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The Design of Everyday Things
The Design of Everyday Things
par Don Norman
Edition : Broché

4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice Argument for Usability, But Misses the Application, 25 mai 2007
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Design of Everyday Things (Broché)
"The Design of Everyday Things" by Donald A. Norman is said to be one of those great usability books. I bought mine at a major usability conference, believing the hype. My conclusion: Useful, but overhyped.

Norman takes a theme that says, "Look at history and you will see how the objects we use daily are sensible and functional. Now, design websites and software likewise," and develops a complete book.

Rats. I gave it all away. Now you do not need to buy the book, nor read any its 257 pages.

Really, that's more or less all there is to the book.

It is easy to read, but, in the end, becomes repetitive and is deficient in assisting the reader with application. It points out a problem we need to understand, but offers no solution. It is worth reading, but lacks as an instructional tool.

For the dense-headed, or for someone who has never considered the arguments for thinking about function before form, the book is tremendously useful. Example after example is presented is simple terms so that readers will see that merely having a cool website is not enough.

Where the book does not meet the mark is in the transferring the ideas into something modern, practical, and, in the case of we communications people, websites. What starts with a brilliant exposition about devices being useful ends where it started.

Anthony Trendl

editor, HungarianBookstore.com


Spider-Man 2 [Édition Single]
Spider-Man 2 [Édition Single]
DVD ~ Tobey Maguire
Proposé par S-PION
Prix : EUR 14,90

3 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Harry to Peter: You Killed my Father, Prepare to Die!, 17 juin 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Spider-Man 2 [Édition Single] (DVD)
No, Harry Oswald doesn't go around quoting "The Princess Bride," or referring to Inigo Montoya's famous quest to revenge his father's death by a six-fingered man. However, he blames Spiderman for the death of his father (AKA the Green Goblin). He'll do anything to avenge his father, and that includes making a deal with Dr. Octopus.
That, and several other excellent subplots help make Spiderman 2 the best screen adaptation of a comic book series. I argue that it is better than best-of-show in a genre, and can be placed in the echelons of great movies overall.
Although incredible effects help create a real Spiderman, the movie excels because of the humanity of Peter Parker.
Peter is in love, but isn't willing to tell Mary Jane. He uses Spiderman as his excuse even though it is old fashioned fear of commitment and rejection that are at play. Any teenager or young 20s man has felt that angst, and so we relate to Peter.
Peter loves his Aunt May and the late Uncle Ben, and feels heavy guilt for Uncle Ben's death. It was Peter, after all, who let the thief who later killed Ben escape. The relationship between Aunt May and Peter is like a grandmother and grandchild, and is believable.
Mr. Jameson is the least believable character, and the most caricatured. Snapping quickly at any opportunity to malign Spiderman's reputation, he acknowledges that Spidey's apparent retirement causes an increase in the crime rate.
The Plot:
Peter tries to set aside his Spiderman persona to forge a real life. Too often, he found Spidey interfering with his ability to keep his word, to be on time, keep his grades up, to earn money and to keep and grow relationships.
After soul-searching, he quits, and tries a post-Spidey lifestyle. He watches as police rush by a few times. When Peter saves a baby in a burning building without the assistance of super powers, only to learn someone remained in the building and died, he knows he could've done something.
Meanwhile, Harry Oswald introduces Peter to his hero, physicist Dr. Octavius. Dr. Octavius is working on a project that can revolutionize and resolve the world's energy problem. During a demonstration, the experiment goes awry. Spiderman launches into action, and saves the day. Unfortunately, Dr. Octavius's beloved wife dies in an explosion, and the Dr. himself finds that the robotic arms he used to help with the experiment have fused to his nervous system.
Raging against Spiderman for, as he believes, killing his wife, Dr. Octavius seeks revenge. Concurrently, he tries to rebuild the dangerous experiment. He needs rare materials, and deals with Harry, who also wants revenge. If Dr. Octavius captures Spiderman, Harry will give him the material.
When Harry pulls out a dagger, ready to kill the bound up Spiderman, he pulls off the mask, and everything changes. How can his best friend be Spiderman?
All of the while, Peter is trying to make ends meet. The cantankerous Mr. Jameson hires Peter to photograph a social event involving John, his son, a famous astronaut.
It turns out that John is seeing Mary Jane, and becomes engaged to her. Peter's heart sinks, and he tries to talk her out of it and back into a relationship with him. MJ counters that she and Peter have no relationship to return to. It is over, and Peter knows it.
When Dr. Octavius kidnaps MJ, and tells Peter to tell Spidey to meet him, Peter must decide if Spiderman must exist to save MJ, the world, but in doing so, lose MJ's heart.
What will Peter choose? The love of a woman, or her life? It is an impossible choice, and replete with danger either way.
The transition between comic book and movie screen has never been as smooth. Ang Lee's "Hulk," had no depth, just as Christopher Reeve's "Superman." Fun? Yes, but neither were great movies. "Spiderman 2" is a great movie.
We forget who are the actors. Kirsten Dunst as girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson is fantastic, being beautiful and ordinary simultaneously. Rosemary Harris looks as much as like Aunt May as anyone could. Finally, Tobey Maguire is so perfectly cast as Peter Parker, that all is seamless.
I fully recommend Spiderman 2. I'm ready for "Spiderman 3," and hope the producers realize that there is enough good Spiderman material to make another five movies as good as this.
Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com


