine powder and replacing with this gold medallist of the phone market!

                    The phone:
                    The telephone itself is the least important aspect of this handset. After all, a phone is a phone is a phone. This particular telephone has the usual Nokia interface on the external screen. This enables access to names stored in your contacts database, changes of profiles to enable a silent mode and of course the inevitable dial the number and speak function. (I can predict the excitement you already feel for the phone side of this device!)

                    The positive aspects of the telephone are:
                    Support for bluetooth connectivity both to your PC and to a headset.
                    Quick dial buttons that are fully configurable to your needs.
                    The facility to set any sound as a ringtone including sounds recorded using the phone or MP3 tracks downloaded to the handset.
                    An outstanding quality of speaker phone when the handset is opened up.

                    Negative aspects of the telephone are:
                    No vibrate function, meaning when you switch the profile to silent during a meeting you miss every call or message.
                    No in built camera so although the phone can handle MMS picture messages, you have to import images from your PC if you wish to send.
                    Voice activated dialling sadly missing.

                    Now, with the phone over and done with ... what lifts this handset above the norm?

                    To illustrate, let me describe a range of activities typical to a day spent with the Nokia 9300.

                    My current reading book is of course on my phone. Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' doesn't even begin to take up a fraction of the 200Mb of storage space included as standard with the phone. (That is 80Mb on the handset and 128Mb on the MMC card included. MMC upto 1Gb can be purchased for the phone with talk of 2GB MMC being available soon.) So, I begin by reading an Ebook. The outstanding screen of the Nokia 9300 makes this comfortable on the eyes and of course with the book stored on the phone, I can read anytime any place. The screen is true colour and quite the most outstanding piece of technology. With a range of brightness settings it is usable in any lighting condition. Even in bright sunlight the screen is completely clear!

                    Next, on my way out the door as I leave for work, I synchronise my Nokia 9300 with my PC. Simply dropping it onto the included docking cradle and pressing the 'sync' button gets the job done in about sixty seconds. Within that minute all data on the phone contacts and calender database is merged with Microsoft Outlook on my PC. The phone takes the most recent forty e-mails over and any contact or calender changes on the PC are merged with the data on the phone.
                    On my way to work I reply to any e-mails that need a response. Sending e-mails on the phone is fast and easy. With Edge GPRS for data the speed of sending and receiving e-mails is astounding - many times faster than dial-up Internet access and perfectly acceptable for data on the move.
                    As I walk through the door into work I check the calendar program switching between day, week and month view to see what is imminent and what appointments are looming on the horizon. A quick check of the prioritised to do list confirms the most important tasks of the day.

                    With 200Mb of storage as standard I hardly ever find myself searching for telephone numbers or e-mail addresses as my phone has become a total database of contacts. With my regular synchronisation and the capability to schedule back-ups I can also be confident of never loosing this database.
                    As I take a coffee break in the morning I click the web browser and check to see if there are any new reviews on Dooyoo. For those of you thinking you also have Internet access on your mobile device trust me when I spout the cliche "you ain't seen nothing yet!" Due to the shape of the screen and the high resolution and colour depth the web browser really does allow easy and full web browsing and again the Edge GPRS delivers the pages fast and I mean really fast. The full Yahoo page for example comes onto the screen with all graphics in under 5 seconds!

                    As a demonstrastion of just how incredible the Internet functionality on this phone is … this whole article was written on the Nokia 9300 and then delivered to Dooyoo using the Nokia 9300! That's right … this phone is all you ever need to be able to access and use Dooyoo including writing the most detailed reviews!
                    Anyway, back to my day with this telephone. On the journey home I fire up the included Golf game … with the superb colour screen this looks not dissimilar to commercial games available for the PC. Having had a round of gold and with a few minutes of the journey left I open up the ZX Spectrum emulator (remember those days of the eighties computer?) and have a few games of Manic Miner.
                    Back home and of course, back to syncing the days calendar so any data developed during the day is now up to date on my home PC.

                    In the evening, I head off for the gym and before going download a dozen music tracks as MP3 files then using the hands free kit included with the phone package I exercise to my own choice of music.

