Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now
Profile for M. Gooch > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by M. Gooch
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,972,860
Helpful Votes: 41

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
M. Gooch (UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Flylink® Stainless Steel Mobile Watch Phone with JAVA Skype,Newest Bluetooth Watch Cell Phone,Silver
Flylink® Stainless Steel Mobile Watch Phone with JAVA Skype,Newest Bluetooth Watch Cell Phone,Silver

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect too much - and enjoy!, 9 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a fun phone/watch/etc. But I won't be getting rid of my Samsung S3 any time soon.

Initial reaction is that this is early days for the technology. So in a number of ways, solid & chunky, but not as 'polished' as one would wish. Don't set your expectations too high, and have some fun with it.

That said - it does the basics. The phone works - with or without a bluetooth headset. I can play audio files from the memory card through the headset. In both cases, audio seems fine.

Shipping:
Very impressed with the packaging. Mounted on a cushion, bubble-wrapped, in a good sturdy box, in a strong bag, and then wrapped in about 1m of tape. Sent sign-for, from China.
Cons: None.

Physically:
It looks fine. A bit big & chunky. The black, rectangular LCD doesn't look quite right in the round stainless steel face - if you look closely. Mechanically both watch & strap feel solid, chunky & convincing.
Inside - it takes a full-size sim (you can buy an 'adaptor pack' from any mobile phone shop for about £5, so that it will take any size sim).
Memory card slots in fine too.
Providing two batteries is nice (only one in the phone at a time)
Comes with USB cable & charger.
I cut up a mobile phone screen-protector & stuck it on the face. Seemed a bit vulnerable otherwise.
Cons:
a. The watch is about 15.4mm high off the wrist - not 14.2mm as advertised (the ring around the face adds the extra height).
b. The battery doesn't lock into the back of the phone. Putting the back on is tricky enough (the strap gets in the way) - the battery sliding around makes it more tricky. Fortunately, you don't have to take the back off to recharge the phone - so it's not too bad.
c. Screwing & unscrewing the back is tricky. If you are planning on swapping the sim out 5 times per day - this will be a nuisance.

Instructions:
Comes with a little instruction book, but...
Cons:
It's one of the classic badly-translated Chinese things. Why do they go to all the effort to produce a nice, solid product and then mess up so badly on translating the instructions?

Telling the time
The analogue clock face screen is fine. Haven't figured out if you can change it yet.
Cons:
Be aware that normally the screen is blank. You have to press a button, and the clock-screen displays for 15 sec (user configurable). Bit like an early digital watch!

Menus & Controls
Wow, there's a lot of them!
Cons:
Not particularly well designed. E.g. Audio player is on the second page, instead of the first (with such tiny on-screen buttons, scrolling anywhere is tricky). Whereas the bluetooth menu is on the first page. Max of 6 menu items per page.
Couldn't figure out how to hang up on a call without diving into the menus. There must be an easy way (or perhaps I just have to use the bluetooth headset).
Method of entering numbers/letters is inconsistent on different screens, and not easy given the small size. There's a better way to design the UI here.

Audioplayer
Bizarrely - I can play audio files on the memory card if I access them through file-manager on the phone, but not through the audio player. Don't know why (yet). This is typical of the whole GUI - it has this slightly glitchy, poorly-designed, non-intuitive feel.
Haven't discovered if I can customize it (yet).

Access
Haven't managed to access it over USB. A menu allows me to access the 'java app store'. But I failed to get a connection, so I don't know what that's for.

Finally...
Why oh why did they default it to such dreadful jingles on power up, power off, ringing, etc. Looks great, sounds cheap and nasty. Unless you really like 'ode to joy' played on an electronic xylophone. I will be changing the sounds as soon as I figure out how to, and not showing this to any friends until I have!


35 Recycled Boxes Complete House Moving Pack including bubble wrap, wrapping paper, black bags and marker pen
35 Recycled Boxes Complete House Moving Pack including bubble wrap, wrapping paper, black bags and marker pen
Offered by Packaging.Products.Direct
Price: £25.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for my move, 18 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was moving the contents of an office and a workshop more than 400 miles.
Quite a lot of the 'stuff' was going into storage.

