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NXT Jockey "tankplanker"

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LEGO 8547: Mindstorms NXT 2.0: Robot
LEGO 8547: Mindstorms NXT 2.0: Robot

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 28 July 2010
I'm a massive Lego fan so I brought the 1.0 release (pretty much identical bar the included sensors) for myself but now that my kids are older they have started using this kit with me to make their own models. As its compatible with "normal" Lego and Technics you can utilise this with normal Lego models with a bit of effort, meaning you can get the most out of your investment, as this isn't a cheap kit (but when has Lego ever been cheap?). On the plus side as its Lego it will hold its value well, I've older Lego kits that have actually gone up in value over the years.

I would recommend that anybody new to Robotics purchase one or more of the beginner books on Mindstorms (The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book gets my vote) as the included instructions are great at showing how to do something but not why to do something. If you are purchasing this for younger kids (12 or under) I would view this as something to do together rather than a solo activity as its easy to get stuck or lost even for the gifted younger master builder and its a lot more fun to work as a team. Something like LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0: The King's Treasure is a good follow up book to do together and extend the life of the set if they are running out of ideas.

Mindstorms NXT does require a Windows PC to get the most out of it, and I'd also recommend connecting via Bluetooth rather than USB as that saves a lot of time when downloading programmes onto the model.

The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book
The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Discovery Book
by Laurens Valk
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Purchase for Mindstorms NXT, 27 July 2010
I've had a Mindstorms NXT 1.0 kit since it came out and while I've enjoyed building projects with it I've struggled to find a way to get my kids (9 years old) involved under their own steam, until I brought this book. NXT 2.0 Discovery Book takes you by the hand right from the start and walks you through everything you need to know to build your own robots, starting with a very simple Logo Turtle style robot right up to a colour sorting robot. Everything is explained in detail and is interesting to look at, I think I've had to help my kids twice when they got stuck, pretty good considering the subject matter.

While this book is aimed at NXT 2.0 it will work with 1.0 assuming you buy the extra touch sensor and the new colour sensor, I'd also recommend getting the latest software as well. A couple of the builds need minor adaptations to work with the static components from 1.0 but nothing a reasonably competent Lego builder can't handle.

The book covers everything from how the sensors work, loops, and even data wires/hubs. Only thing its missing is more advanced stuff on dynamic programming but then that's more than covered by other (advanced) books and needs additional hardware anyway.

Essential purchase for all new Mindstorm NXT owners.

Sempre libera
Sempre libera
Price: £17.37

34 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 26 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Sempre libera (Audio CD)
Anna Netrebko has been gifted with a wonderfully large, expressive range and on this recording you get to hear that range in fine form.
The SACD format is ideal for the capture of Sopranos as it has significantly more headroom for the higher frequencies (100 KHz against CDs 20 KHz), and this recording in particular stands out as a true indicator as to what is possible with the format.
It is worth noting that Sempre libera has one of the few 5.1 mixes available on both DVD-A and SACD that manages not to be a tacky and throw effects/single instruments onto the rear channels. Instead reflections of the front speakers are the main fair of the rear speakers, making for a much more expansive mix than the 2 channel CD or SACD mix.

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