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Hypertec 55Y3716-HY 2GB SODIMM PC3-10600 IBM Equivalent Memory
Hypertec 55Y3716-HY 2GB SODIMM PC3-10600 IBM Equivalent Memory
Price: £14.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Good value RAM, 28 Jan. 2016
Does the job. Correct specs. Comes in no frills plastic case. Used with Lenovo Thinkpad X121e.

The Amazon price of £8.73 offers good value for money even compared to second hand items on eBay. Moreover, I also used the current £7 gift voucher offer to get it for £1.73 including free delivery with Amazon prime. Arrived a day later. Sorted for less than a cup of coffee.

Edit: I see the price is now £13, which is less competitive.


SanDisk SSD PLUS 120 GB Sata III 2.5-inch Internal SSD up to 520 MB/s
SanDisk SSD PLUS 120 GB Sata III 2.5-inch Internal SSD up to 520 MB/s

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap way to transform old laptop, 9 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this SSD to rejuvenate an old laptop (ThinkPad X121E). So far the drive has been reliable and the speed improvement is good enough that I'm happy to keep the laptop for another year or so. Hence the SSD was cheap at £35 (as I'd otherwise have bought a whole new laptop). The SSD is also silent, much lighter and uses less power than the old mechanical drive.

The SSD is 7mm (as indicated in the product specs) but comes with a spacer for 9.5mm drive bays.

Using a fresh Ubuntu 15.10 installation running on the drive, I get "real world" read speeds of about 440MB/s and write speed around the claimed 180MB/s. But the big improvement is in seek times, which leads to a snappier feel for desktop apps.


Mountain biking the Tour du Mont Blanc: Part guide, part tale about mountain biking the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Mountain biking the Tour du Mont Blanc: Part guide, part tale about mountain biking the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be so much better- more like pub chat than guide, 10 Aug. 2015
Doing the TMB by mountain bike seems to be gaining popularity. This is a pleasant 30 min read for anyone considering such an undertaking. The names/phone numbers of huts are mentioned but unfortunately this book is not much use as a guide (which is what I hoped for). There are no maps (or links to GPX files) and little discussion of route options. The main points are:
* Clockwise is a reasonable choice
* Yes there is a lot of hike-a-bike

Pedants will be horrified at there/their, past/passed, etc confusion, as well as omitted apostrophes for possession.

I read it for free on Kindle Unlimited, but would have been disappointed if I'd paid!


Sony ZX310 Lightweight Foldable On-Ear Headphones Compatible with Smartphones, Tablets and MP3 Devices - Black
Sony ZX310 Lightweight Foldable On-Ear Headphones Compatible with Smartphones, Tablets and MP3 Devices - Black
Offered by You Want One
Price: £16.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Folds up compactly, good value for money, cable too short., 2 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought as compact replacement for Sony MDR-XD200 (which are too bulky). Mainly used with laptop for music and movies.

Pros
* Folds up relatively small.
* Build quality better than expected. Swivel mechanism on cups still working well after 3 months of regular bashing and getting crushed in bag.
* Outside of cups "machined" texture nice touch.
* Good sound quality (although I'm not audiophile).
* Cheap at £14.90 (Amazon, April 2015).

Cons
* On-ear design doesn't keep out background noise well.
* 1m cable is too short for me (compared to the 3m cable on MDR-XD200).
* Headband too flimsy.
(All cons predictable at this price range!).


Shower Head Shower Rail Slider 19mm
Shower Head Shower Rail Slider 19mm
Offered by Trade In Post Limited
Price: £5.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Good value replacement for Mira L14D 19mm, 3 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Purchased as replacement for Mira L14D holder. Does the job as well as original but at much lower cost.


Zebra Fuente Disposable Fountain Pen - Black (Pack of 12)
Zebra Fuente Disposable Fountain Pen - Black (Pack of 12)
Price: £14.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Best disposable fountain pen currently on the market, 3 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I am on a mission to find the best disposable fountain pens (for a mixture of writing, maths and scribbly diagrams).

So far I have tried BiC Disposable Fountain Pen (Box of 12) - Black and Pilot VPen Disposable Fountain Pen White Barrel 0.58 mm Tip - Blue, Box of 12. I preferred the BiC.

The Zebra Fuente appears to be same pen as the BiC (same nib, barrel dimensions, reservoir, ink) but with some minor cosmetic changes (such as lid design). In practice I could not detect any differences.

At the current price of £12 per box of 12 (vs £18 for the BiC, and £24 for the Pilot VPen), they are the clear winner in my mind.


