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Tom (United Kingdom)

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How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks For Big Success In Relationships
How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks For Big Success In Relationships
by Leil Lowndes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

154 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great results so far !, 2 Oct. 2004
I'm a reasonably successful person, if a bit shy, and I've always had the nagging feeling that if I could socialise more easily then my luck and my career would improve. I set about improving my social skills and bought this book. Wow ! I read the first two techniques and as I was helping out at a trade show the next day I had the perfect opportunity to try them out. I must say that these simple techniques made a huge difference to the response I got from the customers and potential customers at the show. It seemed like they were hanging on my every word, plus I felt a lot more comfortable talking to them. I now can't wait to learn and try the other techniques.
Perhaps these techniques would seem obvious and second nature to people who are already good at socialising (good for them), but if you are one of the shy, tongue-tied people like me, then this book is worth 100 times its price, if only for spelling out what these 'obvious' techniques are. Thank you Leil !

Apple iPod 20GB - 3rd Generation [M9244B/A]
Apple iPod 20GB - 3rd Generation [M9244B/A]

6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not ready for release to the public, 2 Aug. 2004
I read the reviews of this product - it looked good so I bought it. I trusted Apple as they have a good reputation for design. On receiving the product I expectantly unwrapped it - that was a challenge - are they going for the 'product with most wrapping' award ?
4 !!!! hours later - after much installing and upgrading - the product was ready to use. How long does it take to get a CD player up and running ? The computer industry has to do better than this ! If you bought a CD player and it didn't work after 4 hours would you perservere with it ?
OK - I EVENTUALLY got it working... then the real fun started. I downloaded a couple of cherished albums. The iTunes software battled me every step of the way. At first, all I could get out of the iPod was a logo on the screen telling me not to disconnect. After several more hours I managed to download a track.
After a few more hours I tried to download an album. Several errors later I somehow got the music onto the iPod. The worrying thing is, I don't know how I eventually got it to work, but it did.
The overall message is... IF you are a technophile and are prepared to put the effort in then you will get some satisfaction out of this. On the other hand, if you are an ordinary Joe and just want the damn thing to play music after getting it out of the box then prepare for much frustration and disappointment.
Apple - this product is not yet ready for release ! As someone who has paid a LOT of money for this product then I should be able to expect a MUCH easier journey than this.
I was on the verge of returning it - I will give it 1 more week. If I get any more nonsense out of it then I will return it.
Come on you guys - the IT industry already has an awful reputation amongst the business community - don't let consumers know how bad we are as well !
Overall report - "Could do better"

Oracle9i: A Beginner's Guide
Oracle9i: A Beginner's Guide
by Michael Abbey
Edition: Paperback

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners ! Not for anyone !, 14 Feb. 2002
I am new to Oracle but not new to databases. The title of this book led me to believe it would be of help to me (an Oracle beginner). This was not so.
After telling me the history of Oracle (mostly irrelevant) and what a great guy Larry Ellison is, the next chapter launched into where I can get advanced support and report bugs. Eh ? Surely that info should be in the appendix. The next chapter gets stuck into the fine detail of system files and system processes. What - no overview to set the scene ???
I couldn't work out the structure of the book after that. It seemed to meander in and out of randomly selected topics, zooming up and down in its level of detail and in the level of previous knowledge required of the reader. Some topics are covered 3 times - once by each author.
This is definitely NOT a book for Oracle beginners. I was very disappointed to read that a description of the installation process and install options was 'outside the scope of the book', yet that was precisely the type of information I bought it for.
The trouble is - I can't really see who it is aimed at - judging by some of the topics, seasoned Oracle people aren't going to need it and beginners will be completely stumped by it.
Perhaps this is the problem with getting 3 experts to write a beginners book. Perhaps it is just badly titled. I would suggest a better title would be 'random techie discussions between 3 Oracle experts'. Save your money.

XML by Example
XML by Example
by Benoit Marchal
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag - great in places, poor in others, 1 Oct. 2001
This review is from: XML by Example (Paperback)
I like Marchal's style - friendly and informative, however he badly needs an editor to knock this book into shape. The chapter on DTDs would confuse Einstein even though DTD is one of the easiest concepts in XML. The chapter on namespaces is good but overly long. Stylesheets are explored in a good level of detail with a very nice walkthrough example - up to a point - then he introduces some advanced stylesheet topics with almost no explanation of them.
Very good advice to the beginner on where to download xml tools and good references to the W3C recommendations, etc.
Great chapter on the DOM and SAX APIs and the example e-commerce application ties a lot of the concepts togther.
My gripe all the way through the book is that he starts with a very good explanation of a topic, then when you are starting to feel comfortable, he will introduce new information with almost no explanation or a bad explanation. Perhaps this is the sign of someone who understands the topic too well and cannot relate to the poor old beginner.
I would still recommend this book - it's cheap enough - but don't feel downhearted if you can't follow all of it. You'll probably have to read it in conjunction with another book - but that's what I ALWAYS end up doing with any computing topic.
I would look forward to a rewritten and re-edited version of this book.

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