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JASA "JASA" (Portugal)

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Np3
Np3
Price: £7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Good vibes from the cold North, 28 May 2015
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This review is from: Np3 (Audio CD)
Good piece from NPM, although I prefer by a few notches "Khmer" and "Solid Ether". Anyway, the music from NPM is always very stimulating and pleasant.


The Next Step
The Next Step
by Zoran Stefanovski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It complements or replaces (perhaps with lots of advantage) your trainer..., 21 April 2014
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This review is from: The Next Step (Paperback)
This is a must have book for any table tennis (TT) player which is engaged in competitions at any level.

The book is roughly divided in four sections (1) Prerequisites; (2) Strategy; (3) Tactics; (4) The mental game. In all of these sections you can certainly find lots of facts and thoughts to meditate on. By sure, after you read this book your attitude in front of the table will never be the same it is today. If you follow the recommendations implicitly or explicitly given by Alex regarding strategy, tactics and, mostly, the "mental game", your level of TT proficiency will certainly increase a few points.

This is not a book about TT technique (such as are ITTF manuals, for instance) which enumerates extensively training routines, discusses foot work, has diagrams with the correct positions to play the strokes, etc. The book indeed discusses several technical aspects with some depth, but only those linked with the development of tactics (how to answer to opponent strokes, where to position in front of the table - left, center or right -, etc...); the strength of the book lies in its lucid and applied discussion of the mental issues related with TT playing: psychology, attitude, concentration and focus. In fact, 75% of the book can be useful for players of other (racket) sports with some similarity with TT: tennis, squash, badminton and padel.

I participated in a TT tournament one day after I read almost entirely the "mental game" section of the book, and I can assure you: I've never had an "attitude" (in the most broad sense) in front of the table as I had then, and it has really been implanted in me by "The Next Step". This book is really, really going to change for the better the way how you play TT and, eventually, will contribute to change and improve other facets of your life.


Electronic Circuits: Design and Applications
Electronic Circuits: Design and Applications
by U. Tietze
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A leverage of the German electronics school, the best allround text on electronics IMHO, 6 July 2013
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This is the best allround book on electronics as far as I know. It is a translation of a German bestseller, it works well as a reference and is very successful in blending device level (e.g BJT, MOS, passive,...), circuit level (vast amount of amplifier architectures, filters,...), block level (ADCs, DACs, PLLs,...) and system level electronics (microcomputers with detailed architectural blocks, PID controllers, digital filters,...). It spans virtually all the area of analogue and digital electronics both at circuit and system level, and even has some extras such as a chapter on digital filters. It tackles integrated electronics as well as discrete electronics. It is somewhat like the "old" Millman books, but with a more modern perspective and on steroids :-)

ECDA is a book focusing the design of electronic circuits and systems, but it is much more "explained" than "The Art of Electronics", albeit not as packed with a large amount of real practical circuits as AOE. It has nevertheless many design equations, many warnings about the designs it presents, and thorough lists of expected traps (e.g. there is a very good account of ampop saturation effects when applying active analog PID controllers). In fact, ECDA and AOE complement very well each other.

The book has 900 pages split in 27 chapters and one appendix. The first 11 chapters are the "Basic" part, the remaining 16 are the "applications" part. To give a taste of the diversity of matters in ECDA table of contents, I mention a few of them, with their numbering: (5) FETs; (7) Opamps; (9) Basic logic circuits; (12) Linear an nonlinear Opamp circuits; (14) Active filters; (17) Power amps; (18) Power supplies; (21) Modular design of microcomputers; (23) DACs and ADCs; (24) Digital filters (!); (27) Electronic controllers.

The newer 2nd edition Electronic Circuits: Handbook for Design and Application, which I also own a copy, is a heavyweight with 1500 pages (!) and basically adds to the 1st edition TOC' a pack of chapters on RF and microwave circuits. This one is definitely a desk handbook, and worth a buy if you really need this RF and microwave stuff.

A must have for anyone serious about electronics design.


Programming Massively Parallel Processors: A Hands-On Approach
Programming Massively Parallel Processors: A Hands-On Approach
by David B. Kirk
Edition: Paperback
Price: £41.39

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid introduction to CUDA programming and more..., 11 Feb. 2013
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This second edition of PMPP extends the table of contents of the first one, almost doubling the number of pages (in the 2nd ed. its ~500 pages. I have the paper version.)

The book can be separated roughly in 4 parts: the first, and more important, deals with parallel programming using Nvidia's CUDA technology: this takes about the first 10 chapters and Ch. 20; the second slice shows a couple of important examples (MRI image reconstruction and molecular simulation and visualization, chapters 11 and 12); the 3rd important block of chapters (chapters 14 upto 19) deals with other parallel programming technologies and CUDA expansions: OpenCL, OpenACC, CUDA Fortran, Thrust, C++AMP, MPI. Finally, spread all over the book, there are several "outlier", but nevertheless important, chapters: Ch. 7 discusses floating-point issues and its impact in calculation's accuracy; Ch. 13, "PP and Computational Thinking", discusses broadly how to think when converting sequential algorithms to parallel; and Ch. 21 discusses the future of PP (using CUDA goggles :-).

I've read about half of the book (I attended Coursera's MOOC -"Heterogeneous Parallel Computing"- taught by one of the authors, Prof. W. Hwu, and waited until the 2nd edition was out to buy it), and browsed carefully the other half. Here are my...