Two sets of these boxes were ideal. The selection of sizes was right, the strength of the boxes was right.
The boxes were easy to assemble.
I didn't need much bubble-wrap, etc. If I had been packing a lot of breakable stuff, I would needed to source more.

I bought my own gaffer tape (which is waterproof), rather than use the flimsier tape supplied,
and I would recommend that anyone else does the same.

For the price - these boxes were absolutely brilliant.


No Title Available

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great kit, 1 Oct. 2011
Installed in '04 Mondeo. Working with Nokia phone.
Would give it 9 out of 10. (Update - down to 5 out of 10, based on Parrot response).

Summary:
- Great piece of equipment, works very well, would recommend it.
- Only let down was poor documentation making obtaining & installing cables / connectors slow & difficult.

Pro's:
- Works through car speakers, so very clear in the car.
- Excellent directional & noise-cancelling microphone (installed by rear-view mirror). Other person hears clear voice, and can't tell I am in the car, even at motorway speeds.
- Voice recognition system works well for complete hands-free experience.
- Connecting to phone & accessing phonebook worked straight off.
- Switched through ignition & transfers call well between car & handset
- Setting up system & voice commands was simple enough

Notes:
- You can register up to 5 phones with it, but only 1 can be linked at any one time.
- Beware if you are removing an existing car kit - in case the wiring has been tampered with.

Poor:
- Documentation. Finding the wiring / connector information to make sure I was installing it correctly took ages, and was unneccessarily painful. Installation was actually straightforward, but I wanted to KNOW that I was doing the right thing.

Things to watch for:

CHECK the cabling before you buy. There are two installation options:
- aux-in to your stereo (2-wire), or
- between the stereo & the speakers (8-wire) using ISO connectors (the way I did it).

Ford stereos don't use ISO connectors, so you need a conversion kit (I don't recommend the wire-cutters & soldering-iron approach).
There are multiple kits, depending on the year & model.
I needed the 'up to 2003' kit - even though it was a 2004 Mondeo.

Figuring out which cable kit I needed, and making sure I had the right one, was tough. The information is v. poor. I guessed lucky!
Parrot need to provide more helpful information (ideally drawings / photo's of the back of the radio, so you can be sure which one you have).

Make sure you know this bit before you buy. Then it's plain sailing.

Update (dropped two stars):
Emailed Parrot to suggest improving the cabling documentation on their website. They replied (promptly & politely).
BUT - their main reason given for NOT providing good documentation was that it would take work from the specialist installation companies. And they recommend seeking specialist installation. This is v. disappointing. Parrot should provide customers with the information to make their own decisions, not withhold information to force them down the 'specialist installer' route.


Philosophy - A Beginner's Guide
Philosophy - A Beginner's Guide
by Jenny Teichman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful. Sloppy, poorly argued and thoroughly unconvincing, 13 July 2011
Disclaimer: when it comes to philosophy, I am a newbie. That's why I am reading a Beginner's Guide! :)

Overall:

Teichman is a fellow of Philosophy at Cambridge university, so I expected a good introduction to Philosophy.
I was extremely disappointed.

When I finished reading this book, I didn't feel that I had learned anything from it.
The authors' sloppy style, weak arguements and patchy use of philosophical material destroyed any credibility they may have had.
Where I agree or disagree with the authors' points - I am no more or less confident of my position or reasoning now than I was before I read this book.
Where I was neutral (or had no knowledge) of the points the authors made, I still have no knowledge or reasoning that I would trust.

There are much better introductions to philosophy out there. Give this one a miss.

Style:

My overall impression of this book wasn't that it was right or wrong - it was just incredibly unconvincing throughout. The writing was sloppy and rambling, where it should have been clear and concise. What should have been strong arguments (by major philosophers) are presented in such a weak fashion that you barely recognise them.

Sometimes the authors don't define the terms they use. Other times, the definitions are so vague and clumsy as to be useless. And occassionally, the definitions are just plain wrong (and refuted by the authors within a few pages).