                    In short, the specification of the PDA side of this phone is truly superb. The kaleidoscopic functionality will amaze you - web browser, ebook read, MP3 player - even, with addon software, the ability to watch a whole DVD on your phone!

                    One last word - I have NEVER has a phone with such a superb battery life. When I first purchased the phone I used it consistently for three days and the battery was still not flat! This involved the MP3 player, consistent use of the PDA side of the phone and regular phone calls and messaging. This is a normal charge for the phone and I usually recharge it about every three to four days.

                    The price - on contract with T-Mobile was £49.99. Quite honestly it is the best handset I have ever owned and I really do find myself wondering how I ever managed before the day I made this great purchase.

                    For further information on the technical specification vist the Nokia website.

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                    • Canon Powershot A400 / Digital Camera / 2 Readings / 18 Ratings
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                      27.04.2005 16:31
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                      As a long time fan of Canon digital cameras I was keen to get my hands on the Powershot A400. Having used the A310 for sometime, the A400 was an attractively priced upgrade and I'm pleased to report that with a little coercion Santa delivered the goods. So, four months down the line, what is my verdict?

                      Firstly - compared to all other digital cameras I have used this is my favourite. I have used a range of cameras including many of the leading brands but for sheer 'bang per buck' value for money this camera is superb.

                      Slightly larger than some entry level cameras this camera contains all the connectivity you may sensibly expect in a small camera, the facility to produce short movies and even a range of editing features direct on the camera so if you're away from your PC you can still produce some after effects on your image.

                      The colours on the camera seem to be superb in any lighting conditions. The camera has presets for a range of lighting conditions but the ability to set the 'white' using a plain sheet of paper is absolutely guaranteed to generate vibrant and realistic colours. Very occasionally the preset does appear to let you down producing a slightly jaundiced tinge to indoor skin tones - the use of the white balance removes this and I think it can be reasonably attributed to the range of colour in indoor lighting. If you look carefully at skin tone under a variety of indoor lights you will see what I mean - it must be just about impossible for a manufacturer to cover all of these variations on one preset. The Canon does have a number of presets for indoors but even so, if you are keen for accurate skin tones in artificial light do take the extra second or so needed to set the white balance manually.

                      Having provided an overview let me deal with some aspects of the cameras functionality separately - feel free to skim through this picking out the sections relevant to your own digital imaging needs.

                      MEMORY:
                      As with all digital cameras I have ever owned the included memory allocation is woefully inadequate. The camera uses the smaller format SD memory card which is ideal for storage as they really are incredibly tiny. The card comes with a 16Mb card - this needs to be used as a toothpick in my own experience as used as a memory card it is marginally better than useless. Immediately invest in a 1Gb card or similar and you will then be delighted. At the higher resolutions the camera produces images approximately 2Mb in size and why would you want to lower the resolution and produce anything other than the best image your camera is capable of?

                      MAIN FEATURES:
                      The camera is a 3.2 MegaPixel camera. I wish they would stop using this method of describing camera resolutions however and instead move on to an honest description of image quality at a particular size. Basically, the more the mega pixel number the larger the image can be and still retain all original quality. At 3.2 MegaPixels you can reasonably expect 10" photographs to still look superb and enlargements up to A4 to be perfectly acceptable.
                      The camera can emulate a range of ISO speeds from 50 to 400. This means it is acceptable for most every day situations. If you are trying to capture very fast movement you may want to opt for a camera capable of higher ISO speeds but expect to pay for that privilege. The ISO speed also enables you to make adjustments for light but with a range of presets including might time, underwater and fireworks, you may well find yourself letting the camera adjust the ISO setting most of the time.
                      The camera had a digital zoom of up to 3.2X and this is a high quality digital zoom. Those who are used to previous incarnations of this camera including the A310 will be used to an optical zoom that produced good results and a digital zoom thereafter that was disappointing. This is not the case here - although lacking an optical zoom the digital zoom produces results of identical quality to the A310 optical zoom.
                      Shutter speed is also adjustable from 1sec to 1/1500 sec which again is suitable for most every day tasks.

