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I have stayed at this Travellodge 3 times now and find it to be one of the best Travellodges i have stayed in! It is within easy walking distance from London liverpool Street train station (approx 10 minutes) which means it is also a great place to stay if your wanting to come to London for a night or day out. I was a little worried when i first stayed here as it is situated right next to a train line, however suprisingly i found that i was not awoken once by trains throughout the night! The travellodge its self is clean, the staff are friendly and helpful, and there is a nice atmosphere. There is a bar downstairs that also serves breakfast although we did find this slightly on the expensive side. The roooms are spacious, with linen and towels provided and there are also hair dryers that can be borrowed from reception which came in very handy! There was a tv, mirror, bottle opener, extra pillows, desk and small table with chairs in the room. Each corridor leading to the rooms is protected by a key card scanner making it safe and meaning only guests have access to those areas! This Travel lodge is ideally situated in the centre of London and within easy reach to the Tubes, i would highly reccomend it.
Google has for a long time been the biggest and most popular search engine beaten rivals such as yahoo, and Microsoft to the pace. And you will find it very difficult these days to come accross someone that hasnt used Google. What i like most about google is its simple lay out and design, there are no annoying adverts on the search page and everything is easy to find. There is a simple search box with the google logo above which they often create an image out off for example at haloween that change the "o's" in google to look like pumpkins which adds a nice litte touch the home page. There are 8 tabs accross the top linking to googles most use apps, including, maps, images, videos, shopping, news, mail and more which then links to many more search options. These tabs are handy if you are searching for relevant things. For example if you wanted a picture of a rabbit you would click "images" search rabbit and it would display only pictures of rabbits, you could then press the videos tab and it would display all videos of rabbits etc... There are also a few other tabs on the main search page that mostly allow you to customize your home page and all very self explanatory! When searching for something you can enter the search words, or items, and then press search this will give you a list of web pages associated to the search terms, alternativly you can press the "im feeling lucky" button which performs the same search but opens the top website in the list that it has found. The way google works is that is puts the most searched for websites at the top of the results list. I use google everyday and it finds most things im looking for, it is super quick as an example a quick search for Dooyoo found 3,140,000 results in 0.35 seconds. The same search using Bing (microsofts new search engine" only found 874,000 results and does indicate a search time. Google in my opinion is the fastest and easiest way to search the web, google also create a google toolbar that puts the google search engine right where you need it.
I have recently started using the Tesco Clubcard after realising the benefits i was missing out on. Tesco Clubcard gives you 1 point for every £1 spent however they are currently offering double points meaning you will receive 2 points for every £2 spent. Signing up to Tesco Clubcard is easy you can either apply online or pick up a leaflet in store! Tesco will then send you a credit card sized clubcard as well as two smaller cards desined to fit onto your keyring meaning your clubcard is always with you. Simply swipe your card before paying each time you shop at tesco and you will soon be realing in the points. Points will accumalate and then you will receive a statement in the post quartely showing you your current points once you reach 100 points you will get a £1 voucher in your statement. Clubcard vouchers can be used in different ways, against the cost of your shopping at tesco or you can trade them in online or by phone for great rewards. Tesco are currently giving you 4 x the value of your clubcard vouchers when redeemed against a "day out" for example i recently used £75 pounds worth of clubcard vouchers to exchange them for a £300 voucher for Milton Keynes Sno Zone. Tesco are also offering to double up points on things such as wine and champagne, childrens toys, garden plants and cut flowers. All rewards can be found online or by brochure available in store! These offers i dare say will only be on for a limited time but are well worth taking advantage of and tesco always come up with new ways to reward you for using your clubard. For the sake of swiping a card each time you shop at tesco it would be silly not too take advantage of the rewards.
