Profile for Andrew Gentile > Reviews


Andrew Gentile's Profile

Customer Reviews: 10
Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,463,946
Helpful Votes: 33

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Andrew Gentile "fbites" RSS Feed

Page: 1
Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking
Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking
by Daniel C. Dennett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.60
67 used & new from $9.94

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a practical application, June 15, 2014
I am an engineer, and I frequently find a need for processing a lot of new information at one time. I have tried to apply constructs, such as drawing a diagram of my thoughts with lines and arrows showing how they are related. This helps. But mostly I have found that it just takes a lot of time and effort to compile a lot of new thoughts.

I read a few pages of Mr. Dennet's book and from that I got the impression that the book was offering a thinking process, a tool which would be useful for compiling and sorting information. The introduction makes mention of "mental scaffolding", which is exactly the kind of tool I was hoping to obtain. I only made it though 50 or so pages. By that point I realized that the book was about philosophical arguing constructs and anecdotes about the author.

This book might be useful to an undergraduate student of philosophy, but I don't think it would be useful to anyone else as an aide in practical thinking.

Platt 665ZT Black Master Technician Tool Case 15.5Lx11Wx2D
Platt 665ZT Black Master Technician Tool Case 15.5Lx11Wx2D
Offered by Sacramento Electronics
Price: $116.00
3 used & new from $116.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Not so good, December 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is not what I expected. It's pretty low quality. I mistakenly thought it was leather, or a good solid fabric. The picture looks good, and I suppose if I looked harder I would realize that the interior is plastic.

I received it several weeks ago. It's still in the box. I'm not sure what to do with it. I'm not going to use it.

Samsung Galaxy Centura 3G Mobile Phone | TracFone
Samsung Galaxy Centura 3G Mobile Phone | TracFone
13 used & new from $23.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage, December 5, 2013
I had a galaxy proclaim for about a year. I had no problems with it. I spilled a drink on it and it stopped working. I bought the centura as a replacement. Here is what you can expect for a centura:
Sometimes it takes as long as 30 seconds from the time you attempt a call for the phone to actually start making the call. In that time you might mistakenly think that the phone is not responding, and you might attempt the call again. Sooner or later it will make two calls to the same person. The phone may be in your pocket by then. To read an email it sometimes take 5 attempts to open it. Messages are fine as long as they don't have an attachment. If you try to view an attachment in a message you are likely to get the message "try downloading again later." Whatever that means. You can't send attachments in emails and messages unless they are pictures. You can download non-picture items (such as documents), but you can't get them off of the phone.

This phone is unreliable and a waste of money.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 25, 2015 7:58 AM PST

Kodak ESP 3250 All-in-One Printer for Us
Kodak ESP 3250 All-in-One Printer for Us

1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage - I'll never buy another Kodak printer, August 22, 2013
This printer has exceptionally poor print quality. We've tried buying different cartridges and cleaning the cartridge. The print quality is hardly readable in small fonts. The ink seems to always be almost out. I'll bet we don't get 100 pages out of a cartridge. The only good thing about this is that it has a scanner that works. I would not accept one of these for free.

Saddleman Front Bucket Custom Made Seat Covers - MicroSuede Fabric (Black)
Saddleman Front Bucket Custom Made Seat Covers - MicroSuede Fabric (Black)
Price: $97.85
2 used & new from $97.85

2.0 out of 5 stars I will never do business with AutoBarn again - beware restocking fee, March 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was willing to pay $145 dollars for car seat covers because I wanted nice seat covers. The seat covers I ordered took almost 4 weeks to arrive. When they did arrive I thought it was a mistake. The material was thin and flimsy, the same quality I could get at Walmart for $40. If these were $40 seat covers, I'd have been okay with the obvious lack of quality. But for $145 I expected something above average.

I asked for a refund and AutoBarn replied that a 25% restocking fee was required. They told me that my seat covers were custom made. I told them the covers may have been made to order but to call them custom made was misleading. I told them I did not want to pay the restocking fee because my refund was based on poor quality, not a change of mind. They would not negotiate the restocking fee.

After about 2 weeks of trying to get a refund I decided to just keep the seat covers. When I tried to install them I found that they did not even fit. They were too small. I sent another note to AutoBarn telling them the seat covers didn't fit and I wanted them to waive the restocking fee. They refused again.

I then called my bank to dispute the charge. They filed my dispute and also told me that certain states had laws against vendors charging a restocking fee on a returned item. The day after my dispute had been filed I got a note from AutoBarn saying that they would waive the restocking fee. However my refund was short $10, so apparently they charged me for something.

Yesterday I went to Napa Auto Parts and got a pair of car seat covers on sale for $26. This is 18% of the cost of the seat covers at AutoBarn. And they are of remarkably better quality than the AutoBarn covers.

