- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Moonlighting ran from 1985 - 89, an unusual crime / comedy show with a difference. The mix of Bruce Willis's charm and Cybill Shepherd's beauty made for compulsive viewing. The Blue Moon detective agency was owned as a tax loss by ex model Maddie Hayes. When her accountant ran off with her investments, Maddie was forced to work alongside Bruce Willis. From day one their on / off relationship, with the will they / won't they ? question was a constant sideline to the main plot. The shows were very well written and acted. The timing of the gags and stunts was brilliant. The show was very different to other crime dramas, this had more in common with Police Squad than the likes of Quincy. The unusual style even extended to a retro episode shot in black and white...and the playing of the latest chart music rather than dialogue. At the end of the show they always got their man, of course. Each plot normally had a series of twists to it, adding to the viewer's interest. This was Bruce's tv debut and a springboard to success. The show also rescued Cybill Shepherd's flagging acting career. The regular haf dozen supporting cast each had their own unusual characteristics, Bert Viola and Ms Dipesdo were the most prominent. Whilst the show was brilliant it was too elaborately made to ensure long term success. With each episode coming in at more than a $million it was too expensive to survive. Off screen acrimony between the two stars made for often difficult production. In the end this was no great loss forBruce Willis, as he went on to star in the Die Hard movie trilogy. For BBC2 though it was the best series I think they've ever shown. Sadly confined to the vaults of classic tv, now rarely seen, even on satellite this show just doesn't seem to get aired.
Blues Clues is shown 3 times daily on Nick Junior satellite channel. It is a programme that my kids love but adults will struggle to see it's appeal. The show is presented by Kevin, in real life with his team of animated helpers. Blue, the shows main character is a dog, he helps Kevin to solve the puzzles set. Each puzzle is solved by finding a series of clues - each identified by a blue paw print. One by one they are written into Kevin's notebook until solved. Blue is helped by objects such as Mr & Mrs Pepper, Bucket & Spade, Slippery soap. Adults will solve the puzzle from the outset yet each is drawn out until the bitter end. This makes for tedious viewing for me yet the kids love it, each shouting out a clue,a clue each time one is spotted. No doubt this has some educational value, but at least the kids think it's great.
If you're into PC gaming then this is the site for you. Basically it's well organised and has links to everything you need. The site is split into a number of areas:- The News, Reviews and Features sections give up to date and often indepth reviews on new out and in development games. These are well written and contain many links to other sites. Humour section has a wide choice of comic strips for download. Genres - this is an easy way to search for new and features on your type of gaming. Action, adventure, strategy etc give direct links to those specialist sites. Forums - a good way way to find answers to a specific gaming problem / issue. Downloads / files - this gives a link to Fileplanet. This site has over 46,000 gaming files online for free download, or for a fee they will burn them onto cd for you, very usefull for those larger ones. Every mod, add on, patch etc you need will be here. They operate a number of servers but donnection isn't always as good as it should be. Cheats ! - There is a massive collection of cheats and walkthroughs available to help you on your way. Network - this gives further links to other associated sites. Gamespy arcade - for me this is the best bit. A 4mb download gives you a brilliant interface for multiplayer gaming. Once installed it searches your harddrive for multiplayer games and sets up server links. Once online click on the game and it displays many relevant servers, number of players online, type of deathmatch file etc. Click on the one you want it then connects and launches the game, so easy and simple to use. For newbies, like me, there's help files or email support to assist you. Such a complete site you shouldn't need to go anywhere else, and it's all free.
I am now the proud owner of a Surfboard 4100, the Motorola cable modem supplied by NTL. This is an external cable modem, it sits neatly on it's own stand taking up very little room. At about 6 inches tall by 3 inches wide and 10 inches deep it has a relatively small footprint.There's not much to look at, 4 green leds give you the status and the orange led underneath shows activety. This is not about how it looks, that doesn't matter once you've seen how it performs. Anyone used to the endless wait for files to be downloaded will love this modem. A 50k web page will open in a second, a 5mb mp3 file will download in 1 or 2 minutes. Setting this up is relatively easy, the documentation is almost non existent save for a fault finding sheet and a cd rom. Once out of the box choose either usb or cable to ethernet card connection. With either once the drivers are set up and the dial up networking changed to the correct network settings you're in business. NTL have 2 services 64k & 512k. 64 isn't worth going for, 512 costs £19.99 a month + £5 to rent the modem. Modem can be bought for £150 but better to rent at the moment. Installation costs £25. Modem connects through usb or ethernet card, this card costs around £10. A reliable and very fast way to connect, the extra speed opens up a whole new side to the net.
