Profile for Mr. Stephen J. Farthing > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mr. Stephen J....
Top Reviewer Ranking: 97,826
Helpful Votes: 24

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mr. Stephen J. Farthing "Steve" (Norfolk UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
The Hands-on Intel Edison Manual Lab
The Hands-on Intel Edison Manual Lab
Price: £1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars very useful, 15 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was lucky enough to win an Edison, an Edison Arduino breakout board and a Seend Studio Grove starter kit in the recent Indestructables give away. There are no books available that I could find to get me started other than this one. It is a very useful starting point however it is not for the beginner. To get the best from it you will need some linux experience and a knowledge of shell scripting and either C, Python or Node.js. Also it covers Windows and Linux but not OS/X for the host compter. Those points aside the book is a good starting point and gives you enough to set sail on your voyage to discover the Edison. Given the low price you really cannot go wrong with it.


Patterns, Scales & Modes for Jazz Guitar
Patterns, Scales & Modes for Jazz Guitar
by Arnie Berle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.23

5.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to the subject - warning NO TAB, 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not for a beginning guitarist. Whilst there is no TAB in the book, there is sufficient guidance in terms of string number and which finger to fret with for those unable to read musical scores to figure out what is going on. It is a good introduction to the subject. If you read it and practice the exercises regularly you are bound to improve your knowledge of the fretboard and playing. Unlike the Carole Kay approach to learning which is chord based the focus here is on scales and patterns so I suspect would be more suitable for those players coming from a rock and/or blues background.


Ted Greene -- Modern Chord Progressions: Jazz & Classical Voicings for Guitar
Ted Greene -- Modern Chord Progressions: Jazz & Classical Voicings for Guitar
by Ted Greene
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the completer beginner but a comprehensive and easy to read introduction to the subject, 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For the intermediate guitarist rather than the complete beginner. The late Ted Greene was a legendary jazz guitarist in the Californian Jazz scene. There are a few videos of him on YouTube if you what to check his style out. Intended for finger style guitarists who want to improve their knowledge of chord progressions there are literally hundreds of chord frame diagrams here organised by progression. Probably enough material to keep your fingers and ears busy for many years. It is not a chord dictionary nor do you have to be able to sight read.


Illustrating Pascal
Illustrating Pascal
by Donald Alcock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £30.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best introductions to PASCAL programming you will find., 21 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Illustrating Pascal (Paperback)
This is a great book. As a one time professional programmer who now enjoys fooling around with micro controllers, robotics and the internet of things I needed to get up to speed with PASCAL to write some applications for the RPi. Rather than the approach taken by most tutorial books which can be dry and somewhat academic Alcock uses an informal style based on a hand written text and hand drawn diagrams. It takes you from the start of learning to program using simple examples to a full description of the language, each new aspect being covered with examples and test exercises. The binding is such that it will lie flat which is a big advantage when typing the examples in.

One of the nice things is that it just covers the language, not whatever IDE you are using (for the RPi I use Lazarus).

I believe this book is out of print now but it is well worth finding a copy. If you program in "C" it is also worth searching out his companion book "Illustrating C" . Though somewhat elderly now it uses the same style.


Guitar Compendium Vol 1
Guitar Compendium Vol 1
by Howard Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best tutors for the intermediate guitarist, 1 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Howard Roberts, if you don't already know, was a top Jazz guitarist in the 1960s, he was also a top session musician and composed and played the classic guitar themes in The Munsters, Bonanza, The Brady Bunch, Green Acres, Get Smart, Batman, Beverly Hillbillies, Andy Griffith, Peter Gunn, Johnny Quest, Gidget, Mannix, Lost in Space, Dragnet, Wild Wild West and Mission Impossible At the end of his recording career he became more interested in music education and wrote the 3 Praxis books before dying in 1992 of prostate cancer.

These books are probably not for the beginner. They assume that the player can read musical notation (no TAB) and an intermediate playing ability. There is not a huge amount of notation here, a couple of hours transcribing it into Sibelius, or another piece of software which can take a score and convert it into TAB is all you need for most exercises.

If you are looking for a complete beginners course these books are not for you now, but in a couple of years you will find them invaluable. They set out to teach you to become accomplished as a guitarist in whatever style you choose. The approach is systematic and based on a modular approach. You choose modules depending on what style you wish to learn and what difficulties you wish to overcome. There is a lifetimes worth of practice here. Clearly you have to work at it to get results.

Amazon only see to stock vols 1 and 2, the third is still in print and my local music shop found it for me. (St Georges Music, Norwich UK)

Hope this helps


King Of The Delta Blues Singers
King Of The Delta Blues Singers
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.03

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Aye, well Hmmmmm, 1 Aug. 2013
I have the original on LP and the second volume. Also a couple of the CD compilations. All are OK.