I created a paypal account when i first started using Ebay as i wanted an easy way to send and recieve money. Paypal works by creating a link between the buyer and seller that means you dont need to reveal any bank details to each other. You can simply pay the buyer or sellers "Email address" which paypal then transfers to your bank account on your behalf. This creates a great sense of security when using sites such as Ebay as you know you have not given out any personal information to what are technically strangers. When you first sign up to Paypal the process can be a little long, as you will need to add a funding source...i.e your bank account or a credit card. Paypal then need to varify that this is your card or account and will usually take a small deposit from your account which you then need to check and enter online. This makes sure that you are who you say you are. Once this process is completed you are free to send or receive money simply by giving out your assigned email address. Any money recieved through paypal will stay in your paypal account until you transfer it to your bank account. Alternativly you can keep this money in your paypal account and use it to but other items online. Paypal then charges you a small fee for receiving money although sending money is free. Paypal offers great buyer and seller protection and almost everything you use paypal for will be protected. This means in the event you were to fall short of a scam paypal will do their best to help you out. However one thing to note as i found out myself is that Paypal can only generally recover any money that you have paid to someone that is still in their paypal account. This means if they have transfered it out of their paypal account papal cannot retrieve it immediatly and it could take months to retrieve. That said paypal is a very safe and secure way to buy and sell items online, its quick and easy to use although i would say that the charges have increased in the last year which has slightly put me off using paypal.
I was reccomended Gumtree by a friend when looking for some Tickets, looking further into this site i found that it is actually part of Ebay. Gumtree is an online website that allows you to advertise and create clasifieds for free. This means you can post adverts for items for sale, items to give away, items wanted etc.. This site is basically a big community for people to buy and sell without any charges. I find that this site works well and i have managed to sell a few items through the site, i have also used it to placed a "wanted" advert under the jobs section and found that within a week i had over 20 emails requesting details although i did find that half of these were either spam or junk. ****One thing about gumtree that you must note is**** Because gumtree is a free website it means that there is no buyer protection unlike ebay and alike. I have personally come un stuck from this when purchasing some tickets in which i paid someone on the site only for them to dissapear with my money. Because of this i would strongly suggest that you meet with the buyer or seller in person to exchange your goods! Even paying with paypal does not offer you enough protection that you need! I have found quite a useful site that highlights known scams on Gumtree, which can be found by searching gumtree scams in google. It is worth taking a look especially if you are purchasing things such as tickets. Dont let this put you off however, gumtree is a great way to advertise for free dont let these minority spoil it for you. I would reccomend Gumtree but always meet in person as trusting as they might sound its not always the case!
Hotmail has been a very handy way of sending and recieving emails for me over the last 10 years! And the best thing is that Hotmail is completely free! Signing up to a hotmail account takes about 10 minutes and is really easy, simply fill out a few details and choose your email address. If the email address you have chosen is allready taken you will be presented with a list of reccomended alternatives or the chance to choose a different one! A benefit of signing up to hotmail is that you can then use your log in details to sign into MSN messenger, hotmails instant chat service. Once you have created an account you can start sending receiving emails instantly! Once you have your email account set up, hotmail offers loads of great features such as, 5Gb storage, create/delete/manage your own folders, calander, contacts, out off office assistant, junk email, filters and many ways to customize the appearance of your hotmail account. What is worth noting however is that there is a maximum sending limit of 10Mb, so anything over this you wouldnt be able to email through your hotmail account. One disadvanatage to hotmail being free is that you will notice a few advertisments, and the most annoying ones althouhg rarer are the ones that pop up in the middle of the screen, however hotmail needs to make money in someway otherwise they couldnt offer this service for free. I beleive hotmail beats its rivals for overall ease of use and features, i would highly reccomend setting yourself up with a hotmail account.
