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Dr. Charles Willbe "Project Doctors" (UK)
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Ex-Pro® Neodymium Rare Earth Super Magnets 12x3mm Disc [PACK of 6]
Ex-Pro® Neodymium Rare Earth Super Magnets 12x3mm Disc [PACK of 6]
Offered by ExpressPro
Price: £8.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and cheap, 5 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Purchased these magnets to demonstrate monopolar motors to a bunch of kids. Hence wanted something cheap but effective - they ticked both boxes.

Just be careful when separating them - they are so strong that they can give you a nip when they come back together!


Netgear WN3000RP Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender
Netgear WN3000RP Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender
Price: £29.99

30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WPA (rather than WPA-2) is a problem, 5 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Product appeared ideal to rectify a "black-spot" in my wireless LAN coverage. It was relatively simple to install and set up and the black-spot did indeed disappear. Unfortunately this was followed within 5 minutes by the Internet connection disappearing too.

I duly reset and tried again - same result. I then tried just turning the range extender on with no laptop, etc. connected. It connected fine - as shown by its lights - but then within 5 minutes the Internet connection had been dropped again.

I came across a review which said that (despite what is claimed for it) this range extender is incompatible with WEP security and requires WPA-2. I can now confirm that the ambiguity in that statement should be resolved to "It is incompatible with WEP OR WPA and requires WPA-2".

Reluctantly, I am sending back this product which promised so much and ALMOST delivered.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2014 3:42 PM BST


The Lazy Winner
The Lazy Winner
by Peter Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why should I do this review?, 31 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Lazy Winner (Paperback)
Even before his thematic acknowledgments, Peter has set the tone of this book in its dedication. His style is eminently readable (with the faintest whiff of Winnie the Pooh) and this book lives up to his introductory sales (or is it anti-sales?) pitch.

Despite the author's obvious and stated love of footnotes, a few of them are surely superfluous: providing information that is known by all who would be interested in knowing it e.g. the explanation of what is meant by "Sat nav". The interspersed quotations are much better as are the "Nigel interludes".

The use of Maslow' hierarchy is a good way into defining winning, although I found the diagram on p21 rather confusing: is it really meant to indicate that the "Journey to success" involves moving from knowing what you want to NOT knowing what you want? The Pareto principle is also used well.

I was delighted to see the chapter heading "The strength of `No'" but thought it could have been developed a little further e.g. the alternative spelling of "No" being "y e s b u t". The chapter on leaving spare capacity to be able to capitalise on opportunities made an important point which is often overlooked (by me for one!).

I particularly liked the "Sat nav" Illustration of the learning process and the really lazy lazy guide.
All in all a very good read with some useful points for all but the most lazy already! In fact, I applied its principles even before finishing the book ... I "skim read" the appendices of which I would normally have read every word!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 1, 2012 5:08 PM GMT


Recession Survival: A Self Assembly Kit for Businesses of All Sizes
Recession Survival: A Self Assembly Kit for Businesses of All Sizes
by Tom Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.72

4.0 out of 5 stars A bit like the dentist STILL (review of first edition still applies!), 4 Jun 2010
No-one really wants to go to the dentist but not going is even worse! This is not a book to be read for entertainment but it is, quite possibly, one that might help your business survive.

In dealing with this rather dour topic, Tom makes valiant efforts to suppress his natural flippancy and almost succeeds. Fortunately, the remnants of his humour lighten what might otherwise have been quite a depressing read.

The first part of this book provides context and aids the reader to identify when a recession is likely to affect their business. Unfortunately that is all too easy at this time. When are economy has improved a bit, the true value of this section will be seen ... but not yet!

The main part of the book provides 20+ tips for recession planning, which range from marketing approaches to cash-flow management to the treatment of staff. As Tom readily acknowledges, some will be applicable to your business whilst others will be irrelevant - deciding which are which is part of the recommended evaluation process. That is also the starting point for planning - what else would you expect from a project manager of Tom's experience?

Finally, Tom provides some good advice to those about to succumb.

This book provides a systematic approach to planning for recession which would benefit nearly any business but particularly Tom's target audience - small and medium consultancies. It might just be the small investment that saves your company!


A Recession Survival Kit for Small and Medium Consultancies: A Practical Guide with Twenty Plus Tips for Surviving a Recession
A Recession Survival Kit for Small and Medium Consultancies: A Practical Guide with Twenty Plus Tips for Surviving a Recession
by Tom Taylor
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A bit like the dentist, 17 Dec 2009
No-one really wants to go to the dentist but not going is even worse! This is not a book to be read for entertainment but it is, quite possibly, one that might help your business survive.

In dealing with this rather dour topic, Tom makes valiant efforts to suppress his natural flippancy and almost succeeds. Fortunately, the remnants of his humour lighten what might otherwise have been quite a depressing read.

The first part of this book provides context and aids the reader to identify when a recession is likely to affect their business. Unfortunately that is all too easy at this time. When are economy has improved a bit, the true value of this section will be seen ... but not yet!

The main part of the book provides 20+ tips for recession planning, which range from marketing approaches to cash-flow management to the treatment of staff. As Tom readily acknowledges, some will be applicable to your business whilst others will be irrelevant - deciding which are which is part of the recommended evaluation process. That is also the starting point for planning - what else would you expect from a project manager of Tom's experience?

Finally, Tom provides some good advice to those about to succumb.

This book provides a systematic approach to planning for recession which would benefit nearly any business but particularly Tom's target audience - small and medium consultancies. It might just be the small investment that saves your company!


GMPM, and Other Modern Afflictions Affecting Project Managers
GMPM, and Other Modern Afflictions Affecting Project Managers
by Tom Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Tom!, 11 Nov 2009
For those who appreciate Tom's slightly anarchic sense of humour, GPMP is a "must have". In this short book, that humour focuses on the sometimes sensitive topic of project manager characteristics to very good effect.

