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I'm writing this for a number of reasons, and will try and keep it short (unlike my other reviews lol).
Does Dooyoo serve any purpose apart from giving the members who visit it a chance to earn a little bit of extra cash??
That is really the main question i have been thinking over and over for the past while now. Personally i cannot see a real use for the site outwith giving us (and Dooyoo) a little cash for ourselves, in the guise of helping poor helpless consumers.
I believe it is worth Dooyoo's time as to be honest the site probably costs them very little, and will generate them a lot of cash back.
From what i've heard they have 1 employee, and site bandwidth. Not a great deal of expenditure.
Looking at the top of every page in Dooyoo, you see a little advertising banner.
This little thing at the top of the site is probably what pays for everything you see here, and all the miles and stuff you have bought as a consequence.
The internet is built on advertising, and getting ad's on websites is able to produce crazy amounts of cash. People pay to put up billboards, so they will pay for those flash banners at the top of your screen.
When i was a member of my Gaming community website, we had a google advert bar, which was used to give us extra funds for web hosting etc. Each click only gave us like 1p or a few pence a time, but it would build up. This site is a lot bigger, so i'm sure is able to get a better deal for advertising space. Also people dont have to click the ad's to see what they are promoting, and with a easy way to track views of the adverts (via the review view system) it's easy to tell how many people see their advertisements.
This cash is used to give us our points, but i'm damn sure Dooyoo get a lot more out of it. After all, Dooyoo reviews pop up on searches for products through google. I myself have over 400 non-member views of my dixons article, i don't get paid, Dooyoo will as its more traffic they can prove to their website.
Limiting it to Member reads ensures we dont get paid too much since the membership doesnt seem to be too great constantly.
Since we attract all the visits with our reviews, they have an easy supply of new visitors, while we get paid a bit for the work.
Our reviews in this sense, dont have as much meaning as a lot of folk in here think.
The reviews are essential for Dooyoo to operate, but the actual content of them doesnt really matter much.
Don't slate me for this, but there are quite a lot of folk in here who simply write reviews they have no knowledge in, simply for the miles.
To be honest i can't fault them for it, they know they can write something which passes off as knowledgeable and will get a monetary reward from it.
Well done to them.
Many people will just rate it Useful or more often Very Useful, simply if it is written well. The facts in the review can be totally wrong or made up, who cares, if it looks good and reads good its great and maybe even crown worthy.
This is totally at odds with the perception that this is a good "Consumer Review" site. It's consumers who review the things, but the reviews end up being generally useless, or downright bad, to the visiting consumers coming here for advice.
Even if there are good reviews, of which there are many, they are often hidden by the avalanche of crap reviews. I've looked at the newest review list for a while now.
Once one person reviews something, and if it is they who suggest it then they will most likely be the person with the extremely good review. Then many others latch onto it and submit their own versions of the review, often in the form of a single paragraph.
It can be crap, but if the good review is in the members mind they will look at the newer review, and thats it, even if they rate the review NU (crap) the person will still get paid anyway.
The good review gets knocked off the product homepage for the newer reviews and it's as well as forgotten.
Consumer never see's it and buggers off somewhere else.
The main pet hate of mine is people giving out bad advice.
A perfect example is the Computer competition this month.
Theres a prize up for grabs, and people try their luck at writing, often without any knowledge on the subject.
"I can't deal with technical stuff" seems a valid coment??
Sorry but if you can't deal with the technical side, why are you having any participation in a technical subject?
It's like saying "i don't know how to bake, but i'll tell you how to make a brilliant cake"
It wouldn't end happily, and neither would someone buying a crappy computer or component, because of the dodgy advice given here due to some competition being run.
Most people are against a Medicine section in Dooyoo due to bad advice being given out. Its not as life threatening, but while a bad Medicine review can cost your health, a bad PC review can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds to the consumer.
If they ever found you, it might be bad for the reviewers health lol.
If people want to write a review, they need an active interest and Knowledge in that area of the review. If they dont, why are they even there in the first place?
It's useful to Dooyoo (makes them money)
It's useful to Members (makes them miles/money)
It's bad to consumers (any helpful advice is hidden amongst the useless / bad / bad + expensive)
# and dammit it's longer than i wanted, least its shorter than my others lol
There we have it, a foolproof immigration strategy.
Honestly who is going to complain with that one?
OK, OK i kinda borrowed it from Ali G lol
Heres the serious review then...
Being Scottish, we have a starkly different view to immigration to our southern neighbours. With a rapidly ageing population, and all the young folk leaving so that they get more than a week of semi-sunshine per year, our population has been dwindling as we all leave the country or die off.
This leaves us with a smaller workforce year on year, trying to support a growing proportion who cant work.
If we had our Oil, it wouldnt be a problem, but we're generous so we keep subsidising you English scrounging lot ;)
With a diminishing workforce, we simply dont have enough workers, and in fact many schemes were set up when the borders opened to ENCOURAGE immigration from the new Eastern European states. We attracted Bus Drivers to Dentists, and they all become an essential part of our communities.
Now i know a lot of you think that Scotland is heavily subsidised, and our economy isnt exactly great. These are really just myths that always crop up when i talk to English folk. The Scottish economy is actually slightly better than the UK average, beating all 3 of the other nations, albeit not by much. The only problem facing Scotland is the labour shortage.
There are a couple major reasons for our own labour shortage and large public spending in relation to population size.
I'm not picking on old folk, but Pensioners in Scotland do have more benefits than English ones. A major one is Free Personal Care. This involves workers going to old folks who live in their homes still, and providing basic care. My grandads got Home Care, and she basically makes his dinner, tidies up, and maybe they go out for a bit, trips out etc.
Good idea, but very costly.
This obviously needs paid for somehow, and with a small workforce it can be hard.
Another, perhaps the main reason, is Students.
50% of Scots will go to College / University.
Now, if they go to University and get degree's, who is left for the menial jobs? Especially since the rise of University education has also been while Trade's have been killed off.
Myself going through high school, was NEVER told or informed about gettign a trade. High schools see it as a mark of how good they are by how many of their pupils go to University. This is utter crap, since Degree's are worth less than toilet paper nowadays, and i wish i had got a trade and left school at 16, as i know i would have my own house and earning a pile of cash instead of up to my eyeballs in student debt etc.
We therefore have a trade skills shortage, and too many people go to University and are unwilling to take on the low paid jobs. (even if they could, with the debt they would have it would be better off on jobseekers, further adding to the burden)
Immigration into Scotland by these migrant workers seems a perfect solution.
We can fill the gaps with trained/experience trades-people, or even workers willing to take the lower paid jobs, which help the Scottish economy thrive and possibly get even better than it is currently.
We still have space available, and Scots companies have plenty need of workers since no Scots seem to want to stay here.
In the last 2 years 53,000 people left, and 76,200 arrived, giving a net gain of only 23,200.
Theres so many people leaving that it balances out, and we might even halt the decreasing population we have had for years.
Remember thats the amount coming in. Births are always low, and we probably lose that amount of pensioners a year.
If we keep the population level, we are doing good.
The worries about them mooching off the Benefits system is also rubbish.
Of the 32,135 workers who have settled here only 344 have claimed benefits of any kind. Thats like roughly 1% of those that come here, need a bit of help. Thats got to be better than if we did a survey of the same amount of Scots.
Yes there are worries about too many immigrants coming over. The main worry is housing and public services. These were hopelessly inadequate before the immigrants arrived, so it cant be blamed on them, but it is something which needs sorted soon if we are expecting more people to come to the country.
This should get sorted, and hopefully some new housing will start popping up since the government here seem hopefull of being able to attract many more. Housing needs seriously sorted anyway, since the shortage has made prices absolutely stupid. Immigrants wont come over if they have to continue to pay as much as or perhaps more than the current average rent.
Immigration isnt a bad thing in Scotland, and is in fact a benefit to our economy and often our communities. Our new immigrants are happy and eager to integrate, and Scots are generally welcoming to everyone (ok maybe not English folk sometimes lol)
The only problem i see in the horizon is if the Government and local authorities sit on their ass and dont get the public services and housing up to scratch. If people cant get decent housing or a dentist/doctor appointment within the usual week it takes (lol) then things will go a bit pear shaped.
Immigration is good within context of the entire Scottish situation. Looking at it outwith the frame of the economic or social implications does it a great dis-service.
Government might screw it all up though
Piracy isn't evil, it's mainstream and not nearly as harmful as made out to be
To come to this conclusion, simply requires a little thought and what is lacking much of nowadays, Common Sense.
So many people around the world now pirate that it has become impossible to stop, which leaves the many agencies set up to fight it, pretty much useless.
The main reason being that they still try to fight major downloaders, when it is just ordinary people downloading a few tracks or films once in a while.
There are the three main branches Movies, Music and Software, so i will talk about these seperately.
This branch of piracy is as popular, perhaps more popular than music piracy. Most people have seen a dodgy copy of a movie, and even if you havent, if you have borrowed a legitimate copy of a film from a friend, the industry views this as a breach too. The movie industry has a skewed view, and has in effect drove itself away from reality, therefore rendering itself in-effective in combating piracy.
In fact any one of you, who have been to the cinema, will have seen the ridiculous adverts they show beforehand, to try and put people off buying illegal copies. The point of showing these adverts to people who have already paid to see the film, and therefore dont have to go buy the dodgy copy to see it, is a bit stupid in itself, but there is also the message in the adverts. It funds anything from Drugs, to Terrorism. I'm sorry but when was the last time a tracksuited chav from a dodgy car boot sale went on a quest to kill the infidel's?? Why do drug dealers need dodgy DVD's? They get plenty profit from, well, the drugs. Its easier to hide or run from the police, with pockets of pills or wraps, than it is with a suitcase full of DVD's.
