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Dr. Pekka M. A. Pitkanen "pmapitkanen" (Cheltenham, UK)
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Sony a5000L Digital Camera with SEL-1650 Zoom Lens - White (20.1MP) 3 inch LCD
Sony a5000L Digital Camera with SEL-1650 Zoom Lens - White (20.1MP) 3 inch LCD
Offered by Camera Centre UK
Price: 319.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good camera, cannot go wrong for the price, 25 Aug 2014
I bought this camera a few weeks ago. The main reasons for me for buying it were that it was DSLR, the size of the sensor, selfie function, low price and good reviews overall. (I would really have wanted to buy a6000 had it had an LCD screen with a selfie function, I'll probably do that also if such a feature is added to a later version of the camera.) I have found out that, as indicated by others, this camera takes really good photos and is very nicely priced as a DSLR. This said, it is not a perfect camera, not even close to it, hence the four stars. The wifi function works but could be more fluid. One needs to download a special software to sync to smartphone. Also, I found that one often needs a little help from the smartphone, the syncing does not always work entirely automatically. But it works pretty fast once a transfer gets going, and the application is free. While there is a function to upload straight to Facebook from the camera, I found the application, which again is free but has to be downloaded to the camera separately, a little clumsy, and found it way better to first sync to smartphone and then upload from there. The wifi to computer is niggly, it was not easy to make it work, and even then I found the USB mode to work more easily. I thought the free Sony PlayMemories application on a computer was really nice, enabling a good arrangement and easy view of photos, especially by date taken. As for handling, it takes a bit of time to get used to the control buttons on the camera, and it would in my view be better if the camera had a touchscreen, however, buttons are also acceptable in practice. The menu system however makes it a bit difficult to find differing items on the menu, and certainly one cannot normally do this fast in case something that one wants to capture comes up quickly. But the intelligent auto works very well in my view and I have found myself not using the semi auto and manual functions all that often just yet. The zoom range on the supplied SEL1650 lense is quite nice in practice in my view. The camera normally responds and focuses quickly and then takes a photo instantaneously, apparently save if there is very much shake so that it cannot take a decent photo. I did not try to take video yet nor did I try the continuous shooting mode but have taken more than 500 photos at the time of writing this review. I just had the camera with me for a short trip to the continent and found it nicely portable, however, one needs a small separate bag, it cannot go in a jacket pocket, at least not so for me. The main issue is the weight of the SEL1650 lense, even if the lense is very compact when in off position. In this context, nevertheless, the small size sometimes makes handling a little difficult initially, but this gets better after one gets used to the camera. The lack of viewfinder is another minus, but the LCD brightness setting for sunny days is by and large quite adequate for everyday shooting. The pop up flash is handy, with possibly a mild tendency to slight overexposure at times as others have pointed out. The selfie function is in my view very good with the 16mm wide angle. To sum up, I find the camera with the supplied SEL1650 lense a really nice buy for 300 (price at the time of purchase) and would say that one cannot go much wrong getting one of these as a small handy DSLR camera.


1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History)
1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History)
by Eric H. Cline
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.57

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book for understanding the 2nd millennium BCE Mediteranean international age, 19 Aug 2014
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This book nicely brings to life the Late Bronze Age international Age in the Mediterranean. The author, one of the foremost scholars on the period in question, also tries to account for the reasons of the collapse of that age during the 12th century BCE. Interestingly, no one knows the exact causes, and this book openly acknowledges that. I consider the book as largely a very readable and plausible synthesis of expecially the international age before the collapse. Some of the material appears deceptively simple but has undoubtedly been enabled by many years of hard work on the topic, even if those not familiar with the scholarship of the age might need to utilise internet searches for necessary background information on some of the details. For those interested in the bible, the book does include drawing some links with the birth of ancient Israel that took place largely after the collapse, even if it can only scratch the surface of that often controversial topic from the individual perspective of the author. Accounts about how some of the data presented in the book was unearthed (or pulled out from under water!) enliven the presentation. As is common with much good historical analysis, a number of direct links between the past and the present are drawn, even if I from my part was somehow left with a desire for yet a little more elaboration in that respect.


American Settler Colonialism: A History
American Settler Colonialism: A History
by Walter L. Hixson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.05

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read on American history, also for understanding the global present, 19 Aug 2014
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The study of settler colonialism is a new promising framework for historical analysis, and this book recounts the main outlines of American (US) history from such a perspective. The focus is on Euro-American expansion on the North American continenent through the 17th-19th centuries, together with an account of the annexation and colonisation of Hawaii and Alaska. The book also carries on to include an account of the conquest of the Philippines at the end of the 19th century and concludes with a summary of the continuities of colonialism in the 20th-21st century in US warfare and in its treatment of the indigenous peoples that still remain.

Previous US history has arguably been marked by a continuity with (settler) colonialism where the indigenes were ignored and only conflicts with European powers were counted as real wars. In line with newer scholarship on American history, much of it ostensibly dating from the last ten years or so, and with settler colonialism itself a new field of study that has formed over the last 10-15 years or so, Hixson vividly presents the brutality, genocidal violence, warfare and ethnic cleansing against the indigenes that was involved at virtually all levels of the American society as it expanded across the continent, initially as a British colony. This said, interestingly, the book notes that there were also dissenting voices to colonial expansion but that they were either ignored or suppressed in the ruthless American march towards the West. Importantly and crucially for the present, the book argues that the settler colonial experience has shaped the way America has fought wars also when its influence has spread beyond its initial continental sphere into a position marked by immense global power over the past century or so.