Robert Johnson is arguably one of the most over hyped blues guitarists there has ever been. Back in the 60s, when i was a lad, people like Eric Clapton would tell people, in Melody Maker, that Johnson was the best player ever. At the time this was probably the only pre electric era blues recording you could easily buy in Europe. And of course a lot of us budding guitarists went out and bought it. And were happy until we tried to imitate his playing.

Forty years or so on, still playing, still very much a blues enthusiast I have a very different opinion. I have listened to a lot of old blues, courtesy of nice people like Yazoo Records, Document Records and many others. There were many better guitarists about. If you want ragtime blues you will find no better recordings than the early ones by "Blind" Blake. If you want minimalist accurate finger picking try "Mississippi" John Hurt. If you want slide playing try "Blind" Willie Johnson. If you want rude blues Bo Carter is your man. If you want stage presence and fine slide playing check out Son House. The list is pretty much endless.

The best I can say about Johnson is that he was "OK" his real strength was being to play in a number of styles. And he, and T Bone Walker, started me out on a 40 year journey through the blues. very much like Eric Clapton in the John Mayall years. When I first heard him I was amazed. That lasted until I heard the Freddy King version and some Albert KIng records. Then I understood that Clapton, like Robert Johnson, had merely copied those that came before. Nothing wrong with copying, every blues artist did it to some extent, but discovering that they had done took the icing off the cake a bit! Having lit the blue touch paper I'll duck now ..... :-)


The Cnc Cookbook: An Introduction to the Creation and Operation of Computer Controlled Mills, Router Tables, Lathes, and More
The Cnc Cookbook: An Introduction to the Creation and Operation of Computer Controlled Mills, Router Tables, Lathes, and More
by E Hess
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A really good introduction to the subject, 19 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My father and I are thinking of making some CNC machinery. He is in his 80s and has researched the subject but found a lot of the terminology confusing and books biased to one design or another. The nice thing about this book is that it covers just about everything one would need to know before starting on a project. So I would recommend it to a beginner.

Why only 4 stars? Well, it's been a very long time since we adopted the metric system in the UK and we found it strange when the author talks about rating motor torque in foot ounces. It's a very small point and I guess the book was written for the American market.


The Joys of Yiddish
The Joys of Yiddish
by Leo Rosten
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Oy oy oy!!!!! Even a gentile will find this funny, 19 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This wonderful, witty book is about the affect the Yiddish language has had on written and spoken English. It's incredibly funny, littered with jokes and now I know the next time someone says "Let's schlep down to the cafe and nosh on bagels with lox and then blintzes" what on earth they were talking about!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2013 9:33 AM BST


iZKA®Basics - HDMI to MICRO HDMI 1.8M Cable - 24K Gold Connectors - ideal For Connecting HD Devices using the new Micro HDMI connector To Camcorder, Tablets, Mobile Phones to PC or HD TV 1080p Full HD - Type D to Type A - 1.4V Supports Ethernet / 3D / Audio Return (Life Time Warranty)
iZKA®Basics - HDMI to MICRO HDMI 1.8M Cable - 24K Gold Connectors - ideal For Connecting HD Devices using the new Micro HDMI connector To Camcorder, Tablets, Mobile Phones to PC or HD TV 1080p Full HD - Type D to Type A - 1.4V Supports Ethernet / 3D / Audio Return (Life Time Warranty)
Offered by Whoosh Distribution
Price: £2.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic value and prompt service, 19 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I needed one of these cables to connect a microcontroller board to an HDMI monitor. The high street price is an eye wateringly £49.95, this one, delivered the day after I ordered it, was a tenth of the price.


MSP430 Microcontroller Basics
MSP430 Microcontroller Basics
by J. H. Davies
Edition: Paperback
Price: £34.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, comprehensive with lots of examples, 19 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The MSP430 is a range of microcontrollers from Texas Instruments(TI). They are not that well known in the hobby or maker communities here in the UK, where, Arduino, AVR and PIC systems dominate. However with introduction of the Launchpad starter board TI started to address this. At the time of writing this board is the least expensive to get started with micro controllers for the curious amateur.

John's book is a great introduction to the subject. It takes the reader from the basic through to the advanced uses of the '430 range. There are plenty of examples in "C" and Assembler, he deals with interfacing the chip with peripherals, such as LEDs, LCD displays and so on. He writes with clarity, the information is clearly laid out and logically presented. To get the best from the book you will need a reasonable knowledge of the C programming language, some knowledge of solid state electronics, and some algebra. As John teaches at university I suspect the book is aimed at undergraduates. However don't let this put you off. I am a 60 year old amateur electronics enthusiast and I found it fine. One of the nice things about the book is that it does not dumb down the subject. Nor does it make it overly complicated.

So, why only 4 stars? The book was published in 2008, well before Ti produced the Launchpad board and the latest chips. So arguably it needs to be brought up to date. Apart from that it's great and I am glad I spent the money.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3