                      FOCUSSING:
                      The focussing on this camera is stunning! Using some clever technology that Canon call '9 point AiAF' the camera breaks the image in to 9 segments and can simultaneously focus in all of the segments or be directed to only focus in the centre segment if you prefer. This enables you to produce those artistic 'soft focus' shots used on close up images and portraits. The effect with this camera is stunning and well worth playing around with.

                      FINISHING:
                      Sepia, black and white, vivid - you name it the camera can produce it. 'Busy' shots with lots of texture and tone look truly superb in black and white - for example, a shot taken in woodland with the criss-crossing of branches really is made for finishing in black and white.

                      SCREEN:
                      The LCD screen on the back of the camera is good in a variety of conditions. The only problem you will experience is a lack of brightness and clarity if the sun is shining directly onto the screen. This of course is a common complaint with LCD screens.

                      SOFTWARE:
                      The camera comes bundled with a range of image editing and enhancing software and again, for every day use what you get is entirely sufficient. If you begin to take up the after shot editing as a hobby you may wish to invest in further more capable software but if you simply want to adjust colours or reduce red eye then everything you need is in the box. One of the more interesting software titles makes use of the 'stitch' facility on the camera. If you stand at any point and employ the 'stitch' effect on the camera you can move around and take a full 360 degree panoramic photograph. Using the Stitch Assist software the computer will then identify the overlap and 'stitch' the images together - the effect is stunning and enables some superb landscape shots to be developed. (If anybody knows of a photo printer that will produce these long narrow prints please do let me know!)

                      BATTERY LIFE:
                      If you're anything like me with any portable device the battery life is where you make your purchasing decision or otherwise. The news here however is great. The camera runs on 2AA batteries and using standard off the shelf batteries you will get about 300-400 shots per battery change. This is with the LCD screen switched on. However, if you choose to invest in rechargeable batteries, this can be almost doubled!

                      SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
                      Please, before I go into the details contained in the Canon instruction book consider whether or not your computer is capable of moving around 2Mb images. If you can work comfortably with files of this size and not suffer too much lag then this camera should be fine. If however your computer matches the specification below but 2Mb images reduce your machine to a tearful heap of grinding silicon then do the sensible thing and upgrade your computer before buying a digital camera such as this - the end result otherwise will be superb images on the camera and a frustrating experience attempting to improve and print those images.
                      The camera supports:
                      Windows XP, 2000, ME, 98, 98 SE, Apple Mac OS X, OS 9.0-9.2.

                      OVERALL:
                      Overall I come back to my starting point - I have never used a better entry to mid range digital camera and of course I have my sights set further and will be back with a review of a Digital SLR as soon as my finances allow but until then the results from this camera are superb and the price was great to at a fraction over £120.

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                      • Canon Powershot A310 / Digital Camera / 2 Readings / 17 Ratings
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                        26.11.2004 10:01
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                        Those who regularly read my reviews will know of my love of gadgets and technology. They will also know that above all this is my love of a bargain and the fact that I’m thrifty, some would say as thrifty as a wildfowl’s rectum. It is then a source of pride that I can confidently assure you what this camera used correctly can pay for itself in a few short weeks. That’s right … a free digital camera. For further details of how, please do read on to the final paragraph. For now, what of the camera itself?

                        THE DESIGN
                        Bigger than some of the newer entry level cameras, this feels similar in weight and looks similar in appearance to the APS cameras when they first came out. In fact, it behaves so much like a regular camera that it is a joy to use. The front cover slides away to reveal the lens which is manufactured to a high standard. For those venturing on to the digital camera market for the first time sticking to a manufacturer who has also the experience of making cameras prior to their foray into the digital market is always a good idea as a safety net. Many of the ‘new’ camera companies who’s products are exclusively digital find themselves struggling to produce the quality that is found in the more long term camera companies.
                        The rear of the camera contains a 1.5” screen which although high quality is a real battery zapper. I tend to only use the screen if taking a photograph on zoom or recording video. Use it at your peril if you value batteries.

