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maidstoneman

maidstoneman
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Member since: 09.11.2010

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    • Canon Speedlite 270EX / Camera Flash / 10 Readings / 8 Ratings
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      16.11.2010 22:16
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      Nice flash for the budding amateur, but wouldnt recommend as there are better available.

      Ok so this is the speedlite 270EX produced by Canon, i got it late last year after my previous flash hit the deck which was majorly frustrating! Ok so it broke and wanted to replace it, i didnt really do much research into a purchase at this time and went straight to jessops for a replacement. Limited to cash at the time and after a flash which was somewhat more compact than my last i opted for the rather dinky 270 ex speedlight.

      Its obviously compatible with canon EOS DSLR's and fits right onto a compatible hot shoe, with a lock button to make sure the flash is secured to the top of the camera.

      Its a nice entry level external flash in my opinion, and despite being rather small does produce a nice flash for appropriate photography. It takes 2 AA sized batteries which slot into the unit via a small side panel, which by pushing and sliding is easily accessible for a quick battery change.

      This isnt quite as good as my previous flash which was bigger and had a much stronger flash and range, but does offer about 30-40m of light as appropriate, One nice feature of the flash is its movement mechanism, which by pulling out of the case into 'tele' mode and titling up can reduce the amount of flash which obviously depends on what sort of shot you are trying to take. It also has three strengths of flash which can be accesed manually via camera flash settings, which is an easy function through my canon 450D. It also has a red led light on the back of it, which glows a bright red when its ready to fire and then starts to flicker after.

      I think its a nice flash and possibly one of the smallest external flashes i have ever seen so its very portable, however for the price about £120 which i paid. You could with a bit of research pick up a larger and better model in terms of brightness and range etc aswell as having more features to fiddel about with. But as mentioned its a good flash particuarly for a beginner, getting used to a DSLR.

      But on a balance would prefer to have got a larger model or spent a bit more money to get an external flash of the same spec to which i had before.

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        16.11.2010 21:06
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        Do not work to a satisfactory standard - steer clear

        I got these lights quite some time ago, i think they were picked up for about £30 for 4, They were chosen out particuarly as they were of a nice design with an old fashioned look to them.

        However i cant say im particuarly impressed by the solar powered lights, They are incredibly weak and even on the hottest days of the year the lights only produce a very small dim light which is very hard to see and notice.

        Ok so the design is good as they look like nice features in the garden particuarly in the day time. They each feature a pole mounted with a hook, where the plastic pole is inserted into the ground, the lamp part then slots onto this hook and is allowed to swing delicately on the plastic pole. Another complaint i have is with the pole itself, i found it incredibly difficult to get the pole to sit in the ground with the plastic not at all being heavy or strong enough to deal with the actualy lamp part. So buy burying the pole deeper than expected into the ground and using a few small rocks i managed to keep each of the poles with lanterns standing upright.

        Each lamp itself is fitted with a small led bulb which is powered purely by sunlight, which is recieved in through the tiny solar cells located on the top edges of the lamp. Its very hard to notice these and are very well disguised i think.

        But obviously the main point of these garden features is to light up in the evening to make sitting out in the garden in the late evening a nicer experience particularly on those hot summer nights! But they have failed to work, they are positioned in direct sunlight in a south facing garden so there really isnt an excuse for them not to work. I must say i was rather dissapointed with these lights, compared to some of my friends solar lights which work very nicely there really isn't a comparison.

        Recently one of the lamps poles have also snapped which is down to the high winds making a pole snapped putting the entire lamp out of action.

        Despite the nice design more thought could have gone into making this work to a satisfactory level, i cant recommend these lamps for this reason and suggest using another brand.

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        16.11.2010 20:50
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        Fantastic to use and great social features but do carry risks

        It seems that these sky lanterns have been growing in poularity very rapidly recently, used at any social event it seems such as on birthdays and bbq's (when it was warm). I can obviously understand why indeed they are popular. Firstly they are so simple to set up and use, you get them of the bag they come contained in and open up the material until its fully out and expanded, the next step is to hold onthe metal frame whilst someone keeps the material stretched, the tea light which is held at the bottom is then lit by a lighter and the lantern is held in the same position until the lantern feels like it has significant force for which to take off into the nights sky.

        So this is one point which makes them nice to use being how simple they are, another is the price! being available at most places now and often sold in packs of three, i have seen them being sold for as little as a £1.00!

