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Member since: 10.12.2009

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    • HTC Sensation XE / Smartphone / 68 Readings / 67 Ratings
      More +
      10.04.2012 16:02
      Very helpful



      Beautifully Constructed piece of mobile kit!

      Well 18 months on it was that time again! Its UPGRADE time!!! It was finally time to say goodbye to my beloved HTC Desire which I now use as a backup.

      With new phones coming out every week I had to do extensive research as to what I wanted. Although the Blackberry phones where looking good I still was not convinced as numerous friends of mine were still having problems with them. So Blackberry again was out of the running.

      The next choice for me was the iPhone. With the deal I had from T-Mobile I wanted something similar and also stay at 18 months. It being an iPhone is was just too expensive and not value for money in my eyes.

      A surprise choice I had considered was the Samsung Galaxy S2. My friend has one and was raving on about the quality of the phone, its functions and also its camera capabilities. The magazines were also impressed by it and I too wanted a closer look. I saw and immediately said no to myself. The reason, it's just too big.

      So I was back to my HTC phones and there were only 2 choices: The Sensation XE or the Sensation XL. The winner is...................... The XE due to its size and overall better specification on the XL.

      Just so you guys know I am writing the review after the most recent software update on the phone. So some things may not be the same if you haven't updated it.

      First Glance
      At first glance I loved the phone. All black apart from the Beats Audio logo on the back. This was a full touchscreen phone unlike my Desire which had the three buttons on the bottom. It has 4 touchscreen buttons at the bottom. From left to right, The Home page, and options button, the back button and also a search button. Like the Desire the volume control on the top left hand side of the handset which allows you to adjust the ring volume, loudspeaker and speaker volume when on the phone and media volume when playing games, listening to music or watching videos. Again this phone felt like it was very well made and when I opened to place my sim card in the actual main part of the phone seemed to slot into the casing. Very different compared to my previous one.

      The power button this time is located on the top right of the phone which again gives me the options of switching the phone off, airplane mode and also a restart mode which closes all the apps on the phone and then restarts like some sort of laptop.

      The back on the phone has a full length case which like I said above seems as a slip on but a very sturdy one. Inside this is the new 8MP camera with flash, the battery, sim and memory card.

      Again making calls on this phone is a piece of cake. This can be done 2 ways. If your phone is on key lock there will be 4 options. I have Phone, Mail, Messages and Camera. To make the call simply drag the phone icon down into what looks like a magnifier and it will send you straight to the keypad. If your phone is not key lock on the main page of the phone I have the same options which I simply press and again be directed to the keypad. Like the desire you can either type in your friends name and it all automatically find him/her or type the number and press the big green call button.

      When in a phone call the sound is very clear and loud depending on your volume settings which you can adjust whilst talking. Whilst in phone call mode the screen automatically shuts down as soon as it's on your ear so you are not disturbing your phone call. As you remove it off your ear the screen will light up and gives you the option to put it on loudspeaker or mute or end the call. You can of course access the phone if needed whilst on call.

      The texting function has not changed from the Desire and it's just as responsive as ever. Texting can be done vertically or horizontally which makes the buttons easier to use as the buttons are bigger. It has a predictive text spellchecker on it as well which in a way makes texting quicker for some who use full words. If you use a word which is not in its dictionary the word will be highlighted in orange and all you do is touch it and it will be saved, so next time when typing that word it will pop up as a word option. The text messages are in a chat format with your messages in white and the ones you receive in blue. It also lists the people you have text, the most recent at the top. To compose a message simply press the compose button on the top right, find who you want and get texting.

      This is the one of the things I love about HTC. The capability to personalise the phone the way you want it. Again it gives you the option of having 7 personalised pages.

      The homepage presents you with time, location and sometimes the weather forecast for that location. Mine has default programmes of messages, mail, internet and camera. If you don't like what is there, simple hold on to it and drag into the delete box at the top left hand corner. It also gives you and edit option on the other side but I have not really used this, sorry guys.

      Like stated above it also has another 6 for you. You get three when you scroll left and 3 when you scroll right. Here you can add what you like and also it you believe you don't need all 7 panels as HTC call them, simply delete it. To delete simply press the home button and it will show you all 7 panels and simply hold and drag to delete. You can also change the arrangement of the panel simply by holding and dragging the panel to where ever you want. I currently only use 4 panels for now.

      The Inside
      Calculator, calendar, call history, camera, clock, internet, messages, photos, settings and setup are all defaults in all phones and are no different here. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are also defaults in this phone too. With the current software update and it being an Android, you get the added extras of Google+, Dropbox (which is their version of iCloud and call it their magic box), Facebook Chat and Google+ messenger.

      Maps are still here and are exactly the same. Enter the location you want to go and it will find and direct you there.

      Market is now replaced by the Play Shop. You can download apps, books, games and even movies either for free or at a price. Due to the Android market becoming more and more popular there are now more iPhone games available too, although you may have to wait a while for it to be available here. I recommend at the moment Draw Something!
      Teeter is still here and still a great little game too.

      The Internet
      The HTC internet on this phone is absolutely great. This phone has a 1.5GHZ dual core processor which is very quick and gets those web pages loaded real quick and also loading apps very quickly too. Watching videos on this phone is fantastic especially with its 4.3 inch QHD resolution screen. Web pages will automatically load a mobile version if there is one but you can change that if you want in the options. You can use the phone horizontally and vertically and zooming in and out is exactly like the iPhone. Pinch both fingers and move apart to zoom in. You can also zoom in by double tapping the screen which zooms in automatically to an extent. This phone allows you to open up 6 windows in one go and due to the processing power it doesn't look like it will slow you down if all 6 are up and loaded.

      Due to my software update it now allows me to go Incognito which allows me to search around and not leave a trace on the phone such as search history or cookies although any downloads or bookmarks will be saved.

      The Play Shop
      As stated above the Market has now been replaced by the Play Shop just by name. I don't know why. As stated you can download Apps, Books, Movies and Games. Some are free some you need to pay for. I will give you a few apps that I often use and find fun and useful and also FREE.

      Advanced Task Killer: I had this on my Desire and this was the first app I downloaded. As this smartphone is in a sense a Pc with the way it is run it will have a how load of app's running in the background. This will give you a list of all the apps currently running in the background and you can choose which to shut down or keep on.

      Draw Something: I have downloaded the free version which has ads in them. For an add free version it is 59p I believe. Endless fun, add your friends, draw the word and they guess. The more you guess right the higher the level you go up. Pass and you'll start from the beginning again.

      Viber: Have any family abroad and want to talk to them? Then this is the app to use. It is like Skype without the video calling and all you need is the person's number. If it is in your phonebook it will automatically find it and place in it your Viber phonebook. You can also text. For calling I recommend being connected to Wi-Fi to ensure good signal.

      Sky Sports Score Centre: For all football fans this is a must if you want to keep up to date on your teams or your rival teams scores!

      The Desire had 5MP but this baby has 8MP and all I can say is it is fantastic, very clear pictures. If you feel you don't need 8MP then you can simply lower it in the settings. With this phone it also has a front camera but the quality is only of VGA and no flash. The video recording is at Full HD standard (1920x1080) and you can zoon in and out, with flash or no flash whilst you are recording too. Again you can adjust the recording quality. A note of advice if you are recording at HD quality make sure you have a big enough SD card as a 4 minute recording is around 200MB in size.

      Beats Audio
      Now this is a really fancy addition to the phone and I'm guessing it's going to be a regular addition to the other HTC phones to come. Upon purchase of this phone you also get a pair of Beat by Dre headphones (no the big over the ear headphones unfortunately). The phone has a special chip inside which recognises when these headphones have been inserted and in turn will activate beats audio giving you the crisp clear music sound you hear from the bigger headphones. Although this is a very nice edition it only works when you insert those specific headphones. Also the headphones are not as crisp when plugged in to a normal mp3 player but the sound is still very good.

      With all this power they still haven't or won't give us a better and more powerful battery. At most I can get is maybe 2 days but sometimes I have to charge it every day. It is currently on charge as I write this review

      The Glare
      This is something I had a problem with and unfortunately it is still here!! I would have hoped they would have figured this out but on a bright day you will a hard time seeing the screen even if you have it at the highest brightness. Please sort this out. So guys I recommend purchasing an anti-glare screen protector or only bring the phone out at night. Your choice!