I recently bought a T10 as part of a One-to-one paid up front package. The T10 was the only phone offered with this value for money £70 deal that gives 18 months line rental,phone & 30 minutes a month all paid.The T10 has since been replaced by the T20 hence the bargain deal to clear their stocks. The T10 is very small & lightweight, fitting easily into your pocket. It has a fairly large screen that is very clear to read, the controls are hidden by a flip down front - this ensures that it can't be accidently used, the ariel only sticks up about an inch with the rest of it built into the casing. The design is great and it sems to be fairly resilient to knocks. As for features you get all the standard functions you'd expect. Tunes can be downloaded but it's no where near as good as the Nokia, I haven't got any yet but it doesn't seem to be an easy job to do - tunes have to be composed rather than downloaded. The auto lock function is very usefull, once set the keypad locks after a couple of minutes inactivity. This saves on accidently dialed calls and the false 999 calls that are so easy to do on many mobiles. The downside to this dinky little phone is it's dinky little battery. This is supposed to give 120 hours standby but with the occassional call I find myself having to put it on charge every couple of days. Also the phone has a tendancy to turn itself off, this is apparently a software fault that can be rectified by Ericson. Overall a good phone for the money, but compared to the Nokia 3210 / 3310 it's rather basic.
What DVD is a monthly magazine that concentrates on reviewing films, priced at £4.99. New releases are reviewed in some depth, each taking up a page. All are done to a standard format - price, certificate, who stars, the plot and their verdict. A number of screen shots are shown as well as a very usefull "disc features" category. This lists the features that are included such as interviews, sound and picture formats. With most DVD's costing around the £20 mark it's important to know what you're buying and what extras are included. Existing releases are given a half page, to the same format. All are well written and tell you what you need to know about the film - without spoiling the plot. Advertising is spread throughout the magazine in the right proportion. The adverts shown support the features i.e. film adverts are shown alogside reviews, machine & hardware shown alongside the product reviews at the back of the magazine. The back of the magazine has a number of pages of previous film reviews in a listing format, these make for quick reference. Also they have a hardware guide with reviews organised in price brackets. Bullet points and a overall rating give a good starting point for choosing a player. Overall a well written magazine offering the film enthusiast a lot of information on the latest releases, for the rest of us a good occassional buy to keep up to date.
I bought one of these through www.unbeatable.co.uk a month ago and am delighted with the performance and range of features it offers. Being a first machine for me I did a lot of research on the web for reviews, features and price comparisons before buying. I wanted a machine that was multi region, able to play mp3 and vcd formats. This narrowed my choice away from the mainstream big name players to a number of Chinese made machines. The Mico consistently got excelant reviews from magazines and also users. Mico are a Chinese company who only produce the A980 and a range of DVDs for own branding for other companies and the likes of Dixons etc. The A980 is a machine that will cope with virtually any format :- DVD for 6 regions VCD DVCD SVCD CDV CD-DA CDI-FMV MP3 CD CD-R CD-RW The sound quality is excelant, it offers DTS/AC3 digital output and 5.1 channel surround. There's also a built in graphic equaliser and karaoke feature. Picture quality is superb, it reads every disk I've put in, unlike some other budget DVD players. On the rear of the machine there's the usual array of connectors for scart, svideo,digital out, audio out, surround. Nothing has been missed out. The on screen displays alter for each mode, DVD,VCD,MP3 etc and give all the information required. Subtitling, audio, zoom and all the menu and play functions can be accessed through the remote control. Most functions have a corresponding button on the player as well. Overall a machine that gives great all round performance in a variety of formats. Until recordable DVD comes out in a few years this machine is future proof. The only importer for this is Unbeatable.co.uk, also look for the Azuda A890 as this is an identical rebadged machine.