        I think they are nice to watch, drifting slowly up to the nights sky before being caught by the wind and sent on its way across the landscape. Almost until they are tiny specs of light in the nights sky, in which time they reach an altitude where oxgen decreases and the candle inside is extinguished. The lantern will then fall to the surface slowly with the canopy acting as a parachute.

        However despite the fun side there are obvious dangers, the fact that you do have to handle an accessory containing fire. I have set these off many a time but have sometimes noticed that the candle starts to burn at the sides of the lantern, revealing great big scorch makes or even holes. This is obviously dangerous and although i should think that the lantern is made from some sort of fire retardent there is the danger of fire. Particuarly if this was blown close to a building or an ignition source on take off which could pose dangers of its own.

        I also hate to bring down this product, but its also important to note its other impacts pacticularly f you live in a farming community whereby the falling carcass of the lantern may find its way into an area where wildlife may become endangered by its metal rim. Aswell as effectively littering the area in which you are as the lantern will not completely degrade for a long time.

        The other point to mention and has featured in the news recently of the small child which recieved major burns from dripping hot candle wax which came from one of these lanterns on takeoff, The lantern obviously needs this wax as it is effectively a fuel to provide the hot carbon dioxide as a lift. But incidents like this do hilight the items dangers.

        I would recommend using these as they are very good fun and entertaining but i would however make sure that the atmosphere is controlled with a high level of safety involved as you might use with fireworks, as they are dangerous if misused or if safety is lacking.

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        • Football Manager 2011 (PC) / PC Game / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          16.11.2010 20:26
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          The king of football management is back in football manager 2011!

          Its back! the greatest job on the planet and available to anyone with the latest installment to the football manager series. Featuring tons of nice little addons, such as improved graphics for the game engine, agents being available for the first time in the game and tons of extra features to take the game up a giant notch from the previous 2010 version released last year.

          I have already clocked up several hours of game time over the last few days, simply because i cannot stay away! With dreams of taking afc wimbledon out of the conference and into a league club, the game has started to swallow me into a deep level of addiction just as similar games in the series have done.
          It truely is an epic game, ok so now its time to discuss the game and features which i find are better from the previous versions and what not.

          Ok so once the game has loaded up you get to start your career as a fully fledged manager, on clicking the continue button, an in game wizard in loaded taking you through which features you want to have in the game, such as which teams you may want to play as, including adding the countries and leagues that you wish into the game. (the more leagues and countries you add) generally the slower the game and your computer becomes because of having to process data for games and transfers for these leagues and countries. On accepting the game then starts to load the database you requested and then enters into a new wizard for yourself, yes you the manager! Like all the previous games you get to set you name, age, nationality etc and your past experience in football. You are then asked to pick the team you wish to manage.

          Most players might opt for one of the premiership or championship teams or their own favourite team. From this point you are thrown into the football world, to be met by the media and your board and staff who will send you messages and notices as the game develops.

          The newest features including that of agents being introduced are great although a little annoying at times as some of the agents are very picky and request high contracts with lots of clauses etc, where us with some there might be little negotiation. I think this is a nice feature and makes the game a step closer to realism in the football world.

          Another not so talked about addon is the fact that its possible to change a countries reputation. For instance in theory if you was to manage a welsh club with enough success and buy bringing some big names in, it would be possible to boost the reputation of the entire league, theoretically of course as it would be a monumental challenge to undertake.

          Other features include the improved graphics during matches, i think they have improved vastly with stadia and pitches looking better than ever before. The graphics also seem alot smoother and with no extra specs needed from the two previous football manager, the game engine also seems alot more realistic which is obviously a nice addition!

          Also there is the possibility of a link with twitter and youtube, so you can upload your favourite replays to youtube and post achievements on twitter as they occur, this is also a nice feature and have yet to try these features out as i do not have a twitter account yet and my goals so far have been rather scrappy so nothing worth saving just yet, but would like to use these new features in the future.

          There is also more board interaction than before with options to opt for a new stadium rather than to upgrade the current one for example.

          These improvements might seem minimal but there really are too many to mention and the game is alot crisper to run and makes the game easier to navigate through as well as to run.

          Its another superb addition to the football manage series.

          Its available for about £30 most places but have seen it cheaper than this on amazon, so may be worth checking out here first.