Despite valiant attempts by some of those selling training or promoting qualifications, project managers are as varied as the animals featured in this book. The suspected mutation of the project management gene is the premise on which this work is based and the joke carries well. Most will recognize the types of animals that are produced.

The descriptions of each project management animal and their associated characteristics not only amuse but stimulate thought. I thoroughly commend this book to project managers who want to see themselves more objectively and to project teams as a good game for Christmas.

For the record, I think I am a cross between an Albatross and a Shire Horse with a hint of Platypus and just a smidgeon of Chameleon. Watch out below - if you can see me!


How to Select the Right Project Manager
How to Select the Right Project Manager
by Tom Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know, 27 Oct 2009
I came to this book expecting a light-hearted gambol across this topic and was disappointed; what I got though was much better. Tom deals with the whole process of project manager selection in an extremely thorough and methodical way.

The chapter on type and source of project manager clearly lays out the pros and cons of different choices and wisely avoids saying which is best "without knowing the circumstances in question". Routes to selection are similarly described in a concise and useful fashion as are methods of budgeting for project management.

Tom's discussion of project management resource profiles highlights a topic which is all too rarely considered and again leads the reader through a thought process rather than dictating solutions.

Other sections also raised key issues which are frequently dealt with blindly by rote or ignored e.g. that the balance of quality v price in the evaluation process when selecting a project manager is not set but should vary depending on the project; that various problems arise in interviews that can be dealt with if planned for.

Numerous appendices further enhance the value of this comprehensive book which I will now consider the definitive work in this area.


Characteristics of Effective Project Managers
Characteristics of Effective Project Managers
by Tom Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Fitting pegs into holes without resorting to sledge hammers, 11 Sep 2009
Finding the right shape project management peg for the right shape programme/project hole is not a trivial exercise and one that is too often neglected. Where done well, changes of project success increase dramatically as does the morale of the project manager. In fact, it is good news all round - which rather begs the question "Why isn't more attention paid to this?". The answer is probably connected with the effort required to get a system set up which can be used for multiple projects without undue effort once things are "up and running". This is where Tom's book makes such a valuable contribution.

Those familiar with Tom's style will not be surprised to find that the assessment process described in his book is both simple and comprehensive. Although the book can be read for enjoyment and/or information, it really comes into its own when the assessment described is translated into a spreadsheet (not a difficult task) and used in anger on a project or number of projects.

My only suggestion for improvement - which the reader can adjust on their own spreadsheet - is that Tom's two scores of demand and supply become three: demand, supply by other means, supply by project manager. The need to think in this way is mentioned in the book e.g. the section entitled "The Magnet", which questions whether the project manager ought to know EVERYTHING. Adjusting the scoring system to remind people that the project manager is only part of the solution would be helpful.

Tom betrays his sector background a little in "The Timekeeper" by referring to a schedule as a programme - but that will only offend those for whom programmes must be distinguished from projects at all costs. I'm not part of that club!


Management in Practice
Management in Practice
by Tom Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.71

4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Tom, 3 Sep 2009
This review is from: Management in Practice (Paperback)
The obvious questions to ask in picking up a book written by Tom Taylor are:
1. Will it be as thought-provoking as his presentations?
2. Will his characteristically quirky sense of humour come through on the page?

In words which Tom himself could have written "definitely ... maybe".

The ideas are certainly there, presented largely in a hail of bullets. I almost said "as many as at Custer's last stand" and then realised that, at least compared with arrows, that was a deficiency. Those used to Tom's style will be familiar with his smorgasbord approach and will find plenty of morsels to pick at; those who are not, may take a while to realise that Tom's approach is to raise questions and perhaps hint at answers rather than provide them shrink wrapped.

I liked the idea of illustrating project management principles from outside what is normally considered to be the "project world". At once, this makes the illustrations more familiar to those not steeped in the discipline and reminds us that projects are all pervasive.

I was pleased to see that "ensuring competence of team members" which covered team selection was later balanced by "assisting the less able or experienced", as I encounter more teams given to project managers than selected by them. It was also good to see a section on decision making - too often neglected. The section "maintaining the course despite diversity" illustrates nicely Tom's focus on practice rather than theory.

Did the humour make it through? I noticed it more as the book progressed. What I can't work out is whether that was me re-tuning to it or Tom warming up as he went along!


The Lazy Project Manager: How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early
The Lazy Project Manager: How to be twice as productive and still leave the office early
by Peter Taylor
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars East to read yet incisive, 31 Aug 2009
Unlike so many project management books, "The lazy project manager" is both easy to read and yet incisive.

Rather than a lack of project management effort being the root cause of problems on projects, the author contends that it is misplaced effort. Focus on the important issues is lost in a haze of activity - much of which is fruitless. The Pareto principle (80/20 rule) underlies much of what is said.

The book starts by defining laziness and probably achieves a first in linking Helmuth von Moltke's Prussian army officer assessment with Monty Python's "Dinosaur" sketch. It continues through the lifecycle of projects with each of the major causes of project failure being addressed from the "productive lazy" perspective. The "softer" skills of project management receive more attention than the traditional ones but it is none the worse for that. This is where most problems occur.

The writing style encourages the reader, though I wasn't quite sure that the extensive footnotes worked. This is a book that invites you to smile rather than convulses you with laughter. It is charmingly quirky whilst being very effective in getting its message across.

The author's experience in the large project arena is clear to see and those managing such ventures will gain most from this book. Project managers of smaller projects will need to be a bit more discriminating in the application of some of the advice. Even those of us battle-scarred by old projects may find some new ideas worth trying (I'd never thought of dressing up as a carrot) but it is no hardship to read this book anyway.


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