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Capresso Water Kettle H2O Pro, Stainless Steel/Polished Chrome, 56-Ounce
Capresso Water Kettle H2O Pro, Stainless Steel/Polished Chrome, 56-Ounce
Offered by Premium Upgrades
Price: $65.02
17 used & new from $40.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Accurate and fast, lid quality could be better, October 10, 2013
I've been using this kettle for a few weeks now. I received mine as a gift with the original tag for $49.99 still on the box. I think it's probably a little expensive, but it's very accurate, being only .5-1 degree (F) off when I check it with a digital thermometer. It's also very fast; I can boil 36 ounces of water to 212 degrees in under 90 seconds. I can see that the lid release could be a little fragile/problematic in the future, as described in other reviews. But, the rest of the product has a very sturdy build. For example, the handle is sturdy and insulated. I also really like that the bottom of the kettle doesn't get hot, so you can remove the kettle from the base and then place it on any surface without having to worry about it.


The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win
The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win
by Steve Blank
Edition: Paperback
53 used & new from $13.94

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content, but overpriced for the quality, August 10, 2011
I really liked this book (a lot), and I debated whether to give it a 3 or a 4, but ultimately decided to go with 3 because it has some major problems.

First, the things I liked about the book are that it is based on tried-and-true methods from Steve Blank and many of the companies that he's coached, so the fundamentals seem solid. I really like the worksheets in the back of the book as well, so I don't have to go and reread entire chapters to remember what to include in my documents, or what I should be focusing on when talking to customers.

However; the problems with this book are numerous. I've ordered them from most to least important (IMHO):

- The book is heavily geared towards Enterprise and B2B products. There is some mention of consumer products, but it is inconsistent and insufficient coverage in my opinion. There should have been significantly more coverage on the differences of each step as it applies to a B2B vs. B2C product.

- The book largely assumes you have a team of people who already have a business plan written and have been funded. This is quite a bit to filter through if you're bootstrapping a web startup with two guys working out of a coffee shop part time.

- It is way too pricey for the quality (39.99 when I bought it)

- It was NOT PROOFREAD WELL. There are so many typos and grammatical errors in the beginning of the book, that I almost tossed it aside. It seems to get a bit better after the first few chapters.

- The print/layout quality is poor - sloppy diagrams with hard-to-read black letters on dark gray boxes in several cases, inconsistent use of spacing throughout the book, randomly switching fonts in the middle of a paragraph

- Overall, Its a bit dry and excessively verbose at times

Though I think the price should be 25%-50% of what it currently is (39.99) I think the purchase was worth it overall because AFAIK there are no competing books that provide equally good advice on the topic with better quality. I would still buy the book knowing what I know now.

Update (10/01/2011): One book that I found that takes the sage advice from Four Steps to the Epiphany and evolves and presents it in a much more actionable format is Running Lean by Ash Maurya. This book is mostly geared towards web startups. The book can only be found in eBook format currently and can be purchased here: [...] . The price is less than half of Four Steps, it is a much quicker read, and gives you much more detail on how to do things such as customer problem and solution interviews. If you are building a web or mobile product, I would still suggest reading Four Steps to the Epiphany, but would quickly follow that up by reading Running Lean. I would then follow the step-by-step workflows in Running Lean instead of those in Four Steps to the Epiphany.


JBoss 4.0 - The Official Guide
JBoss 4.0 - The Official Guide
by Marc Fleury
Edition: Paperback
Price: $41.51
57 used & new from $0.01

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed, November 3, 2005
Have you ever been to a technical presentation on a product where the speaker goes off on the inner-workings of their product without giving you any background or without explaining terms and concepts very well? Or, perhaps you've worked with or met a person who starts talking to you about something technical, assuming that you already know the context of everything they're talking about, but you're thinking "huh?". Well this is an entire book that is written in that style.

I bought this book because I have Norman Richards' "JBoss: A Developer Notebook" and I loved it. Though I realized the format of this book was different, I expected the quality to be as good. I was very wrong. This book is very esoteric and would have received a bit fat "F", had my technical writing professor from college graded it.

My first gripe is that if you flip through the book, it seems like most of the book consists of snapshots, code, DTDs, and schemas. They could have done a much better job selecting relevant information. Thus, the book is very bloated with content that is very impractical. I think a previous reviewer already hit on this point.

My second gripe is that the book seems to be written for somebody who is (or wants to be) a contributor to the JBoss project. Most people would buy a book on JBoss to learn how to deploy / configure applications or to read about practical design decisions. The book focuses heavily on the internal workings and design decisions of JBoss. Don't get me wrong, I think that JBoss has a great architecture, but I wouldn't expect the second chapter of the book to be about the JMX microkernel architecture.

My third gripe is that they don't give you background on many things. They just start talking about some JBoss component or class without explaining the fundamental concepts to you in layman's terms.

My fourth gripe is that the book lacks decent structure; it parades back and forth between topics. For example, in the second chapter, they start talking about MBeans, then they diverge and go into a very deep (and very hard to follow) discussion about the classloader architecture. Then, they come back to talking about XMBeans. Why didn't they just talking about all the different types of MBeans in order? If I wanted to reference this book, it would be a nightmare.

Some parts are slightly better than others, but the lesser of two evils is still evil. Overall I'm very disappointed and would not recommend spending your money on this book.


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