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blissman70

blissman70
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Member since: 24.03.2008

  • New things always take time to get used to.... but this is beyond a joke..???
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    • Helly Hansen Helly Welly Gaitor / Shoes / 0 Readings / 10 Ratings
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      12.04.2014 23:35
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      Keep your feet and lower legs dry

      Gaiters..?? No, not the snappy ones that have long snouts and more teeth than zeros on David Camerons bank account balance, I?m talking about the gaiters that are used to keep the lower sections of your trousers dry when you end up having to wade through long wet grass. You know the ones. The ones that, in the olden days, used to strap around your lower leg muscles, then around your ankle, strapping bits of string around your leg, sometimes so tight that you end up cutting the circulation to your toes. These days though the gaiters are a lot more sophisticated. No longer do you have to struggle trying to get the soaking, muddy string un-knotted with cold fingers. No longer is the material of the gaiter made of such stuff that it soaks up more moisture than a kitchen sponge. These days gaiters are made of a much better material, water proof, and the way they attach to your lower leg has also improved ten fold. And it os one particular type of gaiter that I have pulled out of a draw in the cupboard of the garden shed. Gaiters that, to be honest, I totally forgot were actually there. These gaiters I am talking about are called the trek mates Gore ankle gaiters and, as with all gaiters, are designed to keep you lower legs from getting too damp.

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      • Gelert Portable Gas Cooker / Cooker / 30 Readings / 29 Ratings
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        15.03.2014 15:41
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        A cracking small cooker for campers and for students

        I like camping, in fact, before I settled down with the wife and family, I spent many happy days, weeks, even months at a time out in the wilderness, enjoying the freedom that having my home on my back gave me. But this was before the health and safety brigade kicked in and stopped the fun by banning open fires, camping in the middle of nowhere and basically bringing a more serious look to what was a fun activity to be had. And don't get me started on the idea of Glamping... what a stupid idea that is. Why did the health and safety brigade not put a stop to that before the idiots on the television got their camera hungry fame grabbing faces shown on the box as they wondered around a mud covered field whislt wearing a sparkly gown with 6 inch high heals on their feet....??? Idiots. Camping is for living a scruffy, down to earth few days where you can just let it all hang out, (not that... please). So why do people think that camping should be about wearing Prada and carrying a diamond handbag whilst heading for the shower block for a number two.... But I'm not here to have a go at Glamping, I'm here to talk about camping, or more a great little gadget that comes in handy when out camping, which I have had for many years and used over and over again, not just on camping. This item I am talking about is in fact a simple single hob camping gas cooker that comes from the great camping supply company called Gelert. * So what does this cooker look like..? At the end of the day it looks like what it is, it's small gas cooker, a single head one, which, of course, is what it is really. It is a small(ish) rectangular box shaped object, being about 330mm long by 270mm wide and not more than 100mm thick, weighing in at about 1 ½ kilo, (without the gas canister attached). On the top there is the gas ring itself, or the hob, which consists of four metal stands on each corner surrounding a plate like ring which houses has a lot of little holes in the top edge that allows the gas to come out of. Inside this ring there are little notches and a hole right in the centre. This hob covers more than three quarters of the top with the remaining quarter being just a flat area, which actually is the cover of the gas canister as it sits underneath. Which I will go into later, but that is what it looks like on the top. On the front, there are the controls, which are on the right side of the front and consists of a simple on/off lever, pushing down to turn on, or to release the gas into the hob. Then there's the heat control itself, which is just to the right of the lever. This heat control is a dial with an 'O' on the top, meaning the lower setting, to the higher setting, which is gained when turning the dial fully 180° anti clockwise And that's all there is for the controls. * Where does the gas supply come from..? This is from a gas canister that slots into a hidden section inside the cooker, and that is where the end 'flat' area of the cooker comes into it as it is under here that the canister hides away. This area may only seem to have a cover that is as thin as a something you'd find separating chocolates in a box, but the cover is steel and is great at keeping the heat from the flame away from the gas canister that is housed inside. The flap is covered in a lot or writing, although most of the writing on mine has been left on the camp sites as it's mainly worn off. But there is a few words left, such as 'Caution' or more Caut..n, there's also a few smaller words like 'Do Not' and 'danger'... but in all it is a lot of health and safety wordings to stop you from blowing yourself up when using the cooker. This is where you have to place the gas canister, which is a matter of pulling this cover upwards, sort of, using the little hole to put your finger in to get a bit of leverage. This section then lifts up, hinged on the side, and it is the lid of the gas canister area. But when the lid is up you then simply place the canister into the housing, making sure you've followed the correct directional instructions, and that the top of the canister, with the little plastic 'pin' that the gas comes out of, is waiting on top of the coupler area. Then, with the notches lined up, you press down on the lever which is on the front of the cooker, at the side of the heat control dial. This lever locks the canister in place and connects the coupler to the 'pin' on the top of the canister. Once this is connected up you then close the lid, pushing it down securely, which will protect the gas canister from the heat from the flame of the cooker. So know you're ready to start cooking... * How easy is it to use..? Simple. Or as simple as the gas cooker that you may have in your kitchen is, unless you're on electric or the old fashioned wood burners. The first thing you do is ignite the flame, which is a matter of turning the dial 180° anti-clockwise. There is a little logo of what looks like a lightening bolt, which means that it is the ignition switch. Turn the dial until you hear a clicking noise, which should release a little blue flash from the ignition point on the hob. This may take more than one turn as the flame does not always light first time, if it doesn't catch then you simply turn the dial back to the start and try turning again. Once the gas has ignited, with the same firm clicking sound letting you know that the ignition has kicked in, you need to push and hold the dial around the 'full on' setting for a second or two, which allows the gas to figure out that that the switch has not been accidentally turned. Then you can reduce the heat by turning the dial slowly clockwise, following the little 'long arrow' symbol which starts thin at the top and wider at the bottom. And that's it. That's how to use this camping cooker. * Now, the ultimate question. How long does a canister last..? Well, this depends on what you do with it really, so it is one of those questions such as How long is a piece of string? (twice as long from the middle to one end...) When I'm using it I can get a breakfast done, sausage and bacon on one pan, maybe an egg or two, with some of the old faithful, baked beans. With the longest cooking time being for the sausages, 10 to 15 minutes on a medium heat. Then I can do a dinner later on that day, a stew of some kind, maybe even a burger. Plus, I can boil several camping kettles of water for a nice cup of tea or coffee. All this done on a daily basis take about three or four, maybe even five canisters of gas in a full week of camping, with five being if I've gone over board on the cooking, dabbling in a rice dish or two. * What about cleaning..? The metal stands do comes out of the hob so that they can be cleaned thoroughly, but unless you're one messy chef it's not really something that you will have to do. The rest of the cooker is easily wiped down with a damp cloth and a bit of elbow grease, (they may sell the later in the camping shop on the site... you never know?) * Is it safe..? It's really as safe as any cooker hob that you may use. If you treat the naked flame with respect then you won't end up burning yourself. Just make sure that you have this on a flat surface so that the pan you place on the hob doesn't slide off the stands and drops hot stuff onto the floor. But as you can usually find a flat bit of grassed area somewhere near your tent then this should not be a problem. The only issue you really have to worry about is the wind, so stay clear of the baked beans then...tee hee... no, seriously, when it's windy there's a high chance that the flame will get blown out in the middle of your cooking session, which could mean that the gas canister will run out without cooking your food. But don't worry as this cooker has a nice safety feature which stops the gas from flowing if the flame is blown out accidentally, saving you not just the loss of the gas but also the risk of eating uncooked sausages. * What do I think then..? I haven't used this for a while, mainly because I have not been camping on my own for as far back as I can remember, and this is only a single hob which is not that good when you go camping with the family and everyone want's something warm to eat at the same time. As that is the one and only issue with this cooker, the fact that it is only a single hob, which causes hassles when cooking several different items in one go as there is only one hob, which means that you do end up with some food going cold as you finish cooking something else. There's no real way out of it as there is no where to keep the cooked food whilst you're waiting for the rest. But this is camping and eating cold bacon and sausage butties is all part of enjoying the countryside. The cooker itself is made of a strong metal and can withstand a bit of hassles that you tend to find when camping, a few drops of two, scraping with pans and other items, and it still comes up smelling of roses. Plus, the steel construction means that there's a good barrier between what is technically and open flame sitting at the side of a canister filled with gas. Then there's the fact that is weighs almost next to nothing so that carrying it around is as easy as carrying a four pack of lager around with you. This is why I liked to take this with me when I was out and about, on my own or with a mate, with the low weight of this meaning that I could slot it into my rucksack, with the other things I need, and I would not be struggling up and down the hills and mountains. The only issue for me was making sure that the gas canisters were safety packed away so they would not get pierced accidentally, blowing up my home and all my clothes inside my rucksack. There is the usual safety instructions on the cooker, telling you that you have to line up the notches on the gas canister are lined up with the cooker markings, this is so that the canister can fit snugly into the cooker so there's no gas leakage. The good thing is that because it runs of a common gas canister there's very few camp sites that you can get an emergency canister from. And the fact that it has a good easy to use heat control system, a dial that turns around to lower or higher the amount of gas released at a time. This means that you can get that perfect heat to your pan so you don't burn the outside of your sausages whilst the inside remains pink. I nearly forgot to mention the case, which is quite nice, being blow moulded out of plastic so that the cooker fits perfectly inside without rattling about everywhere. There area couple of catches on the case that snap the two halves together, keeping them closed so that nothing falls out. Although you do have to make sure that the cooker is cooled down fully before you put it into the case, or just into your rucksack. As for the price of the cooker... This cooker sells for about £15.00 which is a nice price for a single hob cooker.. NOTE: You do need to have a good supply of gas canisters in order to use this cooker. These can be bought for a range of prices, from a couple of quid to nearly a tenner, (which is what the campsites try and sell them to me for and is why I make sure that I used to take enough canisters with me so I could spend my money in little village pub rather than the village shop). * Would I recommend this..? I'd have to say yes if you're a person who goes camping on your own or with a mate, but if you go camping with your family or a lot of friends then a single hob is not going to make everyone happy, unless you've all got one of course. So, for one or two people who want warm food on in the middle of nowhere then this is something to look at. Any more than that and you may struggle a bit. So the five stars are for the fact that this cooker does exactly what it is supposed to do and is easy to use. ©Blissman70

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        • More +
          11.03.2014 15:31
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          Light up your life...... or that dark corner of the house... or even your back garden....

