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G Marwaha (UK)

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HTML & XHTML Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))
HTML & XHTML Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))
by Jennifer Niederst Robbins
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very handy reference book - especially for those with little HTML experience but need to use HTML, 24 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I update my work Intranets and external-facing websites - for which I need to use basic HTML. I'm also not a coder, so I need a reference guide that is written for the lay-person.

This handy little guide (it's a pocketbook) gives me enough material with which to confidently keep my websites updated. The first few pages provide an overview of HTML and XHTML. But the bulk of the book is spent on describing how to add common attributes and events, and elements to your pages. What is great is that elements are listed alphabetically and by function (it includes all the main elements - headers, forms, lists, labels, menus, marks, etc).

The last few pages look at special characters and colours - probably the bit I use the most. There's also an index, which many reference books fail to have.

I highly recommend this book if you're having to update webpages in HTML, and just need a reference. Much better than a couple of the HTML tomes that sit on my shelf, but never get used. This little book, however, is always by my computer.

Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Electric Shaver with Cleaning Centre
Braun Series 7 790cc-4 Electric Shaver with Cleaning Centre
Price: 203.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A phenomonal shave - worth the money, especially if you have dark hair, 24 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had to stop using a wet shave a number of years ago because my skin didn't take to shaving gels (even the sensitive ones) and so I switched to an electric shave. Over the last 10 years, I've either bought Braun or Phillishaves. Neither brand was particularly great at giving a close shave and none of the shavers I bought were worth shouting about.

Took a punt on this Braun because of the number of positive reviews. Although it's about 100 more than I would normally spend on a shaver, I'm glad I purchased it. I have black hair, so need to shave pretty much every day. This Braun provides one hell of a shave - in my opinion, it's as close as a wet shave (I recently tried and was impressed with the Fusion blades, but then my skin didn't like the wet shave so gave up on them after a couple of months of using them). The test for me comes along the jaw and neckline - those tricky areas where a wet shave tends to beat an electric one. Well this Braun proves that an electric shave can reach those parts easily and provide an outstanding shave without having continually shave along those lines.

Shaving is smooth and effortless, although the shaver itself can be a bit loud. I actually can't recommend this shaver enough. It's expensive, but actually over the lifetime of the shaver, it will be worth it.

Couple of things detract slightly on this product:

1. The cleaning station is an unnecessary gimmick - I tend to rinse my shaver under the water and perhaps once every ten days use the cleaning station.
2. The power lead is bulky and the end you place into the shaving socket on the wall sometimes (rarely, but it does) comes out because it's quite heavy at that end.
3. The sideburn trimmer is a little flimsy.

Overall, an excellent shaver.

The Presentation Coach: Bare Knuckle Brilliance For Every Presenter
The Presentation Coach: Bare Knuckle Brilliance For Every Presenter
by Graham Davies
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - unless you're a press officer for a political party, 21 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
While plenty of customers have given this book 5 stars (a number of whom have not reviewed any other books), I'm going to buck the trend because I found this publication incredibly disappointing. Starting with the positive, there are the odd nuggets of information and suggestions that are helpful, but in my opinion they are few and far between, and buried under long-winded prose. I'm sure the author is an excellent presentation coach, but as an author I think this book is flawed for a number of reasons:

1. The tone of the book is conversational, which is fine except the author tries to be too familiar with readers - at various points, he tries to get readers to compare what he's saying/asking you to do to "an affair you've had". That tone of voice might work in person, but on paper, it's condescending.

2. The author talks in detail and very regularly about speeches made by Tory politicians, but fails to give any mention to Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln or the like. I may possibly be in a minority, but I don't want my speeches/presentations to sound like Iain Duncan Smith or David Davies (yes, they are mentioned in this book). Rather, I'd like to know why the author thinks Steve Jobs was a successful presenter and how Jobs' speeches fit within the author's framework. Why do great speeches/presentations work? What's their common link? Politician's speeches are sanitised and written by others for the purpose of keeping voters happy. If you are going to consider politicians then why not Obama, Churchill, Clinton, Roosevelt?

3. There's barely any mention of stories - arguably the most powerful way to present your ideas/pitch/speech. Instead, the author has a rather rigid framework, which he mentions several times per page. It's overpowering and brainwashing.

4. At the end of the book is a curious chapter looking at wedding speeches and after-dinner presentations - completely devoid of any information and comes across as filler that either the author thought of at the last minute, or the publisher wanted to pad the book out.

