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The Heist
The Heist
Price: $11.49
120 used & new from $0.33

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just Thrift Shop, August 2, 2013
This review is from: The Heist (Audio CD)
I don't get much exposure to new music any more, but our niece played "Thrift Shop" for me and my wife. It's a funny, quirky song, with a great video, even if I've never been much of a rap fan. Youtube of course linked me to some of Macklemore's other stuff, including the KEXP broadcast, and Same Love (which as another reviewer pointed out, is very poignant). At this point, I started to realize these guys are more than just a silly song. Macklemore's lyrics are truly thoughtful, and the background provided by Ryan Lewis is more musical than many other entrants in the genre. The whole CD is really darn good, and reminds me a bit of Everlast's 1998 "Whitey Ford Sings the Blues".


The Designer's Guide to VHDL, Third Edition (Systems on Silicon)
The Designer's Guide to VHDL, Third Edition (Systems on Silicon)
by Peter J. Ashenden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $53.34
56 used & new from $42.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good reference, not a great learning aid, March 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a good VHDL Language Reference Manual. If you work with VHDL regularly, it is good to have on your bookshelf. It is a bit unwieldy in the way the constructs are defined, in that almost every definition of a VHDL construct relies on previously defined constructs. However, this is pretty common in LRMs for other languages as well. But if you're not used to reading things like this, it will be very confusing at first.

As other posters have noted, this is not a good book to learn to do VLSI design. It teaches you the syntax of how to write VHDL, and that's it. VHDL, even more so than many other languages, gives you plenty of rope with which to hang yourself. Just because you can write something a certain way in VHDL does not mean you should. Certain constructs which are allowed in VHDL will cause synthesis tools massive headaches. Nor does the book really teach you when to use procedural vs concurrent statements, or any other things you really need to know when using VHDL for its intended purpose: VLSI design.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2013 1:47 PM PDT


Play
Play
Offered by MEGA Media
Price: $11.98
84 used & new from $0.01

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical country album, November 13, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Play (Audio CD)
I don't listen to much country music; what little I do listen to is generally considered "alt-country". I had only ever heard a song or two by Brad Paisley before, but picked up this album based on recommendations from other guitar players. (I "Play", though not on par with Brad!) I love instrumental rock, especially instrumental guitar pieces, and think this is a great album. That said, it is pretty all over the place, and I can see staunch country-music fans might not like it. A couple of the songs have a very rockabilly Brian Setzer vibe, and "Turf's Up" is pure homage to Dick Dale. "Cliffs of Rock City" I've heard is a nod to Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover" (another great instrumental rock piece). "Les is More" is a jazzy little number giving respect to Les Paul. The guitar playing is fantastic throughout, and the songs are creative and melodic, and honour those mentioned above without being derivative. My least favourite songs on this album are actually the songs with lyrics. If you're a dedicated country music fan, this might be a skip for you. If you enjoy great guitar playing and various styles of music, I'd say give this a shot, even if you never listen to country music.


Anathem
Anathem
by Neal Stephenson
Edition: Hardcover
207 used & new from $0.03

548 of 586 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no spoilers review, September 9, 2008
This review is from: Anathem (Hardcover)
First off, I'll let slip that I am a big Neal Stephenson fan, although I did not enjoy the Baroque Cycle. Anathem is, in some respects, "difficult" to read. Yes, there is language here that Stephenson made up, although he didn't take it to the same level that Tolkein did in his Middle Earth works. (There is an glossary of terms at the back, and entries from a dictionary are spreckled throughout the book.) And Anathem may be "slow" in that it takes approximately 200 pages to get to the core of the plot. However, I never found myself bored with the writing.

It is a difficult book to describe to others. In some ways, I felt like I was reading a novelization of "Goedel, Escher, Bach". There are some complex ideas here, some of which are expanded upon in appendices, which contain dialogues (ie in the Socratic sense of a philosophical or mathematical discussion between two people of differing views). I find such discussions intriguing, so I never found the book dry or boring, though strictly speaking, much of the material could have been removed to focus strictly on the plot. (This would, however, have weakened the reader's understanding of the plot.) Such digressions are quite characteristic of Stephenson's work (ie the discussions of language theory present in Snow Crash), and for a certain audience, it is quite enjoyable. If you have a tolerance for (or perhaps even enjoy) side-discussions of interesting material, and enjoy speculative fiction, then none of this should put you off. If you read xkcd, or liked Snow Crash, or the Foundation series by Asimov, then Anathem is likely a good bet for you. If mathematical or philosophical concepts make you cringe in fear, then you would probably not enjoy Anathem (or anything else by Neal Stephenson for that matter).

This review is based on an advance copy.
Comment Comments (25) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2014 9:32 AM PST


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