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I have had tropical fish for a number of years (too many to mention) and during that time I have tried many different types of food for my fish. Although Aquarian Tropical flake food is not the cheapest flake food however it is the one I tend to prefer over anything else on the market.
Containing natural ingredients it is marketed as bringing out fishes natural colours.
What is it like to use?
The flakes come in a blue plastic tub, when you remove the lid you will see a foil seal (this is to keep the flakes fresh) when you remove this you are presented with the flakes, they are in various colours and sizes.
It is then simply a matter of taking a pinch from the tub and sprinkling the flakes on the surface of the water. Some of the flakes will float on the surface of the water for a couple of minutes, others will start to drift downward to the bottom of the tank, and most of the flakes will be intercepted by the fish almost immediately
Waltham the manufacturers recommend that any uneaten flakes are removed with a net. This is something I never do, my tank contains fish that feed on the surface, in the middle and also includes shy bottom feeding fish, and so with that in mind removing uneaten flakes would stop theses fish from getting any of the flakes. I have not had any problems with polluting the tank by feeding in this way.
How many times a day do you feed the fish and how much?
In general you want to be feeding the fish 2 to 3 times a day. The quantity however is a different matter, it depends on the size of your tank, the quantity and the size of the fish and of course their appetite. The best advise I can give you is try little and often until you find the right quantity for your particular tank.
It is worth remembering that overfeeding can be as bad for the health of the fish as not feeding them enough.
What about baby fish?
We are lucky in that we often have baby fish born in our tank; these really need to be kept in a nursery net until they are big enough to be introduced into the main tank. If you just let the baby fish fend for themselves the other fish will eat them.
Obviously these fish are very small with very small mouths, so what I tend to do is crumble a small amount of flakes over the nursery and this seems to me to be the ideal way to feed them.
As well as feeding them, it introduces them to the food that they will be getting on a regular basis when they have grown large enough to be released into the main tank.
How easy is it to buy?
This product is unbelievably easy to source, it is available in most supermarkets although these tend to stock the smaller tubs (25g and 50g), most pet shops also stock this and the larger pet superstores also stock the large 200g size. The price varies quite considerably so it is worth shopping around. To give you an idea of the cost, the 25g tub typically retails at around £.3.50.
Why not use other types of food?
Over the passage of time, I have tried many different foods for tropical fish including live food. I tend to return to flaked food as it provides all the nutrients that my fish need for a healthy life. It is also easy to keep and to use, unlike some live foods that need to be kept in water and some even need water that is moving, that makes for an awful lot of work.
Why not choose cheaper flakes?
I have probably tried nearly every type of flaked fish food available and have had results that have not made me want to try cheaper ones again. The dye used in some of the cheaper flakes is water soluble and after a few days of use I noticed that the water in the aquarium actually started to change colour. This was not an isolated incident either, it seems like a lot of the cheaper flakes can have this side effect. Looking at a tank that has coloured water is a little strange; I have had various shades of yellow, orange and even a red colour in the past. I am sure that not only does this look unpleasant; it cannot be doing the fish much good either.
What is in it?
The ingredients are fish and fish derivatives, cereals, Derivatives of vegetable origin, oils and fats, algae, vegetables, minerals, molluscs and crustaceans, egg and egg derivatives, yeasts, contains EEC permitted antioxidants and preservatives.
As hard as I try to think of any downers on this fish food I can only really think of one, that it is quite expensive.
This is a great food that provides all that my fish need to maintain a healthy life. The quality of the product is such that not only do my fish tend to breed freely they live in a tank that maintains itself without becoming clogged up or discoloured by some of the cheaper foods available.
If you want any more information on this Waltham product try a visit to www.aquarian.com
I can often be seen going through the various cashback sites looking for ways to earn those vital extra few pennies. I will often try new ones and more often than not I will abandon them as fast as I joined them. The reasons will vary but in general it will be a poor tracking issue that results in a lot of missed clicks, it may be too high a threshold before I can get a payment, or either not getting payment or having to wait an age before a request reaches me. Another thing that can put me off is a site where it is hard to navigate my way round.
Now this may seem as if I am being fussy, but with the amount of cashback sites on the internet and this seems to be ever increasing I can afford to be fussy as I could never do them all so I have a select few and will put one on test and see if it will become part of my regime or fall at the first.
It is very seldom that I will consider one to be fun, being brutally honest after a while these sites become boring and it becomes harder to motivate myself to keep visiting them (I do use different methods for avoiding the boredom depending on the site). Ecasher is the first site that I have come across in a long while that I consider to have the fun element that is often lacking in other sites.
What is this site like?
When the first page loads you are presented with a bright looking site, just below the header are a series of links
Home - This brings you straight back to the home page.
My Account - Clicking on this brings up a further list of choices, as they are to the best part self explanatory I will not go into detail but will list the options, You can Update your Ecasher account, change your password, view your reports (clicks approved and pending), refer friends, request a withdrawal to name but a few.
My Favourites - This will give a list of any retailers on the site that you have added to your favourites.
Competitions - This tells you to visit the forum to view the active competitions on Ecasher.
Easy Cash - This is the place to go to if you want to rattle up the money, it currently has 50 offers that will generate you cash if you sign up to them.
Forum - This takes you directly to their forum, now my initial thoughts about forums are that a forum is a forum is a forum. This however does have more potential than a lot of forums, although it is still in its infancy cash competitions have started, with the promise of more to come
Help - Here you will find the FAQ (frequently asked questions) a contact form and a link to the live support.
On the left of the opening page you will find the Retailer Channels, with such wonderful things as Baby Gear, Computers, Electrical Goods, Finance, Insurance, Travel, Free Stuff and not forgetting my favourite Paid Clicks. When it comes to making a purchase online, it is worth signing in to Ecasher and then looking on the retailer list to see if the online shop that you intend to use is listed. This really makes sense as you can get cashback either as a percentage of the purchase; this is typically around 5% but can be more or less. Some of the offers are for a set amount of cash, depending on the offer this can easily be over £20.
On the right is the Members Area, this is where you log in or if not a member then join. You will also see the newest retailers to join along with Ecasher News. Once you have signed in this changes to show your total earnings as well as your balance (money not yet claimed).
Towards the bottom of the opening page in the centre is a link that allows you to link up with the live help when it is on line.
How easy is it to join?
As with all of these sites the joining process is very simple and only takes a couple of minutes, with a few details required.
How much can be made per day?
At the moment of writing this review the daily clicks alone amount to 25p, now that may not sound a lot but only doing the daily clicks it will amount to over £90 during the course of a year. Then if you add the other offers that can be done it is very easy to double that amount or even more. To be honest with these sites your earnings are a direct result of what effort you put into them. So with two or so minutes work a day you will get 25p or £90 plus in a year, this equates to an hourly rate of about £7.50. This is without taking into account the previously mentioned "Free Cash" section; here you can significantly increase that amount.
How quick do clicks become confirmed?
This is something that cashback sites have little control over, it depends on when they get credited by whatever offer you have followed. So far in my experience Ecasher manage their accounting efficiently and will try to make sure any money that is rightfully yours will be credited to you as quickly as they can
What is the payment threshold?
They have no minimum payment threshold, so as long as you have confirmed cash available, you can claim it. I would imagine that if they ever add other payment options then they will more than likely introduce a minimum payment threshold, even then I would imagine it would not be a very high amount.
How quickly do they pay?
I joined this site simply to see what it was like and to see how long it would take to get credited. They have a motto "We Just Don't Say.. We Pay!", now this intrigued me. So a day or so after joining I had amassed a whole 5p of confirmed cash. I thought I would test the water not only to see if they pay (some sites do not pay out and only exist for a short while), but to see if they would pay such a small amount and finally I wanted to see how long it would take for them to pay me.
So with all that in mind, I claimed 5p on their website, then closed the page, I then went to check emails not to see if they had credited me, but I was very pleasantly surprised to see they had credited me into my paypal account within a matter of minutes. Now I wish it was like this every time, I think that was a one off, but they do pay out a lot faster than most websites. It would be nice if they offered other payment options, Amazon vouchers springs to mind.
Do they have a referral scheme?
Yes they do, it is not the most generous but as with all things that Ecasher does it is quick and simple, you visit "My Account" then "Refer Friends to join Ecasher family" and you will then find your own personal referral link (simply right click and copy) this can be pasted into emails, blogs etc. When someone joins through this you will be credited with 50p and this will become payable within a couple of days. It does not matter if the referral continues with Ecasher or not, as long as they start off as an active user you will be credited. In that respect 50p is not a bad return and it is more than some of the other cashback sites pay. It goes without saying that I am more than happy to gain the odd extra 50p by giving those people who want to join Ecasher my referral link
What about a forum?
As previously mentioned, they have a direct link to their forum. With the current cutbacks in daily clicks, this can be a very good place to add those vital few pennies. It has daily quizzes and other ways of earning a little more. It also has most of the usual things that you will find in a forum, but importantly they seem to be a friendly bunch.
How have I found this site?
I have watched this site grow; I would still classify it as a young site, with plenty of room for growth. They seem determined enough to make sure this site is a success. Because it is still only relatively small, the potential to earn from referrals is still quite good, even at only 50p per referral that can soon mount up.
They are trying new ideas to try and find their own identity in a market full of similar sites. I first thought that with the cutbacks in the daily rates Ecasher would find it a struggle to gain a foothold. However I have reassessed my opinion and now believe that because it is harder now, they in turn will have to work that bit harder and they should come out the other side of the recent down turn in a very strong position.
Well my only real downside is that they only have one method of payment and that is PayPal, I would like to see them add other options such as Amazon vouchers or direct bank transfer. The reason I would like to see such options is I pay fees to PayPal on any money that I receive, so other options would see me avoiding those fees.
This site has put some of the fun back into the daily click routine, this is probably more important now than ever, as a lot of the search engines have drastically reduced the amount they pay and that is for all cashback type sites. Also daily clicking is an extremely boring activity. So when a site that injects a little fun into the equation appears this can only be a good thing. So 50 pence per referral is not the most generous but it is better than a lot of others, so I am more than happy to supply my link to anyone who asks for it.
It was not a deliberate choice that found us owning huskies, but I am more than happy that we now have two of these wonderful animals. They are unique and very different when compared to most breeds of dog.
Since we embarked on sharing our lives with huskies, our eyes and hearts have been opened up. These really are amazing dogs, highly intelligent and very strong willed, they do things on their terms, this can cause frustration to dog owners at times. But that is all part of their charm.
These are highly active creatures that are surprisingly quiet, yet they can always let you know exactly what they want. They tend not too make a fuss, but love nothing better than being made a fuss of.
What do they look like?
This is the part of the review that I will step away from the accepted opinion. If you look at the Kennel Club's definition of the breed you will get a medium sized dog of a specific size and weight. I may be alone in not accepting their definitions as totally accurate, the Siberian husky has only relatively recently become a recognised breed by the Kennel Club. So any dogs that are either taller or smaller than the KC accepted standard is regarded by them as a fault. It may because of this that a lot of Huskies that are available for sale are not KC registered, this is not to say they are not huskies, it is just for one reason or another they have not been registered with the KC.
The first thing you will notice about a Husky is its eyes, they are either blue or brown occasionally you will get a Bi-Eyed husky who has one brown and one blue. No matter what colour the husky is they tend to look as if they have black eye liner on, this tends to emphasise their eyes and helps them communicate without the need to resort to any vocal noise.
There are a lot of different colours of husky from white and cream through to grey, tan, black and copper. The latter four are not pure colours; they tend to have these colours in a marked presentation. Often you will see masks on the dogs that although they vary in size and style are all readily identifiable as being that of a husky.
