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Smartfish Technologies  M2218B Whirl Desktop Laser Mouse with Anti-Gravity Comfort Pivot (Black)
Smartfish Technologies M2218B Whirl Desktop Laser Mouse with Anti-Gravity Comfort Pivot (Black)
Offered by ErgoWareHouse
Price: $36.30
6 used & new from $29.50

3.0 out of 5 stars It would have been 5 stars...until it stopped working, October 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm not sure what the deal is but there are enough reviews here to let me know that quality control seems to be an issue with these things. Mine stopped after several months.

When it does work it's an effective product, the tilt feature was quite good in relieving stress on my wrist. It looks like somewhere in their production line they went with a defective or cheap part that seems to result in a higher than acceptable rate of failure.

Too bad it's a very good idea. If they get a handle on their quality control issues then it would be a five-star purchase I think.

Rome in the Late Republic
Rome in the Late Republic
by Mary Beard
Edition: Paperback
Price: $21.73
33 used & new from $15.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clear outline of the issues in the late Republic, September 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm not a classical scholar but I've read Tacitus, Sallust, Caesar's Commentaries etc, the more accessible scholarly stuff like Syme's Roman Revolution, Gruen's Last Generation, Heather's Fall of the Roman Empire with Greenidge, Millar, Nicolet & a host of others sitting on my shelf a soon as I get over my lit binge.

I found "Rome in the Late Republic" a very fulfilling read; a restatement of the religious, cultural & political realities & the sometimes conflicting interpretations by later day scholars. I appreciate their decision to make the relevant timeline roughly the 100 years before 49 BC, more inclusive than exclusive of the evidence.

It's much more than an outline but it is short--120 pages with appendix, bibliography, index--though wastes little space in excess wordage distilling the main ideas down to a few paragraphs on each issue.

I also enjoyed two other things; an excellent bibliography/footnotes giving you a guide on what to read next & an updated "New Directions" chapter giving latest in discoveries & scholarship up to 1999. I hope to see a third edition with another hopefully very beefy "New Directions" or a substantial revision incorporating the latest. I think it'd be worth a buy.

Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router
Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router
Offered by Electronica Direct
Price: $159.95
30 used & new from $47.50

1.0 out of 5 stars Volatile performance [fixed][later NOT fixed], April 10, 2013
The E4200 has been nothing but a headache for much of the year I've owned it. When it works it's excellent, unfortunately it drops or has a significant decrease in download speed about 20% of the time & this happens throughout the day. I'm constantly rebooting it, changing channels to search for better signal quality (I live in a small town in a rural area) and so on. Often I just resort to a wired connection to avoid frustration which is fine if I'm ok with being stationary with a laptop.

It's quite possible I'm overlooking something but I'm ready to move on at this point.

EDIT: I took advantage of the advice given by the Cisco rep in the comments and it's worked so far. I'd like to thank him for that and adjusted the stars accordingly.

EDIT: Aug 9. Several weeks later it started doing it again. I've changed channels, received in 2.4 and then in 5 ghz. It doesn't matter it drops.

I really don't want to become a programer just to use a wifi modem. This thing is like a 70s British sportscar, great when it works which is some of the time. For $50 you can buy yourself a far more reliable modem.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2013 6:54 PM PDT

Terry Jones' Barbarians
Terry Jones' Barbarians
by Terry Jones
Edition: Hardcover
80 used & new from $0.01

37 of 67 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Idiotic tripe, June 14, 2007
This horrid tripe is apparently what passes for and is accepted as history nowadays.

Terry Jones dislikes or rather he hates Rome. And he's conned a sub-strata of non-historians and--that god-awful worst hack historian of them all--the "high school history teacher" into thinking he's set the record straight.

What Jones has done instead, to anyone who's studied the era in depth, is simply gone on a propaganda expedition of his own. What's awful isn't that he's done it so much as he's used his celebrity to somehow suggest that he's setting the record straight. He isn't.

In Jones eyes the Gauls, Brits, Germans, Picts, etc, were peaceful, loving enlightened peoples with their own technologies (save for that one important one, writing).

The truth is of course is that the Gauls were in constant conflict with each other and the Romans, the Brits would raid and kill the Gauls and vice-versa and the early Germans made do with encroaching on Gaulish territory (stopped by the Romans by the way). "Barbarian" methods of torture and killing were in every way as brutal as anything the Romans ever developed.

In Jones' eyes the Romans are guilty of several things, amongst them beating the 'Barbarians' at wars and the organization, methodology and training to win them for the longest time. Modern archeology does show a certain amount of sophistication amongst the northern tribes but nothing of any standard higher than what occurred in Spain and far behind what took place in southern Italy, Greece and North Africa at the time.

In the end Jones, instead of a balanced account of how much more sophisticated the Celts were in road building then we previously thought makes this some sort of anti-Roman diatribe.

And in the end the proof is in the pudding, the former barbarians of Britain begged Honorius for the legions to stay, the invading Goths took up Roman titles and--for the most part--patterned their own rule after Rome. Even that most barbaric of all, Attila, understood Rome's importance, something that Terry Jones is incapable of.