Then there is the claim that all pirate DVD's are of poor quality, all shot in a cinema and just generally crap.
What utter mince.
Look at the movie release gap between the USA and the UK.
In fact, even air dates of TV shows. The TV show "Lost" was in it's 2nd series in the USA when it finally came to the UK.
Also, for those with shiny new HD televisions, it was shown in HD in the USA. They seen it sooner, and in better quality.
All i had to do was plug my HD TV into my PC, and watch shows months before anyone else would, and in a better quality than will be available here for quite a while yet, at any kind of reasonable price.
(to watch HD in the UK needs a Sky HD subscription with a £300 box and an extra £10 a month onto your normal Sky subscription)
Movies are essentially the same for timescale.
They would come out at the cinema and be on DVD release in the USA before we even caught a glimse of it over here.
Therefore, it was pretty easy to get an exact DVD copy off the internet and watch that, either before or during the cinema release in the UK. In fact Christmas releases in the UK are generally movies from the previous Christmas release at the US box office.
Another hate is actually going to the cinema.
Here in Glasgow, there were 3 cinemas in the town centre (with others in the outlying areas) but this has shrunk to just the one.
If you want to know why movie piracy may increase come to Glasgow. The entire experience of going to the cinema is just a dull, drawn out, expensive and highly stressful mess.
I simply refuse to go to the cinema at the weekends any more, and if you work all week, how else are you supposed to see a movie? The entire experience starts with waiting in a huge queue, most of which is outside in the sunny Glasgow weather :s and sometimes round the corner, to get to the counter and fork over your money (now £6.20 i believe) for your ticket. Then if the queue hasnt made you late, its off to try and find a seat, which is nigh on impossible unless you are extremely early as everyone is crammed in. The attendants come in and shuffle everyone around to try and fit you all in, if theres an empty seat near the wall, the whole row is gonna end up moving. Not too annoying i admit, unless the films starting and theyr squeezing in latecomers. Also, at the weekend, you are guaranteed hassle, theres always some NED (Chav to our English cousins) chucking popcorn and talking away. This has always been followed by the annoying and extremely noisy throwing out.
Note: hassle isnt limited to the weekends, happens most times i have been, its just louder at weekends as the NED's are usually blitzed on Buckfast.
Why would anyone put themselves through that? And also pay good money for it while they do it?
If you have a good sized TV, a monthly Broadband connection will come out cheaper than a visit to the cinema once a month while saving all the bother, allowing you to watch the same movies in the comfort of your home. Hell get Broadband AND a take-away, it'l probably still work out cheaper.
There are benefits of piracy.
The gap between US and UK releases are slimming down.
After all, with the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings blockbusters and the hype they created, people in the UK werent going to wait the usual 6 months to see them.
You also will save a fortune in seeing god-awful movies that you should never have bothered with.
This also has a flip-side, as you will inevitable see more movies than before and often end up buying more. Owning a pirate copy, just isnt the same. It can be an exact digital reproduction, but people still want all the box art etc.
This is recognised in the industry, but ignored.
After all if you can avoid the crap movies, they see it as a loss of business.
Most my friends are too stupid to pirate, but i have easily a larger legitimate DVD collection than most of them combined.
As a little note, to show piracy isnt as bad as made out, the Industry estimates $6 billion is lost to piracy downloads every year. To get this figure, takes into account basically everything they could think of and mashed together to get a big number. It takes every internet download as a lost sale.
Sorry but if someone downloads a movie, its doesnt mean they were going to buy it. If a movie fan downloads a film or three every day all month, do they really think that person was going to buy all of those movies?
Hell no, i know plenty people will download a movie even if its meant to be crap just to see. Obviously if it was meant to be crap they would never have purchased it anyway, downloading is just for curiosity.
We all know about this one. This is the popular one as its the one always in the news about people getting sued.
My last comment in the movies section also rings true here.
Downloading exposes you to more and varied music, so you will therefore end up buying more of it.
It is essentially an un-written rule between file sharers, that if you like something, you buy it, and support the artists.
If you look in the charts nowadays, what do you see? The same old recycled tripe thats been about since someone invented cheesy pop stars and boy/girl bands. For years the charts, radio and most music programs on tv have catered to young teenagers, mainly young girls. They spent the most money week after week buying singles and every one-hit wonder's album, so the market grew to cater for them.
We are starting to see less of this, as CD singles have to all extents died a death. They still make some, but it's not profitable so is being ended this year/early next. That fanbase went for the iPod, and if you want to see how the music industry lost money this is it.
A CD single cost £3-4. A single mp3 download would be at most £0.99
Any way you look at it, this is a huge drop in profit for an industry built on selling thousands of these CD's every week.
The only way to look out new music, and discover new bands has been the internet.
Most of the bands coming through actually dont mind piracy, and will agree that it has often got them discovered, and to where they are now.
In this way in particular it has helped, not dented the industry.
The music industry is just pretty paranoid about hitting a drop in profits.
After all, legal downloading gives choice of what to download, and if people buy a track or two instead of buying CD singles, then the album on top of that, it hits very hard.
An album with its 2/3 CD singles will come at about £20.
Kids can go online through music stores and buy a few tracks from it, running to say £5 at most for half the album.
That in itself, will cut the industry profits down to 1/4 of what they were pre-iPod.
After all Apple etc have running costs (internet bandwidth) and profit, to take care of as well.
The music industry is scared to change, as the fluff it produced before is no longer profitable, so pirates are an easy target (in the media at least).
The last few cases that have went to court, basically have been thrown out. There is no way to prove that it was actually you who downloads material, and with say an unprotected wireless internet router, anyone can get access. Its up to the accuser to prove it was you, and not your neighbour who steals your internet, for which theres no possible way.
This isnt really as big as the other forms of piracy, but yet, even with piracy the industry doesnt worry about it.
Microsoft are often annoyed about piracy, but with a pretty strong monopoly in the operating system market, they dont have a lot to worry about. If you want a fully functioning Windows XP, you need to buy it. (geeks have ways to get round it, but it's most likely too complicated for normal users) But then if you are a geek, you most likely have a legit copy anyway. Just ask when people throw away their old PC's.
The biggest aread of software piracy is in Games.
Computer games are pirated before they are even out, and will be all over the internet in mere hours.
With games having Hollywood blockbuster budgets, and retail prices of up to £40, you would think the game studios would be even more determined to fight piracy than the movie and music industries.
This is far from the truth however.
In general, game studios just arent worried at all about piracy.
This is due to one major reason in my opinion. Quality of Product.
While the movie and music industry has been happily trundling along reaping in the profits, and essentially growing lazy, the game industry has built itself up from essentially a smaller fanbase based on kids, to one which is based on people of all ages, covering all genre's and abilities.
I was a member of a online gaming community with about 20 members, and the age ranges were from 17/18 up to late 50's going into the 60's.
That was for one game. One product appealed to people in all those age ranges.
Could you name anything similar in movie or music terms which could create that effect?? I know i couldn't.
In a similar way to movies, gamers want to own the actual game, as they will get updates and online play.
They could play the game, just like watching a pirate movie, then not bother with it again. But generally this just doesnt happen, and the person will go buy it, in order to enjoy it fully.
Pirated games are essentially the new game demo's.
You get to play the game, but in doing this it sucks you in and you want to have the full experience, which will often involve playing online, against other human opponents across the world. This is virtually impossible with a pirated copy, as thousands of users of the same original disc will get it banned online.
Games have the added edge of making the consumer say
"i really liked that, i'm going to buy it", while movies and most modern music just lack the staying power, and are often dumbed down to the lowest common denoinator so that after the first use there's nothing to be gained from seeing or listening to it again.
Piracy is here to stay, and as much as the various industries try to fight it, it will always remain.
In many cases, the fight against piracy will often lead to a higher piracy rate. Look at the farce surrounding copy-protected CD's.
I would urge everyone here to NEVER buy a copy protected cd.
It was revealed that Sony had software on its music CD's which when used on a computer, made it vulnerable to hackers. The particular software was so nasty and since you could not remove it, Sony ignored and denyed it until they had to issue a recall. After many people had destroyed PC's i'm sure.
DVD's are the same, and i often had to erase the crap that they would install on my families computers. After all, install their software and they have a window into your PC.
If you like personal privacy, these products arent for you.
The same for the one instance of Game copy-protection called Starforce, which would render your CD/DVD drive essentially broken, with no ability at all for repair.
For people who wanted these products without the destruction of their PC, they would need to pirate. Whether it be buying an illegal copy, or making a copy of their copy-protected disc with the protections removed. Interfering with the discs software is still illegal.
They are essentially stuck wanting/with a product but unable to use it in the way they want, or at all.
I know a lot of people will most likely disagree with my views, but to be honest i don't care.
Personally the Game and Video industries make more out of me than ever, and with music, i buy about the same, or go to concerts of the bands i like when their record label sticks malicious software on their CD's, which i won't use.
On buying my last PC i had the little thought of
"why have a super-duper PC, if no one can tell the difference?".
After all, it seems a bit like having a Ferrari engine in a Ford Escort. It may be fast, but no-ones going to care since it looks like just all the rest.
