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S. MACLAREN "Lemonrock Editor" (UK)
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Samsung P2450H 24 inch widescreen 2ms DVI TFT LCD Monitor (Rose Red)
Samsung P2450H 24 inch widescreen 2ms DVI TFT LCD Monitor (Rose Red)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good monitor, spoiled by hum, 13 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought a Samsung monitor many years ago, my first flat-screen after using a CRT. It had a problem - when the brightness was turned down, the screen emitted a high-pitched squealing noise, low in volume, but very distracting. After a few email exchanges, Samsung agreed to refund my money. However, I got the impression that they thought I was some sort of freak.

All these years later, I am sorry to say that a similar problem exists with the new Samsung P2450H 24" monitor that I have just bought. I like a dimly lit screen, so the first thing I do is to turn the brightness down. On this model, as soon as I turn the brightness down past 30%, the screen begins to make a humming noise. The lower the brightness, the louder the hum. It's annoying for me, as I work in a very quiet room (not an office), so the noise is very noticeable, so much so that I shall be selling this monitor very soon. (There's nothing else wrong with it.)

It appears that Samsung have not resolved whatever problem persists with their monitors. In the interim I have had two Iiyama monitors, which have not had any problems with noise.

Sorry, Samsung, I cannot live with this. People who like a very bright screen will not be affected, of course, but I still think that this is a serious design flaw.

Otherwise, the monitor is ok, although it did not "remember" which inputs were in use (2 out of the 3), so you still have to manually select the other input even when one of them is removed (I use a KVM switch).

I am returning this to Amazon for a refund.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2011 12:29 AM BST


Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision Noise-Isolating Ear-Canal Phones - Black (Eco Packaging)
Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision Noise-Isolating Ear-Canal Phones - Black (Eco Packaging)

5.0 out of 5 stars A window into the music, 3 Aug 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, you would be expected, as a hi-fi fanatic, to part with not hundreds, but thousands of pounds for headphones of this quality.

How times have changed.

As a lover of live music, I am used to listening close-up to drums, bass, guitars and vocals, and I know what real music sounds like. You can hear the tiny grace notes of the bass player's fingers, the swipe of the drumstick tip on the hi-hat cymbal, the rich vocal overtones that make those neck hairs stand up.

From live music to recorded music is sometimes a big jump, but with a really well recorded studio album, much of the soul and vibrancy of a live performance can be captured.

From vinyl albums to lossless digital, we have made giant steps forward over the last 10 years, and Sennheiser are to be applauded for their role in this revolution. Their CX 300-II headphones, ridiculously cheap (I paid £16.98, p & p inclusive, from G5 Online), take you further into the music than you have ever been. I agree with the last reviewer - if you are still using the headphones that came with your iPod, get the Sennheisers and just see what you have been missing.

Tight bass, believable drums, emotional guitars, frighteningly real vocals... from a piece of black plastic that weighs barely an ounce. It's really quite awesome.


Belkin 802.11g Wireless G Gaming Adapter
Belkin 802.11g Wireless G Gaming Adapter
Offered by MarkdownElectricals
Price: £44.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stop! Not suitable for printers!, 26 Dec 2009
I needed to turn my Ethernet printer (HP 2550Ln) into a wireless printer. This *seemed* to be the solution.

But is is NOT.

I bought the Belkin F5D7330 because the information on Amazon said:

* Adds 802.11g networking capability to your computer or network device
* Works with all Ethernet-equipped computers or network devices

The Product Description states:

"The Belkin 802.11g Wireless Ethernet Adapter provides your Ethernet-equipped computer or network device such as a printer..."

However, I could not get the device to work. I wrote to Belkin's technical support, who replied:

"We are sorry to inform you that Wireless Ethernet Adapter 7330 will not support the network printer."

That's all they said - not very helpful at all. So I'm stuck with something that I can't use. I'll be returning it to Amazon, of course, and I hope they can see that the product has been mis-marketed.

Beware!


StarTech 2 Port Black USB KVM Switch Kit with Audio and Cables
StarTech 2 Port Black USB KVM Switch Kit with Audio and Cables
Price: £26.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for PC and Mac together, 11 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My desktop consists of a laptop PC running Vista, and an Apple MacBook running OS X Snow Leopard. Using this box, I use one keyboard, one monitor, and one mouse to use each computer, one at a time. Each computer has its lid closed, which is sometimes called "clamshell" mode.

