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GiffGaff if you are unaware of the firm, are a new Mobile Telecommunications network offering stunningly cheap deals and a seemingly flawless support system. I currently pay £10 a month for 250 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data allowance; this, on paper, seems like a great deal, but its the stuff behind the scenes that will justify the cheap as chips price tag.
The support system is largely based on community support, if you have a problem you post it on the giffgaff blog and the idea is a member solves your problem. This system works great, and all credit to the members who support each other on these forums. However, if you have a problem that requires attention from giffgaff themselves, i.e. a technical problem then they are near enough non-existent. Around 10 days ago my SIM card stopped being recognised by my phone, rendering my phone useless (no service means no texts/calls/internet etc.), I might as well not have had the phone.
Needless to say, I contacted one of giffgaff's 'agents' and was told it was a minor technical issue and to wait a few days. 10 days later, and still nothing has happened, no updates on the situation whatsoever and no information as to what has gone wrong. I am not alone in my troubles either, a quick glance down the giffgaff community blog reveals members without any service for anything between 2 days and a month plus. In one thread alone there are multiple users with no service for up to 12 days and counting: a quick search on the giffgaff community website for 'no service' will reveal these issues.
This is only one thread of hundreds and I am far from alone in the problems.
There are literally hundreds of users with the same issues and after close to 2 weeks since I became aware of the problem there is still no solution or any information from the network for that matter. As of today, I have sent 6 messages to customer support, posted 3 messages on their facebook page, posted two threads on the community blog (and numerous messages) and contacted a senior member of the giffgaff comunity.
All of this to no avail. It begs the question how much longer I am going to be left stranded with no service, its not funny anymore and becoming a major problem.
Just remember, if you find yourself being lured in by their seemingly great deals, if you run into any trouble you will be talking to a wall. The customer support is quite simply, dire.
Please Note: You may find this review also posted on eBay Guides, I am the sole author of this review. I posted it through my eBay account as well to give it more visibility.
Angry Birds, for anyone who hasn't heard of this app yet, I can appreciate that you may be wondering what it's all about. The key to almost all popular apps available is simplicity, hence why Angry Birds revolves around a very simple idea; firing (angry) birds into towers filled with pigs. The aim being to eliminate all of the pigs by collapsing the tower on them or hitting them with the birds.
This is the base idea that the game has been created from, this idea has been enhanced to create a full game in the app store. Including all the updates, Angry Birds now contains a massive 165 levels for users to work their way through. In each of these 165 levels, the player can obtain 1 to 3 stars, with 3 being the best. As you progress through the game, gradually different types of birds will be introduced with different effects i.e. exploding birds, boomerang birds etc. The stars achievable is where lots of people get hooked in to the game; by trying to achieve 3 stars on all levels. In general the levels are quite easy to complete, although the real challenge is trying to get the 3 stars. I have found myself doing the same levels over and over again just to get those 3 stars. I know that you may wonder what is the point in this. However, if you have the game then you would realise what I mean.
Personally I really like this game and surprisingly it doesn't get boring at all. Unlike most of the other big games on the ipod and iphone. I enjoy having the challenge of working out how to complete all of the levels, despite the fact that it can be very frustrating at times. Its a great way of passing time and relaxing a bit. Definitely worth getting, especially since the app can be bought on itunes for only £0.59: that includes 165 levels that are updated regularly.
I have been using hotmail for over 6 years now as my email provider and have to say it has worked perfect since I signed up. Hotmail is a free email service provided by Microsoft which allows you up to 10gb of storage for free which is rather remarkable. So here is what Hotmail is all about in a bit more detail.
Features and Reliability
Hotmail excels on the features side of things. The websites itself features a 10gb inbox and a virtually unlimited contact list. Also, you get your own calendar in which you can plan events. Obviously all the other standard features of email services are included; sent items, outbox, drafts, inbox and composing/new mail. These are only the very basics of hotmail, the programmes that hotmail runs with is the main part of it. First of all, you can download Windows Live Mail which is basically a programme on your computer from which you can manage your mail, kind of like Microsoft Outlook. Although the biggest feature of hotmail is MSN or Windows Live Messenger. With Windows Live messenger you can talk to your friends or contacts through the internet. You can send and receive messages instantly through the messenger. Several other features are available on MSN such as file sharing, video calling and more. Remember that Windows Live messenger and Windows Live Mail are both free services.
