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mattjbr123

mattjbr123
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Member since: 31.01.2012

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    • Dookie - Green Day / Music Album / 7 Readings / 6 Ratings
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      11.02.2012 19:41

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      If you like punk music, you won't be able to stop listening to this, Green Day's best album.

      Dookie is Green Day's 3rd and arguably most popular album to date, being released in February 1994.
      If you have listened to Green Day's more recent albums (American Idiot/21st Century Breakdown) you will notice that this is a completely different sound, which I in all honesty, I prefer. However if you haven't heard Green Day before then this is definitely the album to start with, as in my opinion, it is their best work to date.
      I enjoyed listening to practically every song on this album - they all have annoyingly catchy tunes (ones that will stick in your head for weeks) and brilliant lyrics from Billie Joe. Many of these songs come from his and the other band members' experiences, notably Basket Case and Welcome To Paradise, and this really shows through.
      It is difficult to pick out the best songs from this album, but at a push I would give Basket Case the top spot, followed by Pulling Teeth and Emenius Sleepus, which was written by Mike Dirnt (Bass).
      I highly recommend having a listen to a preview of a track or two before you buy the album, as it you like one song from the album chances are you will like the rest, otherwise, probably best to steer clear.

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    • Kerplunk - Green Day / Music Album / 9 Readings / 8 Ratings
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      05.02.2012 16:27

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      Features some of their better work in my opinion, but perhaps not the best place to start

      If you have ever listened to some of Green Day's more recent material (American Idiot, 21st century breakdown etc) then this is a completely different sound, and, although American Idiot and 21st century breakdown are still great, I honestly prefer this, their earlier work.
      This album was released in January 1992 and was their 2nd album, the 1st with Tre Cool on the drums.
      Some songs are better than others it has to be said, my personal favorites are One for the Razorbacks, Welcome to Paradise, Christie Road, One of My Lies, Android and Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?, most probably because they all feature catchy tunes and some great vocal harmonies from Mike Dirnt, especially on One for the Razorbacks and Welcome to Paradise, which was rerecorded for their next album, Dookie, but I prefer the original version on this album.
      The lyrics are wonderful (even if you have to concentrate hard to work out what they are sometimes) and Billie Joe (vocals) really fills the songs with passion and meaning.
      If you haven't listened to Green Day yet, it's probably best not to start here, I would recommend Dookie as a good starting point, and if you've only heard their modern material, take the time to try out their older albums, you don't have to listen to them again, but you may well find, like me, that you can't get enough of them.

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      03.02.2012 00:31
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      Easy to use, a little fiddly to prepare, but worth the effort you put in.

      Before buying a bread maker you should note that setting it up and getting all the ingredients together before you put it on does take some time, unfortunately you can't just bung it in and hope for the best, all the ingredients have to be measured out accurately and put in the right order, a process which usually takes around 20 minutes at least.
      Once this is done however, it usually produces great smelling and great tasting loaves of bread. There are plenty of recipes to choose from, although I usually stick to wholemeal and granary loaves which are the easiest, and the instruction manual is fairly easy to follow.
      The delay timer function is really useful if you want bread ready for breakfast and want to wake up to a lovely smelling kitchen, you just have to be bothered to prepare it the night before!
      One thing to be careful of is the mixing blade which does occasionally get stuck in the bottom of the loaf itself if you're not careful.
      Other than that, provided you measure out all the ingredients accurately and use relatively 'fresh' yeast (I didn't once, and it produced what can only be described as a brick) you shouldn't have any problems.

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        03.02.2012 00:07
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        Great for casual and hardcore PC gamers alike.

        I bought this with Sonic Generations and it makes it so much easier to play. You are actually able to control sonic rather than follow him around the screen!
        I you are a PC Gamer than this makes the experience a whole lot easier, and in my opinion, more natural too.
        Like the standard Xbox 360 controller it is comfortable to hold and all the buttons are easy to reach. The cable is nice and long so you can sit back if you so wish, rather than being hunched over the screen, much like you would playing with the keyboard.
        Although it doesn't say in the product description this will work with Windows 7.
        It was a breeze to install, pop the cd in, run the installation, and then you're ready to go. It works automatically with all supported games, and doesn't need to be configured once installed.
        If you are a PC gamer, or just want an easier way to play games on your computer, this is for you.

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        • Shenanigans - Green Day / Music Album / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          02.02.2012 20:04
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          One for the collection if you are a fan of Green Day, otherwsie, probably best to look elsewhere.

