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T. Kaneko (Cambridge, UK)
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Melissa & Doug Sushi Slicing Playset
Melissa & Doug Sushi Slicing Playset
Price: £14.66

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hit from 9 months to at least 2.5 year olds, 11 Aug. 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
I have no idea why this is such a hit with our kids but they love it. The youngest (since 9 months) likes to play with and nibble on the wooden sushi "building blocks. The oldest (since 2 years old) liked to chop up the velcro maki-zushi with the included wooden knife. Follow the toy up by making real sushi and kids will love it!


Zing (Ubk1) Std Eveready/Black
Zing (Ubk1) Std Eveready/Black

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Read before you buy! Not suitable for digital SLRs, 26 Mar. 2011
This is a review I wrote for the Zing Eveready Lrg (Uxbk1) but you'll find it relevant because the comments about the body half of the cover also applies to the Std size:

------

If you're reading this, I'm assuming that you're shopping for a case for your *digital* SLR. If so, this case will most likely not be suitable so that's why I've given it one star. However, if you're shopping for a cover for your old manual film cameras like the Nikon FM2 or FE2, it'll fit nicely and for you, I'll give it 3-4 stars.

If you have a digital SLR with a bulky grip, the Zing Eveready will not fit round your body (tested on a Nikon D3100). It comes in two parts like the old leather cases. One half is designed to cover the bottom half of the body and it stays in place while you shoot. The top half goes over the top of the body and the lens. The trouble (apart from being too small to fit round the body) is that even with the body cover on, you will not be able to view the LCD screen on the back and access the buttons. This is because it's for film cameras which don't have LCD screens.

If you're looking for a cover for your digital SLR, look elsewhere. It *may*, however, fit the compact mirrorles ILCs from Lumix and Samsung that have smaller bodies. I haven't tried them so I don't know. If you're still interested in this case, also consider the diameter of your lens. To give you a guidance for size, the box of the Zing Eveready Lrg (Uxbk1) says it'll fit lenses up to 4.5in (11.4cm). Be careful; it also depends on your lens diameter. The width of the case at the lens barrel end was a bit too narrow for my Sigma 18-200mm that's 79mm (diam) x 100mm (length). So if your lens diameter is large, consider getting the large cover rather than the standard cover.

Amazon was unusually poor in not providing any product description so I've included the one from Amazon.com below. Note that it talks about "changing of film".

Product description from Amazon.com:
"Styled after the classic leather camera case but made with the advantages of neoprene, the Universal SLR Camera Case is extremely flexible and fits a wide range of lens lengths and camera bodies. The case bottom attaches to the camera body by running a camera strap (not included) through keeper loops sewn into the case interior. The top fastens to the bottom with dual thumb release clips; swings out of the way quickly for shooting, or it can be removed completely. This system enables quick changing of film and is very easy to use. Velcro tabs allow adjustment to fit different lens/body combinations."


Zing (Uxbk1) Lrg Eveready/Black
Zing (Uxbk1) Lrg Eveready/Black
Price: £18.19

1.0 out of 5 stars Read before you buy! Not suitable for digital SLRs, 26 Mar. 2011
If you're reading this, I'm assuming that you're shopping for a case for your *digital* SLR. If so, this case will most likely not be suitable so that's why I've given it one star. However, if you're shopping for a cover for your old manual film cameras like the Nikon FM2 or FE2, it'll fit nicely and for you, I'll give it 3-4 stars.

If you have a digital SLR with a bulky grip, the Zing Eveready will not fit round your body (tested on a Nikon D3100). It comes in two parts like the old leather cases. One half is designed to cover the bottom half of the body and it stays in place while you shoot. The top half goes over the top of the body and the lens. The trouble (apart from being too small to fit round the body) is that even with the body cover on, you will not be able to view the LCD screen on the back and access the buttons. This is because it's for film cameras which don't have LCD screens.

If you're looking for a cover for your digital SLR, look elsewhere. It *may*, however, fit the compact mirrorles ILCs from Lumix and Samsung that have smaller bodies. I haven't tried them so I don't know. If you're still interested in this case, also consider the diameter of your lens. To give you a guidance for size, the box of the Zing Eveready Lrg (Uxbk1) says it'll fit lenses up to 4.5in (11.4cm). Be careful; it also depends on your lens diameter. The width of the case at the lens barrel end was a bit too narrow for my Sigma 18-200mm that's 79mm (diam) x 100mm (length). So if your lens diameter is large, consider getting the large cover rather than the standard cover.