So overall, a brilliant, reliable service that is made even better due to the fact that it is free.
Having had Vista home premium on my laptop (had no choice in the OS); I have experienced firsthand how it works. Yes it's all very good seeing the smart blue layout and the windows logo as the start menu button. Although under the hood, has anything really changed? I am sure you have heard the stories about Vista crashing etc. but have never actually seen it. Well I'll tell you what happened with mine.
I honestly can't see much that has changed with the new Vista, apart from the nice little colourful menus and buttons. The only difference with the menus is that there is now a search button at the bottom of the start menu. In fact, Microsoft have just made the system harder to use. Before Vista, everyone was using Windows XP or 98 right? So wouldn't it be logical to keep the names of the functions the same and not change all the names. It honestly is unbelievable; all of the functions on the start menu are exactly the same as XP. Although we now have all sorts of different names in which I can't see any real point. The only helpful thing that has been added to the Start Menu is a shortcut to the Network which is all very well. Until you get to the Network page, you are used to fixing your wireless internet through XP. Try fixing it on Vista, every single button has been moved, all of the names changed and the whole layout is different. You could spend more time working out what to buttons to press than how to fix it.
To be fair with Microsoft though, there is one, very, very helpful feature on Vista which is the System Restore function. Basically, if your computer gets a virus in it or if Vista stops working right. The System Restore will restore all of your files to a previous time when your computer was working properly.
Although why exactly would I have to use this function so much?
I would rate Windows Vista around 1/10 for reliability, and that is being generous. If I count the amount of times I had to do a system restore last year, I would say it would be about 8 times; not mentioning that my laptop is only a year old anyway. At least with a System Restore you get most of your files back. With a complete PC Restore (which I have had to do 3 times), you lose absolutely everything, including personal files and programmes. In fact, I had to do one 2 days ago as Vista wouldn't start (for the 2nd time in a month). The Dell customer support aren't very helpful either if you are out of warranty. Within the warranty they couldn't be more helpful and restore your computer for you via the internet. Although when I was only a week outside my warranty with a long history of problems. I couldn't make any contact with them what so ever, not even by email. All I wanted to know was what button to press to run the Windows installation disc. To get this one word of information, I had to pay them money. Pathetic in my opinion.
So overall, Vista is a truly dreadful Operating System. If you have half the problems I had you will want to smash up your computer.
If you do need to do a PC restore, insert the Vista installation disc into your computer. Restart your computer and hold down F12 (when the computer starts) until the system diagnostics comes up. Select boot from CD/DVD drive and then the Windows Vista disc will guide you through the rest.
Skype is a computer programme that allows you to call and video call people around the world on your computer for free. I first got Skype around a year ago now because very good family friends went to Australia to live there. I have to say, over the year that I have been using the programme, I have been very impressed with the quality of the service provided. Especially since it is free.
Ease of Use and Quality
Skype is probably one of, if not the easiest piece of software to use in the world. To call other people that are on your contacts list, you simply need to open up Skype, click on the username and click the big green button that says call. The hardest part of using the programme is adding friends, but even then, all you need to do is search their email address and click add contact. It honestly is that easy.
The quality of Skype is actually very very good, (providing you have a good internet connection) I have only had a few calls out of around 30 calls that have been interrupted by the quality. Even virtually all of the video calls have run smoothly too. I have only had a few calls out of around 30 calls that have been interrupted by the quality. Even virtually all of the video calls have run smoothly too. When you consider that Skype is a free service and that it runs solely on the internet. A few calls out of 30 is an outstanding record.
Don't be mislead by what I said in my introductory paragraph, although I said that Skype calling was free (and it is). That is only if you are calling from a computer to a computer, this is where the other main feature of Skype comes in, which is calling landlines and mobile phones. What you probably didn't know is that you can call anywhere in the world from 0.5p a minute. Try comparing half a pence to the UK telecom provider's prices and you might see a slight difference. Even if you are calling say an Australian phone, the rate is something like 2p a minute. You can top up Skype with £5/£10/£15+ lots etc. You can even buy Skype mobile and home phones to use for around £45. Which would pay itself off very quickly anyway.
