Profile for J. S. Hardman > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by J. S. Hardman
Top Reviewer Ranking: 769
Helpful Votes: 1763

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
J. S. Hardman "Consultant software developer (contractor)" (Near London, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Selenium Testing Tools Cookbook
Selenium Testing Tools Cookbook
by Unmesh Gundecha
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but still very useful, and better than other Selenium books I have looked at., 10 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
“Selenium Testing Tools Cookbook” by Unmesh Gundecha is one of those books that is worth reading twice. It’s worth reading before starting work with Selenium WebDriver, then reading again after doing some real-life WebDriver test automation. Hit the difficult bits to automate, work out your own solution, then on second reading of this book see if there are any bits that with hindsight you could use to improve your solution.

This book contains enough information to automate cross-browser and mobile-browser testing, although to do it well it does help to have a strong background in asynchronous systems, HTML and GUIs. There are a few errors in the book, but they are things that the reader should spot quickly enough to not waste much time on.

The book is written for people developing automation in a number of languages. I am currently working in C#, but it also covers Java, Python and Ruby. Subject matter includes the various methods of identifying controls, working with common controls, synchronisation, the Page Object Model, data-driven testing, performance testing, HTML5 and mobile browsers (most using emulators and devices). It covers use of some other tools for extending the use of WebDriver, and it also includes some reasonable examples of extensions. It’s a good range of material, written in a way that is easy for anybody with reasonable coding experience to follow and utilise.

Whilst it could have gone into a little more depth on best practices, particularly around synchronisation, this is a very useful book that I would recommend to anybody working with Selenium. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the other Selenium-related books I have looked at.


Kaspersky Internet Security 2014, Frustration-Free Packaging (5Multi Device, 1 Year subscriptions) (PC/Mac/Android)
Kaspersky Internet Security 2014, Frustration-Free Packaging (5Multi Device, 1 Year subscriptions) (PC/Mac/Android)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Possibly better suited to less technical users, 8 April 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had used a competitor’s internet security products for years, but after buying a new machine from a company that builds them to order and installs software as required, I found that my new machine had a piece of malware on it. The competitor’s product missed the malware. As I thought it would be useful for them to see this, I let one of their support people remotely logon to my nice new machine to try to resolve the problem. The guy was clearly out of his depth, and I had to disconnect him when he tried doing something REALLY stupid. At that point, I figured it was time to try a different security company. That’s how I ended up installing this Kaspersky product.

Installation of the Kaspersky product was easy, including getting the latest updates from the internet. It did a complete system scan, which highlighted another apparent piece of malware (although I suspect this may have been a false-positive). Comparing with the competitor’s product, I found the reporting in the competitor’s product stronger, and found that Kaspersky used more CPU time.

I’m going to keep Kaspersky running for a while to see how I find it over time. My initial reaction is that it is easy to install, but not so great on CPU usage or reporting. To that end, it might be better suited to less technical users, rather than advanced users who need to be able to fine tune behaviour and analyse issues.


New Plain Black Flat Peak Fitted Baseball Cap 7 3/4"
New Plain Black Flat Peak Fitted Baseball Cap 7 3/4"

4.0 out of 5 stars Practical cap for those who find one-size-fits-all caps do not fit., 5 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having tried many one-size-fits-all baseball caps and found that none of them fitted, I ordered one of these caps using my specific head measurement. Perhaps not the most fashionable baseball cap around, but very practical. I use it to prevent sunburn whilst working outside, normally doing the “street” thing and wearing it backwards, using the brim to keep the sun off the top of my neck. It’s covered in mud and cement dust at this point, but works a treat.

For anybody curious about the circular thing shown in the picture on Amazon - it is just a size label that peels off.

Recommended for those who find one-size-fits-all caps do not fit.


