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Robert D. Glover Jr. "robert-g-near-nyc" RSS Feed (Linden, NJ USA)

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EarMaster 5
EarMaster 5
4 used & new from $32.91

50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought this at the San Francisco Apple Store, December 13, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: EarMaster 5 (CD-ROM)
I think it says something that Apple sells this music software at their San Francisco Apple store. That indicates EarMaster Pro has gone through some serious vetting, as Apple does not sell junk. Apple's shelf space for selling software is small.

Except for those days when there isn't enough time or I'm too busy, I use the EarMaster Pro software every day for about a half hour. I've been using Ear Master Pro for about four months and am nearly half way through the exercises. EarMaster Pro has an online forum which has been helpful and responsive when I've had questions.

In a good way, I have found the EarMaster Pro exercises beyond the starting "easy" ones to be brutally hard. I consider EarMaster Pro to be a program for music majors or for serious musical hobbyists such as myself who are highly motivated and have a strong background in musical harmony and musical theory. The more advanced exercises are so subtle that I ended up (with the help of someone on the Ear Master Pro forum) installing some additional "open source " software on my PC so that the musical tones of the chords generated by Ear Master Pro are easier to hear. For example, hearing the minor seventh of a four note V chord versus a V chord triad can be difficult if the tones are generated by the mediocre tone generator that comes standard on a WinXP computer. (EarMaster Pro works on both MAC and Windows).

If you (like myself) are a jazz pianist wanna-be, then Ear Master Pro is definitely a good purchase for you. You will most likely conclude, as I did, that first you have to go through Ear Master Pro's entire classical training program and only then tackle the (even more) difficult jazz exercises.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 6, 2012 12:16 PM PDT

Professional Apache Tomcat 6
Professional Apache Tomcat 6
by Vivek Chopra
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.23
66 used & new from $1.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am please with this book, December 13, 2009
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I first bought the O'Reilly book on Tomcat 6, but as is often the case in my experience the O'Reilly books it was too wordy and too difficult to find trees among the forests. So, I next bought this Wrox book on Tomcat 6 and am very pleased with it so far. I feel I am really learning about Tomcat and Tomcat architecture from the Wrox book, and that it will be possible to actually apply what I'm learning from the book in the real jworld. My needs are to know how to set up jndi and jdbc for Tomcat in Eclipse, especially when using the m2Eclipse maven plugin with a multi-module pom structure (i.e. parent pom and several child pom) setup. Of course this Wrox book can't address such a specific need, but it so far is doing an excellent job of giving me enough understanding of Tomcat that I can figure out for myself how to do this. Knowing what I know now, I would buy this Wrox book again; conversely, I would not buy the O'Reilly book on Tomcat again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 31, 2010 10:55 PM PDT

CSS: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
CSS: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
by David Sawyer McFarland
Edition: Paperback
139 used & new from $0.01

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on CSS I own, October 26, 2009
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This wonderful, supurb book, "CSS: The Missing Manual (Fully revised 2nd edition", has set the bar high for the standard of excellence as regards teaching CSS. I started trying to learn CSS a long time ago but due to the poor quality of the books on the subject, I never "got it". Tragically, I first tried to learn css from the ridiculously terse and totally incomprehensible book, "CSS Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))". I next erred on the other extreme by purchasing the insanely meandering, needlessly padded, and pointlessly "funny" book, "Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML"

I really cannot say enough good things about "CSS: The Missing Manual (Fully revised 2nd edition". The author is so distinguished it's unbelievable. Not only can he really, really teach well-- in addition he really, really knows CSS inside and out.

At the end of each chapter he has a tutorial. After downloading all the code from the book's website, I do the tutorials using FireFox with the "FireBug" add-on enabled. "FireBug" is fantastic as a learning tool. It lets you easily change CSS operands and instantly see the effect. Another great FireFox plugin is "ColorZilla"-- it's "eyedropper" shows the RGB values of colors on the web page when you hover or click on a color. It's very validating to see "ColorZilla" display the exact same RGB color value that you can see via "FireBug" is the color setting for that element. Another useful plugin is "CodeBurner for Firebug" because it extends "FireBug" with reference material for CSS and HTML. Also, I find it very helpful to look at the source code of the book's downloaded tutorials via "jEdit", a free text editor which the book recommends. "jEdit" does a fantastic job of showing html and CSS in color, which makes it much easier to comprehend the CSS while doing the book's tutorials. The only shortcoming of "jEdit" is that it is a little clumsy to switch between edit windows. So, I use a 2nd text editor called "NotePad++" to show the "after version of the tutorial", and use "jEdit" to show the "before version of the tutorial". That way I can easily copy/paste the source code snippets as I go through the tutorial.