So overall, Skype is a fantastic service that is well worth a try. The quality if outstanding, as are the prices and the programme is very easy to use too.
I ended up buying the NV10 instead of the NV11 due to the NV11 being out of stock. This was a good idea! The NV10 features a 10.1mp camera, with 3x optical zoom which produces an amazing quality of pictures. Not only does it produce fantastic pictures, it has a wide variety of functions and not only looks the part, but plays it too.
Picture Quality and Functions
Like I mentioned up above, the picture quality is truly staggering. Your pictures won't become pixelated what so ever even if your at 16x zoom. The camera has several different scene selections which optimise the camera for the certain area and time you are in. For example; Wildlife, Landscape, people, night, dusk etc. These scenes are honestly very helpful and make the pictures miles better, especially on nature pictures. The other camera features include state of the art Advanced shake reduction (ASR) technology which is very helpful if you tend to have shaky hands etc., the video recording function, a 2.5 inch LCD screen and much more.
In terms of picture quality, you really do have to hand it to the camera. It boasts a Schneider lens for fantastic quality, added to this, 10.1 mega pixels, 3x optical zoom and then all the scene technology of the camera. The finished pictures are truly staggering, they could have easily come from a professional camera. Every single detail of the picture is shown, even at the maximum zoom level. If it is quality you are after, then this is the camera to choose.
To go alongside the 2.5 inch LCD display the NV10 also shows off with its touch buttons technology. No more pressing buttons, all you need to do is slide your finger along them. I feel that this part of the camera is the most innovative. Along the bottom of the camera there are 10 touch buttons, and around 5/6 going vertical. The touch buttons make it much easier to view pictures with, although you have to work out what to do first. It took me quite a while to realise that you had to run your fingers along the bottom touch buttons. The advantage of having the touch buttons is that you can flick through pictures at a greater speed. Instead of pressing the one button to go back one picture, you can slide along the 10 buttons and go back 10 pictures.
So overall, the NV10 is a fantastic camera. It scores 10/10 on every front that is needed in a camera; Picture Quality, Style, Technology and Ease of Use.
I very strongly recommend this camera if you will be looking for a new one in the future.
The Long Way Round is a documentary (couldn't find a better fitting word, I know this doesn't sum it up right) on how Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman travel around the world on two BMW GS 1200 bikes; the long way round. The DVD is split up into 7 episodes, each episode being around 45/50 minutes, and trust me, its worth every second of it.
So in more detail, here is the basics of what the trip and DVD is about. Ewan and Charlie both decided to go around the world on bikes, the long way round; going from London to New York, undergoing 20 000 miles and passing through countless lifestyles and cultures. Travelling with them is Claudio the cameraman and two 4x4s which meet up at borders or if there is trouble. Although mainly, there on their own. Over the course of the 20000 miles you can get a real insight into what the trip must have been like. The video footage is shot very well and you can really get a good idea of the different cultures. Throughout the whole of the DVD Ewan and Charlie are both talking at the scenes in the videos. Personally I found this was a really good touch as it tells you a lot more about what was happening. For example, its all very good seeing a video of a really bad road, although you can't tell how bad it is until someone that is doing it tells you.
In my personal opinion I absolutely loved the Long Way Round. I simply couldn't get enough of it, I watched the whole extended box set in about 5 days. Not only is the trip amazing to see as it unfolds, charlie, ewan and claudio are all really decent guys so its fun to watch as well. The only thing I recommend if you do watch it, is don't watch it too quickly. If you watch 3/4 hours of it in a day, it just doesn't have the same effect. I found the best way of watching it is to watch an episode every 2nd night.
So overall, I strongly recommend buying this DVD, it is truly fantastic and very entertaining to watch. Especially when you can pick up the standard edition for £8 used on Amazon UK.
Before I start, I want to make it clear that I am not reviewing the 150 watt version of this amplifier. This review is judged solely on the 30 watt version.
About a month ago now I purchased one of these fantastic amps off of Amazon. In the month I have had the amplifier, I must say I am very impressed with it. Not only does it produce fantastic sound quality even at maximum volume. It has countless other features and gizmos that you can play about with.