The ears of a husky are triangular in shape. Pointing up and are in direct proportion to the animals head.
Overall these medium sized dogs are well proportioned, with a strong appearance; they have a reasonably muscular build, with no fat on them.
The other part of a husky is the tail, obviously the position of the tail depends on the dog's mood, but generally, the tail curls over the dogs back and has long hair on the outer side of the tail giving it a very striking appearance.
The fur is one thing that people often comment on, they may tell the owner of a Siberian husky "that is not a husky its fur is too short". This is incorrect, Siberians do not generally have long fur, theirs is medium length although it may vary slightly from dog to dog. What happens is people often mistake the Alaskan Malamute with the Siberian Husky. The malamute has denser, longer and thicker fur than the Siberian and tends to be overall slightly larger. The best example is in the film "Eight Below", here you will see a film about a group of sled dogs, most are Siberians but two are Malamutes, if you watch the film carefully you will see the difference between the two breeds of dog.
One thing that is very interesting is how a Huskies colours can change from a pup to a two year old dog. Basically the pup that you buy will change its markings as it grows, they may develop darker areas, the mask on the face will often become more pronounced.
How easy are they to keep?
As far as feeding is concerned, they can be a little fussy, they tend not to have the strongest stomachs or largest of appetites.
They need human contact, it is not necessary that you make a constant fuss of them, but they just need to know you are nearby, leaving them alone for long periods of time is asking for trouble. Often a Husky left alone will find something to do; invariably this will involve something of a destructive nature.
How much exercise do they need?
If you enjoy dog walking then these are the animal for you, they need regular exercise and plenty of it. They do not seem to run out of energy when out walking, it tends to be the owner who runs out of steam first.
Our husky bitch loves the sea and the sand. She will quite happily paddle about for hours
Also ours do not mind the rain, cold weather or high winds either. They still need exercise even when the weather is at its worst.
Are they related to the wolf?
People often stop me in the street and ask is it a wolf? Well that is a simple No. However the debate as to how close they are related to the wolf rages and as far as I can see will always be the case. As far as I am concerned ALL domestic Dogs are related to the wolf and therefore the Siberian in that respect is no different. One thing that the Siberian does that is not so common in other domestic breeds is when it comes to a mother weaning her pups onto solid food, she will eat and then regurgitate for the pups to eat. On speaking to a vet about this particular trait, he said it was because they are closely related to the wolf.
Another thing that is in favour of those who say they are closely related is the noises that they make, yes they can whimper and bark in a dog like way, but in general they tend to make very little in the way of noise and to attract attention they will raise their heads and howl.
Are they good with other pets?
This again is an issue that you need to think very carefully over. Huskies are extremely fast and will look at smaller animals as prey. There is no easy way to say this they can and will kill small animals (rabbits, cats etc), the only saving grace is they do not play with the animals; they make a quick and decisive kill. Please do not think of Huskies as killers, they are only doing what comes naturally to them.
Are their any downsides
Destructive - These animals love company (either human or that of another dog), if they are allowed to get bored then they may take to chewing (or digging see below) this could be any item from a child's toy, any coats or shoes within reach, not forgetting any item of furniture or even a wall if that takes their fancy. Huskies are not the only dog that will act in this manner, but they have taken this art form to a higher level.
Compulsive diggers - Not just holes in your garden, a bored or playful Husky may decide that to dig a hole in a bed or settee would be fun and in a matter of minutes they can completely transform a once fine piece of furniture into a work of Husky art. I am unsure what causes this behaviour; it makes for a lot of thought, especially when you consider that once they have dug a hole in a piece of furniture they will bed down in it.
Escape artistes - As I have already mentioned these dogs have a compulsion to dig, but they are also able to climb and jump with amazing agility, if you let them out in your garden you will need to make sure you have high gates and fences and this needs to either go deep into the ground or the ground needs to be paved and or concreted. Our husky bitch can be sitting on one side of a child safety gate and from that position and seemingly with little effort can jump over the gate without touching it.
Very strong willed - Probably because these animals are bright they tend to do things as and when they want. They seem to sit and reason their actions. They can do things that you would not have imagined them being capable of, normally this will be a source of amusement, but it can also be a source of frustration for the owner.
They love to pull when being walked - This is not really a surprise when you think of it, after all these animals have been bred for a lot of years to pull sledges and just because you have a pet does not mean they lose what is now part of their nature. The best way to combat this is to use a harness rather than a collar when walking a husky as this means they are not constantly pulling from their neck. It also gives the handler more control over the animal.
Very difficult to train - They do learn, commands such as sit, and with more than a little patience and persuasion on the part of the owner a Husky will obey such commands most of the time. It is very true that even the most obedient Husky is easily distracted by nearly anything; a moth flying by will mean a Husky will be more interested in that than sitting just because you have told/asked it to.
I have yet to see a Husky perform at an agility competition, if you could get one to do it, they would do well as they are fast and very agile, but it would only be done on their terms.
Toys - They do play with toys, often as not play is on their terms. Our bitch will look enthusiastically as you throw a ball for her to fetch. She will still look on with the same enthusiasm as we go and pick up the ball again. One look into her eyes will tell you that although she enjoys watching, the very thought of her chasing after a ball let alone bringing it back really is below her.
The male pup on the other hand has a selection of his favourite toys and he tends to have them strategically placed around our house and often he will walk around with one in his mouth.
Road Safety - Well for such an intelligent animal they tend to be extremely dense when it comes to road traffic, they do not see the danger of cars hurtling past them and quite a few who have either been let off of the lead or have absconded from their home have met with tragic accidents.
Moult - As with most dogs Huskies moult twice a year. In common with most breeds of dog this is a time where the owners may start to question the wisdom of having a pet in the first place. Although they shed an awful lot of fur, it tends to come away in clumps in a very short space of time. We have found the best way is to take the dog outside and groom it. Continue to do this as many times as you can until the moult is over. The husky will be very happy with all the added fuss.
Things you cannot do with a Husky
Never let them off of a lead - Now this is really important, people who know best have decided that their Husky is different and as they have trained it, then the dog can be let off of the lead safely. Please believe me a Husky should never be allowed off of a lead, I have read horror stories of people who thought they knew better and ended up losing their dog. You need to realise if a Husky sees something that interests it, then the Husky will go to investigate, roads and cars will not deter the animal in its endeavour, tragically this all too often results in the death of a dog.
Our husky bitch has a strange association with Staffordshire bull terriers. Whenever she sees one her heckles rise and she actually starts drooling. Now I hope that I do not find out the truth, but it seems to me that she wants to eat one. As far as she is concerned a staff is only marginally larger than a cat or a rabbit and definitely smaller than a sheep. So if you are the owner of a staff and see someone walking a husky, please don't take a chance, put your dog on a lead, it could be me walking my husky.
Personally we have an extending lead made for a large breed of dog, the longer and stronger this type of lead is the better, it means the dog can still run, just that the dog is still under the control of the human at the other end of the lead.
I see far too many dogs in parks that run free; I am not talking about huskies but all breeds of dog. Fair enough some are under voice control of their owners, but I do worry about those dogs that run free, jump up at people as and when they want. The owners of such pets should consider other people in the park and if their dogs are not under their full control then the dog should not be off of a lead in the first place.
Keep them away from small animals and livestock - If you own other pets especially cats and rabbits then you need to think very carefully before getting a Husky. As previously mentioned a Husky must never be let off of a lead this is also true where livestock is concerned, they are not likely to worry sheep as other dogs can, they are more likely to kill one. It can also be very bad for a huskies health to be off of a lead in the vicinity of livestock, it is just possible that the animal may be shot by a farmer.
So far all I have listed is the negative attributes of this breed of dog, with that in mind those of you who are reading this will be starting to wonder why anyone would want to own one of these animals.
Get Fit - You will find that these animals absolutely love being walked, they will encourage you to walk great distances and get fitter in the process. But they are not without heart, when they have had a decent amount of exercise they do tend to ease up and allow a much more sedate pace.
Children - We have a large family and feel safe when the children and the huskies are in the same vicinity. These dogs are very social and loving when it comes to human contact. In fact they really crave the contact and affection.
Loyalty - It probably comes from their pack instinct and it is no bad thing that they take their human owners as part of that pack. Two very good instances spring to mind. The first I was walking our girl husky, as we approached a corner a man ran round the corner, the husky reacted instantly by jumping in front of me and confronting the man, there was no barking, snarling or growling, just a determination in her eyes and her heckles raised, as soon as she realised the man was not a threat she relaxed very quickly.
The second time involved a family friend who was playing enthusiastically with our 14 month old son, our male 4 month old husky pup, decided that the play was not in the boy's best interest and began barking at the family friend, this continued until the pup decided that the toddler was not being harmed.
Temperament - They are generally very friendly and gentle, alert and outgoing.
They do not make good guard dogs as they are not naturally aggressive towards strangers, however this does not mean they are unable to protect if they feel threatened.
Intelligence - The husky in general is a bright animal, from my experience they seem to be good at solving problems, especially how to get through a door. They are happy when they are on the go and make a great companion.
Health - Unlike a lot of breeds of dog that are prone to inherited conditions, the husky tends not to have any. Apart from their fussy appetite and slightly delicate stomachs they have no major health worries.
A Siberian Husky makes a very good pet and companion. Their friendly nature makes them a pleasure to be with. As with all animals they are a commitment for a number of years. Also because of their nature and needs any prospective owner needs to think very carefully before deciding if a husky really is the pet for them.
Finally if you are still not sure and want to get more information about huskies then a good website to visit is "The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain" (www.siberianhuskyclub.com) here you will find out quite a lot about the breed including shows, sled racing, stories and even some pictures of the damage a husky can cause.
I love to wander through the sites that offer me ways of either saving or earning money. Not all these sites manage to keep going as they can only attract so many users. With that in mind each site strives to find something different to attract users and therefore increase the sites profitability.
I have found sites that offer some strange incentives like searching web pages for items, top clicker contests (whoever clicks the most adverts/emails wins a prize), instant confirmation of activity (clicks credited straight away), instant pay out, various different payout options, payout from 1p. The list of differences is quite amazing and can be very daunting. I try to have a selection of different ones I realise that some of these will be around for a long time and others will fall by the wayside.
I read about Cashinco on a review website and then decided to send a message to the author of that review asking them to send me a link so I could join. Well I can honestly say I am very glad I took that decision as I am now a very happy member of what is a very reliable site.
What was my personal experience of this site?
When I first joined I thought of it as a well laid out site that was to the most part easy to navigate through (more about this later in the review). I was also pleasantly surprised that I had been credited with 1,000 points (£1) just for joining Cashinco.
I tried all the relevant daily clicks and then looked at my balance, it only showed 40 points pending I was not bothered at the time, but when it still showed the same the following day I was a little disappointed. It was the following day that I received a lot of emails telling me that things were pending and sure enough my account had gone up.
The next few days I kept plugging away, normally with a coffee and it seemed that for most of the clicks roughly two days would pass before they would show as pending (the odd one would show pending almost immediately).
After a couple of weeks the boredom set in and my clicking regime for this site slowed up, I still did some but not on a daily basis. Looking back it was probably because none of the clicks had moved from pending to complete (or points available). But it was a mistake that I regretted as I lost out on quite a lot of daily cash. It was when 60 days had passed that I realised fully how the site works (not strictly 60 days it is in fact two calendar months).
