Dell Inspiron Mini 1010 review


So I’ve done it… I went and brought a Dell note book thanks to me breaking my samsung one (it fell out my car roof)

So also thanks to it being a pay day I hunted round Swindon’s 2nd hand shops (seeing the average life of a notebook with me is less than six months I don’t see the point of paying more than £300 for one) So after hunting around I settled for Dell Mini 10 which was fully loaded for £89 from cash converts.

Here are the quick specs.

Dell Inspiron 1010
Inspiron 1010, Intel Atom Processor Z530, 1.6GHz, 533MHzFSB, 512K L2 Cache
1GB RAM
10.1 Inch High Definition Widescreen Display (1366×768)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 500
160GB, 2.5inch, 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Genuine Windows XP Home Edition SP3
Dell Wireless 1510 802.11n Half Mini Card
Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
56WHr Lithium-Ion (larger batter)

What is a Netbook?

A Netbook is simply a really small and low cost computer. Now if you are telling yourself that sounds really good, there is a catch. Its really slow by design. They should only be considered a good idea if all you do is browse the web and check your email. Even installing office on a Netbook may be too much for it to handle.

So how slow is it?

Well it seemed very sluggish but Dell had loaded a lot of junk software on it. It definitely could be used for the home research terminal. You know, looking up stuff on Google, keeping some recipes (I do like to try and cook), that kind of thing.

Why the Dell Mini?

It was Dell because of the deal I got, however the smaller the better for me. The only reason I didn’t pick another Samsung was that it doesn’t have the function key row and the keys are too tiny for my fingers. The second reason was because it has an HDMI port.

What did I want it for?

My plan was to use it for watching TV when I’m on shift (breaks of course) and also for writing blogs and of course twitter.

Bad points?

Yeah the touch pad sucks, the buttons are built into it and because of that you keep moving the mouse by accident.

The Video card really sucks, and the other downside is it’s the only Netbook in the world with non-removable memory. With most you can take out the 1GB stick and upgrade to 2GB.

England Keep My Bones Review


I thought I’ll write a small review about Frank Turners latest ablem called ‘England Keep My Bones’. For those who don’t know Frank Turner is a singer/song writer who’s main musical genres covers Folk, folk-punk, hardcore punk and also alternative rock. You can also follow him on twitter (@fthc).

So onto the review…

Frank Turner is has gained what can be described as a cult-like following in the UK (and also aboard) over the last few years by mainly his folky punk anthems that have touched (and also people can relate to) a generation of fans that perhaps his songs in his old band (Million Dead) never could.

Also if you have ever lucky enough to have been to one of his live shows. You’re generally be surrounded by a very diverse crowd who will sing back every single lyric to every song he belts out from behind his acoustic guitar.

Saying that I firmly believe that there is a Frank Turner song for every emotion in this life, it feels…’real’ is the best word I can think of.

So his newest album: ‘England Keep my Bones’

This album has been very long-awaited by his fans and gained much excitement with the release of tracks such as ‘Peggy Sang the Blues’ and the anthemic ‘I still believe’ (one of my favourites) which were released on BBC Radio One. The sheer beauty of a Frank Turner songs is that by the end of it, you feel like you’ve known it for years and can’t help but to sing alone. And with his catchy chorus which are surrounded by verses that make you sit back and think ‘you know what? He’s right!’

On my first listen to England Keep my Bones. I was a little underwhelmed as it slipped my mind that I’ve felt the same about a lot of Frank’s songs before, but giving the album another chance I realised it was exactly what I was looking for in a Frank Turner album and carry’s on so much from his other albums such as ‘poetry of the dead’

Lyrically there are line after line you can imagine on the people’s facebook status or even the tattooed skin of music fans around the world. There are many catchy anthems surrounded by sombre lyric driven tracks as Frank Turner goes through songs about his Grandmother in ‘Peggy Sang the Blues’, his love of England in ‘Wessex Boy’ and the is also a history lesson ‘English curse’ , his love of Rock N Roll in ‘I still Believe’ and even all the way down to the atheist anthem that is ‘Glory Hallelujah’

Frank Turner fans won’t be disappointed with this offering, but if you listen to them it’s hard to think that the guy could do anything wrong at all.

