Profile for J. Norman > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by J. Norman
Top Reviewer Ranking: 117,449
Helpful Votes: 29

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
J. Norman (london)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight
Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight
by John W. Foreman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cool author, and written with humour. Unfortunately this does not make it any easier, 4 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I almost gave this a lower rating because it is a challenging read - I thought a couple of times of packing it in halfway through which never makes you feel good about a book.

Thankfully I didn't, because it is a difficult subject matter, but there aren't any problems with the writing or content.

I have had to over it quite a few times to "get it" and there are still things I don't fully understand, but at least I can replicate to get results. Some readers might be able to grasp it first time, but I think many won't unless they already know about things such as Clustering and Exponential Smoothing.
If you are looking for a basic intro to Data Analysis you should avoid this, but if you are looking to really get stuck in, then buy it. Be warned what you are letting yourself in for: just browsing it or reading once and putting on the bookshelf will be of no use whatsoever. I've spent at least 30 hours on it so far.

Overall the content and the ideas are brilliant, and the guy is really really funny - still doesn't make it any easier.


Mens Evening / Uniform / Oxford shoes Black Patent leather size 10
Mens Evening / Uniform / Oxford shoes Black Patent leather size 10
Offered by The Slippers Shop
Price: £38.82

1.0 out of 5 stars Comfort level equivalent of stepping into a bucket...., 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
...that is too small.

Fairly cozy for 10 - felt more like a 9. Wore once and took a week to regrow the skin I lost on my toes. Flexibility was non existent - it may have come from the same batch as those made for Random Task (Oddjob).

After wearing once there were cracks like those found on the smiling face of an aging Hollywood star.

I wore once and threw away I'm afraid - sometimes its a bad idea to try and go cheap, you pay for what you get.


Learn Excel 2010 Expert Skills with the Smart Method
Learn Excel 2010 Expert Skills with the Smart Method
by Mike Smart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A good Excel book, 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I definitely learnt new things from this book. Like anything - it will be a worthwhile purchase if you actually start incorporating things you have learnt into your day to day work. Those things I have are second nature now, but there are useful functions in here that I haven't made use of and would not be able to use without spending some time reviewing again.

One thing I liked was the authors comments on vba - he stated in his experience most of problems people approached him for that they claimed needed vba could actually be handled easily by the normal Excel functions he teaches in this book.

I have borne that in mind since reading, and it seems like good advice. I have discovered one possible exception - trying to make dynamic forms where users input information which in turn drives the subsequent choices they are presented with. I have made use of the excellent data validation section here, but have found out that people can skirt the rules by inputting data, making a subsequent choice, and then removing the original choice. Validation can stop people entering data into a cell, but it is harder to control it once it is already in there.


Oil: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
Oil: A Beginner's Guide (Beginner's Guides)
by Vaclav Smil
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars o.k., 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Covers the history of oil, producers etc but I wouldn't class this as good for a beginners guide - it contains a lot of scientific words relating to geology etc so if you don't know them well it can quickly become dull.


Simple Statistics: A Course Book for the Social Sciences
Simple Statistics: A Course Book for the Social Sciences
by Frances Clegg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.25

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to stats, 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was the first stats book I read and I am glad of it. It won't be enough on it's own - but you could say that of any stats book less than 50 kilos.
Was a big help when reading the Dummies books and was a lot more interesting in my opinion. Plus, the language is better - less waffle.

The only downside I think are the sketches inside. We are all different and some readers will like them, but, (and will all due respect) I thought they were terrible!


The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading (5th edition)
The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading (5th edition)
by Ian Rowland
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Fuzzy Facts of Cold Readnig, 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There is a lot of interesting material in this book. Much of it may seem obvious, but the trick is to acknowledge it, and think about what it means rather than think "ok that makes sense" and move on without getting any more out of it.

Also I find his humour really funny - very British - may be some non natives won't get it


Impro (Performance Books): Improvisation and the Theatre
Impro (Performance Books): Improvisation and the Theatre
by Keith Johnstone
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was in two minds whether to give this 5 stars rather than 4. The only reason I didn't give 5 was because one section of the book wrote out unbroken thoughts created by a group of some of his students. It was showing how they were freely without inhibition reaching inside and bringing forth subconscious thoughts...all very interesting but after a couple of paragraphs I started to get bored and it went on for pages and pages

This book is brilliant however, and I laughed out aloud on many occasions. I'm not interested acting, but read this on recommendation by a well respected magician nonetheless.

