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Reviews Written by
J. Richardson "Buch Biographer" (Bremen, Germany)

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Apollo 11 Manual: An Insight into the Hardware from the First Manned Mission to Land on the Moon
Apollo 11 Manual: An Insight into the Hardware from the First Manned Mission to Land on the Moon
by Christopher Riley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.94

5.0 out of 5 stars I just wish I DID own one!, 8 Dec. 2009
What a fantastic book. I remember the range of books that my older brothers and their friends used to buy from this publisher in the late 80s in an attempt to get to know their Hillmans and Corollas better but when I saw this I just had to have it as I am a real Apollo buff working in the space sector. No sooner had it arrived and I shared it with my colleagues it had disappeared on its rounds between propulsion engineers to Life Supports Systems groups. I managed a ten minute flick through it and was not disappointed. Everything was familiar to me from the many technical manuals I have read on Apollo but in this book everything was under one roof, so to speak. I don't reckon I'll see that book for many months now but I am happy knowing that it is being put to good use somewhere.

And the authors have a sense of humour, too. Owener's Manual? Yeah, sure! Whoever gets back to the moon first can use it to help kick start one of thze six landers still there! Highly recommended for the techie and non-techie manned space enthusiast!

100 Classic Book Collection (Nintendo DS)
100 Classic Book Collection (Nintendo DS)
Offered by b68solutions
Price: £4.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect traveller's companion, 21 Oct. 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
First thing's first. Nothing beats reading a real book. But a few problems I have when I travel is that I find it hard to pack my books into my luggage or else I find myself tiring of reading the book I brought and wishing I brought another with me. Probelm solved with this! 100 classic books (few of which I have ever owned or read) are there together to browse through during a long journey or a period of waiting. The tools to read them are simple to use, the books themselves are laid out in a bookshelf format and can opened, closed, and bookmarked for later reading with ease.

Project Gutenberg onlline have more books than this collection (all free) but for the price of this cassette you can have a sizeable collection of rarely read books which do not need to take up valuable shelf space!

I bought it for long train journeys and airport lounges and that is where I think I wil find myself using it most. And it's a great excuse to start reading the classics!

Ireland's Grand Slam Glory [DVD]
Ireland's Grand Slam Glory [DVD]
Offered by A1tradingGB
Price: £6.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it to have this on your shelf!, 21 Oct. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A few years ago (and to the best of my knowledge, currently) the Irish language tv station, TG4, showed late night rugby macthes from the 1970s and 1980s in their entirety. No build-up, no analysis, no interviews - just the rugby and the commentary. It was fascinating to watch the old-style rugby with the rules since updated and the four-point try which had to be placed with both hands. All I wanted to see was the rugby and I got what I wanted. The build-up would have meant nothing to me now and that is what the build-up to the 2009 Grand Slam will mean for the next generation when they watch this DVD in the future. What will be important is to watch the matches again and savour the Irish team in its glory and highest point. The matches are shown in their entirety exactls as they were on RTE from the moment the players come on to the pitch until a few minutes after the final whistle has blown.

True, the analysis is useful on the day but the games have been played and the analysis is superfluous now. What counts is that the memories can be replayed and enjoyed once again. I still found myself urging the players on even though I knew that they would win and the tension was still there for some gameplays that I had forgotten. Living in Germany this will also be a useful tool with which to coax new players into the fold and to coach them in the basics and rudiments of rugby.

I gave four stars because it is a complete package and a worthy product which I enjoy but it is just what it is - the matches. To make it a fantastic product it could have done with better extras, some interviews and possibly even some interaction in the form of games, quizzes, coaching tips etc. Not entirely necessary but it would have put a little bit more shine on an otherwise adequate product.

Professor Kageyama's Maths Training (Nintendo DS)
Professor Kageyama's Maths Training (Nintendo DS)
Offered by Crunchbusters
Price: £14.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the training I'd expected, 21 Oct. 2009
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
I bought the Brain Training 'game' with my new DSi and added this later thinking that it would be a good accompaniment. I was badly disappointed. It started me off on basic timestables which I inevitably got wrong as, as pointed out by many others reviewing this, my '5s' were interpreted as 1s, 7s and 3s and my 9s as 4s! Unless your handwriting is exact (and sometimes we in Europe don't write digits the same way as Japanese or Americans) you find yourself spending time 'correcting' mistakes and inevitable gaining time penalties and incurring the patronising remarks of the 'Professor'.

I enjoyed the maths challenges in Brain Training (which also has handwriting issues but not to the same extent as this game)which is why I bought this but there is no trainig involved. I get more out of reading a book. I advise people to avoid this and spend the money on a tome of useful mathematics problems instead. Far more educational, and less irritating.

LEGO 8547: Mindstorms NXT 2.0: Robot
LEGO 8547: Mindstorms NXT 2.0: Robot

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete building and design experience!, 21 Oct. 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Well, what more can I say about Mindstorms that hasn't been said already? I bought my first Mindstorms about a year ago as a personal way to develop basic robots and develop programming skills for AI and robot fucntions. This was the original Mindstorms and it did not let me down. Each time I use it I am constantly challenged as to the ways that it can be used and reused. The included software is extremely useful for the novice programmer (and the expert who wishes to come to grips with the new systems) and, once built, your new robot will perform tasks after just ten minutes of drag and drop programming performed on your computer and uploaded to your robot!

Mindstorms 2.0 is slightly different from the original. Included now are two sets of tracks as well as four rubber tires and there are now two touch sensors and an RGB sensor instead of one touch, one light and one sound sensor. The microcontroller is still the same so if you have more than one mindstorms the possibilty of interchanging sensors os possible.