On this thought i went shopping for a snazzy new PC case, and after sifting through all the other pre-modified cases i came to this one. There is a lot of choice in cases, go in any PC shop and they will have many to choose from (even PC World), but you really need to balance what it is used for and how it will look, wherever it may be that you situate it.
Being a bit of a PC gamer and bordering a full on geek, i needed something for both performance and bragging rights.
This fits both well, and not too hard on your wallet at the same time.
Since dooyoo have provided a nice photo of the case, and with it having a clear panel, i may point you to some of the features using it.
Down to the basics.
The case has in total 10 Drive Bays.
These are for Floppy or CD/DVD drives and of course Hard Drives.
It consists of -
4 x 5.25" External Drive bays
2 x 3.5" External Drive Bays
4 x 3.5" Internal Drive Bays
5.25" External Bays are for your CD/DVD Drives so this gives you the option of 4 of these drives installed. Most people usually have 2 of these drives, but you have 4 to play with in this case. This allows the fitting of other components such as Sound Card Control Panels or built in Memory Card readers.
3.5" External Bays are for your floppy drives, with most people now using only one or perhaps none at all. Similarly, you can get Memory Card or USB Panels which fit in to these smaller bays.
With so many people having digital cameras and such nowadays, adding a memory card reader allows easy transfer of files, and with a panel on the front of your PC it is easy as pie to just slot in.
3.5" Internal Bays are for your Hard Drives. With 4 of these bays, it allows for great expandability, with the ever increasing need for more computer memory. I myself being a gamer, with new games coming in at close to 5 Gigabytes of required space, if i install my entire game collection, the space is rapidly used up. A lot of people wont use that much i know, but this is a case aimed for geeks and gamers, so this amount of drive bays is a necessity. Especially with the current market, smaller drives are cheaper, so a few smaller drives will work out cheaper than a single massive drive.
The case dimensions are, 20.3"(H) x 19.7"(D) x 8.1"(W).
This is quite big compared to most peoples computers, but it is well used, and often needed.
It is made from 1.2mm Anodized Aluminium, whereas the front panel is mostly plastic, but matches well.
On the case there is a swivelling front panel at the top, which has the Power and Reset buttons. Added to this, the panel has quite 2 nifty temperature sensors (which it switches between), 2 USB's, 1 Firewire, and 2 Audio Connectors (Headphone and a Mic socket).
The connections at the top give easy access to the ports, so no more fiddling about at the back of your PC trying to plug your Digicam's USB cable in.
The case is well built, and extremely sturdy, mostly due to its design which is quite different to most others and ingenious in many ways, all of which centred around keeping cool air flow around the components giving the best performance and long life by ensuring they dont get too hot.
For a start, the motherboard tray is removable, so allowing to you attach the motherboard then simply slot it in. Anyone whos had to screw in a motherboard to a PC knows it can be a pain squeezing in.
Above the Motherboard sits the Power Supply area, which is very spacious and will allow for airflow around the unit, ensuring it is kept cool. My power supply (Antec Truepower 2) has about 1-2" space above it, so any heat shouldnt build up since no areas are enclosed.
Below the Power Supply is a fan slot, for a 120mm fan. This is generally the biggest fan you get in PC cases, and as they can spin slower than smaller fans and still push as much air, they are ideal for a quiet system.
Included with the case is a single 120mm fan, but it seems very plain in the case, so buying a seperate fan with a couple LED lights can really show off. Keep the included fan for later though ;)
Below the fan are the expansion slots for connecting to the motherboard. There are 7 of these, which may seem a lot, but they make this case virtually future proof.
Most PC's will have their monitor plugged in at the bottom of the back of their PC to a graphics card. Now, with ever demand for great graphics, the graphics cards become hotter and therefore larger to dissipate the heat, and often need large fans. Old Graphics cards which needed one slot, are often being replaced by cards which need 2 slots to accomodate the larger size. Also take into account the new technology to utilize TWO graphics cards to give even better performance, means that could be 4 expansion slots used up already.
Four being used without the sound card or extra USB cards etc being added make you glad you have the extra space.
The Floppy and CD/DVD drives are in their usual arrangement, to see how it looks check the front of the PC you are using right now.
The one difference is that they arent screwed into the case, but rather a mount is attached, and they slide in from the front. The front panel is easily removed, but this is not the only reason.
The main difference is with the Hard Drive arrangement.
If you look at the dooyoo supplied photo, they sit behind the 3 vertical slots at the front of the case. Behind this, you can place another optional 120mm fan allowing great airflow in from the front mesh. This is also another reason for removing the front panel, as behind the vertical slots is a dust filter, to stop dust and gunk being blown into the case and clogging or seizing up the fans.
The hard drives are attached to little trays, which if sitting facing into the pc from the side window, are removed by pulling straight out towards you. The trays have rubber gommets to dampen vibration.
The effect of a large fan blowing cool air straight in and over the hard drive, cools it down tremendously and will certainly add life to it.
The 3 slots have small LED lights in them, so it is pointless to buy a new fan with LED's, so using the supplied fan is easily the best option.
Due to its design, and improvements over other cases this stands out far against the rest which is why i purchased it. It is slightly more expensive, coming in at £54.00 from ebuyer, but it is well worth the added expense. Also, there are far more cases out heir a lot more expensive than this, and i believe this competes and perhaps betters quite a few of them. For the improvements gained by keeping the components cool, and possible overclocking (taking components above their recommended settings for better performance, but often higher temperatures) this case is well worth the money. It may also save you money in the long run, by saving money on repairs and replacements. I know this well, as my sisters PC all but blew up, as dust had got into her Power Supply fan and stopped it working. This caused it to overheat and short, taking the Motherboard and CPU with it. With this case, regular filter cleaning would sove it, and any fan malfunctions wouldnt be too bad as the case fans would compensate by ensuring the constant supply of cool air from outside the case.
The added temperature sensors would also alert you too possible overheating issues. Even if you werent a PC genius, if you saw it usually at the same temperature, then it suddenly jumped one day, you would know something was wrong.
If you are a geek, you really should buy it.
If you arent a geek, get the version with the aluminium side instead of the window, and you should avoid the geek comments while gaining the benefits we do.
McAfee Internet Security Suite is quite simply the easiest protection system i have ever used on my PC.
Being a self confessed geek, i have went though my share of software, both free and paid, but i have always came back to this.
As with most others, i got the usual Norton with one of my first PC's, and could never get the thing to work properly. It just seemed like it didn't like to allow me to do the things i wanted to do on the internet.
It of course allowed me to use the web browser, but anything else was a chore, especially certain games. Being a teenager with a new PC, and being unable to play my games online, meant Norton had to go.
I went through all the different vendors of components such as Norton, Panda, Zonelabs, AVG, Spybot etc.
Running components from so many different vendors was a bit of a pain when it came to updating and managing everything so i decided it was time to just go for an All-in-one package.
I went for McAfee after many others and it was so simple to install. You put the CD in (or run the downloaded program) and it will install the piece of software selected. You have to install each seperate component (AntiVirus, Firewall etc) but it takes little time and once set up, wont need touched again.
Minimum requirements seem to be just a Windows XP machine. Actual Specifications are hard to come by, and it runs on most anyway.
It will slow down "past-it" machines, but you shouldn't notice it on even an older system. It easily ran on my fathers old PC which was a 1.4-1.8 Ghz processor and 512Mb of Ram. For the people afraid of Technical Specifications, if it was bought in the last 3/4 years it will be absolutely fine. Modern PC's of 3.0Ghz and 1Gb of RAM will never notice its running without seeing the McAfee symbol on the bottom right of the taskbar.
As always though, if you arent sure, ask a computer literate friend, and if totally needed a local PC shop. ALL PC shops try and rip you off, so they will most likely try and get you to buy some other tripe instead.
McAfee Internet Security Suite contains the following protection -
Personal Firewall Plus
All the features are easily accessed through the one control panel.
With a graphically represented "Security Index" which is basically a bar, which changes colour and length according to your protection at that time.
Red or an empty bar means little/no protection, fully green means fully protected, quite simple really.
There are seperate bars for the features above, also giving similar indicators of protection.
The "Security Index" is just a general overview of the whole system.
This does just what it says on the tin. It can be set to scan regularly, just to make sure you dont have anything nasty on your pc.
Also, when downloading files, you simply have to right-click on the file and select "Scan" to run a VirusScan on the new file before you install it on your system.
If you, or you have kids who use MSN, it is simple to scan all downloaded files through this as well.
Through the MSN option menu, you can select the VirusScan program to scan all incoming files.
This saves trawling through your documents every time someone sends you a MS Office document to ensure it is safe.
There is also a Hackerwatch utility, allowing you to see all the latest threat information, and reporting if necessary to security companies or the authorities.
* Personal Firewall Plus
The Firewall really is what i needed most from the package. The McAfee firewall allows a lot of functions as well as blocking hackers from gaining access to your PC.
Every program you use which needs an Internet Connection, must be allowed in the "Internet Applications" list. This is as simple as a click of the mouse. Once the Firewall is installed, and you try accessing the internet with a program, a Pop-Up comes up asking if you wish to allow it access. Click grant access and it is that simple.
Now all your programs are allowed access, you just have to worry about hackers, and the firewall blocks these. You can see what it has blocked, and you can even trace the attempted connection back to the source.
As well as these, there is also a "Current Internet Traffic" menu. This allows to see how much bandwidth is currently being used, and the total amount downloaded. Handy if you happen to be on a service with a download limit.
