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Richard "Richard" (England)

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50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know series)
50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Need to Know (50 Ideas You Really Need to Know series)
Price: £5.22

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear. Let down by formatting - again, 2 Feb. 2012
The Kindle is an excellent device, but it is let down hugely by the way many books have bad formatting of the text, or where the Optical Character Recognition process itself produces errors. I wonder if the Kindle books are proof-read at all?

This book is a perfect example of the way in which these errors turn what would otherwise be a useful book into a vehicle to confuse anyone who might wish to use it as a textbook, or at least an adjunct to school maths. In paper format it would be excellent and a good read for anybody wishing to brush up on or to take maths further than school.

Examples of the poor, or careless, format abound.

Mixed fractions are shown in different styles in different places, and it is often not clear what is meant. In one place "24/5" really means two and four fifths (2[space]4/5), but that is not how it appears. 0.6 recurring is shown as "0.6" (no dot over the 6), which is incorrect and confusing.

Many equations and things such as the square root sign are sometimes (but not every time) shown as ugly images, and grey with a lack of contrast. The "timeline" at the end of each topic is in incredibly small text and cannot be enlarged or even read.

Further difficulties and ambiguities show up in the logic section where the equivalence symbol (three horizontal lines) is rendered as an equals sign. Other special symbols such as the logical "and" are rendered as a question mark in a box.

Even Einstein's famous equation is in one place referred to as "E = xmc2" (the "2" is correctly shown in superscript). The equation is shown correctly on the next page!

In summary, this is a good book, but definitely to be avoided in Kindle format as the Kindle format is annoying, confusing and in some cases downright wrong.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2013 3:14 PM GMT


The Bones of Avalon (THE JOHN DEE PAPERS Book 1)
The Bones of Avalon (THE JOHN DEE PAPERS Book 1)
Price: £1.79

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Airport departure lounge stuff, 6 Sept. 2011
I was intrigued by the title but I found the book itself to be boring. It was not really gripping or suitable for a contemplative read. In my opinion, it is perfect departure lounge stuff where all you want to do is to pass some time with easily forgettable word fodder. I was irritated by some of the dialogue - a mixture of faux sixteenth century and modern slang. I particularly disliked the poor grammar throughout as exemplified by dangling participles, sentences without verbs, and other basic errors.

One good point is that the book is much better formatted than some Kindle books.

Don't expect to use this book to enlarge your knowledge of Arthur or Glastonbury. If you want to do so, there are many books much better. Use it while you are getting Frequent Flier credits!


CK-12 21st Century Physics: A Compilation of Contemporary and Emerging Technologies
CK-12 21st Century Physics: A Compilation of Contemporary and Emerging Technologies

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let down by formatting, 9 July 2011
The main put off for me with Kindle books is the extremely sloppy formatting which seems to be demonstrated in so many titles. This book is a case in point.

Here the most obvious is that formulae (even a date such as 350BCE) is shown in a fixed font which is much larger than and fainter than the normal text. Longer formulae are squashed so much as to be, quite literally, unreadable. Sometimes formulae are presented in reverse video (white on black) which does not help.

Sometimes words or symbols are omitted from the text; for example, in the kinematics section, "The person pulls the crate with a force of magnitude , for a distance . There is between the box and the floor."

There are also errors of fact. The vacuum tube is said to have been "invented in 1941", whereas de Forest is credited with the invention of the first triode in 1907. The spurious claim that ENIAC is "the first digital computer" is repeated - no mention is made of the British COLOSSUS which was the true first programmable electronic digital computer (prototype 1943).

All in all, disappointing. The appalling formatting means that in many places the book cannot be read. It is just as well that the book is free - I would not have liked to pay money to read it. Avoid.


The Song of Hiawatha
The Song of Hiawatha

2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor formatting, 3 Mar. 2011
I am not at all satisfied with the formatting of "The Song of Hiawatha" (Longfellow). In the first place, there is no spacing between the introductory note and the introduction, the introduction and the start of the poem, and the various parts of the poem. Why cannot they start on a new page?

Secondly, the stanzas are not formatted as is usual in metrical verse. Each stanza should have a blank line spacing from the next, and each line in the stanza should start on a separate physical line. For example, the Kindle version begins:

"Should you ask me, whence these stories? Whence these legends and traditions, With the odors of the forest With the dew and damp of meadows, With the curling smoke of wigwams, With the rushing of great rivers, With their frequent repetitions, And their wild reverberations As of thunder in the mountains?
I should answer ..."

It should be formatted as:

"Should you ask me, whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations
As of thunder in the mountains?

I should answer ..."

This faulty formatting detracts materially from my enjoyment of the Kindle version.


ADVENTURES FROM THE TECHNOLOGY UNDERGROUND: Catapults, Pulsejets, Rail Guns, Flamethrowers, Tesla Coils, Air Cannons and the Garage Warriors Who Love Them
ADVENTURES FROM THE TECHNOLOGY UNDERGROUND: Catapults, Pulsejets, Rail Guns, Flamethrowers, Tesla Coils, Air Cannons and the Garage Warriors Who Love Them
by William Gurstelle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.03

1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this book, 29 Jun. 2010
There is very little useful content in this book. It consists mainly of superficial descriptions of the operation of devices such as are listed in the title of the book. Anyone who is hoping for details to assist in construction will be disappointed, as those drawings which are present are of little use, and the mathematics in the text trivial. The 'technical descriptions' scarcely do the term justice and on at least one occasion are completely wrong.


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