Selenium Webdriver in C#.Net: Learn With Examples
Selenium Webdriver in C#.Net: Learn With Examples
by Mr Sagar Shivaji Salunke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short, full of language errors, but possibly useful to complete novices, 20 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The English is terrible, there are typographical errors, there are grammatical errors, some of the statements are incorrect (although obviously so, so readers shouldn't be troubled by them too much). The example code contains commented out code, poor formatting, and demonstrates naivety about race conditions. Anything remotely complicated that the reader might find in real world test automation is ignored.

The book is just 69 pages long (including page zero - techies really do rule the world when there is a page zero). The 69 pages include the index, contents, preface etc. and even a quick guide to really basic C#. So, all in all, there's not a lot of content about Selenium.

Having said all that, it achieved what I needed. I have experience of multiple test automation products, as well as an even larger multiple of years development experience. What I was after from this book, was a very quick idea of what Selenium WebDriver is, so that I know which category of test automation tool it falls into (i.e. does it automate at browser level, or at HTTP/Soap level). I had one hour in my diary in which to find out what I needed to know in preparation for a meeting about tools. In that one hour, I read the entire book and got my answer (actually, I had my answer within a few pages).

I suspect all of the information in this book is available online, but it served its purpose for me. For less than nine pounds, and in less than one hour, I got the overview that I needed. If you have no previous experience of test automation and want a REALLY easy read (if you ignore the language errors), this might be briefly useful to you.

I do worry though, when somebody in the testing arena produces a book without using a spellchecker, a grammar checker, or presumably a proofreader...

[Since originally writing this review, I've done a fairly large chunk of Selenium WebDriver automation in C#, to test an HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript/SignalR application, with tests running on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Whilst this book got me going, the one that really helped was "Selenium Testing Tools Cookbook" by Unmesh Gundecha. If you're going to be doing serious test automation using WebDriver, that is a good book to go for. It assumes a certain level of development experience though, but without that any automated tests are likely to be unreliable...]


Migrating to Windows 8: For computer users without a touch screen, coming from XP, Vista or Windows 7
Migrating to Windows 8: For computer users without a touch screen, coming from XP, Vista or Windows 7
by Dr. Andy Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets you going with Windows 8 really quickly, 3 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After working with Microsoft Windows since the very first version (yes, I really do mean that – before Windows 3.1, before Windows 386 - all the way back to the beginning), I really do know my way around Windows from the inside out. So, when Windows 8 arrived on the scene, and then Windows Server 2012, I was shocked to find that I really didn’t know how to navigate quickly around it, or know what might be lurking in there that I have to click in some random place to find. I figured that the quickest way to get over that hurdle was to buy a book. A quick search popped up “Migrating to Windows 8: For computer users without a touch screen, coming from XP, Vista or Windows 7”, which matched my predicament exactly.

“Migrating to Windows 8: For computer users without a touch screen, coming from XP, Vista or Windows 7” is one of those books that you work through once, and then never use again (other than perhaps for the list of shortcut keys at the back). That doesn’t matter, because the price is so low that the confidence it will give you to find what you are looking for is worth the money.

Now, I don’t want to overstate the case – the book is really basic, and between the small number of pages, the large print and the screenshots, there isn’t a huge amount of content. But that means that you can work through the entire thing, in front of your computer, configuring your machine as you go, and be finished in 3 hours. By the end of that, your machine will be set up how you want it, and you will know how to navigate to the things that you want to get to. With the keyboard shortcuts, you will know how to get to things quickly as well. That has to be worth a price under a tenner.

Before buying, note that there is a Windows 8.1 version of this book available now.

Recommended. Buy it, use it, pass it on!