Something I have noticed is that nearly all of my clicks become pending and so far all of the pending ones have carried on to become complete. So apart from this being a very good ratio of clicks to cash it also means I can go to the earn points section and work out when I can next make a payment claim. This time will be reduced by my referrals activity, but that is not a bad thing.
What does this site look like?
The main page is presented in mainly subtle yellows and a pale grey, these colours work well together and are pleasant on the eye.
At the top centre of the page you can see how much has been paid to members, this currently stands at over £44,000 pounds
There is a bar across the centre of the screen that has
Auction - This brings up a new web page, where you will find an auction site where people can buy and sell items.
Forum - This again opens a new page where you find yourself in a forum run by Cashinco.
Advertisers - This give those who wish to advertise on Cashinco the contact details that they need.
Contact us - Here you will see an email link to contact them as well as their address.
Member sign in - This is where you enter your email address
Password - Yep you've guessed it, this is the place for your password.
Submit - Click this when you have completed the previous two.
Join - The place to visit and join.
Once you have signed in the centre bar changes offering you
Auction - As above.
Forum - As above.
Advertisers - As above.
Contact us - As above.
Earn Points - This is one place that I visit on a daily basis. It lists all clicks both pending and complete on a monthly list and I can select any month I want to see how my clicks are progressing.
My Account - This page displays your current account details and the status of your cash outs
Refer Friends - Here you have the chance to send your friends a ready made email or if you wish you can copy n paste your own link. I like both of these as it means for people whose email I know I can just put in their details and if I am on a forum or a guestbook I can give out the link if it is asked for
Also those of you who have any referrals can visit here to see how many points you have earned from them. I like this as if I see any of them struggling I can offer them help and encouragement.
Redeem Points - Simply the place to go when you have at least 10,000 points (£10)
Just below the bar on the right of the screen is a welcome and in brackets is the chance to log out, below this are two totals points pending and points available.
On the left hand side is a search bar so you can search for a shop or an offer. Then just below this is Browse Offers. As well as having Offer of the week, top free offers, free points, free shopping coupons win daily money and an A to Z listing of the types of shops/offers. You will find "Daily Points"; this is the most important part as it is here you will find all the daily clicks that will earn you money without any outlay.
What you need to know
Firstly that they pay and payments are made quickly and efficiently. They say that Cash outs will be paid within 48 hours. But it can take up to 5 working days to clear into your bank account. If this is your first Bacs payment then it will be a few days longer before it shows as paid as they have to get you set up on their banking system first.
They offer a points system and you need to reach 10,000 points before you can cash out. The points/pence ratio being 10 points is the equivalent of 1p, therefore 10,000 points is equal to £10.
They currently pay by either Paypal or Bacs (directly into your bank account).
What does it offer?
As well as the 20% referral rate (more about this later in this review), at the time of writing this review it offers 500 points (50p) per day in daily clicks alone. On top of that is one click which may be of use to those who write holiday reviews for called "Holiday Watchdog" here you can earn 500 points for a submitted review, rising to 2,500 points for a video. Then you can earn between 50 and 1,500 points for placing an advert posted on Gumtree. You can also earn points by sending Ecards the amount is currently from 100 to 150 points. Then on Ebay 12 ½ % of the sellers fees can be gained when you shop on Ebay. Also if you are really feeling lucky you have as many options as you want to gain entries into the prize draw for 100,000 points (£100).
How easy is it to join?
Very easy if you have been given a link then it is simply a question of clicking on that, or you can go to the home page and on the right of this page you will see a link in blue simply marked "Join".
Either way it is then just a matter of filling in a few personal details.
Now they do have something unusual with these sites and that is they require your phone number. You will then be given a code via the phone number you have provided to finalise you as a legitimate person. At a guess this serves two purposes, firstly it identifies people as being from the UK (a lot of cashback sites are having a lot of people from other countries trying to join, a lot of the companies that work through these sites are targeting UK customers therefore it is not in their interest to be advertising to non UK people, they will complain to the cashback site so the cashback site needs to try and reduce the people from outside the UK from joining) and secondly it helps in reducing people from setting up multiple accounts. For anyone who may be worried about getting cold calling on your phone, I can honestly say that since I joined Cashinco I have not received one phone call that could have come as a result of giving them my phone number.
The 20% referral rate
Now I make no bones about this, the rate is at 20% for each and every referral that you make, that means for every pound that they make you earn 20p. So it will come to no surprise that I am looking at various ways of increasing the amount of people who take my referral link and become active members. If that means people need help then I will offer it, be it to help them with joining, how to get the best out of the daily searches etc. I am there for them, but then that is also in my best interest as the amount per referral is one of the best out there.
The Maths for the referral rate.
Like a lot of you I am finding it impossible to make ends meet, so with that in mind I thought I would work out what could possibly be made through getting referrals. One referral getting the maximum on daily clicks will earn 50p per day; you will get 20% of that which is 10p per day. So if you were lucky enough to have 10 active referrals you can earn £1 per day, or put it another way £365 a year from referrals alone. Now we get into the land of the ever hopeful (this normally happens just after I have spent my imaginary lotto win). 15 Referrals would make you £10.50 per week or put it another way enough to cash out £10 each and every week. That is not taking into account your own earnings of £3.50 per week which would reduce the number of fully active referrals needed for a weekly payout to 10 (£7 for referrals plus £3.50 equals £10.50).
A realistic referral earning expectation would be 6 referrals, some hardly visit, others do not clear cookies properly so on average the each earn 20p per day, that works out as an average of 4p per referral or 24p per day for all 6, this is still £87.60 in a year purely from your referrals.
When it comes to finding the relevant part of the site, I found that finding the location of the page that tells me what clicks I have made and on what date to be slightly difficult to locate. Well I don't have that problem now and neither will anyone reading this review
Waiting exactly two calendar months for pending transactions to complete I found a pain at first. But when I consider that the ratio of clicks to cash on this site is extremely high I am now not at all bothered about this.
So realistically I cannot see any substantial downsides no matter how hard I try to find them.
Global Net Ltd
144B King Street
Global Net Ltd Registered in England No. 05952082.
Registered Under The Data Protection Act, Registration No: Z9855001
This is a great site with 50p worth of daily clicks alone. Now I realise it takes two days for the clicks to appear as pending and two months for them to be confirmed. I can happily click away.
The 20% referral rate is easily the best that I have come across. That is why when family and friends join or come to that anyone else who is interested asks for a link and signs up through my referral I tend to be as helpful as possible to help them maximise their earnings, it would be daft of me if I didn't because I do get 20% of their earnings, and you will have to trust me on this but for me every penny really does count. I like to think I have learnt the hard way when it comes to cashback sites and I try to stop people falling into the same pitfalls as I have done in the past.
At first I thought of sites like this as not offering much as it is only pennies per day, but once I thought about it I realised that it can add up over the year.
I became so much more interested when I thought that Cashinco earnings alone can pay for my car tax or TV licence, now for me it has become worth doing for that reason alone and the referral earnings becomes the cream on top.
It took me a long time to realise that more than a few pennies could be made from the internet. Worse than the fact I had missed out on what was on offer, was the learning process that I had to go through to work out which ones would return me the most cash for the easiest effort.
After a lot of trial and error, I have managed to place the various earning sites into categories, obviously the number one is writing reviews, this is then followed by survey sites and third comes paid to click sites. There are other options but they involve either a lot more effort or are not internet only (they require work that may be mystery shopping or selling on auction sites for example).
This review is about a paid to click site. Now paid to clicks are generally split into two types, those sites that require you to go through internet search engines and they do not normally credit your account straight away and those who credit you instantly for paid to read emails. The latter generally pay a lot less but are instant. This review is about one such site, in my opinion this particular site ticks all the right boxes in terms of quantity of earning options (regular emails and good rates of pay per email), ease of site navigation, referral reward and most importantly future potential.
What is this site like?
When you first visit the site, you are presented with a message in the centre of the screen explaining about EnglandBux. More interesting though is the left hand side of the screen where you are presented with the following options
Advertise - This is where prospective advertisers visit.
Sign Up - This is the place to go if you wish to join up.
Log In - This is where you click if you wish to log in (obviously you need to have already joined). Simply enter your username or your email address and password (the one you chose when you joined).
The last three below this are self explanatory namely
Terms - errrr the terms
Contact - Here you can send them emails on a variety of topics, I would like to see them add help live online as is becoming more popular with a lot of sites.
The Affiliates Area.
Once signed up and logged in you are presented with a deep red bar across the centre of the screen it has the following links on it (I am not going into too much details and bore the things off of you).
Earnings - This tells you what your current earnings are including any earnings from your downline (referrals).
Profile - This is your profile and you can update as necessary.
Buy Referrals - Further details of this later in the review.
Payment - The wonderful place to go to when you have made the £10 required for payment, as if by magic a button will appear that allows you to claim the money.
Referral Stats - This simply tells you how many referrals, you have and where they have come from.
Referral Center - (Yes that is how they spell centre), this part offers you such wonderful tools as banners and a pre written email to help you get yourself a few referrals, I find asking and crying wantonly is an even better method.
Upgrade - The place to visit if you want to upgrade your membership to premium membership (more about this further in this review).
Paid to Click - This is where paid to click adverts appear.
Inbox - The most important part, it is here you find Paid emails (you also get the same ones sent to your email inbox) more about the paid emails further in this review
Ad Manager - For those who place Ads on EnglandBux.
Ad Stats - For those who place Ads on EnglandBux.
Upgrade Redemption - A place for premium members to go to.
Log Out - As it suggests for logging out.
How do I earn from EnglandBux ?
Three main ways, clicking on Emails, using the paid to click section and earnings generated by your referrals (more about this later in the review)
The emails that are sent by EnglandBux (currently running at about five per day) are worth one pence each.
How easy is it to join?
Well firstly a member needs to be at least 13 years of age
Then it simply a matter of either going through a referral link or visiting the site directly, then following the on screen instructions
They give you a 5p bonus for joining, ok that is not exactly generous but it is better than nothing
Do no t expect to earn straight away, it took them a day or so before they started sending me any emails, but since that time they have been very regular.
Why do I use this site?
I call this type of site a no brainer, simply because clicking on a link is just about all there is to it.
This is not the only site like this, most however pay parts of a penny per click/email, EnglandBux are more generous as they pay 1p per email and have a regular amount of them coming in all the time. One other site offers incentives such as a win every ten clicks and a weekly top clicker prize, this site is larger than EnglandBux at present, however it is my opinion that EnglandBux will overtake them not only in membership but in earnings potential.
How it works
You receive emails through your normal email account or through the sites inbox (or the same emails through both). When you open the email you are presented with an email that will have on it somewhere a blue hypertext link (some of the links are not easy to spot, more about that further on in this review), you then click on the link and a new page will open. If it is the first email then you will be presented with a box with four numbers on it, below this are four groups of four numbers, one of these correspond to the larger number, the matching number needs to be clicked on (this is to prove you are not using an automated program) then the page will load, at the top of the page you will see the earnings requirement, it is normally view this page for a minimum of 45 seconds for 1p. After the required time has elapsed the page will change to Thank You your account has been credited
For the Paid to Click section the procedure is almost identical as to that for emails except clicking on an advert takes you to the earnings page instead of going through an email.
What do EnglandBux say you can earn?
They say you have the following potential earnings, however I think that they are a little on the optimistic side (at least for the present)
You click 10 ads per day = £0.10
25 referrals click 10 ads per day = £2.50
daily earnings = £2.60
weekly earnings = £18.20
monthly earnings (four weeks) = £72.80
I would guess my estimate to be a little more accurate
You click 5 ads per day = £0.05
3 referrals click 5 ads per day = £0.075
daily earnings = £0.125
weekly earnings = £0.875
monthly earnings (four weeks) = £3.50
Now depending on how you see this, personally I see this as a reasonable minimum to expect and it does not include daily clicks (other than emails), I also expect it to rise in time (ever the optimist) and could be closer to their guestimate in time.