          I really do love this game, but warning its highly addictive

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          15.11.2010 23:10
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          Budget chain lube, alot better than i expected!

          I picked this up from my local hein gericke for a princley £4.00 at the start of the summer in preparation for the summer biking season. Its obviously very important to keep your bike chain well maintained all year round and on periodically particularly before long rides and every few months otherwise.

          Ok so this handly little solution from hein gericke is just the ticket for getting all the grub and grime accumulated on the bike chain from the road surface whether its just dirt and dust to more stubborn intruders imbedded on the chains grubby lubricant. It works by directly pointing the nozzel onto the bikes chain or onto a rag and then the chain itself, either way after applying and allowing a bit of time for the chemical process to undergo its cleaning regime the dirt can then be wiped clean off with a clean rag, leaving the chain more than ready for a nice new lick of chain lube and any other maintenance that may be required.

          For its price the cleaner is considerably strong and makes removing the grime and dirt a very simple procedure to carry out, making life much simpler in that respect. The finished article obviously depends on the user and how anal you want to be about the cleaning, but generally the solution offers a good solid clean for scrubbing with an old toothbrush or a rub down to take off the degreaser combines with all the excess dirt and grime.

          The degreaser can be used on both types of chain ring o and x, so there will be no problems with having to find the correct type of solution. Which is an advantage in itself without having to read all the fine print on the cannister.

          I have been using this lube ever since and really does just as good of a job as any of the more expensive brands available.

          Only one point would be that it runs out pretty quickly, but dont be put off as at £4 a pop you could quite simply buy another, but find that despite not lasting as long as other brands, the cannister is still value for money and doesnt offer a false economy.

          Cheap and very cheerful

          excellent - Advantages: powerful degreaser, very easy to use, 'o' and 'x' ring safe - Disadvantages: fast spraying can so you use it fairly quickly, but it's only £3.95 so not much of a problem!

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          15.11.2010 22:38

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          Still a classic series but could do with an extra edge or two to make it a real classic.

          This really is a game that some gamers will love and some who will hate, when brought up in conversation this has also been the case, with some people loving the free running effects and visual effects and some people falling in to the category which find it very repetative.

          I fall into a category within the two, i cannot deny the game of its stunning visual graphics, including some great shading and very nice details on all the people in each city, with all have very detailed effects. The physics of the game are also very nice and run really smoothly which is a great benefit for the free running side of the game such as escaping from guards which seems to happed throughout most of the game.

          But i am also sad to say that there is an element in the game which seems to be repeated throughout, which involves climbing towers to viewpoints which are all very similar and to complete assassinations and beatings which all carry the same traits. So basically all im saying is that the game can be very repetative, and the game revolves around the free running capabilities. I felt that this was a problem in the first game of the series and it hasnt really changed too much to shake off this point.

          Obviously the game has been considerably improved since the eldest in the series with the introduction of new characters and the ability to improve and practically buy your own hillside villa town with its own shops etc which all carry discounts and benefits to the player, i also think the new skills for fighting in the game are also nice addons and the fact you have to earn them also makes the game more enjoyable.

          Another feature im particuarly fond of is the fact that the storyline is very in depth and with some great cutscenes and film sequences which are easy to follow give the game alot of character. Which allow you to move into cities such as venice and on one part of the storyline even explore the waterways of venice on a gondola and protecting other characters from the enemies armed with bow and arrow. The game is also repeated by switching bag and forth from present time to previous memories, which involve more play in the modern era than ever before which was a nice feature to have added and i particuarly liked this.

          But in all i think the game really needs to add more depth to its gameplay and try to move away from the amount of running/climbing walls that has to be done which can be tedious and to focus more on combat and staying stealthed, but this may just be the nature of the game i hate.

          I wouldn't be put off by buying another assasins creed game and in fact another has just been released but do find the gameplay rather limited as its stands as i was able to complete assassins creed 2 main storyline in the space of a few hours.

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        • Microsoft Kinect / Game Controller / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
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          15.11.2010 22:18
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          Buy later rather than now! Possibly the future of gaming

          Ok i will just start with the fact that i reckon that this will be a huge hit for christmas. With the amount of xbox owners and the love of the nintendo wii i think it was obvious that the other big two of the gaming world would try there hand at getting gamers out of there seats. So obviously a decent review is needed here! so people can truely know if its worth the hype and ultimately worth buying.

