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Ok I know some people are sceptical about sites like this and anything that costs any kind of money is usually frowned upon but i'm about to do my best to convince you that netflix is the way to go!!!
- Dead Media -
DVDs are dying out, trust me, slowly but surely they will end up like VHS and all the rest before them, just like CD's killed off cassette they will too die out because of online streaming and downloads. I didn't agree at first and refused to believe physical media could die out but it will eventually...
The introduction of Smart TVs has taken this one step further... you dont even need a PS3 or laptop hooked up to access netflix or love film, its on the TV! I also believe this will be the next step for gaming and that all content will become downloadable straight to Smart TVs in the near future.
- Access anywhere -
Now this wont include everybody but if you're like me and have spare time at work, travel a lot or spend most nights on the road for business then if you have a wi-fi connection (free in hotels and most of the country with the latest hotspot schemes) you can access this from your laptop, tablet or even a smart phone! you just go to the site and log on, so you're at work and bored on your lunch hour... traveling on a train up and down the country going to meetings.... just log in and watch the next episode in a TV series you've become hooked on or one of your favourite films that you cant get enough of...
- Price -
£6 a month.... before you think oooh i dont really want any more expenses, let me put that into perspective, the average DVD you would buy from a shop is around £10, Sky movies is about the same and yes they get you the latest films earlier but not by much and it wont be long before netflix gets them straight away, it all depends on more members, in the states you can watch anything... i mean anything, their stored data is endless.... Now i love 24 and bought the box set for about £100... Thats all on there... along with rescue me, prison break, hero's, 4400, lost, dexter, scrubs.... through tv shows alone there is more to watch than you'll have time for, and then there are the movies!!!!!!
- Whats available -
Like i said there are dozens of great tv series and so many movies already and the list just gets bigger and bigger, i think some of the latest titles to be released are inscidious and conan 2011... thats about the time frame for latest movies to get onto netflix.There is no need to go reeling off all the films available but it has hundreds all categorised into, action, adventure, fantasy, sci fy, comedy, horror, suspense, tv... it goes on and each of them is sub categorized even further!!
- Give it a go -
You can sign up for a month free, honestly its completely free, watch what you want, if you dont like it or if you do but dont want to pay cancel after a month otherwise it just carries on and you get unlimited streamed movies for £6 a month but you can cancel it at any time, there is no 12 month contract like you get with other sites so its hassle free!!
- Why not download -
Ok so there could be people out there who think well thats great but i can just download movies for free so why bother... I'll tell you why i think, if you download a movie you have to find the download so you have to know what you want to begin with, wait for however long it takes to download (miutes... hours) it takes up space on your hard-drive, then when you come to watch it you might not even like it so you have wasted all that time and have nothing to show for it! With netflix you can just browse whats available, select something, start watching instantly and if its no good just go back and watch something else!
- Is it for me -
I do have one concern and that is depending on your broadband speed, if you are in a densely populated area and you all have the same broadband provider then your internet may be slow... now the companies that provide us with the internet are coming up with new ways to solve these problems but for now i would suggest having the free trial and check that you are able to stream the movies well enough.
- Value -
So i have had it about 2 months, paid my first £6, watched an entire season of prison break, 3 seasons of Rescue me, 1 season of 24, 1 season of the US office and about 15 - 20 movies! now im a stage tech so i do have long periods at work where i have access to my laptop so i have made the most of my subscription that way but most nights we watch a movie online together and have blitzed through a few tv shows we like because without adverts and not having to wait a week you can get through 100 episodes in an evening quite easily!!!
- Overall -
Get it! it's that simple, it really is a great service and you won't have to buy any more dvd's, saving money and space, you can watch it anywhere pretty much and like i said the amount of films on there will only increase day after day!!!
I hope you choose to give it a go and if so enjoy :)
Ok so I've lived in Harrogate all my life, i'm 22 years old and must of been going to the dam yankee for the past 10 years... Standards have gone up and down and the place has had a few make overs but all in all it has always been a great place for family and friend's to grab a bite to eat.
We go every year on christmas eve to have a get together with extended family and close friends we wont see on christmas day itself and we have no intention to go elsewhere. Dont get me wrong its not the perfect place to take somebody on a first date or a special anniversary but for a family get together, birthday or just if you dont fancy cooking that night.... it's great, the staff are friendly, there's a nice atmosphere, the food is usually plentiful and to a good standard... there has been the odd occasion when its been below par but it isnt a 5* restaurant and 9/10 its great. Plus its very reasonably priced and you do get a good sized portion for your money.
