Profile for Thomas B. Talbot > Reviews


Thomas B. Talbot's Profile

Customer Reviews: 24
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Helpful Votes: 390

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Thomas B. Talbot RSS Feed (New Market, MD USA)

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Price: $3.81

5.0 out of 5 stars This was a seriously funny book, August 16, 2014
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This review is from: Schooled (Kindle Edition)
Books this funny don't come along that often. Seeing a kid from a hippie commune end up in a modern cesspit we call middle school is a great premise. It might be unbelievable but for some reason I ended up reading it several times. Highly recommended for any age middle school through adult.

UBatteries AC Adapter Charger HP Pavilion dv4-2155dx dv4-2160us dv4-2161nr dv4-2162nr dv4-2164us dv4-2165dx dv4-2167sb dv4-2169nr dv4-2170us dv4-2173nr - 18.5V, 65W
UBatteries AC Adapter Charger HP Pavilion dv4-2155dx dv4-2160us dv4-2161nr dv4-2162nr dv4-2164us dv4-2165dx dv4-2167sb dv4-2169nr dv4-2170us dv4-2173nr - 18.5V, 65W
Offered by Ubatteries
Price: $15.95
2 used & new from $12.95

1.0 out of 5 stars 2/2 defective - one melted - avoid this safety hazard, August 16, 2014
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I ordered two of these. They worked for about 4-6 weeks. The first one literally melted into a piece of plastic slag. The second one just klunked out a month later, without the meltdown. Avoid this.

Surface 2 - 32GB Desktop Tablet, by Microsoft 10.6"
Surface 2 - 32GB Desktop Tablet, by Microsoft 10.6"
Offered by E Trust
Price: $379.98
77 used & new from $238.72

254 of 270 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A formidable tablet and a major improvement, October 29, 2013
I've just upgraded from the Surface RT to the Surface 2 and it was well worth it for me. Previously I upgraded to the Surface from an iPad2. So here is what I've found:

The Surface 2 has been an excellent performer. Besides common tablet tasks like Skype, web browsing, email, kindle books, ebay and a few other things, I've got a complete Microsoft office system that lets me do serious work - not just viewing files but actually creating content and editing documents. The thing runs all day on battery and I'm finding that I can get away from using a computer on trips and go for a full week with my surface 2 without carrying my laptop.

General: Great battery life, its snappy and has a nice screen. I use the original type cover from my old surface which works great and use a Bluetooth mouse when doing a lot of production work. The touch gestures are awesome as is the multitasking where I can have a couple tablet apps up at the same time. A negative thing is that some apps are lacking, but this is compensated by the fact that you can do the full website version of just about everything.

Improvements over iPad: My iPad was a good consumption device for web and apps, but it was really bad at several things like writing anything, office type apps, email (doesn't hook up to exchange), getting files on or off it without going through iTunes, playing non-apple video files, expanding storage, connecting with USB peripherals, etc. The surface 2 is quick, it lets me do office, I can sync all my documents with skydrive and selectively choose what stays on the machine, I can play all kinds of videos (but not some MKVs - awaiting VLC player), etc. I can copy files on it at will, print to printers, connect thumb drives and other peripherals, etc. It lets me do things so I can get things done. I also like that the included email program (much improved) hooks up with business exchange accounts. I don't really use the outlook app, now included, though. The SD slot is really nice and I keep a 32GB card full of videos and music for flights. Although I was worried about not being able to install legacy X86 windows programs, I feel so much freer than I did with iPad because the iPad felt like a prison to me. I do prefer the iPad 4:3 screen to the more awkward 16:9 on surface. (I don't hate iPads and my wife/kids love theirs).

Improvements over Surface RT: Higher screen resolution and much faster speed. The old surface actually wasn't too bad at running office and tablet apps, but the web browser was sometimes much too slow on complicated pages. I like that the surface 2 is much snappier and the Windows 8.1 improvements are significant as well, especially the improved skydrive (it is enough better to finally get me to switch from dropbox - by the way the RT dropbox for surface RT and surface 2 is pretty bad - the web browser version is even better because you can drag and drop with it).

Overall, if you want a tablet that can do productive things and isn't locked down as far as files/expandability, I think it is worth trying out for a few days. I'm very happy with mine.

Foundation HTML5 Canvas: For Games and Entertainment
Foundation HTML5 Canvas: For Games and Entertainment
by Rob Hawkes
Edition: Paperback
Price: $27.12
53 used & new from $7.96

2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really useful for anybody, May 14, 2011
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This book is too basic for my use and mostly involves drawing primitive shapes in Canvas, yet lacks other supports that would make it more suitable for a beginner audience.

The book just does not have much substance to it. However, I did learn that HTML5 is still a quite incomplete technology.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 15, 2011 2:04 AM PDT

HIS Radeon HD 5670  1 GB GDDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card H567Q1GD - Retail
HIS Radeon HD 5670 1 GB GDDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card H567Q1GD - Retail
2 used & new from $100.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great value, nice performance, quiet, May 14, 2011
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I used this to replace a GeForce 8000 series card on a 4 year old Win 7 machine. The installation was easy and I immediately noticed improved performance and stability. Despite the fact that it has a large fan, I rarely hear it. I can run starcraft II at 1920x1200 res with moderately high settings on an older machine. World of Warcraft runs at the highest settings without problems.

I suspect that the card's capabilities may be a bit more limited for some of the newer resource intensive games but must say that this $80 investment has probably extended the life of my computer by another 2 years.

