Profile for Rachel Pierson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Rachel Pierson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 15,741
Helpful Votes: 161

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Rachel Pierson "Rachel Pierson" (Scotland, UK)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible
Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible
Price: 25.83

20 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could have done without all the God-bothering, to be honest, 16 Dec 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've not read the book yet, but I did find it notable that its title includes the word "Bible", and the author's personal religious beliefs are mentioned three times in the first ten pages. E.g., this surprising inclusion on page nine:

"First, all glory and praise go to God, who through His Son, Jesus Christ, makes all things possible, and gives us the gift of eternal life"

Of all the things I look for in a technical reference book, proselytisation isn't one of them. If I've paid for a book on subject X, I think it's simple bad manners for an author to use that purchase as an opportunity to foist their personal religious beliefs on their secular audience. And this isn't a criticism of religion or religious people; I'd feel the same way whether it was their political beliefs, charitable interests or bondage fetish that an author had unadvisedly chosen to include in a book on an unrelated topic.
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 24, 2013 12:20 AM GMT

WD My Book 3TB External Desktop Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0)
WD My Book 3TB External Desktop Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0)
Offered by No1 For Gadgets Gifts4all - (VAT REGISTERED)
Price: 139.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Failed after two years intermittent use, 20 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My 3TB WD MyBook worked straight out of the box on a Windows 7 64 bit machine. It took just over a day to encrypt the drive using Truecrypt. I use it to hold multiple copies and backups of some high-capacity SQL Server databases (for development and research purposes rather than for operational use by more than one concurrent user). Even over USB 2.0, and with the extra processing load that on-the-fly AES encryption adds, the drive handles the task of heavy data processing and database design by a single individual well.

It has a capacity of just over 3TB decimal, or 2.72 TB binary (which is how most operating systems will report the size). It's very quiet in operation (I couldn't hear anything at all beyond my normal PC noise). Its physical size is a little smaller than I'd expected, which was a pleasant surprise; it sits very neatly on my desk behind my monitor.

Overall, for software developers and DBAs, I'd recommend this drive for general development use. I particularly like the fact that it's ready to move to USB 3.0 when I am, and in the meantime it performs adequately under USB 2.0

UPDATE, Oct 2013:

Having had this drive for just over two years now, during which I didn't use it very extensively, I began using it as backup storage device again around two months ago. It failed shortly after my beginning to use it again. I only ever managed to put around 600Gb of data on this drive (thank goodness), with over 2TB left untapped.

I have heard that the internal SATA III drive in this product is more resilient than the enclosure, and so may look into buying a RAID enclosure or similar to attempt to recover the data from the drive. Enclosures can be purchased for around 90, and can host four disks of the capacity this device supports (so, 12TB in total). Or I might return this unit as faulty, as really I'd expect to get more than 26 months intermittent use out of an electro-mechanical drive. It's a judgement call as when you return a failed disk you lose the data thereon permanently. Whilst if you attempt to recover your data you will invalidate the warranty.

The data I 'lost' when this drive failed was mostly just backups that I had copies of elsewhere anyway. But it's still annoying. I therefore need to reduce my initial 5* rating to 2*. 3TB is a lot of data to lose. Therefore a drive of that capacity really needs to be more reliable than this one has proven to be.

Doctor Who Tardis USB 4 Port Powered Hub Station
Doctor Who Tardis USB 4 Port Powered Hub Station
Offered by LambdaTek ComponentShop
Price: 20.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little bit naff, 19 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The good stuff:

* It looks as cool as a bow tie and fez on your desk.

* The little blue light (which I'd expected to be quite annoying as I normally hate superfluous, distracting LEDs on computer peripherals) is actually a rather nice, subtle shade of pale blue that's not distracting at all. Plus it fades in and out at an appropriately sedate, tardis-like pace (rather than merely blinking madly) when you plug items in or take them out. The light fading on and off is accompanied by the tardis noise if you've switched that feature on - makes me smile every time. :)

* It's not as big as I'd expected, but is just the right size for an office desk; small enough to keep close by, but big enough to have reasonable detail.

The bad stuff:

* It's quite badly built. I had to nudge the USB ports into alignment with a small screwdriver before I was even able to plug any peripherals in.

* It comes totally over-packaged. I had to remove the base (with that same small screw driver, which wasn't even sonic) to get the retaining wires off of the base (there are plastic-covered metal wires threaded through holes in the base that secure the item to the box that it comes in, and you need to remove the base to get those packaging wires out).

Overall 3 stars, just missing out on 4 because of the poor quality build issues.

Offbeat - A Collection of 12 Quirky Short Stories
Offbeat - A Collection of 12 Quirky Short Stories
Price: 0.77

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, clever and absorbing, 5 Jan 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really enjoyed this short book. The stories it presents vary from Tales Of The Unexpected -stylee yarns, with twists in their tails, to sublimely ridiculous essays that make you laugh at the topics they parody (the first story - 'Beans' - falls into that latter category, and made me laugh out loud in parts).