          First set back is the price, can normally be found at around the £150 mark, which is what my flatmate paid for the unit so i believe. Then you have to get the games of which are compatible with the unit as the generic games such as the new call of duty black opps and fifa will not work with this system. It has a few release games such as the dance simulation game and the sports game pack (which we have) Ultimately its a great experience being able to let go of the generic controller for the xbox and to get up out of the sofa and to control what you see on the tv with your own movements.

          So lets get down to the knitty gritty, Theres a few things that i feel need to be improved with the system. There is a bit of lag currently which is basically the time difference whereby the time you make the movement and it being picked up on your tv with the character or object moving. This may be problematic for some people particuarly if you are playing a game which requires speed. Also the games which have been released for the kinetic system really are very basic and get tiresome very quickly in my opinion having played two of the launch range. Although it may be important to remember that future releases may be alot better and thus completely change my outlook on the system. I therefore definately think this should be looked as a future purchase rather than one for the present. But this won't stop it from being a best seller this christmas not with the the amount of advertising and promotion by microsoft that has gone into this.

          I think the technology is a great innovation and if tuned up may be the future of gaming. But still think theres a long way to go and perhaps with updates provided through xbox live could make this an even greater contender in the games industry.

          Ok, well so far i have been very negative but do feel it is justified feedback. But there are some very much amazing points to consider with the kinetic, i really like how sensitive it is to body movement, featuring an onboard camera and a heat sensor (infra red) to distinguish between a player and objects. I found it very accurate unlike the wii for instance which seemed to have a mind of its own at times in terms of movement.
          I also really like the sound recognition and although it only works with the kinetic menu's at the time being, the xbox can be commanded to go to certain features of the menu without using the controller or even turned on or turned off which such voice commands.
          In order to keep you on camera the kinetic system also has a built in motor which automatically senses where you are and will adjust to keep you or multiple gamers in its lenses.

          Obviously the biggest selling point is the fact that there is nothing you need to hold onto here, which makes moving about even easier than say with the PS3 or the nintendo wii.

          In terms of appearance the kinetic is quite large for one in width in particular and is the only console to feature an add on hardware feature for the motion gaming feature, so it might be a problem if you have nowhere to rest the kinetic system. In terms of appearance it does have a very slick look about it which is a nice design and a nice stand to prop itself up on.

          Being new i cant yet comment on reliability but have had no problems mentioned by myself or my housemates.

          Its so close to being such a great success, i really do think there is a future in this product i just wouldnt buy it just yet particuarly as there are no games to really get the gamer into this, with release games that seem to be generic across all three console systems.

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          • Sony MDR V700DJ / Headphones / 8 Readings / 6 Ratings
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            15.11.2010 21:44
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            Great headphones for anyone after a good upgrade from bud or cheaper headphones!

            I got these headphones about a year ago now. When i got these i was really looking for comfort and a pure sound quality. I think its safe to say that these headphones have both these qualities that i was after! Despite the high price which for many will be too much for people to splash out on, i do feel that they are undervalued and a bargain if you can find them for around the £70 mark.

            I had a pair of swivel cup headphones before i got this set. They were also from sony and looked remarkably similar, but didnt have the features that make these headphones so great. The soft headband at the top is one nice feature of these, which really helps if you are gonna have to wear them for a few hours at a time. Which doing with a hard plastic pair of headphones can really become a nuisance and distract you from what you are doing. The design also feels alot more solid, as the last headphones i got met there end with a snap from being dropped one night. I cant say i have tried dropping these but would think they would put up more of a fight than must headphones would particuarly with the soft head band.

            Getting to an important feature is the sound quality, ok so these may not be the best headphones for the job? i would had thought that was obvious as brands such as technics also produce headphones which are better for sound and quality but also reflect this in price. So for a professional in the industry these may not be the right headphones to go for, but for the budding amateur dj, semi pro or even someone looking for a great alternative to bud earphones to enjoy music will love these headphones. The cups are quite large and help to block out surrounding sounds with a nice cushion and despite not having a noise cancelling system, live up to expectations with a crisp sound, which allow a good range of pitch and bass without any distortions to the sounds that you may get with cheaper headphones and the bud phones. They also live up to expectations at louder amplitudes, obviously the quality of the sound system comes into consideration and what format you are using, i.e a poor quality song will still sound poor, but if you are running a high quality flac file for instance you will really pick up on the quality and notice an 'edge' to the music. Based on personal experience anyway and some may disagree particuarly if spoilt by headphones of higher quality.

