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Nintendo 3DS Console - Cosmos Black
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I thoroughly love the 3DS. I skipped the DS/DS lite/DSi models, as I had most of the games on my GBA SP. I decided I wanted to get this as soon as I saw it and I'm glad I did.
Yes, the battery life is not as long as the DS etc but it has a higher resolution, more computing power, a 3rd screen (which needs lighting) and a host of other things that surpass the previous models.
This is worth the money as a hand held gaming system. my family have bought 1 black and 1 blue 3DS, and look forward to many hours of enjoyment from it.
It is quick and easy to set up, and quick to get into. The 3D effect is quite strange at first but you soon adjust to it.
What else can I say? The only thing I can think of is that the screen protector sheets may be a very necessary purchase, especially for households with pets (cats in particular) as cat litter dust gets on the screens and it means you need to keep wiping them off with a micro fiber cloth. If you don't want the protectors you may need to look into getting some telescope lens cleaner (in spray form) to keep the screens in tip top condition.
Nyko Xbox 360 Wireless Controller Charge Base - Black
I was using the GAME battery packs with the USB wire charger. I got sick of my dad constantly tripping over the cables or getting it caught under his table legs.
So I bought this from GAME (where it is 19.99 GBP as of Sept 2010).
I am now ordering another one as I have 3 controllers and it is easier to get another one than it is to buy spare battery packs from Nyko (unless you are living in America, where it is easy to order them).
If you want a simple, effective and long lasting way to play wirelessly then this is the item you want. I have been playing on my new Halo: Reach 360 for anywhere up to 16 hours straight and the batteries last the entire time!
You know when the charging is complete as the light goes green then turns off.
Cooler Master HAF RC-932 PC Case
I bought this case to replace my Coolermaster Cosmos 1000 (v1) gaming case.
Why? Because I have an Nvidia chipset ASUS Striker II Formula 780i motherboard, which runs hot - even with massive Delta fans blowing air onto it.
This case is great. You get plenty of fan options. It comes with 3 200 mm fans, which while quiet are not overly great for a decent airflow system.
I kept the red L.E.D. fan in the front, because it isn't worth downsizing that one to a single 120mm (even though they could have actually fitted 2 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm or 1 x 180mm fans there)
I have installed 4 x Xigamtex FSF-F1251 fans in the top (it takes 3 fans, but I have a Corsair Hydro H50 self contained water cooler which has another Xigmatek fan installed for push/pull)
I have 2 more Xigmatek XSF-F1251 fans on the side panel and 2 Coolermaster blue L.E.D. Sickleflow fans (waiting for 2 more)
On the exhaust I am using a Noctua NPF-14P 140mm fan.
Unfortunately, my Striker II Formula board is a piece of junk, so my PC rig is a little poor with regards to my motherboard - the set up being:
ASUS P5Q SE PLUS - single PCI-e moboIntel Q9650 3.0 GHz Core 2 Quad (stock speed)8Gb of G. Skill DDR2-1066 MHz RAM (stock speed)1Gb Gainward GT 240 "Golden Sample" GPU (Nvidia graphics)2 ASUS Lightscribe drives1 Floppy (still have to rely on these crummy things)1 x 640 Gb Western Digital HDD, 1 x 500 Gb Western Digital HDD & 1 x 320 Gb Seagate Barracuda HDD.
The motherboard and GPU were in my HTPC case, but I decided to move it into this case when I got my Quad core chip.
Temperatures are great: According to PC Wizard 2010 (from the people who make CPU-ID / CPU-Z) my core temps are just 35 / 35 / 37 / 37 - which is pretty good.
Overal my system is about 30-34 degrees C, which is excellent considering these fans are NOT the highest air flow fans you can buy (but are quiet - my PC is running at about 27-28 db) If I wanted to seriously cool my PC, while making it sound like a jet I would fit my 5 Delta fans (4,000 rpm, 190 CFM (cubic feet per minute) at 59 db a fan!)
This case is massive, and whether or not you like the looks, it is a seriously good buy!
It has plenty of cable management holes, which have plastic push on protection stuff. The rubber mat on top hides a water tank re-fill hole, which works with the Cooler Master Aquagate system (which some of the online video reviewers don't seem to know about) and you can even install wheels to the case.
It has a hole in the motherboard tray for you to fit high end aftermarket CPU coolers (like the Corsair Hydro H50 etc) although not ALL backplates fit well within the hole.
The finish is good, but mine has some scratches in the paint. The side panels are easy to get on and off - although they are a little thin and warp slightly when you have lots of cables hidden. The thubscrews aren't bad - but I've seen / had better.
The whole set up is also tool-less. This means you don't need to screw in the HDD's, the Optical drives OR your expansion cards like a Graphics card etc. Only niggle I have is that the spring system of the Optical drive tool-less system seems a little weak in comparison to my Cosmos 1000 case.
Overall, if you are looking for a really big case that will house your top end quad core set up, or your new i3, i5, i7 (or when released) i9 system, you won't go wrong with this case.
If it weren't for the few little niggles I have had (I also had to get Cooler Master to send me the screws to fit the wheels as I didn't get any) then I would have given this a 5* review.
Out of 100 I would give this a 90 point pass.
I hpoe you find this review helpful - and I hope others expand on this review.