The authors regularly assert a position without justifying it.
E.g. they assert (Pg 32) that "The main long-term result of Locke's distinction human beings and persons (...) has been that philosophers have divided the human race into two kinds of being, [which] constitutes the parallel [...] with racism, sexism and ageism". But the authors do not attempt to explain HOW philosophers get from Locke's distinction to dividing the human race, never mind pointing out where this line of reasoning fails, or what effect this has on racism, sexism and ageism.

Rather, in the above section, they provide a short quote from Tooley. The context of the quote is not explained, so the reader cannot judge the quote. The relevance of the quote to the narrative is also not explained (and is not obvious). Finally, the authors note that the quote comes from "a paper defending infanticide". The subject of the paper is irrelevant to the quote, and their narrative. It's only purpose appears to be to bias the reader against Tooley and his (alleged) position.

Other examples of the authors' style and arguements:

When the authors discuss ways of refuting scepticism (Pg 63), they start with:
"... global scepticism, which nowadays is embraced by many influential British and American professors in English Literature and Modern Languages. There are even some fashionable global sceptics who claim to be teaching philosophy".

Pg 32. The authors are objecting to Locke's distinction between 'human beings' and 'persons'. They say:
"It is an interesting point that philosophy students use the terms 'person' and 'human being' interchangeably - until they are taught not to by philosophy teachers. Does that mean the philosophy teachers know a lot of recondite physiological facts about persons and human beings that the students do not? Of course not. Philosophers are not physiologists, and anyway the relevant facts are known everyone. Then do the philosophy teachers know better than the students what the words 'person' and 'human being' mean? No, they do not. As far as language goes, ordinary usage, and the dictionary, support the student not the teacher."

Content:

I was looking for a book that would give me an idea of the main issues raised by major philosophers over the last few millenia, a (brief) idea of WHY these ideas were put forward, and a critique of them.

This book is more about the personal opinions of the authors and their pet topics than a structured & balanced review of mainstream philosophical thinking. E.g., this 'Beginners Guide' fails to cover certain key areas of philosophy (Mind-Body dualism, consciousness), but devotes chapters to 'equality' and 'politics & sex'.

When it does cover a subject, there are gaping holes in the material. E.g. the chapter on the problem of free will never mentions 'compatibilism', or defines & critiques it. Instead, the authors waste space and time with logcially fallacious arguments such as this appeal to emotion: (Pg 40)
"praise, blame, love, hate, etc. [...] are too important to us in explaining ourselves and others for us to be able to give them up in favour of a wholly deterministic system of explanation".

The three chapters on 'Philosophy of Science' were the low point (for me).

The authors clearly don't know much about science. Which is fine (as long as they don't try to author text books on the subject).
Nor did the authors do any research on the matter.
Nor did the authors get a scientifically competent person to proof-read their book.

The examples below are representative of the quality of the whole section on philosophy of science, and broadly representative of the whole book:

The authors assert that: (Pg 158) "The doctrine that every event has a cause is extremely deeply rooted in all Western scientific tradition. It is so important that scientists do not allow it to be falsified, as it were. No failure to find a cause in a particular case ever counts as falsification of this doctrine, which is thereby treated as unfalsifiable. Even in the case of quantum physics, where causal descriptions seem to be inapplicable, scientists say only that here the ideas of cause and effect lack explanatory power." (No citation or justification follows).

First of all - complaining that "No failure to find a cause in a particular case ever counts as falsification" is an 'absence of proof is proof of absence' fallacy. Failing to find a cause does NOT prove that there isn't a cause. The authors fail at basic logic.

Secondly, scientists DO regard quantum effects, such as radioactive decay or virtual particles, as deterministically uncaused.
On a simplistic level - the authors are just plain wrong (scientists DO accept that cause & effect doesn't work in some areas).
On a more complex level, some scientists / philosophers draw a distinction between deterministic cause and stochastic cause. This redefines the word 'cause' in the authors' argument, but the authors don't go there.

Then the authors assert that "The theory of evolution is not just treated as unfalsifiable, rather, it is not at all easy to see how it could be falsified. On Popperian terms, then, the theory is not scientifically respectable."

Firstly, contentious assertions such as 'the theory of evolution is treated as unfalsifiable' really ought to be justified.