            But for me these are just perfect, although my only quibble would be with the cups themselves as when on the ears they can caus pains on your ears after long durations and perhaps need a bit more cushioning.
            The contacts on the headphones are both gold and therefore offer a better pickup and transmission, which comes in a standard 3.5mm heaphone socket and the larger headphone socket (also gold) for some larger units, such as an old mixer i used to have which didnt have the standard 3.5 mm outputs.

            They have a nice swivel facility and can obviously then be tilted for use on only one ear if you hold them correctly for checking you have a good output sound quality from the main speaker output or what not.

            I think they are a little bulky in terms of style but they are of a nice generic silver colour which is professional, and the speakers make up for this in comfort to the head, although will re-itterate that i have had problems with long periods of wearing them i.e 4 hours plus! The cable is also nice and being pretty durable with a nice coiled feature which stops the cable having too much slack and interfering or getting caught with any other equipment.

            I highly recommend these headphones!

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            14.11.2010 15:52
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            An all time gaming favourite, not to be forgotten!

            This game has been available to purchase for quite some time now, but loading it back into the xbox i still get that same buzz of excitement as the first time i did so. It is the follow up to forza motorsport 2 and has lots of updates, mainly better visuals and lots of nice new cars and customisation abilities.

            Ok on the whole this can generally be regarded as the xbox's reply to sony's much accalimed game gran turismo. Which i also highly recommend from playing earlier editions on the playstation 2. However i am not lucky enough to own a playstation 3 as well as the xbox so forza motorsport is a brand available to me. Made by producers at turn 10, it has a fully in depth carreer mode, starting small with cars that are likely to found on uk roads, you start on the test track road circuits, all named after snakes. On winning of course and finishing as far up the grid as possible you then earn prize money, with this prize money you can either save up to buy a better car alltogether or you can buy parts or upgrades to your current car. The upgrades really are huge from installing a whole new engine to adding a turbocharger or ripping out back seats and installing a roll cage the customisation really is huge, for instance you may start off with an f class car (the lowest class) but customise it enough to reach a c class. Of course each car has its own advantages and disadvantages and its most useful to change parts and settings before going into particular tracks.

            The tracks themselves are amazing, visually and in terms of the physics of the game. With lots of real world tracks being added in there, such as silverstone, laguna seca, road america and road atlanta. Including many more of which there are too many to mention including the fictional tracks such as the Nissan speedway and the new york circuit where you can race through times square and see many landmarks.

            The settings can also be finely tuned which depending how experienced you are at racing games can make the game much more interesting. For instance if you are a beginner or new to gaming you might want to turn on all the driving assistances on such as racing lines, abs, traction control and an automatic gearbox. But a more seasoned gamer might try his hand at turning most of these off so judging the racing lines for oneself and even adding a manual gearbox with the option of using one the shoulder buttons as a clutch for racing and damage, which is a personal feature which i really like, where real time damage to the car causes defects in the cars steering, acceleration, top speed and ability to drop up and down gears, this also shows visually with stunning effects such as broken windowscreens and mirrors.
            Fuel and tyres can also be made to have effect in some of the endurance races, where running out of fuel ends the game and poor tyres makes skidding and spinning out inevitable. So timely pitt stops are useful.

            In all this is a fantastic game and some what under rated i find in lots of cases with the game not recieving the credit it rightly deserves. This is possibly due to being overshadowed by its bigger brother on the playstation platform but for xbox users this series will one to remember and apreciate particularly with future releases! You might be wondering what seperates gran turismo and forza motrosport? well quite simply gran turismo is going to go one step further with loads more cars, the whole car license modes which are incredibly fun and the level of customisation which even betters that of forza. Including the promise of some extremely impressive life like gaming visuals in the new gran turismo which is due for late december.

            I would say this is a game for all ages due to the customisation, making it as easier or hard as you like. It is also important to remember than with xbox live it is possible to download huge amounts of DLC, from car packs to whole new tracks to race on. Providing even more hours of untold fun. This game could quite easily be found in most retailing stores and for no doubt a steal!

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            14.11.2010 15:18
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            Not a nice machine and aught to be taken off the market to save other consumers agro.

