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Matt Morris (London, UK)

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TP-LINK TL-WN823N 300 Mbps Mini Wireless and USB Adapter, 2.4 GHz - Black
TP-LINK TL-WN823N 300 Mbps Mini Wireless and USB Adapter, 2.4 GHz - Black
Price: £9.47

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for Linux, 6 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Worked with no issues on a variety of Linux distributions: Mint, CentOS, Fedora, openSUSE, elementary, Ubuntu, LXLE.


Windows 7 SP1 Bootable Install, Repair and Recovery 8GB USB - All Editions x86 x64 [Not DVD / CD]
Windows 7 SP1 Bootable Install, Repair and Recovery 8GB USB - All Editions x86 x64 [Not DVD / CD]

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did exactly what I wanted for a Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 reinstall from scratch, 11 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This did exactly what I wanted - provide a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 that I could use to reinstall on a Sony VAIO laptop whose hard drive had been replaced. I then reactivated using the original (OEM) product key via Microsoft's automated phone line, and this was accepted. In general Microsoft's current policy (as of Feb 2016 at least) does seem to be to accept this as a valid action.

The USB came with instructions for activating USB boot mode on the laptop (although you can Google for that kind of thing as well). Your laptop may have BIOS settings both for boot order (you will want to put external sources above internal hard disk drive in that order) and for whether booting from an external source is allowed at all (which will generally be "no" by default, and which you'll need to enable instead).

There's more to recovery than getting bare Windows 7 SP1 back on. I still needed to get all the Sony drivers installed, and get all the Microsoft Updates since SP1 onto the laptop. Your laptop manufacturer will have drivers on their website. But getting the Microsoft Updates since SP1 is not entirely trivial: as of Feb 2016 you will be best off if you initially install two initial updates to get Windows Update able to then deal with the large patch volume. The updates are Windows6.1-KB3102810-x64 (Patch for high CPU usage) and Windows6.1-KB947821-v34-x64 (System Update Readiness Tool). Google these for more details.

I now have a fully restored, fully activated copy of Windows Home Premium with all drivers etc in place - and a very happy sister-in-law, who was on the point of writing the laptop off.


Quality Software Management: Congruent Action v. 3: Vol 3: Congruent Action
Quality Software Management: Congruent Action v. 3: Vol 3: Congruent Action
by G M Weinberg
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful even if you are not a manager, 1 Dec. 2014
I find a lot of books on management have, at best, one idea stretched out like taffy across hundreds more pages than necessary. Weinberg is pretty much the polar opposite to this.

In particular, congruence is an amazingly powerful concept in management and strategy work. I'm surprised that it's not more commonly used.

This book is one that I repeatedly refer to over time, and I recommend it to any manager (or anyone otherwise in a position to influence organisational culture) who is interested in improving process, culture and project quality.

It's part of a series and you will get the best out of it you start from Vol 1 ("Systems Thinking") and work forwards.


Instruction to Deliver: Fighting to Transform Britain's Public Services
Instruction to Deliver: Fighting to Transform Britain's Public Services
by Michael Barber
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.88

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Read Some Deming If You Think Barber Makes Sense, 11 July 2014
When you intervene by target-setting then you may make the target - but have you actually improved things?

Mr Barber has no doubt that he has - his world-view depends on it.

There are, however, many (including myself) who would say that this is a dangerously wrong-headed way to attempt to improve complex systems.

So what's the problem?

What could possibly go wrong with putting a metric on elements of a system (for instance, literacy levels at age X in each school), and then judging each element of the system (each school) on how well they do on improving their individual metric (literacy levels at age X) relative to the target level?

Well, whether you think this is a sensible way to proceed depends on where you think the variation in the metric comes from. Is is primarily down to the individual efforts of each element concerned, or is it primarily coming from the characteristics of the system that the element is part of?

Barber's assumption is that it comes primarily from each element. I think that he is wrong - that an awful lot of each element's performance is down to the system.

And if it *is* primarily down to the system, then metrics such as literacy outcomes need to be analysed from the point of view of the system, rather than used as a direct lever of intervention on each system element. The primary effect of pushing down directly on each element's metric will be the destruction of the metric's informational content (so it is harder to understand and correct the problem that the metric measures), together with predicatble distortions of behaviour as people focus on the metric instead of real improvement.

Barber would contend that this kind of problem can be fixed by being careful about what targets you use and how you monitor them.

I think that he is wrong - that driving improvement in a system by direct pressure on element-level metrics will always go wrong in this fashion. Barber is making a fundamental logical error - he thinks that because a metric can be expressed on a per-element basis, it can therefore be effectively controlled on a per-element basis (rather than from a more system-level standpoint).