      Final Thoughts
      Despite the same problems I love this phone. I can personalise it the way I want it, it does everything so quick and precisely. Despite there possibly being loads of the same phone out there, I still feel unique with mine as it is done my way. The addition of the Beats audio is a very good marketing trick to entice these youngsters who love the brand. All in all I would highly recommend this phone to anyone

      Thanks for reading and hope you found this useful. If there is anything else that you would like to know that I have not added please let me know and I will update it.

      Can also be found on Ciao under the same name.


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      • HTC Desire / Smartphone / 172 Readings / 144 Ratings
        More +
        28.07.2010 15:07
        Very helpful



        The better alternative to an iPhone

        Well it was upgrade time for me on my O2 contract and like every other person I wanted either a Blackberry or an iPhone. After much thought and a talking to with my uncle the Blackberry was swiftly removed from this and so the iPhone was the target. So off I went to try and haggle with the people at O2 for it. So I went in store and to other phone shops and I bumped into this. What is it? I asked, 'It's the HTC Desire' was the reply I got from the sales assistant. I asked if I could play around with the real one as the dummy was no doing it any justice and I was immediately converted.

        After about 20 phone calls to O2 to try and give me a good deal for the iPhone and finally the Desire I told them to stuff it (in a nice way) and that I was heading over to T-mobile as it gave me a much better deal (more details about that at the end).

        Check Me Out
        At first sight it's obvious that it is a fully functional full screen phone. It has three buttons on the bottom (from left to right; Home, Menu and back and search) and a scroll wheel located in the middle which allows you to manoeuvre up, down, left or right. The phone is quite big, just slightly bigger than an iPhone 3GS it's hardly noticeable. There is also a volume control on the top left hand side of the handset which allows you to adjust the ring volume, loudspeaker and speaker volume when on the phone and media volume when playing games, listening to music or watching videos. The phone feels very well made and structured and makes you feel quite confident that if you was to drop this it would not smash into millions of pieces. For this review I will not test this!

        The power button located on the top left of the phone also gives you more options apart from just switching the phone off. It allows to switch to silent mode, vibration mode, Airplane mode and also to take the mobile network off.

        The back on the phone has a full length case which to me feels like suede plastic. Inside this is the 5MP camera with flash, the battery, sim and memory card.

        Honey Can you hear?? I'll call you back!
        Making calls on this phone is a piece of cake. On the main screen of the phone, phone will be easier seen on the bottom of the screen, all you do is touch it and then you either enter the number or spell the person you want to call and HTC will find similar names. Then press call.

        Now can you hear the other person on the line. From what I have read from other reviews and statistics apparently sound quality was one of the least important factors on a phone. Does that mean we want everything in a phone but don't really want to talk to anyone? Anyway when in a phone call the sound is crisp and I have no problem hearing the earful I get from my lovely girlfriend :-). Whilst in phone call mode the screen automatically shuts down as soon as it's on your ear so your not pressing and uploading your facebook page. As you remove it off your ear the screen will light up and gives you the option to put it on loudspeaker or mute (very tempted to use which getting an earful) or end the call.

        Cnt talk, tx me or fone me l8a xx
        Now I've text on a few touch screen phones and the iPhone was the daddy of them and this is just as good as. You can text vertically or horizontally which makes the buttons easier to use. It is very responsive and it also has a predictive text spellchecker on it as well which in a way makes texting quicker for me. If you use a word which is not in its dictionary the word will be highlighted in orange and all you do is touch it and it will be added and so next time it will be on the list of predicted words. Simples. The text format is also on a chat format like MSN messenger and will have all your chats from the first time you text them to the present. It also lists the people you have text, the most recent at the top and how many texts you receive. So finding the person you need is even easier and you won't have to go through your phonebook to find them.

        My unique HTC
        This is were I think in my opinion the HTC begins to go past the iPhone. The HTC has 1 homepage and then another 6 for you to personalise. iPhone hasn't got a homepage. 1-0 HTC!!

        The homepage presents you with time, location and sometimes the weather forecast for that location. It comes defaulted programmed with messages, mail, internet and camera. If you don't like what is there, simple hold on to it and drag into the delete box at the bottom of the screen. Then simply look for what you want and locate it there. So your HTC is different to everyone else's. Doesn't that make you feel special?

        Like stated above it also has another 6 for you. You get three when you scroll left and 3 when you scroll right. By default is has (from left to right) weather, friendstream (for all your facebook and twitter needs), email, the homepage, favourites (contacts), RSS feed (which is the news) and a blank page. Again you can personalise this the way you see fit. I currently have (from left to right) weather, messages, emails home page, then favourites (contacts), calendar and the news.

        It's what's inside that count
        The phone comes with usual applications like all mobile phones. Calculator, calendar, call history, camera, clock, internet, messages, photos, settings and setup. However the HTC is so much more and gives you a bundle more applications already pre loaded. It comes with a FM radio (most do have this but some surprisingly don't). It also has an app called footprint. I haven't really used this much but it allows you input a location you have been to and put photos and a brief bit about it. Its like a virtual postcard that you can look back on and see where you have been.
        Maps which are exactly like Google maps on the net. Simply input the detail of where you want to go and it will pan out a route for you.
        Market is the place where you can download a huge amount of applications and games for free and also at a price.
        Peep is a portal to you twitters out there as I am not one of them.
        Quick office which allows you to view Microsoft office files which can come in handy for some.
        Teeter is a great little game that's pre loaded in, lots of fun and sometimes frustration.
        And finally Youtube which to me and everyone else is self explanatory.

        The world at your fingertips
        Now we all know that the iPhone has great internet with its own safari web program already on it. The HTC internet is absolutely great. Pretty much the best I have seen and used. It has a 1GHZ snapdragon processor which is quick and gets those web pages loaded real quick. It also allows to watch embedded videos, be it on Quicktime or even on a flash player format. I haven't had one single problem watching a clip on this phone whereas on the iPhone I was getting a bit frustrated with it. Some pages load up in the mobile version like Facebook but you can easily load up the proper site with ease. You can use the phone horizontally and vertically and zooming in and out is exactly like the iPhone. Pinch both fingers and move apart to zoom in. You can also zoom in by double tapping the screen which zooms in automatically to an extent. You can also load up to 5 windows in one go as well which is really good but might affect the speed. So be careful folks.

        This HTC went to the market
        With a phone like this you are bound to want to download games and applications for it and the place for this is the market. There are loads to choose from and most are free but most do not restrict you using all of the functions unlike istore which most of the time gives you lite version and so can only play 5 minutes until you are asked to pay up for a full version.

        My favourite FREE applications and downloads are:

        Aldiko: Allow you to access books online for free and some paid for. I currently have downloaded the Jungle Book, Alice and Wonderland for free.

        Advanced Task Killer: This I found is a very useful application. This phone basically runs like a PC so it will have a how load of app's running in the background. This will find all of them and you get to choose to close them proper, hence improving the speed of the phone and also saving a bit of battery life.

        Barcode Scanner: Scan any item and it will find you prices for it and then you can decide where to buy from.

        Thinkfast: Very good adding up game under a time limit.

        Urbanspoon: Can't decide where to eat? This little application randomly picks out what to eat and where. Please note not all locations are currently available but a great app none the less.

        Smile for the HTC
        Now my previous phone was a Sony Ericsson C902 which had a 5MP cyber shot camera on it and it was amazing. As you can see it's the same here. Now many phones go up to around 12.1MP I don't really see the point in that. The picture quality for this phone is very clear and the photos are taken in an instant and do not take ages to load it up. Video recording is also the same and depending on the size of you memory card can record for as long as you like.

        HTC security, can you leave the phone please?
        Do you have a nosey brother or sister, nosey friends who like to go through your phone and prank call people or send silly texts to your friends. Well that will be no more with the security feature on this phone. Like the iPhone you have to slide to open the keypad. With this phone you slide the phone down then a sequence pattern security lock is shown. Your friends will think they look like buttons but will not be able to get through. If they fail numerous times the phone will lock for 30 seconds before you get to have anther go in unlocking the code. Ah nosey people no more!

        Where's my charger?!?!
        Here is probably the one and only problem I have with this phone. If you use the phone quite a lot doing all the above this will last you a day. If like me I occasionally use it online I have found it to last around 3 days with the help of the Advanced Task Killer as well. That being said the speed of the charge is very good so you probably wont really be bothered with that.

        I can't see!!
        This is something that I had come across when it was a bright day. I have the brightness down to the minimum (to save battery) and I can not see a thing on this, only when I put it to the highest brightness do I get to see anything. I think they should of checked out Apples anti glares screens on this one. Also some say the screen is hard to get a scratch on. I have 3 already, I don't know how, they are just there. So I would recommend a case for this guys and if you can some sort of anti glare screen protector if it exists. It also isn't Mac friendly (the two fingers up to them maybe) from what I have been told.