5. It's a text-heavy book. If you're going to write a book about presenting, then at least make it visual and colourful (as per the framework!). There's about four images in this book, which is ironic given the author talks at length about using fewer words.

6. The author loves himself - it comes across very clearly in the book.

7. There's barely any mention of the TED series of presentations (a couple of fleeting sentences) - internationally acclaimed as some of the most inspiring, insightful and best speeches/presentations around. Why???

I'd recommend if you're looking for a book on presenting you look at:

Resonate Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences
Presentation secrets of Steve Jobs The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience
Perfect Pitch Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business (Adweek Books)

If you haven't already seen them, visit the TED website or watch the TED presentations on YouTube. That's how to make great presentations.

Of course, if you're a Tory press officer, then this is just the book for you.

K-Swiss Mens NEWPORT II Trainers
K-Swiss Mens NEWPORT II Trainers
Price: 46.26 - 102.93

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly comfortable, 7 Sep 2012
In short, I needed a pair of casual shoes that weren't trainers. To use an American term, I needed a pair of casual sneakers.
Went for K Swiss as I've had Adidas Superstars in the past and found them to be tough on the soles of my feet - I could always seem to feel the ground through them.

These K Swiss shoes are incredibly comfortable - the leather is soft, which gives your foot a nice range of movement and flexibility within the shoe. It's not got the springiest of soles, but unlike the Adidas Superstars, you don't feel the ground through the shoe.

They're also quite smart and you don't look like a chav. I've worn mine with blue jeans, stone coloured combat trousers and shorts when I'm out and about at the shops, park, visiting friends etc. They pretty much go with anything (the ones I bought were the white shoes with the grey to black stripes). Highly recommend.

Sony KDL46HX853 46-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART 3D Dynamic LED Television with Built-in Home Cinema System Stand
Sony KDL46HX853 46-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART 3D Dynamic LED Television with Built-in Home Cinema System Stand

158 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great family TV (a non-technical review from a procrastinator), 7 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We decided to upgrade our ten-year old TV to something a bit more modern recently and so (as is usual when choosing an expensive gadget) I spent many evenings reading reviews of all manner of TVs. A couple of weeks of this and my head was done in - way too many options, acronyms and features when all we were looking for was a nice family TV. So after the initial rush of storing 55"+ TVs in my wishlist, my search became a little more focused.

I used a TV size calculator (the Which website has a very good one) - which lets you plug in the size of the TV and will then tell you how far away you need to sit from it to be able to get the best viewing (or vice versa). We could have gone to 55", but went for the smaller size TV for a couple of reasons: cost and also because we have two young children and I'm not sure sitting a few feet from a relatively large TV will be good for their eyes or necks.

So after a bit more procrastinating, I had whittled down a shortlist to this Sony and the Samsung 6300 Samsung UE55ES6300 3D Full HD 1080p Smart 3D LED TV with Wi-Fi built-in and Freeview HD and 2 x glasses included (New for 2012). Both highly-rated manufacturers. In the end, the decision was made after a visit to the local John Lewis store. The Sony had a glass screen and the Samsung didn't - not sure what type of screen the Samsung had (seemed a little soft), but the thought of small kids poking their fingers into an expensive screen was frightening. The Sony's glass screen can take a fair bit of prodding and can be cleaned very easily. The Samsung also came with a whole load of "Smart" features, of which we would probably not use 99% of them. I have no intention of seeing family members on Skype in high definition, nor would I want to use the TV for logging onto Facebook.

Ordered the TV from Amazon because it was cheaper, but if you want additional peace of mind, John Lewis was a couple of hundred quid more expensive, but provides a 5 year guarantee.

The actual TV is amazing - with stunning picture quality for high definition channels. The colours are vibrant and the build quality of this TV is excellent. The kids love it as their cartoons look a million times better than our previous TV, my wife can enjoy watching dramas and soaps in high definition and I'm delighted when I watch Sky Sports - Formula 1 on this TV is incredible. The TV streams directly from various iPlayers, which means we don't miss out on any of the programmes we want to watch. If you have fast internet, you'll love watching iPlayer on this screen.

So far, we've not had to adjust the colour settings on this TV (we just plugged it in and started watching), but there are lots of websites out there advising on the appropriate settings you need for different types of TV programmes. You may need to watch out for some reflection on the glass - if it's in the line of sunlight, then you'll need to adjust your colour settings.

There are a three things that detract from an otherwise brilliant TV. Two of which may cost you a little more cash and one you can do nothing about.