How about payouts?
The minimum payout is set at a fair amount. That being £10. At present they only offer two methods of payout PayPal and E-Gold. Personally I would like them to add Amazon vouchers to the methods of payout and maybe even offer direct bank transfer. The main reason for this is I know of a few people who do not like using PayPal and or E-Gold.
EnglandBux state that when a member (who has reached the required threshold) requests a payment, they will endeavour to make sure the payment is paid within 30 days (or a reasonable time thereafter).
Does it offer anything else?
Yes is the answer, neither of which I have actually taken up,
One is they offer an affiliate (member) the opportunity to become a premium affiliate for either £25 for a 1 year membership or £99 for a life time membership.
For this a premium member gets in return;
Free Referrals - Your referral url (link) will be randomly inserted for surfers visiting the web site without a referral url. Basically anyone joining who has not been referred will be assigned a random member who will then earn as if they referred the new member.
Earn 20% more per click for every website you visit
Earn 20% more per click for every website your referrals visit
1000 members visit worth 1p (one time)
The other again involves referrals; you can buy referrals for the following cost
25 Referrals £20.00
50 Referrals £35.00
100 Referrals £60.00
200 Referrals £100.00
As I said I have not taken either of these offers up, my reasoning is that people may join, but how many that do join will regularly click on emails thus earning me from them, hence I will stick to people who wish to take my referral link as those people are more likely to stick with it. Plus those who request do not cost me anything, yes I do realise that I am not getting the extra 20% but I did the maths and worked out I would need a lot of loyal referrals to make it financially worth my while.
Having said that if I found myself in the fortunate position of having a lot of active referrals then I may re-evaluate the situation and take up the offer of becoming a premium affiliate.
What about the referral scheme?
This has the potential to be a great strength for any user of this site, they do not offer huge downlines (in my experience these often do not lead to very much, you may have lots on your downline, but few active members and coupled with a low amount per person 10% and 5% being the norm) like some sites instead they offer a massive 50% of your direct downline users. In basic terms it means if you only have two people that you have referred. Providing they are active users your income from this site is effectively doubled.
So the next part is how easy is it to get yourself the referrals. Well family and friends are obviously the people who you will ask first and you can send them a custom made email (available from the referral center) or if you have your own website or blog then you can use the banners that are again available from the referral centre. However you cannot actively put a link on a review site like this, but if you are interested drop me a message and I will be more than happy to accommodate you.
Not anything of a real issue, expect your earnings at the current time to be around 5p not the 10p as EnglandBux advertise, but as sites like this grows, then the interest from Advertisers increases so in the future this could well increase substantially.
Again not so much a downside, more of a niggle and one for anyone using EnglandBux to be aware of, some of the emails are quite colourful and it is easy to just read the email and not click on the Hypertext link (Blue bit that opens the paying page) this results in the member not earning anything from the email.
It would be nice to see them lower the payment threshold and maybe offer other ways of being paid (Amazon). When you consider 13 is the minimum age for joining this site I personally think a direct payment into a bank account could be very useful.
For a way to pass some time (I have been known to watch the television and go through the ads with my laptop) and earn a few pence this is not a bad way to earn a little.
At the time of writing this review EnglandBux have a member base of 17,000 members, they are also actively advertising their site, so it would be fair to say that the user base will grow and therefore the attraction to advertisers will likewise grow.
I think that because they have kept this site so simple with the highest amount per email (when compared to other sites like this) and 50% earnings for direct referrals, they have gauged the market well. I am convinced that they will become more popular than the site that offers competitions and little prizes but also much lower payments.
Yes they do have a higher threshold (which I would like to se set lower) but they have a higher rate of payment per email, therefore the timescale is not too long to wait.
I also like the fact that payments are credited to your account straight away rather than 60 days (which seems to be on the increase).
In my opinion, this is a great site for people to earn a few pounds, the stay at home parent, the student with a bit of spare time or anyone who wants to earn a little extra for Christmas. It is not a get rich quick scheme (nothing on the internet is). It is true you do not get something for nothing, but in the case of this site all that is required is a little time, for that reason I gave it a go and am more than happy.
At work we have a lot of computers, as to be expected these computers each have a mouse. The purchasing of all the computers and associated equipment is done by our IT department.
The mouse of choice is Microsofts Optical Wheel Mouse.
Part of my work involves the testing employees work based knowledge, this is done with the use of a large number of computers and this involves in excess of three hundred candidates. Not all of these candidates are computer literate, so I not only guide them through the tests but I also find myself assisting the candidates in the use of the computers themselves.
The tests are point, click and drag type tests so although the candidates do not need a great deal of knowledge about using a computer they still need to be able to use a mouse. This is where the optical wheeled mouse really comes into its own, the candidates find it easy to use and it does not stick or freeze. The candidates have enough to think about without the added pressure of a computer mouse not working correctly.
What is it like?
It is a standard three button mouse; left, right and centre wheel (the centre wheel can be used to scroll up and down as well as it becomes a button when pressed, this allows a controlled scroll by moving the mouse).
Underneath is a red light that is projected onto the mouse mat and some pads that allow the correct distance for the light and to make the mouse glide over the surface of the mat so to help the user.
It is also readily available in both black and white.
What does it come with?
The mouse has an attached cable (approx 1.8m in length) for connecting to the computer; the end of this cable has a USB connection.
Also included is an adapter, this allows the mouse to be connected to a computer that uses a PS/2 connection (more about this later in the review).
Software Included: Drivers & Utilities, Microsoft Intellipoint
Microsoft two year warranty service and support
How does it connect to a computer?
This is dependant on what connections the computer has. The normal method of connecting these on newer computers is through a USB port. However older computers had a connection called a PS/2 port (these are the computers that had two round coloured coded ports; one for the mouse and one for the keyboard) and you can connect the mouse to the computer by fitting an adapter to the USB on the end of the mouse cable; one of these are supplied with the mouse.
How is it to use?
Very simple with xp computers, it is simply plug it in and use. I have also used this mouse on a windows 98SE computer and did not have to install any drivers for it to work.
However you are supplied with drivers just in case you need to install them.
By moving the mouse on a mat you control a corresponding pointer that is on the computer screen, certain actions take place depending on a click of the left or right mouse button as well as the program that you are using at the time.
How is it when compared to a ball mouse?
The main advantage is that because it does not have a ball underneath, it does not have the associated wheels that connect and over a period of time collects gunk and fluff. How many hours have I spent in the past taking the ball out and then cleaning the little wheels and the ball itself? Thankfully with this mouse that is now a thing of the past
Because you do not need to access the inside of this mouse (unlike the ball type where regular cleaning of the ball and wheels was the norm), it has been made so you cannot access it with ease.
Does it need anything to help it work better?
In general it is a component that does not need very much; the addition of a good quality mouse mat is a bonus as it allows better contact and a smoother movement of the mouse and therefore the control of the pointer on the screen.
A mouse mat however is not essential, the mouse will work on a smooth flat surface, but rubbing this on delicate surfaces could result in fine scratches on the surface, therefore I always use a mat and would recommend their use all the time.
Microsoft Windows 98/ME, Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP Professional, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP6 or later, Apple MacOS 8.6 - 9.x, Apple MacOS X 10.1 - 10.3
Minimum Pentium - 233 MHz
RAM 128 MB
HD 25 MB
On occasions I have used a mouse on a laptop, being the lazy person that I am, I have on occasions held the mouse in my hand and scrolled around the screen using my thumb on the roller ball, this cannot be done with an optical mouse as there is no ball. That apart I cannot think of any downsides for this mouse.
When the design of the mouse moved from the ball type to the optical they were quite expensive, however now they have become much cheaper and this mouse now fits more into the budget end of the mouse market.
I have found this to be a well designed and fully functional product, add to that the cost is relatively low therefore I have no hesitation in whole heartedly recommending this mouse to anyone who wants to buy an optical mouse and who does not want to spend a vast amount in the process.
If you are looking to buy one then the price is between £7 and £20, but I would suggest that you pay no more than about £10.
It seems like ages ago that I had a PC that did not have enough USB ports and the two that it did have were discreetly hidden around the back of the tower. At first this was not a problem as I hardly ever used the USB ports. As my computer grew so did the need to access these USB ports, this soon became an annoyance as I kept having to turn the tower around to access the ports and plug another device in, this also meant sacrificing whatever was in the port at that time.
I began thinking the only choice I would have would be to get a new PC that had four USB ports, two of which now seemed to be positioned on the front of the towers of the newer computers.
A friend suggested that I should look at getting myself a USB hub, as this would not only add to the amount of USB ports that are available to me, but would make accessing the ports so much easier.
Which model did I choose?
I chose the Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 4-Port Hub; this was based on the price, availability and looks. The price and availability of the USB hub were my main purchasing considerations.
What did I get?
I got the main USB hub, a connection cable (one end plugs into the hub and the other plugs into a USB port on the computer), a transformer (this supplies power to the hub via a cable that plugs into the hub, more about this later in the review) and very limited instructions. This all gave me change from £25.
What does it look like?
The hub itself is squircle shaped (a cross between a square and a circle) on one end are four USB ports, at one side is a socket for connecting the USB lead that connects the hub to the computer and another socket for the power supply that comes from the transformer.
On the top and directly over the USB sockets are LEDs that tell me when any of the USB sockets are in use and another LED that tells me if it is connected to the transformer.
How easy is it to use?
I found it very easy to set up and use, first I plugged the connector lead into a spare USB socket on the back of my PC, then I plugged the other end into the USB hub. The next step was to plug the transformer into the mains and the corresponding pin into the socket on the USB hub.
What can it be used for?
I have used this for plugging in scanners, printers, mass-storage devices (including a PSP), web cam, a mouse, high-resolution cameras and USB hard drives.
The list does not end there, also you can add flash card readers, Blue tooth adapters, pen drives, basically anything that has a USB connection can be plugged into a USB hub. This would include the novelty items that are becoming increasingly common, Christmas trees, lights, fans, clocks to name but a few.
Any other uses?
It comes in very handy when you need to transfer files and folders from one USB mass storage device to another without wanting to store them on your computer.
I have a silly habit of using it as a must do paper weight, those all important must deal with letters get popped underneath the hub.
Because these have their own power supply they can be connected together up to about 127 hubs. That might sound great, but I think the computer would crash way before you used all the USB sockets. Lets be honest about this, who would want to connect that many together anyway.
Finally one use I would not wholly recommend, but I did try this when I had no other way and it worked with no adverse effect. I plugged the transformer into its power supply then without using a computer I plugged a mobile phone (the type that charges through a mini USB connection) into the hub and successfully charged the phone.
The only problem I have come across when using this USB hub is all about the power supply. When to have it connected and when not to have it connected to the hub.
On a computer one of the things the USB does is send a low voltage electrical supply to whatever is plugged into it. As often as not the item plugged in will be more than happy with the supply it is receiving, however when I started adding more items to the computer by using the hub the power needed to supply them needed to be upgraded and that is where the transformer for the hub comes into play.
The problem does not end there, the only solution as to what does and what does not work with or without the additional power supply can only be solved by the tried and tested method of experimenting. That is not as bad as it sounds, the problems I that I experienced have all been solved, I now know what USB devices are power hungry and require the boost of the power supply and what devices will work happily only taking power from the computer.
