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S. WRIGHT (Lancashire, UK)

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For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness & the Culture of Hops (Brewing Elements)
For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to Aroma, Bitterness & the Culture of Hops (Brewing Elements)
by Stan Hieronymus
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Unrivalled information and background, 17 April 2013
VERY detailed an incredible distillation of hop information, history and use. Very very detailed and suitable for commercial and home brewers alike.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard for iPad Mini - Black
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard for iPad Mini - Black
Offered by Smith & Co
Price: £53.99

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive yes... but worth it IF IT WEREN'T SO FRAGILE, 4 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I initially bought one of the £20 bluetooth keyboard/case combos for my ipad mini. It proved the worth and concept of a keyboard but was rubbish in its implementation. Witht the refund from that and after consulting reviews here I decided to go for the extra £50 for this. I'm writing this review on it.

There are oddities - I wish the screen was a little further from the keyboard as it is easy to hit it accidentally. It takes a little while to get used to some of the key positioning and prob not brilliant for pure touch typists but for 4-finger typists like me its simply superb. Makes the iPad Mini a LOT more functional for word processing and using full screen. Looks excellent, feels premium, works superbly. Would give it 5* but for the positioning and other minor quibbles. There's no better or equivalent keyboard though and it massively trumps cheap versions.

This has already broken - after 2 weeks ownership a slip off the bed and onto carpeted floor and a cursor key has popped off and cannot be out back. no fault returns policy seems set to be good but would expect better build quality for the price.

Pale Ale: History and Brewing Techniques, Recipes: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes (Classic Beer Style)
Pale Ale: History and Brewing Techniques, Recipes: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes (Classic Beer Style)
by Terry Foster
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Good revision - still a broad brush, 23 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A substantial and important revision to the error riddled first edition but still seeks to cover too many 'styles' in too little depth really.

Pale Ale (Classic Beer Style)
Pale Ale (Classic Beer Style)
by Terry Foster
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars Historical anachronism, 23 Mar 2013
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Read this if you want to understand how far other books have come and the origins of some misconceptions of british beer styles in the BJCP. But don't read it to understand them - the revised book is better but others are far more significant contributors.

Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology Series)
Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences (Inside Technology Series)
by Geoffrey Bowker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £40.65

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb book on ethnography of infrastructure, 23 Mar 2013
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This book is a fascinating insight into the power and role of classification systems in our lives. An important contribution to science and technology studies, closely related to but not beholden to actor-network theory and a substantial contribution to the theorisation of boundary objects.

The conclusion feels weak and seeks to relate this idea (the boundary object) in a scatter-gun approach to lots of other theoretical frameworks e.g activity theory,community of practice and ANT. In this it feels wooly rather than directed at the end.

Essential reading if you are doing research on or around classification systems or standards of interoperability.

IVSO® iPad Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Portfolio Case - DETACHABLE Bluetooth Keyboard Stand Case / Cover for Apple iPad Mini (Black)
IVSO® iPad Mini Bluetooth Keyboard Portfolio Case - DETACHABLE Bluetooth Keyboard Stand Case / Cover for Apple iPad Mini (Black)

2.0 out of 5 stars aanillustration of an almost-good butfar ultimately flawed product, 23 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm writing this review using the product as i think that will most clearly illustrate how it works.

If you pay attention to exactly where you hit the space 'bar' its pretty good, the keys have a good action and click well ive used far worse keyboards in my time and once you adapt to the small format you can get a pretty ood typing speed and accuracy up. BUT if youtryanduse yourhtumb on the space bar then this is the sortof sentenceyouroduce

The enter key is tiny, it EATS your ipad battery life once you have bluetooth on all the time the case takes a small light ipad mini and makes it bulky in the case. The screen isn't held in position well and slips very slightly - not a problem but an irritation.

Its a good product for the price, if you detatch the keyboard then it becomes nice to use and the more i use it the mosre used to it i become. I wished I'd bought the Zagg keys 9" initially but now they're back up to full price (90 quid - hmmm there doesn't seem to be a pound symbol on this keyboard! - rather than half price this case and keyboard seems to be good-for-the-price)

The auto switch off has been OK fr me unlike some other reviews, it switches off fne whn closed. The stand is good on the back of the case and i have to say I'm warming to the keyboard with increasedfamiliarity and use however the poor unctoning of the space bar, occasional missed keystrokes and having to watch your fingers not the screen as you type as well as then having to move about with fingers on screen then keyboard then screen for corrections is more broken up than working with the on screen keyboard.

