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Windows 8.1 Pro System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit
Windows 8.1 Pro System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit
Price: $130.74
8 used & new from $102.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars Try It for Yourself, March 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I think the bad reviews on Windows 8 were before the 8.1 update. The interface is great. There still is a desktop. So what if the Start bar is gone. The Star menu is better.

I was skeptical about Windows 8. I believed the reviews about how Microsoft abandoned a desktop OS to compete with the mobile devices and that it didn’t work.

Truth be told Windows 8 is Windows 7 with a Start Menu. The menu is more powerful and a mouse still navigates the interface even better. I don’t think the reviews do it justice. If I wouldn’t have helped my friend with his new computer I would not have tried it. His computer hadn’t upgraded to 8.1 yet, so I did have a bad impression when Windows ask to create a Microsoft account every time. My OEM version 8.1 didn’t do that. I am not sure why they put that in the OS. This is probably what upset people and mandated the 8.1 update.

With my short experience with Windows 8, I like the interface. And the interface is why I waited so long to buy it. The technology updates will be significant, such as things like Direct X. The fact remains that Windows 8 is Windows 7 upgraded. The traditional OS is still there.

My theory Microsoft sees a problem with the iOS surpassing the regular Mac OS. If you design an operating system that works on mobile devices and it differs from the desktop OS eventually the main OS will be in competition to the main OS. Microsoft wants to maintain a desktop OS. Any phone or tablet OS will be more widely used and not compatible with Windows. To win the Game where Microsoft cannot compete with Apple or Android, Microsoft changed the game in which they can compete.

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science
Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science
by Michael A. Nielsen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.98
90 used & new from $4.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Example of How to Establish Group Work, January 8, 2013
The description of this book has been well covered in the other reviews. I want to share why I bought this book. I was looking for a book on how to build a group to work on projects such as starting a maker space. The only books I found were based more on the theory of creativity but nothing practical that showed how people would actually share information. I found this book on Audible and listened to the sample and instantly knew I had the right book.

This book was useful because it showed the way science should be shared and collaborated with. It had simple examples which throughout the book lead to profound thoughts on what collective intelligence and new computer technologies could mean to how the scientific community makes discoveries.

I focused on the citizen scientist who is using such things as Galaxy Zoo and the Foldit Gene video game. I think this all relates to a maker space because of the need to use modern computing to bring together a group of people with different creative talents. With different work schedules and commitments being able to share information between members could be augmented with practices described in this book. In fact I think the scientific community could learn from Makers as to how to share information. The entire maker space movement is based on sharing projects.

I did not build a maker space yet. But I find this book inspiring. I compare this book to others I looked at and the others are not very useful because the others are just theories of some unknown, unachievable level of creativity that is unreachable. This book was a good find. It puts the intangible into simple steps toward reaching total scientific openness and explains how that transparency will benefit everyone and shape discovery.

BTW, I have tried to build open source math problems on my personal website. I have the side, side, angle opposite, but not the Law of Cosines. I also tried to make a pattern of Prime numbers in a logarithmic spiral by means of a cubic equation. To say the least the math wasn't a success at least as far as participation. It was a success in feedback. I met some people to correspond math with. And also a lot of "you are an idiot" comments.

From my understanding of this book, a problem like a series in Prime numbers is only going to be solved by collective intelligence. The problem is deciding which information to use and organize. But people have a way of finding the information they need to make discoveries.

Programming in Visual Basic 2010
Programming in Visual Basic 2010
by Julia Case Bradley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $116.15
105 used & new from $50.00

3.0 out of 5 stars The order of material decreases value of content., November 26, 2012
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This book is not terribly written. The trouble is the format of the book. It would be ok if your class goes strictly by the textbook. I found myself writing programs without a complete understanding of all the structure of the program. This is common with any subject you learn the first time, but now that I am reading other Visual BASIC books, I find other texts to be more descriptive.