Fiskars Telescopic Universal Cutter
Fiskars Telescopic Universal Cutter
Offered by Plumbing Supermarket
Price: £76.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth paying the extra to get this rather than a cheaper alternative, 3 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I’ve had a few telescopic pruners, some that are good with a saw attachment, some that are good with the usual secateur-like cutters, and some that are just not good at all. For most work, where things were out of reach of my long-pole hedge trimmers, but not thick enough to use a saw attachment, I had been using an old Draper tool. It was a pain, but it did work. Unfortunately, piece by piece, that has been breaking, and I’ve been patching it up with spare parts etc. Finally, a part failed that I could not replace at sensible price (Draper stopped making that model long ago). As a result, I looked around for a different pruner to replace that old one. The standard Draper model currently available was really annoying (kept unlocking and collapsing at awkward moments). I needed something more serious. I considered (very briefly) their “Expert” model, but given the spare parts issue with my old one, I really didn’t want to go down that route again. Instead, I did some research and plumped for the Fiskars Telescopic Universal Cutter instead.

With three other pruners in my garage to compare against, the Fiskars Telescopic Universal Cutter is by far the most practical for me for those situations where I do not need a saw. It extends to a good length, it cuts through soft woods easily enough, although for some harder woods I now need a saw where the old Draper tool would have gone through the wood. I like the fact that the angle of the head of the Fiskars tool can be adjusted – for some jobs I push it forward into the thing to cut, for others I hook it around the thing to be cut and pull. Particularly for those things where I am pushing, it is sometimes useful to adjust the head to be a little off flat, so that it glints in the sun so that you can see where it is amongst the stuff being cut.

Particularly good is that where my other pruners have a cord that gets tangled in pretty much anything being cut, this Fiskars tool keeps the ribbon/cord inside for half its length. That means far, far fewer snags. When partially extended, the plastic “handle” is pulled to make the cut. When fully extended, it can be useful to hook the ribbon/cord and pull that directly instead, sometimes with the end of the tool pushed into chest/shoulder etc. Note that as well as wearing basic Personal Protective Equipment (safety glasses, gloves, even a helmet depending on what you are doing), it is worth making the gloves anti-vibration gloves, and taking breaks if working for a long period. The first time I used this tool, I was competing with an incoming weather front and so kept going to get the job done. Boy, did I ache afterwards – I do a lot of heavy work, from forestry to bricklaying, so I like to think I’m pretty sturdy, but I really did ache. The cutting blade has remained sharp so far, but should be easy enough to sharpen when the time comes.

Overall, a very useful tool. It doesn’t cut through thicknesses that my old tool did, but it is far easier to use, and the lack of snagging means that I can use it for jobs that I would have given up on with my older tool, particularly cutting climbing roses on a high trellis and up the outside of the house. If you are doing even a reasonable amount of work that requires a telescopic cutter, it’s worth paying the extra to get this rather than the cheaper alternatives.

Just make sure you are home when it is delivered – if I had needed to pick it up from the courier’s depot, it wouldn’t have fitted in my car!


The Little Black Book for Managers: How to Maximize Your Key Management Moments of Power
The Little Black Book for Managers: How to Maximize Your Key Management Moments of Power
by John Cross
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Took a while to work through, but plenty of useful content, 22 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I read quite a lot of books about management, ranging from short, easy reads, through to academic works, which can be quite dry (although often still useful). "The Little Black Book for Managers" is different to probably every other management book I have read, primarily because of how I found I had to actually read it. I found that its style meant I could not read it end-to-end. Instead, I have been working through it, one item per day, keeping it in my office drawer and taking it out during the time I allocate to personal development. I do other things during that period as well, but one thing is to read one item from this book. It works quite well like that. The one item might be something that I can immediately see how I could apply it. Alternatively, it might be one that I have to let my subconscious work on, before deciding whether it could be useful to me or not. Or, it might be one that I have to consciously reflect on before coming to a conclusion. Even though there are some bits that aren't immediately useful to me, there are certainly plenty of bits that are, or that at least make me think.

So, for me, not the easiest read, but definitely a useful book if some effort is put into working through it.