                        THE FEATURES
                        With a 3.2 Megapixels the A310 is a cut above the cheapest end of the market and is capable of producing photographic quality prints at up to A4 size. This is quite spectacular and with a decent printing service as are readily available over the Internet, the results are superb.
                        The digital zoom is fine but not spectacular at higher levels of magnification. My own preference with the specification of digital cameras would be for manufacturers to only claim a digital zoom that is worth producing a print from. In this case then, zoom of 2X is reasonable – after that it is more grainy than Uncle Ben’s.
                        The camera has a number of specific settings for various different images including night time mode which takes a great evening picture. Most entertaining is the macro mode which focuses the lens from only 5cm away from the subject enabling you to take those photos loved by TV quiz shows where the viewer tries in vain to guess that the smudge they are looking at is actually the inside of a human nostril.
                        The auto focus works surprisingly well compared to other digital cameras I have used, focusing across the full print whatever the depth of the subject. This is superb as often even an image like a family portrait with differing depths can produce disappointing results. The instruction book claims this is because of the 5 point focusing – whatever – it works and is a real boost to image quality.

                        MOVIES
                        Unusually for a camera of this price and quality, you can also record movie clips. Now, this is a plus for sure but see it for the benefit it is. Firstly, the bundled 32Mb memory card is wholly insufficient for the purpose and needs upgrading to 256Mb as a minimum if you fancy grabbing movie clips. Secondly, the sound quality of the built in microphone is acceptable. Not great – not dreadful, just acceptable. Finally, you can only record clips in three minute segments. This is not too much of an issue though because even when recording a family birthday or Christmas, three minute clips are ideal for editing.

                        OUTPUT
                        The camera connects through USB and supplied software (completely idiot proof and quite feature rich) to any PC or MAC. It also has Canon Direct Print and Pictbridge technology allowing direct connection to many printers for simple one click printing of a selected image. Personally, taking into consideration the cost of ink and the quality of even a reasonable photo ink jet printer I still prefer sending to an online developer. I receive photographs the next day and they are of the very best quality.

                        POWER
                        Always a thorny one this – digital cameras eat batteries like I eat pretzels. This camera has excellent power consumption if you are taking still images and are not using the built in screen. If you are taking video and/or using the built in screen then power consumption falls away to the point where two brand new Duracell AA batteries are probably not even going to fill your shiny new 256Mb memory card.

                        OVERALL
                        Overall, the camera looks good and produces great prints. The movie feature is a nice addition that makes the camera seem quite good value compared to many similarly priced models. I do think Canon could still work a little on the camera user interface as it is in no way as intuitive as the Olympus menu system. That said, if you carry the pocket size instruction manual with you for the first week or so you’ll soon have it sorted. This is a fair priced camera and I recommend it – even if the freebie system below is not your cup of tea.

                        And so the final paragraph and the promised and much awaited ‘free camera’ expose. For those who remember my printer review entitled “How to make a million pounds on the Internet” you’ll be delighted to discover that the title of this review again contains a delightfully simple solution to lifetime riches. Ebay, it is well known, is a worldwide market where one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. When selling on Ebay, one image added to the description it is said will add 11% to the final value of the item. Therefore, to obtain this spectacular camera for free please follow these simple steps:
                        1) Register for Ebay.
                        2) Buy this camera.
                        3) Go through your attic/shed/cupboards and find fourteen items that will retail for approximately £10.00 and then sell these items on Ebay remembering of course to include a photograph taken with your spectacular new digital camera.
                        4) Bank the bonus 11% of each sale and continue to enjoy your now FREE digital camera.

                        Thank you for reading this review and I look forward to reading any comments you may leave.