For example not knowing the 5 main events or the notation of functions will confuse you in the long run. I thought the material is there and if the course was strictly by the book it would be more helpful. I question if the authors got to creative and wrote how they understand VB. To their credit if you did finish the book you would probably have all the basics. But the fact remains that I believe the topics are not in proper order. This review was a reflection on how efficiently I learned and how I struggled relying on this text. Not a terrible book, but not the best.

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle
Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle
by Kirby Larson
Edition: Hardcover
106 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great true story that can be read at a second grade level., May 5, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is really hard not to give this story 5 stars. It is a story of a Marine and a dog during the Iraq war. It is a true story and can be read by a second grade level or higher. I think this is a book that a kid would enjoy to reading on there own. Of course, you can always read it to them.

I ordered about 4 or 5 copies for gifts when I saw Major Brian Dennis on "The Tonight Show" with Conan O'brien. As an adult the story is still great; although I find myself wanting more description and storyline than a children's story can provide. However the accomplishment of this book is amazing. Any time you find something so inspirational during war time; not alone to share it with kids and others; you've managed to do something really special.

Pure Bar Organic Wild Blueberry, Raw Fruit & Nut Bar, 1.7-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12)
Pure Bar Organic Wild Blueberry, Raw Fruit & Nut Bar, 1.7-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12)
Price: $18.69
23 used & new from $16.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Why Does Healthy Food Cost so Much?, April 22, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My review is the same as the Pure Organic Cherry Cashew. The bar is healthy and organic, but small and pricey. It is 190 calories and has low numbers in percent of vitamins. I recommend Quaker "Oatmeal to Go" This bar's taste is just ok. I expect more from the price.

Pure Bar Organic Cherry Cashew, Raw Fruit & Nut Bar, 1.7-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12)
Pure Bar Organic Cherry Cashew, Raw Fruit & Nut Bar, 1.7-Ounce Bars (Pack of 12)
Price: $18.69
10 used & new from $16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, April 22, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This bar is just "OK." The plus side is that it is organic (and raw fruit and nut, if you are eating healthy). But the fact remains the taste isn't remarkable. For a high priced fruit bar I expect more.

Also an approximate 3 inch bar is 190 calories. Calories that would be better utilized by trail mix or a bowl of cereal. If you are carrying a snack, I recommend Quaker "Oatmeal to Go".
It is a fraction of the price, though not organic and is still healthy.

Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age
Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government Saving Privacy in the Digital Age
by Steven Levy
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.66
91 used & new from $0.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars None of Your Business, January 3, 2010
"What have you got hide?"

"None of your business!"

That is my favourite lines from the book. The government (NSA) claiming if you knew what they knew, you'd agree that encryption is of national security. This is the main argument thought the book. The code rebels say it is necessary to secure bank transactions, privacy, and oppressive governments.

Here is my theory with only facts I got reading the book:

The NSA was probably less worried about people using encryption to encode their messages. The NSA already had the equivalent of RSA. Having civilians research such things freely probably put their own messages at risk of decryption.

Think about it. If you have RSA and it is secure by public keys and yet you still have the means to hide the algorithm that encrypts the message, you would have a stronger system. A secret algorithm adds protection in case there is any flaw in the security of RSA. Exporting crypto not only gives means for enemies to avoid surveillance, but allows foreign governments knowledge on how the NSA protects its own messages.

We finally got legalized encryption around the year 2000, but it was out of necessity of the Internet. That is about 22 years later. A time when technology has changed.

This book gives you a history. An exciting and descriptive history. I only remember PGP and key escrow while it was occurring in the 1990's. I didn't know the majority of the history that occurred in this book. This book goes over the history of the civilians, like Whitfield Diffie amd how crypto was brought to the public.

This is a lot of information crammed into the 330 pages. There are so many names mentioned you'd have to take notes to remember them. The interest does slow down in the middle of the book, but when you finish the book, you see it was necessary to tell the story.

This book is what would make younger readers interested in crypto. And it can be enjoyed by anyone interested in the subject. You won't see any math, just a paragraph describing the overall concept when needed.

This is a good read. If you stick with it through the long parts, you will learn a lot.