          It's good to have a torch within easy reach, especially if you live in a place which tends to have a bit of an erratic power supply that cuts out when ever the winds changes direction. Or maybe you need a torch in your daily working life, maybe a plumber, for underneath tight spots such as sinks. Or maybe a burglar, for their nightshift work out and about... although I strongly condemn the latter... but what ever the need, a good torch is sometimes essential. And that is where a lovely little torch that I have inside my tool box comes into action. A certain little torch that gives out a big glow without taking up too much space. That torch being from a well know company that really specialises in such bright things. That company being LED Lenser, who, as I said, make a cracking range of torches, especially their professional range. And it is one of there Professional range torches I am here to shine a light on now... (get it? Shine a light?? Took me ages to think of that one). * So what does this torch look like..? On first glance it looks like any other torch, having a long handle at the rear and a bit of a stumpy front end which houses the bulb, or bulbs in this case, as there's four of them in here. The handle is a full 200mm in length, although this does include the bulb housing section too may I add, with the diameter of the handle being about 35mm, weighing in at no more than 355grams. On the front there is the lens that covers the bulbs, this lens is about 50mm in diameter and tapers off into the handle, being sort of covered by the focus slider system. The entire torch is made of aluminium and is coated with a matt black finish, with a bit of a rough feel to it which great really as it means that it is easier to keep a good grip on it even when wearing gloves or even damp hands. * How does it work..? On first inspection you'll find it difficult to locate the on/off switch, turning the torch over in your hands, looking for either a couple of buttons on the top of the handle, maybe a slider on there too or even a bit of witchcraft in there somewhere. But it's none of those really, no buttons on the handle, no sliders and definitely no witch craft. There's actually one little soft button in the middle of the back end of the torch, a single button that does the lot, giving you three types of light beam in one little button. Shall I tell you more.? Ok then, I will. There are three settings on this torch, Low, which is 50 lumens, Power, or medium, which is 250 lumens. These two settings are accessed by pressing the button either once or twice. Then, to get the brightest lights, or the Boost as it's called, which is 350 lumens you simply have to press and hold the button on the rear for a second or two. Then there's the focus system, which means that it can go from a spot light, concentrating on a small area, to what they call a flood light, which basically means that it lights up a wider area around you. To use this focus system all you have to do it push the end of the torch, forward and slide it backwards, this turns the beam from a floodlight type light to a narrow beam or spot light. * Where does it get its power..? Well, where do all most, if not all torches get there power from? Batteries of course, with this one needing 4 AA batteries to give it enough power to get the four bulbs glowing. The batteries are easy to put in, although not as easy as some torches where you just drop the batteries in. with this one you have to unlock the inner section, which is a matter of turning the rear 'stopper' clockwise, then pulling the battery section out. If you look at the other end of this battery section you'll also see the four little LED bulbs. Anyway, once the battery section is out you'll then see how the batteries slot into place inside it, and once the batteries are slotted into place you just push the entire thing back into the torches handle and turn the end anti-clockwise to lock it into place.. Job done. If you've used fresh, good batteries then the torch will glow like one of those worms. But if you've used bad cheap batteries then this will be as bright as Amy Childs on Mastermind. * Is it bright..? Pretty much so, even on the lowest setting, which is 50 lumens as I said... but what is a lumen? Well, to be honest, I have not got a clue. It's like asking me what foundation is the best to apply to sensitive skin? But apparently, lumens are something to do with the amount of light that something gives out, not the wattage a light needs to be usable. Sort of. I think. To be honest, I first thought it was a yellow fruit that was related to the bitter tasting one, but no, Lumens is a light measurement not a fruit. So, as for how bright this torch is in easy to understand terms, this torch on the lowest setting can light up a nice ten metres around you, although it does dim towards the ends. As for the highest settings, well, this will come in handy if you intend going lamping, (Which I don't do and don't intend ever to do, I just thought it may give you a good comparison as to how bright the boost light can be). Or in other words the beam itself ranges is from 100metres on the lower setting to nearly 300metres on the highest setting, depending on obstacles and battery strength of course. * How long will the batteries last..? How long is a piece of string??? If you use a good set of batteries, the copper coloured top ones, you should get about 40 hours of use on low, about 4 hours or so on medium, (or power), and about 3 hours use on boost. You can use rechargeable but go for the lithium ones as they hold a better charge for longer. Then again, if you use poundshop specials then don't expect the same result..... But what ever your choice, as long as they are AA batteries you're laughing. Just don't think you can whittle away at a couple of 'C' batteries as Homer Simpson once did... it doesn't work and it's a nightmare to clean up afterwards. * Is there anything else to mention..? I will say that apart from the torch you also get a lovely little cloth bag to pop the torch in, which I don't use for the torch these days, I tend to use it for another item that fits snugly in it, but that's not important. If you want to keep the torch in the nylon bag then you can, there's no law against it, as yet. You also get a set of four Duracell batteries in the package so you can use it straight from the box, almost. You do have to put the batteries in the torch first. Plus, you get a bit of shoe lace with a bit of string sewn to it, I think it's called a Wrist lanyard, which looks like someone's chopped up a shoe lace really. Anyway, this is designed to thread into the end of the torch, the part where the on/off is, carefully poking the strong bit through the little gap in the end, then looping the shoe lace through the string and you've got yourself a wrist strap which, when placed over your wrist, will stop the torch from dropping on the floor if you let go of it. * What do I think then..? I've used head torches from this company and found them to be good quality, giving me the ability to light up where I am whilst still having my hands free to go about doing what ever it is I'm doing. Even if I do look like Doctor Who nemeses. So when I saw the torch on offer in the shop, with the LED Lenser name on it, I grabbed it before someone else did. And I'm glad I did. The initial switch on is bright, but, this depends on the batteries you have put into the torch, as the beam does tend lose its brightness as the batteries lose there charge. This is especially on the higher light, or the boost beam as it's called. The initial Duracell batteries lasted quite some time to be honest as I never really needed to use the boost light that often as the medium and low light were good enough for close quarters. With a good set of batteries I find that the 4 tiny little bulbs give out much better light than a single 'normal' bulb and lasts a lot longer too. Plus, they are more prone to surviving a drop or two onto hard surfaces, as I have done, accidentally. The light is out of this world, sort of, considering the size of the torch and the four tiny tiny bulbs behind the lens on the front. You could get away with using the boost if you're full beam on your car suddenly stops working, although I'm guessing that would be against some law or another. I tend to be happy using the lower beams, which are bright enough in themselves, even for lighting up an area ahead of me, which, using the 'flood' option really does spread the light around you. The spot beam is as bright as some larger torches I have used and as this is a small torch it's great for lighting up small areas if work needs to be done there. The grip of the handle is brilliant, which means that not only is it easy to keep a good grip on but it's also easy to locate it when it's either stuck at the bottom of a tool kit or just out of sight behind the unit you dropped it behind. The 'bobble' type texture is there to let you know exactly what you've put your hands on, and not just grabbed the copper tubing that feeds the water into your bidet. I have attached the shoe lace to mine and this does help when I'm somewhere a little 'tricky' shall we say, where I have to use one hand to hold on for dear life and suddenly find I need to put the torch down to do something. The shoe lace around my wrist means that the torch won't drop off anywhere and, with a bit of a flick, it's back in my grip in no time. * So, what about the price..? This bright ray of light, all in a handy, almost pocket size torch, sells for about £35, which may seem a little high price for a torch but this torch is worth the money. * Would I recommend this..? I think you can guess the answer to that one from what I said regarding the price. This is a good torch that is an ideal addition in any tool box and will be an must in a place that electricity likes to try and run away from causing more blackouts than the city of London in 1941. So yes, I would recommend this, with out a doubt. ©Blissman70 2014

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          • Bosch Art 23 Easytrim / Trimmer / 34 Readings / 34 Ratings
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            06.03.2014 17:23
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            It would be quicker and easier to use a pair of scissors... or buy yourself a goat...!!??

            It's that time of year again, almost, when the garden is looking its worse and you know that you need to get out there to sort it out. every time you look out of your back windows, frightened by the thought of what could be hiding in the long grass, ready to jump out at you when you step outside. Then there's the shrivelled plants that look like much, the twigs that have been ripped from the trees in the high winds and, in some cases, cat plops in surprisingly silly places. Well, as it should not be long before I tackle the grass with a multitude of garden weaponry I decided to check that all the tools were still in working order, so, on a rare dry day, I went into the tool shed to give the gardening tools the once over. It was whilst in there that I spotted something in the far corner. Something green and quite long, hidden behind a few sacks of god knows what. As I grabbed for it, wondering what it was I felt it was made of plastic and was quite light. Then, on closer inspection I knew exactly what it was, and, seconds later, I knew exactly why it was at the back of the shed covered in bag of something that could possibly be from outer space???? What I then had in my hand was in fact a grass trimmer, or strimmer as I tend to call them, that I had stopped using a long time ago, tossing it to one side, or, to be precise, tossing it into the shed, and popping out to the shop to get another one. The reason for my utter disgust of the strimmer will soon be clear. The strimmer I am talking about is one called the Bosch Art 23 Easytim Electric trimmer... which, if I recall correctly, and I really do, is the strimmer of nightmares, a strimmer that makes Freddie Kruger look like Mary Poppins. * So what does this strimmer look like..? This green coloured tiny tear away is made of a lightweight plastic material, blow moulded to give it the strength with out making it too heavy to handle. I do think it comes in another colour as I think I have seen a blue one, although the blue one may well be a newer model. Anyway, the one I've got, but not for long now that I've found it again, is a green plastic model, being about 195mm long, with the base, the thickest part where the motor is section, being about 155mm, with the cutting width being about 230mm. Right at the top there I the little red button that is on the underside of the top section of the trimmer, surrounded by a guard type area, which helps when it comes to getting a good grip on the trimmer. Just down from this section there is a chunk of plastic that sticks out at the front of the handle, which is for your none trigger hand to grab hold of in order to direct the trimmer around the grass area you want to trim. Then, on the underside of the handle, opposite the chunk of plastic handle, there is a strange looking plastic hook whose sole purpose is for hooking the wire over, and that's all, nothing else really. As we go further down the strimmer, right to the bottom, where the action happens, there is a black semi flexible half moon, with a slice of the half moon having been bitten of in one chomp shaped cover. This is the guard which sits over the spool that the line of plastic wire goes into. This guard is designed to stop the line from flicking in the users direction when the line snaps off, which is quite often on this strimmer. On the rear of the handle, just above the guard, there are a few slots which are vents for the motor to try and help it stay cool during use. On the underside, beneath the guard, is where the spool of line sits, clicking onto the little rod that sticks out of the machine and spins about like a dog chasing his tail, on ice, with satin socks on his paws. When the spool is on place, clicking onto the rod, ramming through the centre of the spool, all you can then see is a plastic cover with a thin plastic piece of wire sticking out of a tiny hole.... And that's what this machine looked like... * Is it powerful..? You do get a good 300 watts of power in the tiny motor, which is enough really for the simple trimming of the edge of your lawn, but if you want to use if for more stubborn things, brambles maybe, then a 300watt motor may not be enough. Basically, this is for those shorter jobs around the edges rather than a full days strimming around your 50 acre ranch. * Is it easy to use..? It's as easy as any other strimmer, to start with, and as it only weighs about 2 ½ kilos it's in the featherweight list of gardening tools. The first thing you have to do before using it is put it together, which saves on packaging. But don't panic, putting it together was easy, and if you've used similar strimmers then you'll find this one fits together the same way. Basically, you just slot the two halves of the handle together, clicking them into place. Then you press the guard into place, which is a matter of placing the plastic guard on the front of the lower section then sort of slide and push it into place, until you hear a lovely little click inside. If you hear a loud cracking noise then you've broken the guard and will have a few problems in the future using this trimmer now. If you've done it right, and heard a clicking noise, then you're almost ready to start strimming. But before you do that you have to put the cutting line in place. To do this, make sure that there is enough cutting line on the spool, wrapping it around in the direction that the arrow indicate. Then you have to push the entire spool onto the little rod that stick out of the bottom of the strimmer, the rod that spins around. You slot the spool onto it with a little twist. When the spool in on the rod and sitting secure, you take the plastic ring, slide the end of the line through the hole on the ring and slide the ring around the sides of the spool. This traps the line in place. Finally, you take the cover of the spool and thread the end of the line through the hole, then you slot the cover over the spool, clicking it onto place with a little twist. And now you're ready to begin strimming. * What about taking the spool off..? This is a simple matter of reversing the method I explained above. Take off the spool cover, remove the ring from around the sides of the spool. Then, you either pull and twist the spool to take it completely off the strimmer.... Or, you pull a bit more of the line out, pop it through the hole on the ring and then the cover, replace the rings and cover and way you go. There's no screws needed, it's all a matter of pushing and clicking. Job done. * IS there anything else to mention..? Yes there is. This strimmer has something called 'Bump feed which means that you simply 'bump' the spool on the ground in order for the line to come out when the section that you are using breaks off. To activate this 'bump' method properly though you've just got to remember to hold the trimmer straight, not at any angle, and then gently drop the trimmer, head down, on the floor whilst still holding the handle that is, other wise all you're doing is dropping the trimmer on the floor which may look like you're throwing a hissy-fit. Plus, it comes with a good 10 metres of cable so it can handle any small gardens, but if needs be, there's always an extension lead The trigger is very sensitive, which means that I can get the motor going and keep it going without fearing the horrid threat of finger cramp kicking in after a few minutes. * My opinion.. To be honest, I had trouble with this strimmer from day one. Don't get me wrong, it was easy to put together and the initial spool placing took seconds to sort out. But once I got down to using it I realised just what a pain in the proverbial this was. The line snapped off in seconds, and I'd not even gone anywhere near anything that would have caused it. No twigs, no stones, nothing, just grass. Yet the line flicked off and disappeared somewhere in next doors garden. Then, when I tried to use the bump feed, I ended up with little holes all around me as I 'bumped' the strimmers spool area on the grass. I even tried bumping it on the patio, paving stone, thinking that maybe a harder surface was what it needed, but this didn't work either. Then, to top it all, when I gave up on the bump idea, deciding to go about manually taking the line out, I had one heck of a hob getting the spool cover and ring off the thing as the spinning and bouncing movements had seemed to have almost welded the lot together. Eventually I managed to get more line out and carried on, which lasted another minute or so before, 'ping', more line snapped. So I went through the 'bump' method once more, which failed, and the manual method again, which took me ages once more. Eventually I finished the edges and gave up for the day, wishing that I'd never bought the thing in the first place. Plus, to put salt on the wound, I had no receipt and had had this for ages before getting round to trying it so there was little chance of me getting my money back. So I just put it down to experience and through this to the back of the shed, until the other day when I saw it again and remembered why it was there. The actual design of the strimmer is like many others and is light and easy to carry, giving you a good area of cutting power and the 'stump' on the front, which is used as the guiding handle, makes swinging the strimmer around so easy. Then there's the easy to use trigger, which in itself is quite sensitive, which should make this one, on paper, quite a nice strimmer to use. But it's the bump feed that really lets it down, in fact, I'd rather bump my head against a jagged edged brick wall than use this again. This bump feed method is supposed to help the line come out of the spool without having to keep taking the spool off the trimmer. The idea is to 'bump' the bottom of the trimmer, the bottom of the spool that is, and the line should come out of the spool. It is a good idea in principal, and if the makers could get it right then it would save a lot of time in the garden. Sadly though, as with other 'bump' action trimmers, this one's idea is nothing close to reality as the 'bump' simply fails to get an line out at all. Which means that you're back to stopping the trimmer, taking off the spool, pulling out more of the line, replacing the spool and starting again. So if you've got a lot of debris in you garden, twigs from the trees in the winds, stones from you neighbours kids or even the odd tortoise or two that have escaped from the local petshop, then you're going to end up spending a lot of time pulling more line out than actual trimming. * What about the price..? The price of this strimmer is in the £30 region, which you'd think was not too bad for a trimmer with the name Bosch etched on it... but looks can always be deceptive, and in this case they are. * Would I recommend it..? No. simple as really. But why would I not recommend it. Well, it's the dreaded Bump feed as I spent more time taking to spool apart to get more of the line out than I did trimming my edges. The line breaks a lot, and I mean a lot, it would break when I approached a tiny little daisy poking up through the grass. The line would panic and snap off in fear. Which meant that I'd have to go through the annoying rigmarole of taking the spool apart once more just to get a few centimetres of line back out knowing that I'd be doing the same in a few more seconds. I mean, if it was easier and less hassle to take to spool apart then maybe I could have lived with the bump fee being about as useful as a set of speaker on a motorbike, but the spool is annoying and that's that. ©Blissman70 2014

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              03.03.2014 14:10
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              You don't need to spend ipod money to get ipod quality sound