Sound: the sound on this TV is astonishingly poor. The TV sits on a long silver metal plate, which doubles up as the speakers. The sound is tinny and the volume needs to be cranked up to make anything of it. I'd say that's the worst part of the TV. When we were in John Lewis, they had hooked the TV to one of these sound bars (Orbitsound T12V3 Spatial Stereo Sound Bar with iPhone Dock), which when switched on (you press mute on the Sony remote so you're not getting two sets of sounds) made a huge difference to the sound. This sound bar gives a much deeper and richer sound and there's no comparison to the rubbish Sony speakers. I forked out for the sound bar via Amazon, although it does mean I need to house the sound bar and the subwoofer somewhere. It also comes with its own remote, which is a pain as I now have a Sky remote, TV remote and volume remote. But it's worth it. When you see this TV in action, ask the salesperson to try it with and without a secondary speaker system - you'll notice the difference.

Tilt: When on the speaker/stand, this TV tilts slightly back at an angle. It's not noticeable when you view the TV head-on, but when you're sat at angle to the TV, you'll notice the lean. It's bizarre and I'm not sure why it's been manufactured like this. To get around this, we're buying a new TV cabinet with a cantilever arm so that the TV can be mounted and the Sky box, sound bar and games console can slot in underneath on the various shelves. The original speaker/stand will be relegated to a box in the garage.

Menu: the one thing you can't do is change the menu system. Using the Sony remote takes forever and the menu is just a pain in the bottom to navigate. We spent an hour or so entering WEP keys and setting the damn thing up. A more intuitive menu system would have been much better.

Overall, highly recommended as a great family TV. I've not seen another TV (bigger or smaller) at this price that is better. And given how much time I spent in Currys and John Lewis, I'd like to think I made the right choice - the family certainly thinks so.

***UPDATE 09 Nov 2012***

Just to let you know that 3 months after we got the TV, we're absolutely delighted with it. We still haven't manually adjusted any of the settings, but the picture quality is superb. Easy to clean little people finger marks and it was the right decision to get the secondary speakers, which provide a deep and rich sound. An excellent TV.

If you're still unsure, I'd recommend you go to John Lewis, Currys etc and see it in action, but please test the TV with and without a secondary sound system.

As I suspected, we're not actually using many of the 'smart' features, other than the iPlayers. We've got decent broadband, so there's no lag watching "iProgrammes" and the picture quality is excellent. Standard definition is good with this TV, but HD channels are where the TV comes into its own. We've also realised (but didn't notice at the time of purchase) that the TV has a dimming feature that apparently reduces the amount of energy consumed by adjusting the backlight levels to suit the picture/scene. Not something you really notice unless you're actively looking out for it, but if it helps reduce energy bills then great.

When we first got the TV, we tried looking at the web via the TV, but it was a pain in the proverbial with the menu and there was some lag between opening webpages, so we haven't bothered since. The criteria was always a good TV, not a giant laptop screen.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 5, 2013 10:31 PM BST

Kswiss Men's Newport Trainer
Kswiss Men's Newport Trainer
Price: 39.95 - 85.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Great pair of casual shoes, 5 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A great pair of shoes that can be worn with (dark) blue jeans or beige/brown/stone coloured combat trousers. I'm using them as a casual pair of shoes so I don't have to wear trainers.

These K Swiss shoes are stylish and casual, but quite understated and so don't make you look like you're a chav. The leather will be very useful in autumn/winter as the weather becomes wetter.

Had my feet measured in a shop in town and then ordered this pair online. My only concern will be that the white base will get marked easily, but some soap and water should clear any excess muck off.

Overall, recommend.

Creative Strategies: Idea Management for Marketing, Advertising, Media and Design
Creative Strategies: Idea Management for Marketing, Advertising, Media and Design
by Mario Pricken
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 30.19

2.0 out of 5 stars Looks good on a bookshelf, offers very little otherwise to marketing and account teams, 19 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't know why publishers bother to produce books like this anymore. First things first, this is not a small book. It's a chunky tome that needs to rest on a table for someone to be able to read it - this isn't something that you'll be able to carry easily or read in bed. This then has the knock-on effect of making the book incredibly user-unfriendly - oh sure it will look nice on a coffee table or bookshelf either at home or in your agency, but if you're after an eye-candy book, then there's better ones out there.