There are dozens of good histories out there by real historians who describe, analyze and put into perspective the northern tribal groups of this era; their strengths and weaknesses and relate them to the Roman Republic/Empire. This on the other hand is 'garbage' history of the worst kind.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 29, 2013 8:30 AM PDT

London 1974
London 1974
Price: $12.21
34 used & new from $4.94

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit unfairly maligned; a good blues-rock set judged on its own terms, January 11, 2007
This review is from: London 1974 (Audio CD)
Weeks before Captain Beefheart's Magic Band had quit on him (or been fired). To salvage an upcoming UK tour a group of session musicians were brought together to fill in. Of course they weren't used to the complex material the Magic Band had been playing for years so Beefheart it's assumed opted for a straightforward blues-rock approach.

Judged on its own terms the resulting live album is a success. The musicians weren't slouches, they were professional session players and journeyman and delivered good upfront blues-rock with the two guitarists contributing some surprisingly good riffs throughout. Listen to Dean Smith's guitar on 'This is the Day' or to the interplay between he and Fuzzy Fuscaldo on the opening 'Mirror Man', they can certainly deliver the goods.

It's an unfairly maligned album (the Tragic Band), not up to Magic Band standards but very enjoyable nonetheless. Frankly it puts many if not most live cds by blues-rock bands who've played for years to shame. The band plays within its strenghts, Beefheart seems to be enjoying himself and so does the audience.

Listen to it without comparing it to the Magic Band and it stands up as a good listen I think. So think toe-tapping on the front porch with a shot of good bourbon and you'll enjoy it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 12, 2009 10:05 PM PDT

Rust Never Sleeps
Rust Never Sleeps
Price: $10.37
101 used & new from $1.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the story of Johnny Rotten..., January 2, 2007
This review is from: Rust Never Sleeps (Audio CD)
Rust Never Sleeps was Neil Young's answer to the Punk/New Wave movement that was then making its appearance in the late '70s. It was his claim that he was still relevant. The new wave was to wash out singer-songwriters like his friends Crosby, Stills and Nash as well as dozens of other '70s heavyweights, many to live out their careers on their former glory.

Rust Never Sleeps not only made Young relevant, it helped draw his music to a new generation of future alt-rock types who looked upon him as an inspiration.

The songwriting is excellent through out, perhaps Welfare Mothers and Sedan Delivery being the weakest but make up by a harder rocking tempo and Young's singing. The first side of slower introspective songs grip the listener. Young has that uncanny ability to make the listener sometimes think he's parroting their thoughts as well, a rare talent few songwriters can maintain throughout their career.

The highlights, for me at least, are Thrasher, Ride My Llama and Powderfinger, legend having it that the last song was written for Lynyrd Skynyrd to record [whether true or not others can comment].

It's an essential record and probably one of the top twenty-five or so rock albums ever made. Simply outstanding.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 16, 2007 1:02 PM PDT

St Cecelia - The California Album
St Cecelia - The California Album
7 used & new from $9.91

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Blue Oyster Cult, January 2, 2007
St. Cecilia was the Stalk-Forrest Groups only release for Electra records. It's basically the core of BOC before that band was formed. The sound is also a bit different than BOC, sort of a less intense psychedelic style with strong guitar playing by Buck Dharma throughout.

The song quality of the album is fairly strong all the way through, a bit more accessible than BOC I'd say. The original album was difficult to get for years and the original pressing is a collector's item. The re-release from '98 finally made it available to a wider audience.

If you like tuneful, late psychedelic-ish songs with great guitar riffs throughout you'll like St. Cecelia. BOC lovers will get this one, classic-rock lovers ought to follow suit as well. Good Album.

7 used & new from $19.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great slice of 70s blues rock, December 30, 2006
This review is from: Moloch (Audio CD)
Largely unknown and very difficult to find this album is well worth a listen. As far as I know its the only album the band had ever cut, I'd found the disc in a bin for about a dollar a few years back. I finally listened to the thing a few days ago and what a great surprise. A whole album of great guitar blues-rock with a touch of Memphis and hard rock edges to the songs. It's highly reminiscent of Rory Gallagher, Cream and Grand Funk if the latter had a better musical talent and were from Memphis. On that note the musicianship is a notch or two higher than I'd expected, especially the great guitarist.

A real find if you're a fan of great blues-rock or hard-rock from the early 70s.

Live at the Regal
Live at the Regal
Price: $7.98
100 used & new from $1.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any blues collection, December 28, 2006
This review is from: Live at the Regal (Audio CD)
BB King's Live at the Regal is a recording of a great show performed at the Regal Theater in Chicago in 1965. Considered among many, including myself, as his greatest album its a must for any blues collection. King is at the top of his form and you can hear it in his guitar playing. His band gives their all and, importantly, the song selections are magnificent.

Its a great recording of a great performance. Its also a perfect introduction to the blues for neophytes as well. Highly recommended.

Live at the Fillmore East
Live at the Fillmore East
Price: $11.98
92 used & new from $4.73

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why release half the show?, November 15, 2006
First off this is a great set of the second half of the show with the original Crazy Horse containing Danny Whitten on lead guitar just over a year from his death. I frankly see no problem with releasing several concert versions of songs at various points in Young's career, heck the Grateful Dead have been doing it for years to much acclaim.

What really makes me a bit peeved are two things. First this is only half the show and there's no reason for it to not contain the accoustic set. It makes no sense as there are bootlegs out there of the full set from the 1970 tour and this comes off as rather skimpy. Second, why is it taking so long to release the much touted archives to fans? I understand perfectionism but this is getting a bit ridiculous.

It's a fine live set that's a bit skimpy. Worth a buy if you've not heard the bootlegs from that era.

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