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Amazon Customer "Alan Burlison" (UK)

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TeckNet® C016 USB HD 720P Webcam, 5 MegaPixel, 5G Lens, USB Microphone & 6 LED
TeckNet® C016 USB HD 720P Webcam, 5 MegaPixel, 5G Lens, USB Microphone & 6 LED
Offered by Hippidion.Store
Price: £14.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, dreadful quality. Avoid., 15 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First problem is that it took about 3 attempts and rolling back to an earlier Windows 7 restore point to get the camera to be recognised. Next problem is that I couldn't focus it. For £10 I couldn't be bothered sending it back as it basically worked and I only wanted it for Skype so I took it to bits. The PCB inside was badly made - the screw holes in the corners were so close to the edge that they had broken off the corners of the PCB. Only 2 of the 4 screws were present, and those were over-tightened and had split the mounting posts. The focusing bezel on the case doesn't actually grip the lens inside so it was impossible to focus, so I glued it on.

About the best I can say about it is it sort-of works.


The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos Book 2)
The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos Book 2)
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A good followup to the first book, 17 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A good followup to the first book, albeit not quite as strong as Hyperion. Probably the best place to stop as the next two Endymion books are nowhere like the same quality, and by the time of the fourth book are actually painful to read.


Endymion
Endymion
Price: £5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 17 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Endymion (Kindle Edition)
It's OK, but much weaker than the first two in the series


The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos Book 4)
The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos Book 4)
Price: £5.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak and full of cod philosophy and overblown travelogue descriptions ..., 17 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Weak, full of cod philosophy and overblown travelogue descriptions. I bought this on the basis of the first two books in the series, wish I hadn't bothered. Badly needed some radical editing which it clearly didn't get, shortened down to about half and with all the pointless minor characters removed it would probably have been OK.


Mountains of the Mind: a History of a Fascination
Mountains of the Mind: a History of a Fascination
by Robert Macfarlane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull and plodding, 3 Jan. 2014
I really can't understand why this book has been given such good reviews. I struggled through to page 73 before giving up. I agree with what another reviewer (PhilV) said, the author continually belabours the same trite points over and over again - mountains can be dangerous, mountains are old, people's attitudes to them have changed over time, some people like taking risks etc.

What finally made me give up on this book was the "Pursuit of Fear" chapter. By the time I'd reached that point the author has already given us two anecdotes involving his own lack of judgement, one involving climbing on rotten snow in the middle of a warm spell and the other where he'd nearly been killed by falling rocks. For me the pleasure in going out in difficult conditions is being prepared for them, not in taking unnecessary risks. There's nothing clever about putting yourself in harm's way unnecessarily - as the saying goes, there are old climbers, there are bold climbers but there are very few old, bold climbers.

I notice that most of the positive reviews of this book are from British people - we seem to have a national belief that unnecessarily putting yourself in harm's way is somehow laudable. There's no better illustration of this than that contained in Scott's and Amundsen's accounts of their South Pole expeditions. Scott's approach was to muddle through in the face of mistakes and adversity, Amundsen's approach was to prepare and plan meticulously and carry out his plans single-mindedly. If you want to get inside the mindset of the two schools of exploration you'd be far better spending your time reading those books (both of which are free from gutenberg.org).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2014 8:46 AM GMT


The Lazarus Principle (1)
The Lazarus Principle (1)
Price: £3.06

1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty bad, 8 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can't understand why this book got such good reviews. Slow pace, clunking dialogue, wince-inducing ideas about what things such as "AI" and "hacking" are and lame 1980's concepts such as "logic bombs" make the storyline of Independence Day look plausible by comparison. If you know anything about computers beyond how to turn them on then I think this book probably isn't for you.


Mio Spirit 687 5" Sat Nav with Full Europe Maps (44 Countries)
Mio Spirit 687 5" Sat Nav with Full Europe Maps (44 Countries)

1.0 out of 5 stars Simply awful, 28 July 2013
This is simply the worst piece of consumer electronics I've ever bought. The bluetooth pairing took half an hour of fiddling to establish with my HTC One S, and that's even after installing the almost impossible to find WinCE bluetooth patch from the Mio website. The satnav screen is as slow as molasses to respond, the map updates are around 1/3 of the cost of the product itself and the PC application is a complete joke - it crashes frequently, and if it does so in the middle of a map transfer, when you restart the satnav it will tell you there are no maps installed even though the PC app tells you they are installed. The only recourse is to reformat the satnav entirely and do a factory reinstall. And their helpdesk is pretty hopeless as well - I had problems with downloading updates that they took about two months to resolve. As the issues related to the PC app are common across all of their products, I'd advise you to buy from another manufacturer and not to touch any Mio products.


Scala in Depth
Scala in Depth
by Joshua D. Suereth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good book ruined by bad editing - wait for the second revision, 18 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Scala in Depth (Paperback)
This book is intended to be a follow-on from books such as "Programming In Scala". It concentrates on the "Why?" questions rather than just "How?", so if you are looking for an introductory Scala text, this probably isn't it. If you are are a Java developer the best way of describing this book is to say it's intended to be the Scala equivalent to "Effective Java". It uses a similar style, being partly based around 14 "Rules for Improving your Scala Programs" listed inside the front cover. It explains how to combine advanced features together, such as Types and Implicits, as well as explaining any potential pitfalls that you need to be aware of. It is also the only Scala textbook that I've seen that attempts to explain Monads in any kind of detail.

I'd like to say that this book should be on every Scala developer's bookshelf and that it will become a Scala classic in the way that "Effective Java" is for Java. However there's one huge problem. The book is completely riddled with basic proof-reading errors - spelling mistakes, code examples that are syntactically wrong and even entire repeated paragraphs. The forum for this book contains a lot of pre-print feedback on these errors, it is inexcusable that the publisher, Manning, seem to ignored them and printed a book that's so full of errors. I've tried my best to ignore them, but there are so many that in the end I've returned the book to Amazon for a refund - it just isn't what I consider to be acceptable quality for a book that's relatively slim (270 pages) and relatively expensive.

Whilst this book fills a clear gap for users of Scala, it's has too many basic production errors for me to be able to recommend it in its current state. My advice is to wait until Manning publish a second edition, hopefully they'll actually edit the book properly as part of any such update.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 20, 2012 11:41 AM BST


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