Except for the use of the settler colonial framework, particularly interesting information expounded in the book includes the recently discovered widespread use of native American slaves before large scale African slavery kicked in, the ethnic cleansing of Texas, the filibustering expeditions into central America, the slightly differing but related histories of Alaska and Hawaii, and the outlines of the conquest of the Philippines. Overall, the book greatly helps one understand why the USA became the country it is today. Of course it does not relate everything that relates to that history, but, above all, relates significant parts that have traditionally often been airbrushed, in line with the histories that today's settler colonial societies like to tell. In terms of the applicability of the book to understanding the present in other respects, as a case in point, I read the book just as the Gaza crisis was ongoing in Summer 2014 and could see number of striking parallels between the related American history and the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians that stems from modern Israeli settler colonial expansion.


A History of Latin America to 1825 (Blackwell History of the World)
A History of Latin America to 1825 (Blackwell History of the World)
by Peter Bakewell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 26.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous piece of work, 4 Jan 2014
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Having just finished reading this book, I would rate it very highly. I was previously familiar with the indigenous peoples of South America and had heard about Cortez and Pizarro and about mix of indigenes, whites and blacks in Latin America, and bits and pieces here and there. This book really narrated to me how everything happened and why in a truly splendid synthesis, of course as ever keeping in mind that it is a book by a single historian(or two). It was a real page turner, especially for the 15th-16th centuries. The world really does not look quite the same after reading this book. I would rate it as one among the best factual based books I have read, and I have read quite a few. Very highly recommended. Also includes a nice set of notes and pointers for further reading on the subject.


Meiego USB 2.0 Interface to SATA/IDE Cable Converter Adapter for PC Computer Laptop 2.5" 3.5" HDD Hard Disk Drive CD/DVD-ROM, CD-R/RW, Combo
Meiego USB 2.0 Interface to SATA/IDE Cable Converter Adapter for PC Computer Laptop 2.5" 3.5" HDD Hard Disk Drive CD/DVD-ROM, CD-R/RW, Combo
Offered by ebuyerdeal-uk
Price: 12.98

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good product, 8 April 2013
This device seems to do the job fine, and the included DVD is not really needed unless one wants to use the specific backup software in it (except for Windows 98 for which there is a driver in case anyone should still use the O/S). The IDE power cable and the cable from the actual adapter slotted in a 3,5" device do conflict with each other somewhat in terms of physical space, but it's OK. It was really for IDE that I bought this device. It took a while for my computer (Win XP netbook) to recognise the device and I even had to reboot due to a USB error, but then it seemed to be all fine. The packaging is merely a standard plastic bag, something just a bit more substantial would have been useful, but ultimately this is a very minor quibble, also considering how much one throws out useless packaging nowadays. I don't think one will go badly wrong by bying this device for the stated purposes.


USB 2.0 to SATA or IDE Adapter Cable
USB 2.0 to SATA or IDE Adapter Cable

1.0 out of 5 stars No IDE power source, 8 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This product does not include an IDE power source. Therefore it did not work for IDE and I had to return it.


Samsung SE-208AB/TSBS 8 x DVD+/-RW Slim Portable External DVD Writer - Black
Samsung SE-208AB/TSBS 8 x DVD+/-RW Slim Portable External DVD Writer - Black
Offered by The Component Shop
Price: 24.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A nice product, 18 Mar 2013
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This is a nice product. It is lightweight and works fine. Beware that you are likely to need the two separate USB ports on many occasions that are given as an option by the product in order to draw in enough power.


GMYLE(TM) Wireless N/G 802.11n/g USB WiFi WLAN Network Adapter (Realtek RTL8191US) with high gain 5dBi Antenna Up to 300Mbps
GMYLE(TM) Wireless N/G 802.11n/g USB WiFi WLAN Network Adapter (Realtek RTL8191US) with high gain 5dBi Antenna Up to 300Mbps
Offered by Clever Gadgets
Price: 10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A nice product, 18 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This seems a nice product that works very well. Installing it seemed no major hassle, and it did work fine.


Samsung ML-2165W Wireless Mono Laser Printer
Samsung ML-2165W Wireless Mono Laser Printer

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice printer that works well., 18 Mar 2013
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This is a nice printer that seems to work well. Our printer has gotten a bit noisy after some time of using it, but seems to work fine.


Prolegomena Zur Geschichte Israels: Mit Einem Stellenregister (de Gruyter Studienbuch)
Prolegomena Zur Geschichte Israels: Mit Einem Stellenregister (de Gruyter Studienbuch)
by Julius Wellhausen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 25.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A good edition of a classic, 18 Mar 2013
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This is a good edition of a classic. It is worth acquiring if one wants to read the historically important book by Wellhausen for Old Testament/Hebrew Bible studies in the original German.


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