              Sometimes, when I'm either out and about, exercising, or simply want to take my mind away from the hectic life I have somehow found myself leading, I like to push earphones into my ears and let my favourite music tracks wash over me. Those tracks being a variety of genres depending on what I'm doing and where I am, from tracks such as Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody to more gentle music such as Johann Strauss's Tales from the Vienna woods. But what ever music I'm listening too I like to make sure that I'm not disturbing others who may not like to hear Oasis's She's Electric taking away their peace and quite. And this is where a magical creation called a personal music system comes into its own. Or, as technology have evolved, these days it's no longer a walkman portable CD player strapped to your belt so you can listen to 16 tracks using more AA batteries than you can afford. These days the personal music systems come in the form of what is called MP3 Players or ipods, if you are well off and can afford to splash out on such 'i' products. But if you're like me, then an MP3 player it is, and the cheaper the better as far as I'm concerned. I mean, I only want to listen to music through them I don't want to do anything else, so why spend a fortune on something that is going to sit strapped to my side, or in my pocket. This is why I don't spend 'i' product money when I can spend a fraction of that and still listen to music. One particular music device, MP3 player I am using at the moment, and have been for a while now, is from a company that I have used products from before, including MP3 players. This company being Sandisk, with this particular player being the Sandisk sansa clip MP3 player with the built in radio, as a similar player does come without the radio * So, what does this MP3 Player look like then.. It is a tiny black rectangular box really, being no more than 180mm high, 130mm wide and 31mm thick, weighing in at a feather weight 25grams, with a set of controls on the lower half and a small screen on the top half. The control panel is a simple cursor type circular button surrounding a button in the centre. There's also a single 'home' button just above and to the right of this cursor control so you can go straight to the home page with one press instead of going around the houses. On the top of the player there is a power button, which when pressed and held for a few seconds, turns the player either on or off. On the right side of the player, there is a slot, this slot is for a micro SD card so that you can slap in a bit more memory. I've got a 16GB card in and it reads it nicely. Above this lot there is the earphone socket, which is your standard 3.5mm jack so that you can use your favourite earphones with this player instead of the ones that come with it. On the left hand side, as you look at the screen, there is what first looks like a slider button, but it's not, it's the volume button. Press the top to higher the volume, press the bottom to lower the volume. Then, above this volume control there is a micro USB port which is used to connect this player to your PC for when it comes to putting tracks onto it. The only other things to mention is the rather fragile looking but remarkable strong clip that is one the back of this player, which is designed to clip onto a belt or your jacket, or where ever you want to slip this too. * What about using it... Firstly, in order to get your tracks onto this player you will need to use have certain specs on your PC. Those specs being... Windows XP and above, also Mac OSX 10.3 Windows Media player 10 or above A USB port for connecting the player to the PC. You may also need... * A CD-ROM * Internet connection. One of these is required in order to install the drivers that you'll need to get started with this player. But once the drivers are on you PC you don't need any of these, although the internet connection is good for downloading tracks, (legally of course). It supports more formats than just MP3, you can also play WMA, FLAC, and ogg vorbis. It also lets you play certain e-books too. So now you've got the drivers installed you're ready to roll. Once you've taken this out of the oversized box you simply plug the USB end of the cable that came in the box into your PC, then you slot the other end of the cable into the player itself, into the micro USB port on the left hand side, as you look at the controls and screen that is. Once the cable is connected up, and the initial drivers are found and installed, which needs only to be done on the first connection, then you simple open the file on your PC that says there is an external device detected, (This usually shows up as a flash type screen on your PC). You can then go about sending tracks to and from your PC to the player, until you're happy with what you've got. This can be done using the drag and drop method, send to or copy and paste. Which ever way you choose your tracks will go where you want them too. Once you've got your tracks on the player you then disconnect the device from your PC safely and you're ready to start ignoring the outside world and only hear the music of your choice. To listen to your music you simply use the cursor controls to select the tracks you want to play, or you could just press 'play all' and then sit back and enjoy. Also, within the menu section, you could choose other functions, such as the radio, which uses the earphones as an aerial. Then there's also the voice recording function which lets you listen to what you've saved in that section. And then there's the settings themselves so you can get your music to play in the best way you prefer, using the simple graphic equalising method. It's all a simple matter of using the cursor keys to scroll through the device and then the central button to choose the option you want. * Is the display easy to understand...? Does a bear poop in the woods...? The 25mm, (1 inch), screen is not a display that you may be thinking about. It doesn't show quality images or let you watch movies, it's a simple display that shows you the functions on the player, using the curser keys and the two buttons on the lower half of the player. For its size it's so simple to understand as the things that pop up on it are basic but tell you exactly what you want to know. For example, the screen shows you the battery life left by using a battery icon in the top right of the screen, which begins to lose its yellow colouring inside the battery icon when the battery is losing charge. Flashing away when it is desperate for a bit of a boost. Also along the top you can see the amount of tracks on the player and the number of the track you are listening too at that moment. There's also a little icon showing you which selection of 'play' you have opted for, such as repeating a track or letting the player choose the order of the tracks to play. Then, in the centre of the display, taking up most of the screen, there's the simple to understand track and artist names, which depends on how you've labelled your tracks in the first place. On the lower part of the display there's the timer for the track that is playing and also a progress bar so you have two indications as to how long a track is. Then there's a little icon to let you know whether a track is in play mode, pause mode of stopped. I supposed this comes in handy when you can see a play mode icon and you can't hear anything as you can check if the volumes down to zero or your earphones have had it. And that's the display in a nutshell. So to speak. * Is the sound quality good..? This does depend on a few factors, such as the earphones you are using and the quality of the tracks you have put on the player. But all in all the quality of the sound is very good indeed, even with the earphones you get in this package. I tend to stick with the 'buds' I normally use as they sit better in my ears and have never fallen out yet, so the sound quality is better through them. So as long as you have a half decent set of earphones and you've not put tracks on that sound like someone's scraping their finger nails down a black board, (unless you're listening to Adele, Dippy Dappy or Cheryl Cole as it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between their singing and the nail scraping), then your music listening experience should be perfection. Although, the sound quality of the radio is not the greatest, in fact, I have not managed to get a clear enough sound quality from any stations as I've scanned through them all. So the radio sound quality is a bit of a let down. * What about its GB size..? It's comes in a few sizes, GB wise not unit wise, such as a 2GB, a 4GB and the one I have which is the 8GB, but no matter how many GB's you get in the guts of the player the functions and looks are the same. It also comes in a few colours too such as blue, black and red, which I have the black one, but I have seen the other coloured versions and they look quite nice really, although the red one is more a maroon colour rather than fire engine red. I like boring black so it doesn't stand out as much. * What about the battery..? This is a built in rechargeable unit, which means that you can't replace it with Duracell. You have to fully charge the battery at first and then it's just a matter of keeping it charged if you want constant music all the time. To charge the battery you use the same cable as you use for transferring tracks. You just plug it into the USB port of your PC and the other end of the cable into the Micro USB port on the player, allowing the player to charge up. You can see the progress of the charging as the little battery icon begins to fill up with more charge. A full charge, from dead to 'undead', takes about four hours to fully charge but can then give you a good 14 hours of playback. I find that the best thing to do is just plug the USB into my PC when ever I'm using my PC, this way the battery has always got a lot of charge in it. NOTE: You do get a little CD with in the box which has a bit of software on it. That software being Sansa Media Converter software and something called 'Rhapsody Music trial' offer. But I have not installed any of those as I don't need them so I can not comment on them.... Just thought I'd let you know just in case you were thinking of installing them and wanted to know what they were like. If so then I'm the wrong person to be asking really. * Is there anything else to mention..? This MP3 player also boast an FM radio, giving you the ability to store up to 40 channels. Plus, there's a built in microphone giving you the option of using the player as a voice recorder. * My opinion... This is a tiny little thing that holds a lot of music and is so simple to use that I think my dog could get the hang of it. The controls are easy to understand, such as when you scroll through the setting, using the cursor buttons, you will see what you're choosing by the little icons and names that appear on the screen. Those icons being such things as a radio, for the radio, a set of headphones for your music choice, graphic equalizer icons for your settings and more. I like the fact that you can list your music in a variety of ways when it comes to playing them, genre, artist, albums etc, so you can choose which method you prefer, making it easier to find you favourite tracks. This is done using the good old fashioned cursor controls, up, down and then the central button. The little home screen shows what I need to know, which track, how long's left of it and how much power is left in the battery, and speaking of the battery, well, this seems to last for ever, even if it's not been charge up for a while, although when I remember I do stick the cable into my PC to boost up the battery of the player. The options of this player are all easy to use, with the cursor being tiny yet not too small so that my fingers press everything instead of what I want them to press. Then, it's so easy to scroll through the option list by pressing up or down and when I've found what I want to use I then start using the left and right buttons, pressing the central button as the 'ok' option. This takes seconds and leaves me with more time to listen to music, which is what a good Mp3 Player should be about. The actual build of the player does look basic, and it is really. But it's strong enough to withstand my every day life and it has been accidentally dropped and knocked a few times without any problems at all. So it does seem as though it has been built to last, which is good really as it's not something that is designed to be wrapped up in cotton wool is it? The only thing that lets this down is the radio as it just has not the ability to grab a decent signal so that I can listen to radio stations without the sound of bacon being cooked in a frying pan. Even with the earphones plugged in, which is what you have to do as the earphones act as an aerial, I can't get a clear sound from any stations I have picked up. I've even tried being 'down with it' and listened to radio 1 but I thought that something had crawled in my ear and had started to dig into my brain with a small wall paper scraper. * Is this player going to break the bank..? Not at all, especially comparing it the some other MP3 players that do the same thing. The cost of this player will set you back about £30. Roughly. Although the smaller GB version are going to be a bit cheaper. * Would I recommend this..? I'd have to say yes as for the price you're getting a fine little music player that does exactly what it is supposed to do with no brain twisting complications at all. If you want to spend more time pressing buttons and reading unnecessary stuff then go for a more expensive player such as an ipod. But if you want to spend more time listening to music then this is well worth looking into ©Blissman

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              • More +
                23.02.2014 23:07
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                When wires are trapping you to your computer then wireless device are the way forward...

                I like to dabble in technology, although I have to say that I'm not the type of person who stand in line at midnight in order to be the first person in the world to get my hands on the next generation game system from Stoney or Slimtendo. And I'm not the type to be bashing down the doors when iphoney bring out yet another mobile phone claiming it to be the newer, better modal just because they've put the letter S after the number this time. No, I like technology but I also like to wait for all the glitches to be iron and, more importantly, the price to come down to what I think is the better value of the Stoney recreation centre console twenty five S4 system. So, my love of technology and my equal love of keeping hold of my money, has led me to get my hands on many different piece of technological advances without spending too much money. One particular road that I love to find more helpful technological advances is in the world of computers, with the hatred of wires being a big thing for me. And that is where this little item that I have been using for a while now, especially at home, helps me out when it comes to ridding the world of wires. The item I am talking about is a computer mouse. But not just any old mouse, it's one of those mouse... mice, mouse's... that don't need wires. This is the wireless mouse system, one being called the Logitech Anywhere MX type wireless mouse, of which, in the 'anywhere' range, there are a few wireless devices, inlcluding other style mouse's... is mouse's the right word? Should it be mice? Or just mouse?. Anyway, this Logitech mouse, which we've all heard of Logitech haven't we? Well, this Logitech mouse is no let down for the Logitech team, especially when you think that it is in the lower end of the mouse range and comes in the lower price range, making it a good mouse with a nice price tag. * So what does this mouse look like..? It looks similar to a standard mouse, if a little bigger, being about 65mm wide, 90mm long and 35mm high, weighing in at no more than 80 grams. It has the usual left and right click capabilities and central scroll wheel, which are all on the top of the mouse, together with a little light the flashes when you're working away. On the left side of the mouse just about where you thumb should rest, if you're right handed of course, there are two little buttons, with each one having a directional button on them, forwards and backwards. On the underside of the mouse there is a small glass window, although it's not glass, it's plastic. But behind this window there lies the optical light that makes the mouse do what it's supposed to do. Also on the a small gap in the build itself that looks like someone has forgotten to put something there. But it is actually where the nano receiver sits when you're taking the mouse with you. This helps when it comes to remembering the nano as without it your mouse is about as useful as a paper umbrella in a downpour. And, if you're looking at the bottom of the mouse, you're wondering where the batteries go into it. Well. The batteries actually fit underneath where the little gap is. Underneath where the receiver sits. That's right. All you have to do is gently pull back the little piece of plastic that looks like a small streak of nothing to the side of the gap and then gently pull the entire section off. You'll then see the battery port. All you do then is slot the two batteries inside the mouse and push the cover back into place, with a click, and you're done. Also, on the bottom, there is a little on/off slider that is next to the little window. * How do you connect the mouse to the PC..? Well, this is done by the clever invention that is the wireless nano receiver, and this is what this one uses to connect the mouse to the computer. This nano receiver is small, being no more than 15mm wide, 19mm long and 6mm deep, with only about 7mm of the nano actually being visible once inside the USB port. Plus, with this nano using what is called unifying technology, you can wirelessly connect several devices to this one single receiver. Although you will have to download the software and have the same type of Logitech equipment. * Where does it get its power from..? It's a wireless mouse which means that there are no wires to connect the mouse to your computer. So it can't drag its power from the computer it is connected to like other wired mouse's do. This mouse works off the power of two AA batteries, which do come with this mouse and can last quite some time. I have been using the same batteries in my mouse for as long as I have had it and there seems to be enough power left in them to keep the mouse working properly. * How do you use it...? Like any other mouse really. Once the batteries are in place you simply slide the on/off switch to on, which will light up the optical light, turning it red. And you're ready to start 'mousing'. well, almost ready. You do have to slot the nano receiver into the USB port of the computer you want to use this mouse with. Just take the small receiver, push it into a port and wait a few minutes whilst the initial driver process kicks in. once it has found its drivers it will connect to your PC instantly after that. So, you've pushed the nano in, switched the on/off switch to on, the green light is shining and you're away, ready to start mousing about. And that's it. You're connected. From now on, now that the drivers have been installed, which takes seconds, as long as you are connected to the internet, you do not have to re-install the drivers again. * What makes this different than other mouse's..? Well, as I mentioned, it does everything that any other mouse does, it helps you move you cursor around your computer screen, which is what you need a mouse to do really isn't it? But this mouse does a few extra little bits, such as the scroll wheel not only goes forward and backward, it also allows you to scroll from side to side too, although you can't turn the wheel sideways, you just have to gently ease it to either side in order for the movement to happen on screen, as long as the page you've opened on screen allows for sideways movement. Plus, if you press the scroll wheel, you get the same control option you would normally get if you pressed the right side of a mouse, those controls being the standard, copy, pasts, cut, shortcut...blah blah blah..... The little button that sits behind the scroll wheel that is basically a 'shift' key, allowing you do dictate the speed of the scrolling when you're using the wheel. What I mean by that is if you press the wheel the scrolling becomes faster, release the button and you get normal speed. This may sound a little useless but when it comes to certain documents, PDF say, that are longer than the prime ministers expense claim form, it's nice to be able to whiz through the pages a little faster than normal. Then there's the two little buttons on the left side of the mouse, which are marked as forward and backward, with a little directional arrow pointing which is which, these buttons are for flicking through such things as web pages and pages of you documents, but you will need to download and install something called 'SetPoint', which takes a few seconds and as far as I can tell is perfectly safe. Just pop onto Logitech website and download it from there. And that's really what this mouse looks like, basic looking, similar shape to any other mouse, but can do a bit more to bout. * Is there anything else to mention..? Let me think? Well, apart from the batteries you also get a lovely little fake leather look plastic case to carry the mouse in, although I don't tend to use the case as I lost it a long time ago, which is no big loss really. You also get a little leaflet to explain what's what and also the quite important guarantee card to fill in and send off. The mouse uses the 2.4GHz equad DJ cordless system, which really doesn't need to be remembered so there's nothing to worry about there. But one thing you do need to know are the specs for you PC so that you can use the mouse on it. These specs being Windows XP and above, and also Mac OS X10 and higher. The mouse can work at a maximum distance of 10 meters, or 30 feet, which ever is closest??? And it claims that it can be used on smooth surfaces, even being capable of handling glass, but that is something I'd disagree with as I've tried using it on a glass desk that a friend of mine has in his office... although when I say office I really mean spare room in his flat, although spare room is a bit of an exaggeration as a spare bedroom should really be able to take a bed shouldn't it, and this room is only capable of taking the box that a bed would come in. but he calls it an office so it's an office then, with a glass table that this mouse does not like to work properly on. * What do I think..? I like this mouse and found it easy to use, especially for a wireless mouse as I have used some wireless mouse's that have, well, all I can say is that they have 'hiccupped' along when I've moved the mouse on my desk. This makes it harder to get an exact position of the cursor on the screen, which is annoying when it comes to the more intricate work such as drawing, design, and the like. It works on all sorts of surfaces, wood, Formica, cloth and other surfaces, but as I mentioned earlier, it can get a bit funny on glass, hiccupping quite a lot. More than I want it too when I need the cursor to sit where I want it to sit. But I don't tend to use it on a glass surface I'm not to bothered about it having issues with the optic eye seeing the glass. I have used it on Formica, which is more a plastic covered surface that is shiny, smooth and wipes down easy, and the optic eye on this mouse finds Formica rather nice, probably believing it's a wooden table. There's no 'hiccups', flustering, or anything and the mouse reacts in an instant, as quick as a wired mouse to be honest, without the wires to trip over. The buttons are easy to reach with fingers and thumbs, with the side buttons, the forward and backward buttons being able to be controlled by my thumb whilst my fingers are tapping away on the top 'clickers' Although, speaking of the 'clickers', those being the left and right buttons on the side of the wheel, these are nice and free, allowing me to push them gently knowing that they will do what I want them to do without being forcefully whacked with a hammer. But these buttons are a little on the noisy side when pressing them, with the 'click' sound being a bit louder than some mouse's I've used. So I wouldn't really be welcomed if I used this in my local library. Apart from the clicky noise the buttons react as quick as a wired mouse do so there's no complaints there. * So, the price..? It's not the cheapest of mouses's, with there being wired ones for a few quid these days, and even wireless ones for about the price of a night out in the local. So when you see that this mouse sells in the £40 region you may think that this is way over priced, but for what you get, the speed and reaction of this mouse, the old saying of you get what you pay for really does kick in here. * Would I recommend this..? I think I've already answered that one in my review with all the positives, and I've not ignored the negative either. But in short, I would definitely recommend this mouse if you're after a wireless mouse that will keep up with your day to day life, reacting exactly when you tell it too without faltering at all. ©Blissman70