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                        • Sony VPL EX1 / Projector / 3 Readings / 13 Ratings
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                          24.11.2004 13:33
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                          There are a number of companies operating in the IT market and also in the household electronics markets that rely on the perceived truth of the adage "you get what you pay for". Their business remains profitable as we demand 'named' products. Brand names that are recognised and trusted are, so the perception goes, often worth the extra few quid. Obviously, the first time you pay that 'extra few quid' and the item still goes wrong or seems substandard the purchaser wanders around advising friends and colleagues that 'they're all made in the same factory in china anyway' and 'you know the only difference between a Sony and an Aldi is the label they bung on as it goes out the factory door'. Well, from personal experience I still clung to the 'you get what you pay for' philosophy, especially when making purchases for work. (At home, finances don't always stretch that far and then you can hear me talking up my Alba stereo and LG television!)

                          And so I arrive at the Sony VPL EX1 data projector. For those who have not used or become aware of data projectors: a data projector takes input from a computer or tv/video/dvd source and projects it onto a screen or wall at a far larger size than would normally be considered affordable. Ideal for presentations to an audience that are increasingly finding their way into the home as a tool for home cinema. In this instance, having used the projector for some time, I am happy to report that you do get what you pay for and to confirm that the Sony badge does cost a little more than some of the nearby projectors that look similar but carry an alternative brand name.

                          So, let’s start with the bottom line. This projector cost us £1349.00 but is now available for considerably less if you are prepared to shop around. With 1500 ANSI lumens it is bright enough for presentations in reasonably large venues with the support of blinds at the windows or can cope with daylight presentations in smaller venues and still provide a crisp and clear image.

                          The resolution of 1024 x 768 puts it out of the entry level products and this is one of the most significant aspects to affect the price of the projector. Although this makes no noticeable difference when presenting from TV/video/DVD, when connected to the computer the additional resolution helps to provide a far crisper image, especially when displaying text. As much of the presentational use of projectors still relies on PowerPoint or an equivalent, this ‘easier to read’ text is a real benefit and I’m sure appreciated by the audience. The projector will create an image up to 3.8metres in size (diagonal measurement). This is HUGE! More realistically though your projector will be closer to the screen and you will have an image with a diagonal measurement of between 1.5 and 2 metres.

                          As with all portable projectors I have ever used, the sound is appalling. The speaker is marginally better than the speakers in my laptop but certainly not enough for a presentation in any but the smallest of rooms. Consequently, I carry powered speakers as an additional item with this portable projector and await with huge anticipation the first projector that arrives with speakers suitable for the task. (Alternatively, could the manufacturers of projectors possibly when stating the weight of their item add the weight of decent powered speakers if their product is unable of filling the room with sound.

                          Now, those who have Sony everything will defend the brand name with talk of superior design and they would not be disappointed with this projector. The unit itself is beautifully curved and looks good. An aesthetic touch of relevance is the hideaway flap for most of the buttons. This keeps the front and top of the unit looking superior to similarly priced rival products. The remote control carries all the functions you would need on a day to day basis and put with a radio remote for the presentational software (add about twenty pounds for this) the projector allows the presenter to move around freely in front of the audience.

                          Overall – this is one of the best looking projectors I have used and has enough features and quality of screen to make me comfortable in saying ‘you get what you pay for.’

                          Thank you for reading this opinion and I look forward to reading any comments you may wish to leave.