Apple Mac OS, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition / Windows ME, Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP
As with a lot of software and hardware at present Vista users need to check with the manufacturers and or retailers.
Hubs like this were very useful on older computers, especially those that did not have many inbuilt USB ports or the USB sockets on the computer are situated on the back of the machine.
Although more modern computers have more USB ports, the numbers that some people need has also grown, so these USB hubs will always have a use (well that is my opinion).
The problems of power is not restricted to any make of hub, it is better to have a problem that can be overcome rather than not have enough USB ports
For a price of between £15 and £25 this hub offers a great and not expensive solution to the dilemma of not having enough USB ports or having poor access to USB ports.
Cooking outdoors can be more challenging than at first thought. I still remember thinking the only things that made a difference to cooking outdoors was if it was raining or if it was very windy, other than that I thought outdoor cooking is outdoor cooking.
I guess that comes from my barbecue cooking days, those wonderful summers days that deteriorate the moment the charcoal is lit. Anyway this is a review about the Coleman Peak One Stove.
Why use this instead of other cooking stoves?
Well it boils water faster than any other stove I have ever used, see more about that further in the review.
When it comes to low temperatures (cold weather and late at night) it still performs well, other stoves can become slower and therefore cook slower.
When it comes to high altitudes (high up hills or even mountains) it still out performs any other stove that I have ever used. The only thing to really take notice of is if lighting in extremely cold weather, preheating paste can be used on the stove. Simply place a strip of the preheating paste on the burner cap under the generator. Light the paste and allow it to heat the generator. When the paste is almost consumed light the stove in the normal way as described below.
When in use it can be adjusted from a full burn to a simmer with ease
How easy is this stove to use?
First and vitally important is before anyone uses this stove (or any other for that matter) is to read the instructions on how to use this stove.
Never use a stove in enclosed spaces and that includes tents, awnings caravans etc.
Ensure that fuel lever is turned off and that the pump is locked (turn it clockwise).
Open the legs of the stove and then place the Coleman Peak One Stove on a flat surface.
Undo the filler cap and fill with fuel (more on fuel variations later in this review), it makes life so much easier to either use a small funnel or special filler caps that are available for fuel containers.
It is important to not overfill the stove as the fuel also needs to mix with air.
Turn the pump anti clockwise and then give it 25 pumps (making sure the fuel lever is still off). Lock the pump again.
Now light a match and place next to the edge of the burner Turn the fuel lever to HIGH/LIGHT, as soon as the burner lights, unlock the pump once more and pump the stove for a further 30 seconds.
Finally close the pump once more.
Now cook, the flame can be adjusted using the fuel lever, it is a very responsive stove and that is another thing that has always impressed me.
The only thing to note here is, if cooking for an extended period of time, it may be necessary to pump more pressure into the stove, just remember never do this with anything on the stove.
Once youve finished cooking it is simply a matter of turning the fuel lever off, the flame will go out after a short while, then allow it to cool down completely.
How good is it?
When it comes to boiling water, this is the fastest of all the portable stoves that are on the market, when I used to work in a camping store we would have nights where we would visit various camping organisations (a bit like a Tupperware or Anne Summers party, but demonstrating camping equipment), one of the things we would demonstrate would be different camping stoves, our test would be to see which of them would boil a measured amount of water the quickest. It did not matter what type of stove (Gas, Methylated spirits etc) that we put up against the Coleman Peak One Stove it always boiled the water the fastest.
Why not use a gas stove, surely these are much easier?
At first I would agree a gas stove is much easier, insert gas canister, turn on and light, yes so much easier than having to pressurise a cooker by pumping it.
However when a gas bottle gets low on fuel, the heat given off is dramatically reduced and then it can take ages to simply boil enough water to make a hot drink. This is not a problem with a Coleman Peak One Stove as a few pumps will result in the pressure being maintained.
I have found that gas stoves are worse than useless when it comes to extreme conditions (cold and high altitudes), yet the Coleman Peak One Stove will perform well whatever the conditions (although as previously mentioned If using in extremely cold weather, a preheating paste can be used).
What about the weight?
Yes it is a little heavier than some stoves of a similar size, but the difference in weight is negligible and I have never found it to be a problem. I would much rather carry an extra 300gms and be able to cook properly.
The normal original Coleman Peak One Stove uses White Gas or Coleman fuel, however more common now is a variation of the stove that can also use unleaded petrol this is called the duel fuel and the newest addition to the Coleman Peak One family is called the multi fuel which can also use paraffin
Using preheating paste in really cold weather (but the other side of the coin is gas stoves tend to perform very poorly in such cold weather).
Getting used to pumping the stove and keeping it pressurised can be a lot of faffing about for some people (but normally this is not a problem once people have got used to it).
Words of warning,
Never use or fill this indoors.
Never fill or use this close to a naked flame.
The top parts of the stove can get very hot, so make sure they are cool before touching them.
Keep away from children.
Never use really heavy cooking pots or oversized ones as this can cause it to be unstable.
Never cook on soft or uneven ground.
Never pump (pressurise) with anything on the stove.
For me this is the best all round performer when it comes to choice of stove for backpacking. It is a stove that really does require its manual to be read before use. The cost varies from about £30 to over £60, but the cost is incidental for those who require a hot meal or drink in extreme conditions.
When the pressure drops on a gas stove, you have to continue to use it until the bottle has run out and it can be very frustrating waiting for what seems like an eternity for a kettle to boil. The Peak however will only require a few pumps to give it more pressure and therefore work as it should.
All in all this is a great bit of kit.
A stove that I liked to use for camping during the summer months is the Trangia, this is not just a stove, it is complete pack, cooker, frying pan and saucepans. These all pack away into one convenient light pack. The fuel it uses is Methylated spirits (I must admit that when I first heard of this as a fuel I thought that would not be that good as I thought of Methylated spirits as a fuel that burnt with very little in the way of flame and therefore would not be very good as a cooking fuel, I am glad to say I was wrong).
Trangia is a Swedish company and was founded in 1925 by John E. Jonsson together with his father in-law. So they have over 80 years experience in manufacturing their stoves. In that time very little has changed in the way the Trangia stoves have been made. Probably the biggest change would be the non stick coating that is now available.
What is the model that I use?
I prefer the Trangia 25, it is the larger of the two standard models (25 & 27) and only marginally heavier, for me it offers the best combination of weight over size and therefore the size of the pans.
Apart from the size and weight, there is no difference in how the stoves operate or how they perform.
I also prefer the aluminium version, they cost less are marginally lighter and they are not much harder to clean than the non stick versions (provided I do the washing up straight away and not leave them until the next morning).
What is it like?
It all stacks together a bit like those Russian dolls, where a smaller one is inside. However this is a cooking stove the outer layer is the two parts of the windshield (the lower is where you put the burner, the upper is where you fit place your pans).
Next come two saucepans and a frying pan. The size of the pans being 1.75 litre and 1.5 litre and the frying pan is 22 cms.
Finally in the centre is the burner (complete with screw lid and simmer cover) along with the handle for the pans. It is worth noting that the burner normally comes in a plastic bag, I always keep my burner in this bag as it stops the possibility of the pans getting contaminated by the Methylated spirits in the burner.
As the burner really is the heart of the Trangia it is probably worth explaining exactly what it looks like. Imagine a small brass tin with a screw top lid, on the outer side at the top are a series of small holes that go all the way round (this is where the gas type flame will come from once it is burning properly)
This is all held neatly together in one package with a strap.
The overall weight of this is only 1.1 kg.
Why do I use it?
When I have gone summer camping, often on a cycle I want to not carry to much bulk and weight, both of which can make the trip more trouble. The Trangia solves both of these. I do not need to carry pots and pans as they are already incorporated with the Trangia; this reduces the space that I would otherwise need.
I will say at this point Trangia do claim their stoves are suitable for use in all seasons, in all weather conditions including high winds. Well yes that is true but I have found that in cold and/or windy conditions as well as at altitude, petrol stoves will often perform better. So with that in mind I will use the Trangia during the summer or when the weather is mild and change to petrol stoves when the weather is not so kind.
How easy is it to use?
It really is very simple, first remove the strap then take apart the two shields.
Place the bottom shield on level flat ground, one side of this shield has some perforated holes in it, this side should face into any wind or breeze that is present. (The bottom part has a hole for the burner, the top has parts that open up to support the cooking pans)
First of all get whatever food you are going to cook into the pan or pans (this will mean you have more actual cooking time from the moment you light the burner)
The next step is to take the burner (this is a brass threaded cup with a lid and a simmer cover) Remove the lid and simmer cover, fill the burner with about 150ml (two thirds of the way) of Methylated spirits (this is enough fuel for about 25 to 30 minutes of cooking time), then place the burner (unlit) into the bottom part of the shield.
Get the top part of the wind shield ready by opening the little pan supports (the parts that the pan will sit on when cooking, how they are opened depends on the size of the pan).
Now I have used this in two different ways. The first being pop the simmer cover on prior to lighting, the other is light the burner and put the cover on after the burner has got going.
To make it easy I will tell you what happens when I pop the simmer cover on after lighting the burner.
When first lit it is very difficult to see any flame from the Methylated spirits but as the burner gets hot this changes as the vapour starts to get forced through the holes around the edge of the burner and it starts to take on the appearance of a gas hob complete with flame, then I carefully pop the simmer cover on (this resembles a lid but the top can be turned out to allow as much or as little flame as you want). Alternatively it can be used without the simmer cover at all.
Now carefully place the top windshield on top of the bottom, you are now ready to cook. Simply use the handle to put the pan onto the stove and away you go. If your food requires stirring you will need to use the handle to support the pan.
After the cooking is over with, it is simply a matter of extinguishing the burner (this is done by placing the simmer ring on the burner with it in the closed position) then waiting until it has all cooled down and packing it all away again (obviously wash and dry the pans beforehand).
What about different types of Trangia and accessories/spares?
The first thing that springs to mind is the Trangia Kettle, to be honest they may seem a good idea but at the end of the day I found heating water in a pan to be just as easy, most people that I know who have had a Trangia with the kettle have long since stopped using it. Having said that Trangia do make one and for some it is handy to have.
The main two Trangia stoves are the 25 (as previously mentioned in this review) and the 27 which is smaller (2 x 1 litre saucepans, frying pan is 18 cm with an overall weight of 850 gms). Also available is the mini which is designed for one person (for me it is too small and nowadays it is very difficult to get hold of one).
The two main Trangia stoves also have variations for example you can get them in aluminium or with a non stick coating.
You can buy new burners, straps and handles. Also instead of aluminium pans you can get non stick ones (this adds to the cost and overall weight)
Why use a Trangia instead of a gas or petrol stove?
For me during those lazy summer days the Trangia cannot be beaten. Using either gas or petrol stoves will mean carrying separate pans and therefore extra bulk. This is not forgetting the worst thing about a gas stove is when it starts to run out of gas, you can get stuck with a drastic lowering of the heating capability of the stove until it has run out of gas.
Has it got any downsides?
For me the biggest downside is the handle that comes with the Trangia. To use it you put the end over the pan edge and squeeze the handle like a pair of pliers. This causes the end of the handle to bite onto the lip of the pan and allowing you to lift it on and off the stove or hold the pan whilst stirring the contents. The problem is that at times I have lost my grip and the pan has fallen, luckily not on me, but still I have lost the food that I was cooking.
There are no lids for the saucepans, although this is not a major issue and yes it would mean added weight and possibly bulk. It does cause an issue when it comes to simmering as the water will evaporate quicker without a lid. To get around this problem I have used the frying pan as a makeshift lid (the only problem with doing this is not burning my hands when taking the frying pan off of the saucepan).
