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I accquired my First Generation Apple iPod Touch second hand from a friend who had upgraded to an iPhone approximately one year ago. She purchased it brand new for around £200, and I picked it up from her for about £30 - a bargain! I didn't have high hopes or expectations whatsoever as she hadn't exactly been gentle with it (to put it lightly!) - in all honesty, I only ever intended to use it for playing music! Despite my intention to make use of only its primary function, the host of applications, internet, video player, photo galleries, notes page and other features have tempted me into using them and I would never go back! The iPod Touch can keep me occupied for hours and hours on end, and - with a good battery that lasts for a good few days (unless you are using safari), there's nothing stopping me!
The iPod has many good points; it looks nice, is slim and sleek in comparison to the other MP3s that were available on the market at the time of release (which I believe to be September 2007), it has a wide range of functions and a wonderfully bright heat sensitive screen. The iPod has a black screen and front and a shiny (at first!) stainless steel back which make for a stylish and attractive product which fits nicely into your pockets! One of the main advantages has to be the fact that you can easily purchase thousands of different applications from every type of game to photo editing programs and instruction manuals, and what's more is that a lot of them are free! These are great to add to the host of features that the iPod already boasts; safari, photo galleries, a video player and, of course, an MP3 player as well as many more. The iPod is also very easy to use with just two buttons and a large heat sensitive screen that allow for speedy navigation and flicking from feature to feature.
Upon receipt of the iPod, one thing that was absolutely obvious is that the screen and stainless steel silver back scratch incredibly easily. This would have to be one major disadvantage; although I personally am not particularly fussed about the appearance or condition, it definitely does make it look scruffier, older and well-used. There are hundreds and hundreds of scratches all over the iPod, and, granted, I have dropped it a few times, but I wouldn't have expected it to scratch quite so easily! If you were to invest in this product, I would one hundred percent recommend that you consider purchasing a good case to protect the back, otherwise it can end up looking scruffy. Another disadvantage is that the iPod tends to freeze quite often, particularly upon turning on. I'm not quite sure as to the reason for this, however I would guess that it is because I have completely filled up the memory (although this shouldn't really make a difference). Talking of memory; 8GB is just not enough! If you want to take full advantage of the hundreds of apps that are on offer from the ever-growing Apple store, I would recommend an iPod Touch with a larger memory.
I would recommend this product to anyone as it is so easy to use and has such a wide range of functions and features. The only things I would say are that it scratches VERY easily (so consider buying a case if you are prone to dropping things, or even placing things quite lightly on a work surface. Grrrrr) and that the memory isn't great. I am aware that the First Generation iPod Touch is available to buy quite cheaply online nowadays. Despite its condition when I got it, I certainly feel as though I got a bit of a bargain! One year gone and, I'm sure, many more to go!
The HP Deskjet F4180 is a printer, photocopier and scanner - all in one, bulky product. We purchased the printer for around £60 and we had high hopes for it having been a customer of HP in the past, expecting reliability, value for money and ease of use, and, on the whole, that is what we got! We bought the printer about a year ago because we were fed up of having to go out everytime we needed to photocopy something (and with two students in the house, that was quite often!). Despite being big, bulky and black, the printer is somehow relatively aesthetically pleasing, with smooth rounded corners and a silver trim. It is, however, certainly worth considering that, as it is so big, the printer takes up an awfully large amount of space!
The main feature that we use is, of course, the printer! I find that producing either 20 pages per minute in black ink or 14 in colour is plenty enough for me and the domestic purposes that I require it for, however there are faster printers available! The paper tray does not often jam unlike other printers that we have been in possession of in future years, and the quality of printing is reasonable, although not entirely crisp or clear, particularly when printing onto photo paper.
We use the photocopying feature as regularly as expected, and being able to photocopy important documents as well as school work and forms of all description is incredibly useful! Once you've got the hang of where and how to position the pages you'd like to be photocopied, the rest is straight forward! It is easy to work out the functions of the buttons on the printer and even if it isn't obvious, the clear manual will soon have you on your way! The scanning feature is also very useful, and although we don't use it quite as much as the other features, being able to scan important documents so that we have back-up in case the orignals are misplaced or damaged is just brilliant! The HP Deskjet F4180 All-in-one gets through quite a lot of ink, but do not fear, because it runs on fairly cheap cartridges. I think we pay around £8/£9 for both colour and tri-ink.
