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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: How to Sell Antiques and Collectibles on eBay... And Make a Fortune!
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Authors: Dennis Prince, Lynn Dralle
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
The Best Book on eBay selling!!!

Finally an eBay power seller that tells the secrets of what it takes to be really successful on eBay!! This book is packed with helpful ideas and hints on how to establish a business and get top dollar for your items at on-line auctions! I can't wait to put these ideas into action. Another book by the same author is captivating--how she has been successful in selling on-line, tied to the touching history of her family's antique business. This book is "The 100 Best Things I've Sold on eBay". A great read!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: When Things Start to Think
Publisher: Owl Books
Authors: Gershenfeld Neil
Rating: 1/5
Customer opinion - 1 stars out of 5

This book does not fulfill the promise of its title, in a rambling, sometimes interesting, mostly self-serving view of the author's work and that of his colleagues at one of the world's premier labs. Lacking clear structure or drama, the book suffers further from poor writing and editing. If you're from MIT, every sentence probably makes sense -- it often sounds as if it were transcribed from a small group seminar. Instead of focusing on clarity for those outside of the tight jargon, it uses a loose, concept-by-implication presentation style with enough fuzziness to dazzle the innocent. Perhaps that explains the over-glowing reviews.
How many things think in Gershenfeld's tapestry? Not many, but I can't find them quickly again, either from memory or index.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Access 2000 VBA Handbook
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: Susann Novalis
Rating: 3/5
Customer opinion - 3 stars out of 5
lots of information - but horribly presented

This book has frustrated me to no end. It jumps from subject to subject with no warning. For example the book explains a little bit of the architecture, then says that an "Access Project" has a different architecture. I thought I was working on an Access Project, oops, much later that I discovered that, an Access Application is not the same thing as an Access Project. Thanks for telling me. And for a good portion of the book, there is no sample code. You learn things by chance, and heaven help you if you try to find something in the index (for example, "subform" is not in the index). Did I learn? Yes. But only because I was taking over a project that had already been written, so the book supplemented the code I was deciphering. Admittedly, part of the problem is in Access itself - too much behind the scenes processing which requires no code. Access also has a number of different interfaces ... I had hoped this book would explain when to use which one and why. No such luck.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Mind Hacks (Hacks)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Tom Stafford, Matt Webb
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Lots of Food(Hacks) for Thought!

I'm only 2/3 of the way through the book but thought it would be worth posting a review before completing it for one reason. The reason is that all the many links found in the book do not need to be entered in by hand. The authors recently put the complete list of links on their web page. This makes it a lot more enticing to go off and explore illusions and support information.

I liked the idea of the book, and when I started reading it, it seemed somewhat unengaging. Somewhere after the first 10 hacks or so that changed. I guess I started developing a feel for what it was all about. It's sort of textbook-ish, but nevertheless very interesting. Sort of like a lab manual and you are the lab.

I think other reviewers have given a pretty fair idea of what it's about, so I'll only make a few comments.

I think it's worthwhile reading their comments sprinkled among the references. There's some very good info there and suggestions about further reading.

A real show stopper item is how we use the external world as a database to help us see. That's a real twist. See the J. Kevin O'Regan web article, Hack #40. That reminds me. Some of the illusions on the web, particularly those on change blindness, are a little tricky. A good illustration is in this article. There's a section (single line actually) called "slow motion". You probably won't notice what happens in the animation until it stops, and you try to restart. Suddenly it jumps out at you. My point is that sometimes you have to fidget awhile with the computer. This is not a fault of the book.

Another show stopper (to me at least) is the experiment discussed in the chapter on integration, Hack #61. It appears that language is necessary to integrate information from our senses. In this case, geometry and color.

As of this writing, it's unfortunate the publisher hasn't yet put some of the book online. There are a few items I would like to search for that I did not highlight and cannot find in the index. The index is, however, quite good.

Another good current read on the mind is "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell.

P.S. I'm looking for the story about the pilots.