Because the software that ships with the box is only compatible with Windows, this only means that you have to use the switches on the top of the box to switch from Mac to PC. If you wanted to connect 2 PCs instead, you could use the hotkey on your keyboard to switch between the two, without using the physical switches.

The only problem I found was that the picture from the MacBook would always appear about an inch offset to the right on my monitor, each time I switched the box to the Mac. I corrected this initially by pressing the "AUTO" button on my monitor, so that the picture moved to the correct place on the screen. However, I found that the resolution wasn't as good as on the MacBook itself. To solve these 2 problems, I bought another cable that connects the Mac monitor output (DVI mini connector) directly to my monitor's DVI input (my monitor has both VGA and DVI inputs, luckily), so I'm not routing the Mac's video through the box at all. Using this cable, the picture always appears in the correct place on the screen, and the resolution is much better - in fact, it's a perfect picture. As the KVM box is now only being used for one monitor input, I could have then connected the monitor's VGA input directly to the PC, but this would have meant manually switching the monitor every time when going from Mac to PC or from PC to Mac. As I have it set up, the monitor automatically switches to the Mac when I press the "Mac" switch on the box, because the box is switching through nothing to the monitor's VGA input, and in these circumstances, the monitor is clever enough to switch to its DVI input. When I press the "PC" button, the mouse and keyboard are switched, but I need to press the "INPUT" button on my monitor to select the VGA input from the PC. This setup is not ideal, but it works well.

The box itself is compact and easy to set up. There is a decent 2-page PDF manual on the disk that explains how to use it. I don't think the manufacturer's spec mentions this, but each switch contains a green LED that flashes while switching is going on (about a few seconds) and then lights solidly to show you which computer is selected.

This is the best setup for running a Mac and a PC with minimum desk clutter.

One final note for people who are hoping to use an existing USB keyboard with a Mac: you may find some of the keys don't work as expected (or do nothing at all). You may be able to find a software solution to this on your Mac, or you may end up (like I did) buying an external Mac keyboard instead.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2009 5:07 PM GMT


Objective-C Pocket Reference
Objective-C Pocket Reference
by Andrew Duncan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.50

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Reference, 11 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No-one likes spending any longer than necessary reading technical books. We read these books because (we hope!) they are condensed instruction manuals, so after reading them, we know what to do, and can get on with it.

This book achieves exactly that: it is compact and concise. It introduces what may be new concepts without any fanfares... it just states - very clearly - what the different parts of the language, and the Objective-C run-time (Cocoa or Cocoa Touch, for the iPhone and iPod touch), do.

You will have to pay attention to the text in this book. There are very few diagrams, (although the examples of interfaces and implementations are neatly explained in Objective-C). If you come from a C, Java or C++ background, most of the verbal descriptions will be easy to comprehend. You may have to re-read some paragraphs, because there is so much information contained in this book, but re-reading should clarify the subject(s) for you. Duncan's writing style is fluid, accurate and not too dry - a welcome relief!

Get this great value book if you need to learn Objective-C and already know C/C++ and don't want a "Dummy-style" explanation.

One of the best O'Reilly books I have ever bought.


Programming the iPhone User Experience
Programming the iPhone User Experience
by Toby Boudreaux
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.63

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather Obvious, 11 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This thin manual (165 pages) excited me initially, because I thought it would give me an advantage over other iPhone developers who were developing apps for the iPhone. As a developer, you really crave insights into what works, what doesn't, and what you should, and should not do in an app.

The author does explain some good design "patterns" and advises against other patterns that are undesirable. However, very little of what I read was original, or showed great insight. Most of the author's comments about what constitues good (or bad) design are pretty obvious to anyone who has ever programmed before. For example, Toby recommends that splash screens are not used, because they will distract the user and delay program start/resume, and are not consistent with other iPhone apps. I think that this kind of advice is unnecessary. He even repeats this advice several times, which makes the book seem rather lacking in knowledge.

To his credit, he does give step-by-step instructions for implementing complete examples. But, like a lot of so-called "iPhone experts", he skims the important details of *why* he uses certain classes. You are expected to know quite a lot about the iPhone design and development process. At times, you feel that he is showing off because he managed to work our how to build an app using Xcode. That's great for him, but not much use to those of us who are absolute beginners with the iPhone, iPod touch, Xcode, Objective C, and the Cocoa run-time.

