Wednesday, 27 June 2012

There are NO drawbacks with Corel DRAW X6.

Having used both X4 and then the vastly improved I was keen to see how it was possible to improve on such a great piece of software. One thing is that if you're using it on a 64-bit system (as I do on my main PC), it's much faster than its predecessor (not so much so if you're using it in 32-bit as I do on my laptop). Its increased speed is, in part, I think, due to its recent optimisation for multi-core processors. This allows you to work with more than one part of the suite running concurrently without any slowness, ie if you're running the Website Creator, Corel Draw and Photo-Paint elements together, it shouldn't make any difference (or at least, that's how I found it when I was working with it on some web design). I would recommend that you use the Corel Connect feature to optimise your activity with multiple tasks. There are some great new features, such as in the aforementioned Photo-Paint programme, you can now use the Smart Carver to edit photos to remove unwanted bits and adjust the aspect ratio. Overall, a worthy competitor to the Adobe software (although I admit, I use both as they both have capabilities I consider to be essential (I think I'm becoming spoilt by the high expectations I've gained from using these programs!)

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The king of strings.

I've been using these on my and they are a perfect fit, both literally and in terms of how well they create the sound I want. They have a truly lovely tone and are easy to play with comfort. They're easy to change and are very long lasting. I wouldn't use any other bass strings now.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Away, Away with this abomination...My Eyes Are Fully Open!!

I must confess, I read a few others users' reviews before ordering and reviewing this album myself. So, I bore in mind that the orchestra was electronic, although I have to say that having listened, aware of this fact, I noticed that the instruments did not sound "warm" and so it then became very clear to me that they were indeed not actual instruments being used. I also agree with others who say that it is hard to distinguish some of the lyrics being sung at times, and as Gilbert And Sullivan songs are ones people like to sing along to, I don't think these current incantations do the originals any justice. The quality is shockingly below par for Sony-BMG, and I was saddened and disappointed to see that this was the label which released this album. I would not even be impressed with this standard of delivery on a west-end stage, let alone on a CD. I am sure there are better Gilbert And Sullivan compilations out there; this one does not do them justice.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Ideal food...I mean Home, Show (Part 1)

Tuesday was a well deserved day off from the dreaded day job, so I took myself down to the SECC to check out the last day of the Ideal Home Show. I must admit, with the exception of the Bang & Olufson stand, I wasn't that enthralled...maybe it's because I'm sadly only renting at the moment...but then I smelt burgers and headed towards the smell. There I came across a room full of both food/drink and fashion/beauty stands, and felt much more, erm, at home (pardon the pun). I watched one of the fashion shows and was largely uninthralled, with the notable exception of one lovely Pied A Terre dress, which I, erm, spotted.... if budget allows, I need this dress in my life. The first food and drink stand which caught my attention was The Loch Lomond Brewery where I was proffered a sample as I passed. With a disdain for ales, finding them heavy, bitter and, well, a bit Northern Male, I declined this offer, only to be told I could be proven wrong. Loving a challenge, I sampled The West Highland Way which is lovely, light, fruity and a little honeyed. OK, point proven. Speaking to Fiona, the director and brewster was really interesting; it's surprising to have a female owning such a business, but I think it's going to do well. Artisan products are always worth paying that bit extra for. I suggested the range would do well at Peckham's, and it's actually being brought out there soon, which is great news. Currently, it can be bought at Co-Op stores in Scotland. Another notable stand was the Truly Scrumptious Designer Cakes where I got to decorate my own inner 6-year-old couldn't wait to play with all the glitter and sweeties...I was very proud of my handiwork, and loved eating it, even though I walked around with glittery teeth for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A fascinating insight into the President.

Although I follow world politics, I knew virtually nothing of Obama before he ran (successfully) for president. Making history as the first African American president, the eyes of the world were even more upon him than they would be for a white leader. The book details the long marriage of the Obamas and their background as a couple and as a family. It has been said many times that behind every successful man is a strong woman, and that has never been more true than in the case of the Obamas. They make a great couple, great parents, a great family and great representatives of the USA, but this has taken years of hard work and dedication, which is also explained in the book. I found it an inspiring read and it just garnered further respect for a groundbreaking leader who I believe will go down in history for all the right reasons.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Theme For A Dream.

Unfortunately, this DVD is the nearest I'll get to seeing Cliff Richard and The Shadows perform live (unless they decide to get back together again, despite this being their Final Reunion). However, it was almost as good as being there. The instruments were tuned to the specs they were originally, or at least that's how it sounds to my ears...and the vocals don't seem to have aged a day either (whereas the majority of singers from that era have undergone noticeable vocal changes). Cliff also has the energy of a teenager, dancing and moving the whole way through the show. The show was engaging and electrifying and that was just at home...I can only imagine how fantastic it was to have been there in person. Absolutely brilliant and one of the best concert DVDs I have ever seen.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Internet security solution.

After trialling other security suites, and having tried another Kaspersky product, I tried this software on 3 different Windows computers on my home network. I am a heavy internet user, and use forums and blog sites a lot, and have recently had a few problems as a result of this. Having been using the Kaspersky suite for a month now, I am happy to report an improvement because there is a component in the software which allows you to check a website against Kaspersky's database to verify whether or not it's safe. There are other options available such as Sandboxing Technology, which I am yet to trial, but it's a way for you to try out websites in a safe environment, ie without any risk of internet security breach. I look forward to trying out these various alternative options and I trust that they will be equally as positive in their outcome as those I have tried already. For me, it's Kaspersky all the way in terms of future IS solutions. Comment Comment | Permalink

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Just my cup of tea.

First thing's first; I forgot to heed the advice given by other reviewers of this item; I didn't boil and dispose of a few cups of water before boiling some to drink. There will be a plastic taste if you make the same mistake I did!! I would disagree that the noise level is higher than that of an ordinary kettle. It sounds much the same as an ordinary kettle would when reaching boiling temperature, only this device reaches higher temperatures faster as it is heating a smaller volume of water. The water is hot enough to make your hot drink but I would hazard a guess at saying it isn't quite boiling. I also would agree that it suits only a mug rather than a cup, although there is the drip tray facility should you insist on using a cup. The only other shortcoming, no pun intended, is the length, or rather lack thereof, of the cord it uses to connect to the socket. It means you have to keep it very close to the socket which can be a drag if you have limited space. A great time and money saving item.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Red alert.

Having enjoyed the entire fictional series of Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella, this book appealed to me because it was factual; the diary of a real life woman facing up to her debts. As some other people who have read this book say, it may not seem so frugal, buying multiple dog toys, regular Boots meal deals and the like, but it's a vast step down from what the author was previously spending and it's not meant as a guide on how we should all follow in her footsteps, just a candid diary of a year she spent repaying the massive debts she had accrued. As such, it was an entertaining and enjoyable read and one I'd reccomend.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Sucking brilliant.

This is the best hoover I have EVER used. Yes, it is about the same weight and height as I am, but it is mighty powerful, achieving the previously impossible (lifting what I would gather is YEARS of accumulated filth from the carpets of my rented flat), and making a real difference. It is the noisiest vacuum cleaner I have ever used, so I would advise others living in flats to be mindful of what time of day/night they use it, but that is the only downside I can find.