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                  17.02.2014 23:26
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                  Slim looking screwdrivers that all wera the same chunky coat

                  I like to dabble in DIY, as anyone who knows me, or who has been kind enough to read some of my reviews, already know. So when it comes to using tools I can quite honestly say that I have gone through quite a collection in my time. Some have been good, some have been bad and some have been.... I bet you thought I was going to say ugly there?? No, although some have been ugly really.. But I was going to say that some have been so inferior that I have actually been embarrassed to say that I have used them. Some of my collection, both past and present, include such tools as mighty power tools that need both hands, and sometimes a foot or two, in order to keep them from flying around the room when the power kicks in. then there's been the very useful and easy to control battery operated drills and drivers that make putting up a flatpacks as easy as opening a box of chocolates on valentines day. Then there's the good old fashioned hand tools that are used by those that are either too afraid to use anything that moves faster than the eye or those that really believe that the best jobs are done by hand. Me, I tend to use both types of tools, power, be that battery or mains, and the old fashioned hand tools just in case of a power cut and a flat battery. And it is a certain hand tool that I am going to waffle on about here, although when I say hand tool I should really say that it is more than one hand tool, in a way, sort of. Please, allow me to explain. The hand tool that I am talking about is a screwdriver. But this is not your basic screwdriver, it is actually 12 screwdrivers, four socket, or wrench pieces and more, all kept together in a lovely little case that is a little like the Doctors Tardis as you would not believe that 16 screwdrivers could fit into it. But they do. The screwdriver, or screwdriver set itself is from a German based company, with offices around the world. This companies name is the not so well known and not so publicised Wera, with this screwdriver set being called the Wera Kraftform VDE Kompakt 18 piece screwdriver set. * So what about this set then..? Let me start by telling you that you get a lot of screwdrivers in this set, although you only get one handle. But as all the screwdrivers fit perfectly well into the one handle there's no hassles at all. This selection of screwdrivers include... 7 flat drivers, ranging from 2.5mm to 5.5mm with a variety of blade head thicknesses. 6 cross head drivers which vary in size and head design, such as a star shape, a '+' with an 'x' combined, and others. You also get a selection of 'wrench' heads such as a square, a triangle and even one that can be used for bleeding radiators. Plus, you get a single pole voltage tester, which is a totally separate tool in itself. And this all came in a foldable bag to keep all the drivers and the handle together. NOTE: All these driver heads do have technical names for them, such as PH1, PZ4, PH/S#2 and other words and numbers which make as much sense as a politicians manifesto. Then there's the almost easier to understand 'socket' pieces, with names such as a square 6.3mm and a triangular shape, and others too. But as I don't really go on about the technical names I won't bother putting them down here. I'd much prefer to try and explain the shape of the heads so you know what I'm on about. The screwdriver are all about 150mm long with the handle being about 100mm long and about 30mm in diameter at its widest point, making the handle easy to grip and quite comfortable to hold. * So why only one handle..? No, it's not just to simply save on cost when it came to manufacturing the screwdriver set, although I suppose this may have been a factor in the original idea. It's more so that you and I, the DIY'ers, can carry a variety of screwdrivers around with us without taking up too much space in the tool box. Each of the driver shafts have a hexagon head on them, made out of toughened plastic, with the hexagon shape of the head tops slotting into the handle snugly, with no room from the shafts to move about side to side or around. These shafts go up into the handle by a good 60mm, more than half way into the handle, which gives them the strength and stability that you'd get from your 'normal' screwdriver. * How do you swap the shafts..? To get a shaft in you just push it into the handle and listen for a clicking noise... click... now you're done, the screwdriver shaft is securely in place and you're ready to start screwing. To get the shaft out you can't just pull it out as it is technically 'locked' into place, which is why it doesn't just fall out when you tip the screwdriver upside down, or maybe accidentally drop it on the floor. To actually release the shaft you have to pull back on the yellow catch that is on the base of the head, the section that looks like a ring. You pull this yellow ring back, releasing the locking catch, then gently pull the shaft out. And now you're ready to put another shaft into the handle and away you go. * Are the screwdrivers strong..? Very much so. The tips of the drivers are as strong as you'd expect, but if you use the wrong size driver tip to try and unscrew a large screw then you're asking for trouble. To be honest, if you remember to use the right driver for the right job then these will last you for a while. The socket heads are as strong as any other socket sets I've used, although as they have a wider edge around them than 'normal' socket heads, but as most bolts have nothing around them the slightly wider edges don't really make any difference. * What about the case..? The case is made of cloth, which sounds as though it may be a bit, shall we say, weak, when it comes to holding tools such as screwdriver, but this case is quite tough, having a couple of pockets inside it and several elastic straps, sewn in sections onto the interior if the case, so that the screwdriver shafts have somewhere to sit firmly into. When I say pockets, I think I really should say 'flaps', but what ever I call them they allow more room inside the case so that all the shafts fit in with ease. Also inside the case, again held in place with an elastic strip, is the handle itself, with the voltage tester tool being housed right it its side. The case itself closes up into an easy to carry, taking up less room in your tool box. * My opinion.. When it comes to using screwdriver, instead of using one of my power drivers or drills, it is these ones that I tend to reach for first, grabbing the case and taking it with me as I know that I will have the right size screwdriver inside the case for the job in hand. I tend to find that the flat head screwdrivers are the first to give up the ghost, usually ending with bits of the screwdriver tips snapping off as the screw head becomes a bit stubborn, leaving you with what is really a useless rod of metal with a handle. But these ones seem to be able to take a bit of hassle, even when I have used the smaller size tips on those larger screw heads. The handle is nice and chunky which really does make gripping it so easy, meaning that there's less chance of getting wrist pains at the end of a lot of screwing in and out. Then there's the way that the shafts of each screwdriver click into place, which is a remarkable simple idea and, in this case, works remarkably well indeed, locking firmly into position with no effort at all. Then, when it comes to releasing the shaft, the simple way that it takes just a bit of a firm pull of the yellow ring around the base of the handle makes changing the screwdriver a breeze. * What about the price..? The entire kit is not cheap, although, for what you get, it's not expensive either. This 18 piece screwdriver kit sells for about £35 - £45, depending on where you get it from. * Would I recommend it..? For what you get, by that I mean the 12 different screwdrivers and more, all in a rather nice little case, I honestly believe that paying around £40 is not too bad at all. The screwdrivers are strong and the handle accommodates them all with ease and without any movement whilst inside the housing, making each screwdriver shaft being as good as any screwdriver I've used in the passed. ©Blissman70

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                    14.02.2014 23:02
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                    Working with wood has never been so easy......

                    Picture this. You've just bought a new 5 lever mortice lock for your door as the old one snapped for one reason or another. Or maybe just a simple tubular lock. But either way you know that the lock will need fitting. So you set about drilling out the gap in the door for the workings of the locks to slide into, but then you realise that the drill bits only take out circular sections, and you need a rectangular cut in order to get the lock to slide in properly. So what do you do. Well, the answer comes in the shape of a chisel so that you can 'hack' out the wood that the drill bits can't quite get at in order for you to have that perfect hole for the lock to fit into. But what type of chisel do you go for? A cheap one that may struggle doing the job and will probably even snap in hard when you hit it with the gentle tap it needs. Or maybe a more expensive one that will do the job you need it to do and still be ready for the next job you'll need them for. Well, the answer has got to be in the latter of the two. The more expensive chisels, so you can get the job done with ease and, more importantly will leave you with all you fingers and both your hands after you've finished with it. But which chisels do you go for? Well, from my experience of owning and using chisels I have found that you do have to pay a bit of extra cash for as I have some, shall we say, dangerous experiences when it comes to chisels, which has led me to my latest set that I am quite happy to say have stood up to the claims that they seem to shout out. The chisels that I am using at the moment, (well, not as I am writing this of course as that would be a bit dangerous, typing and chiselling at the same time is not recommended). Anyway, those chisels I am talking about are the Irwin Marples M570 splitproof Chisels which can be found as singular or in packs of 2, 3 or 5, which does work out at a lower cost when you buy the packs. * So what do these chisels look like..? Well. For anyone that knows chisels the first impression of them is that they look the same as any other chisel, coming in a variety of width, with the lengths of them being more or less the same. The widest one being about 250mm long to the narrowest one being about 230mm long. The handles are red, although they do come in a blue version, but the ones I have are red, and are almost half the length of the chisel, being about 110mm long and a rather chunky 35mm in diameter, and are shaped in such a way so that they are easy to grip without slipping in your hand. The tops have what looks like a piece of yellow solid resin has been slapped on, but this is the impact area and this 'resin' is designed to absorb the shock as the mallet whacks against it. This stops the handles from splitting open even after a lot of heavy whacks. The actual metal of each chisel goes right through the handle, so there's no danger of the handle snapping off where the metal goes into it. With the metal itself being about 7mm thick near the handle, tapering to a nice 5mm near the sharp edge. This makes the metal of the chisel nice and strong. As for the actual widths of the chisels. Well, you can get them in a few sizes, widths really, starting from the smaller, but just as strong, ¼ inch (7mm), going up in size, width, to the next one, the 3/8inch (10mm), the ½ inch (13mm), the 3/4inch, (19mm) and the 1inch, (25mm). * What makes them strong..? Apart from the fact that the handle head is protected by a remarkable little impact 'resin' type area, which is why they are called 'split proof' for a reason. That reason being that when you whack the handle heads with a mallet they won't split open like an egg hitting the floor, which can happen with some cheaper and less quality chisels. The handle heads are actually designed to take some of the stress from the impact of the mallet so that there's less vibration which means less stress on the holding hand. And not forgetting that the handles are made from a piece of solid yet rather nice feeling moulded hardened plastic. The main thing that makes these strong is the fact that the actual metal of the chisel is a single forged piece which is hardened and tapered so that it will withstand the heaviest of blows, and as the metal goes right though the centre of the head there's no danger of the head snapping away from the chisel itself. * Are they sharp..? Firstly, I have to say that some chisels I've bought have had to have some work done on them before I've had a chance to use them, this work being the honing, giving them the sharp edge that a good chisel needs in order to slice through the wood instead of hacking away at it. Luckily though, these came pre-honed and as sharp as a angry washer woman's tongue, which meant I was able to give them a run for their money right out of the box. As for sharpening them though, they are just like all other chisels in this department, although I have found that they do seem to hold there edge for quite a bit longer than some chisels I've used. * Are they safe..? These area as safe as any other chisels really. Treat them with respect and they won't bite. The edges are as sharp as a knife, or they should be if you keep them treated well, so as long as you keep the sharp edge into the wood and away from yourself you're laughing. As for when it comes to storage safety, well, these all come with a plastic covering for the sharp edge, with each plastic cover slotting over the 'bladed' edge and staying there until you gently slide the cover off to reveal the chisels working itself. * My opinion... These are one of the best chisels I have had the pleasure of using, apart from a very old set of Stanley ones that I have had since I don't know when, and have seen better days but still do what they are supposed to do. These ones are almost as good as those ones. They are sharp which means that the edges seem to slide through the wood with ease, making a cleaner cut instead of having jagged bits inside the chiselled area of the wood. They are great for finishing as well, where I can put the mallet down and gently take off the remaining wood with small, gentle stroke, this means that I'm not damaging the surrounding area which is going to be on show. That's one thing that annoys me, when I've almost finished the work and then one little slips leaves a scratch on the wood which you know is going to be seen from the moon, without a telescope. But with these, as the edges are nice and sharp, and the handles are so comfortable to hold, there's rarely any loss of control at all. Which means no nasty scratches from the man on the moon to laugh at me about, 'tutting' away in the sarcastic way he does. The length of the shaft itself means that you can dig deep into the wood, which comes in handy when you want to sink that door lock in place properly, chiselling out the wood after drilling the 'pilot' holes in the rectangular template that you've marked out. The handles are as tough as old boots, as they say, and as comfortable as holding a pen, albeit a very chunky pen, but none the less, these are so easy to hold so that there's very little danger of dropping them during mid strike, which saves you hammering your hand instead of the strike point of the chisel. We've all done it, missed the strike What more can I say about these chisels? I think I've covered all the corners, so to speak. They are strong, sharp and made to last... what more can you ask for in a chisel? * What about the price..? This is where you might be a bot shocked. But remember the old saying, "you get what you pay for", and with these you really do get what you pay for. The price of these range from £10 for the 6mm one to about £25 for the larger 25mm one. As I said, they do come in sets, 2, 3, and 5 different size chisels in a pack. Ranging from a 2 pack selling for about £15, to a five pack, containing all sizes, from about £55. Just look around in the DIY shops and you may find a bargain. * Would I recommend them..? Yes, without a doubt. If you're after a good chisel, or a good set of chisels, then you really can't go wrong with these Irwin chisels as they should last you for a long time, as long as you keep them as sharp as they need to be. They can take the hammering without shattering and as they are a good quality build they are easy to get hold of and even easier to control as you tap away at the wood you don't want. ©Blissman70 2014

