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Karla Parussel (Munich, Germany)
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VRML 2.0 2E (Computer Science)
VRML 2.0 2E (Computer Science)
by Andrea L. Ames
Edition: Paperback
Price: £60.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book., 28 Mar. 2014
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I used VRML for visualising complex adaptive systems so that I can see with my own eyes what's going on inside a black box. I find this an essential step to see why they're aren't working as intended when first developed. This book was easy to read and useful as both a reference and a tutorial. The VRML standard has now been superceded by X3D.


WMF Tea Infuser
WMF Tea Infuser
Price: £8.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I use it every day for Rooibos tea, 18 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: WMF Tea Infuser (Kitchen & Home)
When I first used this tea infuser I also tried unscrewing it the wrong way. Basically, where the two halves overlap there is a nipple that slides into a bevel when you close it. If you try to unscrew it the wrong way and apply too much pressure then this nipple is rotated out of the bevel and the two halves can become stuck.

To avoid doing this again I made sure to remember to keep the outer half on the left hand side and unscrew the inner half of the lid towards me. And when screwing together again, I rotate the inner half away from me. After a while it becomes second nature to do this.

You can fit the two halves together so that there are holes at the top and bottom. The holes at the top allows the air to escape when you pour water in. A little yank on the chain helps knock out the remaining air. The holes at the bottom allow water to escape when you take it out.

I tried it with loose leaf black tea but it wasn't as good as a teabag. I found it worked well with Green tea. I have now given up caffeine alltogether and have fallen in love with red bush tea (Rooibos). I have a big coffee pot standing around all day stewing away with red bush in it. I pour myself a cup, add a spoonful of honey and heat it up in the microwave.

I now plan to buy a second one of these so that I can add different flavours of Red Bush every day. For example Vanille Rooibos and Strawberry Rooibos go well together.

I have been using this tea infuser for well over a year and it's still going strong. The chain seems well made and hasn't broken. It only came off once that first time when I had to apply pressure to get it unstuck. It was my fault for gripping the chain rather than the tea infuser. But I used a pair of pliers to reattach it and haven't had any trouble since.


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cartooning But Were Afraid to Draw (Christopher Hart Titles)
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cartooning But Were Afraid to Draw (Christopher Hart Titles)
by Christopher Hart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The best book for a beginner, 6 Mar. 2012
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I have most of the author's books and in my opinion this is definitely the best one to start with even though he has also published "Cartooning for the beginner". At least this is the one that I personally found most helpful. I used to draw cartoons every evening as a child but I gave up as I started to grow up. As an adult I decided to start again but found it difficult to break out of my original style. I often gave up only to try again a few years later. What really helped me was the way this book really showed how to break down a head or body into its component shapes.


Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design (Software Patterns)
Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design (Software Patterns)
by Alan Shalloway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £36.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and long winded if you are experienced, 15 Jun. 2011
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It's easy to read but tedious if software design is not new to you. The book reads like the author chatting to an inexperienced developer and trying to instil his own personal experience. Personally I don't want to read about someone else's career. I want to be able to put names to patterns that I have frequently had to derive myself so that I can demonstrate at job interviews that I know about patterns.

A pattern is a solution that comes up enough times that it might as well have a name. By their very nature patterns are obvious solutions if you understand the fundamental principles of software engineering and think about the problem for long enough. The problem almost always defines the solution. Unfortunately this book tries to describe a new perspective on Object Oriented design that frankly just isn't actually new. As with any technology, how it is actually used in practise evolves over time and changes from how it was first envisaged. Whilst reading this book a colloquial expression often came to mind that Dr Watson could have said to Sherlock Holmes if he had just stated the blindingly obvious.

This is most definitely not a reference book. You have to wade through bumpf about design and the personal experiences of the authors to find the sections describing specific patterns. Concise is not a word that I would use to describe this book. It's useful to know the names of patterns because it aids communication with other engineers, but if you want to find out what someone else is referring to then it will be faster to use wikipedia.

The only thing that I really learnt from this book was about the pitfall of implementing double checked locking in Java. Unfortunately Wikipedia gave a much more useful explanation.


C++ GUI Programming with Qt4 (Prentice Hall Open Source Software Development)
C++ GUI Programming with Qt4 (Prentice Hall Open Source Software Development)
by Mark Summerfield
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £41.79

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too difficult to find information, 1 Oct. 2010
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The best way to learn a language or a library is to get down to using it as soon as you can and finding out what you need to know as you need it. This book tries to teach you as if you're reading it from cover to cover in sequential order whilst laying down in bed. It's not a book for to sit beside you at the desk.

The main problem is that the code is all broken up and separated by paragraphs of text so you have to scan back and forth to refresh your memory. You can't look at the code as a complete unit and get an overview of what's going on. This also makes it a terrible reference book. If I want to find out how to use a component, I need to sift through pages of dense text to try and find the information that I need. Instead I find myself wanting to reach for the book and then thinking better of it and using a search engine instead to try and find an example bit of code. Qt looks like it should be nice and simple to learn, and it would be were it not for books like this.


Cartooning the Head and Figure
Cartooning the Head and Figure
by Jack Hamm
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.91

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An encyclopedia of cartooning techniques for beginners, 4 Sept. 2009
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I used to draw cartoons all the time as a child but gave up for twenty something years. Now as an adult I want to develop my skills properly.

I have trouble getting past the first few pages of this book because I end up wanting to pick up my graphics tablet or pen and paper and start trying out new ideas. It is a very inspiring book as the reader can see how even the most impressive cartoons can be drawn from their principle components. The author mixes up many different cartoon styles so that you can pick and choose according to your own ability and taste. I can imagine that even if I were to be an accomplished cartoonist then this book would be useful to for getting myself out of a rut. For example, want to draw eyes? There's 135 different eyes listed on page 4. 156 mouths on page 5.

Although the talent behind the cartoon is quite awesome, it is not intimidating because you can see how the cartoons were made. I wish I knew of this book when I was a child, I might not have given up.


Flu: A Social History of Influenza
Flu: A Social History of Influenza
by Tom Quinn
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive historical review of known influenza pandemics, 3 May 2009
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The book looks at the subject of influenza throughout history. It first provides an adequate scientific context for understanding what the influenza virus is. It discusses the earliest mention of epidemics that could have been influenza judging by the symptoms, revealing in so doing the difficulty of historical diagnosis. Large amounts of primary evidence is quoted to reveal how the developing medical community tries to understand the phenomenon of the influenza pandemic. The 1918 pandemic has a whole chapter devoted to it, and rightly so. The book has no particular bias towards any particular facet of the subject.

If we can learn from history, then this is especially the case for such a cyclical event as an influenza pandemic. The broad historical perspective provided by this book allows us to appreciate the potential threat of future pandemics, influenza or otherwise. And since the book was written, the newly arrived A/H1N1. The book is easy to read and provides a fantastic understanding of the nature of an influenza pandemic and how it is related to the development of human society.


South of Heaven
South of Heaven

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing, 21 Aug. 2003
This review is from: South of Heaven (Audio CD)
I've been listening to all my old albums again, this time on digital media using the good quality equipment. It's been great, lovely to hear the music properly. One reason why I broadened my musical horizons from metal was that a lot of bands just rely on thrashing their guitars harder, shouting more, playing faster in order to make a more intense sound. It doesn't work. It just gets noisier instead.
But then I managed to get my hands on South of Heaven again and it really came back to me just how evil and intense the sound is. Absolutely excellent. Just oozing with heavy raw emotion, grinding angry guitar riffs, expressive vocals. Yes sure Reign in Blood is fast and all that, but this is the more intense album.


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