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J. S. Hardman "Consultant software developer (contractor)" (Near London, UK)
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RIO AMAZON Yerba Mate - Healthy Body Weight - 90 Teabags
RIO AMAZON Yerba Mate - Healthy Body Weight - 90 Teabags
Offered by Blue Herbs
Price: £12.25

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice flavour., 10 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this when it was recommended to me as a drink to keep me alert in the afternoon without keeping me awake at night. Whether it does keep me alert is something I’m not sure of, but it certainly doesn’t keep me awake at night like coffee in the afternoon does. It’s also a pleasant flavour, so unlike the tea that I used to drink, I drink it without sugar. That must be a good thing. Like other reviewers, I re-use the bag, and I haven’t had a single bag split.

Recommended.


Egg Frying Pan Red
Egg Frying Pan Red
Offered by Dotcomgiftshop
Price: £4.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for a single egg, if a bit wobbly, 10 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Egg Frying Pan Red
I bought this pan intending to use it primarily for frying a single egg at a time. However, it size means it is pretty much perfect for poaching a single egg, which it now gets used for almost daily. Being so small, the egg cannot spread out too far, so a perfectly poached egg is pretty much guaranteed, without having to add vinegar (which I hate) or swirling the water (which I forget).

On the downside, it’s not perfectly non-stick, and when frying an egg, the pan is not very steady on our stove (it tips towards the handle). However, when poaching, the weight of the water keeps the pan steady. It does take a steady hand to pour away the hot water without spilling between stove and sink, after poaching an egg, but no mishaps so far.

With the caveats mentioned above, this pan is pretty much ideal. I work from home now, and this nicely rustles up one egg for brunch mid-morning when I have the house to myself.


Early Childhood Resources ELR-0488 24x36 MessageStor Dry Erase Board
Early Childhood Resources ELR-0488 24x36 MessageStor Dry Erase Board
Offered by Soft com
Price: £45.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really well thought out, 10 Jan. 2015
Best board I've ever bought. Whilst not the biggest, this is the most practical. Everything that comes with it (with the exception of the bottle of fluid) is magnetic, including the pens. As a result, there's no searching to find pens to use - they are there on the board.


Tiger sticky memo notes holder with index tab flags in leather like case
Tiger sticky memo notes holder with index tab flags in leather like case
Offered by Claris
Price: £4.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Great value for money., 13 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great value for money - a nice folder, containing various colour index tabs. I use them for marking pages in Open University study materials, and for marking pages in reference books that I use for researching projects that I am involved in. For years I used 3M Yellow Sticky Pads, tearing strips to the size of these index tabs. Whilst that worked, I was forever losing the yellow sticky pads, whereas this folder never gets lost. I still use yellow stickies, but where I need something larger than the pieces in this pack. However, most of the time, this pack is perfect for my need.

Recommended.


Gardman Wooden Cold Frame
Gardman Wooden Cold Frame
Price: £44.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 13 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I expected better for the price than this. Correct total number of screws included, but that’s because there was one extra of one size and one too few of another. Some holes pre-drilled, but not others. Some of the holes that were pre-drilled are in the wrong place. Measurements are incorrect on one of the panels too. And the whole thing is so light that if I don’t bolt it into the ground (not going to happen), or weigh it down with bricks (more likely) it would blow away in the storm that is brewing right now. The instructions even advise applying additional coats of preservative. All in all, pretty poor. If I could get it apart without destroying it, I’d send it back. It was cheaper than others that I looked at online, but even at the price it is, it is disappointing.


Bulletproof Ajax (Voices That Matter)
Bulletproof Ajax (Voices That Matter)
by Jeremy Keith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.99

3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok, but not a huge amount of content, 6 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Jeremy Keith’s “DOM Scripting Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model” is the best written tech book that I have read in years (and I read a lot of tech books). As a result, I had high expectations for his “Bulletproof Ajax”. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

At just under 200 pages (excluding the index), it’s the size of book that an experienced developer could get through easily in a weekend (I did). However, a significant number of those pages are not directly related to Ajax. Whereas in the DOM Scripting book it made sense to include a basic JavaScript tutorial, it seems unlikely that people would buy a book about Ajax if they didn’t already have some JavaScript knowledge. Remove the JavaScript tutorial and some trivia about the history of the name Ajax, and the book is a fair bit shorter. XMLHttpRequest is only introduced at page 45. For people who have read the DOM Scripting book (which anybody doing web-site development or testing really should), the chapter on Hijax can probably also be skipped. Hijax and Progressive Enhancement are things I wish more people would use, but if you've read the DOM Scripting book, you don't need to read it again.

On the plus side, in the remaining pages there are quite a few useful snippets of information and quite a few useful references worth following up. I would have liked stronger conclusions regarding data format choice and best practices for accessibility, but on accessibility at least it may still be impossible to provide a perfect or near perfect solution. I’ll take away from reading this book a few things to look for when code reviewing other peoples’ code, and a few things to take into account when developing my own, but not a huge number of either. I do like Jeremy Keith’s emphasis on Progressive Enhancement, but I think the DOM Scripting book covers it better.