You will enjoy this book if you have any interest in seeing how people interact with each other, acting, comedy or creativity in any form. It shows clearly where some of the things by Slattery, McShane and all those other Whose line is it anyway? folk stem from.

Fascinating and a brilliant book


Analysis of Economic Data
Analysis of Economic Data
by Gary Koop
Edition: Paperback
Price: £32.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Best read if you know some stats first, 19 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After browsing, I saw that it attempted to teach stats without going into the maths in too much detail. Instead the author wanted the reader to gain intuition for regression first of all, and then go on to study in the traditional way armed with this knowledge.

Seemed like a good idea, but after about 80 pages I gave up and went for the various Dummies books instead, plus a couple of others.

Coming back to it now having learnt so much, it makes a lot more sense. But the first time around it was too challenging and demotivating to say the least. Also, there may be less maths, but it is heavy on using the old greek letters with about 10 subscripts/superscipts clinging on to them somewhere.

This isn't a bad book overall and I like the idea of not focusing on the maths, but think this is best read AFTER having gone through those books.


Statistics II For Dummies
Statistics II For Dummies
by Deborah J. Rumsey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Errors?, 2 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This covers the material one would expect, although I sometimes had to go to other sources to get better explanations or clarification.

I found possible errors in the text creeping. Given that I am no expert, I emailed Wiley to see if they were really errors or whether I was wrong. Over a month later I still had no answer. When I pressed I was basically fobbed off with something along the lines of

"the author would need to review and may be busy"

fine, but this is a well known book she has put her name that could be full of errors - I would have thought it worthy of checking. Given that I am still none the wiser, I give it 1 star. If the errors had been confirmed and I had some more clarity, maybe 3 stars.


CHINESE CHARACTERS
CHINESE CHARACTERS
by DR. ALAN HOENIG
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for browsing, 27 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: CHINESE CHARACTERS (Paperback)
addressing some of the negative reviews:

the crux of the matter you will have with this book is that you have to complete it before you can get any practical use out of it.

Because of the way the book it set out, the order of characters is not based on their popularity and you will have to wait until completing the book to find a lot of essential characters. Not only that, you can't skip to the back because it builds on previous material. You will also have to expend energy learning characters that you may never even see again just because they contain some element used later on.

For casual users - forget it, it will be a waste of money.
For those in it for the long term, willing to put in a lot of effort learning/reviewing characters - buy it. I have found it to be very helpful and there are times where you will fly through it and pick up another 10-20 characters in half an hour or so.

The drawbacks you will have are:

The true historic character meanings are provided - which may bear absolutely no resemblance to words that utilise the character nowadays. No examples of current words that use the character are provided,so expect to find a lot of words for weaponry, arrowheads, etc. These then may be used within characters that are in ever day use.

It doesn't teach you the language - you will only learn words. You will need to learn the language separately

It is frustrating to get bogged down learning obscure words you know that you won't really need

The author uses imagery to help learn the character - but there are many radicals that have a similar meanings and its easy to confuse them. A character for rice is used in dozens of other characters - but so is another for "grain". Its very hard remember which one to use when trying to remember the character. Multiply by numerous other examples, and then all the English words with >1 meaning and you get the idea. I suggest making a note of the ones you confuse often, and then finding some subtle way to separate them in your mind - it will help immensely.

There is a lot of work involved in learning and being able to recall over 2000 characters. Just be prepared to spend months even years going back to it, depending on how much time and ability you have. It doesn't matter what the blurb says about it being easy because it isn't (note the authors background - perhaps it is easy if you have a doctorate from Harvard and Yale and are a professor of mathematics)

At then end you will still have no idea how to form a simple sentence. This book will help you read what you see, not construct sentences yourself. I wouldn't mark it down for this as the book says the purpose is for learning characters

Finally - this is a criticism of the book: some of the "stories" used to memorise a character are pretty far removed and difficult to link to. You will need to create your own when this happens - be prepared to write all over it.

If you are still reading by this point, you probably have the patience to study the book. Don't be distracted by the negatives - if you are in it for the long term, the benefits easily outweigh the drawbacks.


Page: 1 | 2