            Ok well iv you have seen any of my other reviews you may have read that i had alot of problems with my lawn, hence why i had to purchase an aerator which i have done a review on since.

            Anyway i wanted to try something different and thought that as im located on a hillside where the soil isnt of a particuarly good quality, that by treated the lawn every now and then with fertilizer i might get better results. So i went down to a local garden centre and asked about for some beginners steps, the very friendly salesman pointed out some fertiliser suitable for the lawn and a spreader to load the fertiliser into for easier distribution across the lawn. He said that this one was one of the better models and with this i got it and took it home.

            The weekend after it was time for its first run over the lawn. Its hard not to notice how ugly it is to start with resembling a washing up bucket with bright yellow wheels. I loaded the fertiliser onto the tray which distributes the fertiliser to the lawn surface. I didnt put a particuarly great amount in as my garden is not that huge but straight away the plastic seemed to concave under pressure from the fertiliser. This is when i noticed that the spreader i got may have not been up for the challenge. Its exterior is incredibly weak, and despite having a dislike to plastic to start with this product under fuels this, It really isnt a good product. Because of its cheap lighweight frame there also isnt a lot of stability and with every bobble in the surface that i pushed the spreader over the machine jolted an exceptional amount and this caused the flow of fertiliser to come out at a much faster rate leaving patches of grass with more fertiliser on than perhaps others. But the problem of flow rate was an issue throughout and even on a flat surfact the rate of fertiliser seemed to increase and decrease. This leaves me to believe that the products tray and distribution mechanism are at fault here.

            It really makes me wonder how a product as dire as this could find its way into an honest garden centre and have customers part cash for something so useless. In fact i could go as far as saying that i would have created a more even distribution over the lawn if i were to do it myself!.

            The product doesnt really have any posetive aspects but i guess the height of the unit is right and the distribution width does seem ok at a claimed 45cm which is more like 30-35cm. The handle also feels awkward to pull along and reminds you of its poor design, bottom up.

            I have tried to be as posetive as i can, but the only nice thing that came out of this was getting my £20 back at the shop and finding another spreader which now does the job just fine.

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              14.11.2010 14:54
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              Another fantastic game from Bethesda studios.

              Having been a big fan of oblivion, an earlier work of Bethesda studios, i knew that i would have to make this purchase to get this new first person in game world.

              Oblivion was a highly addictive game offering hours of fun, not just with the main quest but hundreds of sub quests and varying activities, this trend continued with fallout 3 however did in fact contain even more quests and possibilities. Particuarly with the introduction of the Karma system, whereby if you commit a good deed your karma will increase and an 'evil' deed will make this level drop. In both cases there are different variations in the game. For instance early on you can choose to de-activate the atom bomb in the town of Megaton or you can travel to tenpenny tower and watch it be blown to bits. In both cases there are different outcomes and different characters along various different routes such as this.

              The gaming world set in a futuristic 1950's post apocaliptic landscape is very well detailed with miles and miles of map to cover, much of which has lots of hidden secrets such as hideouts and caves and dwellings of some very nasty creatures such as the supermutants and the raiding parties who all want your blood.
              However you arnt thrown straight into the action and start life as a baby and then progress to a child and adult where you get to learn the skills of the game and personalise your character with points in strength and intelligence etc.

              The level up system is much the same as oblivion except you also have the option of picking a particular skill such as becoming an ace at hacking (boosting all your hacking points) or even picking the cannibal option where eating dead flesh can restore health points.

              Another danger to consider in this nuclear waste land is the rad meter which monitors your radioation levels, of which too much will lead to radiation sickness and death. But you are given the aid of the pip boy utility which gives you a detailed inventory and a fantastic targetting system whereby it will freeze game time and allow you to pinpoint particular areas on an enemy such as the head, legs or try and disarm the enemy. Of course each has a percentage of making a successful strike, with better weaponary being more accurate and distances taken into consideration. However this isnt the only way of shooting and full manual shooting is very much possible.

              I found this game incredibly exciting with loads of features and places to explore. From slave camps to a city onboard an old aircraft carrier. There are lots of nice updates to the game from obvlivion for example and a greater amount of customisation. Including being able to model your character right at the start of the game.

              The only thing i found with the game is that you may find yourself wandering around quite a bit and in the beginning may find yourself facing much stronger opponents than what you are capable of beating, such as groups of raiders who will destroy you.