I recently bought a Black & Decker 12volt Firestorm drill with torch set and am very impressed with it. This was a special offer bundled pack comprising of plastic storage case, charger, drill, torch and 2 batteries. The torch & extra battery were free, making it very good value for money. The torch takes the same battery as the drill and gives a strong beam. The drill is well made from abs plastic, this should make it fairly resilient to knocks but only time will tell. The 12v batteries give a reasonable worklife and can be recharged in 3 hours, the second battery was a real bonus as you can carry on working whilst the other recharges. The drill features a keyless chuck, forward & reverse, 22 torque settings ( not sure why you'd want that many ) and a neat little screwdriver bit which is stored in the top of the drill. This drill gives enough power for most jobs around the house. It will only tackle light masonary drilling however as there is no hammer action. It will drill into brick etc but without hammer action it takes a bit longer and the drill bit heats up and will wear out a lot faster, but cordless drills with hammer action tend to be a lot more expensive. Drilling into wood and screwdriving are all performed very easily with this drill. The variable speed is easily controlled by the trigger switch, this makes screwdriving effortless. One last nice touch is the use of red plastic in the drill casing, you might not like the colour but you won't be able to lose it easily. Overall a very good drill for diy use.
Time Gentemen Please is a rare find on Sky One, home produced and very well written and acted. The award winning Al Muray stars as the chaotic landlord trying to make a living. The entire show is set in the one bar, with the odd exception being the visit to the neighbouring pub. The small group of regulars and the one set might otherwise make for a boring show, but the strength of the writing and acting makes this show excel. This is a show that grows on you, the characters need a few viewings to get accustomed to. They are all very witty in their own way. The constantly farting loser Terry, the nympho Australian barmaid, the odd couple who always sit n the corner in virtual silence, the serial killer named Prof, the Guv Al Murray. The more you watch the funnier it gets, the little sayings, the witty remarks all go to make this exceptional. With all the swearing it is never likely to make it onto mainstream tv, this must have been quite a brave decision for Sky One to commission it. The final 26th episode has just been shown, each episode being shown 4 times a week. In true satellite fashion it is bound to be shown again soon, I certainly hope so.
BBC Multimedia have come up with another great interactive cd rom that children will love. Our youngest two, aged 3&6, have got much enjoyment from this cd. It is well produced and gives real educational value to their playing. The cd has a number of play activity areas which are easily accessed from the menu :- Messy time. This is a collection of three print and play activities. Paint, finger puppets and masks. Designs can be endlessly changed before being printed off. Telly time. Here is a selection of Tweenies video clips with a simple video interface. Story time. A video book with words and pictures. Words light up as they are spoken. Play time. Three fun games. Catch, Milo's flying rocket and Snap. Doodles mail. Write and send messages to all the Tweenies characters. Song time. Action songs and music and dance. Tweenies are on stage, help them to play their instruments and adnce. New time. Bela asks a series of questions with multiple choice answers. Due to the large amount of full motion video you wil need to check your machines spec to ensure it's powerfull enough. A P166 plus is reommended. Our children love using this software. The use of their favourite characters keeps them coming back to this series of games. It's very well produced and has educational value. Available on it's own or with a video. Priced £20 or £25 respectively.
Argos sell the Challenge brand of electric power tools. They are made in China and priced at the budget level. They are ideal for the diy user. I recently bought their electric mitre saw. This gives a quick and easy way of making mitre cuts. The saw has a powerful 900 watt motor, this makes cutting through hard and soft woods very easy. The saw can be adjusted through 45 degrees left or right to give the required angle. This is done by loosening 2 bolts and moving the carriage. The saw head can also be adjusted through 45 degrees to give bevel cuts, this is a little more difficult to do but won't be used that often. The 210mm blade gives a maximum cut of 50mm depth and 120mm width cut square on or 70mm width at 45 degrees. This is fine for picture rails, dado and smaller skirting boards etc. The safety locks make it difficult to accidently expose the spinning blade. There is a locking pin to press in and a release button before the saw will come down and the blade cover retracts. This is a good system making this much safer to use than an ordinary circular saw. The blade gives a neat finish to the cut. Lining the work up takes a little bit of getting used to as there is no marks to line the work up to. Most other budget mitre saws seem to suffer from this though. For the money this saw can't be beat, at £39.99 it's a bargain.
The BT Cellnet pay up front tarrif is an all inclusive paid up front package for one year. This gives you very good value for money. The package I bought was from Carphone Warehouse and was an absolute bargain. For £79.99 - the £30 trade in I got for my (very old) phone with charger they gave me : Nokia 3210 Free connection 12 months line rental 50 minutes free calls a month - can be used anytime.Alternatively you can opt for 200 free minutes per month off peak but the call charges are much higher. The £30 trade in was a limted offer, not sure if they are still offering it. But they will mormally give a trade in against most phones and packages. They register the phone for you, this was up and running after the phone had it's first charge. The call charges are very reasonable, BT Cellnet had lost market share and therefore offered some great deals. On the upfront 50 time plan the following charges apply:- Peak 18p a minute Off peak weekday 5p Weekend 2p Mobile internet 10p The 50 free minutes a month are enough for me so I don't expect too many bills. The weekend rate is a bargain. Overall the package is very good value, the phone's nice and reception is much better than One to One. The only downside is that itemised billing isn't included, this costs an extra £1 a month if needed. Given that some networks charge the £80 for the Nokia 3210 alone as a voucher phone this gives you so much more for your money.It can't be beat at this price.