When cooking with this type of stove the pans and stove can get a deposit of soot on them. To avoid or at least minimise this, then you can add water to the methylated spirits at a ratio of approximately 1 part water to 10 parts methylated spirits.
The Trangia is does not cook food or boil water as fast as a petrol stove. It is about on par with a gas stove. However for me speed during those lazy summer days is not really an issue. I tend to set up the Trangia to boil some water and then get my camp prepared, Normally it works out that I have boiling water ready for a nice hot drink and can relax as my camp is ready.
Helpful hints to make it easier to use.
Although the Trangia can be used in high winds, you will get better results if you use it in a sheltered position (maybe place a few large stones around it or place it in a small hollow area)
To extinguish the stove, simply place the simmer ring over the burner with the cap closed.
When not in use always keep the burner in a plastic bag, this will help you to avoid any contamination of the pans.
Any fuel in the burner can be stored in it as long as the screw top lid is closed tight and it is kept in a plastic bag. However I would not recommend keeping fuel in it for a long period of time, but for a short trip it can be a handy way of carrying a little more fuel.
Things you need to beware of.
Firstly if it runs out of fuel never ever try to refill it with methylated spirits until the burner and stove have cooled down completely.
When lighting a Trangia stove you need to be aware that the flames given off by methylated spirits are nearly impossible to see, so you need to be very careful when you first light it as you may not see it as being alight until you get your hand too close.
Never use any stove indoors or in a tent or awning.
When using the stove keep any flammable liquids (including extra fuel) well away from the stove.
Remember stoves and pans get very hot and you need to take care to avoid getting burnt.
SE - 830 47 Trångsviken
Web Address http://www.trangia.se/english/
For lightweight camping these are very hard to beat, especially during the summer months.
If I could get Trangia to change one thing it would be for them to design a different handle, I would like to see one where the handle slots into the pan and then I would not have to worry about the pan ending up on the floor. Realistically that is only a minor moan about what I consider to be one of the better camping stoves on the market.
The price of these Trangia stoves varies but expect it to be around £35 for the 27 and £42 for the 25, the mini and spares vary. The non stick versions cost more and are not so readily available, but there are plenty of online stores that stock them.
For anyone looking for a lightweight, reliable stove that does not take up much room, then I can happily recommend a Trangia. I have even seem a family using more than one of these at the same time.
And finally if you're reading this Mr Trangia and would like more on how I would redesign the handle then I am readily available.
For work we all got 512MB pen drives, however part of my work can be quite memory intensive therefore I was supplied with a 2GB pen drive. This particular one is made by Kingston and is called Data Traveler. So far 2GB has proved more than ample in terms of its capacity, however I am sure it will only be a matter of time before the applications become more memory intensive and making it necessary for a larger capacity.
What does it look like?
It is predominantly white with lime green highlights, when it is in use a greenish LED on the Data Traveler pulses. It is made of hard plastic apart from the metal USB connection.
It has a cover that protects the USB connection, this clicks on nice and securely, to pull it off the sides of the main body are ribbed to make it easier to grip so removing the cap is not a problem. When the Data Traveler is in use the cap fits snugly on the other end so it is not lost.
Also you get a small black string with attached metal loop that you can fit to the drive. Then you can if you wish attach it your keys or onto a chain around your neck.
How easy is it to use?
It is very easy, just plug the Data Traveler into a spare USB socket on your computer, allow the computer a couple of minutes to recognise it. Then it will be assigned a drive (usually E or F). Then you treat it as an extension of your computer, you can copy and paste to and from it. Send to and from or drag and drop either way. The only limit on what files or folders you can put in it are governed by the size of the file being smaller than the remaining capacity on the drive. It does not matter what types of files are put on it, basically if it is on your computer and you can move it then provided it is small enough to fit then you can put it on the drive.
Why would I want to use one?
Well it is easier to move files from one computer to another by using a drive. You negate the need for an internet connection. For instance so you could have a stand alone computer in a teenagers bedroom, they could do their homework on the computer and save it to the drive. Then they could either take the completed work to school or use the main home computer and print the work or email it as necessary.
How much can it store?
Although this is sold as a 2GB flash drive, the actual storage capacity is 1.91GB, I can only assume that the difference is because some memory is required by the driver in order for it to work.
Specs and other details (also known as the boring bit)
Dimensions - 66.9 mm x 20.4 mm x 9.0 mm (2.64" x 0.80" x 0.35")
Weight - 11.3 gm (0.4 oz).
Write Speed - 20x (3MB per Sec)
Read Speed - 40x (6MB per Sec)
Warranty 5 Years
Operating Temperature - 0o to 60o C / 32o to 140o F.
Storage Temperature - -20o - 85o C / -4o to 185o F.
Compliant - Designed to Hi-Speed USB 2.0 specifications
Free Tech Support
It is compatible with , Win XP (SP1 and above) Mac OS10.x and above.
It is NOT compatible with Win 95, Win 98, Win 98SE, Win NT and Win ME.
Expect to pay between £10 and £20, I was lucky as mine cost me nothing, but it is widely available from a whole host of websites.
I have found this to be a great pen drive, it is sturdy and feels well made, I have had no problems transferring files to and from this drive. For the price this is a bargain and one I have no hesitation in getting for the children.
I have lost count of the amount of websites that offer cash for either making purchases through the website or by visiting selected sites (again through the website) and carrying out daily searches to earn cash.
Most of these have an offer or incentive either to get you to join or for you to make referrals. Before I write about LineMyPocket I should add that it has become a lot harder for these companies to attract members since the overhaul in the way spam emails are treated. Yes they can pay for advertisements and they may have some limited effect, but by far the best way of attracting new members is by word of mouth. So you will find more of these sites offering better incentives for joining and/or referring LineMyPocket is not alone in doing this, in fact they have gone for making an incentive to both. More about this later in this review.
What is this site like?
Once signed in you are presented with the homepage, at the very top of the page are the following links
Post An Offer - They say this is under beta test, if you find a bargain and tell LineMyPocket you will earn a10% bonus of any Cashback other members earn via the link. The form is easy to complete although they do require a lot of information, I have not tried this but it is another earning opportunity.
Refer a Friend - I will go into this in detail further in the review.
Help - A lot of websites have a Help section, but very few go into as much detail as LineMyPocket have done, they have split this section into various sections (all of which some users will find not only very useful but in some cases invaluable), these sections are; The Basics, Earning Cashback, Troubleshooting, Reporting of Cashback, Making Withdrawals, Customer Support Enquiries and Posting offers. Each of these have subsections that to be honest are too numerous to mention.
Sign out - This simply logs you out (incidentally this is the same place that you click on to log on in the beginning.
Below this are a further seven tabs (I will try to explain what these have as briefly as possible)
Home - This link simply takes you back to the homepage.
Retailers - Here you can search for retailers in a number of different ways, either Alphabetically, Popularity, A - Z sorting, Newest First, Highest (£) or Highest (%). The last two are highest cash earnings and highest percentage of Cashback per pound spent.
Latest Offers - This page shows new retailers added to the site, recent Cashback changes, new voucher codes other time limited discounts.
Top Offers - Here they list some limited time special offers that are proving popular with other users. This page is updated daily,
Discount Vouchers - Here you will find a selection of special offers where you will get extra discounts on top of percentage offers, always worth a look before placing an order with a retailer.
Easy Cash - This is one of the links you will find yourself using on a regular basis, it opens a further set of links. Free Trials and Freebies (here you find errr free trials and offers from various companies, this is always worth a look), Daily Cash (this is the one you really want, clicking on it opens up a page with the current daily clicks, at the time of writing this review they add up to a total of 28p per day)
My Account - This takes you to your account where you can see what youve earned, how and when. Also you will see what is pending and what withdrawals you have made. At the bottom of the details is how much is available, if it is more than £5 confirmed cash then you will see a blue Withdraw link.
Other parts on the home page include;
Retailer Categories - This puts the retailers into some sort of logical order Insurance, Electrical, Food and Drink etc.
Recent transactions - This shows you the last couple of transactions that have been credited (or pending) to your account.
Tell Us What You Think - Another nice touch, you have a choice of four headings with a select button beside them, they are I cant find something, Its not working, I Like and I dont like then you have a box to add comments and below that a submit button.
Suggested Offers - Has a selection of offers the LineMyPocket think may be of interest to you.
New Retailers - This is a list of the last ten retailers to join the LineMyPocket scheme.
Top Offers - This simply gives a taster of five top offers, if you click on them you will see further details about each specific offer.
Finally at the bottom of the page are the following;
Cashback Online Shopping - Takes you to the homepage.
Special Cashback Shopping - Takes you to the Retailers page.
Discount Code - Takes you to the Discount Vouchers page
Promotion Codes - Also takes you to the Discount Vouchers page
Sitemap - As the name suggests it is a sitemap.
Terms and Conditions - Lists the members terms and conditions
Business Enquiries - This is the link if you want to promote them or are a retailer who wishes to be part of their network.
So how does this work?
This has four main ways in which you can earn and/or save money.
First it is a Cashback site. What you need to do is sign in to LineMyPocket, then follow a link to your chosen site, order your goods from the site in the normal way. This transaction should be tracked for you and you will be credited with an amount of cash, this can either be a fixed amount or a percentage of your total spend.
Second are vouchers that offer further incentives for you to shop with selected retailers.
Third are daily clicks (see daily cash payouts below)
Finally the fourth way of earning is the referral program, more about this further in the review.
What about payout rates and what types?
They have two ways for the user to get a payout, one is via paypal and the other is my favourite Amazon vouchers, you can also donate to charity if you so wish. The minimum payment is a mere £5 (which when compared to other sites is a very low threshold) however payments can only be in increments of £5
What are the Daily Cash payouts?
I will not pretend that they have the most options when it comes to daily earnings, however they do appear to keep the same select amount of daily offers (this does fluctuate both up and down), At the time of writing this review the daily cash back amounts total to 28p per day (Carsource 5x2p, Kelkoo5p, Lycos 1p, Shopping.com 4p and The Highstreet Web 2x4p).
Do they pay?
Well the short answer to that is yes. Probably of more interest is they pay a lot quicker than a lot of these types of sites. To me this is very important as I do not feel as if I have been left in limbo and will mean I am happy to continue using them.
What is the referral program they offer?
This is my favourite part of this site; they offer both the person making the referral and the person who signs up a straightforward £5. Yes you have read that correct both parties get a cool fiver. It is very easy as well, say I am referring you, all I need is your email address and then I go to the referral section and use their automatic email generating bit, input your email and bang off it goes to you, one slight word of warning, always check if you have a junk email filter in case that is where it ends up.
Now if youre like me you are probably thinking whoo hoo easy cash. Well yes it is but it does have a catch, although catch is probably too strong a word. I mistakenly thought that the £5 would be credited to both accounts straight away (now I think of it this would have led to the company being inundated with fraud as people created email addresses then joined LineMyPocket and claimed the free five pounds and vanishing leaving a company that would probably end up going bust). So what is required is for the person referred to earn over £25 of confirmed cashback (as opposed to pending) and then the £5 bonus is automatically credited to both accounts.
The maths at the present rate of daily clicks alone is as follows 28p per day is £1.96 per week, so it would take 13 weeks to accrue £25.48 and then get the 35 bonus.
Now that may seem like a long time, but it is free money. Think of it this way is you were told that you could have an extra £30 in time for Christmas, would that seem more interesting?
