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Sony Dream Machine Clock Radio  Model No. ICF-C218
Sony Dream Machine Clock Radio Model No. ICF-C218
Offered by C&D Savings
Price: $69.95
55 used & new from $7.00

304 of 352 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent unit for price, but has deal breaking flaw, January 25, 2008
Unfortunately, I am not able to rate the Sony ICF-C218 as highly as my colleagues. Not that this clock radio doesn't have numerous good features. The radio got good reception and the sound was of better than average quality. The controls, as others have pointed out, are intuitive and easy to use even without ever resorting to the instructions. The alarm, as is common, can wake you up either with the radio or with a buzzer. The only missing feature that would have been nice would be a dual alarm, though for the price this lack cannot be complained of.

The problem with the unit, and it is a serious one, is the brightness of the display. Of the other two reviewers who've rated the ICF-C218 at three stars, curiously one complains that the display is too dim and the other that it is too bright. My experience agrees with the later. I didn't notice until I tried sleeping beside this unit, but once your eyes are accustomed to the darkness the nicely-sized display is simply far too bright. It casts shadows on my ceiling and was a distraction when trying to fall asleep; I was forced to angle it away from myself or face the opposite direction. This is simply inexcusably poor design in an alarm clock and is a deal breaker for me; I'm going to be returning my unit.

A more minor complaint would be the AM/PM indicator. Most clocks have a single light that is lit when it is post meridiem (or ante meridiem, depending on the model), but this one has two lights, one about 7 mm above the other, which indicate morning or afternoon. That's fine when the room is light and you can read the AM or PM text next to the two lights, but at night you'll simply have to remember which light is above the other one and how far each is from the top of the display. Not a big deal for most, but another small design flaw.

This isn't a bad clock for the price (Wal-Mart carries it for even less, $9.96) but the brightness issue makes it unusable for me. The addition of a dimmer switch, fixing the AM/PM indicator, and adding a second alarm setting would make this clock easily a five star item, even at a slightly higher price.
Comment Comments (38) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 6, 2015 6:03 AM PST

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, a highly recommended measuring instrument!, February 25, 2006
In the course of my work I do a lot of measuring, so I need a ruler that I can really trust. After trying several brands and styles, I settled on the Westcott model ACM05011, a twelve-inch beveled wood ruler with a single metal strip. This handsome, well-made ruler amply meets all of my measurement needs and is a total joy to use.

To start with, the Westcott is precisely calibrated-an obvious must for any measuring device. And it's easy to use, since it is perfectly-balanced and fits any hand well. The ruler has a very classic look with large numerals and line markings, and it has a beautiful wood grain that gives it more personality than any plastic or metal instrument. And the multiple-coat clear lacquer finish will help protect your ruler for many years of dependable use.

Even with these stunning looks and the 1/16th of an inch precision, the model ACM05011 is rugged and dependable. I have found mine to be built to last; it has survived being dropped multiple times without any ill effect or needed adjustments. It's no wonder that the brand has been around since 1872; Westcott makes a ruler that you can count on!

This is a fantastic product and you won't find another instrument in its class with better value. They're going to have to pry mine from my cold, dead hands--I wouldn't use no other ruler!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2014 12:00 PM PST

The Generalship Of Alexander The Great (Da Capo Paperback)
The Generalship Of Alexander The Great (Da Capo Paperback)
by J. F. C. Fuller
Edition: Paperback
77 used & new from $0.01

