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Member since: 22.08.2008

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    • Philips GC7230 / Iron / 13 Readings / 12 Ratings
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      23.08.2008 14:38
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      Makes ironing much easier (ignore rating on battery life - dooyou's showed that for some reason)

      Brilliant bit of kit - so far it has performed faultlessly and has made ironing much easier. As the previous reviewer said it is especially good on things like denim - also linen etc. The steam generator gets up to pressure quite quickly - about 1 minute I would guess, and you can fill it up easily and it doesn't need filling often. The only minor criticism is that the clip on the side which is meant to hold the cable for storage is far too flimsy and falls off easily.

      We are much less happy with the Vileda ironing board we bought at the same time. The tray for holding the steam generator is only just strong enough - it springs up and down a bit. Also the sponge under the cover seems to get wrinkled up very easily - my advice would be to put as much effort into choosing the board as you do the steam generator iron. I think I'll take the board back.

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      • Tesco / Highstreet Shopping / 13 Readings / 12 Ratings
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        22.08.2008 19:46
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        Right now our local Sainsbury is much better

        Tesco is something of a curate's egg - some parts are good - some not so good and some awful. All my experience is based on the store at Martlesham to the east of Ipswich.

        Good - the parking spaces are wider than Sainbury's and the car park is easy to get in and out of. Very friendly staff (mostly). Selection and availability is generally good (apart from the mysterious Shredded Wheat shortage earlier this year).

        Bad - much of the rest. The store and it's car park are getting pretty scruffy (the nearest Sainsbury is much better). The car park and immediate surrounding areas are littered. The promo signs outside are fastened to bits of wood which look almost like old pallets (especially by the entry roundabout). It doesn't surprise me that according to our local paper the store is being prosecuted by the local council for hygiene issues (see http://tinyurl.com/5nq5yz). Overall it needs a face lift and fewer customers, or maybe they could close at nights instead of being open 24 hours - then they could have time to sort it out a bit.

        The busiest aisles are far too narrow for the number of customers - especially when there are several of the Tesco home delivery collectors operating in the same aisle.

        The chilled food aisles get very cold - goodness know how much energy is being wasted by all that cold air leaking out.

        Comparing prices is pretty tricky - unit prices are often quoted in different units for similar products.

        Although the branch is in East Anglia and there are some items labelled as being East Anglian produce, this looks like a token gesture - often you see lots of foreign import when local fields are full of the stuff. English bacon also seems pretty scarce even though there are plenty of excellent pig farms in this part of the world - all outdoor grazing.

        Prices do not seem especially competitive to me - again Sainsburys seem to be much the same now - it depends on what mix of products you actually buy.

        The main supermarkets seem to play a protracted game of leapfrog and right now Tesco seem to being on the way down and Sainsbury on the way up. Maybe this is a reflection of Tesco's global expansion which is taking their eye off the UK ball.

        Finally, the way Tesco treats their suppliers seems appalling to me - but there again this seems to apply to all the big supermarkets with the exception of the Coop (according to local producers who I've spoken to).

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        • Apple iPod classic 80 GB / MP3 Player / 4 Readings / 2 Ratings
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          22.08.2008 19:01
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          Basically an excellent product but itunes and the ipod firmware both need some further refinement.

          This was bought to augment an ipod nano - the idea was to have an ipod which was big enough to hold all my collection. As I don't have videos, 80gb is plenty big enough.

          Out of the box the music and podcast bits worked fine - I did have to update both itunes and the ipod firmware - and this went without a hitch.

          The auto sync facility worked first time - the big advantage of the big HDD is that I can simply sync up the whole music collection and this makes the process a lot easier. Adding podcasts was also easy.

          An irritation is that when the "sync music" option is selected in the Music tab on itunes then when you click "Music" in the left frame just under the ipod name, all the music on the ipod is shown greyed out so you can't play music from the ipod etc. If you deselect "sync music" then this functionality returns.

          Another real irritant is that in cover flow (on the ipod but not on itunes) you get lots of duplicate folders appearing for compilation albums (ie where all the artist are different). I've tried all the various work rounds suggested on newsgroups (it seems to be a common problem), but have not found a reliable solution.

          The picture facility was far less slick for me. Apparently it works seamlessly with some Adobe products (see http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1389?viewlocale=en_US). I've still not figured out how you can make itunes import from several folders so I have to put all the photos in one folder. Also itunes creates a series of folders called "ipod photo cache" on you PC - there is an FAQ about that here - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1389?viewlocale=en_US

          Finally Apple's help is based on the premise that their software is largely pretty intuitive. Mostly it is, but in places it isn't and then the help is not detailed enough - adding photos is an example of this.

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        • More +
          22.08.2008 17:54
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          Worth considering, but try others first.

          I bought a Fuji F40fd recently to replace a Fuji F10 which had started to go on the blink. The F10 was very very good in low light without flash and was very quick to start up. I assumed the F40fd would be as good, if not better. Sadly it's not a big step forwards, and in some respects it's worse. It is slower to start up, slower between shots and the image seems slightly soft by comparison (there may be tweaks available - but I'm using the out of the box settings). The LCD display is better than the F10 however, and the camera is slightly smaller. But the F40's battery life shorter. Having said all that, the F40 is not a bad camera and is pretty good at low light compared to much of the competition, but I don't think it's as exceptional amongst it's peers as the F10 was when it was launched. My recommendation would be to try one, but try other cameras also before deciding.

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        • Nationwide Building Society / Bank / 13 Readings / 13 Ratings
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          22.08.2008 12:06
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          Still good, but please review the phone system

          Going downhill ? We've been with the NW for years and until recently have been extremely satisfied. However they have recently changed their phone system and it is now truly awful. It takes about 5 minutes to get to the point where you can speak to a branch - and as for the voice recognition bit - forget it. I would even go so far as to say it makes dealing with telecom companies seem a pleasure by comparison! I really hope they take notice of criticism and change it before I get old. I would think anyone who is hard of hearing or arthritic, for example, would be unable to use it all. Also the interest rate on their e-savings account is no longer competitive. On the plus side their web based banking service is excellent, their charges for visa and cash when abroad are very low and the branch staff are very good. Above all they are a mutual still !

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