Thanks to this great book, "CSS: The Missing Manual (Fully revised 2nd edition", I finally at long last, feel confident of my CSS skills.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 6, 2012 2:12 PM PDT

Live in Europe
Live in Europe
DVD ~ Bud Powell
2 used & new from $258.78

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must have" DVD for all jazz enthusiasts, July 1, 2009
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This review is from: Live in Europe (DVD)
Until this DVD came to my attention, I did not realize there was any footage of Bud Powell other than some grainy footage on YouTube, and so I bought this DVD with great antipication. Receiving this DVD was a moving experience for me because I had heard Bud Powell on record and later CD many times but had no concept of what he looked like performing. I watched the DVD many times the first month I owned it. I even bought 3 more copies and gave them to people who could appreciate it.

In all it's about 45 minutes of Bud Powell playing piano in three different night clubs in Europe in the late 1950's and early 1960's. These three separate performances were originally shown on European TV. I know someone who was in the audience at one of those night clubs and saw Bud Powell play, although it was not on the night the footage of that club was shot. He told me that Powell was by then so psychotic that he played a song twice in a row without realizing he had done so.

The best part for me was actually seeing Bud Powell's hands as he played with the "flat finger" technique that is so at odds with classical training but which seems to work rather well to say the least. Also, it was an opportunity to get a sense of what it was like for Bud Powell to play in clubs, both from the point of view of being in the audience as well as from the point of view of being a working musician during that era.

Similar to watching Art Tatum, there is not a lot of visual entertainment because both these piano players (as well as Charlie Parker) kept rather still and concerned themselves only with the sounds they created, not what they looked like. They are musicians, not entertainers.

It's important to watch this DVD perhaps ten times. But eventually one must move on. Maybe twice a year it's worthwhile seeing the DVD again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 1, 2011 12:47 PM PST

Practical API Design: Confessions of a Java Framework Architect
Practical API Design: Confessions of a Java Framework Architect
by Jaroslav Tulach
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $60.75
42 used & new from $40.19

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant classic, April 5, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First I bought the paper edition, then I bought the Kindle edition. Obviously I was quite enthused about this book. The first couple of chapters did in fact seem useful. However as I plodded along reading it on my Kindle, it began to occur to me there was little chance I was going to need most of the advice in this book-- only about one in 10,000 java developers ever write public APIs that are used by thousands of other programmers.
In retrospect I probably would not buy this book, if I had it to do again. It feels sort of like I inadvertently bought a book on how to be attorney general of the United States when I thought I was buying a book on how to be my own lawyer.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 22, 2010 9:58 AM PST

Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)
Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, U.S. Wireless)
13 used & new from $54.77

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle 2 is significantly better than Kindle 1 -- well worth upgrading, February 26, 2009
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I bought my Kindle 1 during the 1st 90 minutes it came out, before they sold out. It's been my constant companion ever since. Yesterday my Kindle 2 arrived. I spent about an hour fiddling with it while at Google Engineering headquarters in New York City listening to a lecture on Groovy/Grails. Then this morning for the first time, I tried it in the wee hours of the morning to read my New York Times.

Here are my impressions of the Kindle 2.

The page turning and over all responsiveness it noticeably better than the Kindle 2. It makes a big difference to be able to flip pages with practically no delay.

Kindle 2's five position track lever is significantly better then Kindle 1's up-down track wheel. On the Kindle 2 the interface for choosing sections and articles within the New York Times is much better. The thought that went into the new user interface of the Kindle 2 is so outstanding, that it makes reading the newspaper much better.

The Kindle 2's instant access dictionary is a great improvement over Kindle 1. On Kindle 2 the definition appears on the bottom of the screen automatically of whatever word you have put the cursor in front of. And unlike the Kindle 1, the definition on the Kindle 2 shows the how to pronounce the word (when you click on the definition to get the full definition).

Kindle 2 text to audio feature is wonderful. This morning I listened to the New York Times with my eyes closed until I was awake enough to open my eyes. Then for a while I listened to the Kindle 2 read me the news while I watched the corresponding text on the screen. Toggling the audio feature is simple. All you do is press the same two keys that on the Kindle 1 were the keys that toggled the screen saver. The stereo speakers on the Kindle 2 are very good. The sound quality was excellent, even with the Kindle 2 leather cover attached to the Kindle 2.

I consider my investment in the Kindle 2 a good one. Last night before retiring I gave my Kindle 1 to my significant other and showed her how to use it. We will be able to share the same books on both Kindles. Any book she orders on the Kindle 1 appear in the "archives" folder on my Kindle 2 and vice-versa. I can click on any book on my Kindle 2 "archives" folder and it copies (not moves) that book from the Kindle 1 to my Kindle 2. When my significant other buys a book on the Kindle 1, it is billed to my credit card, the one tied to my amazon account.