Rocky
Rocky
DVD ~ Sylvester Stallone
Proposé par KAPPA MEDIA
Prix : EUR 6,08

3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Inspiring as Rocky Tries to Go the Distance, 15 juin 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Rocky (DVD)
Rocky Balboa, now an icon of American culture, began his story here. Apollo Creed, a fighter with the class and style of Muhammad Ali, needs a boxer in the heavyweight championships when his opponent breaks his hand. He chooses Rocky, an unknown fighter with a marketable nickname, "The Italian Stallion."
Rocky is just a decent boxer from Philly who could have achieved something if he had more drive. He lives a futile life of discouragement, surviving on hard work and honor. He's a collection agent for a loan shark, and tries, even then, to treat his clients right, giving them the chance to pay up.
When Creed makes his offer to Rocky, Rocky realizes this is his door to freedom, to all he has dreamed of reaching. Creed, though, is the best, and Rocky knows it. He trains hard, but can't forget how good Creed is. His goal isn't to win; that seems unachievable. It is to go the distance, to last through every round. No one ever lasted that long with Creed.
Subplots that help provide depth are his love interest with Adrian, perfectly played by Talia Shire, and Paulie's (Adrian's brother) temper and sense of feeling disenfranchised. Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer, Mickey, is a stereotypically sour old man who talks in rough phrases from one side of his mouth who sees Rocky as the embodiment of his own failed dreams.
Rocky's relationship with Adrian is classy. He is a gentleman, albeit simple, and even slept on the couch when Adrian stayed at his place. That kind of class is refreshing to see.
Meredith, perhaps best known until this as the Penguin on the 1960s' Batman TV series, is a great compliment to Sylvester Stallone's Rocky, bringing a father-like wisdom and care to their relationship.
Stallone's own comment on Rocky says it is, "All about: pride, reputation, and not being another bum in the neighborhood." I saw it as an American dream. He worked hard, had a dose of luck, and when it mattered, was all heart.
The music is as strong as the movie. High school bands played the "Rocky Theme" by Bill Conti for many years. Watching Rocky's workouts, especially the running and pushup scenes, is inspiring. Mixed with the music, you might catch yourself suiting up and hitting the streets for a few miles after the final credits roll.
I fully recommend "Rocky."
Anthony Trendl


Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories: Book 2
Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories: Book 2
par Robert J. Morgan
Edition : Broché
Prix : EUR 18,29