          Whilst definitely not their best album, the songs are still catchy as hell and some manage to stick in your head for weeks.
          It was released in July 2002, and is essentially a compilation of all the 'B-sides' from previous albums. These are essentially songs that didn't make the 'final cut' onto the albums themselves. There is only one previously unreleased song on this album - Ha Ha You're Dead , the rest can be found on various singles from their earlier albums (Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning). This song has great harmonizing vocals from Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt, the lyrics themselves being written by Mike.
          Other notable songs from this album are 'I Want To Be On TV' which basically sums up the attitude of wannabe celebrities, 'You Lied' which has great lyrics and describes the life of someone who just can't stop lying and finally 'Scumbag' which also has great rhyming lyrics.
          The whole album is only about half and hour long, most of the songs being under 3 minutes which is a little short for an album in my opinion, but seeing as this is not one of their major releases this is not really an issue.
          In general, great if you already know and love Green Day and one to add to the collection, but if you are new to the band I would recommend starting elsewhere (Dookie or American Idiot are good albums to start with).

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          • Enigma - Robert Harris / Fiction Book / 5 Readings / 4 Ratings
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            02.02.2012 19:41

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            A good read that is worth persevering with at the start

            First thing to note is that this is not a book I found you get into straight away, the first couple of chapters are quite slow moving, but after this the pace rapidly accelerates and the plot develops remarkably quickly.
            Despite being a fictional story, it still gives you a good idea of the secret work that went on at Bletchley Park during the war and the plot fits this secretive setting very well.
            It is very much a mystery novel and is certainly a book that keeps you reading with the transition between chapters so smooth that I often didn't notice that I had started the next chapter.
            The book also has the ability to make you think you know what will happen, and then be surprised when it is something completely different, at least this is what I found, anyway.
            To summarise, a great read if you persevere at the start.

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          • Theme Park World (PC) / PC Game / 3 Readings / 2 Ratings
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            02.02.2012 19:26

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            A great little game that is easy to get into but is not as easy as it looks!

            I have had this game practically ever since it has come out, and even now it still entertains me.
            The graphics aren't good it has to be said, but it was released in 1999 so you really can't expect top of the range hi-res graphics!
            Despite the simple game-plan it is remarkably difficult to master, for example there are 5 parks to unlock, and I still haven't managed to unlock the 5th and final park.
            This is probably because there is an awful lot to manage in-game - the staff, the rides, the shops, prices, research and of course, your money, and it is very difficult to keep all your visitors and staff happy and your bank balance high!
            It is extremely easy to pick up and play, with the in-game help extremely useful to begin with, but does have a few flaws such as I still haven't worked out if and how you can rotate the items you want to place, whether you can rotate the default viewing angle and the in-game helper does get very repetitive and annoying after a while, but thankfully you can turn him off!
            All in all a great little game!

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            01.02.2012 12:44

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            A good camera that works well if you just want to 'point and shoot' or like to have more control.

            Admittedly this doesn't look the best camera from the outside, but you'll find it's packed with a great range of features on the inside, such as taking stills from videos, red eye removal and motion printing.
            The menus are easy to navigate with the buttons and tweaking the settings before you take your photo only takes seconds.
            It's pretty slim so fits nicely in your pocket, doesn't weight too much and only takes a second to start up and be ready for taking photos.
            It works very well as a point and shoot camera if you stick all the settings on automatic as it produces some very good quality, in-focus photos, but if you want to tweak the settings such the ISO, white balance, focus mode etc, there is plenty of scope for this too, more so than you would expect for a typical compact camera.
            The build quality is also very good, it seems to survive most everyday knocks and drops.
            Lastly, the battery life is one feature that lets the camera down, when on holiday it would usually only last for a couple of days (taking around 50photos each day) and seems to degrade noticeably with age.

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            01.02.2012 00:28

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            Briliant quality sound with good bass, but comes with a hefty price tag.

            Firstly the sound quality from the speakers is superb, I would expect no less from Bose, and is the perfect way of listening to music on your ipod/iphone if you don't want to use headphones. The speakers will work with all apple ipods and iphones, although you may find that they won't fit if they have cases on. The bass is also very good as you would expect and the volume goes loud enough for most people. It also charges your ipod/iphone which I found very useful.

            The system comes with a remote which has all the usual buttons (play/pause/skip etc) and you don't have to wait any time for it to come on once you have plugged your device in, you can start listening staight away.

            It is very difficult to find any bad things about these speakers but what I did find is that it doesn't have very good surround sound, but this is probably typical of most speaker systems like this.

            If you have the money to spend it is probably worth it, but many cheaper systems will do a decent enough job.

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          • Lenovo Thinkpad L520 7859 / Laptop / 4 Readings / 3 Ratings
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            01.02.2012 00:20

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            A good middle of the road laptop.