Not bad for the money, if the space bar worked better it would be a FAR better device and that silly design flaw hugely detracts.

Ultimately decided to return it- it's slower and less accurate than on screen keyboard, the screen slips too much when propped up and it's just irritating to use whilst sapping battery life. Looking at getting a dedicated Bluetooth keyboard instead rather than something 'designed' for iPad mini and compromising on every level to do that. (note this final segment is written with on screen keyboard hence accuracy, punctuation and spacing all working!)

India Pale Ale: Homebrew Class (Homebrew classics)
India Pale Ale: Homebrew Class (Homebrew classics)
by Clive La Pensee
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical IPA Resource - one for the historical re-enactment wing of CAMRA, 23 Feb 2013
Both the previous reviews here are entirely correct in their wildly different assessments of this book.

It is a fantastic and comprehensive guide to the history of and historic recipes of IPA.

It somewhat undermines itself in other places (recipes = holdings hops as "that's what IPA was to 19th C brewers" despite info on hop imports from USA and NZ in text. So it's a bit of an oddity.

It's cut from the same cloth as Duden park books: historic recreation. Now that can be incredibly innovative and contemporary to return to the past for inspiration.

It sticks to the hackneyed camra bashing of lager for no clear reason.

Meanwhile it is important to remember the rest of the world doesn't exist for camra - no mention here of USA or Australian brewers of IPAs. In this its history is less good and far more partisan than the excellent IPA chapter in "amber, gold and black" nor the contemporary and global view of Mitch Steele's superb new IPA book.

But if you want history and historic recipes - putting 300g EKG into a 5hr boil to make 23l of 7% real 19th century IPA to age for a hear or more then THIS is unparalleled in its information almost as much as you need to be in your dedication. I'm not sure if camra have a historical re-enactment wing but if they do, this would be their role playing manual.

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT 32GB Tablet ONLY
Microsoft Surface with Windows RT 32GB Tablet ONLY
Offered by Best Electrics
Price: £309.00

71 of 96 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's windows, but not real windows... Slick but all surface, 12 Feb 2013
Surface is a good name: it's all surface with no depth and once you scratch ythat surface you find out how problematic this thing is.

The good: great screen, good to have USB and SD slots (SD slot may be hidden but it is there).Windows 8 takes getting used to but has some great features (e.g. multiple user accounts) and some of the fucntions and systems are cool. However it really really really fails hard in being neither able to run proper windows and install programmes or be a dedicated tablet with healthy ecosystem of apps that work and aren't hobbled.

The top things that really really suck:

No POP mail (nope: no webmail - forced into using windows mail solutions), poor app availability - very few good apps (unlike android or iPad). And not able to install proper windows programmes (that's pro only). So while it has pretty good Word/Excel/Powerpoint there's no option to extend these with say endnote for referencing or acrobat pro, plus they're still 'demo' versions.

The acrobat programme/app is FAR worse and less featured than either android or iOS versions - just a PDF reader no options to amend anything.

Dropbox integration is APPALLING nigh-on unusable (especially compared to how easy and intuitive it is on iOS and very good on Android).

No decent browsers - you're stuck with IE and that's it. No firefox, no Chrome, none of my sync'd bookmarks etc.

The browser is fixed to desktop mode/version of sites - all our other tablets ran panopto video feeds except this one - which while a microsoft product doesn't support microsoft's own silverlight, nor serve you a mobile version.

No flash either - there's a white-list of sites but no flash video working, and with issues of not getting mobile versions of sites no real workarounds.

The introduction screens and video are actually WRONG for windows 8 functions that aren't functions on RT or the surface (like corners etc) the gestures once you get the hang of them are good but really counter-intuitive and little/no help.

Will be good value when half price as they get dumped on the market (most contemporary news reposrts suggest these are discontinued already and have high return rates and low sales). The pro version is promising.

The fabric keyboard has no tactility at all - really not good to type on.

Very heavy too.

I liked using it for a bit and it seemed good for writing office documents and that's about it really - as a tablet it sucked.