Obviously i'm not there every day, i maybe eat there twice a year... and i have heard a few people saying that they havent enjoyed their evenings and that the food and service has been poor... I have noticed the whole place is staffed by very young people, even the 'chefs', so it may be a lack of leadership that has lead to the place getting worse reviews lately... who knows.
They have a lunchtime menu which has similar items to the evening menu but with jacket potatoes added in... You basically have a choice from steaks and burgers... there are a few other options, a few mexican dishes and a salad or two but if you're not a big far of the fore-mentioned steaks and burgers this probably isnt the place for you.
I however do like a good steak (am also partial to the scooby snack burger... DOUBLE EVERYTHING plus CHILLI!) and am also partial to reasonable prices :) therefore this restaurant gets the thumbs up from me! its not perfect but neither am i.
Food - Good
Price - Good
Service - Average
Atmosphere - Good
I will say that there are a few steps to get in and i dont recall any other means of entry so wheelchair uses may struggle but they may have alternative access elsewhere on site...
I really like Alberts, in fact my partner actually worked there when we first met a few years ago :) It has a large glass front allowing lots of natural light in during the day, it has a nice modern layout spilt into different sections, there are a few tables and a very large corner sofa at the end you come in, the bar is in the middle to one side, there is a section at the opposite end easily sectioned off for private parties etc, and an upstairs that is laid out as a traditional restaurant. You can order food anywhere be it upstairs or downstairs and the quality of food is excellent, for a place that doubles into a trendy bar in the evening you wouldn't believe how good the food is. They have a mixed menu but some of my favourite there are the home made fish and chips and the cajun chicken burger... unbelievably tastey!
have a look for yourself :) http://www.albertsharrogate.co.uk/food.html
As i said it turns into a bar but nothing changes as such, they still serve snack food but stop serving meals at around 9 maybe... i cant remember exactly. Its a great place to start a night out, you can grab something to eat, then have people meet you there for a few drinks before possibly moving on, but there's no need, i've spent whole evenings in there before and loved it.
One downside is that the toilets are down quite a large staircase which is fine at the start of the evening but later on.... well, lets say its sometime easier sneaking into the disabled loo on ground level :)
But seriously, if your passing by stop in for something to eat, its a great place and the staff are lovely, always smiling and happy to see you!!
Ok the Jim Dunlop Cry baby wah pedal.... essential and iconic!
I've been playing guitar around 7/8 years and got my wah pedal maybe 5 years ago, its been used and abused while on gigs or just at home, its very robust and quite heavy and built to last being stomped on night after night!
It has 4 rubber feet on the bottom to stop it from sliding around but these can be removed if you plan to attach velcro or another means to stick it to a pedal board. The top is like a rubber mat finish providing excellent grip when you are controlling the pedal.
It has 1 in and 1 out so it's not complex to wire up and it is usually the first or second pedal in your set up before your signal goes through all your other effects like phase, flange, reverb etc etc
Now to turn it on you simply press down hard on the front end where you can see the silver switch in the image, this activates the pedal and you are currently in the position that boosts the treble signal, lower your heel to boost the bass signal. Plety of artists use this pedal so you could have a listen to jimi hedrix or some more modern stuff like black stone cherry. Its mostly used to give your solo's that little something extra!! Generally you would leave it with the bass end down and you just rock your foot forward either on the beat or just for accented notes in your solo/riff... that way you add emphasis where needed.
Looking back to the image, behind the silver switch there is a plastic strip, this rotates a variable resistor as you lover the pedal and this is what changes the output. Its quite a simple set up inside the pedal and you can find a circuit diagram online should you need one. For example, the last guitar i purchased was a Matt Tuck signature Jackson Rhoads with EMG pickups... noe with having active pickups the output from this guitar is unbelievable, so much power and sustain... now thats great but when i started using my wah pedal with it i started to experience feedback of sorts when the treble boost side was down?! So, I figured out from the circuit diagram how things work and was glad to see it was really quite simple, all i ended up doing was adding a small value resistor across the variable resistor to cap the high end out put, this stopped the treble boost from getting to high and solved the problem and infact took away the harshness you get at the treble end.
