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Content by Ian Thurston
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Reviews Written by
Ian Thurston "Geezer Geek" (Barrie, ON Canada)

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Fade to Black (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
Fade to Black (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
Price: CDN$ 7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars worth the read, Sept. 21 2014
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Wolfe tends to run to the kitchen more than I remember. He seems to have forgotten to lick the foam off his lips. And Goldsborough has him relapsing a lot in the 8 Wolfes he's penned. Though Fritz has been elevated to the best chef in America by Goldsborough, his meals now have such pedestrian descriptions as pork tenderloin and blueberry pie. Archie and Lily Rowan are much more overt in their billing and cooing. But so what? Wolfe and Archie and the rest of the circus live on. I've read and will reread all 8 of Goldsborough's Wolfes. Now if only I could press a buzzer and ring for beer while I read them!

Silver Spire (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
Silver Spire (The Nero Wolfe Mysteries)
Price: CDN$ 7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars true to the tradition, Sept. 15 2014
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If I may draw an analogy, if Stout was single malt, this is a blended whiskey - but damned fine whiskey at that

Battery Backup Charger Case for iPhone 4 4S
Battery Backup Charger Case for iPhone 4 4S
Offered by Electronic CA
Price: CDN$ 14.99
2 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, Aug. 28 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It was good while it lasted - but it only lasted only a month before the USB connection died.

Udi U816A 2.4Ghz 4 Channel 6 Axis RC Quadcopter Dexterous Mini UFO RTF
Udi U816A 2.4Ghz 4 Channel 6 Axis RC Quadcopter Dexterous Mini UFO RTF
6 used & new from CDN$ 55.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this, Feb. 9 2014
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This was everything I expected. Worked right out of the box with no problems, and my buddy Bob, for whom I bought this as a present, was able to control it within minutes. He's spent a lot of time flying a single-blade RC helicopter, but this is much different, and he was delighted with the challenge.

This beastie hovers and rotates very well. It's very stable in Mode 1 (beginner), and Bob had no trouble moving it where he wanted, holding it in place, and even flying under the furniture. You'll want to use the frame: the green top and the light plastic rig that encloses the blades as show in the pictures. It not only protects the blades, but (according to the net video reviews) adds stability to the flight.

This thing has great legs - can't wait to see Bob flip it, but for that, we will wait until we want to be outside <grin>.

I originally bought Bob one of the ladybug quadcopter knockoffs (not the Walkera). We weren't able to pair it with its controller, so had to return it (and that was effortless - Thank you, Amazon.ca!). The UDI, on the other hand, paired with the controller in a couple of seconds, and Bob was off to the races. As the video reviews on the net say, we saw about 7 minutes of flight time on one charge, and about an hour to charge the battery. Which is why I'm ordering a couple of extra batteries ... hard to wait patiently for that recharge.

This was value for money. The manual say this is not a toy. Not so: it IS a grownup toy.

World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable
World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable
Price: CDN$ 38.22
15 used & new from CDN$ 32.16

5.0 out of 5 stars A kitchen gizmo that actually works, Jan. 16 2014
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My daughter asked me to order this for her. It looked like something that would get used once and forgotten, but the first thing she made was cucumber "pasta" and it was great. She uses it several times a week. She loaned it to our neighbour, who was so impressed with it we gave her one as a christmas present. Novel, yes, but actually useful.

Dog Shaming
Dog Shaming
by Pascale Lemire
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.27
36 used & new from CDN$ 2.84

5.0 out of 5 stars The vet had this on the counter, Jan. 16 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dog Shaming (Paperback)
...so while I was waiting to pay the $850 bill, I dipped into it. Made me feel better right away, so I ordered it as a bathroom book. Just the thing for your friends who love dogs. Those who don't might find the humour a little crude, but what do they know?

Chengxing Lady Bug 4CH RTF Micro RC Quadcopter
Chengxing Lady Bug 4CH RTF Micro RC Quadcopter
Price: CDN$ 55.99
4 used & new from CDN$ 55.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could not get controller to connect to copter, Jan. 16 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The instruction manual was poorly written and poorly organized. I followed the instructions for pairing the controller with the copter, but it failed. The only support available on the website was a PDF of the manual. A web search returned no information. Finally gave up and returned it.

Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain
Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain
by Ron Hale-Evans
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.62
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ...yeah, but, Sept. 25 2011
I really expected to like this more than I do. The author is a geek, big time, has a degree in psychology, and has won awards for designing board games. His interests range from I Ching to Esperanto, juggling, and if I understand his home page right, he's a bisexual married zen buddhist ...

Sounds "interesting". And the O'Reilly "Hack" series of which this is a part IS a phenomenal resource for computer geeks. The book covers ground from meditation through mind mapping to mnemonic systems. Should be great, right?

But as I read it, I realized I'd already read most of it before, somewhere else. I guess I was expecting new stuff, but the book is, to a large extent, a compilation of stuff you already know, put in one place.

Part of the problem is that the "Hack" series has a certain standard of excellence, a sense that you're getting the latest cream off the top of the bottle.

This stuff isn't cream, it's milk, and skim at that ... but then again, having a couple or three psychology degrees myself, I remember that there ISN'T any cream to be had in this subject area.

I guess you can't blame the author for that. But my brain, far from being overclocked, kinda slowed down as I read this baby.

Fundamentals of Joomla! [With DVD]
Fundamentals of Joomla! [With DVD]
by Barrie M. North
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 78.70
16 used & new from CDN$ 23.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Get it from the horse's mouth, Sept. 25 2011
Since Barrie North wrote the sample documentation that comes with Joomla itself, you might expect that he would know something about the product.

Since he is a teacher by trade, you might expect that he could show you how to use it.

And you'd be right.

The book and DVD together will allow you to get a professional-quality Joomla site up and running very quickly, and to maintain a Joomla site even if it was created by someone else.

I know this, because I used the book to put together a site, design a custom template, and add special-purpose plugins to display forms and capture date.

I loaned the book to others who were tasked with maintaining the main web site (a Joomla site) that had been prepared by a commercial designer. They were and are able to maintain and extend the site with the help of this book.

It works.

Linux Manual: Everything You Need to Get Started with Ubuntu Linux
Linux Manual: Everything You Need to Get Started with Ubuntu Linux
by Mike Saunders
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.56
18 used & new from CDN$ 16.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile even if you're not a beginner, Sept. 25 2011
I have been playing with Linux since it first hit the scene, and have bought a LOT of thoroughly geeked books in my time. Most of them care abou the guts of the operating system. But occasionally, you might want to actually do something with the computer once you've got Linux up and running. That's why I enjoyed this book. I didn't have to think about what I was doing ... and things worked out.

The Linux Manual does have a fair bit about how to get Linux working as you want it ... but much more important for an end user (especially if they are a beginning end user - oops) is how to do stuff. Like music, writing, videos, photos, recording, and getting new applications and keeping 'em up to date.

I have installed a lot of versions of Linux over the years, including Ubuntu, the distribution included on CD with the book. It installed alongside Windows as easily as any ever have, without issues. The instructions for setup were in plain english; they were the minimum required but effective for all that.

There were lots of up-to-date suggestions for applications to install, and the process worked as written (often not the case with Linux manuals, which are, ah, anachronistic ...)

This is not rocket science - it just works

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