If you take part in some of the offers then this timescale would be reduced further. For instance the free registration pages alone add up to a staggering £8.17 and if you participate in some of the offers that require you to pay when you join this can go beyond £20, that would reduce the time to earn the extra £5 by weeks.
I have referred a couple of people, but as yet they have not reached the £25 earnings, so as yet I have not seen the amount go from pending to confirmed. It was extremely easy for me to refer these people all I needed was their email address and I sent them a ready made email. I could have sent people my referral link and let them put that in the relevant box during the sign up process but found the email a much easier and more convenient way.
Only two downers and both are niggly little ones, first they tend to have very few daily click offers (although this does vary). The other is you can only claim payouts in multiples of £5.
I use this site on a fairly regular basis, I am confident that I will always be paid. Granted they are not the most prolific when it comes to daily clicks and there are a lot of companies clamouring for the same space in the market. However because they are an established company, I will use them. The referral scheme that they operate is quite a generous one and I would rate it third out of all the referral schemes that I have come across.
One further word of advice, it is worth making sure you delete your cookies and temporary internet files before and after visiting sites like this. Hopefully by doing so it will ease the company in tracking your reward and ensure you do get paid. You can either do this through internet options on your browser or by getting a small program that does it with one click.
This website is operated by Internet Rewards Limited, Registered in England, Company Number 05522548. Registered under the Data Protection Act, Registration Number Z929383X
I am an avid fan of shopping reward (cash-back) sites, I will join them, try them and if I feel they are more effort than the reward they give, then I will not bother and move on to another or return to an old favourite.
One of my favourite parts of these sites is the offer of free money. Well it is not strictly free, but for a few clicks of a mouse, a few searches via whatever the required site and hey presto a few pennies are added to my account.
Basically all of these sites can be broken down into various sections,
Daily clicks - money is earned by doing searches, nothing more to it
Buying online - visit a shop by going through the Cashback portal and earn a percentage of what you spend in cash.
One time offers - You sign up to offers and get paid a fixed amount of cash.
Referral - If someone joins through your referral you get paid a fixed amount.
The latest one I have tried is called pinkcashback, this is one I had never heard of before and I tend to be quite cautious with Cashback sites that are new to me.
However as this site is now owned and run by a company called Only Option Media, which is a company that I have heard of. They also run another cashback site that I have been using called British Rewards and I am happy to say I have been paid out on more than one occasion. Therefore with that in mind I have no doubt that any money earned on this cashback site will be paid.
At the time of writing this review daily clicks add up to 29p per day, so from joining it will only take 35 days to reach the pay out of £15 including the £5 for joining and that is without any referrals (50p per referral) or sending ecards through Devil cards (10p) or eCards (17p) both of these can be done numerous times to individual emails.
This is the free money part of the site I am talking of and does not include any purchases being made through the site where additional money is gained for example 2.2% cashback on purchases from CDWOW, 3% from ChoicesUK, 1% John Lewis, 13.75% TrendMicroUK, Asda 1.3%, BT Shop 1.4% to name but a few, also some offers have fixed amounts of cash for example apply for an American Express card and get £5.50.
The site itself
This has a central part that has five steps
1, Join now
2, Start shopping
3, Make a purchase
4, Cashback added
5, Cash sent out to you.
To be honest that in a nutshell sums up a Cashback site
On the left of the page you will find the shop categories (this includes the link to the Daily Clicks), I am not going to list them as there are so many, but I will give you a taster of what is on offer.
All Offers, Adult offers, Auction Sites, Charities, Computers, Finance, Flowers, Gifts, Hobbies, Holidays and Travel, Mobile Phones, Motoring, Pets, Recruitment, Surveys.
I am sure you get the idea
On the right is the log in (usual username and password), below that is the offer of the week and finally a section that shows the latest offers.
At the very top of the page is a bar with clicks to Home, Available Offers, Help and Contact us
At the very bottom of the page is a bar with clicks to Home, Contact us, Help and the terms and conditions
The contact us link is interesting it has the usual
For Customer Support please call:
+44845 052 1137
Alternatively, you can email:
Message on MSN:
Or write to:
Only Option Media Ltd.
145-157 St John Street
EC1V 4PY (UK)
What is more interesting however is a click that allows you to get live online help
The Help section contains Frequently asked questions and links that take you to join, the contact page, terms and conditions, customer support as well as link so you can join PayPal (more about this later in the review).
Once signed in a few changes occur the section for signing in now has My Account, Update Profile and Logout.
The bar at the top now has Home, Offer History, statement, Withdraw via PayPal (again more about this further into the review), Tell a Friend, Help and Contact Us.
Offer History and Statement are very nearly the same, both give details of the offer, the date and the amount, The history lets you know if they are approved or pending, the Statement tells you the running total any referrals, the joining bonus and deducts any pending PayPal payments.
Withdrawal by PayPal, simply has the amount you request (must be a minimum of £15) and the email address for the payment to be sent.
Tell a Friend, this is very easy simply put in the persons name and email address, I have done this and I got 50p for making the referral, the person gets the full £5 for joining. I am not going to use this review to tout for business, however any messages left for me from anyone wishing to join will be treated fairly.
How good is the site?
To be honest I have found it incredibly easy to navigate my way round, there is no jargon all in all visiting this site is quite pleasurable (some other sites could take note). I use these sites mainly for daily clicks (these give you pennies for doing searches on various sites).
How to do the daily clicks
For those who might not know how daily clicks work I thought I would add this to the review
Step One - join a site that hosts daily clicks (in this case pinkcashback)
Step Two - Sign in/Log In
Step Three From the home page click on the link marked Daily Clicks
Step Four - Read the details about an offer, for instance Swoop IT says Swoop a bargain with Swoopit.co.uk, earn cashback per click on a result. (max. 1 per day), what that means is click on the link, then undertake a web search using the portal your now in then click on a result that it gives you. End result 4p earned.
Step Five Repeat this for the other Daily Click offers
It is worth noting that when you successfully click on a link, you will see a redirection page that appears with a tracking number.
If however you see the redirection page without the tracking number, you will not be able to progress onto the daily search site, you will see a message telling you that you have already visited that site within the last 24 hours. If you have then wait until the time has elapsed and try again.
With a lot of these types of sites your account is not credited for clicking activity for a set period of time, some sites it takes a few days, one that I joined does not credit you for two months.
However Pinkcashback credit your daily click actions instantly. This is really good news as it means you know precisely what you have earned straight away.
Because of the vast array of daily clicks and them being instantly credited, it takes very little time to reach the £15 threshold for payments.
The age to join this site is only fourteen, this is much younger than most of the sites that are in existence.
The first one is more of a niggle, it is the site is not only named pink, it is pink, when I say pink I mean pink, very pink.
The second is payment is only via PayPal, now my first thought is that is not a problem, sure I dont receive the whole £15 due to PayPal fees, but as it is money nearly for nothing that is not a real issue. However you need to have a PayPal account to get paid.
Further you need to be 18 to have a PayPal account, yet you can join pinkcashback from 14, so would a 14 year old who joins pinkcashback have to wait four years before being able to claim a payout (could you imagine the size of the payout).
So before I wrote this review I contacted the guys at only option media and asked them about this age anomaly and the fact that other people may not have or indeed want PayPal accounts, the response was very positive,
Drop an email to Selina when youre making a withdrawal and she will make a payment by Amazon GV, Firebox GV or a Cheque for you
I have found using this site a very positive experience, yes I do find clicking on cashback a bit tiring at times, but this site feels so much easier than a lot and add the ease of navigation along with it being run by a company that I trust and it has to be a huge thumbs up from me.
Take our two teenagers, a girl and a boy; add to that a house full of pets and it was only a matter of time before they would want a pet of their own. So when our teenagers came with us to the pet shop we had a feeling that they would look to see what was on offer. Our normal twenty minute trip to pick up food for the pets turned into a two hour shopping trip where all manner of pets were discussed. Eventually they both decided on hamsters, and then it was what type of home they would have.
Both decided on Rotastak cages
The pink one (standard)
This was fast becoming an expensive day; we paid about £40 for her Rotastak cage alone. Then add bedding, food, treats oh and the hamster itself. But she was happy and the hamster would have hours of fun in her new home.
What does it look like?
Well for a start it is pink, really pink, very very pink.
The ground floor (the largest area) is clear, this is the place that the hamster is supposed to eat and drink, the food bowl is placed in this area and the water bottle is attached to this level. From here a tube comes out of the side and goes round in a circle ending up on the first floor.
Once on the first floor the hamster finds itself in a smaller circular room, It has four things it can do, drop down a hole to the ground floor, go back down the tube to the ground floor, it can use its exercise wheel or it can climb up to the top floor and to what is designed to be its bedroom.
The top floor is the hamsters bedroom, instead of the walls being clear like the lower floors, they are pink so the hamster has some privacy when it goes to sleep.
The overall size is
Height - 53 cm (21")
Width - 48 cm (19")
Depth - 58 cm (23")
Does the hamster like it?
Oh yes she loves it, well she looks like she has fun, the wheel is her favourite part, unfortunately for our daughter the hamster only plays on it at night (it might have something to do with hamsters being nocturnal).
However she does not like sleeping in the bedroom at the top, instead she moves her bedding into the curly tubes between the ground and first floor, then fills it with her food and snuggles herself down, for the night (or should that be the day).
The Green one
Our teenage son had seen his sister choose a pink Rotastak, now he liked the cage but really was not going to choose anything remotely girly and pink. Luckily they also had a Rotastak in an odd shade of green. This was called the Rotastak Space Command Unit, I considered this a bit more of a bargain than the standard one, even though it cost the same £40 this was on the basis that it came complete with a detachable carrying case.
What does it look like?
It is predominantly clear and luminous green
Starting at the ground floor, it has a tube that winds its way up to the top floor. It also has a tube coming down from the playroom above. You can also attach the carrying case to the ground floor, this in effect gives the hamster another room to explore.
Once on the first floor (playroom) the hamster finds itself in a smaller circular room, It has three things it can do, drop down a hole to the ground floor, it can use its exercise wheel or it can climb up to the top floor and to what is designed to be its bedroom.
The top floor is the hamsters bedroom, instead of the walls being clear like the lower floors, they are pink so the hamster has some privacy when it goes to sleep.
The overall size is
Height - 56 cm (22")
Width - 77 cm (30")
Depth - 51 cm (20")
Does the hamster like it?
The hamster that lives in this cage is quite a character, unlike most hamsters who only come to life at night, he seems to wake just as everyone is thinking about going to bed. He then spends hour after hour in his wheel. Because his wheel is on the outside of the playroom area, it is much louder than the wheel on the standard Rotastak, it is that loud that it can be heard from the floor below where the hamster is kept.
He does however use the top floor bedroom to sleep most of the time, for a change he will occasionally drag bedding and food to a tube and camp in that for a night.
How are they to assemble?
If you have any astronaut friends who have been involved in putting the space station together, then I suggest you try and get them to help.
The instructions for the assembly are adequate, but it is the actual process of assembling that is difficult. You have these pieces called anti gnaw rings (remember that hamsters love to chew) that fit on the tube, yes they do fit but it took a lot of effort. The whole thing has a lot of pieces the curved tubes that make up the circle, clips to hold parts together etc.
From our experience, I would suggest lay the whole thing out on the floor, read the instructions very carefully and make sure you have plenty of time and more than one pair of hands.
Well building it was really hard, thankfully taking it apart to clean is not nearly as hard, because it is plastic it cleans very easily, however when putting the parts back together make sure they are secure, we nearly lost one hamster because of not doing so.