So there you go, an essential pedal in everyone's collection and should you have any issues they're easy enough to fix yourself :)
I took my partner to William and Victoria's this past Tuesday for her birthday and I can honestly say it was absolutely fantastic. There are two sections to Will&Vics, there is a wine bar downstairs and the restaurant upstairs, the menu for the two is pretty similar but i'd recommend having a look online before you go, also the wine bar opens slightly earlier than the restaurant so there is that to consider.
We booked a table for 6pm in the restaurant as we were planning to get across to the pub to meet a group of friends prior to the England match! We turned up slightly early but we were shown straight to a table, very friendly staff, all smiles and a nice atmosphere to the place, it wasnt long before the restaurant started to fill and in fact when we left every table was full so i'd strongly suggest booking the day before.
There is an early bird menu on offer but the choice of mains available was slightly limited but i'd already seen something on the main menu i fancied, we both ordered starters, a main with a couple of sides to share and a nice bottle of pinot grigio. The double pork loin i ordered was cooked perfectly and my partner said the same about the lamb (in fact i tried a bit and can vouch for that myself!) Everything was brought out in a timely fashion and i noticed that even the larger tables were all being served promptly and food was always coming out of the kitchen, a good effort for the few waitresses that were working that night.
All together it came to around £64 which i thought was very reasonable for such a lovely meal and pleasant surroundings and we were out by just after 7 so that shows how good the service was...
If you live locally i really hope you'll give Will&Vic's a visit and if you are just passing through or here on a short break you would not be disappointed to spend an evening here. I myself am looking forward to another visit and many more to come! :)
Now if you're looking for a good all-rounder then look no further, the ibanez s520 is a great piece of kit. I got mine around 7/8 years ago and it's served me well... it was originally my primary gigging guitar and it got used for everything, my first band was very pop rock based, i had a covers band that did old school rock and i was always working on metal songs in my own time and it handled every task... great action, modest looks, a decent start set up and a floating tremelo for dragonforce lovers!!!
If i'm honest after the first year or two i realised i hardly used the tremelo and with it being floating (you can bend up or down) it struggled to hold its tuning if you started using it too much so i unscrewed mined and i use it as a standard guitar now...
Its travelled around a lot and taken a few bumps and its still in great condition, its great to play and due to being so thin its very light to hold. I've since purchased a matt tuck signature jackson rhoads so this has become my back up guitar, ive had it tuned to dropped C and i had EMG active pick-ups put in setting me back £180 but the difference in out put is unbelievable, especially solo's up at the top end - they just have so much sustain now. The only problem with doing any modifications like that to this guitar is thickness of the body (or lack of) I had to find space for a 9v battery in the back and believe me it was a squeeze but it worked and the guitar had had a massive value boost... i would recommend this guitar to anyone looking to step up from a beginner level or someone more experienced looking for a mid-range guitar as a back up for gigging... it plays well, looks great and you can make changes to pick-ups or hardware to suit your needs so all in all a very versatile and reliable guitar!
I've been to download for the past 4 years and i have loved every minute.... well, almost :)
Ok so first things first... getting there! There are a few options, you can get yourself on a coach or get a train to the closest station where they arrange shuttle buses to and from but i would stay away from both of these... dont get me wrong i'm all for public transport but if you're going to a festival - DRIVE! Think about it, you have your tent... hold all, backpack, beer... more beer, it all adds up when your trying to find your camping spot! Now some people go first thing wednesday but i always go thursday afternoon (the festival itself starts friday)... i dont see the point going too early but you do need a few hours to set up! From where you park you can probably expect a good 40 minute walk to where you'll be camping but it could be longer... hence leaving a few bits in the car to come back for later!
Now some advice for getting your kit to the campsite... if you can get hold of some sort of trolley do it, but make sure it has decent sized wheels becuase it is quite a journey over different ground! you should'nt over do it on your first trip in because you have to queue to get your wrist band and have bag checks etc once you're through the ticket gate into the village you should try to find a festival worker... i cant tell you the time wasted by heading into campsites that are totally full... find out where the spaces are before you set off! Once you've found your space, start setting up, try to get a space right on the edge, that way it's easier to find your way back in the dark at the end of each night... also, try keep a reasonable distance away from the toilets.... you can guess why!