Frank Turner is simple back to basics and his very passionate style gives everyone a reason to ‘still believe’.

You can buy ‘England Keep My Bones’ on Itunes and other outlets

FLIC Wiltshire Review


FLIC Wiltshire is a new(ish) online news website who are becoming very quickly the must read site in Wiltshire. With the brand slogan of ‘Your Wiltshire, Your Magazine’ They’re doing just that.

FLIC Wiltshire is the brainchild of Daniel Webb (Find him on twitter @OfficialDanW) who in the past has been a wildlife photographer as well as working for different modelling companys in the south west. So who better to start a online magazine?

FLIC Wiltshire covers many different subjects from breaking news to reviews to supporting local projects and even now offering their very own person to answer questions about relationships.

So are they worth a read?

I say they are must have look at the moment especially as in less than six months they’ve raced to the top. They have at times even beaten the Swindon Adver to story’s. They report on everything and anything. Downside thro they do sometimes report on not so newsworthy events such as Ambulance calls. Also at times they need to learn where the spell check is.

Their impact on social networking sites:

FLIC Wiltshire have a very strong following on facebook where they have over 2900 people who ‘like’ their page. With the page FLIC update it with news reports and also simple things like ‘what are you doing today’ Its a shame that this following isn’t the same of their twitter feed (@FLICWiltshire) where they only have 71 followers.

But can they make improvements?

With every online magazine they get a fair share of their ‘haters’ but this doesn’t seem to effect them (apart from a angry tweet from @OfficialDanW aimed at another user where he implied that, that user was running hate pages)

Also it would make sense for FLIC Wiltshire to move forwards and make more use of the mobile users maybe making a mobile version of their site.

So that’s a wrap up of FLIC Wiltshire. While I was writing this I did tweet FLIC Wiltshire and some of their staff for a quote but sadly got no answer.

But later on I did get this from their Director Daniel Webb: ‘Thanks for your excellent review of my website, FLIC Wiltshire. We’re always taking the time to improve the way our site is run, including taking the time to read through posts or carefully check spelling errors. We’re one of Wiltshire top online sites for news and are planning on making our company 10 times bigger and 100 times better in 2012.’

You can find FLIC Wiltshire on:
Facebook: facebook.com/FLICWiltshire
Their website: http://www.flicwiltshire.com
Twitter: @FLICWiltshire

Kindle Review (3rd Generation)


Today I bit the bullet and brought a Kindle (mainly because family members have been raving about them so I had to see what the fuss was about).

So I brought the 3rd generation one (the WiFi & 3G version) So here’s a few thoughts on it.

First Impressions

Having never had an e-reader before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and my first impression of one was the Sony version after seeing it in a shop it wasn’t that great.

When I first opened the device I thought there was one of those printed acetate covers on it to protect it but turns out the device was in sleep mode and that was the actual screen. I’ve read about e-ink before but was impressed by what I saw.  I knew people said it looked like printed paper but I didn’t realise how right they were.

What was also good about the device was the form factor, about the size of a normal paperback book, except thinner and its also very light.  I bought one of the black Amazon covers for it as well (as I always drop new things), so it kinda looks like a Moleskin.

So first impressions were good, it’s thin, light and e-ink looked good.  I can certainly imagine travelling to work with it (and have done so).

Content – Reading a book/magazine

To be honest I’ve not spent a lot of time reading books on my Kindle yet, it’s been mainly newspapers so far.  It’s really handy having the latest edition downloaded directly to your device.
And once you get used to navigating around articles it’s pretty good and I can imagine not buying another physical newspaper – although not the Metro’s not on it.

Reading books though is good, not really any negative comments, it’s like reading a book which is what I was looking for. Funny though how the main selling point of this device only really gets a couple of sentences, but that’s because it does exactly as you expect (I think).

SHOP @ KINDLE

Shopping and buying works well, getting content delivered as soon as you buy is good.  What is handy are the trial options, I’ve signed up to quite a few already and found the ones I really want.  It would be really annoying to sign up for something only to find out it’s not as good as the reviews.  However one comment, an option to un-subscribe would be good from the device.