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                          • More +
                            02.09.2004 00:04
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                            Turgutreis is set on the Bodrum peninsula of Turkey, with a wonderful sandy beach on to the Aegean Sea. The Greek island of Kos is clearly visible across the water and yet, you are culturally a million miles away from Greece Welcome to Turgutreis. This is a two part review. I have chosen to review the resort and the apartments I used separately as the experience was so very different. Turgutreis is a military town. This has clear benefits to tourism as the incidences of petty crime are almost nil. The town is safe and even walking around the markets there is a feeling of security. Buildings in Turgutreis are almost exclusively low rise meaning the view to the water is unimpeded from many places in the town. To the tourist, the town has three main areas: 1: The beach 2: The square beside the mosque and the seaside restaurants. 3: The backstreet and market shopping. The beach itself is a slim sandy beach not overly long and yet never too crowded even when I visited in August. The beaches are operated by the restaurant behind and all sunbeds are free. The standard of service on the beach is superb with all restaurants employing staff to work the beach. Turning up to the beach one is greeted by friendly faces keen to find the sunbeds and parasols of your choosing and locate them to the patch of sand you most want to lie on. There is an etiquette here. These beach boys will work hard to make your day pleasant and genuinely do care. (My two year old daughter desperately needed to be kept out of the sun at the hottest times of the day ? solution, they set up and filled a paddling pool for her beneath a parasol so she was totally shaded and didn?t need to run in and out of the water ? nothing really is too much trouble). The etiquette is that you will buy your drinks from the restaurant serving you ? simple manners really. I found that the service was not at all pushy and the drinks, being so reasonably priced were quite pleasa
                            nt on the beach. (Prices are about £1.40 for a beer, £0.40 for a water.) The square in the centre of town is stunning and comes alive at night. On one side are the boats with their captain constantly encouraging custom. The prices of the boat rides really are superb. A whole day out on the water calling in on little islands to swim in the sea and snorkel with fishes costs £10.00 for an adult. Best of all ? kids, as almost everywhere in Turkey, go free. This price is a full day trip with lunch included. Lunch seems to be the same on every boat ? chicken, pasta and salad. On Thomas boat the chicken is breast meat which according to some stories was a bonus compared to other boats operating. On the other side of the square is the mosque and the run of restaurants along the front. All these eateries are superb but when visiting it becomes easy to get hooked into one place due to the excellent standard of service. For us it was La Villa. A superb restaurant with a balcony from which the sunset really was stunning. The backstreets and Saturday market are buzzing with places to eat and drink cheaply and bargains to be had. The rule here is always haggle ? do it politely and you will be well received. Most places settle on a price about three quarters of the list price but you may get cheaper if you?re lucky. Clothes (fake designer) and leatherwear are particularly good bargains. Eating out and needing to give your guts a rest from the rich Turkish fare ? then Can Restaurant offers a really superb range of English food alongside their Turkish food. So, did the earth move in Turgutreis. Well, yes it did ? on a number of occasions. Three earthquakes around the 5.5-6 mark on the richter scale. That is enough to shake cupboard doors open, rattle goods in shop windows and leave those lying on sunbeds gripping the sides as they look around nervously. Apparently earthquakes of this magnitude are almost unheard of in this resort so to experience three
                            in a couple of weeks really was special ? I think.

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                            • HP Laserjet 1200 / Laser Printer / 2 Readings / 19 Ratings
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                              09.06.2004 23:49
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                              So, without causing offence as I have neither the energy nor the inclination to respond to the frequent television and radio adverts, but this machine is to printing what the Territorial Army is to the country’s defence. Let me explain. Over the weekend the Territorial Army take to the hills and do whatever they do to train for a possible wartime situation. The thing is – they’re not ‘real’ soldiers. (This is where genuine TA members can jump in and leave their response.) The Territorial Army is made up of groups of lawyers, teachers, doctors and other non-army occupations who join together to form a part time army. No problem there and in the name of national security we applaud you. However, ultimately these people aren’t really made for the army and spend most of their combat year – gathering dust so to speak. Now, put is in a state where national security is at risk and all of a sudden the Territorial Army spring into action. With often-uncomfortable postings, regiments of the Territorial Army dust off their combats and do a splendid job for a few weeks and then once again fade into obscurity. And now I arrive back at this printer. You see, we’ve owned this printer for a while now but it has been sat in an office where the PC hardly ever gets used and therefore the printer has been largely gathering dust. Every once in a while it shakes off its dust cover and spits out a couple of pages for practise, just to keep its eye in so to speak. Last week however the workgroup printer went down. Now the workgroup printer is the big mamma of our printing world, printing literally hundreds of pages a week. With no other alterative we whistled for back up and along came the HP LaserJet 1200 from the back office. Carefully manoeuvred into position by the worker of the back office, the HP LaserJet, never designed to be a workgroup printer, was placed in the firing line. For a full week the agony of fro
                              ntline printer action was levelled at it and hey ... it did pretty well. Apart from a couple of jams when it neared the end of its 260 page paper tray, the printer survived the week before hurrying back to its day job in the back office. (I guess its now doing the printer equivalent of lighting an occasional cigar, throwing its feet on the desk and boring the pants off the other peripherals with tales of daring and stamina.) Seriously though – this is a personal printer and therefore not intended for vast outputs and yet for a short spell it performed just fine. That for me is enough to recommend this printer for small to medium enterprises. The long term printing has been reliable but as I said it is usually under used. And so to the specification – this is for the techno. heads who may be serious about comparing this to other similarly priced printers. We paid about £350.00 for this printer but that was six to eight months ago and prices have dropped since then. The printer is a mono laser printer and offers the quality of build that would be expected from Hewlett Packard. It is quite light at 8.3kg and has a relatively small footprint. Its maximum resolution is an acceptable 1200X1200 dpi and it is rated at 15 pages per minute but my own experience last week says that real output as jobs begin to queue is more likely to be about half that figure. It has 8Mb of RAM on board which for larger print jobs is just insufficient and has the effect of slowing down the computer being used to print. The printer ships with drivers for Windows 3.x/95/98/ME and Apple Mac OS 8.6 or later. It is also compatible with Microsoft Windows NT4.0 and worked just fine on a Windows XP machine using the NT drivers. Overall: The printer is a good printer for lightweight use but wins brownie points and a reward for valour having performed a great role in the frontline of printing last week. Hope this helps with your purchasing deci
                              sions and look forward to reading your feedback.