        I have to admit the phone took me a little bit to get used to but the more and more you play around with it, the more you will learn and the more you will love this phone. The way you can personalise it, the amount of applications and games you can download, you have pretty much everything you want here. Who said the iPhone was irreplaceable? This phone is quietly taking over. This I highly recommend people. Even to plipplop who loves his Apples.

        I currently have this on T-Mobile 18month contract £30 on the following terms:

        600mins, 500 texts, unlimited internet and also have a T-Mobile booster which I chose to be unlimited T-Mobile to T-Mobile calls.

        The best O2 could offer me was 200 minutes more and no extra bolt on for £40 a month on a 24 month contract.

        Please scope around when looking for a new contract or upgrade people, there's always a better deal elsewhere.

        Thanks for reading and hope you found this useful. Can also be found on Ciao under the same name.


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        • Numatic Henry / Vacuum Cleaner / 141 Readings / 133 Ratings
          More +
          09.07.2010 14:37
          Very helpful


          • Reliability


          Great vacuum

          When it comes to vacuum cleaners, we have had loads come and go in my household. From the fancy shampoo carpet cleaning vacuum which we had when I was younger all the way to the little cheap £30 vacuum my mum bought from Argos which didn't last a very long time and the suction on it was crap. Then I saw the light, or in this case the cheeky smile calling out a 'come and get me plea' like a footballer crying out to go to his supposed childhood club.

          ---First time we met---
          It happened on a visit to my aunt's house. Now she has two kids (children now) and a husband (my uncle). And my uncle being a grown up child playing around with his kids would now and again make the place a bit untidy. I didn't help things when I was around as I was just as childish as the rest of them. Anyhoo every time we visited she was always cleaning and this was the first time I set eyes on cheeky Henry strutting his stuff. At first I thought it another toy to play with but I soon realised this was a toy for the adults. I immediately told the old dear (my mum) she must purchase this vacuum as I as well as her were fed up with the other vacuums. Off to Makro (thanks to the uncle's membership) we go and purchased Henry.

          ---What's in the box?---
          Henry hoover as I'm sure pretty much everyone calls it came in a box just slightly bigger than itself. Upon opening I was greeted by 3 metal poles, a long black tube and Henry himself. It also came with a manual, a nice red Henry bag and with I believe four vacuum attachments.

          Upon picking up Henry from his helmet handle, top me he was quiet light in terms on weight. On the helmet there were two buttons. An on/off switch and a 'Twinflo' switch. This is to adjust the amount of power suction you want. This in a nutshell is one simple piece of kit. You screw on the hose on his nose, attach all the metal poles (if you want to) starting with the slightly bent one on the end of the hose, attach vacuum part you want and off you go!!

          ---Has this Henry got the Va va voom?? The tests---
          The only carpet left in the house is on the stairs and in one bedroom upstairs and even with the normal power on, Henry does a grand job on it. The four wheels and a very long power cord made it easy for me or whoever was hoovering to start from the bottom of the stairs and finish all the way up with plenty more cord. Having four wheels also helps it move around the room dodging corners like it's in a car chase. Switching attachments was even easier as all you do is pull off one and push in the other. In some places the power switch was turned on and it took care of the job with even more ease. Word of caution, if your carpets are not very sturdy keep it on the normal speed as it may take the carpet off, that's how powerful he is.

          ---Laminate flooring/kitchen flooring---
          The majority of the house is now laminated in wood and in the kitchen we have tiles. Henry doesn't even break sweat with these as it simply glides across the surface like an Olympic skater waltzing around for the gold medal.

          Now as some car owners will know, there are all sorts of stuff that get caught up in a car. Dry mud, little stones, pet hair (if you allow a pet), sand, crumbs and bits of crisps stuck between the seats. It can be a huge task with any other vacuum and those handheld 'car' vacuums are nothing compared to this. With all the attachments it has, Henry can easily take care of all of this with no problem what so ever. I use the most power suction for this and it does a great job. The car looks like it has just come out of the showroom (well the inside does anyway!). Being able to take off the metal poles and adjusting it makes it even easier to clean around the car. I have noticed though, that whilst cleaning the pole does get very very cold.

          ---The Family---
          Henry also has family in the same business and they are:

          James - Yellow
          Charles - Blue
          George - Green
          Betty - Pink

          It also seems that Henry and Hetty had a thing going on because Numatic also have Henry and Hetty spray mops. There are also different versions of Henry with upgraded attachments and power versions such as the turbo.

          For more information please visit http://www.numatic.co.uk.

          Overall I have had this for a couple of years now and it has excelled in everything I have put it up against, even the fine cat hairs I found in my car which were such a problem for my handheld car vacuum. The vacuum is not bagless but comes with an extra bag when you have filled up the other. You can buy the bags pretty much anywhere and the prices vary from about £2 for a 5 pack (AMAZON) to around £10 for a 20pack. I guess it depends where you get it from.

          Prices for the vacuum vary from around £80 all the way up to around I believe last time I checked £140.

          Thanks for reading and hope you found this useful. Will also be found on Ciao.


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          • More +
            11.06.2010 12:55
            Very helpful



            Lovely looking hard drive to store all you need!

            My Dell laptop has served me very well for the past 3 years. I have not upgraded or anything on it and the 120 GB hard drive was holding well. I tend to leave a good 15 GB of space on the laptop just so it can a little more efficient.

            Soon that was gone and I was left with no space whatsoever and my laptop was like trying to load up youtube video on a dial up connection. I could literally turn the laptop on, enter my password (you never know who can go through your laptop, family included!!!), then go downstairs, make myself a cup of tea, a little snack and go upstairs and still wait. Something had to be done and quickly!! I needed an external hard drive.

            ===The Hunt===
            Off to Amazon (see previous review) to have a quick look to see what was available. And my gosh, there were loadsssss!!!! From 120 GB to 1tb, all shapes and sizes and colours. I was very tempted to go for a 1tb but read and heard bad press about them crashing so I thought 500 GB will do me just fine!

            After what seemed like days looking for a hard drive for a decent price (some were hideously over priced at around £100 for just 500 GB or even lower!) I came across this little product. A limited edition Michael Jackson This Is It hard drive. It also had the film already in it and also wanting that I killed 2 birds with one stone and went straight to the checkout and ordered (using my vouchers).

            ===The Arrival===
            After a few days I had received the hard drive in the box shown and had a feeling that this was going to be a large hard drive but to my surprise it wasn't. It could easily fit into my hand and was more of a square shaped hard drive than the usual rectangular ones. The front was in gold and had a picture of MJ doing the same pose as shown in the picture in black. It looked amazing and could be mistaken for something else.

            There was also a thin green box underneath the drive which had the manual, film code and USB wire in and also a nice leather pouch for you to put the hard drive in. All in all the presentation was of very high standard but didn't understand why they would have a light green box with a gold hard drive. Any hoo it was all good!

            ===Ease of Use/ Storage===
            Now me loving my music and films as such I thought I would pretty much fill this baby up with all of it. I still have loads of space left! I even put all my photos from my last year in secondary school to the present day and I still have a good 360GB left!

            Transferring the files couldn't be easier. My two year old cousin could do it. You will know when the hard drive is active when a blue light is on the top part of the drive. Once your PC/Laptop/Mac has recognised and installed the driver all you do select what you want and drag it straight into the hard drive. Bobs your uncle it's done. Simples. When plugged in you could hear a pin drop, you can hear absolutely nothing regarding this hard drive. you may even think it's not on, I certainly did when I first plugged it in and the only way I realised was when I firmly placed my hand on top to feel the drive working. As with all hard drives plugged in for a vast amount of time, it will tend to heat up, but when unplugged it seems to cool down very quickly.

            Watching the film on the drive was just as easy. Click on the film, a little pop up will come up, enter you code and enjoy. Entering the code gave me a bit of a problem as the 2 looked like a Z and got worried as to why it wouldn't work. Please note that you won't get a full 500GB as the movie is pre loaded on it and will take up about 1.5GB of space. Also according to the instructions the film can only be viewed on three different desktop/ laptops/ Mac so pick carefully or just copy and paste somewhere.

            ===Specs and size===
            Hi-Speed USB (Max.) - 480 Mbps
            Temperature - Operating -5c to 40c, Non-operating -20c to 65c
            Height (Max.) - 17.5 mm, Width - 82 mm, Length - 111 mm
            Weight (Max.) - 0.170 Kg - Nice and light!
            AutoBackup and SafetyKeyTM - SecretZoneTM encrypts data on a virtual drive so no one can get into it without your password.