The Kindle 2's 16 shades of grey scale (instead of the 4 shades of grey on the Kindle 1) make the pictures much nicer to view. For example, the cartoons in New Yorker Magazine look great on the Kindle 2.

In summary, I recommend upgrading from Kindle 2. It's fantastic. I'm already bonded to it.

'Round Midnight
'Round Midnight
Price: $0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars You are better off getting the Ella Fitzgerald version of 'Round Midnight, February 5, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: 'Round Midnight (MP3 Music)
The main problem I have with Mel Torme's version is that he made up his own lyrics for a non-traditional ending. For that reason, it's not a good version to use for the purpose of learning the correct lyrics and melody. Also, the accompaniment is okay, but nothing special.
By contrast, the Ella Fitzgerald version has the correct melody and lyrics, and the accompaniment is outstanding.
Incidentally, the best (according to my jazz piano teacher) instrumental version of 'Round Midnight is the live version by Charlie Parker with Bud Powell on piano. I downloaded that version through Amazon and agree it's fantastic.

Asimov's Science Fiction
Asimov's Science Fiction
Price: $2.99
2 used & new from $2.99

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great bargain even at twice the price, February 5, 2009
Seriously, this is the greatest bargain I know. Who cares if it costs 50 cents more than the paper version. The paper version is simply under priced.
I totally adore this Kindle edition of Asimov's Science Fiction. First I read the short stories, then I move on to the novelettes. When the mood strikes me, I read the poetry. Admittedly the poetry takes a while to grow a fondness for, but what of it? Each issue is practically a book in itself, full of very high quality, engaging, intelligent, imaginative stories.
I have nothing but good things to say about the Kindle edition of Asimov's Science Fiction.
Try it, you'll like it.

Programming Groovy: Dynamic Productivity for the Java Developer (Pragmatic Programmers)
Programming Groovy: Dynamic Productivity for the Java Developer (Pragmatic Programmers)
by Venkat Subramaniam
Edition: Paperback
56 used & new from $0.12

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book cover to cover. It's a great book that I recommend highly, November 30, 2008
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I read this book carefully, cover to cover. It is very well written. In the entire book I found one typographical mistake that was a trivial mistake in a footnote. Everything else was perfect.

Not everyone is going to be able to appreciate this book. When I first tried to read it, I ended up putting it aside. But then I read two books about javascript ("JavaScript: The Good Parts" and a book on JQuerey). That introduced me to dynamic languages. Then, I started reading this book again and couldn't put it down, it was so interesting.

Thanks to this book, I am now on the Groovy bandwagon. Groovy seems like the natural next step after java, a statically typed language.

I attended the first Groovy/Grails conference in February of 2008. Even with that background, I truly could not comprehend Groovy until I learned the dynamic capabilities of javascript. For others, maybe learning Ruby first would give the same "shot in the arm" towards learning Groovy that javascript had for me.

I'm a typical java programmer, so my enthusiasm now for Groovy (and Grails and Griffon) is probably typical of the excitement about Groovy that is beginning to build, especially now that SpringSource has acquired G2One.

In summary, I am recommending this specific book because the author is a very good writer who did a very good job of presenting the material clearly and logically in an interesting manner.

Lexmark X4550 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printing/Scan/Copy/Print (1410600)
Lexmark X4550 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printing/Scan/Copy/Print (1410600)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I bought 4 of these blasted things., November 29, 2008
I was very happy with the first one of these I bought. I used it with a Windows XP desktop PC that uses a wireless USB card,and it worked perfectly for me, both scanning and printing. Then I bought a second one for use at my girlfriend's house to use with her WinXP laptop. It works perfectly as far as printing, but it will not scan. Instead of scanning it gives the error message, "Cannot load application list". Oddly, it scanned the first time I tried scanning but never again. I didn't know about the scanning problem and went ahead and bought two more of these printers for two relatives who had Vista laptops. The printer is not printing to either of those Vista laptops, even though Vista printed okay for the first week or so. I think this is more an indictment of Vista than of the printers. At one of my two relatives the printer works fine with his desktop Windows XP pc using a USB network card, yet the same printer does not print to the Vista laptop.
I really do like this printer. But the problem with "scan" is kind of show stopper until I can find a way to fix it. There seem to be a lot of people having that problem based on googling it. As for the problems printing from Vista, it's very disappointing. I do think it's a good printer despite all these troubles. Sadly though, I have not yet found solutions.
Postcript: I just wasted an entire morning uninstalling and then reinstalling from scratch all the printer's software from my girlfriend's laptop and my own laptop as well. Now the printer works okay (both printing and scanning) on my girlfriends XP laptop; however, on my laptop connecting to that same printer, I can print but it is impossible for me to scan because the message "cannot download application list" appears.
When it works, this printer is great. But right now I have more of them that don't work than that do work. I would never have bought this printer(s) if I'd had any hint of the problems I'd have.

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