Amazon was unusually poor in not providing any product description so I've included the one from Amazon.com below. Note that it talks about "changing of film".

Product description from Amazon.com:
"Styled after the classic leather camera case but made with the advantages of neoprene, the Universal SLR Camera Case is extremely flexible and fits a wide range of lens lengths and camera bodies. The case bottom attaches to the camera body by running a camera strap (not included) through keeper loops sewn into the case interior. The top fastens to the bottom with dual thumb release clips; swings out of the way quickly for shooting, or it can be removed completely. This system enables quick changing of film and is very easy to use. Velcro tabs allow adjustment to fit different lens/body combinations."


No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must if you have pain in your fingers from mouse clicking, 23 Jan. 2010
If you've got paintful fingers from clicking the mouse or typing, this is mouse for you. For these kind of compaints, trackballs will still cause you pain.

It looks strange and takes a bit of getting used to but really takes the strain off your fingers because you're clicking with your strong muscles in a natural posture. Instead of using your fingers, you click the button on the top of the joystick with your thumb. Down for the left click - this feels pretty natural. For the right click, click your thumb right. To scroll, you click or hold down the big button along the length of the joystick with all your fingers - it's a gripping motion.

The scroll motion feels a bit clumsy compared to a wheel mouse but it is an ergonomic movement. The 3M mouse works on Windows without any extra drivers. On a Mac OS X, the scroll button brings up the Dashboard but you can fix this by downloading USB Overdrive (a free utility) and set the "Middle button" to "Move to Scroll." 3M ought to provide the right drivers. It would also have been nice to be able to scroll horizontally as well as vertically.

Because you use your big muscles, you can't make as accurate movements as with a standard mouse or a trackball so artists may need to have an alternative mouse for fine work. For the rest of us, it's absolutely sufficient for general work (web surfing, spreadsheets, etc). Double clicking with your thumb is slower so may also need to slow down the double clicking speed.

To decide whether to buy the small or large size, have a look at the product brochure on 3M site. It tells you how to measure your palm. My palm is 3.5" wide and is exactly in between the two sizes. I bought the large but it feels a little chunky for my hand. So if you're on the borderline like me, you may like to try the smaller size: 3M Optical USB Ergonomic Mouse, Wired, 3 Buttons, Small / Medium

Worryingly, there's been a lot of comments about it breaking down after a year. I've had mine for two months so far and will report back if it breaks. Having said that, if your RSI is that painful, then it's probably worth it even if you need to buy a new one every year or so (as many reviewers have indicated) - you don't have much choice...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2013 2:55 PM BST


Japan (Lonely Planet Country Guides)
Japan (Lonely Planet Country Guides)
by Chris Rowthorn
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your safest bet for travelling in Japan, 22 Nov. 2008
I've travelled quite a bit in Japan and this edition is much improved from my old copy published in 2000 (7th edition). The two new features are the "Top 20" and the example itineraries. First time traveller will find the example itineraries really useful. They are really good and well-travelled routes, covering top spots like Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo. The "Top 20" gives you some interesting ideas.

The lack of photos in the Lonely Planet Guides do make it bit harder to plan trips. For this reason, we also took the "Eye Witness Travel" with us but beyond looking at the photos, we didn't use it much. The Lonely Planet provided a good commentary of the various buildings and locations we visited.

We had trouble booking a budget range hotel listed in the book in Kyoto. This often seems to happen with places that get listed in the Lonely Planet so either book really early or find a less busy hotel on the Internet.

As with the other LP guides, the history section is pretty good. The guide also does well to pack so much from the northern island of Hokkaido to the tropical islands of Okinawa but I was a little disappointed with its coverage of Tokyo. If you're staying in Tokyo for perhaps 2-3 days, it'll serve you well but Tokyo is an enormous city. If you've "done" Tokyo before or intend to stay longer, you may find the Tokyo section a little limited. In that case, you should probably also take a dedicated Tokyo guide book along.

Despite my small gripes, the Lonely Planet guide (or may be the Rough Guide, if you prefer) will be your essential companion for your travels in Japan.


Canon Pixma iP 4500 Premium Photo Printer
Canon Pixma iP 4500 Premium Photo Printer

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duplex printing rocks!, 24 May 2008
The biggest selling point for me was duplex printing. This is the kind of feature you expect in higher end laser printers! The duplex mode is a bit slower (it has to wait for the ink to dry) but it works. Apparently there's a way to disable the delay though...

