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Lewis Graham "lewisgraham" (East Anglia)
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The Computer (Ladybird How It Works Series 654)
The Computer (Ladybird How It Works Series 654)
by David Carey
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nostalgia of it All!, 1 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's 1971: computers are those strange machines that do odd things to Gas bills (Headlines such as Mrs Brown receives £999,999,982.45 Gas Bill were common) or are dark machines dedicated to global domination (See "The Forbin Project" or "The Billion Dollar Brain"). No-one - and I mean no-one - had a computer at home or even works directly with one in the office: mysterious machines indeed.

Then along comes Ladybird books and produces a simple, clear and highly readable book that explains the basics of what a computer does, how it does it and what can go wrong. Illustrated with a picture on every page, it doesn't patronise its audience (assumed to be 8-11 years old) but it doesn't avoid tackling some technical ideas, such as binary arithmetic.

For its time it was a terrific children's book: clear, concise and enjoyable. It is now rather past it, but as an example of how to write a children's book it cannot be bettered. As a final thought - There was a story that in the mid-70's the UK Ministry of Defence ordered 500 copies of this book to educate senior staff - if so, someone chose well.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 4:39 PM BST


I Can Cook
I Can Cook
by Sally Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Really CAN cook!, 1 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I Can Cook (Hardcover)
This is a spin-off from a CBeebies series where the children really do cook proper meals and eat them together at the end. If you are an experienced adult cook some of the methods - such as cutting cherry tomatoes with scissors - may seem odd, but it all goes to allowing you little one to cook from start to finish (assuming you don't let your three year old loose with sharp knives!) which makes the recipe even more fun.

The ingredients are - on the whole - the sort of things most kitchens would have or can easily be found in supermarkets. It's also interesting that these are proper dishes and not excuses to lay out fish fingers in novel ways - I have tried some of children's efforts and they are very good indeed.

Older children (six in my case) can read the recipes and weigh out ingredients for themselves which is both fun and educational on several levels, but mostly fun!

I can't recommend this book highly enough as a proper cookbook for younger children


Dirty Fan Male [Parental Advisory - Explicit Lyrics]
Dirty Fan Male [Parental Advisory - Explicit Lyrics]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £23.50

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Here be Dragons..., 25 Dec. 2011
This is a highly unconventional album and one that could cause offence in many, many ways. The language used, the somewhat explicit content and the exploration of some really strange minds all combine in one place. It is also very funny, sad, highly scatological, strange and a little disturbing all at once. Given that this review is visible to children I cannot explain the content but a glance at the track listing will allow adults to read between the lines.

When writing a review I try to imagine who would want this album and score it against their needs. This time I cannot imagine who would want it yet it is too clever an idea to suggest it should be ignored altogether.

If you want to be shocked, bemused and to gaze in awe at the oddness of the human mind, it is s strangely compelling listen. Perhaps it would be best not to leave it in a car CD auto-changer though: Track 39 would be hard to explain to your other half.


Dirty Fan Male (Bonus Edition) [Explicit]
Dirty Fan Male (Bonus Edition) [Explicit]

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smut, I Love It, 23 Dec. 2011
This is a highly unconventional album and one that could cause offence in many, many ways. The language used, the somewhat explicit content and the exploration of some really strange minds all combine in one place. It is also very funny, sad, highly scatological, strange and a little disturbing all at once. Given that this review is visible to children I cannot explain the content but a glance at the track listing will allow adults to read between the lines.

When writing a review I try to imagine who would want this album and score it against their needs. This time I cannot imagine who would want it yet it is too clever an idea to suggest it should be ignored altogether.

If you want to be shocked, bemused and to gaze in awe at the oddness of the human mind, it is a strangely compelling listen. Perhaps it would be best not to leave it in a car CD auto-changer though: Track 39 would be hard to explain to your other half.


Sennheiser HD 228 Closed back On ear Stereo Headphones - Black
Sennheiser HD 228 Closed back On ear Stereo Headphones - Black

5.0 out of 5 stars Musical and Commute=proof, 23 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After my previous headphones had failed after only three months wear, I decided to go for conventional closed back, over the ear headphones. I was also reluctant to spend too much: headphones get quite a bashing on the daily commute.

These have proved to be comfortable, detailed and very comfortable. A lot of the music I listen to is Jazz and classical, so detail and clarity are important. For the money, these are a good example. It is important with these headphones to ensure you have them well adjusted: this is not difficult to do but makes all the difference in listening pleasure.