            ===Speed Test===
            I have just transferred a DVD rip of the film 9 (not the one with Penelope Cruz) and it has taken under 30 seconds. Size of file was 759 MB.

            Next up is one of my music albums (Jay-Z The Blueprint 3), it has 15 tracks and the size is 140MB. Lets see how it goes...7 seconds. Nice!!!

            Next up I'll see how quick it can transfer over itunes set-up software (exe. file) which is just under 100mb....9 seconds a little slower than my albums???

            Overall I believe it transfers the files pretty quick.

            ===Is This It? ===
            Well overall this is a very good piece of kit. Not only does it look very nice, its stores a mean amount of data so I doubt you will be going out again to get another hard drive. Also the fact that it's a limited edition MJ product makes it that bit special.

            I purchased this drive from Amazon for £54.99 and by the looks of it, it has gone down in price to £52.99 so it's pretty much on par with the rest if not a tad cheaper. Its well worth the investment people, get it whilst you can!

            PLEASE NOTE - The film on the drive WILL NOT be able to played on Mac's as it is formatted for Windows (WMV), so sorry Mac users! Just remembered, that if you have VLC player on the mac it WILL work. I totally forgot about that player, sorry!

            Thank you for reading and hope you found it useful. This can also be found on Ciao.


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            • Nike Finstar / Shoes / 87 Readings / 82 Ratings
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              02.06.2010 14:15
              Very helpful



              Another great pair from Nike

              I was in quite a bad need for a new pair of white trainers. The ones previous had seen its time and was coming close to having conversations with it. With the birthday close by it was a good time to hint to the other half of the things I wanted :-P.

              After looking at numerous sport shops and seeing mutli coloured, air bubble filled trainers at such stupidly high prices I was beginning to think I wasn't going to find anything and end up sulking like a 5year old. Luckily we had one more place to go and this is where I found these babies.

              The store was Schuh. My trainers are like the ones shown but have two baby blue stripes on the side. they were the first ones to catch my eye. They didn't have colours of the rainbow on them and weren't chunky either. These are a nice slender trainers. I got the Mrs to do the honours and ask the noble employee for a size 8. I sat on the chair like Borat thinking I was king of the Castle.

              They arrived and thankfully the full pair was in the box. I have on the odd occassion had to make do with one display trainer that has been worn by everyone and one new one. I undid the lace abit and put the left foot on. Being on the thin and slender side I had a feeling they would be quite uncomfortable as I couldn't see where they would put any padding but to my surprise they were unbelievably comfortable! I tried on the right foot as well and did the customary walking round the store getting the feel for them, stopping now and again to check myself out in them. I looked quite good.

              After my little catwalk around the store I said 'She'll take 'em' as the humble Mrs was going to purchase them and off she went to the till. The price for these were £54.99 which considering trainers slightly under this and above I thought to be a very good price. It felt like a combination of the slender Converse meeting the chunky cushioned £100+ nike trainers. I felt proud of myself.

              ---Wearing Out---
              As said above the trainers are very soft and comfortable to wear out and about. I tend to wear these with jeans and they look very good. My jeans tend to be a bit of the long side and due to the trainers being quite low and slender I tend to get them slightly shredded so it won't be for those who like to wear long baggy jeans and to keep jeans unshredded.

              The trainers were made from Leather upper and have them in either Black or White with the changes being the Nike tick and the middle part of the side of the trainer.

              All in all I highly recommend these trainers. I had had them for about a year now and haven't shown one sign of wearing off or any stitching out of place so they are very sturdy aswell. I liked them so much that I bought a black pair aswell and am thinking of buying a few more, but maybe when the sales kick in lol.

              Prices will also vary from £49.99 to £54.99, maybe cheaper on sales, I think £30.

              Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed this review and found it useful. This review is also going to be found on Ciao aswell so pop round there too :-).


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              • Man On Fire (DVD) / DVD / 101 Readings / 99 Ratings
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                18.05.2010 16:28
                Very helpful



                A must have for the collection

                I remember watching this for the first time and the only reason was because it had ma man Denzel on screen and I'm so glad I did, this was an absolute beauty!!! One film that I can possibly watch over and over again and not get bored of.

                The film in set in Mexico where kidnapping is big business. Its simple they kidnap a rich families child, you pay the ransom and you get him/her back. If not then say your prayers. This brings panic to a whole load of these rich lot and security is needed. This also includes the Ramos (Mark Anthony and Radha Mitchell) family who need to protect their nine year old Lupita 'Pita' Ramos (Dakota Fanning) until they can renew their family ransom insurance which I'm assuming is not real. Anywho on the recommendation from Rayburn (Christopher Walken), John Creasy (Denzel Washington) is offered the job.

                Creasy is an ex CIA and was partners with Rayburn back in the day but unlike Rayburn who's loving life Creasy has grown tired of it and is beginning to feel guilt over the years of work he has done and has turned to drink to solve his problems. But due to having nothing to do he accepts.

                He starts his work but he makes it clear that he is not here to be a babysitter or anything, just to protect her. But Pita has different ideas and wants to be friends with Creasy and asks him question after question about him. At first Creasy gives her a piece of his mind but later that night realises that shes just trying to help him. From there on they have a special bond with each other and we see Creasy smiling again and enjoying life.

                Just as things go are going well things turn for the worse when Pita is kidnapped just as she's coming out of her piano lesson. He tries to intervene but is badly wounded and collapses. Will he survive? If he does will he be able to save her?

                Like I said above the only reason I watched this is because of Denzel Washington as I have seen him in other films (Training Day, The Inside Man) and thought he was a real good actor. In this film he does not disappoint one bit! His portrayal of a man damned bu his guilt is very impressive and very believable. His change from broken to revitalised progressed smoothly and at a very exceptional pace.

                Dakota Fanning at the time played her role as Pita is similar fashion. She was a bubbly nine year old full of life. She also semms to act a little older than what she really is and is fully aware of what happening in and around her. The chemistry between the two of them couldn't of been better and it was a great feeling to watch them two develop the friendship and the way Creasy became a father figure to her when the parents were away on business. She even named a bear after him! :-D

                They were a few supporting roles and I could not forget Mr Walken who plays Creasys ex partner and long time friend. The friendship between the both of them seemed real geniune from the start where he tries to help his friend bounce back to life all the way to the end where he talks to a reporter (What for I will not tell you!).

                The roles of the newpaper reporters were played well, the way they could get any information they needed tp assist was very good. Micky Rourke was also in this film as the Ramos family lawyer, he did ok but not great as he wasn't used as much.

                The film from the kidnapping to the end is full on non stop action and a word of warning, there are some scenes which some may not find suitable and not for the faint hearted so be warned! But it also didn't seem far fetched and could imagine it been done.

                The film is set in lovely (well some parts) Mexico and this gives it a more authentic touch. You get to see the rich and the poor on the same street
                and how they live side by side.

                Overall I would defiantly recommend you watch this film. Actually go one better and buy it too, this is a must have for the DVD collection. The running time of the film is 140 minutes (2 hours 20 minutes) and I can tell you know you would not notice it one bit!

                The DVD I have got didn't have any special features (:-() so I will be looking out for another with them and buy it.

                You can purchase this on DVD for £2.99 on Amazon for a single disc or for £6.99 for a two disc edition. It is also available on blu ray for just over £11.

                Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it.

                Will also be found on Ciao.


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                • BMW 116i SE / Car / 155 Readings / 148 Ratings
                  More +
                  20.04.2010 13:24
                  Very helpful


                  • Reliability


                  Another top car from a top quality car manufacturer.

                  I have been driving for over 4 years now and I have been quite lucky when it came to having my first car. It wasn't all mine but I got to share my mums BMW for a while, which was great. It wasn't the newest but it was a BMW.After driving that I couldn't really got for anything else as the sheer power and quality of the car drew me in. I drove my mates Fiestas and Polos but nothing could match up to it.

                  Then a driving drought came, I didn't renew the cars insurance with my name on it so I took the good old 'reliable' London Transport. After a year or so doing that and getting cramped and having sweaty people all over me I thought enough was enough, I needed to get out!

                  So off to Autotrader, Ebay, Gumtree and nothing!! Abosulutely nothing, they were either to big (engine size wise), it was the wrong model of car, wrong colour and even the wrong price. And this was looking into ANY car. Was I destined to use London Transport for that bit longer? I could not let that happen!!

