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Lobotomised and despised (Hidden away from the world)

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The Art of Electronics
The Art of Electronics
by Paul Horowitz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £58.07

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It just arrived!! :), 2 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Art of Electronics (Hardcover)
Well, Stuart beat me to first place reviewing this book, but all I can say is that I'm very excited to now finally own my own copy (and a new revised edition too). I can't say how many old and haggard copies of the 1st and 2nd edition I have seen in the labs of senior engineers while gaining experience as a junior engineer, but it became clear that it was highly regarded in the industry. It's heavy and it's expensive but it contains the material of several text books (analog, digital, everything needed to actually design something correctly) in one and it's a revised version and written by people who know their stuff ...and who can teach it well. I'll have to update my review once I have read it. I'm almost afraid of yellowing the pages with my newbie fingertips.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 1, 2015 5:06 PM BST


Extech Instruments EX330 12-Function Mini Multi-Meter Plus Non-Contact Voltage Detector
Extech Instruments EX330 12-Function Mini Multi-Meter Plus Non-Contact Voltage Detector
Price: £48.23

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars General purpose DMM..., 25 Mar. 2015
OK general purpose DMM. Not great for precision measurements in my experience though. Nonlinear response to temperature change but at least consistently so: 5 degC at ice melting point, 100 degC at boiling point, ambient temperature and above were closer to reality if multiplied by a coefficient of about 0.96. Perhaps it is more accurate above 100 DegC but I haven't tested it that far yet. Seems more accurate on other measurements.


Adafruit PCB 6" Ruler 15cm
Adafruit PCB 6" Ruler 15cm
Offered by SK Pang Electronics Ltd
Price: £4.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Handy ruler, 19 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nice and useful, but I would have placed the 0 cm mark to coincide with the edge/corner ...and they could have included more reference information. I was originally after a Dave Jones version but, alas, they are one off collector items. (Who made it originally?)
I'll keep it on my bench or use it as a cool bookmark.


The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
by Simon Singh
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect., 28 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Almost perfect for a layman's introductory book on cryptography/ cryptanalysis. 5 stars for all the historical introduction from Ceasar Shift, substitution/transposition, frequency analysis and linguistics, monoalphabets, polyalphabets, Vigenere and Babbage, Turing and the naval Enigma, but minus 0.5-1 stars because modern encryption/decryption techniques were a little rushed relative to the earlier historical half of the book and some applications were hardly mentioned. Interesting that Linear A and Etruscan had not been deciphered at the time this book was written.

Although I bought this book late, and technology has advanced since it was written, I was hoping to better understand encryption in the fields of computer science and technology (authentication and certificates on the internet, hashing of passwords, credit card technology...). There was a good intro on RSA and PGP, and I enjoyed the ending on photon traps and quantum computing. I wish there had been a little more on number theory (primes), a comparison of the many modern standards, the use of analysis in digital forensics, ...something a little more technical but maybe there are other books for that.

There are some dubious claims in the book that GCHQ invented asymetric public-key encryption 'before' Diffie-Hellman-Merkle and Rivest-Shamir-Aldeman. The claim being made is that GCHQ invented it shortly before (whatever they say, right?), but could not disclose their invention for reasons of national security. I realise that this story was put out in 1997 by GCHQ and not Simon Singh, but where is the evidence?
What is more likely is that there were reasons of national security for not disclosing that, despite the huge budgets, the shadowy cold-war era monoliths GCHQ (and NSA) were totally outwitted by a handful of freedom loving academics like Whitfield Diffie, who saw this technology as a means of protecting free speech and, therefore, democracy.
Kudos to Simon Singh for stating his suppor for the use of Zimmermann's PGP in the book.

The book concludes with a multiple stages code cracking challenge, which starts very easy and gets harder (there was a cash prize at the time).


The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory
by Brian Greene
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful subject and book., 18 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If I wanted to study Superstring Theory, I would have bought maths and physics books, but before doing so, I would have bought this book - it is truly as complete as it could be without it ever becoming an academic book.

The book starts at the beginning of what is accepted theory -- Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are mature theories and have stood the test of all experiments. It then builds on these two pillars to explain the more modern Superstring Theory, bringing the reader to the edge of our scientific thinking.

There is no reliance on maths and formulae to explain the concepts (there are footnotes and appendices if you want that). Instead, the book makes excellent use of English and fun situational metaphors, and by the end you should have an intuitive sense of how the universe is (according to our finest understanding of it).

Throughout this book I got the sense that the author did his best to explain our current understanding of the physical reality in the way he would have liked it to have been explained to himself.

You will learn a lot from this book. Worth keeping.


Sanitarium [DVD]
Sanitarium [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Minns
Offered by Film Frenzy Fast Delivery
Price: £4.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Low budget film, 26 April 2009
This review is from: Sanitarium [DVD] (DVD)
Filmed in a genuine victorian hospital apparently. Perhaps the idea could have been developed with real actors. Or maybe it has more to do with the editing or directing?


Gomorrah [DVD] [2008] 2 disc set
Gomorrah [DVD] [2008] 2 disc set
Dvd ~ Gianfelice Imparato
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £14.96

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A society that mirrors the one at large. Something to learn from., 21 April 2009
When I bought this film there was a lot on the news about how commendable the author was for going against the criminal culture by writing his book (the basis of this documentary film). While the author gets 5 hero stars for that, the film itself isn't nice. It definitely isn't the sort of film you would want to watch twice or show to your friends. It does however, show Naples and the mafia (or the camorra) in a more realistic way. At the top of the criminal pyramid they may all dress well and dine in fancy restaurants, but at the expense of the rest of society. This film shows how a society ends up when there is an acceptance of corruption, greed and no morality. Ironically, the south of Italy is very religious, which demonstrates how easily many human beings are able to split off their personalities in two opposite directions. A serious documentary film for a mature audience.


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