82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid look at Alexander's generalship and statesmanship, March 12, 2003
The Generalship of Alexander the Great is not primarily a biography but rather, as the title indicates, an analysis of the Macedonian's generalship and statesmanship. Writing "the art of war . . . was the same in Alexander's day as it is now" J. F. C. Fuller presents the campaigns and policies of the Macedonian as examples from which to derive useful lessons. At the Camberley Staff College he used Alexander's operations as lesson material and argues "had statesmen and generals-in-chief been acquainted with the history of Greece in the fought century B.C., they might have avoided many of the colossal blunders perpetrated by them in the Second World War." While giving civil and military leaders much to think about, Fuller's book will also appeal to laymen as well.
Historians will be interested in and pleased with the author's sources. Fuller utilizes many primary sources, most notably Arrian's Anabasis, and discloses where these sources conflict, as they often do over battle fatalities and troop estimates. Many secondary sources, like W. W. Tarn's two-volume Alexander the Great, are also used along with the works of Plato and Clausewitz. The sources are good and well documented for easy reference.
The book's organization divides it into two halves and, for the most part, is reader-friendly. The first section is devoted to chronologically summarizing the Macedonian's exploits while the second half devotes a chapter to examining all of Alexander's battles, then one to his sieges, et cetera. This arrangement makes it easy to both get a good overview of the conqueror's accomplishments and to directly compare his battles with each other. The only drawback is that this makes it difficult to place the battles in their chronological and political setting. Another helpful feature of the book's organization is the inclusion of chapters on the political background of Alexander's age and on the Macedonian army. These, along with information on the Persian Empire and the geography of the region, make the volume accessible to the general public.
The account of Alexander's life and deeds is set out roughly chronologically and progresses logically. The narrative is pleasantly interspersed with biographical stories about Alexander such as when he approached the Delphic oracle and extracted the prophecy "thou art invincible, my son!" and the account of his visit to the tomb of Achilles. However, the reader looking for a biography of Alexander would be better to look elsewhere. Even with these interesting tidbits, the strategical narrative moves quickly and understandably.
Alexander began his career by securing Macedonia's borders and then his position as hegemon of the Hellenic League. He did the first with quick campaigns against tribes on the Danube and the second by razing Thebes after it resisted his authority (a move he later regretted). After guaranteeing the loyalty of Hellas, Alexander crossed the Hellespont into Anatolia and won his first major victory at the River Granicus. Once Darius is defeated in battle and assassinated by one of his own satraps Alexander became king of Persia and changed his focus from one of conquest to one of administering and unifying his empire. Fuller explains how "as an administrator, Alexander build on what existed, reformed and experimented with it as far as time permitted, and did not adhere to any system that failed to stand the test of practice." Many of these reform policies angered the Macedonian veterans but "they belonged to the old world, and . . . the new . . . was comprehensible to Alexander alone."
The analysis of Alexander's policies, which were relatively egalitarian and very lenient to his defeated enemies, is excellent. As Fuller points out, "throughout his life Alexander consistently subordinated strategy to policy, which is the essence of grand strategy" and the analysis of the battles and strategy in the book's second section is vigorous and comprehensible. Fuller, who rose to the rank of major general, carefully lays out the military units and commanders involved on both sides and summarizes the battle action succinctly and in a manner that non-experts can easily grasp. A map is provided for each battle (two for the battle of Arbela) and, while not of excellent quality, all the maps are sufficient.
Fuller traces the advance of the Macedonians to India where they refused to go on. Alexander then returned to his empire where he reformed corruption and dissent which had arisen in his absence. Shortly after that, the great king died at the age of thirty-three and his empire was divided up amongst his top generals. Fuller goes into speculation on what Alexander would have done had he lived (deciding that he would have consolidated his empire) and concludes that "Alexander's conquest of the Persian empire, his new cities and financial reforms, were to lead to the rise of the Hellenistic kingdoms, and through the Roman empire which absorbed them, to lay the foundations of European culture and civilization." Following that, the author returns to his purpose and in nine pages argues how, had lessons from Alexander been applied, costly mistakes made in World War II could have been avoided. Throughout, Fuller shows the applicability of Alexander's examples with numerous accounts of emulation by such figures as Caesar, Hannibal, and Napoleon.
J. F. C. Fuller's prose is clear and concise, the organization of the book is superb, and all points and information are presented in a coherent manner. The first half especially will appeal to casual readers and historians will find the work to be very useful as the starting point for further research into any aspects of Alexander's life and career. The author is careful to show Alexander's faults along with his gifts and avoids casting the Persians as hopelessly inept. He proves his thesis and convincingly argues for paying greater attention to the lessons of antiquity lest generals and statesmen remain doomed to repeat history's mistakes.