The 30 watt version comes pre loaded with 6 FX (effects) models, of which 2 can be used at the same time. The first 3 of the effects are based with the physical noise the guitar will make through an amplifier; this involves the chorus flange, the phaser and the tremolo. All of which have a brilliant sound to them and come in useful for many famous guitar songs. The other 3 FX models are to do with the echoing of the notes. First of all, you have the 3 different effects: sweep echo, tape echo and Reverb. This may not seem that special as you could get these features on any amplifier. Although this is where the spider III pulls ahead. With the echoing effects, you can tap your own tempo onto a button. Therefore setting the time it will take for the echo to come through your amp. Furthermore, the level of echo can also be altered with the dials, from soft to loud etc. The other side to the Spider III is its audio inputs. The amp. comes with the standard guitar input and a headphones input. Plus a 3.5mm jack input, a recording input and a FX pedal input. Personally I find the 3.5mm jack the most useful as this allows you to play music from your phone or laptop through the amplifier.... While you are playing, making it much easier to get the rythms of the songs you play.
Sound and Price
On the sound front, I can not fault this amp. at all ( I am being honest). The sound quality is out of this world, its so clear whether its being played super quiet or super loud. The sound output range is also perfect; for once with an amplifier, you can play songs loud enough to hear them, but not so loud that you annoy other people in your house. So overall, the effects and the speaker installed in the Spider III produce a truly brilliant noise. In terms of price, the Line 6 Spider is around about the average for a decent 30 watt amplifier. I picked up mine on Amazon for £112 which I personally thought was a bargain. When you consider the amount of equipment you get for your money, all those effects, audio inputs, echo tempos etc. it really is worth the money.
So overall, the Line 6 Spider III 30 watt amp. is the perfect amp for home use. The effects and various other functions allow you to create fantastic, professional effects with great sound quality to back them up. This is the recommended amplifier if you need one!
Toffee Crisp; the only thing they can be compared to is amazing chocolate crispy cakes. Although even then, there still one notch better. Toffee crisp is made by Nestle who have been around for years. Nestle are the leading brand for confectionery market pretty much all over Europe. Therefore as you would expect, the Toffee Crisp is a fantastic product from the fantastic company.
The taste of a Toffee Crisp is very similar to that of a crispy cake; hence the name. The top coating of the bar is made up of soft toffee, the middle and most predominant ingredient is a layer of Rice Krispies. All of this is held together by a layer of Milk Chocolate at the bottom. When these 3 perfect ingredients are put together, the result is truly outstanding.
In terms of price, the Toffee Crisp is priced at the normal 50p average for chocolate bars nowadays. They also come in multipacks of 5, 10 etc. and from time to time, mini versions are available too. Generally, you can pick up a Toffee Crisp quite easily in the UK. I can almost guarantee you that any shop that sells confectionery in the UK, will sell Toffee Crisps.
So overall, a very good tasting chocolate bar. In terms of price, it is perfect and therefore there is no reason not to try one!
I have recently purchased this item. Before I did buy it, I did have doubts about whether it would affect typing, and I didn't think the feel of the keyboard would be quite the same. Although having thought that, when I first used this product, all my doubts were set aside.
This item works fantasticly well on both of these fronts. In terms of feel, there is almost no difference between not having the protector on, and having it on. Apart from a slight rubbery feel, although this is a plus point as it gives off more grip. Therefore you have less typos. Fitting the protector couldn't be easier, even if you know nothing about what you need to do. You still couldn't go wrong. To install it, simply align it with your keyboard and push in. That was hard wasn't it :). So overall, no faults what so ever in terms of feel and practicality. The protector won't affect your typing at all.
Reasons for Getting one
Well there is one obvious one, and this is protecting your laptop from getting ruined. Keyboards aren't as bad when they get liquid spilt on them as they can be replaced relatively cheaply. But laptops are the very opposite end of the story. The chances are that the only gaps you have in the front of your laptop are the spaces between the keys. This protector is completely watertight and therefore protects your laptop from spilt drinks etc. The second useful thing about the protector is that you can't loose stuff underneath your keys. If you have a laptop, I am sure you must have spilt a crumb etc. underneath a key and from then on that key hasn't typed the same. Usefully, the protector also stops any dirt from going underneath your keys. Prices will vary for the keyboard protectors, the brand mentioned in this review are slightly more expensive than other models. Although you have to remember that they are custom made for certain keyboards. Although I recommend buying a cheaper version. Just do a search on ebay for "keyboard", choose the computer accessories category. Then order the results in terms of lowest price first. I managed to pick up one for 1p by doing this. I have had that 1p keyboard protector for 2 months now and it is absolutely perfect. In fact I am using at the moment. So basically, just don't buy the branded stuff, it is massively overpriced.