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                      08.02.2014 19:03
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                      The only driver you'll need to stop those wrist cramps

                      When it comes to DIY I like to make life as easy as I can, which means that I tend to use power tools more than hand tools when ever I can as it takes less time to do the job and means less blisters in the palms of my hands and less wrist ache. So my collection of power tools has grown more over the passed few years as I have either bought my own or have been given them as gifts for either Birthdays or Christmas. One particular power tool that I have used a bit recently, having been forced to put many things together which would have meant a lot of screwing and unscrewing, is what in the trade is called a power driver, with this particular driver being called the Makita TD090DWE Impact Driver * What do you get..? Opening the box I could see that it was all there, the driver itself, a fast charger, 2 stick type batteries, (yes, two batteries), a few screwdriver bits and a holster for hanging this from your belt, so you can pretend you're a cowboy in the wild west. And it all fits nicely into a purpose built blow moulded case. * So what does it look like...? At first glance it looks like a mini drill, and to be honest, that's really what it is. Coming in the gun shape design that you come to expect from battery operated drills these days, only this one's smaller, being about 160mm high, 180mm long and no more than 55mm wide, weighing in at less than a kilo all in. The body is made of a blue plastic material with the handle being encased in a thin rubber material for a more comfortable grip. In front of this handle there is a small black trigger which gets the motor running when it's squeezed. On the side, just above the trigger, there is a button, as there is on most drill/drivers of this types. This button slides from side to side and gives you the option of forward of reverse for either screwing or unscrewing. On the front there is the chuck, although to be honest, is it really a chuck? As it's more a hole in the front which the bits fit into. This hole is a hex chuck which means that it can only take hex types bits, having six sides. But a chuck I'll call it. On the sides near the rear, there are a few slats the act as vents for the motor, allowing it to get the cold air that all motors need to keep cool as they heat away. There's a little light that sits at the front of the driver and points a little light beam at the area you're looking at, lighting up the screw head so you can see what you're doing. * But where's the battery..? I can hear you asking. It's in the usual place where batteries slot into units like this. It's inside the handle, being pushed in from the bottom. The only reason you can't really tell that there's a battery in this is because the battery is a 'stick' battery rather than being the usual 'flat' type batteries that most units come with. This stick battery simply look like a slight extension on the handle, maybe even looking more like a stand. But a battery it is and it slots into the handle, and takes up almost the entire area inside the handle, clicking into place with a reassuring, well, a reassuring click. To take out the battery you simply press the little buttons on the side where the battery meets the handle, those buttons having a few little ridges on them so that you know what you're pressing. The battery should then just drop out of the handle allowing you to place it into the charging unit. The driver actually uses the flat base of the battery as a stand, giving it the capabilities of standing upright when you place it on a worktop. * What about this chuck..? As I asked, is it really a chuck? Anyway. This chuck fit's a set size driver bits, those being the ¼ inch pieces of the hex shape, (six sided). These all fit into this chuck and as they have edges on the bits there's no chance of the bits slipping in side the chuck. To fit the bits you have to slide the out ring of the chuck forward slightly, then you slot in the bit and then let the out ring slide back into position, locking the bit into the chuck so that it doesn't fall out if you turn the driver upside down. To take the bit out you do the same. Pull forward the outer ring of the chuck, take out the bit and either place a new bit in or leave the chuck empty. Then you just let go of the out ring and it should slide back into place. And that's it for the chuck really. * So, how do you use this driver..? You use this like you would use a drill. You just put the bit into the chuck, as I described, choosing the bit that you need for the job in hand, be that a cross or a flat, or what ever bit you need to use. Then you simply slide the directional button to which ever direction you need to go, be that forwards to drive a screw in, or reverse, to unscrew the screw. Once you've done all this you simple place the bit into the screw head and press the trigger of the driver. This will then spin the chuck which in turn spins the bit and either screws in or unscrews.... Simple as that really, there's no need for you to keep turning you hand like you do with a normal screwdriver. * Has it got the power..? It has got a bit of kick and does spin fast, giving you up to 2400rpms, so screwing something in takes a matter of seconds, depending on the material you are screwing into. This could cause no end of damage to certain soft woods as some screwing can go deeper into the wood than you want it to, which is where torque comes into action. Only this doesn't have torque so it only stops when you release the trigger, which can be a bit tricky if the screws goes in quicker than you thought it would. But what it does have is something called an electronic brake, which means that the head stops quicker, almost as soon as you take your finger off the trigger. * What about the battery and charging..? The 10.8 volt (1.3Ah) batteries are the more advance and the longer lasting Lithium-ion type which mean that they can hold more charge when not in use. The charging unit is almost as big as the driver and weighs more as well. It is a black unit that has a 'port' at one end that the battery slots into in order for it to charge. To charge the battery you simply slot the battery into the charger, plug it in at the mains and wait for the charger to do what it's designed to do. The charger and batteries are on a fast charge system, with a flat battery being fully charged in about 40- 50 minutes. The charging unit has a little light on the top, just above the where you slot the battery into. This little light is there to help you when it comes to charging the battery. There is a label that lets you know what the light means, such as if the light is flashing green then it means that the battery is charging, if it is staying green then the battery is charged and ready to use. However, a red light indicates a problem, from a flat battery, which is a red light, to being too cold, which is a flashing red light. Then there's the dreaded red and green flashing alternatively, which means it's time to get a new battery as the one you're trying to charge is only fit for the recycling bin. * My opinion... I have used a few of these 'drivers' as well as drills, the difference between the two is that the drills can be used as drivers whilst the drivers can't really be used as drills. Anyway, when it comes to drivers I used this one has to be one of the most useful that I have had the pleasure of using. Some drivers I have used have been about as paper lifeboat in the Atlantic ocean, giving less power than the Lib Dems at a General Election. Which meant that when it came to using a power driver in order to get the screws in and out was more of a hassle than useful. But this one really does have it all. It has the grip, the power and even the stamina in the battery department, using the brilliant Li-ion batteries which hold more charge between none use. Which really means that when I'm not using the driver the batteries don't lose much charge, so that when I come to using it again it's more likely that there's going to be enough charge left in it until the other battery is fully charged. This not only feels solid in my hand, giving me more confidence, enjoying the weight as I begin screwing what ever is in front of me. It also manages to screw a lot of screws in without losing any power from its performance, which means more screwing with less time. It's quite fast when it comes to screwing into softer wood and, even without torque, it manages to stop itself before causing any damage to the wood through over tightening. I like the fact that the driver stops in a heartbeat. Let go of the trigger and the driver stops, as quick as than really, which makes controlling the spin and power a lot easier. In fact, the entire speed of the driver is controlled by the trigger, meaning that the harder you squeeze the faster you go. This really comes in handy when I'm working with softer wood so that I don't damage too many pieces as I screw things together. All I have to remember is to release the pressure in the trigger so that the screw goes in slower, giving me more chance of stopping when ever I want it to. The extras that came with this driver are as good as you'd expect really. The holster is a real looking holster. It has the little press stud and everything and lets me slide the gun, I mean the driver into the holster, drawing it out like a cowboy in a quick draw contest. (although I have been called a cowboy a few times in my life...!!). But this holster is not to bad at all and is a nice addition to this drive as it lets me carry this driver without having to keep it in my hands all the time, knowing that I can grab it to use it when ever I need to as it sits in the holster on my belt. The case is your standard blow moulded case, being big enough for this driver, the charger and the wire, having plenty of room to spare for all the bits and bobs that tend to find there way into such blow moulded cases. * What does this one cost then..? It's not the cheapest on the market by far, selling for about the £120 region, or more in some places. * Would I recommend this driver..? Yes, without a doubt. It has everything that a driver should have, with the extra thing being that it has the better quality batteries which last longer than other batteries. If you do a lot of screwing and hate the thought of getting Repetitive strain in your wrist then this driver is well worth looking into, even if the cost is a bit on the higher side. The price may be high but, as I have found out myself, if you buy a cheaper driver there's a chance that it won't have the power to finish the job, where as this one will get the job done and beg you to do more. ©Blissman70 2014

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                        04.02.2014 22:45
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                        Solid State Drive..? It's not a street name where body builders live, it's the faster way for a PC