                  Then Bam!! My mum goes 'I want to get a new BMW and get rid of this one'. I thought YES!! I'll find her one and keep this one. So off I went in search for her new BMW. She wanted a 1 series as she didn't want anything big. I rang a few people and one of my mates knew someone who worked for BMW and gave me his number. Wow this is long already!! I'll cut it short after a few days of trying to get my mum the BMW 1 series, I ended up getting it myself! I have never looked back. Sorry guys! :-(

                  I got a BMW 1 series 1.6L SE 5 Door. It is in Titanium Silver and comes with the Comfort package (arm rest at the front, parking sensor, light dimming mirrors, rain sensor) and also has electric wing mirrors which go in at the touch of a button. I was thinking Nice!!. The look of the car is amazing, I think its looks really sophisticated for a small car. The grooves from the front to the end panel gives the car that edgy look and have noticed that not many cars have this and are usually just plain. The BMW Badge is at the front and back of the car and you cant help but noticed the mean looking BMW grill. Looks wise I was in there!

                  The interior of the car was fantastic, it's all black cloth seats (no leather thanks) along with a lovely looking dashboard which is also in black with a hint of silver to give it that edge. As I sat in I noticed that the car was a lot more spaceous than I thought it would be. I remember Jeremy Clarkson was complaining about the sheer space in the car but then again most of us aren't as tall as him! I'm 5ft 10 I think and I thought it had enough space at the front and the back. The front seats could be adjusted up or down, back and forward. This is done by using the levers on the side and at the front of the seat.

                  The steering wheel could also be adjusted for your driving comfort as well. The gear stick and handbrake lever are all within touching distance as well as the heating control system. The music system is abit tricky to get to but thankfully BMW have sorted this by putting the buttons on the steering wheel where your hands should be positioned whilst driving (to me its 9.15PM).

                  The car has an inboard computer and can be accessed via a little scrool button allocated on the indicator. There you will have access to adjust the time and date, how you want doors to open when you unlock the car. It then also gives you information as to when you need to check the brakes, check the coolant level and when to have an oil check. You can also access how much oil is left in as there is no dipstick. It also had a feature of how many clicks you want your indicator to do!

                  The car I have has a rain sensor on the top of the windscreen so when rain starts it will know and automatically get the wipers to work. This feature has to be switched on and can be done using the wipers switch on the right hand side of the steering wheel. It also has a scroll button to choose how sensitive you want the sensor. The car also has automatic headlights which will switch on as soon as it get darks. That too has to be switch on to. All four windows have eletric windows and on the drivers side you can lock the back windows if you have child sat there which is a really nice safety feature.

                  ---The Boot---
                  This being the smallest car in its range, I didn't expect too much boot space but again it suprised me. I could easily fir two substantial sized suitcases in there and if not then I could fold down the back seats and have double the space!

                  ---The Drive---
                  Now the old BMW I drove was smoothish, it had been given the run arouns by me but still gave me an ok enough drive. This however was amazingly smooth. I thought I was gliding across the roads! From just pulling out to driving up to on the motorway, the car oozes smoothness and you can hardly notice how fast you go at times. This car being a 1.6L is slightly slower than the older one (1.8L) but it felt just as fast. Whislt driving this car, it also feels very solid and I feel real safe in it. The car feels firmly on the ground and have every faith in it when driving. I have driven a few other cars and they feel real light and sometimes I worry that it might topple over when driving which isn't good. Before I forget, the car also has a unique start stop function to it. When the car is at a complete standstill and your foot is off the clutch, the car completely shuts itself off!! Then by pressing the clutch the car comes back on. This is part of there efficient dynamics programme and I think they applying it to all cars now. Also you dont have a key to start the car. Its more like a toy which you insert on the left hand side of the steering wheel and by pressin gthe start button and pushing down the clutch, the car starts. no more keys!!!

                  A full tank according to current petrol prices will set you back around £60 as it can hold around 53 litres of petrol and from my knowledge that can given you around 400+ miles which isn't so bad I guess. I top up £30 a week or sometimes £40 every week and a half and have no trouble getting to and from work (SE to N) or getting to my girlfriends house (Kent) a few times a week and also the odd trip to Bluewater.

                  If you are purchasing a New BMW 1 series 5 door this will set you back from about £18500 for the very basic model to about £30000-£35000 for the sports version.

                  Overall this is a great car and I'm so glad I took the risk in buying this for myself. The car is great to drive and even my mate who has driven a few times always insists on driving me when we go out because he loves it so much. Hes even thinking getting one himself.

                  The only possible downside I see with this car is that if your a young driver the insurance premium is going to be high so make sure you have been driving abit and have a few years no claims.

                  All the specifics and facts and figures can be found on the website below.


                  Also if your are interesting in purchasing a new or fairly BMW, send me a quick message and I'll direct you to the dealer who helped me get mine. Be sure to let him know I sent you!

                  Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy this long review. If I've missed out anything, let me know and I'll add it.


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                    12.04.2010 17:22
                    Very helpful



                    Great place for pizza but isn't like it used to

                    Ahhhh Pizza Hut. I remember when I was a kid (ahh the good old days) if I was really well behaved (very rarely) my mum would treat me and my little brother and sister to Pizza Hut. I remember getting ready quicker than Usain Bolt running the 100 metres. Wham, bam I'm ready Mam!! The experience does days were great atmosphere, great food and great service. Felt like a really good place to eat.

                    Now in 2010 (not so kiddish now :-() and I still visit the place now and again but it seems to have lost it mojo.

                    When you enter the premises you are welcomed by the tongue wagging smell of delicious pizza. You then wait until a member of staff arrives and asks you how many of you there are. From my experience I used to get served quite quickly but now I tend to look around to see if anyone is actually there! (Must be the place I go to). You are then taken to your seats and given a menu. From the looks of things the Pizza Hut I went to hadnt changed since the 90's and it also seems like that with the ones I go to but somehow it still works for this day and age.

                    The menu consists of starters like chicken wings, garlic bread (with or withour cheese) and also the salad counter. Pretty much the same and nearly all pizza places.

                    Now with the main course you obviously get the pizzas and they have loads of different types. You also have a range of different bases from deep pan, thin (Italian) crust, stuffed crust and the cheesy bites (a favourite of mine). You can also opt to make your own and I believe your can choose up to 5 toppings and anything more than that you will have to pay extra.

                    Now not so recently (2008, changed thanks to davidbuttery) they had included a pasta range to the menu and there was talks of changing the name to Pizza to Pasta Hut. I think I have only seen one change name! Well along with the pizzas they now also have a few pasta dishes to pick from. They are:

                    Traditional Lasagne
                    Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni
                    Salmon Pasta Bake
                    Tomato & Mozzarella Mezzaluna
                    Tagliatelle all Carbonara
                    Chicken & Mushroom Bake

                    (Help from Pizza Hut Website)

                    Along with this new pasta range they also hav a new base to add to the family, The Tuscani. This is not like the above mentioned pizza bases and flavours and have the following:

                    Carne Amanti
                    Pollo Portobello
                    Chargrilled Vegetable
                    Prosciutto & Rocket
                    Prawn Fresca

                    When your done stuffing your face with your favourite pizza you can then go on (if you have space) to dessert. They consist of Cheesecake, Profiteroles, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Tiramisu, Dessert Shot Trio (shots of ice cream) and my personal favourite the Ice Cream Factory. Ahh the days when I would overfill the bowl, put every sprinkle and sauce available and then only manage a spoonful, then get an earful from my mum!

                    Overall the food tastes great and can only be described by me as Pizza Hut. Even though pizza is pizza, the taste of pizza hut is way different fron the others. Must be the dough and ingredients they use.

                    With so many pizza places now out and about they also have deals going on in the restaurant and also as takeaway, check out the flyers! I would recommend the buffet! :-D

                    Overall experience of Pizza Hut was quite sad as it seems to me that there is only about 2-3 people working in them. One to cook the food and the others to serve. It also seems to me that its on the decline as my fond memories of the Walworth Road one has closed down and when I do find one it looks like it closed, because theres no one there.

                    If in doubt go Takeaway!

                    Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy it.


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                      31.03.2010 11:10
                      Very helpful
                      1 Comment



                      Great football boots for your needs

                      Well the football season had arrived and with that my Sunday team had also started too. Having not played all through the summer I was really looking forward to it and also to get the extra exercise.

                      --The Fallen Footballer--
                      Match day arrives and I have a pair of special edition Champions league adidas predator boots (the ones kaka used to wear) running up and down the left side of the pitch (not very fast and not for very long) when all of a sudden the bottom part of my boots collapse and the studs have detached from the actual boots. Thankfully there wasnt long left and I came back with my foot still intact. Off to the shops to purchase a new pair.