So overall, you can either pay a little for a keyboard protector, or a lot for a new laptop. Your choice!
Rocky's are my favourite snack chocolate bar. They have everything that you should look for, a good taste, a good price and a small snack. Rocky's tick every single one of those boxes. Fox's Rocky has been around for quite a while and over the years they have got better and better. The caramel version basically consists of a biscuit base with caramel on top and then the whole thing wrapped in chocolate.
The 3 main parts of the Rocky chocolate bar all get along very well with each other. As everyone knows, caramel and chocolate is already a successful combination. The biscuit just adds that extra bit of texture and taste that separates the Rocky bar from it's rivals. The most prominent taste in the Rocky is the caramel, by quite a long way. Although the caramel doesn't completely dominate the whole of the bar, the chocolate and biscuit also add to the taste quite a bit. The milk chocolate tastes very good and is just right. Not to milky, but not to rich; just in between. The biscuit at the bottom adds the feels to the bar and also gives off a good taste. Think of it like a chassis, without it, the whole thing would fall apart. Taste wise and literally too. So overall, the taste is very good, the caramel tastes brilliant as does the chocolate.
Appearance and Price
On Appearance, the Rocky is short, but think bar. The top is slightly textured with several straight lines going across it. In terms of price, I can honestly say that I think Rocky's are the best value, edible item out in the UK today. I mean, you can buy 20 Rockys for a pound. That really is something. Rockys are stocked in any supermarket and a few other shops too. Unfortunately they only come in multi packs of 12 or 20. Although it would be a waste of time selling them separately. So overall, Rockys are unbelievably good value.
So on the whole, Rocky's are bargain of the century. They taste absolutely fantastic and they are super cheap too.
Wine Gums are like a softer version of Fruit Gums. Wine Gums are manufactured by Maynards and were first introduced in 1909 and since then they have just got better and better. Nowadays, Wine Gums still have roughly the same features as when they were first released, chewy, fruity and non sugar coated. These 3 defining features are what makes Wine Gums what they are.
Unlike Fruit Gums, the fruity taste is much more present in Wine Gums. The flavour ranges from colour to colour. In terms of the range of colours, there are plenty of options such as; red (strawberry or the like), orange (well...), or dark purple (blackcurrant or the like). Since the taste is more intense in Wine Gums you can actually taste the different flavours. Although the softness does help with this, the flavour is still much better. If you are trying them for the first time, I recommend the red and dark purple flavours. So overall, there is a good range of flavours, not to mention that each and every one of them is brilliant in its own way.
Appearance and Price
On Appearance, the shapes vary from pack to pack. The standard long tubes of Wine Gums are circular in shape, in the big packs the shape vary quite a lot. In terms of price, Wine Gums cost exactly what they should: in and around 50p. 5Op tends to be the standard price for confectionery items so Maynards have hit bang on there. The big packs will cost around £1.30/1.40. Which is actually good value as they do contain lots of Wine Gums. Multi packs of the standard tubes are also available, but I feel that the big packs are better value. The standard tubes come in packs of 5 in supermarkets. This pack of 5 costs around £2. Therefore you are much better off getting a big pack.
So overall, Maynard's Wine Gums taste very good. The flavour is quite intense and the sweets aren't overly chewy which is good. For 50p they can't be refused!
Just like I couldn't wait to try the Aero yoghurts, I couldn't wait to try Milky Bar yoghurts. I love the normal Milky Bars as they taste completely different from any other white chocolate bar. They are milkier and creamier I suppose. Luckily this brilliant taste of the original Milky Bar is shown through in the yoghurt version. The result is nothing short of phenomenal.