Probability Tales (Student Mathematical Library)
Probability Tales (Student Mathematical Library)
by Charles M. Grinstead
Edition: Paperback
Price: £39.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Sports, stocks, lotteries and finger prints, 21 Dec. 2014
If you're bored of textbook chi-square and T tests then check this out. These "stories" are expanded articles from a magazine on probability. They discuss simple models for real world phenomena, and use the models to perform basic hypothesis tests, i.e. see how unlikely it is to observe some given data in the model. There are exercises and calculations, but overall it could be bed time reading.

The first chapter concerns sports statistics. It focuses on statistical evidence for (or against) winning streaks. Another question is whether Joe DiMaggio was really so exceptional. The second chapter is on stock prices, and I thought rather dull. The third concerns lotteries. They make the point that, if you insist on playing, you should avoid choosing your numbers from calendar dates -- this is because you are no more likely to win, but you are less likely to share your winnings in the unlikely event that you win! The final chapter is on finger print statistics.

The 'p' values are computed analytically and by computer simulation. There are lots of plots and the writing has a nice rhythm. You don't need strong maths skills to read the book. Background material is referenced in Grinstead and Snell's textbook on probability. I only deducted a star because the book could be longer for my money!


The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Dawkins book so far, 19 Dec. 2014
This my favourite Dawkins book (> Climbing mount improbable, God delusion, Selfish gene). I think the examples are more varied and Dawkins conveys more enthusiasm for his subject. Overall it was an enjoyable read, and highly recommended.

However, I find him rather conceited and unnecessarily combative compared to other pop science writers. He often begins explanations with "Obviously, ...", or "No reputable scientist would disagree that ...", and other arguments from authority. I was already bored up with his computer simulations of biomorph evolution (written on his Mac in the 1980s, since you ask) after reading Climbing mount improbable :)

Near the beginning he says the scientific theory of evolution is a "fact" like a mathematical theorem is a "fact". I see his point but overall think the analogy is bad and actually it weakens the argument, because it detracts from the practical aspect of generating testable, falsifiable predictions and hypothesis. An anti-evolutionist might well say "Ah ha!! there are mathematical theorems such as the Banach-Tarski theorem (which says you can chop up a ball and reassemble it into TWO balls THE SAME SIZE as the original) that are clearly nonsense as far as the 'real world' goes, so this is no reason to believe in evolution". More generally, I'd hesitate to call most physical laws a "fact" in the same sense as a mathematical theorem (even laws expressed as a mathematical equation). Actually, some of the things we call "laws" (like Newtonian mechanics) are actually just (very good) approximations. They are "wrong", but we still rely on them in everyday life, and I don't lose any sleep over the fact that they're not "fact". Mathematical theorems are "truths" derived from axioms and logic. Evolution is a scientific theory.


Cosmos Season 1 [DVD]
Cosmos Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
Price: £9.89

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NDT is a good successor to Sagan, 19 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cosmos Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I liked this new Cosmos. NDT is a great successor to Sagan. The production quality is superb. Seth McFarlane's influence is welcome (and clear).

Now I have to break with consensus and say I wasn't as captivated compared to the original, hence the 4 stars. Perhaps it's because I'm older, more cynical and enjoy complaining about how easy CGI has cheapened dramatic shots of star forming galaxies :)

This new Cosmos is human-centric, more so than the original. Fine, but to me it had hints of Bronowski's "Ascent of Man" (which is better in this regard).

There was a lot of time devoted to climate change, as in the original. Fine, it's an important topic. However, I think different topics could have been explored, in particular more modern developments in cosmology and physics-- I was half hoping things to pick up where the original Cosmos ended.

I got a strong sense of deja vu seeing Newton's house multiple times! Generally almost identical footage appeared in several episodes, which can seem weird, especially if you watch them back to back.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2015 8:50 PM GMT


What I Require From Life: Writings on science and life from J.B.S. Haldane
What I Require From Life: Writings on science and life from J.B.S. Haldane
by Krishna Dronamraju
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly marred by Marxist obsessions, 16 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A collection of essays from one of the C.20th scientific giants, edited by a former PhD student.

The book's title is from just one essay in the book, and a rather dull one at that (so don't get hoping for a fix-it manual for your quarter life crisis :D).

I enjoyed "The chicken or the egg?" for its bouncy tone mixed with hints of derision (almost "the egg, you fool").

Some essays are outdated, but still interesting for Haldane's direct and concise style.

Haldane's obsession with Marxism got boring at some point, and almost seemed naive (probably he had a very jolly time visiting the USSR academy of sciences, and his minders did a fine job convincing him all Russians enjoyed a similar lifestyle, but still...)


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