* Privacy Service
This is essentially to stop your details being transmitted over the internet. It requires permission to transfer things such as bank details and other personal informtaion which you dont want falling into the wrong hands.
It also includes Parental Controls, which you can use to stop individual users, like kids, getting access to inappropriate material like websites or chat-rooms.
Makes your details and vulnerable users safe when connected to the internet.
This is simple, and will show up in Outlook and protect any of your email addresses in use. I must say this is a really good anti-spam tool. As most people will know, its very hard to get one that detects everything, but i havent had any spam show up in my Inbox yet, and this i believe is an achievement.
It can also block potentially harmful material in email, such as photos, and if you want to see them, just clicking a box at the top of the email will show them.
AntiSpyware detects changes to program files, browser settings and alert settings. In this way it stops spyware getting on your PC through your browser or through installing a program.
In this way it detects -
Spyware (which can track your movements online)
Adware (which can also track, and gives you those annoying pop-ups and toolbars you can never remove),
Tracking Cookies (another source of monitoring your internet use),
Trojans (sneaky programs that get on your system without you knowing or disguised as something else), and finally
Diallers (which can change your connecting address if you are on Dial-Up internet, which basically means you connect to a Premium-Rate phone line instead of your providers, when you go online)
All of these tools used together, i believe give the maximum amount of protection for a home user. Other things such as using the Firefox web browser , and using common sense in not installing unknown programs will give you total protection.
With McAfee the service is good from what i have used, and other aspects seems simple enough for what i havent used. If i havent had to call their support in my 2 years, it seems a well-built piece of software.
You get updates for each component,which can be set to run in the background, and if on broadband like myself you will barely even notice an update downloading. The only way i notice them, is the downloading sign that shows on the toolbar, beside my connection sign and time box. This is great for keeping up to date with the newest Internet threats, and will keep you secure for all the different components.
They have a Live instant message support system and email support. Live instant message is a 24 hours a day support system, where you can talk to them, essentially like MSN messenger, and get support for your products. There is only a minute or two wait on this, and so you should get seen quickly and the problem solved.
Included is the usual subscription package, which comes in two flavours.
1 Year License £34.99
3 Year License £69.99
These are downloadable licences and so have a 30% saving at the moment. For a CD copy to be sent to you also, it is £10.58.
Buying a 3 year license, with a CD back-up, costs approx £80 online, compared to the £100 pricetag in stores.
This way it comes to £26.66 a year, for full internet cover, which i see as good value for money.
At this price it is quite competitive against the other software providers.
A 12 Months License of Panda is £49.99
A Norton 2 year license online is £84.99
It comes out at almost half the price of Panda, and similar to Norton as well. The test packages were similar to the McAfee one for comparison.
There are of course free providers, but these are increasingly limited downloads with "Purchase for all the features" tacked on now. These are also made by different companies, so your antivirus will be made by one company, and the firewall another. There is no integration, so managing or updating involves opening up different programs and windows for each, compared to a single for McAfee.
I thoroughly recommend this product, and have already done so to family and friends, who all use it with ease, despite often being totally computer illiterate.
My father for one, shouts for me whenever anything ever pops up on his screen, and is totally scared of doing anything on it. This allows you to be protected and will run in the background silently, so even hopeless computer-phobes can go online without fear.
*** And yes, i spelt the product request form wrong lol
My personal opinion of Capital Punishment, is that in effect it is pointless, in the context of the UK which i will write about.
In the UK, this subject pops up every so often, every time some psycho out there does something for the media to latch onto and exploit.
The subject of Capital Punishment is not worth arguing however, without a look at the UK justice system as a whole.
A lot of the resentment of the current justice system, is that it is perceived that our system is too "soft" and the prisons are little more than holiday camps.
There is really no point in anyone arguing against this point as current prisons are by far too lenient, i myself also believing so.
Take an example...
Jody Jones was a teenager killed by her boyfriend brutally in a country path. She was tied up, knifed in various areas and eventually killed.
Her killer was given 20 years.
Now this may be fair enough to some.....but
Ignoring the fact that prison sentences are generally reduced anyway for good behaviour, his prison "cell" is most likely more luxurious than whatever he had before he went to prison.
He has a TV, CD player, Playstation 2, Electric Guitar etc etc all in his cell.
I'm sorry, but who actually considers this a "Prison" ???
While stories like this continue to emerge, the debate over Capital Punishment will go on.
Simply as a way to counter what is seen by most to be terribly easy conditions in Prisons.
The simple solution i see is to make prison more like an actual prison.
Stick them behind Bars...not heavy doors from Ikea.
It is a fact that if you were made homeless, and ended up in a homeless shelter, the conditions and support you would get are barely survivable and often reminiscent of a third world country.
However, commit a crime, and get sent to a cushy prison, 3 meals a day, safe secure lodgings, Sky TV, Education, everything provided for you and any electrical devices you can get sent to keep you amused.
Now added to this is the lenient sentences often handed down.
I think a major overhaul of sentences needs to be undertaken to sort this out.
For murder you can get 15 years. If you can get it down to manslaughter that is even less. With time taken off for good behaviour and rehabilitation, this can go down ridiculously low. 8 years for killing someone is fairly common now.
8 years for taking a life is just not justice.
Hell i know of someone locally that got off with about 4 years for killing someone in a fight mistakenly.....with a knife.
Em sorry if he had a knife, it wasnt a mistake.
A review of our current system is a lot better than the other option.
Capital punishment should not be re-introduced into the UK.
Yes, in some cases i agree with it in principle, but with anything, especially in government, it is open to abuse and mistakes.
The possibility of killing an innocent person is too much and should never be risked.
For a comparison you could look at the USA.
Capital Punishment has no effect over there at all. No-one is put off by the idea of being executed. Possibly because they would die of old age by the time they got to the execution.
For another example look at the case of Kenny Richey.
A Scot on the US death row for the past 19 years. This is despite his conviction being overturned, due to new ways of looking at evidence and the fact it was mostly guesswork anyway. The state is appealing it, and as such, since he appealed for 19 years, the state is carrying it on. They dont want to admit they have had an innocent man on Death Row for 19 years, do they.
This just shows how messed up a leal system can get when dealing with an issue like this, trying to balance the accused's rights with the states version of justice.
The legal framework for a system of Capital Punishement, would ultimately only benefit the lawyers. They would make a fortune appealing cases for this long.
A policy of capital punishment would be lengthy to implement, as it would need to fit into the current system so no doubt need a raft of laws re-written.
It would most likely go againt most of our international treaties as well.
Sure the EU wouldnt like it very much.
Theres the moral argument as well, which basically splits people into two camps.
I personally believe if you kill, you should face the same.
Now i know many will go against this and see it as wrong to take a life.
But for miltiple mass murderers no prison is going to scare them, or ever punish them accordingly for what they have done.
It would be good in principle for people such as this, but for day to day muder cases, there would always be an element of doubt, and the possibility of innocents on death row is too much, in my opinion to ever implement it.
Waited a couple of days to write this review as i waited on a product suggestion being answered.
Interestingly the subject of Scottish Independence has never come up here before.
I decided to write a review on Scottish Independence last week as i saw on the news a little snippet on English attitudes to us up North.
The article was about the successor to Tony Blair, ie Gordon Brown.
Apparently 51% of those questioned in England said they didnt agree with a Scot being Prime Minister.
(despite the fact Tony Blair was born in Edinburgh so is technically Scottish lol)
Why is there such resentment and why does England want to push Scotland away ?
A lot of this was based on the fact Scotland has its own Parliament now. But then so does Wales and Northern Ireland (when they get it going again)
Westminster is supposed to administer the WHOLE of the UK.
While each of the others deal with that particular country.
The Scottish Parliament deals with only Scottish issues, but not with UK wide issues such as defence etc. We can make our own laws, but then Scottish law has always been seperate from English law anyway. Education etc is also totally seperate from the UK version.
Now English MP's don't like the fact that Scots MP's can vote on issues such as this (health, law etc) whereas they cannot vote on those that effect Scotland.
This isnt Scotlands fault, it is England and your own MP's faults.
I propose English Devolution, a seperate "Parliament" to deal with English issues, while keeping Westminster to deal with wider UK ones.
England is the only country in the UK not to have its own Parliament.
Isnt it about time that changed??
England has to rely on Westminster in order to do anything, allowing ALL the British MP's to have a say on a possibly English only matter.
This takes time and drags things on, as we all know Westmister does, meaning anything that goes to Westminster will take forever to become law and will come out a poor shadow of whatever it started out in life as.
If you wish, an example...
The Smoking in public enclosed places ban that is currently in force in Scotland.
Scotland decided it wanted to do this, it went to our own Parliament and it was passed.
Whats happened for the rest of the UK??
It went to Westminster, where our Scottish MP's were able to vote on it when we already have a ban in place, and its been mashed and contorted all sorts of ways that, when it was a ban like in Scotland, then changed to certain pubs/clubs, then you could get a license to avoid the ban etc etc.
An English Parliament, would have it sorted out by now, with only English people, that will be affected by it, being able to vote on it.
4 individual Parliaments, with Westminster in a lesser role, to deal with all the stuff left over.
It's going to happen eventually.
After all, Scotland has had a degree of autonomy and control over Health, Law, Education for, in some cases hundreds of years. Not just after Scottish Devolution.
A lot will change after the Welsh/ Northern Irish start to do things their own way.