A Maryland Boy in Lee's Army: Personal Reminiscences of a Maryland Soldier in the War between the States, 1861-1865
A Maryland Boy in Lee's Army: Personal Reminiscences of a Maryland Soldier in the War between the States, 1861-1865
by George Wilson Booth
Edition: Paperback
51 used & new from $2.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An articulate account by a Confederate with many experiences, February 28, 2003
There are very few Civil War memoirs from Marylanders who fought with the Confederacy and "A Maryland Boy in Lee's Army" begins to correct that deficiency. As the introduction, written by a national park service historian, explains, George Wilson Booth was an extremely intelligent, sixteen year old Baltimorean who joined the Army of Northern Virginia in 1861. Booth begins by explaining that it was "at the request of somewhat partial friends" that he decided to record this period of his life in book form and he writes to show how bravely and valiantly men of the Old Line State fought in the Civil War.
Booth records his thoughts on succession on the first page, writing, "the dissolution of the Union was looked upon as a threatened evil, to be averted by mutual concession and forbearance." A few lines later he mentions slavery for one of the only times writing "that never for one moment did the question of slavery or the perpetuation of that institution enter into the decision of my course." Getting into the action, he records how he saw the first violence of the war in Baltimore when the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment came through and a riot ensued. Booth somewhat humorously relays that he "quickly realized [his] danger and was convinced that [he] was entirely out of place [as he] had no weapon save a penknife." From there his account proceeds chronologically.
Unfortunately, Booth's descriptions of major battles lack detail. He only records his own observations and assumes that the reader is familiar with all the major encounters. However, he did not intend to write a military history of the conflict, as is seen in his statement "I do not propose to say much as to Gettysburg." Instead, Booth provides an inside look and analysis of the Maryland units which fought in the Confederate Army and has frequent praise for them. He writes that "the 1st Maryland regiment was of so high an order and their record as soldiers [was] brilliant" and "there was more life and sprit in the average Maryland soldier than in a score of those from the interior of some of the Southern States." George Booth also gives detailed accounts of several small skirmishes and actions that he was involved with as when he describes the storming of a church in which Federal troops were barricaded and the time that a flaming, explosive-filled train was sent hurtling along the tracks in his direction.
Booth's descriptions of Confederate generals are even more useful. The Maryland soldier explains that Gen. Stonewall Jackson was "naturally so combative and earnest in his work that whenever brought into contact with the enemy his first and only promptings were to strike the blow." He later describes news of Jackson's death as "the saddest intelligence that could come to moral ears." Booth records that Robert E. Lee was "a bold soldier, a master of strategy and a vigorous fighter" in whom the army "had implicit confidence." Booth's keen observations are turned on nearly all major Southern military leaders, including J. E. B. Stuart, who is called "the Rupert of the Confederacy." In that same passage, Booth goes on to call Stuart, "like our great captains-the noble Lee and the lamented Jackson- . . . a devoted Christian, who illustrated in his daily work the teachings of Christ."
Booth lightens the tale of war with his wit and humor very effectively. At one point, he explains a situation in which his unit was nearly captured by the enemy by declaring "the jig came very near being up with us" and at another point some mosquitoes are called "the vilest, most ravenous and bloodthirsty of their kind." Booth also points out the irony of a Calvinist protecting his life by hiding behind a tree during one violent battle and records a Presbyterian officer as provoking the Calvinist by saying "if it is ordained you are to be killed, the tree will not save you." At many points his humor is much understated as when, after the war when asked if he were related to John Wilkes Booth, he "disclaimed any connection with the assassin of Mr. Lincoln, and remarked that it occurred to me to be a very unnecessary question, as it was scarcely probably I would acknowledge a relationship under existing circumstances even if it were true in fact."
Throughout, Booth is never far from his central argument over the valor of the Marylanders in and the Army of Northern Virginia and Confederates in general. He writes that the 1st Maryland Cavalry "[did] honor to the state which it represented" and "the work of the Maryland Cavalry . . . won . . . most distinguished notice." Of that unit's commander, Col. Ridgely Brown, Booth writes, "he was as true as steel and as gallant a soldier as ever mounted horse or drew a blade." While the author respected Grant for his gentlemanly treatment of the defeated Lee, he credits the Northerner's victory mainly to "his immense superiority in numbers" and not to any greater bravery in Union troops (106). But Booth shows himself to be fair and praises both the Federal infantry and cavalry late in the war, calling the later "superb."
Throughout the account, Booth is seen to be very intelligent and highly educated. As the introduction reveals, after the war he eventually became the comptroller of the B&O Railroad. In his memoirs, he shows knowledge of such diverse subjects as geography, theology, and history and, as Eric Mink points out in the book's introduction, as Booth's intended audience were the men who had shared his experiences, the account can be taken as being without embellishment. His diverse experiences, which include administering a prison camp and meeting the Confederate Vice President, make this account more valuable than most. The Civil War divided the nation and Maryland was split deeper than most states. The account of George Wilson Booth, a Marylander who sided with the Confederacy, can help historians understand the deep divisions in the nation.

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