All in all, a sturdy and reliable printer that has not let us down to date! Prints quickly and well, and has useful scanning and photocopying features. I would say that this product is certainly worth investing in, particularly as my research would suggest that it is available relatively cheaply online at the moment!
This camera is fantastic; easy to use and, most importantly, it takes beautiful photographs! The camera is incredibly user friendly, has brilliant zoom (I took some wonderful photographs of a band on stage from way back in the crowd!), a bright high resolution screen and a number of scene modes, allowing you to take lovely photos in any light. I've had it for more than a year and wouldn't even consider changing it right now - it does everything I need it to do and I love the way it looks.
This camera has a whole 14MP(!) which is pretty impressive, and what's more - it shows! I've taken hundreds of lovely photographs which are now nicely arranged on my bedroom walls - they are good quality, clear and bright... I would go as far as saying that it takes the nicest pictures of all the cameras I have ever owned. My favourite thing about the camera has to be it's zoom - it's really useful to be able to take nice photos from far away; standing next to my friends in a crowd whilst trying to take photographs of people on stage was really evidence of how good the zoom is in comparison to other digital cameras. I really like the Perfect Touch feature, probably because it makes me look prettier (which I definitely need) but also because it brightens the photos up and makes them nicer overall. A downside of the camera would probably be its chunky-ness; it's quite difficult to fit in the average pocket as it's thick, however I do like it's size and it fits nicely into one hand as it is designed to do so. I think that I should perhaps invest in trousers with bigger pockets... Another downside would be that it drains normal AA batteries after taking about 2 photographs, I would one hundred percent recommend investing in a Kodak rechargable battery if you're going to go for this camera otherwise there's not really any point!
At just under £200 for the camera, I feel that the price was spot on - 14MP, a fantastic zoom feature and range of modes is worth the amount I paid, especially in comparison to the features of other digital cameras that you pay a similar amount for. This is a great camera and it doesn't have many downsides. I definitely recommend it, just don't forget to get the right battery!
I've had my Blackberry handset for around 16 months now, and, despite it's faults (which it definitely has!) I must admit that I've become rather attached to it!
The best feature, for me, has to be the keyboard - typing is so easy and quick once you've adapted to having a full QWERTY keyboard instead of that of other mobile phones. I also love Blackberry messenger (BBM) although this, of course, is not specific to this particular model and the music player, which has allows you to create playlists and categorizes your music in a number of ways and is also easy to navigate. The phone also has a range of downloadable apps, my favourites being daily horoscope, weather and a number of games, many of which are free. The phone is easy to use, has a clear layout and a sensitive (but not over-sensitive!) touchpad for quick navigation - I love this! Navigation is made even easier with a handy menu key to access everything with th press of just one button, and a basic shortcut menu on the homescreen, both of which are very useful. I love all of these features, but my overall favourite thing about the phone has to be the way it looks- small, sturdy and, somehow, pretty at the same time!
On the other hand, the camera has a few negative points which really let it down. For one, the camera is pretty appauling in comparison to the standard of mobile phone cameras nowadays at just 2MP with no flash. The phone really is let down by this as, although I have taken a few lovely photos with the camera, the majority are blurry and unclear which is a shame. The phone has no 3G or GPS which means that to access the internet a connection is required. In addition to this, I have also found the Bluetooth connection to regularly be slow and poor in general which often makes transferring files a bit of a nightmare!
I have unfortunately had a few problems with the phone as of late, which perhaps is to be exected as I've had it for quite a long time. For some reason the A key has become overly sensitive which means that every time my finger hovers over or near it, the letter A is typed. This makes texting quite difficult and time-consuming, although I have adapted to it! I'm not sure if anyone else has had this problem, however - it might just be my handset. Furthermore, I have found that the phone occasionally freezes for minutes at a time, making navigation and general use very difficult - it is worth considering that this doesn't happen very often, though. I would say that despite these issues, the phone has been pretty sturdy and reliable - it has been dropped a number of times and soaked in the rain and has survived - quite impressive really!