Draper 33855 2,900 mm Telescopic Tree Pruner with 32 mm Cutting Capacity
Draper 33855 2,900 mm Telescopic Tree Pruner with 32 mm Cutting Capacity
Price: £24.95

2.0 out of 5 stars "Lock" comes undone far too easily, 17 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I ordered this Draper33855 Telescopic Tree Pruner after my older Draper tree pruner had a part fail. The old one when extended was locked in place using a part that the user tightened manually. This new 33855 model simply "locks" by giving the extending pole a twist. I put "locks" in quotes, because this is not a great way of doing things. If you are doing some really easy pruning it might be fine (although possibly not when using the saw), but if you are having to extend the pole through vegetation to get to the bit that you want to prune, then it is not so fine. Inevitably, when in slightly trickier situations it is necessary to twist and turn the whole pruner to get to exactly the bit that wants cutting, or alternatively twisting and turning the pruner when trying to get it out of the vegetation again. The inevitable happens in those situations - the locking of the different parts of the pole comes undone, and the whole thing collapses just when you really don't want it to. That's not good at the best of times, but especially so when the saw blade is attached.

Whilst this pruner isn't terrible, it is really only suitable for the easiest of tree pruning jobs. I'll be off to the hardware store to see if I can buy something to get my older Draper pruner working again for situations when not using the saw attachment. When using a saw, I use a product from a different manufacturer. This one will be living in the garage for use only as a last resort when my other tools fail in some way. Definitely not recommended.


CSS3 Pushing the Limits
CSS3 Pushing the Limits
by Stephen Greig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Good content, busy presentation., 11 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a very experienced developer, but one with limited experience of the latest web technologies, I am in a position where I am about to start on a new project involving HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. I thought this book would be useful to get me up to date on CSS3. The problem I found immediately is that this book requires existing CSS3 knowledge. To be fair, it does say that in the introduction, but buying online, it didn't say that in the product description. Anyway, having gone away and worked through another book before this one, I felt more comfortable reading this one. Whilst I wouldn't say that web design is my top skill, this book definitely gives me knowledge of what is possible with CSS3, and to allow me to ask those on the project who specialise more in design the "Have you thought about..." questions that are useful for making others think something is their own idea. This isn't a book on the reading list that most of the team are using, but it is a book that will help me bring further ideas to the project, hopefully improving the end result.

The book itself is presented slightly strangely. It uses very clear fonts, on nice white paper, so no problem reading it even in poor light. Some of the presentation does feel busy. If you just focus on the immediate area that you are reading, it isn't too bad. However, if you are skimming through looking for something, the "busyness" does make it harder.

Recommended, but only for those already reasonably au fait with CSS3. This is not a tutorial for beginners.


Happy Graffiti: Street Art with Heart
Happy Graffiti: Street Art with Heart
by Jenny Foulds
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Far too safe to be interesting, 4 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For me, this book fails to capture the real feel of graffiti. It contains a collection of photographs, make that unimaginatively taken snapshots, of street art and text written on walls. It is all very safe, not pushing at boundaries anywhere, not stimulating the viewer (I would normally say reader, but there is almost no additional text). You could leave this on a coffee table, and nobody looking at it would take offence at it. But it's "happy graffiti" you might say. It's really not. Yes, graffiti can contain slogans, philosophy in words or visuals, creative expressions of what is going on in the creator's head. It can be incredibly artistic, or pretty basic. It doesn't have to be unpleasant, but if you don't get an emotive feel for what the creator is going through, what is the point? It may just be teenage angst, it may be something much more complicated, but from this book you really don't feel that. It really does not generate much response.

I've seen graffiti on walls outside London railway stations, in subways, on parapets, all down the sides of trains etc, as well as street art painted with permission on a large scale, much of which has made me think and some of which has made me smile. I even know somebody who runs graffiti classes (if that isn't a contradiction) in the Netherlands, who gets many people producing more interesting material than this in the space of a day. As much of a pain as it can be to train operators and others, I'd rather see a creatively done tag on a train, than the majority of the content of this book. With very few exceptions, the images and text here don't even make me stop before turning the page. The image on the cover is one of the few exceptions. What is inside is mostly much less interesting.

Sadly, I cannot recommend this book.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20