At the moment they are based on an English model with the same structure and implementation as England. This is obviously going to change with their own degree of control over their own affairs.
This i see, is the only way of the UK continuing as it is, as a United Kingdom.
Otherwise, i see Scotland continuing from devolution and becoming totally Independent.
After all, if the poll is accurate, and English folk dont want a Scot being able to become Prime Minister, what is the point of us being in the Union at all??
Once Tony Blair stands down is when it will all start. He will back Gordon Brown of course, but if there is such sentiment that he shouldnt be Prime Minister as he is Scottish, then it will just push Scotland further and further away.
As i see it, Scotland is split down the middle as it is anyway.
If there was a referendum on Independence tomorrow i honestly could not say what way it would go.
With devolution, more and more Scots and asking the question
"What is the point of Westminster any more?".
Our own Parliament has brought in things up here which would never happen in England. Also, any time we see anything on the news about new laws being introduced, debated and the likes, we know they will not affect us in Scotland, so we are less and less interested.
Practically every debate in the last year/few years at Westminster has had nothing at all to do with Scotland.
Fox hunting - we banned it first and have our own interpretation.
Student fees - We abolished them at least 4 years ago now. This is ongoing, as England keeps talking about Top-Up Fees, which will also have nothing to do with us. Scots students are unaffected, but English ones here may be charged here, to avoid overcrowding in Scots Uni's.
Smoking ban - Already banned in Scotland, still debated at Westminster.
Practically every issue on health, law, education us Scots just ignore at Westminster.
The Iraq War falls under Westminster, so is one of the few areas where we have a united British front.
Scotland would have went anyway, not as a US co-alition, but with the rest of Britain, had we had an independent say. I'm sure the Scots Westminster MP's all had their own reasons for voting.
Westminster has become a British Parliament, which has no say in a part of Britain.
Most Scots arent too bothered and seem to be split on Independance. Being part of Britain means we have a bigger say in what goes on around us. An Independant Scotland would have a much smaller say, and if we joined the EU as an independent nation, we would be "swallowed up" and not able to fight off the bureaucratic rubbish and shockingly accepted amount of corruption in the EU.
After all we are only a population of just over 5 Million.
Britain has a large say in Europe, and can effectively tell it to bugger off when it wants, Scotland itself couldnt.
We could of course not join the EU, which would perhaps hit us economically. It would screw up the fishing industry even more than it has i'm sure.
Economically Scotland would survive pretty well.
Norway is similar to Scotland, with it's small population and oil reserves. They didnt have to share it and so were able to keep it and save it away, while building up their country into its quite safe financial footing it is in today. They have billions set aside from their Oil, which just accumulates interest and is invested, so is able to provide for its various social programs, which beat the UK.
On our own, we may be able to build this up, but it would take time.
Scotlands best asset is its natural resources. We are close to hitting the 20% generated by Re-newable energy mark, so in a few years this, implemented with various other things they could do like home energy saving/generating, could put us far ahead of the rest of the world. 20% at the moment probably has us in that position already.
Hell, with the wind and wave potential, we could power England and charge you for it, getting our oil money back.
We could build a couple more reservoirs and pump down water whenever you get a hosepipe ban as well. Although i'm sure we sent some down before in container trucks one year, since we have loads.
We have plenty industry and exports, and the tourism sector has always been good at fleecing as much money as possible from visitors. Its cheap to set up here so we dont have too much trouble attracting investment. Exports even include Irn Bru, which is more popular than Coke or Pepsi here, and is now popular in places such as Moscow, and i seen it for sale in Canada when i was there. Strange as it is made 10-15minutes drive from my home.
Unemployement is low, mainly because the population is low, and is why there were loads of happy faces when the Eastern Europeans started coming here for work. It boosted the workforce and employers werent scrambling for workers. Our population is low as Scots just traditionally like to leave Scotland when they are younger, leaving a vaccum of young workers.
Personally i believe Scotland could easily become and stay Independent.
Whether we want to, or if it is in fact beneficial to us is another matter.
As we are, we are able to basically rule and do what we want, while retaining the international power of being in the United Kingdom. To go that last step we would lose that, and that i think is what is actually keeping Scotland here. If Britain was to ever lose its International influence or its say in the EU, i think Scotland would be having a referendum the next week.
This is essentially my view as well.
I like the current set-up, i just get annoyed at being taken for granted or ignored/forgotten about by our English neighbours when it was a partnership that got us to where we are, and neither country could have done so much in its history individually. The empire would never have happened, it was mainly Scots that ran the East India Trading Co, and something like 1/4 of the signatorys of the US Declaration of Independence were Scots or educated by Scots. Most of the colony's teachers being Scots who fled Scotland. Scotland was different from England even then, having had a Scots army march on London just 30 years previous to the US independence. It was most likely the Scots roots and history that kept us friends till today.
Also dont take for granted the amount your commentators piss off Scots during the world cup.
I just watched the Ukraine game tonight, and for the full half time commentary they just talked about Englands chances in continuing with the world cup. They even said so themselves
"oh yea, theres a Ukraine game still going on, beter get back to that".
How about actually commentating on the game you are watching and not going off subject totally, talking about England again....and again...and again.....and again, during and after every damn match.
If i'm watchin a Ukraine match i want to hear about the Ukraine match. Especially if i missed a bit. I dont need to hear or see England replays for the 50th time while Gary Lineker deludes himself that England can actually win it.
Had to squeeze a rant about the football in there somewhere.
BTW on the issue of sport, Andy Murray at the tennis is the great British hope now. Last time someone said he was British, he told them he wasnt, he was Scottish.
Cant blame him after the Scottish Curling Women that won the Gold were re-branded "British" when they won something.
Course if they were English, they were just English.
Little things like that make us think were not wanted.
Independence would be good just to get our own Olympic team, then it would be no more "God Save The Queen".
Most boring anthem ever, good thing we have our own.
Edit for comment Replies..
About the English person getting stabbed in Scotland because he was English. That just happens in Scotland, these idiots dont need a reason to stab innocent bystanders.
Also, one idiots actions doesnt reflect on entire nation. Otherwise, we would view all English people as boozed up violent hooligans.
Your reply strangely gives a reason why we get annoyed with the English.
Why compare a German being PM, with a Scot being PM. Scots do have a rightfull place in Westminster you know, its not a place for England to rule from.
The curling team were competing in the British team, but they were ALWAYS referred to as Scots, up until they won, when it switched to they were British, and the "Pride of Britain" etc. Compare this to seeing an English athlete win, then all you hear is how they are the "Pride of England". See the difference??
Scottish achievements are swallowed up and made British ones, while English achievements can remain exclusively so.
Barnet formula is flawed.
Firstly Scotland is actively reducing the difference as we knew it wouldnt last forever.
Also, whenever a comparison is made, an independent Scotland's tax difference never includes the Oil taxes.
Include the tax gained from the Oil and it would balance things out a lot.
Westminster doesnt want to lose these, but Scotland is a lot stronger now than when devolution was introduced. If we wanted to leave and control our own oil taxes we could, quite simply.
Why should Scotland support England in the world cup??
You are a different country, and quite honestly are totally different to us when it comes to football, so i fail to see why.
Your commentators put anyone thinking of it off though.
You could have an Argentina v Brazil game, and it being the best game seen for years, and the English commentators would sit and guaranteed run through what england would be doing, and how they could beat these teams etc etc and so on and so on, for the majority of the commentary.
I'm not English, and the teams i am watching arent English so why is it all i hear is about England??
If English fans arent watching an England match, why do they want it interupted with non-stop gibberish about the England team.
If Scotland are playing in a tournament, and we arent playing in that actual match, we arent going to go off and ignore the match and start talking about ourselves.
It's just ignorant......and thats how it makes England look.
25% are on the dole, if you actually knew up here you would know theres that many jobs you wouldnt last a week without them stuffing you into some shitty job or other.
We might have 25% pensioners though lol. And the damn free homecare is keeping them all alive to irritate the hell out of me when i go out and am swarmed by Pensioneeeers :s Its freaky, its like a giant Blue Rinse floating towards you.
Yea we have a funny relationship with you lot down south, but we dont go beating you up and knifing you (any more than we do to each other lol).
Hell, my bookies i work in was full of English folk at the weekend, amd i'm just outside glasgow. Bookies is beside a pub, so may be trouble you may think, but they all just watched the footie and got pished together. (irritating english commentary was switched off though of course)
Yea we get a bit pissed off at you sometimes, but its usually because you come across a bit arrogant, and most English dont have a scooby about Scotland so we kinda look at you like we do the Yanks.
We dont hate the yanks, yea they can be bloody irritating but we get on fine mostly. Same with the English lol
Glasgow Caledonian University is located in a perfect spot right in Glasgow City Centre.
It is situated across the road from Buchanan Bus Station, with Queen St Train Station just practically on the next street down.
The Main, and now only Cinema in Glasgow city centre, is on a corner facing the bus station, with Suchiehall street and all its shops, next to it on the way down to the train station.
Everything is within a 5 minute walk of each other, so it is situated perfectly.
The actual University is very modern. It has Millions of pounds ploughed into it.
This resulted in a new library, sports centre, accomodation and another building i'm not sure they have decided on what to use for yet.
The library is very well stocked, it has every book you will ever need for your course, with enough copies to get shared out for all the courses. It is still advised to buy the books however, as when coursework is due at the end of the semester and the inevitable panic comes, they all soon disappear, however many they have.
