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Collins (Surrey, UK)

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'A' Level Computing (GCE Computing)
'A' Level Computing (GCE Computing)
by Ms Sylvia Langfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire rubbish, how you learn from this drivel, I don't know., 29 April 2008
Everytime Mr Sabbagh says "Right, get your textbooks out and...", the entire class gives off a collective moan.

Some textbooks are more like a child's picture books. I'm the first one to admit that these kind of textbooks are darned brilliant. This however, should be called a "wall-of-text book". I don't care how many letters this woman has after her name (P.M.Heathcote B.S.c(Hons), M.S.c), she doesn't seem to understand the mind of a 16/17/18 year old A-Level student, bored out of his/her mind in a lesson about token passing.

Text switches from patronising key-stage 3 stuff to baffling experienced-programmer-with-poor-social-skills stuff, with no middle ground. This disorientates the learner to boredom within minutes, like switching from The Sun to The Times, but at least The Times is correct.

The sheer number of times we've been told to skip tasks in the questions section because of their vagueness or over-preciseness is uncountable, and the diagrams are often just flat-out wrong. Don't get me started on the pseudo-code, which looks like it could be typed in to Visual Basic as-is, and isn't really pseudo-code at all...

In case you haven't worked it out, this book is an utter waste of student's time and school's/student's finances. You can learn more from wikipedia than Heathcote's 74 terrible chapters. Don't buy this book and don't do A-Level computing in case the college has bought it for you.


Silverlit PicooZ Remote Control Helicopter
Silverlit PicooZ Remote Control Helicopter
Offered by My Snazzy Ltd
Price: £29.99

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun but more fragile than you might think., 2 Sept. 2007
This is more of a toy for 14+ than little kids - it's difficult to learn to fly, but you do learn a bit about the physics of helicopters in doing so, so I suppose it's not so bad to have a learning curve.

It's definitely very fun. Whizzing it round the house, teasing the cat and seeing where I could land it (On top of the TV - 3 points, On the lampshade - 10 points, Out of the window and on top of the gazebo - 25 points etc...)!

A couple of things I would like to alert possible buyers are:

1) The tail rotors - You only get 2 (one on the chopper and a second spare). The fitting for the tail rotors can get worn out, causing the helicopter to spin uncontrolably. If this occurs, you will need to move on to the spare. The tail rotors are also very fragile, and will crack if you whack the helicopter into a wall, hit a venetian blind or tangle it up amongst wires.

2) Don't do what my mate did and try to make it take off from your head. You WILL get your hair tangled and cry like a baby.

3) The helicopter moves with a surprising amount of force. Avoid hitting anything delicate. Also watch out for bits of paper that might be lying about, as they can get blown away.

I paid £30 for my Picoo, and I still think it was worth that much. Buy it and enjoy it - just be careful!


War Stories
War Stories

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start-to-finish brilliance., 2 Sept. 2007
This review is from: War Stories (Audio CD)
(By the way, in case you want to know whether this review is relevant to you, my favourite artists include The Chemical Brothers, Radiohead, Bonobo, REM, Queens of the Stone Age, Gorillaz etc...)

I picked up on UNKLE after hearing their remix of QOTSA's No-one Knows on the soundtrack for SSX3 (and anyone that's played the game could tell you it's nigh-on impossible to listen to music in it!). UNKLE are definitely one of the best band of their genre - which is pretty much every genre you could think of. This is electronica (persons and machinery), punk (restless), rock (burn my shadow), dance (chemistry), ambient (twilight), pop (mayday), orchestral (when things explode)...

Basically, if you like music, you will LOVE this.

The only possible duds are Hold My Hand, Lawless and Morning Rage, but that's merely in contrast with the rest of the album - They're still good songs.

If you're not sure whether to purchase or not, try to listen to Keys To The Kingdom, Price You Pay, Burn My Shadow and Mayday and you WILL want this.

Thanks for reading!


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