Anything else that can be done with it?
Yes it is expandable, it is designed so parts can be added, (rooms tubes etc) the only real limitations being imagination and cost.
Unfortunately we have found a couple of problems.
The tubes that go between the ground and first floor (top floor on the green one) can be easily dislodged, especially when younger children are around or when the cage is being moved. This resulted in a lost hamster, our teenage daughter was quite upset at this, I did the pacifying bit and suggested she left the cage open with food nearby in case the hamster came back.
To be honest I did not think the hamster would come back, I said it purely to give her time to come to terms with losing her pet. So when our daughter told us the next day that the hamster had returned and was back in the cage I was probably more surprised than anyone (huge daddy brownie points were still collected by me).
The noise from the external exercise wheel on the green one can be a bit much, and yes I have tried lubricating it to reduce the noise but that had no effect.
The putting it together is a struggle and it is a two person job, well three if you have someone making the tea.
Then the other downer is the cost, not only of the cage but of any add ons that you might wish to buy.
This is much better than an ordinary cage, not only do they look good, but the hamster has much more to do. Although they are not too cheap, they are well constructed and with care will last for a good few years. I am generally happy with them and will recommend them but as I have said before they do not come without a few problems.
I really do prefer the green one to the standard cage, not because it is not pink (although that is a factor for me), but it has the carry case with it, this is fantastic when cleaning the cage, somewhere to keep the hamster safe, when we clean our other cage we also use this carrying case.
Every cat owner that I know has at one time or another had a problem with fleas. The biggest problem is the stigma that is attached to fleas, you might feel that it is caused by having a dirty home or what will other people say about you.
Fleas are living creatures that will do all that they know to survive, feed and to breed.
If you watch a cat it will wash itself and keep itself clean, but without help it can still have fleas. It is down to the responsible pet owner to help keep their cats and dogs flea free for most of the time
With all flea treatments it is an ongoing process, pets and homes will be infested from time to time, the war is never won, but you can have an immediate victory in a battle. Any further attacks can be repelled much more easily.
I have owned pets most of my life and have been involved in the on going process of fighting the flea for most of it. Now I am one of the fortunate people who hardly ever get bitten, but other members of my household are not so lucky, so I get told as soon as a little biter turns up on the scene.
Over the years we have tried nearly every different available spray and powder. None of the ones available in supermarkets or pet shops seem to work, they tend not to be strong enough for the job, maybe it is because the fleas have built up some immunity to the over the counter treatments.
I tried frontline spot treatment (you apply to the pets skin on the neck in one spot) years ago, but both the cats I had at the time had an allergic reaction. Therefore I avoided the frontline spray expecting a similar reaction.
However I read good reports about frontline spray and decided that this would be the way to treat our pets. The vet also recommended this product.
It can also be used in the treatment of tics, luckily for our pets, none of them have ever had tics.
The First Treatment
After returning from the vets and having read the instructions that came with the frontline spray, it was time to give it a go.
As we have a lot of pets we decided to treat them one at a time outside (ventilation), on went the rubber gloves, we also had a towel ready to help hold the cat that may not appreciate the treatment. The towel was not to dry the animals as they need to dry naturally
We took the first cat outside, gave her a bit of a fuss to relax her, then started the spray and brushing of the fur in the wrong direction, for her more delicate areas we sprayed the frontline directly onto our gloved hands and rubbed it in this way. I would like to say at this point that she loved being treated, in fact I would be happy to say she only objected slightly, hmmmm nope the truth is I still have the scars to prove she was not a happy moggy.
It was a similar story with the other cats, spray and scratch.
The dog was so much better, she loved every minute of the treatment.
Three Monthly Treatments
Since we started using frontline we have repeated the treatment roughly every three months, none of our pets have suffered any allergic reaction (apart from the hypersalivation or as I call it the drippy tongue thing).
By backing up the frontline with regular treatment of our house we live a flea free existence.
Also the cats although they still are not too happy being treated the objections have become less, or do we hold them slightly tighter, whichever the scratches suffered are further apart now.
How can you tell if you have fleas on your pet or in your home.
Check and groom your pet is the best way to check, brush the fur the wrong way (the opposite way to the normal direction it lays on your pet), then look at the skin for signs, little black bits or fleas themselves, places behind the ear, the neck, stomach are good places to look.
A word of warning, most dogs do not mind having their fur rubbed up the wrong way, however cats are much fussier and can take offence this can result in a hissing scratching biting uncontrollable ball of fur.
Some people tend to get bitten, so check your legs, for itchy bite marks, fleas will bite, move, bite, move, bite, move until they have had enough blood to eat. This will result in a series of bite marks and once you know what youre looking for they are easy to spot.
If you are still not sure, this is something to try, place your hand about two inches (70mm) from the ground over a carpeted area and move it slowly back and forth, the little visitors will be attracted to the warmth coming from your hand and arm, this will cause them to leap and land on your hand or your arm. The same effect can be achieved by putting a cup of tea on the floor, but I dont really want to drink tea with added body.
How is it used?
It is a spray and the fur of the animal needs to be dampened with it, make sure that all the fur is treated all the way down to the skin. However care around the more delicate parts of the animal (eyes, mouth etc) should be taken, if you spray it onto a gloved hand you may find it easier to apply and avoid the animal any discomfort.
Is frontline all that is needed?
No, you also need to treat the rest of your house, again in the past I made the mistake of buying the commercially available flea powders and sprays for use on carpets etc and found they do not really do the job. The best is to ask the Vet for household treatments but be warned it will not be cheap. Having said that spending money on products that do not do the job is more expensive in the long term.
Where is it available from?
Strictly speaking this product is only available on prescription from the vets. However you can purchase it online, but you will still need to get a prescription filled in by your vet
Yes, do not administer to rabbits, nor to sick or convalescing animals.
Any animal that washes itself or other animals directly after treatment can end up with what is called hypersalivation, one of our felines tried to wash the frontline off of her fur and the result of her dribbling making strange noises with her tongue out was quite disturbing, but thankfully no harm came to her.
How do they come back again
Fleas surprisingly live outside in the grass, they sit and wait for a nice warm host to wander past. Then its a quick launch and hey presto host has a flea. However no self respecting flea would want to stay alone for long, so they are great at laying eggs and multiplying at a phenomenal rate.
Other things to note
Puppies and kittens from 2 days of age may be safely treated (although personally I would wait until they are older as their mum will try and wash them and then it will be drippy tongue time again).
I cannot give a price as you get it from your Vet the price will vary, as will the size that your vet will prescribe.
But it is well worth the expense, the time and effort
Wear rubber/latex gloves, if treating a cat for the first time, it is worth wearing full body armour or at least a thick coat.
Although it is only available from your vet, who will give you advise on how to use it. Do read the instructions very carefully before use.
I can thoroughly recommend this product, but remember you will need to treat the home with a proprietary insecticide and again the best is to seek your vets advise.
This album has become a classic, being released back in 1972 it is another example of music that stands the test of time.
Some call it glam rock others pop or indeed rock. Whatever title it is given this is music at its purest form, the album has so much to offer the listener, the tracks offer a diverse range of sounds, from slow ballads through to upbeat tempos.
The Slider saw T Rex at its peak, it followed another classic album called Electric Warrior and a lot of people doubted that this album could be as good. For me The Slider is the best album that was ever released by T Rex.
T Rex was a band fronted by Marc Bolan (whose life was tragically cut short in a car crash two weeks before his thirtieth birthday) As with a lot of bands in the seventies they undertook changes and evolved. To a lot of people T Rex and Marc Bolan were one and the same. The London born lead singer wrote all the tracks on this album.
When I first heard this album I thought a lot of the lyrics to be very strange, in fact I thought that about most of the songs ever released by T Rex (including songs released when the band were called Tyrannosaurus Rex). Now I am of the opinion that a lot of the lyrics are based in Marc Bolans mystical ideals. If you listen carefully to the lyrics you can find a lot of references that are based in Wicca (white magic). You will also find lyrics that are rock and roll based. This all adds up to some very original lyrics. This Album is full of examples of this.
For those listening to this for the first time, they may well be surprised at how familiar a lot of the tracks are to them, this is due in part to so many tracks ending up in the backgrounds of films and television adverts. Also a lot of musicians have found themselves producing music that has been influenced by the music of Marc Bolan and T Rex.
The original vinyl album consisted of thirteen tracks and in keeping with re-releases the CD has three bonus tracks. I personally think that the bonus materiel was never really needed as the original album was already the complete package. The tracks are as follows, also I have included snippets of the lyrics of each track to help you get the feel of what for me is a fantastic album.
The Original Tracks
1- Metal Guru (2m 25secs)
A rocking track, upbeat and happy, this made No1 in the UK chart when released as a single
Metal guru could it be
you're gonna bring my baby to me
she'll be wild you know
a rock and roll child
2 - Mystic Lady (3m 09secs)
Slower track more of a ballad, quite dark lyrics, the music is what makes this track.
Baby mystic lady
you do own my night
put my dogs to fright
yea yea yea yea yea
3 -Rock On (3m 26secs)
Lyrics at their strangest, but a good fast rocking pace, a toe tapper of a track
mild mouthed rita
she's a chevy chase cheetah
loves everyone everyone
4 The Slider (3m 22secs)
With a deep base, this ballad type song has a slow melodic pace, it gives me a feeling of sadness
I have never never kissed
A car before
It's like a door
I have always always
Grown my own before
All schools are strange
5- Baby Boomerang (2m 17secs)
Short and fast, I think Marc enjoyed recording this
baby boomerang baby boomerang
you never spike a person
but you always bang the whole gang
6 - Spaceball Ricochet (3m 37secs)
Again the pace drops, this is more poetry sang to music
deep in my heart
there's a house
that can hold
just about all of you
7 - Buick Makane (3m 31secs)
Well this track is fast and furious rock and roll
buick buick buick mackane
buick mackane will you be my
8 - Telegram Sam (3m 42secs)
This when released as a single also made a UK No.1, a mid paced track again with very odd lyrics
he's a natural born poet
he's just out a sight
9 - Rabbit Fighter (3m 55secs)
Yet again a switch of pace, slow but still with a rock feel to it
call me rabbit fighter you know it's true
'cos babe I'll rabbit fight all over you
10 - Baby Strange (3m 03secs)
A mid paced track, I will let you decide what you think this one is about
oooo you're strange
don't lame me baby strange
don't lame me baby
11 - Ballrooms of Mars (4m 09secs)
I really love this track, slow and deep, if you understand the words you will here the ballad
you ooooo dance
with your lizard leather boots on
and pull the strings
that change the faces of men
you diamond browed hag
you're a gutter-gaunt gangster
John Lennon knows your name
and I've seen his
12 - Chariot Choogle (2m 45secs)
Very fast paced, with musical changes throughout
girl you are a groove
you're like the planets when you move
see the winter' coming
in a two finned caddy
gonna walk upon the waters
go oooo yea
13 - Main Man (4m 14secs)
This brings the album to its conclusion, with a slow track, haunting melody and lyrics that could only have been written by Bolan.
are you a god man
are you now are you now
are you a frog man
are you now are you now are you now
The CD Bonus Tracks
As I have said earlier in this review these are purely a bonus on the CD (however I have seen that they are not on all the CDs of The Slider)
14 - Cadilac
15 - Thunderwing
I really enjoyed writing this review, it gave me time to remember the past, the odd lyrics, and with often deeper meanings if you can find them make this a classic of an album.
It is worth remembering that a lot of todays heavy rock bands have taken a lot of T Rex on board.