Saturday, April 19, 2014

Andrew's True Reviews: Spring 2014

"Andrew, I want to buy something! Tell me some things you bought and write reviews so I know if I should buy them too!"


Brand: Dunno
Product: Anti-snoring nose ring thingy

True Review: This little piece of plastic looks like a sex toy from some awesome porn, but its makers claim that if you wedge it into your nostrils it will stop you snoring. Ludicrous, surely? Except it seems to work: since I started using it, I haven't listened to a single complaint about snoring.

I bought it at a pound shop in England somewhere. If you can't find it in your area, I'm providing an Amazon link (where it gets pretty terrible reviews, so I suppose it doesn't work for everyone.)

If you snore and can spare two pounds on a thing that might cure you, find it on Amazon! It probably won't work if all the cocaine you take has worn away your septum.

Brand: Beurer 
Product: BF-800 Diagnostic Scales

The scales
Still quite a lot of subcutaneous fat to shift

True Review: I had my eye out for a deal on either this or the Withings WS-50. Both are cool scales which estimate your body fat and muscle mass and transmit the data to your smartphone.

The build quality is really nice. It's like standing on the prow of an oligarch's yacht. When Jen's not around I stand on it, naked, and extend my arms out wide saying, "I'm the king of the world!" If you can't picture that clearly, let me know and I'll commission an artist to draw it.

I bought it because weight alone isn't a good measure of my health. I lost 3 or 4 kilos through not drinking alcohol in January, but had no idea if that was fat loss or muscle loss. As Peter Drucker said, "What gets measured gets managed," and now I can 'measure' my fat (which is on a slightly upward trend just now because I haven't been able to exercise for a couple of weeks).

Summary: Buy.

UPDATE - It's actually a bit unreliable and sometimes the bluetooth doesn't work. When I upgraded my iPhone I found the scale didn't like the new model. Bit of a pain in the ass and I wish I'd gone for the Withings.

Brand: Samsung
Product: Syncmaster 2493HM

True Review: I picked up a monitor second-hand for 50 francs (33 pounds). Being 24", it makes my old 20" look pretty cramped. Imagine you used to share a prison cell with a burly arsonist but after you shivved him they moved you to solitary and it's 30 percent bigger.

On this particular monitor, the sound comes out tinny, the menu keys were designed by a sociopath, and the headphones jack should be anywhere instead of where they put it. Despite that, I'd recommend it to anyone - it's a really good monitor and I was lucky to get the price I did.

The big thing is having twin screens. Why did I wait so long? Whyyyyy? For the price of two large Dominos pizzas I've transformed my desk into that workstation from The Matrix. I can have last year's spreadsheet on the right screen while editing this year's on the left, or track my stocks while checking my emails. I'm lying, of course, because what I really use it for is watching dirty movies while playing DOS-based games, or watching England lose at football and cricket simultaneously. 

Please go and buy a cheap second monitor as soon as possible. You'll love it!


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