Sunday, 31 August 2008
My Garden Groom Hedge Trimmer Review

A few weekends ago my old hedge trimmer finally gave up the ghost as I was trimming the thorny hedge outside our house. It was unfortunate as I was in the process of trimming the last part of the hedge. So I made my way to my laptop and proceeded to look for a new hedge trimmer online. It then occurred to me that I had seen a hedge trimmer called the Garden Groom advertised on a flyer I had seen from some mail order company. I had recalled that not only did it cut your hedge but it also shredded all the trimmings and placed them in a handy bag! Now that was a great idea! When trimming the hedge it's a task that usually takes a whole day which involves me cutting the hedge and my wife placing these through a garden shredder as we go. It usually ends with both my wife and I trying to feed the piles of hedge trimmings through the shredder which jams every now and again. The whole process leaving us with pierced hands from the thorns on the branches and pretty much exhausted from the whole process. I decided to nip down to Home Base to pick one up but was surprised that Home Base didn't stock them...odd why?

Oh well I ended up ordering one online from www.greenfingers.com and being the gadget person I am I decided to go for the Garden Groom Pro version which came with its own collection bag...groovy! Anyway then it arrived in a neat little package a few weeks later and I took it out for a test run, so what's the verdict?

The Verdict

Well firstly it's a lot heavier than my old Black & Decker and secondly it's a lot louder, to be precise its 96db which is as loud as my edge trimmer. The other thing is it vibrates so much that after a few minutes of usage your arms start to feel like jelly. Okay after you have read that you are probably thinking against purchasing it. Well other than those things, it does a pretty good job at shredding those hedge trimmings finer than my shredder does.

Well I suppose if you are going to combine a shredder and a hedge trimmer into one unit you are going start suffering a bit of vibration and I was struggling to see how the lady in the demonstration videos was able to effortlessly use it. I'm guessing this could have been the standard edition. I will later try to post a video of my wife using the Garden Groom to prove my point when we get to cutting the hedge again. To be fair I haven't used it to trim the whole hedge only the part left over from where my old hedge trimmer died. I'll post an article after using it to trim the whole hedge later.

posted on Sunday, 31 August 2008 22:42:59 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Russia in Georgia

It makes me wonder if Russia is planning to annex a large part of Georgia into Russia. They appear to be setting up points near the Georgian capital and destroying most of the infrastructure between South Ossetia and Tbilisi only keeping a major road open. It makes me wonder if they are planning on taking control of the oil pipeline going through Georgia...

posted on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 22:28:26 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 17 August 2008
Watching the BBC iPlayer on your PS3

I apologise for not blogging for some time now. I have been rather busy with work and travelling (yes I should have blogged about that to). Anyway in that time I have ended up owning all 3 major games consoles an Xbox 360, Wii and now a PS3 60gig! You may be surprised that I could get hold of a 60gig PS3 seeing as they are as common as gold dust and cost more now from Amazon resellers than it did when it was originally launched! Well luckily enough I managed to pick up and unboxed, ex display (by the looks of the case) and very dusty second hand one from an Amazon reseller for around the 300 pounds mark. I know what most people are thinking why not just get a 40? Well I needed the backwards compatibility I don't want to have to have a PS2 and PS3 sitting in my very crowded media area under my TV. Anyway I digress..

The main reason for my article is to talk about the BBC iPlayer on the PS3. You can't use the iPlayer on the PS3 unless you go to the website http://www.ps3iplayer.com/ setup by a rather clever chap named Chris Warren. Now you would have thought the BBC would have incorporated the changes he has made into the main iPlayer website and from the sound of things he would be pretty keen to help them, but that doesn't appear to have happened. What also gets me is that over a few weeks the BBC seems to do something to their own site that stops the PS3iPlayer version from working. This suddenly got me thinking, the Wii got its version of the iPlayer by the BBC, however I remember a distant article when the BBC were quizzed over why they didn't do an Xbox or PS3 version of the iPlayer. Their response was quite interesting and I kind of got the feeling that Microsoft and Sony were telling the BBC to butt out of their platform. It seemed as though Sony were only interested in feeding content to users under their own special service branded in a certain way and no doubt costing the user a monthly subscription in the same way Microsoft are doing with their rather limited content service on the Xbox 360 at the moment. Sony's approach would make sense, and they obviously don't want the video delivery model they have in mind for the PS3 blown out of the water by the BBC who would affectively be providing the content for free. I think Microsoft are being pretty much the same with the Xbox, it's the one reason they don't want to launch a browser for the Xbox it would make other content distributors able to supply content to a platform Microsoft would rather be the sole provider of content for their consoles.

Basically you ended up buying a delivery platform akin to a having a Sky or Vigrin Media box in your living room the only difference is it was disguised as a games machines that could play DVD's or BluRay Discs. The problem is that Microsoft's Xbox service is dreadful (in my opinion) and Sony are just taking a very long time to launch their service which should be available next year now. Both Sony and Microsoft have the ability to cash in big time on offering their consoles as a delivery platform to content providers in the same way that Sky, Virgin Media, FreeView and Joost are delivery platforms, which would help them claw back some of the losses they made selling the consoles at such a low price.

posted on Sunday, 17 August 2008 11:13:42 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Saturday, 16 August 2008
Windows 7 to be released in 2010

So you've invested in a Windows Vista ready laptop because everyone (including Microsoft) said you had to upgrade and that it was a really good idea. So you shelled out 400 pounds for a new laptop that supports Vista, but the problem is that in less than 2 years Windows Vista is probably going to be obsolete because Microsoft is going to be releasing Windows 7. You'd be forgiven for thinking that you could still use your old Windows Vista laptop (which requires twice as much RAM as Windows XP to get any worthwhile performance out of it). Windows 7 will require a new laptop to get the best out of it, why? Because of its new and innovative touch screen interface which from the sound of things seems to be a cross between an iPod touch and Windows? I suppose I can talk for a lot of people out there who sometimes wish they had never made the upgrade from Windows XP to Vista. You upgraded to Vista and so many of the things that effortlessly worked in XP (like your scanner) just don't work anymore, it's slower and for some reason it just doesn't seem as reliable as XP was. How much more will the cost of upgrading cost and will companies foot the bill after going through a companywide upgrade to Vista?

posted on Saturday, 16 August 2008 23:34:54 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]