If Barber's approach has a basic logical error, then why do people do it?

The tragedy is that this kind of target setting plays well politically. This is why it's so popular. Not because it works! After all, the result of applying pressure on a metric is that the metric improves. Result! So it *looks* lilke you are doing good. But in fact all you are doing is making the target setter look good.

If anyone thinks Barber's ideas make sense, then I would ask them to read something by Deming and see if they feel differently afterwards. The system-level view is not new - it's decades old. We should not be making mistakes like this in how we attempt to drive improvement in public services - or anywhere else for that matter.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 9, 2017 2:55 PM BST


Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines--The Truth Behind a Tragedy
Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines--The Truth Behind a Tragedy
by Andrew J. Wakefield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.24

4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book - Even If You Know Wakefield Is Wrong, 21 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I personally think that Wakefield is about as wrong on vaccines as it is possible for anyone to be. So why am I recommending the book? Because I found it a fascinating insight into how he views the world. It is very difficult for people like myself, believers in the general consensus around vaccines being a good thing, to understand how someone like Wakefield can possibly hold the views he does without acting in bad faith.

But in fact, Wakefield clearly absolutely believes in the truth of what he is saying. It is just that he has moved so far away from what anyone in the science establishment would accept as reasonable scientific method that no real engagement is possible.

If you are worried about giving Wakefield royalties, then buy the book second-hand. But do read it. I feel that I am now far more effectively able to refute Wakefield's arguments when I see them repeated - so I feel it has been well worth the effort spent to understand his mindset. And I personally feel a lot happier knowing that Wakefield is, at least, not acting in bad faith - it is not pleasant to think of people acting in bad faith in vaccine controversies - the stakes are just too high.

We should not be hurling around accusations of bad faith in the vaccine debate. It always mystifies me that the pro-establishment side in particular do this - why not just concentrate on the facts? If we believe science is on our side, let's focus on that.


The Pi Hut USB Wi-Fi Adapter for Raspberry Pi
The Pi Hut USB Wi-Fi Adapter for Raspberry Pi
Offered by The Pi Hut
Price: £10.89

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worked with no problems, 29 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Worked with my Raspberry Pi with no issues at all.

I was using a recent Raspbian build. The adaptor was recognised with no problems. If you are unfamiliar with command-line-based config then go into XWindows (startx at the command line) and use the WiFi setup that appears on your desktop. But the Raspberry Pi forums should also give you what you need.

For me this is absolutely ideal - very small so doesn't get in the way and does the job with no fess.


No Title Available

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It kills lice but NOT eggs - use 3 times at 6 day intervals, 10 Sept. 2012
Hedrin Once can work very well IF used the right way, but their own directions are misleading in two ways:

a) They say eggs are killed - but it is very VERY hard to kill head lice eggs. Although Hedrin Once has a go at doing it, you should assume that live eggs are still remaining after the treatment.

b) They say you can treat twice, leaving 7 days in between treatments. But really you should treat 3 times and leave at MOST 6 days. This is true of any treatment that does not guarantee killing every egg. Which is, I believe, every treatment in existence.

Some more detail follows.

Hedrin Once does seem very effective at killing anything that has actually hatched - that is our experience. The trick is to make sure no lice survive long enough to lay new eggs. One breeding pair means you are back to square one!

There are two important facts to keep in mind when trying to clear lice:

1) Lice can start laying eggs as quicky as 7 days after hatching - not 14 or more days as many websites say. Look at (eg) UK dept of health website for the 7 day number.

2) Lice eggs take 7-10 days to hatch. That seems pretty much agreed by everything out there.

So if you are dealing with a heavy infestation you should apply Hedrin Once - or anything else you have found that is a good lice-killer - THREE times with SIX days in between each treatment, eg day 1, day 7, day 13.

This will mean no lice get old enough to breed. And any eggs present at the start will have hatched. So after the third treatment, the hair will be free of live lice.

You will still need to comb dead lice and eggs out of the hair. The Nitty Gritty comb seems to work well for us and many others for this purpose. But the detailed combing is clearing up afterwards, rather than a necessary part of the killing process. It is quite easy to comb nits/eggs out while the Hedrin is applied, so worth doing as much as your child can stand.

Given that, we find Hedrin Once works well. To wash out you will need several rounds of shampoo, but that's the main drawback - less traumatic for our kids than having to leave longer team treatments on overnight.

But don't just treat twice at 7 day intervals - for a heavy infestation this will probably not ensure you are lice-free.

Also is best to change bedding, clothes and towels on treatment days. Although headlice are not supposed to be able to survive for long when not on a human head (they dehydrate), they can last for 24 hours at least if the climate is reasonably moist.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2013 9:01 AM BST


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