Having recently bought a Nokia 3210 on BT Cellnet I'm really impressed with it. The quality of this phone is excellant. It's both well designed and has many usefull features. The instruction book is well written and makes setting up very easy. The built in ariel helps to keep the size of the phone down, the reception is always very good and calls are clear. Battery life is okay, a full charge lasing around 5 days. Covers are interchangeabble with a very wide range to suit all tastes. I'm quite happy with the standard one but knocks and other light damage can be easily remedied by a new cover. Ring tones are free to download from many internet sites as are new logos. Although there are thousands of 3210's in use you can simply make this phone unique to you, it's cheap and easy to customise. It's a joy to use, small,light yet with a large lcd display and a minimum of buttons to access all the features. The phone book can be quick searched or keys can be asigned to phone numbers to allow for speed dialing. The keypad is easy to lock and can't be accidently knocked off, so many other phones leave the dial 999 option on resulting in false calls, this has happened to a couple of people I know.The Nokia sorts out this problem. There are many different tones and ringtones built into the phone. New ones can be downloaded onto the phone or you can compose your own. All the usual phone feature you'd expect are built in, voicemail, hold, call divert,call cost, call register etc. There'a also 3 basic games to play an alarm and a calculator. This phone gives me all the feature I need,and many I may never use. It is light,easy to use and beautifully designed and made. Definately one to recommend.
There are literally thousands of diy products on the market. One which I always find indespensible is Unibond PVA adhesive. This is basically glue which can be diluted to varying strengths for a variety of jobs. Many other companies produce their own versions, they all give the same results though. This one product can be used as a sealant, glue, bonding agent or primer. Used neat it provides a key for new paintwork. Diluted 5 parts water to one pva it will seal masonary and floors.Neat it will glue wood together and give a strong bond. Repairs to concrete will bond more easily if painted with pva and then filled. On ceilings prior to artexing a diluted mix will stop it drying out too soon, another coat just before artexing will help it to bond. There are many more ways this product can help to give good results. At around £10 a gallon it is very cheap to use when most jobs need a 5 to 1 mix. A great product at a bargain price.
We recently bought the BBC Noddy cd rom for our children. They've already got the BBC Pingu, Teletubies and Tweenies cd roms. These are all very well produced and guaranteed to keep your children entertained and educated. Noddy is no exception to this, it is very well thought out and just the job for our younger two, aged 3 and 6 years. The cd is very easy to set up, install basic files and Quicktime video and you're ready to go. The menu system is simple to use and gives straightforward navigation around the 9 main area. 1, Cinema. This gives 2 short videos, each 10 minutes long. Noddy and the Silly Hens and Noddy cheers up Big Ears. The on screen controls allows for these to be paused, rewound or forwarded - usefull if they want to move on to the next activity. 2, Storytime. This is an interactive storybook. The words are displayed at the bottom of the screen, lighting up as they are said. 3, Toy town our. Here you "sit" in Noddy's car and take one of three tours around Toytown. Searching for lost items as you go. You control the direction of travel. 4, Cartoon Collage. This is a clever way to make a moving picture, simply arrange some of the characters and objects on one of the six screens. When you're happy with it the scene can be animated. Dialogue can be added to make a mini film. 5, Invisible paint. This is a spot the difference game. Starting from two identical pictures up to five items will be removed one. The game changes the items removed each time to avoid it becoming repetitive. 6, Artbox. This is a painting activity. Ten drawings are available to colour in using the brush, roller or pencil. 7, Snap. Traditional snap game featuring Noddy characters. This automatically increases in difficulty after each win. 8, Who said that ? This is a memory game. Sounds are linked to each of the six pictures on screen. The object of the game is to remember the
sequence of sounds and which picture each sound was linked to. 9, Maze. There are two mazes to choose from, each with up to 5 themes. In each objects need to be collected to complete the task / letters collected to spell a word. In all these 9 areas of activity give many hours of fun. Each area is educational and does help learning as well as making computer use fun.