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Aglet (London UK)

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Java For Kids - A Computer Programming Tutorial
Java For Kids - A Computer Programming Tutorial
by Philip Conrod
Edition: Paperback
Price: £49.95

1.0 out of 5 stars A horrible book, 7 Dec 2014
This horrendous book will teach children the worst sort of Java style. Indicative sentence: "just think of a method as a code block you can access from anywhere in a Java project". Absolutely no object orientation mentioned, let alone taught; you would be lucky to come out of these exercises any less than completely broken as a trainee programmer. Unbelievably bad, avoid at all costs.

Baby-G Casio Ladies Digital Watch BG-5600BK-1ER with Resin Strap
Baby-G Casio Ladies Digital Watch BG-5600BK-1ER with Resin Strap

5.0 out of 5 stars Not very girly, 20 Feb 2014
I bought this watch for my 11 year old son, following the untimely demise of a Casio LW-22H-2AVES under a football. It looks good, and the features compare favourably with my own watch -- a 24 hour countdown timer, for example. The display is a little small, and contrast could be higher, with a distinctly anaemic backlight, but it looks great and is clear enough for young eyes. Definitely not a very feminine look, and he's not taken it off since taking it out of the nice tin it came in. Tempted to buy another as a spare in case this one bites the dust somehow, but frankly I can't envisage how he could break it. Top purchase.

Really Useful Filing Box Plastic with 10 suspension files A4 19 Litre W290xD255xH395mm Ref 19C&10susp
Really Useful Filing Box Plastic with 10 suspension files A4 19 Litre W290xD255xH395mm Ref 19C&10susp
Price: £14.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but probably not long-lasting, 26 Jan 2014
I bought two of these boxes. One arrived with a broken lid, and has been returned, I only noticed later that the corner of one box was also broken. Despite the sturdy appearance the plastic is too brittle, and/or the padding in the cardboard box used for shipping is inadequate.

The provided hanging files are OK, but you'll be retro-fitting them with labels.

Filing is never going to be enjoyable, but I'm not convinced that if I ever end up with a non-broken pair of boxes that they'll be reasonably durable -- which is the whole point.

Bright green laser pointer 1mW
Bright green laser pointer 1mW
Offered by LTZmart
Price: £2.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not reliable, 16 Aug 2013
My laser has suffered from the "dimming problem" -- initially it worked really, really well, then intermittently failed, now even with brand new batteries I only get a dim light. Looking for a better quality device; while it worked, it was excellent.

Citizen Eco-Drive Gents' Professional Diver Watch, Solar Powered
Citizen Eco-Drive Gents' Professional Diver Watch, Solar Powered

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the price, 31 Aug 2012
Super value, nice looking and reasonably durable. Not like wearing a dinner plate on your wrist, and smart enough for my fairly non-smart work.

I have had mine for a year or two now, and it has had a lot of wear. Although it does not need batteries, it will require some upkeep to restore the great new looks every few years.

The nice rubber strap lost the band loop a while back, and I used a rubber band instead. The "N.D. Depth" numbers also wore off, which I cared much less about - not useful for modern scuba diving, and especially not for pool swimming and paddling at beaches, which are pretty much the limit of my aqua activities (the bezel is used mostly for cooking and public transport rather than dive timing). Once I found an online source for replacement straps I bought two.

The bezel is showing some scratches, but works fine. Similarly the glass has a couple of small scratches. In another couple of years I will probably send it off to be serviced and pay to get these replaced.

Visibility of the luminous patches on the dial, hands and dot on the bezel lasts for a good six hours - practically all night.

Keeps accurate time, nice to wear and nice to use. Highly recommended, but bear in mind that if you use it as a tool it will gain the patina of that use - you'll be wanting a much more expensive titanium and sapphire watch to defer that.

Stasis None
Stasis None

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Needs editing, overlong, waste of time, 29 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stasis None (Kindle Edition)
Far too long, would perhaps have made a decent book a quarter of the size. The plot "twist", such as it was, was telegraphed a mile off. The cliched writing style made it tough going, that alone would have been manageable if it hadn't been riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. The constant references to "Nazi's", as in more than one Nazi, nearly had my teeth ground to stumps before they moved out of the plot. I started highlighting the errors to keep myself interested, and it was a struggle to continue past the third use of "viscous" to mean "vicious". Don't waste your money on this book, and unless the author commits at the very least to getting his work proofread steer clear of his works entirely.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 18, 2012 1:39 PM BST

Sky-Watcher 17Ah Rechargeable Power Tank
Sky-Watcher 17Ah Rechargeable Power Tank
Offered by CAMERA CLUB
Price: £98.89

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special, but should do the job, 18 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Will get the job done, just ignore the pointless extras.

The picture belies the size and weight of this thing, it's not something you'll be tucking into a kitchen drawer, and you should probably take care of your back when lifting it. General first impressions are that it's cheap and cheerful. The fit of the plastic panels isn't great, and little fit-and-finish things like the on/off switch cover and the sliding covers for the 12V sockets are tacky and poorly-done. That said, provided you don't abuse it I'd say it's sturdy enough for domestic use.

All the cables tuck neatly away under a hatch on the side, so they're unlikely to get lost.