            Lenovo produce good quality laptops and this isn't an exception, although some things are lacking, but this is to be expected from the lower price point.
            Firstly the resolution on the screen isn't wonderful but is pretty standard, you can of course upgrade it for a price.
            The keyboard is very nice, the keys provide just the right amount of resistance and aren't too loose.
            The hard drive is pretty fast to begin with but even with rapidboot which speeds up windows startup times it will slow down noticeably after a few months, which is why it is definitely worth spending the extra money on a solid state drive.
            The speakers are rubbish to be honest, but you don't generally buy laptops for their sound quality.
            It is nice and light and easy to carry around and fits snugly into all laptop bags etc.
            It has 4USB ports which is pretty standard, an ethernet port, headphone jack, SD cart slot but note that there is not a HDMI port.
            The basic graphics handle HD video and most everyday situations just fine, but if you are planning on playing games on it, then I would recommend getting the graphics upgrade if you can.
            The basic 2GB of RAM isn't really enough considering windows will eat up nearly half of it, 4GB is usually enough for most things.
            The battery life is the same as most laptops, i.e.: rubbish, unless you buy the most expensive battery upgrade, it will probably only last you 4-5hours maximum.
            Lastly the build quality isn't as high as other Lenovo laptops, for example you can bend the screen inwards if you push it from the back (I don't recommend doing this too much...).

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            01.02.2012 00:09

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            If you use your iphone a lot then this is definitley worth it!

            This is an extremely useful and practical case as the iPhone battery life isn't great, to put it mildly. This will certainly help you make it through the day.
            It contains enough charge I found to charge your iPhone from near dead to about 90% if you don't use it whilst it is charging, alternatively you can have it on permanently and use the battery in the case first before using the phones battery.
            It is surprisingly light, but still weighs a certain amount which will be noticeable when carrying around in your pocket, but I think this is a small price to pay really. It fits the iphone perfectly and with the provided cable you can sync and charge it without taking the phone out of the case, which saves some hassle.
            It doesn't look great, the iphone looks stunning without a case, and this will reduce it's 'looks' but personally i don't really care about that and its a very small price to pay for such a useful piece of kit!

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            01.02.2012 00:01

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            The best portable media and games player you can buy, shame it's so expensive!

            First thing to note is the price, yes, it is expensive, but I personally think it is worth it.
            For a start the screen clarity is incredible, it will play 720p HD and text is very sharp and smoothly rendered, this is the biggest difference between the 3rd and 4th generation.
            Most apps run without a hitch, they do occasionally crash, but you can just tap on the icon practically straight away to start it up again. The graphics on some of the more expensive games are pretty damn good.
            The selection of apps and games from the app store is unrivaled, most apps are under £2 and there are plenty of free ones too.
            The sensitivity of the touch screen is also good.
            The camera isn't so good however, it isn't even 1MP, which is the only bad thing about this, so don't expect to be taking any quality photographs, that said, it does take pretty good video (apple claims HD but even this has its downfall as it takes up a lot of space, about 100MB per minute.)
            The new imessage app is very useful for sending free messages to people with iphones or ipod touches, but bear in mind you have to be connected to wifi!
            The battery life is decent, if you play a few games, check emails, browse a few webpages it etc it should last about a day, which is the same as if not better than some mobile phones. Graphics hungry games will drain the battery very fast though.
            The interface is fine, easy to browse through music, videos and photos.
            The external speaker isn't great, fine for games and stuff, but you certainly want to use headphones when listening to music/watching videos.
            iTunes store is very useful, but I personally don't use it as most things on it are quite expensive.
            It is definitely worth getting the 32GB as 8GB really does not go far, even if you are just using it for apps, most decent games are '00s of MB so you soon find yourself running out of space, especially if you want to put films on there!
            Lastly the next model (if there is one) is unlikely to come out until June2012 at the very earliest, more likely September, so bear this in mind.

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          • HTC Legend / Smartphone / 3 Readings / 3 Ratings
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            31.01.2012 23:44

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            Not a bad smartphone, just a little expensive for what you get.

            Firstly, the screen on this phone is superb, much better than typical LCD displays found on many other phones, including the iphone. It is also very nice looking and comfortable to hold but without a case will get scratched easily and isn't comfortable to hold next to your ear for long periods of time, but if you don't make super-long phone calls this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

            It runs most of the apps in the android market fine, but a word of warning, some apps such as BBC iPlayer and Firefox won't run as they require the newest version of mobile flash, which the legend won't run. It does also have the tendency to crash occasionally, especially on google maps app, which I suspect is due to lack of sufficient RAM.

            It takes pretty decent photos, certainly not professional quality but great for taking a few quick snaps.

            Lack of ROM (i.e.: storage space for apps etc) is the most annoying thing about this phone, yes you can move most apps to the SD card but the ones that you can't quickly fill up the available space, especially with all the annoying system apps that you can't uninstall.

            The wifi on this phone is awful, so don't get it if you use wifi hotspots a lot, the wifi mangement system is buried away in the settings menu, and you have to be pretty close to the router of access point for it to connect, for example I have the router downstairs and in the bedroom at the back of the house, the phone refuses to find the hotspot, despite my laptop and ipod touch etc not having a problem.

            That said, all in all not a bad phone but quite expensive given the caveats noted above.

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