In conclusion, this book has some useful observations to make, but you may end up thinking: "Yes, but that's obvious, I knew that already".


Apple Keyboard (MB110B/B)
Apple Keyboard (MB110B/B)
Offered by Ballicom International
Price: £44.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 11 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have had PCs for years (and still do). My new Apple keyboard was purchased because my old PC wireless/USB keyboard wouldn't work with an Apple MacBook (the numeric keypad buttons just couldn't be recognised by the MacBook, and having spent hours trying to make it work, I decided that an Apple keyboard was the only solution). So, this purchase was made necessary by a shortcoming with Apple's Mac OS X. However, there is good news...

Now that I can control both the MacBook and a PC with this keyboard (I have a KVM switching box), I must say that I am very impressed.

The keyboard itself is small, and easy to type on, because your hands and fingers do not have to travel very far. The compact size means that you can actually rest your wrists on your desk (instead of using a wrist rest) and type comfortably. The keyboard is at the perfect position under your hands. The keys make very little noise, which is great if you (like me) are up all night sometimes, programming or writing for hours on end. This keyboard will not disturb your neighbours! The rattle from my old Logitech PC keyboard is very loud by comparison. The keys are easy to press, and require very little effort.

The keyboard is weighty enough to stay "glued" to the desk, and feels solid in use.

If you need a keyboard that will be quiet, productive, and work with both Apple Macs and PCs, this is the keyboard you need. It's a joy to use.


iPhone SDK Application Development: Building Applications for the AppStore: Building and Listing for the AppStore
iPhone SDK Application Development: Building Applications for the AppStore: Building and Listing for the AppStore
by Jonathan Zdziarski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.50

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A mess, 9 Nov 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
How I wish I had read the reviews on amazon.com before buying this book from amazon.co.uk. The first 3 reviews there say exactly what motivated me to write this review, and have hopefully prevented others from wasting their money.

I gave up on page 34 (of 352).

This book is a jumble, with confusing language, an unforgivable lack of screenshots, and no clear path to explaining how to get an iPhone app running. It repeats itself, and does *not* explain how to do things in a task-based, step-by-step ordered fashion.

Like one of the American reviewers, I too have been programming for 25 years, so I have read a lot of technical books in my time. As I have recently encountered Mac OS X, Objective-C, Xcode and Interface Builder all at once, it's a steep learning curve. But I've been in similar situations many times before, and I know what to expect from technical books. This book is a big disappointment.

I learned more from reading a tutorial in Macworld magazine (November 2009), taken from "Beginning iPhone 3 Development", by Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche, published by Apress. I will go and investigate that book instead, as the explanations in the tutorial are excellent, and the screenshots clear and helpful. And I got a working app from using that magazine instead of this book.

Regarding O'Reilly, I've just finished another of their books - "Objective-C Pocket Reference" by Andrew M. Duncan. By comparison, this was crammed with useful, easy-to-follow information, something that I have become used to when buying from O'Reilly. I will be more careful in future of buying from O'Reilly.

Zdziarski's impenetrable ramble was a waste of time and money.


Thinking in Java
Thinking in Java
by Bruce Eckel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £35.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal clear, 19 Sep 2006
This review is from: Thinking in Java (Paperback)
If you are already an experienced software engineer, but have no formal knowledge of proper object-oriented languages (or know only C and/or C++), this is the best book I know of to learn JAVA. Eckel dispels the mysteries of all the OO jargon, and the examples he gives are presented at a manageable pace - just right to keep you interested enough to wonder 'what happens next'. I would recommend that readers also buy the slightly more 'reference-y' "JAVA in a Nutshell" by David Flanagan, which covers the syntax from a more traditional angle and has the J2SE API. If it is J2ME you are interested in, you will also need "J2ME in a Nutshell" by Kim Topley; Eckel's book is a thorough treatment of the philosophy and practice of JAVA but has no API sections. It's also very neatly laid out, with decent sized text for all us 'round-the-clock' programmers!


Linux Pocket Guide (Pocket Guide: Essential Commands)
Linux Pocket Guide (Pocket Guide: Essential Commands)
by Daniel J. Barrett
Edition: Paperback

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable, 19 Sep 2006
Ever spent hours on the Web trying to find an accurate, comprehensive set of most-used *nix commands and features? This book saves you all that time. For its size, it is quite an achievement - nicely written and laid out. Always within arm's reach here.


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