Cex Stores are a mobile /computer exchange company that buy your unwanted electrical items and then sell them on again at a discounted price. I mainly use Cex online stores however they do have shops accross the country that you can walk into and exchange your items. I cam across cex when i was looking to trade my old mobile phone in and found that it far exceeded other sites with the prices it offered. However i have also noticed that cex tend to be a little more specific about the condition of the phone but this is worth it considering the price difference. For example the same phone on one site was offering £12 cex offered £24. The also offer to send you a free post bag to send your items back in which i think is a good service. The website itself is fairly easy to use altohugh i personally feel the home page is slightly cluttered. Cex also exchange games, dvd, and other electrical equipment for great prices, they will either give you cash at a set price or if you opt for cex vouchers (to use in store or online) they will offer you a slightly higher value which is great if they are selling something you are after. Money can be paid by either cheque or straight into your account, obviously cheque takes slightly longer but i have had no problems with payment being made at all and there is a nice little order tracking system to see the status of your order. This site is definatly the best for the prices they offer.
I use google maps almost everyweek and find the service brilliant it is easy to use and you can see so much detail that even if your not sure on the area you can find points of interest to help guide you to your destination. The great thing about google maps is the fact that its not just UK but world wide so as well as using this site to help me print out directions i also spend time just browsing different areas for example beverly hills gives a nice view of celeb homes and you can even visit the amazon rainforest. The "get directions" setting is very handy it allows you to put a "from" and "to" point in and even allows you to pass through other areas as part of your journey if you wish. You can search by name, postcode of even a building for example "travellodge in kent" It then gives a detailed route shown as a visual map and written directions what i also like is that it shows roads with speed cameras and toll roads. You can set your view, to map, satelite or terrain, satelite giving you a 3D view of streets which are suprisingly clear. However one thing i am not fond of with google maps is there latest feature of street view which literally gives you a view of your whole property showing entrances, exits and in some cases u can even see through windows. I feel that this has serious privacy issues. However saying that, it is also a good feature if your looking for a building so i guess you have to weigh out the advantages against the disadvantages. Google maps is a one stop shop for directions and maps, it can also show you pictures taken by users of different areas if you select the option. I really like google maps but do think they need to think a little more about the street view options.
I have been using MSN Messenger now for nearly 8 years and what i love most about this service is the simplicity and ease of use. This software is in no way complicated but yet has great features that allow you to do everything you need. Simply add a contact by typing in their email address and you will chatting as soon as that person accepts your request. One thing i do find is that i receive alot of random request for friends this could be because of my email address but maybe some sort of filter would help reduce this. The interface is easy to use, allowing you to add smiley faces, and change the fonts etc, you can also make voice recordings and if you have a web cam you can have a video conversation all for free! You are able to create headings to allow you to sort your contacts for example friends, family etc! You will be notifed when a friend comes online and goes offline and can start a chat with anyone online. The service its self is very reliable, i have only had a handful of events when i have been unable to connect due to network issues but the service is fast and efficient! The installation also only takes minutes and requires hardly any disc space. However as with all software make sure you check the system requirements meet that of yours before installing this can be found on the website. Add the messenger plus service (search google for messenger plus) which gives you some added features such as be able to log conversations, and set messages if you are away and this is a superb service especially considering its totally free!
I have been using Ebay since 2005 for both buying and selling and have to say im becoming addicted! I now find myself more often that not turning to Ebay as a first point of call for any online shopping. However i have often seen that although you may think Ebay is a cheap place to make online purchases you will soon find that there are many online retailers that sell the same products as ebay for alot cheaper. I personally think that Ebay lost some of its character when it worked purely on "auction" style listing as opposed to the hundreds of shops that now operate on Ebay. This takes the fun out of it slightly as mostly these shops list items with buy it now prices whereas i used to enjoy the thrill of watching your item your bidding on finishing with a bidding war. This is not to say that this still doesnt exist, the bidding style auctions are there just not in the same entiraty as before, i beleive that alot of users have also caught onto the small tricks in order to ensure that win the item they like, for example being a silent bidder until a few seconds to go when they put in there highest bid. Although this can be avoided if you set a price you want to pay and bid up to that maximum. This is not to say Ebay is a bad site, i still use it often and i also enjoy selling items on Ebay however i feel that Ebay fees have been pushed too high, for example i recently sold something for £250 which cost me £26 to sell this added with a £8 fee to use paypal takes £36 of your selling price which is significant amount. My personal opinion is that Ebay has lost its fun side and turned into profit orientated website. As i said before this is not to say i think its a bad site as it does have many advanatages and i would continue to use it.