                        I'm going to talk about the future, sort of, when it comes to the way that we get our information on and off our computers. (bare with me). What I am talking about is Hard Drives, or Hard Disc Drives, or HDD's that sit in PC's and store all the information that you want to put onto them, starting with the Operating System of your PC, be that Microsoft, Mac or even Linux, and then everything else that you find you need to make you PC run in just the way you want it to. But what are the few things that all HDD's have in common...? Yes, they can become slower than my Granny on her drive to the shops. They can over heat faster than a teenager in the Adult section of the local DVD shop and worst still, they don't like to be dropped off a tall building without a parachute. (although the dropping bit is not recommended at all). So, what is the future or these seemingly fragile and soon to be out of date HDD's..? I can hear you asked, (or is that the voices in my head once more?). The future is actually already here, and it has been for quite some time really. In fact, we all, or most of us already hold the future in our hands on a daily basis. The future is the Solid State Drive, or the SSD, which, as the name suggests, is more your Rocky Balboa of the computer 'internal storage' world rather than your Norman Wisdom. The SSD is basically a memory module that has no moving parts, unlike the HDD's which have discs that spins at an astronomical rate in order for the heads to read the information on them. Which is why the SSD's are the future. Allow me to give you a general idea of what I am waffling about... More than likely, when you're sitting at your laptop, you can hear a whirring noise or even a light 'whooshing' sound. These noises are down to the fact that you have inside your laptop a HDD which has moving parts and therefore gets quite warm. In fact, it gets quite hot. The Data that is stored on a HDD is done so by 'writing' it onto the spinning discs, which in turn is then read by a tiny, and very fragile, little head. Imagine, if you will, an old fashioned record player with a stylus, (I can see the confused expression on those of you that are under 25 years of age. If you're confused about what a record player is, or even a stylus, then please ask an elderly person). Anyway, are we imagining the stylus? Right. When you place the stylus on the record as the record spins around. It is this stylus that reads the music that is on the record. This is the same principle as how the heads on the HDD read the spinning discs. And it is this spinning process that makes the HDD's not only noisy but also quite delicate when it comes to portability really, even though the HDD's are designed to be portable they are susceptible to damage due to the fact that they have moving parts and anything with moving parts can be damaged quite easily. Anyway. This is were the SSD comes in to it's own. There are no moving parts as the information is stored on, shall we say 'microchips', that can be read without the need of a spinning disc and stylus type head. And it is this reason why the SSD's are not only silent when running, not only more robust than HDD, but are a lot faster than HDD's when it comes to reading and writing information to them. I could go into why and how but I feel that I have waffled on too much, plus anyone reading this will be scratching there heads and wondering what on earth I am talking about when the heading for this review space is actually about a certain SSD and not how and what SSD's are. Anyway. As I said, the title for this review space is for the Samsung 840 Series MZ-7TD120 120 GB and it is that particular modal that I have had sat in my laptop for a few months now and feel that I can my opinion on... So here it is... * What does this SSD look like..? The body of this drive is made of aluminium which makes it look good, even though once it's inside the PC the look of the SSD is irrelevant. Well, at first glance it looks similar to a standard 2.5inch HDD only a fraction smaller, being about 100mm long by 70mm wide and less than 7mm thick, weighing in at just over 50grams. But once it's in your PC then the size and weigh mean nothing really. On the front there is a little slot which is what connects to the 'pins' on the inside of your PC, where your old drive sits at the moment. And that's really all I can say about the structure of this unit, but there is a bit of writing on the back of the body, which is in several languages, but it only goes on about the warranty and say nothing about how to fit this drive in. although there is a bit telling you a few facts about the drive, such as the minimum and maximum stats that you need on the PC that you intend to slot this on, and there's also a bit about the speeds of this 120Gb drive compared to the larger size drives, those being the 250GB and 500GB. And that's all the writing on the rear, and, to be honest, that's all the writing on the entire thing, apart from the Samsung name and the fact that it's a Solid State Drive. So that's the looks of it... * What does it offer..? It offers everything that a HDD offers, only it offers it at much faster speeds. There are a few specs that mean things but make no real sense really, such as the fact it is a Samsung 2x nm toggle 2.0 NAND flash memory (400Mbps) 3- core MDX controller. SATA 6Gb/s interface, compatible with SATA 3Gb/s and 1.5Gb/s interface. (This information came from the little leaflet that came in the box...) NOTE: I do have to mention that it does state it's a 120Gb drive but as anyone that has looked at their HDD you know that you never get the full amount of memory space. On this you do get just short of 114GB, which is plenty really. * Is it easy to fit..? If you've ever replaced a HDD then this is just the same. If you have never done it then I'll give you a brief run down of what to do. Firstly, disconnect your laptop from the mains and take out the battery. Then you unscrew the screws that are holding your HDD in place, then slide the drive out. At this point you have to take the bracket off the drive, the one that has the screw sockets that hold the drive in the laptop, and screw this bracket onto the new SDD. Now you just slide the new drive into the laptop and put the screws back in place, screwing them hand tight so that the new drive is in place. And now you're done. All you have to do now is put the battery back in, or plug it into the mains and boot up your system, using the OS as this is a brand new drive and should be clean. Your system should recognise this new drive straight away. If it does not then try taking it out again and re-fitting. So all you have to do now is re-install everything that you want on your new drive, staring with the OS of course, and everything else you have to put on. This may take a fair amount of time depending on how much 'stuff' you've got to put on. But it is a lot quicker with this SDD than it is on the HDD. And you're done * So what about the performance..? This is really down to what you're doing and what you have running. But on paper you can get some cracking speeds. On the little leaflet it goes on about begin capable of getting on average up to 530MB/s read speed and up to 130MB/s write speed. In everyday terms, I can open up a 'complicated program' such as a Roxio video editing program, which took over a minute and twenty seconds to open up fully on the HDD, in just short of 37 seconds... which is half the time really. Smaller programs, such as a virus/malware scanner, which open in about 20 seconds on a HDD, open in the blink of an eye with this SDD. It's a matter of double clicking the program and there it is, no waiting. The same goes for such things as documents, photos and even music. It's all opening quicker than the lies coming out of David Cameron's mouth on Prime Ministers Question Time. And that's what this SSD is all about. Getting programs up and running as fast as you can. Which in this * What makes it faster..? This is because there are no moving parts and the data stored on the drive is stored in order, so to speak, which means that your system does not have to go searching around the houses for what you ask it for. For example. In the HDD your data is basically slapped anywhere that your PC finds a spot, sometimes separating information and throwing it in different places on the drive. The HDD is then full of confusing data that is separated by massive gaps and even more confusing data. So when it comes to, say, opening a certain program, your system has to go looking for all the bits that it has tossed about the place, even having to search through the empty spaces in case there's something hiding in there. Then it has to bring it all together and do its best to open the program. And this is all done by the disc spinning and the heads doing there best to read the information that is rushing passed them faster than a politician putting in his expenses claims forms before the end of the month. But with these SSD's there's none of that. The information is stored in one place, with no gaps and no moving parts. When data is delete it does not leave an empty space in the middle of other data, which means that the search does not take you to unknown and empty areas that just take up time for no reason. The data on the SDD's is all stacked together instead of anywhere it can find space as in the HDD's. So that's why the SDD's are faster. And this Samsung is no exception. You simply request the data and your system knows exactly where it is. Opening the file, starting the program or playing your favourite track... all in a fraction of the time that you get with the HDD's. * What do I think then..? When I first started using the SSD's, which was a while ago when I fitted one into a different laptop, I was so impressed with the difference that they it made when it came to speed that I intended to replace all the HDD's with the SDD's. the only thing that stopped me was the price as, at the time, the cost of a small 64GB size SDD was more than the cost of a 500GB HDD. But now you can get a nice size 240GB SDD for about £100, which is a bargain in anyone's books. So now I am in the process of replacing the old fashioned HDD's with these SDD's, and this Samsung one is as good as it should be, which is keeping my faith in the future of SSD's alive without a doubt. Slotting it into my laptop was simple, taking seconds rather than minutes, plus the fact that as it has no moving parts it's less susceptible to the dreaded static that HDD don't seem to get on with that much at the best of time. Then, once slotted in place, installing the OS and the other programs took next to no time at all as this drive really does add a great speed to computer life without any hassles at all. So know I have this SSD in my PC and am using my old, but still working, HDD as an external memory unit, having plenty of space for a backup system in case of any troubles with the PC, although if my other SSD is anything to go by then it won't be the drive that gets messed up, it will be more my own fault for allowing a virus onto my system... And the best thing about this is that the prices just seem to be coming down every time I look into buying another one. Over all, this Samsung does exactly what it is designed to do. It makes using a PC a lot faster which in turn takes the stress out of doing what ever you're doing, be that on line or using those 'heavier' programs. * And the price then..? This 120GB version sells for about £60, or there abouts. * Would I recommend this..? Yes I would. It may only be a 120GB drive but if you don't want to store all sorts of images, video and large files on it, preferring speed rather than space, then these SSD's are worth looking into. But if you want more space then add another £40 or so and grab the 240GB version as it should be just as impressive as this one... (I should think so anyway) ©Blissman70 2014

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                        • More +
                          01.02.2014 18:51
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                          Not everything 'Apple' costs more than the UK deficit....

                          Firstly, I am going to tell you that I am not an owner of any 'i' products, never have been, never will be. Mainly due to the fact that I believe that they are overpriced and really on the fact that many people feel the need to have to have certain things regardless of the fact that there are many products out there that offer the same things for a lot less money. Right, so I've got that bit off my chest. Now I'm guessing that you're wondering why I am about to write something in the 'i' range even though I don't own 'i' products. Well, let me tell you that, firstly, this certain thing that I am writing about was a Christmas gift from a friend and secondly, I would not really say that it is an 'i' product, even if the name suggests so. Are you confused? Well, so am I. But allow me to explain. The product that I am talking about is something that in the trade is called an iplunger, which in itself suggest it's part of the 'i' range but as most items in the 'i' range are solely for the purpose of the 'i' products then this one is very different in that respect as it can be used on other products too... Are you still confused? Me too. I'll carry on regardless. * What does this iplunger look like..? It's nothing special, looking more like the tiniest of toilet plungers that you might see in a very small plumbers kit bag. The plunger at the bottom is made of a rubber material and it's only a mere 33mm in diameter, with the height of the entire thing being no more than 44mm, with 25mm of that being the wooden rod that attaches to the rubber plunger itself. And that's what this look like... simple. Although there is the colouring of the rubber though, with the one I have being blue. But it does come in a variety of colours from green, red, black, orange... you get the picture...!!! For some reason I feel I have to mention the box that this came in, although it's not the box that you're interested in really. It's the iplunger you want. Allow me to explain. When I first got it it came inside a clear plastic casing which had the box on the bottom of the casing and the iplunger sitting on top of the box, sort of in a display type situation. Yes, the iplunger was on display inside the plastic casing sitting on top of its own box. So when I took it out of the display casing I was left with the iplunger and the box, which, when I opened the little box, which in itself is only 45mm cubed (45x45x45), there is more of the plastic casing material, only this piece has a little knobble in the centre which the iplunger sits on top of when you're not using it. The box has is well designed, although you're not really going to be interested in the box really are you? So I'll just say that on the front is an image of the iplunger in use, holding up someone's iphone, and on the rear of the box there is a set of easy to read and simple to understand instruction of how you use this iplunger. And to cover them selves, the manufacturers clearly state the you don't get an iphone with this iplunger even it the image on the front of the box may indicate other wise. * So what is this iplunger used for..? I think you can guess from the constant mention of the letter 'i' that this is something to do with 'Apple' and their constant need to force people to buy silly things for their overpriced iphone products...(I'm not a fan of iphones, or anything that cost more money than it should do just because it has a logo on the side). Anyway, it's a product that is supposed to be used for and iphone in order to help it sit up on a surface so that you can have you iphone at a certain tilting angle in order for you to see the screen th eway you want it without having to hold the phone. And it does actually do exactly what it is designed to do. * And how do you use it..? If you follow the instructions that are clearly written in plain English on the back of the box then you can't go wrong. Simple put, you take the plunger, lick the rubber sucker section, then gently push the moist iplunger onto the back of you iphone, or, if you're like me, your Samsung, or any phone really that has a smooth back so that the sucker will grip onto it. And that's how to use the iplunger. As long as the back of you phone is smooth and clean from grease then this iplunger will get a grip using that good old vacuum effect Once it's in place, stuck to the back of your phone, you can then simply place you phone on a flat surface and the iplunger will act like a little rest so that you can have your phone at a nice angle to see the screen. There is a rather larger image on the rear of the box. Although when I say large I really mean larger considering the size of the box. But this image is of a badly drawn babies head in a circle with a line going through it, with the numbers '0' - '3' on the other side of the line. I'm guessing that this means that this is not suitable for babies aged under 3 months, (or is it years?), of age as they could swallow it accidentally, and then how would you keep you iphone at just the right angle to watch that 'chick-flick'? only kidding. I really mean that the last thing you want is for a baby to swallow this as there's a high chance of the rubber blocking the airway. * What do I think of this iplunger..? It's a nice little gift to get from a friend. You know the old saying, "It's the thought that counts"...? well, the thought in this one was there. No offence. Anyway. As I don't use 'i' products I was a little confused when I opened the wrapping and saw this iplunger staring up at me from inside its clear display case. But after I'd taken it out and glanced over how and what it was used for I remember smiling to myself, thinking of how such a simple idea has probably made someone somewhere a large sum of money. Regardless of my jealousy of not coming up with this idea first, I tested this out on my phone, even though it is not an iphone, it's a Samsung, (and I'm proud of it as it has been a loyal and trusted phone for a while now. Being there all the time, never letting me down, reminding me of what I have to do and when I have to do it by. Telling me that I've missed calls, keeping me informed of what's going on and surviving drops where other phones, including iphones, would have fallen apart). And I was quite surprised in how nicely this actually worked, although as my phone has a bit of a 'rough' back panel, not smooth, then this iplunger can lose the all important vacuum effect that it needs in order to keep it grip. But if I press it on with a little bit more pressure it manages to cling on longer than Gordon Brown did at Number 10. To be honest, I don't really use this that often, once I'd got over the initial 'silliness' of it when I first got it, but I have used it a few times since Christmas and when I have plunged it to my phone it has stayed where it is supposed to, most of the time anyway. Be that in a portrait manner or a landscape manner, although with my phone the portrait manner is the hardest manner for the iplunger to stay put on as the angle on the back of my phone stops the sucker from going where it would be best for that perfect angle. But a slice upwards of mm's and I'm away, so it's not really a major issue at all. The rubber sucker is strong enough to grip on tight so that the angle of your phone stays constant. It's even strong enough to stick to your forehead if you want to pretend you're a very tiny, and not so scary Dalek.... Or is that just something I've done? * How much then..? I had to look up the price for this as this was a Christmas gift to me from a friend. But the price for the iplunger is about £5, give or take, although as the box on this one clearly states that it was made for Primark, I'm guessing that this one is not really an original iplunger, so to speak, but it does the same job regardless. * Is it worth the money..? No, not really. I could think of many other things to spend your five pounds on. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice idea and does what it is supposed to do, but for a fiver you're paying way over the top. If it was on sale in the local pound-plus then that would be more like it as, to be honest, it looks like it cost about 20p to make it in the first place. So, if you can get a similar style one in your pound-plus, and have a smart phone, or even a tablet, with a smooth flat back then this is a nice thing to get hold of. But if you see one for more than a pound then do yourself a favour and just put you phone on a small cushion in order to watch that movie with out having to hold the thing for 90 minutes or so. In fact, the fiver you save on buying this could get you a months subscription at one of those online DVD/movie rental places that are advertising all the time, (you know the ones I am talking about..?) ©Blissman70 2014

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                          • Cloer 4019 / Kettle / 36 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                            31.01.2014 22:15
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                            A watched kettle never boils, so they say.... but you can watch the boiling water dance instead