                      --The Journey to the Boot Room--
                      I had religiously looked online to find a nice pair that were for my needs but looking and feeling the actual boots are very different so off I went to Sports Direct (see review), it was my turn for my girlfriend to wait for me as I shopped. :-D

                      They were loads to pick from, from Messi's Adidas F50i to Eto's puma boots to Ronaldo's Nike Vapours. However some were either priced well out of my budget (the adidas and Nikes were around £100 and I was looking for around the £30, Funds were low and pay day was a long way away!), so it was a choice between Wayne Rooneys Nike T90 Lasers or Cesc Fabregas Nike CTR360 Liberettos (In Red and Black). The T90s were a little bit cheaper and felt ok but the look of the CTRs were more interesting and only slightly more expensive, so off I went to ask the gent working there for a size 8.5. Before I knew it he came with the pair of firm ground boots. I dont like the studs on the soft ground boots and prefer the blades on the firm ground (pictured).

                      Now them being football boots I get them half a size bigger (I actually an 8), this is so when I put on the thick football socks it wont feel like I got a pair of boots too small. Thankfully I was buying a pair of socks, so I put them on and then the boots and My God they were comfy. The fit was perfect! Not a toe squashed, the arch of my foot pushed in, nothing. It felt like I had a pair of black and red socks on, if was that comfortable. They were also quite light which was good and it would give me better movement on the pitch. Even my girlfriend liked them. Sold!!!

                      --The Match--
                      The Day of Judgement arrived and I was ready! I had got my kit on and then the boots. I even colour co-ordinated as my kit was Red and black too :-D. One of my team mates saw these and though nice. He needed a pair and so I told him how comfortable they where and also that he could buy them in half sizes too. His eyes lit up!

                      Anyway back to me and my boots. Warm up was the usual jogging streching and a little passing and moving to get going. The boots were amazing every touch I took was great, I felt like I had more control of the ball and was hitting the ball cleanly and very accurately. Was I in contention for Man of the Match already??

                      Well..... No. I play left back so not much happened my end. Running with these boots was effortless due to its weight or weightlessness. I felt more assured with these boots on passing was more accurate. I felt comfortable in these and my movement was good and my passing I flet was more accurate during the game to. My control (which for some reason is terrible) even felt improved. 90 minutes up and although I didnt play like Roberto Carlos I felt like I played well. Oh and we won by the way.

                      --Full Time--
                      Overall I would highly recommend these boots for anybody who needs a new pair. The fit for these boots are great, you feel more assured in them and feeling assured will give you confidence and hopefully improve your performance knowing that you have the boots for the job.

                      You can buy these boots in pretty much any sports store. Colours vary from Red and Black (my ones), Black and White with the Yellowish tick or now Silver and White with a Blue tick. No doubt more colours will probably come out for the World Cup. Prices also vary from the low end of around £30 to the higher end of around £100 and come in either soft ground (studded) boots or hard ground (blades) boots depending on your needs.

                      Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it, I'm off to strut my stuff on the pitch. Before you know it I'll be in the highlights of Match of The Day!!


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                        29.03.2010 11:37
                        Very helpful



                        Top notch Ice cream from Ben and Jerry's

                        Now and again me brain goes abit funny and I get a huge temptation for ice cream. Whether its baking hot or its snowing, my brain will scream 'ICE CREAM!!!!!'. I must obey and I usually go for this tub.

                        This is going to sound silly but Ben and Jerry's was founded in 1978 by (yep you guessed it) Mr BEN Cohen and JERRY Greenfield. They started making Ice cream after completing an ice cream course in Pennsylvania State University, you dont hear them doing it at Oxford! After a tiny amount of investment by themselves they soon grew more popular and became what they are today, one of the best.

                        Ben and Jerry's has a wide range of flavours but one of my favourites is Phish (not FISH) food. This particular flavour consists of Chocolate ice cream filled with Marshmallow, Caramel and Fish shaped chocolate. This was named after popular indie band Phish who are also from where Ben and Jerry are from, Vermount.

                        Now being a the person I am I went for the 500ml tub for myself and my girlfriend went for the cookie dough (they were on deal for £2.50 each at Tescos). We decided that after our meal we would lounge on the couch and catch up on Heroes as we hadnt seen it in a while. We took it out the freezer and let it soften a little bit and with 2 little spoons (my girlfriend insisted on big ones!) we were ready to indulge.

                        Like I said before we bought a 500ml carton tub with the carton lid. After peeling the plastic strip my senses were welcomed by the sweet chocolate ice cream and by looking at it we could see the white and caramel swirls in them. You can also see the generous amounts of little fishes (with eyes and a smile) in the tub waiting to be scooped and eaten.

                        Being the gentleman I told my girlfriend that I should go first (had to make sure it was ok for her!). Spoon hit ice cream with ease and soon enough the fishes were swimming to my mouth. And boy the flavours were whirling in my mouth too.

                        The chocolate ice cream was quite sweet but to me it was just right but what did it for my was the creaminess off the ice cream, it was amazing. The marshmallow gave it a different texture as it made it slightly chewy but it combined well. The little fishes were hard but biting into them wasnt difficult and to my knowledge were slightly bitter so i'm assuming it is made of dark chocolate however when the caramel kicks in it brings it back to its sweetness. I didnt get that many littles fishes as I noticed my girlfriend was trying to pick them out without my noticing (I'll get her back dont worry). With the combination of sweet, crunch, chew and creamy ice cream this was one hell of a treat and by the time we knew it I was scraping the bottom of the tub thinking where it all went and then looking at my girlfriend as if she had consumed most of it but inside me knew it was me :-(.

                        Overall I couldn't recommend this ice cream so much to all you Dooyooers. The combination of all the flavours may seem crazy but it all works wonderfully well and you will come out of this experience with an empty tub and possibly feeling that you may need to do an extra run at the gym tomorrow!

                        Again I will not go into the whole nutritional information as one I dont really look into it (yes I know I should!) and two if I did I might put you off buying this, which is what I dont want you to do, but be warned dont go to my local Sainsburys or there will be trouble! All the information can be found on the back of the tub and its website www.benjerry.co.uk/ourflavours/

                        You can purchase Ben and Jerry's in two different size tubs. One in 100ml and the 500ml. Prices for the smaller 100ml tub go for abour £2 and can be found in pretty much all the supermarkets right next to its bigger 500ml brother which goes for around £4 which is pretty expensive. This also can be found in all supermarkets. Look out now and again as they will go no deal for either £2.50 each, 2 for £5 or even Buy one get one free (B.O.G.O.F). If you want to go slightly healthier you can purchase it as a frozen yogurt to.

                        Thanks for readty and enjoy!


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                          11.03.2010 16:58
                          Very helpful



                          Great place to eat with anyone and everyone!

                          Welll being a great lover in Turkish dishes (added to the fact that I am Turkish) and living in South London the number of places providing top notch Turkish grub is abit hard to find. Hence I used to travel all the way across the river to North London every weekend or so to satisfy myself and then popped this little beauty from under my nose!!!

                          If you are from South/ Southeast London or familiar with the zone, this little restaurant is located on Lewisham Way, just before Lewisham College. The location of this restaurant is not very clear so you may drive past it without realising as I have done so many a time. The parking is also the same and you'll be very lucky if you find a space right infront of the restaurant which also makes it even more visible. Anywho back to the actual restaurant.

                          As you can see from the picture (the best I could find, sorry), the exterior is wooden and looks abit worn off and in need of a touch up which doenst help the imagine. Upon entering you are greeted with a waiter who will ask how many people are dining and will talk you to your seat. As you enter you will get a very tongue waggling taste of the kebabs, lahmacuns (turkish pizza) in the air which is truly amazing. I'm salivating as I write.

                          Once seated you will be given a menu to decide what you would like to eat. The menu consists of cold starters, hot starters or a mixture of the two. Then we have Pide which are like a turkish pizza but thicker and in the shape of a large leaf (WAS EYELID BUT CHANGED THANKS TO ROBERTANDALISON it has been changed) which can be filled in with lamb, turkish sausage (sucuk), cheese, egg, mince. You then have the main dishes and a large selection of kebabs, mixed grills and they also have a few fish dishes as well as a few vegetarian so pretty much everyone is catered for. There is also a drinks menu and consist of the usual soft drink, alcoholic drinks and hot drinks to.

