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Profile for Ivar Abrahamsen > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Ivar Abrahamsen "flurdy" (Oslo, Norway)
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Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban
Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban
by Henrik Kniberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.66

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, 11 Jan. 2013
(This is a review that I initially wrote on my blog)

Having previously read two of his other books I was expecting a helpful book. ("Kanban and Scrum - making the most of both" & "Scrum and XP from the Trenches (Enterprise Software Development)"). Kniberg is very much a Kanban man so I was interested in his Lean views.

And this book I thought was very good. He adopts a reflection of a large scale project for the Police in Sweden, and the aspects they learned by adopting lean practices as they went along. And then in later chapters more detailed reflections and background on subject matters. (I suspect the authoring style leads readers to think it was all accidentally knowledge gained by the team along the way, but knowing his previous experience I am sure he nudged most in the right direction).

His writing style and diagrams are very easy to follow and I finished the book in a few days read on the commute, and was very inspired. Highly recommended.


ART 4-Channel Splitmixer Personal Mixer
ART 4-Channel Splitmixer Personal Mixer
Price: £51.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works as expected, 7 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Splitmix does what it says on the tin and I am very happy I purchased it.

I needed to to mix 3 sources (one desktop, a macbook and another laptop) into one set of speakers and sometimes a headset. And the Splitmix does exactly that.

Now I have IPlayer running on one machine, work/play on another or two and all sound comes out of only one set of speakers. (Add using Synergy for mouse and keyboard then my setup is pretty tidy.)

I can control the volume on the individual inputs, combine them or switch them off easily. (i tend to leave the output volume on max and control that volume on my speaker volume instead).

This a passive mixer so will reduce output volume, but that does not matter as my speakers are powered thus amplified so the only consequence is that I have to increase the volume by a a couple of notches. Also if you turn down the volume on one input it increases the overall voume of the others as it is passive, but that is just logical.

Note: you can have 4 inputs and 4 outputs, but only 4 volume knobs. So if you have an input and output on the same "number" then the specific volume knob affects both. I would therefor not recommend mixing and splitting more than 3 things as the combination becomes a bit confusing.

Overall highly recommended. It seemed to be the only one that was a multiple stereo mixer (and as bonus a splitter) that I could use with my PCs. The alternative seemed to be a proper amplified sound stage mixer for audiophiles that would probably add another zero or two to the price.


Groovy for Domain-Specific Languages
Groovy for Domain-Specific Languages
by Fergal Dearle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.22

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read and teaches groovy and dsl well, 4 Oct. 2010
The book essentially covers what Groovy is, what DSL is and how to apply Groovy to incorporate a DSL for your applications.

After reading the book I have to agree that if you intend to create a DSL, which we basically do unintentionally all the time, then Groovy can fulfil these requirements with ease and simplicity.

The book is a easy to read book with clear text, syntax and examples without being too thick and not seem a like a javadoc of information overload. It is rather quick to read through due to the nice flow. The layout do make it a nice reference for myself in the future as it is laid out clearly and contains a large variety of working examples.

The book starts of with first explaining the concepts of what DSL is, what it means in terms of computer science history and how we already use them.

It then goes on to explain in clear but complete detail what Groovy is and does. Actually these chapters are a good introduction to Groovy book in themselves.

Dearle then procedes to explain the main technologies built on top or as part of Groovy such as the web framework: Grails, the Groovy Ant builder scripting tool: Gant, Groovy & Grails ORM database mapper: Gorm, BDD frameworks and similar technologies. This it does in enough detail so that you have a good idea what they do and can experiment with yourself afterwards.

The last half of the book Dearle then brings Groovy and the related technologies back into the DSL fold and explains why and how Groovy is excellent for DSL writing. E.g: Groovy's dynamic nature, closures, or the multitude of "Builders" which basically are DSLs outright.

These chapters of the book has a large set of basically Cook Book examples of Groovy DSL writing, builders and finishes with how to integrate Groovy with Spring, XML, Ant and existing Java applications.

I was already aware of Groovy's suitability as a DSL language, but I am now even more convinced of its power, ease and fit as a or rather the DSL.
(Note: I was given a free copy of this book, which saved me money as I would have bought it anyway)


BEA WebLogic Server 8 for Dummies
BEA WebLogic Server 8 for Dummies
by Jeff Heaton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 19 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Enough detail and examples to get you up and running with Weblogic.
To be honest after a little time its your experience with messing around with Weblogic that counts anyway.


RESTful Java with JAX-RS
RESTful Java with JAX-RS
by Bill Burke
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thorough introduction, 19 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book goes trough the very technical details of the REST spec. With enough detail on every aspect.
It includes labs and examples to try out for each section.

I found it to be very easy to follow and understand. And it seems to cover every aspect of REST that I was expectting and I was implementing REST in a pet project straight away.

Two minor negative points are the reference to RESTeasy in all examples. The author is involved in the project and it is a good framework which is fair enough but I would have prefered the examples to be with the more established Jersey or CXF. However he does refer to both of them often in the book and provides exampels and description of these frameworks later in the book.

The other negative point is that the examples are using low level java (streams etc) and servlet syntax and methods. It is understandable to be generic in a book as it needs to cater for many people, and to emphasise the actual issue at hand. However I would personally have preferred real life examples using higher level frameworks which is what you would encounter in day to day tasks. The book does however detail later on how to integrate Spring etc.

On the whole I recommened this book as an intro to REST or reference in the future.


Smart Homes for Dummies<
Smart Homes for Dummies<
by Danny Briere
Edition: Paperback

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Covers Most Areas Well, 9 Mar. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A well written books that cover all possibilities of home automation.
A bit US centric, but fine as long as you are aware of it.
Also a few years old, but also fine as the authors seemed to have estimated the future perfectly.
Covers what you want to know about settting up phone, tv, audio, security, X10, Wireless, dialup or broadband connections, etc etc,
Some very good points on your wiring, so read it before you do it!
I thought I had pretty good idea of how I was going to make my "Smart Home", but this book told me many things I was not aware of, or had the wrong opinions of.
It is a good read, especially as it doesnt cost the world.


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