With the taste, Milky Bar have hit perfect. The normal flavour of Milky Bars is the exact taste of the yoghurt. The only difference is that the yoghurt feels different since it is liquified. Although the Milky Bar yoghurt is quite milky and creamy, it isn't over the top. I mean, it isn't really really sweet. Which is good, its just the right mix of white chocolate, cream and milk. The yoghurt doesn't actually taste of white chocolate, it tastes like something else. Something much better, just like the Milky Bar does. So overall, Nestle have got the combination perfect and the taste of Milky Bar hasn't been lost in the yoghurt. It simply tastes amazing.
Appearance and Price
On Appearance, the yoghurts come in packs of 2 or 4. They come in relatively deep cartons which are also quite wide. Therefore there is a lot of eating inside them. I do have to admit that in the 2 pack, the packaging is a bit of a waste, but I can't change that. Your normal pack of 4 Milky Bar yoghurts should cost around £1.20 in the supermarkets. The 2 packs will be approximately half of that. Personally I feel this is good value as there is lots of eating inside the cartons. Not to mention that the item tastes very good too. Sometimes you can catch them on offer too at around £1.
So overall, the Milky Bar yoghurts simply taste phenomenal. The blend of Milk, cream and chocolate is perfect and therefore the yoghurt is amazing. Definitely worth the money and at £1.20 you can't say no.
Normally I love Aero bubbles in general. The taste of them is just right, not to rich, not to soft. So when I saw the Aero Bubbles, this was like a dream. The Aero Mousse is exactly what it says, an Aero, Mousse. Just in case you hadn't worked that one out :D. Anyway, I have to say, they don't disappoint either. The good thing is that the original flavour of the Aero Bubble hasn't been lost by converting it into a mousse.
On the taste front, the Aero Mousse really can't be taken away from what so ever. The taste itself is slightly on the rich side although not to much. The good thing is that it still tastes of Aero chocolate. Despite the taste being a bit on the rich side, it hasn't dipped too far into that category. So if you don't like rich chocolate, you should still find the Aero mousse ok. The weird thing is that they actually taste of cream, milk and rich chocolate at the same time. never the less,the combination still works well. Therefore the overall taste is very good. Although the chocolate itself is quite rich, it is evened up by the milk and cream put in alongside it.
Appearance and Price
On appearance, the Aero Mousses come in packs of 4 round cartons. These cartons are relatively deep and very wide too. There is actually quite a lot of eating in them which is good. In terms of price, Aero bubble Mousses should cost around £1.20 in supermarkets (for a pack of 4). Although some places do have them on offer for the pack of 4 for £1. I think that this is quite good when you consider the amount of eating you get in them. Put it this way, you can get 4 aero mousses or 2 packets of Aero Bubbles, what's better value? So in terms of price, they are very good value for money and are priced well too.
So overall, I strongly recommend testing out the Aero Mousses. The taste is just fantastic and the price is the same.
I have to say, when I flew with Aer Arann a week ago today, it was simply effortless. Aer Arann focus on 40 different routes connecting Ireland, France and the UK. Most, if not all of the planes are around half the size of a British Airways 737. Not to mention that they are all run by propellors too.
Checking in wasn't to much of a problem. Although I did spend about 20 minutes blocking the que as the check-in person was looking for forms. (Since I was flying on my own at under 16, then forms were needed). Anyway, once that hassle was done, from then on everything was perfect. From the gates opening to leaving the ground on the plane, there was only about a 15 minute gap. Which I thought was brilliant. Since almost, if not all the planes are propellor powered, its a good experience if you haven't been on one before. For starters, the plane takes off in about half the time it normally takes. Since the planes are quite small, they fly quite low which therefore allows you to see everything out of the window (if its a clear day). In fact, I reckon that when I flew from Glasgow to Donnegal. I was only in the clouds for about 5/10 minutes out of a 45 minutes fight. The only downside to the plane is that propellors do make the cabin very very noisy. For example, I had massive headphones that normally block out all sound when turned off. I put my phone up on full volume watching Top Gear, yet I could only just make it out. So if you are planning on reading a book, then you might have to change your plans. Although all of the flights with Aer Arann are short haul so you shouldn't have much trouble.
So overall, a very good airline with a very efficient crew (unloading bags etc.). There are plenty of routes to choose from and the planes are interesting if you have been on them before. Recommended!