I switched to facebook from Myspace last year after hearing lots of people talking about it and saying how good it was. Facebook is a social networking website that allows you to share your personal profile with friends and family across the world. One thing i like about facebook is that you can restrict your profile so that different people can see different things. Anyone can search your name on facebook, but if you have selected to share only your profile with your friends they will need to send you a friend request before being able to view your profile. You also have the option of blocking individual people from viewing your profile at all as well as allowing some people to just view a "limited" profile which allows you to select the information you wish them to see. I think that the above privacy settings are very important part of this website and ensures that only the people you want to see your information can. Within your profile you can write information about yourself, add pictures, send private messages or write on someones page (one disadvantage of this is that anyone is your friends list can read your message if you write on a wall) Uploading pictures is easy and you can create albums, this is a great way to share photos. One thing i really dont like about this however is that anyone of your friends can post a picture of you and tag you. By tagging you it will add the picture under your profile for people to see. This means that anyone can post a picture of you and you cant delete it. you are able to un-tag yourself however this will only remove the picture from your profile, it will still remain on the other users profile. I guess if there was a very incriminating picture that someone wouldnt remove you could request facebook remove it but it seems a complex procedure! Facebook itsself is a great way to keep in touch, you can update your "status" to show a live feed of your current activity this is available to all of your friends to view, people can also comment on your status and more recently are able to click a button called "like" which simply means you like the users status! I use facebook to keep in contact, let people know what i am up to and share pictures. It does have its downsides but most of them can be resolved within your privacy settings. It is a shame however that you are unable to remove photos of yourself easily. Facebook, also has Apps which are small online games for people to play against each other, i personally dont use these that find they can get very annoying by people requesting you "battle them in mafia wars" or similar games. They also take up a lot of space on the "status" page although again these can be hidden. Facebook is a great way to keep connected although i do fear it will always have some privacy issues and i feel alot of people will be put off by those.
We have recently purchased a Mazda 2 TS2 brand new and so far have had no problems. The day we picked the car up we had great service from MAzda themselves who even filled the tank up ready for us which is unusual these days. The car itself its the mid range Mazda2, there is a basic model and the higher Sport model with all three coming in either 3dr or 5dr. The Ts2 has 1.3 litre engine and boasts around 50 Mpg which is great when the fuel prices are going up as they are. The exterior quality is good there are a few parts where it appears like they have tried to cut costs, for example the rear lights are not coated on the inside and look a little cheap, the fuel cap also feels a bit flimsy! The plastics look good and everything fits together neatly. I was especially impressed with the feel of the "door shut" which shuts very smoothly. The interior boasts a magazine rack style glove box meaning it has an opening in the top to slot papers into, there are cup holders in the front and the centre console is divided into two compartments. THe gear lever is slightly higher than other cars and does take a little getting use to. The steeringis electronically controlled which i think is a downside to this car and it is almost too light and there is very little feedback from the road. However the drive comfort is very smooth and there is minimal road noise. One other downside to this car which is highly annyoying is the front seat mechanism. When you slide the seat forward to allow a passanger to get in or out of the back the seat does not return to its original position meaning you then have to readjust both the back position as well as the sliding the chair forward again. The handle to move the chair forward is also very cheap. We purchased this car taking advantage of the scrappage scheme which meant we paid around £8000 i think this is a very well specced car considering you get, ABS, traction control, electric folder mirros, air con, as well as many other options as standard. This car is low insurance, reasonable tax bracket working out at £120 for a year and cheap to run. If you are looking for a small car in this catagory and price range it is definatly worth considering, there are a few things Mazda could have improved on but overall this is a good car!