I paid $10 for the return shipping, and another $10 to AutoBarn for apparently something other than restocking. It was a $20 dollar lesson that I hope no one else has to learn.


Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives
Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives
by Dean Buonomano
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.87
67 used & new from $3.31

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book, September 10, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I read this book over a month ago and I haven't yet stopped thinking about it. It is a fascinating account of how the brain learns and associates ideas. The brain is continually manipulating data in order to make that data fit the brain's template of the world. This book redefined my opinion of what it means to learn.

The author uses the metaphor of a computer program to explain the hierarchy of the brain. The conscious brain acts as the main program, while the various facets of the unconscious brain are subroutines, which are called as required by the main. What an excellent metaphor.

The book contains several very good examples of brain "flaws" which the reader can perform. These demonstrations are entertaining and enlightening. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys playing with ideas.

SanDisk 512 MB MP3 Player Blue
SanDisk 512 MB MP3 Player Blue
4 used & new from $49.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of bugs, April 30, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've had this player for about 6 weeks. The controls are abysmal. The player freezes up when trying to switch from radio mode to mp3 mode. I have to remove the battery to un-freeze it. Oddly enough, I've noticed quite a few positive reviews for this player wherein the author actually noted the freeze-ups and yet still gave it a good review. ???

The biggest nuisance is that when I put songs into the player, I have no idea how many are actually going to play. This morning I loaded about 50 songs on the drive. The player recognized 13 of them. Worse yet, several of the 13 songs weren't even songs that I had loaded. These songs had been deleted a few days ago. When I scan the drive with my computer, these ghost songs aren't even there, but yet they continue to play. All of these glitches have been there since day 1. I would not recommend this item. Even at $17, this player isn't worth it.


Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition: Build a Program Now! (PRO-Developer)
Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition: Build a Program Now! (PRO-Developer)
by Patrice Pelland
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.79
105 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time for the author and the reader, December 22, 2010
This book was written for "anyone" as the author says. I have been programming for many years and I found this book to be mostly useless. There is not enough depth on any one subject to give a user meaningful information. It's like a frantically hurried tour of C#. The most telling example of this is the section entitled "Creating your own web browser in less than 5 minutes". If you could create even a simple web browser in 5 minutes you would most certainly not need this book. And if you had no idea how to create a web browser, 5 minutes is not nearly enough time to actually learn anything except how to copy someone else's code.

This book is not suitable for experienced programmers or beginners. Do not waste your money on this.

Andrew Gentile

Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do
Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do
by Gabriel Thompson
Edition: Hardcover
86 used & new from $0.01

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good - could have been better, May 16, 2010
This starts off as a very good book, and slowly loses its intensity. The first part of the book - the lettuce fields - was excellent. I would have liked to have learned more about the mechanisms of picking lettuce. But it was a good description despite that it focused a little too heavily on the physical pain one endures while picking. The book seemed to lose some focus during the story of the chicken plant. It was still good, but I got the impression that the author was less interested in the chicken plant than the lettuce fields. The flower shop and restaurant stories seemed to be hurried and underdeveloped. It would have been better to expand and improve the chicken plant story and to dump the remainder of the book. And the conclusion did not seem at all related to the book. The conclusion added almost nothing to the book.

Despite was sounds like a negative criticism of the book, I did like it, and I will recommend it to friends and family.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2011 12:21 AM PDT

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
by Matthew B. Crawford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.80
222 used & new from $0.01

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a great book, but for whom?, January 4, 2010
I think this book did an excellent job of pointing out patterns of behavior in the corporate job world as well as in the academic world. I agree 100% with Crawford's assessment that colleges are purveyors of credentials, and it is those credentials which hold the greatest value to a student, far beyond the knowledge gained through education. So much of this book is enlightening, but I found a couple issues which I felt deserved criticism.

The first of these is the writing style. Who is the intended audience? This book glorifies blue collar work, but it is written with such vocabulary and density of ideas that most blue collar workers I know wouldn't make it past page one. And this is unfortunate because I think many of them could benefit from hearing such a well-detailed perspective.

The second issue is the simplified version of blue collar workers, and how they bond together in a harmonious brotherhood where the master gently guides the apprentice through example, instruction, and criticism. I have worked in shops and in the trades for much of my life, and I still do. First of all, not everyone in the trades takes pride in their work. That should be apparent to anyone. And secondly, people in the trades can be absolutely brutal to one another. There is a bonding which occurs when people work together, and they depend on each other to get their jobs done. But the harmony as described by Crawford is sort of new-agey and idealistic. Guys on the job gang up on one another all the time. Racial and political intolerance is common. I am certain that this is not true for all blue collar environments, but it is surely not rare.

Despite these two criticisms, I thought the book was good.

Page: 1