PRICING

Prior to launch I did see some comments about high pricing, to be honest I’ve not seen that as a problem and have generally found I’d make a good saving on physical versions (esp if you get places to price match)

Browser

I appreciate this is experimental but I think this probably has a lot interest for people.  My experiences so far is that the Kindle is like a big mobile phone.  The webkit browser however is not up to being your primary browser.  However if you head over to mobile versions of sites they generally work pretty well, and that includes most of the Google tools you use.  While I do have a bunch of links already bookmarked, I don’t expect to be using the browser much apart from reading the news or a quick look at twitter.

Battery Life

I won’t be getting the rumoured one month out of this charge, but that’s because of my usage profile so far.  I’ve been using WiFi a lot and been downloading blogs and other content, all of which will be taking it’s toll.  I noticed a particular hit on earlier when I was getting regular updates. So I’m not sure I’ll even get to a week before recharging but I don’t see this as an issue as this is not how I’ll normally be using the device.
To ensure battery life lasts as long as possible I’ll probably only turn on wireless once a day to downloaded the latest newspaper and won’t be downloading any more blogs.  So I expect a couple of weeks battery life is realistic.

General Use

All I’m going to say is have two Kindle email addresses is handy, one you use that costs for delivery (20p/MB) while the other email address uses a WiFi connection to deliver content.  If you need something quick on your device, pay the 20p, otherwise wait until you’re in a WiFi area (let’s face it there’s plenty out there the claud, BT open zones ect)

Things Could be better…

While using the device over the past few hours and I’ve had a few thoughts on how things could be improved…

Save text documents – While it’s handy to make notes on magazines, books etc as you go along I’d like a bit more.  When I get a thought/idea on something it would be handy to create a simple text file that I could refer to later.  The problem would then be that people would want more and more from it until it’s a bloated document editor e.g. Word! And then you’d need to find a way of getting it off the device then, apart from connecting to a computer – maybe it could be available on the MyKindle settings page in Amazon.

Make it easier to get your Clippings or Notes off the device, don’t want to have to connect my computer very time to do this.  A range of the content is already managed through the My Kindle page, so it would be good (again) if these were made available on your MyKindle Settings page in Amazon

Desktop application to convert to Kindle format. While it’s good to be able to email documents to your device, and get them converted to Kindle format as they go, I think having an Amazon Desktop app that allows you to do this would be good.

Schedule Wifi/GPRS/3G – While battery life hasn’t shown itself to be a problem so far, it would be handy to be able to schedule when WiFi/3G/GPRS was on.  At the moment you can turn it off when you like, but it would be handy if it could turn itself on and download content and then turn itself off again.

Summary

So for the price I think it’s a good piece of technology – although it tries not to be techie.  I actually expect to be reading more because of it.  If you’re thinking of getting this for reading books/magazines/newspapers then I’d recommend it.  Don’t buy it for reading blogs or the web though, it’s no iPad but neither is the price! There’s loads of features that I’ve not mentioned, but I’m not trying to go through the whole user manual here.  You can email documents to get them converted and restrict senders so you don’t get spam (I’m sure this will prove useful) and a bunch of other stuff, but you’ll learn that other stuff when you get yours

Click here to buy:
Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, 6″ E Ink Display

R.I.P Iphone 3G


So after a hard life I’ve fainly broken my Iphone 3G which I used as a ipod touch. How I broke it you may ask… It fell off my bed and as it hit the floor smashed the outer screen.

I saw no point in getting this fixed (£60+) so thought ill take it apart and take some photographs to post on here.

So enjoy and ill put some more up later when I do more to it (I may take the hard drive out and try to hack it)

If you want some bits off it let me know on here or by twitter (@OfficialTPUT)

Maglite Double AA LED Touch Review


In my day job (if you call it a day job as I work shifts) I needed a decent torch which was small enough to fit on my belt and not hinder me in any way BUT at the same time be as high powered as I could get. So I hit the shops trying to track down something (I’m very fussy at times)

When I found the Maglite Double AA LED Touch. Its small (not even 8inchs long) but very powerful as well (I was told by the sales person it had around a miles range on it) plus it come with a handy belt holder as well.

The pros of this torch is that it doesn’t have a bulb as such (it uses a small LED bulb instead) which means its brighter, more high powered BUT uses a lot less battery power (takes 2 double A batterys, it even comes with them).

I haven’t got a bad thing to say about it.