              Another comment is that there is obviously alot of violence in the game and some of which can be quite graphic, seeing bodies blown apart and what not so would not be suitable for a younger person, hence the age certificate.

              Other than that i highly recommend this game! hours of enjoyment and the expansions available for the game are very good, although i didnt like operation anchorage.

              Im looking foward to playing the follow-up, fallout las vegas.

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              • More +
                13.11.2010 19:45
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                Big bulky, garden tool does what it says it will.

                I picked this item up about two years ago, mainly because my lawn was having some problems with one end where water seemed to collect, thus getting alot of moss build up and poor grass coming through, which looked a bit naff in comparison to the rest of the lawn. Actually a friend had recommended using a garden aerator so i went down to a local garden centre and saw a number of aerators, all of which looked quite good but nowhere near as durable as this one, Which generally looked like a good finish product.

                This is probably because at this point i was fed up of going for cheaper tools and finding them snap or corrode, having binned a shovel, rake and hoe recently before the purchase.

                The aerator worked perfects with a wide heavy frame perfectly capable of being able to penetrate deep into the ground and provide air holes needed for better growth. The spikes are very firm and welded strongly to the frame, so i have no worries about bending or breaking off here. Another great design is the fact that there is a bar above the spikes providing enough room to get your foot behind it to apply some more pressure in ground that may need it.
                Its hard to compare tools such as this to do such a simple job in the garden. But i am generally happy with the product and this tools advantages surely lay with the durability of it, with such a strudy contruction and finish to match it will surely stand the test of time unlike some of the tools i have got previous to this!

                It is also rather low maintenance, and perhaps maybe for a lick of paint every few years to prevent rusting, its spikes on the bottom of the tool look like they could be sharpened relatively easily if you have the know how!

                I must say it wasnt the cheapest of the garden aerators that i saw, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, this is definately a situation for which that phrase applies for. Its a nice tool and would recommend.

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              • Football Manager 2010 (PC) / PC Game / 6 Readings / 5 Ratings
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                13.11.2010 19:31
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                Another great game in the football manager series. Bring on 2011

                I would hate to think how many hours i have spent on this game, i have had every one in the series dating right back to championship manager 03/04 (before the company split) and the first football manager was made. Ever since this series has been the best offering the best database of players and the most realistic match engine to date.

                FM 10 did not dissapoint with the 3d match engine looking as good as ever and real inhancements particuarly for pre and post match interviews and greater media debate and speculation. Loads of bugs from 09 were also cleared up making the game run alot smoother including a much better regen of players in my opinion.

                Its ashame that such a great game will soon find itself slowly becoming an antique as the new line in the series was released earlier this month, which boasts even more features such as agents, a better match engine visually as well a vast number of changes including country reputation which 2010 simply doesnt have.

                However lets not forget the year spent with this great game, trying to take charge of your local team and make them big time with only a small number of funds. Another great thing about this game is that it could be windowed and thus could run extra applications alongside it such as i.e and itunes alongside it, which was always a favourite for passing the time by.

                The only difficulties i experienced were trying to register the game to start with as in recent years the game has become almost reliant on steam (which is like a gaming community) which you have to register with etc, however when it came to downloading the required updates from the steam servers there were untold errors, and because i tried to register on the day it was released there were huge delays preventing me from playing the game as quickly as i had hoped.

                This game can also become very frustrating, which is not down to the game itself but due to building a team up who then go and lose a home game to bottom of the league in extra time ... but thats just football!

                another great example of this series and i will be sad to depart and start another season with 2011.

                Although i will save this game like an archive for a rainy day sometime, it will probably be very easy to pick this game up for next to nothing from most retailers.

                I would also like to note that the running specs of this game are suited to most pc's and macs! and by simply turning up and down features (such as the size of the database used, or adding removing countries and leagues) or by simply switching off the 3d engine, you can find a great equilibrium.

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              • More +
                13.11.2010 14:21
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                Entry level camera case for light travel.

                I purchased this shoulder bag for a relatively small price (around the £20 mark) from my local argos as i needed a better way of carrying my canon 450d around, this seemed perfect not being too big and something i could throw over my shoulder.

                The bag is a really nice build and has a nice finish to it which makes it very sturdy. The bag seems to have two compartments one being hiden under a clip like mechanism which is really quite small particuarly with the all weather cover being stored in here too, so the only real item i can get in here is a set of batteries and perhaps a memory card or too. But for me this area of the bag remains relatively unused.