In sum: Either buy a laptop or buy a proper tablet (Nexus, Galaxy or iPad) or wait for the pro version. I had one of these as a review/work item and am SO glad I've been able to swap it for an iPad mini (which I love for all its superb apps) and also like Android. Windows 8 seems excellent but RT is an appalling featureless botch. Given 2 stars as it's not terrible but definitely NOT recommended.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 21, 2014 9:47 PM GMT

D-Link ShareCenter 2 Bay Cloud Network Storage Enclosure
D-Link ShareCenter 2 Bay Cloud Network Storage Enclosure
Price: £52.94

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good value but... Backup software is dreadful, setup complex, documentations and support poor, 20 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My FOURTH revision of this review shaped by experience to date and hoping to rteflect trials and tribulations of this product.

Finally this is working brilliantly - but it certainly wasn't out of the box!

There are better out there - Good price but poor documentation and software make this a hard product to recommend.
(this is my fourth revision/update of review and now upped it to 3 stars from 1 - reflecting difficulty, time and frustration with device initially giving it one star now 3 having resolved some but not all issues)

The good:
Easy to setup.
Good value (adding your own hard drives is MUCH cheaper)
Easy to setup with one HD and then add a second
Easy to configure RAID
If you abandon the software that comes with it it's a good drive.

The difficult:
Setting up remote connection is a real nightmare - I've lost track of time spent on this. Documentation is dreadful. Be prepare for looking around the net for support and help that makes sense and then having a lot of time to set up ddns and your router and so on with no useful documentation with this device. You'll need to find a lot of information from your ISP.

Once it works then mydlink is excellent and the remote access is superb but it's NOT easy!

Using Genie Timeline has resulted in working continuous versioned backup - however bundled software just failed continuously with any large files and support site only works in IE and closed call after a long unhelpful 'escalation' and no resolution (why can't DLink develop decent software?).

Updating firmware - like all other processes - is poorly documented and far from clear.

The Bad:

The bundled backup software is really, REALLY poor. You can create a backup but then can't modify it. It ALWAYS fails to backup large documents - works fine ion photos and files but once it has a video file to deal with it goes wrong and throws errors. There's NO information on progress, estimated time etc. Support is slow and relatively unhelpful - you're on your own.

I've finally gotten it to work on automated backups but only by excluding any folders with media files in them. However if I want to add a new folder I now have to create a whole new backup task. I'm revisiting my folder structure for a project to accommodate this poor backup software and get round it. Other large files also make it fail.
So can't set-and-forget backups if you have media files.

However the backups if/when they work are good as they are in readable folder structures not created as archives that can't be read (as with say acronis true image) i.e. you can browse a backed up folder structure which is the SAME as your main folder structure so that's a bonus for looking at the backed up files. However... incremental backups don't work - it only works on the original/full backup. In other words the bundled backup software is truly appalling. You either have to do a full backup every time which takes a lot more time and power with no versions/increments or give up and get other software ...
Doesn't work for backing up or returning to previous versions though.

20 days to get an "upgrade firmware" response after 'escalating' support gives you some idea of the contempt DLink hold for their customers, support and software with their products.

Another issue it *claims* an app above however that is the wrong app, and the app that IS for the 320 (mydlink access) doesn't work on galaxy s3 with jellybean it just crashes. So no working app either :-(

Update: New release is now working on android and iPad app also good

Setting up Mac TimeMachine is a nightmare as well - unless you;re only using this as a time machine you'll need to go UNIX command line to edit sparsebundles or it will take over the whole drive in time (cos Apple have written it to get you to buy their overpriced hardware) so you'll have huge issues using this with PC and Mac... No I haven't had time or braveness to do this and probably won't.

So overall:

Compared with my friends and colleagues who have bought other NAS drives I've had a LOT of difficulties with this one. Eventually it is all working but not with the out-of-the-box software and with no help from DLink. I find it it hard to recommend. Far from easy, poor documentation and crap software. If you want something out of the box with automated backups and web access find something else. If you want to save money and are OK with working through a lot of ISP documentation, getting alternative software and registering lots of things in lots of places to get it all going then this is a VERY good value and reliable device with powerful options for backing up.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2012 6:36 PM GMT

Garmin Nmaps - Full European Lifetime Map Updates for nuvi series
Garmin Nmaps - Full European Lifetime Map Updates for nuvi series
Price: £50.99

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buy direct from Garmin - DO NOT BUY FROM AMAZON, 24 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was sent out by Amazon - but the product had been tampered with before dispatch. The package had been opened, security covering of the code scratched off and code used/invalidated before dispatch. Therefore it didn't work.

Amazon have thieves working in their warehouse or distribution who are stealing these details then sending them out.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2013 1:44 PM GMT

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