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Reviews Written by
D. Harvey-George "arwall" (France)

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Doglands
Doglands
by Tim Willocks
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The story appeals to young and old alike, 11 Feb. 2016
This review is from: Doglands (Paperback)
I bought this book for my 11 year old son who loves dogs but ended up reading it myself so I can honestly use the old cliché that it "appeals to young and old alike".

Personally I don't like dogs but I swear you'll see them in a slightly different light after reading this rights of passage tale of a young pup who grows up, learns wisdom and saves his world before striking out on fresh adventures.


Anself USB ANT+Stick Compatible With Garmin Forerunner 310XT 405 405CX 410 610 910 011-02209-00
Anself USB ANT+Stick Compatible With Garmin Forerunner 310XT 405 405CX 410 610 910 011-02209-00
Offered by Beauty House-UK
Price: £22.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive compatible ANT+ Dongle, 23 Nov. 2015
Works perfectly with Wattzap.com turbo training software on both Windows and Linux. Very good value compared to the Garmin dongles.


ASUS AMD AM3+ 760G 4*DDR3 2*USB3.0 10*USB2.0 GBE LAN DVI HDMI Micro-ATX MOTHERBOARD
ASUS AMD AM3+ 760G 4*DDR3 2*USB3.0 10*USB2.0 GBE LAN DVI HDMI Micro-ATX MOTHERBOARD
Offered by UK Prime
Price: £49.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good motherboard for Linux, 21 Aug. 2013
I went for Asus because of the quality capacitors having had previous m'boards that have given up the ghost after a couple of years or become flakey. I built this board up with Linux Mint 15 and an AMD FX 6300 processor. Graphics, HDMI and sound all worked fine. I didn't try HDMI sound. The connectors on the back are perhaps a bit flimsy - at least the big stacks like USB/3 but you are not pulling connectors in and out all the time.

Very simple to build your own PC - just add a hard disk, case and processor and your favourite Linux distro and you are good to go.


Other People's Money: The Rise and Fall of Britain's Boldest Credit Card Fraudster
Other People's Money: The Rise and Fall of Britain's Boldest Credit Card Fraudster
by Neil Forsyth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written low budget Catch me if you can, 16 July 2012
This book rode on the back of the "Catch me if you can" wave but Elliot is altogether less engaging than Frank Abagnale although they both are perhaps victims of their families. Elliot seems to have a lot less style and panache compared to Frank - he takes far longer to stumble upon the system which finally works and by then the law is very close on his heels. To a certain extent his story is more like Fritz Mertens (Auch du stirbst, einsamer Wolf ISBN:978-3257016949) a young charismatic German criminal with a difficult childhood who spends a couple of years on the run as well as spells in prison.

Hopefully the credit card companies and police are better organized now, but somehow I doubt it. It shows that social engineering is a powerful tool for the fraudster.

Elliot, who is descended from a long line of low level gypsy criminals, seems to have had some mental illness, buying just for the sake of it but not really caring about what he bought. A sort of luxury hoarder! I agree with the above poster that a more serious earlier sentence may have had a good effect and certainly his earlier spells in psychiatric hospitals were not a mistake even if they were totally ineffective, as were his parents.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2012 3:28 PM BST


Mondo Motors 1:43 Scale Radio Control Fiat 500 vs 500 Slot Race Track
Mondo Motors 1:43 Scale Radio Control Fiat 500 vs 500 Slot Race Track

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks power, 1 Jan. 2010
Bought this for my son for a Christmas present. It is ok but the controllers are not very sensitive and the transformer lacks power. This means you can get some control when one car is running but the second another starts the first car slows right down. If one car crashes the remaining car will speed up and crash as well. Overall it is difficult to get any long running races going.

Overall it is fairly solid but a bit fiddly to put together.


Spring in Action
Spring in Action
by Craig Walls
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Vast subject, well covered, 8 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Spring in Action (Paperback)
Spring is vast even if the two basic principles, Inversion of Control (IoC) and Aspect Oriented Programming (AoP) are not. In around 700 pages Spring in Action does a good job of covering the fundamentals. I'm judging the book from a 2008 standpoint and have marked it down a star because the chapter on Spring Security is dated and you would do better referring to online tutorials.

However, although there is a lot of information online about some specifics and Spring have a good introductory tutorial nothing comes close to the coverage of Spring in Action. Definitely a must buy for anyone wanting to learn Spring.


Hauppauge WinTV HVR3000/Hybrid Analogue,digital and satellite PCI TV Tuner
Hauppauge WinTV HVR3000/Hybrid Analogue,digital and satellite PCI TV Tuner

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice try but unreliable, 22 Feb. 2008
It is not often that I'm wholly negative about a product but after 18 months on the market Hauppauge still don't seem to have got the HVR3000 to work reliable for users.

The analog/digital terrestrial tuner didn't work at all. The signal was good as it worked on a TV but I was unable to tune any signal despite the digital section showing a good signal.

However the satellite section (ASTRA 2 with a 60cm Metronics clear dish also from Amazon) worked well and picked up far more channels than my set top box and for this reason I've given the product 2 stars. It even had channels like BabeTV, Essexbabes and Playboy TV which I'd never heard of! Picture quality isn't fantastic with artifacts visible - maybe they just don't show up on my TV/Set top box? There are also occasional judders even though the dual core CPU barely breaks a sweat.