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                              • Canon S4500 / Inkjet Printer / 0 Readings / 15 Ratings
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                                25.03.2004 20:56
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                                When we were in the market for an A3 colour printer the choice seemed huge. Unfortunately on many printers, so did the price tag. In the under three hundred pounds bracket the choice of decent A3 printers is less impressive and therefore I am delighted to report that a few months after our purchase, we are more than satisfied with the price, reliability and range of features that this printer offers. Why A3? Firstly, before you decide on an A3 printer make sure you this is a necessary purchase. For most home users, the frequency of A3 printing is so low that the extra premium paid for a decent quality A3 printer will never be worthwhile. However, if your home or professional needs demand the regular need to print on larger than A4 format then you would do well to consider this offering from Canon. What do you get for your money? You get a printer that other than its width looks identical to most other Canon inkjet printers. It does of course require a little more desk space. (58cm X 33cm X 21cm) This is of course crucial information if this is a purchase for home as most home workstations don’t have such a large space aside for a printer. The print quality and speed is similar to a budget level inkjet printer. The resolution given is 1440dpi X 720dpi which is superbly adequate especially when considering the price. Text and business graphics are fine on A3 at this resolution, images have slight banding and the colour doesn’t seem quite so vivid as cheaper A4 inkjet printers. (Though this is marginal and for all but the most discerning user this should not be an issue.) The printer connects to the computer through either parallel printer interface or USB. I use the USB connection and unless you are stuck with a machine that has no USB ports this is the most sensible option as USB communication is significantly faster than that obtained when using the parallel printer interface. As with most inkjet printers, the pr
                                inter will print direct to a huge variety of media and of course as an A3 printer also offers the ability to print on the media at much larger sizes. This printer is connected to Microsoft Windows XP Professional but also has drivers for Windows 95/98, ME and 2000 plus drivers for Mac OS 8.1 or later. Overall: This is a budget printer and the speed and quality does communicate that fact. That said, there are other A3 inkjet printers available that offer similar quality for significantly more money. I believe that at the £289.99 we paid for this printer we have had good value for money and reliable service. To date – and this is tempting fate – we have had no problems with this printer. Shopping around should find the printer available slightly cheaper now. Overall this is a good buy for those in the market for a budget A3 printer.