Make sure you pack some fold up chairs... you'll be sick of standing and its nice to sit outside your tent at the end of the day having a drink and talking about the bands you went to see. Secondly pack a blow up mattress, ive been with and without and trust me... take one, they only cost around 19.99 for a double and it makes the weekend so much better, you sleep so much better and you dont get the same aches and pains you get from just sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor. (just dont forget the pump)
Now when it comes to food it depends on preference... you cant take gas stoves in any more so you would be limited to using a small foil bbq to cook anything... so i would suggest saving a bit of extra cash to buy food. You can take loads of cereal bars, water, lucozade, crisps and other bits to stock your tent up so you can get some food and drink first thing but in the arena you'll need to buy food and i find its just easier to buy breakfast... you're looking at around £5-£6 for a burger, £7 for curry and noodles £14 for a pizza... if you go as a pair its best getting a main meal each and sharing anything extra... beer costs quite a lot too, about £20 for 5 tokens, you take I.D to the bar and get Tokens or a pass to save you using you're I.D every time and hading over money every time.
Now at this point you are probably thinking "why oh why would anyone do this?" Now know it sounds like a long treack, it is expensive and just getting there and set up is stressful enough... but when you step into the arena and look down the hill at the two main stages, you'll forget all that instantly! Its an intense festival, nearly 90,000 people per day but thats what makes it special, download is monsters of rock from all those years ago, its the holy grail of rock festivals and as the sun goes down as your watching the headline act in the middle of 60,000+ be it AC/DC / Metallica / Aerosmith / Slipknot... there is no better atmosphere, its like being amongst the biggest football crowd ever but without the worry or stress, imagine your team scores and the way everyone celebrates and the feeling you get... its like that but endless....
The visions you get of being muddy and soaked through... it doesnt happen like that, yeah it might rain but you take a poncho and the rain passes, no problem, you leave spare clothes in the car so if it gets too bad you head back and change there. its the drunks that roll around and get muddy... that doesnt happen by just standing there!
Finally my last recommendation is to leave on the sunday night... dont wait till monday morning, if you all want to drink then fair enough you dont have much choice and if you live to far away then it would be unsafe driving at that time after a full day stood around but if u can then leave on sunday. We pack up before the bands start that day then we can head straight off and sleep in our own bed that night, plus you avoid the chaos on monday as all the kids with cheap gear just wreck their tents and scatter rubbish everywhere... plus everyone will be up all night so you probably wouldnt get much sleep anyway!.
So thats it... my advice on festivals, i love them and the chance to see all your favourite bands in one place is a great experience, yeah there are a few downsides but you will have such a good time that it wont matter, enjoy and keep on rocking!!!!
The latest Sony games console and the best there is in my opinion. Since the introduction of Sony's PS1 way back when the playstation has always been "THE" gamers games console... the controller itself is the result of hours and hours of research to develop the most comfortable, easy to use, perfectly laid out controller, which is completely wireless.... and that type of detail has gone into every part of the playstation3.
Obviously the first thing to note is the games, the quality, depth, storylines, extra features... the list is endless but due to the blu-ray disks modern games are almost overwhelming, I often play a few ps1 games and maybe a couple of PS2 games once in a while just so when i put a modern PS3 game in i get to re-live that first moment of "WOW".... "IS THIS REAL!!!"
It plays Blu-ray disks as well as regular dvds so no need to have a seperate dvd player or blu ray player when you have a ps3, its also region free so any blu-ray disks only available from the states (the protector - Tony Jaa for an example) can be played on the ps3.
Its connection to the internet means online gaming is simple, games can be updated so improvements or extras can be added after you've purchased the game!!! Also, having the internet means i have a connection to my netflix account... so movies galore are just waiting for me on my ps3.....
I imagine that in a few years sony will release a smart TV that has an in built player and you download playstation games to the tele and play them that way... but for now this is only one step away, you have the internet, ability to play dvd, blu-ray, ps1 and ps3 games... Storage for photos, music and other media, downloadable content and much more... it really is an excellent games console and i would highly recommend to anybody who was looking to buy one!
I'll get the only downside out the way first so that i can concentrate on the positives... Battery life, When i take out the power adaptor and continue to use my laptop the battery lasts maybe 2 hours tops... videos or music and your looking at an hour, maybe this is to do with age and the fact that as its my only computer i have it plugged in constantly at home so i probably brought the battery life down on my own...
