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Profile for Tom Silverwater > Reviews


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Tom Silverwater RSS Feed (Manchester, UK)

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FileMaker Pro 10 Bible
FileMaker Pro 10 Bible
by Ray Cologon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.58
58 used & new from $1.03

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Worthwhile!!!, May 28, 2009
This review is from: FileMaker Pro 10 Bible (Paperback)
As an owner of the previous book by this author (the FileMaker 9 Bible), I bought this book with high expectations - and I have not been disappointed. If anything, this book is even better value than the previous one, with extra content, new illustrations and added depth.

One thing I really appreciate is the way this book is organised, with the early chapters laying the foundations and introducing ideas, explaining terms and so on. Then as you get towards the middle of the book it really opens up into giving the deeper insights that sets it apart from other books on FileMaker. This is a book to keep by your side as you deal with the really challenging stuff.

Another aspect of the book that is excellent, is the wealth of examples, tips and insider explanations about how the program works. Like the previous book in this series, I found a gem or a useful technique on just about every page. The explanations are very clear, the language is straightforward and the examples are very useable. There is a lot of new material on the changes and new features of FileMaker 10 and it is eye-opening.

All in all, this is the very best book on FileMaker I have read - and is defintely an excellent technical reference by any standard. I got more out of reading this book than all the other books on FileMaker 10 together. Well worth waiting for.

The Return of History and the End of Dreams
The Return of History and the End of Dreams
by Robert Kagan
Edition: Hardcover
112 used & new from $0.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Perspective and Concise Style, June 16, 2008
I found this book quite interesting and easy to read - though I got through and was left wishing for more. The book makes a virtue of being concise and covers quite a lot of ground in a very short space, but I did nevertheless feel that a slightly longer book would have been justified by the material and would have allowed for some greater depth.

Particularly interesting were the points about the evolving political environment and the developing tensions in certain parts of the world and around several key issues. Kagan writes persuasively and has some interesting insights to offer. Worth reading for an interesting take on the world of today.

Bionaire BT46R-U Tower Fan
Bionaire BT46R-U Tower Fan
Offered by Toys.Online
Price: $103.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad. But Not Particularly Quiet, June 16, 2008
A shortcoming with the Bionaire Tower Fan is that it is fairly noisy in operation, which may be fine in some situations, but is not so good in a quiet office environment, which is where I had intended to use it.

Because of that, I bought a different fan for the office and have moved the Bionaire elsewhere, where it gets occasional use and where the noise is less bothersome. In its new role, it is adequate for the occasional use it gets, and the timer is useful.

Overall, the fan has been reasonable, but if I were buying again I would choose a different design.

Microsoft Office Professional 2007 FULL VERSION [Old Version]
Microsoft Office Professional 2007 FULL VERSION [Old Version]
Offered by ZAMBOO
Price: $159.99
16 used & new from $124.99

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Deserve Praise, June 12, 2008
I bought and installed this product because I had a new computer and I required the tools to access and manage various work documents. I figured it would be a moderately useful upgrade on previous office products. However I was mistaken.

This version of Microsoft Office takes the concept of "bloatware" to new heights ... it seems the folk at Microsoft have been distracted by their own interface trinkets and have forgotten to address even basic useability issues. The result is a program that is sluggish, counter-intuitive and presents a whole new learning curve, even for those who are/were familiar with previous versions of Office.

If you have a lot of time on your hands to learn a "new" way of doing things that different without being better (frequently worse) - and you have no desire to work efficiently with your computer, then perhaps there would be nothing to complain about with this new version. Otherwise, I really can't recommend it.

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
by Jill Bolte Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.95
474 used & new from $0.01

35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glimpse Inside the Mind of Another, June 11, 2008
Dr Taylor shows there are many kinds of knowledge, but maybe only one kind of awareness. The specialjourney that "Stroke of Insight" chronicles is surprising. It's a lesson how new learning, understanding and benefit can come of an experience that most would consider a severe blow. If you have the courage to face it and see it.

The ability to experience something on several levels, beyond the daily vision of most of us, and then to share it in such a clear and thoughful account is rare. In this book, Dr Taylor shows her courage doesn't end with facing pain, loss or mortality, but she also now breaks convention and presents her ideas and experience in full view, with their emotional and philosophical content included. Not only was she inspired by her own journey, but she shares the inspiration directly with the reader.

