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K. Mitchell "International playboy-in-training" (Central Scotland)
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The Grand Fleet 1914-1916: Its Creation, Development And Work (Strategy Classics Series Book 3)
The Grand Fleet 1914-1916: Its Creation, Development And Work (Strategy Classics Series Book 3)
Price: £2.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a log sheet of daily activity, 15 Feb. 2014
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This is the war diary of Admiral Jellicoe, setting out how he became leader of the British Grand Fleet and what went on in that fleet up to his becoming First Sea Lord not long after the battle of Jutland. It's chronological for the most part, giving a quick account of the war month by month, detailing what ships went where, what got sunk, how many merchant ships were checked and interned, etc. All pretty dry stuff, up to and including his account of the Battle of Jutland. At the end he also publishes his actual report of the battle that was sent to the Admiralty at the time, along with his own thoughts on how it went down.

The really interesting part is seeing how much their thinking at the time was influenced by submarines and mines. Aircraft were only just becoming useful and were in no way capable of doing anything much more than spotting, but subs, torpedoes and mines really put a crimp in their day. They underestimated the range and usefulness of the German sub arm, and paid dearly learning about it and trying to devise a way to stop them before they rendered all their humongous battleships worthless. Ultimately the battleship did pass into history, and we see the start of it in this diary.


Wolfpack
Wolfpack

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for sub fans, 15 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Wolfpack (Kindle Edition)
I've read quite a few submarine histories, but this one is particularly worthy of mention as it tells the story of British cold war subs from the perspective of the men actually driving the subs. There's a lot in here that you don't get in most other accounts of their antics and missions, and some info that is still not technically out in the open yet. There's some hair raising stuff going on out there that very few people ever get to hear about.


Sabres Over MiG Alley: The F-86 and the Battle for Air Superiority in Korea
Sabres Over MiG Alley: The F-86 and the Battle for Air Superiority in Korea
Price: £19.19

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dry but informative, 15 Feb. 2014
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I only had a passing interest in the Korean war, but have always been fascinated by aviation design and the battles in the air between very different machines. This book lays out the details of how the aircraft came about, their evolution and design, and then on to how they were actually used. The Soviets had the better performing machine in many ways, but the US had the better trained pilots and all the aggression. The descriptions of the battles, machines and tactics are good, but it then drags rather when it gets to individual biographies of many of the pilots. They may have been aces, but apart from a couple of them their back stories rarely make for a good read. Worth it for the aircraft and history of the battles and the improvements on both sides.


The Great Space Race
The Great Space Race
Price: £4.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, more informal than most histories., 15 Feb. 2014
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The book covers the time period from the end of the war to the launching of the first few satellites and the events that lead to the creation of NASA. It was a time of intense paranoia, in-fighting and war time guilt & prejudices, and they are all on display here. Don is a no nonsense guy and says what he thinks. When I found out at the end of the book he was Australian I was not in the least surprised, and think more histories should be written in this style. A good read with lots of handy media links to Youtube and Wikipediea straight from the book, but rather short and I was left wanting to know more.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2015 1:15 AM BST


TORPEDO IN THE WATER! - A Complete Guide About Submarines
TORPEDO IN THE WATER! - A Complete Guide About Submarines

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Google translate strikes again, 30 Dec. 2013
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In the original Italian this might well be an excellent read, it certainly seems to cover a lot of ground and has plenty of illustrations, graphs and information. Unfortunately it appears to have been run through an automated translation system rather than having a skilled translator do the work, so its practically unreadable. It's like Yoda wrote a technical manual, and that's not an easy read. I've wasted 7 quid on a book that tries to scramble your brain as you read it. Yet another rushed Kindle conversion that's been botched. Avoid until its done correctly.


War Beneath The Sea
War Beneath The Sea
Price: £3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, revealing and fascinating., 20 Dec. 2013
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My favourite read for the past few years has been Peter Padfields book 'Battleship'. I was never terribly interested in battleships until I read it, and I was sucked in despite myself. When I discovered he had written a book on submarines, a subject I genuinely love, I simply had to get the book. I was not disappointed.

The writing is clear and matter of fact, with the occasional florid turn of phrase to liven it up. The information and detail are great; not so in depth as to be boring, but plenty to chew on. The best thing is that he doesn't mince words, so when he analyses the events he tells you straight why he thought it broke down in the way it did and who was responsible. It is a cracking read and highly recommended for anyone interested in subs or WWII in general.