The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl
The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so good for Kindle readers, 17 Oct 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book to read on my Kindle, expecting to be able to immerse myself in some forgotten classic Roald Dahl short stories, and while away some time on my journey to and from work. I found that a major detraction from my enjoyment, though, was the fact that the book seems to have been inexpertly OCR-scanned from some original text source, into the newer digital Kindle format, leading to regular typos throughout the book that drag the reader out of each story and spoil the magic. Some examples are:

Location 1810: "The husband is a dean-living man" (meant to be 'clean-living'),
Location 2203: "a small lamp on the table dose by" ('close by'),
Location 2219: "when she was bom!" ('when she was born!')
Location 2353: "She's turning the comer, he said." ('turning the corner'),
Location 2394: "She's turned the comer, just like you said" (yes, you did say 'comer', didn't you?, but I really think you meant *corner*),
Location 2509: "Beecrafl, and other magazines", ('Beecraft')

I wont go on. Hopefully you get the jist from just the above short list (all but one of which come from just one short story that lasts from Locations 2190 to locations 2852). In that one short story, I counted a total of 12 basic spelling mistakes that would (and should) have been picked up, if the publishers had only bothered to proof read the text even one time. The problem is so bad that there's a glaring mistake every one or two pages in some stretches of the text. If you're a partially-sighted reader, that makes use of the Kindle's text-to-speech functionality, these clumsy, lazy typos are even worse, as the text-to-speech functionality will merely read what is there, rather than what was clearly intended by the author. For a book that retails at 9.25 (so, one of the more expensive items for the Kindle, where normal retail prices for similar books are around 3-4), and which is specifically advertised as "Text-to-speech: Enabled" in its description, I find this extremely poor, hence the two stars: the low rating is for the extremely sloppy presentation, and not for the wonderful stories that are detracted from immensely by being presented in such a sloppy, unprofessional way.

To make the above matters worse, when I downloaded the sample text prior to purchasing this item, I found the one story that was contained in that sample to be typeset and spellchecked perfectly. Co-incidence? I doubt it. Such a shame that the publisher could only bother to proof-read their advertisement, and not the whole book. I think that Roald Dahl would be turning in his grave if he could see how lazily his work has been presented in this particular presentation of this classic compendium.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2011 5:30 PM GMT

Hauppauge WIN-TV HVR-900TV USB 2.0 Analogue & Digital TV Tuner
Hauppauge WIN-TV HVR-900TV USB 2.0 Analogue & Digital TV Tuner

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-designed, compact and did the job I wanted, 16 Jun 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this item to replace my old analog PCI Hauppauge WinTV card, which I'd originally bought around 9 years ago, and which had made its way from an old Windows 2000 machine, via an upgrade to a new PC running Windows XP, then later Vista, and ultimately Windows 7. In short, it was an old bit of kit, which had nonetheless proven reliable for nearly a decade running within two PCs and four Operating Systems; the hardware hadn't failed or stopped being supported, it was just time to upgrade to a TV card that was capable of receiving digital broadcasts. I chose the brand that had proven so reliable in its prior analog format: Hauppauge. The item arrived very quickly, the results when used in conjunction with Windows Media Center were excellent (they were less good with the included WinTV 7 software; for some reason, whilst Media Center picked up 100+ digital channels, including all of the UK's main 'terrestrial' channels' digital counterparts, WinTV only found around 30 digital channels, and none of the main five 'terrestrial' digital channels were included amongst those it found). An unexpected corollary of upgrading was that my Media PC (which is around five years old now, and has had an upgrade from running XP originally, to Vista then to Windows 7), has been given a new lease of life by the addition of this digital TV receiver. My reception with the old analog hardware had been intermittent when I switched to full screen viewing previously, and there had been some issues with system responsiveness whilst Media Center was running (the mouse and other input devices would 'freeze' every 30 seconds or so, making the PC impossible to use for any other purpose whilst Media Center was receiving TV). With the new digital incarnation of Hauppauge, this problem no longer exists. In short, this is a nice, compact piece of kit that was easy to install; I'd recommend it.

Professional C# 4.0 and .NET 4 (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)
Professional C# 4.0 and .NET 4 (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)
by Christian Nagel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 25.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive book I've ever read, 29 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been developing continually in .net since release 1.0 back in early 2002 (in initially), and have been using since 2005, so I was already pretty familiar with the various releases of the framework, and with C#. This comprehensive book still managed to teach me things I didn't previously know. The simple and logical layout, with both brief and detailed chapter listings, also made it easy to identify and skip to the sections covering those parts of the language that I needed to brush up on. Wrox books, written as they are by real-world developers for other real-world developers, are ordinarily good, and I've got quite a collection of them at home, including ones that had been written for previous releases of C#. This book is a cut above the usual, though, even within that high calibre field. There isn't much to know that isn't in here. I highly recommended it, for brand new and experienced developers alike.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4