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Presents Hymns & Carols in Historical & Theological Context, 21 mars 2005
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories: Book 2 (Broché)
Robert Morgan has collected the stories of familiar hymns which transcend denominational boundaries. I sang many of these as a youth at Catholic Mass, and later, as I have regularly attended Protestant services. Not only did I enjoy reading the lyrics in the quiet of my living room, but I also learned more about the intended meaning of each song.
Significant Songs (just a few of another 50 I could list)
* "O Sacred Heart Now Wounded"
* "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"
* "Joy to the World!"
* "The First Noel"
* "O Holy Night"
* "O How I Love Jesus"
* "I Love to Tell the Story"
* "Beulah Land"
* "Nothing But the Blood"
* "God of Our Fathers"
* "Softly and Tenderly"
* "I'll Fly Away"
* "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?"
Christian hymns are part of world music, going hundreds of years. Whether written by a repentant slave owner or a Catholic priest who believes scripture should be in the common man's language, or as an extension of a theologian's great poetic skill, the stories of the classics are anything but ordinary.
What impressed me was the easy style of Morgan's writing as he explained the theology and origin of the songs. Each song receives one page describing its author and history.
I learned, for example, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" by Ada Ruth Habershon isn't a secular song of generic faith sung only by folk singers, but a rich song of longing for eternity in Heaven specifically for Christians.
I like that Morgan included "Away in the Manger" and other Christmas carols. In the Christmas holiday context, they feel like simple ditties, but reading the lyrics showed me how many started as hymns sung throughout the year as worship.
A downside of the book was the organization. Morgan researched this carefully and grouped the hymns chronologically. Each song gets its own entry. In many cases, specific material was lacking, or, as in the case of the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, many were written by one author. There was only so much Wesley information to spread out over all of their songs. It would have made more senses to collection the songs of one author together, with one essay to avoid this problem.
"Then Sings My Soul" is aptly titled, referencing the famous lyric. It is as instructive as it is encouraging. For me, as I walked through memories new and old, I found that this coming Sunday as I sing these with my fellow parishioners, I will be singing with more soul than the Sunday before.
I fully recommend "Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories" by Robert J. Morgan.
Anthony Trendl


Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time
Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time
par David Edmonds
Edition : Relié

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Mother of All Matches, 16 mars 2005
If Bobby Fischer's name is affiliated with a book, it comes to reason that there is some amount of weirdness forthcoming. I am not referring to the chess books Fischer wrote, as those are guidelines to chess perfection. This refers to any discussion of his life, which this book does. The world's greatest chess player, Fischer, has lived his personal life much less logically than his life is an eight by eight square cell.
To help the nonchess reader sort out the menagerie, authors David Edmonds and John Eidinow provide a "Dramatis Personae," listing 21 Americans, 24 Soviets, six Icelanders, four match officials, and six sundry others, explaining their relationship to the Reykjavik, Iceland chess match. They also include a short glossary to educate us in the vocabulary of competitive chess.
The book begins with a vital quote by Boris Spassky, "When you play Bobby, it is not a question of whether you win or lose. It is a question of whether you survive. This sets the tone for all that follows.
Edmonds and Eidinow lay out the social mire Fischer was growing up in, and his quick rise to chess dominance.
In 1954, when Fischer was 11, he was attending matches and doing well enough but not at his later prodigy level. In that year, as he is quoted, he "just got good." Modern chess history, or at least for one its most colorful characters, begins then.
1972: Boris Spassky was the champ. He deserved to be there. Bobby Fischer was the contender. He deserved to have the opportunity. Between these two men stood a world of complex politics, money, national pride, idiosyncrasies, and suitors to the game. Reykjavik, Iceland was the location of what has become one of the most legendary chess matches ever, between Spassky and Fischer.
Early on during Fischer's career, he had the same impact Michael Jordan would later enjoy later enjoy as professional basketball player. "Fischer-fear" was the description of some players' psychosomatic illnesses from Fischer's intimidation. Opponents would make mistakes as a result. Fischer had the bravado of Muhammad Ali, but none of his class. He would take this personality and boorish demands to the match.
Boris Spassky is painted differently. A product of the Soviet support system, he became professional about the game. Affable and popular, an opposite to in every way to Fischer, he still had what Fischer lacked -- the title "World Champion."
The bulk of the book moves on from biography and personality profiles. It follows the path the chess culture -- all chaotic in its apparent systemic approach. Going from the need to compete to the actual match turned through every convoluted corner, with Kissinger's involvement, the FBI, the KGB, and as much intrigue as a James Bond movie.
The travails of the match are outlined as needed (but not heavily), highlighting the most interesting parts and never boring nonchess players. The psychology of the players and chess players in general is discussed, as is the history of modern champions, providing a field for tension and a framework for the match.
This was in the midst of the Cold War, and the Soviets -- not just Spassky, owned the chess champ title. Nixon was president. Fischer, the bombastic, arrogant American who hated Russia, had a knack for successfully risking it all on the board by knowing the principles of chess as a sublime art form. Spassky, the methodical Russian, against Fischer, became a symbol of the Cold war itself. The image of the match was only half of the matter. Neither man was the caricature the press saw them as, but such are the stories of legend.
I fully recommend "Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time," by David Edmonds and John Eidinow. Oh, and if you somehow missed the big news back in 1972, Fischer won the match.
Anthony Trendl