I work for a space agency in Europe and we bought two of these Mindstorms 2.0 to begin basic development of robotic systems for use in several projects. When they arrived two weeks ago they generated a lot of interest at the institute at all levels and my first demonstration to my peers garnered a lot of positive feedback and many more questions about their capabilities. As well as being relatively cheap they are quick to build, adapt, programme and develop and we can then transfer our ideas to larger more robust designs later. Mindstorms are an integral part of some educational institutions robotic design workshops and so you can be assured that one of these kits bought for a 7 year-old will still be well-used 20 years later! It's an investment as well as a toy and, if kept properly and used wisely will reap many educational rewards. Every school should have one of these and it is a must for any parents who wish their children to grow to become engineers or work in the field of mechanics.

Mystery Stories (Nintendo DS)
Mystery Stories (Nintendo DS)
Offered by lobigo
Price: £12.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good game to pass away thoise rainy summer afternoons..., 21 Oct. 2009
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
I bought this game back in August just after busying my new DSi as a starter game to build my collection. I was expecting something a long the lines of problem solving and murder mystery (as the name implies). What I got was a point and click 'find the objects on the list' game with endless scenarios all in the same vein. I ignored the corny story and jumped into games which became too easy after a while given their repetitive formula. Clicking on the sun image hidden in each scenario gives you extra time or clues to finding the objects and I accumulated these in such abundance to the point where I could finish a particularly difficult scenario well within the time slot. These games are pastimes, like wordsearch, and are not particularly challenging. Anyone who enjoys a little game to pass the time, is convalescing, or is travelling may find these entertaining or a good way to keep their kids happy and they can be replayed without losing much of their novelty. However, be warned that the title is a little misleading. There are no mysteries!

Hovercraft design and construction
Hovercraft design and construction
by Gordon H Elsley
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The diamond in the rough, 14 Aug. 2009
It is not often that you find a book like this and I have been very lucky to do so. Books like this one have been out of print for decades (this was published in 1968 - the same year I was born) and can only be obtained through well-stocked libraries or in far-flung antique book shops. This copy I found here and for a very reasonable sum. The copy is original hardback in pristine condition (considering its age) and is meticulous in its detail of 1960s technology and design for hovercraft since their inception. Besides detailed diagrams and photos of prototypes and working models the concept of hovercraft design and the mathematics behind the weight ratios for successful lift are all explained in engineering terms. This is a fully inclusive tome necessary to build any hovercraft to any scale or size. If it becomes available again I cannot recommend it too highly. The same goes for the seller who packed it with the care it deserved and dispatched it promptly.

Light-Up Pocket Doodler
Light-Up Pocket Doodler
Offered by Fun Fuzion
Price: £2.94

1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor and description is misleading!!!!, 15 Dec. 2008
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Light-Up Pocket Doodler (Toy)
I bought this item expecting 'light up screen' to mean that the screen was backlit and, therefore, usable in the dark. This is not the case and the screen is 'lit' by a small bulb placed at the bottom of the screen in the middle. When lit in the dark this light provides absolutely no illumination onto the screen and the toy cannot be used properly. This is a very misleading description of the product and I would not recommend buying from such a disreputable seller. Save your money and buy only toys that you can see before you spend your hard-earned cash!

Very poor.

My First Travels
My First Travels
by Selina Bunbury
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Trained monkeys could do better!!!, 1 Dec. 2008
This review is from: My First Travels (Paperback)
I have bought seven books by Selina Bunbury from Amazon produced by several publishers and most have been of high quality reproductions and facsimiles. This, however, is not one of them....

I had intended to start on my seven volumes with this but was horrified by what I saw inside the cover. I paid £11.87 for a book that was basically a collection of facsimiles. Nothing wrong with that if the product is well presented and bound but this was not. The publish is called Bibliobazaar and prides itself in placing out-of-print books back into print using scanned images in the public domain. Very worthy but they did not seem to bother to go to any trouble with checking the quality of the pages before sending it to print. Yes, the pages are scanned but most are of unequal size, tilted, blurred and sometimes parts of the pages are missing from the originals. But if that wasn't bad enough on most pages the scanning machine plate (akin to a photocopier) is clearly visible and ruins what could have been an excellent book. Obviously reproduction at any cost comes before quality and customer satisfaction for Bibliobazaar and the least they could have done was employ someone to crop and resize the scanned images before printing them. This was the case with five of my other Bunbury books, all of their publishers providing exemplary finished work and interesting original covers (all are available to buy here on Amazon).

Bibliobazaar are clearly publishers to avoid unless they start to take their customer base seriously (that is, if they still have one!). Terrible quality and very overpriced for the extremely poor result.

Fanny, the Flower-Girl, or, Honesty Rewarded
Fanny, the Flower-Girl, or, Honesty Rewarded
by Selina Bunbury
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.96

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute rip-off!!!!, 1 Dec. 2008
I have been looking for books by Selina Bunbury for quite a while now and was pleasantly surprised to find so many (albeit reproductions of originals) on Amazon. I bought 7 all of which were despatched together. Six of them were facsimiles (my reviews of them are elsewhere), but this copy, bound in a simple sheen cover, is no more than a typed extract of the original using a word processor and compiled in very simple and unprofessional manner without any effort to separate the book into chapters, produce a book 'feeling' or even do the simplest of tasks such as increasing the font size for chapter or section titles. It looks like a term-paper written the night before and, for £6.81 for 60 pages is very overpriced. I understand that some of her books, including this one, are available for free to download elsewhere but I wanted to have the physical book on my shelf to treasure with the others. I am sadly disappointed. The 'publishers' are and I strongly advise you to avoid them if this is their level of production!!

Of the other six books I bought four of them were in the £9 - £11.50 range and contained several hundred pages - all professionally produced and bound. Naturally, none of these books were produced by the above publisher...

Very poor..... :-(
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