                          You ordered will then be taken and all you do is wait. Food will take around 10 minutes which is good. I had ordered the lahmacun (turkish pizza) as a starter along with cacik (tzatziki to some). What great about this place is that you actually see first hand how your food is cooked. I was placed rite next to the stove where the pizzas were being cooked and saw first hand the man preparing the dough, filling it with meat and placing it in the stove. The same goes with the main dishes as there is a huge grilling area where the chef will sit, prepare the meats and salads whilst the food is getting cooked, none of this hidden kitchen crap!

                          The food here is amazing to say the least. The lahmacun were light and nice and crispy (salad is provided with this dish so you can wrap it up), the starters were full of flavour and tasted fresh and the main, well mindblowingly tasty. I opted for the adana (lamb kofte) for this occasion, the portion was very good and was provided with some salad (one of my 5 a day1). If you want rice or chips this can be requested but is an extra charge. The meat was succulant, full of flavour and I could of easily had another one. When you have finished you meal the waiters will clear your table and ask if you would like some turkish tea on the house and a dessert menu. I would highly recommend you have the tea as it settles the stomch very nicely but you will need some sugar as it is quite bitter.

                          The dessert menu consists of baklava and I think ice cream as well. Baklava is a quite sweet pastry with crushed pistaccios nuts inside. Very tasty but VERY moreish.

                          The price for that evening was very good as it cost me under £30. This was 2 lahmacuns, a cacik, one adana kebab and a mix of a lamb shish and a chicken shish. This was due to the fact that my girlfriend couldnt decide so we asked if you could have half and half and was done without a problem.

                          All in all it is a great place to eat and to say it popular is an understatement. I rang up on a Wednesday to book a table on a Saturday only to be told they were fully booked for the evening and had a early 5pm slot, I grabbed it! So if your going to go, please ring and book in advance, the weekday shouldnt be that bad but do it just in case.

                          If your looking to take a group of you there they also have a downstairs which can seat around 15 people. We have done this numerous times and the service was fantastic.

                          If you happen to be down South or around the area stop by and you wont be disppointed, trust me. I'll bet my kebabs on it!. Read the reviews below.


                          Meze Mangal
                          245 Lewisham Way
                          SE4 1XF

                          Tel: 020 8694 8099


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                            10.03.2010 16:07
                            Very helpful



                            A great night out if your looking for something different

                            Well the mrs was coming to her special 21st birthday (still don't know why it's special) and naturally she wanted to celebrate it but she didnt want to go to the usual club stuff and so wanted something more mature yet fun. So off we went on google and made a list of possible venues and after searching for what seemed like her 21st had passed we got a list made.

                            So far the search was crap, all the ones we found werent up to her standard but we found 2 that were. One was a shisha restaurant, had a very nice moroccan feel to it with all the pillows and furniture and the next was the Absolut Ice Bar. So off we went to Heddon Street (thankfully both were right next to each other!). Heddon Street is allocated just off Regent Street. My best indication is to look for Timbaland and look right opposite it, you will find a little archway and it will be hidden there. Good luck finding it, took us about 30 minutes walking up and down like headless chickens.

                            We checked both and were really impressed but due to her birthday falling in February and the smoking ban is upon us, people would freeze outside and so to be considerate we chose for them to freeze inside! :-)

                            So off we went inside and interogated the lady, well asked a few questions nicely. We were told that we would be allocated a time and would be in the Ice bar (which at the current temperature was at MINUS 4 degrees) for 40minutes. We would be given coats and gloves along with a free shot. It was £15 per head and because the mrs wanted it on a saturday we had to book with them as soon as possible as it was there busiest night. So off we went on operation invite.

                            After numerous phone calls, texts, emails and even facebook messages we got a generous amount of people to come, 16 people. She was well chuffed and it being pay day a few days earlier I went to book away. 10 minutes later and £240 lighter we was all set. Communication was made to members of the party that it was all booked and for them to have there money ready for payment on the day. Booking and paying for the time slot was very simple and the lady on the phone was very polite and informative of the pricedure and how everything will go to plan.

                            --PARTY TIME--
                            The night arrived and we were both dressed to impress (who I dont know) and off we went. We arrived a little later than planned but still had plenty of time to go in. People were slowly arriving and so it was lookin good......until 5 people decided NOT to come. This was a really stinger as the tickets were NOT refundable. I naturally was peeved off and had to speak to the manager and make up some story in order to get something out of £75 floating around! The best I got was 5 free drinks inside the Ice bar. I duly accepted :-). So a word of warning there folks when booking. Make sure the people coming are DEFINITELY coming.

                            Well the time arrived, did a quick head count and was escorted downstairs. We were then given out lovely huge shiny blue coats with a furry rimmed hood along with gloves attached to the sleeves. One everyone was ready we went through a mini tunnel and was met with something that wouldnt be out of place in the Ice Age. EVERYTHING was made of ice, apart for the floor obviously. Walls....ICE.... Seats.....ICE.... Make believe turntables....ICE....... Bar......ICE, even our shot glasses were made of Ice!! We all took loads of pictures and we had the odd moment of crazyness to redo the scenes of dumb and dumber by liking the ice walls and glasses to see if our tongues got stuck. The answer you are all asking is YES. The seats as i said were made of Ice but had what looked like a cavemans bottoms laid on top to stop our bottoms from sticking. My girlfriend made the most of the free shots and by the time we knew it our time was up. We had to give back the jackets unfortunately :-(.

                            We then decided to head to the bar for a few drinks but saw the prices were ridiculous but being the gent that I am bought my girlfriend a £10 cocktail. We then headed out of the place and got something to eat elsewere. A wonderful night and a happy 21 year old girlfriend.

                            If your looking for something different then I would highly recommend this place. Yes its very cold in there but I'll guarantee you will have a great time and loads of pictures.

                            Like stated above it will cost £15 per head and also if you want more drinks in the Ice bar I believe they are £6. More details below.

                            31-33 Heddon Street,
                            W1B 4BN

                            Tel: 020 7478 8910

                            E-mail: info@belowzerolondon.com


                            Thanks for reading folks and enjoy!


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                              09.03.2010 13:16
                              Very helpful



                              Great film to watch which uses the 3D very well!

                              I read about this film coming out around last year and I couldnt wait for it to come out and thankfully after a year long wait it did and I can joyfully say if was well worth it. As you know this film has only recently been released in the cinemas so it will only be a film review. Also after much consideration we (the mrs came to) went and saw this in 3D.

                              The film is directed by the wacky Tim Burton who also gave us Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride, like Mar Attacks and also the musical film Sweeney Todd. And I have to say hes quite special!

                              Here again he teams up with his mate Johnny Depp ( or Tim Depp as I call them) in the Alice and Wonderland.

                              The film starts off with a few men in what looks like Victorian England discussing a few ideas. The gentleman then stops as he sees his daughter standing outside his office in which he is excused. He then comforts her as she has seen one of her dreams again and asks if shes is going mad. The father replies 'Yes you are, but all the special ones ares'. Fast forward 13 years and that girl is now 19year old Alice on her way to a special event held by one of her fathers former partners.

                              At the event she dances with the son and as she is dancing seems to be coming across a rabbit running around. No one around her notices but her. She is then told to meet him in 10mins. She is then told by some twins that she is going to be proposed to and she seems shocked by it but goes along anyway. The boy proposes and shes stiff, she delays, looks around and sees the rabbit again. She thens asks to be excused for a moment and then goes off chasing the rabbit. The rabbit then goes into a whole and as she leans in to see, part of the ground breaks off and she falls down. This is where you realise how good 3D cinema can be and bits of rock, books, cupboards and even a piano are floating around and falling with Alice.

                              After falling for what seems like years she land flat on her face in a circular room with just a table and doors around her and a curtain. She attempts to open the doors but to no avail and after pulling back the curtain she sees this tiny door. She finds the key on the table, unlocks the door and can only get her head through it! She thens find on the table a little bottle which says drink me. And like all teenagers, gives us a shrug of the shoulders and bottoms up! She then shrinks, but the door has locked and so she must unlock the door again........ but the key is on the now huge table. Hoe will she get up there, simple with the little cake saying eat me. She takes a big bite and then shoots up to the ceiling, Alice got a little greedy!! She takes the key and then drinks the remaining stuff in the bottom and is back to her small self. She then opends the door and enters the wacky, crazy wonderland.

                              She then finds the rabbit and also a dormouse and tweedledum and tweedledee. They all seem to look in confusion and keep asking the rabbit if she is the real Alice and that she was never like this before. Why do they ask and why do they look at her in confusion? Has she been here before? If so when? Well if you want to find out head off to your local cinema people because thats all your getting!