The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
par Alex Preminger
Edition : Broché

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Comprehensively Impressive, 25 juin 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Broché)
Want to know what a 'priamel' is? Look it up here, "he New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics." Not only will you see 'priamel' defined, but a short history of the use of the concept, examples of priamelic poetry, and a other resources to learn more.
How about Hungarian poetry, what makes a hymn (as opposed to a carol), a discussion on line usage and techniques? It is all here. Exemplum? Septenarius? Metalepsis? What's an iambe? It isn't an iamb, and from their respective entries, you'll see why.
Every student of poetry, whether in college, teaching or writing, needs this book. All the major terms and styles are covered here, but also every country producing poetry.
This is useful to the poet who wants to learn more about what has been done through the years, and how and why a particular style was used. The book is certainly for the intelligent reader, but won't be bogged down with overblown, hard to understand explanations. This an encyclopedia, not a dissertation.
Professors and students can use this book as a reference point as they research poetry. Ever read a literary critique and not have a clue what term Dr. Iam Smart just referred to? I sure have. This book helps me know what I am reading.
The entries are well-structured, and give plenty to get started, and then point you where you can learn more.
I fully recommed "The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics" by Alex Preminger.
Anthony Trendl


Pirates des Caraïbes - Édition Spéciale 2 DVD [Import belge]
Pirates des Caraïbes - Édition Spéciale 2 DVD [Import belge]
DVD ~ Johnny Depp
Proposé par dvd05 (dvd jeuxvidéos ...) Expedié le jour de la commande.
Prix : EUR 3,90

1 internaute sur 3 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Swashbuckling Good Time Worth Watching Several Times, 6 avril 2004
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Pirates des Caraïbes - Édition Spéciale 2 DVD [Import belge] (DVD)
"Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl" is great fun. It has romance, action, sword fighting, ghost pirates, great bad guys, great good guys, ships on fire, and secret treasure. It is funny, exciting and satifying. What more could you want in a movie?
Reminding viewers of every pirate movie they have ever seen, from "Captain Kidd, "Captain Blood" and even "Princess Bride."
The personality of "Princess Bride"'s great Spanish swordsman Inigo Montoya shows up in the character of Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp. With the flavor of Dudley Moore's "Arthur," Capt. Jack is almost sober, and always ready with a subtle quip.
In dashing good pirate fashion, the movie is about saving a damsel in distress. Keira Knightley plays the damsel, Elizabeth Swann, the daughter of the governor. Chased by the governor and his navy, and in the hands of bad ghost pirates, conflict and swordplay surround many scenes in freshly choreographed duels.
Fans of the "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" will enjoy a scene when the ghost pirates are walking on the ocean floor. It reminded me of the "Army of the Dead" charging to fight.
It is a pure, family movie. The youngest children might find some scenes too violent, but older children will love this battle of good and evil.
I would have liked to understand more behind Capt. Jack's background, and more character development of Will Turner (played by played by Orlando Bloom). This is not because the movie is lacking, but because of how invested I felt in each character. I want a sequel.
I fully recommend "Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl." It is worth watching and rewatching, making it a great purchase for your DVD library.
Anthony Trendl


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