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                                • HP Deskjet 350c / Inkjet Printer / 3 Readings / 30 Ratings
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                                  27.01.2004 20:49
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                                  As regular readers of my reviews will know, I work with technology. I am constantly exposed to new technology and often excited by the promise of what it can deliver. All too often the reality underachieves the promise and I have to revise my expectations. This review is prompted by a pleasing change of perspective caused by forced exposure to technology of which I had little or no expectation. A work colleague was looking over my shoulder at the end of a day as I posted a review. After a short conversation about how the community worked I showed her some of my past reviews. A debate ensued about portable printing. Now, to me, portable printers are redundant. If you need to print, prepare it at home and print it before you leave. If you need to print on the move you weren’t ready to leave in the first place. For the rare occasions when printing away from your base is necessary the extra weight of a portable printer is really not worth the shoulder ache. End of conversation I thought and certainly feedback from my recent opinion in which I stated this case was largely in agreement. Enter my work colleague. With a laptop essential for work she regularly uses this personal computer both at home and at work. A brief overview of our work environment first. Laptop computers are a big part of our computer solution at work but increasingly they are not networked. The reason is historical. Our network security on our Windows NT4.0 server is compromised by machines running Windows XP. The solution of upgrading the server to a new machine and Windows 2000 will have to come one day but until then laptop computers can only connect to the network if they run Windows 2000 or earlier. As so many people use home computers for essential elements of work, we cannot afford to allow people to charge home ink costs. Hence, most people have to save to floppy or CD, or e-mail in to work to print. No real hardship but wait – one person has a better solution. Having collected her laptop from work she immediately looked for a printing solution. Her physical location in work necessitated a new printer and the one chosen was the HP Deskjet 350c. As this is a work owned printer the printing costs are picked up by work and yet, as it is portable it can also go home for printing work related material without the need to arrive early the next day. Having had this outline as a use presented to me the colleague in question insisted I take the printer home and try the system for myself. First, a look at the printer. It is portable but it is also quite heavy. If you were carrying a laptop anyway this adds about 50% to your payload. The printer is robust. It feels as though it could survive the minor knocks and drops it may experience in being transported in a car boot for example. It does come with a reasonably padded carry case which absorb a fair proportion of these knocks and help the longevity of the device. Print quality is surprisingly good for such a small and lightweight printer. Photographs have a fair quality of colour but there is noticeable banding. (Banding is the term used to describe those faint horizontal lines that cross the images printed by budget devices.) For text and presentation graphics such as clip art and graphs though the output is good. The printer has a resolution of 600dpi (dots per inch) which to the layman means the text is fairly crisp and of reasonable quality. So, what of the experience. Well, carrying the printer around I did find irritating because as I mentioned it does have a fair weight. That said, the convenience of being able to print from my laptop with Windows XP installed was great. Remember, the normal solution is print at home and cost myself cartridges or arrive at work early to print the attachments that I e-mailed in. The facility to print at work from the laptop without needing to e-mail in was really handy. The print
                                  er has drivers for Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP and Mac OS 7.4.3 or higher. Installation was a breeze and I am beginning to identify times when borrowing this printer may well be really useful. I’m going to end with a small dilemma and I hand it to you, the reader, to make up your own minds. Often, as I have said, after continuing to use a technology you find yourself wondering ‘why’? Attractive though it seemed in the first few days of use it soon becomes apparent that the other solutions that you used to employ were equally as suitable. For example, satellite navigation. The atlas the night before has always worked for me and I don’t see a time when I would be rushing to purchase a stilted American voice installed in my dashboard. My handheld computer experience has been similar – a great idea at the time of purchase but soon clear that a diary was equally as suitable as a solution for my life organisation needs. And so, my dilemma. Will this prove to be one of those devices which whilst great now and even the cause of some excitement, in the near future I will drop in favour of the old way? I think the answer is yes. My colleague assures me that the advantages outweigh the negatives but I feel sure the additional weight outweighs almost all else. I have used it and I do feel like it saves a little time – but does it really. Setting up a laptop, setting up the printer, finding the paper, printing at 2 pages per minute colour or 5 pages per minute mono. All this takes time. If I had only e-mailed the work from home the night before I could have just clicked print on the work computer. Mmm … I think in time the usefulness of this printer may fade. Thank you for taking the time to read this opinion and I look forward to any comments you may leave. - Phil

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