I took my Girlfriend here for 4 night in March and was very pleased with this hotel. We decided to drive to this hotel and on arriving we were greeted with a nice large carpark that had plenty of spaced near to the front of the hotel meaning we didnt have to walk to far with all of our bags. One first impressions the hotel looks quite modern, it is a wooden building set among plenty of trees and has a verycosy feel to it. On entering the lodge, we were pleasantly greeted by goofy and i could also see a few other characters dotted about and entertaining the children. We cued up for about 5 minutes to check in, please note that you will need your passports to check in as i got caught out and had to run back to he car. The staff were very pleasant and checked us in in no time as well as showing us a map of the area. When we entereed our room on the 3rd floor we were pleasantly surprised to find we had the run of a massive balcony which had the weather been slightly warmer would have been very nice to sit out on. The bed was neatly made and the room was clean and tidy, it was plenty big enough for two people with a little table and chair. There was also a double wardrobe with draws and a television. One this i would say is that there was not alot of lighting however this added to the warm feel of the "lodge" hotel. There were two resturants one side was for the half board and the other for breakfast only, and in the evening both could be used for dinner by anyone. to avoid the ques you are given a timeslot in which you need to attend the resturant which was slightly annoying as you had to work around it but not too much of a problem. There was a nice selection of buffet style food and something for everyone. There was also a nice little shop on site as well as a lounge area with open fire which also had wifi access. The hotel overlooked a man made lake and was a 5 minute walk to the parks and downtown disney area. I thourughly enjoyed our stay here and would definatly go back, this is an excellent hotel with a great warmth to it.
I have wanted the new shape Mini since it was released in 2006, and last year i finally bit the bullet and bought a Mini Cooper S. My reasons for not purchasing one sooner was mainly due to the price of a "new" mini. A cooper S was around £16500 when it was launched and could quite easily reach £20,000 with a few extras, which i felt was quite steep for a hot hatch! So i waited until the second hand prices fell and managed to pick up a very high spec cooper s for half the new price. The cooper S has a 1.6 Supercharged engine boasting 175 Bhp, although you will find that the later model (R56) has a turbo charged engine which produces around the same power. I personally having driven both prefer the supercharged version, thanks to the "instant" power as well as the supercharger wine :) The Mini in general - Build quality of the mini is superb, there are many great features that bmw have intergrated to add that little extra touch...for example, ilumintated footwells, refrigerated glovebox, custom dash. And i also beleive that mini still holds the record for the most amount of accessories available to buy and customize your car. The quality of the finish feels great and there are no cheap plastics, the leather is a good quality as are the carpets even the feel of the switches are solid. The driving experience too is superb, it honestly feels like a go kart with a very direct feel through the steering wheel. One thing i would say is that some people may find the ride comfort compromised by bmws use of run flat tyres, but this is not to say you cant change them for non run flat you would just not have a spare wheel. Mini in general is an icon, and the new model does well to continue the legacy. Not only is the car well put together with lots of nice features but the service is fantastic. I would highly reccomend you driving if not owning a MIni
This has to be one of the most handy pieces of equipment i am currently using. The WS-331M Dictaphone made by Olympus is compact, leighweight, easy to use and boast a massive 2Gb worth of storage meaning that you can hold up to 30 hours worth of recordings on the device aswell as holding up to 500 songs if you want to use it as a music player. One big bonus with this device is that the case splits into two revealing a Usb connection meaning that you can plug the whole unit straight into your computer without having to worry about carrying around a seperate USB lead. The feel of the dictaphone is slightly plasticy but that seem to be the compromise you make for it being so light and it still does what it needs to do. There is a 3cm by 2cm screen that displays the total recording time left and that has elapsed! The controls are very easy to use with a simple stop, record and play buttons on the side as a pad with directional arrows to navigate menus and fast forward or rewind the recording. For the size of this device the sound quality is very good although i would reccomend purchasing the external microphone to boost the volume levels.