More than just an interesting read, this is one of the books that lets the reader peek inside the mind of another and, in doing so, to learn more about the self and the nature of our existence. Well worth your time.

Physical Geology
Physical Geology
by Charles (Carlos) C Plummer
Edition: Hardcover
81 used & new from $0.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile Resource, June 10, 2008
This review is from: Physical Geology (Hardcover)
This book provides a great frame of reference and perspective on the subject of Geology. It provides a well-structured overview of the subject, as well as a good guide for practical learning. It is an attractive book, and the content is surprisingly accessible, so it is suitable for a non-specialist audience as well as those studying it as a prescribed text.

The book is also well made and contains some excellent images. It's a little pricey, but worth having on your bookshelf, especially if you can pick up a copy secondhand.

FileMaker Pro 9 Bible
FileMaker Pro 9 Bible
by Dennis R. Cohen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $38.37
67 used & new from $0.01

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Indispensable!, May 24, 2008
This review is from: FileMaker Pro 9 Bible (Paperback)
Wow. What an extraordinary improvement this book is over the previous FileMaker Bibles! I decided to give the FileMaker Pro 9 Bible a try (even though I've been unimpressed with previous titles in the series) because there is a new author and the jacket says this edition is completely rewritten. I have not been disappointed!

After six years using FileMaker to run my business, I would have to say this is the best FileMaker book I have ever seen - no contest. Probably the best technical book I've seen, in fact. This book has opened my eyes to new possibilities and I now realise I was nowhere near using FileMaker to its full potential. Already the book has changed the way I work with FileMaker and even the way I think about creating and using databases. Almost everything about the way FileMaker works is so much clearer after reading the descriptions in this book, that I'm only sorry it was not available sooner. I am already referring back to the book constantly and I am sure I will continue to do so.

I have found that every chapter in the FileMaker Pro 9 Bible is packed with interesting, relevant and useful details. I don't think there is a single page that doesn't contain a fresh perspective, essential information or a technique I was previously unaware of. The book brings together a very practical and hands-on approach with a level of expertise and theoretical understanding that makes the descriptions and techniques very clear. Everything is explained in a straightforward and no-fuss way, with none of the usual padding and fluff that seems to take up space in many technical books, and this approach makes the book a sheer pleasure to read.

One of the things that impressed me the most is that this book does not repeat what's in the manual or the online help. Instead, it starts from the broadest overview and goes on to set out what you need to know, including many things that are not even mentioned in the user guide, nor in any of the various other FileMaker books I've read. The book is chock-full of essential details and explains a lot of things that were still not clear to me after years working with FileMaker.

For me, probably the most useful section of all was the chapter on Data Modeling in FileMaker, which has been a complete eye opener. The chapters on writing efficient code and calculations have also been a revelation. However the whole book has been immensely helpful. I did not realise how much I had to learn.

I wish there had been a book like this one available six years ago when I first began using FileMaker. If you have started using FileMaker recently, you will get a lot more out of it once you have read the FileMaker Pro 9 Bible. This book is a truly excellent resource!

The Battle of Evernight: The Bitterbynde Book III
The Battle of Evernight: The Bitterbynde Book III
by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Edition: Hardcover
61 used & new from $0.01

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Form Without Substance, May 24, 2008
Although the series got off to a promising start, this final book is a washout. Earlier, the series offers engaging ideas and characters. However as the series progresses, the author has become increasingly enamored with her own descriptive prose, losing sight of any larger purposes with which she began.

The Battle of Evernight comprises interminable accounts of pointless meanderings - and lurid fables that are largely irrelevant to the overall themes, the story or the characters. After an eternity of fragmentary "adventures", almost as an afterthought, a few of the many threads are hastily tied up in the closing pages.

Sadly, the ending is lame and all the seeming passion and intensity of the earlier books dissolves into a whimper. After grabbing our attention in book one, the author has strung us along through two subsequent books before finally revealing that she really had little of consequence to say and no grand insight or resolution to offer.

Overall, I'm afraid I felt cheated on reading this title. It revealed the whole series (a substantial invesment of reading time!) to have been mostly form (flowery prose) with little of substance. Mostly an excuse for eloquent (even loquacious) prose and interminable episodes/fragments of fantasy.

Even if you've invested your time and mindshare in the previous two books in the "Bitterbynde Trilogy", my advice would be to cut your losses and spare yourself the disappointmemt. I'm afraid I cannot recommend this book to anyone.
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