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cawhitworth "chris_whitworth"

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The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking
The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking
Price: £4.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, disappointing Kindle edition, 5 Oct. 2010
I'm not going to review the actual text itself here - there's enough other reviews talking about how excellent it is. Rather, I'll mention how disappointing the Kindle conversion of this title is: rather than having been specifically prepared for the Kindle, it seems the publishers simply scanned the print version and ran it through an OCR package. Incorrect characters abound in the text - for example, the letters "AT" get repeatedly used where a capital 'N' is intended in the section explaining RSA encryption. Also, most of the diagrams from the original text are missing, and where they are present, they are hard to read and flow badly with the text, often being several pages away from the text that refers to them.

It's a shame, because it's a truly excellent book, and the fact it's still readable despite all the errors and omissions is a testament to Singh's talent as a science communicator, but really, if this level of sloppiness and lack of care from publishers is what we can expect from Kindle editions in the future, it is a disappointing future indeed.


Squad Five
Squad Five
Offered by manna4theworld
Price: £1.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 2 Aug. 2002
This review is from: Squad Five (Audio CD)
Tooth and Nail records have a knack of picking damned fine artists - over the years, they've brought the likes of MxPx, Ghoti Hook, Bleach, The OC Supertones and Starflyer 59 to the waiting world, and the world has thanked them for this. Well, you should also be thanking them for snapping up Squad Five-O.
Combining garage punk stylings and sensibilities with a confessed love for 80s-style rocking out, this album is a monster ride. From the opening Van Halen-esque fret-tapped solo on the single 'I don't want to change the world, I just want to change your mind' through to the closing chords of 'Get Away', the action never lets up. Stylistically, comparisons with the Ramones and other old school American punks are understandable, but to simply pigeonhole them here would be unfair, as their sound brings in many other influences to create a sound which is at once both familiar and new. Well worth a listen.


Two Pages Reinterpretations.
Two Pages Reinterpretations.
Offered by hifi-media-store
Price: £12.05

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More sublime genius, 6 Oct. 2001
The original 2CD version of Two Pages was a seminal work in the drum and bass field - the first CD of mellow, chilled orchestral explorations and blissed out vocals sharply offset by the second CDs dark, twisted fusion of unrelenting beats and attacking samples, it re-established the already pioneering 4hero as the kings of their field.
Any remix album, therefore, is going to have a lot to live up to, and it is therefore with a certain amount of trepidation one picks up the Reinterpretations album - it would be so easy for things to go horribly wrong. Fortunately, they don't - this collection of remixes by the likes of Jazzanova, Photek and Masters at Work sits easily alongside the original.
Most of the album is in the same flavour as the first CD of Two Pages - smooth, orchestral jazz and experimental electronic beats fused with soulful vocals. There are moments of latin flavour here on the Masters at Work remix of Star Chasers, whereas the Azymuth reworking strays into modern free jazz. The Jazzanova version of We Who Are Not As Others recalls New Forms with atonal double bass and live drums, and we explore acid-jazz fuelled drum and bass with the Off-World mix of Escape That.
Alongside these are several harder-edged tracks: Shawn J Period's hip-hop reworking of The Action wouldn't be out of place at a nu-skool breaks night, and We Who Are Not As Others becomes, if anything, even darker and more intense after Sonar Circle have played with it than the original album version.
It's as hard to fault this album as the original - an essential purchase for any drum'n'bass fan, as well as any music lovers looking to broaden their horizons. This deserves to be in your CD collection.


The C++ Programming Language: Third Edition
The C++ Programming Language: Third Edition
by Bjarne Stroustrup
Edition: Paperback
Price: £51.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does what it says on the tin, 19 Jun. 2001
It's not a tutorial book. It's not going to teach you to program in C++. It's not going to tell you how to step-up from another language to C++. But that's because it's a reference book. And as a reference work, it's very, very good. Well, you'd expect it to be, really - it's written by the guy who created C++.
It covers the whole of the language and the standard libraries pretty exhaustively. Pretty well every concept is explained with the assistance of code examples and diagrams where appropriate. As well as raw technical information, every chapter concludes with a set of hints on how to best make use of the features of C++ presented in the chapter - useful, as it's easy to abuse C++ and end up with messy code - and a set of exercise questions to work through.
On the minus side, the typesetting of the book isn't wonderful - a few of the diagrams have lines that don't join up, and the text isn't particularly easy on the eye. However, it's a reference work, not a coffee table book - if you want something that looks nice, buy a book with "21 days" in the title, or something.
This is a serious book for serious programmers.


How To Operate With A Blown Mind
How To Operate With A Blown Mind
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.70

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice dirty nu-skool breaks, 27 Jan. 2001
If, like me, you felt Fatboy Slim had some good ideas but was far too nice about things, then How To Operate with a Blown Mind is probably a decent approximation to what you're after - the same kind of ideas as the Cookster uses permeate the album (they share the same label) but the Allstars are a lot more upfront than the new Mr Ball. It generally sticks to a dirty funk and breakbeat soundtrack - plenty of 70s guitar licks and sampled drum breaks in here - with occasional nods to early 90s baggy (Screamadelica era) and even the odd house-ish moment.
The production on that album isn't as clean as I'd perhaps like - it could do with tightening up in places (have they never heard of a compressor?) and never really gets as full-on as you possibly expect it to. But these are minor faults. Overall, though, this is a great album and well worth getting hold of.


MSR: Metropolis Street Racer (Dreamcast)
MSR: Metropolis Street Racer (Dreamcast)
Offered by Games Department
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is perfect..., 9 Nov. 2000
Look. MSR is good. It's very, very good. I've nearly missed work and stuff because of this game. I've got aching thumbs, and I dream about racing fast cars around Tokyo, London and San Francisco at the moment. This is a very, very good game. You should buy it. However, it has its problems. Any game does. For one, early versions of the game were bugged - it was possible to complete the game without actually fulfilling the requirements. I can't put my finger on it, to be honest. It's a really, really great game, but I don't really think it's lived up to the hype. Maybe Shenmue will.


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