                The main interior however is different alltogether and has a rather large storage area for the bag which is sealed by using a zip of which the top comes almost all off for very easy access. The main interior also comes with a divider column where by using velcro can be adjusted at the bottom of the bag. I find this function useful for seperating the camera body from the lenses that i also store in the box, preventing them from clashing together and causing any damage. There is also a small piece of material which is incredibly soft which can be left along the top of the stored equipment to offer an even greater level of protection from dust and what not. But this fabric cover attached at one end has actually started fraying for me which has left bits of fluff at the bottom of the case which has been a bit of a nuisenance in some circumstances.

                The main compartment aslo features a netting like feature at the bottom of the bag which i use to store a small external flash and also has a compartment on the lid of the bag which i find most useful for storeage of memory cards, as it is sealed by vecro itself so i can be assured that the cards wont come loose and get lost!

                In all the bag can store the main camera body, a flash and a lens, although without the lens could accomodate two lenses. This bag is therefore not ideal if you wish to carry more gear than this, but is rather designed for light travel which is often most suited to myself. The only problem that bothers me with this shoulder bag at times is the clips which attach the bag to the shoulder harness, i feel that these are rather delicate and could be open to theft. So may not be ideal for busy commutes etc such as the underground as the bag could be pinched relatively easily by unhooking the bag at one end and pulling at it.

                Another problem is the all weather case, when pulled out is a grey cover with an elasticated edge which is supposed to fit over the top of the bag to prevent its contents from getting wet, im not happy with this cover however as the cover doesnt want to sit on top of the bag and it just comes off, this would be particuarly annoying in a windy area when it starts to rain, it offers little protection and may result in damp equipment.

                I generally dont use this quite as its designed for instead tend to remove the straps and drop the back into a larger rucksack for travel, as the bag is waterproof and obviously cannot risk a wet camera! The handle on top of the camera case is also one of my favourite parts of the case itself being a foamy light material which makes it perfect for me in terms of lifting it in and out of the rucksack i carry.

                In all i find this a relatively decent entry level camera bag, but personally will upgrade as i invest in better and more equipment, as my hobby of photography grows at an alarming rate!

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              • Apple iPod nano (5G) 8 GB / MP3 Player / 6 Readings / 6 Ratings
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                13.11.2010 13:51
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                Another advancement in the nano range which remains a winner for me

                I was brought this for a birthday last year, its an extremely impressive music player. For one its very sleek in design keeping the trend in the nano range although one of the larger models, being small and compact it can easily slip into your pocket, Not only this but it boasts some nice features such as a small lens on the back for capturing video, it also has nice playback functions installed on the ipod for rerunning videos back to you on the nice little screen which has a high quality image particuarly compared to some ipods i have used previously.

                The colour schemes as always are lovely, i was given the light blue colour of ipod which is my personal favourite, with the ipod i then got a clear griffin cover which contains tribal swirls of a white colour which make it look really good in my opinion.

                The ipod also as an fm radio installed on it, this is a nice feature particuarly if you are on a long journey and get tired of your own music. I reguarly use the national express service back and forth from london to newcastle and often take this handy little gadget just for the fm radio that i can get with it.

                But if thats not enough it has 8gb worth of music, this doesnt cover my whole itunes music collection (currently at 10.8 gb) but i can choose all my favourite playlists to be syncronised onto the ipod before i undertake a long journey for example.

                Another cool feature is the pedometer which it features on board, this is really useful for walking too and from places and for going on runs which has a calorie counter and can take not of the amount of steps you take each time with a rather accurate system.

                It also has a very good battery life and from full charge survived over 8 hour of bus journey before it finally switched off. But i guess this depends how you use the unit as video playback and recording are bound to use more power than just simply radio and music playback.

                The only thing that has annoyed me if at all is the fact that the headphones on the unit are at the bottom of the unit so the ipod has to sit upside down in my pocket, particuarky when it comes to locking the ipod (the lock is on the top of the unit. Except for this however this model is really lovely and have had no problems with it at all.
                I cannot tell you about price as it was purchased for me for my birthday and i did not buy it, but what i have learnt is reasonably priced and since the appearance of the 6th generation on the horizon this price may well drop so you can pick yourself up a bargain here!

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