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Showing posts from September, 2008

Stranded in Cologne...

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Long story short - Easyjet flights back to Gatwick cancelled - no alternative other than driving to Calais (via Belgium) to get a ferry back. Then hire a car to get back to Gatwick (although a train would have been possible). From this I have deduced the following about these new cars:

Vauxhall Vectra - despite it's "family car" size, there is not really comfortable space to carry 3 people in the back. Long journeys (2 hours +) are uncomfortable, and rear headroom is poor on the hatcback. The head rests are uncomfortable and in the wrong place for attempted sleep, and the window ledges are too high so that you can't rest your arms on them.

Ford Focus (08 model) - space in the back is plentiful for 2 people. Seats are comfortable enough for sleep on the motorway. However interior feels very cheap, poor quality plastics, manual winding windows even on Zetec model. Noise in the back in excessively loud on motorways.

* Mini pictured above is the Mini I've recently boug…

Philips GC7220 Pressurised Steam Iron

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It's full title, according to Amazon, is "Philips Bangkok GC7220 Steam Generator with SteamGlide Soleplate - 3.5 bars Steam Pressure", however I prefer the shorter name of Philips GX7220. It costs £75, or £95 at Tesco. Apparently this is good value for a pressurised steam iron (others are in the region of £150!), it's not much more than other premium brand philips irons. Normally I'm happy buying the nicest looking £15 iron from Argos.


This things big. You fill the bottom half (the stand) with water - switch it on - wait about 2 minutes - then start ironing with the top half. The steam is delivered to the iron through the large flex cord. The ironing - it's fast, damn fast. Wet too, and ironing on a solid surface will leave the surface (and the underside of the clothing) slightly damp, so it's recommended you use an ironing board with a mesh design that will allow the steam to escape.

Setting it up and using it is fairly straight forward, as long as you ign…

t-ka - and maybe a tree will grow out of me - cd review

The album grows on you, with tracks 2 and 3 standing out as the highlights for me. Track 1 gives a poor introduction, and track 10 leaves you disappointed. When the track works, the powerful voice, meaningful lyrics, and almost perfect music come together to form an impressive, (sometimes) moving and enjoyable experience. It's important to give this album the attention is deserves - listen to this album with the correct setup and the powerful bass lines and melodic tunes impress. However it can also serve as pleasing background music for dinner parties. Skip tracks 1 and 10 and you have a great (if slightly short) album. As a guide she often sounds like Annie Lennox, and occassionaly Lisa Stansfield over the top of a jazzy soulful sound. it's available from Amazon

New Dell Vostro 1510 Core 2 Duo Laptop

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The Vostro 1510 from Dell.com/uk - £316 including VAT and Postage (with £50 off, plus a further 10% off). It's very dark in colour, and not very shiney from this angle. After the faulty advent I think I've finally got a bargain of a laptop to replace the Inspiron 1300.


The laptop scores well in Vista, although is let down slightly by the graphics, and 3D graphics scores. Aero is supported, but scores would be higher if a dedicated graphics card was chosen. The Vista experience scores are: CPU: 4.8, RAM: 4.8, GFX: 3.5, 3D GFX: 3.5, HD: 5.1 - giving an overall score of 3.5.


The Dell Vostro 1510 features a 1.8ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 250GB HD (WD), Vista Home Premium, DVDRW (slot loading TEAC), 15.4" widescreen, SD/MMC/MS/Pro memory card reader, 4 USB ports, WIFI (plus physical on/off switch), Firewire, a shiney sparkly black lid, a catchless closing mechanism (magnets? weighted shut?), a nice blue circuit board with easy access to the CPU and memory.

Some pros and cons, starti…