The library is also the main sourse for access to the Computer systems. Every student gets a username and password so they are able to access the University computers and do as they wish basically. From using printers to researching on the web. Quite often though, half the PC's are offline due to faults, which happen quite regularly. This means the PCs available are often watched like hawks for a space to jump on them.
If going to Caledonian, its advisable to have Computer access of your own if it is so needed. University access isnt always guaranteed due to the above system failures, or the nasty habit of resetting passwords every so often. Meaning a trip to the IT helpdesk every time.
The sports centre is very nice, and doesnt charge too much. Being in a university however it doesnt really get used very much. All the students are too lazy for this exercise lark.
This i say is what makes all the equipment look so new, and it is noticable on the bus ride into town, with many people commenting on how nice it looks inside. It really gives the Uni a good image.
The Accomodation is all pretty modern. The university and their developers went a bit crazy one day and just put up lots of flats all over to the north of the campus. Being just new, they are all in pretty good shape. The do charge quite a bit however. Last i heard, they were approx £300 a month for a bedroom with en-suite, with a shared living area between 5 people. At the time, i never knew of any students outside Halls paying over £200-250max including right on Suchiehall street, with all the pubs and clubs just a couple minutes away.
The rooms were quite small, basically a bed and a desk with enough space for your notes and a tv to sit on.
The Union, essentially was a joke. The student association i'm sure werent interested in it, so therefore it never really attracted the interest it should have, sitting right in the middle of the campus.
It has 3 bars, 1 large main bar and a smaller back bar downstairs. It also had a "bar" upstairs.
The bar upstairs eventually got wound down for some reason (too hard to get staff i heard, with all those students around....hmmm)
Upstairs there were 5 or 6 pool tables, but this now closes at 5pm ALL the time, including weekends. The bar, although there, has no beer pumps and only sells bottles, mostly used now as a food bar.
They make these amazing chicken tikka baghuettes however, they are famous and should be tried.
The union never reached its full potential, and most of the students would go to the Strathclyde Union, which had a massive pool bar, and when getting the pool cues you always noticed it was all Caledonian Matriculation Cards that were handed over (in order to get the pool cues).
Strathclye was mobbed by caledonian students as it had 5 floors with a lot better management in it, compared to Caledonians ability to barely run the one lever it kept open.
The courses are obviously the most important of the University and i have left this to last.
The University has quite easy requirements to get into it.
It also has a vast range of courses from Nursing and biological sciences to Social Work, Computing, Engineering and so forth. Every subject covered has various courses. If you want to do Computing, you can specialise in software, hardware, computer game development, networking etc.
A lot of Universities have gone this route now of low entry requirements, so it shouldnt raise too many warning bells.
Once you actually attend the course however you do get the warning signals.
At Caledonian University the 1st year curriculum is essentially re-learning everything covered in the Higher (A-Level) courses you had to pass in order to get onto the course.
This is without a word of a lie. I know of only 1 person that failed my old Biology course's 1st year (a demeanding course you would think) and this was due to the fact he never actually turned up, and tbh i think he missed the exam anyway.
He kept getting help through the course and i think he only actually failed 1 or 2 modules out of the whole course, which is shocking since he turned up maybe once a fortnight.
This is quite shocking, as even the hard working members of the class were "led astray" and didnt see the point of going to classes for stuff they had already learned previously.
2nd year curriculum doesnt improve much and so on.
The actual degree you would get from attending Caledonian wouldnt really be worth the paper its written on.
To go on and have a career in whatever it is you studied you would most likely have to get trained up again, or study the subject in more depth ie, doing a post-graduate degree. Stayin on in education even longer.
This i believe is one of the aims of this institution.
To get you into the University, keep you there as long as possible and get as much money from the Government for doing so.
I was actually told by the post-graduate students, that the only way to get into employment with the qualifications they had, was to study further.
The courses are actually presented very well.
The tutors generally know their stuff, and are very approachable. Any problems and you will get help easily from one of the many folk on the department.
The lecture notes are usually held online, via the universitys "Blackboard" system and are handy should you miss any.
The laboratory classes are well stocked and always tidy and well cared for.
The only gripe i ever had was a Computing lab, where we were learning about PC hardware (in my Computing Course) and the PC had most the parts missing, which were many years out of date, and of little use now anyway.
this i thought quite bad, as even though it was a Computing course, the low entry requirements meant that i guess 90% of those there had never opened a PC up before, and werent going to learn anything from a half missing PC.
Overall, i think the University had great aspirations, but it has gone very wrong from the reason it was set up, which was Education.
The University has been invested in, which has improved the buildings and the likes, but the courses havent really been improved upon with the money. This i believe is just a result of bad choices by those in charge at the University, which unfortunately has dire consequences for those choosing the University as the palce for them to study.
You will get an education at Caledonian, just be aware of the extent of it before you choose it. There are SOME good courses, but these may be harder to get into, as they may have increased competition for spaces. 400-500+ interviews for a 100 space Nursing course for example.
As always do your research before committing to Caledonian University, or any other, for such a large portion of your life.
Yes recommendation for sadly few, good courses.
Now a little information that is worth noting before i begin.
Dixons and Currys are the same store's as everyone knows.
However, these two store chains are now totally changing, with Currys becoming the High Street chain, and Dixons being the Online chain.
Now i have always hated buying anything from these chains, they are often far too expensive and customer service both in and out the shop was always atrocious.
Please note, this review tells how their online branch has improved, not their High Street, which is still awful.
I recently bought a new 32" Samsung LCD TV.
Now buying something as expensive as this, i went to see it in the shop. Nearest being Comet.
As usual Comet was disappointing, they had the TV hooked up to a terrible DVD source and the picture looked awful. I was promptly converged on by shop assistants, the first one that got to me started telling me lots about it being good, and other people buying it, without actually mentioning anything about the TV specs. (he didnt have a clue about it)
The in-store price was £1050, same with Currys/Dixons, PC World etc etc etc.
Not put off by idiot sales people, i went on the internet to find out what and where to buy.
The TV i saw, was/is the best for its price and specifications .
I started to look around for a half decent price to buy it at, and kept coming back to Dixons, who had it for £862. (almost £200 cheaper than their, and Currys store, Currys online also £1050)
Dixons.co.uk is being set up as their internet trading arm and is so being built up to try and dominate this market. As everyone knows the only way to do this is with low low prices.
Dixons are managing this.
Dixons always have some sort of specials on, with so much off purchases every month etc. Last month it was £60 off every £600 spent. Not bad considering they already had my item at the same price, or lower than most other shops.
Combined with another discount code, which they hand out to other websites to generate traffic, i got the TV for the princely sum of........ £729
That is £230 off of the shop prices of ALL major High street stores, simply by ordering online.
Ordering online shouldnt be daunting for anyone at all.
If you can save amounts of money like this, then you really need to learn.
Their website is so simple to use only a complete Cumputer-phobe wouldnt be able to.
Ordering from their website is as simple as...
Open their Homepage.
Select the type of electrical from the left hand side menu. (TV, cooker etc)
A search menu opens, so select the manufacturer, TV screen size, then refresh.
Search results open so scroll down to your choice and click on it.
There you have your choice and click buy, which adds it to your basket.
When doing so it will ask for your postcode to ensure stock.
If you want to buy, you NEED an account.
This can be done when ordering, and only takes a few seconds, needing only your basic info, like delivery address, and a username of your choice. It asks for an email address, which is not needed to verify first.
At your order when you are logged in, it asks for Promotional codes.
You simply type these and and click "add".
this takes off the offer amount from the total.
If using the Dixons offer code, and one from an affiliated website, simply enter both. It does allow you to, i did it as have many others without hitches. It only dis-allows two off the same dixons codes and the likes.
From here it just asks your Card Details , payment type , finance options (currently 12 months interest free) which when completed, it asks to verify the order, then sends it for delivery.
Delivery is prompt.
Taking the finance option, they send you the credit agreement to sign. this is posted straight out, so if ordered morning/lunchtime, you sould get it next day. With Business Reply envelope so they get it next day back to them.
Then it goes to the warehouse for delivery, so expect a phonecall with an arrival time.
My own order was delayed slightly, but even so i was impressed by the customer service. (only a couple days)
I was called on my moblie Phone No. which i left them, to be updated on progress as soon as they realised it was delayed.
Delivery can be made 7 days, my delivery day being a sunday, so you shouldnt need a day off work to sit on delivery men. (one of my pet hates)
As well as phone call i was emailed with progress, so i knew every step of the way what was happening. (handy as i like written back-up also, in case of arguments)
This is very good, as i hate having to chase up companies for things, as they usually just brush you off.
Dixons do not do this, and will get in contact should there be problems. Quickly and efficiently dealing with it.
Shopping online as much as i do (which is near everything i buy, as online is far superior pricewise) i am extremely impressed by this customer service from an online retailer.
Most people would be surprised at ANY customer service from an online shop, so this is amazing.
Dixons are really trying to push themselves forward as the face of Online Electrical shopping.
With prices and service like this, i believe their reputation will be turning around.
I know i will be recommending them , and with service like this they should be rewarded with our custom.
They may even change Online Retailing as a whole, and get the others to deal with customers for a change.
Gulf War 2 caused a lot of outrage when it kicked off, but why was there such opposition to it?
No matter how you look at it, Gulf War 2 was going to occur sometime. It could have been sooner or later, but it was going to happen.
Britain and the USA bombed Iraq freely for a decade leading up to Gulf War 2.