So, it’s ok, but comes nowhere close to Jeremy Keith’s DOM Scripting book. Is “Bulletproof Ajax” worth the RRP? Well, yes it is, if you compare the cost of the book and the time to read it against the cost of time spent re-working systems that initially get Ajax wrong, or fail to use Progressive Enhancement. However, if you look at some other books around the same price and how much useful content they have, you might conclude that it's not great value, even if only relative to some other books.


DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model
DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model
by Dave Shea
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Best written tech book I have read in years, 22 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
"DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model" by Jeremy Keith, is by far the best written tech book I have read in a long time (and I read a lot of books). I cannot remember the last time I read a tech book where I just wanted to keep reading to find out what was in the next chapter, but I did with this.

This book has been written in a very readable style, not expecting too much previous experience from the reader, but also not treating the reader like a complete novice. Starting off by building up some basic JavaScript/ECMAScript knowledge, then working through how to use it with (X)HTML and CSS, the progression is easy but the coverage very good. Along the way, some useful code examples are built up, with a really strong emphasis put on separation of responsibilities between structure, behaviour and presentation. It's like reading the code of somebody who has done it for years, gone through all the obstacles, and come up with a set of working practices that are so simple, but that take into account all of the things that would make the code of others fail. A simplicity to aspire to.

I also like the emphasis on progressive enhancement, which provides graceful degradation - it might sound like semantics, but implementing progressive enhancement feels so much more positive than always thinking about degradation.

Whether developing systems using the DOM, or testing them (either via review, manual execution, or developing automated tests that access the DOM using tools such as Selenium WebDriver or Ranorex), this book provides the reader with a clear understanding of how to use the DOM, what practices web applications should follow, and how to implement useful code for querying and modifying the DOM.

It's good to see a book that has been well proof-read as well. I read the book very quickly, but think I only spotted a couple of typo's and one ambiguity (I don't like seeing "between" used in the context of ranges without specifying "inclusive" or "exclusive"). Great stuff.

Highly recommended (although note that there is a second edition available now - I bought and read the first edition before I realised). No caveats.


Stanley FatMax 0-10-819 Pro Retractable Knife
Stanley FatMax 0-10-819 Pro Retractable Knife
Price: £12.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good size, good weight, comfortable to use., 21 Jun. 2014
I could have done with this knife to get into the packaging! The packaging was seriously over the top, but the knife itself is very good. It’s a nice size, provides good grip, and the shape makes it comfortable to use. The way in which it opens up is a bit naff, and it sometimes takes a couple of attempts to close and tighten everything properly, but that’s not the end of world. Overall, very pleased – whilst it’s not perfect, it’s far more comfortable and, as a result, probably safer than my older, bog-standard, Stanley knife. It’s definitely chunky enough to be able to wear fairly thick gloves, even when extending and retracting the blade.


Smartwool Adult Hike Medium Crew Socks - Gray, Medium (5 - 7.5)
Smartwool Adult Hike Medium Crew Socks - Gray, Medium (5 - 7.5)
Price: £13.17

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quality of latest purchase is very poor, 21 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’ve been wearing Smartwool socks for years, and purchase again as old ones finally wear out. My latest order was of two pairs of Trekking socks and two pairs of Hike socks. I’m sad to say that whilst quality has varied from order to order over the years, these latest ones (both Trekking and Hike) are really poor. Despite re-ordering the same size as previously, these feel very loose (no, my feet have not shrunk) and slide around underfoot – not something that I want inside my boots, nor even when wandering around indoors without boots on. The padding is also much thinner than previously, to the extent that they barely offer anything beyond a cheap pair of thin socks from M&S. As a result, I won’t be buying Smartwool socks online again – I will go to a shop and check them before contemplating any future purchases, and if the ones in the shop are like these, I will be buying a different make in future.

Very disappointing after years of being mostly impressed by Smartwool.


How to Do Everything Microsoft SharePoint 2013
How to Do Everything Microsoft SharePoint 2013
Price: £12.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good and quick high level view of functionality, but no depth to help when things get tough., 21 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book provides only a very superficial look at Sharepoint, barely scratching at the surface of what is a very powerful tool when set up correctly. Did this book help my colleague with setting up Sharepoint reliably (without Corporate IT involvement)? Unfortunately not. Did it help with setting up sites and sub-sites reliably, including making changes to them to get them how we really wanted them? Nope (although this probably wasn’t helped by the underlying installation having issues). Did it even give useful information about setting up wikis, calendars etc, or advice on best practices? No. What it did do, is give an easy to read, very high-level, understanding of what Sharepoint can do, and give us (unfortunately false) confidence in how easy it would be.

So, if you are after a high-level , easy to read, view of what Sharepoint can do for you (if you really have to use it), then this book is absolutely fine. But having read the book, get your Corporate IT people (who probably work with deploying Sharepoint far more than you or I will ever do) to do the actual installation and support. Use this book to help identify and convey your requirements and get them to do the nitty gritty, painful stuff of getting it to work.

If, on the other hand, you are setting up Sharepoint yourself and hope to set up sites & sub-sites for your projects, this probably isn’t the book for you (and if you really just want a wiki and a team calendar, Sharepoint may not even be the tool for you, although Corporate IT might insist you use it). For our needs, we will probably end up with two Sharepoint systems, one that handles integration and reporting for Team Foundation Server (which it is really good at) and nothing else, and one managed by Corporate IT where we put our sub-sites for projects, wikis, calendars etc.


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