On the whole, I love this phone! Although it has it's faults which are sometimes frustrating, the Blackberry Curve 8520 is easy to use, comfortable to hold, fun, practical, reliable and most importantly - cheap! I picked mine up for under £100, and I feel as though it was worth every penny! I would recommend this product to anyone, particularly youngsters who would most definitely love the BBM feature and QWERTY keyboard which allows for speedy texting! If you are looking for a good camera, however, definitely steer clear.
All in all, a wonderful little phone!
I must admit that when I first received this book, I wasn't particularly interested or compelled to read it, merely based on it's cover. I am, however, incredibly glad I did!
The novel is written from the perspective of fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone, a mathematical genius, wannabe astronaut and sufferer of Asperger's syndrome. The novel is a twist on the average murder mystery, where Christopher plays the role of main suspect as well as nosey detective. Going against the advice of everyone around him, Christopher immerses himself in the details of the mystery - the murder of his neighbour's dog - uncovering things he was never supposed to know.
His struggle to come to terms with his emotions, abhorrence of the colour yellow and ability to recite every prime number up to 7,507 is both captivating and fascinating - in fact, his entire outlook is so unlike that of the average human being that one is simply transfixed by the way in which he handles the situations into which he is thrust. Mark Haddon confronts autism front on, and he uses Christopher's sensitivity, innocence and naivity to play to the reader's emotions, making The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time a both tear-wrenching and hilarious read.
I don't want to give away the whole story, but what I will say is do not judge this book by it's cover. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is much, much more than just a murder-mystery. Uplifting, intriguing and exciting; a priceless insight into the mind of an autistic person - this book will change your life.
In recent years, sci-fi - from Star Wars to Doctor Who - has become increasingly popular amongst people, regardless of gender, age and background... and so comes along Galaxy Quest, a story of love, loss, discovery and danger: this Star-Trek parody takes a fresh - and much needed - new look at the genre of science fiction.
A crew of five disheartened actors in dead-end jobs is launched head first into a journey which leaves them battling their way across the universe accompanied by a NSEA Protector space ship full of naive "Thermian" aliens, led by the worshipful Mathesar (Enrico Colantoni), using "appearance generators" to make themselves appear human. An opening dressing room scene gives us a first glimpse of the main characters and the insolent body language of the crew members - with their backs to each other and a lack of eye contact - hints at the off screen relations that exist between them, which are fashioned by mutual resentment and envy. The relationship that has developed between Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) and the other actors, particularly Galaxy Quests answer to a sex symbol - flesh-flashing Gwen Demarco (Sigourney Weaver) - is undeniably strained, and this is clear from the on-screen interaction between them. Weaver and Allen do well to communicate their characters realistically and with conviction.
The film progresses with the actors being dragged into a fierce interstellar war where the only way to get back home is by defeating the feared Sarris (Robin Sachs) and his army and, the same as the character he plays, Tim Allen soon emerges as the star. It becomes apparent that he, along with Alexander Dane aka Dr. Lazarus (Alan Rickman), is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most commendable actor in the bunch. However, it is true that they have little to contend with in the way of good acting; the performances in general are weak, unconvincing, and the parts are played with little sincerity and emotion - a first-rate cast with second-rate performances. Tim Allen and Alan Rickman make the film; without them, it would be a flop.
Directed playfully and with poise by Dean Parisot, unlike in his other films, Galaxy Quest supplies a generous handful of belly laughs, the most of which you do not have to be an avid Star Trek fan to understand. However, the greater your knowledge of sci-fi on the whole and the more familiar you are with the clichés and long-running jokes used throughout the genre, the more likely it is that you will find Galaxy Quest enjoyable. By the end of the film, we realise that a trip half way across the universe is not the only journey that the crew have been on; the individual characters have each been on a journey to find themselves, and they end up also developing their relationships with one another.
Confident direction from Parisot, believable characters and convincing, sincere acting when it is most important combined ensure that Galaxy Quest remains both exciting and absorbing throughout; on the whole, a success.