After the first Gulf War, we imposed the "no-fly" zones, which our planes patrolled and pretty much used to bomb anything they seen as a threat.
Of course there was no outcry over this.
Now, our forces and our planes were there, so why did everyone automatically assume Britain was a puppet or George Bush Jnr??
This i believe is one of the most idiotic comments spouted by anti-war protestors during the whole event.
Britain, and most of the other coalition countries from GW1, wanted to continue and actually invade Iraq then, which would have left us to concentrate on Afghanistan solely, in the present. (without the terrorists and with a middle east co-alition as we had back then, Iraq would have been up and running in no time)
Britain wanted to invade, but was held back by the US, which wanted to get everything back to normal straight away and get supplies running again.
We were the "Warmongers" trying to get the USA to invade Iraq, yet a decade later, and with the same attitude held by our politicians and Generals as before, we were depicted as "lapdogs".
This just points out the glaring misunderstanding of the anti-war camp. They basically thought up their own reasons and harped on so much people thought it was real.
We were ready for the war long before the Americans, and the more the anti-war protestors paint the US as the ones "dragging" us to war just makes them look more stupid in my opinion.
Now the handling of the war, was indeed a total shambles by the American president. But thats what happens when they vote in an idiot.
This however meant that Tony Blair had to do a lot of the work, painting him even more as the "lapdog".
The US president just was not able to convince the international community, as every time he tried to do so he said something totally idiotic, polarising the world against him ie. "With us or against us".
His total lack of political thinking, poor speech ability and general not giving a rats ass about the rest of the world meant that it was up to the UK to foster support when it wasnt even us that would be leading it.
If the UK had lead it, then guaranteed, the war would have been universally approved, at home and abroad.
Of course we dont have close to the military capability of this.
Hell if Bush had just shut up, and Tony Blair did all the talking, then similarly we would have had infinitely more support.
The Iraq war protests essentially werent anti-war protests.
They were anti-Bush protests.
Yes Bush is an idiot but you dont have to go disagreeing with everything he says.
Especially when its something WE wanted to do a decade ago.
This then moves on to the actual war.
There were essentially 2 battle plans for the war.
The British, and the American.
The British one, involved taking Basra and the surrounding area.
This was quite successfully done with minimal casualties on both sides. We surrounded the city and the Iraqi army essentially just gave up. We used our previous experience in conflicts over the world to control the area, switching easily into our peacekeeping role, which we have perfected, and which i'm sure most of the UK soldiers deployed had actually used in the field. After all with the size of our army, you wont get to join without going on active duty for very long.
The American one was very different, involving racing to take Baghdad, with little stops on the way.
This had the effect of further pushing away the International community. The plan relied on constant movement towards their goal, Baghdad. This meant that they didnt have time to stop, so if they ran into any problems like careless civilians being in the way, they were ordered to just go through them. Now they were briefed that the Iraqi army could be disguised as civilians, so any civilians headed towards the convoys direction had a habit of getting blown up or shot.
This was not a good idea, especially with embedded reporters, broadcasting the world over.
US soldiers were simply not trained enough, and were mostly young men, who never thought they would actually have to fight. When they had to they were jittery and shot at anything. When interviewed they often gave the impression they were there to "blow shit up", which followed by pictures of the civilians they killed, created a hell of a backlash by the world.
Of course they got to Baghdad quickly, but they had no plans for when they got there.
Americans have little to no peacekeeping abilities such as the British so changing over into this role was extremely difficult for them.
Also all those civilians they killed on the way, had families, who were pretty annoyed to say the least, which in turn caused such a large insurgency up in Baghdad, while the south never had as large a problem.
The main difference in these plans seem to be that while the UK is preparing to leave withing a year or so, the US have little to no chance of a withdrawal in the immediate future.
As for the WMD's.
We all know he had WMD's...........we sold him them.
So there, we know he had some.
This was mainly another cock-up for Bush, and especially his changing over to the Human Rights Abuses argument was a major mistake.
This should have been the argument in the first place, with the WMD's as additional support for the war.
BUT this would not wash at home in the USA.
Americans simply didnt care if Saddam was killing millions of his own people.
If Saddam had a way of getting to them, however vague, and improbable then he knew that would go down a lot better and get him backing at home, which he seen as the main arguing ground. Blair would be doing all the international diplomacy after all.
Look at Darfur.
Americans dont care if theres a genocide.
If we found out Darfur had half a soup tin of anthrax and a blimp to fly it over in, they would be invading in a second.
It follows on a lot from the Americans sense of a need for security, like how they need to right to bear arms. They need to feel secure themselves.
They dont care about the rest of the world unless they can hurt them.
Just as they arent a champion of Freedom, if they were they would have supported the UK decion to invade in Gulf War 1.
Have no doubt however, Iraq was inevitable.
Saddams son Uday was prepared to take over from his dad should anything ever happen. Uday was even more Psycho that Saddam, actually enjoying killing people himself first hand.
We should feel lucky we got round to it now.
If we had left it till Saddam died, then we could have had an even worse, more dangerous ruler, with Oil Reserves to do with as he pleased, which would becomes more valuable as the rest of the middle east dries up.
If countries needed the oil, the UN would be forgotten about and Iraq would have gotten money to build up under Uday and threaten the rest of the region all over again.
Notice i never mentioned terrorists during this review, Iraq wasnt a terrorist haven till after the war. With Saddams grip on the country they never had a chance to establish as he was worried they could grow to threaten him. The terrorists just followed the USA, the US mentioned Iraq as having them, and they had a few, but nowhere near enough for a threat to the US, they were more interested in Israel. They never shouted about terrorists, as they themselves knew shouting Iraq had lots of terrorists would just cause interest and they would be proved wrong.
I started working for this company, while i was still a student, and i must say it is the perfect job.
As a student i had certain days i could work, and this was easily slotted in. Best of all, unlike many others i knew, it didnt eat up into night-time too much as the latest they ever close is 9:30 , so stearing away from the dreaded bar/club jobs a lot of students fall into.
Pay Rates -
Currently the pay rates to go into are
Trainee cashier - £5.35
Cashier - £5.45
Managers etc generally are promoted from within, as its the only real way to learn everything involved in the job. These rates vary on scale.
Every shop has things a little different, but cashiers will generally be contracted to a maximum of 30-35 hours.
Hours over this are at Time-and-a-half.
Sundays are taken at Double time.
Bank Holidays, Boxing Day, 1st + 2nd Jan, are paid extra at Double Time. (Only English Bank Holidays apply)
Some are Paid days off, (not taken out of Vacation allotment), for example May Day and Xmas.
Holidays are given as 4 Weeks per year.
Sick pay isnt given in the first year, only after 12 Months with the company.
Compared to other bookmakers this is quite good, as some may give a slight increase on Ladbrokes hourly rate (5-15p), but wont give double time at all, only 1 1/2 pay at most.
Winter Hours - 10.15 - 6.30
Summer Hours - 10.15 - 9.30 (April - Start Sept)
Saturdays open 10.00 - Above
Sundays remain - 11.00 - 6.00
These may change as Summer night racing may be extended to Winter as well, in the coming year or two.
Not thats the bulk of the information out the way.
What is it like to work for Ladbrokes?
It's actually really quite a good job.
It generally requires sitting behind the betting shop counter, taking bets, giving betting information and generally chatting away to customers.
Ladbrokes like to have the best customer service in the sector.
What this basically means they employ the friendliest people they can, as they will get on with the customers and the regulars in their shop. And if the customers are happy they keep coming back.
It's essentially like the whole service industry except for one thing.
Most service jobs, the employee deals with the customer and will most likely never see them again.
In Ladbrokes, you get the regualars back practically every single day, rain, hail or snow.
I know as ive worked in a few different shops, and whoever i work alongside, knows the names of most the customers.
This obviously is going to work well for the company.
It also works extremely well for the employee.
It turns the shop into a bookies version of "Cheers".
Everyone knows everyone, so therefore there is hardly ever any trouble.
The actual job isnt too difficult.
Taking bets is the main part obviously, and this is computerised as much as possible.
You feed the bets in a computer, input the instructions on the betting slip into the computer from a menu and thats it.
The computer does most of the work for you, it calculates the winners, losers and payouts.
The majority of the time you are either inputting bets or chatting away to customers.
It's like getting paid to sit behind a counter and just talk away to people .
If you are a people-person, this is the perfect job.
A lot of the regualar customers are older or middle age.
While those in their 18+ to Twenties, will pop in to put on their football coupons. Maybe play the Roulette machines.
Think this cuts down a lot on the hassle, as its not full of younger guys in being noisy or abnoxious. (im not old either, i'm 21)
The atmosphere is great. ESPECIALLY after the smoking ban here in Scotland.
No smoke just seems to make the place a lot brighter and cheerier.
All the posters and TV's make it bright and pleasant so its not like the old stereotype of dingy old bookies.
We even attract in a lot of women, mainly to put on the Irish Lottery, where before they were put off by the image of the smoky, dirty places there was before.
All the old dirty shops have been moved or re-fitted long ago, as the various bookmakers realised they got a lot more customers in the shops when they actually looked nice.
You get to know your workmates well, and will definitely be going out at some point with them. Theres staff nights, charity nights etc. And of course, just going next door to the pub after your shift. Theres ALWAYS a pub next door to a bookies. That or 5 minutes from one. Honest go and see, its true. People sit in the pub a while, then its to the bookies, then back to the pub and so on lol.
You will make friends, and if you live in a town, you wont walk down the main street without a wave.