Comments
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(+++) Pluses:
# There are just a few typos, here and there, but they are easy to spot (the funniest is in line 5 of ch. 1 (!), where Giga corresponds to 10^12 and Tera to 10^15, according to the authors: of course Giga is 10^9 and Tera is 10^12 - this bug is browseable with Amazon's "look inside" feature...).
# CUDA is described under an application POV; many computation patterns are exemplified in CUDA, from the simplest (vector addition) to more difficult ones (matrix multiplication, image filtering with convolution kernels, scanning,...)
# There is a description of several other PP technologies (OpenCL, MPI,...), what is a good and useful feature if you are evaluating or selecting a PP technology to use.
# The book is quite comprehensive about current PP technologies. CUDA is the "leading actress", but if you dominate CUDA you can easily transfer your PP knowledge to other technologies. The "tête-à-tête" of CUDA with those technologies appears in the respective chapters, by showing the respective templates for basic tasks (e.g. for vector addition or matrix multiplication).
# There are many discussions about the tradeoffs between memory transfer (from CPU to GPU) and speed of GPU computation, as well as about the optimization of this speed.

(---) Minuses:
# The figures, pictures and tables use a variety of font sizes and backgrounds (either gray, white, etc...); some fonts are very tiny and so in those cases the code is difficult to read.
# The chapters with descriptions of other PP technologies (OpenCL, OpenACC, MPI,...), often written by "invited" authors (acknowledged by Kirk and Hwu), are in general succinct; and the maturity and availability (free, commercial, open-source,...) of the technologies are not discussed.
# The prose is often excessive (somewhat verbose), and then the tentative to explain deeply the matters sometimes leads to confusion.
# There is some heterogeneity in the book (that's OK, we are talking about "heterogeneous parallel processors and programming" here ;-) perhaps because there are two main authors with different backgrounds and several "guest authors" in the latter chapters.
# It lacks a well-thought introductory chapter treating, along a pedagogical and explicative style, the subset of C commonly seen in PP computation and the CUDA extensions/templates. These matters are (lightly) in the book, but scattered in many chapters.
# Browsing the CUDA programming manual we can see that there are many issues not treated (or barely mentioned) in PMPP. An appendix of 20 or 30 pages with a systematic summary of the CUDA API and C extensions would be an welcome addition to the book.

Conclusion
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After having browsed (with Amazon's "look inside" feature and by reading the reader's comments) other books about PP and CUDA, I decided to get this one and I am not disappointed at all. It has a nice description of CUDA and of many parallel computation patterns and its CUDA implementation and it gives you a barebones sample of other PP technologies. PMPP can be read easily as a "straight-line" text or on a chapter-by-chapter basis (this last one was more useful for me). Recommended for guys and gals with some experience in C programming and a will of getting into PP (or in expanding their skills...)


Heute Nacht Oder Nie
Heute Nacht Oder Nie
Price: £16.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This music comes from the silent movies era..., 9 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: Heute Nacht Oder Nie (Audio CD)
After seeing Max Raabe and the Palast Orchestra live in Lisbon a few months ago -- one of the best shows I've seen in years, -- I looked for a record with a performance as similar as possible. This "Heute Nacht Oder Die", live at Carnegie Hall, New York, fulfills that aim. The jokes that glue the songs which Max tells along the show are more or less the same, as well as the songs alignment. This is certainly a carefully trained performance, but it is not dull, on the contrary, its very dynamic, and this feeling transposes to the record. The costumes, the hair style, the body poses of Max remind us of old eras, as well as the sound of the orchestra. I'm certainly not a guy which loves this style (I prefer modern alternative rock and some pop), but I was truly amazed by these guys. Even the fine detail of Max, during the show, going back to a "dark area" when is not singing, thus allowing the orchestra or some of the musicians "to shine" impressed me.


Python Essential Reference (Developer's Library)
Python Essential Reference (Developer's Library)
by David M. Beazley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.59

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMHO the best Python reference, 2 July 2011
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This 4th edition is my 3rd acquisition of this title. I still own the 1st and 2nd editions. I have several other good books about Python (recently I got the two books from Langtangen (Python Scripting for Computational Science (Texts in Computational Science and Engineering) and A Primer on Scientific Programming with Python (Texts in Computational Science and Engineering), but there is a newer edition of this one), I also own one book from Martelli (Python in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))), which is a little dated but still is useful, and a few others (one from Mark Summerfeld, the Jython book from O'Reilly, etc). This said, the Beazley's book is the one that travels in my backpack whenever I have to code in Python, and often a few of its pages are read in bed, before I go to sleep. It is my only Python book which often has this privilege. This book stands for Python as a Japanese garden stands for gardening: it is elegantly written, has all the (reasonable) info, and all the "information fatness" is removed. It is not for the virgin programmer, but it is the most time-effective book for learning Python seriously.


Converse Allstar unisex_adult_uk Chuck Taylor AS Print Hi Black/White 108829 6 UK
Converse Allstar unisex_adult_uk Chuck Taylor AS Print Hi Black/White 108829 6 UK

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aesthetically pleasant snickers, 2 July 2011
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My daughter loved the snickers. She wanted Converse Allstar but not the single colored models. This Chuck Taylor version was a pleasant alternative. The final cost (price+shipping) was about the same of the common models selling in shops in Portugal. The quality is good Allstar. That said, I take 1 star to the rate because, even taking into account that the snickers are imported from outside Europe, they are somewhat overpriced.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 8, 2011 3:52 PM BST


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