XBOX 360 Universal Media Remote Control
XBOX 360 Universal Media Remote Control
Offered by Importer520 ( USA Seller )
Price: $7.99
15 used & new from $0.85

2.0 out of 5 stars Crappy remote, May 14, 2011
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This arrived in a sealed bag, yet the remote was dirty! The top edge also has a green discoloration in the plastic. It is infrared, not radio controlled like the XBox 360 controller. Because of that, you need a good line of site. The range of the remote is short and I cannot use it from everywhere in my modestly sized living room.

Also, the directional buttons do not control the XBox menus or inside netflix very well. It can turn the XBox on and off. When playing a netflix or DVD, it is very responsive if you are in range. I guess you get what you pay for.

Able One
Able One
by Ben Bova
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
94 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a rejected screenplay, May 8, 2011
This review is from: Able One (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is a near future techno-thriller (which isn't thrilling) that showcases the prototype Airborne Laser antimissile aircraft.

It is really hard to believe that the person who wrote this book won Six Hugo awards. This book seemed like a shallow screenplay for a bad 1970's disaster movie like the towering inferno or one of the Airport movies. The Airport movies were a lot more fun, though. The side stories about the family in Montana and the engineers divorce were unbearable. Many of the characters were unbelievable because they acted like complete idiots.

I won't repeat what the other negative review say; they are correct. But for a science fiction author, Bova should at least have studied the two interesting science aspects of the book: The Airborne Laser and the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack from a nuclear weapon in space. Very basic errors of fact about both showed an incomplete understanding by the author who must have needed money to have cranked out such a piece of drivel. I'm glad I read a library copy instead of wasting money on a purchase.

Books of this style are better done by Dale Brown or Tom Clancy. Ben Bova did write some great SCI-FI back in the day and I recommmend you read one of those books instead.

The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout - Xbox 360
The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout - Xbox 360
Offered by DealTavern
Price: $18.94
105 used & new from $4.41

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs a few tweaks, but a good & sophisticated work out, December 18, 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
The biggest loser has some of the best use of the Kinect sensor that I have seen in a Kinect product so far, with more sophisticated and complicated activities using the sensor. The workouts are good and appropriately motivational with voice recognition for status checks and prompting on progress and encouragement from your personal coach.

On the negative side, the user interface for menu controls is not the best and the initial set up is a bit complicated. There are complicated controls to make a 'friend' avatar and the ethnic variety of what you can make is amazing. I managed to make one that looks eerily like myself.

We have both the biggest loser and the ubisoft fitness evolved. Initially, it appeared that the fitness evolved product was better with interesting abstract activities like the cross body block punching, but when it comes to doing a full workout, the coaches in Biggest Loser are more motivating and there is a nicer variety of activities.

Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller Microcontroller: The Official Guide
Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller Microcontroller: The Official Guide
by Andre Lamothe
Edition: Paperback
Price: $26.32
35 used & new from $17.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Guide to lots of power, May 5, 2010
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It is nice to have a comprehensive and well written book on the propeller. This volume starts from the beginning and does a good job of explaining how to work with the very unique parallel processingn design of the propeller. It also emphasizes use of library objects that come with the development software or are downlaods. These objects really make using the propeller the powerhouse that it is even for less technically savvy hobbyists like myself.

After plugging in an $8 dollar prop, I can, within minutes, be producing sounds, voices, text and graphics displays, interfacing via serial or XBee and reading sensors and the like. These are things that the prop does intrinsically without all the expensive extra hardware usually needed to do these things. The book includes these things. We sure have come a long way from blinking LEDs (Your first task in the book).

The propeller is a parallel design, which to my knowledge is unique. Also, the SPIN language is different and programming a prop is unique enough for almost everyone to need a good orientation like this book. Given that, I do recommend that you purchase this book if you intend to use the propeller especially if you aren't already a mega electrical engineer. (They can probably get by with the excellent help files that come with the prop software).

One criticism; the second half of the book has some rather lengthy projects that don't always lend themselves perfectly to the textbook format. Also, some of the assembly language examples (only a few) included doesn't seem to fit the scope of the book. Overall though, I consider Programming and Customizing the Multicore Propeller to be an invaluable resource.

The ActionScript 3.0 Migration Guide: Making the Move from ActionScript 2.0
The ActionScript 3.0 Migration Guide: Making the Move from ActionScript 2.0
by Kris Hadlock
Edition: Paperback
42 used & new from $0.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a mediocre effort, July 22, 2008
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As an actionscript (AS) developer making the transition from 2.0 to 3.0, I feel really let down by this book. At ~140 pages it is more like a pamphlet than a programming book and is quite expensive for the amount of content it contains.

On a positive note, the book is intelligently organized by topics (Event models, scope, timing, text, sound, etc..) and provides both AS2 and AS3 code back to back to allow for comparisons. The code is listed in color and includes little break out notes and explanations that are quite handy. I imagine that the direct AS2/AS3 comparisons may come in handy from time to time.

Not all code examples will run on your computer unless you do some work on your own such as drawing and placing objects into your project, though this book targeting 'beginning/intermediate' users does not explain how to do this. Also, program output is not included in the book.

An additional problem is that the code in the book is often a bit confusing and lengthy. The confusing parts are often not germane to the subject being demonstrated.

The book does do a good job of explaining some of the benefits of using AS3 over the previous version. It also appears to be well proofed. Despite this, the terse commentary and not quite optimal code lead me to believe that this migration guide was assembled hurriedly.

Finally, I recommend going directly to the Actionscript help file on your computer or a good Actionscript 3.0 book such as Foundation ActionScript 3.0 with Flash CS3 and Flex (Foundation) or ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook: Solutions for Flash Platform and Flex Application Developers.

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