But apart from that it is a great laptop, I'M USING IT TO WRITE THIS REVIEW :) it's solid hardware, taken quite a beating with being lugged around and abused and it still stands strong, i've just finished giving it a little clean up and de-frag as well as updating vital software and it's running great, no problems what so ever. I get wound up when people insist on getting the latest super high power laptops when they use them for using the internet and a few word documents a year...
By all means if you are a video editor or music producer you may need the latest advanced kit but for average joe this is more than enough. I use high powered modern laptops at work as i'm a stage technician and running shows or conferences requires up to date hardware requirements but as for my personal day to day use this has served me well and i hope it continues to do so for another year or two.
Sure every peice of kit has a life expectancy and i know il upgrade sooner or later but 4 years so far... thats not bad going :)
This is a great little digital camera, i've had mine around 4 years (I think...??) and it hasn't put a foot wrong, if you are a budding photographer who wants the kind of super HD close up shot of some wild animal for national geographic magazine then no.... its not the camera for you, but the rest of us, this is perfect! Ive had mine at the Moto GP in barcelona taking shots of the bikes going by, I took it to Australia and have some of the greatest pictures il get and they all look amazing!! from birthday parties to festivals i've had it everywhere, its robust, taken a few knocks over the years and ive only this past month got a case for it so it'll stand up to some abuse on the road.
Its like with the latest HD tvs and broadcasting... yes the pictures may look sharper and closer than ever before, but i still knew what i was looking at 4 years ago... there are better cameras around these days but for the pice and the fact that you can stick even a 4GB card in here and it'll last you an age!!!!
Great little camera and at the price you can get them for now it's a great bargain for someone who just wants to take a few memories home with them :)
I know with all the advertising and marketing campaigns a lot of attention has been brought to the new pspvita... but why all the hype? it costs more than a ps3 in a lot of cases, there arent that many games available (i know its early days but still) and each game costs you a fortune... all this for a portable gaming system that wouldnt last half a car journey down the country....
The psp go may be old but there are so many good qualities about it that are purely down to its age... it doesnt cost the earth, i bought mine last month for £80, i already have about 15 games stored on it, there are so many games out there including copies of most ps1 and ps2 games, its all you need for something that essentially is a means to pass the time out and about...
you're on the bus for half an hour, a train for 2 hours or a flight abroad for say... 4 hours... none of these situations call for having access to super HD gaming... its not worth it, old games are fun and made for playing not for looking pretty... i would seriously recommend choosing the psp go over the new VITA unless your only want for it is to have super HD... bear in mind that in a lot of pawn and second hand shops the most common portable console you'll find is the pspVITA.......... that's saying something!
so the HTC desire, an awesome alternative to the iphone yes?? I bought the HTC on a 24month contract as i refused to buy an iphone and i really like the look and originality with htc sense. Having "widgets" on your different home screens made the phone become an instant multi-media device allowing you to keep up to date with almost anything instantly without opening a single app. Brilliant!!! or so i thought, it's been around 14months now and the trouble has started....
I came to pick up my phone about a month ago and it was red hot, almost to hot to touch.... i noticed my battery had dropped for around 90% to 5% in the hour or so id left it. Obviously the battery died soon after and wasnt till i got home and charged it back up that i found it had knackered the board and no longer read my SD card (i tried spares to check it wasnt the card itself). So i sent it back to HTC as it was under warranty, they will have run a flash program and not really looked into the issue any further... I got my phone back a week later and all seemed fine for about a week and a half... then it switched itself off and no longer turns on past the first HTC screen and again if left becomes insanely hot... So where is it now?? back with HTC, again.
Ive researched into it as a lot of friends who have the same phone or a similar HTC have been having similar issues, either random restarts, not turning on, over heating or not reading the SD card... I found a forum filled with phone experts and they seem to think the reason for the sudden outbreak of problems is caused by an update to how the Wi-Fi sync now operates. Im afraid i cant go into more detail than that as im not sure but it makes sense if it is constantly trying to do "something" that it cant do it will retry and retry and retry becoming hot and then damaging the main board in the phone...???
So i hope that if you are lookin for a smart phone but not a brand new one.... i wouldnt go for HTC desire, to many problems starting to appear and it seems no rush to solve the issue either! Dont get me wrong when it works it is a lovely phone and my friends with iphones were having second thoughts but it wasnt to last unfortunately.
Hope this helps :)