                            Kettles. We all need them, we all have used one, be that something you put on top of the cooker in order to heat up the water from the heat of the hob, or the more modern ones where that great invention called elastic-trickery helps bring the water to the boil. And it is the latter of the two that I am thinking about not. The type of kettles that are plugged into the wall sockets and use the power of the boffins to boil water. I have owned, used and tossed away more kettles than I can ever remember, of all different shapes and sizes, with all of them having one thing in common, and that is that they have all broken after what I consider to be a short time, which leads me to the conclusion that they don't make things to last like the used to do in the olden days. Anyway, one particular kettle that I used a while back, until it took a tumble off the worktops and ended up scattering along the floor with, luckily, cold water all over the place. And that killed this kettle as it just wouldn't hold water after that. The kettle that I am writing about is a more advanced model of another kettle that I had used in the past, with this one being a lot better looking, in the kettle glamour award ceremonial shows that is. The kettle that I am talking about is one from a company called Cloer, with this kettle being the Cloer 4019 1.7litre kettle. * What does it look like..? It offers 1800watts of power, standing about 250mm high by about 145mm in circumference, although the handle does stick out another 50mm at the rear end with the spout giving it another 25mm. And an empty kettle weighs no more than a kilo in itself.... But this does get heavier when filled with water of course. When I first looked at it the main thing that I noticed was the nice colouring of this one, a shade of grey-slash-brown surrounded by the dull but nice looking stainless steel. This may sound a dull sort of colouring but there's a lovely surprise with this one when things start to happen, but I will go into this later. Most of the kettle is made of a stainless steel, giving it a good strength whilst keeping it lightweight. Ringing around the central section of the steel there is a rather nice sized window which starts as a brown-grey colour but changes to a lovely sea blue colouring right before your very eyes. The only other colour on the kettle is black, which is the handle itself that is attached to the side above the black on/off switch. And there's the black colour of the lid that sits inside the rim at the top. On the blue window section there are three black marking. These are not pieces of dirt, nor are they marks that the makers accidentally left on when they put it into the box. These marks are the water measuring marks, going up the window, starting a little up from the bottom at 0.5l, then half way up there is the litre mark, with the 1.7l almost at the top of the window. They're the only markings on the kettle which leaves the rest of the window as clear as the proverbial what-sits. On the back there is the black plastic handle which starts from the top, almost all the way down to the bottom, near the top pf the handle there is a small black button that, when pressed, releases the lid, popping it open in an instant. Then, underneath the handle, there is the on/off button. Opposite the handle side there is the spout which is part of the metal of the kettle and has not been stuck on as an after thought. On the top of the entire kettle there is the lid itself, which is made of the same black plastic as the handle. I mentioned the little surprise about the dull colouring of the plastic window. This dull colouring magically turns a lovely shade of sea blue when the kettle is plugged in and switch on, beginning the boiling process. Although, I'm guessing that this magical colouring really only is a light inside the unit the makes the window glow so that you can clearly see the water inside the kettle do a lovely little dance that boiling water tends to do. * Is there anything else to mention..? Yes there is, a couple of things really, such as the fact that it sits on a circular base making it, what is known in the trade as a cordless kettle, which means that the kettle can spin a full 360° on the base Then there's the hidden element which means that there's no element showing inside the kettle. And finally, there are a couple of safety features, such as auto shut off when boiling and anti-Marge from Swindon... no, I mean, anti-boil dry so that you don't accidentally try and boil water that's not in the kettle. * Is it quick..? A good question and one that I will give you an answer too... the speed of this water boiling action really does depends on a few factors, such as the amount of water and whether the water inside the kettle has been previously boiled. But for a simple example of a freshly filled kettle from the cold tap this kettle comes to the boil in less than 4 minutes. * And what do I think..? As I mentioned, the main things about this kettle is the fetching colouring of it, a lovely sea blue surrounded by a dull metallic look. The sky blue of the kettle really coming into play when the water inside begins to boil, you can see it bouncing away through the blue tinted window that surround the housing, all the way around, not just a small section of it. This really does give this kettle that edge when it comes to style and a little more interesting when it comes to that old saying "a watched kettle never boils", with this one worth watching, if you really wanted to. The lid is a bit of a monster in itself, thicker than any other lid I have come across on a kettle before, yet it still glides open as gracefully as Jane Torvill on ice. To lift the lid you simply press the button on the top edge of the handle, on the vertical part near the top. Press this and the lid pops open so you can fill the kettle with water from the tap without spilling it all over the spout and housing. To get the lid back in place you simply push it down, back into the top, clicking it securely into place. And when the lids sat in place there's no really hassles of the steam coming out of the rim at all, which results in the steam only coming out of the spout, which again result in the auto switch off when it has come to the boil clicking off a lot quicker than some kettle I've used that seem to lose more steam through the rim of the lids than anywhere else. Not with this one though, this ones lid sits in place like a washer in a tap, leaving no gaps for anything to escape around. The on/off switch looks a bit chunkier than the other Cloer kettle I have used, that one being a slim looking one that slotted into the kettle in one slot. This one joins into the kettle housing using a two slot system which allows the switch to be made wider and still as secure in it's constant up and down job that it has to do. In fact, the entire build of the kettle makes many other kettles look like they are made out of the stuff that you find separating your chocolates in a box of milk tray. This kettle was well though out and well built, which is a rarity these days when it comes to making anything really. It's not the quickest of boilers. It's not your Lamborghini modal, it's more your Ford Focus, which is better than some kettle I've used, which comes across as more like your Nissan Micra with a flat tyre. But it is this lovely blue colouring that is the main thing I like about this one is the lovely blue colouring that glows happily away on the worktop as the boiling water inside dances about like Eminem on tour with Rihanna. * And the price..? This is a pricey kettle, in the kettle world that is, selling for about the £50 mark, which, as I said, is quite dear for something that boils water. * Would I recommend this kettle..? I would have to say yes, without a doubt. This is one kettle that, if you're not as clumsy as my family and I, should last you a long time without any trouble at all. It is strong yet lightweight, quick boiling yet quiet and above all, it's a rather soothing colour of blue that brings the eye towards it when it's doing the water dance. ©Blissman70 2014

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                          • Russell Hobbs 9379 Classic / Toaster / 33 Readings / 32 Ratings
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                            28.01.2014 22:52
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                            A toast to Russell and his browning of bread....

                            I hate toasters. Love toast. But hate toasters. The reason for my pathological hatred of toasters is that no matter what toaster I have bought, no matter how much it cost or what brand name is etched on the side. What ever toaster I have bought always goes in the way of the big toasting heaven in the sky... or more the recycling pit down the road. So in my life time of toasting bread I have probably used more toasters than Katie Price has used men.... And that's going some. One toaster I was quite happy with, whilst it did what it was designed to do, was a rather fetching toaster from a well known company called Russell Hobbs, with the full name for this particular toaster being Fred... no, I mean it's the Russell Hobbs 9379 four slice toaster. * What does this toaster look like..? Well, to be honest, it's a bit of a monster, in the toaster world of monsters that is, being a four slice unit measuring about 210mm high, 250mm wide and about 300mm long. The top and sides are rather curvy and a dull shine gives it a rather fetching look, although can you really describe it as a dull shine? Do those two words actually go together? But that's the best way to describe it really. Anyway. The main housing is made of stainless steel and the walls are known in the trade as cool walls, (not the cool wall on Top Gear mind you). Which means that they can be touched even whilst the toaster is working, although the walls do get warm to the touch. On the front, or side, or back, which ever way you have it, but I'd say the front. But on the front there are two little black knobs, or levers, running up and down two slits in the metal housing. These levers are for lowering and raising the inner baskets. The lower section is made of a black plastic material which encircles the base giving it a more formal look. The controls are housed on the front edge of this black section, sticking out on a lovely sized little ledge. This control area looks like a small section taken from the Starship Enterprise, sort of. Having buttons and dials in order to control the toasting that is going on inside the toaster. These button and dials aren't as complicated as they first appear, with two buttons and a dial being used for each two slot side of the toaster. The dials are on the outer edge of the ledge type area, with numbers around the outside of the dial ranging from a '0', for barely touched toast, or just warm bread really, to number '6' which could leave your bread almost burnt and as black as a piece of coal. but some people actually like burnt toast don't they, but not me. Anyway, on the inside of the dials, sandwiched sort of, are the buttons, which are for 'defrost' and ' reheat', two buttons for each function which means a button each for each two slot side of the toaster. And that is what we have for the controls of this toaster. On the underside, opposite the control console, there are two crumb trays which are designed to catch the crumbs but to be honest they only manage to catch a fraction of them, leaving most of the crumbs on the table or worktop, leading to a clean up after every use. Also, on the underbelly, there are what look like a few little catches, knobbles and bits of plastic that look as though they've been left there by mistake. These are actually where the mains lead wraps around and into so that you have just the right amount of cable sticking out from the toaster and, when you've finished with the toaster and it has cooled down properly, you can wrap the cable around the bits and bobs on the underside and store the whole lot away properly. * What does it do..? It toasts bread, as any toaster does really, using the array of small metal elements inside the toaster that glow and heat up in order to slowly burn the bread that you slot inside it. It has a few settings that you'd expect of a toaster these days, the usual settings being reheat, defrost, and cancel, these setting are on each side of the toaster. These functions are used via the buttons and dials that are on the lower front, or side, or even back, depending on which way you look at it. It has variable browning, which is a posh name for a little dial that is used as a timer for how long the bread stays inside the toaster, the longer it stays in the toaster the browner it becomes, and vice-versa. The reheat function simply allows you to pop in already toasted bread that has gone cold so that you can warm it up again without burning it to a crisp. The 'frozen' function simply mean that you can defrost bread without actually beginning the toasting process. The slots are what the posh people call variable which means that the inside has a sort of basket frame type thing that the bread sits on. This basket thing can be lowered into the slots using the handle on the front of the unit. The frame thing is designed to move in and out, trapping the bread inside without squashing it, but it is also designed to allow a thick slice of bread as well as a thin slice of bread, with the walls of the frame moving in and out with ease. There's also the extra lift feature, which is simply where the levers on the side can be lifted up higher in order to get such things as crumpets, muffins and those smaller slices of bread out of the slots without burning your fingers. As with all toasters these days you'll notice that the levers don't pop up all the way to the top of the little slits that they are housed inside. This is where the extra lift facility comes into its own as that is what the last centimetre of so of the slit is left for. So you can lift the inner baskets further up if you have smaller bread type items in there. Plus, this toast has something called a 'Toastec System' which means that it is supposed to toast the edges of the bread more than the middle, giving you a more 'moist', or more a 'not so dry', piece of toast with a crispy surround. * Is it easy to clean..? Yes, it's simple really. On the underside there are crumb trays that simply slide out of the base You then tip away the crumbs into a bin or where ever you tip your crumbs, and slide the trays back into place. Although to be honest, as I said, the crumb trays don't really catch all the crumbs as they are not that deep really. So when you move the toaster from where ever you are using it you may just find a small pile of tiny bits of burnt bread crumbs in many different shades of brown. To actually clean the toaster itself all you have to do is give it a bit of a wipe over with a very damp cloth as anything too wet could damage the elements that are inside the housing. And for god sake, what ever you do, don't be putting this in your dishwasher in order to give it a good clean as you'll be left with a broken toaster and possibly some rather serious household disturbance too.... And no, this is not what happened to my toaster. I'm not that daft. Well..!!!! * What do I think about this toaster..? This one was a fine toaster indeed, before it ended up with all the other toasters that seem to hate me. It not only managed to take four slices at once, it also managed to toast those slices quicker than most other toasters I've used, and there's been a lot of toasters I've used. I like the fact that each side can be controlled separately so you can use this as a two slice toaster or, if you have fussy faces to feed, you can make two slices of toast a different shade of brown than the other two slices, although this tends to be a bit hit and miss once the elements start to go into overdrive and work only when they want to. The Toastec system is a fine idea, in principle, and worked quite well for a while on this toaster, but, as with all toasters I have owned, things started to go wrong with the elements, leading to the edges being either burnt or underdone whilst the inside of the slice finished the exact opposite. It does manage to toast all four slices of bread pretty quickly, quicker than many other toasters that I have used, which resulted in less time toasting and more time eating. The only downside to this is the actual size of it, especially when it came to storing it away as it managed to take up almost half a cupboard by itself. But downside apart, if you want a toaster to toast lots of bread at one time then you have to put up with the fact that it is not going to be able to slot into a draw and out of the way. * And what about the price..? This toaster sells for about the £35 mark, give or take a few quid, but as it is a fairly old model there's a high chance that it can be found for a lot less, or maybe it can't be found at all??? * Would I recommend this one..? I'd have to say yes on that question as this is must for those families who, like mine, love a fair amount of toast done in all sorts of different shades of brown. This toasts the bread quickly and does four slices at a time. So, if you've got a toast loving family like mine then a four slice unit like this one is well worth looking out for. But if you don't want a massive one, (easy now....), or only have toast every so often, then the size of this may not be worth having in you kitchen as it does take up a lot of room. ©Blissman70 2014

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                            • More +
                              24.01.2014 23:29
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                              Small, chilly and fits anywhere.... no it's not a that.... it's a fridge...??!!!