The content tries to cover the role of account handlers and creative teams at advertising and marketing strategies. It also tries to cover advertising/marketing campaigns and product design across print, viral, installations and exhibitions. Because the author tries to cover so many areas, it renders the book a jack of all trades and master of none. The main areas the author attempts to cover are:

1. Creative Culture - essentially looking at the relationship between clients and agency
2. Creative Team Leading - how to run a creative team
3. Creative Teams - putting together a creative team
4. Creative Briefing - just the 50 pages on how to write a good brief (or brainstorm a good brief)
5. Creative Process - how to have ideas, manage ideas and develop ideas
6. Creative Spaces - some waffle about the type office/space your agency should work in

Unfortunately, the author is unable to adequately cover the role of account handler or creative in this book and so the text lurches wildly from one facet of an agency to another. Also, the author hasn't backed up any of the ideas or suggestions in the book with examples from his experience - they're just a collection of unsubstantiated thoughts sandwiched in the middle of a couple of hardback covers.

For those who might be thinking "but the book contains '230 amazing campaigns'" - these are, at best, laughable. They're tiny, not related to the body text on the page and the two lines of text next to each "campaign" offer no insight whatsoever. For example: There's an image of a Harvey Nichols advert for it's new Bristol store. The text next to the ad: "To mark the anniversary of a new Harvey Nichols store, the stop-motion stars of Wallace & Gromit posed for these web ads".

Perhaps some explanation of the creative thinking behind the campaign, the ideas that were rejected, and the ROI on the campaign would have been useful - not to mention what the rest of the material was for other parts of the campaign, how integrated was the campaign, what other channels were used? Anyone can take a local celeb (real or fictional) and stick them on ad. In my experience, the client will be asking how much a campaign would cost and what would be the ROI.

If you're after an insightful look into how to develop client relationships and run an agency then you make want to look at The Art of Client Service: 58 Things Every Advertising and Marketing Professional Should Know, How to Do Better Creative Work (Prentice Hall Business) and Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business (Adweek Books) - all three are much more digestible, the authors back up their ideas with examples and are published in much more user-friendly sizes.

If you're after a chunky hardback that will look pretty and collect dust - this is the book for you.

Finally - whoever thought of using an almost silver colour for the text needs to change career. Whoever approved it needs firing. In decent light the book isn't very legible.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2013 12:16 PM BST

AmazonBasics Universal Case for Small Electronics (Cameras, Mobile Phones, GPS Units) Black 9.2 x 15.5 x 2 cm
AmazonBasics Universal Case for Small Electronics (Cameras, Mobile Phones, GPS Units) Black 9.2 x 15.5 x 2 cm
Price: 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Function over form, 19 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a no-frills padded case that I use for keeping a disctaphone protected in my computer bag.

It's made of quilted padding with a drawstring that can be used to shut the opening tight. There's also a large buckle/clip should you wish to hook the case to another bag or belt. For those mindful of street cred, there is a an Amazon Basics label attached on the outside towards the bottom of the case.

I've used it to also protect a Flip video camera. It's not really useful to keep a mobile phone protected AND give you easy access to the phone - it's more a case for small electronics items (dictaphone/small camera etc).

Discreetly fits into small bags, but too big to fit into pockets. It's only a few quid, and looks/feels like it's onyl a few quid, but it does what it claims.

Integral USB 2.0 Single Slot SD Reader
Integral USB 2.0 Single Slot SD Reader
Price: 3.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for reading and transferring images/videos to your Mac or PC, 19 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm still stunned at how cheap, but how great this little card reader is. I've now got a few - one for home, one for work and one I carry around.

The actual reader is no bigger than a large USB flash drive.

It easily takes the myriad of SD and micro SD cards (with an adaptor) that I use - it works well with the higher capacity cards that I use with a camcorder.
I've used the readers on both Mac and PC, and there's never been an issue. Both types of machines easily recognise the reader and transfer of images/video is quick.

If you're after a discreet card reader, this is perfect.

Ex-Pro 11 Piece Precision Screwdriver Set
Ex-Pro 11 Piece Precision Screwdriver Set
Offered by ExpressPro
Price: 3.94

2.0 out of 5 stars Box and screwdrivers are flimsy, 19 Mar 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The box is cheap plastic - the hinge on mine broke after a couple of days and is now held together by a couple of elastic bands.

The screwdrivers themselves are ok, but they feel very weak in the hand. Even small jobs such as tightening spectacle screws or taking off the battery covers on children's toys is arduous - mainly because the scredriver handles are just badly designed. I bought this mainly for the precision Philips screwdrivers, but I've ended up buying a more expensive set, which at least is comfortable in the hand.

Spare your cash and invest in something more durable.

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