                              Sorry for the long introduction people, this is the only way I could get you to imagine it!

                              Well after watching this in my trendy cool 3D glasses I must say that Mr Burton has done it again. Hes made a cracking movie. The scenary of the secnes are fantastic, full of colour, full of eerieness (if thats a word!).

                              The characters all are fantastic and its been picked well. Mia Wasikowska plays Alice and I felt she done fantastic. She looked like the typical 19year old, naive, full of questions, a rebel and also by the looks of it a wacky mind! Hr character develops really well in the film and putting an unknown in such a high profile film was risky but paid off real well. Well done girl!

                              Johnny Depp as the mad hatter had us waiting in anticipation for some crazy wacky dude, but we didnt get that, well not all the time. Johnny does fantastic in his role and shows us the softer more sensitive side of the hatter which I really felt sorry for. His crazy outbursts are funny!

                              The crazy red queen Iracebeth is played by Helena Bonham Carter whos head seems to have been blown up but some hot air! Her role is played just as well as the others and her outbursts are what I had imagined this sort of Queen would have.

                              Anne Hathaway plays the red queens nicer sister Mirana, the white queen. She plays her role well but as we got to see her more and more in the film, her movement had got really annoying! You'll see what I mean when you see it. Apart from that though she did her role very well and it suited her very well.

                              Other characters involved where Mr Stephen Fry as the cheshire cat and you cant of picked a better role for him. He was simply amazing. Barbara Windsor (yep Peggy from Eastenders) as the dormouse and shes as feisty as ever! Michael Sheen plays the White rabbit and although not seen or heard that much he does very well and complements the role. We see Matt Lucas as tweedledum and tweedledee and he plays role great with a twins contradicting each other. The caterpillar is played by the fantastic Alan Rickman. Who ever thought of him and Stephen Fry for the roles should be awarded a cut of the film revenue, it was simply genious. Mr Rickman gives us a great performance as ever, with his typical no nonsense talk!.

                              Overall I would highly recommend you go and watch this film. Being a disney fan but also loving Tim Burtons work this rating may be abit biased but what ever. This film was great! I would recommend watching it in 3D for thouse thinking about which version to watch.

                              Film is shown pretty much in every cinema. Please note that if you want to watch it in 3D, the ticket price will be about £2 more. Bring you own food to!!

                              Enjoy and thanks for reading.


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                                25.02.2010 12:01
                                Very helpful



                                Mario Puzo does it again!

                                At one stage last year I was on some sort of book reading fest. I just felt the need to read books. I had read all the Harry Potters, most of my autobiographies and so was left with nothing until my friend had bought this from the charity shop but didnt try and read it. I saw the author and automatically took it from her hands. Thanks you!!

                                This amazing book was written by the man responsible for The Godfather. Yes Mario Puzo has done it again with this book, The Sicilian. Some regard it as the sequal to The Godfather in book format and not in film. This book was published in 1984, so well after The Godfather was (1969).

                                You start off in Sicily in 1950, Michael Corleone is preparing to go back to America following his exile here. He meets with Don Croce Malo, The boss of bosses in Sicily, his brother Father Benjamino Malo, Stefan Andolini and Inspector Frederico Velardi. These men had previously spoke to Don Corleone is America and agreed that Michael is to usher bandit Salvatore Guiliano to America. The reasons for this is that Guiliano has documents that could possibly damaging to certain political officials in Sicily and we all know they are not squeaky clean.

                                Michael then goes to visit Guilianos parents at there home and Guilianos second in command Gaspera Pisciotta. They call him Aspanu as it was a nickname given to him when he was younger. The plan seems to extend even further as Michael is then told that he has to take Guilianos wife first and then only when shes sends the signal that she is safe and has arrived in America then Guiliano will follow. Upon agreeing and making some sort of plan and assuring the mother that they will be safe she give him a negro statue of Mary and a gift.

                                The rest of the book then goes back to 1943 to the beginning and we all find out why he is being exiled to America and how he became from being a model Sicilian to be known as a legendary bandit and hero to the Sicilian people.

                                When first reading this I just thought whats all this fuss about some bandit, but as it goes back to 1943 when it all started i realised why and boy was it good. The book is full of action and Puzo gives us an insight of Guilianos life from 1943 at the annual festa to celebrate the towns patron saint to 1950 where Micheal Corleone is trying to usher him out to America. Does he make it there and meet his wife? You'll just have to go out and read it people.

                                I have to admit that this is the first Mario Puzo book I have read. I know the shame!!!! His writing is fantastic, hes gives us an indepth description of how life was like in Sicilly in those days for normal folk and as you read, you get engaged into it and feel like you are part of the town. The same can be said when writing about Guiliano and his exploits in the book. You get sucked into it and feel like your part of the bandits crew, listening to his every word. Theres even a explicit scene where Aspanu seduces a women and it feels like your there watching him!

                                This is truly a great read and I cant recommend it highly enough to anyone out there who wants to read about friendship, fight for freedom, love, lust, betrayal and loyalty all in one book.

                                I unfortunately had to give the book back as I told her how good it was and so I'm off to buy it myself! You can buy the book from Amazon for about £5 which is a great price for the adventure you are going to get!

                                After reading this I googled his name and found out that he is actually a real person, so this booked is somewhat based on true events. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvatore_Giuliano for more info on the legendary but not well known bandit they called 'Turi'.

                                Thank you for reading and hope you enjoy!


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                                • Skype / Utility / 189 Readings / 182 Ratings
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                                  15.02.2010 13:07
                                  Very helpful



                                  Give it a go people!

                                  I have been a Skype user for many years now so heres my take on this free bit of software.

                                  Well in a nutshell Skype is a free bit of software that allows you to speak to pretty much anybody anywhere in the world, wait for it.......... for FREE!!!! Yes it wont cost you a penny. All you need and you friend need are a skype account and off you go.

                                  --Install and Contact adding--
                                  You first off need to install the software. Simply go to Skype.com and you will find the softare to download from there. After you have downloaded and installed it, enter a few of your details and make yourself a Skype name. After that your set. Now all you need is to find your friends on it. Simple seach by either there email or skype name, add and your done and your friend will be on your contact list.

                                  --Microphone and webcam test--
                                  When you start up you will see on your contacts list there will be Skype test call. This is to test out your speakers and microphone. These are quite important as you need it to hear and speak to your friends. All you do is simply follow the steps and your done.

                                  --Skype Calling--
                                  This is so easy a 2year old can do it. See which one of your friends are online (it will show a green icon next to them) and double click there name. It will then connect and start ringing. If they answer you can talk all you want, if they dont you can leav them a message to call back. So simple and cool.

                                  --Webcam calling--
                                  This i think is truly a great thing on skype. Whilst talking to your friend you can also get to see them as long as you both have webcams. This is just as simple as calling. Simply call them, when they answer simply click on your cam and it will connect and so you can lark about with your friends too. This feature i think is great as i used this many times to speak to my girlfriend when she was off at work in the caribbean so it helped :-). I would say however make sure both of you have a good connection or it will sometimes cut off completely. It has happened a few times when i was speaking to my girlfriend and ended up only calling her which wasnt so nice :-(.

                                  --Other features--

                                  Skype sms - This is basically an instant messenger like all the others available. This is great for some people who hav skype downloaded on there phones. I have an uncle in cyprus i can keep in contact off because of this feature.

                                  Skype Out - This feature allows you to make calls to landlind and mobiles, however this feature ISNT free :-(. You will have to purchase some skype credits for this. The other bad part of this is that you will have a certain amount of time to use these credits up before they expire. You can purchase the credits from the website. The calls can be made anywhere that is available and it has a handy international caller id to help if you dont know the call code for the country you want to call. The call costs are available on the website. Its quite cheap.

                                  Skype In - As well as making calls you can also receive calls to your skype through this feature. Again this feature is not free and also has an expiry time too. With this feature Skype will give you a number so you can give to your friends so they can call you whenever you are connected to skype.

                                  --Skype forwarding--
                                  This feature allows you to forward your calls to a landline or mobile when your not online. Again you will have to pay for this feature. I cant give too much information as i havent used this before.

                                  --Skype Voicemail--
                                  As i said earlier in the review if you miss a call some can send you a voicemail so you can ring them back. This feature i have not used and thought it was free but from what i have read you have to pay for it too.

                                  Overall i would highly recommend Skype to anyone who wants to keep in contact with distant relatives, friends and other loved ones. I have always recommended it to people who go off on work for a few months in another country so they can keep in contact like i did with my uncle and my girlfriend when she went off to the caribbean to work.

                                  Enjoy people!


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