                              I tend to find that over Christmas, and also during the hot summer months, when and if we get hot days, the fridge in my kitchen becomes a bit over crowded with either festive food or bottled water to cool off in the summer. This is why, a while back, I invested in something that I could use to help out the bulging fridge by taking some of the food and drink from it whilst still keeping it as fresh and cool. This thing that I invested in is what in the trade is called a fridge. But not just any old fridge, it is a fridge that is smaller than the ones you'd see in your standard kitchen, be that a fridge freezer or just a stand up fridge. This fridge is smaller than that, although it's not a mini fridge that you see in someone's bed-sit cram packed with cans of 2% lager. This fridge is a fridge that is sort of in the middle of those sizes, not a mini but not a full stand up one either. It is a fridge that is in the middle size range and is from a well known company called AEG, with the full name being the AEG Electrolux santo 71700TSWO. * So what does it look like..? As I said, it's not a mini fridge, nor is it a full size fridge, it is on the middle, being a good 850mm high, 600 wide and about 630mm deep, weighing in at quite a bit so do be careful when it comes to moving it about. It is a box shaped body made of a thin metal with a few splashes of plastic to give it a bit of style. The door is on the front, obviously, with a rectangular handle on the left side, although this can be put on the right side with a few minor adjustments. On the underside there are four little feet, with the two at the front being adjustable so that you can get it sitting perfectly level on the floor. And that's what the fridge looks like on first inspection. When you open the door you see the more important bits that fridges are best used for, the inside where the food stays cool and fresh. Inside there are three glass shelves which sit on moulded 'sliders' that are on the walls of the inner fridge. These shelves can be set in several positions so the fridge can accommodate taller or shorted things such as bottles of beer, or wine if you're posh. The glass of the shelves are made of what is called tempered glass, which means that they take a lot of hassle before they even think about breaking. The are supposed to be able to take up to 25kg in weight on each shelf, which is an awful lot of eggs, lettuces, tomatoes and cucumbers, even a lot of cans of lager. On the bottom section, right below the lower shelf, there is a single draw, which is mainly used to fruit and veg, but can hold what ever will fit into it. This draw is made of a thin but quite strong plastic and slides in and out using the floor of the fridge as support. And that's the inside of the fridge. But that's not all there is for storage space. There's also the door, which has 3 removable and adjustable shelves, although one of the three is more container rather than a shelf, but I'll call them shelves. Anyway, these shelves are made of a thin yet remarkable sturdy plastic material and, with the help of the small catch type knobs inside the door, the two lower shelves can be moved up and down to make extra room for such things as bottles and the like. There are three glass shelves, with the bottom glass shelf covering the bottom draw. Also, on the inside of the door, there is the standard colourful sticker, the one that tells you how happy the electrical appliance makes the eco warriors, with this particular appliance being a A++, which means that the eco warriors will be having a lie in as this one won't be making them get out of bed to protest about this one as it claims to only use a mere 94kwh per year... yes, per year. Although the sticker on mine has been scratched and battered a bit too much now, but I can still see the little black mark pointing to the A++, just one down from the elusive A+++. I nearly forgot, there is something else inside the fridge, on the right side, just above the area where the second shelf can go. There is a lovely little light that illuminates when the fridge door opens. And yes, it does go out when the door is shut as the edge of the door pushes against the little 'switch' and turns the light off. Anyway, this light is encased inside a semi clear plastic casing and gives you the light you need when you are searching through the shelves for that last piece of cake. And that's really all this fridge contains. But then again, that's all a fridge really needs to have really. So all you have to do is supply the food.... Which these days is easier said than done... * Where can I put it..? Anywhere you want really. Well, within reason. I mean, I don't think it's wise putting it into the boot of your Ford Ka, or trying to strap it to the basket of your daughters push bike. What I mean is that it will fit either under a work top or even on top of it too. Although if you do want to fit it under a work top then it does say that you have to leave a few gaps around the fridge and the wall/worktop so that the fridge has plenty of space for ventilation. I'm not talking a foot all around, all you need is about 15mm to the sides and floor with about 100mm from the worktop... (this is suggested in the booklet that came with the fridge). You can also fit it directly to what is called a continuous worktop, which really means that it becomes part of the kitchen unit. To do this you need to remove the lid of the fridge and make sure there is a vent in the worktop above the fridge, (this again is on the instruction booklet, but looks a bit too much hassle really). Personally, I have mine under a small worktop with plenty of room around the sides and top so that there's plenty of air flowing around it. * What about setting it up This depends on where you want to put it, be that o the floor or on a work top surface type table thing.... But either way, where ever you put it, you might have to make sure that the fridge is level so that it doesn't wobble when your beers are on the left and your cucumber are on the right. To make sure it's level you simply rotate the small feet which are under the front part at the front. All you do here is put the fridge on the surface, then, if it's wobbly, you turn the foot on which ever side until the fridge stops wobbling. These feet turn with ease, by hand, so you wont need tools, and there's plenty of room to get you fingers onto the foot in order to turn it easily. * Is it hard to keep clean and maintained..? This is one of those fridges that can take care of itself, almost. To keep the outside clean all it takes is a bit of a wipe down with a damp cloth. For the inside it's a matter of a damp cloth for the wall and a 'take out and clean in the sink' for the shelves if they need it. This goes for the door shelves as well as they are removable and can be cleaned thoroughly if needs be. As for the fear of condensation building up and flooding the fridge. Well, this is a self cleaner, in a way, with a little sort of 'flatter V' shape type channel on the lower rear of the inside of the fridge which has a small hole where the lower sections of the 'V' meet. This 'V' traps any condensation that may fall down the back wall of the fridge and send the moisture into the hole and out of the fridge. So, as I said, there's very little cleaning and maintenance for this fridge really. * Is it noisy..? Hmmm, well, no, not really, although there is the usual 'slurping', 'whooshing' and a bit of 'whirring' noises that you always get with fridges, any fridges, as the inner system goes about keeping the inside as cool as it should do. There's no excessive noises from this one, not enough to keep anyone awake at night, but as I don't have mine in my bedroom I can't say whether it would keep you awake at night really? * Is there anything else to mention..? The door comes with the hinges on the left, although this can be changed so that they are on the right by simply unscrewing them and re-fitting them in the pre-drilled holes on the other side of the fridge. One hole on the underside of the top, with the other hole being underneath the fridge itself. This, again, is explained in the booklet that comes with the fridge and you get all the bits and bobs to do this without leaving anything to chance. If you do decide to change the hinges, then you will have to swap the handle as well, which is as simple as unscrewing two screws, swapping them onto the other side of the door and re-screwing them back into place. Popping the plastic stoppers into the holes to cover up any ugliness. But no matter which side you have the handle and hinges on, the door opens wide enough to get the shelves in and out without snagging on anything. * What do I think then..? For a 'small' fridge I have to say that this is one of the best ones I have come across. There's no bells and whistles, as they say. No fancy controls to get confused by and no fuss when it comes to keeping my food as fresh as possible and my drinks nice and chilled for as long as possible. It is a good size for not only fitting into either smaller kitchen, garages or even sheds, but it can also hold quite a bit of food inside it, being nicely separated with the tough shelves and little trays, together with the ample room in the doors, which in turn can hold a fair few cartons of milk in weight without causing any hassles on the door hinges. The shelves are strong, even though they're glass, and can take a fair bit of weight by themselves, with no threat of collapsing under the stress of your string beans and lentils. The plastic tray at the bottom is a single one, which is quite big and can take your average size lettuce without having to ram the tray back into place. I thought I'd have preferred two trays myself as I like to keep certain foods separate, OCD sort of, so the wife tells me, but a bit of cling film around the food and this single tray is not a OCD problem at all. The door tray are removable and make them nice and easy to take out and clean when needed, and the shelves are just as easy too, which makes cleaning a doddle, so to speak. Either a full soaking in the sink or a good wipe over with one of those multi-surface wipe things. As I said, you can have it set under a worktop, but, if like me, after you've read the destruction manual and realised that there's a lot of work in doing it this way then, like me, you'll find that it sits just as well under the worktop as long as you leave enough space for ventilation. * And the price tag..? This is the jaw dropping part really, especially as I have had to check the price and really think that I either got a bargain when I bought mine last year or the prices have rocketed faster than Mr Bolt chasing Mr Ginger beard for his sponsorship money. I bought mine last year for just short of £125, which I though at the time was a bit pricey but as I wanted a smaller fridge and this one caught my eye, I hastily parted with my money, (credit card). But when I searched the price for this whilst writing this review I ma either looking at a more advanced modal with the same name or, as I said, inflation really has got out of control. The price mark on this fridge is a staggering £300 or more.... I said jaw dropping... which is more than the price of a full size fridge freezer in some shops.... * Would I recommend this..? If you're after a small fridge to put into a small room or need a cool area to store your extra beers ready for the football season to kick off, then a small fridge is something that is a must, and this one is well worth looking at. But, as there as many fridges that offer the same storage space for a lot less than the asking price of this one then I'd say that this one is way over priced for what you get. Although, if you can grab a bargain, like I believe I did, then it's well worth investing is as it fits nicely into those small spaces and keeps your beers at a constant cool temperature for those happy days ahead. In all, a good price would make this a good fridge, a high price may just make you think twice, maybe going somewhere else.... ©Blissman70 2014

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                              • Cloer 4111 Cordless Kettle / Kettle / 50 Readings / 48 Ratings
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                                20.01.2014 18:06
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                                If you can't stand the heat then stop boiling the kettle...!!!

                                Kettles. We have all used one. Most of us have owned at least one in our lives, with some people, including myself, owning more kettle than they've got teeth in their mouths. So when it comes to kettles I tend to find that no matter how much I have paid for one they always end up in the same place at the end of the day... the old scarp heap in the sky. This has led me to the conclusion that it's sometimes better to buy a cheaper kettle with the knowledge that it will have to be replaced with in no time at all. One such kettle that I remember having, which ended up like all the others, was a not so well known one from a company that I had never heard of, but managed to last quire some time, is the kettle called the Cloer 4111 kettle, although there was a bit more to the name which I think was in German. *What does this Cloer kettle look like..? It's your standard white plastic kettle, standing at about 250mm high, 150mm wide and 220mm deep, including the handle, and offering 1800watts of power. On the rear there is the handle, which in itself, is a sort of horseshoe shape, and there's the on/off switch just below it. Then there's a thin measuring window on the side, a spout on the top at the front and a lid that swings up on a single hinge. Although the lid has a rather fine little locking system which seems to make this kettle that bit different than others. The little clear plastic window has a few numbers going up it, this lets you know how much water is inside the kettle. These measurements are in litres, or 'L' as the letter states, going up from the minimum of 0.5L to the full 1.7L, with the word 'MAX' above this number to let you know that you should put no more water inside. I know it looks like there's plenty of room left in the kettle above the 'MAX' mark but you do have to leave space for when the water begins to thrash about inside the kettle when it comes to the boil. An over filled Kettle will spit water out of the spout and the pressure may in fact lift spit and hiss through the rim of the lid. And that's the kettle itself, which sits on the standard circular disc which gives this 'cordless' kettle the power it needs to boil. What I mean by cordless is, as with all kettles of this kind, the kettle is not directly wired into the plug socket, which means that you can take the kettle to the tap without fear of dropping the plug into the sink full of pots, pans and dirty plates. It is the circular disc that stays on your worktop that is wired to the mains and this has a little knobble in the centre of it which slots into a little port that is on the underside of the kettle. When you pop the lid of the kettle open you'll see that there is a small white filter that goes across the spout area. This is the 'limescale' filter and is there to stop not just limescale from dropping into your fresh cup of hot chocolate. This filter can be removed and cleaned, which makes it last longer at the end of the day. NOTE: It's nothing like the other Cloer kettle that I have used, the rather attractive and quite fashionable looking silver model with a lovely sea blue clear window so you can see the water bubbling away. But it's not the blue model I'm talking about here, it is the more duller Cloer that I am talking about, the Cloer 4111 kettle. * So how do you use it..? As any other kettle really. You just fill it up with tap water, either through the spout, which can be a bit tricky as the spout isn't the widest, or via popping open the lid and pouring the water in that way. To lift the lid you just press the middle section of the lid and it should all pop up on its hinge. Once the water is inside the kettle, either the minimum amount or the full 1.7 litres, you just pop the kettle back on the stand, making sure that it sits properly on the little round knob in the middle of the stand. Once it's on the stand you just press the power button that is below the handle. Press down for on, which shows a '1', and up for off, which shows a '0'. once you've pressed the switch down it's just a matter of waiting for the water to boil. * Are there any safety features..? It has your usual kettle safety stuff, such as anti-boil dry feature, a safety locking lid, and the very important automatic shut off. * Where's the element...? I can hear you asking as you look inside the kettle. The element is one of those hidden ones which means that it is underneath the metal plate on the bottom of the inside of the kettle. This helps protect the element and it might even be the reason why these type of kettle manage to boil water quicker these days. * Does it take long to boil..? This depends entirely on how much water is inside. If you boil the minimum amount then, from cold to boil, it takes about a minute and 20 seconds. If you fill the kettle with cold water you're talking more like just short of four minutes. But either way, a minute or four minutes, it does manage to boil water quicker than most kettles I have used. * Is it strong..? Even though it's made of plastic it is still remarkably strong and can easily take the weight of the 1.7 litres of water without it splitting into pieces when you're pouring it into a cup. The handle was a bit of a worry for me as it is a horseshoe sort of shape, the 'u' shape, rather than the more sturdy looking 'C' shape handle. But the handle surprised me really as it doesn't even flinch when I pick up the full kettle once its contents have boiled. * What about cleaning..? Simple. All it takes is a bit of a wipe with a very damp cloth over the plastic body of the kettle. This should remove any fingerprints and the like. As I mentioned earlier, the filter is washable and simply slide out of the two little plastic 'tags' that it sits on near the spout. When you take this filter out you just then give it a bit of a wash, either a soak or a run under the tap. Then you replace it back into the kettle. Job done. You're nice and clean and ready to boil. * My two pence worth...?!! This was a fine little kettle when I was using it. It managed to boil enough water for a few cups at a time, which kept the family and in-laws happy when it was time for a cup of tea. It looks quite nice, in a kettle looking sort of manner, with the lid having a lovely pressing action in the centre and a fetching grey rim around the edge. Then there's the handle itself, even if it is not the standard kettle handle, being more a 'U' shape, with the bit missing at the bottom. But this shape does seem to make is easier to grab hold of. The body may be made of plastic but it can handles a lot of stress and a large amount of boiling water. Even the spout handles the boiling water with no hassles at all, although it is a bit small and can make the water spill over the sides if you tip the kettle to far at once. But once I got the hang of how far to tilt it there was no real issues with spillage after that, but there was some once in a while. The window is nice and clear so that you know exactly how much water is inside it, although when I say exactly, I do actually mean as close to ½ litre measurements, which is close enough in the kettle boiling sort of world. When the kettle is sat on the base it all seems to look like one unit, in a way, with the only clue to there being two separate parts is the thin black line which is where the little feet on the kettle are. The base has a few groove like sections on the underside which the cable can be wrapped around, which means that you only have to have the amount of cable sticking out that you need. The cable itself is only about 300mm in length so you do have to have it near a socket to start with. * What more can I say about this kettle? Well, it does exactly what it's supposed to do. It boils water, and does it in quite a quick time too, whilst looking quite nice sat on the worktop when it's not being used. * Now for the price..? This kettle sells for a heavy weight £30, or more in fact, although if I remember correctly, when I bought mine it was around the £20 mark... maybe it was on sale?. But a bit of a search for a price these days shows that the price is in the £30 table, with some place selling for nearer the £40. * Would I recommend this then..? I would definitely give this five stars if it was still on sale for the price I paid for it, £20, roughly, but as it is on the market for a lot more than that then I'd have to show caution if I was buying it now. I mean, there's many kettle of this size that are selling for less than the £30 - £40 tag that this one is selling for and, if I was buying this know, I'd hold onto my wallet whilst I searched around the shops a bit longer. NOTE: I'm slightly confused as to why dooyoo have asked about the picture and sound quality of this kettle, and even the installation... but hey, mistakes are there to be made??? that's why they invented tippex... ©Blissman70 2014

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