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Profile for SMMD_UK > Reviews

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SMMD_UK (Leeds, UK)

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Razer Naga MMO 5600DPI Gaming Mouse
Razer Naga MMO 5600DPI Gaming Mouse

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, even for those that say no to MMOs, 14 April 2010
I don't play MMOs, I was originally attacted to the idea of a mouse with a million buttons (that glow blue). But seriously, even for non-MMO games, the Naga is excellent! The num-pad is very versatile; weapons-select in FPSs, squad select in RTSs, etc. As for overall quality, Razer has built a reputation for outstanding quality products like the Naga.

Best Feature = with Razer's latest drivers, literally ANY of this mouse's 17 buttons can be rebinded to ANY key or macro. Without this feature the Naga would have been pretty good, but with it its just outstanding.

Roccat Arvo Compact Gaming Keyboard
Roccat Arvo Compact Gaming Keyboard

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but overpriced, 14 April 2010
Make no mistake, this is a GOOD keyboard. It's got a very small surface area, making ideal for restricted desk-space but the keys are a good size (even the F1-12 keys, which sit at the top edge are well-constructed and balanced). Its very tactile, with good key response and is arranged nicely. But the quality of the keys is a little inconsistent - the arrow keys at the bottom of the num-pad are noticably different; they aren't as nice to use and feel weak to press. The backlight on the arrows (when active) is also weak. In particular, the keyboard is arranged so that the entire num-pad can be cycled between num-grid operation and arrow key operation using the MODE button (top right). When the arrows are active they are back lit blue but the other keys aren't... therefore it can be a little confusing to realise which keys are in which mode on the num-pad (e.g. is it "4" or is it "del"?). I really don't think it would have been too much trouble to extend the back-lit mode-toggle idea to the other keys as well and it would have been so much better.

Like I say, this keyboard is good overall with a few minor gripes outlined above... it would have been fine if it was like £15 cheaper. As it stands, I think its too much money to pay, especially given the features are limited (3 customisable keys, thats about it). Great for a gamer with restricted deskspace but ultimately, overpriced.

Teach Yourself The Middle East Since 1945 New Edition (TYH)
Teach Yourself The Middle East Since 1945 New Edition (TYH)
by Stewart Ross
Edition: Paperback

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy Account of Events, 19 Oct. 2006
This book feels lazy and half-hearted in its attempt to explain the recent history of the Middle East. There are two main faults at work here.

Firstly, the work is shoddily referenced. Details of events, comments on personalities and anecdotes are often presented with no references cited. Where is the author drawing his information from? How are we to draw our own conclusions on the validity of what is written without knowing how many sources were consulted are how biased they were? Where sources do appear, they are often lazy and obvious; often single website reference and unreliable at best. Couple this with the fact that many events are detailed without dates (how on earth can we build up a good picture of the past without knowing the chronological sequence!?) and you are left with the feeling that the book has little serious value as a guide to the region.

Secondly, the author is prone to the occassional use of unhelpfully poetic description. For example, when describing Syria's air defeat against Israeli jets in 1967 (a key event in Syria's decision to attempt to retake the Golan Heights in 1973) the author's only conclusion is:

"The Arab male is not well equipped, either by temperament or upbringing, to accept humiliation"

This is hardly the analysis of events I had hoped for. What was the reaction in Syria? Did the media put pressure on the government? What was the international reaction to the engagement? How long did the engagement take? I don't know the answers. But it seems neither does our author and he would rather be pointlessly witty than investigate sources for us.

The result is a book that reads like an long A-Level history essay with all the faults that entails. As a starting point its OK (hence it gets 2 stars rather than 1) but if you are serious to understand what has happened in the Middle East be prepared to buy additional books to answer your questions.

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