One weakness in other headphones recently is the connection between the lead and the plug. After 12 months or so the wiring fails and the headphones have to be replace. The build quality on these is well up to the expected standard and has taken everything thrown at it so far.

On the whole, these have proved to be very good for the money. I wouldn't plug them into serious hi-fi (I have Grado SR-125 for that...) but for the daily commute with an MP3 player, these have proved well worthwhile.


Philip's Street Atlas Bedfordshire: Spiral Edition
Philip's Street Atlas Bedfordshire: Spiral Edition
by VARIOUS
Edition: Spiral-bound

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Admirably Clear, 5 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Sat-nav has its place, but there are times when being able to see where you are going on a map makes a lot of sense. For such trips round Bedfordshire, this nap is an admirable companion. Clear, a reasonable balance between page size and detail makes this an excellent buy. Recommended.


Integral 2GB Secure Digital Card
Integral 2GB Secure Digital Card
Offered by Offtek
Price: £5.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 2Gb SD Card and Nowt' Else, 14 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was looking for a spare SD card to take photos to be printed and here it is. It stores data, has a carrying case and fits the slots it needs to fit. In the same way a hammer can't sing a leading role in Carmen but is good at knocking in nails, this does what it does well and its lack of musicality is not a handicap.

There may be some deep technical reason why you should pay more, but I can't think of one.


The Winslow Boy (Classic Radio Theatre)
The Winslow Boy (Classic Radio Theatre)
by Terence Rattigan
Edition: Audio CD

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Drama Classically Done, 11 Sept. 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Terence Rattigan was a remarkable dramatist who brought many great ideas to9 life. In teh Winslow Boy, he weaves a fight for justice with the personal hardships this fight leads to in a convincing and human way.

So what about this as radio drama? It is classically done: few sound effects, no music and a fine group of actors. This approach focusses the listener on the text and the unfolding drama which will be welcomed by many. Although, at around 90 minutes, this is shorter than a typical theatre production there is no sense that anything has been lost from the story. It is well-paced and all that is important is included.

The recording itself is excellent: the original was 30 years old and has come up very well indeed. I can recommend this work for anyone who wishes to have a radio dramatisation of this fine play.


Play Bach N. 1
Play Bach N. 1
Price: £7.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Guilty Pleasure, 10 Aug. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Play Bach N. 1 (Audio CD)
If you're reading this, I expect you've either heard the name and are wondering what it's all about or know the music and want it on CD. For that latter, there's more below.

For the former, Jacques Loussier was a worldwide smash hit with these jazz arrangements of Bach. Similar in style to Dave Brubeck or The Modern Jazz Quartetin many ways, these arrangements swing along at a respectful but enjoyable pace. The original music is well represented and recognisable by those who have heard the originals. The ensemble playing is excellent - this is well rehearsed, well played chamber jazz.

The idea of arranging JS Bach is not universally popular: some regard these tracks as a terrible idea, taking a classic and reforming it. As to how to settle that discussion, the individual listener can make up their own minds.

For the owner of an LP of this music, this is an excellent reissue. The sound quality is superb - given the recordings are 50+ years old - and allow the performance to breathe.

For my own part, I hadn't heard this music for a very long time, but now I understand why my Father played them endlessly. As I come from this music from a classical background I might, just, fell a little guilty about someone rearranging such a great composer. But when it's this well done, there's no reason not to enjoy it.

PS - In a recent concert programme, Joanna MacGregor mentioned that JL's arrangement of one a piece from the "48" was her favourite arrangement - high praise indeed!


Nick Robinson's The Prime Ministers Series 1
Nick Robinson's The Prime Ministers Series 1
by Nick Robinson
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £13.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Plus Ca change..., 27 July 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Greed, corruption, spin, vice - this series has them all. Nick Robinson takes the listener through brief, thumbnail sketches of the careers of our glorious leaders. The programmes, taken from radio Four, are brief but enough to get a flavour of each Prime Minister. Occasionally you have to remember that the programmes were made at the end of Gordon Brown's time and the beginning of David Cameron's - this sounds like two series re-ordered for the CDs- but the anecdotes and discussion are first class.

The serious political student will want to know more, and I felt that some of the Prime Ministers deserved more space. For example, I'd have loved to know about Robert Peel and Walpole was fascinating. It also gave me a sneaking admiration for Clement Attlee that I will follow up.

All in all, an excellent accompaniment to a journey.


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