NOVA: Kaboom! - The Sizzling Story of Explosions
NOVA: Kaboom! - The Sizzling Story of Explosions
DVD ~ Nova
6 used & new from $29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Just as much Science as Ethics, December 10, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This Nova title contains two dvd's: "Kaboom!" and "Fireworks". Both are interesting but Kaboom! is why I bought this set. It explains explosions from gun powder to the nuclear bomb. It starts with exploding flower (yes, the stuff used for baking) then shows how Alfred Nobel stabilized the packaging of nitroglycerin. That is where the ethics comes in. Nobel had to live with the fact that he enabled humans to easily kill each other in great numbers. Oppenheimer faced the same difficulty with the nuclear bomb. I guess the lesson learned is that while explosions are scientifically interesting, by gaining knowledge of such a powerful technology, the applications of the invention and how they will be used is more impotant to consider than the excitement of the discovery. This is something scientists don't do very well.

"Fireworks" was also interesting. Describing everything from the pressure, height, explosiveness, and colours of a firework. Again the dangers of fireworks are also noted. Fireworks have to be made by hand and the roofs of the manufacturing plant are weaken so any accidental explosions goes upward and not outward. It also shows the computer choreography.

The video quality is not great. Kaboom! is probably vhs quality. Fireworks was dvd quality. They are interesting dvd's but don't expect hi-def video.

The Last Lecture
The Last Lecture
by Randy Pausch
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $21.95
94 used & new from $3.25

5.0 out of 5 stars A deeper reflection of life than the shorter 1 hour lecture., December 7, 2009
This review is from: The Last Lecture (Audio CD)
I can't believe some reviews described this unadbridged, more personal story as self righteous and egotistical. I did not get that impression. I heard a story of a dying man that is trying to explain what he learned in life, but at the same time describing the type of man he was to his children who will not get a chance to see there father.

Not all the advice is as profound as it were an English essay. A lot is common sense applied to his life. I like that. It is real. He doesn't go on to paint some kind of fantasy. He is dying and knows what he wants to say. Along the way he points out the many people who influenced his life. The unabridged cd tells us more of his relationship with his wife, Jay. That is something he only touched upon in the lecture because he wouldn't have made it through emotionally.

The book takes place after the lecture. He admits that he wanted to do the last lecture. At first his wife wasn't sure it was a good idea, but latter agreed.

I don't think you can listen to the story and not be inspired and reflective at some point.

LaCie USB 2.0/FW Professional BD-R/BD-RE Blu-Ray Drive 301856U
LaCie USB 2.0/FW Professional BD-R/BD-RE Blu-Ray Drive 301856U

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Of course you need one of these.", December 4, 2009
The first question that you will ask yourself before your purchase this is "Do I really need Blu-ray?" "Wouldn't it be cheaper to by hard drives?"

Well, the Blu-ray burner has several key advantages. It also is very costly; plus the price of discs. But each time you use it, it becomes cheaper per giga-bit. The 25 gig discs are the most affordable. The 50 gig dual layer discs aren't worth the money unless you are doing high definition video. But back to the advantage; the key advantage is distribution. If you are mailing someone files you are not going to send a hard drive is one example. Another is placing files in different places throughout the house. You know, the basic advantages as your cd-burner, but with 25 gig capacity. You could argue that a dvd will suffice, but when it takes 5 or 6 discs to equal a blu-ray; the blu-ray has the advantage when it comes to organizing 5 times less the number of discs.

I like the fact this burner is portable, so that I can use it on many computers. I burnt about 25 gig in an hour with file verification. So this thing is pretty fast.

The only thing I don't understand is that blu-ray movie playback is not compatible with the Mac. On the Mac it only does burning. I have used this burner for file backup on both Mac and PC. The PC does have movie playback and it works fine.

I would definitely recommend this burner. There is still a need for physical media in an age of downloadable files and broadband. It reminds me of 1998 when a cd-burner sold at this price.

y(x) = (3x^2) + (1/x) - 23
y(x) = (3.032x^2) + 0.757
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 30, 2010 8:16 PM PST

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