Jamie's Ministry of Food
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I have been watching his new series and it makes me wonder just what happens in "normal" or mainstream schools in the UK. I went to a special needs school and there I at least had the opportunity to learn and gain a GCSE in Home Economics. Add to that the fact I am Jewish, so I learnt to cook from my Bubbeh (Grandmother).
I find it shocking that people just can't be bothered to learn how to cook and will eat rubbish day in day out. Cooking is fun, easy and can give you a real sense of pride, especially when you get approval from friends and family.
Just tonight I made the chicken, parmesan cheese and pancetta recipe, adding some asparagus to it. I did it with a basic salad, and it was great.
People can make snide comments about Jamie, calling him unrealistic, ignorant of "normal" peoples lives etc etc, but this man has a heart of gold and wants to see the people of this country eat proper, home made meals.
If you buy a cookbook this year, make this one the one you put in your shopping basket, I have, even thought I can cook well enough for my household.
Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock (3) (with Wireless Guitar Controller)
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Well now, the graphics are about as good as you will see on the Wii and the guitar is cool but, as with most of the other remote accessories, once the remotes infra-red part is covered it fails to work properly.
I've been playing this for a couple of hours (I have GAMES rechargable battery packs in my remotes and they are always fully charged) I notice that the guitar stops responding properly - although I am pressing the buttons and strumming the paddle, it doesn't do anything - losing me points and status during the game. I tried putting in fresh AA batteries, and it still does it. Now, I am only a couple of feet away from the Sensor bar (I only have a small place) and I am not overly impressed with this.
The other thing that upset me is that American pre-orders had 3 free gifts from Red Octane namely a gig bag, designer strap and a key chain, when we in the UK don't. Not only that but we are paying upto half as much again for the game as they are in the U.S.A.
Red Octane also said that there would be various songs from the previous two titles on there as well as a Queen song - but as far as I can see there aren't any of either.
Overall, from a long time gamer (of over 20 years) I would rate this game around 6 out of 10.
Sony NVU92TW GPS Navigation Unit Sat Nav
Well, we bought one of these today, and I must say one simple word to describe it. That word is WOW.
It has the biggest screen on the market (along with the cheaper NV-U82) at 4.8 inch, rather than Tom Toms lagest of 4.3 inch. That extra space allows for more map area to be shown which means you can get more out of the unit.
It is a little complex to get the units systems set up and the NAVU website isn't brilliantly user friendly, so I had to phone Sony (the number given is expensive, but saynoto0870.com will give you a free number) and after about 20 minutes I had the free speed camera system working.
I also bought the lifetime TMC (Traffic Messaging Center/Service) which will let you know if a traffic jam happens when your out and about.
We took it for a test drive by going out somewhere fairly confusing to get to and back, and asked it to get us home. The margin of error for our postal code was around 30 metres, but I have asked it to take my street as my home location, so this should be sorted.
Some other peoples reviews say that it doesn't tell you what roads it is getting you to use and that it doesn't speak - this is untrue - because it does - it also recalculates the route if you decide to go against its suggestions.
I rate this 10/10 - it is sleak (2cm thick) and it is stylish - if you are looking for a Sat Nav you should seriously consider this one.
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
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Yes yes, I know - yet another Potter game.
But wait, this one promises to be different! But hang on, it isn't... It is yet another chore running game - with very poor standards. If you want to get a password to a portraight, and you are already on a quest then to get the password you'll have to do the portraits quest before carrying on with the original quest - because Potter and co DO NOT REMEMBER anything they find out - i.e. a Portrait on the second floor requires you to find out from a 1st yr Ravenclaw where R. Ravenclaw came from (answer is the Glens) - and when you meet this portrait you are already on a quest, but to give the portrait the answer you must find a 1st yr. R/claw and ask them, then go back and tell the portrait, and then carry on with your quest.
Total shambles of a game - the graphics are mediocre for a new game considering the quality of modern graphics cards. I have 2 7950 GT cards (total 1Gb of Sli Graphics memory) and the game looks the same is would on a lower spec PC. The characters still look a little odd (even though they had their noggins scanned and pasted into the game) and the controls for the PC game are BLOOMING AWEFUL!
Only consider this if you are REALLY into Potter - for me, I prefer the books and then the films - I hope the next game will be better!
By the way, the room of rewards is a little bit of a let down, as there aren't any rewards that seem to do much to make the game more interesting - most of the "rewards" are unlockable clips from the actors and actresses.
So, all in all, this game is pretty average.
Queen - The DVD Collection: Live At Wembley Stadium (2 Discs)
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Three simple words.
Just buy this!
It is the DVD that houses what is probably Queen's finest performance. I love this DVD set - I own the CD version as well. Really, if you are a Queen fan and you don't own this then your weird! If your not a Queen fan, then why are you even looking at this? If you want to get a Queen fan a special gift, then this is it!
Hogfather (Limited Edition) (2 Discs)
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I love Terry Pratchett's books. I have read (and own) every one of the actual stories, and a good number of non story books such as the Discworld Map.
This was perfect. Every character passes the high standard required to play the characters that Mr. Pratchett has nurtured over the years. David Jason could have been grumpier - as Albert is a real miserable git, but I still rate this 10 out of 10.
If you love reading Science Fantasy, then you will love this televised version of the Hogfather. Lets all hope and pray that there will be more. Not before time! etc.