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Mr. R. Wenman (Buckinghamshire, UK)
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Getting Started with Laravel 4
Getting Started with Laravel 4
by Raphael Saunier
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.66

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly brief, 14 Feb 2014
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Disappointed at how short this book is, after trimming preface it's barely 100 pages. It does go over everything you need to get started with Laravel which I suppose is exactly what the title promises but I found it lacking in detail in places where it should be more descriptive, given that it is meant as an introduction to Laravel for developers.

The book reads as a set of instructions for setting up a Laravel site, which is disappointing because there are plenty of free tutorials on the internet that do that. When I buy a book I expect it to go into more detail with regards to why and how things are done, what goes on behind the scenes etc which is often skipped in free tutorials taken from the web. Sadly they skipped them in this book too.

The book does what is says on the cover and will get you going with a basic Laravel site but you can find plenty of other free tutorials online to do the same thing. For the amount I paid for this book I expected a lot more than what I got.


HP Deskjet 3055A e All-In-One Printer
HP Deskjet 3055A e All-In-One Printer

1.0 out of 5 stars The worst printer I have ever had, 4 Jan 2014
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This printer frustrates me to no end by being completely unable to feed paper properly. I can never insert more than one page in the top at a time or it will jam and even then it's a 50-50 chance it won't mangle the page when feeding it through. It's a coin toss whether thicker paper like labels will print successfully or jam the ink cartridge. I'm sure it's not me, I've tried just about every way and angle of loading the paper to make feed it properly but nothing I try works consistently.

Absolutely atrocious, my old Canon printer could handle stacks of paper without a problem. It has got so bad that I've bought another printer to replace this one and I actively avoided buying from HP because of this product.


The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time
by Stephen Fry
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be aware of what you're getting, 7 May 2008
For those who know Douglas Adams' work, chances are you are aware that The Salmon of Doubt is the last of Adams' work before his untimely death and is incomplete. Thus for those with an interest in Adams' work this is your last insight into what would have been the third book in his Dirk Gently series. Or perhaps the sixth book in the Hitchhikers series? Who knows what this may have ended up as.

This book will give you your last Adams' fix but be aware. Although the book is listed as 336 pages, the actual in-progress novel The Salmon of Doubt is tucked away at the very end of the book and constitutes only a small portion of the entire book. The majority of the content is a compendium of Adams' work ranging from speeches to columns to random notes. It's a chance to see a little more of Douglas Adams for those who are fans, but for those who just bought it for the novel you may feel a bit ripped off.


Trans-Siberian Handbook (Trailblazer)
Trans-Siberian Handbook (Trailblazer)
by Bryn Thomas
Edition: Paperback

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely invaluable!, 7 May 2008
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If you are planning to take a trip on the Trans-Siberian, Trans-Mongolian or Trans-Manchurian railway, I URGE you to purchase this book! I cannot express how invaluable this book was to me during my trip.

The book contains a wealth of important information. It helps you to book your trip with suggestions of companies to go through as well as informing you of any complications that may arise such as visas, vaccinations. It has a stop-by-stop guide of the entire length of the railway for all 3 journies as well as kilometre markings and places of interest along the route outside of stops, for photo opportunities and such.

Inside of stops, for the bigger towns along the way it contains a map (very valuable) marking out places of interest such as hotels, Internet cafes, restaurants and places to see. For each place listed it even contains a small review of it and a rough price guide. Such minute detail is astounding and helps you to pick the best choice given your budget.

Throughout the book tips are given from the writers and also from travellers themselves who have submitted advice related to your journey, from warning you of for dodgy areas to train etiquette. The history of the Trans-Siberian Railway is included which makes for an interesting read and it also contains accurate (at least for the ones I went on) train time tables for each individual stop along the way.

I thoroughly reccomend this book to anyone taking a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway.


Mandarin Phrasebook (Lonely Planet Phrasebook)
Mandarin Phrasebook (Lonely Planet Phrasebook)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth taking with but don't rely on it, 7 May 2008
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On a trip to China I ordered this phrasebook as I have absolutely no knowledge of Mandarin and was told China was quite difficult to get around in due to the low level of English spoken over there.

In truth, at places like airports staff there will speak English and signs will be written in English. In Beijing airport I was even able to ask a janitor a question in English and he understood me. In more rural China (specifically I went to Fujian province) it's very unlikely that you'll come across someone that can speak English, but places still have some signs in English.

Following on from my previous point, the writing system will pose a problem and is one this book cannot solve, not that it aims to. Rather you will just have to be adventurous and hope for the best. Restaurant menus are a good example. If you're not the adventurous type or you don't fancy risking it in a restaurant, don't rely on this book for getting around.

When it comes to speaking, however, this book does a fairly good job when taken into consideration how hard Mandarin pronunciation is for beginners. The phonetic pronunciation in the book is not too far off the correct pronunciation and if you do get misunderstood (which will happen) you can just point at the Chinese version of the phrase/word.

One problem the book has which I would not have known about is that the phrases and translations given are not exact. I had a Chinese native translator with me who told me the book was 'not very good'. Apparently the translations provided for each phrase in English/Chinese are not particularly accurate and could be misinterpreted.

Overall, it's a handy book to take with you and a starting point for people with no knowledge of the language. Thanks to the uniform writing system, it's good in Hong Kong too as you can still point at the Chinese!


Mongolian (Lonely Planet Phrasebook)
Mongolian (Lonely Planet Phrasebook)
by Alan J.K. Saunders
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well you can point at the words..., 7 May 2008
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I recently took a trip across the Trans-Mongolian railway and ordered three Lonely Planet phrasebooks. Russian, Mongolian and Chinese. Of the three, only one did not get used. That was this one.

The Mongolian phrasebook has clearly not been updated in quite a while compared to the others. This is perhaps understandable due to the relative amount of travellers that visit each country. It does mean it's not as comprehensive or well laid out as other Lonely Planet phrasebooks, however, and there are a few too many intruding unnecessary illustrations in my opinion.

Mongolian is also extremely hard to pronounce and while the book does spell out each word phonetically, the pronunciation seems to be off and you're very unlikely to be understood and will probably have to point at the Cyrillic version of the phrase. The dictionary at the back only contains 1,500 words as opposed to 3,500 words in newer Lonely Planet phrasebooks so if you cannot find your phrase (which might take a while as the books is not especially well laid out) your choice of words to try to get the meaning across with is limited.

I would definetely not rely on this book as the only way to communicate with locals.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2012 8:40 AM BST


Russian (Lonely Planet Phrasebook)
Russian (Lonely Planet Phrasebook)
by Jim Jenkin
Edition: Paperback

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fool the locals in no time at all!, 7 May 2008
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I took this book with me when I visited Russia for the first time with absolutely zero knowledge of Russian. This book was invaluable! Due to the nature of the Russian language, being one that is spelt as it is spoken, I was using words and phrases from this book and being mistaken for a local! The problem was I could not understand the responses I got many times, but that is not a fault of the book.

The book also lists words and phrases in Cyrillic, which means it's extremely easy to learn to read in Russia and I was able to read nearly all of the Cyrllic alphabet within the day!

On my journey on the Trans-Siberian railway I shared my carriage with a native Russian from Omsk. He had only a bare basic understanding of English from his education 35 years ago but passing this book between us we managed to have a decent conversation all day! It was an experience not to forget and one I would not have been able to have without this book.

The local did have one complaint, however. The dictionary at the back has 'few word'.


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