Secondly, whatever the authors mean by 'Popperian terms' (undefined), or 'scientifically respectable' (undefined), Popper himself believed that the theory of evolution was a falsifiable, valid scientific theory. (Initially Popper believed that natural selection was not falsifiable, but he later changed this position.) So the above statement (at the very least) ignores Popper's own views on 'Popperian terms' and the theory of evolution.

There may well be good philosophical arguements against evolution - but invoking Popper isn't one of them.

The rest of the three chapters on Philosophy of Science were just as bad.

On the up side, Part V (Logic) was generally good. Terms were well defined. Each section followed from and built on the last. Each section explained why new forms of logic were developed in order to address weaknesses in the previous versions. It was clear and concise. The style was so different (and so much better) that I wondered if this was authored by a different person. If all you want to know about is logic, read these 40-odd pages and throw the rest of the book away.


MDM12D Dual LED/LCD Monitor Arm Stand Tilt Swivel Rotate
MDM12D Dual LED/LCD Monitor Arm Stand Tilt Swivel Rotate
Offered by eHome
Price: £28.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid stand for the money, 8 Jun. 2011
I was impressed how solid this stand is for the money. 4kg of steel.

It happily supports my two 24" monitors (one is a Dell Ultrasharp, v. heavy), and looks great.

You do have to flip the caps off the joints to tighten them with the supplied Allen key. And they do have to be very tight to hold the monitors. This product would not be suitable if you wished to constantly adjust your monitors - I don't.


Cable-Core USB to 36 pin Micro Centronics Male HP Printer Adaptor
Cable-Core USB to 36 pin Micro Centronics Male HP Printer Adaptor

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what it says, 8 Jun. 2011
I used this cable to connect a NAS ( QNAP 210 ) to an HP LaserJet 1100.
It worked straight out of the box. Both the NAS and the LaserJet were perfectly happy with this product. And so am I.

Note - the LaserJet 1100 does have the Micro Centronics connector.
From what I could see, very few of these USB to Parallel cables have a Micro Centronics parallel connector, but it's not always easy to tell.
This product supports BOTH standard Centronics and Micro Centronics parallel connectors.


Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software
Design patterns : elements of reusable object-oriented software
by Erich Gamma
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.74

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I could give it 6 stars..., 6 Jun. 2007
For the last 5 years I have been writing C++ code, and discovering coding 'patterns' for myself. Each time, I thought that there must be a book out there which documents these 'patterns', and would save me months of work figuring them out for myself. This is that book, and it does not disappoint.

The 23 patterns are built on a set of core principles. I was aware of these principles before, but seeing their application in pattern after pattern has given me a much better and deeper understanding of how and why to apply these principles in my own code.

I would probably have used some of the patterns, some of the time. But after such a clear and deep explanation of each one, I now see opportunities to use the patterns frequently. And in each case, I realise why my code will be better with them than if I hadn't used them.

Reading this book immediately improved my coding skills by an order of magnitude.

This book belongs on the shelf of every C++ coder, alongside Meyers 'Effective C++' and Beck's 'Extreme Programming Explained'.


Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in C (International Edition)
Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice in C (International Edition)
by James D. Foley
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps getting better, 14 May 2007
I have several works on computer graphics - as well as Google! Initially, I would have rated this book as 'OK'. But the more work I do on computer graphics, the more I find myself turning to this book. It seems to provide the best, simplest and most relevant explanations or algorithms across a very wide range of graphics problems. No library should be without a copy.


Don Camillo Omnibus: "Little World of Don Camillo", "Don Camillo and the Prodigal Son" AND "Comrade Don Camillo"
Don Camillo Omnibus: "Little World of Don Camillo", "Don Camillo and the Prodigal Son" AND "Comrade Don Camillo"
by Giovanni Guareschi
Edition: Hardcover

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best short stories I have ever read, 4 Aug. 2002
A superb collection of lovely, amusing stories about the friendly rivlaries between a Catholic priest and a Communist mayor. I used to enjoy them as bedtime stories as a child - some of the language was beyond me, but the story and humour wasn't. I enjoy them just as much today. The stories are very short (a few pages), and very well told. This really is one that any story-lover should try.


Page: 1