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R. M. Charles (England)

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5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect tiny helper, 16 Mar. 2013
I bought the tetrax and was surprised at how small it was. Despite its tiny size, it holds my iPhone securely and strongly, whilst being very unobtrusive when not in use. I found it bonded to its surfaces securely with the mounting adhesive after using the provided cleaning wipes- although you must allow time to dry totally before attempting adhesion. My iPhone is solidly held, but will rotate on its single point of contact. Considering the tiny footprint, I can imagine that anyone uncertain that it will hold, or wanting to eliminate the aforementioned rotation, could mount two magnet units to create a double connection with two corresponding studs on the back of their gadget. This would hold anything! I am very happy with my purchase!

HTC HTCPOS550 Desire HD Ace Mobile Phone Pouch
HTC HTCPOS550 Desire HD Ace Mobile Phone Pouch
Offered by total digital stores
Price: £5.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent product- three friends bought one after seeing mine!, 20 July 2011
I purchased this case as it had recently come down in price, probably due to the Desire HD having been on general release for a few months. I had bought a similarly designed, cheaper product and although that was okay, after a while it was ragged around the edges and looked as cheap as it was.

As soon as this new case hit the doormat, I could see that it was a cut above the other products I'd seen. The stitching and trim is very well finished and the overall construction is very good. The leather finish is quite fine and the HTC embossing is subtle and stylish. As some reviewers have noted, the case seems a little stiff and tight at first. However, as with most products made of leather (which this does seem to be *checks leather smell*) it stretches a very small amount over about ten days' use and becomes snug but not too tight.

The ribbon that releases the phone is centrally positioned on the rear of the case and runs internally within the lining, so cannot snag or get tangled as some cheaper versions of this design can. There is a small magnet that locks the pull tab in place when the phone is in the case, which is a nice touch.

After seeing my case, my wife, my boss and brother all ordered the same case as relevant for their own HTC model, so I can confirm that the Wildfire, Desire Z and standard Desire cases are all of the same good quality, just slightly differently proportioned.

At this price, you really won't regret it!

The Essential Blender: Guide to 3D Creation with the Open Source Suite Blender
The Essential Blender: Guide to 3D Creation with the Open Source Suite Blender
by Roland Hess
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.69

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great effort..., 27 Oct. 2008
I purchased this book quite recently. I am a teacher and I am learning Blender so I can offer it as a no-cost solution to my students who want to learn 3D modelling. I have some experience with Maya previous to this.

I really, really wanted to rate this book more highly- there are a number of really positive features to it, and the aims of the Blender Foundation are laudable and should be supported. However a couple of big irritations stalled me.

First the plus side:

The book is intelligently, humourously written and the editor's bookended comments in particular stand out as amusing and accessible. Also, most of the information covered is presented with sufficient depth to get the new user familiar with most key aspects of Blender.

The commentaries are clear and concise. The theory discussions cover some potentially difficult ideas in a style that grants confidence to attempt using them. The books removes any intimidation a new user might feel.

All of this is good. Finally, the material on the accompanying disc is great (newer Blender is available online but it is unfair to criticise the book for this as Blender's generation cycle is about as lengthy as a fruit fly's!).

What holds the book back from being absolutely essential comes down to a couple of things.

Firstly, the quality of supporting images is appalling. There really is no way to avoid this; greyscale, low contrast images that are on average less than 1.5" across are pretty much useless. This is exacerbated by the fact the text reads as if the writers assumed the images would be in colour, so refer to distinctions that cannot be seen in greyscale (shades of pink for active objects, for example). Even if the option to print in colour was prohibitively costly, some image manipulation to add highlights, arrows, etc. would have fixed this.

Secondly, the book is largely written by contributors, which means in places it has a slightly inconsistent tone, as some take a project-based approach, while some are more general in their application of principles. Also, the quality of the end product varies from chapter to chapter, with the Sculpting chapter monster head being particularly poor (the writer even includes a screenshot of his *second* attempt to show that "another go may well look better"!). This is a shame as it undermines what Blender is capable of- I accept accessibility for newbies is important but this book will be many people's first choice and should be aspirational as well as educational!

So, would I recommend this book? Yes- I enjoyed it, found the discussion sections very useful and the discreet chapters well constructed. Would I work through all of the projects? No. some of them aren't worth it, but the principles can be aplpied to the reader's own work easily. Do I think a second edition is needed? Yes- to address the above, easy fix image isue and have a second pass at the projects and contributions to improve quality and intorduce some of Blender's newer functions. Overall, a great effort and a welcome,but not perfect, primer.

Learning Autodesk Maya 2008: Foundation
Learning Autodesk Maya 2008: Foundation
by Autodesk Maya Press
Edition: Paperback

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From newbie to "middlebie", 27 Feb. 2008
I was a total novice in the 3D world when I bought this book, intending to teach myself as I went. I chose this book due to it's official status and I am certainly glad I did...

The book is authored by experienced Maya operators and is crammed with colour images and screenshots througout. The authors have been granted a great deal of access to Sony's "Surf's Up" movie and this is reflected in the 5 projects that you undertake to learn the book's content, all of which recreate character or set content and sequences.

Explanations are clear throughout (although total novices such as me may need to re-read the opening section a few times!). My only caution is that the book does contain instructions such as "tweak as necessary until you are happy" here and there- but only after explaining the principles solidly. The authors also provide podcast style briefings on a disc to support the lessons, which I found essential in the early stages. These come along with resources, freebies and some student shorts.

The book is a hefty tome but well worth the money- I am embarking on its two sister books, the Modelling handbook and Special Effects handbook. As I hinted in this title I am not lefr expert but I have a middling understanding and the confidence to move further. For new Maya users this is about as essential a publication as you could want.

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