Hours work around what you can do.
These are worked out weekly, as there is no fixed shifts.
For a student it means any Festival Weekends are easily worked around, days off are easy to plan for anything you need.
They are worked out weekly but if you can only do certain days, then you will just be put in for these days every week, so its easy to fit in.
For any amount of hours you can work, it is a good job, especially for students.
Students can work on their day off, or at the weekend, and if they do Sundays will get £10.90 an hour.
It doesnt cut into socialising time so its suited to those studying in my opinion, as lets be honest, you cant survive at College/Universtiy without a job.
All in all, i enjoy my time at Ladbrokes. Even the long days of 10.15 - 9.30 are good as it condenses my hours into a few days so i get more days off. Thats just a preference for me, others dont like them and prefer doing more normal hours.
I might be going back to studying next year, and i know i will be able to work no problems, keeping a decent income without doing too many hours or exhausting work, which would inevitable hurt my studying. While also keeping my nights free for the usual student fun ;)
The Euro isn't a much talked about thing in the UK right now.
Thats why i am writing this, it pretty much proves my argument.
The Euro debate has been won by the "No" camp.
Everyone knows Tony Blair would like us to join up to the Euro.
His counterpart Gordon Brown "won't join until economic requirements are met", which shows he isnt ready to jump into something which could ultimately be catastrophic for the British economy.
This essentially gives the "No" camp a win by default, as the "Yes" camp can't really begin on their argument as to why it is benificial for us to join. If the economic requirements arent met, it essentially means it would be bad for the UK economy to join the Euro. It's hard to say joining the Euro would be a good thing and convince others of the same, when even the Chancellor says it would be bad at the time-being.
What actually are the benefits to the UK economy of joining the Euro?
Personally i cant see many, apart from the convenience of not having to chance currency for a European holiday. But that is only a 5 minute job at any travel agent or post office and i dont think anyone even charges commission anymore.
What are the down sides of joining?
Prices WOULD go up. Every country i have been to or heard about, all i hear is how prices have skyrocketed. Especially go to Dublin and ask them, a lot of them really regret it.
I just dont see why we would join up with a bunch of very dodgy economies, when the British is quite strong at the moment. After 9/11 the UK economy was the only to maintain some sort of growth, we remained stable while the rest moved backwards.
The heart of the EU is France and Germany. As most people know, France depends on its heavily subsidised farming industry , while Germany itself has severe unemployement problems with millions out of work.
Added to this the expansion into Eastern Europe, whom will most nearly all want to adopt the Euro as soon as possible, while needing severe financial aid to bring their own economies up to a standard matching the EU countires is crazy.
The current EU countries skim off most of the EU budget as it is, thats why there was so much of a furore about spending in the new Eastern European countries. The UK already gives the EU far too much money, getting very little to nothing back in return.
Britians EU contribution is roughly equal to the amount given to Spain every year.
No wonder they wanted us to scrap our Rebate, how else was the EU going to afford Eastern Europe? We have the rebate to stop Britain getting screwed even more than we already do. Most of the Euro adopted countries need the EU budget to prop up their economies, you dont expect them to pay for the Eastern Europeans do you?
If you look at the economies in the Euro zone, they are total opposites to the UK.
Britain so far is the only country to allow full immigration from the Eastern European countries, and we have suffered no ill effects from it so far.
Our economy can accommodate these extra workers, and essentially benefit from them, whereas in the Euro Zone this added burden of more workers could add to their already struggling economies with more unemployement arising.
Where i live, there has been many Eastern Europeans coming over. There hasnt been a noticable loss in the empolyement sector. People can still go out and get jobs no problem. Even the low paid jobs there are lots of, so if a student says he cant work because theres no jobs, he's lying lol.
The debate has died down, because the Government realises they have lost the argument before they have even started.
It would be bad for the economy, and public opinion is already against it so they are happy to leave it as it is.
Public opinion is why they were so worried about the vote to join it. It would cost a fortune to get enough people on board to say Yes. Added to the actual cost of joining.
I just like stirring up debate thats died down or forgotten as recent ones are often done to death and get boring lol.
Dont know where i got the Euro from but its better than discussing America as usual.
Ok its the world cup about to start again... i can tell because as usual the newspapers are splattered with "Englands gonna win" again :(
I'd like to state a few facts first.
I am not as many of you may think, just a bitter Scot.
I dont have a problem with the England team.
I dont have a problem with people supporting their team and showing it.
As any Scot will tell you though, it is such a joke its unbelievable.
Tha main thing that puts us Scots off is English TV presenters thinking England can actually win, and not shutting up about it. Even to the point of ignoring everything else going on around them.
It goes back forever.
For example.. i still remember back at France 98, when Scotland played Brazil and only lost 2-1. All the commentators could talk about was England.
Scotland were pretty much holding off Brazil at half time, and the commentators werent interested and started talking up Englands chances of winning.
Its just simply infuriating. English fans would feel the same if a Scots presenter ignored the current England score and started talking up Scotland, about say winning the Kirin cup. (since we dont win much lol) The England fans would do just as we do and go "what the hells he talking about that for, wer watching out team for christ sakes so shut up about something we dont care about".
The World Cup is starting, and already we're getting put off it, with the media getting saturated already with England this, England that.
For example, opened up the newspaper, and after sifting through the first 6 pages of Englands world cup chances, i eventually get to talk about the Scottish team lifting the Kirin cup.
We already know the match commentary and talk before, at half time and afterwards of any game at Germany, where England doesnt take part will have talk of England for about 90% of it and how England can beat whoever is playing in the next stages.
We just want to watch en enjoy football matches in peace. Not get a detailed analysis every time of how England can beat them and go on to win the Cup like good ole '66....yawn
Of course watch and support your team, just stop ramming it down everyone else's throats.
This ban was, i believe the most idiotic ban put in force by the government.
Even when put in force in Scotland before going UK wide, it was shown that it was impossible to enforce.
How can the police follow horseriders and dogs ?
How can the police tell if the fox was killed before the dogs got it?
Why was there so much parliamentary debate, when the population largely didnt care?
Simply put, it doesnt work.
The hunters can still go out, and Hunt.
They are supposed to shoot the fox before the dogs catch it.
That would just simply be impossible for the police to prove otherwise, after the dogs got it and ripped it apart.
The hunters are supposed to shoot the fox, in actuality, they only have to "try" and shoot it.
As long as the police hear a gunshot they are happy.
To think of the hundreds of hours of time wasted by the government debating this just angers me.
Its as if they had nothing else to do so created a job for themselves.
I'm not on either side of the argument to be honest.
I live in a large country town outside Glasgow.
I do think it's not needed, but i dont see much point banning it.
Foxes do need controlled, that is a fact most animal rights campaigners ignore. They just think foxes are "cute wee furry animals"
Someone i know who has a farm, has sheep, and the foxes would prowl about in lambing season on the newborns.
Left unchecked they are bad for his farm and animals, so they need controlled.
Shooting is needed as an effective form of control.
Hunting with dogs isnt needed, but i doubt the foxes actually suffer more/a lot more than getting shot.
Police time will get wasted by this which is the biggest farce.
They already have far too much to do, and heaping this on them, is ridiculous. Especially since they are not equipped to deal with it for the most part. They cant follow over fields after the hunt, so theyr pretty useless at the hunt, but will now need to provide a presence.
I do see why the countryside feel theyr getting screwed however.
They use the most fuel, so the high tax is worse for them.
The farming industry in Britain is a joke. Competing against other countries that are highly subsidised, or getting extremely low prices for their produce from supermarkets.
Also look at the last ban they thought of, banning guns.
They only succedded in handguns. Look how successfull that was. It happened due to Dunblane, which was a police fault, for giving the madman a license (since they were overworked may i add). Legally held guns accounted for little to no illegal activities since the laws were so strict, but the Sun got a hold of it and sold a lot of newspapers on the back of public grief.
Due to these main points the country feel constantly persecuted.
Many people in the countryside may not even be bothered about fox hunting.
All these past issues helped create this into such a big incident, as it reinforces and combines the countryside together.
I thought this review was needed to counter balance the other review from the staff member from Stow.
Sorry but everything i've heard about Stow has been bad.
I know one guy thats done a Computing course there, knows as much as when he started, in fact he thinks he knows what to do and doesnt, meaning he can/does make things worse often.
It's also well known its basically impossible to fail at Stow.
May be a good point or a bad point depending what your perspective is.
However one of the reasons its impossible to fail Stow is that the lecturers often and with the full knowledge of most anyone help students pass.
ie ....letting students take tests home to complete or resit.
Voiding the reason for a test.
This upset a few people i know that actually did work, as people they knew shouldnt have passed and got extra time or even test answers, passed with the same qualification as them.
This isnt limited to one or two occasions, i know of multiple instances from just the people i know.
Its not that great as its made out.
Also be noted.....with a qualification you WONT get into some Universities.
Glasgow Caledonian, i know, basically just refuses to accept people from Stow on multiple courses.
Edit for comments.
Not sure how the product thing works, seen other college reviews in this section so put it here.
And people shoudlnt go to Stow, so why would i give advice for people to go there.
Its proved their qualifications are worthless by numerous friends who have done it and the fact Universities refuse to enter someone with a qualification from there.
Further Edit..... have 2 items in the Product Proposal queue, that seem not to be moving. Also waiting on an entire new section in the games area.
This review is here because theres no product it can go in and tbh it will take a while anyway it seems.