Friday, 25 February 2011

I'll be vocal about this recorder

I chose this particular model for a combination of reasons and intended purposes; the Edirol model I had in mind was no longer available, but Roland is the same company. I wanted a device I could use to record lectures at university, interviews at work and also possible song demos, and also one which could record in wave format as well as the standard MP3; this recorder ticked all the boxes.

With no prior experience and a bit of an air of technophobia about me as a novice, I still managed to get the R-05 up and running, including unpacking it from the box, in under 5 really is that easy. My preferred format, as previously stated, is Wave, but I've experimented with both this and the MP3 option and both are able to offer a very high standard of recording, especially impressive for the low price of this; I'd also been considering a pricey but actually think I've got just as much out of this one as I would have from paying three times this price for the Tascam.

I'd thoroughly recommend this, especially as the microphone quality is so good, I don't need anything else; trying the

I wasn't pleased with the sound at all and would have had to shell out for a microphone and of course have yet another item to lug around with me.

I use
software to edit my recordings; uploading them from the R-05 is simple. I also use to organise my archive of recordings but this isn't as necessary; it can also though be used as a cheaper DAW for editing your recordings if Wavelab is beyond your technical remit (although
is a competitively priced, pared down version of the full suite and contains just the essentials for the more casual user).

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Just what the doctor ordered.

It strikes me how often people take for granted everyday items they wear such as their glasses or their watches, and so I was recently inspired to create a review for my watch.

I saw this watch in the mens' watches cabinet of a certain store, but by the time (no pun intended) I'd realised it was for men, it was too late (sorry!) as I was already determined to make it mine.

It comes in a silver cardboard box, which contains a silver (leather?) pouch and the watch is inside, wrapped around a velvet).

I worried about how it would look and fit on the wrist of a petite female, but after getting a couple of extra holes punched into the buttery-soft but reassuringly sturdy leather strap, it was snug and secure and taking pride of place on my wrist. I've added a photo to the gallery here so you can see what it looks like on a smaller (and/or female) wrist.

I couldn't be without this watch now. I've had it for a year and the battery is still going strong. It's perfect as I am allowed to wear it for work and yet it also goes with everything else I wear it with because of the multitude of colours on its face. It's a slightly unusual shape and definitely a unique design; I've had a LOT of compliments on it and never seen anyone else wearing one.

It's also a nod (at least I interpreted it as being one) towards the BBC Test Cards you'd sometimes see on screen where there's a little girl and a toy clown and a blackboard with noughts and crosses on it.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A bad move.

I used this to try and move the contents of my Windows XP computer to my new Windows 7 machine. Although it did transfer everything across, I felt it was misleading because they do not tell you, or rather, forewarn you, about the problems you're likely to face when trying to use certain software. In essence, it simply did not work. The only way to really transfer your files from one computer to another is to just install each one individually onto the new machine; hardly rocket science, and in my case it took days but it worked fine (and of course I have removed the LapLink and won't be using it again).

I decided to include this negative review because I wanted to show that although I am a keen reviewer, I don't have a blinkered opinion and in fact pride myself on my honesty.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Funny, but your sides stay intact.

What with all the bad news we're being bombarded with on a daily basis, largely now due to the coalition government, I thought we all could do with a bit of a laugh.  I recently wrote this review for the latest DVD offering from Billy Connolly:

As a long-standing fan who has been reduced to tears of laughter to the point of near death by the man, I was a bit disappointed by this latest release. I didn't read any reviews for it, and simply bought it as a fan with high expectations. I admit, there were times when I laughed...a lot...but I wouldn't call this material his best. The highlight for me is the bit about dwarves.

As an aside, the DVD itself has no special features, so this also felt like a bit of let-down, even more so since reading from another reviewer who was actually there when it was being filmed and said that there was a whole bit cut out.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Sex sells.

I admit, I'm not a fan of Rihanna, but millions will disagree with me, and I'm ok with that.  This week, the papers have been full of headlines about her new single, titled S&M, the video for which is too raunchy for the tastes of, as it stands currently, 11 countries, all of whom have banned its broadcast. 

So, whilst we're all aware of the old adage that sex sells, has Rihanna gone too far this time?  Bear in mind, there is also the popular phrase that "Any publicity is good publicity", and of course this is all free press for her new album, titled Loud. 

At least she's standing out from the crowd, it could be argued, and in this current saturated market and these worrying times when record labels and record shops are all but gone, it takes more to get the public to part with their money and pay for music.

Also, human nature is such that when we are told "no", we instantly are more attracted to the prospect of whatever we have just been forbidden from seeing/doing/hearing/wearing, etc.  Think back to (or google/wiki!) what happened over the book Lady Chatterley's Lover in the 1960s.

Love her or hate her, Rihanna is here to stay for a good while yet, and it seems controversy and her go hand in hand together.