However on playback the speech began to desynchronize from the image before breaking up and stopping completely. Flipping channels (which is incredibly slow) brought the speech back but it would bomb out increasingly quickly until I ended up having to reboot my PC.

I tried an update of the drivers and the software (from 4.0 to 4.1) but if anything 4.1 was worse. I also tried third party software such as prodvb but nothing would work with this card.

I spend about 10 hours straight surfing forums etc in order to try and get what could be a great card to work but to no avail. I'm running windows XP/sp2 with a dual core athlon.

Be careful the card is big, it only just fitted in my Asus PC.

So this is a return to Amazon.


Almost French: A New Life in Paris
Almost French: A New Life in Paris
by Sarah Turnbull
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Presque Parisienne, 16 Sept. 2007
These ex-pat books seem ever so formulaic after a while:

1. Go to France
2. Play up differences between the French and Anglo-Saxons
3. Write a Book
4. Profit!!!

Books taking sideswipes at Gallic culture obviously have a market. So far we've had

1. Crafty Provencals bamboozle London Sophisticate (Peter Mayle - A Year in Provence ISBN-13: 978-0140296037) - shades of Pagnol
2. American Chatteratti bonds with Parisian Chic Set (Adam Gopnik - Paris to the Moon - ISBN-13: 978-0375758232)
3. Brit mocks the gin-swilling Dordogneshire ex-pat crowd (Suzy Kelly - Two Steps Backwards - ISBN-13: 978-0553816204)

And of course
4. Uncultured Aussie all at sea with the Paris smart set. - Almost French

One can't help feeling that George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London - ISBN-13: 978-0140282566) did it so much better in the 1930s by actually walking the walk rather than just mocking from the sidelines.

Almost French, although as another reviewer said, Almost Parisienne would be a better title falls into a class of books you could dub "journo-lit". Rather than having a strong central theme this kind of writing is a series of articles that could have been churned out for aircraft in-flight travel magazines. While each article is well crafted and somewhat informative a 320 page book feels a bit much and Almost French was quite plodding at the end. It seems most of Sarah's adventures had happened in here first 12 months in Paris.

I've given the book 4/5 because, apart from the last chapters which are not that engaging and a bit rushed (maybe she could have cut the waffle about the dog) the book is well written and there are some funny passages and I think people who like these kinds of books will find this pretty good fayre. Having done the whole Paris thing (I lived 5 years in the French capital) I must say I have trouble identifying with the experiences of Sarah (and I'm also married to a lawyer) and feel that she had played up some of the problems and I don't really agree with some of her critics. People have to understand that France is different but that doesn't necessarily mean it is bad. In the end Sarah seemed to have acquired some of the worst traits of a certain crown of Parisiennes - the BCBGs - without becoming as French as she perhaps thought.

Some bits that jarred were the bit where the Green mayor of the 4ieme district that married her and Frederic saying they were the future of marriages - well if having the carbon footprint of Portugal (with all the cheap flights to Oz) is a Green mayor's idea of viable future well then... Bonjour!

The piffle about Jospin's talented female ministerial team - Aubry and Royal were pretty useless and prattling on about the sisterhood - really does make her sound like some sub Germaine Greer lecturing the non-PC Europeans.


The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization
The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization
by Bryan Ward-Perkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.17

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What did the Romans ever do for us?, 8 Aug. 2006
Empires are about exploitation but they can also bring benefits to the conquered peoples. Does it matter to a farmer on the hills of Cumbria whether his master is a Celtic King, Roman Emporer or Saxon? Well it does in as much that the stability of the Roman Empire and its excellent infrastructure meant he could enjoy good quality produce from olive oil to pottery. When the Empire went even kings, albeit surrounded by gold, ended up living in much reduced circumstances. The fall of Rome was such a cataclysmic event for Western Europe that is now etched on our folk memory. If Rome fell over a few short decades could it happen to us?

As other reviewers have commented, Ward-Perkins books explains the economic and cultural changes that took place immediately before and in the two centuries following the fall of Rome. Although he has his own opinions as to what happened he makes it clear where the evidence - written and archeological - is lacking and also puts across other viewpoints at variance with his own.

An excellent if slightly slim volume and a lesson from history that all empires come to and end sometime. Will the pax Europa ultimately be overwhelmed by a tidal wave of immigration from excluded people from beyond the frontiers or will its own internal problems, declining population and inability to renew itself prove its downfall?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2010 6:20 PM BST


Philips 1.3MP USB Webcam 90fps
Philips 1.3MP USB Webcam 90fps

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misleading specs., 24 Jun. 2006
Be careful with the specs for this camera. It is essentially the same internally as the ToUcam Pro II PCVC840, that is a 640x480 resolution USB 1.1 camera. The camera chip is the Sony ICX098 BQ CCD a 640x480 sensor so it only achieves the 1.3MP resolution by interpolation.

It is a good webcam but I've given it 3 stars because I think Philips (and Amazon's) publicity for this device is misleading. If you check page 18 of the user manual you will see that the real resolution of the CCD device is alluded to (sensor VGA) and it is "USB 2.0 compatible" - but really USB 1.1.

For the money you can probably do better.


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