The other selling point is the very low running cost. According to TrustedReviews, black and white printing (ISO standard) costs 1.84p per page and colour at 3.87p. Duplex printing will save you in paper costs (and trees). Compare this to the budget printer Canon iP2500 (7.0p for BW and 37.1p for colour) or the scanner-printer MP210 (2.89p for BW and 6p for colour). Ok, may be you have to print a lot to recoup the costs... The colour inks are also separate in the iP4500, making it more cost-effective.

I mainly print documents so I can't comment about printing photos but I've been pretty impressed with it. It also works well with a Mac.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 24, 2008 2:31 PM BST


Perl Best Practices
Perl Best Practices
by Damian Conway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.52

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detoxing Perl - A must for anyone who writes longer Perl scripts, 19 May 2008
This review is from: Perl Best Practices (Paperback)
The Perl motto "there's more than one way to do it" comes to bite you as you start to write longer and longer codes. Other people's Perl "codes" are often totally intractable and my scripts were probably even worse... Where does it all go wrong? Most of us who "code" in Perl started off writing short scripts to do simple tasks and it just grew - still looking like scripts but longer, meaner and weirder.

The Best Practices starts off with formatting. Seemingly trivial but it really makes a big difference to the legibility of your code. I've taken away the formatting guide to when coding in Matlab too. Small things like spacing makes a big difference:

$average = ($one + $two + three) / 3;

is better than

$average=( $one+$two+$three )/3;

Perl Best Practices consists of a series of do's and don'ts. For example, don't use postfix looping controls like "do {...} while ($ii < 10)". Use "for my $ii (0..10) {...}". Did you also know that for and foreach loop declare their own local loop variable within the for loop? So $ii outside the loop is not the same as inside the loop in the following code:

my $ii = -1;
LOOP:
for $ii (0..10) {
last LOOP if ($ii >= 5);
}
print "$ii\n"; # This prints -1 not 5!

Some of the Best Practices are quite severe but there are lots of useful bits that you can pick and mix. All the best practices are clearly illustrated with don'ts followed by do's (in bold). Those with previous programming experience might even be better off starting with this book (supplemented with some online materials) to avoid picking up bad habits.

This book will make your Perl scripts more readable, more efficient, easier to debug and maintain.


Numerical Recipes in C book set: Numerical Recipes in C: The Art of Scientific Computing
Numerical Recipes in C book set: Numerical Recipes in C: The Art of Scientific Computing
by William H. Press
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable resource for scietists, 28 May 2007
Whether it's numerical algorithms or statistics, this book has most of them that I've needed to use in my work. Some of the comments by other reviewers are fair. Yes, the code is slow and a bit ugly. But for me, this book's merit is in presenting the theory behind the algorithms, whether it's 2-dimensional FFT or chi-square fit. Don't use the code. It's slow and inaccurate. Mike Hobson (also author of "Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering") recommended GAMS or Netlib off the web or LAPACK and I agree. But you have to know the theory (and which algorithm to use) first and that's what this book is great for.


Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond (Wiley Finance)
Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond (Wiley Finance)
by Bruce C. N. Greenwald
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and useful analysis of case studies, 11 Feb. 2007
It's not an easy read if you're not familiar with investment terminologies and reading company accounts. But if you want to pursue value investing, this book will furnish you with some interesting ideas. Central to its valuation is a concept called earnings power value (EPV). The authors hold that this value, calculated by dividing the distributable earnings by the cost of capital, represents the intrinsic value of the company. EPV assumes no growth so the authors contend that growth serves as a margin of safety. There are analogies with discounted cashflow analysis and I've never come across EPV any where else. What I found most interesting about this book are the two case studies applying the EPV: WD-40 and unusually for value investors, Intel. It is complicated and academic, as another reviewer pointed out, but if you can take it in your stride, there are many useful ideas here. Strongly recommended to serious value investors.


Delia's Complete Cookery Course - Classic Edition: Vol 1-3 in 1v
Delia's Complete Cookery Course - Classic Edition: Vol 1-3 in 1v
by Delia Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.50

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best cookery book in a British kitchen, 5 Dec. 2006
I learnt to cook from this book and by God did it teach me to cook all proper and Delia. If there's an old favorite from your childhood you want to cook, it'll be in Delia. An absolute essential reference in any British kitchen. The intro to each recipe is great; you get the idea of what Delia thinks about the dish and you can decide whether to give it a go. The great thing about Delia, and this distinguishes her from all the Jamies and Gordons, is that you can find most of the ingredients (apart from offal, perhaps) in your average supermarket. The remarkable thing about her recipes are that she tells you what not to do as well as what to do. This is what makes her recipes almost fail-safe. Go buy it!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2013 11:12 AM BST


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