Archangel: CIA's Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft
Archangel: CIA's Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad Kindle transfer, 15 Oct. 2013
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The book itself is fine for the size, lots of information and anecdotes I had not found before in other literature on the aircraft. Unfortunately the Kindle version has missing or corrupt photos and missing or transposed blocks of text. You will be reading one section, only for it to suddenly be another section entirely and then back to the section you should have been on. It's a bit messed up, for for the price its still a bargain.


ARCHANGEL: CIA's SUPERSONIC A-12 RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
ARCHANGEL: CIA's SUPERSONIC A-12 RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
Price: £0.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, badly flawed Kindle transfer, 15 Oct. 2013
The books itself is too small to go incredibly in depth on its subject, but there's still a good deal of detail and information here that I have not found elsewhere. For the price, its a steal. Unfortunately the Kindle version is somewhat messed up, with several of the pictures being broken up or missing entirely, and parts of the text have disappeared or been moved. You will be reading a section and suddenly the paragraph stops for no good reason. You then find the other half of it a couple of pages further on tacked onto the end of a completely different paragraph. Poor show.


JUSTOP K9B (MK 809 II) Android 4.1 TV Dongle Adapter With Bluetooth Jelly Bean OS / Cortex A9 Dual Core 1.6Ghz / 1G RAM / 8GB NAND Flash HD IPTV Player Mini PC Smart Google HD Player
JUSTOP K9B (MK 809 II) Android 4.1 TV Dongle Adapter With Bluetooth Jelly Bean OS / Cortex A9 Dual Core 1.6Ghz / 1G RAM / 8GB NAND Flash HD IPTV Player Mini PC Smart Google HD Player

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant idea, quality a bit lacking, 10 Mar. 2013
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I bought this as an IT guy and a bit of a gadget freak. The possibilities intrigued me, as I wondered if it could possibly replace my media centre PC under my TV? Think of it as a smartphone or cheap android tablet, but with the screen and telephone bits removed to make it even smaller. It's little larger than a USB stick and weighs the same as an empty cigarette packet, yet it turns your TV into a smart gadget.

It has 8Gb of memory built in, but that's gone quite quickly when you install a few apps and games, but it has a micro SD card slot for expansion which takes up to 32Gb. I use an 8Gb expansion card which i now use to bring in downloaded movies to watch on it, and if I need to install any other apps. The interface works pretty smoothly, the processor is relatively fast for such a cheap device, and it plays stuff in full 1080p just fine. I installed Netflix, Crackle and several TV catchup and streaming apps and am well chuffed with what I can watch on it. I have MAME installed and obtained 8000 original arcade games for it, and Angry Birds works well too.

The only downsides to the thing are the connectivity and the playback of video. Wireless on these things is pretty poor due to the cheap internal antenna. If you're not in the same room as your router then I found the wireless disconnecting a lot and locking up when you tried to disable/enable it to get it back. I had to buy a USB-Ethernet adaptor and wire it into my router directly to get a steady connection, and to be fair that's way faster than wireless anyway. Pretty much any USB accessory works with these things, and I have a 4-way hub installed to let me plumb in more. As for video, there is an issue where the video will suddenly freeze for about 10 seconds while the audio continues. The video will then unfreeze, the audio stops, and then 10 seconds later it all synchs and off it goes as if nothing had happened. Checking the various forums for these things shows this is pretty common to these android devices, and now it's just more of a nuisance than a deal breaker.


Neewer Replacement Pro Battery Grip for Canon EOS 550D/600D/650D/700D Rebel T2i/T3i/T4i/T5i + 2 * LP-E8 Battery
Neewer Replacement Pro Battery Grip for Canon EOS 550D/600D/650D/700D Rebel T2i/T3i/T4i/T5i + 2 * LP-E8 Battery

5.0 out of 5 stars How much!, 3 May 2012
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I thought it must be a mistake too, or that the makers were spamming the reviews to make a fake grip look like a good product. I figured it was worth £27 to find out, and have been rewarded handsomely. It really is a fully functional battery grip with duplicate controls and a pair of spare batteries for only £27. If I had bought the Canon items I would be looking at the thick end of £200 for all of that.

How do they do it? I cant be sure, but I know it's not 100% genuine Canon quality. The printing of the icons on the controls is very slightly fuzzier than those on the camera, and the selector wheel feels a little looser, but that's just nit picking. The grip itself feels solid and fits no problem, and just sitting looking at it or using it you would never know it didn't come with the camera. Even if it falls to bits after a year or so it would still be an amazing bargain.


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