Apart from the core function of providing power from a big battery there are a selection of rather cheap & nasty feeling extras:

* The white "torch" and the red lamp are both functional although I wouldn't expect them to be very durable. This thing is way too heavy for you to want to wave it around like a torch, however it is on a hinge so you can angle it (seemingly it's designed to stand on its hind end). The red lamp comes out on a 2m-ish length of cable and has a magnet on the back, it can be set to flash or "solid on". Both are lit with traditional incandescent bulbs which is a shame; LEDs would be much more durable, not get so hot, and consume less power to boot.

* The jump leads can't be used to start a car directly, just to boost the vehicle's battery with a long-ish charge.

* The radio seemed like an especially odd addition, but it works OK.

I would rather the designer had resisted the temptation to shoe-horn torches and a radio in there, and instead gone for either a smaller, cheaper, unit, or better quality on the basic battery function, eg a voltage meter.

A single A4 sheet explains when and how to charge it, and how to replace the various fuses and bulbs. There are indicator LEDs to let you know what's going on, and it's clear enough.

As far as I can tell this is exactly the same bit of kit as the Celestron Power Tank, bar some different printing on the side. Save yourself £50 and get this one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 21, 2013 12:32 AM BST

Sandisk 16GB Extreme 30MBS Secure Digital SD Card - Class 10
Sandisk 16GB Extreme 30MBS Secure Digital SD Card - Class 10
Offered by PicStop
Price: £15.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great until it broke, 31 Dec 2010
The card worked very well, and was easily fast enough to keep up with my camera, until the "lock" write disable switch snapped off.

The switch is a tiny bit of grey plastic that runs in a slot on the edge of the card. The surface of the memory card snapped off, which meant the grey bit fell out. This has two serious effects: it puts the card in "read-only" mode, and also means that it won't insert properly into the slot.

A workaround is to add a small piece of sticky-tape to the card to fake out the presence of the tab, but I wouldn't use it like that for long if I were you. Imagine if the card were to become jammed in your camera, or sticking out of the side of a laptop.

I didn't treat the card roughly in any way. The design is just very very fragile -- you're relying on the structural integrity of a tiny bit of plastic, and I'm afraid that it's just not up to the job. Recommended if you can keep your fingers off the write lock switch.

Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress)
Pulling Strings with Puppet: Configuration Management Made Easy (FirstPress)
by James Turnbull
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate introduction, 11 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A useful introduction to the Puppet framework, with some practical, well-explained examples. More appropriate for reading in the bath than the copious Internet-based documentation. Ironically, I think it would be better bought as an ebook - this book is let down by very low-quality production:
* Typography is poor
* There is only one diagram in the book, on page 66, and it is so poorly reproduced as to be nearly illegible
* Criminally, there is no index. This is the single worst failing, unforgivable in a technical book

This puts me off buying books from this publisher in future.

Statistics: An Introduction Using R
Statistics: An Introduction Using R
by Michael J. Crawley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.95

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Patchy presentation, but good overall, 14 Sep 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's a long time since I did any statistics, and it wasn't in much depth. My workplace has a lot of time series data stored in a database; I plan on using R to provide automatic anomaly detection, to aid in capacity planning, and business development -- classic data warehouse tasks, in other words.

This book is very helpful in some respects. The pragmatic approach described (in particular the sections on model fitting) seems very good. I enjoyed the inclusion of some historical background on the derivation of the statistical methods, and the chatty style didn't grate. Some of the practical hints and tips, eg how not to build a data frame, seemed as if they would be good for complete newcomers to R. The book essentially fulfils its title as an introduction to statistics using R.

My particular interest in time series isn't addressed in this book -- I also bought "The Analysis of Time Series: An Introduction".

Now the negatives. I generally like "Statistics: An Introduction Using R", so don't take this as advice not to buy it -- I just hope these things are fixed in a later edition. My quibbles are largely stylistic or production related.

* Despite the author's assertion that the book assumes no mathematical knowledge from time to time it dives into notation that isn't adequately explained for the complete novice. It seems as if the depth of prior knowledge varies from chapter to chapter; at some points in the book I felt that it was pitched at a much less experienced audience, and at others that it was right over my head. It seems to fall between the two stools of being an introduction to stats in general, and an introduction to stats with R on the other. Assuming no /a priori/ knowledge seems to me to be the safer course, and was certainly what I was looking for.
* The Helvetica font for presenting the source code is irritating; in several cases the characters are ambiguous, and it's generally hard to read. Transcripts of output from the software are presented in a fixed-width font; surely it would be natural to do the same for the input? In fact, the typography generally is poor, and is put to shame by the beautiful Dalgaard book "Introductory Statistics with R".
* Although examples are apparently available online, some extra information in the book on graphical techniques (eg the code to generate some of the figures) would have been appreciated.
* A nitpick: the assumption is made that R is running on the Windows platform (presumably the author's university labs run on this OS). It would be nice to see a short appendix of platform-specfic information, eg about running R on Mac OS X, Solaris, or Linux. The information on data entry, for example, makes the assuption that Microsoft Excel will be the tool of choice -- I plan on pullig information directly out of a database, and would rather see a section on interfacing R to a proper data source, rather than a glorified grid control.
* A final nitpick -- in one place "lose" is misspelt as "loose". I physically wince on reading this page. I haven't spotted any other typos though.

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